Vanish Magic Magazine #98 - Page 21

I know part of his appeal and force and how the rest of us might use his philosophy to improve our magic . What are the things that make Shoot so compelling as an entertainer , a presenter of magic , as a Keeper of the Sword ?
There is a formula that can be synthesized by watching Shoot live repeatedly . Live is a key word here . You have to see Shoot but you also need to see his effect on the audience .
The first thing I notice is that Shoot has Soul in his life and act . He is not an actor playing the role of a magician . Shoot Ogawa has Purpose in his life and his presentation . He states it as , “ My purpose , my passion , is to give Joy and Happiness through my magic as a gift to everyone .” If you intend to give joy to people with magic , then you can ' t easily perform tricks which make the audience the butt of a joke . Sucker tricks become off-limits and instead one needs to think through a different form of presentation for the same trick .
After noticing this in Shoot through his performance and audience reaction , I started to rethink things I was doing . Color changing knives quickly changed from , “ Which hand is the red knife in ?” to “ Watch where you and I make the red knife go to .” Hopping Halves went from taking the silver out and asking which was left , to explaining how this copper coin was joining the silver by utilizing a time portal created by the spectator . The response to these subtle changes in patter was remarkable . I ' m now rethinking everything I do in terms of how to include the audience in the magic as a source of their joy , rather than showing my magic to the audience for my joy . I suspect Shoot would approve . There is not a change in moves . Just in theory of the result on the spectators , philosophically .
Another Shoot mandate is to bring the audience together on the voyage with him . A corollary of his basic philosophy . Shoot tells the audience that this is their show not his . That he is bringing them together on a journey they share , not showing them his skills or magic . I ’ ve heard him tell an audience that ., “ This is not my show , not your show , it is OUR show . What happens here is what we make happen together as we share the magic along the road of the evening .” It is a beautiful sentiment , and it immediately disarms the audience . They gain ownership . They sit a bit forward on the edge of their seats . It ’ s vintage Ogawa .
Suspense in a theatrical sense is also a Shoot trademark . There are multiple moments of the same suspense and relief formula in Shoot ’ s show . Think of the basics as a roller coaster .
You slowly clatter up , up and up . As you get to the top you know that in a moment you will drop and scream . You do . Then you start the next climb up . Shoot ’ s method is diabolical . He takes the audience up and up and up . Right at the top he does something funny . The collective audience mind relaxes the tension through the laugh . At that moment Shoot does the dirty work as all are off guard . Then the audience comes to their own conclusion that magic happened . And the effect is a gasp and disbelief , followed by all mighty joy Shoot seeks for them . If you Google shoot doing his flipstick opener , you can see a point where the want is held outstretched between both hands . He counts one , two , three , and shakes the stick . He stares intently at it and waits about 3 seconds . Nothing happens . He relaxes and laughs . The audience laughs and relaxes . And the stick vanishes with no movement of the hands . He stays frozen as he starts to look back at the place the stick was , and the audience realizes it is gone . It ’ s a brilliant sequence . This theme of tension or suspense , humor , and release , followed by the trick , is repeated in different ways throughout a Shoot Show . At The Magical Mystery Show ! the time is 70 minutes for the headliner . That is one long parlor show for a single performer . Shoot artfully manages this with this roller coaster of suspense , relief of laughter , then , Bam ! Magic ! Most long acts are Laugh , Talk , Laugh , Laugh , WOW ! Shoot is Wow , Wow , Wow , Wow , Suspense , Laugh , Wow . It is formulaic .
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