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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » What are the best types of tricks and props to perform a strolling gig? (34 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Snoogansgt
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Thank you everyone for all your input and advice. I really appreciate every single bit of it. Looking back I felt like I was more of a prop than a hired magician. I agree that I need a stronger opener, and I am currently looking into that right now. I do have fun interactive tricks to show people, but I need them to see that I am the real deal so that they will give me the time of day to perform. Just a small window is all I need. lol. Thank you all again.
MickNZ
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Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief.
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, MickNZ wrote:

Sounds like your first mistake was dressing like The Great Mumford from Sesame Street.

As well as the fact that you knew nothing about the event, the client or the audience and didn't even have any routines planned, let alone an actual act.

Good grief.


Quote:
On Jul 21, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:

If you are accepting a paid performance with no idea of what is expected of you, and, you need to ask about what effects work, you have other problems to worry about!


I doubt that this group would consider ever hiring another magician.

Sorry to be blunt.
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Snoogansgt
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Kabbalah how are you so quick to criticize when you weren't even there? I had no other choice but to dress the part. It was specified in the contract. I got more details about a week before the performance, not as much as I wanted, but still better than none at all.
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
Kabbalah how are you so quick to criticize when you weren't even there? I had no other choice but to dress the part. It was specified in the contract. I got more details about a week before the performance, not as much as I wanted, but still better than none at all.


Where did I say anything about your manner of dress?

I criticize because you accept a paying performance (your first) without any idea of what you are going to do...

Quote:
On Jul 17, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:
Just got offered my very first strolling gig. I have many props such as, chop cup, egg bag, etc. I just want some feedback as to what kinds of things work best for these types of gigs. I appreciate any and all feedback.

All I know about the gig is that, I need to wear a top hat and coat tails. Sounds like a formal adult event to me.


You have props, but no plan; and, you come here in the eleventh hour asking for advice.

What books have you studied relating to the performance of magic and how to entertain with magic?

Tricks mean nothing without a solid foundation in performance and entertainment knowledge!

Sorry, that is not the way to conduct business.
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Snoogansgt
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Kabbalah, I have nothing to prove to you. Have a nice day. I was merely asking for some advice/opinions from reputable sources as all these wonderful people have done. I thank all of them for their kind words of wisdom and for the great advice. As for the gig, I had an oppurtunity, so I took it. My area doesn't have any magicians hardly. Magic isn't very popular here so I really have very minimal resources to draw from. Hell the nearest magic store is 3 hours away from me. I have done lots of research on magic by reading books and watching many dvd's. I still have lots to learn, but you can only practice for so long. At some point you must go out there and perform. It is where you truly learn the art of entertainment, and allows you to perfect your craft. You can't learn that sitting at a desk practicing move after move all day.
Snoogansgt
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Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us.
Mary Mowder
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No, it isn't the way to conduct business but he is new and trying to improve.

Many Pros would cringe if they thought about some of their first forays into professional Magic.

We have to start somewhere and Snoogansgt is over his first hurtle.

Seeing what it is really like to work Close-Up is an awakening to most first timers and learning how to talk to perspective clients is a process.

Best luck and continued hard work Snoogansgt.

-Mary Mowder
Snoogansgt
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Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Mary! Thank you for all you sound advice! This is only the beginning, and I hope to improve with each and every performance.
Dannydoyle
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Asking what tricks to do is pointless.

Asking yourself who you are and what tricks seem to fit your personality would be a far more productive use of your time. Really nobody here can answer that for you. It is in your own heart and mind that this answer resides.

You are just starting so good time to learn this. If you keep asking other magicians what they do and what they would think, then you end up looking like all of them. If you just go with what fits you and your personality then you will end up being a unique personality. Just sayin.

And don't dismiss what Kablahblah said just because it makes you mad. Having a plan and all the things he mentions will get you much further than what trick you pick to do.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hegbli
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Snoogansgt, one way to show you have something interesting when approaching a group or table, is to do a simple card fan as you approach the group. This shows you have skill and can do something they can't. I have never not had a lay person comment on fanning a deck or doing a double handed fan. Then if you have people that object, usually men, who can't stand being fooled, they will put up with it because of those that are fascinated with it. Just a suggestion, that seems to work.
Munskin
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Quote:
On Jul 19, 2015, Frank Starsini wrote:
I use things that can play to 1 or 30, with high visibility and can work in a loud environment


If there was just one piece of advice I wish someone had told me at the very beginning, it would've been this. It's gold. Smile
bigfoot
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Now that you have a list you know what everybody is doing. Sooo if you want to be noticed don't do any of it because then you'll be just like everyone else. Watch the latest magicians on TV see what they do and don't do any of it. Or wait until it is 30-40 years old and start doing it because it will be new again. Really if you want to be unique, you have to be unique.
Snoogansgt
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I actually prefer older magic to be honest. Dai Vernon is my favorite. I love everything he does. He is a big inspiration to me! I try to be as natural as possible with every effect, and also try to think out a reason for everything that I do in a routine.
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:

Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us.


I have already shared knowledge with you, very expensive knowledge if you were a student of mine. It is up to you you to recognize it (not going to happen if your only reaction is anger and denial) and either to accept or reject it.

My advice to you and others, just starting out, is to have a solid foundation in performance...then technique...then actual effects that you have mastered using those techniques; even, if they are *self-working* tricks.

I agree that there is a time that you have to get the hands-on actual performances under your belt. But, you do this with family, friends, strangers...anyone you can get to suffer through your early necessarily rank performances.

You do not unleash yourself onto an audience that someone has paid you to entertain to gain that experience. It will cost you dearly in the long run, especially in an area where there seems to be little magical entertainment.

Here is another pearl for you...if you haven't studied it, beg, borrow or steal a copy of Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic. There is gold in those pages!
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Mary Mowder wrote:

Many Pros would cringe if they thought about some of their first forays into professional Magic.

-Mary Mowder


I cringe at the thoughts of my first, second, third...performances.

However, if I had had a mentor like me, the way I am today, they would have never happened.

I would never have been allowed to solicit business and accept performance fees until I was ready!

I am not very accepting of failure...all because of my first one in a church basement which I will never forget!

I should have never accepted my $25 fee...46 years ago.
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Dannydoyle
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I had several mentors. Charlie Schulien and Jay Marshall among them. I never paid for a magic lesson all mentoring.

I still cringe at me first few years of performance. A good mentor is a guide. But some things you only learn from an audience.

Jay used to say "we learn our craft from each other and our art from our audience". Forgot where he heard it.

Mentor or not the beginning is tough. Just for different reasons and maybe not for as long is all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Kabbalah
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:

I had several mentors. Charlie Schulien and Jay Marshall among them. I never paid for a magic lesson all mentoring.


You are a very fortunate man!
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Asking what tricks to do is pointless.

Asking yourself who you are and what tricks seem to fit your personality would be a far more productive use of your time. Really nobody here can answer that for you. It is in your own heart and mind that this answer resides.

You are just starting so good time to learn this. If you keep asking other magicians what they do and what they would think, then you end up looking like all of them. If you just go with what fits you and your personality then you will end up being a unique personality. Just sayin.

And don't dismiss what Kablahblah said just because it makes you mad. Having a plan and all the things he mentions will get you much further than what trick you pick to do.


Yes! Especially, Danny's last sentence. Kabbalah knows what he is talking about!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Kabbalah wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 19, 2015, Snoogansgt wrote:

Also if you are so great, why not share some knowledge with others rather than criticise everyone. Offer constructive criticism to help others. Lead by example! If you have been performing for a long time, offer advice to us newer guys. Help us rather than discourage us.


I have already shared knowledge with you, very expensive knowledge if you were a student of mine. It is up to you you to recognize it (not going to happen if your only reaction is anger and denial) and either to accept or reject it.

My advice to you and others, just starting out, is to have a solid foundation in performance...then technique...then actual effects that you have mastered using those techniques; even, if they are *self-working* tricks.

I agree that there is a time that you have to get the hands-on actual performances under your belt. But, you do this with family, friends, strangers...anyone you can get to suffer through your early necessarily rank performances.

You do not unleash yourself onto an audience that someone has paid you to entertain to gain that experience. It will cost you dearly in the long run, especially in an area where there seems to be little magical entertainment.

Here is another pearl for you...if you haven't studied it, beg, borrow or steal a copy of Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic. There is gold in those pages!


Again, YES! ABSOLUTELY, YES!

If you expect free mentoring, you had better learn how to LISTEN! And, learn how to APPRECIATE!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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