A Discussion on Style and Character
This post has been many years in the making. Simply because I couldn’t have written about it ten years ago let alone when I first turned professional.
How is it possible for a new student in magic today going to discover their style? They may be fortunate to be able to perform with confidence, be funny, dramatic who knows?
We all have people in our corner who played a role in influencing how we thought and practiced. There have been great magicians who impacted our thoughts about how we should be and present ourselves.
From my own experience, I had no style to speak of. I was shy, vulnerable and reserved. It was a miracle I could utter three words, “Pick-A-Card”.
We all have to start somewhere.
I know for myself; being a Black Man presenting magic, I couldn’t really copy anyone.
My style would eventual come forth from within and my presentation of magic would be original, authentic and delightful for ANY audience.
It took a long time before I felt comfortable just being me. This meant no more standard crap jokes, no more lines spoken by other magicians. It meant a complete overhaul and reinvention of myself.
How did I re-invent myself from the inside out?
Well, first things first.
If there is one piece of advice I can give to anyone reading this, it would be to listen to your audience.
I mean really listen.
Your audience will not lie to you.
They will tell you what is working in your show and what isn’t.
Your audience will respond truthfully to your authentic and truthful delivery.
To discover my style, meant listening to my audience and having an introspective look at myself as a person. This was a voyage of self discovery. Quite painful at times, psychologically upsetting, confronting and yet liberating.
I discovered a truth in my expression, a natural houmor and a gift for creative story telling and connecting with people.
I knew my presentation had shifted gears when I experienced myself entertaining a large group surrounded. This told me a lot about my ability to engage and hold an audience.
This is still a work in progress and a journey I have fully embraced because this is where the real magic is.
Initiating contact, building rapport and leaving the audience touched, moved and inspired.