My Magical Memories

It is fun to reflect of some of the great magic shows I saw when younger.

The first magician I saw was in grade school. Our third grade class was marched down to the gym and we sat high up in the bleachers along with probably 400 K-12 graders for the big traveling magic show.  I do not know his name, I remember him being a bit older and he had black backdrops.  I was fascinated with magic and had done tricks since I was 5. This guys show had me laughing like crazy.  At one point a ton of silk scarves came out of the hat and then he stopped, looked down into the hat and then looked at us, his face full of fear! He tipped the hat toward us and a skull was looking out from the bottom of the hat. He later made a rabbit come out and the audience cheered with delight.

I do not recall much else from the show, but I know all the kids loved the magic tricks and I had a blast.  After that I went home and practiced my magic tricks like crazy.

Throughout my school years I read lots of magic books, practiced tricks and even invented some of my own tricks.  I figured out a way to saw my brother in half.  I never thought I would become a magician and yet now I’ve made my living entertaining people with comedy and magic for over 28 years.

What is it about magic that draws us in? It is fascinating to see the impossible happen.  Our goal is to help children and adults feel the wonder.  We can help them feel the excitement by the way we present our magic.  In the example above I recall watching him react to something scary in the hat and that set us up as an audience to react when we saw the frightening skull.

In my own show I have had a rubber chicken appear in a hat and like that magician from long ago I react in fear at the sight of something down in the hat, then I pull out the chicken and allow the kids to react. They jump back and then realize they were tricked. they were scared by something and then realized it was only a fake rubber chicken.  This roller coaster of the mind is a way to draw people into our presentations and get them to laugh.

Laughter comes from surprise.  In a joke, an unexpected surprise happens when we hear the punch line. In visual comedy we do the same thing. A part of the brain readcts to comedy and this comedy comes from the unexpected twist.

I hope this blog for magicians and entertainers is helpful to you in adding comedy to your act.  If you would like me to speak on comedy writing, check out – NormBarnhart.com

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