Showmanship for Magicians

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One of the most discouraging thoughts is that nothing is original anymore. With so much creativity happening online in multi-media ways, you could practically google your idea, song, or concept, and find that someone else did it first.

So this passage in Steve Martin’s new book, “Born Standing Up,” has me believing in original thought again.

Martin bought a copy of this book, “Showmanship for Magicians,” by Dariel Fitzkee. In the forward, Fitzkee writes that the “handbook is meant to turn amateurs into professionals.”

Each show should have music, rhythm, comedy, sex appeal, personality, and an element of selling yourself. Each one is vitally necessary, Fitzkee writes.

In particular, one line in the book made a young Martin cut all ties to the high expectations of history’s greatest vaudevillians, comics, and magicians.

“Magic is old fashioned,” Martin writes, about what he read in Fitzkee’s book. “All entertainment is or about to become old-fashioned. There is room for a young performer to do something new.”