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How to improve your Magic Tricks

Posted by nexusnights on March 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

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Pitter Patter & Position

Occasionally, while I am in the middle of a routine I will see my performance from both perspectives. And it will occur to me that their expectations were not met with the power I intended. I realized then that I need to scrap the trick, adjust the order at which I perform it, or find a better way to present it.  I would like to discuss these realities and share with you what has helped me.


First off lets look at the tricks position. A tricks position is as important as the trick itself. I bring this up as this is a mistake that many who are new to magic make. A magic routine should be structured like a staircase. Start with a couple of cool  simple effects and slowly walk up the stairs increasing the power of each effect. Never start with your best effect, as the attention of your spectators will diminish before you finish your act. And you will be quickly forgotten.

If you want to be remembered consider restructuring your routine. If you are performing for fun in a social situation, no more then four effects kept under 10 minutes should suffice. It's also nice to have an encore effect. (They will ask if you had a good set) Show your diversity, by including various tools of the trade or items around you.  Note: If they ask you for an encore effect you have a position of power. You can request something from them at this point, whether this be tips or a gig this is not an unreasonable request, and they will gladly honor your request.  As a result  you have conveyed to them you have social and economic  value and for this alone you will be remembered and possibly booked. If you get a hit for a booking trade them your card for their phone number and follow up.


How many of us have bought a trick, and threw it in the top drawer after reading the instructions. In many cases sadly, that's exactly where it belongs. However, recently I have challenged myself to find something in each effect. Maybe it's the cheap in me to find a way to justify the money I blew on the trick.

I have found that in some cases a great story to surround the effect will change everything. As a result I have really opened a new door, and made a simple effect extraordinary. For example I have always liked the optic wallet, or optical wallet as it is also known. A simple card effect that had no real story to give it power. After performing this effect over time, I realized I needed to scrap it or build upon it. I liked the cleverness of the illusion itself. So, I decided to build a story around the cards. The story is about an illustrious affair with the son of a King as the main character. The result was really remarkable and as a result everyone now hangs on every word, and it usually ends with applause. I have shared this entire routine on one of my other Magic blogs.

Top Drawer magic (scrapping):

Scrapping magic tricks from your routine is never easy, especially if you paid good money for the effect. But, occasionally if you can't find a good adjustment in the patter or how it's presented then a better effect in it's place is a better decision. It's the experience of the spectator that is most important, satisfying their experience is what will continue to elevate your career in magic. Maybe the trick isn't bad, but out of order, so before scrapping it, try adjusting the order. Maybe it's better as a warm-up, or opening effect. If you can't fix a trick and it's still in your top drawer I suggest EBAY.

Please share your comments on this Magic blog, and subscribe to our social circle of magic.

- By Jason Ring 

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Reply Jason
2:44 AM on June 7, 2012 
Robert Ward says...
how do I improve my magic, it is the three ways.
find other magicians and show them, feedback, practice with a mirror.

Hi Robert, that's all great ways too, I would also advise those new in magic to contact their local IBM chapter and join nothing beats working with real pro's...
Reply Robert Ward
6:12 PM on May 29, 2012 
how do I improve my magic, it is the three ways.
find other magicians and show them, feedback, practice with a mirror.
Reply Robert Ward
6:10 PM on May 29, 2012 
magic is entertaining, and interesting. If it is to encourage, serve and help others.
Reply TedTalon
2:00 PM on April 5, 2012 
Great article... Thanks

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