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Magic 101: Tricks Versus Routines

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Magic 101: Tricks Versus Routines
Should you perform a trick or a routine? I always recommend that beginning magicians develop and perform routines. Here's why.

When you read a story or watch a play, there's a certain flow of events and one follows another. In the same manner, creating a flow or routine to your magic, as opposed to simply performing a trick, will improve your ability to hold the attention of spectators and even more important, entertain them.

To start, let's look at two different ways to perform coin magic:

1. You make a coin disappear.

To your spectators, you show a coin, take it with the other hand, make the coin disappear and then bring it back again. The entire trick takes five seconds. Spectators may be amazed. If they like what you’ve done, they may ask for more.

2. Now look at the "Beginner's Coin Routine" This multi-phased routine combines five tricks into a single routine. You start with three coins and vanish one. You then vanish the second coin. You temporarily vanish the last coin and bring it back, twice. At the end, the coin completely disappears.

Routines, Hardly Routine
I think you'll agree that the "Beginner's Coin Routine," option two, has far more potential for entertainment than option one.

With the routine, you're creating a plot with a logical progression. You're also mixing magic methods and because of the phases that follow each other, spectators don't have a chance to think about how you performed one phase before you've already moved onto the next. And when you perform a routine with several phases, you’ll find it easier to draw spectators in and keep their attention.

Routines into an Act
So, as you progress in magic and learn tricks, try to think about how you can combine your favorites into routines. And once you have several routines down pat, you can combine them and build an act, and be well on the way to becoming a magician.

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