Your Unique Magical Mix
Magicians often give the advice to "be yourself!" This is my attempt to explain what that actually means in a more practical, and applicable way.
Using your interests to inspire your magic
No two magicians are alike. Surely! It seems a mathematical impossibility.
There are hundreds of countries and cultures around the world. Thousands of professional fields. Hundreds of thousands of hobbies... and the unique you is where those points overlap.
I encourage you to paint your magical presentations and stories coloured by this unique blend that is you.
The gist of it; a plumber from Detroit ought to perform a card trick very differently than a lawyer in London. (ie: Larry Jennings and Guy Hollingworth)
You'd think this unique style would develop naturally, and it likely would if magicians sprang from the earth and jumped on stage. However, by the time we get to performing, we have been shaped an molded by countless inspirations and influences.
We lose track of ourselves.
When I was a young magician, watching Lance Burton, Master Magician, on TV, I wanted to be like him. I got the Fantasio candle. I even, briefly, had a dove. (named "Burton" no less!) If you know me and my style today, that thought of me attempting Lance's act is laughable.
You need to be willing to re-build a routine from scratch to make it suit yourself. However it was built, whoever created it, they were baking in their own life and experiences, and it won't work so well for you.
Let's look at a practical examble of how I might find a presentation that suits me.
I'm working on a routine with ESP cards. For most people, a mentalism trick is about creating the illusion of "mind reading."
But I don't believe in ESP, or psychics, or crystals, or "energy", or.... anything. I don't believe in the supernatural, and I have zero interest in pretending, or encouraging anybody else, to believe in it.
That's part of my life, and my story. How can I rationalize what others believe to be the mystical universe at work?
I have an interest in science-y stuff. There's a theory that the universe is infiite in size. If that's the case, then that means, eventually, you will find another planet Earth out there. In fact, you would find an infinite number of planet Earths!
If that's true, you will also come across infinite me's and infinite you's, and we may all be making similar, but different choices in our life. Like monkeys and typewriters, eventually we will find the YOU that will be able to make perfect guesses every time. Maybe this you is the one!
That's a story that excites me a whole heckuva lot more than "aligning your feng shui" or something. Now I can start building up the routine in a way that suits me.
Take a trick in need of a presentation, and look for where that trick overlaps with your life.
Coin in Bottle? Maybe you grew up by the ocean, and you wanted to send a message in a bottle across the world, but in order to get a reply, you included a quarter so they could buy a stamp!
Chop Cup? Maybe you grew up helping your dad fix cars. After a days work, he'd take you for ice cream IF you won his game. He grabbed a tin cup and nut(?) and made you guess. You weren't very good at it, but... [lift cup to reveal an ice cream sundae!]
Creativity is about connecting the dots. If you can connect with something meaningful to you, it ought to resonate more strongly with an audience.