Zany Wacky Silly but Funny

The fourth concept is for the magician to act as a wacky, zany character the whole time. Not only do they look funny, but their actions and presentation style are funny. Mac King in Las Vegas pulls this off very well. From the moment you see him come on stage you know he is a comedy magician from the way he looks right through to the way he moves. Mac reinforces this perception straight away at the opening of his show, by walking up to the microphone dressed in a ridiculous looking plaid suit,...

Developing Your Performance Techniques

The subject of performance techniques could take up many books by itself, in fact many volumes have been written about it, but to save you investing in a set of new book shelves, we will endeavour to give you the most important and useful guidance on the subject. When you have seen many magicians' acts (as we have), the ones that stand out as the best are those that are original in style and content, and that focus on entertaining rather than on being technically clever. It's as simple as that....

Using Your Background

No, we don't mean the cloth that hangs at the back of the stage. We are talking about your interests and hobbies that you have developed over the years. Is there something amongst these that you can use in your routines A good example of this is the magician Steve Wyrick. When you enter his theatre in Las Vegas, it's styled like an aircraft hangar, complete with landing lights, search beacons, industrial props, and a metallic aviation themed finish to the set. All...

Give The Audience a Reason

When learning from watching poor magicians, one discovers that many magic effects are viewed as meaningless feats of accomplishment that leave the audience cold. Why Often it's because the magician has not given a valid reason why the effect being performed, and so the audience reaction naturally tends to be, so what Frequently, you will achieve a better result in terms of magic and audience reaction if there is a reason for doing each effect. Sometimes the reason will come before the trick,...

Constructing Your Shows

If you are an established magician, you will already have a collection of tricks, and maybe even an act. If you are not, we trust that the previous modules have helped you on your way to learn some effects that suit you. Reaching this point is a milestone in the course, because it means you are ready to start thinking about putting a show together using what you have learnt thus far. You have already been provided with many magic effects in the videos provided, and if you have practised them...

The Assistants Revenge

Many magicians use assistants as helpers, and because audiences are used to seeing them standing on stage not doing much apart from looking glamorous for most of the time, the assistants revenge style of comedy can work quite well. To accomplish this type of comedy, the scene ideally needs to be set by the magician by perhaps including various 'put-downs' of the assistant verbally or visually in the lead up to the assistants revenge. The basic premise of this idea is that somehow the assistant...

The Conclusion

You should ideally save the strongest effect for last, to leave the audience on a high, and so that they remember you for a long time. Incidentally, by 'strongest' we mean the effect that has the greatest 'wow' factor, the one that really leaves the audience wanting more, like no other effect you do. It's up to you to judge what will be best to perform for the closing sequence. We might add that some magicians choose to perform their best effect second to last, reasoning that it is better to...

Using Comedy In What You

Apart from visual humour or humour inherent in a character, you should also consider using humour in what you say. A simple magic effect can be greatly enhanced just by adding some amusing patter (that's the magician's term for what is said to the audience). How do you learn this You can pick up and adapt some great lines from other magicians, you can read dedicated books on the subject of patter, or just make your own up. Thanks to the internet, it is much easier and cheaper than ever before...

Audio

Bear in mind that a hand held mic will take up one of your hands to hold it, which will not be desirable for many types of performance. A tie-clip mic, also called a lapel or lavalier microphone will be more suited to most performance styles as it frees up both hands. Alternatively, some performers like a headset style of microphone as pictured here on the right. A basic P.A. system consists of a microphone, a mixer to control the level, an amplifier and some speakers. The music equipment such...

Putting Shows Together

There is actually much more to putting shows together than most magicians realise, certainly anyone who just turns up with a bunch of tricks in their pockets they just bought from a magic shop, hoping to put on an effective performance is deceiving themselves. We make no apology for repeating the importance of the underlying truth that magicians are actors whose purpose is to entertain. You can t do that simply by knowing how to do a couple of tricks. The advice in this and subsequent modules...

Catchphrases

We thought we should include a few comments about catchphrases, as it's a related area of comedy. The value of catchphrases is undisputed, but you must realise that in our opinion a great catchphrase can't be written. Mr Sid Daniels no relation to Paul performed under the name Sir Dani on the radio, in the wartime. He used a comic pseudo Italian accent, often chopping the ends off his words. To reassure the audience, he used to say don't be fright' and this became his catchphrase. The whole...