In the words of the great Nate Leipzig, “an audience likes to feel they were fooled by a gentleman”.
I mention this short story because of a recent experience.
Last night, I gave a private performance in Bushey Hertfordshire.
It is not often that I get to travel to a professional engagement with as few props as illustrated in this image. Nevertheless, it is true – my show was for a 50th birthday party. My client requested an evening of Card Magic for his wife because she loves playing card games, specifically Bridge. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to bring my new show to life.
I was surprised, I clocked one hour of card magic for 20 people in a private home.
From my client:
”You were amazing. Everyone here was totally amazed by your act.
Thanks so much again”.
The breakthrough for me was doing my show with zero hearing, it has gone from bad to worse now, I am happy that I can still function and deliver the goods.
When I contrast last night with the start of my career, it is satisfying to know that I can now ENTERTAIN an audience with just a deck of cards. I have heard many magicians say that lay people don’t like card tricks, well, I disagree, my experience tells me otherwise.
I can say with certainty, laypeople enjoy card magic during my show because the effects are strong and most importantly, I give my audience a reason to care.
Read that last paragraph again.
Why should they care?
I was inspired by this question from reading a book about Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs made Apple computers so, successful simply because he gave Apple customers so many reasons to care about Apple products. I decided to apply this very simple question to my work. It took a lot of intellectual effort to come up with compelling reasons why my audience should care about my card magic and magical performances. When I found the reasons, my magic shifted gears big time and I inexperienced a shift in my performance.
Now consider this, I am deaf, I can’t hear a thing.
My lip reading is improving because I am forcing myself to become much more effective at it. My quality of life depends on it, not just my magic. Being handicapped like this is no fun, I think of Rene Lavand and his achievements and it has inspired me to make progress and better myself.
I am very happy that in spite of everything, my work is still effective for my audience. I will continue to work and make it better.
The young man who turned professional in 1991 is still there in side me and he is my champion, I am fighting for him, he deserves it.
For those of you who are interested, here is my set:
50th Birthday Party
20 people, private home
1 hour runtime:
12 The Hard Way – Ortiz
Monologue about Cards and the Characters who used them.
Fortune Tellers, Psychics, Gamblers and Magicians.
The Fortune Teller:
In The Palm of Your Hand
Do As I Did – Ortiz
Interlude: 52 Factorial
This routine killed
The Empanada ( with Red Deck)
THIS SHOCKED THE WHOLE ROOM. HAD TO PAUSE FOR A FEW MINUTES FOR EVERYONE TO CALM DOWN.
The Gambler: – The Expert at The Card
Reading Tells – a classic routine reading the body language and tells of three men in the audience combined with card memory for a stunning reaction.
The Sting – a great and classic poker demonstration by Darwin Ortiz.
The Three Card Monte – this routine is a showstopper.
Vernon’s Triumph – This routine still continues to surprise me when doing it for laypeople. Exactly as described in Stars of Magic.
The Amazing Discovery – multiple selection and discovery of 9 selected card with Pandora’s Box at the end.
The image in this post features everything I left home with for this one hour performance. Just consider, the average runtime for each piece was four minutes, one routine took approximately six minutes. That is a lot of mileage out of a card routine.
So in a nut shell, LESS IS SO MUCH MORE….
It has only taken me most of my life to arrive at this point.
This is a work in progress, thanks for reading.