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Plainfield, ILLINOIS
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Profile of RandyWakeman
The topic of showmanship has had scant coverage in the (magical) literature, and of the older texts that address this and related issues, there were other problems. In the case of Henning Nelms (plagiarism allegations aside), Harlan Tarbell, and Dariel Fitzke, the perception was that they were not particularly effective performers. Rightly or wrongly, it seems that their words have largely been set aside because of this.

Based on the accounts of his students, and the Ottokar Fischer translation of Kartenkunste, it seems that J. N. Hofzinser had a unique understanding of the human conditions and the way to connect his presentations to them that few others could.
Part of the reasoning for the mastering of a particular effect, is so you can get past it. Getting past the self-inflicted barrier of the mechanics gives you the freedom to develop the relationship that you need- to create the experience you want, the end picture that is in your mind’s eye.

I believe that magic on its own is uniquely intriguing; I’ve always found it so. To go farther with the give and take, the conversation that the audience that takes place, the breathing and tempo, will always be a performer specific, character specific, audience specific, venue specific, and venue contingent area of focus. If you believe that one size does not fit all regarding effective technique; that is doubly true in connecting with your audience: whether emotionally as it has been often framed, or perhaps spiritually as Hofzinser alluded to.

You might agree that this is why some performers are terrifically effective “in their environment,” but usually ineffective when placed in unfamiliar conditions. There is no easy answer, but facial expressions, body language, as well as spoken responses give feedback to consider. Don Alan was fond of saying, “Just look into their eyes.”
Sir Dono knew.
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