My second essay, this time about a topic I have heard a lot on the boards about recently.
The reactions we get are what keep us, as magicians in bussiness. Thus, if we don't get the reactions we are hoping for, we could just as easily lose our jobs. This applies to now, in the age of Youtube and Street Magic, (The era I grew and am growing up in...) people always give the props the credit. Think about it. People won't hire someone who can only do magic because of a "Gaffed Deck Of Cards...".
That is what this essay is all about; The reactions we recieve and the reactions we want to recieve and how we can get the credit away from our props.
People will always assume that it isn't you doing the magic. They will always assume that the cards or coins or rubber bands that you use are gaffed and that if they had them, they could do the same things. This comes from the fact that when you walk on stage, or into any performing venue for that matter, you are instantly saying that you have powers and can do things that other people can't. Most people aren't to keen on the idea of someone they have never met before who can do supernatural things.
The sad truth is, is that when someone is reconstructing a trick and doesn't want to be "outsmarted" by a magician (about 95% of people who watch magic!), they will give the credit to the props.
This is where Youtube and places like E come in. Even someone who has never done any magic or ever taken intrest in magic knows that it is fake, most likely because of exposure on the internet and on other mediums such as T.V.
This immediatly, even on a subconsious level takes the person into a frame of mind that as they are watching the trick, they should be looking for a secret gaff, because, lets face it. A Youtube magician revealing new tricks would never, ever give any practice to something that isn't gimmicked or really easy. This means that what someone learns on TV or Youtube is never something that requires practice or anything that we do. This is what propels the people to not watch wanting to be mistified; they watch wanting to learn how it is done and think that every magic trick is simple and relies on the use of a secret thing.
10 years or so ago, it was not that way. (I know this not because I was performing at 3...) In all the books that I have read or DVD's I have watched, they say that the majority of people don't know what a gaffed coin is or even that they make gaffed coins... They wouldn't say that unless people back then didn't know. Well, now we have youtube, and people revealing all sorts of things, and now everyone in the world knows what a gaffed coin is.
Back to the main topic of this essay though, we have to find ways of convincing people that our magic is ours and not the props. One way that I have seen many illusionists use is examination, although this method rarely works. The reason why is that, even if someone is allowed to completely examine something, they will always feel as if there is something that they missed. Whether they think it is a button making the card change or a coin that dematerializes into the air, we will almost never get the credit we deserve.
Half of you at this point are saying, "What an egotistical jerk, I don't mind not recieving credit." I am sure you people don't mind not recieving credit, but do you guys mind not getting paid or booked?
90% of the time, bookings come from word of mouth, like someone saying, "You need an entertainer? This guy is good! He can do some great magic!". What if people become more and more infused to the Youtube era? Then it would turn to this. "You need an entertainer? This guy is good! He can do all these things with magic cards and coins and stuff!".
Needless to say that the second one is less likely to get you booked as you sound far less impressive.
Some of you now are saying, "This guy is over reacting. That will never happen." But it already has. Anyone who performs for real people knows what I am talking about. People will always assume that you had nothing to do with the magic.
Scripting is another method used by people to recieve credit for their own tricks. They will script it as such to where what you say makes the magic happen. This method, combined with examination or in itself works quite well as long as you know how to script something.
In conclusion, in the generation of Youtube and the Masked Magician, we have to be careful about how we perform and what reactions we get. We need to get the reactions that will get us booked again. Please take a look at my poll and review this essay.
Thanks for reading!
Ace of ?s.
Disclaimer: This is the rule, and not the exception. I am sure that there are people out there who don't use any props and who convince the audience that whatever they are doing is real. Also, not always the case is it when I say that this automatically will not get you booked. This is my opinion that if we can get the credit away from our props, we can get more bookings than if we give all credit to the props. Also, keep in mind that when answering the poll, please read the whole thing in it's entirety and answer based on the how good the essay is, not whether you agree with the topic. Oh, and one more thing, this essay is not based on the tricks where the props, actually do the work for you such as invisible deck or something like that. This is also not based on the tricks that the audience supposedly does or believes that they did. This essay is based on the "look at me" type tricks. I will add more to the essay as soon as I think of what to add.