The Experience of Magic
A magical experience for our audience is all that matters.
Setting The Context for A Magical Experience
One of the questions I was asked was, “How do you ensure that your audience discovers a feeling of witnessing wonders instead of “just another card trick”? I interpreted this questions as the audience having a magical experience.
I like this question and my response to that this is very simple – for me, in order for my audience to experience the feeling of wonder and pure astonishment, I hold myself to a very high standard of technical and magical excellence. What this means to me is, I always research the strongest and most magical plots and effects possible. That’s it, if the effect doesn’t inspire me with magic or the feeling of magic, how can I possibly communicate that to my audience. I’m not interested in effects that have a superficial impact, if my audiences says to me “oh that’s very clever”, I know I have failed in delivering a magical experience.
I am a Magician not a Trickster.
The effect is everything to me.
I don’t care if it’s pure sleight of hand or a clever piece of gimmickry; does it produce a very strong effect?
This is my primary question with every routine I choose to add to my repertoire. Now, once I have a strong effect, I have to master it so that my technical execution is under the radar. Once I’ve achieved this level of unconscious competency in my execution, my conscious mind is now focused on one thing and one thing only, making the audience care.
This is a very important question to consider; Why should the audience care?
Once you have a routine in mind and execute it flawlessly you will have to spend even more time developing a plot and presentation that the audience will invest their time, intellect and emotions in. In fact, let’s look at the question again.
How do you insure that your audience discovers a feeling of witnessing wonders instead of just another card trick?
The audience doesn’t discover this feeling, it’s an emotional state that is awakened within them – it is not a discovery, it’s already there – it’s just covered up by preconceived notions about stuff. Our job as magicians is to clear the blockage of their thoughts, their opinions, their point of view about life, their point of view about themselves and their point of view about us as magicians. They must reach a point where they are willing and ready to surrender to the experience. Once they surrender, it’s our job to ensure that we nurture the relationship, we build a rapport with them, and that they feel safe in our hands. It is our job to insure we do not betray the relationship with stupid gags, insulting comments and what is commonly known as audience abuse. They will thank us for the experience because the experience of astonishment in the words of the great Paul Harris is our primal state of being.