Some magicians take pride in not breaking a sweat while they perform. I used to be very physical in my show, then slowly over time I stopped moving around in my show. I stood there and did what I needed to do, and I didn’t break a sweat.
This year I performed at GrapeFest in Texas and saw an act that changed my mind and made me move around a bit more when I perform. The act played saxophone and while he didn’t move much, he was dripping with sweat. As an audience member watching him, I got the feeling that for the 50 minute set, he put his entire life into that saxophone!
So how does one do card tricks or tell stupid jokes with energy? I think something that Tony Clark said in a lecture 25 years ago is the secret to doing this:
“When you move, you move with purpose”
That’s something that has stuck with me ever since I heard him say it. Don’t pace the stage, but when you move you put energy into it. And it’s directed, so it has purpose.
I also remember hearing an interview with Jerry Seinfeld where he would hear comedians tell each other to “go on stage and have fun”. Jerry’s position was that you shouldn’t be having fun on stage, you should be working your ass off.
So your homework is to work harder when you are performing.