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Close Up Magicians Reviewed (the art of communication)

Updated: Jul 12, 2019


I frequently get asked what is the difference between a good magician and a great magician. What will cause a client to rave about a performance instead of just saying it’s okay. Having thought long and hard about this I think I have the answer. It’s not about the quality of the tricks or the image of the magician. It’s not about their marketing or social media. It’s simply about the art of communication and more importantly the ability to listen.

In life and in business listening and communication is key. I’ll give you the perfect example. Yesterday I took my family out for a meal in a restaurant. We had never been there before but had high hopes as it looked liked a really nice place. Unfortunately the food wasn’t great. It was undercooked and the salad looked like it was weeks old. My wife especially was not impressed.


Towards the end of the meal a waitress came over to ask if we had enjoyed our meals. My wife (who never complains) said that she was really unimpressed with the quality of the food which is why we had eaten hardly anything. This would have been a perfect opportunity to do something to make my wife happier about her experience. Instead the waitress just said “whatever, perhaps you should order a desert and that will taste better!” As you can imagine this just made my wife more annoyed and at this point ordering desert was the last thing she was thinking of. My wife ended up putting a negative review on Trip Advisor she was so annoyed.

If the waitress had actually listened to my wife this might not have happened. She could have done something to make my wife happier with the situation instead of trying to upsell her. Listening to people and communication is vitally important.

So what does this little story have to do with magic? Well as important as communication is in business it’s even more important for a close up magician. Close Up magic is a very interactive and intimate experience. It’s not like a scripted stage show where the performer can just follow a script. A good close up magician will listen to the group he is performing for and adapt the performance based on what they are saying.

For example there is no point performing a card trick if the spectator doesn’t like card tricks. If the person watching likes Dynamo it would be to do something that’s similar to the type of magic Dynamo would do. However to be an excellent close up magician understanding the importance of communication goes beyond this.

The key thing is to understand is the actual magic that is being performed is not be be all and end all. The most important thing is that the people being performed to are being entertained. Magic is just a vehicle to entertain them. This means that a close up magician does not need to spend every second of their performance performing magic. If the magician listens to the audience they might pick up on something they can talk about for a minute. They might be able to adapt their performance to make it more memorable for the people watching.


A perfect example of this is something just happened to me at a wedding I was performing at last week. While performing I found out that one of the people I was performing for was a bank manager and specialised in currency exchange. So I performed a routine where UK money changed into different notes from around the world. The routine got a fantastic reaction from the audience and made more of an impact than a simple card trick would have. The reason for this is the spectator was emotionally invested in the trick and could relate to what was happening. This never would have been possible if I didn’t listen.

The point I’m trying to make is that listening and communication is key to a successful close up magic performance. If you are planning on hiring a close up magician have a conversation with them on the phone. Ask them questions and see if they just sell to you are actually listen to your questions and concerns. This will give you a good idea of what they will be like at the actual event. Another tip would be to watch full unedited performance clips instead of just a Showreel. This will give you a good chance to see their performing style and if they perform at people or perform for people.

If you would like to speak to me about your event I promise I’ll listen. If I can answer any questions I’m more than happy to do so. CLICK HERE and fill out the form, I’ll get back to you within the hour. Alternatively give me a call on 0333 301 3001 and we can have a chat.




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