I've had some enlightening discussion this week, with both fellow magi and business colleagues. Here are a few things that resonated with me. They all revolve around connecting with your audience in more powerful ways.
How does your audience get to know you—not just your magic, but you? What's your opening line, opening gesture, opening effect? Are they all genuine expressions of who you truly are? Shoot for authenticity both on and off the stage, and you'll create stronger connections with others.
Parts in a play
Instead of treating your audience as strangers who are simply observing you, try this cool approach that a magician friend of mine uses: Treat your audience as cast members in a play whose parts you have not yet written. Throughout your performance, live in the moment, respond, react, and transition to the next scene based on what they say and do. Make them an integral part of the entire experience.
It's about the journey
Knowing where you want to go is great, but there's more than just getting from point A to point B. It's about making the most of every "sub-point" along the way and doing everything you can to create several extraordinary moments. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
Time to breathe
Sometimes it takes a few moments for genuine reactions emerge. I've mistaken people's initial silence as a sign that they were either bored or detached—but learned that fantastic reactions were just percolating and on their way to the surface. Next time you're waiting for a response of any kind, wait a few beats longer than you normally would before stepping in or moving on. Give your magic time to breathe. Watch David Blaine at the end of an effect. He remains quiet. He lets the audience replay what the heck just happened and allows them to react and respond at their own pace. Often this leads to some amazing expressions of astonishment.