New things are fun and exciting. They can also be quite terrifying.
As a magician, I’ve worked pretty hard at creating tricks that I use daily. I work on the sleights, the presentations and also where to carry the darned things when I’m working. I also rarely add new material or tricks to this, unless I’m performing for repeat audiences. I work hard on developing and honing this “A” set of material, so it can be the best it can be.
This process can take years. No, really. Gags are added here, a move eliminated there until it – hopefully – becomes a thing of perfect beauty! That’s the theory anyway. Paul Daniels, when talking about his famous Cup routine, states that the routine took many years until he was finally happy with it – and this was from a time he was working every night in clubland, up and down the UK.
When you introduce something new in front of an audience, it can be pretty terrifying. On stage, it’s even worse, as there is no where to escape to – you have to do your time.
Imagine the state of my nerves this weekend then, when I did a whole new 30 minute show, for a room full of 100 people for very first time.
Everything, and I mean everything, was completely new. New tricks, new script and new jokes.
It was a weird feeling before the gig. It felt like my first ever show!
Fortunately, everything went well. The tricks worked. Some jokes worked, some didn’t (why is it that it’s always the gags you were so sure would kill spectacularly fail?), but everybody had fun – including me!
So, I’m now at the beginning of the process Paul Daniels talked about. I probably have a massive number of shows to get through until I’m happy with the show (and that’s a problem that you can help, by looking at this previous blog post), but I’ve taken the first step, and that’s the most difficult step is the first one though, right?