How to Perform Magic on Stage
There are a ton of things to consider when it comes to performing magic on stage. When I say "on stage" I could be talking about in an auditorium for 500 people or maybe even a smaller stage like a parlour type situation for 20-30 people. Also, when I say "performing magic on stage" I may be referring to any type of magic including large stage illusions, mentalism, or even close-up magic. So what are some things we should think about when it comes to performing on stage?
There is nothing worse than having a volunteer from your audience asset with a trick and falling or hurting themselves on the way up. You will have to stop your show and deal with their medical situation. It is extremely important to check the stage and surrounding areas for sharp edges or slip and trip hazards. Be on the look out for loose nails, mic cables, bobbly ramps/stairs, etc. Take measures to ensure a safe working environment not only for yourself, but for your audience as well!
Setting the Stage
When putting your act together it is important to think of how you will set your stage and or stage your volunteers as well as your props. Where on the stage are your props going to be placed? Where will your audience members stand who come up to help you? Will you need a table? If so, where will you place it? These are all things to think about so that you are not trying to figure out where things or people should be during your show.
Projection and Amplification
If you are performing for a smaller group you may not need a mic. Just be sure to project your voice so that everyone in the room can hear you clearly. If you are performing for a larger group you may need to use an amplification system (mic). Avoid having your volunteers hold the mic for you as it looks very unprofessional, also avoid using a mic stand as it restricts your movement and blocks your audience' view. There are two types of mic set-ups I suggest you try out:
-Wireless Headset: This is the best option as you will be 100% hands free and you will be very clearly heard by the audience. he only downside is typically you will also need to invest in a transmitter. This can get expensive. If you can afford to do this, you should use this as your number 1 source for amplification.
-Mic Holder: A more affordable option would be to use a lanyard style mic holder. It will be a bit more bulky than having a headset, but will allow you to remain hands free. You can get a great holder called the "GimCrack Mic Holder for around $10 plus shipping. This is perhaps one of the best investments I have ever made!
Perform Magic that Plays BIG!
If you are performing stage magic illusions, you are already playin big to your audience because they are very easy to see from a distance. Sometimes you do not have the means to invest in large stage illusions (which is totally fine!) I would suggest trying your best to use props that can be seen well from a distance. If you need to perform close-up magic, make sure it PLAYS BIG! Avoid tricks that require the audience to see the faces of cards for example. If you want to perform magic with cards, make sure you perform effects where the cards themselves are doing something, like card to pocket, torn and restored card, card to impossible location, card to lemon, etc.