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Topic: Intro from Seattle area
Message: Posted by: lelando (Apr 30, 2013 02:51AM)
Hi! I'm Leland (or "Lee," or "Lelando," or whatever the heck you want to call me), from the Seattle area. I'm an amateur newbie, who has a lifetime of experience in other forms of entertaining, but I'm just getting started in magic at the age of 40.

I was a child actor, have been performing music in rock bands since my teen years, and have been hosting trivia nights in local bars several nights a week for almost 5 years, so obviously entertaining publicly is not a problem for me.

I'd also learned the art of Balloon Twisting in my early 20s, put them away, and recently picked them back up again after a 10+ year hiatus, and decided that I'd like to learn a bit of magic to incorporate along with my twisting. My primary motivation for picking the balloons back up, and subesquently adding magic to the mix, is to entertain my 3-year-old nephew. But since he lives out of town and I only see him once or twice a year, I'm also doing the street fair / farmers' market walk-around thing, too, and looking to add some restaurant work in the near future as well.

I've always enjoyed magic, and tried to study it as a kid, but didn't have the patience to practice at that age. It's much easier to stay focused at this age, and I am very comfortably picking up the basics. ;-) Sleight of hand is a bit scarier for me, but I'm just practicing it at home occasionally, and holding off on performing those types of 'tricks' until I'm comfortable with them.

Anyway, that's my intro. Looking forward to learning a lot in here.

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 30, 2013 03:00AM)
Welcome Lelando,

Well, you don't have stage fright and you know how to promote. (You are way ahead there).

All you need are some Magical skills and some advice on what Magic would be good to pursue.

The Café will certainly point you in the right direction.

Listen to Dick Osland. He has "a little" experience. LOL

If anyone can tell you what will entertain Kids (or Adults) he can.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: lelando (Apr 30, 2013 03:07AM)
A bit more:

I've only performed a few tricks for a handful of people so far, but the best reaction I've received from everyone has been for the Invisible Deck. As much as I am not really into card tricks, I love this one, it's super easy to do, I can really drag out the process of selecting the card and make lots of jokes along the way, and the finish has left their jaws on the floor, all 5 times I've done it so far (3 of them were earlier tonight for various players at one of my Trivia Nights).

As I mentioned, I am generally not really "into" card tricks... I'm much more interested in doing magic that seems more organic and situational... such as some of the modern inventions like Noblezada's "Self Tying Shoelaces" and Kolle's "Stitched," plus various Money-themed magic (coins, bill-transpos, etc). I also like things I can easily incorporate into my balloon twisting, using Sharpies like Ballenger's "Permanent," or other balloons like Nefesch's "Latex." Some of these effects I've already learned and am currently perfecting, and some are on my radar for future learning. And as I mentioned above, the sleights involved in coin magic are definitely gonna take some practice before I am anywhere close to comfortable performing for others.

Any suggestions for other effects that don't start off looking like you are about to perform magic? I am really open to your thoughts.

Cheers (again),
Message: Posted by: lelando (Apr 30, 2013 03:10AM)
Thanks Mary.

Despite the fact that my young nephew is the initial motivation, I'm interested in entertaining both adults and kids... and preferably with a lot of crossover effects, suitable for both groups (where I might make the patter a bit more 'blue' when there aren't kids around). I've only tried things out on adults, thus far, most of them slightly drunk. o_O

Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Apr 30, 2013 03:49AM)
I also perform for both Children and Adults.

There is always pressure to go "blue" for adults but if you do it makes it very hard to safely perform for kids (because once you know a line it can be hard not to say a line).

Family Entertainment is great for everyone and no one gets offended. Going Blue can end up knocking you out of the running for some of the better gigs and you would never know why.
Blue seems very hip when you are young but the older you get the creepier it becomes. It is hard to go back once you're invested in a style.

Rubber band effects are good because they are easy to carry. "Crazyman's Handcuffs" (you can find it on a Mike Ammar DVD) and "Traveling Cash" by Dan Harlan are two excellent choices that work well together.

Do a search for impromptu or organic Magic in "Table Hoppers an Party Strollers" (You may only search one forum at a time).

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 30, 2013 05:51AM)
Welcome to our motley crew~
Message: Posted by: lelando (Apr 30, 2013 08:12PM)
Mary, you make perfect sense. Generally, I'd agree completely, but in the spirit of not-practicing-what-I-preach...

I've been performing (theater & music) since early childhood (I'm now 40), and Improvisation was a major part of my study in both fields. I have been performing in front of both mixed-age and adult-only audiences for over 3 decades, and I've hosted trivia nights for about 5 years in both bars and family restaurants. I don't feel pressured to work 'blue' for adults; I'm 'blue' by nature (to be perfectly honest), but I've [i]never[/i] slipped when working clean ([i]knock on wood[/i]), and honestly only work 'blue' when it's just the right crowd. I know that if one is accustomed to following a script precisely, it can definitely cause trouble, and I wouldn't suggest that most people tempt fate the way I've chosen. I'm definitely not practicing what I'd preach to others. But I'm really comfortable improvising and moving between clean & blue based on the appropriate situations. And although I've only been dabbling in magic a very short time so far, I've already found that the my presentation is nonetheless just an extension of my pre-existing entertainer's personality. Thus far, I've improvised bits and pieces of my patter around the basic framework, to suit the audience, which is exactly how I manage my patter in every other form of entertaining I do.

Keep in mind that my 'performances' so far haven't been full magic performances at all, but rather that I'm just showing a friend, or trivia-night-contestant, or balloon-animal-kid one or two effects in between whatever else I'm doing. Last week I even did a couple effects for a family at a restaurant where my band was playing, in between sets. I am sure that, as I become more practiced and learn more, I may very likely have to follow your advice and have a well-scripted clean version for certain affects, especially if it is an extremely complicated storyline.

All that aside, I still totally understand what you are saying, especially about the possibility of losing opportunities for a family performance b/c someone saw a 'blue' one. And like I said, if I weren't already [i]really[/i] comfortable working both clean & blue, I wouldn't be so cavalier about it, and certainly wouldn't suggest it haphazardly.

Thanks again for the advice!
Message: Posted by: lelando (Apr 30, 2013 08:12PM)
Thanks for the welcome, Dick.
Message: Posted by: brangwinj (May 13, 2013 06:42PM)
I hope to meet you at the Seattle or Lynnwood ring
Message: Posted by: plink (May 14, 2013 10:04PM)
Spent 4 months in Seattle, the Market is among my fondest memories. A lot can be learned from watching the variety of street performers. Getting hit by a fish can be a real winner in the right situations.
Message: Posted by: sylmagic (May 15, 2013 02:35AM)
Welcome to the place!!
Message: Posted by: lelando (Jun 16, 2014 04:52PM)
It's been over a year since I checked in on this post (I've discovered today that I haven't been getting messages about the topics to which I've subscribed).

A heart-felt "Thanks" to the additional folks who've left a 'welcome' message since I was last here. :-)

Brangwinj, I'm sending you a PM.