David Corsaro is a part-time professional magician working the restaurants and clubs of New York and New Jersey. He hosts the popular web series, “Time to be Awesome.” He is a weekly columnist for iTricks

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I have been a magician for more than 20 years and spent a large majority of that time as a worker.

I work in restaurants
I work at corporate events
I work at trade-shows.

So therefore, I have a tendency to gravitate towards worker material. I could discuss for hours how to define worker magic. One way is to quote Doc Dixon, who said, in such a simple yet brilliant way, “Can you do it for drunk people?” (How that man does not write greeting cards, I’ll never know.)

When I watch another magician perform a trick, I tend to immediately put it into one of two categories: worker or non-worker. A trick that is a non-worker could easily become a worker in the hands of another magician.

This column will focus on a wide variety of worker material. In my web show “Time to be Awesome” (timetobeawesome.com), I have been lucky enough to spend time with many famous worker magicians. I will build on the advice and knowledge that they have been gracious enough to share on my show to supplement these columns. We will examine different tricks, books and DVDs on the market and analyze them, not necessarily from a “magic” standpoint, but from a worker vs. non-worker standpoint. We will answer your questions on worker magic and open up roundtable –type discussions where everyone reading this will have a chance to post their point of view.

Let’s get to work! AFTER THE JUMP…

Let’s begin with a couple of quick examples of tricks that I consider workers/non-workers and theories as to why they are such. Most card magicians I know perform a version of the Ambitious Card. It is quite often a staple in their working repertoire. This is because this effect holds many of the key principles in classifying a trick as a worker:
• The magic happens in an open and visual way
• You don’t need to speak for the audience to understand what is happening
• You can incorporate the person’s name (by having him or her sign the card) and therefore personalize the trick for each group

Let’s go to the other side of the spectrum. While it is a very basic and old trick, the “21 card trick” is not a worker (at least, no versions that I have seen performed.) It takes up a considerable amount of table space; it requires the magician to talk or at least convey to the audience a set of instructions; and in the end, it is viewed as almost more of a puzzle than as a magic effect. If you are in the real world and performing magic for laymen, you would be hard pressed to do a version of the “21 card trick”………..or would you?

Let’s open up a contest. If you think you have a real-world version of the “21-card trick”, then upload it to YouTube and email me the link at theartofawesome@yahoo.com

I will select the top three versions and post them to a future column. We will all vote on which version is considered the most likely to be a worker and the winner will receive a free copy of my DVD, “The Magic of David Corsaro.”

The next column of “The Art of Awesome” will focus on restaurant magic, specifically walking up to a table and beginning your set. In my discussions of restaurant magic with non-worker magicians, this tends to be the part that causes the most anxiety.

“How do I approach a table without bothering them?”
“What if they say no and do not want to see any magic?”
“Should I open with a trick or introduce myself first?”

We will discuss these and many other points and I will reveal what I think is one of the greatest opening lines when approaching a restaurant table (courtesy of one of the best worker magicians I know, Jon Allen.)

If you have any questions you would like us to address in a future column, please email them to theartofawesome@yahoo.com

Now, go be Awesome.

David Corsaro is a part-time professional magician working the restaurants and clubs of New York and New Jersey. He hosts the popular web series, “Time to be Awesome,” and released his first DVD of original material (“The Magic of David Corsaro”) in 2010. Corsaro is invited annually to attend and perform at Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic, arguably the most prestigious close-up magic convention in the world.