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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What are the best types of tricks and props to perform a strolling gig? (34 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13411 Posts

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Quote:
On Aug 17, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
... getting started with each group was a challenge as they didn't really want to be interrupted. I had mild resistance from some of the party, but also had great times with most other guests.


If they don't want to be interrupted, don't take it personally. Just move on and look for a different group.
If you find a group that is interested and enthusiastic, you an stay longer to help generate interest from others.

I have performed for a similar party twice in the past several years and was asked back to perform this year.
The group seems basically like friends that are catching up and have not seen each other all year or in years. Watching magic is not their priority.

Being able to read your audience and doing the right thing is not easy for everyone.
Consider yourself lucky.
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Matty Freakin Whipple
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Philadelphia, PA
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Here's a good tip I stumbled on:

Pick up an "aluminum wallet." I found mine in the as seen on TV section at Walmart. These things make absolutely terrible wallets, BUT they are PERFECT for holding packet tricks and gaff cards and it keeps hem all seperate. I always keep it in my back pocket or inside jacket pocket while strolling. I'm surprised these things haven't been retooled by the magic sellers out there, but that's probably a good thing because as soon as they became a magic utility they'd probably go from $15 to $35 overnight.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Yes!! When in doubt, buy an aluminum wallet! Problem(s) solved!
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Charles Gaff
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, MickNZ wrote:

Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief.



Quote:
On Jul 21, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:

If you are accepting a paid performance with no idea of what is expected of you, and, you need to ask about what effects work, you have other problems to worry about!


I doubt that this group would consider ever hiring another magician.

Sorry to be blunt.


I say fake it till you make it. Do you have to have all the experience in the world before you go get experience? I think getting on the phone, getting booked, showing up and then preforming is worthy of more than rookie bashing. I say way to go. Now he has the option to continue to improve. Most never get on the phone...
mrsmiles
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Actually Snoogansgt sounds, to me, a serious and reflective newcomer. His responses are showing someone who is literate, articulate and reflective. He says he has practiced his magic and studied (why assume he hasn't without asking him first?) and that his magic went well with many of the attendees. I don't accept one of the conclusions that he was 'tolerated' and a magician will never be hired again. To me it sounds like it went better than that. He simply faced what many of us would face in this type of gig... that people who just wanted to chat over a drink to old friends and acquaintances & not be interupted.

To the above incidentally Snoogansgt sounded like he was sensitive to all this and that he moved on to other guests and did well with them. He's learnt about how to handle an environment, even if this was on the spot and without thinking about it in advance, we have all learnt some aspects of our craft and how to adapt on the spot without reading about it or planning it in advance. As long as one has practiced tehir magic and done a reasonable amount of prior study (& that does include dvds these days) then this learning helps you to adapt and equips you very often to handle new, unexpected situations on the spot.

I think perhaps that the most merited feedback/criticism would have been to say (in a nice way) is please ask the client some more questions in advance. For all we know, he might have intended to the very next day after the post, if not, I'm sure he will next time. It would have been fine to add the sage words that most of us make that at the end of the day, within certain parameters, the tricks one selects are almost irrelevant, it is engaging with the audience successfully that counts.

BUT one caveat to my last point above (that asking which tricks to do is irrelevant).... It is NOT totally irrelevant! Frank's answer points to the wisdom of routines that play to 1 or 30 people whilst someone else I think - and Snoogansgt himself in a subsequent post - said that doing routines that are quick and to the point work best in these environments. In noisy environments or when you have to work fast, then short to the point and highly visual magic is needed. Or adapting & shortening current routines in this way is needed. If any tricks are inherently slow-paced or are not very visual they have to be left out in these contexts.

I kind of think Snoogansgt needed kinder, more helpful responses. And as others have said, there comes a point that we learn by actually going out there. On the other hand to the critics here I grant you tha sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is just a 'youtube' magician who has never read a book or bought any top notch dvds by master magicians. Perhaps let's try and ascertain this first with a few gentle probing questions first before jumping on people.

Good luck Snoogansgt. Keep reading, keep watching good dvds... and keeping going out there. Ask questions in advance of your clients (& that includes how many guests are expected, are they all standing or sitting, is it just drinks, are there meals & if so is it table service or buffet, will there be any background music or musicians etc etc).

Regards,
mrsmiles
(UK)
Randy Marsh
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As a hobbyist, I generally just perform magic for people who want to see magic. It's more challenging when you're being paid to perform for people who aren't interested in seeing magic. But when you find yourself in these situations, I think you need to do what you can to gain their respect and make them want to see your next trick. In these cases, I think it's almost better to open with your closer. Or just do some sort of very strong, visual, and quick magic to get their attention. If you can really astonish someone, they'll want to see more magic.

For example, I would say that my "go-to" trick is generally an ambitious card routine that I end with a card to mouth and then card to wallet (or mystery box if I have it on me). I really like my routine and it has a lot of phases and it builds upon itself, etc. But if it's a tough audience, it's almost a better idea to open with card to wallet. It grabs their attention and will make them want to watch the rest of the routine. If the spectators are barely paying attention, they don't really care that their card got on top of the deck. And they certainly don't care when it happens 3 or 4 more times. When the spectators are really into your magic, a card jumping to the top of the deck (under impossible conditions) can be the most amazing thing in the world. For someone barely paying attention, they could really care less that you got their card to the top of the deck.

So things like bill changes (eg. Extreme Burn) are great at grabbing peoples' attention and proving to them that you'll be showing them something that they're going to want to see.

Normally I would close out a set by bending a signed quarter with my QB2, but with a tough audience you might be better off opening with that. Generally, if you just bend a signed quarter in front of their eyes, even a real stick in the mud should be impressed and wanting more. There aren't too many people who see something like that and just shrug it off like it's no big deal. The one positive aspect about performing for these sorts of people is that you'll be able to get away with things very easily. If they're only half paying attention, you can do things like deck switches and all sorts of stuff that you couldn't get away with when an audience is burning your every motion. So take advantage of opportunities like that to do something bold if it will help you make a big impact.
vincentmusician
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Toronto
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In my experience, not everyone likes Magic. If you are getting no response, move on. The worst thing you can do is force your Magic on people that want to talk or just want to be left alone. As far a beginner strolling Magic, I recommend doing the things you can do in your sleep, even self-working Magic. Then you can try more involved routines. I find short, simple, fun routines make it easier to build on your presentations when you are not thinking about all the steps and sleights you need to perform. Cheers and Good Luck!
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