Just Shut Up! The Benefits of Silence for Your Magic

A closer look at the psychology.

Illustration of magician reading news

It was one month ago. I was sitting in a theatre watching a magic gala show. Some of the performers were really good; others were average. So far, so good.

At one point, a magician took the stage and started speaking. Ten minutes later, he was still speaking. I have no problem with long acts. But the words the magician uttered were pointless and uninteresting, and nothing magical was happening on stage. All of a sudden, a lady in the audience yelled: "Just shut up!"

Immediately, I felt terrible for the performer. 

Then, I mentally cursed the lady. 

Yet, I believe she said what everyone was thinking.

We couldn't take it anymore.

I pondered for a while what didn't feel right in that performance. Okay, that guy was doing no tricks, but people can be interesting even without performing magic. The atmosphere on stage was static, but not everyone had to use crazy electronics or a 100-member dance company to create a good performance.

Then, I reconsidered what the (rude) lady had said. Just shut up.

Amidst all that talking, that act needed a pause. Silence. To break the rhythm. Let the audience breathe and give people time to shape their thoughts.

How about silence?

I deeply love good storytelling and admire those with the skills to emphasize magical effects only with words. Yet, there are times when all magicians need to do is stop talking.

My two biggest loves in life are psychology and magic. I have been doing magic since I was a little kid, and my passion for it led me to compete as a finalist at the World Magic Championships. On the other hand, I am enrolled in a Master's program in clinical psychology.

I want to share with you what magic and my background in psychology have taught me regarding the use of silence and when, why, and how you can use it to enhance your magic tricks.

This post is for magicians only

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