I have told you before that I am a magician and mentalist and I have picked up a few habits over the years, certain things I do, certain things I will never do. Here are my rules that I live by:
- Cleaner not easier
With this I mean that for certain effects you need to use certain props, like 2 decks of cards or a different type of deck than the one I am used to working with. I will always look for a way to make an effect work for me, even if the original method calls for a certain type of deck to be used. I love the “out of this world” plot. All cards end up sorted Red and Black by a spectator. I am in love with this, but some methods call on you to use special decks of cards, although the method might be cleaner, what if they want to examine the cards? I won’t use it. I have now a method that I love and only uses a regular deck of cards, and the effect still plays like the orignal, only it has a certain things that I didn’t need.
- Never overproof anything
One of my petpeeves in magic is when magicians show their hands empty when nobody is chasing them anyway. In my cups and ball routine, I never show y cups empty. They are upside down, which implies emptiness anyway. I pick them up with their mouth down and nobody would expect that there is a ball under there anyway. I always pick them up the same way, set them down the same way. I would also never say something like: “This is only a regular deck of cards.”, because that implies that there is also something like a special deck of cards, and why would they believe somebody that is going to lie and cheat in their face blatantly for entertainment? So I will always use visible props that can be examined. Hidden things that help me don’t need to be examined, because they don’t know of them, but if it is on the table, and it stays on the table, or it has to end up in their hands, I prefer it to be clean and thoroughly examinable.
- Know your effect
I have been to a magic club. I stopped going. I saw “magicians” demonstrate effects, that I wasn’t even allowed to know the method off (which they discussed freely, but out of earshot of me, because I was still a low-tier member), but they did them so badly, that it wasn’t hard to figure out. We had to demonstrate effects we had learned, the following week in the magic course I took (it was mandatory to gain full membership in the magic club), and a young magician, clearly had not rehearsed enough and he botched the effect. I see youtube clips of magicians often that demonstrate an effect so badly that I cringe every time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to demonstrate an effect for the first time for a live audience, but I will have rehearsed it so often on my own, having played all roles in the effect, that I can’t possibly catch it.
These are a few rules I live by and why I live by them. I will probably get another article with other rules, but these are great starters.