Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Jason Ladanye
Posts: 44
Joined: February 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm
Favorite Magician: Erdnase

Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby Jason Ladanye » October 1st, 2018, 12:57 pm

New blog is UP! In this blog, I’m listing seven bad habits to avoid as a magician.

https://bit.ly/2P1jOBt

Have you done anything on the list?

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Q. Kumber
Posts: 1648
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby Q. Kumber » October 1st, 2018, 2:21 pm

I agree with everything on your list.

In fact last January, I sent a copy of a booklet I wrote on the subject to Richard for review in GENII. So far it hasn't appeared.

One request. Please change your typeface to black. Dark grey on light grey is not easy to read.

Smurf
Posts: 521
Joined: May 31st, 2010, 11:23 am

Re: Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby Smurf » October 1st, 2018, 3:07 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:I agree with everything on your list.

In fact last January, I sent a copy of a booklet I wrote on the subject to Richard for review in GENII. So far it hasn't appeared.

One request. Please change your typeface to black. Dark grey on light grey is not easy to read.


It is tough to read. One thing you can try when you hit a website with a poor color selection is to highlight all the text you want to read with your mouse or touchpad. That will usually offer you a different color combination which may be more pleasing to you. In this instance, a red background with white text shows up and it is easier to read than the original text.

performer
Posts: 3199
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby performer » October 1st, 2018, 3:38 pm

I more or less agree with the statements made in the blog particularly the first one. Still, there are exceptions to every rule and no one size fits all. For example I DELIBERATELY use "uhms" and "ahhs" in certain situations. Still, at least I know I am doing it and I do it for a pre-planned reason. And you do have to be careful about appearing "confident" and "in command" as you can overdo it. I have seen far too many performers looking so confident that it can actually be a turn off. They look so bloody pleased with themselves that it is a liability rather than an asset. Audiences like you to be human rather than perfect.

As for eye contact and asking people their names that can be overdone too. For example I get highly irritated if some twit on a stage asks me my name. I regard it as a breach of privacy and am highly tempted to tell them to mind their own business. I do ask people their name when I have a volunteer on stage but I am half deaf and can never hear it anyway. I often ask them to repeat it and when I still can't hear it I simply say, "it is a nice name whatever it is". Problem solved.

The stage is one thing since it is a silly convention that you have to ask the person's name even when you don't give a stuff what it is. However, when I do close up magic I NEVER ask people their name! It doesn't seem right somehow. And I don't always look them in the eye either as I consider it a breach of privacy. I still keep an eye on their faces though although they may not realise it.

One thing I cannot bear is the habit some magicians have of physically touching their spectators such as putting their hand on someone's arm or elbow for a few seconds. If someone does that to me I ostentatiously brush the area in question after they remove the offending hand.

Still, I am a unique human being and what applies to me may not apply to you. I am merely pointing out that there are exceptions to every "rule". It is a very good policy to view these things as guidelines rather than rules.

performer
Posts: 3199
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby performer » October 1st, 2018, 3:55 pm

As for asking for applause it can actually be a very good thing but it has to be done in a subtle way rather than the awful examples that Jason has described. I have actually seen a well known trade show magician beg for applause in that way telling the people how hard he had worked (as if they care). I did come across a theatrical director years ago explaining that it was a very bad thing to ask for applause but in the context he was talking about I knew he was talking nonsense. It can and indeed should be done but it has to be done subtly and not blatantly. I first learned about applause cues from a lecture given by Ali Bongo to a club of young magicians to which I was a member. His advice was very useful to me in future years particularly in places where I would have died an even more awful death than normal if I didn't know about the techniques.

I have done tricks wrong on stage in my early years but managed to trick the audience into applauding anyway. They had no idea what they were actually applauding about.

performer
Posts: 3199
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Bad habits to avoid as a magician

Postby performer » October 1st, 2018, 10:46 pm

Oddly enough I was reading the excellent John Booth book "Forging Ahead in Magic" where he actually has an entire chapter on methods of inducing applause. He thinks that applause cues are very important. He basically says that there are two reasons why audiences don't applaud magicians. One reason (the usual one) is that the magician is crap and doesn't deserve the applause in the first place. The second reason is that he is too good. In other words the audience is so flabbergasted by astonishment that they forget to applaud. I have actually experienced that with one particular trick that I do.

So the magician loses out on applause whether he is good or bad. That is one reason alone why a performer NEEDS applause cues. There are ways of asking for applause but not being blatant or obvious about it.

One example is performing for children who do not naturally applaud. However, when I first started doing kid shows I watched the late George Wallman at work and he had certain techniques for getting kids to applaud which I use to this day for both kids and adults. There are ways of asking you know.......................


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