“People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget
How you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
Quick. Think of a Magician.
What did you see?
Now . . . Think of you.
What did you see?
Is there a difference between the Magician you imagined and you?
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched a Magician perform for an audience only to see that the Magician has lost sight of their biggest obligation—taking that audience with them on an adventure. Many Magicians, as talented as they might be, get lost in their own trickery, skills, and cleverness that they overlook the need to shift an audience from where they are to a place that makes them feel better.
Much of this can be attributed to a Magician’s belief that the goal of Magic is to get to a climax or end or outcome; to get the audience to gasp in awe, to hold their breath in disbelief, and to shake their heads in amazement. THAT’S NOT THE GOAL OF YOUR MAGIC!
If the destination for your Magic was the simply the effect, then the point of any musical piece would be the final note, the import of any dance would be the last step, and the significance in any sporting event would be the closing score. We all know that we listen to music to enjoy it while it’s playing. We dance because of the dance, itself. We participate in or watch a sporting event for the challenge and contest that is going on—not just to declare a victor. If these were not true statements, then the best musician, finest dancer, and every champion would be judged solely on how quickly they completed a task.
Stop rushing through your Magic. Your audience will thank you. Your heart will thank you. And your Magic will reward you.
We don’t stir an audience through the speed of our Magic.
We don’t excite an audience by relegating them to merely observing our Magic
We don’t tempt an audience with our Magic by showing off.
If you’re going to MOVE your audience—for a moment or a lifetime—you have an obligation to make them feel better. In order to make someone feel better, you must know where they are when you first encounter them.
To know where any audience member is at the beginning of your time together, you must use your imagination to understand them. When you fall prey to the delusion that simply because your magical skills are good people will love you, you fail to understand your audience at all. To put it another way, if you’re simply DOING your Magic for yourself and believing that your audience will blithely come along for the ride with you, you’re only fooling yourself.
Here are some steps you can take RIGHT NOW to start planning your audience’s experience of you and your Magic:
STEP ONE: Always be wondering what your audience is thinking about at every step through your Magic. That means staying curious about THEM, not you. That means staying curious about THEM, not your technique. That means staying curious about THEM, not how magical you are.
STEP TWO: Understand that real Magic—real Magic—would scare anyone. Why should your audience stay and listen to/watch/interact with you? People don’t like to be fooled. They like to be entertained and empowered and left with takeaways they can use for themselves and share with others.
STEP THREE: Pretend you’re sitting in your own audience—that you’re visiting with yourself one-on-one or with a group of people watching you. Would you stick around for more than 5 minutes if you were EXPERIENCING you?
STEP FOUR: Have a point to your Magic or it is pointless. Great Magicians make a dent in the universe and they do so by powerfully impacting the people they’re around. What is your call to action?
STEP FIVE: Always keep imagining greater Magic! When you become complacent—when you essentially sleepwalk through your Magic—you lose your audience, your lustre, and your impact.
You have a unique opportunity to change the world and those in it with your Magic. Don’t lose that opportunity by failing to move your audience to new heights, failing to bring them in contact with true emotion, and failing to leave them in a better place than when you first found them.
Now go out and make it a magical week!
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