The Real Work

We’ve practiced all of our moves. We’ve rehearsed the entire act. We’ve shown it to our friends. What now?

The next step is to get our new creations out of the rehearsal studio and into a live performance venue. One of the problems that many magicians run into early on, is that their “dream show,” that they practice only in the rehearsal studio, is not practical in many real-world conditions. Flight time is getting you out into the real world, whether you are performing a new close-up routine or working a stage act. You will need to take it out and try it in many diverse performing conditions, possibly including rowdy comedy clubs, loud banquets, and chaotic nightclubs. Most professional performers “bullet-proof” their routines so they can play in almost any real-world situation. Bullet-proofing your material means removing all the unnecessary script, preparation, and angles that might make a routine vulnerable in unfavorable conditions. If a routine is not bullet-proof, you may consider dropping it from your show if the conditions are not perfect. Experienced performers know what routines will play in different situations and can make adjustments in their repertoire to suit the venue.

You don’t even have to leave the house to get the practice you need. Just imagine that the front door to your home is a stage. Every time you open the door, the curtain goes up; the person on the other side is the audience. Whether it’s a newspaper salesman, the Chinese food delivery, or the pizza guy, you have a chance to run through your latest routine or new effect.

A Few Suggestions…

  1. Get a pack of cards, or one magic effect, and carry it with you at all times.
  2. Do card tricks at every chance you get (even the simplest stupid ones) for every single person you meet in the day, ie. store clerks, taxi drivers, waiters. Do not wait for an opening, just start doing flourishes and cuts/productions. The idea here is to always leave a room in a better condition than when you entered it. Uplift all the folks in the room with your magic; you will be uplifted soon; all will know your name and you just might meet some very interesting people!
  3. Don’t stop – Many magicians know hundreds of tricks, but on a daily basis, perform none. We are only given twenty-four hours each day to work on our magical art. How will you spend your hours?

What the three above suggestions do, in short ,is this …. They help you to take your magic and put it outside of your head, or your mental state; they help you to create an atmosphere of magical possibility.

Many magicians wonder how they can make more money with their magic. As an experiment, try to think of ways to make more magic with your money.

Performing Magic during Monetary Transactions…

Consider each person who you give money to during the day, a paid extra in the rehearsal studio of your life! If you give something to people they do not usually get, they might give you something they do not usually give; attention, respect, special service, better directions, air travel upgrades, hospitality.

My Favorite Magic Effect

I always have a thumb tip with a rainbow streamer inside of it. I carry this in my trusty zipper pouch and it is ready to go at any moment.
Here are a few of my favorite presentations for impromptu situations:

I have a dollar or five dollar bill folded up in my left pocket, the tip with the silk inside in in my right pocket. I reach into both pockets at the same time as I say, “I have a gift for you.” In my pockets I place the tip on my right thumb and the rolled up bill in finger palm in my left hand.

I look the participant in the eye and say, “Look, it is an invisible rainbow!” I hold the thumb tip dead on, making a tossing motion upwards, I grab the imaginary rainbow with the fist of the right hand and ….

Version #2
The old saying goes “Why run when there is no one chasing you?” Start with the dollar bill already hidden and folded in your left fingers. The right hand with the loaded thumb tip makes a fist, the thumb goes into the center of the fist and the thumb tip is pulled off by the fingers and worked to the fingertips. The left hand then takes the end of the silk and pulls it half way out of the tip. The right hand then places the tip with the remaining silk on top of the bill in the left hand. This is not a fancy change-over but it is simple and it works. The right hand then tucks the silk into the thumbtip. As the last of the silk is tucked in, slowly open the bill with both hands and hide the thumb tip behind the bill. The helper will be far more interested in the bill than “where the silk went.”

Version #3
As I go to hand a cashier or waitress a bill, I roll it into a tube, (around the loaded thumbtip) and reveal the streamer. At this point, I can tie the streamer around my neck, put it in my pocket or do a slow motion vanish. My favorite is to say, “I promise I won’t make it vanish, I will just create the illusion that it becomes invisible!” The preceding statement is true! I do not want my first impression to be one of a person who is a liar! As I say “the streamer becomes invisible,” I mime crushing it up into a small ball in my left (empty) hand, pinch it between my fingers and place it delicately, oh so delicately into the open palm of my helper.

There is a need for trivial magic in the world. People are living in stressful times and even the simplest magic can have a profound impact on a person. And remember it takes just about 5 seconds to completely change someone’s attitude or mood.

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