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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Performing for friends and family is WEIRD. (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Any adult performing magic in college with parents footing the bill can attest that "performing at home as a kid" can pay well.

When family members accept that being involved in performance magic is part of "who you are" it is foundation of success.
"there is real merit in the magician who tries to be creative – from such endeavors magic sustains its life energy." Harold Rice



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
ULockJustice
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Columbus, OH
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My sister asked me to do magic for her daughters. I hadn't seen them in a few years. When they were younger you could pull anything out of their ear and they would giggle and then hide behind the couch. Now they are 7 and 10 years old. The have thoughts and opinions. The can form substantive questions. This is a problem. Following a rather visual card routine the 10 year old looked up at me blankly and said the following phrase.

"But Why?"

Then she went to the kitchen to get juice. She callously made me question my entire existence and then the little tart went and casually got juice as if psychic destruction was on her to do list that morning.
"I told you. I'm very very good."
magicshowprod
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I agree, family is tough because they are never really in "audience mode" and when you perform for family you are never really in "magician mode." But I'll tell you..........performing for family is one great way to get an amazing rush once you step out and perform for a real audience. Heck, it's hard not to celebrate the victory right then and there Smile
Don Shock
The Magical World of Don Shock
nwanstall
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I completely agree. For me, performing for family is weird, but as others have mentioned it is a good way to get genuine feedback. That being said, I HATE performing for friends. Instead of enjoying the magic, all they want to do is figure out how I do it, and this makes for a negative experience for me. Strangers is the way to go.
RogerTheShrubber
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I only perform strictly for friends and family when I want to give a new trick a test drive. As it stands, I mostly wind up performing for my wife's and kids' friends anyway, so eventually they'd have seen the trick to begin with - I may as well get honest reactions in advance. But when I do perform for friends and family, it's only to get those reactions. They're used to it by now. Smile
terryisaacs
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Family and friends are the same as everyone else. It completely depends on the individuals themselves. My grandmother loves magic and is great to perform for. My aunt is a nightmare and will do anything she can to mess you up or make you fail so she doesn't feel fooled. I have some friends that are great performing for and others that are horrible. Just depends on your family and friends. Of course if you have a character that you portray while doing magic that is not like your normal self than that would be tough.
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
PeterOwens
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Performing for friends is okay, Infact that is the only people I perform for, I show the odd family member a trick or two on request but apart from that I won't go out of my way to show them. When I was first getting into magic I learned a 4 aces routine, and quick as a wink from Carl Fulves, I showed my Dad both of these and he looked at me with a bland look when I finished the tricks. Yet his friend who's into magic does a few simple double lift tricks and he flips out, he just can't see me doing magic. No idea why but it was just a weird experience.

-P
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jan 1, 2015, Latig0 wrote:
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?


I've been "at this" since I was a teenager, and, I'm now 84. I was a part time pro. until I was in my mid 30s, and, a full time pro. since. "Professional", is a matter of attitude, IMO. At 13, my dad got me booked for a ladies night at his lodge. My parents attended. I did the act. They were proud of me. It led to another date at a church group. 3 months later, I booked a Jr. High School, on percentage, and made $26.00 (in 1945!) Grown men were working all week for that much money! All thru high school, my buddies were bagging groceries for less than a dollar an hour. I was getting $10 to $20 for a half hour show. My school friends would occasionally see me work. I got respect, friendly laughs, and applause from them.

My family saw many of my shows. I was never embarrassed. Ditto for friends.

Of course, I NEVER PERFORMED DRUNK! --And, I never used PROFANE language, either!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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I agree. I stopped performing for family long ago
Otto D
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I perform for family to practice and yeah, they do give good feedback, but I find it really hard to get into the 'magician' as they know me so well. I agree with what other people have said though, they give me good feedback and help me work out the best way to present a trick. Friends wise, some I will, some I won't. It depends. I have a couple of friend who do magic as well and so we all show stuff to and help each other. I think you just have to pick the right people.

Otto
ebackes88
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I hate it depending on the family member. Just feel like you can never get a good reaction.
daffydoug
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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."

Didn't Steve Martin already cover that ground as " Flydini"?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Adeofspades
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Quote:
On May 30, 2016, ebackes88 wrote:
I hate it depending on the family member. Just feel like you can never get a good reaction.


Family will mess with you - my wife just took two cards when I asked her to pick one. Apparently, I was only 50% correct! Audience management can be a real challenge. Family will help train you for the world - where you can get great reactions from people that don't know you inside out:)
LeafyMagic
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When I perform for friends and family in an informal situation, I generally use the distracted artist presentation. It works pretty well and the reactions are much stronger. Andy at his blog the jerx explains this presentationally style and I love it. Perfect for amateurs.
coreyw
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My wife helps me a lot with picking apart presentations (I ask her to). I agree, when I can get a good reaction out of her, I know it's ready for a general audience.

I don't mind performing for people I know, even family. The trick for me is to always approach the magic as if it's real for me too.
1KJ
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I think this one depends not only on the individuals, but also the effect.

For younger family or friends, I will perform anything and they always love it.
For older family or friends, some I perform for and others I don't.
However, the ones I do perform for, if they have seen me perform a lot, I will do something that is more social where we can still enjoy each other's company. For example, more mentalism stuff, or things that are related to inside jokes or games we play.
I also perform more REALLY impromptu stuff for family and friends, something that I have in the back of my mind to perform for just the right situation. For example, if at a restaurant, and someone isn't paying attention when the waitress leaves straws on the table, I'll sleeve one and only produce it when they make a comment about not having a straw. Unfortunately, I generally can't contain myself and the straw seems to come out of my nose or ear every time.

One thing I don't do (except for my five year old daughter) is perform all the time for family or friends. On average, I probably only do magic for most adults I know maybe 3-4 times in a year, even if I see them every day.

The one exception is I show my older daughter my new stuff for her input.

KJ
daffydoug
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I attended a graduation party a couple days ago for a nephew. I wasn't booked or asked to perform at the event. There were probably a couple hundred people there. Friends, family and total strangers. Dozens of tables in the room where we all fed our faces. I noticed they had a medium sized stage.

Now I got to thinking about it. If I HAD been booked, what show could I possibly do to please this audience? There were grown ups, teenagers, adolescents, old folks, and even babies. Talk about a mixed audience!

The only thing I could think of to solve the challenge in my brain (how to please an audience of such varied ages) was medium illusions. (the stage was not super large)

I don't really do or perform illusions. So maybe it was a good thing I didn't get booked. I considered my Harlan style general purpose show, and even that didn't seem right or seem to fit such a large room with tables scattered so far from the stage. I toyed with the idea of perhaps doing some vent. That might possibly go over. Maybe do a vent section and then go into magic after I had everyone's attention and won them over to my side.

But I wonder if anyone has any ideas on what type of show you would perform for this kind of mixed audience in this type of scenario? Would you go with the medium illusions, perhaps a bird production or a rabbit wringer or something, or do you have a better suggestion? Remember, there were kids as well as adults and teens composing this eclectic audience.



I thought about mentalism, but the kids would get bored with a mentalism show. The grown ups would be too sophisticated for my kid show. Teens are in a category all by themselves.

I'm interested in any ideas and thoughts you guys have.

I'll say this much. It's got the wheels in my brain turning.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
AceOfJokers
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My 3-year old grandson is impressed, but no one else in my family is. I never perform for my family. They also think they have a 'right' to an explanation. So I just don't do it.
daffydoug
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Look mom! I've got
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Sad.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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