Case Study: Theming Made Easy

I’ve been the magician for a daddy/daughter dance for six years. The most recent was last Saturday night. I confess, it’s the cutest event I do all year. Picture about 200 dads and 200 daughters in fancy dresses. Sold out event. Reminds me of when my daughter, now 33 years old, was much younger. Yes, your old Doc here is a bit of a sentimental sap …

Each year the event has a different theme. This year’s theme was “Pretty In Pink.”

Important distinction:

I’m talking about theming, not customizing. For our purposes, theming is altering visual or script elements of your act to suit the theme of an event. Customizing is altering those same elements to suit the message of an event.

In corporatese, theming is wearing the company logo on your shirt. Customizing is writing a script with 5 points sharing how the XYZ company is so great.

Yes, I realize there are gray lines between these and my definitions might appear to be somewhat arbitrary. Well, that is one privilege of writing one’s own blog. HA!

Back to theming …

Many magicians respond with an involuntary eye roll at the thought of theming a show. Or they go way overboard and the theme becomes a huge pain, for both them and the audience.

Ugh. I get that reaction if you don’t take the right approach. So having just performed with this theme two days ago, I thought this event would make for a great case study on theming.

Recognize what you can’t do.

The theme was pretty in pink. I wasn’t going to do try to “do pretty.”

Recognize what you can do easily with BIG impact.

Pink. Pink is easy. So pink was the focus.

I bought a pair of white sneakers at a thrift shop and a spray can of pink fabric paint at a craft store. I put some masking tape on the shows for a neat paint job, then painted.

Large pink silk to drape my table. Pink diamond silk to vanish. Pink tie.

Let’s add it up like the old credit card commercial from decades back.

Thrift shop sneakers: $10
Pink paint: $7
Thrift shop pink silk necktie $1
Pink diamond silk $4
Large pink silk: $10
Near effortless client retention: Priceless

There were a couple of other things, but these were no cost and only took a few minutes.


Client loved it and particularly liked my pink shoes lol.
“Can’t be easy finding size 13 pink sneakers.”

Moral of the story:

Though there are exceptions to this “moral,” it’s fair to say theming is a condiment, not a meat.

The meat of the act are the routines you’ve done for years. These are the workhorses that get laughs and amazement. Go with what is a proven worker.

The condiments are the theming efforts that serve to acknowledge the theme and give your show cohesion with the large event. And like the chocolate on the pillow in a hotel, it doesn’t take much effort while supplying a lot of happy to the client and guests.

Hope this case study helps with any theming challenges you have in the future.


Doc Dixon

PS: While you’re here, check out our newest addition to the company store, Maweege. If you find yourself at an event where there’s a anniversary couple present, it gives you the ability to instantly theme your show on the spot.
Save $20 by ordering before Tuesday, February 21 @ midnight.

As of this writing, the current store:

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