IS YOUR TRICK THE DIVE, OR IS IT THE DIVING BOARD? – Thoughts from Bo / by Bo Gerard

I have strived to be very careful with the tone of this blog, because while I may suggest and subscribe to a certain approach to performing magic, I do not mean to suggest it is any more valid to the approach you currently subscribe to.

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That being said, the metaphorical title above alludes to the gradual change I have observed in how magic is being performed.  When I entered the game, I was exposed to and influenced by performers who had some unifying style or story to their show.  It might have been a theatrical theme, or a character or even an attitude.  This unifier surrounded the entire act and permeated it.  It gave the act flow and pace, and often imbued the performer with a style unlike anyone else’s.

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In recent years, however, I have observed a shift in how many professional, working magicians perform.  There seems to be more of an emphasis on the individual trick or effect.  Show the trick, then show another trick, then another; letting each trick stand on its own, with no connection to the one before or after.  This certainly is a very flexible method that works well in the many crazy performing situations we are thrown into nowadays.  And maybe that’s the reason for its popularity.  Attention deficient audiences are less likely to give you their undivided attention; and if they do, its not for very long.  So, a series of short, one-trick, shows possibly works better.

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But what I miss is the individualism and the eccentricities that performers once displayed.  Making the trick the “dive”, as opposed to making it a “diving board” for your personal style and approach, appears to be producing performers that seem more alike than they do unique.

I welcome your thoughts?