Thursday, 7 March 2013

The Angry Man of Magic - Concentrating on the presentation.

There are two broad strokes to learning my magic - the method, and the presentation. The method is the bit in which most of us are interested. Learning the sleights and being able to show the exposed view to our friends at the magic club is the closest to a circle jerk we've had since high school. It's hidden, and it's enjoyable.

Then there's the presentation. A cool and effective delivery. Strong patter lines, interspersed with relevant humor (not random jokes ripped from other acts, or the Internet). It all makes something with which an audience can engage.

To be an effective entertainer, I need to be able to do both. Blindfold. At the same time. Without mistakes. In fact, if something outside of my control causes a mistake, I must be capable of resolving the mistakes. Blindfold. At the same time. Without further mistakes.

So why do tricks insist in telling me the method is so easy I can "concentrate on the presentation"

Whisky Tango Foxtrot?

Magicians need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. If I can't perform the sleights required by the routine, I should not be doing it. Period. No one should. Practice not until you can do it right, but until you can't do it wrong, as they say. You must be able to commit each move, turn, block, and misdirection to muscle memory and handle it as smoothly as if you aren't doing a move. Or turn. Or block. Or misdirection.

If the trick has simple sleights, say so. But the Google translate function inside my head just replaces "concentrate on the presentation" with "there's no incentive to practice this, so you will mess up and look as stupid as an amoebic dysentery diet plan.

Maybe the other interpretation is "you'll be performing this right out of the box". This actually means, "you won't bother even writing a script, so you can concentrate on ad-libbing incoherent verbal durchfall during the presentation". And since, unless you're Bill Malone, ad-libbed presentations consist of a running commentary of the moves; so don't be surprised if I don't concentrate on your presentation.


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