If you ask any established magician on the best way for practising skills while gaining publicity, it’s likely that they’ll mention street magic, whether they’re a London corporate magician or a children’s magician in Liverpool.
Performing magic on the street is seen as a stepping stone for the majority of magicians who want to make a name for themselves within the industry. Practised by famous magicians, including Derren Brown and popular London magician Oliver B, here’s what makes street magic so impressive.
Unlike elaborate sets and the bright lights of television and film, in the normal setting of a street there are no trap doors or secret compartments; it’s just the magician and a volunteer, adding authenticity to whichever trick they perform.
As a magician approaches a willing volunteer and begins their trick, it’s likely in a busy environment that a crowd will form. While this puts extra pressure on the magician not to slip up or accidently reveal his methods, if the trick ultimately works it’s even more impressive; not only did the participant not know how it was done, but any crowd which forms won’t be able to work it out either.
With this increased interest it consequently makes it likely than more and more people will want to volunteer to witness a trick. As well as providing an increased interest, this personal face to face method is an effective way of gathering more interest in a magician’s skills, as volunteers can then say to their friends that they were there and saw it with their own eyes, having a snowball effect when it comes to gathering publicity.
In this era of mobile phones and citizen journalism, it’s also highly likely that someone will film a street magician and if impressed, upload the footage to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Acting as a free form of marketing, this can have significant effects on gaining attention for a magician, hence why now more than ever magicians are taking to the streets to demonstrate their skills and talents thanks to mobile technology.