In a previous article (Open Your Show with a Smile) I endorsed smiling as a fantastic way to open a show.
My opinion is that a smile tells the audience how happy you are to perform for them. A lovely smile on the face should say, “I feel great to be here with you. I will give you fun.”
People are psychics. Even children can pick your smile’s subliminal message. Audiences feel the psychic connection and warm up to your idea of fun.
I don’t know if “psychic connection” is the term for that instant rapport that a performer can build by smiling. I’m a Pinoy magician. I’m hardly a word or body-language expert. Whatever you call it, a smile can communicate a kinesics message to the audience.
Beneficial though smiling to your opening sequence, you have to smile correctly. There are people who can dish out natural, stunning, Colgate or Close-up toothpaste smiles. There are people who can’t.
If you are one of those not blessed with a movie-star smile, don’t worry. You can learn it, even though, as in all grand things, a smile that melts people’s resistance at the first sight of you is not easy to develop.
You have to take time out from playing with your coin matrix moves and practice to develop an engaging smile. The good news is, you don’t have to practice as long and as hard as you do the Classic Pass before you can harvest the rewards of a pleasant smile.
Okay, grab a digital camera or use your cell phone. Smile to the lens and snap a self-portrait.
Now look at the picture you have taken of your smiling self. Look at your eyes. Your lips may be grinning widely, but are your eyes smiling too? Or are they focused vacantly, staring back at you without expression?
Believe me, people will see through a phony smile. You expressionless eyes will betray you. That is why it is imperative that when you practice your smile before the bathroom mirror, you make sure those eyes are smiling too.
It will take a few consistent tries before you will get the knack for making those eyes express a happy message the way your lips do.
It’s not difficult, but you have to keep at it a few times.
It may be a little work for something inconsequential, but let me assure you this: acquiring an engaging smile will come in handy the next time you perform.
Watch 9 champion magicians compete in the grand finals of Inner Magic Club’s magic contest.
Plus an evening of magic, comedy and illusion performed by the country’s top magic entertainers.
At 7:30 PM, November 14, 2008, Philamlife Theater, UN Avenue, Manila