It’s that time again. Everyone likes to dress up as monsters and ghouls and throws a party. As a magician, it’s one of the busiest times of the year. There are two challenged that face close-up magicians during the spooky season:
- Do you change your working act to fit in with the theme, or stick with your tried and tested material?
- Perform scary tricks, or go for a lighthearted, comical approach?
Many magicians design a special set of routines just for the Halloween season. Once you have constructed that set, you have made an act, that you can perform each year at its own show. This goes down really well with clients, who will be searching for just the right entertainment for their party.
Other magicians introduce just one or two tricks into their sets, so they can perform something spooky during their show. This means they don’t have to practice a complete new set of tricks Deciding, which approach, depends on your style as a magician and the venues you will be booked to do magic in. If you are not sure which way to go, perhaps start by introducing just one or two scary tricks, into your existing set, and see the reactions that you get.
Knowing how to present the magic is also an important choice you need to make. You can play the serious paranormal expert, or take on a more playful style that doesn’t take yourself too seriously. If you already perform mentalism and your persona is quite serious, then going for the full out horror theme may well work for you, but if your performing style is more cheeky and funny, then doing scary magic with your tongue firmly in your cheek, may well get you better reactions.
If you go from a very serious trick, into a comic routine, that may jar your audience, as your persona is changing right in front of them. The best course is a direct one, choosing your style, and keeping to it, through the whole set of tricks.
Once you have decided how you will present a few darker tricks, you need to choose the right ones to fit your style. To help, we polled magicians on Facebook, visitors to the magic shop, and working professionals that use our consulting services. The results are quite revealing. The 2 magic tricks, that consistently get the best reactions from spectators tend to be more serious in nature. They have a paranormal feel, dealing with spirits and the dead. The third most popular trick was a gore and horror effect.
The runner up, that didn’t make it into our top three, was The Web trick This really surprised us, as we thought it would be in the top three, as it creates a jump scare for the spectators. It may be out of favour from performers as it uses a toy spider, and may just be too much for some spectators to handle at public gigs
Crunching the data from the last 5 years for orders over the Halloween season, seems to suggest that magicians get the best reactions from tricks in this order:
- Paranormal – spooky
- Gore and Horror special effects
- Jump scared and shocks