#40 - Coronavirus Stay Home Part V: "Scripting, Research & Developing A Show”

We are in the final phases of the Stay Home Coronavirus Series. In this episode, we get magically creative. We discuss scripting, researching and developing your show. Are you where you want it to be with your show? Does it represent you?


  • Developing a show! We cover concept, character, story and magic.

  • How essential is production? We share our thoughts on Sound, lighting, cameras, and projection)

  • Research is key! Here's how we do it.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice.

  • PLUS: Discussions on blocking, staging and direction and more!

Listen to Episode 40 of Magicians Talking Magic




FEATURE: Developing your Show

Five easy steps in developing a new magic act:

1. Concept

Before we get into anything magical we have to think about what we are trying to say. This is so easy to overthink but what do you want to accomplish when you show someone magic? What aspects of magic do you enjoy most? Are there other hobbies or interests you have that are similar that you would like to share as well?

Basic Concept Ideas:

  • Mind Reading Show

  • A Seance

  • A Daredevil Escape Artist

  • School Show - Protect the Environment

When we have the basic concept in our mind we can start to create experiences in our mind of what this might look like.

Let's take a Daredevil Escape Artist for example:

I see bricks and chain-link fences, fire and smoke.

You can smell gasoline, popcorn and cotton candy

Rock and roll music is playing with the rip and roar of engines

We’re outside - in the round, there’s a big sweeping jib camera.

RESOURCE: Nick Wallace Interview

2. Character

If we follow along with this easy guide then it should be easy to think about your character if you have the story you want to tell. Not just the way your character might look, act and dress - but what is the background story of your character - those little details.

Let’s take a School Show Performer for example:

  • I am energetic, bright and positive but not overly plastic or fake

  • Wears cool, casual, street clothes - jeans and a branded t-shirt

  • Educated, family-oriented

  • Environmentally conscious but not pushy

  • Visually: Phil from Modern Family

  • Loves improv comedy and comedy podcasts

  • Youtuber and DIY’er

3. Story

What kind of story do we want to tell with this character and show concept? You are a dark and mysterious mentalist - now what? Coming up with a basic story flow will help motivate what magic effects we will add next! Essentially you sum up the character and the concept:

Let’s take a Mindreader for example:

I am a mind reader and I have studied and practiced these various skills that I will demonstrate to you tonight - these impossible and marvellous feats. Tonight I will reveal your darkest secrets!

4. Magic

PLAYTIME! This is what we have all been waiting for - the magic part - where does my Rubix cube solve GO?! Oh.. it doesn’t fit anymore. Isn’t it interesting how when you focus on the concept, character and story before the magic it’s easier to see that maybe some of the magic we are performing doesn’t really fit us or our character? We are magicians - that means storytellers through the art of magic - choose the best material to help tell YOUR story.

5. Technology & Production

Time to add the glitter to the show. Once your show has strong roots holding it together with your concept, character, story and magic - it is now time to enhance the experience. Think back to your original concept - what you want to achieve with your show - what is the ideal setting.

Software to think about:

  • Audio Ape

  • Q Labs

  • OBS

  • Show Cues

  • Video Switchers

  • Audio Mixers

Four Research Resources

  1. Discourse in Magic - Huge value from Jonah and team with the interviews

  2. Magicana - Massive library of old magic performance

  3. Masterclass - Everything from Writing to Poker - lots of lessons

  4. Your Outside Interests - Apply what you know outside of magic to your magic

Practice and Rehearsal

  • Set up a space

  • Feel like you are in a special performing space

  • Keep it clean and organized

  • Film yourself

  • Critique accordingly

  • Share with mentors and friends

  • Re-write, re-build

  • Keep doing what you love and don’t stop creating new and exciting magic.

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