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Tim Cavendish
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Inner circle
1359 Posts

Profile of Tim Cavendish
On Jul 1, 2014, Bulla wrote:
Read Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber

This one is worth echoing.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20522 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Where to get my magic?

After only 53 years in professional magic and 56 years in the professional entertainment industry, I'm still guilty of wanting it all. LOL!

The bottom line is really, "Who are you?", "What is your audience?" and "What are my self-imposed requirements?" These determine the support needs. It covers both the content and media sources.

Who are you? --- What is your identity to observers? Many things matter here. Dress is certainly a major clue. For many it is your first and last impression people will have of you. What is your method of communication? Are you serious, sincere, funny, educated, sophisticated, rude, loud, dignified, arrogant, respectful, in/out of touch with reality, and/or any of these? Obviously, "fit" is going to be the key for the content sought. Know what fits you.

What is your audience? --- The audience has a Who, What, Where and When. ---Remember that "TIMING" is the most important part of a rain dance. --- There are many faces of the same person. Who are they when you entertain them? What is your access to entertain them? (It is too easy to forget that is about timing!) What are the facilities? They are indeed part of your show! And When is it YOUR TURN. These things have a critical relationship to your material and props.

What are my self-imposed requirements? --- This is what makes you more "original" than you may be willing to admit. Personally, I don't do Blue material or Harm animals. I try to be funny and to avoid making the audience the fool. To me, mysterious looking props add to the magic. Magic is entertainment, not a puzzle. Props help set the stage for "Let's Make Something Happen!" We seek the unusual results.

Thus, my purchases are for things that help me get the results I want. In other words, I'm looking for ways to get from Point A to Point B. Mentors are priceless, lectures and conventions also rate highly with me. Books are a necessary permanent reference for both "How to" and "What if". Classics take priority. Not much magic has been invented in our lifetime. This old Marketing Professor will also tell you the major new things to magic are the new names of old effects and the patter.

There is no simple answer. But strategy needs to precede tactics.

Frankly, I am not a good prospect for DVDs. They too seldom "FIT" "Who I am", "My Audience", or "My self-imposed requirements". They are entertaining.

Reality is that brick and mortar vendors are going to continue to get scarce. The integrity of too many online vendors is not commendable. Magicians need to communicate their good and bad experiences honestly with each other. Deal as directly with the producer as you can. When you can, shop with magician friends with you.

Have a strategy for your show before your take off on tactics. It will save you a lot of time and money.

Enjoy your magic.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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Profile of msukairi
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber and Darwin Ortiz book.
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Profile of SamanthaO
There's a free resource by Joshua Jay - "Magic in Mind" - which collects great essays and articles from magicians. Ken Weber is there, Tommy Wonder, Eugene Burger, Jamy Ian Swiss etc. Part of it deals with what you should be thinking about when you perform etc.

Get it. It's free, excellent and very very good. Really makes you think about your magic, about your performance and just about everything worth thinking about Smile
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Profile of GreenKnight33
Agree with SamanthO.

I'm on my third reading of that book, and I pick up something new every time.

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Wisconsin, USA
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Profile of Joey_Z
+1 for Magic in Mind (and the price is unbeatable)
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Profile of Ollie
Maximum Entertainment is a great read for any performer.
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Johnstown, PA
121 Posts

Profile of bbarefoot
The books I have found useful on this topic are:
Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms
The Creative Magician's Handbook by Marvin Kaye
The Amateur Magician's Handbook by Henry Hay (Don't discount it based on its name)
Not sure which lessons in the Tarbell Course, but there are some good tips in there as well

And to repeat some that have been listed:
Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber

In addition to these, Penguin Magic and Paul Draper have teamed up to provide this list of history and theory books that is worth checking out. Some of the books on the list have already been listed on this post, but it is worth checking out.

All the best,

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Mississauga, On
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Profile of Remillard

All books I've seen mentioned here are excellent, at least the ones I have read. The rest have gone on my reading list. However you did state that you were looking more for video sources. Penguin recently came out with episode 20 of their ongoing Tarbell series. This one is entitled How to Please Your Audience and features Dan Harlan and Michael Ammar. I know it was originally released for free but it looks like they are now charging 9.95 for the download. Still a good deal.
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