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English: Avi Frier, comedy magician:

As many readers of this blog know by now, I bat for well-grounded basics of performing magic. However, I should also emphasize the importance of R & D (Research and Development) in keeping the standards of magic performances at a professional level.

Even the giant companies like Microsoft and Hyundai spend billions of dollars on R&D. The reason is that they want to keep abreast with the rapidly changing world, market demands, and the dynamics of their industry.

In similar fashion, a magician, if he wants to grow as an artist and stay competitive, must study the advances of his craft. This process should never stop.

magic store photo: Magic  Clown Supplies hhm8.jpgThis doesn’t mean he has to add to his repertoire everything that’s newly released in the market. It just means that he has to keep abreast of the industry’s new standards and keep on the lookout for breakthroughs. In that way he remains always sharp and in top form.

The bottomless knowledge resource called the Internet, while helpful in most part, can impede, instead of hastening, a magician’s growth. For this matter, I’ll whittle down to the least principles my way of doing R&D.

Read books. This is my favorite method to feed my brain with new, cutting-edge knowledge in performing magic. While other magicians would rather watch videos and YouTube clips to learn, I read books, because reading is my passion.

I read everything I can find and afford to buy. I even read the blurbs of books and video covers, advertisement copy, instructions, return addresses on packages sent via EMS, and labels. That’s how avid a reader I am.

lurker photo: Lurker lurker.jpgI lurk on online forums. Listen to the experts, non-experts who try to pass themselves as experts, and the totally clueless who populate and habituate online forums. After wading through tons of crap and ass-expelled hot-air, you will find a few helpful nuggets of wisdom.

Watch other performers. If you can find out where the better performers are playing, catch their shows. Take note what tricks they are performing…and THEN DO SOMETHING NOT IN THEIR SHOWS.

That’s right. It’s called reverse R&D. If the other magician is performing parasol manipulation, then don’t do the parasol manipulation anymore. If Ho Ho the Clown is doing Hippity Hop Rabbit in his show, then don’t do Hippity Hop Rabbit in yours.

The idea is for you to build a show DIFFERENT from the other performers’ show.

Alas, while this lesson weighs a ton of gold, many magicians will disregard it. They will go to somebody’s show and do exactly what they see the other magician is doing. They copy the routine, use the same background music, and even mouth the same patter.

If you have a copycat mentality (as opposed to reverse R&D mentality), then go ahead. Copy the other fellow’s show. You are beyond Leodini’s help.

Ask an expert. There are many outstanding magicians in the Philippines who can mentor you to greatness. You need to gain their trust, so they may be willing to guide you in your journey to become a skillful performer.

Ask a non-expert. Leodini is a non-expert. You can ask him anything that befuddles you. He will answer your every question. The answer may not be to your satisfaction, but he’ll answer your question anyway.

Read Leodini’s blog. This blog is a minefield of knowledge and a fountainhead of wisdom. Make it a habit to read the articles here. This blog has been adjudged recently as a blog of substance.

There was a lone judge—my wife. She said her decision is final and not subject to appeal.

You’ve got to have a wife like that.

Stay magical,