How Often Do You Change Material?

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There is wisdom in not changing routines constantly and rashly. The wisdom is financial, practical, and artistic.

peso coin photo: One peso coin piso.jpgOn the other side of the coin, you need to change routines over time. You don’t want to fall into a rut. You have to reinvent yourself. You must also maintain your show’s dynamism, or it will become stale and outdated.

On top of these reasons, I change routines to get myself from being bored. Doing the same act over and over again bores me.

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What is a Good Opening Trick?

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A good opening trick must capture the audience’s attention within the first 10 seconds.

Audiences will judge you quickly. Today’s attention span is short. Win them over to your side quickly. Capture their attention before it wanders to their smartphones.

britain's got talent photo: Britains Got Talent 070608 JazzstandingatfrontwavingtoAndrew.jpgImagine you are performing for Britain’s Got Talent. Don’t drag your opening sequence or you get buzzed.

In ordinary workaday life, the audience will buzz you if you start the show with a long preamble. There’s no real buzzer. However, you know you have been shut off—and maybe silently asked to leave the stage—when you see the children gamboling around, the adults talking.

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Basking in Audience Adoration

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laughter photo: Laughter laughter.jpgAs a magician in the Philippines, I believe gunning for enthusiastic audience reactions is every magician’s goal every time he performs.

Roars of amazement, thunderous applause, screams of delight—all this energizes him. An uproarious reaction always goads him to do a better job than if the audience responds coldly.

A reaction is better than a tepid or no reaction at all. Whether the reaction you get is in the form of tomatoes being pelted at you, at least this is a real-life reaction. It means you are performing for a live audience as opposed to just dreaming about performing while you laze out on a rocking chair.

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The Magic Words Rich People Say

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shakey's busI had a show last Sunday on the sprawling lawn of a mansion in an exclusive subdivision in Alabang.

When I say “sprawling lawn” I mean the lawn was so big it could accommodate around 50 of my house with lots of space to spare.

In fact, when I arrived in the party area, there was a Shakey’s bus (they call it Shakey’s on Wheels) parked at one end of the lawn. Despite the bus’ imposing presence, a large space was left on the grounds for the chairs-and-table setup and for the guests to mill around.

You heard me right. It was a Shakey’s bus. Not a Shakey’s food cart, but a bus.

I didn’t even know Shakey’s can send to your party a bus load of pizzas, but, as I discovered last Sunday, they can.

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Don’t Step Out of Character

braveheart photo: Braveheart Mel-Gibson--Braveheart.jpgYou may have heard of the great Robert Houdin quote, “A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.”

Well and good. But if you follow Houdin’s quote, be consistent. You can’t be a clown in one minute and be an elegant illusionist in the next, just as Mel Gibson can’t play Braveheart in the beginning of a movie and play The Patriot toward the end.

The reason I’m musing over this is that I’m reminded of a clown I performed with in one birthday party. He was hired to host the program—you know, emcee it, run the games, and twist balloon animals.

This is a true story, so I’m inviting you to read carefully…

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To Listen to Advice or Not: That is the Question

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 photo ac35f5f8-f13d-4e5b-97e0-161f96c25b4f_zpsfc967d9c.pngAs a magician in the Philippines, I am predisposed to giving advice.

I give advice to other magicians, friends and neighbors.  I even give advice to myself, which I don’t often heed. Judging from the way I disregard me, you can imagine how other people value my advice.

I’m not sure if my advice-giving predisposition is an admirable trait.  To tell you frankly, I sometimes can’t tell myself. If I could, I wouldn’t be me anymore. Continue reading

Leodini, I Want to Be a Mentalist…Do You Have Resources to Recommend?

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mindreader photo: mindreader Photo6.jpgHey, Leodini, I bought The Amateur Magician’s Handbook on your recommendation. I need to know more about mentalism. Can you recommend more resources to further my study?

Sincerely,

Mental Block

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I’m glad to know you bought my favorite book The Amateur Magician’s Handbook. It has a good chapter on mentalism, based mainly on Annemann’s writings.

The book is a good place to start. You may then decide to proceed to Corinda’s 13 Steps to Mentalism the DVD. It’s a six-volume DVD by Richard Osterlind that teaches the mentalism pieces originally found in the book, with some variations from Osterlind to update some of the materials.

osterlindSome of the best teachers of mentalism are Richard Osterlind, Bob Cassidy, Banachek and Max Maven. I have already hyperlinked their names (talk about spoon-feeding; I’m in the mood today), so all you need to do is click them and you will be brought to their sites.

Look around their sites and see what they offer. They have more than enough material to keep you busy for many years to come.

Stay magical,

Leodini

www.leodini.com

The Economics of Performing Magic (Part 2)

motion photo: Poetry in Motion Poetry_in_Motion_by_JaxeNL.jpgTo pursue further the subject of economics in performing, let me talk about Economy of Motion…

Some magicians in the Philippines look smooth and elegant when performing. They have mastered their routines and polished their moves. Polish and mastery, of course, have a third buddy. It is called streamlined act, which is a byproduct of the principle of Economy of Motion.

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The Economics of Performing Magic (Part 1)

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2015 photo: 2015 Charm 2015-g.jpgAs a long-time New Year resolutionist, I am a hopeless case. My only consolation is that over the years of making and breaking New Year resolutions, I have become good at it. I even suspect I am now an expert in New Year resolutions.

One of the recurring themes in the quest of self-transformation every time New Year rolls in is economy. Thus, you hear people pledging to be frugal to achieve a better financial well-being.

Frugality, however, is not confined to controlling expenses. It also extends to other daily activities—eating less, being immobile-all-day less, weighing less, talking less.

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The CEO Protocol

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 photo 37906762-33b0-4d1c-91c8-7d353351da81_zpse0031b76.jpgFunny that I noticed this phenomenon only during the last Yuletide season. I’m sure it’s been entrenched in the culture and norms of the Filipino society for some time now. I must have become so jaded about it that I noticed it only recently.

If you are wondering what I’m talking about, well, let me explain the phenomenon by citing some of my Christmas parties last December.

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