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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What should Jeff McBride teach me? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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danaruns
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On Feb 19, 2016, valueduser wrote:
Nowadays, anyone can go on to youtube and learn how magic works. The magic isn't in the trick or the technique so much as it's in the presentation. As amazingly technically gifted Jeff is, I think that what makes him great is his presentations. If I had the opportunity, I would ask him to help me work out a classic routine. I love how he does Miser's dream, I'd likely ask him to help me come up with a presentation that suits my personality and skill level. To be honest I'd probably also use up a good chunk of that time shooting the breeze and getting to know him.


I'm absolutely sure I'm going to ask him about presentation and showmanship. Just one thing he said has made me change how I do just about everything. He talks about "hands up, heads up magic." So much magic, especially close-up or strolling magic, is done low, looking down at props such as cards, cups and balls, etc. Just raising magic up to eye level has made a big difference in how I do things and how I connect with the audience. Such a small change with such a big difference. I will definitely hit him up for tips on presentation, showmanship and getting the audience past the trick and connecting with the magician.

And it's also a great idea asking him to help me develop a knock 'em dead classic routine. Or maybe to string a few routines together into one killer set.

Also, in my character I like to be a little more jokingly aggressive than I see other female magicians getting away with. For instance, I do a very simple mentalism trick, which completely relies on presentation. The trick could be done in 30 seconds, but I stretch it to about four minutes through interaction with a spectator. In doing so I get right in their face and "break character" to stare them down or scold them in mock disapproval. I have even been known to curse at them if I think I can get away with it. "I'm serious, remember the effing card!" (I will start the mentalism trick with this incantation, saying in a chant, "In order for me to truly see, you must answer me these questions three!" And then I ask two ridiculously simple questions followed by one that is impossible to answer. When they can't answer the third question, I "break character" and frustratedly demand, "Look, man, if you won't answer the question, how the !@#$ do you expect me to do this trick?") That depends on using the curse word. Usually that gets a great laugh, but I have to be very careful about who my audience is and where I'm doing it. I also have to be concerned that some audiences will not like hearing that kind of thing coming from a woman. But if I don't get edgy, the trick is too simple to kill by itself. The whole thing depends on being a great character that breaks the "fourth wall" to violate the bounds of polite society. That way it brings the audience "in" on the joke. It doesn't get nearly the reaction if I do it vanilla. So, how do I manage audience expectations of women and of edginess coming from a woman? It's a more complicated problem than most men might think. I would like his insights on character in general, and character when a woman does things not expected of women in our society. Men can get away with a lot more than women can, frankly. So I hope to get help shocking them while still keeping them on my side.

I dunno. Just thinking out loud here. Still trying to figure it out. I like the idea of just getting to know him and not having it real structured. But I also don't want to waste my time. I do want to take a little time to have him help me learn to do some card flourishes well. Hm...I'm not usually this indecisive! Lol!
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
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