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New user
Coffey, MO
63 Posts

Profile of shg_123
Hey everyone! I'm not so much new to magic, I've always done it for friends and family or for people at parties who want to see it. However, today I ventured into a new territory...A stage. I was actually auditioning for my university's talent show and the judges seemed to love the routine, however, I still ended up getting the shakes. I don't know if I wasn't breathing enough or what it was. I'm perfectly fine speaking in front of people so I just don't know what it could have been. Any suggestions or helpful tips??
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, PA
1004 Posts

Profile of Ado
Having butterflies in the stomach before performing is normal.
Having them *while* performing or after means you don't know your material well enough yet. The solution should be obvious.

Doug Trouten
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Elite user
471 Posts

Profile of Doug Trouten
I think the likelihood of getting "the shakes" is sometimes related to the importance you are placing on a performance. It sounds like this was an important audition for you, and sometimes that added pressure is enough to make a person even if they usually do okay speaking or performing in public. The key to overcoming this is familiarity -- both with the material you are presenting, and with the performance venue (in this case, the stage). Practice and experience are your allies in the battle against the shakes!
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
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Special user
The City of Angels
808 Posts

Profile of danaruns
Ado has it right. And Doug does, too.

Practice until you can do it right. Then keep practicing until you can't do it wrong. When you are completely confident, you'll lose the shakes, but you'll never lose the nerves for something you feel is super important.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2971 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Fear of failure will always make you nervous and shaky. The only way to get over this is to Fail. That's right fail.
I'm not saying that you should fail on purpose but once you experience it in a vulnerable situation, you will realize that the sun still rose the next morning, you did not die and no harm came to you.

Confidence is your best friend and "The Shakes" remedy. Good advice above. Practice is essential. Knowing your material is essential but when you are performing live it is a different ball game. Your mental state changes, witch you have experienced.
It's OK to fail but learn from that failure such as "outs" so the audience isn't the wiser. Sometimes you blow it and there is no way to recover. I saw Lance Burton several times in Vegas and his appearing cane failed at one of those performances. He just moved on as if nothing had happened. The show was fantastic. I'm sure that particular incident didn't happen again
The cure for the shakes is Confidence and to fail. But let failure release you from the fear of it.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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New user
Apple Valley, California
57 Posts

Profile of cuervo5150
OMG! shg_123 you brought back memories of my first little show I did. I was so nervous and my hands were shaking so much I could hardly line up my silks when perform the fool-proof Tenyo Crystal Tube. But yes, practice and confidence are the key to conquering fear and those shakes.
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Regular user
147 Posts

Profile of ThSecret
Good for getting yourself out there OP. I find you can practice as much as you want alone, but the only way to get over the shakes, the nerves and anxiety is to put yourself out there in real situations. Of course first learn to perform the effect flawlessly.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
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New user
34 Posts

Profile of JG
On Sep 6, 2016, Ado wrote:
Having butterflies in the stomach before performing is normal.
Having them *while* performing or after means you don't know your material well enough yet. The solution should be obvious.


I fear that's rather simplistic and could end up confusing beginners, if not putting them off altogether when the catch all solution fails.

However, I agree that knowing your material and performance inside out is ONE of the solutions to the MANY causes of nerves.
"Deceptions From A Daypack" by Jack Goldstein - a limited edition book of card routines for those who love magic, travel and life.

Buy it now on Lulu; 100% of the profits go to Toybox, a charity committed to ending the global injustice of children living and working on the streets.
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