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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Complete Beginner - Where to start performing? (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MrHoudini666
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I am 21 years old, and have been studying Mentalism for about 3 months.

Although I am a beginner, I would like to start performing simple routines at this point.

I live in Alberta, Canada. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get started? I am a little nervous about doing this at an open mic, because those are usually for musicians...

I would prefer to perform for groups less than 20 people. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!
goatears
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I have the same question regarding close up!
Yehoshua
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Turnersville, NJ
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To the both of you, my advice would be to start performing for friends, family...perhaps at family outings like birthdays or holiday parties. Then, once you get a bit more comfortable and confident in your routining and performance, seek out events such as Open Mic nights, and the like. Believe me, the crowd might appreciate the change of pace, and the fact that you'd likely be the only performer in your category should comfort you. Realize this means the crowd won't be comparing you to any other magician or mentalist performing that night, as there won't likely be one. Hope this helps!
StephenP
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It would be neat if there were enough people to have an open mic night for magicians, but that'd be tough to get together. That leaves comedy, poetry, or music open mics. I would think it could fit right in with a comedy open mic if there's one around. But an open mic night of musicians might work out better than you'd think. They used to have comics and/or magic acts opening for concerts, and in an emcee way a mentalist's patter could be perfect to keep the fun going in between acts.
Sallymagi
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I practice on my friends. Where do I Perform?
Sock Puppet Monkey
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Check out Jeff McBride's DVD set Magic at the Edge. In this series he describes who he incorporates magic into his everyday life. This is really what you need to be thinking of. That is, how do you do magic throughout your regular day. Some examples...go to Starbucks then transfer your card back and forth in your hand as you wait to pay and when it's time for the clerk to take the card do a false transfer. This is just one small example of how to do it and it can grow from there. I'm fortunate as a teacher I can take my recess/lunch to break in new routines,practice and connect with students.

Have a fun!

SPM
MasterGracey
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Malibu, CA / Winter Haven, FL
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This is something I have been thinking about lately, too. I am returning to magic as a hobby after about 15 years of inactivity. I have found that performing for friends and family, especially when trying to smooth out some rough edges, is sometimes difficult because they like to try to "fool" me. For example, I used to do a neat little self-working card trick that required the spectator to pull off a certain number of cards while my back was turned. I did not find it amusing, however, when the spectator also cut the deck while my back was turned. I also do not appreciate having every mistake pointed out, as if my purpose is not to entertain but to dare them to figure out the secret. "I know how you did that" gets old and annoying very quickly. On the other hand, if you have any young relatives (nieces and nephews under the age of 10 are perfect), it can be a lot of fun being the magical uncle. And, they will wear you out asking for another trick before you can wear them out.

I am not involved in any magic clubs right now, but I used to be when I was a teenager. Those were invaluable for learning and performing. I have read a discussion in another thread about the tendency for clubs to be full of arrogant performers and old-timers trying to fool each other, but that was not my experience. The magic club I was in was always a sympathetic and respectful audience, willing to give advice, but only when asked. Best of all, they encouraged the development of a routine and not just doing tricks. If you can find a group like that, then you will always have an opportunity to perform at least once a month.
Mike Maturen
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Michigan's Beautiful Sunrise Side
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I would recommend getting back involved with either the IBM or SAM. Both provide invaluable learning experience from both seasoned veterans, and other newbies.

Also, ask lots of questions here. Go to the topic area that specifically deals with your interest (mentalism, close-up, etc). Those folks will be able to steer you from experience.
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
bbarefoot
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Johnstown, PA
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I realize this may be a bit late to the conversation, but for others reading this for advice, I would like to add what I did to gain some experience with my routines when starting out. I was in college when I started getting really serious about performing magic. I found that I had an abundance of free time outside of class in college, so I would take my cards and or a few tricks and go to a public area; dorm lobby, student union, Caféteria, etc. Start with something unusual that grabs attention and someone will inevitably comment on it, and they become an audience.
I actually got invited to parties to do my act for people who saw me doing these impromptu shows or their friend saw me and word of mouth got me a request to perform. My shows were free, but I got into parties and drinks free for my act. This was a great way to get experience doing close up and parlor effects.
Mike Maturen
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A previous poster lamented that while performing for family, they get tired of hearing about the mistakes, etc.

I can understand how you feel. My wife, having spent all of our 27 years together (24 married) has endured my constant "trial runs" on her. She now LOVES to pick apart every move I make.

While this can get annoying...it is actually a GOOD thing. I look at it this way. She understands the concepts of magic, so she knows what to look for. If I can fry HER mind, then it'll definitely fry a layman. So, If I don't fool her, it's not good enough.

How's THAT for finding a silver lining?
Mike Maturen
World of Wonder Entertainment
The Magic and Mayhem of Mike Maturen
989-335-1661
mikematuren@gmail.com

AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
djurmann
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thinks time to practice and stop writing
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OK here how it was for me...

Friends, family and students (I teach). Magic clubs. Airports (doing Charlier cuts and when someone looked interested did some magic (people are bored in airports).

Charity gig (man I made some huge gaffs the first time)....learned a lot though.

My advice? Just get out there and do it. You get caught? So what.

btw there are open mics for magicians.....google open wand.
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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Start with performing with young children, every performance is a learning experience and as you learn from your mistakes

Hospitals for young children are the best place to start; it’s what I did and the staff is wonderful and the kids are terrific. No matter how many mistakes you make, you just keep going and they will forget everything; every performance is a learning experience and as you learn you can improve your routine.
Tukaram
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Iloilo, Philippines
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Trying out your tricks on family can depend a lot on your family. My daughter and her boyfriend are great. They watch and participate as if they are interested. Then they let me know if I messed up something - usually angles. My brother and son both think all "magic" tricks are a waste of time. It is either a sleight or a gimmick or who cares. If you need them to have any involvement in the trick they will ensure it get screwed up. Like what MasterGracey was saying. Luckily I have a few friends at work that are great to work with.

I am hoping to get some more practice in and try a local children's hospital on a volunteer basis for some good experience.
JackManfred
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I'm so glad I found this site! Am learning so much... Can't wait to explore this more, it seems to have a lot to offer.
EVENTUCATOR
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Welcome Jack. Roam around, learn then offer something back? Smile

I have perform "Gospel Magic" in classrooms at 'Religious Instruction' to 8 to 10 yrs old.
I find when you make mistakes, admit it - this age group is VERY forgiving, and very appreciative when things go right.
spetznaz
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Sweden
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I usually have a coin or a deck of cards with me on the bus or train. If I get lucky someone asks me to do some magic. It helps to preform for strangers, friends and family "gets used to" your way of preforming, after a while they know that trick you done a million times. To get a great reaction from someone that you don't know gives me more confidence and teaches me more then doing tricks for my friends.
Ekuth
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I too, carry my "kit" with me whenever I leave the house. You never know...

For my part, I'd say just jump out there and do it. Order a coffee at your local barista and just start doing effects. Prowl the mall and surprise passerbys. Levitate something in the middle of Wal-Mart. Liven things up at the DMV.

And have your business cards on hand, always!
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
Magic Midnight
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I recommend checking with local orphanages, children's hospitals, or elderly homes. You can speak with the event coordinator and will probably be able to perform for him/her. Once they approve your performance, you will have your audience.
bluemagic
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I'm thinking about proforming for goodwill.Here a question ,I read in magic menu that you should have paper or letter that states on why they should hire a magician.So the question is how should I write it?As a Beginner if one day I would like to a pro I must learn what a pro dose.From press kit to interveiw for a job even doing the show for free.What you learn will help you get a pay gig.I do have a contact and think it would be a safe place to start for me.Since they got me my job that I'm working at now.Thank you for any help.I have done magic at a friends magic for people that come.
soybntree
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Friends I'd say then family this will give you confidence to preform in front of people. Then what I did was move to friends of friends and then Children. Children are great as they don't notice any mistakes and are amazed at everything!!
~ Soybntree
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