Monty is an award winning magician and currently holds three Guinness World Records in Magic.
Live On TV News
Because of the Guinness World Record, I have appeared on TV News several times recently. This allowed me to sit and talk with some of the reporters and TV crew. Here are some of the highlights of what I learned.
They like to cover magic but I kept hearing the same 2 negative comments.
1- Magicians complaining about camera angles
2 - Too much set up required especially in a live news room.
You can correct both of these simply by picking routines that do not have angle problems and are preset. I realize this is not always possible but should be attempted when ever possible. If you make it easy for them they are more likely to have you or another magician back.
Have a fact sheet ready that you can give them before the show. Double space and keep the fact sheet short. It should cover all the information you think they are going to ask. For example name, location, phone number, web site, why you are on the news and a brief history about your self (your bio).
Excite the Reporters and Crew:
You usually meet the reporters and crew before your spot if you get there early. I recommend getting there 20 to 30 minutes early. Do one or two simple tricks for them. Don't over do it. This gets them excited and they will build up your spot a little better. I recommend not doing the trick that you have planed for the TV spot.
Extra Air Time:
You are usually setting up in the same room as the live news team and a few minutes before your spot. Be aware of when they are on and off air. When they are off air they may watch you or talk to you across the room. This is the perfect time to do a very short visual (no patter) routine like a thumb tip silk vanish that they can see across the room. This helps excite them and they will often pick it up as a lead into your spot or a trailer.
I get their attention by doing something that is repetitious and looks like I am practicing. It is not what I am doing for the spot.
The Actual Spot:
Brief the reporter on what you are doing. Remember time is critical. Know your performance time. You are performing for the camera so often the reporter will be at a bad angle and may see the method. If that is going to happen tell the reporter ahead of time. They will work with you.
The crew will usually help you with setup prior to your spot. Brief them on what you are doing and any camera angle problems you have. Do not tell them were to put the cameras. Tell them were your bad angles are and ask them to avoid shooting form that angle. They will do the rest. If you are your hands are going to be moving a lot let them know and show them how much. That way they will know how tight to make the shot.
Take 2 or 3 extra tricks that are very short (5 to 15 seconds). In your pre-show discussion, tell them how long your routine is but that you also have a few short routines with you. Have at least one extra trick ready that you can grab during a live shoot without leaving the camera.
Above all be professional. The more professional you look and act the more air time they might give you and the more likely they are to ask you back.
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