Why Should I Care? No, really!

“…if I take my sponge ball, put it in your hand and click my fingers…TADA! Now you have two balls…”

Why should I care?

As magicians, we know that the vast majority of our tricks can be reduced down to trite puzzles. How did the balls vanish? How did my card rise to the top or how did he read my mind? There is a mistaken belief, held mostly by magicians, that magic is naturally entertaining; that all we have to do is turn up, do our tricks and that will be entertaining to all and sundry. How great that would be.

Magicians are constantly looking for ways to elevate these puzzles into genuine magic tricks, something that truly involves the audience, makes them totally focused on you and investing into the act. I want them to care about what I’m doing. When people care, they give their respect and time to the performance, giving them the best opportunity to enjoy it.

The best way to do this is by caring about the trick yourself. Give the trick the respect it deserves and think about how you can convey this to the audience. You may find it a hard sell convincing the locals at the Dog and Duck that your two sponge balls represent time and space and that, by “…manipulating these two spheres…I am in fact, manipulating time and the nature of all things mystical”. Trust me, unless they’ve had 13 pints, they won’t buy it.

You don’t need to create deep and profound analogies to get people to care. Just be genuine. If you’re doing a magic trick with sponge balls, maybe tell me that it was the first trick you ever saw and you were so excited to learn it. Maybe you found it somewhere cool and interesting. Maybe a family member or weird traveler showed you the trick and gave it you. Or maybe you’re just doing it because it’s an example of a trick you wouldn’t touch if you were a real magician.

If you care about it; I’m more likely to.

This holds true for anything you “perform” in life. It doesn’t matter if you’re giving a presentation, going to a job interview or talking to someone on a speed date. Figure out what your audience cares about and use that as a base to convey your message.

If you truly want their attention, make them care.