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Topic: Just hang out with them
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Mar 13, 2005 05:04PM)
It never fails. I go to a magic gathering and hang out with other magicians. I look forward to this part of every magic gathering. To be honest I enjoy this better then going to the lectures and shows. If you've never been to a magic convention then I'll tell you that while there is no shows or lectures going on, you'll find groups of magicians sitting together in a restaurant or bar and just have fun performing for each other or joking around.

It's during this part of these gatherings that I see some of the best tricks and performances. Sometimes performing for the other magicians and if you're your lucky there are also non-magicians in the room for us to perform for.

Now, I'm not really writing this about hanging out with other magicians. Although it obviously has something to do with it. The point I hope to make is this.

I see these magicians do some amazing things with great presentation when they are hanging out with other magicians. But then I see the same performers performing for non-magicians and it's a completely different story. They sometimes act like a robot trying to be someone else. Even their posture changes. It's like they are trying to remember how Lance Burton or someone did that trick on TV. Still some won't even perform for anyone who isn't a magician. I think what's going on for some of them is that they don't feel they need to "Fool" a fellow magician. If they do it poorly or something goes wrong then they don't feel so bad about it because the other magician probably knew how it was done anyway.

Why this bothers me is if they just performed for the non-magicians like they do the magicians then they'd be great. That's why I say to just hang out with your audiences. It's true that they'll view you as "an entertainer" but you don't have to act to formal with them in most cases. There's nothing wrong with just talking and laughing with them like a friend. In fact this is a very good way to be with an audience. It helps eliminate that invisible wall between you and them.

I'm not putting anyone down here. I just hope to reach some who might have built this shell around yourself that prevents you from really opening up to your spectators. you'll find that when you can do this that you're performance will be much more enjoyable.

If you have a hard time performing for people you might want to try this. just hang out with them during your show. Put yourself in that state of mind and you're just one of them who happens to be doing some magic and sharing some humor. It just might help.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: edh (Mar 13, 2005 05:16PM)
Ron, interesting post.

[quote]If they do it poorly or something goes wrong then they don't feel so bad about it because the other magician probably knew how it was done anyway.[/quote]

For me it's the opposite. I feel I would have to know a specific effect inside and out before I would attempt to perform it for a fellow magi. It is because they are magicians that I feel I would have to do this trick especially well.

Message: Posted by: Whitewolfny (Mar 13, 2005 07:51PM)
I'm intimidated by magicians. If I'm doing a trick at the local magic meeting, I feel I have to be ten times better than if I"m doing it for a lay person. If I make a goof in front of a layperson, I can bluff, or bafoon my way through the mistake, but if I'm doing magic for fellow magicians, I feel it must be done perfectly "just like Lance Burton did it" or else they will be thinking "oh wow, he blew that move, he didn't turn correctly, his stance is wrong...etc."
I'll be at Boston convention this July (my second convention in 36 years)and I want to hang with the other magicians. But I often feel as if I'm intruding on their conversations. After all, they don't know me, who am I to try to join their little group at a table? I love watching magicians perform. I love watching magic and being "in the know" on at least some of the tricks. But it's very hard for me to talk to them or ask a magician "how did you do that?" meaning could you teach me that trick. Hopefully I can come out of my shell enough to join in the fun at the Boston convention.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Mar 13, 2005 08:25PM)
Funny that you should mention this. But not funny like "ha ha." More like funny...hmmmm.

When I'm with magicians, I tend to take longer between tricks. When I'm with laymen, that time between tends to get shorter and shorter. Why? Because I'm too busy talking to the magicians between tricks. I'm also waiting for the segue. And talking about this, and talking about that. With laymen, it's wackbards. Right the other way 'round.

I'm going to try what you say, Ron. I'm going to try to become more familiar with the others, like I do with the magicians. I sense that there is a connection there that I've been missing.

Pretty neat.
Message: Posted by: danelwood (Mar 14, 2005 10:07AM)
I agree.

My experiences performing magic have mostly been in pretty relaxed informal
atmospheres. I would have to agree that if you can have that "friendly intimacy"
with your spectators it can put them much closer to the magic.

Just this past weekend I was doing an Ambitious Card Routine and one of the women I was performing for was spellbound, and said "I don't understand how you are doing it, you are letting us watch everything and the magic is still happening. Aren't you supposed to misdirect us, or say look that way, or something?" My point here is that if you let hair down, relax,
hang out, get comfortable, whatever you want to call it,
you provide an environment that can focus more clearly on the magic, and not be distracted by overperformance or anxiousness, or whatever.
It also makes the magic appear more "real" in my opinion>

Message: Posted by: calexa (Mar 14, 2005 12:38PM)
I have only good experiences by hanging around with other magicians. It was always very rewarding. Only one thing: if you are a kind of a beginner, don't pretend to be the card shark....

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Mar 14, 2005 12:40PM)
If you think about any magic performance you really enjoyed watching I'd bet that most of them had a pretty laid back personality during that performance.

I'd much rather see the performer talk to the audience something like, "Hi, how are you doing? It's good to see you. What's your name? Hi _____. My names Ron. It's good to meet you. What do you do? You're an artist? Great, I love art. Let me show you what I do." Then you go into your act. I'm sure you get the idea of this example.

Now the kind of presentation that I think is a little less "fun" or entertaining are the ones that are a little to formal for my taste. They talk to the audience as if they where a TV camera or someone lecturing the audience. This creates a big separation between the performer and the spectators. Whereas someone who is just up there "hanging out" and doing there thing is much more entertaining. Otherwise they might as well be doing it for a TV camera because the audience won't feel like there are there with them.

I mentioned Lance Burton in the original post here. he's great at being personable like this. That's why he's one of my favorite stage magicians. He's got the glitz in his acts but he also comes across as someone you could enjoy talking to as well. What's great about this ability is that when the audience likes you, you can get away with more and they laugh a little easier. Even when something goes wrong the audience can have a good time if they like you. It's very hard to like someone if you don't feel you know them to some degree.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Philip Chau (Mar 14, 2005 12:57PM)
Hi guys,

I find this post really interesting.
I am fairly new to magic.
I see that there is a convention thing in Kitchener Ontario held by the Canadian Associations of Magic coming up in June.
I was so excited about this!
But I don't really know how these things work, I'm a bit nervous about it.
Do I need to join the association first before I can go in?
How does it work? Do I get a ticket or something?
I have a friend who is really interested in magic and I want to bring her together with me.
Does she have to join the membership too?
What is the convention like? Is it just a gathering with many people walking around? Is there any booths or something? Is it like an organized activity with a schedule or more like a 'freely do whatever you want' thing?
I have never been to any sort of convention in my life!

Guys I hope you guys could share some experience with me here. I am just totally new to the whole convention idea.

Philip Chau
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Mar 14, 2005 03:17PM)
Have no fear in going to a magic convention. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

This is basically what you should expect to find. First they usually have a show room with different dealers selling their tricks and props. Think of it like a flea market or a swap meet. You can just browse around. See tricks demonstrated and pick things up that catch your fancy.

Then there will be magic lectures where you sit in the audience. Usually you watch a performance then they teach how to do many of the things they just performed. Not all lectures are in this format but most of them are. Depending on who's lecturing I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

Then there will be shows and magic contests. You can watch the performances or compete yourself. Some will have a professional close up show and usually in the evening there's a professional Stage show.

When there are no lectures, contests or shows then you'll just hang out with other magicians. They'll perform for each other. Share ideas. Get or give advice to each other. Or just joke around and have fun.

I'm sure you'll have a good time. in most cases you don't have to be a member of anything. You just have to pay the fee to be there.

Have fun.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Philip Chau (Mar 14, 2005 04:51PM)
Hi Ron,

Thanks for the info.
I will be there for sure!
As I know these magicians will be there


I'm so looking forward to this.
So excited too!
I'm sure it would be great!!!

Thanks for the information

Philip Chau
Message: Posted by: Will Gordon (May 16, 2005 03:02AM)
Not long ago Kevin James's "World's Greatest Magic Show" was getting reviewed. So, he packed the theater with fellow magicians hoping they would give a loud applause with hoops and hollers. Well, what he got was almost complete silence throughout the show. Why? Because as magicians we have a tendency to analyze tricks and performances. For some magicians it's hard to just sit back and enjoy the show. Maybe that's we're more relaxed when we're in front of laymen.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (May 16, 2005 06:30AM)
There are only two things you need to get into a magic convention: A couple of hundred dollars and a pulse (and the pulse is optional! LOL!)

And Ron, the only reason the old pros are hanging around the bar is -- well, it ISN'T to see tricks!

Remember: If you go to a convention and hang out with the losers, you'll leave a loser.
If you hang out with the real workers, you'll pick up a ton of information.
And, if you hang out with the pros, you'll get stuck with the bar bill!
Message: Posted by: calexa (May 16, 2005 11:25AM)
Interesting post. But I want to add something: maybe YOU think that they perform in a great way for other magicians, because you like their style. Maybe they are as bad when they perform for magicians....

Message: Posted by: Jaxon (May 16, 2005 11:52AM)
Peter, Luckily I've never been left with the bar bill yet..:)

The most honored I've ever felt at a magic convention was in the American Legion at the Abbotts get together. Someone asked me if I could do my coin routine for some friends. I said sure and followed him to the table. Sitting there was Blackstone Jr., Brett Daniel's, Karrel Fox, Jay Marshell and a few others. My first thought was "Why didn't you warn me?!". :)

But the best part was the next day when Karrel waved me over and asked me to join them for the Funeral walk. Being a young man at the time and kind of timid to perform for all these pros I was very honored by the invitation.

calexa - I understand what you mean but it's not really the quality of the trick that I'm referring to. It's the presentation and confidence of the performer. When I see them performing for us "Magician in the gang" they perform like a real pro. They're having fun performing and it shows. Then I see the same person get in front of a group and they seem to hide themselves. They don't let that charm out. It seems fake and rehearsed. Like I said. It seems like they are trying to be someone else and it often seem like they are playing the part of some big name magician such as Copperfield, Burton or Blaine.

Kind of hard to explain but I see it and I hope they get past that. I know it took me a long time to (Ex-Copperfield wanna be here.. :) ).

Ron Jaxon