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Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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I just wanted to share this bit of advice to those of you who are fairly new to magic or have never spent time with other magicians. There's a common thing I see many who are new to magic do and I think I understand why.

Let me tell a little story to help explain. I was sitting in a bar during the Abbott's magic get together. Quite a few magicians where sitting around just hanging out and waiting for the next lecture or show to begin. A couple of guys joined our group. When ever someone performed something these guys where quick to name every single move that was executed. Sometimes they even have the attitude of, "Hey, you really think that would fool me"?

This isn't a very good way to act around magicians. I think what is happening is they are fairly new to magic and are trying their best to look like they aren't new. So they want everyone to know they know things.

The truth is this instantly tells me that they don't have that much experience in magic. If they did they would know that the magician who is showing his trick or move to other magicians isn't necessarily trying to "fool" them. He's showing what he's been working on and looking for feed back or advice on it.

On the other side of the coin there are many who are new to magic that are terrified to perform for more advanced magicians. Believe me I know how that is. I went to 3 or 4 convention before I got up the guts to perform for them. But I'll tell you right now that magicians aren't going to necessarily judge you on how well you perform. If you do a good job they'll be impressed and certainly tell you so. If you make a mistake it's highly unlikely they are going to hold that against you because they've made plenty of mistakes.

Put it this way. If you ever go to a convention and see me sitting there. I'd love it if you'd come up to me and the group I'm hanging out with and perform something for us. The first things you'll get is our attention. We'll watch what you show us. Then when we're done (no matter how well or poorly you did) you'll receive a genuine applaud from us. Why, because it takes guts to do what you just did. Especially if you're new to magic. Then you'll receive a lot of compliments, advice and suggestions. For example they might say, "That was a great top change". Or, "The top change needs a little work. Have you ever seen this top change? Maybe it'll work better for you". Then they'll teach you another move that might improve the trick.

I've seen this happen many times. In fact once I got up the guts to start performing for magicians. I was able to receive advice and tips for some of the legends of magic such as Harry Blackstone jr. Karrel Fox, Jay Marshall, Karl Norman (Just to name a few). Not one of them blurted out the names of the moves I did. They all gave me due credit and shared advice and tips.

All in all I see someone who is seeking criticism and advice to have more potential then someone who thinks they know it all already.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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Great advice Ron. Thanks for sharing these suggestions.

It's easy to become overly enthusiastic when one gets around other magicians, to the point of being too vocal about things. In one's zeal of trying to let others know how much they might know, instead of winning people over, they alienate them instead.

Although this is seen with a lot of "newbies," there are plenty of "veterans" that do the same thing, thinking they have all the answers and know everything and want everyone else to know it. Their ego's are too large and they are not much fun to be around.

I enjoy being around other magicians and appreciate their criticism or feedback when asked. Feedback is great when it is given in the spirit of helping and actually offers something useful. Hopefully everyone does share with others in the hope of helping them to get better instead of talking "down" to them. When the latter happens, to me, they are just trying to make themselves feel better.

Mark.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Ron, Mark,

You two know why my email address is AmazedWiz. Nobody is more amazed than I am when it works!

It takes guts just to watch!

Hope to see you guys soon.

Bob
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
solrak29
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NY Metro
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Ron,

I have to admit, that every time I read your posts it motivates me more and more.
The next convention or IBM meeting I attend next...I'm gona just do my thing.

But I have question, for a newbie per se...

When are you ready to show someone your magic for feedback like this? Should
it be your whole routine, or just a quick effect? For example; Should I do
a the whole routine of the Chicago Opener? Or just show the first part? Or
can it be a certain move like a color change...or does it matter?
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Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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My suggestion would be to just show them what you feel like showing them. Doesn't matter if it's an entire routine or just a move you learned or came up with. Just think of it as hanging out with someone who has an interest in the same thing you do.

A perfect example happened with me this year at Abbott's. I came up with a card move one day. So while I was there with all these other magicians I showed it around. Then I'd ask them things like, "Have you ever seen this move anywhere before"? I asked that because you never know if you've come up with something that's already been publsihed somewhere. Then I wanted to know what they think of it. Some of them really liked the move. Others didn't care for it all that much but even they thought it was unique and put some thought into it. Still others had some suggestions to make it better or showed me moves they knew that it reminded them of.

The main point I hope my last post here made is to not worry about "fooling" them. If you do get them stumped then that's great. If you do the first thing they'll usually ask is, "Is that your's?" This question can usually be interpreted as they like the move and would like to learn it. I think this is the respectable way to ask instead of, "How did you do it?" If it is yours then you have a choice to teach them but you're not obligated to. If you did I'm sure they'd show you something in return. Spending time with other magicians (Who will perform a thing or two) turn into brainstorming sessions. IN my experience I usually learn as much as I share.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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Ron's right. Keep in mind that magicians are people too and like to be fooled and amazed as much, if not more so, than the next guy. After all, that's one of the reasons they got into magic to begin with. They love the "art."

You're not as likely to fool a magician with an effect. Chances are better than average that they have seen some, if not all, of the effect you're doing before. They do, however, want to see it and will try their best to help.

By watching, and then critiquing a move or routine, their own creative juices are flowing and they are thinking how they can apply that same sleight or effect themselves. Magician's, unlike the general public, appreciate being shown things and will (for the most part) watch just about anything. If nothing else, they are hearing a different way of presenting something they already do and will appreciate your efforts.

The main thing is just be yourself. Don't go in thinking you will blow them away or act like you are "all that." Just be yourself, consider yourself among some friends and have a good time.

It is, after all, magic and that's a lot of fun.

Mark.
solrak29
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Thanks for the advise and motivation. I really appreciate it and it give me
a different perspective on things. I used to be scared, but I think you guys
have gave me that final nudge that I need.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
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"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
ALEXANDRE
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Performing for other magicians is a great thing and you can learn as well as teach much from it.

Go to the You Ought To Be In Pictures section here in the Café and you'll see many artists performing for other artists.

If you want to see me, click the link below.

Good luck.
solrak29
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Quote:
On 2006-10-31 00:03, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Performing for other magicians is a great thing and you can learn as well as teach much from it.

Go to the You Ought To Be In Pictures section here in the Café and you'll see many artists performing for other artists.

If you want to see me, click the link below.

Good luck.


Thanks Alaxander, I've been running into a lot of your posts lately and I live your
stuff.
To Find Me On The Pitch, Follow me :On Twitter
Checkout my pseudo blog : The Sidewalk Performers Forum

"I intend to live forever, or die trying" - Groucho Marx
Matt Malinas
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Transylvania
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Great advice Ron. as usual.
performing is of course key and criticism is very important.
and who is more qualified than others that share the craft?

-Mat
The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
afillius
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Great advice...everytime I read one of your posts I learn something new.

At a magic event recently I walked up to a couple of magicians and one of them asked the other one if he had seen Hundy 500 and when he said no I ,for some reason, I just blurted out "Do you want to?". He said "sure" and then I realized that it was kinda rude of me to butt in like that so I apologized but they asked me to do it anyway. I have never performed anything for any other magicians so I was very nervous. They reacted pretty much the exact way you described above and gave me a great new way of handling the effect. I made a couple of new friends that night.

-Adam
www.stsgroupinc.com
pro audio/video/lighting

Great magic is about creating great images - Jay Sankey
Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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Yup, that's how it goes. Spend some time with others who share a similar interest and show you're willing to share as well as learn and you'll make some new friends.

For those of you who go to magic gatherings. Have you ever noticed that it's usually like the convention lasts year round and there was just a 360 break between events? What I mean is I'll go to a convention and see magicians I haven't seen since last year. When we see each other there is a warm greeting but it's as if I just saw them yesturday. Hard to explain but that's what it seems like. We just continued where we left off last year.

They'd ask me about things they knew I was working on the last time they saw me and things like that. To them it was just yesturday. To me it was a year ago. Smile

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
airship
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In my day, I have driven
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Of course, the first thing you must do when you meet another magician is greet him with the "Secret Magician's Handshake". If you don't know the handshake, he will know you're just a wannabe newbie amateur. You DO know the handshake, don't you? Smile
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Bendy
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Columbus, Ohio
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I have NEVER called out moves done by another magician. If anything, I give other magicians the attention and respect they deserve regardless of whether they are performing only for me, for other magicians or for non-magicians. And, if they're performing for non-magicians, I step back to allow the spectators room to enjoy the performance and, if I am involved at all, I just play the part of the delightfully amazed spectator.

On the other point that was made, however, I am guilty. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of performing in front of other magicians. Family and friends can be sometimes be hard enough. Strangers are a piece of cake. But fellow magicians? I could not be more terrified. And terror equals the probability of messing up the illusion or the patter or both. I end up psyching myself out and make a mountain out of a molehill every time. ...So I hardly ever do it.

In all fairness, those times that I have performed something for fellow magicians, (not often and usually by request of another magician), none have laughed or critisized. All have complemented me on some point of my performance, patter or ingenuity and all have provided helpful ideas to apply to my performance. Without fail, my fellow magicians have been nothing short of polite, professional and the very picture of true ladies and gentlemen. Nevertheless...I'm terrified to perform for them!!
Chad C.
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I had a former student of mine when I was teaching who assisted me during the summers in setting up my equipment. When we went to a few meetings and magic shops, he had a bad habit of saying stuff like "I saw what you just did", etc. I quickly shared with him the importance of never doing that again, as it is disrespectful. And, as Jax mentioned above, we are to respect and enjoy the performance of another magician...of course we may know how something works, but so what, that doens't mean I have to make that fact known.

On another note, I enjoy it when I am completely fooled by a magician, and I make a point of NOT trying to figure it out, as I too, enjoy being amazed and mystified by a good trick that I'm not familiar with.
gaddy
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Agent of Chaos
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I love meeting other magicians.

I hate, Hate, HATE doing magic for magicians. My magic is for my audience, and I am no lecturer.

On the other hand, other magicians seem to LOVE doing magic for me because I seem to have the joy of amazment that comes to lay people.

It's not just a seeming, I am still amused and amazed by magic. Most of my knowlege of magic is very narrowly focused on what "I" do. I honestly couldn't tell you what any good card guy is doing, and forget about "figuring out" what a "coin manipulator" is doing. I'm as ignorant as any lay audience is.

I do know a good performer when I see one, though. And I certainly know how to be a good audience. A lot about "making it" in magic is who you know, not just what you know, and it's never a good idea to make a bad impression on people that you just might be taking money away from somewhere down the line -in the form of getting gigs.

I'd much rather be known as "... a really nice guy who doesn't know as much as I do about a top change" than as "... that jerk who thinks he knows more about a top change than I do!" -to the magician who is wondering why he doesn't have a gig lined up for halloween.

If you get my meaning...
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
tpax
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Columbia, Maryland
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Thanks Ron, really good advice!
alcorm1
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This is all great advice. I am planning on attending my first IBM ring meeting this coming Monday night, and have already made my self nervous thinking about what I will do if someone says "show us something". I don't know if I am at a point where I could comfortably perform in front of another magician, but this post makes me feel like if I am asked I could probably come up with something I have been working on just for the feeedback and critique. I guess one of the reasons for my going to the meeting is to learn and how can you learn if you don't show what you've already got.
magicleo
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Quote:
On 2006-11-04 07:12, alcorm1 wrote:
I am planning on attending my first IBM ring meeting this coming Monday night, and have already made my self nervous thinking about what I will do if someone says "show us something". I don't know if I am at a point where I could comfortably perform in front of another magician, but this post makes me feel like if I am asked I could probably come up with something I have been working on just for the feeedback and critique. I guess one of the reasons for my going to the meeting is to learn and how can you learn if you don't show what you've already got.

And let's hope you DO feel confortable. They will ask you to perform for them. I know when I joined they did for me.
Performing for other magicians isn't so bad. As long as they don't have overgrown egoes, they can be valuable assets. In my ring, the magicians are the ones that want you to perform at the peak of your abilities. They WANT you to succeed. And they can give approptaite feedback when it's due.
Performing for other magicians may seem scary, especially if you are a beginner (we all were at some point), but it isn't. It really isn't.
Jaxon
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That's true.

During my first IBM meeting. They jokingly made me perform. What I mean by "jokingly" is they where saying things like, "It's the rules" and "If you want to join you have to show us something". By the way they where saying all this I knew it was more of a way to get me up there and that even if I didn't they wouldn't dislike me. Looking back I know that they probably did this to encourage me to get past it and find out that they'll be enouraging no matter how well or poorly I do. The hardest part is the first time. After that and you get some applaud and pats on the back from them. Then it's very easy to perform for them again.

For me I was so nervous I did the shortest trick I knew then. It was a cut and restores rope that uses a pull. The entire trick lasted about 5 seconds. It was just a (Cut and Pull) and the trick was over. Then I sat right back down again. They applauded and complimented me. I learned so much rope magic that night because many of them showed me other ways to perform a cut and restored rope. By the end of the night I was performing for them with no problem what so ever.

One more memory of that night just hit me (Amazing I can remember this after all these years). I pulled out an animated match box I had picked up a few weeks before that meeting. I forget what its' called. The match box opens while held at your finger tips. The box opens and a match floats out. It had a picture of the magic castle on the box. When I performed it they asked how long I've been practicing it. I said I just got it a few weeks ago. They where amazed because one guy said he's had his for about 6 months and couldn't do it well yet. That made me feel good because I knew this guy has been into magic for quite some time.

So just get past that first trick and you'll probably feel right at home with them.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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