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slin
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Hey guys,

I wanted to say hello here.

My name is Nils Evensen and I have always had an interest in learning how to perform magic. Recently I have given some thought to doing this as a proffesion.

Recently I saw an extremely good kids magician (he won some award down here) live. Afterward I got to talk to him.

Mainly he told me that I need to learn presentation skills, he explained that anyone can learn a trick, but it's the personality that you give it, that really sells it.

I really wouldn't mind getting into stage magic, I know basic tricks (card tricks, like many beginners I used to be obsessed with mentalism).

I have a lot to work on, which is why I decided to join here.

I am 19 years old, but not really sure where to go from here. Do I practice tricks and jump into performing?

Any advise would be great!

Thanks,

- Nils Evensen
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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Hi Nils,

If you want to be good
you need to practice, practice, practice, work your presentation, rehearse, rehearse and repeat all until you feel you are ready to perform.
It's performing for people where you will learn how good you are but don't rush into anything.
Don't try to do too much.
Stay with a couple of tricks until you hone them into what you want.
scaevola
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Hey Nils, Do you have any books that you are learning magic from?
davidpaul$
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Hi Nils,
Speaking for myself, I was lucky enough to have a local magic shop fairly close. That's where it started and from there I purchased books, tons of VHS tapes at that time, joined SAM and went to local meetings. Did I hear Jaz say "Practice"?
Yes I think I did. After "SOME" time I would perform for family and friends. It wasn't until 5 years later that I felt skilled enough to market myself.

Take your time...watch/study other magicians, find out what type of magic YOU like
and get educated by reading, watching DVDs, talking to other magicians. In my opinion you HAVE to LOVE it. You have to love to practice too. So many people think that if they learn a few cool effects they can get out there and the rest is a piece of cake. It isn't.

It's like learning to play the piano. You start out by playing Mary Had A Little Lamb to learn the fundamentals and build from there. This takes a few years and then some. You may also find your enthusiasm or tastes change as you proceed.

Anyway all I'm saying is that you must build a strong foundation first BEFORE you make the MISTAKE of jumping into performing. That's my opinion.

Enjoy the journey!!
David Paul
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Andrew Morse
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This video has some good tips for the beginner. It inspired me a while back. I still watch it now and then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUwY-hb8I_I

Andrew
slin
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Thanks guys, this puts a lot of it into perspective.

I really have a love for performing, especially magic. I have always been a bit of a social person and find I do really well in crowds.

I do have a few books, some that I know are too advanced for me, and others that feel just right.

I originally was extremely into mentalism, but I'm leaning away from that a bit. I feel like too many of the performers in that field are a little stale. (Maybe I have just seen bad performers in the past.)

I am finding more and more that the magicians I enjoy rarely speak during their actual tricks, generally they build up the trick with talking and then present.

I am going to first try to learn just three tricks, I know a few but these will all be new. I figure I will practice them until perfection.

What tricks?

Coin Trick (I have weird stubby thumbs and small hands, I have never mastered a coin trick, but I really want to, any suggestions would be great)

Watch trick (from one of my mentalism books)

And one more, still looking around.

Choosing a "character" (my stage personality, or performing personality) I think will come to me once I can begin performing these.

So far though I generally do well with a few funny comments and a less serious tone. Then I finish with a nice build up.

So far it seems to have gone well for family and friends.

Thanks for the help guys, looking around I realize this is asked a lot. I probably should have read around here a bit more.

- Nils Evensen
DWRackley
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Hi, Nils. Welcome aboard!

My first thought would be to find out if there’s a local club around. The Café is a great place to visit and a lot of really smart and talented people hang out here. You can learn much here, but there’s really no substitute for “face time”.

You don’t have to join the IBM or SAM or whatever, at least not right away. Just a local get-together where people who love magic can watch your moves, give you advice, and show you how things work. Get to know these guys, and let them know who you are.

If that’s not available, find a good magic shop within driving distance. You really should spend some money there, but for the price, if you spend time there, it’s the best education around.

Next would be the Café. There’s no real face to face here, but you can ask specific questions and (usually) get specific answers, a TON of advice, pointers to helpful books and videos, and links to everything under the sun.

That’s connections. NOW we get down to the Magic. Did I hear someone say practice? Did I also hear an echo? Am I echoing it now? Smile

More tricks are exposed by bad performance than by all the Masked Idiots in the whole world.

Use a mirror or, if you have one, a video camera. Try to see what the audience sees. Try to fool yourself. That’s the technical stuff. Your kids magician gave you the right answer about personality, but if the technical stuff isn’t perfect, you’re really wasting your time.

Don’t be afraid to “drop back and punt”. If one method isn’t working for you there are a dozen other ways to get the same thing done. (See my tagline!) The idea is to fool the audience, not to impress other magicians (PSSST! – Your brothers in the art aren’t the ones paying you – Shhhh…..)

When you can fool yourself CONSISTENTLY in the mirror, it’s time try it out on some friends. Not too many, just the ones you trust to be honest with you.

And you don’t want the polite ones either, the ones who smile and condescendingly pat you on your head with “That’s very nice, Baub”. You want the one’s who’ll laugh out loud if you say something stupid. When you can get THOSE guys dropping their jaws, you’re probably one the right track.

Once you can consistently fool people with your little magic puzzle, it’s time to really start thinking about the personality. Your own is a nice one to use. If you have friends that like you, chances are there are others out in the big world who will like you too. (You’ll never get everybody, but that’s ok. Someone else will get the ones you don’t Smile )

If you’d like to try a character (we’re all actors in a sense) craft one that you can do consistently. It helps if you visualize people you know, that you like or admire, or who have a positive effect on others. It’s important that you be comfortable in this new skin. If you’re not comfortable, the audience can sense that, and they’ll uncomfortable, too. (Not talking about nervousness, here. Everyone recognizes that, and will usually sympathize with you if you’re a beginner. And nervousness goes away in time.)

By this time you’re pretty much devoted to Magic as the mistress she is. And you’ll be telling others how to get started in Magic.

Wow, looking back here, I’ve written a whole book, but it’s not enough. Read everything you can, practice every chance you get, entertain any way you know how, and don’t stop asking questions.

Still wanna be a magician???
Image
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
slin
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Alright just a slight update here.

I am finding once again that performing in a mentalism style just works best for me.

Many of my tricks will get shocked expressions, and a lot of talk will go around with the family and friends I perform for. However, when I perform it as mentalism, people are shocked, they scream, they throw down their card. They scream "DEVIL!" they laugh, they say "How did you?!" And then smile.

I find that my audience (as small as it is) seems to connect with me more when I show my tricks as mental tricks. I will even take normal magic tricks I know, and just reframe them as mental, I always get a better reaction this way.

I don't know why this is, but I think that it is at least a sign that this is what I should follow.

I want to perform a stage show, I own Banacheks "pre thoughts" and really want to perform this. The tricks are fairly easy, however, I do not know where to start in getting a booking. (Am I out of my mind to be considering that yet?)

On an unrelated note I found an old journal entry I had from years ago. When I was 16 I performed a magic trick in front of an audience of 200 people. Looking back I think I did fairly well (the signed coin accidentally flew out of it's container towards the crowd).

Any advise would be great, I live in Utah and there is a nearby magic shop that I have been into. The owner doesn't really have anything on mental magic but is nice and helpful.

Thanks guys,

- Nils Evensen
Vick
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You are at the start of a hopefully very long journey, learn to walk before you try to run

Good to have goals but maybe try to break it down into smaller peices to meet success. Maybe learn the 3 effects from your second post, then learn 2 - 3 more effects inside and out from Banchek's work.

Now you are ready to be bad (yes we were all bad when we started, maybe too rash to know but we were), perform for family and friends. Do a few small benefit shows, when each is done take notes on what went well, what needs improvement. Do this on the way home if possible or as soon as you can after the shows. If possible film them, if you do film them after you watch it once or twice then try watching just the video with no sound, then just the audio with no video. Then maybe time to learn more about presentation - see Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment"

After you get that far, come back and we'll see - this is all to be done while you attend what lectures come to your area, see who you find locally, read good books and magazines and keep your eyes on and mind attunded to the larger world of entertainment outside magic


Very fortunate for you the style and type of magic found you, occasionaly it does and then is usually the best fit
At his lecture I asked Banchek "Why Mentalism?" he shared a good story and a great answer but condensed the answer was it found him, he never used those words but it was basically the result


The advise you were given "Mainly he told me that I need to learn presentation skills, he explained that anyone can learn a trick, but it's the personality that you give it, that really sells it."
is very good and something I wish everyone learned
DWRackley shared some very good advise with you here as well



Maybe learn the Cups and Balls, even if you never perfrom it for an audinece you will always use the sleights and presenations including timing direction
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
DWRackley
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Quote:
try watching just the video with no sound, then just the audio with no video


Excellent point, Vick. You can catch things in one medium when you’re not distracted by the other.

(I was amazed at the language in some of my kids’ movies, when I listened from the kitchen!)
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
slin
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Thanks for the advise and help.

I have been performing for family and friends for a little while now. (Starting a few weeks before my post)

So far I have 3 tricks that I usually do, my family loves them and has me do them whenever anyone comes by to visit.

I have been able to do them well enough that my family (who sees them at least 6 times a week) is still amazed by them. I think this is a good sign (and a sign that when I swap the decks I am using nobody notices)

So far I just perform:

pick a number between 10 and 20. A trick I learned years ago when I was really young. I made some changes and now it's a complete mentalism effect with a deck of cards. This one I start out with and it always gets good reactions.

The Test: A quick card trick that is pretty easy. Honestly I don't see how anyway could not see the method, I originally began performing it just because I had nothing else to perform. I also changed it to more of a mentalism effect.

Out of this world: At this point the members in my audience have held and handled my deck and are really into what is happening. I have a deck set up for the card trick out of this world in my pocket. I generally act like I am done performing, then I strike up a conversation that relates to this last performance. I switch decks and pull out my one set up for out of this world. People go crazy for this trick.

I think I have these mastered fairly well, although I could still make improvements. I want to get away from just card effects. I have been trying to learn the coin palms but I have extremely small hands and am having difficulty. Plus I'm not really sure how I would work coinwork into this. (Just because I won't be performing it doesn't mean it's not useful to know though)

I just need to get away from cards. I don't do any card sleights, it's just the "medium" I have been showing my tricks through.

I am thinking of throwing a larger show for all of my friends. But I am still going back and forth on that.

I have thought of doing benefit shows. Any advise on how to get one of those set up?

(My sister is a professional photographer and has nicely agreed to taping my performances for free.)

Thanks,

- Nils Evensen
Vick
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"I have thought of doing benefit shows. Any advise on how to get one of those set up?"

A few phone calls, explain what you have in mind

Nursing homes are full of lonely people who would love to see you perform and like live entertainment (mentalism - not be good for nursing homes)

Children's hospitals or the ped ward at any hospital


Good audiences and a really good thing to do



Seems like you are on a good path, maybe rushing it a bit but your thought process shows promise
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
slin
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Thanks for the help. I think I am about done with this thread and will open up another one when I am ready to take the next step (benefit shows and things).

Currently I am researching and practicing. I may go down to Vegas (Utah is not far from Vegas) and watch a live show. I think that the more I watch, the more I can learn.

Right now in terms of practicing I am really working on my first coin trick. I have been playing violin for about 10 years now and am no stranger to working hard and being frustrated. In comparison to the year of preparing one song for a concert learning this coin trick is relatively easy Smile

I figure two hours of practice a day for a week, and then I can start doing this small coin trick for friends and family. I am about at that point where I can almost surprise myself in the mirror, but my hand movements are still not fluid enough.

I am also studying a bit of helstronism, I could see some great ways to gain huge followings at my college campus. (I am not going this semester)

Thanks guys, hopefully I'll be back in a few weeks with some more questions.

- Nils Evensen
gaddy
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Get a set of Cups and Balls and learn a routine or 2 with it.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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