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S7E7: Richard Ribuffo — Acting for Magicians

These are show notes taken from an audio interview.
To listen to the actual interview, please use the player above.


Richard Ribuffo talks about Acting for Magicians teaching us how and why acting and theatre training are amongst the most valuable tools for magicians and how we can benefit greatly from understanding how to apply these tools.

Richard, will be the first to tell you he’s not a “successful performer, per se but a succeeding performer.” He does have tremendous value to offer though, when it comes to having a great product to sell. As David Ogilvy said, “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster,” so Richard is here to talk about how to improve our product, our show.


Acting for Magicians by Richard Ribuffo — Pick up your copy today and SAVE $5!


Interview with Richard Ribuffo: Success Mantras

What do you want them to Do, Think, or Feel? How do I get them to do that?

Count the pennies, and the dollars will count themselves.


Acting for Magicians

• Talks about his background in acting

• Talks about his book and how it’s structured.

• Giving more thought to why you’re doing what you’re doing. It goes beyond just doing tricks.


Artistic Method

The process of creating art from the point of view of the audience.

1. Experimentation

2. Observation

3. Discussion

4. Formulation

5. Disruption



Goal – What do you want your audience to do, think, or feel?

Other – Who is your other? If it’s your audience, who are they?

Tactic – How will you achieve your goal?

Expectation – What do you ecpect the outcome to be?

Cool exercise to help you understand GOTE better: Watch another performer’s act, deconstruct it, and try to figure out their GOTE.



acting-for-magiciansPrize: An Autographed Copy of Acting for Magicians

In order to win, share your own GOTE by posting it in the comments below and in two weeks on 10/2, I’ll announce the winner on my show.

Other Topics Covered

• How he made his jump to full time and what he’s doing right now to make it work for him.

• Mentoring and being mentored

Parting Advice

Always make the more interesting choice.


Recommended books and resources:

Note: Many of the links in this section are affiliate links, meaning we earn a small portion of any sales. If you’re enjoying our podcast and decide to purchase one of the recommended resources or books, please consider using our affiliate links to help support the work we’re doing here at the Successful Performercast. Thanks!



Facebook Groups: AMA, SME Talk Magic

Take acting classes

Zero to Booked Solid in 30 Days by James Munton

Audible Free Trial

Where can we find Richard Ribuffo?

Acting for Magicians

Richard the Magician

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  1. I am going to enter my GOTE for one of my routines for the contest.

    One of my favorite classic effects in magic is the Knots Off Silk. I love it but wanted to find a way to adapt it to children’s magic audience. After some experimenting for awhile I came up with a routine where the knots are supposed to vanish but they don’t and leads to the silk having holes and for me to magically restore it.

    Without further delay, here is my GOTE:

    Goal: I want my audience to laugh as well as feel embarrassed for me when performing this trick(since I say I have been perfecting it but it still doesn’t work on me). I also want them to feel a side of relief that I end up restoring the silk later on in the routine.

    Other: The knots on the silk. The knots are supposed to vanish but they just appear on different areas of the silk. The kids say that it is there but i say it is knot (play on words). I will end up having the knots off of the silk and showing the silk with two large holes in it.

    Tactic: I will achieve the goal by vanishing the knots (which actually just go into my hand and the kids notice it) off of the silk and showing the holes where the knots are suppose to be. This is where the second part of my goal will come into place.

    Expectation: I expect the outcome to be a never ending can of worms to which the audience is in on and I don’t discover till later. Towards the end the silk ends up getting restored but only through an act of magic.

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