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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Society of American Magicians! » » Do you have to perform a set to get membership approval?? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicjack1977
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Louisville, KY
213 Posts

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The only thing that has held me back from trying to get a membership with S.A.M is that I always saw that you have to have two current S.A.M members "vouch" for of you. I always figured that meant that you had to perform for them and get their approval. Unfortunately for me, I had a couple of early on very bad experiences while performing effects in front of magicians and I guess it's kind of been a thorn in my side ever since. The worse was when I was ridiculed by one rather prominent Louisville area magician(who shall remain nameless) so bad that I nearly quit. This was when I was 16. Since then, I haven't performed for a fellow conjurer that I know of. It's not that I don't have faith in my abilities, it's just a mental thing I guess.
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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Hi Magicjack,

I understand your reluctance to perform for other magicians. The reactions just aren't the same given they might (probably) already know what you're doing. As a result, we tend to view our skills somewhat different given the reactions that are sure to follow a performance.

It's sad that a fellow magician would ridicule you for your efforts. Instead, they should have been supportive and offered only constructive criticism. That's the only way to help another grow. Sometimes, when one has a poor image of themselves, they tend to put others down in the hopes of making them seem somewhat more important. Again, it's sad.

Don't let that discourage you. There are plenty of people who are supportive and enjoy seeing a good "trick." If nothing else, it just creates a pause in an otherwise hectic day. Keep it up. Just avoid those who look down on others.

As for needing to be "sponsored" by 2 current members of SAM (or another group at the National level), that is just a formality. Send in your application and they will just get 2 people to sponsor you. If it will help, contact me via private message and I'll sponsor you. Then we just need one more person, which is no problem. I have sponsored people in the past and have had no idea who they were. You do NOT have to perform for anyone to join at the National level.

A local group might require potential members to "perform" something prior to being admitted to their group. That is just fine. They know (or should) that one is going to be nervous, again given the audience of those in the know. They are just wanting to make sure that members have a sincere desire to learn magic and aren't just coming "for the show." It is also a way for them to see some magic at a meeting, a bonus for showing up to the meeting that month.

In any event, join. Show up, do something and have a good time. After all, it's magic and is supposed to be fun.

Good luck, and welcome to the café! Mark.
Necromancer
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Inner circle
Chicago
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Hi Jack,

I think it's sickening how some immature magicians in a position of power will lord it over the more vulnerable. Happily, those idiots are in the minority. If you go to a meeting of your local Assembly, you'll be genuinely surprised by the number of people who are generous with their knowledge, helpful in their guidance, and truly excited to have you as a member.

If you need another sponsor, I'm your man. But I'd be willing to bet that at the next Assembly meeting, you'll be beating off the potential sponsoring members with sticks.

Best,
Neil

P.S. Don't be afraid, when asked, to take the floor and do a little something. Before a doctor can help you get better, he needs give you a check up, and it's the same here — the experienced magicians in your Assembly need to see your skill level before they can help you get better. No big deal. NT
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Steven True
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Bonney Lake,WA
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I feel like the others here that it is hard,very hard to perform for other magicians. It is almost like, well they have seen it all so I have nothing new. I love to sit,sometimes stand,and watch a good magician. Not good does not mean that they are perfect in everyway but that their program is well routined and fun to watch. Don't sweat the performing for them at your local assembly,they all did it at one time or another. Just get in there and do your best and you really can't lose. The ones that critize you,not helpful but just critize,are out there and for that I am sorry, but don't let them keep you from acheiveing all that you can in this great art. These are just my 2 cents here.

Steven
Skip Way
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We just had a young teen apply for membership and performed his first of two effects. He performed a basic packaged sponge ball effect that was met with applause and support. He, too, was nervous but quickly warmed up as he was welcomed by the club. Our club hosts some of the top names and serious movers in the country...so I am often intimidated about performing my silly comedy kidstuff before them. But, I can honestly say that not once have I ever felt unwelcome or belittled nor have I ever seen any of them show the slightest bit of scorn towards anyone else. A truly wonderful group. In fact, they seem more concerned when I don't join in. It's an inner thing that you and I need to overcome. You'll do well.

Wear your Nikes and "Just Do it!" Smile

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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I'm ashamed that anyone in the Louisville club would do that to you. There are some excellent magicians and teachers in Louisville -- Bob Escher comes to mind. I don't know if Bob is a member of SAM, but I know he belongs to the IBM -- he is a past president.

Don't worry about performing for magicians. Skip is right. Just do it.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
magicjack1977
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Louisville, KY
213 Posts

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Thanks for the support guys. I feel more comfortable now about the prospects of performing in front of other magicians thanks to your comments.

To Neil and Mark; I have PM'ed you guys about possible SAM sponsorship.

Thanks again guys!!!
mrunge
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Inner circle
Charleston, SC
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Hi Jack,

I'll be glad to sponsor you. I just PM'd you back.

Mark.
Necromancer
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Chicago
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I PMed you too.

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
afuntimevent
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CT
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Hi, Magic Jack -
Unfortunately, you learned very early that people can be insensitive. I bet the guy thought he was doing you a favor. But who likes people with know-it-all attitudes?
It's too bad you let his remark stop you from joining the Louisville club. It has a good mix of people - young and old, experienced and novice.
I'm sure you can attend a few meetings before you decide to join, so I wouldn't worry about sponsors right off the bat. Once you get there, you'll meet the members & I'm sure they'll be glad to sign you up. And once you get involved, you will find people willing to help you learn and grow in magic.
Each club decides whether new members have to perform a set to join. I know it's intimidating, but don't give up on the SAM! Most of us *are* friendly and welcome new members. Really. Besides, I do a lousy double lift, & I get confused on the Elmley Count, & they let me in. Just do what you're comfortable with.
Good luck -

Marlene Clark
SAM RVP New England
Membership Strategy Committee
Whitewolfny
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Hi Jack,
I belong to Assembly 24 in Albany NY. We have several professional magicians who are at the top of their game. We also have people in my level, "needs a lot of work". but what I love is the fact that our professional performers are always willing to help those of us who could use some encouragement and tips on how to improve. It's too bad you ran into someone with an ego problem. I've been with SAM for 37 years and have met some of the best people on the planet. Believe me they know you are nervous to perform in front of them, but most of them will be happy to watch what ever you do. Welcome to the wonderful world of magic.
Braxton Mannar
<BR>Just an old dog trying to learn new tricks Smile
Merlina
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Maria Ibanez
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Hello Jack:

It is sad indeed that your first experience performing for another magician was negative. Not all your experiences will be that way as you will find that the majority of your fellow magicians, especially in Louisville, will be very receptive and welcoming.

If you are still interested in joining, and I am hoping you are, please get in touch with me privately at either my e-mail merlina@merlina.com or via skype at magicmerlina so that I can discuss this with you a little further.

Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.

Respectfully

Maria Ibanez
Society of American Magicians
President Elect
MagiClyde
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Columbus, Ohio
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There's a slight bit of irony in this post, at least for me.

First, I really don't mind performing a trick in front of other magicians. Nearly all of them know exactly what you're doing, so it isn't like you're revealing any deep, dark secrets if you flub up. Where I really get nervous is performing in front of lay people and being afraid of revealing how a trick is done. Not fun for anyone. Unfortunately, that is precisely what has stopped me from moving out of the ranks of the truly novice.

As for magicians behaving badly, I had been informed by a local magician that the local IBM club used to hold a "hazing" ritual for new members. The new initiate had to do a 10 minute routine and the other magicians would, from what I understand, heckle or sneer or not cooperate if a volunteer was called for. Can't help but wonder how many new magicians were driven out of the field due to this behaviour. From what I understand, they quit this sadistic ritual several years ago. They still require the 10 minute performance, but the hazing is no longer done.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
marty.sasaki
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I guess I can understand that Magicians want to keep their secrets from the general public and that giving a test is one way to screen for those who are genuinely interested in "the art", but maybe there is another way? What is wrong with magic groupies that go to the shows, pay their dues, are supportive of the aims of SAM, but don't want to perform?

I don't know how to prevent someone from going to meetings, learning the secrets, and then exposing things, but is someone who just wants to know how things work going to go through all of this trouble? With the Internet, if you are persistant enough you can find almost anything.

This also isn't helped by folks like Penn and Teller. I know this has been debated to death, but my heart sank when I saw them do a cups and balls routine on a Chris Angel show using clear cups. (Afterwards I thought, why don't folks use clear cups on instructional videos?)

Personally, I'm really shy and have to get up the courage to even attend meetings of any type especially if I have to speak or otherwise draw attention to myself. I usually find though that after the first few minutes of intense nervousness I forget about the nervousness and have fun.

Having said this, I'm working up my courage to join the local SAM group in the Boston Area.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
vance2276
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Montana
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Hazing is ridiculous. I got a huge dose as a fraternity pledge. I don't understand the need to revisit that behavior on others just because it was done to you.

Now that that is out of my system, what is the purpose of the performance requirement to join? Is it just to show that you are serious? Or is it a way to keep out the "secret stealers"?
MagiClyde
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Columbus, Ohio
871 Posts

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The way it was explained to me was that they wanted to see what your level of competence was in performing magic in order to be better able to help you.

It is also my understanding that this was not necessary to join SAM, but the local IBM does require it for joining their chapter.

Only after some work have I finally become competent enough to feel that I could develope a 10 minute routine. Might just work on that over the weekend.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
mrunge
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Inner circle
Charleston, SC
3717 Posts

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Good luck with your routine. And remember...have fun!

Mark.
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