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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » How do I approach people? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

HatmanTheCool
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Hi!
I'm a new magician in seattle. I've gotten pretty good routine and showing it performing it for friends and family. And I'd like to get some practice in performing for strangers. My problem is that I don't know how to approach people. What do you do to approach someone usually? Thanks in advance for the help. ^^
ebackes88
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Find someplace where people are waiting aroung, Starbucks is a good place to try. Just approach someone and say "can I show you something cool?" It's simple, and I know from experience that it works, I do it all the time. But I would advise against going into a whole routine, just start with one trick, if they seem to enjoy it you can say, "do you mind if I show you something else?" I would suggest keeping it between 2-3 minutes at the most.

Also there is a magic shop called Funky Fun in the Capital Mall in Olympia, you should check it out, we also have a S.A.M. club we run called The Black Hat Society. Look us up on Facebook, meetings are on the third Saturday of every month from 7-9PM.
CalebRose
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So the rule of thumb I have been going by is to never approach some one who is walking, odds are they have somewhere to be. Usually some one sitting casually or a small group just standing and chatting or whatever. You should have a trick ready to go. When I approach I have my deck of cards in hand, it is usually the first thing they notice so when I follow up with "I am a magician..." they already believe me. My favorite place to perform is in bars because for the most part people are there to sit and drink for a bit and don't mind being interrupted to be entertained (im sure the intoxication helps my case). Just be polite and offer to show them something "real quick". For the most part if you do it with a smile they say yes, some will say no and its all good, don't let that dissuade you. Good luck and definitely come back and let us know how it goes.

*its always nerve wracking. I do a lot of bar magic and street stuff and it doesn't matter how many I have done I still get those little butterflies. that's why its good to have your most practiced trick. Do something you can do in your sleep so the audience reacts kindly. The more they get into it the more you will feel confident to do other tricks and even start improving and doing stuff you never do in front of people. Street magic is a great experience, one that gives you a rush like no other when your connected with the right spectators, those who genuinely love seeing magic.
DonDriver
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Get a set of color changing knife'a.Ask someone...excuse me but did you just drop a "black" pocket knife? NO....Oh maybe it was a "white" knife.

I'm sure you can see its an easy way to let them know you are a magician.Than ask if they want to see more.

Don
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Walk up in a trench coat tied around the front and ask if they want to see something amazing
Szymon Krzysztoszek
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"Hello, my name is Hatman and I'm magician, I want to show you something very cool, very quick, do you mind?" and do the spring meanwhile.
JasperLee
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The best people to perform for might be those at the park literally with nothing to do.

"Hi! I'm an aspiring magician and would really like to show you something real quick. If you like what you see, I'll show you more, if not I promise to disappear"
JassTan
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Quote:
On Oct 22, 2016, JasperLee wrote:
The best people to perform for might be those at the park literally with nothing to do.

"Hi! I'm an aspiring magician and would really like to show you something real quick. If you like what you see, I'll show you more, if not I promise to disappear"


Great advice, sometime people are just busy, its better to go to places where people are just wandering.
Keep a smile on your face, greet them politely with a welcoming posture. Most people love magic, so have fun.
Nat_lawson
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HatmanTheCool,

When I first started doing magic on the streets I was 13 and was scared to death. The very first time I went out I spent more than an hour looking for "the perfect group" to start with. I had watched some dumb video about what you should look for in a group to approach. I walked up and timidly asked if they wanted to see some magic and a guy literally said to me "Get out of my face kid". It broke me, but only for a few minutes then I just went to every single group I saw and it started to work.

My advice is don't allow yourself to hesitate, walk up to the group without hanging around and building your confidence. Just walk up, and introduce yourself. Confidence is everything.

Another tip, is to film it. If you have a friend let him come with you and film it. If not give someone your phone and have them film it for you. If it is worth being filmed, it is usually worth watching. that's the psychology psychology of it, and it works.

Best of luck!
JG
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2016, HatmanTheCool wrote:
Hi!
I'm a new magician in seattle. I've gotten pretty good routine and showing it performing it for friends and family. And I'd like to get some practice in performing for strangers. My problem is that I don't know how to approach people. What do you do to approach someone usually? Thanks in advance for the help. ^^

Everyone always talks methods, but you need to understand the psychology going on here.

The reason you are asking for advice, is that you recognise that it feels really awkward and strange to just walk up to a complete stranger. The reason it feels awkward and strange is because......it IS awkward and strange! Regardless of what we tell ourselves, it is not normal behavior. We are brought up polite and good mannered, then think we can just walk up to a total stranger and say "hi, you have no idea who I am, but I'm a magician, do you want to see some magic". Apart from being really weird and potentially seriously creepy, it's almost a sure fire way of getting a response you don't like!

I travel constantly, so I've always got a new bunch of strangers around me, but I never ever walk up to them and say "do you want to see some magic". Even when booked to perform. What I have learned is a number of approaches, and one that works for me in casual situations is to bring the conversation around to the presentation style that I want. I can almost 100% guarantee that I can gently steer the conversation such that someone will ask me to demonstrate. The rest is easy.

I'm not trying to put you off, but just walking up to people without rhyme or reason is one of the hardest things you'll learn (it's a lot easier if its a paid gig for a number of reasons), so its a tough call to start off your performing career with it. Perhaps you could look for some engagements where the guests will know there is an entertainer present. That makes it so much easier. There are lots of opportunities around if you look hard enough. That will give you some good experience (and confidence) in approaching people blind, before you get disheartened, arrested and thrown out of Starbucks.

Try the gig route, or the conversational route, and see how it goes. Then come back on here for a bit more feedback (or even better, speak to a real live living breathing magician in your area).

Just my 10c worth obviously; other opinions are available!
"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.

http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/jack-goldstein/deceptions-from-a-daypack/paperback/product-22733764.html
HenryleTregetour
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From what I have read, it seems to me that there are two ways proposed here.

(1) Walk up to people and ask if they would like see some magic;

(2) Attract people's attention and then do magic.

Of course either way could work or fail--there are bad ways to attract attention. But with regards to the second way, I think having two "shows" might be the best. The first "show" is to attract attention, and can be something like juggling, an acrobatic feat, playing music, etc. Then when a few (a couple of?) of people are interested, you might open a conversation and offer to "do" magic.

It seems to me that gaining their attention so they are interested in you is a better way to approach people than just walking up to them. But who knows?
JoeJoe
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Be doing something interesting so they take notice of you, I can suggest the Origami Frog routine from my Super Spinner:

http://magicjoint.com/pages/levitations/super-spinner/


And if you watch my free "Crowd Goes Wild" lecture I give out a few other suggestions and ideas based on things I used to do to get attention:

http://magicjoint.com/pages/crowd-goes-wild/



Hope that helps!
-JoeJoe
The Crowd Goes Wild - my free lecture series - Magic Joint - where professional talent meets the local artist!!!
One of the hottest new releases of this year - Amazing JoeJoe's Super Spinner with Penny Reel Technology!!!!
HenryleTregetour
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JoeJoe,

Really cool stuff! Definitely an eye opener and an attention getter!

HLT
brittany_killgore
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This cool tips may help:
* Make it very clear who you are.
* Look official
* Smile and be friendly
* Have someone filming
* Remember it's a numbers game
* Be polite to people that say no
* Being confident approaching people to show them magic

The best way to overcome nervousness is to just go out and do it.
Rainboguy
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HatMan:

1. Buy a copy of Modern Coin Magic.
2. Get at least two fifty-cent pieces and/or two silver dollars (Clad dollars are fine).
3. Learn at least ONE good trick from the book using either the 50-cent pieces or silver dollars, and practice that trick until you can perform it flawlessly in your sleep.
4. Walk up to a stranger holding both coins in your open palms and ask the stranger "HI....Do you like money?" No matter what he or she answers (unles they say "Go away" or "Drop dead", say......"most people do like money".
5. Do the coin trick

6. Welcome to The Magic Café!
georgecope
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When I wanted to start showing magic to strangers I used to sit in starbucks or a bar etc and just play with my cards or sit there with a friend and show them tricks. Someone will always come up to you and ask to show them something.
Nickoli Sharpe
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Great book recommended by Jeff McBride.
The art of mingling.
Talks about how to approach people.
Also gives great ideas on how to excuse yourself from a group.
NinoL
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There's a really busy place in every town where EVERYONE is bored and has nothing to do but wait, where it's perfect to approach someone.

Bus stations, train stations and if you're on a trip, the airport departure lounge.

Most people have a good amount of time to kill there. You're less likely to be interrupting someone.
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