Hubpages article about The Great Lafayette:
Sigmund Neuberger was born in Munich in 1871 and, just as with the trade he worked in, details of his life are a bit of a mystery. His family emigrated to the United States in 1889 where he became a vaudeville entertainer with a sharp shooting bow-and-arrow act. He also worked with a quick-change artist and studied his techniques that he later made part of his own performances.
From Neuberger to Lafayette
By the late 1890s, he was in Britain and billing himself as “The Great Lafayette.”
He had watched a show put on by the magician Chung Ling Soo, whose real name was William Ellsworth Robinson of New York City.
Soo’s performance was billed as “The World’s Greatest Magician, in a Performance of Oriental Splendor and Weird Mysticism” and it inspired Neuberger to become a grand illusionist. He created many tricks in which he would appear, disappear, and reappear elsewhere in a theater. His signature illusion was called the Lion’s Bride. It was a 25-minute drama involving a beautiful female assistant, a horse, a real lion, and several actors.
The dramatic climax came as Lafayette jumped off his horse just as the woman was about to be thrown into the cage with the lion and assumed the bride’s character complete with costume. As Lafayette, wearing a veil, was about to be devoured by the big cat the animal shed its skin to reveal the illusionist himself where moments before a real lion had been.
The staging of this illusion was so convincing that many of those watching believed they had witnessed real magic.
Tricks such as this left audiences stunned and The Great Lafayette was booked for engagements ten years in advance. At the height of his fame he was making the equivalent of $3 million a year in today’s money.
An Illusionist’s Best Friend
Lafayette was a bit of a loner, with few friends. In the late 19th century, as he was struggling to make a name for himself in the music halls he palled up with another impoverished magician called Erik Weisz.
Weisz gave Lafayette a dog for companionship. Lafayette called the animal Beauty and became absolutely devoted to her. One evening, she broke loose from her handlers in the wings and ran on stage. The audience thought it was part of the act and Lafayette was quick to see the potential. Beauty was taught to do tricks that became part of The Great Lafayette’s routine.
As Lafayette began to earn vast amounts of money he lavished every luxury on Beauty. She wore a diamond-studded collar, stayed in the best rooms in top hotels where she slept on velvet cushions, and ate at the finest restaurants.
He had a plaque put on the outside of his London home that must have been disconcerting to visitors. It read “The more I see of people, the more I love my dog.” Inside, there was another notice that gave visitors advice on how to comport themselves: “You may eat my food, you may command my servants, but you must respect my dog.”
Erik Weisz went on to fame and fortune himself under the stage name Harry Houdini.
The Great Lafayette’s Last Performance
Lafayette was booked for a two-week run at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh in May 1911. The shows were sold out in a venue that held 3,000. But, four days into the run Beauty died; a combination of a diet too rich for a dog and age.
Lafayette was devastated by the loss of his best friend. But, the show must go on. His biographer, Arthur Setterington, wrote “He was shattered by her death and performed each evening with his shoulders shaking with grief. He announced that his own death could not be far away.” A prophetic utterance.
The evening performance on May 9, 1911 was coming to its triumphant close. Lafayette was about to put on the lion costume when an oriental lantern set fire to some drapery. The flames spread quickly and the fire curtain was lowered. The audience evacuated safely, but those backstage were not so lucky and ten perished. Lafayette did get out but went back into the building to try and save his horse.
The next day, charred remains wearing a Turkish costume were found in the wreckage next to a dead horse. Arrangements were made for Lafayette's cremation and burial alongside his beloved Beauty. But, the illusionist had one final trick up his sleeve. His lawyer arrived from London and wanted to know why Lafayette’s rings were not on his body.
Three days later, a workman poking through the rubble found a body with rings on its hands. It was identified as Lafayette and the earlier body turned out to be one of the doubles used in his show.
The burial as previously arranged went ahead.
Harry Houdini is still famous today, but almost nobody has heard of The Great Lafayette. This probably has to do with the fact that Houdini lived into the beginnings of the early mass media of film and radio and he learned how to exploit it, while Lafayette was aloof and reclusive.
Chung Ling Soo, who inspired The Great Lafayette, was an occasional performer of the startling bullet-catching trick.
A member of the audience selects a bullet, marks it, and loads it into the gun. An assistant then fires the gun and the magician spits out the bullet he has caught between his teeth.
The trick works because the gun is modified to fire a blank while the marked bullet is switched by sleight of hand.
On the night of March 23, 1918, Chung Ling Soo was coming to the end of his show at the Wood Green Empire in north London. On this evening he decided to end his act with the bullet-catching trick. The command to fire was given and two shots were fired. The gun had malfunctioned and, in addition to discharging the fake bullet, had also discharged a real one. Chung Ling Soo was hit in the lung and died the following day in hospital.
For very sound reasons, many illusionists believe the bullet-catching trick to be cursed.
“The Magician whose Greatest Illusion was Death.” The Scotsman, September 8, 2005.
“The Dead Magician’s Final Trick.” Debra Kelly, Knowledge Nuts, October 16, 2014.
“The World’s most Famous, Forgotten Illusionist.” Ian Robertson, The Heretic Magazine, July 4, 2015.
“How not to Catch a Bullet.” Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, June 9, 2006.
Learning magic's biggest secrets can be done a few ways, but performing magic's biggest secrets can only be done one way....with Practice, and LOTS of it! Like anything in life the more time you spend practicing at it the better you will get. But it also requires a great deal of studying and reading which I put a lot of time and effort into doing every day. Sean Watson is a good friend and talented magician who is an international magician that lives in Las Vegas but is from Canada originally. I met Sean working at a Fair in Gatithersburg, Maryland in 2011. Sean was hired as a strolling magician and I was a stilt walker and we shared a trailer and got to hang out for 10 days. I learned a lot for Sean and I even got to be his opening act for a show he was doing in Blacksburg, VA. Sean frequently performs for corporate events and his video below will show some of his work in that area.
Illusionbooks.com wrote the following article about making a VIP magically appear, which for corporate magicians is a common request, and I found this article to be extremely informative!
If you are a corporate Event Magician, the most popular request will be to make the CEO magically appear. Wedding magicians will often be asked if they can make the bride, groom or couple appear on stage. Even birthday party magicians are asked if they can make the birthday child appear from nowhere.
Half the time, the logistics will just not allow for such an appearance to be performed. However, if you can make a VIP appear for an event, you can charge a premium fee for this illusion. You should easily be able to charge an extra 25% – 50% of your show fee (on top of your show fee) to execute this illusion.
As a commercial performer, it might be a good idea to research how this can be done so that you can be ready to stage this (and charge for it) when the opportunity arises.
Methods, Props & Considerations
There are a number of standard props and methods that can be used to produce the VIP. A ‘Tip-over Trunk’, ‘Flash Appearance’, ‘Book of Life’, ‘Stack of Boxes’, ‘Mummy Wrap Switch’ Three Way Screen’, ‘Bryce’s Screen’, ‘Modern Cabinet’, ‘Giant Square Circle’ and ‘Backstage with the Magician’ are common favorites.
You can also talk to a professional illusion builder to see what can be built for you based on your budget and needs.
Most professional large-scale magicians or illusionists typically would have at least one of these illusions in their arsenal to make a layman appear.
Here are things to consider when designing the VIP production illusion:
I share a very simple appearance that can performed without any large props in the Backstage Section of this website.
Over the years, I have made dozens or VIPs, celebrities and executives appear on stage. I don’t have one method to make a person appear, I have at least 10 methods and have used them all at one time or another.
I have used “standard” props such as the “Tip Over Trunk” and a traditional “Flash Appearance”. I have also developed many different appearances out of necessity due to fit into an event space or to fit a stage set design.
Several times, I have been asked to make a VIP appear but the client/ show producer did not want a “box” on stage. This led me to design a practical person appearance called “Backdoor Appearance” designed specifically for VIPs at corporate & special events.
The workings of this illusion are integrated into the event backdrop design so there are no “props” per say except for an open-frame platform. This design can be found in my illusion book, ‘Illusionary Departures’.
For something that packs flat and is easy to perform, “VIP Trunk” is easy to build and easy for the VIP to perform. The benefit of this illusion is that it packs flat and is not a huge prop. It is a great alternative to a “Tip Over Trunk” and is detailed in my book “Urban Illusions”.
These two illusions (and a third “Simple VIP Appearance” are also available as an illusion design package “VIP Appearances“.
My latest illusion design “The Arrival” is described in my book Corporate Illusions Made Easy. It is a large prop but can break down. However, it is very impressive but simple to build and can be presented very effectively with video animations projected onto the prop.
I also designed a self-contained appearance illusion called “Flash Blinded’ – The Worker’s Appearance Illusion System“, specifically for the Event Magician. I used this for a number of years, especially when I was traveling to different countries for a corporate road show.
Alternatives to an Appearance Illusion
If the event environment, logistics or budget does not allow you to stage the VIP appearance, suggest that he perform an illusion or escape, just not an appearance. Many times, the event organizers would just like the VIP to be highlighted on stage in some way or sometimes the VIP has an ego and insists on being part of stage program.
In that case, offer to teach the VIP to perform a self-contained stage effect, illusion or escape.
If appropriate, he could also produce items relevant to the event from a production box like a square circle, mirror box or drawer box. The idea is for the VIP to perform the magic and have you facilitate or assist. Technically, you might be executing the magic techniques but the VIP gets the credit… just like how illusionists and assistants work.
A simple shackle escape makes the VIP looks good and is interesting for the audience.
I created an escape illusion called ‘Corporate Restraint’ (from Corporate Illusions Made Easy) where the VIP instantly escapes from a set of shackles and a sack tied tight, held by his employees. While this is not an appearance, it is a powerful effect that does the job.
You are only limited by your creativity and general magic knowledge but the single takeaway is to remember that you can offer alternatives to a client who want their VIP to appear on stage.
As a full time magician how many hours a week could you possibly work?
Well I personally work about 60-80 hours a week...now that doesn't mean I perform 60-80 hour a week. I typically work 3-10 events a week each event is 1-3 hours typically. So at most I am performing 10 hours...you the other 50-70 hours are spent driving to and from gigs, and the rest is spent working from home. Majority of my time is spent marketing, updating my website, blogging, writing contracts, emailing clients, and the remaining time is spent learning and practicing new magic.
There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to be able to prepare for each performance I do. The show is constantly changing so that each time I perform clients always get to see something new.
How much material do you need to perform a magic show?
Well in the beginning you need to have at least enough materiel for 45 minutes stage and at least 20 minutes of roaming. But that will only get you by for about a year, then you have to change things up and add some new material and bigger tricks.
I have enough magic to perform 7 different magic shows with different themes. Each of my shows is 1 hour long. Then I also have enough close up magic to perform for 1 hour without doing the same trick twice, but that never happens! You repeat the same 5-7 tricks over and over for every roaming performance I have ever done.
So why have so much material? For me I need to be able to perform for many different types of events...the kids show magic isn't going to entertain the adults and vice versa. So I have to know my audience before I perform so I know what magic I should perform for them.
Do I need a script?
YES! One very most important parts of performing magic is coming up with a good script for you show!
Then videoing yourself and going back and tweaking the performance until you're satisfied with how it turns out. If you think you are just going to wing it, you are basically setting yourself up for failure. That being said you need to know your script inside and out, if you sound like your reciting dialog from your script and not telling a story that is smooth and flawless then you haven't practice enough and you shouldn't be performing for a live audience yet.
Like in movies, theater, or novels, in magic everything starts with something very simple: an idea. Ideas are the cornerstone of any art piece. In magic the path from the idea to the illusion is different from other arts.
No matter if you are working on a routine in card magic, coin magic, a manipulation effect, etc...ALL MAGIC including stage illusions to the simplest close-up magic, will all have the beginning idea as the starting point. An idea is much more than a set of linked effects which is something really powerful, but meaningless in its essence. Ideas give meaning and make magic bigger allowing it to become beauty.
Scripts are the tools needed for anyone who’s transforming an idea to the real world, to the stage, and achieving a goal to make it into an art form. Becoming a professional magicians is a natural evolution that happens in three phases: 1.) You begin performing a magic effects to family and friends. 2.) Create a story, magic involves a tremendous about of story telling to express an idea and share that idea with a beautiful effect. 3.) You need to learn how an audience will react to the effect so you can then mold the trick into a spectacular performance. There are many ways to achieve this but busking is my favorite method as I get to get tips for showcasing my newest trick that I want to add to my show.
Some questions you need to ask yourself when in the design phase of your new trick: Why this effect? Where in my show can I best perform this trick? What do you expect to happen with your volunteer? What is achieved with the effect? Does it have any meaning placed at that particular point? Does it flow well with your other tricks? Does it fit your style of performance? These are all questions that magicians have to ask themselves in the idea stage of the trick. By making a script magicians answer those questions which will help give coherence and meaning to the performances. Which in the end is what matters to the audience.
Let’s think about an example, how many times you’ve seen a sub-truck routine? Think about the ones you liked the most, how was that performance and the history behind it. When performing is not just about the technical level of the magician, it is about how a story is told in a performance.
Master the technique, learn the theory behind the art or magic, and most importantly learn how to make a script. Your Magic will improve because of it and your audience will certainly appreciate all of your efforts.
Salvador Calderon – a.k.a. Conde Magnum who is a semi-pro magician from www.magicshowbuilder.com
Salvador has the following to say about the importance of scripting for magicians:
Not that long ago, after reading "Scripting Magic" and "Maximum Entertainment," I decided that to improve my act and move to the next level of earnings I needed to begin writing scripts.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t written very much when I quickly ran into a problem. Keeping things organized was very hard. The truth is the whole thing quickly became a mess. I got confused easily, my acts started running together, my performance suffered and instead of growing my career it began to look like I was actually destroying it.
I needed to do something and I needed to do it fast. I could either stop writing scripts and basically give up any hope of growing my magic career … or I could find another solution.
Well, I definitely wasn’t ready to give up my dreams of being a successful magician so I began to desperately look for a solution to my problem.
The first thing that came to mind (besides being a semi-pro magician, I also work as an engineer in my day job) was creating some type of database that would allow me to catalog each of my acts so there would be no more crossover confusion.
But I figured finding a database program that would work for magicians would be impossible. However, I began to research the subject anyway, simply because I was desperate to find anything that might help me succeed as a magician.
But I found nothing. Well, I actually found a couple of magic programs that say they can be used for this purpose but both were very poorly done and in the end weren’t able to do what they promised. They were just a waste of money.
So I kept looking and just when I was about to give up I found Celtx, an open source scriptwriting software.
This software sounded promising. A few magicians that I talked to said they used it and that it did a lot of great things.
But unfortunately, I found the learning curve for Celtx to be HUGE. It is an incredibly difficult program to use and I didn’t have time to devote the hours and hours and hours a it would take to learn to use this program effectively.
In today’s busy world, who does? Plus, I also wanted to be able to keep my growing list of magic acts in YouTube videos and Celtx didn’t offer me this option.
So I went back to researching and looking … but again I found nothing … until one day I got so frustrated that I decided I would just create a program myself.
I figured I can’t be the only magician struggling to organize their acts. So I decided to tap into my engineer’s training and design my dream magician’s software and then have it programmed by the best professionals I could find. The result … MAGIC SHOW BUILDER
Here are some of the testimonies:
“'Magic Show Builder' isn't a very precise name for this magical software. It not only builds your show, it BUILDS YOUR BUSINESS! Keeping your material, show, and schedule organized will not only help to improve your show, but more importantly, help to save you a lot of trouble on the business side of your career. Highly recommend it!” -
“I don't want to recommend Magic Show Builder to anyone... It's just THAT good! You have to use it to know how effective it is in dealing every aspects of your magical art! Wow, it reminds me all the elements of a good magic piece, and I'm intrigued at the powerful system and organizer it serves to all the fellow magicians! Perhaps the pioneer in its field!” -
Perl, psychological illusionist, Taiwan Kaohsiung
“Magic Show Builder is a very useful tool for magicians or anybody else who is putting together a performance and needs to organize, search, and store information related to his work. If you have not yet figured out an efficient system for yourself, I recommend Magic Show Builder.” -
“Magic Show Builder helps every magician do what he should be doing to create a strong, clear and cohesive performance. Use this tool in conjunction with your scripting and rehearsal regime to be the best you can be!” -
John B. Pyka,
-Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
I was so excited to see America's Got Talent's guest star Darcy Oake who is a Canadian Illusionist that became famous from his international performance on Britain's Got Talent in 2014 where he came in 5th place. Since then he went on a UK tour in 2015 and now he has just performed for America's Got Talent in 2016 there performed literally the exact same act but with some very noticeable differences from his act 2 years. Watching the 2 videos I have below you will see they really are essentially the exact same act...with one major difference which is in 2016, he's got a much BIGGER show with a lot more Glitz and Glam.
But there is one thing that you may not have noticed if you haven't seen his 2014 recently. I noticed an subtle yet extreme difference in Darcy's stage presence in his 2016 performance which really made me dislike watching it. You see in 2014 Darcy wasn't famous, he was just talented! His dove magic was and still is extremely impressive. However, in 2016 he performs with an arrogance, he comes across as very cocky, and it seems that he has let the fame go to his head. I have never met Darcy so I don't know if he is actually like this in person or not, but I can tell you that it certainly does come across that way in his show.
Now don't get me wrong here, Darcy is still Extremely talented and puts on an amazing show. I'm just saying that I would be much more excited about seeing the 2014 Darcy than the 2016 Darcy that I just witnessed. I hope that this was just a one time occurrence with being on A.G.T. plus all the hype that comes along with that, and not something that he does in other performances. I guess it could even be the directors of A.G.T. making him perform with an attitude from all his rehearsals for that show. But I suppose time will tell and I hope that Darcy continues to do well as he does have a tremendous show to offer, he continues to perform amazing illusions and escapes! Congrats on your success Darcy and I wish you the best!
- Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
So I have purchased some music on itunes so that makes it my property and I can then use that any way I please right? WRONG! Just because you buy the music does not give you the right to then profit from that music. This can get you into some major legal issues if the artist who created that music decided to sue you for using their intellectual property without permission. Now the chances of that happening for a local performer is pretty unlikely, but if your performing for Major Corporations, or in front of large audiences, then it's probably in your best interest to only use Royalty Free music for your promotional materials and for your stage performances.
Finding the right music for your promo reel, your stage show, or even your YouTube Videos is no easy process. Regardless of if it's royalty free, or not it requires a tremendous amount of searching and planning to pick just the right music. However, I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it is to find royalty free music. Not to mention to cost per song is EXTREMELY outrageous, but you are buying the rights to that music to use however you wish so it is an investment into your business.
Here are some websites I have found that sell Royalty Free Music:
Be aware though that it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack, as you search for hours upon hours until you finally come across exactly what you are looking for.
As a magician it's critical that the music you pick be dynamic and it needs to enhance the performance to captivate your audiences attention and make them intrigued and on the edge of their seat. Picking the wrong music can not only deter a potential client, but it can kill your chances of ever seeing a standing ovation!
Rich Ferguson is a magician and a professional prankster, he has a YouTube channel where he has a ton of videos that all have music which he gets from www.StockMusicMarket.com to help him in hes content creation. The music Ferguson finds must not create any problems not only with YouTube, but also with TV Stations as most will require you to provide release notices in order for them to air your videos. Many of the videos Ferguson creates go viral, and if the music were not royalty free then he wouldn't be able to have those videos played thus it would prevent him from being able to grow his business, as well as his number of followers on his channel. Not to mention the copyright claims that are avoided by simply using royalty free music is simply unfathomable! Rick Ferguson has been a guest on Ellen, The Today Show, & The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and many more!
-Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
I can barely contain my excitement for the Atlanta Harvest of Magic 2016, brought to you by the one and only Ken Scott! I was so disappointed that I couldn't make it to the show in 2015. So I made it my goal to make sure I can attend this years event. I am so looking forward to the connections that I will make, and lessons in the art of magic that I will learn. After 17 years I can't believe this will be my very first convention! I just never wanted to turn down work to go to a convention...or more accurately I didn't want to risk turning down work, because I am the bread winner for my family. I have to make sure I am making enough money to pay all the bills for my stay at home wife, and 3 kids. But finally I have decided that the connections that I can make will be more valuable than any event that I may turn away during those 3 days. I pray that by attending the Atlanta Harvest of Magic that God will bless me to be able to further my career as a magician. I moved to Georgia 4 and a half years ago and the one key thing that has helped me more than anything else in that time was the connections I have made, so I am certain that this will become a tremendous blessing. Of the guests that will be speaking/performing I can tell you the one that I am most excited to meet is Justin Flom. I am such a big fan, and he has certainly been an inspiration to my own career. My enthusiasm for Justin intensified on a personal level after seeing his latest testimony on youtube when he was speaking with Brock Gill about growing up with a father who was a magician and how he compares that to having a personal relationship with Jesus is such a great story!
Crowne Plaza near Hartsfield Airport
Crowne Plaza 1325 Virgina Ave. Atlanta, GA
1-843-760-5839 / 1-888-233-9527
Here is a schedule for the 3 Days:
Thursday - Sept 29th, 2016
1:00 -8:00 - Magic Shop Alley Open
2:00 - Harry Allen
4:00 - Brent Braun
Enjoy the Dealers and/or Dinner
7:00 - 7:15 - One Minute Dealer Demo
7:15 - Everyone buying from the dealers will get raffle tickets for prizes Thursday night.
8:00 - An Evening with Nick Lewin
10:00 - The Amazing Justin Flom Show/lecture/talk
Friday - Sept 30th, 2016
9:00 - 1:00 - Dealers open
9:30 - Suzanne The Magician
11:00 - Ken Scott Live School show (kids from school are coming to hotel)
1:30 - The Incredible Jeff Hobson: Lecture
3:00 - 6:00 - Dealers open - Go visit and buy from our Magic Dealers
7:00 - An Intimate Evening With Eugene Burger
9:00 - Closeup show in two different rooms. Performers will rotate.
11:30 - The Cast from The Illusionists will stop by to hang out and talk about the show
Saturday - Oct 1st, 2016
9:00 - 1:00 - Dealers open
9:30 - Robert Moreland
11:00 - Kostya Kimlat
Enjoy the Dealers and Lunch
2:00 - Martin Lewis
3:00 - 6:00 - Dealers open
4:00 - Gustavo Riley
8:00 - The BIG GALA show Your badge is your ticket.
If you need to buy more tickets lets us know.
****Subject to Change ******
How does a Magician become an international star? What is it that makes their skills become so desired that clients are willing to fly them, all the equipment, and all their staff around the world to put on a phenomenal show?
I have been studying a lot of millionaires as it has been said that if you want to become a millionaire, then you need to do what millionaires do...follow their habits, and practice what they preach. Well the same applies if you want to become an internationally acclaimed illusionist. So if you going to study one of the biggest magicians in the world then the first name that comes to my mind is Franz Harary.
Franz Harary is an American magician and a genius magic inventor. Franz has appeared on many television shows such as NBC's The World's Greatest Magic, on which Harary made a space shuttle vanish. Designing Illusions was simply a hobby for Harary in the beginning. Between 1982 and 1984, Harary's Odyssey In Illusion team designed and executed illusions for ballet troupes, ice revues, marching bands, and symphony orchestras. It was featured on ABC-TV's live telecast of the 1983 Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit. At the end of 1983, Harary sent Michael Jackson a videotape of Odyssey In Illusions greatest hits and within a week was invited to perform as part of the Jacksons' "Victory Tour" in 1984. Harary made Jackson levitate and disappear on one side of the stage and reappear with his brothers on the other side. Among other music acts he has designed illusions for are N*SYNC, Cher, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Tone Loc, Styx, Dr. Dre, Usher, Boyz II Men, Queen Latifah, Hammer, Tina Turner, Reba McEntire and Missy Elliott.
Franz has a spectacular performance that can fill any venue with gasps of amazement and thunderous applause! But that's not where he stops, he can been seen touring the world designing incredible illusions and not just for other performers. Last month Franz was in India for a secret illusion project. Where he designed the world's first 360° levitation of its kind! He developed a levitating car illusion that spectators could walk about around entirely and see completely above and below the car! It was NOT a digital effect, this was real! It's a brand-new illusion design, and Harary is very proud of it, as he should be!
I can only hope that one day I might be able to see one of Franz Harary's performances as it would certainly be a thrilling and incredible experience.
-Aaron Clark (aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
“Coining the term Mega Magic, Franz Harary has created his own electrifying genre of grand illusion, becoming synonymous with spectacle magic entertainment.”
There tends to be a big misunderstanding of the difference between close-up magic & stage magic. Most clients who want to hire me don't have a clue how vastly different the 2 types of performances vary and not only that but also in the amount of time that it takes to prepare a stage show vs. a close-up routine.
As a magician you have to practice your trade hundreds of time in front of a mirror over and over again before your ready to show your new trick to friends and family. This is the point where the routine starts to take shape in which you much have a plan for what will happen from one step in the process to the next. But more so than that you must have a back up plan out an Out as we magicians call it for when things go wrong. You see the beauty of putting on a magic show is that no one knows what is about to happen, so when things go wrong and every magician will tell you this the tricks don't always go as planned...but we ALWAYS have a Plan B, in which we can have another sinario to save us in any given situation. So we plan for failure and we also must practice the Plan B routine just as diligently as we did our Plan A. For 90 % of the time you will never see our Plan B...but there's always that 10% of the audiences who think they can outsmart the magician and try to mess us up, but they have no clue that we are way ahead of them and are ready at a moments notice for any debauchery they try to throw at us.
So what then is the difference between Close-up Magic & Stage Magic? And Can Close-up magic be performed on a stage and vice versa?
Ok, first of all closeup magic is what you will most often see a street performing doing. Mostly Magic using Cards, Coins, Ropes, Silks and everyday objects. Where Stage magic is the saw a girl in half type illusions, making someone levitate, live animal productions, dove magic routines, etc. all of which is what you would think of when you see Vegas Magicians. Now a Stage Magic Show requires A WHOLE LOT more work than a Close-up performance. It will also require a much larger rehearsal space, more people to practice with to achieve the desired illusions, building the illusions require much more time, money, and skills.
Not all closeup magicians have the ability to perform as a stage magician, or vice versa. The reason for this is some magicians don't have the dexterity required to do sleight of hand...where as some magicians don't have the stage presence, self confidence, and talent to be a stage magician.
I am proud to be both a close-up magician & a stage magician. This has required much more diligence on my part to master the skills of manipulation as well as the carpentry skills need to build my own illusions. Growing up with a family in the construction business certainly helped me to have the ability to build my own props and illusions for my shows. A closeup magician may spend a few hundred dollars for some closeup tricks but a stage magician spends a few thousand dollars on a single trick.
So now that you understand that I hope you will know why stage magicians cost so much more than closeup magicians.
Now to answer the question can a closeup magician perform the same routine on a stage...Yes, but it will require a Live TV Crew and a Projection Screen TV.
So can a stage magician perform stage tricks for closeup routines...No. And there are many reasons as to why but the biggest reason is angles...for street style performances there are people at every angle...but on stage you only have an audience in front of you, and many times this allows for the magic to happen.
I hope this helps you better understand the differences of the types of magic you can have for your next event and that you will keep The Amazing Ziggy in mind when that time comes!
#Zmagicshow #TheAmazingZiggy #CloseupMagic #StageMagic
-Aaron Clark (aka. Ziggy)
My Name is Aaron Clark and I'm know as The Amazing Ziggy. I've been a Professional Magician for over 20 years performing all over the US and internationally, but mostly for events on the east coast in the Atlanta Area.