Who are you doing magic tricks for? The answer may surprise you..
When you are searching through all the magic tricks that you see on an online Magic Shop site, how do you decide which magic tricks are worth the time and effort to learn? There are far more magic tricks and you could ever master, you have to pick and choose.
The process of choosing a magic trick
Most magicians search through the site reading the descriptions and watching the demo videos untill they find a magic trick that both entertains and fools them. They may order the magic trick either because they're interested to know the method and curiosity got the better of them, or they are seriously thinking about performing the trick themselves.
However, there is something missing from this buying decision:
Who do you want to entertain?
The answer to this question really depends on who you are as a magician. Are you somebody that practices magic as a hobby, or somebody that performs to the public either professionally or on a part-time basis?
Hobbyist Vs Professional
Hobbyists choose magic to entertain themselves. They pick tricks which are fun, have fooled them, and they will enjoy performing. Nearly all of the magic they choose is governed by their own personal tastes.
Professionals have quite a different method of selecting the magic tricks that they perform. They are not thinking about entertaining themselves. Every trick has to be exactly right for their audience. They may enjoy a magic trick personally, but accept that it would not suit their performing style, the other tricks in their act, or the type of people that make up their audience.
In a way, hobbyists have the most fun. They can pick a selection of magic tricks based on their personal tastes. However, this doesn't really build up to anything. There is no overall structure to the magic tricks they choose. The result is often a disjointed collection of magic, with no common theme or thread binding it into an act.
Professionals choose everything to entertain their chosen audience.. If it's not right for their venue, audience, act.. They don't waste time on it..
That can be very constricting, but it's an essential part of building an act that will make you different from everybody else. Ask yourself:
Who is my audience?
Why are they gathered together?
What are their common interests?
Where will I perform your tricks?
Why should they care about the magic I show them?
What will be different in my performance of the trick, compared to everyone else?
If you apply more thoughts to the type of magic your audience will enjoy, rather than what entertains you, your choice of tricks becomes a lot simpler. You move from collecting more and more material, into searching for just the right trick for specific part of your working sets.
Even if you have no intention of performing for the public commercially, and you just want to play with magic fun, you can benefit from this distinction. Take a moment to think about your family and friends. What would interest THEM rather than YOU? A lot of the tricks this question will point you towards, will be very easy and simple to perform. Knowing that.. you avoid the rabbit hole of mistaking difficulty for impact. You'll be building a range of effects focused on entertainment alone, and it's a decision you will never regret.