Entertainment Value and Finding Your Shtick with David Malek
February 23rd, 2017
cardmagic, entertainment, performance
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In episode 47 we sit down with David Malek…THE KING. He’s not just the King at entertainment, but he’s also one of the most skilled card man alive today. This episode is all about maximizing your entertainment and exactly how to do that.
If you know who this man it’s no surprise that David’s interest in magic stemming from gambling. It’s hard to birth card shark like this who wasn’t enthralled by gambling. The day that made it all change was when Darwin Ortiz performed at his college. That helped spike his interest in things like riffle stacking and the Zarro shuffle; moves that would inspire his work as a technician.
David however is not your classic card magician. He’s not well known for his hours of book reading, or constant back and forth posts on the Magic Café, but for his wildly entertaining performances that send laypeople and magicians howling of laughter.
I once watched him WHIP UP a room full of magicians. The audience that many of us consider to be the most difficult of audiences to stir up with material made for laypeople. Not only was everyone baffled by his magic, but you’ve never seen a room of people (so old) laugh and cheer soo hard!
That’s exactly what we try to break down in this episode. He walks us through exactly what it takes to be a wildly entertaining performer. Think of the big names: Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Prince. People that are worth even more than their paid.
That’s exactly what it takes to be a top level magician as well. You need to give 200% to the stage. As prince said,” the show has it to be better than the album, is just has to”. In magic it’s the same. If video lives up to your life performance you need to become a better performer. You should be able to whip up the audience LIVE!
The other tip that David gave us is to perform the same tricks over and over and over again. Why? Because it’s through repetition that you’re able to isolate the important moments, gather lines that are given to you from the crowd, and allow yourself to interact with the people around you.
That’s what Copperfield does. That’s what Lance Burton does. It’s what the greats do, and there’s no way around it, so you should too!
For me it’s simple. As soon as you can perform without thinking about what your next move is going to be, or what your next line is going to be, that’s when you are truly performing. Anything before that you’re still learning.
If we take that mentality and apply it we could have the best 15 minute act in the world. If America’s got talent or Penn and Teller Fool uUs has taught us anything it’s that 15 amazing minutes of magic is more than all you need to be successful. (Google Steven Brundage)
We also touch on the idea of what makes an exciting card effect. One of the things that David brought up was how little the effect matters compared to the personality and character of the performer.
His examples of walking through how exciting his effects are: cutting cards, spelling tricks and counting packets. Tricks are said to be some of the most boring in magic. But I swear, if you watch David perform them you will agree that the entertainment value pushes his performance over the edge.
His breakdown and analysis of how to be entertaining is exactly why he’s considered one of the greats. With skill matched by no one, a shtick which nobody could copy, and wisdom from years and years of time on stage.
I heard incredible quote the other day “Only take advice from people who you would switch places with”. Well, I think David’s advice is priceless. Which probably tells you a lot about who I look up to as top of the line performers.
If you want to get in contact with David you can head to either of these websites or what I recommend is following him on Instagram. Between the photos of people reacting, and the photos of people laughing David’s Instagram page is a great thing to see on your feed every day