“Bert Allerton’s Rules for the Close-Up Magician. “ Part Three

Please note that each element of “Bert Allerton’s Rules for the Close-Up Magician“ has been reprinted with the express written consent of Magic Inc. (no part may be re-printed in other media without consent of Magic Inc.)

a certain magical mouse

A present from Heather age 6

To get a copy of, “Bert Allerton: The Close-Up Magician. “ Visit: http://www.magicinc.net/closeupmagician.aspx

We continue with our next point in the series…
“To be a really successful close-up magician you must:”

3. Have a natural adaptability for doing magic and using your own natural style.

I’ve always had a great admiration for people who can draw really well. Many years ago I was in the office of an illustrator with whom I had worked out a sweet deal; I taught him a few choice magic tricks and he designed a logo for me.

I mentioned how much I’d love to be able to draw but that I simply lacked the natural talent. He said that talent plays a part but really it’s a matter of a heck a lot of practice and hard work. The same is probably true of many things and definitely true of magic.

Using your own natural style as part of a performance takes your work to the next level. The problem is that many magicians haven’t taken the time to study and develop their natural style. They become automatons simply mimicking the actions of whoever taught them the trick.

I believe there are several “natural” talents at work in the great performers;

• They have an ability to relate to people.
• They seem interesting even when doing nothing.
• Their movements and slights are well motivated – that is they don’t simply shift props about with a reason.
• Their movements are fitting to their character. For example a person with a slow paced meter to their speech and a calm demeanor would break character if they suddenly began to move rapidly (unless they had a justified reason for the change.)
• Their observable nature does not change unless there is an observable reason why it should.
• All of these things need to blend seamlessly with whatever ‘moves’ or ‘sleight of hand’ is required for the effects to work.

There’s quite a lot going on beneath the surface of a great performance. Even this is really just the tip of the iceberg. A professional magician will view the investment in this area to be at least as important as learning tricks or practicing sleights.