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JustLoco
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Los Angeles, Ca
111 Posts

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I love magic and do tricks for friends and family when every I can. Yesterday I was at the Laundromat with my wife and while we were waiting I was playing with the cards and did some tricks for her. A man there noticed what I was doing and came over and stood 3 feet away watching. Immediately I got nervous and after one more trick I put the cards down. He approached me and said that he thought I was really good, and could probably make money doing magic. I know that at that point I should have had him "pick a card" but instead I froze up and just said thank you. I guess my fear was that he would "catch me" doing a card control, or false shuffle or something.
Okay Question-
How can I gain the confidince to perform for strangers? How will I know when I'm ready? Will I just know or do I just have to try and see if I can get away with all the dirty moves?
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
Malaysia
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Enough practice is the answer. Not only the techniques but also the whole routine.
The Amazing Noobini
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Inner circle
Oslo, Norway
1658 Posts

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You're already far ahead of me. I would feel too self conscious and insecure to pull out a deck of cards in public and do anything with them. I'm amazed that people can do odd things in laundromats and not feel like complete idiots, like I do. So in my eyes you're progressing quite well.

You have a very extroverted avatar too. Smile Sounds like you just need to continue doing it for a few times more and make sure you have enough practice, as James Tong points out. That is my current scheme as well. Prepare prepare prepare.

It seems that you refrained from involving that guy in a trick because you felt unprepared. Sounds like not going ahead with it was exactly the right thing to do in that case. Live to fight another day, and so on.

As for better advice from more experienced people than me, the Café is filled to the brim with old posts where this is discussed at length. If you search a little you will quickly find that you are not alone.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
molsen
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Copenhagen
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I agree with the above. Just make up in your mind which effects you will perform when it happens next time, and do it. If you feel really nervous you can start with a self working one. Once you see the reaction you will get the confidence for SoH.

Michael
Dynamike
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Try carrying two simple tricks with you that you do best. If you do not think you perform them good, it will make you too nervous. So make sure you get the practice on the two tricks.

Be ready to show anyone in a private or public area. It can be a waitress at a restaurant. Try someone at your job. Maybe a person next to you in a bar. Try someone waiting with you in a doctor's office. The more you keep up with the trick, the more it will become easier.

Once you become relaxed with those two tricks, switch over to a different easy to perform pair. You will notice you took a big step in accomplishing that part of your mission. Next, you will be supporting others on the Café, "I use to be scared too. But first you must..."
JamesTong
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Malaysia
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Performing for strangers does not mean you have to perform for every Tom, Dick and Harry you meet. In fact most of the audiences we performed to are also strangers. It is actually up to you to select who you want to perform to. Even though you are well prepared and if you don't feel like it, don't perform anything at all.
rorythegreat
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Seattle, WA
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The more you perform the easier it will get. I remember the first couple times I did something for someone I didn't know my hands were shaking. After doing it over and over again it gets a lot easier. Your confidence level will get higher with time. Good luck!
JamesTong
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Yes, familiarity breeds confidence.
abc
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South African in Taiwan
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Learn some self working effects. They are great if presented well and do not require any difficult sleights.
Koolmagic114
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Just also keep in min d that you are 1 ahead of them and they do not know what to expect. I realize when I am nervous about showing a effect. There is just some thing inside me that is telling me that maybe I am not ready to show it public performance and need to work on it a bit more.

But I just plow through it and do it anyway. As mentioned above it is a great way to over come the fear of performing for strangers. Definitly carry a couple of effects you can do in your sleep. When my wife asks me to do something for her friends I do the same few effects. And with that confidence I can find myself showing "works in progress" a bit easier. Which can, should, will hopefully build that extra confidence.
Eddy

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Co-Creator of "TAGZ" / "Iced Over" / " TelePad" / "Penigma"
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JustLoco
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Los Angeles, Ca
111 Posts

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First, thanks for all the advice. It really helps to know that this is just a normal part of becoming a performer and I shouldn't give up. Okay so I took the cards to work today and did some tricks for a couple of friends while a group of other co-workers looked on. I did 2 "pick-a-card" tricks, one with a reversed card reveal and the other where I drop the deck to the table and one card flips.(forgive me for not knowing the name of the tricks, but I believe I got both form Royal Road, or some other old old book from the library) And I did "This 'n' That" which is color Monte using blank cards with the words "This", "That", and "Other" written on them. I was very nervous due to the onlookers, but those are tricks that I believe I do well, so I just heeded your advice and continued. I got huge reactions on the 1st two, which gave me the confidence to do the 3rd trick. But by then my hands where already trembling. Luckily break was over and it was back to sorting mail.
Thanks Again, and thanks to anymore advice to come.
Dynamike
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Sounds good. Make sure the third is a self-working trick. When you can perform that many relaxed, change the third trick to a sleight-of-hand trick.
JamesTong
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Isn't magic fun?
rjthomp
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Pasadena
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You'll find performing for strangers actually a lot easier than friends and family in many ways, at least if you're sure that they're interested in seeing some magic. Friends and family will often be a lot more grabby, etc. We're usually more polite with strangers...

-Rob
rorythegreat
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Seattle, WA
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Quote:
On 2008-11-08 17:22, rjthomp wrote:
You'll find performing for strangers actually a lot easier than friends and family in many ways, at least if you're sure that they're interested in seeing some magic. Friends and family will often be a lot more grabby, etc. We're usually more polite with strangers...

-Rob


Hahaha, yes I completely agree with you on this. Every time I do a trick for my girlfriend or family member they say, let me see that, and try to take whatever it is in my hands. Performing for strangers in much easier now.
JamesTong
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Malaysia
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Fortunately we are paid to perform for strangers. And most of them behave quite well.
JustLoco
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Los Angeles, Ca
111 Posts

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Yeah I have had the grabby friends and family many times, and I guess I assumed that strangers would act the same way. But it makes sense that strangers will be a bit more polite.
olaf911
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Germany
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Well, I had the exact same problem. After reading every posting about it on this forum that I came across, the solution for me was to think beforehand:

"Hey, what could go wrong? It's just magic, no heart transplantation. The worst thing that can happen is to drop the cards. Even in that case I will never see the person again. Good opportunity to practise."

And then I simply did it with the attitude, that the outcome would be of no matter to me.

Believe it or not, but over time I convinced myself enough that the hands stopped shaking and blood pressure dropped to normal.

Maybe you have to adjust the thinking for yourself a bit, but I guess you got the picture. For me this works. Maybe this is of some help.
Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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One good thing about performing for strangers, your not likely to see them again Smile

Mike
Majikjak
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Keep in mind that if you forget the sequence or the patter of the routine only you will know. Remember if the spectator has never seen the routine, they don't know you messed up. Just continue. Also don't worry about the trembling hands, it happens to every magician occasionally.
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