“What came first—your repertoire or your personal style?” Did you know your personal style from the beginning and only select effects that fit? Or did you start by building your repertoire based on a more ambiguous ‘what feels right,’ which resulted in a list of favorite effects that, over time, defined your style.
Either way, I believe the important thing is to be authentic (when our inner self matches what people see). To help deepen your authenticity, follow your gut. Continue doing what feels right. Perform effects that you love, and that can be executed with passion and ease. In the end, that's your personal style in action. That's your personal brand. Now, be sure to make future choices consistent with your brand. And certainly, go market the hell out of your brand.
Surpassing Expectations. Two simple words—with many powerful layers. It's a goal I continually aspire to, both in my magic and in other areas of my life. The phrase is more than just a devotional "feel good" slogan. First, it involves making the effort to understand what the expectations are in the first place—what is it that you want, and what is it that your audience hopes for? This is your target! Now, what can you do to surpass what is expected? Peel back another layer, and the phrase means respecting your audience's intelligence. They know that some sort of method is at work, so weaving their "gears at work" into your presentation is a great way to connect with them—and move beyond logic toward something much more extraordinary.
When I'm not playing my guitar or designing, you'll likely find me with a deck of cards—either wowing a crowd or creating a new effect. As a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, I’ve been performing close-up magic for 15 years. I love magic's ability to transport people in a way that no other performing art can. My original ideas and effects are featured in print, video and in the repertoires of magicians world wide.
Magic is about creating "extraordinary moments." So in this blog, I will dig deeper than tricks, and talk about my views on what makes magic authentic, memorable...and extraordinary. Enjoy!
For more about my music, art, or magic, visit www.johngstudio.com.
"John is a restive explorer who seldom stops thinking about his method-making. His magic features dead-on fixes, creations and evolutions that you will be eager to perform." - John Racherbaumer
"I'm a big fan John's work...particularly his ability to routine effects and find "moments" and possibilities you can save and reveal later. I think this is really revolutionary thinking!" - Joshua Jay
"Several of John's effects have found their way into my repertoire. The material is top notch." - Allan Ackerman
"John's magic reflects a rare combination of qualities: a cunning knowledge of entertainment value, a surgeon's deft technique, plus a canny mind for method. His effects are well thought-out magical pieces filled with impact that are a pleasure to see and perform." - David Regal
"I've been a fan of John Gustaferro for years. John's sleight-of-hand creations have the qualities all card magic should possess: the effects are clear; the routining is elegant; and the magical impact is great!" - John Lovick