Perfecting Your Routine

An article concerning perfecting your routine. Why do people flock to magic shows?

It is indeed to watch the magician perform extraordinary tricks which never fail to amaze or stun anyone.

However, on looking at the picture from a different angle, meaning from the magician’s point of view, much of the success of the show depends not just on the tricks but also the manner in which the entire stage performance is handled.

A magician is akin to an actor – like the way in which an actor establishes himself on stage with his very first performance, it is essential for a magician to do the same.  

It is this personality which goes on to become a magician's signature on career progression to identify the magician every time a performance is made.  So it is best to start perfecting your routine.

The importance of having a character lies in the fact that it sets the flow for the entire routine right from the moment the magician appears on stage and continues until the conclusion of the show.

What could be a better way to prove this fact than observe the career graphs of all famous magicians?

David Copperfield’s hallmark is that whenever he performs rock music is played in the background, Cardini liked to give the impression that he was totally drunk and Channing Pollock would maintain a sombre demeanour throughout his performance and smile only after he had successfully performed the last trick.

Perfecting Your Routine

Human element aside, another factor which plays a seminal role in deciding the level of magic performance is its structure and perfecting your routine.  Every show needs to be planned well in advance and must have clearly demarcated introduction, body and conclusion.

Amongst these it is evidently the introduction which is the most crucial because it is responsible for the first impression on the audience – it is important to remember that the audience will particularly remember their first impression of you.  Bearing this in mind, you must put a lot of thought into how you make your entrance.  Again its perfecting your routine.

There are two ways in which a show can take off to a great start namely either to create a feeling of unexpectedness and unpredictability or to start off with a bang. Needless to say, the performance should also end in the same manner thus maintaining a certain amount of uniformity throughout that would come to be counted as part of the magician’s repertoire at every performance.

Prior to working towards perfecting the routine, you must decide what kind of tricks which should be played.  An important point to be borne in mind is that the bag of tricks should be compiled in such a way that every performance has something unique for the audience – surprises are always pleasant and when combined with magic they have the extra power to astound.

Therefore, in order to make the show as entertaining as possible, the tricks should be selected carefully preferably after much brainstorming and research.  After selecting the tricks, the next step entails putting them in a proper sequence so that one trick automatically leads to another.

Apart from lending logic to the show, such a sequence would also be systematic in terms of usage of props and objects. In this case, many magicians resort to story telling as a form of link building which would hold their performance together and act as a cohesive bond between everything that they have to offer.

However, this is certainly not a rule and the final choice pertaining to how to conduct the show depends on the magician’s creativity.

The next step is to practice the routine repeatedly and time each trick so that as a magician you have a fairly good idea as to how long the performance will take. Initially this can be done with the help of a timekeeper but gradually as magicians gain experience they usually learn to time themselves in various ways.

Maintaining the time is not just a requisite during practice sessions but also during the first few informal public appearances like when performing in front of family and friends as a way of increasing your confidence.  This will help continue perfecting your routine.

Adjudging the time for each trick together with the time taken by the entire performance should never be used to limit but for adjusting tricks accordingly so they stay within the given time frame.  Under no circumstances should magicians ever try to hurry their tricks as such a mentality would only lead to disaster and subsequent failure.  However, a strong recommendation would be to time the performance in accordance with the attention span of the audience and pick tricks which fit comfortably into the time frame.  

Last but not least is the conclusion and it should be something that would linger in the audience’s memory for a long time to come.  This trick should be the signature trick and should also be the best in the magician's repertoire.

Perfecting the routine is one of the important aspects of an exemplary performance and when combined effectively with the showmanship of the magician can prove to be a crucial pillar of the show.

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