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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Performing for friends (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

nattefrost
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I've noticed that I don't perform as well for friends (all the time at work) as opposed to family members. Strange thing is I'm more comfortable doing magic for complete strangers as sometimes that's the case at my job (customers).And at home(distant family members or fiance's family). My friends practically rape me after I do a trick and everything "Has To Be" inspected or else its no good. I'm starting to actually get nervous performing impromptu tricks for my friends at work. Should I stop performing for them or keep going? I actually did an old Werry trick the other day at work (I believe its called Phantom) Put a quarter on their hand and you wave your hand over it and it changes to a dime. There's many versions of this trick, I know, but I was shocked as their mouths dropped and DID NOT ask to inspect anything or rape me going through my pockets. But that's RARE, as my friends seem like they WANT me to mess up. should I only perform for people I feel the most comfortable with or take a chance under the closest scrutiny someone could imagine and keep doing it for my friends?
Jaz
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It's been said many times that friends and family are tougher than strangers.

I don't think they want you to mess up. Not if they're really friends anyway.
Because they know you really well they're evaluating you in a different way than a stranger would.
You can't really convince them that you do "magic". Tricks yes.
J Hanes
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People that know you well are going to (likely) sense you're lyuing a lot faster than strangers
molsen
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Also, with strangers there is a natural barrier between them and yourself that keeps then from rifling through your pockets. This barrier can be strengthened or weakened by your presentational style and performance character, maybe that will help you with your friends.

Some people advise to do non gimmicked effects until their urge to examine everything subsides. I disagree. If you condition them to be able to examine your props, you in effect allow THEM to be in charge of the performance, not YOU.

If they can't respect you as a performer, try to discuss it with them in a situation where you are not performing. Explain that this situation makes it hard for you to focus on being entertaining, because you are forced into a challenge situation instead. If this doesn't help, pick another audience.

Michael
Enzo
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My girlfriend always tells me "if you can fool me, you can fool anyone". I think that's probably true, with the possible exception of other magicians.
molsen
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My girlfriend has said the same. She then changed her mind and said "If you can ENTERTAIN ME with the tricks, you can entertain anyone."

I asked why she changed her mind, and she explained that showing her mechanical deception, she would be looking for (and often finding) the method. But when I showed her an effect with a presentation that actually engaged her, she completely forgot about the methods and was delighted that I had used a method she was very familiar with without her noticing it. She felt it was magic instead of tricks.

Needless to say I went and bought Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic the day after.

Now, instead of proudly telling me "Yes! I caught you flashing, you have to practice more if you want that to fly. Haha!", she now tells me "Such a shame you flashed that move, I loved the way it was going until you took the magic away. Please practice this, it will be great!"

There are other threads on the Café about fooling vs. entertaining, and tricks vs. magic, they are a good read for sure. However, my point is that friends and close family may be the toughest audience, but if you can win them over, they can also give you and your magic a much stronger boost than anyone else. It is worth a try.

Michael
JamesTong
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It doesn't matter who we perform to ... whether it is to our friends, strangers, family members, martians, dogs and cats ... it is the correct applications of the various magic principles in presentation and showmanship, among other theorectical applications that is important.

An effect that is properly performed can fry your friend's brain out, as well as having him/her enjoying the entertainment at the same time.

Too many times, a beginner rush to perform tricks/effects to other people without properly working out all that is needed to make that trick look like an entertaining miracle.

Sometimes friends can be an important ally. They can help you improve on your performances. Their constructive comments are useful. They see effects differently (an audience view and not the magician's view). If they can sense somthing weird, fishy, strange, etc is going on, then you can expect the other audiences can sense the same thing too.

It is good to have friends that can help you with constructive comments. But you have to look for these helpful friends and not all friends are helpful.
Enzo
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Michael-
What's the link with "Strong Magic"? (maybe this is a stupid question; I don't know the book, should I get it?).
JamesTong
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"Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz, teaches the performing principles. Applying them to your magic effects can make a BIG difference to your performances.
molsen
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Enzo,

James is right, this book can make a BIG difference to your magic. It basically examines what exactly it is that makes magic strong in the mind of a spectator, and how that applies to the way we structure and present an effect. It is very well written and a true pleasure to read. As Darwin mentions in the beginning it is not a theoretical book. It does contain some theory to explain the principles, but the many examples make it easy to apply the material to your own performance.

Most if not all magic shops carry this book.

I hope this helps Smile

Michael
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Thanks for the tip. I just saw online that my magic shop has got it. I'll go and have a look this afternoon.

Quote:
As Darwin mentions in the beginning it is not a theoretical book.


If the theory does interest you by the way, you might be interested in the Nature Rev. Neuroscience review which appeared this summer. I believe a link was given on this forum. It gives a review on the (psychology/neuroscience) symposium on "The Magic of Concience" held in Las Vegas in 2007. Interesting movies of speeches at said symposium by Teller, James Randi, Johnny Thompson and others on the topic of misdirection and what makes magic in the mind of the spectator can be found in the supplementary material.
DanielCoyne
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I just watched Teller's short presentation from The Magic of Conscience. Really interesting. Thanks for posting.

-Daniel
DLarkins
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Kingsport, TN
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Quote:
On 2009-01-27 05:54, molsen wrote:
My girlfriend has said the same. She then changed her mind and said "If you can ENTERTAIN ME with the tricks, you can entertain anyone."

I asked why she changed her mind, and she explained that showing her mechanical deception, she would be looking for (and often finding) the method. But when I showed her an effect with a presentation that actually engaged her, she completely forgot about the methods and was delighted that I had used a method she was very familiar with without her noticing it. She felt it was magic instead of tricks.

Needless to say I went and bought Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic the day after.

Now, instead of proudly telling me "Yes! I caught you flashing, you have to practice more if you want that to fly. Haha!", she now tells me "Such a shame you flashed that move, I loved the way it was going until you took the magic away. Please practice this, it will be great!"

There are other threads on the Café about fooling vs. entertaining, and tricks vs. magic, they are a good read for sure. However, my point is that friends and close family may be the toughest audience, but if you can win them over, they can also give you and your magic a much stronger boost than anyone else. It is worth a try.

Michael


This is so true Michael and very well put. I have found over the years that even people who are familiar with a certain amount of methodology can be disarmed by an engaging performance. Having said that, I have also seen those spectators (both the 'family' and 'stranger' variety, who will absolutely refuse to allow themselves to have any entertainment from your performance - no matter how good it is. Their sole purpose is to 'catch' you. They will never make eye contact, they'll never laugh at a joke, they burn your hands with every fiber of their being. The sad thing is that if there is nothing to 'catch' (i.e. a self-worker) then they don't even get any pleasure out of the effect.
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