Advice for Magicians: Leeds magician Kristian Treen
Updated: Feb 1
Magic can be a minefield. There's so many publications, websites and whatever else out there that it can be difficult to know where to turn, especially for people just starting out in the world of magic.
I've been practicing and performing magic for over ten years. I currently work professionally in Leeds, UK, and am constantly performing at weddings, events and private functions. In no way am I declaring myself an expert in the field of magic. There's plenty of people who know more than me and have been in the game for much longer.
But, nevertheless, I honestly feel that the things I have learnt over the years will be beneficial to anybody in magic whether you are a seasoned pro or an absolute beginner. Let's get into it.
STOP LEARNING TRICKS, START PERFORMING
There's a phenomenon in magic that I call the bedroom magician. The bedroom magician is someone who only does tricks for him/herself in their bedroom. They never go out and actually perform. They collect tools but never build anything.
I can say this because guess what? I used to be one. I'd just spend my days practicing in front of the mirror and calling myself a magician. You can't call yourself a magician until you are actually going out, on a consistent basis, and performing for strangers.
Sure, there's no harm in performing for friends and family. But there needs to be a progression. There needs to be a point where you take the leap and just do it. Don't get me wrong, performing can be terrifying especially if you've never done it before.
If you struggle with performance anxiety (we all do at some point) then take a look at an article I wrote which is dedicated to the subject.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF MAGIC
For maybe the first 3 or 4 years that I was in magic, I only used cards. The ever-increasing popularity of cards which has been massively fuelled by the meteoric rise of cardistry over the past few years has resulted in performers being confined to the paper pasteboards.
If you only perform with cards then you are not a magician. When someone first said this to me when I was about 15 years old, I immediately rejected the statement, considering it nonsense. But the guy who said this was absolutely spot-on. If you advertise yourself as a magician, then you are misrepresenting yourself. You are calling yourself something you are not.
Of course, there are some phenomenal performers who just use cards. But why not experiment. Why not try new things. I get it. Cards are cool. Cards are current and everybody is using them. But there's the sting. Everybody uses cards. There's so much opportunity for you to stand out . There's so much else that magic has to offer.
I now perform with ropes, Rubik's cubes, ice and polo mints to name a few. Do yourself a favour, get out of your comfort zone and spend time playing with different objects.
When performing magic, there's a natural tendency, especially when you're first starting out, to rush through your routine. A 10 minute set will be over in 2. My advice, slow down and remember to breathe. Remember to breathe? Are you serious?
Yes. It sounds absolutely ridiculous to remind you to do something that we do every single day to keep us alive but it's so so true. When we are nervous, when we are stressed, our breathing becomes short and sharp.
Listen, there is no rush. Chill out and take your time. Unless you are performing at some magic speed dating event (yes they exist) then there's no reason to rush. Enjoy your own performance. Live in the moment rather than being up in your head stressing about your next move.
When you slow down, you are able to create genuine moments between you and your spectators and that, my friends, is what magic is all about.
So there we have it. I really hope you found value in this article and are able to take something away and be a better magician for it. Everything that I have shared is just my opinion and just my thoughts. If you disagree with anything then that is absolutely fine.
The amazing thing about magic is that there is no predetermined path. You can't do it all. I invite you to experiment with new things, get out of your bedroom and remember to slow down. Carve your own path, live as you please and whatever you decide to do, make sure you're happy.