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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Just relax. Slow down. Hang out with them. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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The title of this post is one of the things I have in mind when I perform. The most common mistake we usually make when we're first starting out is we rush ourselves. This is usually caused by being nervous. Just like how some people speak faster when they are nervous. We can also tend to perform faster when we're nervous.

On the other hand if you're just sitting around with some friends and just show them a little "Magic trick" you'll likely not perform as fast. You won't speak as fast and you'll take the time to experience the moment. Because you're relaxed you'll be less likely to make a mistake. And if you do make a mistake you won't let it get to you as much. You won't panic. You'll be able to think more clearly and find a way to fix that mistake and use it to your advantage. Because you'll know that your friends you are just hanging around with aren't going to judge you just because you messed up a magic trick.

So why not think of your audiences the same way? Just hang out with them and do your thing. Talk to them as if they are old friends and you're just showing them something you think they'll enjoy. Don't be afraid to have short conversations. Get to know your audience and let them get to know you. Someone saying "I saw a magician" and "I meet a magician" are very different experiences. And meeting them is a much more personal experience then just seeing them perform.

It's true that you can have a high energy performing style. But not many can do that and still stay in control. Most high energy acts are because the performer thinks that's where they shine. But in truth many of them do it that way because they are nervous and think going faster and talking louder is better just because it's coming naturally to them. But it's really because they don't know how to slow down. And even with a high energy performance you still have to keep in control of the show. You have to give them moments to let it sink in. You've got to have pauses at the right moments.

Trust me. Slow down and let you and your audiences get to know each other a little will be a big help. You'll feel more at ease and the show will be more pleasurable to both you and your audiences.

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.
Erdnase27
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Jaxon, I always love your posts. I would love all your wisdoms in a book Smile
Thanks again for this great piece of wisdom my friend.
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
pradell
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Alaska
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And if you rush "the move" because you are nervous, or think that speed fools the eye, not only is your assumption incorrect; you actually can cause the spectator to become more suspicious. So don't rush your steals, switches and sleights.

:magicrabbit:
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Ron's wisdom never fails to hit the mark. Great post, Ron.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
sleightlysilas
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I was in that high energy trap once. I did often receive feed back from my audiences that my energy was great and what not. But I actually was nervous. At that point in time, I did pull it off. Channeling my nervous energy into laughter and good energy.

One fine day however, working my usual joint, the weather got to me, I was sick and hung over. So I was physically forced to be laid back and take my time. To my surprise, my regulars commented that my "new style" allowed them to get sucked into my routines from anticipation and suspense. I told them that I did it to try something out, despite it actually being last nights tequila.

That said, I do maintain the energy, but I appreciate moments to take a step back a moment and let people feel the magic.

Perfect muse IMO, Tommy Wonder.
Sleightly Silas
Magician|Hypnotist|Visionaire
www.SleightlySilas.com
"...a little bit of magic,
with a lot of something else..."
Bandon
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Yeah I tend to use quite a high energy level when performing, which I think you're definitely right it's worth slowing down a bit. I think mine comes from just excitement and enjoying it as opposed to nervousness, so as long as I can let that enthusiasm still show while slowing down that would probably be much better.

Keep these coming, you're giving away a lot of good tips Ron and I thank you for it!
rsylvester
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Trying to learn to BP a duck in
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Ron: This greatly helped me, and I used it in another thread as I prepared to do a show. My wife gave me the same advice. Slow down. I did and it worked. There are some additional comments and helpful tips on that other thread as well, including a discussion of performance adrenaline and "fight or flight" reactions. These discussions are so helpful and useful. Thanks all.
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
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I'm on stage in some capacity at least once a week, and my wife still reminds me to "breath". One day I might “get it”. Smile
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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rklew64
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Ron,
A tremendous reminder as well a very major point. This could change performances for the better literally overnight.
Cyberqat
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In general, good advice. The more relaxed and natural your audience read you, the more relaxed and confortable they will be.

OTOH theres nothing wrong with a little positive energy on stage, either. You want to be able to do both, relax your audience AND excite them.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Thanks for sharing.

On a side note, I once entered a close up contest as the Coffee loving magician. Everything was speeded up on purpose..including the patter. A few of the "judges" still told me to sssssssssslow down.

Harris
A.D.H.D...(my wife calls it attention deficit husband disorder)
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
MagicB1S
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Knoxville Tenn.
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I can remember the good old days (25 yrs ago) my thirty minute show was about 20 minutes long, I could never understand it. I would go home and practice, yup 30 minutes. I would go perform it nope only 20. so I would add more effects into it I would go and practice yup 45 minutes long I would go and perform... nope still 20 After a while I figured out how to pace myself talk to the audience as if you where having a conversation with them not just talking at them. Pause for a second let what you say sink into them .

Great advice Ron and as always another Great Thread.
"There are Tricks To All Trades.... My Trade is all Tricks"

"An amature practices until he gets it right. A Professional Practices until he can't get it wrong"

www.Themagicchest.webs.com
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DWRackley
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One of the “tricks” an old timer taught me was to give them time to appreciate you. An audience WANTS to applaud, and if you go too long without allowing a break in the tension, they can actually lose interest. Performance should be a two way communication. You give something and they give something. Most beginners rush from one thing to another without giving the audience time to respond properly (and sometimes without the audience even realizing the effect is over).

Maybe the greatest tool I ever learned was the “Star” position. Feet slightly apart, arms straight out. It just screams “TA DAH!” The audience is looking to you for a signal, and it just can’t get any clearer. It gets applause plus sometimes a laugh, it draws everyone together, makes you more comfortable, and actually raises your value in their eyes.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Cyberqat
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Quote:
Performance should be a two way communication. You give something and they give something.


Wow, that should be on a plaque somewhere.

Too, too true1
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
fisherboy
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I do wonder where the phrase "The hand is quicker than the eye." came from as we all recongise it as being incorrect, or was it just misdirection.

I remember when I started performing and speaking in public, and I was given two pieces of advice.
Firstly speak slower than you think you need to and
imagine the audience with their trousers around there ankles. I think this was also suggested in a Dale Carnegie book.

Later on I was told to forget about being nervous because being nervous is exactly the same chemical experience as excitement. It is just a different way of looking at it. However whether yoy are nervous or excited you can still speak too fast.

Nic
Cyberqat
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There's a hilarious episode of "Coupling" where someone gives Jeff the under-ware advice and he starts obsessing and freaking out about "what if THEY retaliate and start imagining ME standing there in MY under-ware???

OFcourse, the episode's denu-mois is him indeed ending up in his under-ware in front of a crowd of people.

Seriously, I never found the underwear advice that useful... to me its just a way to get unnecessarily distracted.

What I found more helpful was this. Pick one person in the audience and speak as if you were just talking to them. Then change that person for another one, two or three times during the presentation.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 10:37, Cyberqat wrote:
What I found more helpful was this. Pick one person in the audience and speak as if you were just talking to them. Then change that person for another one, two or three times during the presentation.


BINGO! That’s it. Find one person and make eye contact. Draw them in. Move to another person. Then don’t forget to go back and touch faces with the first person again. Keep building your “contact list”. Very soon you’ll have an enthusiastic group of people who are actively pulling for you, nodding in agreement, encouraging you.

It’s actually quite amazing when you think about it.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Arkadiy K
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November Woods
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Thanks for this thread! Taking notes.
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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I have always drawn my energy from the crowd reaction. To get this you need one of two things (or both): a "wow" moment, and a connection. It is hard to get that connection when you are "speed-prestidigitating".

In my own show, I tend to mix up the energy levels. I open with a quick, high-energy "wow" type effect set to music with no patter...then segue right into an audience participation bit that has a mix of comedy and magic. The rest of the show is a conversation with the audience...using volunteers, or just drawing them in emotionally. I close with either another high-energy "wow" routine, or an emotion-eliciting story version of the snowstorm effect (as performed by Kiki Tay and used with his permission).
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Just relax. Slow down. Hang out with them. (0 Likes)
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