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In magic, Economy of Motion applies to graceful choreography and routining. It results from as few moves as possible in bringing about an effect.
How 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 ways do you show the change bag to be devoid of trickery?
Analyze your act and see if you can do the same thing using fewer moves than you normally do.
Do you rummage your table or bag to get a thumb tip? If you do, it means you have not arranged the props systematically on the table, so that you know where a particular item is when you need it.
In performing a signed-card effect, for example, how many times did it happen that you reached into your breast pocket to take a pen and discovered the pen was not there? What then did you do? Well, you probably looked for the pen in the other pocket. Still not there? Then you looked in the other pocket, and the other. and still the other, until you run out of pockets to look in, and decided to search your bag for the pen.
All the while, you keep the audience waiting for half a minute as you pat yourself and then turned to your bag to look through its contents.
Patting yourself is not a lovely sight. Not even if you call a security guard to do the patting for you.
A simple action to prevent this ridiculous situation from happening is to put the pen in your breast pocket before the start of the show.
But, you protest, that is a ridiculously simple solution!
Well, that’s what I said: simple action. You don’t need to do something complicated or contrived. Put the pen in your breast pocket beforehand, so that when you need it, it’s there.
The rule applies not only to pens but also to other props you plan to use during the show. Put them in a place (probably on the table, pants’ pocket, or bag) where you know it is there.
Organize your props in the order 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.
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