I’ve just come back from watching a magic show.
I got so lost in most of the magicians acts. To the point where I wanted to switch off. Now it’s late and I’m tired – but I have this one burning question….
“So what is the effect?”
Magicians generally talk a lot and dress things up a lot, but they don’t very often explain what it is they are doing or how they are going to it, either because they think the audience should know or because they think they’ll just ‘get it’. Understand what the effect is, to somebody that has never it seen it before, and explain it as such. Don’t just bring out the props and expect the audience to presume to really know what is happening, then having to beg for an applause, because if they really understood what was happening, they would have applauded unprompted. What we are doing are highly irregular things, audiences need it simplifying most of the time, not because they are stupid, but because they want to know what the effect is, so they know when it’s happened.
If you have to milk applause from your audience after halfway through your act – you are seriously doing something wrong. Audiences can be slow to start, we all know that – but if you can’t prime them and cue gently them without ugly begging, please do us all a favor and get down from the stage (does not apply to asking for applause for a volunteer).
Make people want to clap you, not getting it by beating it out of them. Nobody should feel they have to applaud if they don’t want it, it can make your show terribly tedious.