There’s a remarkable moment when the demonstration of a “TRICK” can suddenly be transformed into an “ACT”.
You’ve rehearsed the mechanics of the effect, come up with some suitable patter, and you have performed the effect(s) long enough to know their strengths and limitations in different situations. And then it happens. Something about the effect connects with your performing persona; the one you’ve worked so hard to develop over the years. And BAM! - it’s no longer just a demonstration of a trick – it’s an ACT.
Now, I see nothing at all wrong with ably demonstrating an effect, with style and skill. Many wonderful magicians are wowing audiences all over the country by doing just that. But, to me there’s nothing like the feeling you get when your stage persona and a certain trick, or tricks, connect in a way as to transcend both – making it something so unique and personal that though it might be copied, it could never be duplicated. Let’s call that moment an ACTualization!
Actualizations can happen for unknown, even mystical, reasons. The magic muse might be shining on you that particular day. Sometimes it happens because of something an audience member said or did. Sometimes it happens because you have a sudden moment of genius. Well, as Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." It takes a lot of nurturing and attention to the way you are connecting with your audience, to lay the ground work for this miracle to happen. You have to be constantly on the lookout for the situation, the audience, or whatever, to INSPIRE you.
Sometimes ACTualizations occur because of a sticky situation, like an audience member wanting to examine the pen that you just stuck through his $20 bill. Sometimes they happen after you come back to performing a trick that you had retired for a few months, and you get a new look at it. If you are observant and in the moment enough, you might be lucky to collect enough of these ACTualizations, and combine them to create an ACT that is no longer a demonstration, or a duplication, but one that is undeniably YOU!