• How can I be a better magician? Pt. 2 – Am I repeating myself?

  • November 18, 2019

  • Repetition, more repetition and even more repetition.

    I realise you may well see the similarity to what I wrote yesterday. That is mildly intentional, and because I’m not very inventive when it comes to writing these yet. But here we are. Also, in my defence, it does actually make sense.

    (I promise that this series of ideas will not be me spewing the same ideas at you in a different packaging every day! At least, I hope not...)

    Yesterday I talked about the importance of practice, but in particular, deliberate practice. The thing is, doing either of those a few times, won’t be enough on their own. They are of course crucial, but you have to build a regular, daily if you can, habit of repeating the process.

    Repetition is how you can take yourself from a good magician to an outstanding magician. The movements you use and perform should be completely effortless, flawlessly smooth and unbelievably perfect. At least in theory. You see, I am certainly not at that stage, but it is what I am aiming to achieve. So even now, I will often take a bit of time each day to practice my drills and any routines I think need touching up.

    Then there is the repetition of the performance. I know I talked before about how the majority of my practice comes from performing the effect live, and I still recommend this to all of you. The key here is to get as many live performances in as many venues to as many people as possible. This will have a few different effects on you as a performer. For one, you can rack up years of experience much faster than your competitors, and you will become utterly numb to the entire concept of approach anxiety.

    Approaching a table of people to show them magic can be nerve-wracking at first. It is quite a thing to overcome inside your mind. I would often tell myself things like “who am I to interrupt them” or “I’m not good enough to waste their time”. With practice, and after a few terrifying experiences with this, you will perform to some complete strangers and begin to see that for the most part, if you’ve put in the practice, they will want to see what you have spent hours of life learning.

    Then there is also the fact that you might be rejected before you can start performing and be sent away. At first, that is a painful experience. Now, however, I look at it this way. If they don’t want to see magic, why would I want to show it to them? There are other ways around this, and I think tomorrow’s article will be focused entirely on dealing with this concept alone. To keep things simple for the moment, though, I remind myself that I’m a good magician and that I can show people a great time with some incredible magic. If I can do that for others, they may well want me to come back to their table after hearing another group of people making a big kerfuffle over my magic elsewhere.

    I should also point out, that depending on the situation and how the table rebuffed my attempt to show them magic is how I will handle their request to come back. For the most part, when the rebuking happens, it is just one person who is disinterested in the magic and has taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of everyone. If this is the case, I will be sure to draw the table’s attention to the fact that they didn’t want me there and that I have to spend time with the other tables. After another performance or two, I will swing by that very same table again and see how receptive they would be to a performance. In almost every case, they will have asked the outspoken member of their group to sit quietly and enjoy the show.

    By doing this, I have given the table a chance to tell off their friend, which will discourage that same person from turning into a heckler during the performance. They have also had an opportunity to “miss” the magic, wishing I would come over. By returning to the table and then showing them my act, they will have built it up in their head, raising me far above my actual ability. And finally, by coming back to them, I have shown that I care that I want to show them this art form I love and include them in my world.

    I seem to have a bad habit of meandering off track. Guess it’s a good thing I am repeating the process of writing a post every day so I can get better.

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