Magic Isn’t Just About The Tricks.

February 20th, 2012 | Team Ellusionist | Filed Under General

The picture above represents what I strive for as a magician. I work hard everyday to accomplish this in every show. It represents why I perform.

For many years, I thought magic was easy; I thought that as long as I did “good” tricks that nothing else mattered. I spent most of my early years  hiding behind my magic. I didn’t allow myself to create a bond with my audiences– I was distant, scared, and unrehearsed, yet I still considered myself a professional.

It took me speaking to a broadway actor that began my journey to better myself and my act. I was told flat out:

“Dude your tricks are amazing but you as a performer, well you suck!”

That hit me really hard and I didn’t understand why he said that to me. I had better than average slights, I was always told I was funny. What was it?

Soon after this conversation I began looking at some of the greats, not just in magic but in acting, comedy, broadway, you name it. I quickly realized that people remembered them, not because they were just funny, or amazing, or great actors, but instead they were remembered because they had character. They had developed a character and worked constantly to improve, learn and grow. Something I had never done nor thought of. It was time to make a change.

I tried to make characters up, I tried to be other people and in the end, for me, my character was me!

The person I had been looking for was with me all the time. Mind you it wasn’t as simple as just me going on stage and doing what I do in everyday life. I had to be honest with myself. I had to realize that not everyone is going to like or accept me. I had to realize that I had to be ok with who I am before anyone else could. For the next few years, I wrote scripts, I did open mic nights, even free shows. I did anything in my power to perform as much as possible for as many different people in as many different situations as possible. In fact, I stopped doing magic for a while and did stand up comedy.

I always considered myself a comedian but doing stand up quickly taught me that there is a HUGE diffrenence between being the funny guy and being a comedian. At another time I’ll tell all of you my stand up comedy experience, but for now I’ll continue with the topic at hand.

What I learned through these few experiences changed the way I thought and approached everything. I began looking back and earlier performances of myself and remembered being ashamed of what I was doing. I was ashamed for being so naive. To put it in different words, I learned to make toast and eggs and went out calling myself a chef. It was humbling and one of the best things that happened to me. To this very day, I still work hard to make my show even better. In the end, I want my audiences not only to be amazed but to leave my show more than satisfied. I want what I did for them to be a fun, enjoyable, and amazing experience that they have NEVER had before. I don’t want there to be anyone else that they can compare me too. I want to be something different, something that they have never seen and never will again.

There is something to be said about the people that are legends. They are unlike anything that has ever been and no one else can do what they’ve done the way they’ve done it. That’s why they’re remembered. That’s why they’re loved. They realized that being a magician isn’t just about fooling people. Magic isn’t just about the tricks.

I know I will accomplish my goal and I’d like to help you accomplish your goal. Let’s work together to change the face of magic.

Leave comments below as to why you do magic and what you get out of it. Also don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself and me by tell me things you feel you need help with. I’ll do my absolute best to get you going in the right direction.

Your voice matters. Let it be heard.

-Xavior Spade


  1. Tell that to Teller.

  2. Bernard Lieberman on:

    I perform because I enjoy the moments of suspension in disbelief. I know I’ve demonstrated something awe-inspiring when their is virtually no reaction…

    No, I’m not talking about performing for people in a vegetative state, I’m talking about the ability to harness you and your surroundings to really unlock that unlimited potential of your user. Capturing every last drop of breath and power they have and not letting it fully go until you’ve finished your performance — that’s what I perform.

    Something that I’d love to help with is making the transition from having a stage name and dealing with your given name. Do you have any recommendations on how you can transition between the two easily? For example, I’ve been playing around with ideas for a performance oriented name which I haven’t officially started to use as of yet primarily because I have so much material printed with my given name.


  3. nice job spade…. i can relate and have taken a similar path.. very fruitful studying entertainment.

  4. I still remember the first time when i perform magic for my friends,they laugh,and amazed by the effects. That is the moment i realised that magic can be so fun and enjoyable,and i love to see people laugh after my performance. This is the reason why i started to perform magic and to understand more about magic. At the very beginning,i thought that magic is about strong effects. The more stronger it is,the more magical it will be. But i found out that everytime when i had performed a very high impact magic,i did not get what i want from my spectator..i felt like..something is missing..i practice my sleights all over and over..but the situation is still the same. After that,i tried to seek advices from my mentor and read some books.I had learnt that magic is not just about the effects,is about communication and the way you present it to your spectator.Juan Tamariz inspired me a lot in his book,’The 5 Points In Magic’ he stated that ‘neither the apparatus nor the effects,nor the decorations,nor the devices matter,if we fail to transmit a magical atmosphere’. Now i am starting out to perform in various occasions as a comedy magician,just like you,Spade..i always try my best to perform the best for my spectators. Everytime when i perform,i just hope that i can perform more,keep on going,and to become a true profesionals.Everytime when spectators laugh and applause after your performance,you will realise that you have achieve something great,and people will remember the moment. What i afraid is that everytime right before i perform,i afraid that i can’t perform the best for my spectators and they will feel disappointed. I always worry about this,i need some advices that can help me to overcome this problem. Your advices are much more appreciated..thank you..^^

  5. Both men reield on the system to handle an issue that was fundamentally and basically human. When confronted with deep evil they did not turn to their own revulsion, but instead to a bureaucracy. As someone who spent one year of his college years in a major football program, you ar

  6. Powerful post, Spade. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m only an amateur and a beginner magician, but I’m already astounding some of my friends and coworkers with just the tricks.

    The problem I have is that I don’t know what kind of “persona” I express. I’m not funny like you, and I’m not spooky like David Blaine. I don’t know what I am! How do I discover “myself?” If I know what kind of persona I portray then I can improve and develop it so I can be myself, but a “bigger” self that creates more impact.

    Thanks again for Rewind and your insights!

  7. hi i do magic cause i wanted to do something differnt and i want to be the best at what i do. when i do a trick over and over again and pratice it over again i get happy cause i know the more i do it the closer i get to doing it right.but i do need help with the audience management part of my magic and my slight of hand and making a character for myself. so if you can help me that would be awsome and thank you for your advice and your time.

  8. This is really inspiring, especially to us trying to develop our performance. I’m practicing with all the free time I have, to develop competent and smooth technique. But from talking to professionals, they have stressed the importance of developing character and personality. Is there something we can do to further this development, or do we need to discover it on our own path?