Chapter 01: Introduction

In the history of magic, you often see magicians repeating well-known and obvious routines, such as sawing a lady in half or making a person disappear. However, these types of routines rarely excite an audience because they have seen them before. It's like reading several murder stories with similar plots; it gets old fast. This is why creative magicians do not rely on the routines of others or copy the styles of famous magicians.

For example, when Lance Burton started his dove act, many magicians wanted to copy his act. When David Blaine came along, many magicians started doing street magic like Blaine. However, simply copying the acts of others will not make a magician stand out from the crowd.

If you were to ask someone on the street if they knew the name of a magician, they would likely name David Copperfield, Houdini, David Blaine, Lance Burton, or Siegfried and Roy. Why don't people know a magician from their own town? Are there no other good magicians that people know? What is it that makes a performer stand out from the rest? Is it just a question of marketing, or are they doing something different? Why do some magicians get more bookings than others? What does it take to become the next star magician? Can you become the next star by simply copying the routines of others? These are all questions that will be explored in this book on creativity in magic.

To succeed against your competition, you must diminish their advantages by being original, creative, and entertaining. Your goal should be to make your audiences glow and scream “Wow!” You should aim to turn your clients into your salesforce so that they evangelize your services, which will put you on the road to success.

Creating an original, creative, and entertaining act is not an easy task. If it were, we would have more people interested in magic. However, I believe that a successful act should meet the following criteria:

• Provide unique effects and original techniques • Be presented without any mistakes • Be fitted to the performer and their personality • Be entertaining to the audience • Be different from other magic illusions

While many magicians focus solely on the props they use, a successful performer considers the following aspects:

  1. Figure and character of the performer
  2. Storyline
  3. Props and special effects
  4. Music and script
  5. Background and decoration
  6. Costumes
  7. Dramatic structure

All of these elements need to be addressed when searching for an original act. So where do you start? There are two key sources for your ideas:

  • Yourself
  • A team

By combining your own ideas with those of a team, you can create a unique act that stands out from the competition. Remember, the key to success in magic is to be original, creative, and entertaining, and to create an act that your clients will want to evangelize.