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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Performing for friends and family is WEIRD. (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Latig0
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Do you guys also feel weird when performing for friends and/or family? I find it almost disgusting.
Been performing professionaly for many, many years now. I have a lot of years of experience but still, when there's people I know in the audience, I usually feel weird, hurry up and sometimes even !@#$ it up.
I once heard that Al Pacino did not like when performing at a theatre and he knew relatives were in the audience. Also heard that Larry David never invited anyone to his stand-up shows. He was not comfortable at all knowing friends where watching.
Last night it happened again, I was asked to do tricks after the NYE dinner, I was a bit drunk and did a show that had good moments but basically sucked. I even made a couple of obvious mistakes, for christ's sake.

How do you guys feel about peforming for non-strangers?
mndude
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I've found that no matter how amazing of an illusion you perform, family members are never amazed. They can never think of you as someone who might actually possess a little of real magic.
funsway
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Years ago when I performed a half-hour magic routine after my sister's wedding reception dinner,

she insisted on introducing me as someone else. She liked the show but didn't want her image tainted by having a magician in the family.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Anand Khalsa
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I have never enjoyed performing for friends or family, I absolutely agree.
Phoenicis
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One of the things I love about performing magic is that it allows me to be someone different for a while. I share your feelings Latig0 - perhaps it's because it's very difficult to adopt a persona in front of people we know personally without feeling awkward or inauthentic somehow. If we're self-conscious we can lose focus on the audience (and the presentation suffers) and we can become so nervous that we make technical mistakes or lose where we are in a routine (I've been embarrassed by this more than once). Like you I think, the less I know someone, there more comfortable I feel about performing, and the better things seem to go.
David Fillary
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I rarely perform for family.

When I perform for friends, I let them in on some of the principles of magic during the presentation.
I don't mean techniques, I mean misdirection, psychology etc.

Friends tend to feel entitled to an explanation, as you shouldn't keep secrets from them, so "giving away" some secrets to them tends to soften the blow of you "tricking" them.

I'm not sure I'll ever perform for my brother again though... Smile
Nightcrawler
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For close family I only perform to get feedback for the trick itself as well as for my performance. The response tells me, if it worth to add the trick to my repertoire and put some more work in it. That's ok so far. What I really hate is performing for friends. I seems like they feel challenged when I show them a trick. They will do everything to find out how the trick works. They grab my arms and hands, quickly change their angles to see whats going on from a different perspective, etc.
In future I will wisely choose whom I will perform for...

Nightcrawler
SamanthaO
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It depends from family to family and person to person. But it's always weird.
For example, I would never perform for my older brother or my dad but my younger brother and my mum are fine. I just don't expect the same reactions that I would get from non-close people. Even then, I do it to test out how badly I can do a trick and get away with it. Not actual performing, they know I'm not magical, alas.

Nightcrawler, same problem.
All the girlfriends I've performed to are always keen to pat me down afterwards. Lol.
Latig0
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Thanks for your replies, it's so good to know I'm not alone!

@Phoenicis: You could not have said it better.
aechecop
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They know you too well for your act to appear convincing... it is definitely an issue
EVILDAN
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I have no problem with performing for family and/or friends. My wife and I do a monthly show at a restaurant near us (Spring to Fall) and we always have friends, family or co-workers in the audience.

We have the same come out to see us at outdoor festivals.

And, we'll do shows for my family when we go down to NJ to visit.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
RLMASKI87
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I don't have a problem preforming for my family or aleast my siblings, but I agree with Nightcrawler. I don't preform for co-workers and friends becuase they always looking to figure out how I did it and burning my hands. Hate it!
Jmolomagic
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I agree with EVILDAN! I love performing for family and/or friends...and co-workers even. Who is better at giving you thier honest opinion and won't hesitate to let you know you flashed?

Most of the time strangers will try to be polite and won't tell you if your magic is good or if you flashed. For me it's another way to get better.

I show my wife a lot of magic.....A LOT! She will tell me if I flashed or if the effect isn't very entertaining. So I know in most cases I need to figure out and fix my mistakes. On the flip side If I can do a trick flawlessly for her in all aspects of the effect.....I can still make her eyes fall out of her head. Then I know I did good.

Also showing your family/friends/co-workers tricks is one thing but giving them the whole entire show (entertainment and magic.) is a whole diffrent world. If you give them the whole package/treat them like a normal spectator, regardless if they have an idea how it's done, in most cases they will still be entertained.
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funsway
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After performing for my wife one evening she aid she was confused ...

"When I saw that your fly was undone I thought it would have something to do with the trick, but you never went near it."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Jmolomagic
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Quote:
On Jan 25, 2015, funsway wrote:
After performing for my wife one evening she aid she was confused ...

"When I saw that your fly was undone I thought it would have something to do with the trick, but you never went near it."


Hahaha Ha! Made my night sir! Perfect misdirection.
Jonathan Molo
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Gerald Deutsch
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I often perform for friends and family and when I do it’s usually only one effect that I perform as Perverse Magic (where that magic happens by itself and the magician doesn’t understand why).

I posted what’s below to the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii forum back in July of 2008 and have many such examples on that thread.

My family and friends know I’m a magician and expect “something”. Perverse Magic lets the magician entertain without saying “look how good I am”. But it does require some acting. And it does let you perform only one good effect.


“I Just Bought A New Card Trick”

Effect

“I just bought a new card trick. It’s so complicated. I don’t really understand it. Here, select a card.”

The spectator selects a card.

“Okay, here’s a pen. Put a big ‘X’ on the face of the card but don’t’ let me see it. Good. Now put the card back into the deck. Now I’m going to shuffle the deck as fairly as I can. Okay. Now I’m going to find your card.”

The magician looks through the cards with the faces towards him and pulls out the selected card with the big “X”.

The spectator’s look at him as if he was an idiot.

“This is easy to understand,” says the magician. “But why they had all the cards marked with an ‘X’ doesn’t make any sense to me.”

The magician shows all the cards have an “X”
MJE
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It used to bother me, but I think it was because the younger people who saw multiple shows figured things out. Or so I thought. I've been known to use multiple outs on occasion, so there's no secret anymore. You'd think. When my son was 14, he saw three back-to-back shows that included a bit involving three baseball cards. Each show, just by chance, used a different one of the three outs. Now, he's a VERY bright kid but he actually thought I somehow changed the trick each time!

I don't worry about that stuff anymore.
Wardy
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Workmates and friends: No, unless they love magic and don't want to know how it's done. I've had a few co-workers absolutely lose their s@#$ when I've shown things at work. I mean L&L over the top reactions, but they were serious. Family and spouses are a whole other story, but if you can you make them silent you know you're on a winner. I'm a naturally good bull crapper, so they'll believe anything I say if I say it convincingly. Case in point: I was showing my dad my triumph routine where I explain I went to join a local magic club and the old, cranky magicians messed up my deck as part of the test to get in. He couldn't stop asking me questions about these old coots and actually got angry. And I was 40 years old, not a kid. He still thinks that's true to this day, and says that's the best card trick he's ever seen. It's all in the story telling..... I also had a friend over one night who had never seen me perform before and asked me to show him a few things. I knew he wasn't big into magic so I showed him Haunted Doll and In A Flash and wound up entertaining him for 3 hours. He still believes some of the stories I told him that night. It all depends if you can get the people you know to drop their guard and come into your world.
Lou Is
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My friends and family enjoy seeing my magic. I do know what you are talking about though. They are usually a "tricky" audience in that they know you very well, and are much less likely to suspend disbelief - which a stranger is far more easily able to do. Also, unlike a stranger, family might enjoy, how should I put this, causing "problems" for you when performing...
cheesewrestler
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Quote:
O

How do you guys feel about performing for non-strangers?


Not much money to be made doing that.
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