Thursday, December 6, 2018

To Scipt or not to Script......your magic performance

"For my next trick I'd like to show you....." These are (in my opinion) some of the worst words a magician can say during a performance.   I fully embrace the philosophy that I am there to entertain using the art of magic  not just doing magic...Do you see the difference? As a performer you are there with a entertain. I try very hard with every show or event to follow this.
When I perform I work from a script. Its not set in stone but it is written. There are stage directions and everything including pauses are written in. Then during performance I work from the script allowing for on the fly impromptu changes and ad libs. None of my scripts begin with the phrase,"for my next trick", or "this is a trick made famous by the great....." or anything of the sort. I prefer stories and background information that introduce my magic. I get to present the scenario and engage the audience as I do.
"Does anyone here believe in time travel, because I do and I've actually traveled back in time with my dog Otto. While we were there I needed a way to earn a little extra money. I set up my table in the park and asked the first person who walked by, would you be interested in witnessing a miracle?"
A very different approach. Another example, my sponge ball routine, " I've always been fascinated by Black holes. Like these. They are small handheld Black Holes, may I borrow your hand to hold one and I'll hold this other one......" etc. etc.
I spent a very long time performing magic without using a script. I knew what I wanted to say but it usually came out noting like what I planned and there were a lot of "uh", "um", between words because I had to think about what I was saying. Once you have a script and rehearse it, you can focus on the magic and use it to entertain and not just show the tricks, while staring at your hands. ( boy did I have this problem for a long time) 
What pushed me into this? I read the book Scripting Magic by Pete Mccabe after a recommendation from a colleague. It really made the point that I should start scripting my magic. I actually recently finished Volume 2 also a great read.

What else helped my performance? Backstory!
I came across a few threads on the Magic Cafe Chat room about the importance of having a definitive backstory for your performance character which will help the things you say and do so they will come out of your character. There was also an interview about this on Scott Wells Magic Word Podcast. Scott does a great job and I look forward to listening to every episode for interviews, recommendations, convention and magic travel reports making me feel like I'm there! I highly recommend it.

Scripts are not hard to write and they don't need to be in any official format, although it helps me. But I do encourage you to try scripting your performances. If you need topics for your scripts and Ideas for stories and themes, I recommend looking at your favorite children's stories, or poems or quotes from your favorite historical figures or mentors. Anyway you get there, start scripting your work and I assure you that your ability to entertain your audiences will increase......that's how you get call backs and repeat clients.
Be Well, Keep 'em clean

Steampunk Show Case Manheim, PA

What a great Steampunk Convention!. While performing at another event I learned about this one. Tucked away on the second floor of the Spoo...