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Brad Burt
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Note: The following came from interacting with the material in the post just before this one and they 'work' together. Enjoy - Brad

When you work in a magic shop and do literally thousands and thousands of demos a year it is very easy to get into a kind of automatic mode of just dashing off a presentation. But, that same could also be said for someone who may do lots and lots of regular "shows" a year. You just get used to doing what you are doing.

There came a time when I began to examine what I was doing as a magician whose job was to demonstrate/present magic routines and I began to experiment. Out that experimentation cam my ideas concerning the various 'internal states' that might be present when one is performing. The most important being The Magic State of Mind. The entire idea is essentially that to produce the strongest effect/affect one should be thinking/acting as if what one is doing magically is in fact true. I place a coin in my left hand, but retain in my right. In my mind when this happens I believe in the 'reality' that the coin is actually in my Left Hand, thus furthering what I call Body Language Conviction, etc. For the period of time that I am performing my thoughts reflect the faux reality of what the trick/routine is supposedly showing. It's ALL acting, but it's acting with as you say above: Conviction! When you watch a lot of actors talk about acting over and over you hear them talk about the concept of "commitment". Committing TO the action, the form, the routine, the story, the.....whatever.

But, magicians are not really taught this! Most magicians, myself included until just the last ten years or so, are essentially taught what amounts to a purely materialistic form of presentation. Here's the technique, follow these steps and while you do say this and you will receive the prize: The audience will be fooled and amazed and hopefully entertained, etc.

We talk about 'acting', but very few magicians have ever taken an acting class or read a book on acting. How many folks reading this have a copy of Respect for Acting by Uta Hagen? Not many I'd bet and here's a book that very approachable for anyone interested in upping their 'acting' game.

By just acting "belief" in what we perform we can ratchet up game. And, you can practice this. Just run through something like Color Monte. Just do it as usual. Now, do it again only this time tell yourself that the story you are about to say is TRUE. It really happened to YOU. Now, ACT as if you believe it. Now, notice the difference in how it 'feels' when you do the routine. Video tape both and watch the difference. It's all technique. Nothing wrong with that. Palming the top card of the deck without detection is JUST technique also. One physical/mental and one strictly mental.

All best,
Brad Burt
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