The other day a buddy of mine gave me the book A Magician Prepares and I started reading it on my flight yesterday. This book has some shortcomings, like the layout which makes it hard to read and the title isn’t that great, however the content is fantastic. The book is a bunch of short interviews with known magicians.
There’s a lot of great advice in this book, and I think it’d be a great book to read when you start to hit the semi-pro level. When you’ve begun to get an act and are out working it semi-regularly. I do think it’s worth a read no matter where you are in your career.
One thing that struck me was in one interview a guy mentions that people ask, “why do all cruise ship magicians do the same stuff?”. His answer was the limitations of the gig, you need to fit it all in a suitcase that’s less than 50 pounds.
Having worked on some ships, I get the challenge of the limitation, however I also think that it’s a shortsighted reason. The reason is laziness, they don’t want to create a something new. Sure something like color changing hanks plays big, packs small and there are plenty of routines for it. That’s a trick that’s in my show, however it’s not chosen because of the size of it. I do the trick because in my routine there’s a message that I want to convey with it. Also the way I do it, I use an additional prop that takes it out of the “packs small” category.