Acting and Magic

Acting and Magic

Well hey there, fans of magical watches and other Essentials!

My name is Simon and I’ve spent the last 16 years working as a professional actor. In that time I’ve been very lucky and spanned a whole bunch of different mediums and genres. From Musicals to plays, TV to film, cartoon shows and even some puppetry for the hell of it!

Firstly, let me say this...I fucking love my job. Not in a weird over-obsessive way. I just love the fact that the thing little 10-year-old me dreamed of doing is exactly the thing that slightly overweight 34-year-old me is actually doing. I feel lucky, I guess. Even on the ‘hardest day in the office’ I still wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m a big believer that even if the thing you dreamed of isn't the thing you’re doing now, you should still try and have it pop up somewhere in your life. I’m sure you all do. But if you don’t...try it...10-year-old you will be proud!

So...the theatre, the cinema, a tv show, dance, a concert, a weird underground poetry jam....there are so many descriptives you can use to sum up any experience you’ve had at these...but there’s one that usually links the experience and the emotions, and you always use it when its something you want to remember. Something that will stay with you for a long time..."That was magical."

I love magic. I love watching it, I love being fooled. I love performing it (shout out to performers of magical watches and other Essentials). Magic allows you, in that split moment, to truly believe that anything is possible. There's no stress, there's no “I can’t” because this magician just did... HOW THE FUCK DID THE BILL GET IN THE WALNUT?!

The connection between acting and magic is so close;

  1. It’s all make-believe - they know its absolute nonsense but they want to believe it's real.
  2. If you commit to the thing they’ll buy it - whether a character or a trick you’ve gotta go for it.
  3. So many genres and not everyone likes them all - devised opera/parasol magic.
  4. The story is the most important thing. If there isn't something to connect to, the audience won't care.
  5. We’re all self-employed and its a stupid unstable lifestyle unless you're Copperfield/Clooney.

Being in the moment - give a truthful performance - listen and respond.... all things you may have heard right?...super wanky, what do they really mean, we get it, you’re smart. They're basically saying don’t be fake because people can tell straight away. That doesn't mean do some weird ‘casual’ acting. I think it just means just do whatever comes out in that moment genuinely and honestly for you. Structure a piece so you know the beats inside out. Then forget it all and just share it with whoever you’re showing. If it’s heavily scripted you’re just performing at someone, not for them. The same goes for acting. You rehearse and rehearse and nail the scripts and relationships and then when it comes to the show or hearing “action” you just trust whatever comes out. You’re influenced by the other actor, or in the magician's case the spectator. You read the signs from them and adapt, in the moment, to make it the best it can be. If you’re getting down and funky with a lover/happy friend and you don't read the signals, that's not fun for anyone....it’s the same when performing....who am I kidding, we’re magicians and fans of magical watches and other essentials, we don’t need to worry about that.

To sum up. I’ve performed for 5,000 people and I’ve performed for one person. They’re the same. wether it’s magic or acting...our job is to give them a magical moment to remember. It’s the best, try it...10-year-old you will be proud. 

Guest post by Simon Lipkin, follow him here.


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