Magic is hard, there’s no point in trying to deny it. But it can also be very rewarding when you finally perfect that one trick after a month of practising. We’ve decided to put a list of tips together that will help you perfect the art of magic.
Watch and Learn
Start watching other magicians in London and further afield, especially the ones that you admire and look up to. If you don’t have a favourite magician then just simply start researching online, find out about certain magicians and their unique techniques to see if you can learn anything by watching them. You don’t have to do your research on the internet, go to some local magic shows and see how they execute their tricks.
You might want to have a notepad on you whilst watching the performance, as there are a few things that you need to pay special attention too. Take notes on how the magician engages with the audience, what they say and how they act, look at their movements and how they introduce their tricks, all of these things done well, make a good magician and excellent magician.
If you’re really stuck with what magician to research, here are a couple of ideas: David Copperfield, Harry Houdini and Dynamo.
Learn As Many Tricks As You Can
Quantity isn’t everything, but you still need to have a variety of tricks in order to be a successful magician. Having said that, this doesn’t mean you should try and learn ten tricks at all once. Learn one trick at a time and make sure that you perfect it before you move onto the next one.
To start with, try and learn simple tricks from the internet. Card tricks and coin tricks are always good to start with as it is easy to carry those items with you, wherever you go. Alternatively, you can always learn from DVDs and books. These resources will usually have step by step instructions on how to perform the trick, make sure these are quality tricks rather something you’re more likely to see in child’s magic trick set. The great thing about learning with books and DVDs is that you are able to learn at your own pace, you can always rewind, or flip back a page if you didn’t quite understand it the first time.
If this doesn’t interest you, there are also private magic schools and workshops that you can attend if you want some hands-on training. These workshops are normally taught by professional magicians who you can work with one-on-one or in groups. A lot of up and coming magicians prefer not to do this as they like to learn new tricks on their own which allows them to be different from other magicians.
Practice Makes Perfect
This should go without saying, you should try and practice your magic whenever you get the chance. When you learn a few new tricks, practice in front of a mirror until you are able to do them naturally without even having to think about it. When you finally get to that point, you have to practice some more to make sure you’re really able to sell the trick to the audience. Think about what you’re going to say and what movements you are going to make whilst performing the trick.
Never try and blag a trick. If you have just learnt a new trick a day before a performance, do not perform it. The chances are you will mess it up and the audience might even be able to notice something that they shouldn’t. Some tricks will take longer than others to learn, that’s just the way it is. Try and be realistic when thinking about potential tricks that you can learn, there is no point trying to learn a trick you have just seen Dynamo do on the television if you have only just started learning.
When you feel ready to perform in front of a crowd, give it your best shot. Gather your family and friends to watch you perform your magic tricks. This way they’re not going to be able harsh on you if something doesn’t go according to plan. Once you think you’re good enough to start performing in front of people that you don’t know, head out to your nearest town and start performing on the street, seeing people’s reaction will really make all the hard work worth it.
If you find it hard to talk to people you have never met before then the only way to get better is by practising. Even if you do mess up on one of your tricks, it isn’t the end of the world. Remember, the audience isn’t paying to see your magic so they’re not going to mind!
The Key Rules
there are a couple of unspoken rules that every magician should follow. Obviously, one of the most important ones is the fact that you should never reveal the secret of a trick of illusion. If a magician were to break this rule, by even sharing a trick to a family member or a loved one, they would be looked down upon from the magic community.
Another rule is that a magician should never claim to have supernatural abilities. Do not lie to your audience by saying that you’re beyond normal in any way, shape or form. An untrustworthy magician will have a very difficult time making friends and getting gigs within the magic community.
Once you have mastered the basic tricks and have a basic foundation of being a magician, it’s time to develop your act, this is the only thing that is going to make you stand out from the crowd. Think about what kind of magician you want to be, and what type of tricks that you want to use. Do you want to mainly perform on the streets or become a stage magician? Do you want to add humour to your tricks? This is the time to be innovative and creative.
Not all of your ideas are going to work out but you’re only going to learn this by trial and error. You can always use other magicians as references to see what you like and don’t like but make sure you don’t steal any of their ideas or styles.
The best magicians are the ones who are original and unique.
Oliver B is a magician based in London who has performed all over the world for a range of big corporations including Apple and Sony. If you would like to hire a London magician, get in touch with Oliver B today!