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 Post subject: Who Are You?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:48 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 29 Dec 2004
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Location: Montreal, Qc
Successful magicians all have one thing in common- they all have a distinctive character, or stage personality.

Houdini made his reputation first as the King of Kards, then as the Handcuff King and the Man No Jail Can Hold. So strongly did Houdini make his mark that seventy years after his death, his name is still a synonym for escape.

Copperfield is the illusionist on a grand scale, Siegfried and Roy are the wild animal illusionists, Penn and Teller are the bad boys of magic, Doug Henning is the magician of wonderment, Harry Blackstone was the classic magician presenting the legendary Blackstone show, David Blaine is the modern street magician introducing a new type of (scruffy) magic, Criss Angel is the dark magician making magic believable, Lance Burton is the gentleman magician, and on and on.

Each of these magicians has found a personality, a stage character that defines how he dresses, how he speaks, the type of patter he uses, and most importantly, the magic that he presents.

An audience needs to figure out who you are before they know how to react to you. They need to feel that they "know" you, and then they will want to reward you with their attention, reactions and applause.

Choose your stage personality based on your own strengths. Are you theatrical and dramatic (an illusionist)? Are you a good speaker, good at improvisation? Are you naturally funny? Are you goofy- can you be incredibly funny? Do you have a special non-magical talent or trait?

The key to finding a good magic personality is to make the most of what you have, who you really are. As much as you want to be just like Blaine or Angel, it just won't work. Don't imitate anyone else. Be honest with yourself about who you really are, and develop from your strengths. You'll be much happier and much more successful with the results.

Use your magic personality as a guide in selecting the effects for your act. Be consistent in choosing tricks that fit the character you are presenting. For example, comedy magician Jay Sankey would never be able to pull off a serious presentation mindreading effect, but Criss Angel would. Likewise, it would be disappointing to see David Copperfield sit at the edge of the stage and do a clasp card trick, and equally odd to see David Blaine vanish a tiger just before sitting down to do his coin magic.

Don't be distracted by the tricks! A good trick is a good trick in anybody's show, but it's only a GREAT trick if the effect fits in with the audience's expectations of what the magician should be doing.

The key to success in magic, as in any art form, is the establishment of character. Choose your character based on your own strengths and unique qualities, select your effects based on your character, stay consistent and success will follow.

Mitchell


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 11:27 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1125
Location: Outside of your bedroom window
I have a question about my personality/character:

For me, I'm always modest; I never take anything for myself. If there was me and some other guy and someone offered us a Pepsi, I would let the other guy have it.

When I'm around people I don't know, I'm shy and more serious looking.

And when I'm around my friends, I'm usually more goofy and funny.

Do you think that these 3 traits would go together well for me? At the first of a routine, I would be shy and make it look like I'm not sure if I can pull off the effect I'm doing, then I would move onto being more serious near the middle, and finally at the end of the routine, like the last effect, I would be goofy and funny.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:09 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 642
Location: God's Country
The magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.

You want to have a consistant character that reacts to the audience the same way all the way through your set. If you like shy and withdrawn then expand on that; what makes you shy and withdrawn, where does your magic come from and how do you react to it yourself. If you're sticking with fun and goofy then you simply need to 'get in character' before you perform so you're fun and goofy from round 1.

Acting for Magicians by Richard L Tenace is excellent for finding your base character and learning to become him, talk walk and think like him. Just remember that your base character is not you. NOT YOU! An extension of you by all means but it is not simply you in a tuxedo.

I'd recommend picking up that book (I've reviewed it in the appripriate section if you wanna read up on it first) as it goes into more detail than I ever could here.

32


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:51 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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Location: Outside of your bedroom window
I think that I will stick with the more shy side. I seem to be better at that. I tried being shy and did a few effects and I was able to pull it off. Probably because 60-70% of the time, I'm more shy than goofy. And that's what most people know about me, being shy.

So thank-you for posting and I will have a look at that book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:55 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 1549
Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
google521 wrote:
I think that I will stick with the more shy side. I seem to be better at that. I tried being shy and did a few effects and I was able to pull it off. Probably because 60-70% of the time, I'm more shy than goofy. And that's what most people know about me, being shy.

So thank-you for posting and I will have a look at that book.


Your magic character might be one of a wide-eyed child, amazed at his own magic. You could be enjoying the magic right along with the spectators, like a clown might, but without the clown costume and antics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:55 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1125
Location: Outside of your bedroom window
jamesjay1 wrote:
google521 wrote:
I think that I will stick with the more shy side. I seem to be better at that. I tried being shy and did a few effects and I was able to pull it off. Probably because 60-70% of the time, I'm more shy than goofy. And that's what most people know about me, being shy.

So thank-you for posting and I will have a look at that book.


Your magic character might be one of a wide-eyed child, amazed at his own magic. You could be enjoying the magic right along with the spectators, like a clown might, but without the clown costume and antics.


Alright, so when I'm doing a routine, I should be like,
"OK, uuuhhh... I don't know if this is going to work."
and act shy and all and say stuff like that until like the end where there's a big climax and then I could say things like,
"Wow! I didn't think I could pull that off. Ha ha!"
And look amazed that I actually did it.

Is that what you mean?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:12 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 642
Location: God's Country
If I may jump in here?

I'd say kind of, but be less vocal in your presentation. I would say that you'd do well acting shy and pattering as if you're going to try something (don't be explicit with the 'I dunno if it'll work" bit), and when it works say things like "did you see that?!" or "Wow, that was amazing!". If you can do more effects where the spectator apparently does the magic be all questioning like "how did you do that?" and "could you teach me that after the show?".

Best of luck.

32


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:48 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 1125
Location: Outside of your bedroom window
Alright, I think I get what you're trying to say povallsky. And thanks for saying you think that I would do well in being shy and all. Now I got to start working on some patter for all my effects.


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