Last year, when I decided to become a clown, I realized that I would need to learn a few new skills. I wanted to learn how to ride the unicycle, juggle, face paint, twist balloons, and do a few magic tricks. For some reason, doing magic has been the most intimidating. I signed up for unicycle lessons, started practicing with my juggling balls, joined a face painting group, and bought balloons and a pump.
I had a magic kit when I was a kid. I learned a few of the tricks, but never really good. And, I never figured out the patter and jokes needed to keep a magic act flowing. I remember some of those tricks as cheap, plastic tricks. I figured that all kids got them at one time or another. I convinced myself that I should avoid the cheap, plastic tricks and only go for professional looking tricks.
When I got to Moose Camp last year, I stopped in the Dealer’s room and one of the first tricks I was shown was one of the tricks I remembered having as a kid. He made it look better than I could have done. I was shown a few more tricks over the course of the week, but managed to avoid buying any.
On the Clown Cruise earlier this month, I learned a few more magic tricks. Earl Chaney demonstrated many of his pocket magic tricks. A few other clowns also showed me some tricks. I managed to buy a few things from Earl, but haven’t had the free time to really learn the tricks.
Last night, I went to a George Schindler Lecture at Barry’s Magic Shop (http://www.barrysmagicshop.com/). George put on a good show. He had a lot of jokes and stories to keep everyone entertained. He did a dozen tricks using small objects that all fit into his various pockets. After a brief break, he traced through his show and told everyone how he kept his tricks organized in his pockets and some of the secrets behind the tricks.
I think that knowing the secret behind a trick and being able to perform the trick are two different things. But, I hope to find the time in the coming months to learn a few magic tricks. It will be good to be able to have something up my sleeve when I am out clowning around.