Clown Tutorial – Clown Magic – do’s and don’ts of magic tricks
Welcome back! In this installment of Clown Magic, we’ll talk about some do’s and don’ts.
The most important don’t is the most basic: never divulge how a trick is done, except to another magician/clown. No exceptions. Ever. Don’t do it. Just say no. Get the idea? This is a very bad thing to do; you would be divulging someone else’s hard work, so that when an audience sees that trick, one or more of them will say (probably out loud, disrupting the performance) “I’ve seen that before! I know how that’s done!” or something equally witty. This is a lose-lose proposition all the way around. Magicians will stop doing that trick (for example, magicians rarely perform the “sword through the basket” routine anymore, since it’s been exposed so many times), the audience member looks oafish, and the rest of the audience loses out as well.
The next most important don’t is to never repeat the same trick twice, for much the same reason as the previous trick. Imagine, if you would, doing “The 3 Pile” trick a second time for the same audience. The method behind the magic would be revealed; the clown would look foolish (not in a way that he would like); the audience would feel let down – it wasn’t anything special, it was just a stupid little trick. So, how do you handle an audience member asking you to repeat the same trick?
You have several options; you can politely explain that you don’t repeat a trick, give a silly explanation as to why you can’t repeat it (“the batteries need to recharge”, “the cards are sleeping now”, “I can only do it once on a day ending in the letter “Y”, etc.), or my favorite, show them a (seemingly) related trick. (“Well, let me show you something very similar … pick a card, any card…” etc.)
As always, time wounds all heels (heels wound all the time? No, I mean “time heals all wounds” ), and practice makes permanent (No, that’s not a typo – if you practise something the wrong way over and over, you will reinforce a bad habit. Don’t do it! ).
Bibliography for clown magic
- Clown Magic, by David Ginn
- Creative Clowning by Bruce Fife, Tony Blanco, Steve Kissell, Bruce Johnson, Ralph Dewey, Hal Diamond, Jack Wiley, Gene Lee
- How to Be a Compleat Clown by Toby Sanders
- Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic by Mark Wilson
- Modern Coin Magic by J. B. Bobo
- Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Lessons in Sleight of Hand by Bill Tarr