By Bob Fitch

From the November 1999 issue of The Linking Ring, reprinted with permission.

The idea of Magic Performance Workshop was born when I realized, from coaching many magicians, that simply "fixing" their acts or solving their problems were not enough. They relied almost entirely upon the routining, costume, music and/or patter to fulfill their ideas of presentation. In other words, the tricks were more important than they were.

I felt that the basic tools of the actor were necessary requirements for a magician's fulfillment as an entertainer; which echoes Robert Houdin's phrase that "a magician as an actor playing hte part of a magician."

Thus, the workshop included seven days of yoga, speech, basic acting, movement & spacial exercises, as well as breaking down the material that each particpant brought in terms of: character, point of view, fears and communication skills. Everyone particpated in each others' self-discovery process.

Did it work? Yes, beyond all expectations. Everyone went away excited with new discoveries and fresh realizations. They were more focused, more dynamic and more motivated. It IS a viable approach to the magician's art. In the future, I'd like to expand upon this experience, utilizing "the actor's tools" to put the magician INTO his magic!