A Message from Jay Sankey..
I wish magicians would stop complaining about Matt Franco winning ‘America’s Got Talent.’Is Matt especially original? Definitely not. How about especially skilled? Again, no.Matt isn’t even especially entertaining. But Mat did exactly what far too many magicians fail to do. He truly CONNECTED with the judges and television viewers.And he did it by being something ultimately more important than being original or skilled.He did it by being charming and humble. Which made him supremely LIKEABLE. And in the ‘business of showing,’ likability counts for an awful lot.
Yes, like many magicians, I wish this kind of important television exposure was spotlighting our more creative, original, inspired and skilled performers.But as a community, we are so foolishly focused on keeping secrets and presenting irrelevant puzzles, the general public has little else to measure a magician by, other than, “Did he screw up his tricks?” and "How much did I like him?“The same can’t be said of dancers, musicians, actors, comedians, painters and photographers. With those, the general public is far better informed about originators, styles, skills, bodies of work, influences, personalities, etc.
While in the magic ghetto, our obsession with secrets has created a vacuum of such public ignorance, likeability can win major contests. And fake ‘tv magicians’ without originality, skill or veteran performance chops, are created in video editing rooms and broadcast around the planet, as perverse representations of real magicians.But instead of complaining, let’s look to our own performances and creative efforts, and raise our own expectations.Far too many performers in our community are ‘karaoke magicians,’ singing verses written by others, to melodies created by others (and often out of key.)Instead, strive to be much more than just another ‘paint by number’ performer.
Take risks. Explore. Find what is truly yours. Your voice, your perspective. And dare to share THAT through your own deceptive performances.And keep in mind, the tricks are just tools. It’s how much of your unique self you’re able to express with them that really matters.The focus on ‘keeping secrets’ has misdirected magicians and the viewing public for long enough.
P.P.S. And speaking of tools, here are two FREE, visually-driven effects that are inspiring some really great comments on YouTube. I sincerely hope they help you express yourself…