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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Presentation is everything... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steven Steele
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I was just reading in another thread about a magician who was asking about the McAbee rings. He said that he didn't need the nice rings as the spectators were floored by the practice ones. That got me to thinking about my experiences

First of all, years ago I was unsatisfied with my magic (cabaret, not close-up), in general. I wasn't treated as a pro, people grabbed my equipment all the time, they complained about my already low fee, and I generally felt I would never make it.

I met a magician who offered to critique my show. He told me bring it down and set it up and perform it. I did. Nothing wrong with the show that a little polish can't shine. However, he told me that I showed up with all my equipment in boxes and bags. He told me to go out and get a nice case (professionally made) to pack my stuff in. Have my name stenciled on the side. Implementing that one idea changed everything. It was incredible.

More recently, I made a change in the Linking Rings. I have been performing them for years and they always play very strong. However, they lay loose in the suitcase table and get jostled around a bit. So I purchased a beautiful bag to hold them. One day, I had no room; so I simply left the rings in the bag in front of the table, instead of inside (it's a suitcase table). When I finally reached for the bag to perform the rings, the audience had no idea what was inside. When I opened the bag and removed the rings, I heard an audible gasp through the entire audience. The 'aahhsss' and 'ooohhhsss' were unbelievable. When I performed the rings, they got a response I'd never experienced before.

For me presentation is everything. I give a lot of thought as to what equipment I put on stage, as well as the routines.

Anybody else have any stories about presentation you'd like to share? I'd be interested. And maybe, just maybe, we can get some of the others from focusing on the secrets. After all, presentation is the real secret to magic.
Coram Deo
Josh the Superfluous
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Take a child's painting, have it matted and framed. Notice the prestige it inherits. As a photographer and advertiser I know the importance of packaging. Not to mention, if James Riser is still selling a prop that you would use, you'd be very foolish not to get it.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Patrick Differ
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Sure.

Years ago, I would perform for whomever would watch while wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Pretty good responses, I guess. "That was cool! Do it again. How'd you do that?"

Then I started wearing suits while working in casinos, sometimes three-piece suits. Still doing magic for those interested, their responses changed dramaticaly. "Do you do this professionally? You could do this for a living. What are you doing here?"

What was different? Was my magic any better? I was still using the same material, doing it the same way.

Presentation is everything because perception is reality. Not intent. Neat stuff.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
kregg
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Remember the saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."
POOF!
Michael Baker
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When I first read the title of this thread, I thought, "Oh, no... same crap warmed over."

What a nice surprise! This is a very good topic!

The client's/audience's first impression should earn you respect.

Press your clothes. Get a haircut. Shine your shoes. Look like you are worth what you are asking.

Iron your silks. Touch up dings in the paint. Upgrade your props to whatever you can afford. Make your show look like it is worth what you are asking.

In a similar vein, I have learned that HOW you are introduced to the audience makes a world of difference. Good first impressions can elevate a performer's status even before the first trick is performed.

And when it is leave... LEAVE! I had an agent give me that advice once saying, "Act like your time is valuable, and worth what you are asking."

The final image you leave with the client/audience should be one that earns respect.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Forget about the magic. I have noticed that when I'm wearaing a suit women who would never make eye contact with me are smiling and anxious to talk to me. Even when I'm lost and looking for directions on the street women are not afraid to help me. At least once a month I have women wisper in my ear "I wish my husband was more like you", so you must not only make a professional presentation with your magic, you must also DRESS TO IMPRESS and you will see your tips increase exponentially.
HAVE FUN
Al Angello

PS- As Michael wisely pointed out, upgrade your props often. People are always trying to get a look at what's inside my brief case, so pure white rope, a fine pair of sharp scisors, fine silks, and a satin change bag are a must. I also buy new juggling clubs every year, so fine props will helps you look like you're worth hundreds of dollars a show.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Patrick Differ
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Quote:
I had an agent give me that advice once saying, "Act like your time is valuable, and worth what you are asking."


That's gold, right there, staring me right in the face.

Thank you.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2006-04-11 21:28, Patrick Differ wrote:
Quote:
I had an agent give me that advice once saying, "Act like your time is valuable, and worth what you are asking."


That's gold, right there, staring me right in the face.

Thank you.


Well, if you pick it up it turns into gold. Smile

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
kregg
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Polish your act and your props, take the roughness of edges - Just remember to leave a little edge. I've seen a few acts that were so clean they seemed sterile.
POOF!
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2006-04-12 08:36, kregg wrote:
Polish your act and your props, take the roughness of edges - Just remember to leave a little edge. I've seen a few acts that were so clean they seemed sterile.


Excellent point! I heard Don Alan say once that the first time you get a manicure will be the last time you'll get a tip. Interesting thought.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Matt Malinas
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Transylvania
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I agree kreg .
I've seen a romanian magician that obviously worked on his act a LOT and tried to get it as close to perfect as possible. but during his performance , it kind of bored me although it was good. I am sorry if I am not making any sense.
I mean his act had everything that it is supposed to. the effects were good , his patter was very well thought over and presented , he interacted with the audience just enough but it seemed something was missing. it was him to having fun. well not fun , but having a good time , enjoying was he was doing.

-Matt
The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
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