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Topic: The ulimate compliment
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Mar 8, 2012 11:41PM)
I was reading an article about a lady who is the lead singer for a band (http://www.azcentral.com/community/gilbert/articles/2012/02/24/20120224gilbert-judge-nicole-laurin-rock-singer-walker-love-me-nots.html).

Almost to the end of the article, the writer quotes a paragraph from a review of the band:

"Some performers just have it," Masley wrote. "The first time you see them, you're part of the cult. You stop ordering drinks. You stop texting and talking to friends and hitting on strangers, and you watch strangers, and you watch. Because whatever you were doing can't compete with that."

I finally found a fitting description for what's been playing in my head all this time! As I review and rework my shows, this is my ultimate goal. That the audience will stop anything they were doing and watch me, because nothing they were doing can compare or compete at that moment.

A bit of a challenge in a room full of first-graders! Most adults are at least polite enough to fake interest for the first 30-60 seconds. Kids, though, are brutally honest - especially when you're boring!

The good part, though, is that this can't be bought, not on DVD or in a book or at a convention - or buried in an on-line forum. This belongs only to the performer who is willing to put in the time and effort to master the art and craft of presenting magic.

Message: Posted by: s.freeman (Mar 9, 2012 02:44AM)
So true, some of my best tricks are widely known secrets, I've learned that it's less and less about the trick, and all about me. And I've watched for this in performers in all forms of entertainment. And I'm always seeking to find this in myself and also when I go out for entertainment. I want to be blown away, captivated, I want the show to feel too short no matter what! I think, or I hope, that we're all striving towards this and I also envision every performer helping each other to get there. This is what places like this forum are all about. Reducing our sense of competition and building comradarie with other people as passionate as we are.

I remember watching a movie from ellusionist where all they taught you was 2 card monte (can't remember the title). It's the closest thing I've ever found to instruction on this part of magic. It's a great first step to learn that the performance is not something that goes along with the trick...the trick is there to support the performance and they work together. I'm trying to build a show vs. have a list of tricks I do and I'm always reminding myself: Magic isn't entertaining, I am.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 9, 2012 08:40AM)
Something I learned as a booking agent long ago. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an audience that knows the words to all of your songs! Repeat bookings are ultimately the consequence of an entertained audience. They may actually be there to hear you sing the song again.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Mar 9, 2012 08:42AM)
I'm thinking I need to post-mortem every performance with questions like:

For each moment of reaction:
-- When the audience reacted, do I know why? Was it the words? movement? facial expression? moment of magic?
-- Was it the desired reaction?
-- Do I know how to increase their enjoyment of that moment?

For each point of non-reaction:
-- Do I understand why I failed to elicit a response from the audience? Out of character? Poor execution of the trick? Failure to connect? Lackluster delivery?
-- Did I understand what that audience was expecting from me?
-- Can I apply anything from a responsive moment to turn this around? Or do I need to write that scene out of the script?
-- Can I rewrite the routine to better set up expectations, build tension, and then release the reaction?

Anything to add to the list?
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Mar 9, 2012 11:29AM)
What is the reaction I am trying to elicit?

WHO was my audience?
-What type of people are they (serious, sober, proper, blue?)
- Why are they there (see me or is it a wedding)
How will the above affect how I present myself?

How did I present BEFORE the audience reacted? Is there anything I could do to drive it in a particular direction?
Message: Posted by: wackyvorlon (Mar 9, 2012 11:38AM)
I think Tommy Wonder did an amazing job of this with the cups and balls. You can see his performance here:


Part of what he does almost gives you the sense that he's not entirely in control of what's happening, even though he is completely in control. Perhaps that is part of the likability of his performance. People can relate to the performer, because the performer himself shares to some degree the role of spectator.