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Zac Vee
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Hi folks

I know and you all know that this topic is talked about in the Café quite a lot and is always around, by that I mean there is always some one wondering how to aproach starngers to do some magic and HAVE FUN.

Well, what I am going to say it is pure from my own experience, as I have never had the chance to read books about aproaching strangers or spectators psychology. However, I have read some articles on this subject and read what some fellow members of the Café have wrote. Quite often I hear things like , don't invade spectators space, be polite, intrduce yourself i.e hi my name is Zac and I am magician, would you like to see something cool, amazing or would let me show , or would you please do this , and that all means we have to ask the spectator something . All this is usually suggested , and something is always suggested not to do is , forcing your magic , doing more stuff than necessary , boring the people by going on and on . It is common sense I think, that all this will make magic a lot less interesting than doing only few tricks , and make them ask you for more, and that will put you on the dominant position, which you will automatically control your spectators and perform comfertably.

Back to what to say when approaching , as that is the most important part (breaking the ice ), in my experience again, when I used to say stuff like , hi my name is __ and I am magician and would you like to see something, I had many saying ok go on show us , and I had very few that just ignored me and many that politely said no thanks we are fine. Which wasnt that inspiring to continue doing it if you had a lot of those who would say no thanks, so I changed all this and start doing as follow.

While walking on the streets , and I see a group of twos, threes, or more that I want to show them something, I just have the coins in my hand right in front of them and say look , watch , can you see this coin, can you stil see it etc well anything actually , or maybe when I pass by a group I drop few coins and then some people will help you collect your coins and then you say imagine if these coins were not magical they would have disapeaed not only falling(you don't need to do this) , or anything then you say look at this , since you helped me picking it and start .

In this case , your right I am not giving the people the chance to say no I don't want to see, then I am giving them a sense of curiousity so they cant just leave they got to see what I am about to do , something like they hooked now lol, of course I don't aproch those who seem in hurry and stop them, I approach those who are woundering about or looking as nothing to do, and beleive me I have never come a cross some one just saying no or walking away from , instead I always happen to approach groups that is some one's birth day , or they have met just to have some fun on the beach just anything, just what friends do when nothing special is planned. AND THE FUN STARTS.

Finally and to the point, the more we ask some one and spent time introducing ourselves, I think we are making the whole thing seem big deal, instead its better just doing something quick , visual and baffling without many words and that will be it , you have the full attention.

I hope some have something to relate , or maby some one has something to correct , as I am no more than a beginner, and always learnning from experience and words of those who know better .

Hope it is useful to some .

peace, love and kindness.. no terms and conditions

1001 Magic Nights Blog
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Thank you very much for sharing your interesting thoughts. What you wrote about the introduction "Hi, my name is Magixx, would you like to see something interesting" and that a lot of people than are not interested was also my experience....

Optimists have more fun.....
Steve Friedberg
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If you're not might try throwing in the line, "and no, I'm not selling anything," off the top. People are suspicious of anyone who walks up to them in an odd setting. If you are working with cards, as I do, the patter might go a little like this:

"Hi...I'd like to show you something very quickly, and no, I'm not selling anything. I do have a deck of cards...a regular deck of cards...and I've discovered something that amazes me. Please do me a small favor, and just choose one out of the middle of the pack...your choice..."

Some will ignore you. The rest will humor you. And then, you can humor them.

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
Zac Vee
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Hi guys

Just want to add that, approaching with any other item but cards it always works better, we all want to do some amazing card stuff, but to approach I find that people are more interested to see something else , not cards. As many have said in here and I second that thought, CARDS COME LATER,.

peace, love and kindness.. no terms and conditions

1001 Magic Nights Blog
Will Gordon
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Ever time I fiddle with my cards at the espresso bar I always peak someone's interest. Works for me.
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It's sometimes difficult to do cards without a flat surface to work on. I carry ropes in my pocket now, as well as my cards. I don't really walk up to people though. I flourish with my cards, just doing thumb fans, etc. I got this really neat illusion where it looks like the fan is floating above my hand. People see me playing with the cards, and they ask me to do a trick, to which I am happily obliged.
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John Long
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I was about to post a question similar to this thread, when I happened upon it. Sadly, there have been few responses to this thread. I might try reposting to get more of a response. I think the topic derserves some insight from the seasoned magicians. The question is, how do you find an audience. I'm not talking about how you find a "job", but how does the newbie find an audience.

Here are some observations and thoughts I've had.

First Step:
I started with close friends, and a few peers at work. I feel safe with them, and can ask them most anything. Some were very interested in magic, so I know that they will be receptive for future "shows", unless they are under pressure. I've even promised to cut a co-worker in half with ropes at the start of a meeting, if they will come on time to that meeting.

Second Step
But how do you go the next step. To me, the next step is finding other friends that are interested in seeing magic.

When in a social setting with a few friends, I've talked about tricks that I did for others. On a number of occasions, this has resulted in their asking to see the effect that I just described doing. It actually turned out to be a fun time. In contrast, when I just asked a casual friend if they wanted to see a magic trick, I've gotten some strange, ackward moments.

Step 3
The next step seems to be dealing with a person that I've just met, or someone that I just happened to be talking to(say in a gym). Not much luck here yet. Simply asking to show them magic, created that same strange/ackward moment. The solution is probably as above - create an interest. But how? Simply asking to show them a trick is probably not going to do it. I think you tend to come across as a "nerd" when you do this. The exception here has been when at a picnic with both adults and children, I asked little kids if they wanted to see some magic. That went over well.

This is the step that I am trying to work thru. I'm just starting to carry a few promps around(rubber bands, rings, string...) to help me be ready. As I get out in the "trenches" more, I will try different things and find out what works. The answer is probably relationship and interest. Most will probably need to feel comfortable with me(thru conversation), and then I need to spark an interest. If they are not interested, I don't want to perform.

Step 4 Strangers in a public setting

I have not done this, but I'm guessing that the answer is the same - relationship and interest.

I would think the relative importance of these two items depends on the setting - if I'm at a country fair, I might be able to create interest by simply doing something eye catching. In a more sedate environment, that may not go over so well, and the relationship part will increase in importance.

Step 5 Captivated, but non-magical audience
Such as table hopping in a restaurant. Not been there, not done that.

Step 6 Captivated Magical audience
They came with the intent of seeing my magic. Ahhhhh, I can hardly wait Smile

Ironically, it seems that the inexperienced magician, the one who most needs an audience to practice at performing, will have the hardest job at finding an audience, and that audience may be the least receptive.

I hope to hear others comment on this. I will repost this as a separate thread if this thread doesn't seem to attract some of the magical big guns on this site. This topic is as important to the newbie as is knowing what book or DVD to buy.

Breathtaking Magic;
Not Breath Taking
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