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Profile of mddkf
Well I survived my first show and wanted to tell everyone about it. I’m an amateur/hobbyist and have been doing magic for family and friends for the last year. My friends 14 year old asked if I would do some tricks for his friends at his birthday. I showed up expecting 6 or 7 kids and there were close to 20. I did Fading coin, trick which cannot be explained, out of this world, sponge balls, Kurotsuke, name a card from stack, and ended with invisible deck.

What I learned. Teens are a very hard audience. They showed very little reaction and one girl kept saying she didn’t get it. Part of the problem is I need to improve the clarity of my patter, but as I went from trick to trick and listened to the silence after each one I started to freak out. They all clapped at the end and the parent’s who were there swore up and down that the kids liked it and talked about it.

Anyway, I survived and hope for another chance to perform for them in the future. I’m amazed that people are actually able to this for a living.

Justin Style
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2010 Posts

Profile of Justin Style
Sounds like it went okay. I think you need to build your confidence, which will happen with more experience. I found the best way for me to relate to the audience, no matter whom, is just be myself. No shtick, no phony patter, no B.S. Talk to them in a true way, show interest in them, find out what's happening. By being true, they will accept you for you. THEN, they will buy your product.
If they don't have faith in you, they won't have faith in your product. Just be honest.

We are all just salesmen. Magic is our product and the audience is our customer. The first rule of sales is, Know thy Customer. The more you know about them, the easier it is to relate, turning any situation into a success, whether it be cash, a big sale, or applause, it's all the same.

Hang in there and welcome to the club!

My first paid gig was a Bachelor party! I could tell you some stories…lol
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241 Posts

Profile of fxdude
Kudos for getting out there and trying it out. The only real way to learn how to perform is to actually perform.
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Yuma, AZ
2291 Posts

Profile of Ed_Millis
One of the biggest problems with performing for teens is that they are all afraid of each other. They are afraid of liking something that no one else likes. Unless it's something huge, or it's a group where they are fairly anonymous and therefore "safe", they'll save their reactions until afterwards until they can chat amongst the group and all collectively decide what was good and what was bad.

So take a new person they haven't decided on yet, and put them in a situation with potentially fatal (socially) consequences, and you're doing good to get anything out of them!

One possibility is to find soeone who is comfortable with you and involve them in a trick where they come out the winner. And don't do anything that seems to be a "challenge" - they'll either come up with devious ways to screw you up, or ignore you. But if you want to make _them_ do the magic, where you have minimal involvement and everything happens in their hands, then you stand a good chance of getting out alive!

Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Profile of Father Photius
We all start someplace. Sounds like your first experience, being all teens went better than most. With experience things improve. Hang in there, you are doing the right thing learning from your experience.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Andy the cardician
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A street named after my dad
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Profile of Andy the cardician
For me, it is all about builing raport. You have to gain your mental place before you start to perform. Ideally, they should like you. Curiosity and respect is good enough for a start.

Frankly, most magicians I have met, have good to great machanical skills but are lousy presenters.

Cards never lie
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