If you have been wanting to learn and perform magic, card magic is the first and easy step towards your wish. There are so many mind blowing card tricks which are easy to perform. With some basic sleights you can perform jaw dropping card tricks for people. within a matter of few days. It don’t take knuckle-busting moves or hours of intense practice to perform impressive card magic. We advise you that you must learn following card moves.
1)Cull: To arrange the specific cards at the top or bottom of the deck in the action of spreading the deck into hands.
2) Double Lift: In this move magician appears to take a one card off the deck but in fact two card are lifted off.
3) Glide: A card sleight that lets the magician switch the deck’s bottom card for the card behind it.
4) Hindu Shuffle: Cards are moved in small blocks creating the effect of shuffling but retaining the bottom card
5) Classic Force: A spectator is forced to select a particular card in a genuine looking way
6) Pass: In a pass you shift the two half of the deck very fast. It can work as a control where you place a card in the middle and then you can pass it to the top without the spectators knowing about it.
7) Double Undercut: In this move cards are cut twice to transfer the center card to the bottom of the deck
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
10) Do As I Do effects
After your show, a man comes and congratulate you for an amazing show. Then he mentions he had seen a magic show before who was good and unique like you, but he can not recall the name of that magician. You say thank you and give smile to the man but in your heart, you feel why he did not remember the name of the magician.
Truth is most of the people after enjoying your show remember your tricks but not your name. With the presence of social media, correct mention of our name leads to search of your name on the internet and it may fetch you the next show. Following are some of the ideas you can use to maximise the number of people who would retain your name.
1) Put a backdrop with your name and photograph
2) Ask your clients to spread the news of your magic show
3) Ask the anchor/emcee to mention your name during your introduction few times
4) When you come to the stage introduce yourself by saying your name couple of times impactfully
5) During your show tell a story about your life where you say something like people would ask you, Hey Amit can you show me a magic trick?
6) Repeat your name, your website, your Facebook page address while you close the show.
7) Give away as many business cards as possible
8) If you can reveal your name through a magic trick it makes a great impression on people
9) If your first name is very common, ask for a volunteer with the same name as yours for one of the trick.
Getting a magic show is not a complete success for a magician, getting more shows from the previous show is the real success. There is no better marketing and sales technique than your own performance. But apart from your professional and immaculate magic skills, there are several things clients look in a magician. These things will affect the number of inquiries and bookings you will get in the future.
1) Quality of magic tricks and routines – Perform some original and unique routines
2) Professionalism of a magician with prior communication
3) Work experience as a full-time magician
4) Style and aura of the magician
5) Interaction of the magician with the crowd
6) Costume of the magician
7) Cost of your magic show
8) Punctuality of a magician
9) Time management of magic tricks
10) Adding extra value to the event in terms of humor, extra time, special magic effect
Any stage artist is more concern about logistics and management of his event than his art. An artist can control his skill, but for other things, he needs to depend on other people. Audience management, audio-visual failures, power cut are some of the frequent shocks an artist had to go through. This risk can be reduced if magician states his requirements and knows his event setup well before his magic show. A magician must ask following questions when a client approaches him for booking a show. All of these questions to be asked only when the client has finalized you. If the client made an initial call with a casual inquiry, don’t throw all the questions on him and consume his time.
1) What type of show client needs? – Close up, Stand Up, Stage show
2) How many people will be attending the show?
3) Type of audience – Only children, only adults, children and adults both
4) Is it a themed event? – So that you can dress accordingly, create a magic tricks suitable to a theme
5) Is there guest of honor (Chief guest or any celebrity)?
6) What is the venue, date and invitation time?
7) Tell your requirements – Ask if they can arrange tables, chairs, PA system etc?
8) If you live in multilingual locality, ask them for their language preference
9) Is the show going to be in an open space or closed venue?
10) What would be their budget for a magic show?
11) Is there other entertainment program planned along with a magic show?
The art of magic is not a usual and regular type of entertainment. Having a magic show at your event is straight away making your event a special one. Being a very unique art, magicians get hired by limited entities, but there are plenty of opportunities for magicians who can get the paid shows from following entities.
1) Restaurant and Resort Owners
2) Amusements Parks/ Theme Parks
3) Tourist cruise ships
4) Travel agencies
5) Event managers for all kinds of social and corporate events
6) NGOs, Charity Organizations
7) Talent Agencies/Talent Managers
8) Social Clubs
9) Summer Camp Organizers
11) Retirement Homes/ Old age homes
12) Theatre groups
14) Toy shop owners/ Toy Libraries
15) Activity Centers
As a professional magician have the of knowledge maximum tricks possible but you need not practice all of them. Sensibly choose the effects which would suit the audience you going to perform for. As a magician, you may love particular magic trick but it may not necessarily impact the audience. A magic trick should be performed like a pro salesman sales the product.
1) Divide a magic routine into small pieces, practice in pieces and then integrate all pieces to practice full routine 2) Practice in front of mirror, be a spectator of your own performance 3) Record your practice videos, watch them and improve your sleights, script and voice tone 4) Practice with exact script/patter you are going to use 5) First practice the effect as performed by expert magicians and then practice your version 6) First decide if you really wish to learn a particular trick, then practice till perfection, do not leave the trick in a middle way because it taking a long time 7) First perform for family, then friends and then strangers 8) Practice in front of your magician friends, ask for their feedback 9) Wherever possible, in place of cell phone, hold the deck of cards in your hand, practice moves like palming, one hand cut etc 10) In place of carrying an empty hand, palm a coin, practice classic palm, finger palm, thumb palm etc 11) Practice when you cannot perform, for example, when traveling by train, flight or waiting at a restaurant or in public place 12) When practicing magic, stay focused- avoid cell phones, television, the presence of people around. Give quality time to your practice. 13) Do not buy a new magic trick or a prop unless you get good at the previous magic trick you bought 14) Get rid of the magic props you don’t need anymore, declutter your collection to save your time.
Depending upon the venue, audience and event following are some of the tested tips to approach strangers and get their permission to perform magic tricks. You need to ensure that they allow you to perform more than one magic trick.
1) Approach a group of adults with their kids. If you ask them if their son or daughter want to see magic, they will mostly agree. Perform one or two tricks which would impress kids as well as adults and then if you perform your best effects for adults they would enjoy your presence.
2) Go to a group of young people like college students, young couples. Nicely ask them “Hey guys, I am a magician and if you are not busy, would you like to see some different kind of magic?”.
3) Make sure when you perform for the first group, their applause reaches to other groups. This establishes your presence and the applause from the first group signifies that you have been doing something wonderful.
4) Sometimes you can ask a host to introduce you to the group. The guests will never turn down the host.
5) If you are going to perform for a group containing both boys and girls, do not talk to the girl first, talk to the guys first. They shouldn’t feel you came e to impress the girls.
6) Don’t start with a magic trick where you have to borrow their money, ring, mobile etc. They should feel comfortable with you before you use their things.
7) Avoid those groups which are in deep discussion with each other. They are probably discussing something more personal and important than a magic trick.
8) Observe the body language of people. Don’t go to people who are in a pensive mood, people who are talking or chatting over the phone. But approach those people who seem to be getting bored in the party.
9) While performing for strangers in street or table hopping magic do not use long scripts or wordy patter. Keep it short and direct. Impress them with your magic and not with your mouth.
Being a magician is more than just performing some amazing magic tricks, it’s a responsibility. Especially if you are a respected personality in this field. Being a magician and mentalist I have seen people coming to me asking for a solution to their problems. Sometimes the art of magic is not taken seriously by others, but a good magician will always get the attention he deserves. Below is the list of proven rules in the field of magic. No matter if you are a beginner, amateur or expert magician you should follow this code. All the best magicians in the world follow almost all the below rules.
Never share your secret with layman
Don’t share the secret of your original effect with fellow magicians for some time
Never repeat your trick for the same audience
Perform only in suitable environment
Never challenge the audience to catch your trick
Always carry at least one trick with you
Don’t misuse your magic skills
Be original while performing, have your own style
Talk to other magicians and learn from their experiences.
Try to give credits to the original inventor of the trick
Don’t buy pirated materials. Buy the secrets from authorised entities