In this Episode Mark talks about his approach to magic, and comedy from the perspective from an actor, and an expert in theatre. We hear the beginning of his story, where he used to perform in class, and regularly visit Browsers Den to buy tricks for the following week, and it starts to all make sense.
In the intro and outro we spoke about marks viral video about Pokemon Go, which exploded yesterday. We totally recommend checking you out, if you haven’t (we know you have already though).
Of course, we know Mark from Sorcerers Safari Magic camp, where we’ve known each other through our teens, and some of our growth in magic. That being said, he’s the funniest person we’ve ever seen on stage, and he’s pretty funny offstage too (as you can tell in the episode).
His approach to magic is very different. We spoke about the idea of storytelling in magic. He gave some great advice about making the story more present, and setting stakes on the night. With that, we come to an idea which we’ve spoken about very often at discourse in magic.
The idea, that an obviously fictional premise allows the audience to want to enjoy it, and believe it, just as someone would do with theatre. Of course an important point that Mark shared is that the story on stage needs to be compelling, and an entertaining story, which is unfolding live.
Since Mark comes from an acting background, he recommends taking acting classes. As he explains it, it can’t hurt, it can only help. He is absolutely right!
We jump into the conversation of using hack lines, and non sequiturs. We want a full show, and to interrupt it with abrupt comedy comes out of nowhere. Even if it ends up funny, there’s a better chance they will remember your comedy if it is pertinent to your show, and not out of the blue.
His advice for inspiration isn’t to watch comedic magicians, but instead to watch funny people. Funny movies, comedians, or anything like that to help inspire your delivery, without copying others work.
When trying to add comedy, his first approach is instead of writing for what other people will like, write what you think will be funny. It’s a much better way to actually find your audience, because if you’re using hack lines, you may grow to resent the lines and tricks that you have.
We then chat about the importance of filming your show, and watching or breaking it down afterwards. It’s common to think that when you’re recording it, the shows are going to go differently. But we recommend knowing that it’s just for you, and that it doesn’t need to be posted on any social media or anywhere. If you record all of your shows, then that will become the norm, and you can study it, breaking it down play by play.
He didn’t recommend many specific resources for us to link to, but I think that the advice in the episode is top notch. We thing it’s very well suited for you, if you’re a stage performer, or a performer of any sort.