Be Ready For Anything!
When I walk on stage, be it as a magician or as a speaker for MentalTheft, I have to be ready for anything. So many people ask me how I can look so relaxed while dealing with so many things at once? And the truth is that I just don't know!
I think I can remember a time when walking out on stage scared me, but it just doesn't scare me in that way anymore!
Now, I need to be careful here, I know that being on stage in front of hundreds of people can be a scary experience for some! But I've been doing this since I was a child. Various stage shows as an actor, singer and dancer (and no I won't be busting any moves for you at my next appearance!) so to me this is now my “normal”.
I was always rubbish at learning scripts, only taking the script seriously once I had been threatened with being replaced.......... No change there....... So my happiest place was improvisation.
You don't have to remember the words, you can just go with the flow of what's happening around you!
I also love playing D&D with friends of mine, which again is massive improvisation with the support of those around you!
Whenever I get on stage it starts with some wonder, some hesitation and possibly some hostility from the audience themselves. Once they see me do a few things and see that they too can be involved with the journey I'm about to take them on their view changes.
I've had the most hostile audiences turn into the biggest raving fans due to the fact that I believe the whole show is a massive team effort!
Recently I did a talk on MentalTheft, I walked out on stage and said my normal hello - “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Newton, I'm a magician, a mind reader and a hypnotist” I literally heard the groan from the audience. It was easy to know what the groan meant and it was this – Why are we listening to a magician talk for 45 minutes when we need to concentrate on business issues.
Now. Listen carefully. I'm quite happy with this because the truth is that it is MY job to give these people a reason to listen. I explain that I've been scamming people for years because magic isn't real (sorry but it's true) I explain that I use tricks and mind reading skills to prove that ANY security measures you have in place can be by-passed by ME.
I then offer proof.
It's at this point that all of my improvisation skills and my D&D playing come to life. I've just used the last 60 seconds of Class A bullcrap (or waffle as my wife would prefer) to work out who would be a great mark (victim or volunteer) and I've worked out exactly which scam to do.
I cannot script this.
I can however be ready with years of improv practise to know that whatever happens I'll get the result that the event organiser needs.
So the moral of today's story is this.
If you want to be ready for anything and go on stage – Go play some D&D
Love you all.