In Defense of Your Audience

By Andi Gladwin - Sunday, December 13, 2020

There's one thing you need to know about your audience. Some magicians forget it, but it's the one thing you need to know about them that will elevate your performance into an experience that your audience members will always remember:

The people in your audience are just as interesting as you.

When watching other magicians, it's always clear which magicians realise this. They're the ones that don't just talk at the audience, or respond to audience interactions with stock lines. Instead, they interact with their audience members and make them part of the performance.

Andi Gladwin performing

Many magicians think that the best audience interaction is to have someone perform a mundane task like pick a card or examine an object. It isn't: the real goal should be to genuinely interact with audience members and then find ways to make the audience feel that the performance is unfolding just for them. That’s why I try to create tricks like my People Power routine where I deliberately make space for interaction within the routine.

I remember David Williamson saying in a podcast something that has stuck with me ever since: “my greatest fear is that the audience will think they’re seeing the same show as the audience last night saw.” We can only achieve that with interaction.

Reader comments:


Thursday, 17 December 2020 04:36 AM - Reply to this comment

Super Refreshing, and super important in this ZOOM-era


Saturday, 19 December 2020 02:54 AM - Reply to this comment

Very true, Andi. Meaningful interaction makes any performance more interesting and engaging... and not only for the audience but for the performer as well. That feedback loop is a virtuous cycle.


Sunday, 20 December 2020 21:16 PM - Reply to this comment

This reminds me of comments about the American comedian Flip Wilson. It was said that the audience really hoped that HE would like THEM.

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