10 Things You Should Never Do During Your Nose To Tail Show


If you’re a magician who’s been booked for a “nose to tail show” – that is, the client wants you to be there from the time the guests arrive until the last one leaves – here are ten tips to help you get through the night without losing your mind:

1. DO NOT perform any tricks that require a table. This includes most card tricks and coins across.

2. DO NOT perform any tricks that include a fire element (e.g., burning or melting anything).

3. DO NOT perform any tricks that require water of any kind, including doves.

4. DO NOT perform any tricks with animals of any kind, including doves.

5. DO NOT perform any tricks that explode (e.g., flash paper).

6. DO NOT perform anything that involves loud noises (e.g., gun shots).

7. DO NOT perform anything that involves physically lifting someone off the ground, even if they volunteer to be lifted off the ground by their throat (a la Houdini).

8. DO NOT perform anything naked, in lingerie, or in costume unless you’ve discussed it beforehand with the client and they are OK with it happening at their event where grandparents will be present and kids may be

1. Do not set your prop on fire if you are doing it inside. You might get kicked out or even arrested.

2. Do not use real knives if you are doing the show outside – unless you have a decent throwing act.

3. Be very careful in how you approach your audience – don’t just walk up to a group of people and demand they watch you. Some people are there to relax, some are trying to work, others may be having a romantic dinner. Stop and ask them if they want to see a magic trick, then follow with “I’ll just be three minutes.” That way, if they say no, there is no harm done and you can move on gracefully.

4. Do not mention the word “magic” or any other similar words like “wizard”, “sorcerer”, “magician”, etc. People will either clap politely and walk away or laugh at you depending on their mood. You could also get really unlucky and have to perform for a magician (which has happened over 5 times during my busking career).

5. Do not offer to read palms or tarot cards as some kind of add-on service after your nose-to-tail show – this isn’t Las Vegas!

It’s easy to turn a nose to tail show into an unmitigated disaster. Here are the ten most common mistakes I see in my travels:

1. Bringing the wrong animals with you (i.e., animals that don’t fit your presentation)

2. Not paying attention to food safety

3. Wearing clothes that don’t fit the theme or are too casual for the occasion

4. Being bland and boring when you should be entertaining and engaging

5. Insulting your audience by making them feel stupid or ignorant

6. Acting superior when you should be humble and open-minded

7. Lying or exaggerating to make yourself look better than you are

8. Failing to have a good time

9. Not having an exit strategy

10. Not leaving a lasting impression

For a busking magician, the hat is their lifeblood. The hat is where all the money comes from. It’s how you pay your rent and feed your family. And it’s also how you know that people like your show.

It’s important to remember that when you’re doing a street show, most of the audience are people who are just passing by. They haven’t paid for the show and they probably won’t stay for more than a few minutes.

So it’s important that for those few minutes, they have the best time possible, so that they’ll put some coins in your hat and stay to watch another minute or two.

Here are 10 things you should never do while performing on the street:

1. Do not eat food items during your show.

2. Do not use your own body as a table for tricks.

3. Do not drop food or cutlery on the floor, then pick it up and carry on like nothing happened.

4. Do not make racist jokes about your audience.

5. Do not pretend to be a robot, even if you are doing a robot act.

6. Do not stop mid-show to ask if anyone has seen your dog, even if you are dressed as a cowboy and the dog is dressed as a horse (and especially if the dog is called ‘Horse’).

7. Do not start squeezing lemons into people’s drinks if they are trying to watch the show and don’t want cocktails yet (and especially if you were meant to wait until the end of the show).

8. Do not talk too much about how much money you made last night at another venue (especially when you’re performing in a charity fundraiser).

9. Never use more than one deck of cards during your card magic tricks – unless it is part of the trick itself – otherwise people will think you can’t do card tricks properly and have resorted to cheating with multiple decks of cards instead of practicing hard enough until

1. Don’t be late. This may seem like a no brainer, but you would be surprised how many performers are consistently late. Generally, no one wants to wait around for you when they could be out doing other things. By being on time, it shows that you respect their time and want to give them the best possible show with the least amount of hassle.

2. Don’t be unprepared! Most clients hire you because they trust your ability to entertain their guests and make their event memorable. This can only be done if you have prepared well enough in advance to feel comfortable with your performance.

3. Don’t forget to bring your equipment/props! It is imperative that you have everything you need before you begin your set(s). If there is something important missing, it will likely be forgotten by the time you finish performing and it may not even occur to you until after the show.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *