The Napkin Approach and Enjoying the Process with John Guastaferro
February 16th, 2017
branding, business, effects, theory
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In this episode we sit down with John Guastaferro and we chat all about making your own effect awesome. John is an expert at working with different important elements and putting them together to make a beautiful trick.
Since reading John’s book “One Degree” I knew that he had the right type of approach to magic. Creating beautiful masterpieces by focusing on what he knows and diving into theory, character, and branding in the process.
One of the things that we chat about in the episode is the difficulty and fear of starting fresh. For me, I hate the flashing cursor on a blank screen. It makes it feel like anything you put down is wrong.
John makes it very clear that he never starts fresh. By working off of what you’ve been using the last time you analyzed your magic and put pen to paper, you never have to start new.
That doesn’t mean that your brand and your brand identity can’t change over time. As John explains even Instagram was once just a fun way to put a silly filter on a photo.
Now, Instagram is a tool for connecting to others all around the globe in your niche!
Another wildly important thing that John talks about is his constant note-taking. By making sure to take notes any time that something comes to his mind, he forget his ideas less often. By making a habit of it, you know where you keep them, how you take notes best, and you’ll be be a master in no time.
He recommends things like Evernote or just the standard Apple note software because it syncs with his computer and he can make separate folders for different ideas.
John also breaks down his napkin approach. It’s all about putting the characteristics down onto a napkin sized piece of paper, with either words or images so that you can better understand your brand. This was always one of my favourite parts of John’s book. My favourite magic books are all about theory. John did a great job with the theory aspect and branding in his book, and this episode!
One piece of advice that he gave us was to write down effects that you like and effects that you don’t like and then try to distill why that is. It seems like all of these processes are about distilling why you like each thing, and what you want to do with that!
But as always, it’s abundantly clear that you have to understand who you are before you can make the perfect effect.
What that means for you is keep performing, but do a lot more writing down and breaking down of your past performances, and trying to understand who you are and what makes you special. That is the key to being a great magician. Introspective work!
If you’re interested in buying either of John’s books you should head over to his website here and take a look.
This weekend John is lecturing at the Blackpool magic convention, if you see him there say hi for us! We’ll be here freezing our asses off in Canada.