The great truth is this: magicians appreciate magic differently from lay people.
Magicians love clever props, subterfuges, and difficult sleights. While many love good presentations also, most don’t mind sleep-inducing performances. Provided the methods of the trick are clever and cutting-edge, they will lap up the performance.
A birthday mom, on the other hand, loves magic that energizes both children and adult guests. It doesn’t matter to her if the magician uses hack comedy, store-bought tricks, or dated methods out of Tarbell. If a kid in the audience laughs so hard he pees in his pants, she would take that as having gotten her money’s worth.
An audience made up of magicians will root wildly for a dull performer who can do a bill switch using a thimble instead of a thumb tip. For them, the magician is entertaining, because he is clever, innovative and creative. They seldom mind if his performance sends lay people to dreamland. As long as he can turn a P20 bill to P500 bill using a neon thimble, this magician must be good.
Lay people, however, want magic that entertains. Except for the few hecklers and curiosity seekers, they don’t care about methods. They have no interest what variation of the Double Lift the performer is using. They will not do cartwheels when they discover the magician vanished the coin by holding it edge-wise behind a fingernail. Lay audience will howl with delight, roar with laughter and gasp with astonishment watching an entertaining Square Circle routine.
Most magicians would fuss over their props, admire how deceptive their bases, swoon over the hinges of his Run Rabbit Run props.
Lay people, however, don’t mind seeing garishly painted props stenciled with dragon images or faux Chinese characters. For all they care, a magician may use illusion props made of a Balikbayan box (or Victory carton). As long as he leaves the children happy, then he must be a great magician.
They are right. It takes greatness to entertain people with magic.
So to whom do you perform? Do you perform for magicians or lay audience?
Lay people pay your bills. Their money brings food to the table. Their business sustains you financially.
Magicians, however, will only nitpick your performance. They will tell you how you flash your body load. They will belittle the quality of your props. They would adjudge them rip-offs, if name builders did not build it, even though you bought the illusion plans legally.
For this matter, you may want to hold self-improvement sessions with magicians. Invite them to nitpick on your act and props. Those sessions can be helpful to your growth as performer. They will keep you sharp. They are never exhilarating, though. They are a form of self-flagellation. Don’t overindulge in them.
To sum up, unless you are world-class caliber like Jeff Mc Bride or Michael Ammar, prefer to perform for lay people only. They will pay you money instead of sneer at the rusty hinges of your Sub Trunk.
- Run-of-the-Mill, Everybody-is-doing-it Magic (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Comedian Pete Holmes is Grateful He is Not a Magician (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Are All Magicians Atheists? (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)