Something borrowed continued
By Kristien Harris on June 23, 2019 | Reading time: 4 minutes
I was a wedding magician yesterday at East Sour Farm in Devon. Have a look at the page if you’re looking for a venue.
Yesterday I saw how far I’ve come as an entertaining performer. By no means is my journey complete but I’m proud having done a good job yesterday. This is an honest account not arrogant self assurance. The wedding at East Sour yesterday was a table gig. Sadly at weddings people don’t like to book a magician for a cabaret or floor show. This means that the first table you work has to be good. If for whatever reason the first table doesn’t react well the rest of the room is dubious and it can be difficult to build atmosphere.
I got to know the photographer and mentioned I’d be performing at the bride and grooms table to start. I mentioned it would be a good opportunity to get a photo. I think the photographer built the expectation for everyone else as their presence showed that something was going to happen. I’ll be trying that again in future performances. There may even be the chance to use that device in a floor or cabaret show. You introduce the effect as being a good opportunity for a photo and set up the expectation.
Well the first table was for the bride and the groom and the table next to them got involved as well. The applause of those two tables was soo good the room went quiet and looked over. That’s what close up table magicians need. It set’s a tone for the rest of the room. The rest of the tables know that it’s ok to applaud. They know there is something worth watching and they’ll want to see something themselves.
Don’t squander the right moments and notice them. If the room looks at you make the most of it. Address the crowd in some manner. They’re not an audience yet but this is the start. Use your own words and set yourself up in an entertaining way for the next table. Get conversation going between tables and it smoothes the transition from table to table. That trick alone helps make the whole room an audience and builds the atmosphere of mystery and expectation.
One thing to be mindful of as well is the start time. On this occasion they’d asked I start in middle of desserts generally this is a good time. They were running a little late though and thought I could start before desserts. This isn’t the best moment and you should wait till the staff have put down plates or removed them. It’s better to make sure that there won’t be interruptions but this isn’t always the case.
I took some of my ideas from this to East Sour. The ryhme resonated with the families and guests as it showed appreciation for the celebration they were having. I’m really proud of how it incorporates my passion for spoken word and poetry but doesn’t understate the magic you’re about to do. Using this in any way wouldn’t work as well for a performer who isn’t lyrically minded its a sensitive and emotive way to perform magic not a comedic or shocking one.
Not many close-up wedding magicians have a theatrical understanding of the words they’re using. People don’t believe that the words you use are really spells. I’ve performed a lot of poetry at spoken word poetry nights and won poetry slams. I’ve seen people cry and laugh at the power of words. Those words create atmosphere and creating a good atmosphere while performing magic is so important. You want guests to be entertained, amazed and inspired in some way. Don’t go reciting war and peace but
A lot of magicians just rely on doing the best tricks and forget that to make those tricks even better you need to think about the words your using. The ‘spells’ your casting. It all sounds like hokum I know. But think about what a magician can bring in terms of character and theatre. After all they’re performing mini shows for all of your guests.
Links for East Sour Farm
← Previous Audience participation 8,000 miles away!
Next → The magic of creative briefs