Weak point Is Power – Suggestions & Tips for Magicians

A have a look at your private model as a performer, as outlined by your strengths, weak point, and limitations. Magicians usually are usually all happy-go-lucky razzle-dazzle, however being your self means bringing each the very best and worst of your self to the stage.

Solutions for additional watching and listening:

For those who’d like to listen to my favorite musical artist, John Hartford I like to recommend beginning together with his album “Aereo-Plain.” https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2sh1eP4JA_O-HkoIOrRiiGJTzjPd4W-l

Alan Watts talking about Wu Wei, the precept of not forcing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzaUGhhnlQ8&t=635s

Jazz pianist Kenny Werner speaks about “Easy Mastery” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAZOamxuw5w

Episode Transcription

John Hartford was a banjo participant, and one of the crucial well-known songwriters you’ve by no means heard of. Exterior of his devoted fanbase, of which I depend myself, he’s a one hit surprise, however what successful!

Regardless of breaking all the standard guidelines of a pop tune; lengthy, rambling, and notably missing any refrain, his tune made the profession of Glenn Campbell, and was quickly recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Aretha Franklin, and Elvis Presley.

The tune was “Light On My Thoughts” and its business success allowed John Hartford to spend the remainder of life doing no matter he darn nicely happy. What happy him most was making music.

He’s identified for his allure, humour, and quirkiness effortlessly flowing together with virtuosic talent on the banjo and fiddle. His model is immediately recognizable, which he explains with an statement that’s as clever as it’s temporary;

Fashion relies on limitations.

These phrases have lengthy resonated with me, and helped me on the trail to search out my very own voice, and sing my very own tune.

I’m Ryan Pilling and that is Principle & Ideas for Magicians.

On this episode I intention to placed on my greatest efficiency by bringing my weak point to the stage.


One of many best hits of Chinese language philosophy is the concept of yin and yang.

Symbolized with a circle divided in half to create two teardrops, one white, one black, wrapped round one another in good steadiness. It represents two varieties of vitality, darkness and light-weight, which exist in all issues. Notably, every half of the circle features a contrasting dot such that the darkness incorporates a bit of sunshine, and the sunshine surrounds a seed of darkness.

It represents a means of describing the world with nuance. Nothing is absolute. All the pieces has parts of each yin and yang.

The largest factor for me is knowing the connection between your private weak point and strengths. Not solely that you may’t have one with out the opposite, however that they’re two ends of the identical stick, or… ought to I say wand, essentially the most magical of sticks.

I obtained began in magic, with critical dedication, after I was 13. It was my grade seven drama class the place I carried out my first magic trick for strangers, outdoors my home. On this similar class I used to be launched to improvised theatre, which additionally turned a critical pursuit in my life.

For the following decade I’d be learning magic books whereas coaching and performing with an improv troupe on a weekly foundation. This blended cocktail has outlined my efficiency model. Two issues which, at face worth, don’t notably go collectively.

Magic is all about element, eradicating flaws by means of repetition, perfection. You’ll be able to perceive how which may conflict with the wild and loopy vitality of constructing all of it up as you go alongside.

The yin of magic, with the yang of improv. The steadiness of those two energies has influenced the model of my performances greater than the rest.

In magic we’re taught to apply, apply, and apply some extra to take away all uncertainty. The way in which to trust on stage, the books inform us, is to repeat expertise till each element turns into unconscious actions.

In improv we’re taught to enter the stage empty of thought, with no pre-conceived concepts. Confidence comes from turning into snug having nothing deliberate.

Preparedness, so it seems, is a power in magic, and a weak point in improv.

And but, the alternative can also be true.

Being a totally ready magician could result in delivering robotic performances, whereas making an attempt to improvise with out coaching and sharpened instincts could be a prepare wreck.

In me the 2 are one.

My best power as a performer; a willingness to take dangers on stage with out concern, can also be my best weak point as a magician.

Ah sure, darkness and light-weight, in all issues there are.


One notably unhealthy sample of thought is evaluating your self to others.

I want I may do the unfold go in addition to Charlie Frye! I want I had palms of metal like Curtis Kam! I want I may inform tales in addition to Eugene Burger!

We greatest see power in others, and weak point in ourselves. Their strengths are amplified, whereas our personal weaknesses loom largest in our minds. It’s a lethal one-two punch of detrimental considering.

I discover it useful to contemplate a type of Newtonian legislation of philosophy. For each power there may be an equal and reverse weak point.

Maybe you may acknowledge one among these stereotypical examples:

A card magician who’s a sleight of hand knowledgeable, however struggles be entertaining.

A comedy magician who has good jokes, with unhealthy magic. (or vice versa)

Or how about someone who has new, authentic concepts, however their act lacks polish. (umm, howdy!)

These should not impartial professionals and cons. The weak point is a direct results of the power. Two ends of the identical stick.

The secret is to see your weak point not as one thing needing to be mounted, or averted, however because the inevitable consequence of your power.

My act lacks polish as a result of I’m attempting new concepts. If I wished a elegant act, I’d must ignore new inspirations.

I usually give myself a tough time for not having the ability to full duties on a schedule. Nevertheless, a lot of my best accomplishments have been created in a burst of creativity whereas I used to be supposed to be doing one thing else. My non-linear considering is each darkness and light-weight.

I can battle it, beat myself down, attempt to conceal my weak point, or I can lean into it, and present up with my complete self, as I’m, each yin and yang.

To be able to be at my greatest, I need to settle for myself at my worst.


The very best reward you possibly can give a magician is that their efficiency appears easy.

We all know how a lot effort actually goes into making magic, however it’s our final purpose to make it invisible. To cover the tactic and spotlight the impact. The second the viewers senses a battle, comparable to a hand which will get hung up in a pocket, the magic spell could also be damaged.

In John Fisher’s ebook on Cardini, he quotes the long-time British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan on how he discerned the highest stage performers;

I started to kind an growing admiration for individuals who can do very troublesome advanced issues with easy precision and style, with none overt expression of vitality. Who, with out striving, may deliver off a miraculous achievement which was hard-edged, good, lucid. So I started to surprise what all these performers I actually beloved had in frequent, and what they’d in frequent was the flexibility to undertaking their persona with out pressure, with full lucidity, with out sweating, with out fervour, with out evangelistic zeal, and I started to search for this not solely in actors, however in all types of human behaviour from dialog to ice skating.

Whereas John Fisher was making this level with reference to Cardini, different examples of miraculous achievements with out pressure come to thoughts for me; Rene Levand, Dani DaOrtiz, and, whereas there could also be significantly extra sweat and fervour, David Williamson remains to be effortlessly entertaining.

Returning to the world of Taoist philosophy, what he speaks of is called wu wei. It’s a means of being, which interprets to “with out pressure.” As Alan Watts places it, it’s “the artwork of crusing, fairly than rowing.” It’s going with the circulate, man.

To look easy there have to be an absence of effort. But, after I take to the stage I really feel a compulsion to attempt to amplify my strengths, and attempt to diminish my weaknesses. I really feel the stress in my physique as I’m attempting to stroll naturally with out spilling the hidden glass of water. I really feel the shortness of breath as I attempt to converse loud sufficient for everybody to listen to.

I’m desperate to please, and I actually, actually hope you want this routine I’ve been engaged on, and I want this to be an ideal present as a result of it’s on video, and I wish to impress my magician mates.

I’m attempting to do my greatest efficiency, and but my greatest efficiency will come after I cease attempting.


This isn’t an invite to be lazy and hope issues will work themselves out. The artwork of doing nothing is, in actual fact, a lifelong pursuit.

Jazz pianist Kenny Werner, a professor of easy mastery, calls on his college students to “Examine with full devotion, carry out with full detachment.”

After I was in Toastmasters I must create and current a brand new speech each couple weeks. The handbook teaches you to write down your speech, rehearse it, time your self, edit, and apply over a number of days so you’ll be able to current with polished confidence. Whereas it really works for some, possibly even most individuals, this whole course of falls into my weak point class. I had to determine a brand new technique.

Relatively than engaged on a ready speech, I labored on myself. I turned the one who is ready to current this speak effortlessly. I researched to realize an understanding of the subject, soaked my thoughts in it, then picked out what I felt was most essential, and the way it linked to my private expertise. I used to be capable of stand-up and converse off-the-cuff and from the center, and wrap it up earlier than the pink mild got here on.

As a magician I intention to do the identical factor. To be an individual who can naturally stand earlier than an viewers and convey them alongside on an entertaining journey. Not due to my preparation, however due to my presence. Whereas I believe deeply about what I want to say, I don’t carry out from a written script. I usually deliver rough-draft routines in entrance of audiences to see the way it goes. My course of aligns with my very own strengths. I select materials to go well with my improvisational model. I’ve put in a few years of coaching and apply to have the ability to do it the best way I do.

On the similar time weak point determines which roads I journey, or which I keep away from. I can’t pull off some nice methods that are too meticulous to outlive my chaos. I could wish to emulate the success of others, like Tommy Marvel, however it drives me straight into the thorny brambles of my limitations. Relatively, I take the trail of least resistance, the trail requiring the least effort.

My route is probably going not suited to you. Maybe your individual path to easy motion begins with a memorized script, which then frees your thoughts to be within the second. There is no such thing as a proper means, or unsuitable means. All of us journey our personal means.

There are a lot of roads to the identical vacation spot.

The journey is lengthy. It requires many, many performances to discover and be taught our personal limitations. Every time you make some progress. As you go you’ll shed the luggage which weighs you down. You’ll lose the concern of being seen. You’ll step out from behind your props and change into the magic your self.

You’ll remodel from the magician you suppose try to be, to revealing the magician you actually are.

Will probably be troublesome, after which, all of a sudden, it will likely be easy.


Thanks for listening to Principle and Ideas for Magicians.

The model wherein this podcast is offered may be very a lot the product of my very own limitations. Most magic podcasts are lengthy conversations and interviews with well-known magicians, however I’m shy, so I’d fairly not have to ask company. Plus, I desire to skip the small speak and get straight to the purpose. The best path for me resulted in creating one thing just a little totally different.

Creating a brand new episode is much from easy. Maybe I’m attempting too arduous. Maybe sometime I’ll discover a pure circulate. Nonetheless, I hope all of it appears like easy crusing in your facet of the speaker.

Talking of easy, it’s very straightforward to subscribe to my weekly publication. You simply have to be your self, and a brand new electronic mail from me arrives each Tuesday. Enroll at www. MagicTipsAndTricks.com. Some weeks are extra suggestions, some weeks are extra methods, however it all balances out ultimately that can assist you develop as a magician, little by little.

That is the best way.

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