This is a list that I included at the end of my “How to be an Illusionist” book. But I thought it was too important not to share it with everyone.
I’ve made many of these mistakes along the way so hopefully, it will save you time, money and effort!
An original authorized Mark Kalin Fire Spiker built by Tim Clothier.
Photo credit: www.illusionprojects.net
1) Creating, investing in and producing an illusion show without having a market to perform the show
2) Buying a new illusion without considering practical issues such as transportation, storage, set up time and manpower issues/ costs.
3) Thinking that the illusions alone make the show. Without the personality of the illusionist the illusions are just objects made of metal and wood.
4) Packing the show with as many illusions as possible. More does not mean more. Sometimes less is more.
5) Presenting an illusion in a show without proper rehearsal and without thinking about the blocking, choreography, economy of action and stage movement
6) Performing an illusion with multiple dancers dancing across the whole stage during the illusion
7) Using choreography from the 1980s where the illusionist dances with his assistant before and after an illusion while wearing costumes that went out of style 30 years ago
8) Buying and performing pirated or unauthorized illusions. Not being able to afford an authorized illusion is not an excuse. It just means you are not ready to perform illusions yet. The sad thing, as of this writing, every single illusion prop coming out of China is pirated.
9) Using the same music as other illusionists use, especially well-known performers
10) Lining up multiple illusions and props on stage throughout the show thinking that it will impress an audience. It does not. It makes the stage look cluttered and reflects badly on the professionalism of the show.
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