How to Create Your Stage Act! Romany, the Diva of Magic
Northern Magic Circle Convention, Harrogate

7th April 2024
Reviewed by Roger Woods

Romany presented the highly anticipated concluding lecture of the Convention on the theme of how to create a stage act. She took us through the process in some detail, based on her own experience since she started learning magic at the age of twenty six. And what an experience! Her determination, hard work and faith in herself have made her the successful stage act she is today Ė highly praised wherever she performs.

Romany put forward many questions about the performance of magic. What makes it good? What makes it bad? How do you use your personality and physical qualities to enhance your magic? What rules are applied to props? Why a script is important. Why getting a director or an outside critic is important. In the course of the lecture, Romany answered all these questions and more, sprinkling her points with many examples based on her personal experience. Some of her stories, looking back, were quite funny.

Romany has not been afraid ("cheeky" she said) to approach well-known names in magic and directors for advice. Max Maven posed these questions:

"Who are you? What are you telling me? Why should I care?"

She has spent time with Bob Fitch, Jeff McBride, Joanie Spina, Derek Scott, Gaeton Bloom and others.

Romany spoke about how she developed her character. Again many questions arise. You have to be honest with yourself. How do you look? How do you speak? How do you come on stage? How do you move? How do you stand? What characteristics can you amplify to make it interesting? What do you wear? How to you treat your audience? Do you have stage fright and how do you deal with it? Do you have music, and is it the right music? How are you introduced? What lighting do you have? How do you leave the stage?

Then there are all the questions about prop management and the choice of tricks. Do your tricks suit your character? Donít put things on the floor. What does the set look like to the audience? Can you make small tricks play big? If you make something appear magically, how would it appear if you really had magical powers?

The allotted time passed quickly, and I am sure Romany could have spoken for much longer. She has a warm and engaging personality. I highly recommend her lecture notes. Even if you donít plan to do a stage act yourself the information is applicable to all kinds of magic, including close-up.

To answer Max Mavenís points, Romany replies as follows.

Who are you?

I (Romany, the Diva of Magic) am a star of theatre.

What are you telling me?

Iím here to enchant, delight and remind you of the wonder of magic.

Why should I care?

Because I have a fabulous story to tell you, Iím going to be doing magic, itís going to be wonderful, weíre all going to have a lovely time and you will be happier at the end of my act than you are now!

Romanyís book 'Spun into Gold: The Secret Life of a Female Magician' (available from Romanyís website and on Amazon) is a fascinating account of her life in magic; very frank and funny. Her own story of persistence and faith in herself is an inspiring one.

© Roger Woods, April 2024