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Yes, every magician has, and if they say they haven’t they are lying. Sometimes it’s possible to save the routine and allow it to take a different direction, and often I hear people say afterwards, ‘Oh I thought he had messed that up, but it must have been part of the trick.'
The two cases that spring to mind where I personally have messed up are once where I had four cards, but the audience only knew about three of them. I accidentally revealed the extra card and everyone saw. By this point in my set I had got to know the group I was working for, so I made a joke about it saying, ‘Oh look! What’s that on the ceiling?’ and I reset the trick and carried on as normal. A worse case was when I set a trick wrong at the start, and there was no-way out ...More
Oooh an interesting discussion point. Firstly, magic on TV is great, because it gets people interested in magic, either in terms of wanting to learn about how to do magic, or wanting to book a magician for their event.
Magicians secrets aren’t as guarded as you might think. Anyone can learn a magic trick, but you have to put in some effort. Maybe you have to go to the library, find a book and actually learn the trick. You would hope that seeing as you took the effort to learn the trick, you won’t just reveal the secret to all your friends, who are too lazy to find out for themselves.
The problem with the masked magician was that he made it too easy to get the information, and that damages magic, because the audience doesn’t mind passing the secrets on to their friends, and so the problem ...More
Yes and no. Some girls go all gooey about magic and that’s great, it’s possible to flirt a bit with magic, and even at my gigs, I flirt a bit, as that’s all part of the fun. It's also something different to talk about instead of football, which I hate by the way. However, as I think I’ve said in a previous question, I try not to push magic on people in social situations. Girls like me because I’m funny, confident, kind, good looking, and really quite modest too.
I think the main thing magic helps with is confidence, but only if you go out and perform. It doesn’t help if you just stay in your room practicing all the time, or only show magic to your friends. You need to leave your comfort zone. Magic doesn’t have to be the driving force behind that, but it can be.
Haha, they sure do. David Blaine is a great magician. Yes, his performance style can be a bit moody, and abrupt, but that’s his style. If non-magicians like him, then that’s the most important thing. Don’t forget that he is also mega-successful. I respect anyone who can make money in magic.
There is a guy in the UK called Dynamo, and he is quite popular now. Some magicians talk down Dynamo and David Blaine, but it just makes them look jealous and bitter that other people have the success they want. As I’ve said, people who bring magic into the world, are OK with me.
Well, I will presume we are talking about the “got talent” shows as I don’t know any other TV talent shows with magicians on. I know that in America, they have had some great magicians on, and they even had David Copperfield do a guest spot, so that’s great. Magic on TV is always good for business.
Charlie Caper won “Sweden’s Got Talent” and I have a friend who performed on “South Africa’s Got Talent”, so it can work, if the magicians are good to start with.
However, the problem I think is that there aren’t a lot of magicians, so when one of the bad magicians (and I hope everyone knows what I mean), appears on a show, there is a tendency to see all magicians like that. No-one sees a bad singer, and then hates all music, but you can see a bad magician, and hate all magic. With TV the situation ...More
Most of the time people want to interact with me and interrupt with their own jokes, that’s all fine. However some people just don’t like magic. If I can I just perform for the other people in the group, and that person sits quietly, then it’s fine.
Once this guy was shouting out random things, ‘it’s up your sleeve,’ ‘it’s magnets,’ ‘those are trick cards,’ etc.. whatever he could think of. The key thing with a heckler is not to attack them too early. If you attack too early then you look mean, and the whole group join on the side of the heckler. If you wait until the other people in the group are frustrated with the heckler too, then they will be on your side. In this case, I finished the routine I was doing, and then I left. That’s the simplest way to deal with that situation. I get paid ...More
I could write on this topic for a long time, and I may do when I have the time. In short, it’s important to remember that when someone sees a bad magician, it sticks with them, as there are fewer magicians around, so we all get grouped together. Unfortunately some magicians let us all down.
Bad magic traits that some magicians have include, concentrating too much on fooling people and forgetting to entertain, challenging audiences, being arrogant, being cocky, embarrassing spectators and being rude, using sexual innuendo, being unoriginal, stealing material from other magicians and passing it off as their own, using corny lines that are as dead as Ken Dodd’s dad’s dog, need I go on, ok... trying too hard to be funny, being cliched, wearing playing card ties, treating adults like children, ...More
Absolutely it is. Magic rides on the wave of technology. The idea is to find some new technology that isn’t so mainstream and use that in a routine, before it become common knowledge. I’ve seen routines that use augmented reality, and they look great, but when / if that becomes common place, it won’t seem so magical. Magic evolves with time.
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, who is commonly known as the father of modern magic, used to release ether into the theatre during his levitation routine. At the time ether was starting to become known about, but the properties were not fully understood. He claimed that he could float his son, by giving him a sniff of the ether. Of course, that’s not how he really did it.
Sometimes magicians ask if magic will die out with technology, and the answer I always ...More
Quite a few have fooled me. Often when I watch magic, I try to watch the performance, but if I want to I can work out how it's done, if I think about it later. I don’t know a lot about stage illusions, but I’m hoping to learn about them. They can fool me pretty well.
One close up effect that sticks in my mind was pretty simple. A collection of pens are placed carefully on a table so they are standing up. The magician stands about two metres away from the table and says ‘fall’. The pens fall down one by one. He can also make an individual pen fall down, i.e. the one in the middle, or the one furthest away.
I remember buying the secret to the trick on a DVD and for weeks I just didn’t want to watch it. When I finally did, I was like, ‘that’s amazing, I love it!’ I still haven’t performed ...More
Well that is a great question too. Stealing other magicians’ tricks and routines is a big problem in magic. The main problem is that when I create something, I’ve put part of my personality into the routine. I believe that art is a way that we connect with people, a way to reach out to others and say, ‘This is me, I was here!’ Just ripping someone off is lazy, but more than that it shows in their performances. It doesn’t seem believable. Magic has to be unbelievable, but you have to be able to believe that it’s unbelievable. Confusing, right?
Of course some magicians release their routines to other magicians. That’s fine, but when I use commercially available routines, I still change the scripting to fit my own style and what I want to say. In short, no-one in the world performs the magic ...More
I try not to. There is this joke between professional magicians, that we don’t perform outside of work, because we get bored of performing the same routines all the same. It’s partly true. It can get quite annoying when everyone says, ‘show us a trick.’ A nice answer (sometimes a bit too impolite) is, ‘if I was a builder, would you get me to show you a brick?’
I do have some routines that work well when I’m not at a gig, but it’s a different situation when everyone knows you’re a magician, and they sort of expect it. If pushed I might perform one or two quick things. Usually I try out something new, as my working repertoire only extends so far. Generally though, when I’m with friends, I prefer people to get to know me as a person. When I’m at a paid gig, it’s my personality of course, but ...More
I haven’t performed any routines with animals. I do perform children’s magic as well as magic for adults, but I wouldn’t want to use a rabbit as a regular part of my show, as rabbits don’t like being transported in the car, so it can be quite stressful for them, especially if you have two or three shows to do in a day.
I love animals though and would love to do a routine with rabbits (or some other animals) in the future, but I think it would just be for a promotional event, for example a large show with a lot of people to impress. A TV show would be good, because it’s filmed too, so then it would definitely be worth it.
As for the secret to magic with animals - give your animals the best care you can, and make sure that your audiences know that you care for them. I’ve seen one dove magician ...More
Maybe that we’re all just big magic geeks. Oh wait, you said mis-conception! One that I hear often is, do you do children’s shows? A lot of people think magic is just a kids thing. I do perform children’s magic as well as close up magic, and I love both for different reasons, however I know that some close up magicians get a bit annoyed by being seen as ‘just for the children.' My advice, lighten up! Magic is not just for children, it’s only for children - it’s for the child in all of us.
The misconception that really annoys me is that magic is easy. My prices reflect a lot of time practicing and perfecting my routines into a performance of magic, not just doing a trick. I also have a lot of experience and know how to interact with groups and how to work a crowd so that everyone gets ...More
It’s easy to reel of a list of magicians well known in the magic world. My favourite magician though is Franz Harary. I love stage illusions! However, the people who inspire me the most are my friends, who are a similar age to me, and are doing the same as me, working on their magic, working on their business, and going out and performing shows. I have a of of good friends in magic, from all over the UK and the world, and despite different cultures, we have similar ideas and similar paths. That inspires me the most, and pushes me to create better magic and do more shows.
There are lots. If you ...I mean your friend, goes to the local library, then there will probably be at least one general magic book with card tricks, and little tricks for parties, just like you asked for. The DDC number is 793.8 - Did I say magicians were all big geeks! They are usually with indoor games but if they can’t find any, ask the librarians and they’ll help.
Great question! One other thing to think about is, not only does the trick fool someone, but how is the trick structured? Too many magicians buy a trick, and perform it as it is sold, without any thought about how they can improve the presentation to make the key moments stand out more, to make them more magical.
The thing to remember is that if everyone just buys the tricks, and performs them as sold, then all you have is a group of performers no better than karaoke singers. The better magicians, place some of their personality in to their performances. Not only does this offer them a unique presentation that only they do, it makes the trick more real to them. They connect more with what they are performing, rather than just repeating it word for word, the same as everyone else.
I think ...More
Firstly let me say that some of my favourite magicians are female and some of my good friends in magic are female. They have a different slant on the art and it’s refreshing to see new ideas and different styles of performing. I wish there were more female magicians, and I think the magic community could be doing more to encourage girls to take an interest in magic.
To start with magic is male dominated which doesn’t help to invite females in, and doesn’t provide many positive female role models. The reason I believe for that being the case is that really magic is about power. It’s a case of ‘I know something you don’t'. Magic tends to draw in a lot of boys who are shy, reclusive, solitary types, who obsess over the secrets, learning and studying, and figuring out things which other people ...More
That’s a difficult question to answer because I know a lot of the methods now, that even if I don’t know exactly how it works, I could figure out how it may work, or even how I would do it. Also, some magic fools me in the moment, but then I can go back and work it out later, so I guess that doesn’t fit your criteria either.
If I think back to when I first started magic and the first time I saw a professional close up magician. That had me up all night thinking about how it was done and that felt like real magic.
I think that to create a moment of real magic, the effect has to have meaning to it. There is a trick David Blaine did where he picked a drinks can from a bin and restored it. That makes sense, ‘Im thirsty, I want a drink, I’ll restore this one.’ It’s closer to what a real magician ...More
An interesting question, often asked by beginner magicians. There are some companies that will employ you for short periods of time from a few weeks to a few months, but usually these still require you to be self-employed, i.e. you have a regular contract with them but you invoice them for your time. Mostly they are bars or holiday resorts and they are pretty poorly paid. I work for a bar once or twice a year for a few weeks as it’s money that I can rely on and it’s good fun. I try to go on a quiet week as I can earn more from my private bookings.
The second part to this answer is about children’s magicians. There are some franchise companies that will allow you to buy their franchise and use their branding. I don’t like them. Why would you want to put on a standardised show when you could ...More
Where to start? There are a lot of magicians that I could name and shame for various reasons, ripping off members of the public, exposing secrets, ripping people off with shoddy magic products, stealing ideas, accusing respected magicians of stealing, unethical marketing techniques, using banned techniques to boost their search engine rankings, etc...
I won’t name any here, except to say that there is a website called weekly magic failure that has a lot of them on. The main one people usually name though is the Masked Magician. Most people pretty much agree he’s a jerk.
Personally, I agree with Sumner’s Law (I made it up) which states that 90% of magic is crap (maybe more).
Generally, magic words are used by children’s magicians. It’s a great way to show the moment the magic happens and to involve the children in the show. Abracadabra is very well known and has a lot of history attached to it, with it previously being used as an incantation to cure illnesses. Check wikipedia for more information. I’m not sure on the others, but Hocus Pocus was the name of an early magician.
In my children’s magic show, I use the words Ready Steady Magic, as my show is the Ready Steady Magic Show. This way the children get to remember who am I and what show they’ve seen. You can see more about my children’s magic at http://www.readysteadymagic.co.uk
In short, no. There are some magicians who play to the audience that it is actually 100% real magic i.e. Uri Gellar, but whether he actually believed it himself, I doubt it. It's an interesting idea though, that I've played around with. I certainly like to think that what I do is magic and not 'just being clever' but there is a line somewhere on how much an audience will believe before it starts to sound too implausible. In magic, even the unbelievable has to be um... believable.
I don’t work with an assistant, so it’s not something I know a great deal about. I did hear a great piece of advice about assistants and that was ‘never marry your assistant.’ If you want to create a magic act using assistants, then the first thing you might think is to use your partner or your friends, however you need to consider if you would go into business with these people if it wasn’t magic?
I make money from magic, so I wouldn’t want to jeopardise that by creating an act with someone who I had a personal relationship with. If that relationship falls apart then so does the income. I know that that has happened to magicians before.
My recommendation would be to team up with another professional magician to create an act, or if one can’t be found, another performing artist, an actor, ...More
Interesting question. Possibly one that might be asked by another magician? When I started out I did a lot of shows for family friends and friends of friends and other people who I was connected with for just a nominal fee, maybe £20 or £30. Maybe just even my travel.
Now I charge those sorts of people my full fee, which I think is only fair, seeing as I have the experience to provide the full service, and magic is my only income.
For direct family, it's not always appropriate to perform magic and of course having magic at every family event would get tiring, however if I'm asked to do magic for family then I will perform for free and try to fit it around my paid bookings if I can. I tend to find that for any gig that I do for free (for family or otherwise) I will ...More
I'm not sure what you mean about popular again!? It's quite popular already. In the UK we recently had three television shows on prime-time TV and the first live magic show on TV for twenty years. Right now we have two major magic programmes on a satellite channel (one close up magic, and one escapes), so I think it's doing alright.
I hope that also answers your question - when there is quality magic in the media, on TV, on the internet, in magazines, when it's being discussed by people, that encourages people to think about a magician for their event and it ultimately increases the business for all magicians.
The time that quality magic stops being interesting to people is when live entertainment stops being interesting, and I don't see that happening any time soon.
Yep, I wash them and I make sure that my nails are kept short and tidy. Furthermore, I'm very careful with knives (good advice for everyone, not just magicians).
Occasionally I use some hand lotion after I've washed them and when I'm doing balloon modelling (which isn't really magic, but is great fun) I have to use a lotion after about an hour because the powder inside the balloon can really dry out your hands.
I guess some magicians might have insurance on their hands, but I can't name anyone who does.
In short, not really. I started when I was about 15 and I remember amazing people with little bits of magic, but I always knew that I was only a little step up from there knowledge of magic. Most people can show you one or two tricks.
When I was 18 I started doing a few gigs for friends and family for free, and I did a big show at my school for my entire year and the year below. The show went really well and lots of people told me they were impressed and more so than with my close up magic. I guess around that sort of time was when I thought I could do something in magic professionally. It was still a few years until I really started concentrating on it though because I went to university to study, although I haven't really done anything with my degree (Cell and Molecular Biology, ...More
They squash up really easily!
Just joking, there may be some historical significance that I'm not aware of but as far as I know the reason is simply that they sit quietly during transporting and during the show.
Some magicians use other animals and goldfish are also popular (although they obviously need water when travelling too).
As for whether animals should be used in performance at all. Personally I think that animals should be used less often in magic. Not never, but I wouldn't want to use an animal every week as the travelling can be quite stressful on the animal. I would use an animal, maybe a rabbit, for a one off performance, perhaps for television or for a large stage show, so that many people can have the chance to enjoy it. It seems more justifiable then.
Probably. I'm not old enough to be at that stage yet, but I'm sure that you get less dexterous with your hands as you get older.
On the upside, the more magic that you do the better a performer you are. So in that sense a more experienced magician might actually be quicker with jokes, lines and entertainment and might be able to react better to mistakes.
Having said that though, it seems that there needs to be a balance. People do enjoy a youthfulness to their entertainment even if the performer isn't themselves young, and I think people can relate better to an entertainer who is close to them in age.
With all that in mind, does that bring us close to answering what the perfect age for a magician is? Who knows?!
In theory there are no bad tricks. Even the most simple of tricks, the ones that everyone knows could be changed and wrapped up in an interesting and engaging presentation. That's what matters right?
There are some tricks that might be more difficult to adapt to an interesting presentation and if they are very simple it might be difficult to hide the known method in order to make them magical too.
By way of an example I occasionally perform the very very old pulling your thumb off trick. I do it quickly and I doubt anybody is genuinly fooled by it, but for a moment it creates a quick illusion, a double take and it gets a laugh. Not the strongest thing I do, but when the situation is right, I'll perform it.
Another thing to consider is practicality. Some tricks performed ...More
In short, yes. In long, when I'm at an event, I will try to scout out who looks like they are having fun, or will be fun and that will be the second group that I go to. I pick the second most fun group to warm up on, and then go to the really fun group. The idea is that everyone sees those two groups having lots of fun and is more likely to be receptive when I get to them.
Fun groups are usually a group of friends, sometimes a group of girls, maybe they are celebrating something, smiling and laughing before I even get there.
If it's a big event and I'm not required to cover every group, then I will avoid the groups that look less fun, but if I have to show magic to everyone then I will do. I have routines that are suited to different energy levels, so if someone is sitting ...More
Nerves are just something that you have to get over. There's no alternative way except to perform. The best thing I can say is start small and easy (i.e. just a few people at an event that doesn't matter) and build up to larger more important audiences. Also, no-one should know the secrets if you have practiced enough.
As for street magic. If it's busking style, gathering a crowd and getting people to pay at the end, then that's really difficult (I think), but worthwhile and can be fun if you get into it.
If it's David Blaine style, run up to people in the street, show them a card trick, then run off. Don't bother unless your a famous TV magician. I've done it a little bit, but found that in general people don't want to be bothered.
Everytime I try when I do the trick it seems to get tangled up. Can you help?
Unfortunately I don't know that trick, sorry! Your best bet if you're looking for help online is to ask on a magic forum. There will probably be someone with some experience of it.