8 little things to grow the reputation of magic show

A professional magician is adept and master of sleight of hand. He can make people wonder with his skill. But even if you are an expert magician few little things in your show can double the positive impression of your show. It takes 20% effort to score 8 out of 10, but it takes 80% effort to go from 8 to 10. A magician should never get complacent, he must think that every magic trick ever invented can be improved and so does your magic show. A magician should be sharp-eyed to notice the changes in the reaction of audience whenever things happen coincidently. He must note those occurrences and adapt it to his shows to take the shows to next level.

1) Punctuality
If audience arrives late for the show you wait to start the show, but if the audience is on time, don’t make them wait even for 5 minutes. Starting the show on time makes the audience have a favourable opinion about the magician, and also your client will appreciate your punctuality which would help you in the future.

2) Background music
If the audience is large and music system is in place using the power of music to heighten the senses of the audience can be a difference-making factor. Don’t use rare and unpopular music, instead do some research and adapt popular music to your tricks. Presence of music in your show make your show look extravagant.

3) Mass magic tricks
Do at least one significant trick in your show which involves the whole audience (Don’t do twisting the hands gag, it ain’t effective). If your mass magic or mentalism trick is impactful, the audience will talk about it more than any other trick because here you have affected everybody at the same time.

4) Use Humour
Having a right balance of humour in a magic show is a thing missing even in the greatest magicians. Making people wonder is not enough, you must make them smile. Developing a sense of humour is not that easy, but to pretend to have a sense of humour can be done by writing a comedy script for your acts, it will take some efforts. A magician pretty much controls everything during the show, so using a scripted version of your humorous presentation will make people remember you as a great entertainer.

5) Vanishes
As a magician, you might perform a transformation, transportation, transposition, restoration, escapology, levitation, mental magic, productions effects but you must not miss doing at least one trick which makes something disappear. No type of magic is stronger than pure vanish because as per popular opinion magician is someone who can make things vanish.

6) Perform an inspiring act
During your magic show include an act which explores the art of comprehensive storytelling. Use a story which would inspire the audience, make them feel good about their lives and imply how impossible things can be achieved, but don’t preach, don’t act like a self-help or motivational speakers. You must inspire through an entertainment.

7) The closing effect
You last trick has to be the most influential magic trick of your show. That trick must get the loudest applaud or even standing ovation. Imagine, you are ready to perform the penultimate trick of your show, but client tells you that they have limited time and it has to be the last trick. You must abandon the trick you were ready for and perform your closing effect. This happens frequently so keep yourself ready for this scenario.

8) Post-show discussion
If your audience is curious and wants to know more about your life and your skill, do stay at the venue post-show and talk to them. Sometimes you can do it right after the show so that all the audience get to know more about you. If selective people come to you, do give them access to talk to you and hand over your business cards in the process.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

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How to handle hecklers trying to spoil your trick?

Catching a secret of the magician is one of the strongest way to prove your intelligence. But for a magician, any heckler is a destructive because it spoils magician’s reputation instantly. Magicians cannot avoid hecklers from attending their show because they exist everywhere. A magician must learn to handle the hecklers to save the sanctity of his magic tricks and his magic show. Following are some diplomatic ways to handle hecklers who are trying to spoil your magic show.

1) Change the method
If a spectator shouts the secret of your magic trick, offer to repeat the effect if you have another method to perform the act. While performing the effect specifically point out that you are not doing what he said you were doing. This proves your expertise and proves heckler wrong.

2) Subtly ignore the heckler
Sometimes a heckler won’t be too loud, he will speak in a soft voice trying to spoil your trick. You can guess it as you end the trick. In such cases don’t give attention to the heckler. If you give attention to them trying to justify your effect, they will ask you more and more questions. If you avoid them it shuts them and they don’t attempt it again.

3) Convert the comment into a humour
Even if spectator finds the secret don’t accept it but reply to their claim with a humorous comment, like say, “That could be another way to do it, thanks for telling me.” You can say, “You are right, but don’t give the secret to others.” Say the second comment in such a way that remaining audience sees it like you are just satisfying the heckler but not really acknowledging the secret.

4) Challange heckler to perform the act
Sometimes there is a heckler who will repetitively interrupt you. For, one of the tricks where you know that even if performer know the secret they cannot actually perform it like a magician. Tell such heckler if they know the secret come and perform it for all and they will never try it.

5) Make the disclaimer
This is a preventive measure if in the start you make a disclaimer that whatever you do is just for the entertainment and not to fool anyone and you don’t claim to have super powers then even the aggressive heckler won’t interrupt you.

6) Let audience handle the heckler
You are running the show and not the heckler, the remaining audience have come to see you perform and not to listen to the analysis of heckler. So when heckler disturbs you, keep calm and just play with words and waste some time. If spectator still tries to spoil your trick few people from the audience will talk to the heckler voluntarily making them understand to enjoy the show and not to spoil the sense of wonder for all.

7) Accept your goof up in the trick and convert it into humour
Sometimes the whole audience becomes heckler because apparently, your trick has failed. In these cases, you politely accept the failure of the trick and say something like, ” I’m not as good as the other guys.” , “That didn’t happen in rehearsal!”, “Never liked that trick anyway. “, “Never rely on a new assistant for setup.” The audience will not criticise you but they will love you of course if you amaze them with rest of the show.

8) Make audience take you seriously
During your introduction create a perception such that audience you are some kind of celebrity. Tell them about the countries you have travelled, the other influential people in the world you performed for. If the audience believes that you are a man of high stature, they won’t have the guts to prove you wrong during your show.

9) Do fake moves
Just to fool the hecklers, do a move where they think is the secret but in reality, it is just a move to misguide them. For example, while producing a coin make a move which looks like you are taking out the coin from your sleeves but you have just palmed the coin. Now, when they claim they know the secret, roll up your sleeves, so that they can see there is nothing up your sleeves and do the same trick again.

10) Use movie analogy
If there is a difficult heckler who is not ready to keep quiet, you can handle them leading the conversation in following way.  Ask them do they watch movies in a theatre? Who is their favourite action hero? Ask them if they know who does the stunts of a hero? They definitely know that it is not a hero who does stunts by himself. So, while watching a movie in theatre do they stand and shout, “Guys, that stunt was done by another man and not by Bruce Willies” this logic will make them sit quietly for rest of the show.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

10 clever and powerful marketing ideas for magicians

Henry Ford said, “Stopping marketing to save money is like stopping your watch to save time”. Anybody who wishes to earn money cannot avoid marketing. If you avoid marketing, money will avoid you. If your marketing is unconventional then it brings better results faster. Following are some rare and unique ideas for magicians to market themselves and gather more shows.

1) Always carry business cards
Always carry your business cards whenever you step out. You don’t know when an unexpected client has the requirement for a magician. Leave your card behind in a restaurant, on your bus sit, movie theatre sit. Magician’s card is not something they can ignore.

2) Put on a t-shirt with text you are a magician
Buy a t-shirt or a jacket and on back of it get a text printed which conveys that you are a magician. Like, “I am a magician”, “Do you want to see a magic trick?” etc. Put on a t-shirt as much as possible and people will certainly notice it. Do the same thing for your car and print your information on the back windshield.

3) Show a magic tricks in public places
If you are prepared and conditions are right around you in a public place, start performing magic tricks for strangers. Gradually more and more people will stop and take a look at your magic tricks.

4) Perform newsworthy stunts
If you want extensive publicity in no time, perform magic stunts like blindfold car or bike drive, impossible escape, walking on water, next day headline prediction, making the statue of liberty disappear etc. These events to be planned in advance if you successfully deliver it the results are massive.

5) Give business cards to even children
Most of the magicians avoid giving business cards to children they generally hand it over to parents. Their parents will take the card but they might forget or misplace it but for children a magician is a hero, they will preserve your card like a gift and when child’s family need a magician, the children will instantly produce your card.

6) Do “catch me if you can” type of shows
If you are an expert magician who can fool even magicians, then arrange a show where you challenge the audience to catch your trick. If they catch your trick give away the reward. People quickly share the news of these kinds of shows.

7) Do some free shows
Volunteer to perform for orphanages, old age homes free of cost. But you ask them that you also want to invite some more people to your show. Market your free show as much as you can and get maximum people to watch it.

8) Use your circle of influence
With the availability of social media, we can easily build a working friendship with maximum people. Tell all your friends and relatives that you are a professional magician. Also, try if they have seen at least one of your magic tricks which influenced them. If they see someone need a magician they must voluntarily suggest and recommend your name.

9) Collect and use customer database. 
Email, send a text message or send a postcard to your old clients. Send the communication few days before the same date they hired you in previous years. They might have a recurring requirement for a magician. They would love your professionalism and if they had liked your show in the past,  they certainly call you again.

10) Viral videos
Research and learn an impossible, mind-blowing magic trick. The performance time of this trick should be short but it must create a jaw-dropping impact on the viewers. Record the performance of this trick and post it on social media. If the trick is truly a great trick, people will share it and soon it will get viral and you might earn a million views giving you quick publicity.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

11 secret tricks for magician’s website to get more shows

A website can promote you throughout the year 365 days 24 hours which even you can’t do yourself for yourself. But only building a website is not enough, you must build a website that sells. Spending some money to have a quality website is not an expenditure, it is a lucrative investment. As a professional magician, your website will differ from other professions, your website should serve your business. You need not follow generic instructions of web design. Your website should be designed as per the user flow of your potential clients. Following are the proven tips for magician’s website.

 1) Your intro should be on the homepage
In magic, you are selling yourself and not some other product. There is no point in having a home page with some photos and videos and a separate page for “About me”. Don’t cause trouble for clients by asking them to go to another page to read about you.

2) Write about why the client should hire you?
In your introduction, there should be at least one paragraph explaining why the client should hire you. This content must be written like “marketing copy” content. This content must make your skills saleable.

3) Your contact details should be visible all the time – Call to Action
Many websites have a separate page for contact, but in case of magician’s website, contact information should be available on all pages. So you either put it on a header, footer or sidebar. Also don’t just write label like “Contact” write a label which inspires action from clients like “Call Now”, “Contact here”, “To book the show email us here” etc.

4) Photos are better than words
Photos make your site comes to life. Shortlist some good, high-quality photos and post them on your website. Most of your photos should be of your actual performance with the audience in the frame and it must capture audience’s expressions. Keep solo photos for your Instagram account maybe but for website keep solo photos to a minimum.

5) Videos are better than photos
Have the trailer showreel of your best magic tricks on the home page of your website. But also have some more organic videos of your actual performances on a separate page. A trailer will hold the visitor on your website but to make him contact you a client would want to see some full performance of your magic tricks, make sure you give it to them.

6) Video testimonials
Video testimonials are much more authentic than written testimonials. Especially if you have few video testimonials from a celebrity it will make a far greater impact. Visitors cannot question the legitimacy of video testimonials because they see a real person appreciating your performance on record.

7) List of clientele
Ultimately every magician wants to perform for corporate clients as corporate clients pay better. But closing a corporate deal is tricky because they think their reputation is at stake. Corporate feel comfortable with an experienced artist, so why not flaunt your previous clients showing them that you are an expert magician and have been performing for even bigger clients than them.

8) Media Coverage
If you have been covered by newspapers, news websites, magazines, tabloids put the photo clippings on your website. Try to get some media coverage even if you have to offer a show at free of cost. Media still considered as an authentic source, if media says you are a great magician, then people say you are a great magician.

9) Update your website
Don’t keep your website idle for a long time. Keep updating it with latest photos, videos, your upcoming events. Imagine one year back you had posted a video of your best magic trick, but a year later you learn a new trick which you now hold it as your best trick. So your latest best trick should be on your website to impress the clients.

10) Social media integration
Your website must have the direct links to your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn profile etc. Some of your website visitors will also visit your social media pages and if they like your social media pages they may start sharing it, which might fetch you some more clients.

11) Sooner the better
To start your website don’t wait for having all above things in place. Some of these things like having a video trailer might take considerable time. Make your website live with some basic information, some photos and then keep improving and updating it. The sooner you are on the inter-web better are the chances of you getting found through search engines.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

 

 

Why magicians must refer and recommend other magicians?

A magician’s competitor is not another magician but other artists like
dancers, stand up comedian, mimicry artist, singers, juggler etc. In India when people hear about a magician, they imagine an old man in shining colorful clothes with a hat on his head performing old and traditional magic tricks. Most of the Indians don’t even know that art of magic has advanced to some unimaginable level. They don’t know that many youngsters are professionally doing a modern magic show. They are even more ignorant about the art of mentalism which is a very unique addition to magic shows.

Magicians shouldn’t behave like archers who always pursue to find out who is better. But magic is not like archery there is no such thing as best magician in the world. Anyone who loves magic shows would want to see the magic shows of different magicians. If you frequently go to Las Vegas would you see David Copperfield’s show every time? I don’t think so, sometime you might go for Penn & Teller’s show, isn’t it? Magicians shouldn’t be envious and competitive towards each other because “being the best” is not the goal of a magician “being unique” should be the goal. Following are some strong reasons why magicians must help each other for mutual benefit.

To establish art of magic as mainstream entertainment:
A magic show is still not considered as a mainstream entertainment, in spite of the fact that it is a suitable option for all kinds of social and corporate events. If you are not available for a magic show because of prior booking, you can give the client reference of another magician who is available. If the client gets another magician he will continue to plan to have a magic show for the event instead of looking for some other entertainment option. Naturally, if more magicians make more magic shows happen, people will start treating it as mainstream entertainment and ultimately there will be more inquiries for magic shows.

To prevent clients from going to amateur magicians:
Let’s assume that client is determined to have a magic show for their event. He calls you but you are not available because of some other show. You know a magician who is as good as you but you don’t recommend that magician to the client. Now, the client will search for other magicians from various sources and eventually he will find one. Now, the magician who performs for the client is an amateur, he doesn’t create the impact which a magician suppose to create. The amateur magician has not only spoiled his show but he has damaged the reputation of the art of magic and in the future, the same client may not opt for the magic show again.

People want to try different magicians:
You can perform for the same client two or three times but they would like to try a new magician fourth time before they hire you once again in the future. So even if you recommend other good magicians to the client first time, they might call him two or three times, but fourth time they would want some other magician which could be you.

More business for everybody:
Even if you are a magician, you cannot perform at two places at same time. If you are already booked for another show, you can give the lead to other magician and you can charge some fees from the magician, let’s say 10-20%  of the deal amount and if the deal gets closed, you earn extra 10-20% without even performing.

Referral is contagious:
There will be a day when you would want to perform and make some money but you don’t have any lead. But, magically some other magician to whom you have recommended to clients in the past recommends you and you get the show, wouldn’t that would be cool? If you refer other magicians in your unavailability they would want to return the favor in their unavailability by referring you and that will build more business for you.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician and Mentalist)

10 secret techniques in mentalism

1. The force
Mentalist use forcing technique to perform prediction effects. Mentalist force the spectator to make a particular choice but to a spectator it looks like a free choice.

2. The peek
Mentalist use this technique to perform mind reading effects. Mentalist secretly or using some mechanism take a quick look at what spectator has written, drawn etc.

3. Cold reading
With cold reading, without prior knowledge, a mentalist can quickly obtain a great deal of information by analyzing the person’s body language, age, clothing or fashion, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, the manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readings commonly employ high-probability guesses, quickly picking up on signals as to whether their guesses are in the right direction or not, then emphasizing and reinforcing chance connections and quickly moving on from missed guesses.

4. Memory and mental calculation
Mentalist uses fast mathematics methods to perform quick mental calculations and to remember a long list of objects. Mentalist tries to show the power of his mind using these effects.

5. Dual reality
Dual Reality is a ploy in which spectators assume that everybody witnessing the same performance effect, but in actuality, different people are finding different meanings of certain deceptive words in the conversation. Generally, in dual reality effects, either spectator gets more amazed than the rest of the audience or the audience gets more amazed than the spectator.

6. Misdirection
Use of standard magical methods like misdirection with the use of magic props or sleights to accomplish a mentalism effect, it is also called mental magic. Any magic effect can be presented as a mentalism effect with the right script.

7. Suggestion
A suggestion is a psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of another person. Mentalist who also performs hypnosis use these techniques for entertainment.

8. Equivocation
Equivocation (or the magician’s choice) is a verbal technique by which a magician gives an audience member an apparently free choice, but frames the next stage of the trick in such a way that each choice has the same end result. For example, the performer may deal two cards to the table and ask a spectator to select one: if the spectator chooses the card on the left, the performer will say something like “you keep this card, I’ll take the remaining card”. If the spectator chooses the card on the right, the performer will take that card. Thus, the choice of which card to use is really made by the magician.

9. Secret Accomplice
Some mentalists employ their assistant backstage to accomplish some mind-blowing mind reading and prediction effects. Some mentalist uses secret accomplice called stooge who sits with rest of the audience behaving like a stranger. During the performance, mentalist select the stooge as a spectator who looks like a randomly chosen volunteer.

10. Pre-show work
Few mentalist before the show will approach and talk to some of the members of the audience starting with the casual conversation, but in the process knowing some clues and information about their life. During the show, mentalist will select those people as volunteers and with the use of some clever presentation mentalist will use those clues to perform some super mentalism effects.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

Art of Misdirection

What is misdirection?
Misdirection is a skill in which the attention of an audience is controlled to focus them one thing in order to distract its attention from another thing. For example, a magician first show the audience his both hands as empty then using some script/story/patter he will make the audience see his left hand in order to take something out from his right-hand sleeves in his right hand. Managing the audience’s attention is the aim of all professional magicians; misdirection is the central secret of all magic, most important principle of magic.

How to misdirect?
There are three basic ways to “misdirect” an audience. One is to encourage the audience to look away for a fleeting moment, so that the sleight or move may be accomplished undetected. The second approach is to make a large visible movement which looks significant but has no direct role to play in accomplishing the magic and behind large action make a small action which actually matters to accomplish the act. First two methods are used by almost all the magicians. The third approach has much to do with maneuvering the audience’s perception, where the minds of the audience members are distracted into thinking that an extraneous factor has much to do with the accomplishment of the feat, whereas in reality, it has no bearing on the effect at all. This approach is generally used by mentalists.

How to practice misdirection?
1) Magician Harlan Tarbell suggests trying this little experiment to prove to yourself that people follow your eyes. Pretend you are throwing a coin up into the air and look up to an imaginary point that the coin reached — but really retain the coin in your hand. The eyes of the spectators will look upward just as you did. You can do this many times and each time the audience will look upward.
2) Stand before your mirror and watch yourself. Take a coin in your left hand. You are going to get the effect of passing it to your right hand. For a few times really pass the coin from your left to your right hand. This is to give you Naturalness in faking the pass and also to give you an opportunity to observe how your eyes go from your left to your right hand. After you have done this a few times, go through the same moves but retain the coin by finger palming it in your left hand. Close your right hand as if you had the coin. Your eyes must follow the pretended passing of the coin just as they did when you actually passed it. Your audience will follow your eyes to your right hand and will not even notice your left hand. It is unbelievable until you try it yourself how easily large objects like bottles, glasses, balls and even rabbits and pigeons can be moved about almost under the very noses of the audience without their seeing or suspecting anything if you know the Art of Misdirection.

Precautions:
While applying misdirection magician need to be careful about the glance of his own eyes. The audience follows magician’s eyes. If you are showing left hand to the audience hiding something in your right hand, then you must never look at your right hand, you must keep looking at your left hand only. Your audience will follow your eyes to your left hand and will not even glance at your right hand and you can comfortably achieve the desired result. Even a sleight glance at your right hand will lead someone in the audience to follow your glance and suspect that you have something concealed in your right hand.
Almost every trick has some element of Misdirection in it. So remember, in performing your trick —never look at the opposite end of your effect. By the opposite end, Tarbell means the thing you are really doing — that is, looking at your hand which is holding the coin, rather than looking upward for the effect. If you look at your hand, the audience will look at your hand—that is the opposite end. If you look upward, the audience will look upward — that is the effect.

Audience Management:
One thing you must keep in mind is that it is a psychological fact that a person does not hold his attention on any one thing for more than a few seconds. Your job is to keep renewing his attention by the things you say or by varying the thing this person is to attend to — until you get your work out of the way. You must work fast so that you don’t bore the spectator and find him watching you instead of the thing he should be watching. You must remember that his attention wanders and you must be quick so that you are through with your “opposite end” before his attention comes back to you. Nearly the whole art of Sleight of Hand depends on this Art of Misdirection. Your seemingly miraculous effects depend on speed and cleverness in directing the attention of the audience away from the opposite end of the effect – away from what you are really doing.

Benefits of Misdirection:
Once you learn the art of misdirection you can perform unlimited magic tricks with it. With misdirection, you can perform magic tricks at any time and anywhere with no special props. A magician should never repeat the trick for the same audience but sometimes it may be necessary to repeat a trick within a short period of time and some of the old audience may be in the new one. You can throw these spectators off the track by presenting the trick by a different method of working. You can add some little twist to the trick, and even those who see it for the second time will not discover how you do the trick. There are “close investigators” in some audiences. You will have no difficulty in mystifying them if you vary your effects, even just a trifle. A magician with expertise in the art of misdirection often fools another magician with this skill. He will introduce a new twist of some kind or a new method of working and he has his fellow magician puzzled.

Credits:
A considerable information of this article comes from magician Harlan Tarbell’s work.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

Killer “In spectator’s hands” magic tricks

There are all kinds of magic tricks but a magic trick whose climax takes place in the hands of spectator adds considerable more value to the entertainment. This kind of magic makes the audience believe in real magic because it looks free of sleight of hands as they were the one controlling the trick. Magic in spectator’s hands is particularly effective in street magic. As a professional magician, you must know as many tricks taking place in spectator’s hands and must perform at least one in your performance.

1) Sponge balls to spectator’s hands
2) Aces transportation
3) Ashes on their hands
4) Bill to spectator’s wallet
5) Las Vegas Leaper
6) Cards Across
7) Spectator’s watch stop
8) Paper to hat
9) Starcle
10) Do As I Do effects

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)