Leave them wanting more

Posted by on Jun 29, 2013 in Party Magician | 0 comments

One of the secrets of effective magic is to leave the audience wanting more. No matter how good something is, overdoing it is never a good thing – anyone who’s eaten an entire box of Lindor chocolates in one sitting will know what I mean. Yet sometimes a booking makes this unavoidable. Surprisingly often when I’m talking to a client about a gig they will say that they want to book me for a “couple of hours”. My next question is always to ask them how many guests they’re expecting. If they reply “about a dozen”,  I’m forced to explain the concept of less is more…. One of my worst experiences of this was a quite a few years ago, when covering for another magician. It was a booking for three hours in the client’s back garden. When I arrived I was horrified to see just three tables. I tried to explain (tactfully) why this was a bad idea, but the client was having none of it. The original magician had agreed to do three hours and that was that! To make matters worse, he insisted I carry on performing while the guests were eating and even more uncomfortably while a singer was doing her act. So I did about an hour per table, and looking back, I don’t know how I did it. Luckily I have a LOT of material but it was not a pleasant experience at all and although I got away with it, I know his guests would have appreciated it much more if they’d seen a few tricks scattered throughout the evening, instead of being bombarded with magic for the entire party. You can follow Iain on Google+ and...

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Magic: An International Language

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Party Magician | 0 comments

While teaching and performing my magic in Italy last week I was reminded of the fact that magic truly is an international language. The night before I was due to fly home, I presented a short show at a dinner party – all of the guests were native Italians and few spoke any English at all. While I have lectured in Italy in the past, it’s been a long time since I’ve attempted to speak the language, so fortunately I had a friend at the party who was happy to translate. When the time came to do my show, I was also reminded that having to pause after each sentence, for the translation, completely breaks the flow and the timing of some of the effects and, as the cliché goes, timing is everything! Several of my routines make use of an über useful strategy, known as the off-beat, but this simply does not work when the pacing is directed by someone other than the performer. After a couple of tricks, I signalled to my friend to stop and I carried on in English and some simple Italian phrases that I could remember. It worked much, much better. I was able to finish the show successfully and I could tell from the reactions that everything was pretty much understood. Next time I’m in this situation, I’ll try to remember that while some tricks require narrative to make the effect or meaning clear, many do not – the magic simply speaks for...

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