Be a process oriented magician not goal oriented magician

amit kalantri blog

We have been taught and trained to set a goal for ourselves in order to be a successful in any profession. I won’t comment about other areas, but being a professional magician I can responsibly say that a magician should be process oriented and not goal oriented. Imagine at the current state of your preparedness you set a goal and start working towards it. In reality, you have limited the possibilities for yourself by setting a goal.

You can set a goal only on the basis of your present knowledge, skills, perception. You have not experienced all the scenarios in the business of magic. Even if you are a skilled magician you may have set ambitious goals like to be the most famous magician in the world. When you reach to it, you may realize that you could have been the most famous artist in the world leaving behind actors, singers, musicians etc had you taken some steps in the past.  But you missed those steps in the process, you kept your eyes only on the goal and now you are sad in spite of achieving your set goal.

Let’s say you want to grow oranges, orange is your goal. But is the orange going to appear by always thinking of oranges, no it won’t. To grow oranges you will need orange seed, soil, sunlight, manure, water etc. None of these raw things taste like orange but eventually they give you orange, this is also a magic. You take care of the process to grow orange and oranges will come.

Similarly, imagine you want be a professional magician, so your priority should be the process of being a skilled magician. You learn right sleights rightly, you research rightly, write right script, buy right props, you practice right, do right marketing. When the opportunity arrives you will give the best performance like a seasoned professional magician. You need absolutely devoted to the process and need not think about the goal.

Your ability to enhance your magic business is possible if you are undeniably committed to the process. Watch the people we call successful, look at their faces and you will be surprised to know that hardly anybody of them is joyful. They probably achieved the goal they set it for them, but now they realized it was a meager and insignificant goal so they disappointed. Those who couldn’t achieve even the small goals are frustrated because they avoided the process. What is the point of being a man of this kind.

When I just started into professional magic, I set the target of doing 50 shows in a year. To get my first ten shows it took little time. It seemed to me I will not be able to fetch 50 shows in that year. Then I realized, I was not making significant impact on the audience and also that I was not marketing myself enough. I changed some of my magic effects, I updated my scripts, I learned the sleights I was afraid to do  and I added more acting and drama to my performance etc. During this process change I had forgot about the target of 50 shows in that year. After I enhanced my process, my leads enhanced and I got more and more shows. At the end of year I had performed more than 100 shows in that year.

Initially as per my understanding I was good enough for 50 shows, but when I dedicated myself to the process of learning magic, I surpassed my own expectations. So don’t worry about result, target, goal. Just take care of the process and just like magic everything will fall into place.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

Why you should hire a mentalist for a corporate event?

With entertainment, mentalism show also creates an amazement and sense of wonder among the audience. Your guests won’t remember the skill of a singer, musician, dancers. They won’t remember the jokes of stand up comedian or catching skills of a juggler for a long time. But a mentalism show, they will remember it forever and they will also remember that they have seen a mentalism show at your event forever. Making your party a truly memorable event of their life, and that is your ultimate goal. A corporate audience is not bold like college audience. Corporate people are always trying to maintain their reputation, so they get shy when asked to dance, sing or play in an event. A mentalism show gives corporates the respect they deserve by involving them in the acts without asking them to do any funny things. Following are some of the reasons you must hire a mentalist for your next event.

best mentalist in India

Best corporate entertainment show

1) Mentalism show is definitely the first time experience for most of the audience, so you give your guests a new experience first time in their lives.

2) Mentalism show is the most suitable entertainment for adults which makes it a right choice for a corporate event.

3) It is a comprehensively interactive show, mentalist basically invites and involves the guests to present his skills.

4) Mentalism show is a strong, impactful and creative form of entertainment.

5) Appropriate for varying size of the crowd from few people to large gatherings.

6) Mentalist requires limited logistics, as a client you can save considerable money and efforts on arranging logistics.

7) It has more entertainment factors comprising storytelling, humor, mentalism skills all in one show.

8) Greater Flexibility with respect to the size of the venue. A mentalist can perform on the stage or he can go to your guests and perform strolling mentalism at their table.

9) Having a mentalism show makes your event unique and different.

10) Mentalism show makes your event a truly memorable experience.

11) Apart from entertainment it silently adds an inspiration to people’s lives and that is an invaluable thing.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

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)

18 habits of highly professional magicians

practice

1) A professional magician practice and rehearse every day.
2) He may perform someone else’s trick but he prepares original content for the trick.
3) He doesn’t offer shows for free unless it’s for a social cause.
4) He learns from other magicians who are better than him at the craft of magic.
5) He doesn’t reveal the secrets of his magic as well as secrets of other magicians.
6) He doesn’t perform dressed like a hippie, he is always well groomed and well dressed.
7) A professional magician study art of magic like an academic subject.
8) He doesn’t overlook the details and the quality of his magic tricks.
9) He doesn’t repeat the tricks for the same audience at the same show.
10) A professional magician invests in the magic.
11) A professional magician performs a particular trick only under right conditions.
12) He never runs out of his business cards.
13) He doesn’t step out of the home without at least one magic trick.
14) He never insults or offends his audience.
15) He never claims to have superhuman powers.
16) He doesn’t misuse his magic skills.
17) He not only market himself but also promote the art of magic as the great source of entertainment.
18) He adds value to the lives of people through his performance.

– Amit Kalantri (Magician & Mentalist)

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.

details

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)

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.

hecklers

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)

Ten skills magician needs other than ‘sleight of hand’

Amit Kalantri mentalist

  • Showmanship
  • Storytelling
  • Acting
  • Humour
  • Public Speaking
  • Adaptability
  • Astuteness
  • Misdirection
  • Multitasking
  • Promptness

-Amit Kalantri (Magician and Mentalist)