(Continued From Above)
Everyone makes mistakes. That goes doubly so for actors and magicians while they are on set. Be it a mechanical malfunction of your props or a break down in the verbiage of your delivery. It happens. You have two options. 1) Succumb to it, fold, tuck your tail between your legs, whimper and suck as an entertainer, or 2) knuckle down and press on. Given the two, I’ll take the latter. When an actor makes a mistake on set he doesn’t apologize for forgetting his lines or missing his mark. That would waste valuable time. It would waste the time of the director, all the people working on the set, film, and money. Instead he just stops, and restarts again. As a magician, while you are performing for an audience and you make a mistake if you stop to apologize you’re wasting the time of your audience, and remember They Don’t Care! If you screw up, and it’s recoverable just recover, and move on. If you’ve botched the effect beyond repair, bow, abort the performance and move on. Don’t stutter and apologize. If you want to separate the chaff from the wheat, watch someone else perform. The ones that apologize for mistakes show somehow just don’t seem to flow as well as those that don’t.
On a second note, never explain either. The more you explain the more you open yourself up for attack. If you botch something, don’t apologize and don’t offer reason. Just move on. This also serves as a useful tool when dealing with others who disagree with you, or wish to verbally attack you. The less you explain yourself the less rope you give them to hang you with. Also, you guessed it, The audience doesn’t care for your lame excuse as to why you didn’t find their card anyways. They’d much rather see you toss the deck over your shoulder, let all 52 cards sputter out and onto the ground, hear you say “Well that one’s screwed” (which they’ll laugh at) and watch with interest as you move onto your next bit.
For close-up performers emoting physically is important but it is more refined. Body language, tone of voice, facial gestures, etc are all involved in physically emoting to your audience to convey feelings, emotions, and humanity. Since all of these are really important things to be discussed we’ll go into more detail about them a bit later on. Right now I want to address emoting for stage performers. Cabaret, Stage, Clubs, or Large Parties, anywhere you must be seen by a large group of people you must remember that in order for your actions to be read by everyone in the room you need to be larger than life! You need to emote with your full body your emotions other wise from the back of the room you’ll look flat, and static. If you need someone to come onto stage, wave them up with your full arm, not just a single finger. Remember if the movement feels too big then you’re probably just about right.
Energy is a must for any performer, stage or otherwise. Remember the audience will feel and perceive what you show them. If you don’t perform with energy chances are you’ll appear to be boring, sluggish, or like you just don’t care. I’m not a huge fan of energy drinks or caffeine but if I know I’m going into a show a bit under my par I’ll slam a Red Bull just to make sure my perk is pepped.
(To Be Continued)