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Topic: Moving onto the street (starter ACR and audience managment?)
Message: Posted by: izua (Nov 26, 2007 04:24PM)
Hi! I've started out with ellusionist crash course and card college.
basically, at this point I've done a few ACR with modest reactions to family and friends. I'm not sure if the reactions were limited due to my lack of patter, the fact that I did everything too fast, bad linking between tricks or simply that the tricks were obvious, or just that fact that a relative of them (me) can perform "magic" is freaking the mout.

my suite of skills, at this moment, is a pretty decent push-off double lift (works about 80% of the time, the james elis move (where the AC is on top, face up, pretty popular trick) and a marlo tilt that I consider bad, but was never questioned. I can also do the fake top remove, and get the angles right, where you pretend to take a part of the deck, instead taking just the top card). Oh, and the braue popup move, if I can get in a doublelift situation. it's pretty hard though, misdirection is not my gift.

how have you guys went out from home practioners to street magicians? it's not the 'go out' thing, but how do you stop people, how do you handle their reactions? tbh, I did the ACR only once on the street, and at first, I was afraid of rejection. it was a group of two girls, and I was actually happier that I pulled the trick out without and mistakes, instead of beeing rejected or something. but this made me realise that maybe I'm not ready at all to do street magic, since I can mistake anytime. yes, the first thing I do when I wake up randomly in the night is pull out each move I know, just to check my kinetic memory. most of the timme, they work, but I do make occasional mistakes when practising, and that's what I'm afraid of most.

how should situations where an audience member notices (spoken!) your mistaks or tells the 'trick' be handled? this is actually my biggest fear in street-performing.

I know that I should somehow overcome it, since you can't perform for yourself, and you might also risk boring your friends out.

any tips for a newcomer?
Message: Posted by: Jay Austin (Nov 26, 2007 04:42PM)
If you are only doing something correctly 80% of the time, do not go out and do it in public. By doing so, you are exposing 20% of the time and that is ruining it for the rest of us. I am not saying that anyone is 100% perfect. To deal with the situations where something goes wrong, plan for it. Script out your patter including for any mishaps. Some things I use when I drop a coin for instance is: "I just like throwing around money" or "that is the first time I have dropped anything, today." Plan for things to go wrong and when they do you will be ready to handle the situation. Scripting is important not just to know how the trick goes, but how to get out of bad situations.

Family might not give you an honest reaction. They love you and do not want to disappoint you so they might say what they think you want to hear. Find someone that will be honest with you.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Nov 26, 2007 05:34PM)
Use a video camera and then watch your own performance. Then be brutally honest with yourself about what you see.

it sounds to me like you might not be ready to perform yet, learn your material a little more throughly. It will all come together if you practice enough.
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Nov 27, 2007 08:25AM)
Practice some more . . . be patient
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Nov 27, 2007 10:05AM)
Many magicians practice for more than a year or two before taking the shows public. If you have ever witnessed a new magician doing a public performance, it is usually pretty obvious that they are new. Just because people don't tell you that a certain move looks bad, doesn't mean that they're not thinking it. I've met some people who have been into magic for a month or two that started working restaurants (not for long). They learned quick that they weren't ready for public performance. My suggestion to you is to join the closest magic club and start performing in front of them, mostly for the experience of getting up in front of strangers, but also so they can help you iron out some of the wrinkles.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Nov 27, 2007 12:06PM)
You need to practice and rehearse until everything is second nature to you. You need to be able to do all your moves without looking at your hands, but while looking at your audience. You need to be able to do the routine without thinking about it at all. Anytime when you feel you are doing less than 100% (and nobody does 100%, but your percentage of goofs should be below 1%) you need more practice. Definitely work with mirror and video camera. Move the video camera to different angles. A video picture is 2 dimensional, people see in 3 dimensions, so the angle is more forgiving on the camera. On the street you generally are going to have audience around you on at least 3 sides, if not totally surrounded, so move that camera around and study your performance from all possible angles.
Message: Posted by: impossible man (Nov 27, 2007 12:21PM)
As far as stopping people, experienced street pros like Chris Capehart will tell you that you attract people to you, not the other way. He demonstrates a straightforward routine with a silk, where he just starts out by staring at the silk while waving it rapidly in front of his own face. He also dressed in something clearly unusual. He did the first part of this while people gathered to check him out. There was no approach to the people, they approached him. Once he started his routine he could then interact with people a little bit at a time. The silk would vanish, and come back, then he could comment to the spectators and build up from there.

This way you are not seen as accosting anyone. Only people who want to stop, and everyone who wants to can gather.

Oh yes, he also stood on something that made him about a foot higher. This also helps people know they are watching a performer, not just someone goofing around while waiting for a bus.

Check out a lecture by Chris if you can. Also, a classic work is Gazzo's The Art of Crowd Keeping. Gazzo is one of the great street performers.

It seems like you might be working on stuff that is worthy, yet difficult. Don't be afraid of some simpler crowd pleasers.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Nov 27, 2007 02:08PM)
Yes, simplicity is >>>KEY<<< Even a simple silk vanish is new to someone who has never seen it before!
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Nov 27, 2007 03:02PM)
I think that the David Blaine or Cris Angel "stop-them-in-the-street" style can work great in the proper arena and the proper audience. Otherwise it is really tough. Check out the "Street Magic" section for advice. I'm sure there is plenty of it.

One thing about performing. I think it is better to get a decent level of skill (only you can determine what this is) and then to just go out and perform. That's the best way to determine whether something works or not. If something goes flat, then you know that you need to work on that to make it more entertaining.

Patter isn't something that comes along afterwards. You should be practicing the patter as you practice the effect. Don't do the effect unless you know what you are going to say. If you are going to not say much, plan on where you will say something. An effect isn't ready for public performance until you have the entire performance rehearsed.

Good luck, it's scary but it's also great fun.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Nov 27, 2007 04:25PM)
It's easier for Criss and David to stop people when they have a 6 to 10 person crew with them filming. Heck, when you have enough practice under your belt to hit the streets take a friend with you with a video camera and just have him film you doing some tricks--you're bound to get some curious on-lookers.
Message: Posted by: TCB (Mar 21, 2014 12:59PM)
On Nov 27, 2007, J.Robert wrote:
It's easier for Criss and David to stop people when they have a 6 to 10 person crew with them filming. Heck, when you have enough practice under your belt to hit the streets take a friend with you with a video camera and just have him film you doing some tricks--you're bound to get some curious on-lookers.

So true J. Robert people see David Blaine, Danny Garcia, and that bunch, plus all the cameras, they are sure to want to be involved