6 sure-shot ways for magicians to be more entertaining

A performing magician must understand that he is performing for general people and not for the group of magicians. The general audience is going to judge you from the total entertainment you offer and not only from your clever sleight of hand. Two magicians can make silk disappear, one uses TT prop other uses the retractable reel. But for an audience, it is the just same thing that silk gets disappeared. They are going to decide who is a better magician on the basis of which of the magician gave them more entertainment in terms of humour, story, surprise, drama etc. The magician takes significant efforts to perfect the skills, but he also needs to give equal importance to perfect the script. Following are six tried and tested ways to offer more entertainment to your spectators.

Use Humour:

Let it be a movie or a magic show, absence of humour is an absence of entertainment. A magician need not be as humorous as a  stand-up comedian, but he definitely needs to be humorous. A stand-up comedian delivers rehearsed comic script, but magic show being an interactive form, a magician needs to the have presence of mind to produce quick comedy punches. Mentalist should be even more concerned about humour, because most of the mentalism presented is goes without humour and with a complicated script, which unknowingly belittles the performance and reduces the entertainment.

Apply Simplicity:

“Simplicity ain’t simple” as goes the quote. The clean, clear, simple effects brings much more wonder and amazement than complicated tricks. For example, doing a mind reading effect with swami gimmick makes greater impact than doing it with centre tear method. Don’t use methods which looks different than the common course. Using an unusual method will make some
people from the audience suspicious and after your cliamx you won’t fetch full applause because those people who sensed fishy move will not give you limited applause.

Art design:

If you host your own show, then design the stage as beautifully as possible. Your stage should look inspiring and captivating. Use the new and beautifully built props. Let your audience see the things they have not seen before. I use round (circular) cards for one of the card trick I perform. As soon as I spread my round cards, people widen their eyes with wonder before I even start performing. Because round cards are something most of them never seen before. These little things which they see for the first time entertain them implicitly.

Storytelling:

David copperfield is a billionaire magician because of his skills and storytelling ability. A magician who is a good storyteller takes his audience to a different world and this feeling of sensing a different world adds to an entertainment value of your show. So build a relevant story and then deliver it like a dominating actor while performing magic tricks.

Build Drama:

The reason we remember and follow actors is because they give us visual entratinment with their expression and voice tone. It is good idea to change your voice tone and facial expressions like an actor as per your script in your magic performance. As you manoeuvre your voice and body language, audience’s feelings get hightened and it gives them augmented entertainment.

Play Music:

Just like having a background score in a movie when characters are talking is important, same way having a background music for few magic tricks can create a great impact on the audience. Because music itself is such an entertaining entity that blending it with right magic tricks will work wonders for you.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

7 challenges professional magician encounter

Challenges_Cover_Yourstory

1) Getting the right price

The entertainment industry is swarming with all kinds of average artists at a cheap price. Though average in their performance these artists still serve the purpose of entertaining the audience. Your clients don’t know much about the difference between an average magician and an exceptional magician initially, so obviously, they go for a magician with low price and you get rejected only for quoting the high price. Because of this an exceptional magician who charges high struggles to get the more shows in starting years.

2) Getting the full attention of the audience

Even the extraordinary magicians performing for a private party goes through a scenario where all people don’t pay attention to magician’s performance and disturbs the whole surrounding with their chatter. After this kind of shows, magicians don’t feel good about themselves even if they get the good money for the show.

3) Waiting for the show to start

As a professional magician you value the punctuality and reach to the venue on time, but guests arrive late sometimes too late. Client requests you to wait more and more till maximum guests arrived. The result is you get exhausted and your time gets wasted which could be put to good use and client don’t pay you extra for waiting time. Because your show begins late, you may also have to curtail the performance time to accommodate other sequences of the party.

4) Cancellation of the show from client

You prepare and plan your week for the next show and couple days before clients inform you about the cancellation of the event because of unavoidable reasons. This is annoying for the magician because he must have denied other leads which came from other clients on the same day, same time because your date was already occupied. This is a straight loss to the magician because he don’t get paid fully and he loses the performance at both the shows which may have fetched him future shows.

5) Cancellation of the show from magician’s side

Sometimes even the magician needs to cancel his performance for the event because of an emergency situation like severe sickness, family issue, flight cancellation etc. This is an unfortunate situation and nothing makes magician feel bad if he himself had to cancel. This puts clients event in jeopardy especially when your performance was the only entertainment activity planned for the event.

6) Managing back to back shows

A magician wishes to perform every day because he loves doing magic and it gets him good money. Sometimes a magician gets lucky and he gets two shows back to back with a time gap of an hour in between. But reaching to the second show on time is challanging because most of the times your first show will start late and that puts magician under pressure because he had to reach the other show on time especially if the client of second show is ready to start the show on time. If magician reaches to next show late, it spoils his reputation.

7) Maintaining a sense of wonder for himself

Magic creates instant wonder, a solid surprise and a delightful mystery for the spectators. This wonder was the primary reason why you became a magician. As a professional magician, you know many secrets, techniques to achieve the end result of a magic trick. Even if you watch other magicians perform you tend to be less surprised. This feeling of not experiencing the wonder may force you to question the purpose and meaning of your work and you may feel that you are not doing enough.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist) 

Why “sleight of hand” is the most important skill in magic?

These days many magicians keep looking for easy to perform self-working magic props. They keep on buying most of the automatic magic props which hit the market. It is possible to be a good magician using only props along with good storytelling and showmanship skills. But it is not possible to be a great magician without being good at sleight of hand. A magician who is good at sleight of hand not only satisfy the people with entertainment but also satisfy himself with his skill. Following are some worthwhile reasons why you should practice and get good at sleight of hand.

1) You can truly perform impromptu magic tricks anytime anywhere

2) You can perform magic tricks with borrowed objects

3) At the end of sleight of hand magic trick, the magician is clean, spectators can verify everything

4) Sleight of hand is not easy to catch using eyes and logic

5) You need not buy expensive fancy props, so ultimately you save money

6) Because of fewer props, you can pack less, travel light and still play big in the show

7) Sleight of hand magic makes you look like real magician

8) Sleight of hand makes you respectable even in the magic fraternity

9) With original sleight of hand moves, even magicians won’t be able to catch you

10) A magic trick which is performed with original sleight of hand moves does not get copied easily unless you reveal the moves

11) Once you get good at particular sleight and stop performing it after few days, you will still be able to recall it quickly when required in the future.

12) With enough sleight of hand moves, you can repeat the magic trick without getting caught.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

 

7 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about mentalism

mentalism

1) Is mentalism real, can mentalist really the mind?
No mentalism is not real, most of it is a bunch of great sleight of hand, misdirection and psychological tricks just like magic tricks. It’s not possible to truly read the mind of others accurately at all times.

2) Difference between magic and mentalism?
Mentalism is an extended version of magic. Magic and mentalism are closely related. It is not possible to learn mentalism without knowing techniques of magic. A good mentalist is also a good magician.

3) Is mentalism complex and difficult to learn?
No, it’s not. In fact, the art of mentalism is easy to learn as compared to the art of magic. To be a good magician you need to spend considerable time mastering the art of misdirection and sleight of hand. But to be a good mentalist you need to know basic magic techniques.

4) What does mentalism consist of?
Mentalism consists of various types of performances like mind reading, mind control, hypnosis, telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, predictions, psychokinesis, mediumship, memory feats, deduction, and rapid mathematics.

5) Do all the types of performances need be learned to be a mentalist?
No, it’s not required to know and perform all above performances. In a mentalism show, most of the performances are of mind reading, mind control, predictions.

6) What are the advantages of learning mentalism?
Entertain and impress people using mentalism routines
Develop your presentation and showmanship skills
Understand how other people think
It boosts self-confidence, dexterity and develop lateral thinking
Enhance social skills, you become the center of attraction in social gatherings

7) Is there professional coaching available to learn mentalism in India?
Yes, you can join “Beautiful Minds” professional mentalism classes run by magician and mentalist Amit Kalantri in Pune (India) to learn the art of mentalism.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)