Who Are You?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MitchellStafiej, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Successful magicians all have one thing in common- they all have a distinctive character, or stage personality.

    Houdini made his reputation first as the King of Kards, then as the Handcuff King and the Man No Jail Can Hold. So strongly did Houdini make his mark that seventy years after his death, his name is still a synonym for escape.

    Copperfield is the illusionist on a grand scale, Siegfried and Roy are the wild animal illusionists, Penn and Teller are the bad boys of magic, Doug Henning is the magician of wonderment, Harry Blackstone was the classic magician presenting the legendary Blackstone show, David Blaine is the modern street magician introducing a new type of (scruffy) magic, Criss Angel is the dark magician making magic believable, Lance Burton is the gentleman magician, and on and on.

    Each of these magicians has found a personality, a stage character that defines how he dresses, how he speaks, the type of patter he uses, and most importantly, the magic that he presents.

    An audience needs to figure out who you are before they know how to react to you. They need to feel that they "know" you, and then they will want to reward you with their attention, reactions and applause.

    Choose your stage personality based on your own strengths. Are you theatrical and dramatic (an illusionist)? Are you a good speaker, good at improvisation? Are you naturally funny? Are you goofy- can you be incredibly funny? Do you have a special non-magical talent or trait?

    The key to finding a good magic personality is to make the most of what you have, who you really are. As much as you want to be just like Blaine or Angel, it just won't work. Don't imitate anyone else. Be honest with yourself about who you really are, and develop from your strengths. You'll be much happier and much more successful with the results.

    Use your magic personality as a guide in selecting the effects for your act. Be consistent in choosing tricks that fit the character you are presenting. For example, comedy magician Jay Sankey would never be able to pull off a serious presentation mindreading effect, but Criss Angel would. Likewise, it would be disappointing to see David Copperfield sit at the edge of the stage and do a clasp card trick, and equally odd to see David Blaine vanish a tiger just before sitting down to do his coin magic.

    Don't be distracted by the tricks! A good trick is a good trick in anybody's show, but it's only a GREAT trick if the effect fits in with the audience's expectations of what the magician should be doing.

    The key to success in magic, as in any art form, is the establishment of character. Choose your character based on your own strengths and unique qualities, select your effects based on your character, stay consistent and success will follow.

  2. A great look at yourself...

    I highly agree with your (above) post.

    It seems in today's day and age, there are too many magicians trying to mimic what they see on TV or adapt their own abilities to someone else's persona.

    We've had several people attend our local magic club wearing black slacks and an unbuttoned blue shirt over a white t-shirt trying to follow some dress code that Copperfield has made popular among magicians... all the while trying to pull off the personality of Criss Angel; or better yet, the dazed stupor that David Blaine is notorious for.

    I was guilty of this as well. It is hard to look inside yourself and gather the various traits that make you who you are and magnify your "inner strengths" to create your character. It seems easier to mimic those who have paved the roads for you; however, there is nothing worse than a second-rate Copperfield, Blaine, or Angel...

    Look inside yourself and you'd be amazed of the outcome. Remember, selling your magic starts will selling you! (I don't mean selling as in purchases). Charisma can take you a long way!

    Best of luck!
    -Bryan Gilles
  3. I feel like there are alot of Angel fans that get into the magic and think their gonna make it big just because they do a trick. Noticed I said do a trick not perform. There is a big difference between the two and those are the boundaries each on of us try to conquer everyday. These are important issues that should be discussed due to all the fighting going on about leaking tricks and exposure. Starting here may help people understand the problems in creating an effect and exposing it. Here's the deal. Do you want to be famous and why? Do you want to just be liked and why? or do you just want to learn how to deceive people to fill something in yourself. These questions may seem trivial but we all see it everyday and wonder why they are doing this. Each one of us have to look inside ourselves and say is this the right thing to do if I am not really going to take this art serious. There is a magician on this forum and I won't say who but I am in disgust with this guy. He is a an exceptional magician but has several videos on youtube exposing all of our flourishes in tutorials and tricks. He comments and preaches to everyone on here and its those actions I question why would you take something so great and destroy it like its yours to destroy. I can sleep at night can you?
  4. // wordcount
  5. my persona is really me, i happen to think i'm more of a outside the box thinker....so i want to not only amaze my audience, i want them to leave me thinking that i'm the only one that can do what i show them, no matter what i do.....that in itself is unique.....

    thats why i'm really into metamorphic effects, i want them to see only God ability acts....no other human is capable of this.....

    if i am able to acheive this through my charisma and performances, then thats all that i want to seperate me from others.....
  6. I know this may seem boring to some of you but I present myself as....da da dah....myself.

    I am a very likable guy who can make people laugh, feel good about themselves, and include everyone in the moment. I make everyone feel welcome and special during my performance.

    I do not mimic ANYONE. I let my audiences enjoy my company and watch the performances of the effects. I do not claim to have super powers or say that I am tricking them.

    The spectators know that I am there to make friends, laugh, and entertain. Let them soak up the moment and see that I am a FUN guy who they'd like to hang out with whether or not I am doing magic or not. If I have a bad trick or something goes wrong (which if you perform enough...it does happen) I never have anyone heckle me because I've already won them over with my personality.

    This is what gets me booked time and time again. I feel that being a "people person" is one of my major strengths.
  7. although our method differ...by being you.....is all you need man....u are a true performer...
  8. I dont try to have a character, I'm me. I am in general a really funny person, I have seriously concidered being a comedian (as you can tell from my spelling mistakes i'v never concidered being a writer). I think if you are yourself then people will see that you are a real person and will interact with you on a more personal level. Because I am myself, even though I may do the same routine many times in one day every performance is a little different; it is "customized" to the spectator and the situation, not scipted. and i think the spectators sense that
  9. #9 RikAllen, Jul 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2009
    My character is an offshoot of several personality traits.

    Wit and sarcasm play a big role in a lot of my tricks, I've always been both quick and smart enough to effectively be sarcastic in a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) way. Always play to your strengths, eh?

    Intelligence helps mold my scripts and create jokes and moments that some people don't quite understand. I'm by no means a super-genius-and by no means a 'good' student, but that doesn't undermine my intellect and ability to use knowledge to enhance my character (and performances). Psychology, philosophy, mathematics, general knowledge, and useless knowledge often come up when thinking of things to say.

    Crazy. Not "I'm going to back flip off of my roof" crazy, that'd be my friend John. When I say crazy it's more along the lines of...how would my girlfriend describe it...(looks back and asks) ridiculous. I like to create effects that sound insane when explained and often sound overdone, but when performed they get great reactions.

    Confidence. I'm confident even when I know I'm wrong, confidence is the key to bull****ing someone, and I enjoy using this ability around my friends. No one questions bold and undeterred speech, even though they should...they really should.

    All in all I would say that any parlor and most closeup effects can be adapted to my settings. I plan on busking (coming this holiday season...) and already perform at party-type settings, as well as a pool hall/bar I frequent.

    I have other traits, hobbies, and interests-and they sometimes reflect in my performances, but I try to stick to my strengths as a boldly intelligent wit who seems to have lost a few screws somewhere along the way. :)

  10. im a rooster illusion
  11. I posted an article on my journal about style vs character.

    I think it pertains to this subject quite nicely.
  12. Damn good perspective.

    I will leave my earlier post and possibly edit it later, but I'm glad you shared this, it really does get one thinking.



    ps. I believe you typed 'thy' where you meant to say 'they' 4th paragraph, in parenthesis. :)
  13. Probably. Spell checker didna catch it since thy is actually a word.. sorta. Ask me if I care.. (grin)

    I'm a rooster illusion too :D
  15. *Kicks in the door to the thread. Looks around the thread*
    Okay enough of the pointless posts that are one lined and required the brain of a fetus to make.

    Believe it or not I actually consider myself as a style, I may add in some characteristics that are like my character a werewolf. But I am not in it twenty four seven, personally though it is easier for me to think of presentations and effects when I think in character; I hope that make sense.

    *Goes back out and fixes the door,* Off to my Alchemic Laboratory.

    The wandering wolf,


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