If you’re not reading Nick Lewin’s Blog, you are missing out. He just put out a post called “new rules for magicians 2021“, which are 8 rules for magicians. Each of them is solid advice. I want to comment on his first one, which is:
New Rule #1 Realize that not everyone is fascinated by Houdini.
This is 100% true. It’s just a name, not someone that YOU are personally acquainted with. Using Houdini in most instances is a lazy way to find a hook. Usually it’s used in an escape and someone says that they will escape faster than Houdini did. Let’s make an analogy, if I went to see an show and the signer said they were going to sing 9 to 5 better than Dolly Parton, that doesn’t draw me in at all. Just sing the song.
One rule I’ve had in my show for a long time is that I don’t mention any other magician in my show. There’s a reason for that, most people don’t have a connection to that. Not too long ago a local magician had a huge bit where he described a trick that Criss Angel did, but then he related that to a just ok coin trick. Watching this, my impression was that he told me about a TV show he watched where a magician did a way better trick than what the local magician is about to show me. Mentioning the magician took away from the trick.
I think the one exception to mentioning another magician is if you have a relevant personal reason to do it. If you were on Fool Us, then mentioning you did the trick for Penn and Teller makes sense. If you invented a trick for David Copperfield, then mention it. Name dropping those has meaning, just mentioning another magician because you were too lazy to write something better is just that, lazy.
It was a long day, I went to Canada and back to see Shin Lim’s show. This was the first stop of his tour. I’m going to be completely honest, the show was a bit of a let down. My ticket said “Shin Lim” but the show was Colin Cloud with Shin doing a few … Continue reading “Shin Lim’s Show…”
It was a long day, I went to Canada and back to see Shin Lim’s show. This was the first stop of his tour. I’m going to be completely honest, the show was a bit of a let down. My ticket said “Shin Lim” but the show was Colin Cloud with Shin doing a few things here and there. Colin is great, but it was sold to me as a Shin Lim show and I really wanted to see what a Shin Lim show was.
Colin opened the show and carried it. Shin has a long way to go to carry a whole theater show by himself. Shin’s opening trick was the “love card trick” that Penn and Teller do, which is a good trick, but not an opener. The worst part was we got halfway through it and they Shin said that he “messed up the math” and told us to throw the cards on the floor. The family next to me was confused. At the end of the show, he also referenced messing up this trick. By that point in the show, we had forgotten about that, and he didn’t need to bring it back up.
Unfortunately every routine that Shin did had something that didn’t work. sometimes it was just a card peeking out that we shouldn’t see, to the Love Card Trick that just didn’t work at all. It was interesting leaving the theater, people were talking about how underwhelmed they were, and that his stuff looked better on TV.
Here’s my takeaway, if your name is on the ticket, you should be on the stage the most. And that simply putting a camera on close up magic doesn’t make it engaging for the audience. There still needs to be more. That’s why Colin Cloud stole the show. I have a ticket to the show for six months from now when it’s in Seattle and I’m excited to see the show, and hopefully what an awesome show in that time it’s grown to!
This week has been a very magicy week for me. With going to see Michael Carbonaro, to my friend from Ireland, and tonight I’m going to see a mentalist named Eran Raven. One of the pieces of advice I tell magicians is to go out and see all the shows that you can see. Being … Continue reading “Magicy Week!”
This week has been a very magicy week for me. With going to see Michael Carbonaro, to my friend from Ireland, and tonight I’m going to see a mentalist named Eran Raven. One of the pieces of advice I tell magicians is to go out and see all the shows that you can see.
Being exposed to what is out there really contributes to your growth as a performer. You will notice trends, then its up to you to either embrace the trend, or stay away from it. Either way you know what the herd of magicians is doing.
For example one of the big trends in magic right now is having a prediction reveal on a scroll that you unroll. It something that plays really big and is typically referenced during the show. Darren Brown, Penn and Teller, and tons of other magicians use this. Normally it’s used for a confabulation type routine.
Personally I’ve always liked the confabulation premise, but wanted mine to look different. Knowing the scroll reveal is popular, I looked for another way to do it. I ended up with doing an audio reveal from a recording. It’s got a different feel for the audience, so if they’ve seen someone do the scroll reveal, it’s a different trick!
Recently someone in a magic group on the internet said that you should give credit during your shows for magic tricks you didn’t create AND for things that inspired the tricks. This is an interesting concept and within magic it’s not really done, outside of a presentation angle. The person thinks you should “live credit” … Continue reading “Why Not To Give Credit…”
Recently someone in a magic group on the internet said that you should give credit during your shows for magic tricks you didn’t create AND for things that inspired the tricks. This is an interesting concept and within magic it’s not really done, outside of a presentation angle.
The person thinks you should “live credit” your tricks to honor the people before you, not for a presentation angle. They then posted a video of them performing, where they say the name of the person whose routine they are doing. Then they say, “I’ll never be able to do it as well as them, but tonight I’m going to try…” There’s a couple of things wrong with that.
First you are telling the audience a story about a show that’s better than your show. Why are we are your show, if there’s a better one? Second is that by trying and succeeding, you are saying you are better than the person you are doing a tribute to. Also in their credit they don’t give us any info on the person whose routine they are doing, and any background about them. It’s simple a credit, not a tribute.
Now here’s an example of it done well:
What makes Penn and Teller’s version good, is they don’t just say the name of the performer, they give a little bio. They also don’t say they will do it better or worse, they let their performance be judged by their performance.
My position on crediting during a show is that you don’t need to do it. It’s stupid and would be an insane waste of time if you had to live credit every move, or bit. You bought the book / DVD / media, the author has gotten compensated, that’s the end of the deal…Unless it’s specifically required by the creator of the trick or bit as a condition of you using it.
Here’s a noteworthy example. Ricky Jay did a trick from Expert at the Card Table, almost exactly as written in the book (moves and patter). He never live credited it to Erdnase in his shows. In fact he got upset when other people did the routine because he thought they wouldn’t have been doing it if they didn’t see him do it!
TLDR: Crediting during your show is a waste of time and dumb.