The new year has just begun, which means you’ve probably given a thought or two to resolutions you’ll hope to keep, like finally fixing that closet door that sticks or exercising more. Those are great aspirations, but in the latest issue of Vanish Magic Magazine, Nick Lewin has five great resolutions magicians should adopt as they make their way through 2018. 

1. Support our remaining brick and mortar stores

“It is very easy to click on a website and send a PayPal payment for a prop to a digital business. However, an awful lot is missing without the personal touch. Next year I am going to make the effort to really visit and support our remaining old school magic dealers. These vendors/mentors deserve our participation and financial support; there is a specific role that they fulfill that has NOT been replaced by YouTube, and it never, ever will be.” 

2. Reacting to a show like a real person

“We magicians tend to sit with a fairly combative look on our faces [when watching a magic show] and are then more sparing with our applause than it is possible to believe…I know we are all primarily trying to concentrate on what is being done by the performer, however, there is a very definite give and take between a performer and an audience member, and it is important that we enter fully into our part of the allotted interaction.”

3. Adapt to the brave new world

“Much as we like to bitch about the trend of politically correct attitudes that are currently so prevalent: this is what is happening at this moment in time…so you had better get used to it, or realize you are becoming a dinosaur…if you have any doubts about your material, then cut it out. What was okay five years ago may not work today, and saying, ‘Well, it still gets a laugh,’ just doesn’t cut it anymore. Take the time to edit and rewrite material that is outmoded. Even if the new version doesn’t get you as big a laugh initially, it will do when the line is adapted, developed, and broken in. Magic has a pretty well deserved reputation for being generally corny, dated, and sexist–don’t add to it!”

4. Digging back into a good book

“A video can teach you exactly how someone else performs an effect, but the temptation is to follow the instructor’s visual example very literally. With a book, there seems to be a little more room for inserting your own individuality into the process of learning…I believe there is a huge difference in the process of learning from reading and watching. I think it largely has to do with seeing something in your Mind’s Eye as opposed to observing it from the fixed camera viewpoint.”

5. Copyright is an aspect of conscious, not just a symbol on a piece of paper

“Entire routines and comedy monologues are available to help you develop your show. However, this doesn’t mean you can cherry pick jokes and routines from performers at will. Because the material is out there does NOT mean it is fair game for performers to steal. There are some definite guidelines that not only beginners, but also seasoned pros like myself need to remind themselves about on an ongoing basis…You wouldn’t go to a magic convention and steal props from the dealer’s table, so don’t do it with something less tangible like a comedy concept or joke.” 

To read the entire article, sign up for a free subscription to Vanish Magic Magazine, and if you have any magic-related resolutions of your own, share them with us in the comments.