Don’t Feel Stupid

During a show recently someone mentioned that they didn’t like a trick because they “felt stupid” because they didn’t know how the trick worked. Here’s what my reply was:

If you don’t know how a trick works, that means that I’m doing my job. I don’t understand how an airplane works, but I still clap for the pilot when we land!

I’ve started to work this into my show at the beginning with the rope trick I’ve been opening the show with. I think it’s an interesting thing to address in the show, that if someone doesn’t understand why a trick works, they aren’t dumb, it’s what’s supposed to happen and that’s totally OK.


Turing Rain into Lemonade

Sometimes where you perform outdoors you’ll have issues with the weather. One night it rained most of the day, and that killed attendance for the shows right after it stopped raining. There was literally no people on the fairgrounds to pull to make an audience, so we used the time as practice time.

The juggler at the fair and I used that down time to work on some lasso tricks:

Lasso tricks

And since we both had lassos, I was able to try doing two lassos at the same time!

Lasso tricks

We could have called the show and not performed, however we both got in some fun practice time! I always try to look for spots in my day when I can get in a little bit of practice and a rained out show was a great spot!


Keep it Unique!

Oh man, so I’ve written about how crowd sourcing advice on Facebook is pretty much a bad idea as everyone has an equal position to give their opinion. Now everyone’s opinion and “taste” is different and yes their opinion is valid, but you also need to know their background. Especially when getting advice about your show or the marketing of your show.

The other day Katrina Kroetch posted a picture on Facebook asking if it was a good promo pic. She got many people telling her it didn’t “scream magic” and that should should have a top hat, cards, or rabbit in the picture. That’s horrible advice, but before I tell you why, here’s the picture:

This is a fantastic picture, there’s a lot going on in it. Now Let me tell you why:

  • There is a story happening: She is doing something with the string/rope, but the cat is attacking it without her knowing. If I saw this pic in a program I’d think, is she a cat trainer…I don’t know, but I want to know more.
  • It’s not a generic magician picture: People won’t be bringing a mindset of the stereotypical magic show when they see this. If I saw this pic in the program, I’d expect a light hearted, fun show.

Now let me tell you why everyone that is telling her she needs to have a top hat, doves, or that the pic doesn’t “say magic” are wrong. No one goes and sees a magic show based solely on a picture with no context. They days of a venue having a sign in the window that says “now appearing” and just a headshot taped below it with a showtime are long gone. You’re marketing or advertisement will always have context with it now, it’s not 1990 and hasn’t been for two decades.

Personally I think if I saw just a pic of a guy holding a top hat in the window of a venue, I’d think it’s a children’s magic show and keep on walking. If I saw just Katrina’s pic I’d probably want more information. However, I like I said before in 2021 you’ll rarely encounter just a headshot without context.

The more unique pictures you use, the harder it is for someone to put their “box” of preconceived ideas about your artform around you.