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Topic: Working around the jitters
Message: Posted by: Gilbert (Sep 17, 2009 08:58AM)
Is there any good trick to get around the jitters when performing in front of strangers.
I got no problems performing magic tricks in front of friends or familly, but when come the idea to perform in front of an audience and strangers, I get the jitters.
One think that always go in my mind, is that, since I know how the trick is done, I have a hard time thinking that is not obvious to other, even if I done the trick before to one or two friends.
Is it possible, that after a few performance that I'll get more confidence or is it something that's always there and that you have to get use to it.
Message: Posted by: Irfaan Kahan (Sep 17, 2009 09:09AM)
Hello Gilbert

There are several ways to reduce the jitters:
1) Open your "set" with something simple and virtually self - working. This way you won't worry about getting caught.

2) Practice your effects until they are second nature to you. That is, to the point where your muscle memory alone can almost get you through the entire routine.

3) Know your presentation, and design it to focus attention away from any point or spot in the routine that may give away some of the method. This is known as mis-direction.

4) The more you perform, and put yourself in these challenging situations, the more confidant you will be. In fact, you probably find that the jitters just aren't there anymore one day.

I would recommend to you the "Books of Wonder" by Tommy Wonder. The effects in there are in general far beyond the capabilities of the beginner, however the psychology inherent in those effects will prove to be most valuable.

There are several more ways to get over the jitters, but what I've listed above is what has worked for me.

Also note that performing an effect with confidence is often more important than the invisible execution of a sleight.

Regards
Irfaan
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Sep 17, 2009 09:10AM)
There are tons of posts to this topic. Try the search function please.

For me is true:
1. Performing for strangers is much easier as for family and friends.
2. Nervousness recedes with every performance done.
3. There are helpful techniques (e. g. correct breathing) to lessen nervousness.
4. There is no substitution for performance. See 2.

PS: Irfaan, you were 1 minute faster than me. :)
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Sep 17, 2009 09:47AM)
Join a local magic club and perform in front of them every chance you get. Everyone sitting in the room has had the shakes at some point and can relate. I had them when I first started. Performing in front of the club for every little competition or just for the heck of it is what got me used to being in front of people and got rid of the jitters. Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 17, 2009 03:04PM)
For some people, it's always there. For others, they "break through the wall" and everything is fine. Some do great with the "old reliables" but have a near-meltdown the first time they pull out something new.

Irfaan's advice is right on. But you may find that you still get the jitters in certain situations. In addition to the excellent advice here, I'd also add that you need to remember that the jitters are not fatal! In fact, most of the time, it's somehting only you know about, and the audience never knows. Press on!

Ed
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 17, 2009 07:40PM)
Practice and rehearsal. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.....
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Sep 18, 2009 10:24AM)
Good stuff here.

I fit into the category Ed describes.

It's always there, no matter what. But I've learned what to expect, and I mentally adapt. I've learned where I tend to rush, and how long until my tongue dries out. I used to plan a disappearing water trick at this point, so I'd have an excuse to take a sip "to show the water is real".

I've also discovered that the pitch of my voice is going to change once onstage, and I make allowances for that. You may discover the same sort of things happening to you.

The fun part is that (for me) it only lasts a few minutes. By the time I'm into my third effect, I'm right at home, joking with the audience, and relaxing. I just plan that my first couple tricks get the applause without requiring any personality from me.

Tony Robbins once told a great story about two celebrity singers dealing with "adrenaline". One said he was "juiced', while the other called it a "panic attack". The thing is, they were both describing exactly the same physical sensations. The key is in what you choose to do with it.

One more thing: taking a deep breath really does help. The extra oxygen will alter the pH of the blood, making your brain function a little more clearly. Just don't hyperventilate.
Message: Posted by: Gilbert (Sep 18, 2009 12:17PM)
Thanks to everybody, you've been of great help. I will work on those advices.
Message: Posted by: PaxMentis (Sep 23, 2009 03:24AM)
It's OK to have butterflies, just make sure they're all flying in formation.
Break-a-leg!
Message: Posted by: MagiClyde (Sep 23, 2009 08:44AM)
I had a friend of mine who got over his jitters by performing a trick each day in front of a total stranger. Eventually he got over the shakes and performs quite well. I am presently following his advise. It is getting easier to perform in front of others.

Tameraz is right. The trick is the skeleton. I have seen 20-30 minute acts built around just one or two tricks and the rest being presentation. At that point, the magician has become an ENTERTAINER, not just a set of tricks performed one after the other. I, myself, have taken a trick called Alien Autopsy and built up a little story around it with a few sci-fi puns thrown in for effect.

Keep working on it and eventually you will mature into a fine magician.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Sep 27, 2009 01:00PM)
My suggestion is to focus more on the storyline and the entertainment part of the effect and not the inner workings. After all the real point to Magic is the entertainment not the "how is it done" or "watch me fool you" dribble.
Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Sep 28, 2009 01:39AM)
Feel the fear and do it anyway. In time it will improve. It may always be there but you can use it as a substitute to positive energy
Message: Posted by: scottds80 (Sep 28, 2009 01:39AM)
Feel the fear and do it anyway. In time it will improve. It may always be there but you can use it as a substitute to positive energy
Message: Posted by: Craig Dvorak (Sep 29, 2009 01:16AM)
I have the same problem but I will try my best and back to you guys in time, thanks for the great advice!

-Craig Dvorak
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 29, 2009 10:58AM)
Perhaps you could exaggerate and have your character be very jittery.

There are many ways to present your magic.

Years ago, I wanted to be a "leading man". Luckily I discovered character roles.
Of course these days characters are becoming "leading men".

Harris "my wife calls me her Jack Black" Deutsch
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Sep 29, 2009 01:15PM)
Tell me Gilbert ...
how are the "jitters" going?

PM me my friend
Message: Posted by: Gilbert (Nov 14, 2009 04:52PM)
I would like to thanks everybody who gaved me adviced in here. They were great.
I had to do a gig today for one of my kid birthday party, and it worked great. At first I had the jitters, but not that much, and after a few tricks that are surefire, it was gone.
So thanks again everybody!
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Nov 14, 2009 05:41PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-14 17:52, Gilbert wrote:
I would like to thanks everybody who gaved me adviced in here. They were great.
I had to do a gig today for one of my kid birthday party, and it worked great. At first I had the jitters, but not that much, and after a few tricks that are surefire, it was gone.
So thanks again everybody!
[/quote]

It's quite some thing isn't (the jitters)

I had them last night when I performed my first ever "routine" (okay it was only two tricks)... but once I got started they died down somewhat

Good luck with future performances!