Monthly Archives: April 2014

Performing The Right Effect(s) For Your Audiences

I went to a party 2 weeks ago and a magician was there. Okay so I felt a little resentment for the company who I know personally and support didn’t hire me but what can you do? Anyways, the magician is a guy who is well-known throughout Cape Town and I have attended many of his shows. Sadly he comes across as a one-trick pony because his shows are identical. That would be okay but if you’re the magician who is servicing a particular area (which he is), then it is obvious that 90% of any given audience in that particular area (such as the one I am talking about) would have seen the show.

So that already put a bad taste in my mouth. I love magic and I want magicians to succeed. But come on, if you know you’re famous and you know you have done an enormous amount of shows , then just change the show. Just change it. It’s not hard to mix things up a little, in fact it’s probably good for you as the magician to do that.

Well that’s not the point of my post. I want to discuss the importance of information and informing oneself before the show. What do I mean? It is important in my opinion to ask the following important questions before agreeing to do the show:

1. When is it?

Obviously this needs to be assessed in order to not double book oneself

2. How long is the show?

Again, obvious. One needs to be prepared with the right number of effects to perform that will cover the time.

3. How many people will attend?

It might decide whether the show is a stand-up or a close-up (especially if the person hiring you asks you to decide what is best).

4. Who is the audience?

This is important and this is what the post will be about.

 

This magician did magic that in my mind was irresponsible given the audience that was there. The above questions are obvious to ask from any magician especially someone as famous as this guy so I will not accept that he never knew his audience.

There are around 150 people of which a third or so were children under 11 years old. The kids were seated on the floor watching Mr Magician. He did a trick that I love, but for this audience was completely inappropriate. Children’s magic 101: Do not start a trick with the following: “Do not try this at home” because what will kids do? Exactly! Try this at home. Once I pulled a sponge ball out of my mouth in front of a child and someone warned me that they could possibly try that at home. Monkey see monkey do. Psychologically speaking children aren’t monkeys (lol) but they do copy adults. Any behaviourist will tell you that. It’s not what you say but what you do.

So this guy took a long balloon and proceeded to swallow it. How can you show that effect to children??

He ended off with an amazing effect. He looked at a wine glass, and it shattered all over the floor. What a way to end his show! Beautiful…. except…. There were 50 kids on the floor without shoes on…. Guess where the glass went? On the floor…. with the kids. There is a proverb that says: “There is a time and a place for everything under the sun” My friend, here is some advice for free: That ending was not done at the right time or place.”

As important as it is to end on a high note – one has to end on the note that is appropriate for the crowd, and in this case safe for the crowd.

I was not impressed. What are your thoughts?

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