Northport Feed & Grain

northport feed & grain photo
Northport Feed & Grain

It’s the dog days of summer. It’s been a pretty hot summer here on Long Island, but it’s been pretty dry. Suitable for those who suffer when the humidity is high but not so good for the grass. Although the weeds still seem to flourish.

This summer, I’ve decided to take up residency at Northport Feed & Grain on Tuesday evenings. Come on down if you are in the mood for good food and great tableside magic. The restaurant has some fantastic specials, is dog friendly, and has a beautiful patio for outside dining and me. Northport Feed & Grain is located at 73 Main Street in beautiful downtown Northport. Their website is https://www.thefeedandgrain.com

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Call me Reverend Mike

So, The Silly Magician, AKA Santa, is now Reverend Mike too. No, I don’t hear confessions or provide absolution. And I haven’t installed pews in the family room or converted the house into a church. But, I have been ordained by the Universal Life Church so that I can officiate weddings. And I performed my first wedding this past Saturday. It was a truly magical affair. That’s because, in addition to doing all that is necessary to marry the couple legally, I also performed magic.

Reverend Mike with the happy couple
Reverend Mike with the happy couple.

Before the wedding, I met with the couple to discuss their unique needs. We discussed the vows, and venue, and the fact that the marriage was to be a surprise for the guests. On the big day, I provided a PA system so attendees could hear the vows and the ‘Wedding March’ once I pronounced the couple husband and wife. Before donning my robe, I mingled with guests and did some strolling magic. Then, I called the group to order at the right moment, and the ceremony began to the surprise and cheers of the guests.
Here’s what the bride wrote in a review.

review from wedding client
Client Review

If you are looking for a very magical wedding, call me. We’ll work together to create a unique and truly magical day that people will be talking about for years to come.

How to Hire a Magician

You need to hire a magician. How do you hire the right one?

Thumbnail from video How to Hire a Long Island Magician
Click on the image above to watch YouTube of Mike telling you what you need to know when hiring a magician.

I’ve been performing magic for over 25 years and I know a thing or two about shopping for magicians. And I am going to tell you everything you need to know about finding a magician that will be perfect for your event.

Start by determining what type of magician your event calls for?

The Silly Magician performing for kids at The Learning Experience
Platform or Standup Performer -The Silly Magician performing for kids at The Learning Experience.

Does the event call for the magician to perform standing up in front of a small audience? That’s what most folks planning a kid’s birthday party are looking for.

Or does the event require a magician to stroll around entertaining individuals or small groups? This is the type of magician that is best for a cocktail party, wedding, or Bar Mitzvah.

Maybe you are planning a large fund-raising event and want a magician who can fill a stage with a boatload of illusions.

Strolling Magician
Strolling or Walk-Around Magician – entertaining a small group.

Maybe you are planning a large fund-raising event and want a magician who can fill a stage with a boatload of illusions.

Do you want someone who is funny or someone with a more serious persona? Maybe you want someone with a following who can fill an auditorium just with his name.

Magician Persona

Do you want someone who is funny or someone with a more serious persona? Maybe you want someone with a following who can fill an auditorium just with his name. Many magicians create a character for themselves that dictates the type of magic they perform.

A collection of magician photos that depict serious and funny character types.
Magicians develop characters. Some are funny, some serious and some are silly.

How long do you want the magician to perform and what is your budget?

A birthday party magic show is generally 30-50 minutes, depending on the age and maturity of the audience. For young pre-school age kids, less is best. In comparison, older kids and adults can easily enjoy longer shows. 

What’s your budget? Prices vary wildly. There are no set figures. A performer for a small event on Long Island can charge anywhere from $250 to $1,200 for a 45-60 minute show or for an hour of strolling magic. 

Most birthday party magicians on Long Island charge in the vicinity of $300 for an in-home magic show. 

Start shopping on the Internet

Once you know the event details and your budget and have a pretty good idea of what kind of magician your want, you can begin shopping. A good place to start is on the Internet. Search for ‘magician Long Island’ ‘magician near me’ or any of the specialties you are looking for like ‘magician for wedding reception’, ‘mentalist’,; magic show for adults, etc. Google will give you a plethora of websites to check.

Check out the websites. Often the way a website looks will tell you what you can expect the magician to look like when he arrives at your door. Is it up-to-date, and attractive, and does it looks good on a smartphone? Is it easy to navigate? Or is it tired and old-fashioned looking with a slew of animated gifs flashing on and off? More often than not, a tired-looking magician will have a tired-looking website. 

Google reviews of The Silly Magician
Google reviews of The Silly Magician

From a magician’s website, you should be able to tell his service area and his specialties and get a sense of his personality. There should be a few reviews posted as well. And look at some of the videos the magician put on his website. Are they good? 

Don’t expect to see rates or ‘packages’ posted on websites because too many variables go into the price magicians quote. 

Now it’s time to contact performers to check availability and get prices. It’s best to contact the magician by phone. Most magicians will be more than happy to chat with you. And like viewing his website, you’ll learn a lot about the performer from a phone call. On the phone, if the magician sounds like he’s doing you a favor just by talking with you or if his voicemail is full, he’s not paying attention to business. If you hire him, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Discuss your needs, expectations, and the show.

When you connect, let the magician know what you are looking for. Be as thorough as you can with the details. If it’s a party for kids, let him know the number of guests you anticipate and their ages. If it’s a cocktail party or wedding, let him know how many guests you expect and if children are attending.

If it’s not clear from his website how experienced the magician is, ask him.

bunny in top hat
A rabbit from a hat production.

Don’t be afraid to ask what effects the magician is likely to perform. Does he work with doves? Will he produce a live rabbit? Let him know if you want something special for the guest of honor or other guests.

Is the magician insured? 

You should ask if the magician is insured. Many venues require that the facility be listed as ‘additionally insured’ and to see a copy of the certificate. Even if it is not required, for your own protection you should only hire a magician with liability insurance. 

If you are arranging a show for a school or church group, you may need the magician to provide a criminal background check. The magician should be willing to arrange for one.

Ask for references or go see him perform.

If you don’t know the magician, haven’t seen his show, and if he hasn’t been recommended by someone you trust, you may want references. Ask for some.

If he works in a restaurant or performs at a public event, you may be able to see him perform before booking. Take advantage of the opportunity.

The magician should have questions for you too. If the venue is large, he’ll want to know if he needs to supply a PA system or if the venue will provide one. The magician should say if he needs electrical power, a table or chairs, what kind of access there is to the venue, whether someone will assist in carrying equipment in and out, and parking. 

Finally, he should be able to give you a quote. If you decide to book, most performers will send you a contract to sign and ask for a deposit in advance.

So there you have it. Now you should be very confident that the magician you select will be perfect for your event. 

Birthday Party Tips

Birthday Party Tips

This is a thumbnail graphic for a youtube video of The Silly Magician's Birthday Party Tips

Having raised three kids on Long Island, my wife and I celebrated birthdays with parties, and our parties were at home and always a big hit. Between my experience creating parties for my now-grown kids and my experience as a Long Island birthday party magician for more than 25 years, I’ve collected some great tips that I want to share with you. Click on the image above to see a short presentation of the seven tips I learned the hard way.

Number 1 – Plan for activities to Take Less Time

The birthday party you are planning will probably be a couple of hours long, and you need to fill the time with activities, or you’ll have a madhouse. Whatever activity you plan for the kids to do during the party, expect it to take half the time you think it will before the kids are ready to move on to something else. So, have extra activities ready just in case.

Number 2 – Name Tags

Make name tags for all the guests or have the kids make their own as one of the activities. Name tags will help when it comes time for you to get someone’s attention. You won’t have to say, “Hey you. Stop jumping on the couch.”

Number  3 – Picture Time

Make sure your smartphone is fully charged and ready to take lots of photos. Put an adult or teen in charge of photo taking. You’ll be too busy. Have some funny hats, sunglasses, or other silly items on hand for the kids to wear for pictures. Instant photos make great souvenirs. There are many cameras on the market today that make prints instantly. Prices start at about $60.

Number 4 – Put Fido Away

Keep pets out of the party area. Lots of little kids are afraid of dogs, huge ones. And while your dog may usually be amiable, he may get agitated with lots of company in the house or with a child who is curious to see what happens if he tugs on the dog’s tail. Keep pets out of the way, and you won’t have to worry about bites, barks, scratches, or lawsuits.

Number 5 – Balloons

What’s a party without balloons? Latex helium-filled balloons are the quickest way to make a room festive. But keep in mind that broken or deflated balloons injure young children every year. You can read the Consumer Product Safety Commission warning here. Have a rule to keep your Long Island birthday party safe: If a balloon deflates or is broken throw it out immediately.

Number 6 – Enlist Some Help

No matter what size your party is, it’s good to have help. Don’t be afraid to ask an adult guest to take coats, help in the kitchen or help with activities. If you have the budget, hire the babysitter or a neighborhood teen to help out. They can help with activities while you deal with other things. And they can help later with clean-up.

Number 7 – Hire Age Appropriate Entertainment

If you are planning to hire entertainment for your Long Island birthday party, make sure it’s suitable for the age of the guests. I can’t tell you how often I have been asked to perform magic for a group of 2 and 3-year-olds, and I tell the parents to wait until the children are four and up for a magic party. Balloon twisters and face painters are better for kids under four years old. Be careful with costumed characters and clowns; they can scare very young children. Of course, if you want a great Long Island birthday party magician and the kids are four years old and up, you can’t go wrong with The Silly Magiican.

Number 8 – Make it a Family Affair

According to www.kidsinthehouse.com doing family, projects teaches kids to be creative on their own and skills that will be helpful for the rest of their lives. So, instead of doing all the work to prepare for the party yourself, turn party preparations into a family project. Not only will you have less work to do, but your children will also develop skills and feel that they helped make the party a success.

Number 9 – Plan for it to Take More Time

According to Ivy Wigmore at whatis.com Hofstadter’s law is the observation that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.” In other words, even when you take into consideration that it will take longer and plan accordingly, it still takes longer. So, as you estimate how much time you need to prepare for the party, consider my rule of thumb to figure out what it should take, then double it.

Number 10 – Make a Schedule

It is much easier to find 15 minutes every night than to do everything the night before the party, so start preparations early. Plenty of party planning resources are available online that provide a schedule to help you get it all done before the big day. Megan Cooley put a comprehensive schedule together. Check it out; click here.

Number 11 – Shop Smart

Before heading out to the store, please make a list of things you need and where to get them. For a Long Island birthday party, you can find lots of supplies at Cedarhurst Paper and Party City. If you have a Dollar Tree nearby, check it out. They have lots of inexpensive party supplies. Online, try the Oriental Trading Company and Amazon.

Number 12 – Organize the Party Room

Part of the secret of a well-organized party is a well-organized party area. Make sure the area is clean and safe. And that you have everything you need handy. Also, will you need to move the couch to make more room for activities? If so, save yourself some embarrassment and do it before the guests arrive. You’ll be surprised what you find under the couch.

Number 13 – Right Height Furnishings

Think about the height of furniture for kids. For making crafts with kids under five years old, consider placing folding tables (or a sheet of plywood) on milk crates. You can have the kids sit right on the floor. Or, you might want to buy or borrow some kid-size chairs. Little plastic outdoor chairs cost about $7 each at Walmart.

Number 14 – The Trash

Save yourself a lot of clean-up later and have at least two trash bins in the party area. That will keep the room a lot neater. Guests can clean up after themselves. And when presents are opened, the wrappings can be quickly discarded.

Number 15 – A Place for Presents

Decorate a large box or set up a card table near the entry door. Have the guests put gifts there as they arrive. Later, as the gifts are opened, put them right back in the box.

Number 16 – Keep a Record

You’ll want your child to remember to thank each guest for the gift they gave later. It’s easy to forget who gave what, so have an adult write down what each gift is as they are opened and who gave it.

Number 17 – Spills

You can expect at least one spill. Have paper towels or cloths handy in several places, ready to do a quick pick up.

Number 18 – Create a Guestlist

Be realistic about how many guests you can accommodate. Sit down with your child and ask them who they want at their party. You might not be able to invite the whole class. Instead, invite all the girls or boys from your child’s class. But please don’t exclude just a few from the class. Kids’ feelings get hurt easily.

Number 19 – Invite Electronically

Technology makes it simple to invite and keep track of your attendees if you have email addresses. Evite.com offers very nice free invitations. At the beginning of the year, most schools ask the class mother to ask parents for permission to list their contact information. Get hold of the list. Be sure to include an RSVP email address and telephone number. Expect to follow up with those who don’t respond. You’ll be amazed how often people forget.

Number 20 – Set the Mood with Music

Choose music that suits the party and your guests. If time permits, make your playlist in advance or use one of the music services that play tunes based on genres, decades, or musicians. Pandora has lots of collections that are just right for every age group. Check out Toddler Radio which plays my favorite Baby Shark.

Number 21 – The Party is Here

Your guests’ parents will love you if you make it evident from the street where the party is. Put a yard sign out front or attach a few helium-inflated balloons to your mailbox, fence, or a stake in the front lawn. Colorful balloons will make it clear where the party is.

The Silly Magician’s YouTube Channel gets a Spring Cleaning.

Mike Maione, The Silly Magician performing magic show for families in Port JeffersonIt’s spring. And I got the bug to do some spring cleaning. As Josie Brown says, “The key to spring cleaning is to be ruthless! Throw out anything and everything you never use. (Or that may be incriminating. Burn, if necessary, but remember if using gasoline, those fires should be contained in a non-flammable container.).”

The Silly Magician’s YouTube channel has been a jumble of videos for years. It included a year’s worth of pandemic Trick or Treat, a sort of late-night talk show that featured interviews with magicians. It also had unrelated videos made for fun and experimentation. And most importantly and scattered about it included videos of the Silly Magician in action doing what he loves to do magic shows for kids. So, the spring cleaning bug bit, and I am being ruthless, organizing, purging, optimizing, and doing an extensive facelift of the Silly Magician YouTube channel.

I’m burning everything that is not related to the magic of Long Island’s silliest magician, me. If you are a fan of my pandemic talk show, Trick or Treat, don’t fret. I’m creating a YouTube channel to archive those excellent interviews of some of the world’s best professional magicians. Click HERE if you want to subscribe and be notified as videos are uploaded to the channel.

On the Silly Magician YouTube channel, from now on, you can expect to find tons of videos of me doing magic on stage, in homes, in schools, and around town. You’ll also find a good bit of me doing short magical videos in my studio. I am also creating videos to help folks looking for a Long Island magician to do a magic show for kids or a magic show for adults to find the perfect match and for tips on putting together a magical birthday party. I hope you’ll check out the channel and subscribe.

While on the topic of spring cleaning. Here’s a great tip if you are about to do a little spring cleaning yourself. Get rid of things that you don’t use or, as the KonMari Method™ says, ‘sparks joy.’ If you don’t need it or it doesn’t make you happy, ditch it.

Maybe someday, I’ll do that with the 25-plus years of magic paraphernalia I’ve amassed.

100 Ways to Slightly Improve Your Life

Mostly From The Guardian

1 Learn a magic trick. Did you know that Long Island’s Silly Magician teaches magic? But you can also learn magic from YouTube and there are plenty of books on the subject at the library.

2 Exercise on a Monday night (nothing fun happens on a Monday night).

3 On the fence about a purchase? Wait 72 hours before you buy it.

4 Wear funny socks. Here’s a great place to get some and help people with differing abilities. johnscrazysocks.com

5 Change your voicemail greeting to something fun. Check mine out, 631-576-9098.

6 Everyone has an emotional blind spot when they fight. Work out what yours is, and remember it.

7 Plant spring bulbs, even if they’re just in a pot.

8 Send a voice note instead of a text; they sound like personal mini podcasts.

9 Keep a bird feeder by a window, ideally the kitchen. It’ll pass the time when you’re washing up.

10 Always bring ice to house parties (there’s never enough).

11 Say hello to a stranger on the cue at the supermarket.

12 Sharpen your knives.

13 Feeling sluggish at work? Try the Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes on, five-minute break, and repeat.

14 Buy a cheap blender and use it to finely chop onions (it saves on time and tears).

15 Keep your children’s drawings and paintings. Put the best ones in frames or make them your Facebook cover.

16 Set aside 10 minutes a day to do something you really enjoy – be it reading a book or playing Wordle.

17 Don’t be weird about how to stack the dishwasher.

18 Take a photo of all your meds.

19 Take a photo of the tag you are given when leaving your coat in a cloakroom.

20 Set your bed.

21 Add the milk at least one minute after the tea has brewed.

22 Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes.

23 It might sound obvious, but a pint of water before bed after a big night avoids a clanger of a hanger.

24 Start a Saturday morning with some classical music – it sets the tone for a calm weekend.

25 Look closely.

26 Set time limits for your apps. Just go to the settings on your smartphone and add a limit – for example, if you have an iPhone turn on Screen Time.

27 If possible, take the stairs.

28 Always be willing to miss the next train.

29 Eat meat once a week, max. Ideally less.

30 Be polite to rude strangers – it’s oddly thrilling.

31 Ask questions and listen to the answers.

32 Connect with nature: stand outside barefoot for a few minutes – even when it’s cold.

33 Use your public library – and use it.

34 Go for a walk without your phone.

35 Eat salted butter (life’s too short for unsalted).

36 Stretch in the morning. And maybe in the evening.

37 If you’re going less than a mile, walk or cycle. About half of car journeys are under two miles, yet these create more pollution than longer journeys as the engine isn’t warmed up yet.

38 Sleep with your phone in a different room (and buy an alarm clock).

39 Send postcards from your holidays. Send them even if you’re not on holiday.

40 Instead of buying new shoes, get old ones resoled and buy new laces.

41 Buy a plant. Think you’ll kill it? Buy a fake one.

42 Don’t have Twitter on your phone.

43 If you find an item of clothing you love and are certain you will wear forever, buy three.

44 Try taking a cold shower (30 seconds to two minutes) before your hot one. It’s good for your health – both physical and mental.

45 Text to say thank you.

46 Read a poem every day. Keep a compendium, such as A Poem for Every Day of the Year, by your bed.

47 Take off your headphones when walking – listen to the world.

48 Buy secondhand.

49 Buy in person!

50 Learn how to floss properly.

51 If something in the world is making you angry, write to your senator or congressman, most times, they will read it.

52 Say hello to your neighbors.

53 Learn the basics of repairing your clothes.

54 Always bring something – wine, flowers – to a dinner/birthday party, even if they say not to.

55 Learn the names of 10 trees.

56 Call an old friend out of the blue.

57 Every so often, search your email for the word “unsubscribe” and then use it on as many as you can.

58 Buy a newspaper.

59 Always have dessert.

60 Drop your shoulders.

61 Make something from scratch. Works best if it’s something you’d normally buy.

62 Go to bed earlier – but don’t take your phone with you.

63 Volunteer. Here’s a list of places to volunteer on Long Island. Use Google to find places to volunteer near where you live.

64 Dry your cutlery with a cloth (it keeps it shiny).

65 Instead of buying a morning coffee, set up a daily transfer of $2 from a current into a savings account and forget about it. Use it to treat yourself to something different later.

66 Don’t save things for “best”. Wear them – enjoy them.

67 Sing!

68 Think about your posture: don’t slouch, and don’t cross your legs.

69 Hang your clothes up. Ideally on non-wire hangers (it’s better for them).

70 Skinny-dip with friends.

71 Switch your phone off on holiday (or at least delete your work email app).

72 Always use freshly ground pepper.

73 Thank a teacher who changed your life.

74 Respect your youngers.

75 Keep your keys in the same place.

76 Hire a magician for to entertain at your next party. I know a great one.

77 Rent rather than buy a suit/dress for that forthcoming wedding (even if it’s your own).

78 Always book an extra day off after a holiday.

79 Ignore the algorithm – listen to music outside your usual taste.

80 Mute or leave a WhatsApp group chat.

81 Learn a TikTok dance (but don’t post it on TikTok).

82 Cook something you’ve never attempted before.

83 Join a local litter-picking group.

84 Handwash that thing you’ve never cleaned.

85 Don’t get a pet/do get a pet.

86 Nap.

87 Learn how to breathe deeply: in through the nose, out through the mouth, making the exhale longer than the inhale.

88 Buy a bike and use it. Learn how to fix it, too.

89 Politely decline invitations if you don’t want to go.

90 Say thank you, a lot.

91 If in doubt, add cheese.

92 Don’t look at your phone at dinner.

93 Do that one thing you’ve been putting off.

94 Give compliments widely and freely.

95 Set up an affordable standing order to a charity.

96 Keep a book in your bag to avoid the temptation to doomscroll.

97 Listen to the albums you loved as a teenager.

98 Make a friend from a different generation.

99 Staying over at a friend’s place? Strip the bed in the morning.

100 For instant cheer, wear yellow.

Happy Halloween

The Wacky Wizard aka The Silly Magician
It’s the time of the year when all good ghosts and ghouls come out to Trick or Treat. I have my costume, and I’m ready to Trick or Treat safely. The American Academy of Pediatrics has prepared a terrific list of the things you can do to keep your little goblins safe. Click here for their tips.

Aside from watching the leaves turn, October is also a time for me to rewatch some of my favorite old monster movies. With that in mind, I created a little mental magic for my family and friends with pictures of some famous movie monsters. Click on the image below to participate in a little interactive magic. Enjoy!

 

Zoom to the North Pole

This year skip the mall and let your children meet Santa the safe way online. Starting November 1, your children can zoom straight to the North Pole to meet Santa in his workshop. During the 10-minute zoom session with Santa, Santa will dialog with your children and learn what they wish for Christmas. Santa will show them a few magic tricks, lead them in a song and say if they’ve been naughty or nice.

To schedule a meeting, contact Santa at santa@sillymagician.com or call Mike at 631-576-9098. He’ll schedule a zoom session for a convenient time and collect some background information so that Santa can interact knowingly with your children. This Santa wants to know how old children are, what they like and dislike, if they have pets, etc. And of course, if there is something mom and dad would like Santa to suggest to their little ones. Maybe it’s to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, or put their toys away.

The fee for this service is $25 which can be paid via PayPal, Venmo, or credit card. For more information contact Santa by email or phone.

During the off-season, Santa is The Silly Magician and he has a slew of ideas that will make any birthday party you are planning a success. Click here to see the list.

It’s so good to be back.

Well, the last few weeks have been pretty exciting. The Silly Magician has been performing live in-person shows. I admit that it took a few shows to get my mojo back. But, the muscle memory kicked in, and eventually, I could recall my patter. What fun it was to hear once again kids giggle at my antics.

I am, of course, completely vaccinated, which according to doctors, makes it extremely unlikely that I will contract Covid or give it to anyone. Still, we are using caution, and I have revised many of the routines I perform to make them safer for my audiences.

Zoom shows are still available. So if you are interested in a magic show by The Silly Magician, you can have an online show, a no-touch in-person show, or a modified in-person show designed to reduce the spread of viruses.

In addition, The Parlor of Mystery is finally doing live in-person magic shows. Check out the revamped Parlor of Mystery website to learn more about the Parlor or visit our Facebook page.

Lastly, enjoy some interactive magic now. Click on the link below; listen carefully to the instructions, and follow along.

A Few General Tips for Beginner Magicians

There is no single “right” way or set of criteria for how to become a magician. There are all sorts of different skills to work on and tricks to master, and ultimately one aspiring magician may excel in an entirely different area than another. That said, there are some basic practices it would be wise for anyone hoping to become a convincing magician to prioritize.

I’m not talking about beginner magic tricks or the fundamentals of sleight of hand, either. Rather, I want to recommend some more general, slightly abstract ideas that will likely serve you well if you progress to more detailed magic lessons….

Know Your Props

Most magicians use props of one kind or another, whether that means secret accessories the audience isn’t meant to know about, special outfits, or more overt objects to involve in tricks (such as a wand or top hat). But you should also give some thought to any props you might want to include to help establish a persona and an act beyond your magic. The question ‘What’s a Party Without Balloons?’ has been asked here before, and it’s just the sort of question to start with when considering props. Figure out what speaks to you and what helps you develop your magician “character,” if you will, and it may help to steer the whole act you develop.

Learn Your Card Values

A lot of magicians start with card tricks. And while not all card tricks depend too much on card or hand values (perhaps even most don’t), it’s still a good idea to know the deck inside and out. And learning the different combinations of cards and their different values in popular games like poker is easier than you might expect. A downloadable “cheat sheet” on Poker.org basically puts all the information on a single page, so much so that you can study and begin your card trick education with a thorough understanding of value. For certain tricks, as well as for your interactions with audiences, it may come in handy to know how cards and combinations rank. The better you know the cards, the more convincing you’ll be.

Improve Your Hand Dexterity

Whether for sleight of hand, card tricks, handling unusual objects, or just developing those smooth movements and flourishes the best magicians have, it’s important to develop dexterity with your hands and fingers. It can take some time, but the fun part is that you can do it any number of ways! You might run programs that work on your typing speed or take up the practice of tying different knots. You might learn an instrument like the guitar or piano that demands a lot of your fingers. You may even consider working on your juggling, which can improve your hands and, according to Wired can even turn you into a better learner. Whatever you decide though, making your hands and fingers as capable as possible will only help your journey to become a good magician.

Train Like an Actor

A lot of people can benefit from an acting class or two besides actual actors. Indeed, an article at Inc.com even claims that the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs used acting techniques in order to speak and present with more authority. Given that half of being a magician is knowing how to perform anyway, this is certainly an idea to take to heart. Even a few acting classes and books will teach you a lot about how to relax in front of an audience, as well as how best to engage that audience. And in the end, if Magician A and Magician B are equal in talent, but Magician A studied acting and Magician B did not, Magician A is going to put on a better show every time.

Master Some Tiny Tricks

Lastly, make an effort to master — really master — some tiny tricks. When you’re just starting out, focusing on massive illusions or mind-blowing audience tricks is only likely to leave you frustrated. Instead, teach yourself how to pull off some small tricks, both to form the foundation for your earliest acts and, more importantly, to show yourself that you can do it. Every magician builds up from scratch, and starting that process at the beginning, rather than jumping to the middle, is the best tip I can give you.

If you are a budding magician or know someone who wants to be a magician and need guidance or lessons, contact me maione@sillymagician.com