Adam asks: I am struggling with finding my unique style. I am quite laid back but don’t want that to come across as boring or uncharismatic. I am also not naturally intense like some of my favourite magicians, such as Nate Staniforth or David Blaine. I am funny but mainly in response to other people rather than through ‘jokes’. How do I hone my unique persona when it comes to performing magic professionally vs with friends?
Your charisma lies in your authenticity.
Leverage Humor in Your Performances:
Your ability to respond humorously to others is a wonderful trait that can set you apart. Rather than relying on pre-scripted jokes, build connections with your audience through witty banter and spontaneous interactions. Develop observational skills to spot humorous situations, creating memorable, light-hearted moments that engage and delight your spectators. That goes down very well with British audiences that tend not to like ‘characters’ as much as natural, witty personalities. Don’t take yourself too seriously, have a twinkle in your eye and a cheeky smile… It goes a long way in making your magic more enjoyable without having to be a ‘character’ A good example of the folly of a serious character is Phil Goldstein’s character Max Maxen. A fantastic master magician… But Phil often hinted himself that the character may have held him back because it was aloof, otherworldly, and relatable.
Personalize Your Magic Routines:
As you craft your magical routines, infuse them with elements that resonate with your interests, experiences, or hobbies. This personal touch adds authenticity to your performances, making them more relatable and memorable. Perhaps you can incorporate references to your favourite activities or use objects of personal significance. By weaving these unique elements into your magic, you’ll create a distinct style that reflects your personality.
Adaptation: Professional vs. Informal Settings:
You might need to adjust your magical persona slightly to suit the context when performing as a professional magician. While staying true to your nature, consider trying a touch of sophistication to meet the expectations of your audience. Understand the demographics and preferences of your audience to tailor your performances accordingly.
But what about when I’m performing my magic for friends and family? You can fully embrace your natural persona when performing for friends or in informal settings. Focus on creating a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where your humour and laid-back demeanour can flourish without constraints. These more intimate performances allow your unique style to shine.
Study and Learn from Others:
While you aim to develop your magical persona, it’s important to learn from the masters of the craft. Study magicians who inspire you, like Nate Staniforth and David Blaine, to understand their techniques and stage presence. Analyze what aspects resonate with you and consider how to adapt those elements to fit your magical persona. Remember, the goal is not to mimic them but to draw inspiration from their charisma and stage presence to enhance your performance.
Finding your unique magical persona requires a delicate balance between embracing your true nature, leveraging your humour, personalizing your routines, and adapting to different performance settings. Embrace your individuality and let it shine through your performances. Remember, your charisma lies in your authenticity. With practice and perseverance, you will develop a captivating, magical persona that leaves audiences spellbound professionally and among friends. So, weave your enchanting tapestry of magic, adding your distinctive flair to the world of illusions!
If you have a question for the magicians at Merchant of Magic send me an email via the support section. I try to answer as many as possible and turn some into posts here.
Best wishes and good luck with your magic