Setting Up Your Magic Shows - Part 1

Imagine that you have walked out on stage and just finished your opener to rave applause. Your show continues like a well tuned sports car until you get to the fourth magic effect. You introduce the magic trick and the audience quiets in eager anticipation. You begin to patter and suddenly realize that the trick was not set up correctly. You can't finish the trick. You are standing in the middle of the stage alone with no out and nowhere to go. The crowd's silence shifts from anticipation to nervousness. What do you do?

I have been there and it's no fun. A witty retort like "you didn't want to see this trick anyway" or "bad magic" is a disservice to both the performer and the audience. I want to share with you my simple method of setting up magic shows so this does not happen to you. This method will improve the professionalism of your show, free you to concentrate on your performance, and improve the quality of your show as viewed by your customers. In short, it will improve your magic shows and make your current customers beg to hire you again and again. Why? You look and act more professional and your customers will reward your increased professionalism with more bookings. Happy customers mean happy magicians!

I assume you have a computer. This process can be done manually but it is much easier with a computer. You will need an office suite (word processor, spread sheet, presentation software, etc.). Most computers come with the software already loaded on it. If you need a good FREE office suite download Open Office at:

Step 1

You need to create a word processing file for each trick you intend to perform at future magic shows. As soon as I get a new magic trick, I create a file for it in my word processor. The file name uses the following format:


For example, my Substitution Trunk Illusion file is Sub Trunk-08-12-2004.doc. This file name translates to Substitution Trunk Illusion file created on August 12, 2004. The file naming system allows me to easily keep track of my most current file version and have a backup of prior versions if I ever choose to go back to them. I keep all of my magic trick files in a folder called "Magic Tricks" on my computer.

Next time we will find out exactly what to put in this file.

Author: J.L. Siefers


3rd Jun 07
That's really smart i'm going to start doing it
30th Oct 08
oops, my bad, pressed the button before writing the comment. My word processor will now include a new folder, thanks for the idea. :)
6th Apr 13

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