Magic books often discuss how we can personalize magic. As already stated, mental magic is often cited as a perfect example because the magician or mentalist uses the actual thoughts of the spectator. ^Vhat can be more personal than that? Doing magic in the spectator's hands is another way the literature tells us will make our magic more personal and stronger. Both of these ideas are surely valid, but there are many more.
Hitting a theme that interests your audience will also make your magic special. If you do something that demonstrates a power the audience would like to have, they will be spellbound. I have already discussed those qualities in mentalism, but here are a few others. Everyone would love to have a fantastic memory. Demonstrating such a quality, such as the Amazing Memory Act, can really hit home. ^Vho wouldn't benefit with this ability and want to have a "photographic" mind?
Even though most people are not thieves (at least I would like to think so!), most do become enthralled with watching a professional pickpocket work. It is a quality that can achieve results. Since it is done for fun, it is harmless, but on a deeper level, it represents a useful ability.
An escape artist, likewise, demonstrates a remarkable ability. Most of us will never be behind bars, but it is a stimulating thought to know that if you ever found yourself locked up in some way, through some evil designs, you could escape and walk away freely just like a modern day Houdini! The person, who has any of these abilities, has power.
There are less dramatic ways to personalize magic. One way is as simple as using a borrowed object. Ring Flight is a perfect example. In reality it is nothing more than a transportation effect such as Card to Pocket, yet it carries much more power with it. The borrowed ring may have been a gift from a loved one and generating highly emotional feelings for that person. The ring may have great value and be one of the spectator's most treasured possessions. To see it suddenly vanish will instill much more emotion than a simple playing card (even if the card was signed.)
Linking three borrowed finger rings is also much more effective than linking three large metal rings that the magician supplies. Performers forget that from the audience's viewpoint, the borrowed rings appear to be altered i n some way that might cause damage. (I will talk more about the magician/audience point of view later on.)
With a little thought, many standard magicial effects can be changed to make them more meaningful. Substituting a borrowed credit card for a playing card in many card tricks can add a whole new dimension. To have your signed Ace of Spades disappear is OK, but when your platinum American Express card dissolves away into thin air, the ramifications are a lot greater.
Let me interject a small balancing thought here. A magic performance should be made up of many different elements. There are times when a simple effect for a bit of light amusement is perfect. Not everything you do can or should try to be earth shattering. But, real art demands a response. There are also times when deep drama is the appropriate goal. We must have variety. Contrast is very important in any art and it is only through contrast that we achieve the highest emotional response.
There are no black and white areas in either magic or life. We all live in a world of grey. I am not trying to prove that every trick or effect you perform must capture the audience's deepest interest, but I am trying to show that if you can occasionally do this, you will make your performance much stronger. As a magician you should be a master of your art. It should appear that if you suddenly feel an urge for a tidbit of magical whimsy, you could pop in a bit of show-off type fun.
In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf was famous for his fireworks. In the Harry Potter series, there is a lot of magic used just for playfulness. But, when the evil turns up in either of these two series, the magic turns to power and has meaning. A person will wonder and delight for over two hours of miracles in a David Copperfield performance but chances are, they will walk away remembering such emotional effects such as Snow and Flying. Take your example from proven and tried formulas.
Was this article helpful?
Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.