• benhowardmagic

How to get reactions as a beginner magician

I wasn't overly sure where to post it but as I was thinking about reactions to mind reading effects just now I chose here!

I just wanted to say something about magicians, especially young or beginner magicians, reactions to effects. As many others in this generation, David Blaine did for me what Harry Houdini and others did for others generations ago. I was hooked and every few months I think about some of the memorable reactions in his TV shows. I am aware that good TV nowdays (Thinking Jimmy Kimmel and others) is loud, screaming and running away from the performer in a response to an effect. I'm sure DB producers and editors cut together the 'strongest' reactions from their takes and put them together. It is also a a similar story with trailers for magic effects in order to market it effectively.

This has always bugged me. I remember as youngster performing my first effects and being a bit disheartened when my school friends and teaches didn't scream in my face. They were impressed but reacted 'normally'.

There is one clip I always think back too in regards to this. It is in fact my favourite 30 second clip from any magic TV special or performance I have seen:

This speaks to me strongly, as (at least to me) truly is one of the strongest reactions to an effect I have seen (and just from a simple Raven effect!). I know it sounds odd. But the silence, staring, processing and simple reaction of "cool" is what magic is about to me. Note he didn't run away screaming, but I have know doubt that boy was thinking about that trick way after some of the screaming reactions of other people.

All this to say... If you perform a trick and someone simply smiles and saying one work (or even nothing), don't feel like you have failed because it wasn't like the reaction on TV. Your spectator is as impressed as any other. Think of it as (and this is dark, I apologies) someone getting bad news from a doctor. Not everyone screams and runs away, people process new things differantly!

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