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PhotobucketI always evade questions that will date me.

For example when someone asks me for my birthday, I answer, “March 9.”

If the one questioning is a pain-in-the-ass type and pursues the topic with a follow-up question, “What year?”, he gets a smart aleck answer, “Every year.”

PhotobucketYou don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce a person’s age. The dead giveaways are often one’s preferences in life.

Ask someone his favorite Hollywood movie star, and when he says Telly Savalas, you get a good idea from what decade he’s from.

Ask someone his favorite style of pants, and when he says bell bottom, then you know he’s from the ’70s.

Ask someone his favorite historical figure, and when he says Cleopatra, then you know he is from…

Okay, the ploy doesn’t work accurately all the time, but you get the drift.

For this reason, when someone asks me for my favorite band, I will not tell them it’s the Beatles.

I know I just did. Now you get a good idea from what era I come from.

I can’t help telling everyone I’m a Beatles fan. I grew up listening to their brand of music.

Today I muse about them, and suddenly two songs, suggesting inspirations in magic, pop into my mind.

Photobucket1. Twist and Shout is regarded as one of the finest examples of a rousing rock-and-roll music by The Beatles.

Applied to magic, twisting can lead also to a rousing performance. The performance will be so boring the people watching it will fall asleep. At the end of the show you  are obligated to light firecrackers under their chairs to rouse them up.Photobucket Thus the term “rousing performance.”

Famous teachers of magic have told us for ages that to test the clarity of one’s magic performance is to state in one sentence the plot of a magic trick. The pithier the plot outline, the stronger is the magic.

A good example of this principle is the lay persons’ description of David Blaine‘s Balducci Levitation.  When a girl on the street was asked what she saw David did, she said, “He floated.”

You can’t get more concise than that.

Photobucket2. The Long and Winding Road. Compare “He floated” to trick descriptions that are so long you will get tangled in the thicket of words when reading them.

I suspect that people, when watching a twisting, winding and interminable magic performance (especially a card trick or mind reading piece) feel like they are being subjected to a form of torture. Some of them may entertain thoughts of reporting their case to Amnesty International to seek protection for their human rights from abusive magicians.

Don’t allow that to happen. Shorten your performance. Streamline it by peeling off the extraneous twists and turns, the zigs and the zags.

I said “extraneous”.  Twists and turns and zigs ang zags have their usefulness if done in moderation. They add suspense to your performance, they intensify interests.

But a profusion of it will muddle the trick’s plot and leave your audience with an empty feeling that will lead them to say, “What the heck was that all about?”

Thanks to the Beatles for today’s thoughts.

Stay magical,