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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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BitterBrewerAZ
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Tucson, AZ
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To the OP,

While I haven't fully jumped back into performing, I did quite a bit of performing while still being a student when I was 16-18. I would say in the ballpark of 75-100 shows. I started actually performing for people other than my parents and friends when I was 15. My dad was a member of a Kiwanis club and I would attend their monthly meetings and perform a quick 10-15 minutes at the end of the meeting. It was free entertainment for them and it gave me a chance to practice new stuff and get comfortable with old stuff. From there I got in with a local hospital. I would go and do casual walk around stuff from room to room, mostly children but it was still a great experience. Everything up to this point was free, I wasn't making money but I was gaining valuble insight about what worked, what didn't and my confidence was building. After a year of doing this the hospital I would volunteer my time at asked me to perform a childrens Christmas party. I was paid 75 dollars for an hour long show and had done my first gig! I always and still do enjoy doing magic, getting paid to do so is like icing on the cake. I would seek out groups like the Kiwanis and get involved that way. They do a ton of great stuff within most communities and can lead to connections for future jobs.

Cheers,

Keith
vianns
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France - Paris
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Hi !

I'm new to magic (about 6 months). I started with cards and now I'm looking for a more bizarre magic, since it's less easy to a spectator to think "oh, he's just somebody who knows how to manipulate cards".
So I just ordered some products from LB (0n the Bl00d) and OE (L*n@...) and I'll start with that.

Like I was thinking and like I read here, I planned to play first with family and friends. That's what I did with my first card tricks. When I was playing with cards, I knew my friends and family didn't think at any moment that something could be "magic" in what I did. And that's why I'm moving to bizarre magic: not a lot of magicians are doing it (in France in my case) and for me it seems easier to a spectator to believe in something magic, and not only I have fast fingers and I know how to break a deck in order to produce a card routine.
But... I'm still wondering: is bizarre magic good with friends and family ? They know I don't have any kind of magic power and that I started studying magic a few months ago. With unknown people, I think it might be easier to be trusted as a magician, and not only as the "good friend/son who like to play with gaffed props".

I don't know if you will understand what I'm thinking about, since English is not my native language. Thank you for any answer you could write.
Nestor D
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Children are wonderfull : you need to explain things in a clear and straightforward way to them, they accept your mistakes, points at any discrepancy and love whatever you have to offer Smile

The golden rules seems to be : grab every opportunities you can get but do NOT force your magic on peoples (they will not like it -> no entertainment).

vianns :

Your family won't consider you a bizarist (unless you prove it with frequent solid demonstrations) but "Bizarre objects" work quitte well on family : strange things you just found somewhere (give them an history !) that have strange powers... if the power is not in you but in the object, it is more easily accepted (a wonderfull upgrade from card magic to bizarre magic is tarot card : a bit of cold reading, card magic and an inbuild bizarre element that get peoples reacting as soon as they see the cards).

Nestor
vianns
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Nestor: merci ! Smile I think that's why I want to go to bizarre magic. It will be easier for me, a beginner in magic, to make this kind of magic accepted by others, friends and family especially. I hope I'll manage to build solid stories about my props !
Thorn
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United States Virgin Islands
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I have to agree the airport idea does sound like a awesome place to practice . I will have to remember to add it to my list of areas to practice at . I usually practice at malls or libraries for small groups . Always remember to smile and be friendly .
Mysteryos
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Some more places to consider:
- The Tram/Train (Awesome to watch the reactions of doing a simple one handed cut and then showing them some magic)
- Schools/Kindergarden - I startet with performing sponge ball routines for kids and card magic. It's the best Motivation ever to practise when kids are screaming at you cause you did a simple coin palming. Kids are so thankful and will love you for showing them any kind of magic tricks.
- Family events or little parties, when you are host or guest, when presented entertaining everybody loves magic Smile
- Just going around in parks, at cityspots, playing with cards will make people stop you and ask what you're doing. And you're in!
BeThePlunk
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West of Boston, East of Eden
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After practicing on my wife, I began showing tricks to local children, usually with the parents nearby. For me it was a win-win-win. I got to practice on a non-critical audience. The kids were pleased. Best of all -- though I don't point this out -- the parents watch from the background with a mixed perspective (1) they enjoy seeing the children entertained, (2) if they catch the trick, then they expected to be sharper than their kids anyhow, they're in on the secret with me, and I can toss a knowing wink at them, but (3) if I completely fry 'em, they aren't on the spot tp admit it. I note the parents' reactions in my peripheral vision, because my goal is really to test myself in front of them, and the kids are just my cover.
peacegroovy
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I started off performing for children at a local volunteer center! It was a wonderful experience and children are easily entertained, thus giving you that extra boost of confidence that you need to succeed!
Mike Gilbert
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I'm getting ready to start putting a couple of routines together so I can start performing as well. My thoughts were to tap into all fo my friends with kids to start. Offer to do birthday parties for free to get exposure and experience. Anyone else that shows up to those parties are fair game to charge down the road if they like your act. Have business cards on hand, and be ready to network! Also make it known that you do more than kids' shows (if this truly is the case) in case you're approached for some adult venues (Christmas parties, BBQs, socials, etc).
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
Mike Gilbert
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Also, to viann, although I hardly think there is anything wrong with focusing on bizzare magic as a specialty, think about this on grander, more general scale. Don't rely on bizarre magic because you think it will be easier for people to buy into. If you go into it with this frame of mind, you will never be convincing. Instead, focus on practice and rehearsal of all of your effects, routining, patter, psychology etc. This goes for any routine and any genre of magic (or performing in general!). If you aren't convinced, neither is your crowd. Take the time to become technically AND tactically proficient in your craft; be it cards, coins, mentalism, etc. Own it! 99.9% of people don't believe you are magical (have magic powers), and, with few exceptions, you shouldn't try to pass yourself off as such. They are there to be entertained. So entertain them! It's the quality of the entertainment you provide that invokes that magical sensation. Cheers!
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
friend2cptsolo
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Quote:
On Apr 28, 2014, Terrible Wizard wrote:
I've had similar problems - and I appreciate all the good advice on this old thread Smile

Family can be difficult, especially if they're not really into magic or bored of seeing your tricks.

Work depends upon many things - time, colleagues, space etc. many work places aren't the kind where one can do magic (no time, work alone, etc).

And if, like me, you live in a rural or isolated location ...

But - there's always more places and people to perform in and for than you think. Maybe not as many or as good as you'd like, and maybe not as 'safe' as family or friends, but still enough to learn from. I'm just learning that you need to grab what opportunities you can.

And that means two things: always be prepared (carry your cards and have a ready-to-go trick, or whatever), and be bold. Smile


YES this is an old thread but still a good topic of conversation.
Thank you terrible wizard for the last couple of lines here about being prepared even when you are not sure before hand you will have a moment to perform.
I think this will get me a few more performances, but I am still looking for the GOLDEN VENUE, so to speak. A place where I can get a small group together, do some close up. maybe 15mins or so...end that segment...get another small group do the same story/effects......
repetitive practice!!!!

So some people have talked about AIRPORTS they are very very wrong.... airports are very high security areas now!
to get to the places where people are sitting around waiting and bored are passed all the check points,security and body scans....you can not just walk in like you used to before 911... especially with "magic" items and these posts are from 2014....I think this is very quick way to being on a government watch list.

Has anyone been to a coffee house like a "starbucks" and approached people? If so what was the experience like? How would you approach?
Also we have a lot of these little festivals here in New England so to rent a table would only cost me 30bucks and I could get that scenario of being able to perform over and over for a different group. I can control number of seats and where they sit and would get a diverse audience over the course of a day. I can take breaks when I want. If I had a table at a venue like this what would my sign say?? how would I attract people over?
Local open Mic night??? but is that going to work well with close up?
Terrible Wizard
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Thanks, and you're welcome Smile

"I am still looking for the GOLDEN VENUE, so to speak. A place where I can get a small group together, do some close up. maybe 15mins or so...end that segment...get another small group do the same story/effects......
repetitive practice!!!"

I too would love such a thing. Keep searching! Smile
friend2cptsolo
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I have given some thought to this and basically those 3 options I listed above seem like the most likely, but I still have some reservations about doing them.
I have been able to perform a work but that is very rare do all the reasons you listed above also.
friend2cptsolo
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There is also a local ring of the IBM but the drive is about 40-50 mins....I have not been ... some groups really do not focus on practice and going over routines and script but more just a social gathering.
B.W. McCarron
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If you perform your new routine before the local Ring, that can also count as your initiation performance, if you arrange it in advance with one of the Ring members. Complete the membership application, pay the fee, then take advantage of this opportunity to solicit constructive feedback from those who witnessed your performance.

You may be familiar with the adage: "Praise in public, correct in private." Obtain advice from the Ring members individually as you meet them. The alternative is to perform, then open it up to a group critique session. You'll need broad shoulders to keep from feeling "dumped on"; the one-on-one comments method may be best for you.

Through osmosis you will be rewarded with seeing others perform. While this is not a license to steal, you may discover that a particular effect would also be worthwhile to add to your routine. Of course you will adjust your story line to fit your style of performance and not borrow from the patter used by other performers.

Be sure to make the most of each performance by having photos taken. More tips are available here:
http://www.blamepro.com/Tips/FreeGigs.htm

Best of luck!

- Brett
fab1an
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I am quite new to magic, too!
Most of the time I perform for my family and friends, sometimes for friends of my friends or family!
This has led to me becoming way more confident in my performance.

hope this helps!
fabian
The Duster
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I do it for family and friends - but make sure it's only a few mins - and new tricks everytime

So a lot of prep for one off 'shows'
Foole4Hire
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If there is a magic club near you, participate there. If not, consider starting something yourself. If there aren't enough magician's nearby, theatre groups, improvising, would-be comedians, and other variety artists may be looking for a venue.

Open mics are cool BUT they tend to have a 3-5 minute maximum. That's not always useful to a magician. However, it is a great way to get better.

Seniors centers always need free or cheap entertainment. Just do some research on the demographic.

Talent shows and magic competitions and other such things give your practice focus and provide you with direct feedback.

Finally and most importantly, if your goal is magic as a hobby, performing for friends and family is just fine as is impromptu performing for strangers in public. If your aim is to get paid to perform, use friends and family for rehearsal and practice and ALWAYS arrange to perform in public in advance. ALWAYS trade your performance for something (advertising -- even if it's just taking video of the show in front of audience or the chance for a paying client to see you in action -- a letter of reference, goods, services, money, tax receipt, etc.). Charities are always looking for performers but get them to do something for you that's useful to you. Once you are established as a professional you can decide when and where you perform gratis.

I'm Roger and I am a suitcase magician
3 decades and 150 shoes per year and still practicing
Foole4Hire
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Autocorrect wanted me to do shoes and not shows.

PS if you approach any open mic (including jams) with magic, they'll likely welcome the variety or at least support a performer in her development.
joshuaweidner
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Jamie D. Grant's book "The Approach" is a great resource for this and pretty much every other issue you will run into as a new performer. He pretty much takes you from beginner to pro and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. It's available from his website and probably most magic dealers for about $75.
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