A magician contacted the shop and asked about tricks for a magic club audition:
Hi, I have a 10-minute performance coming up to join a magic club, and I am looking for a trick, preferably something new that few people have seen yet with a wow factor. Can you suggest anything? Thanks
Dominic Reyes: If you are doing a magic club audition, the goal isn’t necessarily to fool the other magicians in the audience; it’s to show your skill at performing, delivery, presentation, and stagecraft. That’s not to say you don’t need good quality magic that you know fools spectators, but you have a strange and demanding audience for this particular job. Your fellow magicians are a hard audience to impress with the trick alone. You aim to show you are an accomplished entertainer who can present magic well.
I recommend doing a routine you have been doing for some time rather than new material. It’s not about the trick; it’s about how comfortable and professional you are when you perform. Go for tried and tested material, you know, backwards and inside out.
If you really want to try a new routine, then maybe something like:
Notice that all my suggestions are classics of magic that are time tested, but as tricks for a magic club audition, they excel in that they are open-ended. You combine as many phases as you want and pick parts you enjoy performing to create a multi-phase mini-act. This allows you to pick only a few and make them play out into your time limits. You can add and cut out phases if needed.
Whichever you choose, make a polished and entertaining routine. Find out in advance how long you have to perform. This may only be 5-10 minutes. Practice your routines in full and the pacing to make them span that time allocation. Remember to slow down and pace yourself. It’s straightforward to rush through and then panic at the end when you still have too much time. Filming yourself presenting each effect will significantly help you structure the pacing and flow of the tricks for a magic club audition into a natural and unrushed performance.
I asked some of the magic community for their input. Here are some of the most valuable replies.
Luis Olmedo: Tried and tested tricks that you love. Magic is not only about fooling magicians. Even more in a magic circle. Tricks that are tested are better from my point of view 🙂
Ali Cook: Stick with your act! Stuff to wow magicians is for competitions only.
Mike Ronesia: Whatever your best moves are, regardless of age or complexity. That’s what I’d want to see anyway.
Meriam Al Sultan: Magicians are only impressed by your handling. They don’t care if it’s new magic or you just created it. Stick with polished acts no matter how many times you’ve seen them before. The classics will always win their hearts, too. Reference a magician you admire who contributed to the effect or your presentation; showing respect to other magicians is always the way to go, as we owe it to them. And good luck!
Nick Altieri: Well, I will keep it simple. Stick to tried and true tricks. The goal is not to fool a magician; it’s to entertain your audience. There’s a good chance you wouldn’t show a lay audience a “Magician Fooler” so then why in an audition?
Joshua: #IMO, Your tried and true, should have a wow factor. It’s magic, if they don’t like it (and you didn’t mess up), they are probably jaded, and you shouldn’t want to join their club anyway.
Samuel Gherman: Do your tried and true routines; good magicians care about performance value, not knuckle-busting effects.
Magic Mark: These things are less about the tricks and more about the performer. I would stick to the effects I know inside out and focus on the presentation.
Mark Vent: Tried and tested – I went for cups and balls to show competence at a classic/basic effect.
Stan Dart: Go with what you really know by heart. These auditions are not meant to impress magicians in the jury with the tricks you’re doing but with your performance.
El Hipnotista: Tried and tested all the way in.
Harvey’s Images: When I got my redcoat back in the day, I tried to use new effects to wow at the audition. What a tit. Afterwards I was told it was my personality that got me the job and not my performance. The moral? Work on you and not the magic shop’s latest offering.
Dan Langwell: I would suggest sticking to tried and true tricks for a magic club audition, with an emphasis on routines that allow you to show your personality and personal style.
Alan Rorrison: They want to see you are competent. Stick to tried and tested stuff, that you know.
Paul Henri: Do the stuff you know inside out, back to front, so nothing can phase you. Be ‘in the moment’ so you can address the audience in a polished, dynamic way but to the level where it doesn’t sound scripted. Show a level of expertise and competence, but don’t try to outwit/fool the panel. Good luck!
Dale Shrimpton: You do what you do best, and remember, it’s not just the tricks. It’s you as a performer.
Mark Warwick: I would perform my own effects …they are original, and no one else can buy them.
Mike Harris: Tried and tested stuff
John Cooper: Stick to the tried and tested. It’s certainly not the place to break in new material.
Alexander Parker: Do whatever you enjoy, it isn’t an audition to see if you’re of a high enough calibre to join the elite magic masterclass; it’s just showing the gang that you’re actually into magic.
Barry Allen: My advice? Honestly? Stay as far away from magic clubs AND other magicians as possible! Get out there in the ‘Real World’ and perform for people you don’t know. Don’t be worried about telling people, at the outset, that you are a newbie. Learn from your experience(s) and take notes afterwards. Consider what went well and not so well. Ask for feedback – take criticism and advice ALWAYS with a positive mindset. Don’t worry about screwing up. Performing a magic trick is not a life-or-death situation. Learn to use fewer props – it’s YOU that are the magic. The less you have, the harder you will work on improving your style and presentation. Only magicians want to watch a dealer dem!
Andrew Sherratt: Stick to what you know well! They’re not interested in being wowed; they just want to see how confident and proficient you are in your magic performance.
Nathan Earl: Always stick to tried and tested material, assuming it follows the entry rules for examination. If you are doing anything else, that’s fine so long as you’ve practised it in good time. I don’t think for the most part, that you need to specifically impress magicians
shropshiremagician: Stick to what you’re good at. I’m not interested too much in fooling magicians.
magicalowen: Do what you know.
photoforagerpugh: I’d show a classic with my own slant or routine.