Some magicians prefer to work alone, they never want anyone mingling or catching the viewers’ attention while performing their magic tricks. If noticed, these are the magicians who only perform using cards, balls, flowers, birds, boxes, bottles, and other kinds of paraphernalia used in magic tricks. Though amusing, for very rare and really mind boggling tricks, a pair or a group of people performing the magic in front is more highlighted, making the whole performance longer since the magician could perform numerous kinds of tricks and illusions without having to move around and just concentrating on his master piece.
Oftentimes, magicians are seen doing their tricks in magic with one or two or even more assistants to help him with the trick. This is done especially when the magic show requires a person as a part of the trick or simply to hold some of the magician’s props for him. Their interaction with the assistants greatly influences the people watching the show. They help in making the audience feel comfortable watching and even joining the show as volunteers in performing some of the tricks. They also attract the audience to applaud by striking a pose. Once the assistants move, the audience may be prompted to clap their hands.
The assistant may also serve as the extra vision of the magician. Since she has access to the back stage, she can be the first onlooker of the performers’ costumes and other props as well. She can immediately tell which costume belongs to who. Some magicians may just require their assistants to simply take care of his equipment back stage. Packing up props is also another responsibility of an assistant, since an assistant is usually the only person entrusted by the magician to touch his priced equipment or tools. However, there are times when the magician would like to pack their own props, the assistant can help by making sure that the magician has indeed packed everything and nothing got left behind.
The magician’s assistant can also make it a point that all tricks have been made. There are times when magicians lose track of the succeeding tricks due to the concentration and it is the assistant’s duty to make sure the next prop is presented to the magician to remind him of the next trick to be delivered.
Aside from having another set of hands for the show and keeping the props in their proper place, assistants could also help in entertaining volunteers for special tasks as part of the show. They will be the volunteers’ guide when there is already a need to stand, move or take a bow. Assistants can also play a big role in taking care of any volunteer or who is beginning to act like a nuisance. This can be accomplished by informing the security department of the show or by simply using his own strategies or following the instructions of the magician to tame the partypooper.
Also, assistants play an important role in drawing the audience’s attention since the audience will look where the assistant is looking while a trick is being performed. However, since a slight movement could catch attention, there should be an agreement between the magician and the assistant when to be still and when to start moving again. The assistant’s reaction is also vital for it causes the illusion of a trick happening for the first time, thus, giving more thrill to the audience. So once the magician halts for a few moments of applause, the assistant should halt as well.
Keep in mind that the magician’s assistant is not only assistant to him but to the rest of the performers who are also willing to help whenever she is free of her tasks. This builds camaraderie between the magicians and other fellow performers as well as on and off stage. It is very appropriate to offer the same relationship and respect with other workers in the magic show. The whole success of all the tricks performed will never be complete and effective without the assistant’s effort and hardwork, too.
As a form of motivation, good magicians should acknowledge and commend the assistant’s great job after a certain magic show. A simple pat on the back or a salary increase can help a lot.