Learning Entertainment Arts in the Modern World


No matter how the world advances, skill will always be highly respected. I am a magician by profession and it is an art form that requires lots of skill and practice. If we look at a great stand up artist on stage, everything looks so simple, his just being himself and enjoys his time on stage and entertains his audience, but I can assure it wasn’t always like that.

Today I want to focus on the effect internet has to the learning process and what has changed in the modern world. This is particularly true considering stand up  entertainment .

The world has become enormously fast in the last few decades. The impact of internet, email and cell phones is huge, and everybody has access to all imaginable knowledge in an instant.

This effects also all learning processes, and I see it mostly as an improvement, but there are also disadvantages.

As a professional magician, wanting to learn something new, I still use old resources; books, videos and lecture notes. There are millions of videos on YouTube, but the information and knowledge provided is simply overwhelming. To learn something new, I need a quiet environment, time and concentration.

To me, internet is not the right place to learn from, by this I mean following an explanation from your computer screen. It creates easily a restless feeling which is not good for learning purposes. Granted, there are some great sites about tricks, videos and technique, but learning new moves, sleights and psychology is so demanding, I feel it requires a silent environment.

Furthermore a magic trick is never ready after it has been performed to a live audience. I remember so often feeling good about a particular routine and practicing it to perfection, only to find that something didn’t work or something had to be changed in live stand up or close up situations. Sometimes it’s very hard to understand what these “things” could be. The energy of a live performance is so different, the body does things differently and there is no room for mistakes, it’s a demanding situation.

I see ads over the internet of magic tricks that I know for fact won’t work in the real world. Magic ads are also cleverly made, they tell the truth, but usually only a part of it. If you buy a magic trick there is no refund because you pay partly for the secret. Sometimes you pay only for the secret, if you buy for example a downloadable eBook without any gimmicks.

Today it’s very easy to buy magic from internet, anyone can do it. It used to be very different. Some sellers were very strict what to sell to whom. The secrets were protected. Today we have masked magician on TV revealing illusions and close up magic secrets. This is very unethical and unprofessional. Money talks and BS walks – quantity is not quality and will never be…

No matter how many magic secrets are revealed, the skill and atmosphere a seasoned performer can create can never be copied. Performing live stand up can only be learned by doing it. If we know the secrets of hundred tricks it will never make anyone a magician. All skill requires commitment and lots of work and practice, and I don’t feel internet and our “speed world” contributes to that at all. Furthermore nothing can replace routine. A seasoned performer, who has done his program thousands of times knows exactly what to do or say in any situation, and can use something unexpected it to his advantage, where an inexperienced performer loses his rhythm and even worse, his audience…

People can forgive you if you make a mistake, but if they sense you are not up to it and they feel you are on stage practicing they will treat you accordingly.

These skills cannot be learned through internet, the only place to learn is the real world. To be able to touch an audience, whether we do stand up or close up magic, we have to create atmosphere and have a believable stage persona, after that we can do whatever we like.

Source by Kim Wist

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