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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Stage Fright (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ricahato
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denver
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Hi everyone. The first thing I would suggest is for you to know exactly what you are going to say... script everything from the opening line to the closing line. Keep your patter simple and don't be afraid of silence, less is better. Start by creating your opening line and stick to it. Breathe when you go on the stage, do rush yourself, create a script for every trick that you will perform. The more you rehearse, the more confident you will feel. All of this was tought in a class with Jeff McBride I recently attended and I think is one of the most important things I learned. Thank you.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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I had stage fright when I was younger... my dad was a seasoned Vaudeville performer.

One comment he made was, "What, do you think the audience is armed and someone is going to shoot you if you blow something?"

I also drank an Alka Selzer to calm my stomach... then I would NOT eat before a show...

Then I started to work with a partner, we did a two-man show... having someone else on stage really made it easier.

Following those "formative" years, I discovered that if you REALLY KNOW your matieral and can do it blindfolded, your confidence will be much higher.

When I was working comedy clubs, I was so relaxed I would actually sit in the audience and really didn't pay any attention to my thoughts. I just enjoyed the show and when I was introduced, I would jump up and say, "Hey, that's me..."

One key too, is to work all you can where you are comfortable... the same club or the same theater... over and over again helps.

There is often anticipation, not to be confused with fright, when going into something new, or adding something new.

Don't worry... it ain't brain surgery we are doing here...

Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
RandyStewart
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Quote:
When I was working comedy clubs, I was so relaxed I would actually sit in the audience and really didn't pay any attention to my thoughts. I just enjoyed the show and when I was introduced, I would jump up and say, "Hey, that's me..."


Only a real pro who can perform the act blindfolded and understands how to handle an audience is blessed with internal thoughts such as "Hey, that's me..."

I love your input Biro. Thanks for unselfishly sharing the outcome of years of performing.

For those who still can't get past the painful jitters, perhaps you can take a different approach. Instead of being ridden with nerves, why not "resent" the condition?

Does anyone in the audience REALLY feel or understand how nervous you are? I seriously doubt it unless it's your husband/wife. Does anyone in the audience REALLY understand how much you love magic? I seriously doubt it.

So stop worrying. I enjoy understanding that I'll be sharing a few minutes of magic with others who are enamored with a polished persona and series of effects.

Don't be afraid.
magic4u02
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I would just like to say something I tell the kids I teach magic to at our SYM meetings.

The audience is not there hoping you are going to fail. They are there to have fun with the show and they want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

They also do not know what your show is about or what effect comes next. With this in mind, the only time they will know you messed anything up is if you show them you did and reveal it by your body langauge or voice. Remain calm and go out there and have fun.
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RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2003-07-19 13:39, magic4u02 wrote:
The audience is not there hoping you are going to fail. They are there to have fun with the show and they want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

Remain calm and go out there and have fun.


So true! The kids love "helping" the magician as he/she fumbles (die box or any other sucker effect). They love to participate when the performer is apparently "screwin' up".

The helpful audience member that wants success for all is always there. I was the loudest kid at school when a travelling magician performed the die box. I swore I had the answer and could help him....he had other plans for us as the die was waiting in the nearby top hat.

Oh how we loved the performance...you never heard so many screamin' children gasp with amazement! Smile

He was forced into two standing ovations and was ready for each. Smile
magic4u02
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Randy:
Thanks for the kind words. You are so right. I have always remembered that an audience is there to have fun with the show. They are watching becasue they want to be entertained. Never think that your out there and they are there simply to watch you fail. That is never the case. Go out there and have fun with it. Enjoy your time with the crowd.
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waveman
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Steiner
Death and Public Speaking are the greatest fears shared by the general popultation.

My real first experiance with public speaking was when I had to give a presentation to a couple CEO's and other executive types on a project I was working on. It was absolutly horrible, I tanked and kept saying um, not making eye contact and sweating like I was in the middle of death valley.

After that I felt realy bad and humiliated and I promised myself I'd never let that happen again. I signed up to give lectures, and teach some classes. The more I did it the more I liked it.

This sounds canned but it's what I do; Don't think about it at all, you will be fine, your just having a conversation, just relax start and don't stop till your done.
DrDale
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If you are in the US try an org called toastmasters, they teach people how to speak in front of groups
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2003-11-19 01:19, DrDale wrote:
If you are in the US try an org called toastmasters, they teach people how to speak in front of groups


I was going to put that myself, but Oliver already put that as the first answered post.
magic4u02
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One of the ways I got over my stage fright was just forcing myself to go out on stage and perform as often as I could. Every time out there I learned a bit more. I faced my fears and it has worked.
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cfrye
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Stage "fright" is actually excitement disguised as fear. The rush of adrenaline from being ready to go on causes an increased heart rate and shortness of breath, which your mind misinterprets as fear. The trick is knowing the rush is coming and controlling your reaction to it.
Dynamike
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I agree with you Curt.
magic4u02
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Curt:
Nicely stated. This is one reason why I always give myself some quiet time before I go on. It is a time where I can focus and relax and remind myself that I am there to have fun and entertain.
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magictim
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I always get super nervous when I am just about to get on stage or get called on the spot to do magic. I just learned to be prepared for what I had to do and let the rest do itself. Just relax and remember to breathe befor hyperbolic tension sets in.
cheesewrestler
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There's a good book called "No More Butterflies" by Peter Desberg, a psychologist who specializes in helping people overcome stage fright. $12 or so in paperback.
magic4u02
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The best thing you can do for any stage fright is to just be prepared. I think a lot of the nervous energy comes out of wondering if we are set up properly and because we are forced to rush.
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ufo
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A wealth of great advice already given by some folks who are truly "in the know". I can only add that two things that have really helped me over the years. First, there is a very encouraging section in the opening part of Lewis Ganson's Routined Manipulation book that goes something like this.."before you go on, look at yourself in the mirror, square your shoulders and say (or think) to yourself: "I look good, I am prepared, I have practiced my act and I want to show my magic. The audience is on my side, they want me to be good."
*That is great advice and grounding for walking out on a stage.
Second...make your opening effect something that is a "no-brainer-applause-getter". I find that a simple and audience pleasing effect takes a huge load of the jittery nervous energy out of my system.
Make it a fairly physical effect and burn a calorie or two and you will feel more calm and focused as you go into more complicated and relational parts of your show. Good luck and please return and share what you learn with us! Smile
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
altoni
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Hi Steiner,

You might want to try a silent act. In some ways it can be a lot easier, especially if it’s the fear of talking that is the main issue for you. Work up a silent act and slowly add the talking, little by little. Just an idea. Hang in there and stick with it. Time is magical.
magic4u02
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I always keep a sign in the lid of my case that simply reads..." RELAX!!!! SMILE!!!!!! Your supposed to be having fun!"

It is there to get me to laugh at myself and realize what is important to me. No matter how frantic or crazy I get during set-up and such, I see the sign and it calms me and brings me back down to earth.
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Dougini
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Thank you for this topic! I've been fighting with a sour feeling about stage work since I TOTALLY blew a Zombie act in front of a College audience of over 300.

It's been more than 20 years since then. I STILL will not get on a stage alone. Last year, when I had my own radio show, I introduced Chubby Checker in front of an audience of over 2,500 people, and the Alka Seltzer moment that was...well, the above advice is great.

I only wish I had read these posts back then...

Great stuff!

Doug
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