This is part two of creating a career as a magician. It deals with building a show. I hope you enjoy.
Now that you've thought about what type of magician you want to be, and the type of people/venue you want to perform at, you can start building a show. At first, it's best to just start out with what you already have, and work from there. Take the effects you want in your show, and set the rest aside. You want to end up with about five routines/effects for your show. Now, this may vary depending on the type of shows you do, but I'd say generally, five routines/effects should be enough. This isn't to say you can't throw in a couple of quick, simple effects in between your main routines/effects though.
The type of effects you want to select should be ones you enjoy doing. Since you aren't selling your show yet, it isn't necessary that you can perform all of the effects you have chosen though. You will still have time later to practice and rehearse everything. Also, don't choose only very strong effects. You want the audience to be able to relax a little bit, and by having only your strongest pieces of magic won't allow them to do so. It can also take away from the magic, as it may seem to perfect. It can become too much. I also suggest that you add a little bit of comedy to your show. Even if you're a serious performer, a little bit of comedy is still good. It breaks up the tension that can build. It gives people a little relief. So really do think about adding just a little bit of comedy.
As for arranging and picking out effects, I suggest you get a rating system of 1-5. 5 being the strongest effects you have, 1 being the weakest. Rate all of your effects accordingly. Personally, I would set aside all of the 1's. To start off the show, I suggest using an effect you rated as a 4. From there, go to an effect rated as a 2, then a 3, then a 5, and finish with a 4. So here is the sequence I suggest using: 4-2-3-5-4. This way, you get everyone's attention, but you don't blow them so away that the rest of the show isn't impressive. From there, you have a build up. You then wow them with a strong effect. And then bring them down just a little, so they are wanting more. After that, you can always go out with an encore, if the audience seems to want one, and if you feel up to it. For that, I would suggest an effect rated as a 4, maybe a 5.
Once you have your routines /effects chosen, it's time to routine them all together. If you have chosen to use the rating system I suggested, it should be a little easier to do so. But creating a routine is something you have to do yourself. It's a task that will take sometime to get correct. Be prepared to change and improve your act multiple times before you are done. You may end up finding some effects that work better. Don't be afraid to switch out effects. And don't rush this process. It will get done in time. It is a time consuming process, but it's well worth it in the end.
Once you have your routine down, I suggest that you record it. Practice your routine in front of a video camera. One, this allows you to actually see your routine from an audience's perspective. Two, it allows you to upload the video on to the internet and post it on different sites so that you can get other magicians to help with improving your show. Be ready to get honest feedback though. Sometimes, it may seem rough, but if you take the advice, your show will see improvements. Just don't take the advice personally. The majority of magicians are more than ready to help. However, many do come off as abrasive. But their intentions are good. And they truly do want to help you. So just take what they say with a grain of salt. They don't mean any harm.
If you ever want additional help with your routine, feel free to contact me and I'll do what I can. If you have a video, feel free to send that as well, and I will give you and advice that I can. Just have a little patience though, as I do get quite busy. But I'll usually get back to you in just a couple of days.
In the next part of this essay, I give advice on how to start getting your name out there. So check back soon.
Dustin Boyd White