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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Street magic (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicmandavid
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As a teen magician when I'm doing street magic how do I approach people older than me to do magic without looking like a little kid who learned a cool trick
Vangel
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In my opinion for any age, it's all in the presentation and charisma. You will need to charm your way to attract an audience with your personality and appearance first before you can perform your magic and every performer has their own unique strength to do this. Also learning to read potential audience will help (i.e. reading who is interested, who isn't, who will give the best reactions, what mood they are in, etc).
TravisNye
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I recommend focusing on people who are either sitting at a bench, or table. People who are generally walking have some place to go and will shoot you down more times than not. Its not a big deal if people say no to seeing a trick however if you get it your first few times out it can get a little discouraging. Take your time and be patient and wait for the right moment to present itself to perform. You do not need to perform for every person who passes. Eventually you will get someone who has a great reaction and will draw a crowd for you. Then it will be a lot easier to find people in the distance who are intrigued as to what is going on in your circle.
Kbuck54
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The presentation and personality thing goes a long way. Look and act like a magician, even if you are just standing alone in one place, manipulating a deck of cards, coins or rope, people will gather around you that are interested in seeing what you are doing. Instant audeance.
JMTC
Keith
SHAZAM!
Ethan Lin
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Quick question: is there a book of some kind that goes over the basics as such and what to look out for?

-EL
"Now you’re looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to work it out. You want to be fooled." - Cutter
MagicMan4848
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Quote:
On Apr 24, 2014, Vangel wrote:
In my opinion for any age, it's all in the presentation and charisma. You will need to charm your way to attract an audience with your personality and appearance first before you can perform your magic and every performer has their own unique strength to do this. Also learning to read potential audience will help (i.e. reading who is interested, who isn't, who will give the best reactions, what mood they are in, etc).


I totally agree! Great advice!
djjkarate
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PLEASE don't speak FAST when performing with "older" folks.... Young folks still tend to talk as fast as they can text... Smile
1KJ
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I totally agree with the advice above. Approach people who look approachable. People sitting down is much better than people moving.

I think it helps when there is a purpose for approaching people on the street. Most people will think you are trying to sell them something. So, start with explaining what you are doing. You could say:

"I'm practicing for a magic show, can I show you one magic trick I've been working on and you tell me how you think I did?"

It doesn't matter if you are going to be doing an "official" magic show or not. Your "magic show" is every time you present an effect to someone.

Good luck.

KJ
Ben Seatreader
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Whatever you do, do not forget to SMILE.
How
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Quote:
On Apr 30, 2014, Kbuck54 wrote:
The presentation and personality thing goes a long way. Look and act like a magician, even if you are just standing alone in one place, manipulating a deck of cards, coins or rope, people will gather around you that are interested in seeing what you are doing. Instant audeance.
JMTC
Keith


Indeed! People love to see what is going on so once 1 person is watching before you know it a crowd forms. Keep in mind different views the audience may have.
How
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On Jul 5, 2014, Ben Seatreader wrote:
Whatever you do, do not forget to SMILE.


Smiling is important. There are times where the audience gets under my skin but I continue to smile and move forward. However, there's a point where the audience may jeopardize your results and that is when it is time to move on and find a new crowd. This happens often on late nights outside bars.
Thorn
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When it comes to performing magic to older individuals.
I usually find myself observing them for a few minutes before attempting to ask . I look at their mood to see if they are busy, frustrated , or just killing time . I'll ask then if they would like to see one trick from me really quick and than proceeded to introduce myself , smile , and demonstrate my most compelling opener. Their responses and body langue would notify me if I should continue or not.
brandontoh
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Make sure you approach those who seem like they have the time to spare. Be confident and affable, and just give off a very positive energy. Make it about them, not about the tricks, or you. The problem with teens in my opinion is that many of them make it all about them, which makes older people disinterested, and see them as just a kid.
MadLad Designs
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You shouldn't ask them if they want to 'see a trick' as this gives them the opportunity to say no. Start by learning a few card flourishes and walk around with cards in your hands. If you see someone who looks interested go up to them and say something like "Could you do me a favour and just pick a card?"... Boom! you have them, now do a quick, neat little trick and go from there.
Mike Gilbert
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In addition to (or to build upon) MadLad's advice, remember it is all in the phrasing...
Instead of asking ANYTHING (e.g. "Can I show you"...or..."Would you"...these are closed-ended questions, and you'll get what you pay for here), try involving them before they know they are involved. Say something like, "Let me (or "I want to") SHARE something with you..." SHARE implies that you are a nice person who is also giving. It also implies that it is FREE...and PEOPLE LOVE FREE. Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
aalexander
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I don't exactly disagree with the other people on here, but I think if you get out there it's going to be a lot easier than you expect. A lot of the points above will matter later on, but it's lots to think about at the start and probably not necessary.

First, if a "kid who learned a cool trick" wanted to show it to me, I'd want to see it. A lot of people would, and I bet after a few of those you'll get in a groove and come across the way you want to. Some won't want to see, and that's perfect: You automatically get an audience with buy-in.

Second, and this is pure gold: bring a camera. Make it not about a trick, but about having fun and getting a video. Even if you don't care about having video. The pressure is displaced, people want to help. It's an absolute miracle. When I made this video, I asked about 30 people, including ones who looked busy or generally angry, never once got turned down, and they sure look like they're having fun. Same with every promo video I've done so far. In fact, if I'm teaching a method to another performer, I'll just bring them to a public area with a camera, and we have unlimited people to practice with.

It's like having a magic Talisman Of Cooperation. Try it out.
Anand Khalsa
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I feel like this thread belongs under the Street Magic topic.
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