Being a Magician Today is Much More than Just Pulling Rabbits Out of Hats
USA magicians (including sleight of hand artists, illusionists, mentalists and so on) are doing their best to adapt to the new Zoom and Google Meet interactive culture that is restraining entertainers who traditionally performed for in-person audiences. Regardless of what the category is, each kind of conjuring has its own unique set of problems due to the challenges of the Pandemic.
The Prior Use of Up-Close Interactivity
Take for example sleight of hand artists. They are facing the reality of having to come up with a strategy to still receive a paycheck even though their audience members are now watching them digitally. Often the whole reason that a live event producer would hire a magician in the first place is because of the benefits it has of pleasing event goers. Event goers enjoy live magicians who roam through a crowd providing up close interactivity that enhances the level of amazement.
Fear of Being Perceived as Using Camera Tricks
Interaction would include tricks with spectators that involves magic happening in their hand such as vanishing a coin or multiplying sponge balls or a bevy of card effects that can no longer be done without direct contact. This category of magic is powerful because the person watching it is observing with direct contact. Seeing this kind of magic via video takes away from the viewer’s experience because of the suspicion that many have that camera tricks could be used thereby lessoning the impact.
Seeking Being Impactful and Believable
This possesses a significant hurdle for conjurers because they now face having to create magic presentations that make interactivity via Zoom or Google Meet be something of value to virtual event producers. So, what is the performer of today to do to justify charging a fee as well as seen as valuable in the eyes of those hiring entertainers for online happenings.
Or what about illusionists that in the nomenclatures of magicians stands for those who use large props such as sawing a person in half or producing a tiger or making someone float. The impact of these kinds of experiences when performed live is much more powerful than when watched on television. And in the past illusions seen on the home screen were often done in conjunction with having a live studio audience. This contributes to the credibility of the performance to those viewing from home because there is the implied belief that if others are seeing it live there is less likely to be camera tricks at work.
And finally, mentalists. This breed of magicians also relies on the credibility provided with live performance. Again, things such as predictions, mind reading and mediumistic getting in touch with the deceased, ring truer with observers if it is done in person.
The Perils of Remote Engagement
We have painted a bleak picture for magicians trying to survive and get bookings in the current age of remote engagement. What is a sleight of hand artist (Close Up Magic), illusionist or mentalist to do to earn a living performing the art of magic? Thankfully, other sites that are a part of the Blog Coalition of nearly 60 blogs are also looking at trying to find a solution to the problem of magicians having a harder time prospering due to the technological constraints put upon them due to COVID-19 and its variants.