The Virtual Magic Shows

Are virtual magic shows worth it? 

For sure we will never replace the great sensation experienced during live magic shows!
But just as certain is our ability as magicians to reinvent ourselves doing what we love!
 
virtual magic shows

Every change in life brings a challenge, and the best way to face the challenge is to be open to change! 


COVID-19 has impacted the world and the way we interact in our daily lives. Every aspect of our lives has been changed. The magic industry is no exception. Live performances have been canceled, and we magicians are facing a new reality. That includes one of the biggest challenges and questions now before us: How do I reach audiences with my magic shows?

Online Virtual Magic Shows  

Recently I started seeing an increase in the use of online technology for live meetings as a tool to perform virtual magic shows. There are many platforms for virtual meetings that magicians started to use, but the most well-known is Zoom. 


Magicians and customers adapting to a virtual system

virtual magic shows

With this change, not only do magicians need to re-invent themselves and adapt. Our audiences do, too.

We magicians have had to change our shows to deliver them in front of a camera instead of rows of people giving instantaneous feedback. Instead of calling people up to the stage to participate in tricks, we now must deliver routines completely on our own in an empty room, looking at a screen or into a camera for reactions. 

Audiences have had to adjust, too. Instead of experiencing the thrill of a live magic show in a theater, school, library or other public place, they have had to watch a show on their screens. 

Still, like everything in life, these new circumstances bring challenges and also opportunities. Let’s consider some of them.


Virtual Online Magic Shows raise an ethical question: 


As professional magicians, we care about our audiences. In moments like this, we also worry about stabilizing our business income during times of great economic downturn. In the process, we must ask ourselves – in our eagerness to continue doing what we love and keeping our magic businesses afloat – are we damaging the image of magic shows by jeopardizing our audience’s experience? In that sense, are virtual online magic shows worth it?

After analyzing this situation and trying virtual shows a few times, I encountered numerous difficulties. As we move forward through this new reality, I feel confident that as an industry we will address these challenges. 

In the meantime, I’ve compiled some questions, pros and cons as well as an alternative related to online virtual magic shows.

VIRTUAL MAGIC SHOWS – PROS

 
  • 1- Social distance. It is safe: This is the most important! Both the audience and the magician can respect social distancing, with the audience members watching from the safety of their homes. For this reason alone, I believe it is worth it for audiences to give online shows a chance and for magicians to keep adapting their shows for an online audience. 
  • 2- An online magic show can target specific styles: A virtual online show can incorporate a specific magic theme and talent by the magician. For example, if an audience likes card tricks, kids magic shows for birthday parties, magic shows for corporate virtual meetings or comedy magic or illusions, the customer can pick a favorite style from the comforts of home or virtual office. 
  • 3- The private virtual magic show can be customized: The virtual magic show can be customized for a specific group or audience of friends and family for kids birthday parties, corporate meetings or other gatherings. 
  • 4- Virtual online magic shows are great for home and family settings: Many magicians are selling tickets for their shows for a Friday or Saturday night live online show.
    The great thing about this type of show is that the tickets are sold through one code: that means that for a $10-$20 ticket, for example, the whole family can enjoy a magic show from home – and with popcorn! 
  • 5- There’s no limit to creativity! This is my favorite: After a stressful week, a family can enjoy an online virtual magic show with fun experiments – like converting the whole living room into a magic theater before bringing the magician into their home through the television screen!


VIRTUAL MAGIC SHOWS – CONS 


As we magicians reinvent ourselves through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, we have been forced to find alternatives to our previous live performances. There have been some bumps along the way. It’s good to talk about them in order to find solutions and alternatives moving forward. 

  • 1. Internet Connections: Magicians and customers need to be prepared before the start of a live online show with good internet connections on both ends! Many times, this has led to problems when the connection has gone down at the start or in the middle of a show. It doesn’t matter how great the show is, when the magic of the internet doesn’t work, the frustration can be real. Be prepared – and be patient! 
  • 2. Quality of the video and sound: We are still exploring new ways to bring magic shows to audiences. With some of the available online meeting technology or platforms now being used for magic shows, the images are blurry for shows and the sound is not sufficient for the magician’s voice or music. The poor quality can ruin the show or fail to capture the attention of the viewers – leading them to get bored and turn it off. 
  • 3. Limits on audience participation: Many styles of stage magic call for audience participation. With online virtual magic shows, the magician might be able to talk or interact with the audience, but viewers will not be able to handle tricks or be part of the show as before. However some magic tricks can be done virtually like mentalism or predictions. 
  • 4. Signing into accounts: This is a big one! Despite advances with online technology, all of us, including me, have run into troubles signing into accounts to watch desired movies or to access other entertainment. As magicians turn to online meeting platforms as an outlet for virtual online magic shows, multiple problems have surfaced:
a. Security: personal information has been exposed on these platforms after they have been hacked, according to news reports.
b. Participants encounter delays with the system when signing in or with the program connecting to the internet and their television.
c. Synchronizing all the devices can be a challenge.
d. Meeting interruptions: all of the above issues, plus tardiness, can cause some audience members to sign in late for the show after it has started, interrupting the entire performance.
e. Time: In some cases, free accounts are good only for 30-40 minutes. The magician needs to pay attention so that the customer can re-start the meeting. Or pay for extra time. 


VIRTUAL MAGIC SHOWS - ONLINE ALTERNATIVES 


We magicians will keep trying in order to bring the best magical experience to our audiences in a safe and responsible way. In my next blog post, I will discuss a great alternative to online virtual magic shows that I have found to work well: a customized online magic show video! Stay tuned for more information!


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Are virtual magic shows worth it?

The Virtual Magic Shows

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