For the nth time, a prospective client unburdened herself to me after a party: “My son and I have attended a lot of birthday parties and seen many magic shows. Why do magicians perform the same tricks?”
The answer is herd mentality. It’s the mind of cattle that illogically dictates them to follow fellow cattle to wherever hundreds of their fellow cattle are going.
Examples of herd mentality abound even in the world outside the cattle community. It has been that way ever since man failed to evolve into cattle.
Today, let me discuss once more, with feeling, a favorite subject of mine: herd mentality (or cattle psychology). By and large, the community of Filipino magicians distinguishes itself for possessing it.
A magician can harness the power of herd mentality to add vigor to his show business. If he can transform his market into a stampeding herd that wants to hire his magic show, then he will reap handsome rewards in terms of increased income.
Failing that, however, herd mentality can weaken his salability. It then affects his business’s bottom line.
Unfortunately—or shall I say ironically—one way to create a stampeding herd of customers is to disassociate ourselves from the herd of look-alike magicians. We need to stop doing similar magic tricks/acts. We have to stand out from the crowd to get noticed by our target market.
Did you buy Masuda’s “Wow” when fellow Club members began snapping them up from your local dealers’ shelves? Do you do the same tricks you see on online stores’ video demos? Do you perform or use in your shows Fantasio appearing/disappearing canes and candles (or worse, their imitations), Throw Steamers, Snowstorm in China?
Then you are just one of many doing similarly. You will look the same as everybody else. You will be hard put to distinguish yourself in your field. It doesn’t matter if you add your little touches, presentation or personality in your routine. If it’s magic done to death by other magicians, the lay people comprising your customers will not see the difference. They will only see the similarities.
Being a copy, clone or replica is not totally a bad thing—if your goal is to become a copy, clone or replica. You’ll probably be able to cruise along just fine in your magic business being one.
However, if you want to turbo charge your show business, you should aspire for uniqueness. Just by adding to your program tricks that other magicians in your area are not doing, you will be able to project your act as something special and worthy of consideration by party organizers and birthday moms for their next special event.
Going for a distinctive persona and notable act is not easy to do, but it is not impossible either.
- A Magician Must Never Reveal His Secrets, or Copyrights (psliplaw.wordpress.com)
- Penn and Teller star Raymond Teller sues magician over rights to magic trick (independent.co.uk)