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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Finally, I've taken the big step! My first gig! Please advise! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

WazMeister
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Hi all,

I finally had the urge to do my first gig. I still get very nervous when performing for anything, to the extent that I avoid performing for anyone! Am I ready for a gig? In nerves wise, no! In terms of quality of tricks, yes!

When asked if I can go to a open day as a volunteer my mind first said "No way, be too scared" but I just sub-cons said "Yes!". I knew I had to do this, it will be the push I need to build confidence and get experience performing for strangers.

Anyway, I was hoping to get some advice on anything related to performing. I have been offered a table though I've said no. I pretty much prefer standing or walking around and doing tricks. Here is my routine, keep in mind I only currently do card magic which I have a love for-

Sorry, if any names are incorrect-

1: Quick change, Show them one card and they hold it I show them my card and at a quick swipe at there wirst I now have their card and they have mine.

2: 4 Ace Spades (On Gerry Griffin DVD set). Cut cards multiple times to have Ace spades 4 times. Then reveal that it was not 4 ace of spades but ace hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades.

3: Dr Daley's Last trick, easily follow up after the above trick.

4: ACR (Bill Malone). The same as Bill Malone's ACR but the classic pass part I now use Ortiz Shift.


And non card tricks that I may do-
Extreme burn - Lottery tickets to Money
Coin Unique.



I won't be doing every trick listed for same group etc, I num it to 2 or 3... and move around.
My main worry and cause which has always prevented me from doing any performing is "What if".

What if a I muck up, what if I loose their card in the deck or loose a break. What if I flash something etc. etc..
I feel like my whole world has come down and just panic!
BryanDreyfus
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If you 'muck up' stop and take a deep breath and continue on or start over. It's only magic not brain surgery.

We get to say, "oops"

Try to have as much fun as the people who are watching you are.

Have fun,

It would probably be better to do the same set of tricks for every group it will help you learn how to create an act.



Bryan
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
davidpaul$
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Congratulations Waz on this BIG first step. My best advice, and yes we've all been in your shoes in regards to being nervous, is to just have FUN! If you are having fun, your spectators will too. Take the focus off of yourself, the source of nervousness, and onto your audience. Your goal is to entertain "them".

If you screw up and yes it will happen, just go on as if you didn't. They often times won't know. Be sure to involve your spectators and make the magic happen in their hands. Remember it's all about them NOT YOU.

I know when it is all over you will be flying HIGH. There is NOTHING like performing in front of real people. Will you be nervous? Yes. Will you mess up? Yes. So what, the sun will come up tomorrow. Just be kind and respectful and remember it's NOT about YOU it's all about your SPECTATORS.

Have a great time! and let us know how it went. I predict you will have the time of your life!!
David Paul
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Couple of things come to mind...

Bryan hit an important secret- have fun! That's what this is supposed to be- for them and for you.

Take a few minutes to get to know the specs before you start in with an effect- you will be surprised how much that will help you calm down and realize they are friends and want you to succeed.

Along that line, when my grandson and I started performing for real, we called ourselves "Magicians In Training". Took a lot of the heat off and gave us something to kid about. We even would congratulate people on becoming members of "VOMIT"- Victims Of Magicians In Training".

Pick one effect that you really like, practice the hell out of it, and use it for every group. It will become sort of a security blanket effect- you always know it is there ready to go. When I do cards, I always do Garcia's "Torn".

Trust that we all flub up, flash, drop a card, etc. Expect that to happen and it won't seem to be of much importance if it does. You, your personality and style are what people will love and remember. I can remember springing an entire deck into the air after the third card to the floor. It got a big laugh as we talked about 52 pickup.

Think about some good lines for if things go wrong. Be ready to use humor to turn those into entertainment for the specs. Plan for the unexpected.

Just a few thoughts... remember have fun. Whatever happens, in a hundred years nobody will know or care!

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
jimhlou
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Waz:

Good advice: "it's not brain surgery". Nobody gets hurt if you mess up. As a matter of fact, sometimes nobody even knows you messed up. Just move on.

Start with something you can do in your sleep (like Extreme Burn). A successful presentation at the very start will give you the confidence to continue on. After a couple of tricks you'll be having as much fun as the spectators and you'll forget you were ever nervous

Jim
Ed_Millis
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"Magicians in Training" - "VOMIT" - I love it!!

Waz, you can be very confident of this one thing - you _will_ mess up! Nobody is perfect. So you need to have the proper "new magician" set of expectations going into any performance:
(1) You're going to learn how to perform better
(2) You're going to learn how to manage an audience better
(3) You're going to gain confidence in handling situations that are less than optimum
(4) You're gonig to learn how to relax and have fun while performing
(5) You're going to learn the first two by making mistakes and correcting yourself
(6) As you continue performing, making mistakes, and learning, you will make fewer mistakes, gain more confidence, and have more fun!

When you understand that going through all of this leads to growth, then you begin to see that the worst thing is not making a mistake - it's missing out on growth because you fear making a mistake.

Ed
Cyberqat
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I wont bore you with the details here (I've told the story elsewhere already) but one of the best performance of my life started with a near-disaster. So, as others have said, the most important thing to remember is that when (not if) something goes wrong, just roll with it. Unless its a monstrous error, the audience will never notice. And if it IS a monstrous error, well, play it as humor and move on.

The other thing is this, don't get discouraged when (and again, not if) you have a bad performance. A very wise actor once told me that every performance can't be a good one. that's part of performance. And even if it wasn't your best, it was probably a lot better then you give yourself credit for. We are our own worst critics.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Faustus Revixit
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Tons of great advice above, and it goes for just about any kind of performing from magic to music. What always helps me is to remember that the audience wants me to succeed because they identify with me. If there happen to be any sourpusses who want me to fail, well, they aren't there to be entertained but to shore up their shaky egos -- let 'em do it on their own time!

Also, I've learned to welcome nervousness as positive energy. I depend on that rush to get me out in front of the audience and into the routine.
Andrew Eng
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WazMeister, you started the first gig the same way as I did haha. Yeah, just like what Ed_Millis said, treat this as a learning experience. Especially if you screw up a little, which happened to me during my first act, it will turn out to be a useful experience! One piece of advice: practice the tricks till you can perform it in your sleep. good luck!

-Andrew
Thus the whole moon shines in every lake,
For it stands high enough.
Bob1Dog
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WazMeister, I had my first gig two weeks ago, a freebie for a local charity. I took everyone's advice and I DID have fun! Yup, I screwed up. I did six card repeat and on the third pass, I dropped the cards! Just leaned over, picked them up and no one was the wiser. I was amazed. I screwed up by including the MagiCard mental routine that went too long and was for the wrong audience. It was a dud. I learned from that. I did Dean's Box (I love the Box) and it flopped, at least in my mind, but it did get a small applause. I'm finding that things I love to do aren't necessarily things other folks love the same way. I did Kovari's Pom Pom Pole and not only did I have fun with it, but EVERYONE had fun with it, huge applause. I did jumping rubber bands for kids and they were amazed. My closer was Vanishing Bandana and that goes in every show I do from now on. Laughter, surprise, fun and applause. I did some walk around fire wallet and dollar bill stuff, and the adults liked that so much they asked me to show other adults. Simple silver dollar through a hank fascinated the kids. Believe me when I say I was far from perfect, but once again; the audience does indeed know when you're having fun too! I'm lining up future free shows just to hone my skills and try different effects on different groups. I'm learning so much and having so much fun, I can't believe it. And I'm just getting started performing at age 62. Life just doesn't get better than that.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
Cyberqat
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Wow that's great Bob! And well done for having the guts to do something totally new and different at "that age" (I'm not that far behind you... 46 )

And yes, your audience will teach you a ton. My first regular gigs were street magic and my first attempts really bombed... but I learned from each one and got better. And the lessons I learned about people and performing on those streets as a highschool kid have been invaluable the rest of my life!
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
crestfallenLyric
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Great job! I'm still mustering the confidence to perform for people who aren't my close friends or family. If you do Dr Daley's Last Trick, I highly recommend John Bannon's slight difference in performance (called it Doctored Daley, it's an nice subtle touch to the trick. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SXpL2uEu78)

Good luck sir!
"It is better for a man to honor his profession, than to be honored by it." - Robert-Houdin
Bob1Dog
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Cyberqat, you're a child at 46! Thanks for the kind words! It's such a great high to get your first real applause. Once you accept you will make mistakes, it's easier to deal with them when they do occur. And I'm actually thinking I will gain confidence from that. Now I'm having fun trying to put acts together for different age groups. I really want to focus on kids, but in situations where they may be disadvantaged, or just plain in need of some fun. The seniors are next on my agenda. Crestfallen Lyric, thanks for the suggestion on Doctored Daley; not familiar with it but will check it out. You know, I find it's easier to perform for people you don't know, rather than people you DO know! The folks you don't know is far more relaxing to me. If I screw up, so what. Folks you know won't let you forget about it! Life is good.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
Cyberqat
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I agree, actually. My wife is my test audience, but I don't expect to wow her. Its hard when they already know where your feet of clay are.

I get the most adulation and applause from people who don't know me very personally Smile

I also find that, whether its a magic act or a professional speech, the more people there are in the audience the easier it is. Hardest speech I ever gave in my life was to a room of two.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Bob1Dog
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When I can fool my wife, I know I've done a good job. She's my best and worst critic. I find it's easier to fool her with card tricks because as familiar as she is with most of my stuff, she doesn't have a clue about cards. I can fool her with the simplest hindu shuffle force and that's one I won't clue her in on.
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
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