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Profile of RJH
Hi guys. I'm going to be competiting in a Junior stage magic competition and I would like to ask for some tips. My act is fully manipulation. First it's 2 minutes of cards mixed with silks and balls and then it's about 3,5 minutes of balls mixed with some silks.

Do you have a any tips?

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Profile of JNeal
You might want to look in the "going for the Gold" section of Special Interests, they have lots of people with tips to share..

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Profile of Anatole
A lot depends on the organization that is sponsoring the competition. Is it an IBM Ring, an S.A.M. assembly, or some other magic organization? I would be surprised if they do not provide some guidelines for the competition such as time limits. In some competitions points are deducted for going over the time limit. In some competitions an act may be disqualified if it goes beyond the time limit.

The FISM contest rules shown here:
might be a good place to start.

The combined IBM/SAM Convention this year has a site about the contests at
where they state that "During the first round of competition all contestants for both stage and close-up will be judged by a panel of FISM qualified judges using FISM rules. (See Rules section.)"

The use of FISM rules for both IBM and SAM national contests makes sense because, as I recall, the IBM Gold Medal winner is usually selected to represent the IBM at FISM. I assume the same is true of SAM national contest winners. (FISM is after all a federation of international societies for magic.)

FISM identifies these areas that are important in the judging:
Technical Skill/Handling
Entertainment value
Artistic Impression/Routine
Magic Atmosphere

Whatever organization is sponsoring the specific contest that _you_ are entering may have their own set of criteria and they should have provided that information for all the contestants.

Good luck! Magic contests--whether they are local, regional, national, or international--are a great way to meet and network with other magicians. If you win, you can add the contest championship to your advertising, although many booking agents may not know much about magic contests.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Sam Sandler
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Profile of Sam Sandler
I would offer this advice

1- be yourself
2- don't try to impress them with your routine (meaning enjoy what your doing don't try to fool them just entertain them)
3-although a compitition you are still there to entertain them and create a magical moment

i think most performers that compete over think what they are doing.

i have see acts that are not nearly as technical as others win hands down both the judges and the audience purely due to the fact that they executed all the moves with ease and clearly enjoyed performing and that came across the stage to every one.

i have myself been on both sides of the stage participant in competitions as well as judge for them.

have a great time and it will no matter what be a great learning experience for you.

sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
jay leslie
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Profile of jay leslie
Drink a half a glass of water about ten minutes before your slot. It helps with the butterflies.
And good luck. You are never more alive then when entering a contest.

Also. Show your friends the routine and get their opinion. Then look a a video tape of your act to see if they are correct.
Many times, people will make observations based on their own experiences which might not be right for you but it's worth considering.

Sam is correct about the spirit of the day. I remember taking second place, in a music competition, where there were 265 schools that sent competitors. It was a three day event I was only a jr in HS and many other students were seniors. The song I played was not difficult. People enjoy a musician, like a violinst, who expresses a lot of emotion more then watching someome who is stiff. even if they play better.

Same for magic.
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