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PhotobucketSome 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.

According to the experts, Economy of Motion eliminates wasted or extraneous actions. It allows the ease of the operation of a task.

In magic, Economy of Motion applies to graceful choreography and routining. It results from as few moves as possible.

PhotobucketHow many times do you transfer a coin from hand to hand before making it disappear? How many times do you prove the box is empty? And how many different ways do you show the change bag to be devoid of trickery?

Analyze your act and see if you can accomplish the same thing using fewer moves than you normally do.

Do you rummage your table or bag just to get a thumb tip? How many moves do you make (including body turns) to steal a ball from a pocket?

Try to eliminate at least one step to accomplish what you have to do. If you can vanish a coin in three tosses to the other hand, try streamlining your motions by eliminating at least one toss. Later, you may want to do away with another toss, so that in the end you make the coin disappear in just one toss.

That will lead to a clearer effect and to a more graceful performance.

PhotobucketTo eliminate the fumbling-magician look, organize your props in the order that you will use them. That way you don’t have to dig, fish, and send a search party to find your breakaway wand among the jumble of silks, ribbons, and other props on your roll-on suitcase. The more motions you take to do something, the longer the audience has to wait for the effect to happen. In today’s furiously fast-paced MTV era, a five-to-six-second stage-wait is long enough to agitate and bore some audiences.

Economy of motion means to streamline, to make compact, and to systematize your performance’s choreography, stage blocking, and overall movements. It also means to condense (yes, economy of motion applies to patter, too. Tape record your performance and analyze you patter. How many times do you repeat yourself? Prune down your patter and throw away the repetitive phrases and excess expressions).

In routining an act, a Filipino magician may want to think about all his activities during the show and decide how he can modify his actions to reduce motion. .Economy of motion can help him achieve clarity of effect which, in turn, leads to elegance.

Stay magical,


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