Continuing my ongoing obsession with smart ways to pack small & play big …
An appreciation of Mr. Chris Power’s coins through silk performance.
Before continuing, if you’d like to learn this trick, here’s a link. I have no profit motive or affiliation with Mr. Power. I simply really dig this performance, and expected you would, too. Feel free to go forth, purchase, and learn.
There’s a ton of goodness in this performance, but I want to focus on one aspect: how a smart script magnified small props to a large audience.
Mr. Power spent two plus minutes introducing the props before he did a thing with them. It gave the audience an exact impression of the lay of the land he wanted to convey. Very importantly, he did it in a funny, entertaining manner. Only with that understanding, was the audience then ready to appreciate the trick.
Coins through silk is not a big trick. Chris Power got the audience to care about the trick and to be interested in the trick by first getting them to be interested in HIM with an engaging introduction. So smart.
Then in presenting the trick, reminded me of old speech writing advice:
Tell’em what your going to tell’em.
Tell’em what you told them.
We all know the Vernon quote, “Confusion is not magic.” With that in mind, I’d add this corollary: “An audience wondering what the heck is he holding is definitely confusion.” Yes …yes …it’s easy to become bored with a script that is merely a description of the movement of the props. I get that. That’s not what’s going on in this performance. The humor …the panache … the pauses (especially the pauses) ...all magnify what is going on with the coins and handkerchief.
BONUS: The glass ashtray has nothing to do with the magic or method, yet everything to do with the presentation. Again, so smart.
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about imitating his delivery or script. Instead, I watch this and ask myself:
What tricks in my current or potential stage repertoire would benefit from fine tuning my script with an entertaining description of the “lay of the land”?
I’d encourage you to ask the same.
Again, you can purchase Mr. Power’s routine here.