The Effect Month: Props, Identity, and Paying Your Dues with James Harrison
February 2nd, 2017
contest, effects, identity, props
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In this episode we sit down with James Harrison to talk all about the importance of your props, your identity and paying your dues.
James was a special guest on the podcast because he won January’s contest. But we’ve known James for a long time. He’s been a friend of ours from Toronto* for years!
James is the only pickpocket that I know in person and to tell you the truth i’ve never seen him pick a picket. I’ve only ever seen him do awesome magic (and steal a couple watches).
As he expressed on the podcast he’s been trying to expand into other fields. One of the things that he wants to play with is presenting a magic show which isn’t all positive vibes.
Instead James wants to experiment with different things in magic. Giving your audience different feelings. Feelings like uneasiness and feelings like not knowing if what you did was real or not.
In an earlier episode Ben Train stands for the fact that one should not lead their audience to believe that they have powers which they don’t actually have. James disagrees with that in this episode since he thinks that you should put forth something and not necessarily worry about exactly how your audience perceives it.
Think back to High sSchool english class even if you read a book by an author that was still alive did you ever send an email to ask what they really meant? Of course not! Once art is created and put into the world you cannot control how people perceive it!
Another thing we spoke about on the episode of the podcast was the need for originality. Do you need to have an original effect? An original method? An original premise?
The answer from the episode is it depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re using it for claiming that it’s your own then you need to have your own method or at least a wildly original presentation.
If you are using it as a performer and you purchased the trick it’s not the end of the world if you do what is out of the box. You should slowly make it your own instead of coming up with some convoluted garbage. Let your expirience and your character help shape it as your own.
It’s important that these questions have context. If you’re performing for your friends you can do a trick exactly the way the creator did it with the same handling and very similar pattern and that’s OK. You bought the trick and you’re allowed to do it!
It’s frowned upon by the magic community, but that’s OK you’re not performing it for the magic community! What you have to think about is when you’re performing for paying audiences.
If you’re performing for paying audiences then it’s OK to use the method that you bought but it’s important that eventually your presentations become personalized and unique. Don’t be the guy doing someone else’s trick with someone else’s performance for an audience that hired you! You want to be doing your unique performance for an audience that hired you.
If you actually perform, and you want some help I have a recommendation. Join us on a 7-day Masterpiece Challenge!
I want 100 people to join me on a challenge to turn a trick into a masterpiece, just head to discourseinmagic.com/masterpiece
Join The 7-Day Masterpiece Challenge
From February 15th-21st we have a 7-Day Masterpiece Challenge to help you turn your favourite trick into a masterpiece! Join the Discourse in Magic community and get 1 email every day for 7 days helping you make a trick your own personal masterpiece!
Do you need help with scripting and new presentations?
Are you struggling with adding new material to your show?
That's exactly the type of thing we're taking on, starting February 15th!
Put in your email and we'll keep in touch with you until the challenge!