Joe Mckay wrote:Mark Lewis made the good point to me that Orson Welles is an example of somebody who was very interesting (and charismatic) in real life.
But quite boring when performing magic.
Mark says it takes a lot of planning to work out how not to be boring when performing. Just as much planning as it takes to learn the tricks in the first place.
I agree with Mark. Being entertaining and interesting involves a lot of elements, with communication skills being paramount. This ability comes more naturally to some people than others, but it can be learned through hard work and dedication. Usually, one will not have the knowledge or objectivity to do it alone, and that is why being coached and mentored by others is vital. We don't have the ability to see ourselves as others see us.
As just one small example, a friend of mine (who happens to be a judge) told me a joke the other day. It had a funny punchline, but it took like what seemed forever for him to get there. With as much diplomacy as I could muster, I explained how that same joke that took 3 minutes to tell could have been told in under 30 seconds. Nobody ever dared give it to him straight up like that before. and if I hadn't interceded and he hadn't been open to constructive criticism, he would have remained unaware that he was (frankly) a lousy joke teller. He was actually quite grateful because he loves to tell jokes to his friends, family and associates, and wants to do it effectively.
Taking an acting or improv class can be very helpful. Watching good stand-up comics perform - their timing and delivery can never hurt. Learning the art of story-telling can be very useful - most people love stories (again, brevity is important). Even asking friends and family to give you feedback can be very helpful. There is, of course, nothing more valuable than experience, performing as much as possible for people, which often results in learning by trial and error.