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Topic: Fright
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Sep 14, 2005 08:07PM)
What do you guys do if you have trouble doing magic for people you don't really know? I sometimes mess up and make it look horrible. What should I do to get rid of my Stage Fright while on the Street?

Anything advice will help,
Alex
Message: Posted by: Whiterabbit (Sep 14, 2005 08:55PM)
Hi Alex,

I feel your pain.

I had to do magic for a commercial the other day (my first ever) and was unbelievably nervous and what got me through was to just slow down, relax, chat and joke with the audience and get to know them first, smile and do magic that I'd gotten down rock solid.

If you connect with the audience and do what you're comfortable with, you are one very big step along the way towards doing well.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Sep 15, 2005 03:50AM)
Drink :)
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Sep 15, 2005 05:04AM)
Alex,

This feeling in your body is good. Basically your mind tells your body that you are about to begin an affort (or effort).

How to lesson this feeling is first take care that what tricks you DO you can do it in your sleep. My teacher said to me "IF I WAKE YOU UP 2 IN THE MORNING YOU HAVE TO DID WITHOUT PROBLEMS"

if you know what you do is good and you had succes with it you are one step further.

STATE OF MIND:
if you think "this is going to be hard - the people don't look friendly - do these people want to see something" ...etc. etc. you are telling you body this is no good. if you stil do it and you bomb you will get a bad experience. if you don't step over it that feeling will come back.

so what to do:
1) know your trickS out cold
2) don't do to much. KISS (keep it simple stupid)
3) set 1 goal you want to reach. like getting 20 people / do 3 tricks / get an crowd
4) bring yourself in a positive state of mind. think of succesful performances and how they felt.
5) always remember: if it don't work - stop get drink and try again. sometimes people or time or place can be wrong not you.
6) give the street time. you will need at least 2 seasons to learn the streets.
7) HAVE FUN - HAVE FUN - HAVE FUN - HAVE FUN
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 15, 2005 05:46AM)
You have spent a lot of time learning your magic, hours and hours for every minute that you are performing. This is a gift that you have hand-crafted for your audience. You are not there to prove that you are better or more clever than they are. You are there to give them a gift. Give it to them with love and everything will be fine.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Sep 15, 2005 05:56AM)
Thanks Guys. This advice is really helpful.

Still, keep posten,
Alex
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Sep 15, 2005 06:03AM)
Alex,

If you want to share my table next weekend that'd be cool, come on down.

Mark
Message: Posted by: sethb (Sep 15, 2005 06:47AM)
[quote] On 2005-09-15 06:46, drwilson wrote:
You have spent a lot of time learning your magic, hours and hours for every minute that you are performing. This is a gift that you have hand-crafted for your audience. You are not there to prove that you are better or more clever than they are. You are there to give them a gift. Give it to them with love and everything will be fine. [/quote]

There are always plenty of good ideas and comments posted at the Café', but this is one of the finest posts I've ever read. Bravo! SETH
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Sep 15, 2005 09:24AM)
Thanks Alex I thought the addvice "Drink" was good advice as well.
Mario :)
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Sep 15, 2005 01:53PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 04:50, Mario Morris wrote:
Drink :)
[/quote]

You took the words right out of my mouth, and now it's all over the front of my shirt...
Message: Posted by: MJ Marrs (Sep 15, 2005 02:53PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 07:47, sethb wrote:
[quote] On 2005-09-15 06:46, drwilson wrote:
You have spent a lot of time learning your magic, hours and hours for every minute that you are performing. This is a gift that you have hand-crafted for your audience. You are not there to prove that you are better or more clever than they are. You are there to give them a gift. Give it to them with love and everything will be fine. [/quote]

There are always plenty of good ideas and comments posted at the Café', but this is one of the finest posts I've ever read. Bravo! SETH
[/quote]

Ditto!

I'd also like to add that if you get a chance to talk to people in other professions (e.g. medical doctors or pilots) you'll find that the first time most of them start practicing their chosen careers they're nervous as heck. Getting some "flight time" will ease your nerves.

I also like what Michael Ammar told us at a Castle lecture one time: When he first started out professionally he was like a duck; looking at him you'd think that he was cool, calm, and collected, but inside his mind was running a million miles an hour. The duck looks like everything is cool when seen from the top, but underwater his little legs are paddling like there's no tomorrow. Fake it until you make it.
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Sep 15, 2005 05:03PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 10:24, Mario Morris wrote:
Thanks Alex I thought the addvice "Drink" was good advice as well.
Mario :)
[/quote]
I'm not old enough to drink(if you meant alchahol), so I didn't take that advice.
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 07:03, lastnitesfun wrote:
Alex,

If you want to share my table next weekend that'd be cool, come on down.

Mark
[/quote]
I'd love to. It would be a great way to get rid of my Fright!

Alex
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Sep 15, 2005 05:29PM)
I am pretty sure the suggestion to drink was a joke.At least I hope so.I enjoy a cocktail or two,but NEVER before performing.This could be perhaps the biggest mistake you could ever make.
Let's say you are very nervous before a show and you have a couple of belts.You now do not feel so nervous.From then on you will be taking your'medicine'before every show..and this will only cause you problems.(possibly big problems)
As stated earlier(Robert Blake)it is best to fight your fright by knowing your routines cold.It is natural to feel a little nervous before a gig.Once you get going it will pass,and after your show you will feel like a million bucks knowing you did it without any help.
Now if you wish (and are of age)you can celebrate a bit,and think about how you can do things even better the next time. All the Best. Rich
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Sep 15, 2005 05:43PM)
You can drink a Shandy.
Mario
PS Alex I am just Kidding with you. :)
Message: Posted by: Angela (Sep 15, 2005 08:20PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 15:53, MJ Marrs wrote:
I'd also like to add that if you get a chance to talk to people in other professions (e.g. medical doctors or pilots) you'll find that the first time most of them start practicing their chosen careers they're nervous as heck. Getting some "flight time" will ease your nerves.
[/quote]

And don't forget that if you mess up, you aren't killing a patient or crashing a plane. We take our art seriously, but be lighthearted! :)
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Sep 21, 2005 04:35PM)
On Friday, is there anything I should deffently should keep in mind?

Alex
Message: Posted by: saheer (Sep 21, 2005 05:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-15 18:43, Mario Morris wrote:
You can drink a Shandy.
Mario
PS Alex I am just Kidding with you. :)
[/quote]

Shirley Temples?
Message: Posted by: Whiterabbit (Sep 21, 2005 05:53PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-21 17:35, the_houdini_jester wrote:
On Friday, is there anything I should deffently should keep in mind?

Alex
[/quote]

I think Robert said "Have Fun". If you do that, you can bond. If you have fun and smile, the audience is more inclined to like you. If you have fun, you'll keep at it and improve.

My advice is bond with the audience, do what you know, don't let people hurry or fluster you, take your time, if there's a foul up - relax and joke about it (a few lines are useful here), and as Robert said "Have fun". (Actually I thought Robert's and the other posts were great)


It won't be perfect, but it will probably be better this time. And if that happens every time, you'll probably get to where to be as long as you have fun.

Rome was not built in a day...


Best Wishes
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Sep 21, 2005 06:34PM)
Enjoy yourself. WOW that was dirty. But you know what I mean a lot of time if and when I mess up they don't know I have. Just pick your self up and press on. Im in the military so sometime I have to perform for those who's rank are way higer then mine. Those are some time wher my nerves get to me. Confidence is another gem. Learn it in life and in your art. Im now trying to become my own magician. Not just one who learns effect with there patter. Im trying to come up with my own stories and persona. Beleave me that's even harder.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Sep 21, 2005 10:54PM)
Interesting....I don't like performing for people I know. Strangers don't know my true self so they won't compare to the stage character, give me a room full of strangers any day.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: bropaul (Sep 21, 2005 11:20PM)
Great stuff here... Robert Blake had hit on a point that is very important. K.I.S.S. You really need to keep it simple to start with. Pick out your best 3 tricks and do 'em. If 3 is too many, then do 2. Just getting out there and doing is the only way to build confidence and get the show going.

Don't worry about the hat at first, just do the show and do the best you can... Over and over and over again. Before long, a day or two, you will be adding the 3rd trick and doing a decent hat pass. It is just the repetition that will make it happen. As soon as you are doing those tricks in your sleep, you will have it down and your nerves will be just fine.

But also remember that the best of us get in situations all the time that make the nerves build. I just tell myself that it is excitement, not nerves. This works for me and after 32 years doing this stuff, I still deal with "excitement".

Enjoy the journey and HAVE FUN...
Message: Posted by: Matt Malinas (Sep 24, 2005 03:55PM)
Drinks always help. but remember that even if you mess up a sleight(not totally,but they see something happen) it's not big deal. thay do not know sleight of hand. so what if they saw SOMETHING? they still won't be able to figure out what you did. relax and just know that this is your thing and they know it. they are not better than you at this.

-Matt
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 24, 2005 04:16PM)
Always realize a few things as well. 1) the audience is never really out ther wqatching you hoping you will fail. They want to have fun with you and 2) the only way they know you made a real mistake is if you tell them you made a mistake.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: ChristianR (Sep 27, 2005 09:12PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-21 18:53, Whiterabbit wrote:
[quote]

Rome was not built in a day...


Best Wishes
[/quote]

Prove it. *wink, wink*

I like the advice

If you have to do it 2 AM in the morning you could, flawlessly. You should have a pretty good mental picture in your head on what you do, what you audience does (after a while) and what the audeince should and WILL see. Your audience wants you to suceed.
Message: Posted by: paisa23 (Sep 28, 2005 11:45PM)
Also get to know them. Introduce yourself and get all there names well not all of them of course but remember a few. For example a character that I love from TV is Doug Heffernon from King of Queens he always makes friends where ever he goes and he is a big guy . someone like that would be self coinsious but not him so .Make yourself someone that people want to know and meet.
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Sep 29, 2005 07:12AM)
Thanks Paisa23, I will remember that. Also, Thanks to all of you that have replied so far, I hope your info will work.

Alex
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Sep 29, 2005 09:36AM)
Don't worry about messing up. I saw some footage of David Williamson pull a kid up out of the audience for a routine. He then said to the kid "do you see the THREE cards here?" and the kid said "no, there's four" The kid then proceeded to pick up the gaffed card David had on the table. Anyone else would have died, but David took the card from the kid and said " okay you can go back to your seat now" the crowd was laughing, but then David said to th kid as he went back to his seat, " Hey kid! How's my career?" Man it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen a magician do, and the crowd loved it. They probably thought it was part of the show. So, it just goes to show you that only YOU know when things go wrong.

Oh yeah, and DRINK!
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Oct 3, 2005 06:46AM)
So, what I'm thinking I should keep in mind is: Have fun. If you mess up don't say "I messed up". Anything else?

Alex
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 3, 2005 11:33PM)
IF you mess up, make it funny. Bob sheets has a brief discussion about this on his rope thru body DVD. You shouldn't be doing things where you'll be messing up enough that people notice something, though.

What kind of things are you "messing up".

As far as drinking. DON'T!
It's great to laugh and talk about and I enjoy a beer as much as anyone but
it's definitly a path you don't want to go down. The performer that learns
to drink before they perform. Sad. Of course, drink water and lots of it.
That will reduce the nerves. Take a deep breath and a swig.

Mario's post where he says he's kidding? Believe that one.


If you're messing up? Do different tricks?

Use your personality. You can get a lot of mileage out of a TT and a silk
if you put your mind to it. You won't mess that up.

Learn an easy rope trick.

Torn and resotred toilet paper.

2 in the hand, one in the pocket.

sponge balls for god's sake.

Watch videos of entertaining magicians. Pick up ideas, take notes. Write a script.
Do you have a notebook?

Again. You should not be messing up. Everyone messes something up but 99% of the time it goes unnoticed. You should have absolute confidence that the effects you're picking ... you WILL NOT mess up. IF you pick effects you know that you will nail 100%, your confidence will go up, your nerves will go down, and you won't mess up. If you're taking stuff out there that you've not really got down pat, of course your'e going to worry about messing up. And that will make you nervous,
and it goes on and on and on.

So what effects are you doing that you're having trouble with..... and why?



Oh, yeah, and don't drink.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Oct 3, 2005 11:40PM)
Messing up (as long as is doesn't happen often,shows you are human).How you handle it is quite important.What I do,is pause,smile,and say(seriously) would you like to see a picture of my kid's...of course I remove the Kid's card(baby goats) from my wallet,this usually gets a laugh,and I follow up with "no,this is my real Pride and Joy(Classic Henny Youngman biz card)more laughs,and then I go into my next effect.Corny,yes.However it beats standing there looking sheepish...sorry about all the farm animal references. :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 4, 2005 04:32AM)
A little nervousness before a show puts a sharp edge on what you do. That's not a bad thing. A lot of nervousness will put a blunt edge on what you do. That is a bad thing.

So, the first thing is to make sure you know your material cold.

The next is your own attitude about what you do. If what you do is good enough to offer to people, then you have no problem.

Remember to do magic for them, not TO them.
Message: Posted by: BAH1313 (Oct 4, 2005 07:56AM)
I was just kidding about drinking. It is true that you should be doing effetcs that you will %99.999 of the time not mess up, but if you do, they'll never know if you play it right. Then again, getting them to drink always helps too.
Message: Posted by: vernon (Oct 5, 2005 09:02AM)
Drinking before a show is verboten...no...nada..never...well I have heard of some doing it..Picture this...youve finished for the day and are in the pub with fellow workers and after 4 guinesses...you dcide to go out and do one more...BAM...its a killer show and your hat is fat.Only once during the Edin Festival, but there you go. Nerves are a way of keeping you on your toes, be sure of your material, but as has been said before, its not brain surgery
Just my tuppence worth
James James
AKA vernon
Message: Posted by: llsouder (Oct 5, 2005 09:50AM)
Just as a testament to the truth of the advice, do it more and do things you know cold, here is my 2 cents:
I remember being extremely nervous teaching 5th and 6th grade Sunday School but now 8 years later I have no problem with it. I can even do a few standard sleights for this group... no problem, but as soon as I try something new, the butterflies are back in full force.
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Oct 14, 2005 06:29AM)
I'm thinking about doing an easy trick with no slieght of hand at the beginning. Then, after my Frights gone, I'll start doing good Slieght of hand Magic. Sound like a good Idea?

Alex
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Oct 14, 2005 09:29AM)
Yes, that is a good approach.

I still do many self working effects (after more than 20 years in magic) just because I can spend more time focusing on the presentation and engaging my audience more than perfecting the knuckle busting. I am not encouraging performimg without practicing, but you can't practice forever. At some point you need to take it out into the light of day.

Easy stuff doesn't mean that it doesn't have an impact on the audience. Try something like the Stop Light trick. It sells for $5 or $6 and is a great investment because it is self working, but the "magic" happens in the spectator's hands, and the impact far exceeds the effort. So the mechanics are simple, and you can focus on just having fun.

Then once you get comfortable with that one, add another one, and pretty soon you will have a routine.

I also do a bit of skill work, but mostly when I am performing for other magicians, and I will bust out a trick after only just learning it, knowing I will get criticism (Advice) that will make it better.

Another piece of advice that I just recalled. Don't perform for family, until you are good enough to perform for strangers. Even then, it is often unproductive as they get tired of seeing stuff, and knew you when you could tell a card from a carp, so they wont really appreciate what you do anyway - for the most part.

So perform for strangers. They don't know you just learned, and they don't know what it should look like. So give them the best you have, and you will be pleasantly surprised by their reactions. And if you mess up, Oh Well.... You will probably never see them again anyway ;)

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Oct 14, 2005 03:52PM)
BroDavid, I'm going to be doing my first show in a few hours so I don't have time to buy something.

Alex
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 14, 2005 03:54PM)
No you don't. Have fun. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Oct 15, 2005 09:23PM)
Alex,

Well how did the show go?
Hope you had a great time and knocked them out.

kOnO
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Oct 16, 2005 09:15AM)
But this probably won't be your last show, right?

My point wa not to go and buy those things, although you could. It was to use simple props that work them selves, as much as possible. Or, at least until you are comfortable enough and have practiced enough to do the more difficult stuff.

So, tell us how it went...

BroDavid
Message: Posted by: the_houdini_jester (Oct 16, 2005 01:07PM)
I didn't get to do it. I am doing it again either the 27th or 28th.

Alex