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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Nervous openers for walk-around magic (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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crispy1970
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Hi guys,

I have recently returned after a lengthy lay off from magic. beforehand 90% of my magic was generally card magic.
The reason I stopped was that I could not manage to get over the physical (hands shaking)& mental (fear)nervousness of performing.
I worked hard at my magic but could never get over the fear. I was putting in the work but not getting any payoff!! because I was not performing.

Hopefully, I have returned a little wiser, because I am now starting to put a plan together that will help me to actually get me out there and perform.

Anyway for my question. Can anybody suggest a good strong opener for someone that suffers from severe nerves?
I have read people suggesting to maybe try a mental routine with which I am not entirely sure fits my personality, However, I am open-minded.
Any help would we welcomingly received.

Many thanks,
Chris
warren
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If cards is your thing why not open with a self working effect to break the ice and allow your nerves to settle down as there are plenty to choose from.
puggo
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100% agree with Warren - pick a self worker, although ensure that it's not too long or procedural. Non card options include things like 'hopping halves' (avoiding the "you're wrong, stupid" type presentations). Another ploy is to try to engage/entertain people really quickly e.g. with a 52 on 1 card gag or something that breaks the tension for both.
Things like nest of wallets/boxes/lippincott box etc. can be routined with a coin hank to almost eliminate sleights...

In some ways, I would suggest that mental routines need more confidence, but its not clear cut.
Good luck
Charlie
Dannydoyle
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I think you are going about it the wrong way.

The first problem with using a self working trick as an opener, and thinking it is a cure for nerves is that if you get busted on it, which is a distinct possibility, then you have done nothing but make the nerves worse. You have reinforced what you are worried about in the first place.

First thing to do is to figure out what causes what you are calling "nervous". Once we pin that down you can better understand your reaction to it

You need to keep in mind that the human body, as evolved as we are, has 2 responses to stimuli. "Fight or flight" are the choices. The convenient part is both responses trigger the exact same changes in your body. What you describe is a combination of your body going into one of these responses and you misinterpreting it.

Once your body has to "get ready" for fight or flight some things happen. One of the first things is digestion shuts down. Your brain knows it won't get any more energy for a long time from this process so it redirects blood and nutrients and oxygen to other areas it is more needed. Often this is thought of as "butterflies in the stomach". It is natural. Your muscles need more oxygen so the heart beats faster. Adrenalin is released to accommodate any physical needs. Endorphins are involved in Adrenalin also.

So your muscles have all this energy and start to twitch or shake. Your knees knock, the palms sweat and it is all your body getting ready for stimuli. Now when people misinterpret these things the mental aspect becomes untenable. This is why people think they have a fear of public speaking. This is what they think is fear, but is just the body getting ready.

KNOWING this stuff is the first step. Forget trick selection at first just know these things and instead of letting them use you, you use them. They are there for your benefit. Channel them and use them to make what you do the best it can be. THEN worry about what tricks to do. Unless you understand what is going on you will never be able to get past it no matter what tricks you do.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
crispy1970
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Quote:
On Nov 17, 2019, warren wrote:
If cards is your thing why not open with a self working effect to break the ice and allow your nerves to settle down as there are plenty to choose from.

Thanks Warren for taking the time respond, the silly thing is I don’t know any in the hands self working tricks, I used to know a few crackers that work on a table, I need to get my books out again. I can do a pretty decent Chicago opener , twisting the aces, daily’s last trick amongst other. Unfortunately they all rely on non shaking hands to look there best. Have you go any sw suggestions?
Cheers chris
crispy1970
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Quote:
On Nov 17, 2019, puggo wrote:
100% agree with Warren - pick a self worker, although ensure that it's not too long or procedural. Non card options include things like 'hopping halves' (avoiding the "you're wrong, stupid" type presentations). Another ploy is to try to engage/entertain people really quickly e.g. with a 52 on 1 card gag or something that breaks the tension for both.
Things like nest of wallets/boxes/lippincott box etc. can be routined with a coin hank to almost eliminate sleights...

In some ways, I would suggest that mental routines need more confidence, but its not clear cut.
Good luck
Charlie


Hi Charlie , thanks a lot for taking the time to respond. You make some good points. I was thinking along the line of gaffes poker chips and coming up with a routine of some sort. I thought something in the finger tip rather than palms may be less prone to highlight the shakes. I used to have a nice set of joe proper poker chip which I unfortunately sold and now they are no longer made Smile
crispy1970
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Quote:
On Nov 17, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
I think you are going about it the wrong way.

The first problem with using a self working trick as an opener, and thinking it is a cure for nerves is that if you get busted on it, which is a distinct possibility, then you have done nothing but make the nerves worse. You have reinforced what you are worried about in the first place.

First thing to do is to figure out what causes what you are calling "nervous". Once we pin that down you can better understand your reaction to it

You need to keep in mind that the human body, as evolved as we are, has 2 responses to stimuli. "Fight or flight" are the choices. The convenient part is both responses trigger the exact same changes in your body. What you describe is a combination of your body going into one of these responses and you misinterpreting it.

Once your body has to "get ready" for fight or flight some things happen. One of the first things is digestion shuts down. Your brain knows it won't get any more energy for a long time from this process so it redirects blood and nutrients and oxygen to other areas it is more needed. Often this is thought of as "butterflies in the stomach". It is natural. Your muscles need more oxygen so the heart beats faster. Adrenalin is released to accommodate any physical needs. Endorphins are involved in Adrenalin also.

So your muscles have all this energy and start to twitch or shake. Your knees knock, the palms sweat and it is all your body getting ready for stimuli. Now when people misinterpret these things the mental aspect becomes untenable. This is why people think they have a fear of public speaking. This is what they think is fear, but is just the body getting ready.

KNOWING this stuff is the first step. Forget trick selection at first just know these things and instead of letting them use you, you use them. They are there for your benefit. Channel them and use them to make what you do the best it can be. THEN worry about what tricks to do. Unless you understand what is going on you will never be able to get past it no matter what tricks you do.

Thank you for taking the time to write out such a detailed response. I have dropped you a pm...thanks Chris
warren
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Quote:
On Nov 17, 2019, crispy1970 wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 17, 2019, warren wrote:
If cards is your thing why not open with a self working effect to break the ice and allow your nerves to settle down as there are plenty to choose from.

Thanks Warren for taking the time respond, the silly thing is I don’t know any in the hands self working tricks, I used to know a few crackers that work on a table, I need to get my books out again. I can do a pretty decent Chicago opener , twisting the aces, daily’s last trick amongst other. Unfortunately they all rely on non shaking hands to look there best. Have you go any sw suggestions?
Cheers chris


I was thinking along the lines of Red Hot Mamma which apart from a double and a Hindu force is basically self working but gets a very strong reaction from the spectators for such little work.
charliemagic
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Red Hot Mama is great.
I was thinking also about Dr Dalys Last Trick.
In your hand effect requiring 4 aces & 2 double lifts.

Charlie
Chamberlain
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Extreme burn is easy to do, doesn't require too much fiddling with the notes.

Another easy trick is Deckstress by Tim Ellis - someone chooses a card, you show the rest of the deck as normal but their card has "I knew you would choose the Two of Hearts" written on the back. Its a gimmicked rough and smooth deck that requires zero sleight of hand skills (if you can lift up a card you can perform the trick)
crispy1970
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Quote:
On Nov 18, 2019, charliemagic wrote:
Red Hot Mama is great.
I was thinking also about Dr Dalys Last Trick.
In your hand effect requiring 4 aces & 2 double lifts.

Charlie

Thanks for the reply, Charlie
crispy1970
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On Nov 18, 2019, Chamberlain wrote:
Extreme burn is easy to do, doesn't require too much fiddling with the notes.

Another easy trick is Deckstress by Tim Ellis - someone chooses a card, you show the rest of the deck as normal but their card has "I knew you would choose the Two of Hearts" written on the back. Its a gimmicked rough and smooth deck that requires zero sleight of hand skills (if you can lift up a card you can perform the trick)


Thanks,I will look up that card trick. I am not 100% but I think Extreme burn has become more difficult in the UK since the notes have/are being changed. Some more research need on that one I think,
Cheers,
Chris
Chamberlain
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I do Extreme Burn with £20 notes, no problem at all
crispy1970
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On Nov 18, 2019, Chamberlain wrote:
I do Extreme Burn with £20 notes, no problem at all


I think they are starting to be taken out of circulation in Feb so you will still be good for a bit yet. Expensive option to keep hold of those, especially if you want a backup set lol
Extreme Burn is out of stock everywhere right now. My guess is that RS may be releasing a new version for the poly cash. I think Canada now has poly money too. I may be well off the mark but I can't thinks of any other reason why it would be out of stock until mid-Jan.
warren
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XB can still be done with polymer notes.
davidpaul$
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In my experience, the only cure for the "shakes" (nervouesness) is to face the fears.
Know your material the best you can, inside and out. Then get out there and perform, shakes and all.
Over time, once you realize the sun will come up in the morning and you survived, you will be on your way to success. (Over Time) Fear of failure is your enemy and the root cause.

The other important thing that is crucial is that it's NOT ABOUT YOU. You are giving something special to someone else. Getting the focus off of yourself and realizing what you want to share will
provide some fun makes a big difference in your healing process.

As for as an opener, it's hard for me to suggest something without knowing your skill level.
I almost always open with a coin appearance, vanish and flurry routine ending with a jumbo coin production. It depends on the situation. My main venues are restaurants so there are many variables
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Brent McLeod
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Quote:
On Nov 19, 2019, Chamberlain wrote:
Extreme burn is easy to do, doesn't require too much fiddling with the notes.

Another easy trick is Deckstress by Tim Ellis - someone chooses a card, you show the rest of the deck as normal but their card has "I knew you would choose the Two of Hearts" written on the back. Its a gimmicked rough and smooth deck that requires zero sleight of hand skills (if you can lift up a card you can perform the trick)


Agree with this brilliant effect
I am a professional corporate entertainer,its the only market I work in, I needed some new effects for regular gigs & Deckstress got unbelievable reactions which surprised me, its basically self working & can be adapted for weddings or corporate companies names on the cards & as Tim mentions its a go to effect.. Highly recommended
Alyx
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The opener you pick for your nerves need not be the opener you'll have for long. Once you start working more, the nerves will go away.

I used to get so nervous and red in the face. It passes. Here was my opener when I worked a lounge in my early twenties. I'd walk up to a table and say, "excuse me, can I borrow that." I grab a piece of nothing from the table and produce a spongeball. It happened so fast and it was so startling. Opener done. I introduced myself and I was already accepted at the table. I'd go into a spongeball routine from this.

Some people don't like this approach to an introduction. Maybe it isn't polite, etc. Who cares. It could be a temporary approach until your nerves are on check.
Alyx
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I forgot one more thing that helped. The feelings of nervousness and being in love are nearly identical. I would just tell myself, "I love performing for people." I'd say it as much as I needed and before long I was smiling, and this helped.
mrsmiles
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Hello Chris,
I used to get terribly nervous so I empathise very much & would like to help with a couple of suggestions. I've also noted that you need suggestions for tricks to do during walk=around - i.e tricks with no table required which I will do after some other words of advice to begin with.

My first point is to also recommend some tricks that are easy to perform (below) so that you don't add to your nerves by being afraid that the trick could go wrong. A trick going well breeds confidence and an emerging confidence breeds more confidence. So once you get a trick going right, you get more confident and less nervous. This is not to dismiss Danny Doyle's comments incidentally; I think his points are acutely relevant. I think it is a good idea to combine both the awareness of what 'nerves' are - because it does help in conquering them - whilst at the same time adopting the practical strategy of seeking out and performing easy trick to perform that have a good reputation amongst magicians. So, on this practical note, I have some suggestions too of tricks that you might consider doing! Here goes:

1. Firstly your suggestion of Dr Daly is excellent... it is often my opener when I'm doing walk-around

2. Seeings you ok with doing DL's why not do a card transposition in the spectator's hands where they think they are holding the wrong card/an indifferent card ... but then it turns out to be their card when they turn it over! You can devise a very quick, short and snappy version of this and it makes a perfect open and I often do it instead of Dr Daly

3. When talking about transpo's how are you with thinking about 2 card monte? Admittedly, you need a top change as well with this. For that reason I only tend to do this 3/4 of the way through a gig when I'm flying high with confidence and adrenaline. Although I'm confident these days that move still makes me slightly nervous... so I only do it when I'm really in the swing of things and 'cooking on gas' as they say.

4. In terms of packet tricks how about NFW, colour monte, and my current 2 favourites: Eye Exam, and the trick where the all the colours of the backs change constantly (might be called card chameleon - I do it at every gig yet I forget the name!)

5. Another easy sure-fire hit that's easy and perfect for walk-around is 'Holy Moly' (Jay Sankey). Once you've bought it you could always switch it for using coins that you've drilled holes in if you prefer (I do), but the ethical thing to do first is to buy the original product. A similar trick is 'key master' by Craig Petty)

6. Another super trick that is very easy and not requiring a table is 'Killer Key', again by Jay Sankey

FINAL POINTS: A word about strolling and not having a table: Here is a ridiculously simple point and no doubt you've thought about it, so please forgive me for making it: If you need a surface (a table) how about just getting the spectator(s) to just put their hand out flat (or where necessary both hands) and use THAT as your surface? This opens a world of possibilities - you might want a surface for colour monte but there's now a hell of a lot more open to you... sponges and a hell of a lot more that opens up to you.

Good luck. The thing is in your position go into a gig EXPECTING to be nervous... it takes time for nerves to diminish. Even if you read a lot now and practice a lot now - even though the tricks are easy - just expect to be hit by nerves. If you do they won't intimidate you so much when they kick in (& bear Danny's excellent points in mind too). So, whilst the nerves are in play, make sure you do a trick you know inside out like all the above tricks suggested that you know pretty much CAN'T go wrong. You'll start to get confident fairly soon. Can't promise it at your very next performance but even at that one the nerves should go down a little bit after performing for few different people around the room. Small steps and then one day... you'll be running, and then... flying. I've been where you are... so I hope to see you in this other place where I am fortunate enough to be now where confidence replaces nerves and where adrenaline is an asset, not a hindrance.

Good luck, I wish you all the best.
mrsmiles
(UK)
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