I remember Bob Cassidy relaying a story about a magician who was performing a card effect. It got to the point in his routine when it was time to control the card to the top of the deck using a pass. At that moment a waiter dropped a glass which smashed onto the floor. Everybody looked at the waiter and the magician waited until the attention was back on his hands to carry out his pass.
I always liked that story as I was that type of magician. We, as performers of a very unique art, spend a lot of time in front of the mirror practising our moves over and over again to an audience of one. I still remember the delight of first performing a retention of vision coin vanish in front of my shoulder width and torso height rectangular mirror hung on my bedroom door. It was a feast for my magic obsessed eyes!
However, this static form of performing had its drawbacks. Namely, on hindsight, I was rather stiff and rigid in my movement when performing for muggles. After all, I was so used to being static hour after hour and day after day in front of my bedroom mirror that it translated into my presentations.
I was lucky enough to land a place in a travelling troupe that consisted of a fire breather, a mime artist, a violinist and a juggler. We would travel around Ireland pretending to be waiters at dining events and then we would suddenly start doing our performances. It was a whole lot of fun and a great learning experience.
I watched these very accomplished performers and how they used 3D space to enhance their presentations. I know it might sound silly now but the following was a revelation to me... I DIDN'T HAVE TO STAND STILL! Once I adopted the concept of movement my showmanship and ability to command a space skyrocketed! I was now having a ball when performing and that enthusiasm translated into the spectators enjoyment and subsequently a lot more bookings for us as a troupe and for me as an individual performer.
When I began my journey into mentalism I discovered another very powerful dimension that could alter the perceptions of the spectators and create layer upon layer of deception all wrapped up in a bundle of entertaining fun. And that dimension was communication. By using my voice along with movement and scripting I found that I could create some powerful experiences for my audience.
Brad Baker, a fellow member of Dynamic Minds and accomplished actor, has a nice example of what I'm talking about in this minute or so performance. Which you can watch here.
Watch Brad's movements, what he says and how he utilises space. Then ask yourself, how can I utilise my space and communication to enhance my presentations? I feel this is a question that can't help but improve you as a performer.
Until next time, keep on bringing magic and mystery to the world my friend.
Yours in Mystery,
Proud member of Dynamic Minds.