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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Shaky hands...what the?!?!?! (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BIlly James
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Hi folks,

I started performing magic seriously when I was 25, I'm 41 now, and I started performing full time when I was in my late 20's. Over the years I've performed in all sorts of situations, large and small (I even had the privilege of performing for Chelsea Clinton and some of the American athletes during the Sydney Olympics)so performing is really second nature to me.

However, the other day my sister (who I hardly ever see) was in town and so over lunch I decided to do a couple of tricks for her...but here's the thing, my hands were shaking like I was a nervous cat!!!
Was I nervous...no! So why the heck were my hands shaking all of a sudden??

Have any of you guys experienced anything like this, or should I just go ahead and book myself into a sanitarium.
Paul Sherman
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You're not crazy. I think it's because you have a different emotional investment in what your sister thinks of your magic than what a stranger thinks (even if that stranger is the President's daughter).

Looking foolish (by messing up a trick) in front of a stranger is different than looking foolish in front of a family member or someone else you respect. I had this happen recently when I had a lesson with a prominent magician. He had me do a few effects for him and on one of them my hands were shaking so badly that I had to stop several times throughout.

My best advice is to relax (because looking messing up a trick isn't such a big deal) and to start out with effects that are either self-working or that you feel so confident with that you know you can't mess them up. Beyond that, just have faith in your skills and the strength of the effect.
"The finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success..." Erdnase



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Samuel
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Paul is right... I too can perform for strangers with no problem, but when I perform for people I respect (especially other, more proficient magicians), my hands starts to shake and they become moist.

I just have to "shake" it away, and perform some easy starters. Then it goes away, at least usually Smile
Samuel

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KidMagic87
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My problem is the other way around...For strangers, I don't want to make a bad first impression. So this anxiety causes my hands to shake. I'm perfectly fine around those I know, because they'll think of me the same no matter what.
KidCrenshaw
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Quote:
On 2005-06-20 04:38, Paul Sherman wrote:
and to start out with effects that are self-working... so you build confidence


That's the money line there. Great advice, I'm not sure that I've heard that before, and I like it.

Sure, I edited it a bit, but it's still the same thing.
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
bishthemagish
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Here is another thread talking about the same thing.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......27&4
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Stanyon
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Kinda' like "Flop sweat"! I always ask myself, "What am I sweating for? I already have the job!"

FWIW

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
eryanic
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Don't mean to freak you out, but since you're 41, it COULD be a nerve problem...
just an opinion...no scientific evidence or anything
Jonathan Townsend
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Agreed about performing when you have emotional issues at the time.

When you are not one hundred percent there to DO MAGIC, watch out. Especially if you want to communicate feelings at the time.

The word "congruence" comes to mind here, and since it's a goal, I won't discuss how to get around the issue.

If you want to focus on the magic... try imagining that every time you miss a beat or mess up a move, somewhere a fairy dies screaming your name as its last words. You don't want to kill all the fairies do you? Quit clapping your hands, that only works for muggles. You gotta do the magic for them.
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tommy
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At the card table a Shaking Hand is a tell of a powerful poker hand. The guy is not nervous but excited at the prospect of winning. The more they try to hide the fact that they are holding a strong hand the worse it gets. It is very hard to control. I do not know how that relates to magic but it is not being fearful that is always the foundation of shaking.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
weapon
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Quote:
On 2005-06-20 04:38, Paul Sherman wrote:
You're not crazy. I think it's because you have a different emotional investment in what your sister thinks of your magic than what a stranger thinks (even if that stranger is the President's daughter).

Looking foolish (by messing up a trick) in front of a stranger is different than looking foolish in front of a family member or someone else you respect. I had this happen recently when I had a lesson with a prominent magician. He had me do a few effects for him and on one of them my hands were shaking so badly that I had to stop several times throughout.

My best advice is to relax (because looking messing up a trick isn't such a big deal) and to start out with effects that are either self-working or that you feel so confident with that you know you can't mess them up. Beyond that, just have faith in your skills and the strength of the effect.


I agree with paul, I do tricks for my fiance, and she knows all my slieghts..so it makes me nervous and makes me feel like she is gonna see my dirty work..so it kinda messes with my head a little bit and I tend to fumble or shake..lol
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Amir
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Quote:
On 2005-06-20 15:44, tommy wrote:
At the card table a Shaking Hand is a tell of a powerful poker hand. The guy is not nervous but excited at the prospect of winning. The more they try to hide the fact that they are holding a strong hand the worse it gets. It is very hard to control. I do not know how that relates to magic but it is not being fearful that is always the foundation of shaking.

Thanks for the tip. That ought to come in handy this friday night.
Paul Sherman
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That's straight out of Caro's Book of Poker Tells...which includes dozens of other tips you might find helpful.
"The finished card expert considers nothing too trivial that in any way contributes to his success..." Erdnase



some youtube videos
HusssKarson
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Well.. I had that before.. To my wife only. Maybe I got scared of her. LOL
yutszfung
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If I havent performed for a period of time, I have done same problem too, it's ok, you are not the only one.
invisible
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I have always had shaky hands when I am holding something
JRob
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Quote:
On 2005-06-20 15:07, eryanic wrote:
Don't mean to freak you out, but since you're 41, it COULD be a nerve problem...
just an opinion...no scientific evidence or anything

I would wait and see if it happens again under dissimilar circumstances (like rehearsal) before seeking referrals.
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Benjamin Dove
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When I get nervous I tend to shake too. It's nothing out of the ordinary.
Lawrence O
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It only happens to me when I do tricks for magicians, not for lay people. Fear? Excitement? I don't know but it bothers me. Fortunately it doesn't last more than 30 seconds to a minute. So I start with a script that talks about a magician who had a Parkinson and would fool the heck out me, with his gesture becoming stable exactly at the right moments...
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Mary Mowder
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When I started I was very shaky and while it has gotten better I still shake at times (in front of Magicians, close friends and in contests) I have dumped knacky flourishes last moment if I was too nervous at the time.

It really helps to break the ice with easy and fun material. A good laugh can really help. I think it's about the diaphragm.

If it comes on unexpectedly, touching something, like resting your hand or the cards on the table top can steady the shake. Also larger movements can mask a little ("big movement small movement").

It may help to know that sometimes the shake is much more noticeable to you.

- Mary Mowder
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