Monday, 29 April, 2013

Before the curtains open...


The primary goal of a Magician is to entertain the spectators. It is important that the Magician should change his act or type of magical effects, according to the audience. Those colorful magic enjoyed by children, may not be suitable for a corporate audience. I feel the most important part of our show, is the audience. Perhaps the most sensitive part of the concept of “ theater’ too.

As in every other field, success in magical entertainment is also a planned event, and it should not be a ‘chance’. A thorough understanding of what is magic all about, will help us in creating perfect illusions. We need to look at the word, ‘Illusion’. Human being has a logical mind, and five senses to input data into the brain, where the ‘mind’ resides. We are conditioned by the logic created by our brains, based on the data input by these senses. The logic says us that some things can happen, and some things can’t. For example, we see that if a ball held in our hand falls down, when we release the grip. So logic is created by our brain that anything dropped will fall down to earth. It is supported by the science we learn. We study the law of gravity also. When a Magician floats a ball, our Logical mind says that this can’t happen. At the same time, our eyes acknowledge that the ball doesn't fall down. Now, there is a contradiction between our logical mind, and the senses. This creates the “illusion”.

In every spectator, there is an innocent child. So the illusion creates surprise in his mind. The next moment, his ego starts working. He searches for reasons, as to how this can be accomplished. Simply speaking, he is in search of the ‘Secret’ part. The success of Magician is to extend the ‘surprise’ for as long as possible, and guard the secret, so that the illusion created is intact  All the well known Magicians planned their tricks well. He creates a mental picture of the  circumstances that could arise, and the trick he can perform accordingly. Every detail of the effect is planned. But this aspect is never known to spectator. He thinks everything happened spontaneously. There arises the actual illusion. Hence, the steps involved in the success of a Magical effect is understanding the type of audience we are going to face,mentally drawing the video of the performance, planning according to the expected circumstances and preparing for the unexpected challenges.

From the above, it is obvious that every show will be different from another, as the audience change from show to show. We, performers, can choose our audience type also. Most of the Magicians are specialised for a particular kind of audience. I never perform for Magicians, unless it is required for corrections and evaluation. Because I know, I need to do a lot of work to impress that kind of an audience.

What creates a good showmanship is to be really happy in our entertainment work, and radiate that good mood to the spectator. Magic is the most diversified art. We have Card magic, Illusion, Close up, Conjuring, Mentalism and numerous other versions. At the same time, this is a universal art too. There is no language, qualification, age or sex barriers in enjoying this art. We need to keep the spirit of this art very high. I am always thankful for being and proud to be a MAGICIAN.

Sreekanth S Namboothiri

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