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Torino, Italy
567 Posts

Profile of Roland78
Oh, I have another tip to add. It works for me. I noticed this when I first began acting at theatre: when performing (or acting, that's the same), the most people me included go too fast with the lines of the comedy or the steps of the trick and the patter. Try with a watch: how long is your patter? 5 minutes? then try doing the same in front of a friend and secretely take a look at how long your effect last... 3 minutes? Well, you did it in a hurry Smile
So, the suggestion is: when you perform, do it sloooowly, like at the moviola. U will feel you are doing it at rallenty, but in reality you are doing it at the correct speed.

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28 Posts

Profile of palmern
I had the same problem. As soon as a crowd gathered, I would istanly tense up. Slowly, as my confidence grew, I was able to draw a crowd and do tricks for them without shaking out of my boots! Just keeping on practicing, and eventually it will come. Try a few tricks with no gimmicks first but are almost self working to get your confidence up. Then you can do more tricks that are more gimmicked and have more sleights. Cheers!
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Sacramento California
761 Posts

Profile of 61magic
Here is a bit of advise most of which has been said before. This is confirm things to you.
I started in magic in the 6th grade. I was a very shy kid, and this helped.
I was nervous, and my hands shook.
This is all normal reactions to stress. The key is to reduce unnecessary stress, and channel the rest into something positive.
Practice your moves, and routines over, and over until you get them down. The will help to reduce unnecessary stress.
Try not to learn too many effects. Too many takes time away from getting really good with your core routine.
Perform when ever you can, the more you do it the easier it will be.
Don't expect to make it go away, learn to live with it. Some extra energy can be useful during a performance if displayed as enthusiasm.
If you look back one some of David Copperfield's specials he shook some during closeups on his closeups.....
I'm now 45, and still get nervous, but I love to perform more than I fear the performance.....
Keep working on it, and lots of luck.
Professor J. P. Fawkes
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124 Posts

Profile of tigerman21345
Hey guys this is me again , yesterday I performed to some lay people , first I perform "another quick coincidence" and "your signed card" in Ammar's ETMCM Series , but unfortunly I was failed to perform "the signed card" because someone want to check the cards out before I do the trick...... and you know what happened....
But after that I perform "Lottery" and "Acquaintances" by Jay Sankey and get really great reaction ...well after that I found out if the things mess up that is not a big problem .... just after a few mins people will forget it... and if do the tricks well next time , then they will enjoy it .

And I found out my hands doesn't shake anymore after I failed to perform the "your signed card"(i mean yesterday) , I don't know why ... may be I learned from the failure ? I don't know ... but it's the fact that my hands did not shake when I was performing .

And of course I do think I have to improve my presentation skill .

Thank you guys who gave me so many good advices , that's so helpful , thank you Smile

P.S Again , sorry for my bad english .
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Profile of EvanTheMagicMan
Get some of your closest friend together and show them your tricks,just tell them that you would like their honest opinion on your tricks and then take their tips and improve on your tricks. You can really have anyone judge your tricks but friends were work great.
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United States
174 Posts

Profile of jdbach
Know that your desire to share what you enjoy is the highest form of a compliment you could pay to your friends and family. Talk with them and tell them that you would like to share some effects that you are practicing. Feel safe with your friends that will find joy is the fact that you are sharing. Life is a risk....just get out and express yourself...

Thank you for the opportunity
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177 Posts

Profile of natswift
Wow a lot of people share the same fears! I too suffer from nervousness anytime I perform. I have been doing magic for about 18 years now, I just did a show at a church here near my home and I was nervous like you wouldn't believe, until I got going.
I have always been and assume I always will be the type of guy who shakes like crazy until I find my groove. Whether I'm in front of a crowd or just a few people around a table, I get the same nervous trembles.
The way I've combated this over the years is to always start with an "effect that cannot fail". Ok so there is really no such animal, but I perform a trick that isn't very technical or require a lot of sleight of hand. This way I can get a feel for my audience and then move into the more technical stuff. I think that my nervousness comes more from anticipation than fear. But it's the nervousness that leads to the fear!!

Although stage fright is not much fun it is good to see and hear that a lot of people suffer from it! Smile
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
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183 Posts

Profile of Jarana
I agree, although stage fright its not fun at all, it does help a little when you know a lot of us have similar issues. Hopefully I can overcome mine also!!! or get to the point where I can perform in a relaxed manner.

Got a website? We can help--> www.clorus.com
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Profile of lelo
Practice does not make perfect but it can make you much better. It is normal to be a little bit nervous. Try to build up your confidence with moves that you have mastered (if there is such a thing). Additionally focus your practice to perform the critical move of an effect (switch, false counts, etc.) in an effortless, natural manner.
Jim Mullen
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Lake Tahoe, California
351 Posts

Profile of Jim Mullen
As someone who has been a magician for over 50 years, I seldom get nervous, although I am always a bit less comfortable performing in front of magicians at a magic meeting. Agreeing with most of the comments you have received in this forum, I suggest the following:

(1) Reherse the material extensively. When you really KNOW your material, the performance becomes automatic, and you cease to worry about what might go wrong. To this end, I recommend writing out a script for the patter and memorizing the script. That way you will not have to think up what to say on the spot during your show. It also means you will not be at a loss for words during any nervous moments. I find that patter problems are much more likely than sleight-of-hand problems to bring on nervousness. What happens is that you begin fumbling with the patter, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or not knowing exactly what to say, or leaving out some needed patter. When this happens, you get a bit tense, and this causes further mistakes in the patter and the sleights. One thing leads to another, and pretty soon the effect collapses. On the other hand, if you KNOW the patter, you can always get back on track and can proceed smoothly even though you've run into a problem.

(2) Sometimes sleight-of-hand problems do occur and you find yourself a bit nervous in the moments leading up to the execution of a difficult sleight. I always am a bit apprehensive about doing the diagonal palm shift to palm a card for the card-to-wallet effect because I know that the trick will collapse if I botch the sleight. For this problem, I can only suggest that you practice a lot, and--very important--practice doing the trick WITH its accompanying patter. If you are very nervous about a sleight, get rid of the trick and do something with less demanding sleights or no slights whatsoever. There are plenty of great tricks that require no sleight-of-hand--even card tricks. Also, as has been suggested, start off with a trick requiring no sleight of hand. That way, you will be well into your show before you show any nervousness. You will be on a roll and will be able to cruise through the tough parts of your program. One the other hand, if you make a big mistake with the first trick, you can lose your self confidence and even your audience. Once you do one trick well, you will have established yourself as a magician. Then, if you blow the next trick, you can throw the cards over you shoulder and say, "I hated that trick anyway. Let's do another one that is even worse."

(3) Many years ago, when I was in sixth grade, I performed magic at a camp talent show. As a result, the camp counselors recruited me to be the emcee at the camp closing ceremony for parents. Right befor going on, I became exceedingly nervous, probably because I was not doing my own, well-rehersed material. My hands and voice were shaking, and that made me even more nervious. One of the councelors noticed this and told me to take several deep breaths right before going to the mike. This helped quite a bit, and I got through the event with no problems. You might give that a try.

(4) Finally, don't forget that you are a magician and not a heart surgeon whose mistakes can be catastrophic. If you flub the trick--what the heck; nobody is going to die. Pass off the problem, laugh at yourself, and move onto the next trick.

Good luck.
Jim Mullen

Lake Tahoe
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Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

Profile of Jaz
Excellent post Jim.
A big welcome to the Café.
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