Unbeknownst to most citizens, a secret society of magicians exists all around the world. Instead of plotting coups or world domination, they simply wish to entertain an audience and maybe saw a woman in half. Magicians, mentalists, and sleight of hand artists all live by a code of secret magic rules governing the way they perform and go about their daily lives. And while it’s against the bylaws of their society to discuss their lifestyle, the magician rules are a must know for anyone who wants to break into the highly secretive world of magic. Whether a newcomer to the world of magic or simply an interested party, you’ll find something to learn on this collection of the secret rules that govern the Magic Castle.
If you don’t know, the Magic Castle is a Los Angeles clubhouse for members of the magic community, and they take their lifestyle very seriously. Not only is a strict dress code enforced, Magic Castle performers adhere to rules that go unsaid to anyone in attendance. Most magicians know, or should know, these rules, as they form the basis for their entire lifestyle. Some of the rules are simple common sense, but the rest are impossible to know unless you’re actually in the magic community. Or they were impossible to know until now.
Never Give Up The Secret
While all magician’s rules are important, the most imperative one states that you don’t reveal how you perform your illusions. If you reveal how a trick is performed, you spoil the illusion for an audience, and not just your own. While it may not seem that big at the onset of the reveal, this revelation ruins the trick for any audience member who sees a magician perform that trick in the future. Also, it defeats the purpose of being in a secret society if you go around telling people how the sausage is made.
Don’t Learn Too Much At Once
When you first get into any hobby, from magic to making wooden clogs, it’s completely normal to want to learn it all at once, but that’s not how you become accomplished at anything. If you really feel passionate about something, you want to take things slow; such is doubly true when performing magic tricks. Practicing magicians around the world agree it’s better to learn one trick until you can do it with your eyes closed rather than learning a bunch of mediocre illusions.
Always Leave The Audience Wanting More
This remains important for any performance artist, but especially true for magicians: don’t overstay your welcome. Yes, you’re excited about showing the audience all of the cool things you can do, and maybe they’re having a great time, but how long do you expect an audience to sit still before they riot? When just starting out, it’s crucial to hit the audience with something good and leave early, rather than wowing them straight out the gate and then boring them 15 mediocre tricks
Practice Practice Practice
To be a good magician you must practice every day. To be a great magician you use every spare moment that you have to practice and refine your act until you have something an audience wants to pay to see. Just because you accomplished a specific trick doesn’t mean you’ve mastered it. If you want to be your best magician, you should just be practicing (and reading this list).
Respect Other Magicians
No matter what community you’re a part of, you should respect the people around you. This adage doesn’t just apply to magicians who can help you get a leg up in the industry; you should respect people in every facet of the industry. Do you remember how lost you felt when you were just getting into the magic community? Make sure you treat people how you would like to be treated; even if you’re not the best magician in the game people won’t hate you. If anything, they’ll want to help you.
Figure Out Something To Say
After mastering a couple of tricks with your eyes closed, you then must figure out how to present them. You can’t just walk on stage, silently perform your bits, and GTFO; you’ve got to keep the audience engaged. Hone in on the crowd’s energy, make up a story about where you learned the trick, or simply tell some jokes. When you first begin performing you’re not going to know what kind of performer you are, which is why it’s important to go to open mics, book backyard shows with your friends, or do something placing you in front of people. Like the rest of magic, speaking to an audience is something you develop the hard way.
Don’t Steal Routines
This should be common sense, but due to the competitive nature of the magic scene, act theft remains an unfortunate thing which happens all too often. Most people respect that if someone does a trick in their act that you shouldn’t do the exact same trick, especially if it’s something greater than “pick a card, any card.” If you’re on a show with someone and you think you have a similar routine, it’s not out of the question to put your heads together and discuss which one of you should perform the trick. This rule feeds directly into respecting other magicians. The community will definitely appreciate you not being a copycat with your act, and if you drop a trick, that’s an excuse to learn something new.