For my routines, I like to tell stories. I relate stories to my on stage or performing persona. Your persona is your performing identity or personality. My persona is simply Hal a Magician Trainee 3rd Class. There is really no such thing as a 3rd Class Magician Trainee but it makes for good fun.
What makes you special? What is your persona? For me it is simply story telling in a down home southern American laid back funny, goofy, mistake riddled style.
As a 3rd Class Magician Trainee, I fumble around and intentionally make mistakes in my routine. I incessantly whine and complain that I will never make it to a 1st Class Magician much less garner a promotion to a much coveted 2nd Class magicians’ status due to all of my misfortunes in performing my very complex, problematic, difficult, multifaceted and intricate magical routines. Mastering magic has been a humongous challenge for me. People ask me when I started and I tell them, “8:00 this morning.” I work very hard to reach that next level only to be continually flustered, rattled and confused by my clumsiness, awkwardness, ineptness and discomfiture.
Many of my stories go back to my family and my childhood. Of course, embellishment and use of humor is a critical success factor.
A persona example in a routine:
For example: In a nervous clumsy Trainee 3rd Class Magician like manner, I perform a silk vanish routine that has 2 vanishes and perhaps a color change. At one point the spectator is asked if the hanky is in my left hand and I shake my head yes then no.
My right hand is obviously empty, because I show both sides of the right hand, I point at the left hand and say, “Then the hanky must be in here, right?” and I then remark that, “This dad gum this decision making is so stressful it’s even giving me a headache!” as I take my left hand and rub my forehead I quickly realize my mistake and return my left hand to form a closed fist again. I exaggerate and embellish the point that I made another stupidly clumsy 3rd Class Magician mistake. “Boy is it hot in here?”
Next, I tap the back of the closed left hand with the right hand and ask again, “Is the hanky in here?” as I shake my head yes then no. I say, “Wait. Hold that thought, I think I’m forgetting something.”
Next, while holding my left fist shut, I struggle to get my instruction sheet from my back-right pocket with my right hand and go back through the steps to catch myself up to where I should be at this point in the effect. I can even use the left hand and scratch my chin and gesture as if its empty and then I finally ask again, “Is this hand empty?”
This is the crescendo. The left hand was just empty when I rubbed my forehead. Right hand is obviously empty since its handling the paper. However, this is the surprise to the ‘stupid clumsy intentional mistake’ that catches the spectator off guard.
Now I say, “Did you feel that? Of course not, that was a silly question. It’s in my hand. Hah.” I look in my hand and excitedly and almost unexpectedly exclaim, “Holy guacamole. Hot dang. It worked. 2nd Class here I come.”
Then I simply tilt the left hand slightly and say, “Whoa, Check that out. Look in that hole. What’s that I see? Do you see it too?” They can just see the end of the hanky in my closed fist….. “No more 3rd Class for me…Yay! I’m moving on up.”
This is the second big surprise. Just when they thought it couldn’t get any better, there it is. No thumb tip in sight. I didn’t reach in and pull out the hanky after loading a thumb tip. What happened. Bam. Crescendo 2. Now, I can delicately and with evidently no thumb tip on the right thumb, reach with just my ‘Pinchin Fingers’ and pull out the hanky. Boom, big ending.