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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Switching from Strolling to a Show!!!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MacGyver
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Inner circle
St. Louis, MO
1419 Posts

Profile of MacGyver
I am getting to the point where several people in my life are pushing my towards doing gigs and shows with my magic, even though I feel I not ready, and a big reason is that I have never gotten paid for magic before and also I have no idea how to do a "show".

So far all I do is close-up and strolling magic, and while choosing effects might not be too difficult it is the handling of more than 10 people that really scares me.

I am afraid that somewhere between telling someone that I do strolling magic and me actually showing up to the place there is going to be a crowd of 20 people all looking at me for entertainment at once...

Does anyone have any good tips for transitioning from strolling / close-up to a show that can handle larger groups? I don't really have much trouble in the effects department, its more how to structure the group and keep myself entertaining for longer than 20 minutes.

-MacGyver
PS. just to clarify i'm not looking for stage effects or stage magic, just some advice for how to change my current effects to play better for a larger crowd should I find myself in one.

I do mostly cards but am working on Ring&String, Jiggernaut and some sponge ball routines for some variety. I also do a pretty mean billswitch Smile
Eric Rose
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Regular user
Franklin, IN
160 Posts

Profile of Eric Rose
When working for a crowd, play most of your magic between chest and eye height. Strolling and closeup has a tendancy to work with everyone looking down at the props. The last thing you want in standup is to direct a crowd of people to look at your crotch as you do a double-flippant-elmsley-passover.

Speak loud enough that the people in the back can hear you at a normal level.

Keep your eye contact roving through the group. I find looking at someone on the right side, then the back, then the left keeps a good rapport with the audience.

Here's an old public speaking trick - If you're too nervous to look anyone in the eye, just look directly over the top of a person's head somewhere in the middle.

Hope some of this helps.

Oh, one other key thing. If the audience likes you as a person, they tend to like your magic more.
dillib
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Elite user
476 Posts

Profile of dillib
They would respect you more as a magician if you've got a show to yourself, compared to walking around. Get a table in front of you and you should do fine. Given the privilege of a table in front of you, you can do those tricks which you cannot normally do while doing strolling magic, such as Blizzard etc. Personally I find it easier to perform to a large group of people rather than just a few people. Just keep shifting your attention while you're talking from one region of the crowd to another, it's not as difficult as you think. Maintaining eye contact is also important as Eric mentioned. Think about it, most people try to avoid eye contact, and that includes the audience! Thus making your job a bit easier. Girls will tend to giggle if you stare at their eyes for a long time.

For the tricks you do, try to use tricks that involve more spectators, such as maybe cutting to the aces, or a multiple selection routine. Try to involve them on a personal level too, get their names and remember them and make sure you use them while doing your tricks. Once they're on your side, you find that you won't be so conscious at all of your performance. Oh yes, rope magic would be good too, and sponge balls are a must.

Hope this was helpful!
Evan Williams
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Elite user
439 Posts

Profile of Evan Williams
Yeah, have a table in front of your and do all of your tricks at it for a show. If you need to move to people, try to find a table near them before you go. You will want to get more used to performing for lots of people because the day will come where a large group will crowd around you and look for a show. Just a heads up.
harris
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Inner circle
Harris Deutsch
8696 Posts

Profile of harris
Enjoy and keep an open mind.

For my strolling work I have been using a small waist band amplification system.

Mine is a discontinued unit from Radio Shack called a Voice Amplifier.

I heard about it on S.A.M. Talk the yahoo group for the Society of American Magicians.

For a 3 watt system it puts out quite a sound.

It was definetly worth much much more than the $14 investment.

A 5 watt system has been recently advertised for about $150 -$250.

Strolling and close up work need (IMHO) to be semi structured to get the most out of your routines, self and audiences.

Of course being able to Jazz it up with what happens (as a surprise to yourself and the people you are connecting/sharing with)is also important.

Keep learning no matter how long you are doing magic.

I learned more from my mistakes than my most wonderful shows.

As they say, you have to bomb to get good.

(whoever they are)

I hope to see some of you "new magicians" at the IBM convention in KC. (The longer I am in magic the more new I feel and realize I really am)

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist and Nearly Normal Magic
http://www.nearlynormalmagic.com
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Michaels
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Elite user
412 Posts

Profile of Michaels
MacGyver,
Strolling and parlor close-up shows have many important differences.
1) Strolling- you can walk away from a table at any time
Parlor- You have the same audience for the entire show
2) Strolling- routines are usually shorter
Parlor- routines are usually longer
3) Strolling- you don't have to worry about how visual something is at 10-15 ft.
Parlor- All routines need to be visual from greater distances
4) Strolling- allows for breaks in between routines even if it's for casual conversation even though your short sets should flow from one trick to the next.
Parlor- One routine should flow into the next without interruption of entertainment.
5) Strolling- You can get away with a couple of card and coin routines
Parlor- Very important to give a good mix whether it be cards, coins, ropes sponge balls and rings and things, etc.,
otherwise you may bore your audience.

IMO strolling is easier but the stand up shows are more rewarding because the positive reactions are amplified.
You stated in your post that effects are not a problem. Trust me when I say many strong strolling effects don't play well to a group of 20-25 people mainly because of logistics. Example: Coins Across is a great strolling routine but unless it's a highly visible 3 Fly I would never do it in a stand up show.
Make sure your audience spends their energy laughing and being entertained rather than trying to get a better visual vantage point.
These aren't answers, they're just my perspectives of two types of shows.
Top of the day,
Michaels
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
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