Learning how to do magic tricks is only part of the process for developing your skills as a magician. Magic is about interacting with people and entertaining them. Is it wise to spend the majority of your study time learning technique? Is there something else just as important for magicians to develop?
Dominic Reyes recorded this short video explaining why he thinks many magician focus too hard on how to do magic tricks, and forget the real secrets of performing magic to the public:
'Sometimes a magician comes to The Merchant of Magic for private tuition, and during the assessment stage, it's clear they don't need any work on their mechanical technique. It's already at a working stage
For magicians like this, we need to switch focus away from sleight of hand, and teaching them how to do magic tricks. We have to help them develop techniques to improve their presentation and how they interact with the audience during their magic tricks. This can be a difficult subject to work on. We are working with aspects of themselves that they view as their own character or nature. Reviewing how they approach people, conduct themselves, interact and engage others.
Despite the work involved, that can take many sessions to bring about a lasting change in their performance, this is one of the most worthwhile parts of magic tuition, and brings the most dramatic benefits to the magicians we help.' – Dominic Reyes
DO THIS: Personal magic tuition is not right for everyone. It's easy to start learning presentation skills by yourself:
We recommend that every serious student of magic starts taking some form of acting lessons. These could be from a local collage, acting group or community theater.
Start reading books on acting and make notes of tips and suggestions that would relate to live performance in front of an audience. Read Acting for magicians. Look for books by Stanislavsky, Uta Hagen, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Michael Chekhov, Viola Spolin, Simon Callow and Cicely Berry.
Think about taking voice, singing, dancing, movement, classes. Your local community centre will be able to suggest local classes.
Do you live near somewhere that has really good actors performing live. Go to the theater and make a note of the stage craft in action.
Re-watch all the magic DVD's or downloads you have. This time ignore parts of the DVD's that show you how to do magic tricks. Focus on the presentation sections and look for live performance. Make notes of the interactions you see.