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frankkennedy
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Hey,
I have a very strange problem and what I think is very rare in that I have no problem performing magic to strangers but I'm afraid to perform to people who know me. Is it possible that I'm embarrised with magic?

It may be possible that I got it into my head by someone saying it or whatever that magic is for kids etc and maybe my problem began there.

I have been practicing regularly for the last 2 years and I believe in my own humble opinion that I am talented at magic but I've a fear of performing for most people who know me. I have fairly low confidence when it comes to performing magic or I usually make some excuse so I don't have to perform.

Am I scared of peoples opinions of me? Any words of inspiration to get me''out there'' would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Frank
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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I think the only person that can answer that is yourself.

You should not be embarrassed if you are because Magic is a higher skill. It is somewhat rare as well (comparitively speaking). It should be a privledge that you know magic.

As you grow in confidence you will realize these things.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
pbg739
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Hey Frank,

I don't think you are afraid of magic. You're concerns as to your skill level are appreciated. Often we are comfortable with strangers as if we mess up, we never see them again. Flip to the other side of the proverbial coin. When you perform for other people that yoiu know, they wil respect you, and be interested in magic even more. I was once afraid to show my skill to people I know. But performing for everybody but who you know gets kinda old. As far as the encouraging words? Just do it. You don't know how great it feels until you do. Trust me on that. Let us know how it goes!

Pete
jcards01
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Waterloo, IL
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Another common problem is strangers do not know you on a personal level and if you say you are a magician, they are amazed by what you do......however, someone you grew up with knows you as you and not a magician and therefore if becomes a problem getting into the role with them because they don't judge you on a magician's level.

It's hard to explain....but keep at it.
Jimmy 'Cards' Molinari
www.jimmycards.com
ashah
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Yes, it is more difficult to perform for people who know you than for strangers. You are not as mysterious, and they know that you are just a regular person. Usually people who know you are not as excited by your magic, and they prefer to try to figure out how you did it, rather than enjoy the entertainment (at least in my experience).

So it is natural to be apprehensive about performing for people you know. The advice I have is: Just do it! They will be impressed by your talent, even if they do not appreciate the hard work that went into it. Perform to them just as if they were strangers. Realize the entertainment value of what you are performing while you are doing it. If your technique is down pat, this will make it enjoyable for everyone.

The more you start performing, the less nervous you will be.
Tony Ley
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Frank-
I know EXACTLY how you feel, heck maybe even MORE SO! I have been studying magic occasionally for over TEN YEARS and I don't perform for ANYONE!
My own self-esteem took a pretty bad beating growing up. Having my own confidence prevent me from ever performing was actually a blessing in disguise.
How? Well I didn't want magic to look 'dumb'. If and when I performed, I wanted people's brains to just turn to mush. I wasn't embarrassed by my own skills, I was embarrassed just by magic's geeky image to begin with. Compound the geek factor plus the close friend factor and you usually come up with 'oh no...Frank's gonna do another 'trick' for me.'
My advice is to find out who YOU are. What kind of magical effect fits YOU. Seek out effects that just absolutely tenderize someone's brain!
Take some time to and PREPARE for when you go out with your friends. If you're going to your usual hang out on a Friday night, set something up in advance. When you go out to your destination later with your friends, pull out the BRAINHAMMER and NAIL them with it!
If you've done your homework, you'll find out very quickly when they ask to see it again or have you do an effect for a friend of theirs.
To recap...Find out who YOU are and how YOU should perform it to fit that. Be NATURAL in your introduction and set up of the effect (whipping out a deck of cards in a club and asking someone to 'take one' is about as natural as a duck's baby kittens), and make sure the effect LEAVES NO BRAIN UNHARMED!
Your confidence will soar, your magic will take a direction that's more YOU, people will talk about how amazing you are and you'll find out that you're not embarrassed by magic, only by those that never take the time to be honest with themselves like you've been.

Take care,
Tony Ley
Ricky B
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I doubt that your problem is that rare. In any event, here's my guess.

I guess that you adopt a persona when performing magic. You feel comfortable doing this for strangers because they don't know you. You feel uncomfortable doing this for people who know you because they would recognize your adopted persona as phony, and you know that they would.

--Rick
HeyLockwood
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Hey Frank, maybe you could go out to a bar or something with some friends, and you could just wander off and start frying peoples brains. Imagine the surprise of your buddies when they find out it's YOU causing all the commotion, with a crowd gatherd around. If you have a good routine, this might work...
Also, I think RickyB might be on to something...I think it's just more personal to perform in front of people who know you. Just keep at it, work on performing in front of strangers, learn how to routine your stuff so that it flows, and soon enough you'll more confidence than you'll know what to do with. By the way, there's no shame in being a bit scared...some of the biggest names in showbiz readily admit that they're scared sh--less right before they perform...

Mike
Why doesn't it tickle when I tickle myself, but it still hurts when I stick a fork in my eye?
Mike Walton
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I've noticed that I don't perform for certain friends/associates that I know to be grabby or act as though their intellect is threatened when I do a trick. I'm very casual about doing magic and don't give any impression that I'm trying "to get and fool" them, but certain people have large egos that don't mesh with accepting astonishment. I don't do tricks for them anymore and don't think twice about it. The magic art should be for your enjoyment as well.

I do notice that it's easier to perform magic for strangers, because it's easier to force cards, instruct them to do things, as they seem to usually follow directions better than friends or family. I highly recommend volunteering at a hospital for bedside magic. Not only do you provide a meaningful distraction to kids and young adults, but you get your sea legs for performing.

When I started out, I performed for everyone that I knew for practice, but I didn't start by performing difficult sleights. I would start with a self working effect or one that I knew I could nail 100%. Then, through practice and performance I became better and my mind remembered those successes and performing because a whole lot easier. Performing is like public speaking; the only way to feel comfortable and get better is by being in front of people.

Finally, if you have the resouces, either use a camcorder or a fast webcam like something tied to USB 2.0 or preferably a firewire webcam (which I just set up myself as I don't have the budget to buy a camcorder) to capture your routines. Perform and speak as you normally would when performing, then review the video. It's nice to see what a spectator would actually see and not only does this build confidence performing as you can adjust until you nail a routine 100%, but it also helps you greatly improve your routine. When you know you're prepared, things come a lot easier.
bg
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Ditto Jive-Turkey!
Bob Sanders
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Frank,

I know your pain. I have been doing magic over forty years and I've been a live stage performer for nearly forty-five years (rock-n-roll musician). I still shake while I am being brave.

Although by their choices, my dad has never ever seen me perform (music, magic or rodeo) and only one of sisters has ever seen me perform music or magic. (That was because I needed her college student daughter for my assistant for some mall shows.) All are living. It is certainly easier to perform for strangers. They are there to be entertained. I am only there to entertain them. With strangers, the only agenda is entertainment. Other agendas get a rest friends and family won't give them.

Pick your audiences like you do your effects. It's your show!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
JJDrew
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Arizona
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Quote:
On 2004-01-29 16:35, frankkennedy wrote:
I have a very strange problem and what I think is very rare ...
It may be possible that I got it into my head by someone saying it or whatever that magic is for kids etc and maybe my problem began there.

I think that you can see from the responses here that how you feel isn't at all rare. I always get more nervous performing for family and long-time friends who knew me before I became a magician.

As far as magic's "geeky image" goes, magic is only as geeky as the performer. I've found that I get invited to a lot of parties by people who hope that I'll bring some juggling supplies or prepare a couple of tricks. Leave them begging for more and, trust me, they WILL beg.
Chrystal
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Hi,

I'm in agreement with Ricky on this one. You may have adapted a persona when performing magic that your family would know immediately it's not you, perhaps? I'm only quessing at this point as to what it may be.

Family members are known to be more vocal about how they think an effect worked and may not hesitate to yank cards out of your hands, for example. A stranger wouldn't necessarily do that. Strangers don't know you and would not be suprised at your persona or that you perform magic as a family member would.

There is currently a thread in Food for Thought on performing magic for family that you may want to check out. Good suggestions to be found there.

Chrystal
Bill Thomas
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I think there are some pretty good posts here Frank. I have some of the same fears but am overcoming them as I go forward with my magic. I think reading these posts have been helpful for me. There is some good advice here.

Bill
powen
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Derren Brown's Absolute Magic offers a very good approach to magic. You get the impression that his aim is to get away from the "annoying uncle" image of someone who bothers people with tricks. He offers an alternative approach which you will have to read if you're interested.

This is not for everybody though.
Ollie1235
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My advice is that if or when you manage to perform to your family start of with some tricks where they will have no chance of working out the secret , this way if they try they will fail and therefore give up and just let themself be entertained and not try to figure out the secret.
(if you managed to get that)
filem
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Quote:
On 2004-01-29 16:35, frankkennedy wrote:
Hey,
I have a very strange problem and what I think is very rare in that I have no problem performing magic to strangers but I'm afraid to perform to people who know me. Is it possible that I'm embarrised with magic?

It may be possible that I got it into my head by someone saying it or whatever that magic is for kids etc and maybe my problem began there.

I have been practicing regularly for the last 2 years and I believe in my own humble opinion that I am talented at magic but I've a fear of performing for most people who know me. I have fairly low confidence when it comes to performing magic or I usually make some excuse so I don't have to perform.

Am I scared of peoples opinions of me? Any words of inspiration to get me''out there'' would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Frank

My guess is that you're just not used to it. Yes, it is a special situation when they know you because you're showing a "new Frank" to them. But just keep on doing it. The more smiling faces you see around you, the more confident you'll get.
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