Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fooling people vs. entertaining them

I just did a show yesterday for a mixed audience of children and adults. While I was performing the show, it suddenly struck me that the jokes I was telling, the gags, etc. generally drew a great response and really help build up the effects.

Here's an example. For years I watched magicians perform a sponge ball gag which I ignored because there was no magic in it. Now I do this every show and it draws a lot of laughs. Here's the way I do this: I give the two sponge balls names - I call them 'A' and 'B'. Then I place ball A in my hand and ball B in the spectator's hand. I then perform some magical gesture and then announce that I now have ball B and they have ball A. After a moment or so, when everyone is figuring this out, this draws a big laugh from the adults. Some of the kids will of course tell you that both balls look the same, etc. You can now continue with making your ball disappear and join the spectator's ball in their hand. If you are a magician and perform sponge balls, do try this and see how it works for you.

I also perform at least one effect like hippity hop rabbits, run rabbit run or die box and I think everyone knows the "turn it around" gags,or the "look don't see" gags, etc. These get tremendous response also. The whole idea is to keep people entertained while you are of course fooling them.

My pet theory is that people hate being fooled but they love to be entertained, so it is important to include a lot of fun gags, jokes, etc. Being a nice person helps also. So until next time, learn a few jokes and see if you can include them in your next magic show.

The holiday season is coming up and my calendar is filling up fast. So please call me if you need a birthday magic show: