A time to share

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy New Year!

As I type these words it is January 24th, are you kidding me!
It is already flying by. Magically I just performed a private party at O'Asian Restaurant for a birthday party 0f mostly 25 year olds. I had a wonderful time and so did the audience. It was an interesting venue for me. It started out interesting from the initial phone call,and continued to the end...
I received the call on Friday the 20th, and spoke with a young man looking for a magician for his girlfriends 25th b-day party. I asked several questions like, Time of event, place of event, how many people, (25-35) did he want a stand up show or a walk around show?
He did not know the difference so wanted clarification. He opted for wanting a stand up platform type show. I gave him a price and he said he'd call me back in about an hour. Three or four hours later I had not heard back from him, and as the event was the next day, I called him. He told me he had two other magicians in mind. I asked him who as I might know them. He told me and to my surprise I knew neither of them. They both came under my price so Lowered my price a little bit.
So I got the gig, but since I did not know Duke, I asked a small favor, could he pay me in cash as I normally send out a contract requiring a small fee and payment after the show. He agreed and we were all set!
I did my normal stand up set and enjoyed "working" the audience. I am getting more comfortable being able to stop mid trick or in between tricks and step out into the audience to simply converse or remark upon things said and or done by them. This is important as it tailors the show to them and makes it seem unique.
I had several opportunities for this and took full advantage of them.
The Birthday girl, Joyce got up to use the rest room as I was just going to perform my Linking Rings, I noticed, made a comment like "hey, I didn't leave when you showed up." Got a laugh, and so I waited by stepping out into the "crowd" and performing the Crazy Man's Hand Cuffs in the Round! Since it is a close up trick and requires studious concentration by your audience, of course some people missed it so I performed it again,(Which I was going to do anyway) and then after that I had a young woman stretch a rubber band between her hands and performed it in her hands. This went well, and allowed me to fill enough time for the Birthday girl to arrive back to move forward and continue my performance!
After the show, I did a few card tricks close up for some people and at one point the man who hired me, Duke confided in me that he was glad he chose me for the event. (Music to my ears) I told him that I was too! :)
He then told me he was scared about the whole thing. I mentioned that I understood that perfectly, and that I take it very seriously when I am hired to do my best all the way thru the whole process.
Which brings me to some observations about this craft of magic. If you are going to "sell" yourself as a magician, and an entertainer, you better always do your best and always give 100% of whatever you are capable of bringing to the table. Someone is "choosing" you to entertain his or her friends or clients. You are the "head liner" for their event whatever that may be.
It is an awesome responsibility.
A little later while I was packing up my equipment to leave, another gentleman approached me and told me he knew all of my tricks except one. (I Highly doubt it) I asked him how this is so, are you a magician? He told me that as a kid he was... But he continued to tell me that I was very entertaining and that is why he doesn't do magic anymore. (So, maybe he did know how many of the effects are worked)
I took this as a compliment.
This brings up another thought I have about magic. Is it simply okay to know how to do a trick? Or is it equally or even more important to be entertaining with it?
I believe that it is more important to be entertaining with an effect, or better yet to be able to marry the two points into a cohesive whole. How do you do this!?
Practice until you know the effect inside and out, and then get out and perform it over and over again, making the effect you and you the effect, This is how you will be able to entertain with your magic. This will enable you to ad lib, and stop and pause and go out into your audience and make the show unique.


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