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Creating Your Magic Routine

Updated on April 12, 2015


Perhaps you are just starting out in magic or have been doing magic for a while and have been buying, magic trick after magic trick that appealed to you.Then before you knew it. You have accumitlated a lot of magic stuff that is just collecting dust..Card magic, money magic, silk magic, sponge ball magic, mental magic, math magic; and so on.

If you go by this simple plain. Apply it to your trick(s). You too could be getting that long awaited praised that you so richly deserve!


First,understand your trick. You don't have to be perfect at it yet. That will come through many showings.

This is not as difficult as it my sound. Don't fright. It becomes easier and easier the more you do the trick.

One bit of advice my ex-mentor gave me is this. (Use this, please!): "Sam," he said. "Get rid of all of that useless magic you have and keep the magic that you like most. Narrow it down to at less ten to twenty effects. Rip out the pages from your magic books and save the tricks from it you like to do. Only ten or twenty. Get very good at them and just perform them for many years."

Well you can't imagine how dumb I thought that was. I have spend lots of money on the magic things and he wanted me to throw away most of them. Please!

But in time I did what he had asked (more or less) and he was right!

To this day, I have been performing and entertaining thousands of people all over. The results are high praise and admiration.

You see what I had learned was less is best!

I didn't stop learning new magic. But the advice my ex-mentor had given me, help me perform the new magic better. "Perform better," is the key words.


Now that you have your tricks. What about the COMEDY part.

You have at some time in your life told a joke. It got laughs. Then you are funny. Doing COMEDY magic is no difficult task. It is just as easy as telling a joke.


Learn from funny magicians. The web is full of comedy magicians. Get books at the local library on funny magic. Perhaps you know a funny magician or saw one do a show. Study their method(s). Adapt it to who you are.

I have some material that is filled with professional magicians that share and encourage the reader to use their funny material to enhance their own magic.

In short. Load up as much ammo as you can. Perhaps you drop something while performing. What do you do or say that can be funny? Well just say: "That's the first drop that I had all day." Then chuckle at your own joke to trigger a response of laughter from your audience.

Perhaps you might want to say: "That's the part of the trick that I didn't practice."

Or perhaps, what do you do if the audience laughs at your mishap? Just say humorously: "Don't laugh. It's not funny." Then carry on with the show. The great magician David Ginn says in his material, (Kid Biz,) "MIT," (Magician In Trouble.) In the chapter he teaches what a magician should do and say when things don't go quite right in a show. If you haven't already purchased this book do so. There are a lot of useful material for any magician. David says that people love to see the magician in trouble. So he shows you how to use that to your advantage.


This is something that can't be expressed enough. ENTERTAINMENT!

You always want to leave your audience ENTERTAINED!

To be a good ENTERTAINER. You need something called: SHOWMANSHIP!

SHOWMANSHIP is perhaps the icing on the cake. (There's that icing and cake again.)

A good showman knows how to work the crowd. The showman knows which buttons to push in the audience to get a positive result that will generate the praise and admiration he/she so desires.

Again learn by studying the great showmen of all time. If you have natural ability, that's great. Then you are ahead of the game. Build your ability and skills to be a good showman.

Unfortunately, there isn't a "lesson 101" in this course. It is a skill within you that you have to find. An ability we all have. Yes, you have the ability to be a good showman!

Perhaps, for example, you have been the life of the party at one time. Then you have displayed a sense of showmanship.

Perhaps the next day. Your office buddies or friends came up to you and said: "Boy, you sure did make the party fun last night!"

Showmanship has different expressive styles. You can be funny, serious, sad, calamitous or any combination of these and more. You have to find that within you. Pull it out and use it.


Now that you have acquired all of the tips and skills of your ability you can start putting together a magic routine.

Whatever the case may be, you don't have a magic routine.

Help is on the way.

Lets take this from step one. Lets say that you bought a magic effect or learned one from another source. Chances are, you can't wait to show it to somebody. Now perhaps the first thing that you do after learning how the trick works, is to sit down and practice it a few times until you've got it.

Lets say that you are doing the, "Cut and Restored Rope," trick. But you don't have a routine to go with it. You simply give the trick a cold performance. You might start off like this:


"I have here a length of rope." (You say, holding the rope out for all to see.)

"Now, I'm going to cut the rope at the center." (Cut rope with scissors.)

"Now that gives me two ropes, right." (You say, displaying the cut rope.) "Now watch. I'll put the ropes back together." (Now at this point you tie two of the ends of ropes together.Then triumphantly flash the tied ropes, at which point, where it was supposedly have gotten a laugh. Instead, your audience watch on dryly.)

At an attempt to redeem yourself, you say.

"But, watch. I can pull the knot off, like this. Making one rope again." (You slide the knot off of the rope and display it proudly.)

By now you have lost half your crowd and did a sloppy performance.

So what went wrong?

Here you have this great trick. One that many magicians has amazed and mystified many for years. You did all the moves right. Yet, still. You didn't get praise for the trick.

In this illustration, your supposed performance SUCKED! It was dull and did not have any entertainment value whatsoever.

NOW lets take a CLOSER look at how to fix this and make this and perhaps all of your future magic effects play well by using this, one of many methods.

What was missing in this presentation was simply a good ROUTINE!

That's what every magic effect needs. A GOOD ROUTINE. Something that'll make even the simple tricks seem greatly amazing. So this was an example of a BAD routine.

A ROUTINE is something an artist put together in an act for presentation. The routine can be funny, mysterious, spooky and so on.

Also, it can have patter, some music or be done in complete silence. Or some or all of these elements at stages of the performance.

Lets look at this trick again and use comedy for our drive force. Also lets add some clever lines that will help the audience to better understand and appreciate the effect.

Ready, here we go.


You begin by saying, "I'll like to get someone to help out with this trick." (Point to a lady in the audience.) "You, if that is your real name. Come up and help out with this trick?How about giving her a great big applause, ladies and gentlemen as she comes up."

As your helper approach, say: "Careful, don't trip over the foot lights." (Even if there aren't any foot lights. This still gets a chuckle when the spectator tries not to step on the [imaginary] foot lights.)

After getting your spectator on stage, say. "Thank you so much for helping out. What is your name? Lets assume our helper is named, Susan. You say,"Susan. That's a nice name. Would you like to sell it? The audience may chuckle.

"Let me ask you, Susan. Have we ever met before. No. Then how do you know it's me?"

More chuckles.

You continue.

"Now, Susan. In order to do this trick. We're going to need a length of rope. Do you perhaps have a length of rope I can use? Never mind. I have one right here."

Remove a length of rope about twelve inches long from your pocket. "Now I'll like for you to examine the rope. Make sure that it isn't a trick rope with magnets or have anything, like, trap doors. That it is in fact an ordinary length of rope."

After Susan has looked the rope over and is okay with it. Take the rope back. "Good." You say.

Then you continue.

"And, now, Susan. We're going to perform the famous Cut and Restored Rope trick.

For this you are going to need a pair of scissors. Wait a minute. I'll get them"

(This is a good spot to use the Break-away scissors gag. It is a pair of scissors magic shops carry that when the helper tries to use them to cut something, the scissors will fall apart.)

You hold the rope with the middle folded up between your fingers and thumb.Then you ask Susan to cut the center of the rope that you hold. When she attempts to cut the rope. The scissors fall apart. You look a bit dismay and the audience chuckles.

"You broke my scissors, Susan. That was my favorite pair of scissors." You say humorously. "Never mind. I have another pair. Never leave home without a spare!"

Give her the spare set of scissors. (Real ones this time.)

"Now, I'm a pretty scientific magician. I like my tricks to be precise. If I want a length of rope cut into, for example, I'd rather have it cut from the exact center."

Have Susan cut the center of the rope into.

"Nicely, done. Look, you did a magic trick. You made one rope into two." You say. But then. You notice that one of the lengths is shorter than the other. "Wait a minute. One end is shorter than the other. That's not very precise, Susan. Lets start from the beginning."

Then you stretch the two ropes out and they become one long rope again. Then you repeat the business of cutting the rope again.

The results are the same. But you move on after getting some laughs. "On the count of three. I will miraculously and mysteriously restore this rope back into one length again. One, two and three" As you count. You tie two of the rope ends into a knot then dangle the full length knotted rope for all to see. After the corny display and reaction from the audience. You say: "Well, I never said how I would put them back together."

You then hold the rope stretched out in front of Susan and ask her to blow on the knot. It then mysteriously pops off of the rope onto the floor. Hold the fully restored rope out for display. Give Susan the rope and knot to take home as a gift.

Take your bow.


This is a fine routine. Study the differences between the two examples. See how one is dull and the other is funny and entertaining. Use gags and material that the author encourage you to use and then make them your own by changing it to fit your style and your personality and program. This will make the routine your own and personally a unique trick.

Test the routine out on people and see what their reactions are and build from that. Make changes and improvements on the routine until it is perfect. Many professionals use this method in their routines. From close up to stage illusions.

Before long, you too will be getting the praise and admiration you so long for.

Good luck.

Recommended sources and books: Bobo's Book Of Magic, J.B.Bobo's The Bobo Magic Show, David Ginns Book Kid Biz, Magic For Dummies, Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic, Greg Davidson's EveryThing Magic Book, Dennis Rourke Everything Card Tricks Book, Cara Frost-Sharratt's 101 Clever Card Tricks and Nicholas Einhorn's Magical Illusions Conjuring Amazing Puzzles & Stunning Stunts.

Internet sources: Mismag 822, Andy Fields Magic At The Card Table and Juan Fernando Magic.

This and many other sources can be found to give you all of the ammo that you will need to enhance your dusted-bunny tricks and even a broader range of wonderful new magic effect that you can perform and tips to help you become better at your magic.

Make a list of your favorite tricks and commit to making them better and more entertaining.

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    • samuel hodges profile imageAUTHOR

      samuel hodges 

      3 years ago from Winston-Salem NC

      So to reply back and update on some comments saying that I needed to correct some grammar errors to get more credibility from the Hubs that I write. Well I rewrote the whole Hub and republished it. I even changed the title so as to make chances for someone searching for that subject matter easier.

      again, thank you for your comments and support.

    • samuel hodges profile imageAUTHOR

      samuel hodges 

      4 years ago from Winston-Salem NC

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, the corrects will be made, and soon. Look forward for a more indebt thought out clarification.


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