Magicians How To Improve Your Performance.
How to improve your performance.
So you’re a magician and you’ve got some routines you would like to perform; you are looking to start entertaining real people, but you want to be the best you can be. How do you go about improving your performance and putting the polish on your magic?
Magicians, to improve your performance you will need:
*A bull with horns.
*Grab some mirrors!
For many years magicians have practiced in front of mirrors to hone their moves. You will often see a picture of a fold out mirror with a close up pad spread out in front of it. These can be very useful for seeing what the moves look like from different angles and can give you an idea of whether things look natural or forced. As a magician, use a mirror /mirrors if you want to check your angles and how things look from the spectator’s point of view.
Mirrors will not help you with timing, patter, overall structure, or viewing angles for any spectator’s that don’t sit/stand exactly where you or your mirrors are. In short, don’t practice solely with mirrors but use these as one tool in your arsenal.
*Grab a camera!
Rather than just performing in front of a mirror, more and more magicians are now practicing in front of cameras. If you go back 30 years this would be a tricky thing to do but now it is not! Almost all phones can record short videos in a basic quality. Stick your phone in front of you and hit record. Watch the recording back and you’ll be surprised at what your magic looks like. This will not only help with moves but also with any verbal ticks or bad habits you might have.
For magicians, cameras will help a little more than mirrors because you can watch your performance back and check your timing, patter, and overall structure, but on the down side the viewing angles for your magical performance are now reduced to ‘one’. For a more comprehensive look at your viewing angles grab more cameras or go back to using a set of mirrors. In short, don’t practice solely with cameras but use these as one tool in your arsenal.
*Grab a mannequin!
Maybe you are not just a magician but also a budding pickpocket, or maybe you need to practice a magic routine where you are placing a coin on someone’s shoulder: you need something with pockets and shoulders to practice on! There is no better way to practice this at home than with a mannequin. Find a shop which is closing down and relieve them of one. Dress it in the sort of clothes your spectator’s will wear and get to work. Not only can you practice your magic moves and sleights but practice where you will position your body in relationship to theirs.
*Grab the bull by the horns!
What does grabbing a bull by the horns have to do with improving our performance as magicians? As magicians we need to get out into the real world and perform for real people. There is no better way to check your presentation chops than to perform for real people in a real, live, environment. You will soon know if the things you have practiced in front of the mirror or the camera can actually work with real eyeballs looking at you, and whether your ‘patter’ is interesting enough to carry the routine. Get out there and try things in the real world! Grab that bull by the horns and practice your magic infront of people!
*Grab some magicians!
Find a group of magicians and show them your routines. They will be able to give you solid advice on how the moves might be perceived by spectators and whether they can see anything untoward happening.
You can always perform to a mix of Magician’s and lay people giving you the instant feedback from the lay people and the targeted advice from the Magician’s afterwards well.
Where can you find fellow magicians? If you haven’t already done so consider joining a local magic club, or starting one yourself. A quick Google search, or a visit to Magic Week, will show up all the local clubs near you. Also consider joining a larger club like The Magic Circle, or going along to The Magic Castle, however, when we are talking about improving our own performances the best magic club is the one you can get to regularly!
As always, we at the Magicians’ Advice would love to hear from you and if you need any more help or support we are always happy to share. All the best with improving your performances!
Ian, Phil, Rob, & Tony.
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