Why do so many in the general public say that they hate magic? It's probably because they've seen poor magic or an arrogant, boorish magician, or both at the same time.
Here then, are the five biggest mistakes made by beginning magicians. And unfortunately, some of these traits are seen in the work of a handful of pros.
If you're a beginning magician, watch out for these pitfalls.
1. Arrogance and Acting Smarter Than the Audience
No one likes a performer, or even a person, who thinks he or she is smarter than everybody else and tries to demonstrate it. Magic is not an opportunity for a magician to show off or demonstrate how clever or intelligent he or she is.
When magic is performed in a manner that says "ha ha, I know the secret and you don't," it's been turned into a puzzle and the audience is only encouraged to try and discover the secret. Also, many magicians don't understand that what works for Amazing Johnathan is not necessarily what they should be copying and doing in their shows.
2. Humiliating or Embarrassing Volunteers
When audience members come up to assist, they are going out of their way to help the magician. It's imperative to treat volunteers with respect and not go for the easy jokes that get laughs and belittles and embarrasses volunteers.
Sure, there are lots of bald, fat, ethnic, gender and more jokes that one can utter, but for entertainment of a higher level, these can be left behind.
3. Inadequate Preparation
Magic is not simply a matter of visiting a magic shop, purchasing a trick or two, taking them out of the package, reading the instructions and then performing them. Entertaining and baffling magic takes time to develop and practice, and routines need to be engaging, dramatic or funny, whatever works best for a magician's personality or character.
4. Not Properly Structuring a Show
Tricks in sequence should be varied. One card trick where a spectator selects a card and the magician finds it may be entertaining, but five such tricks in a row are probably too much. Mix up the effects.
5. Wearing a Character Costume
Many beginning magicians may feel or know that their magic is inadequate and will consider wearing a costume - a clown suit, wizard outfit or more - to seemingly make up for this. After all, the logic seems to go, if one doesn't feel that they are optimal at magic, at least they're dressed up as a character.
However, this is completely wrong. And unfortunately, entertainers in costume are too often a sign of awful magic.
A costume should only be worn to reinforce the character that an entertainer is portraying, which, in turn, supports the theme of the magic effects. If an entertainer is dressed as a wizard, for example, what's he doing with a deck of cards? Shouldn't he be casting spells or causing things to float and such?
Bottom line, the path to good magic is to build solid magic and presentation skills and perform in an entertaining manner. Save the money and forget the cheap costume. Work on the magic instead and in the long run, become a far better entertainer.