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We imagine ourselves enthralling our audience not only with our amazing miracles but also with our elegance on stage, our panache, charisma, dash, and flair.
Most of us don’t get that far, though. Setting foot on Las Vegas is an impossibility when one can’t even get an appointment at the US Embassy to get a visa. The great majority of our kind will merely content ourselves with gigs to do Run Rabbit Run at somebody’s backyard during a kid’s 7th birthday party.
And what panache, charisma, dash, and flair are you talking about? You can’t aspire to have them in front of noisy kids who wouldn’t appreciate your artistry. All they want is for you to produce that confounded rabbit and be done with your show.
Now, where am I going with this?
I’m not really sure. I love to ramble. Today is one of those days I’m inclined to write in a discursive and aimless way about becoming a clumsy magician.
I think Darwin’s principle of Natural Selection has to do with how a magician evolves over the year. Whether he becomes an elegant or clumsy performer is a function of evolution.
If he gets to perform in Broadway or in beautiful theaters, a magician will hone his skill and performing style to suit his type of venue. In short, as my Biology teacher had taught me in high school, the magician adapts to his natural habitat.
Adapting to one’s natural habitat works in the other direction as well—the one opposite to elegance, which is clumsiness.
If a magician’s usual performing venue is the birthday party circuit—where he often stumbles upon brats, kids from hell, and sons of Satan and engages them in battles of wits—the natural consequence is that he’d probably evolve into a hardened performer. The one impervious to the slings and arrows of children’s heckling. Over the years, he will develop many skills and attributes, but elegance will probably not be one of them.
Worse, if he doesn’t watch for the pitfalls, he may grow into a clumsy magician.
How to avoid becoming one?
Here are some things to be aware of:
1. Mirrors, Mirrors on The Wall, Whose the Clumsiest Magician of All? Don’t perform magic with shiny walls or objects around you. Mirrors are shiny, so don’t perform using it as your background. People will not be laughing at your jokes. They will be laughing at the tricks you expose when you perform with a mirror behind you.
2.The Sword of Damocles Over Your Head. Still about mirrors, don’t watch only for those located behind you or at your sides. Beware of mirrors overhead. Believe it or not, some architects design hotel ballrooms and function rooms with glass ceilings. They reflect light as efficiently as mirrors. Performing under a glass dome is a sure way to make you clumsy. You will be constantly conscious of what your are flashing and won’t be able to concentrate fully on your act.
3. Don’t Spit in the Wind. A sudden gust of wind, or even a gentle breeze, can wreak havoc on your performance, especially if you are doing a candle routine or silk magic. Even indoor, a draft from the airconditioner can make you look clumsy when the airflow swings the ball-on-IT this way and that.
4. Don’t Go Back to Nature. You are not on National Geographic, so why perform at 12 noon, in an open field, wearing a tuxedo to hide the body loads?
The answer is because the budget is right.
I did this once or twice over the years. Those types of venue quickly turned me into a candidate for the Clumsiest Magician of the Year award. I had promised myself not to accept those gigs anymore, but sometimes the booker is persuasive and has the money to charm me.
Still, if you don’t want to do a clumsy performance, and if you can help it, don’t perform outdoor.
- Fashion in Magic: Dressing Up in a Costume (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Demystifying Stages (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Magic and the brain (newscientist.com)
- Laughs Per Minute (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)