I´m going to share with you a little-known secret of magic. A secret many magicians unfortunately are unaware of. A little secret in connecting with people. Whether you consider yourself socially savvy or not, this advice will give you an edge over other magicians & other people. It won´t take much practice, you´ll just simply have to make a habit of doing it. It may also make you upset for some sacrifice will have to be made. Itś all to make you a better performer and human being.
I was never the ¨popular¨ kid. Speech wasn´t an asset I possessed and it took me a LONG time to see the relationship between magic & public speaking – or just plane communication in general. When I first started performing many many many years ago, I hardly spoke when I performed. A couple of years into my journey I learned that magicians MUST talk, so I did and I studdered and sometimes went all over the place. I went back and forth between silent acts and talking acts – even tried music in the background to no avail. I was in high school when I got it down. But I always felt like my messages in the shows never packed the punch I wanted.
Dai Vernon once said that if you can subtract from your magic just a little without sacrificing itś effect/value, the magic will be stronger. I studied Japanese for 3 years in undergrad at Murray State University. Japanese is a very conservative language, the fewer words you use to get your point across, the better you are in speaking. People who speak authentic, Native Japanese don´t go on longwinded tangents unless they are trying to make their peace with someone who just pushed too many of their wrong buttons, and even then, word use is at a minimum. Magicians can do what the Japanese do and what Vernon suggested, reduce the effectś moves and patter to get to the point. No need in doing a 100-phase ambitious card routine or a 4-minute speech if you can do a 2-phase routine and a 15-second speech the better you will be presentation-wise.
Magic & Speaking As A Neurodivergent
Being sociable while also being Neurodivergent presents its challenge. Missing social cues and establishing friendships is a hallmark symptom of ALL NeuroD conditions. Being a magician has HELPED a LOT. If there is one thing ALL NeuroDś get more than Neurotypicals is social REJECTION.
A Tale Of 2 Cities
There are THREE modes of performing magic; Stand up, Close-Up & Strolling. Not all Close-UP magic is performed while strolling. To make this simple lets propose the notion that there are only 2 ways of presenting magic – Stand UP and Strolling. While they are both magic, there are different strategies to doing them. Stand Up magic is done with a captive audience who has paid to see you. You have a LOT of control of the show. Strolling magic is different, you are not always performing for a crowd that is there to see you. You don´t have a lot of control in a strolling event. You run a chance of being REJECTED by someone at the party. We NeuroDś face rejection at a greater rate than Neurotypicals. Many of us AVOID social interaction because of that. Being a magician has allowed me to enter peopleś lives. 9 time out of 10 it works!
Avoiding Rejection As A Strolling Magician
If I could do it all over again, I would start out as a strolling close up magic. I LOVE this mode of presenting magic because it allows me to FACE the very thing everyone fears the most – rejection. There are a LOT of ideas floating around the magic forums on avoiding rejection. Many of these ideas are made by arm-chair amateurs who don´t perform. The real secret is simple. First, approach the table and introduce yourself – NAME the client that booked you by name. Psychologically this gives you familiarity. You know the client, they know the client. Then ASK them if they would fancy some magic while they wait for the main course. 9 times out of 10 this works. If you get a no, you won´t feel the blow because you took yourself out of the situation with the introduction. Chances are – the table that says no will ask to see you later once they see you work other tables. People HATE being left out.