Friday, September 17, 2010

Who are you listening to?

When it comes to advice about magic...everyone has some. With online forums, chat rooms, social networks, youtube, etc. We are bombarded with information on how to look, how to talk, how to script, how to advance our technique, how to structure our show, what tricks to buy, which tricks suck, what works, what doesn't and why "every magician" should do this, purchase that or avoid this and jump on that.

When it comes to the magic that you perform, the magic that you add to your show and the things you keep in the show and take away from the show, there should be only two voices you listen to above any others.

You and your audience.

It's easy to take advice from anonymous and virtually anonymous 'experts' online. The hard thing to do is to take a routine/effect that we've put some thought into and then put it into a performance and see if it works. After that performance you have to listen to your gut, your heart, your instinct and be brutally honest. Does it work for your personality? Does it work with the flow and/or theme of the show? Is the reset, pre-show, prep time and effort to pull it off worth it? And have to listen to the audience. What was the general audience response (weak applause, laughter, silence, etc.) and was it a response you wanted, were expecting and does it motivate you to continue to polish and perfect the routine? Did you get some honest feedback from people after the show regarding the effect? Are you still motivated after that feedback?

Obviously you need put together your own criteria to analyze audience response and your own feelings about the routine etc. Just remember that the loudest voices dictating your decisions about your show and the routines in that show are YOU and your AUDIENCE.


  1. Great post. I'm glad you started this blog. Looking forward to reading more posts.

  2. Thanks! Let me know if there any particular topics of interest you'd like me to give my two cents on. cheers Bill.

  3. Bill, thanks for the focus and insight. So, if I hear you right, I shouldn't listen to you? :-) Seriously, we get focused a lot on what other magicians say about what we do, not even thinking that they don't buy the tickets or pay the bills, and they are generally not our audiences...cud for thought...

  4. Absolutely DON'T listen to me. My experience is not yours. Your audiences are not mine.

    Good thoughts.

  5. Agree 100%. It is important to develop an objective state of mind when it comes to your material. We all have magic we favor over others. We must set aside that bias when it comes to our show. As you stated, Bill, we must listen to the audience. Both during the show and to any honest feedback post show in order to grow and improve.