What do you think 30 seconds before you performance close up magic?
That depends on the type of performance. With cabaret I think far less before I go on, because there is very little I can do until I get on the stage. When performing magic close up you really do dictate when and where you perform. So my thought goes into making sure the people I am about to introduce myself to are suitable and if so, how am I going to gain their attention.
I think that there is a lot to think about before one stops a table of ten and demands they watch a magic performance they didn’t even know was going to happen. You really are invading their privacy and people gather round a table for all sorts of reasons.
There is a real science to getting into a table without being too demanding and holding their attention for a short time. When I first started I got it wrong as many times as I got it right, but things improve with practice.
There are so many variables that the close up magician has to take into account when performing. In some ways it is harder than the stage magician. At least on stage you are supposed to be the centre of attention and the audience should be looking and listening. With the close up magician this is not the case, so many distractions can ruin a good performance. It is best to think it through and try and avoid as much of the disruption as possible.
So questions like which tables are being served first? Have they poured the wine? Is someone about to start a speech? These are just a few of the questions the close up magician should be asking before they dive in unannounced.
It takes a degree of sensitivity to determine if, and when, is the right time to perform. This is less of a problem for the wedding magician. It is rare that people aren’t receptive to what you do. This is also true of big evening banquets and company functions. However the restaurant magician has to be very careful who they approach. For me it is the most difficult type of work for a table magician.