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Zephury
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Hollywood, FL
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So with numerous tricks, before I perform for my family, I try to do the trick 100 times consecutively without a mistake, once I do that, I move on to working with my little sister (who is 7, doesn't catch a lot of mistakes), but for some reason whenever I go to show older people or adults, I get nervous and make mistakes. 100 times in a row, flawlessly, yet that one time I show someone else, I fail. How can I work on this? Do you guys have any ideas on how to truly build confidence and stop getting so nervous?
Bulla
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Honolulu, HI
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You just need to start performing more. Start out with things that don't require sleight of hand but rather rely on subtle principles. This way there isn't anything for them to "catch," and in turn you'll gradually get more comfortable in front of people.
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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The more you perform in front of
the one's that make you nervous
the better it will get.
Todd
Old Market Magician
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It's ok to be nervous. Everyone is when they are first performing magic. Unlike other forms of art, the spectator's opinion of you really rides on whether or not you "fool" them; at least that's often the thought of a beginner. Over time, you'll come to find that the audience is merely only looking to be entertained. You're learning magic because it's fun. Keep it fun. If you love the magic trick you're performing, then the people you're performing for will most likely enjoy it too.
~Ryan

OldMarketMagician.com
PaulSharke
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Quote:
On 2013-11-27 23:17, Zephury wrote:
... I get nervous and make mistakes. 100 times in a row, flawlessly, yet that one time I show someone else, I fail.


What's missing in your practice sessions yet present in your performance?

Tension.

To be exact: emotional anxiety, which causes physical tension.

Actors face this challenge too. (Most of my training is as an actor.) You can seek to reduce tension during your performances. You can also learn to refashion anxiety to your benefit. (Remember, tension is physical and anxiety is emotional.)

Learning to reduce tension is a matter of intent inner mindfulness. Notice, in the moment -- whether it's in your day-to-day life or during performance -- that tension's accumulating in your muscles. Just make a little mental note of it: "Oh. I'm tense. I'm tense in my [location]. I noticed the tension when I started to think about [subject]." The eventual goal here is to catch yourself AS YOU BEGIN TO BECOME tense, and to CHOOSE to relax instead. It takes time, practice, mindfulness to reduce unnecessary physical tension.

Learning to refashion emotional anxiety is the second way to approach the problem. (Both approaches should be used, in tandem.) First, when you become anxious, gently remind yourself that tension and anxiety are separate things. There's no reason your body should "go along for the ride" when your brain starts to worry, worry, worry. Second, you can examine the roots of your anxiety. It's probably not necessary to enter therapy at this point (!) but it can be helpful to do a little reflection about why performance leads to anxiety so quickly.

As an actor, one of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever heard about combating "stage fright" went something like this: Folks who go see a play -- or a magic show! -- WANT YOU TO SUCCEED. Your audience is rooting for you! As an actor, or a magician, treat your audience likewise. Perform with the attitude "I can't wait to SHARE something WONDERFUL with you."
yankay37
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I believe that sometimes you have to run before you walk. Practising 100 times is overkill.
You have to practise until you feel comfortable with the movements/slights/whatever, and then go to some teens, younger adult relatives and friends and try it on them one by one.
THIS is where you actually learn. You need to me in front of a real person who is watching your hands, and feel the adrenaline to understand exactly how you should move. Practising with yourself will not teach you this.
Mercutio01
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As a teacher, I ran into this problem the first year or so with every new class. I think PaulSharke's advice is right on the money. At some point, the being in front of people ceases to be as much a concern, and then the focus shifts back to entertaining or enlightening (I try to do both). The pressure doesn't go away completely, and that's probably a good thing because it keeps you on your toes, but standing up and doing things teaches you as much as reading and practicing things. It's something I still have to convince myself with respect to my magic.
~Cameron Mount
Zephury
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Hollywood, FL
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Thanks for the advice. I've definitely realized that you can't teach yourself certain things like that. Do you guys have any advice on finding a teacher or attending a class for magic? The only ones I have knowledge of is Chavez's school, and the tannen's camp that's for 8 days a year or whatever it is.. But I live in Florida. About 2 hours north of Miami. What's the odds of calling up a professional in the phone book and instead of wanting to pay him to perform... pay him to teach me and him actually doing it? I know that most magicians I've ever met guard their secrets well. Which I definitely admire.. A magician should guard his secrets well. But how do you find a teacher? Smile
Mercutio01
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If you find out, let me know. No one local to my area either that I can find. There used to be a SAM ring nearby me in NJ, but it apparently disappeared a few years before I moved here. The nearest I can find is almost 2 hours away. I've contented myself with books for now, but I keep looking.
~Cameron Mount
MentalMidget
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Zephury, if you haven't looked already, be sure to see if there are any magic clubs/organizations in your area.

As to your idea of calling up a magician and requesting lessons -- the most likely difficulty I could see you encountering would be his schedule. Another problem might be that, even if they're open to it, it will likely be a new and daunting idea for them. I competed in speech and debate for nearly ten years and did quite well - but, when I started coaching, it took me a few months just to figure out where to start and how to help my students *learn* in stead of just talk at them. Teaching (good teaching, anyway) is a lot harder than it might seem. One final thought, before making any calls, try to check them out online and see if they seem like someone you'd want to learn from before ringing them up.

Even so, it wouldn't hurt to try calling a couple though and just seeing what they say. Worst case scenario, you won't be any worse off than you are now.

All of that said, a lot of people start off learning by themselves though and, honestly, it's a pretty good way to learn something like this. Books aren't always the most exciting things in the world but magicians tend to be pretty entertaining authors. Get your hands on as many good magic books as you can, work on effects that interest you, look for every opportunity you can find to practice/perform and just see what happens.

There's no perfect system to mastering magic beyond doing it....so just do it and have fun.
Zephury
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Hollywood, FL
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Quote:
On 2013-12-12 00:27, MentalMidget wrote:
Zephury, if you haven't looked already, be sure to see if there are any magic clubs/organizations in your area.

As to your idea of calling up a magician and requesting lessons -- the most likely difficulty I could see you encountering would be his schedule. Another problem might be that, even if they're open to it, it will likely be a new and daunting idea for them. I competed in speech and debate for nearly ten years and did quite well - but, when I started coaching, it took me a few months just to figure out where to start and how to help my students *learn* in stead of just talk at them. Teaching (good teaching, anyway) is a lot harder than it might seem. One final thought, before making any calls, try to check them out online and see if they seem like someone you'd want to learn from before ringing them up.

Even so, it wouldn't hurt to try calling a couple though and just seeing what they say. Worst case scenario, you won't be any worse off than you are now.

All of that said, a lot of people start off learning by themselves though and, honestly, it's a pretty good way to learn something like this. Books aren't always the most exciting things in the world but magicians tend to be pretty entertaining authors. Get your hands on as many good magic books as you can, work on effects that interest you, look for every opportunity you can find to practice/perform and just see what happens.

There's no perfect system to mastering magic beyond doing it....so just do it and have fun.


thank you for your advice. I've gotta get out there and tackle performing.. I know a lot of different tricks by now and I can do many of them without error but I'm still unsure of how to present myself to someone for a performance nor how I'd comprise my routines.. I've gotta work on my patter too. I still feel pretty far away from doing it. I feel like I'm holding myself back.
Matthew Rider
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Zephury, I would try holding off on learning new tricks for a little bit while you focus on making what you already do better and more entertaining. I'm not sure how long you've been into magic for, but, like anything, it's a process that you have to go through. Don't rush, take your time, and you'll get there. Also I would say get out there as much as possible and perform in front of strangers. This is probably the best advice I can give you to help you become a better magician - Performing arts, particularly magic, are not something that you can learn how to do well through practicing alone. You need the experience in front of real audiences. I hope that helps you. Smile
Zephury
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Quote:
On 2013-12-12 20:20, Matthew Rider wrote:
Zephury, I would try holding off on learning new tricks for a little bit while you focus on making what you already do better and more entertaining. I'm not sure how long you've been into magic for, but, like anything, it's a process that you have to go through. Don't rush, take your time, and you'll get there. Also I would say get out there as much as possible and perform in front of strangers. This is probably the best advice I can give you to help you become a better magician - Performing arts, particularly magic, are not something that you can learn how to do well through practicing alone. You need the experience in front of real audiences. I hope that helps you. Smile


Yeah.. I definitely need to work on my double lifts. After asking around about whats most important, I can definitely agree.. a lot of people have said to take note of most magician's double lifts.. And it's really true.. 99% of magicians that I've seen perform have had a really unnatural double lift. It's one of my top priorities right now to get a really good double lift. I watched a video on youtube called "the best of Dai Vernon" and the things he mentioned about double lifts and other principals really did make me take note of things. Cards are light and should be handled gentile. Too much focus or pressure on one card causes it to be unnatural.. I went to every person in my family and just asked them to turn over the top card on the deck and every single one of them pushed the top card over with their thumb and turned it over with their right hand just as a push off double lift. That's definitely what I'll work on mastering.

The video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te-hmawIyAU
krowboom
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Don't obsess over a single slight. Do like others on this thread advised. Perform, perform, perform until you're not nervous anymore. The best gig is close up where different people are walking by your booth or stand or whatever. That way you do the tricks over and over again. Before you know it you can do the trick without thinking about it so you are concentrating on your patter which is the most important thing anyway. That's how Steve Martin got to be good in magic. He worked at a stand in Disneyworld and did the same tricks over and over again.
Michael Graves
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As the professor once said...." I would rather to ten tricks great, then do 100 ok ones"
Flyswatter
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That's interesting, I sometimes practice in front of my 7 year old sister and she always catches the imperfection that many many adult specs have over looked. Which forced me to rethink and perfect my routines much faster than if I only practiced.
Michael Graves
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Ill post later why kids see things that adults don't.
TheBruceBeat
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My background is as an actor. I worked professionally for 30 years, and nerves are part of performance. In acting, the cure for me was going onstage and becoming involved in the artificial reality of the show, investing in it and living in it. I have limited experience performing magic for people, but the same seems to be true here as well. We create a narrative using patter to tell a story, to give a context to doing tricks. Without it we will seem hackneyed and arbitrary, and we have all seen magical performances that seem like nothing more that a series of tasks that have been serially accomplished.
Who cares?
Once the narrative is there, investing in the sharing of that story is the best cure to nerves that I know of.
MAV
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If you were looking for a magician to give you advice or lessons you might think that you would want to find the greatest one around. However, that could be a mistake. Just because someone is a great magician does not necessarily mean they would be a great teacher. Those are two different skill sets.

It has already been mentioned above, but I too encourage you to locate a local magic club. Membership costs are minimal, you can get great free advice from the locals, they have lectures where you can learn new effects and watch other amateur presentations, plus you can present magic to the group, where you will receive quality feedback and help reduce your anxiety and nervousness.
mrmakeithappen
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Quote:
On 2013-12-18 13:57, Michael Graves wrote:
As the professor once said...." I would rather to ten tricks great, then do 100 ok ones"



Good advice
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