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Bill Palmer
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There has been a lot of discussion in the beginners forum about where to perform their magic. I will explore several of the suggestions, based upon my own experience.

First, if you don't have an act, you aren't ready to perform. An act means more than one trick, routined so it makes some sense. It can be a series of card routines, a card routine and a coin routine, a silk routine and a coin routine or whatever. First, you MUST have something to perform. It should probably be about 5 to 8 minutes long.

Second, before you even plan on taking this out to the public, practice it throughly, so you can do it without even thinking about what comes next. As I have mentioned elsewhere, you should not have to think about what you are doing, but you must be acutely aware of what you are doing. It's almost a contradiction.

So, let's assume you have a short routine, and you want to perform it for people. Where can you go? Let me give you some rules.

1) If another magicians is already working at the venue, don't perform there. You will anger him and you will make yourself look cheap.
2) Don't just barge into a festival or other public gathering and start performing. You may cause problems. This is especially true of things like Renaissance festivals. Most of these have special identification for performers. If you are performing and you don't have the ID (which is usually a costume piece) you will be asked to leave.
3) If you try performing at a mall, a department store or any other public venue, if the management asks you to leave, do not argue with them. It's their property. They can tell you when and where you may or may not perform. In this case, it's not a first amendment issue. It's private property.
4) If you are performing on the street, "Blaine-style," and someone asks you to leave them alone, do it. Don't argue. Believe it or not, there are people who do not like magic. Don't make it easier for them to hate magicians. The same holds true for people at table in restaurants. If they don't want to see magic, don't beg. It makes you look small. Just leave. Go somewhere else.

Performing on the street -- guerilla style -- is not the same thing as traditional street magic.

REALITY CHECK -- the scenes with people like Cyril and David Blaine, where they accost people with magic are usually choreographed a bit. They check with the people first before they start the video. They get model releases.

Real entertainers don't just attack people on the street. How would you feel if you were walking down the street, looking for a particular address and someone in a clown suit ran up to you and sang, in a loud tenor voice, "RI DI, PAGLIACCIO!" It would scare the bejeezus out of you!

Street magicians -- the real ones -- the ones who busk -- set up a table or a defined area, gather a crowd, entertain them and then pass the hat. It takes skill to do all of these. It's not attack magic.


So, where can you perform? Go to nursing homes, hospitals and things like that. Find out what the requirements are for performing in hospitals. I do this about once a month. It is very heartwarming to see the smiles on the faces of the ailing when they have fun watching a show.

And you will become a better magician.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » From The Wizards Cave - by Bill Palmer » » Venues for beginners -- Where can I perform? (0 Likes)
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