Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Keeping It Unreal

There's a constant question asked by magicians, "Does it work in the real world?" 

It's a legitimate query that warrants a practical response.  The problem lies in the fact that performers are focused almost exclusively on the wrong thing.  The method.  Is it performable with audience members on all sides? Does is reset easily and quickly? Do I have to practice or rehearse before I perform it in public? All questions that are valid from a working pros point of view BUT focuses on all the wrong things.  The first question we should be asking is, "What is the effect on the audience?"  From there we can ascertain whether the method is practical, whether or not we can pull it off as performers  and if we can "sell" it to the audiences we most frequently perform for.

One of my favourite pieces to perform is one that I seldom do.  It has major angle issues, uses thread, can occasionally not perform as rehearsed and has no out when something goes awry.  And it has gone awry. Twice. But the impact on the audience is one that is so strong emotionally that it surpasses everything else I have ever performed.

Sometimes being practical and taking the SAFE route is not always the BEST route.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Falling In Love

The secret to winning an audience over is not to 'blow them away' too soon, as we have occasionally been taught.  If you blow them away too soon they'll develop a dislike for you and worse they won't care what you do next.  Instead of "here's a puzzle you can't figure out. Enjoy suckers!" you should adopt the attitude that you are introducing the best side of yourself to someone you're trying to impress.  Court the audience. Woo the audience. People need to fall in love with you.  Make it easy for them.  Be loveable.  Once you're loveable - you can do anything.

Here is the optimum relationship progression between performer and audience:

From Curiosity to Attention. From Attention to Amazement. From Amazement to Admiration. From Admiration to Love.