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Topic: Best place to learn stage presence and misdirection?
Message: Posted by: JayLugh (Aug 3, 2015 05:50AM)
Are there good resources for learning about stage presence? I guess one of the specific things I'm thinking of is where to look when I'm performing sleight of hand, which is kind of misdirection related I guess. I video recorded myself producing a card from a back palm and I stared at the camera the whole time, and to me it looks kind of awkward, like I'm staring down the audience, but do I really want to look at my hand and risk having them look too closely? When I'm watching the video of myself, I find myself not very compelled to watch my hands, but then I kind of miss the effect of the card snapping out of nowhere.

The only way I can think of to learn how to do this stuff is to watch other magicians.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 3, 2015 07:19AM)
You might try recording yourself in performance
And record the audience.

Our audiences can teach us a lot.


Harris
Still too old to know it all
Message: Posted by: JayLugh (Aug 3, 2015 09:04AM)
I haven't made it to performing for an audience yet, I'm still too new at it.
Message: Posted by: MorrisCH (Aug 3, 2015 02:19PM)
Your best bet will be to take the local acting class, learn by doing it, instead of reading books and watch someone else perform(which is also essential)

However, for the reading source, I recommend you take a look at Leading with your head by Gary Kurtz, this book seem to fit into your requirement
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 3, 2015 04:19PM)
I'm. someone whose background included
theater and improvisatio, prior to adding magic.

I see value in that suggestion.
I interned with a puppeteer for a year.
That still had effects on my puppetry and stage use 40 plus years later.
Message: Posted by: Ado (Aug 3, 2015 05:10PM)
I happen to have been watching hours of material presented by Dani daOrtiz and Luis Piedrahitas on the internet. They both use a lot of misdirection. And the one thing that stands out is that they're talking A LOT. They've conditioned their audience to not burn them, because otherwise, the audience would have to look at the hands for minutes before anything happens, and wouldn't be able to follow the talk. Also, something is always happening. They'rs always handling the cards or coins, even when they're not doing anything, in accordance with what they're saying.
So, in practice, what does this mean for you? One thing: improv theatre classes.

Also, lots of filming yourself, and spending time thinking about what can be improved.

P!
Message: Posted by: Anand Khalsa (Aug 3, 2015 06:15PM)
Acting and public-speaking classes will help you tremendously.

Watch professional magicians perform.

Pick up a book like Showmanship for Magicians, The Five Points in Magic, Strong Magic, Magic and Showmanship, or Maximum Entertainment.
Message: Posted by: JayLugh (Aug 3, 2015 06:58PM)
Thank you all for the suggestions! I'm involved in theatre regularly, so I get a lot of acting and improv practice, right now I even have a live pianist gig that involves some musical improv alongside a live theatre show.

I will look at everything that is mentioned, and if I my schedule fits, will look into joining the improv troupe at my university. Maybe it's time to start bugging friends and family to watch my tricks.
Message: Posted by: Ado (Aug 3, 2015 11:28PM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2015, JayLugh wrote:
Maybe it's time to start bugging friends and family to watch my tricks. [/quote]
You might as well bug random people on the campus. You'll improve faster as they won't put any filter when they give feedback... Be sure to start with tricks that require hardly any technique and that you can do while you're sleeping. It won't require misdirection but it'll be good practise to approach people, and to direct their attention where you want even though you don't need them to avoid burning your hands.

P!
Message: Posted by: Anand Khalsa (Aug 4, 2015 02:26AM)
[quote]On Aug 3, 2015, Ado wrote:
[quote]On Aug 3, 2015, JayLugh wrote:
Maybe it's time to start bugging friends and family to watch my tricks. [/quote]
You might as well bug random people on the campus. You'll improve faster as they won't put any filter when they give feedback... Be sure to start with tricks that require hardly any technique and that you can do while you're sleeping. It won't require misdirection but it'll be good practise to approach people, and to direct their attention where you want even though you don't need them to avoid burning your hands.

P! [/quote]

Very good advice. I have consistently found this to be true.
Message: Posted by: DaveGripenwaldt (Aug 4, 2015 04:58PM)
Ado's advice is very good because performing when you don't have to think about sleights - and a great resource is Carl Fulves’ book on self-working card magic - is being able to see how an audience watches magic. That's when you will learn one of misdirection's strongest ally - the "on-beat" and "off-beat".

The on-beat is when the audience is watching what you do...staring at your hands...intent on what is next. On-beat is the worst time to do a "move". The off-beat is when their attention relaxes...like at the end of a trick. They react, look at each other...their attention is elsewhere. that is where you can get away with almost anything. Learning to see, create and manage on-beat and off-beat moments and you'll truly amaze people...but that comes best by doing.

That said, you can start your learning curve by watching you-tube performances by top guys in more casual settings (like a street performance). Watch the audience reaction and you'll see the above in action.
Message: Posted by: JayLugh (Aug 5, 2015 03:05PM)
Thanks for the advice, this is very useful. I may start bugging people on campus, I'm there often enough.

I tried a few tricks on my sister, she's the first real person I've tried them on. I did a few card sleights and then I did the torn and restored napkin, and what's funny is I hadn't practiced that one much and decided to just show her, and even though I wasn't very good at it, and even though I said at one point "wow I'm doing this really messily" she was completely fooled by it. If anything, that was the trick that impressed her the most.

I definitely want to try more things for an audience, to get a feel for what's needed. I can definitely see where improv experience could help.