Other magicians may find deciding which magic tricks to learn and to add to their repertoire a mundane task. For me, I find it exciting and, well, tricky.
The trick to choosing magic tricks is to make sure it fits your personality and suits your style. At the same time, you fit and suit the trick in return.
If you think that logic is a spinning merry-go-round, that’s because my thought processes are rusty today.
Choosing tricks to add to the program is not impossible to do. With thousands of tricks available from magic shops and taught on instructional DVDs and in books, searching for the different and unique magic tricks would be easy, right?
In truth, to aspire to be different and unique is an infernal hurdle and challenge. Just look at the current crop of magicians: we can see far too many of them performing the same tricks, preening onstage to the tune of the same music, and showcasing the same props.
If you allow me some facetiousness, the similarities are so similar that the performers look the same. Their distinguishable features are that they are indistinguishable from one another.
I could be wrong, but it seems this state of sameness is more prevalent among the entry-level magicians and up to the junior level. This gives me hope that the situation will correct itself over the long haul. The more a performer matures over years of performing, the more likely he finds his own identity and distinguishes himself from the pack.
If this is the case, then the similarity in magic performances could merely be a stage of learning. It’s like a baby taking his first baby steps and trying to articulate his first baby talk. He does all this by imitating the way his parents walk and talk.
A beginning magician may also use the same learning strategy—he imitates performers he greatly admires, performs magic the way magicians he looks up to does, and uses the same stage blocking and motions his magical idols use.
All this, because he is still in the process of learning and honing his skills.
In which case I’ll pardon the cluelessness. I will not come down hard on them and preach, “Find another music, come up with your own patter, stop using those canes and umbrellas,”—because giving that counsel would be an exercise in futility.
I do a lot of exercises, but I never exercise in futility because that brings me nowhere.
The lessons would just go in over their heads, anyway. Trust me I’ve hurt my throat telling some of them what they ought not to do, but they are hard put to get the advantages of performing distinctive magic, let alone appreciate the wisdom of my advice. Perhaps because my words are bereft of wisdom.
Some of the magicians I’ve counseled are like my teenage children. They prefer not to listen to me. They would rather listen to their cell phones than to me. Someday I wish I will become a cell phone, so for a change my children will want to listen to me.