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Felman
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Very good advice Brad! The same thing has also happened to me once (just one, not two balloons). Must try your method of popping several of them to get rid of the fear...
Felman
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I am a professional musician and used to perform in front of people (100-200 times a year) and I am not afraid of that. However, when it comes to magic (which I started to do again sometime ago, I used to practise a lot magic as kid), the situation is completely different. My hands are not shaking during the performance, but afterwards... My whole body feels completely limp despite the fact whether the performance went well or not. That's really strange, but I think I will get over it by getting more confidence for the stuff I do.
Ed_Millis
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Quote:
On 2012-11-06 16:38, Brad Burt wrote:
By the by, there's a solid argument for it being better IF it breaks the first time and I have known performers who deliberately break the first balloon.


So ... what is that argument, Brad?
And would it apply to other effects as well?

Ed
havagrim
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Great story Brad! Sent a big smile all the way to Sweden. Good tip aswell! Smile

I to shake a lot AFTER I have performed. I guess its due to adrenaline leaving the body?

Ronnie
"The world is my playground"
Magician from Sweden.
robinsonm
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After reading all the posts I think I'm just afraid of messing up. I think that I feel if I mess up I take the magic away and all I'm doing is a trick in there eyes. I remember when I got my first TT and I was making a handkerchief disappear. my younger cousin ran up to me real fast and grabbed my hands and and found the TT. I was devastated. I still remember how I felt, like I let the big secret out. To be truthful I still think about that day and get a flood of emotions and how I should have reacted.
littleboy
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I think you just need a bottle of scotch! In all seriousness, I think its a matter of desensitization. Do you shake or feel nervous when you put your clothes on in the morning. No, because you have done it thousands of times. So perform the effect over and over again until its becomes a part of your daily routine or habit. I think also performing and practising are two completely different things. Even if you practise a thousand times, when you first perform it, you can atill shake as well.
davidpaul$
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I USED to have that problem. The solution was just getting out there and performing. Practice is obviously very important..BUT..NOTHING will further your skill and confidence like performing in the trenches on a regular basis. You will mess up, your spectators will say: "I saw how you did that", you will forget the routine mid-way, but it's the dues you have to pay.

I work a restaurant where a husband and wife comes in to see me EVERY week. The lady loves the magic but loves even more watching every move I make to try and figure things out. This has been frustrating yet a real blessing. I want her just to enjoy the experience but her scrutinizing my every move has really improved my "direction of attention skills" even after performing several times a week for over 10 years. It's a constant learning process.

My focus is on interacting with the spectators. Yes I still mess up but I know how to go another direction or just move on without any PANIC whatsoever.
Effective practice is necessary then just get out there and perform...face your fears...let your hands shake...(SO WHAT) You will mess up. Learn from it and perform some more REGULARLY.

Eventually, over time, you'll just enjoy people. The focus will be "off of you" and "on to" your spectators. Pay your dues..there are no short cuts.

My opinion... enjoy the journey
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Brad Burt
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Quote:
On 2012-11-08 09:21, Ed_Millis wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-11-06 16:38, Brad Burt wrote:
By the by, there's a solid argument for it being better IF it breaks the first time and I have known performers who deliberately break the first balloon.


So ... what is that argument, Brad?
And would it apply to other effects as well?

Ed


Hey Ed:

Needle thru Balloon is a 'type' of effect. Hmmm....Invulnerability? Something like that. In this case, the trick is quite strong whether or not the balloon 'does' break until the end...but, there is always, I believe, the thought by the spectators, if only subconcious, that 'maybe' the balloon is tricked up somehow. Popping the first balloon takes away this possibility. AND...lends a kind of tense waiting to see IF the second balloon also breaks.

Could you use it with other routines? Probably, but the routine would have to be in basic 'effect' very much the same. Balloons DO break, but for instance...most rope is not expected to suddenly and with no cause just fall into two pieces.

Best,
Brad Burt
Ed_Millis
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Got it, Brad. Thanks for the explanation. What was in my mind was the mentalist's thought that a miss every now and then can actually make a routine stronger. And I wondered if the same thing applied here.

But that does seem to take the pressure off. If I can find a way to incorporate a "biff" into whatever I'm doing, then why worry about making a mistake?

Ed
Brad Burt
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Yep...you wouldn't want to do it every routine, but when applicable it can be a very powerful bit of what amounts to misdirection of a type.


Best,
Brad Burt
edshern
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I have a different suggestion:
1- Do your hands shake when you practice? or when you thread a needle? My son's hands have always had a shake when he concentrated on an activity. If your hands shake when your not performing you may have something called Intention Tremors. As a performer, if you suffer from this, talk to a doctor.
2- Performing for people is really really stressful for many. Do not discount an anxiety condition that CAN BE TREATED. Talk to your doctor. Anti anxiety meds might work wonders for you & Being able to perform without your hands shaking & with confidence would be life changing!

GOOD LUCK
Ed

ED
robinsonm
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My hands do not shake when I Practice. It seams to be when I know people are watching my hand is when it gets bad. I wonder if it is anxiety. I'll have to do some reading on this. Thanks Ed.
bobthemagicdoerguy
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I also get this problem. I don't get it doing presentations, or speaking to groups - only doing magic tricks. I think it is related to stage fright + the added pressure of trying to get away with tricking people and fearing you'll get caught.

To echo what most have said: its nerves, you need more practice. Both on the moves (so your confidence goes up) and in front of crowds (so it isn't so intimidating.) Nothing else can make up for lack of preparation here. Follow their advice about practicing, and performing for less intimidating crowds first.

But, that being said, here are some in-the-routine tricks that help. You just have to plan how to put them in without telegraphing that you are nervous, or worse, making it look like you are doing something fishy.

1) Let your shoulders relax. It is amazing how much tension builds up there. If you concentrate on relaxing your shoulders, sometimes it flows down to your hands.

2) Do progressive muscle relaxation. When you notice your hands shaking, clench them into tight fists for about 20 seconds. Then release. When you do, they will "over relax" and can stop shaking. Of course, this is hard to do in the middle of trick. Sometimes you have to do it between moves, or set the deck down, or do it while the spectator is signing a card or something. You can cross your hands behind your back, in your pockets, in front, whatever.

3) Sitting helps. Try more routines sitting at a table instead of standing at first. This also lets you do #1 easier, and #2 by simply laying your hands on the table and covering the clenched hand with the other one in a relaxed pose.

4) Exhale. Make a long, deep exhalation. This slows your heart rate down and can help you feel relaxed. When in front of people, especially under the pressure of performance and patter lines, you can forget to breathe properly. Anxiety tends to make us increase our respiratory rate and compensate by taking shallower breaths. Focusing on slow, deliberate breathing helps, especially in conjunction with #1.

5) Move to humorous routines if you haven't. Humor is more relaxing, and its easier to make jokes about yourself if you screw up than trying to do "serious" routines.

Of course, you could always build it into your routine somehow. Make it part of your act. Try and come across as the ridiculously nervous magician. Sort of how Lennart Green comes across as incompetent with a deck of cards by losing them all over the table when he shuffles... if you can't beat 'em...
bobthemagicdoerguy
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I forgot to add:

6) exercise

Being in good physical condition helps with innumerable things. I found my problem is worse at times in my life when I am not working out.

I don't know why it works, but it does. My guess is that it has something to do with making your body better able to deal with stress, endorphins and all that...
vinh.giang
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Gday Robinson,

Great post mate, I was suffering from this immensely when I first started out in magic, a lot of people have already contributed great ideas and advice for this which is just fantastic. I just wanted to put in my two cents Smile I totally understand what you mean by no matter how much you practice you still shake! It was so annoying! But what I realised was I was practising the wrong thing... This is absolutely a confidence thing (for me anyway), what I did was I would go out on a Friday night and start to walk up to complete strangers and just start conversations, I was practising building rapport with people. To me this is crucial as a magician, we are really entertainers at the end of the day or as a magician once said "Magicians are actors playing the part of a magician." Essentially we are entertainers, so we need to practice the art of rapport building, when you are in rapport with someone, you feel much more comfortable and as a result you will not feel as nervous which leads to a lot less shaking! (I hope this makes sense!).

I know this will really make some people feel uncomfortable, but it's the best way to grow as a performer. I mean we all did this when we were young, you know we're in primary school and we just walk up to another kid and just make friends. This is just the same thing but we are doing it as adults, I have even coached a few people and this is the exact process I put them through and the transformations are just wonderful. Just remember that there is more to practice than just the magic, because magic consists of more components than just the sleight of hand or the move. With the right methodology and commitment you'll get there Robinson!

Good luck and if you ever need anymore advice on this feel free to email me!
"Rather a mind opened by wonder, than one closed by belief."
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