, , , , , , , ,

Photobucket“Also, block out. to plan or work out the movement of performers in a play, pageant, etc.: Tomorrow we’ll block act one.” Dictionary.com

In theater, blocking often means stage movement and the intelligent choreography of the performers on stage to achieve pleasing visuals.

When several players are involved in a scene (such as the magician and his assistants), experts bat for the need of aesthetic stage movements. However, when only one performer (the magician) is onstage, doing a stand-up performance, talking through his trick, some well-meaning but mostly armchair experts would counsel against movements. As I understand their advice, they want talking performers to turn into statues.

I don’t get the philosophy behind this advice. Why can a magician performing to music move around but can’t when presenting a “talking” show?

Let me offer a contrary advice, which is worth gold, diamond and ruby for its wisdom. If you perform a “talking” magic, as in stand-up magic, consider this sage recommendation. It is a strategy that may be against conventional wisdom you read on online forums, but it has worked for me well. It can work also for you—well and perhaps even exceptionally.

PhotobucketMove around while performing. Don’t stand transfixed on one spot of the stage—that is, behind a lectern, pulpit or microphone stand.  Once you stop moving, you become part of the background.  Backgrounds get a cursory look at the first glance but, over the short run, attract no attention except from flies.

Don’t be a fly trap. Give your audience some action. Choreograph your stage movements so that your motions not only misdirect but also please the eyes.

Standing still or moving listlessly convey lethargy.  They bore audiences to tears. So don’t stand still or drag your feet like a refugee from some famine-stricken land. Instead move with purpose, sprite and energy.

PhotobucketLastly, don’t overdo your moving around. You may give your audience a headache if you act like an erratic wind-up toy.

Stay magical,