Remember when you were young and your parents told you off for answering back? Well, now I'm going to tell you the opposite. Feel free to answer back when you do magic. Of course, I mean this in a nice way. Many times you will be asked awkward questions, and it's great to be able to defuse such comments with a humorous response. Other times, it's fun to add the occasional witty comment anyway, just to liven things up.
Feel free to use the following as you wish:
Audience member: "How did you do that?" Magician: "Very well, thank you!"
Audience member: "How did you do that?" Magician: "Can you keep a secret...? Well, so can I!"
Audience member: "Can you make my wife/child disappear?" Magician: "Ah... too late... they already paid me to make you disappear!"
To heckler: "I imagine that either you can't hold your drink or your tranquilliser hasn't kicked in yet."
To heckler: "I was going to fool your brains out with some magic, but I see someone has beaten me to it."
To heckler: "Don't worry, I was like that when I had my first shandy."
In conversation after a show: "How long have you been doing magic?" Look at your watch and say, "Oh, about 40 minutes or so."
Greeting a volunteer:
Magician: "Can you confirm, have we ever met before?" Volunteer: "No"
Magician: "So how do you know it's me?"
Magician: "Where are you from?"
Volunteer: (names small town)
Volunteer: "Yes, I was there once. It was closed."
As an interlude, let's take a brief reminder at some common sense points about what NOT to do, as a magician. These mistakes are very common and we want you to avoid them at all costs!
5 Things Magician's Should Avoid
1. Card tricks that involve counting lots of cards - the audience will be bored stiff, and there are so many great card tricks to choose from anyway.
2. Dirty fingernails and hands, and unkempt dress - a sure way to put the audience off you forever, a definite no no!
3. Performing a trick purely to fool - you need to explain and entertain during every trick. If you solely try to fool, audiences will react against you rather than being drawn to you.
4. Bad manners - treat everyone well, no exceptions. This can be hard when someone, or a group of people are being idiots. However, the rest of the audience already know these people are fools, so don't get involved.
5. Performing a trick without sufficient practice - don't even think about it! Every trick should be rehearsed so well that you could perform it blind folded, upside down, in your sleep, standing on one leg, well you get the idea.
Usually, your after dinner performance show is the same show that you would perform in a nightclub or any other cabaret style venue. 99 times out of 100 this kind of show will be booked by an agent and/or an events organiser/planner.
With regard to the show itself, it is a real waste of time for you to put together tricks of any size, including illusions, that you cannot get through a normal house door frame. It's also a waste of time to plan a show that includes a magical effect that can't be performed surrounded, unless you are the type of person (we hope you are not) who doesn't care whether some of the audience can see how the magic is done.
You might have a real favourite effect that does not meet this criteria. Dump it! You will save yourself a lot of grief. If you are a working professional, you MUST be able to do your show under any situation and conditions on the after dinner circuit.
You cannot expect there to be musicians available. You cannot expect the lighting to be comprehensive. You cannot expect there to be a minidisk or CD player available. You cannot expect there to even be a microphone. Don't assume anything! You must check, and double check that the facilities you require for your show will be available at the venue, or you will have to provide them yourself.
With regard to agents and events organisers, you'll have to go back to what we said about providing publicity and information. Your cheapest form of publicity is still the internet, providing your website can give all the information that people need, and the contact numbers. Equally, you should make local searches of Yellow Pages, for businesses that deal with such matters, and contact them, letting them know you are interested in working for them, telling them what you can do, and pointing them to your website etc.
In the United Kingdom, the law does not allow an agent to levy a charge upon the client AND take a percentage from the artist. Quite frequently, an agent or organiser will be given a budget to create a show. They must then divide that into providing all necessary aspects - the stage, lighting, sound systems, projection equipment, technicians, musicians, and support acts. Your fee will be part of that budget. This might even apply to a show where you are the only artist on, and you are providing your music on minidisc.
If you keep friendly with an agent, they may well give you more bookings. There will come a day however, when you will find that the agent is selling you for a lot more money than he is paying you.
For example, the company might pay the agent $5000, whereas the agent only pays you $3000. Your first reaction to this might well be one of anger, aimed at the agent who you THINK is ripping you off. No he isn't. The agent offered you a job for $3000, and you accepted that figure. You were probably very happy with that figure, but now you know that you are worth $5000 to a company.
Don't be stupid here. Don't rant and rave at the agent AND let the agent know that you know what he got paid for the job. Accept the fact that the agent is not charging you any commission which should be somewhere between 10 and 15%. Remember that agents get you the bookings, so stay friendly with them, and you might mention that your fee is going up to $4000. That still leaves them with a fair income from an event.
Using policies like this, you start to manipulate the agencies to get what you want, rather than the other way around. You don't have to be a slave to any agent.
Don't forget that at every event, you should leave your business card, and also try and contact the booker, enquiring whether they are happy with everything you have done. By all means drop a hint that you would appreciate having that in writing.
A final note on agents is to say that if you really want to grow in show business, no matter what others may do to you, you should always be as honest and as friendly as you can be.
You may well do a performance and someone from that performance will offer you a booking, wanting to book you directly. By all means take the booking. By all means organise yourself at a good, high fee. Having settled the fee, send the agent who gave you the original booking, 10%. Yes, the agent did not do any work on that job, but you still needed them to get the original booking.
By doing this, you are telling the agent in a very nice way that you know what you are worth, and that you are well aware than it would not have come about unless they had got that original booking. They will be stunned by your honesty, and are likely to give you more work.
You may feel that we are being too simplistic, and that we are not giving you a lot of specific information. Remember however, that we don't know the style or quality of your act. Also remember that this business of performing magic is a real, full time job, that has the advantage of allowing you to choose your own hours.
David Copperfield, with his full illusion show, chooses to work a time schedule that would horrify most people (about 500 performances per year!)
Paul Daniels prefers a vast range of different shows but still deals with it on the evenings that he is not working, as an office job. He tries to work regular hours, dealing with future shows, and developing future business.
Other people, wrongly thinking that the show is everything, believe that the world should come to them. Well, the bad news is that the world constantly needs reminding that you exist, even if you are at the top of the tree.
How to Perform Magic Illusions
In this section we will be exploring the principles of some of the greatest illusions in magic.
Doubtless you'll be interested to read about these astounding feats of magic, as they have been performed by many of the top names in the business, but don't lose sight of the reason for learning the secrets. We want you to learn important magic principles so that you can adapt them and even come up with other ways of applying them.
Although these secrets are intensely protected by many magicians, your sustained commitment to magic throughout this course provides ample evidence that you take it seriously and can be trusted not to pass the secrets on to non magicians. Besides, they would not appreciate it anyway.
Sawing A Women in Half
Well, of course we had to include this world famous illusion. Everyone has heard of a magician sawing a girl in half.
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.