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Profile of CraziSilverAngel
I often like doing really weird freaky magic at the most random times ever (for example something to do with fire or levitations). They sometimes give like a big impact but sometimes the audience is like "oh...". Do you guys have any tips on how I could like give more into my tricks or like get some reactions other then "oh ..."?
Also, if I just go into the trick is it a bad way to start?
Believe In The Rainbow
Corey Harris
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Kansas City, MO
1229 Posts

Profile of Corey Harris
I think the "Oh" reaction can be impossible to get away from. Some people just aren't impressed or into magic. Or sometimes they are so shocked that they don't know what else to say. As for just going into a trick. If that is just you, then I don't see a problem with it. Some times that is the easiest way to get attention.
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Profile of JackScratch
Experience. That answer is not helpful. That answer sounds elitest and kinda cruel. Sadly, that answer is almost the only one. I think you'll get better reactions if you are careful to include more than just an effect thrown into the middle of a conversation. Sounds a little like that might be what you are doing. Conversation and setup are very important. Not to mention the art of taking the stage (actual stage or not, when you perform you are always on stage).

It's hard to tell if you are scripting or just saying "Hey, wana see a trick?", or worse just doing an effect out of nowhere. The effect should be a tiny part of what you take to your audience. Like the salt in a meal, it should accent, not be the meal. Write scripts with lead ins and stories, things that make your audience interested in what you are doing before you do it. Keep reading this forum, you'll pick it up.
Kent Wong
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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Profile of Kent Wong
Shock value always gets a certain degree of reaction. Let's face it, you hit someone with a hand buzzer and it gets a similar reaction.

Unfortunately, once the effect is over, people don't tend to remember it for long. That's because the effect has little meaning to the spectator. At the end of the day, all that has been created is a mental puzzle. Puzzles are meant to be solved and, if they can't be solved, they are discarded into the corner of one's mental psyche.

Instead of settling for shock value, strive to create a magical moment for the spectators. Give your magic meaning. Here's a basic example. You mentioned a self-levitation. Other than to simply create a shock value, why would a person want to levitate?

Maybe you need to get something and it's just slightly out of arm's reach? Maybe you asked a person next to you if he can reach it, but he can't get to it either? Having reached a point of failure, you come upon an idea. You focus your energy and slowly lift off the ground, grasping the object you needed and return to earth.

Now you have presented a reason to levitate. But even more, you created a situation of conflict that needed to be resolved. You pulled in the spectator on an emotional level by getting him to help you resolve the conflict, but failing. Then, through an unbelievable feat of magic, you were able to regain control of the situation.

Presented in such a fashion, the spectator will remember the effect for a long, long time. His reactions will be much stronger. You have created a magical moment.

Now, I presented this example not know what type of self-levitation you are performing or if it will lend itself to this type of presentation. But the point is that meaning adds power to performance. This is the artistic side of magic and it is extremely rewarding to achieve. Have Fun.

"Believing is Seeing"
Kipp Sherry
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Boise, ID
473 Posts

Profile of Kipp Sherry

Cory, Drew and Kent have given you a lot of good information here. I just wanted to add that sometimes an "oh…" is okay, you just don't want to get too many of them.

Here is an example of and "oh…" type trick that would also fit with your style of random freaky things.

Let's say the "oh…" trick is a signed card routine, or something else that needs the spec to write something down. You're going through the effect and people are early on showing disinterest. Now throw in the random freaky thing. Instead of just grabbing a pen and handing it to the spec, have the pen levitate into your hand and then give it to the spec. Now continue on with the original effect.

The killer to this is your acting skills. You have to carry on as if the levitating pen is just an every day occurrence. It's nothing special, it's the way everyone does it, right? Give it the same kind of attention you would had you pulled the pen out of your pocket or a purse. Nothing special, right? Just continue with the "oh…" trick as if it was the main focus and the "oh…" trick is where the really spectacular effect is going to happen.

That's just a suggestion on how to spice it up.

Till we appear again,
Kipp Sherry
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In my day, I have driven
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Profile of airship
Try to work your tricks into the theme and mood of the occasion. If you're at dinner, talk about dinner. If a trick involves fire, talk about the flame the food is cooked on first. Transition. Think it through, and make the trick fit.
BTW, I checked out your site and your costuming skills are awesome!
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
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Profile of VeritasNoir
Mr. Hayen, your advice is very useful. Especially when I just came into the magic arena, I was so excited about every trick that I could perform that I would use every effect as often as possible. With time, I'm gaining the patience that I need to become a better performer.
"We have art in order not to die of truth." ~ Nietzsche
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