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Profile of medic
Soes everyone have the fear of having some one catch you, with a card switch. I do tricks over and over as I start to perform I start ot SWEAT. Will it ever go away!!!
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Profile of Burrich
Once you perform for a couple of people and not get caught then it will go away. Did for me. But if you're caught, well I just try harder next time. Nothing you can do except practice even more and keep performing.

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Inner circle
Waterloo, IL
1438 Posts

Profile of jcards01
Also, choose the right material. Just as an example you brought up the switch. There is tons of material out there, lot's of ways of switching in and out cards. Don't set yourself up for failure. Find something that works for you.
Jimmy 'Cards' Molinari
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Inner circle
2032 Posts

Profile of jimtron
Maybe this is obvious, but you should practice enough that you can do your effects without thinking about them, like second nature. Videotape yourself if you can, or at least practice in front of a mirror. If you've got something nailed and you've done it a million times, I think you'll be less concerned with getting caught (which you certainly should plan for, just in case). Also, as Jimmy said, not all effects are right for all people.
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Profile of Magicbyhabit
Read the book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway... Awesome read and very helpful in magic.
Ryan 101
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Profile of Ryan 101
Just keep practicing and it will go away.

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Profile of ivfour
I've shown a trick to a person and messed up a little bit. I thought, "Oh no, they saw all of that." Just because I know everything that is going to happen. They have never seen it, they do not know what is perfect.

If you can not fix it, just stop and say wait I know a trick that you will really enjoy.
Jerry Smile
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Lumberton, NC
147 Posts

Profile of Tspall
It's a fear that we all get concerned about, and a good one to keep in mind.

Good practicing will help that. Don't be in a rush to show a new effect. Someone once told me to "own the effect", to know it thoroughly inside and out. Once that happens, you'll be a lot less worried.
"It's showtime!!"
My magic blog:
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
At the risk of redundancy, you can give yourself an edge with lots of practice... but that won't solve the whole problem. The hard truth is, close-up magic (and I'm assuming this is the area in question) can hardly be fully rehearsed without actually involving an audience... that is, if you want your audience to be participants, rather than spectators.

So, what's the solution? Well, the fact is, you may just have to get nailed a few times to realize that it doesn't mean the end of the world. Now hopefully, that won't happen. It doesn't necessarily have to. Everything might go 100% according to plan. If so, hooray for the home team. If not one of very few things may have happened:

A) You DO need more practice because the sleight is not up to speed.

B) You aren't experienced in audience management and control of attention.

C) The person who caught you just got lucky and had an epiphany.

D) An act of God caused the whole thing to go belly-up.

OK... now you need to figure out which of those things is the most likely culprit. If it's "C" or "D", smile and say, "Oh, well...". There's not much you can do about it.

If it's "A", then practice more... no big deal. We love doing this stuff anyway, right?

My guess is "B" is the bad guy. If so, then try to evaluate the scenario, look for weak points in your presentation. It is likely, if you got caught, that your level of misdirection was inadequate (I prefer the term, direction of attention, or focusing the audience's attention).

If the audience is paying enough attention to the plot, enough to be honestly interested in it, then it is more likely they will miss "the dirty work". In a nutshell, if you don't want the audience to see something, then give them something more interesting to look at and think about.

How you may ask? Although it would be nice to have an experienced performer sit with you and tell you exactly how to routine your act for optimum impact, it wouldn't exactly give you the education to do similar things in the future. So trust that quick fixes are not the real answer. But again... fear not! We are in this for the long haul and we love what we do, right? The payoff is real.

First of all, beg, borrow, buy, or steal anything you can read that will give you the basics of attention control, focus, misdirection, or whatever they want to call it. Suggestions: Magic and Showmanship by Henning Nelms, The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder, Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz, Magic by Misdirection by Fitzkee, and just about anything written by Juan Tamariz. There are others, but this is a good start.

In the meantime, have a few fail-safe, bulletproof routines that will keep you the hero in the event your switch goes South (Most any audience will respect your talents if they have seen you do some good stuff and if they like you... even if one trick leaves mega egg on your face... something about being human, I think).

Getting caught does not hurt... not really. Torturing yourself by thinking you might fail DOES hurt!

The definition of an experienced performer is one who learns enough from previous failures and mistakes to prevent them happening again... or at the very least to have seen enough things go wrong that he can exhibit grace under fire.

Don't let this stuff rattle your cage... there is always a solution to a problem!

~michael baker
The Magic Company
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Regular user
Leeds, England
121 Posts

Profile of liam-j-gilbert
Surely that adrenaline rush of maybe gettin caught is part of the reason for doing magic in the first place?!? -- for info, booking or queries on Liam Gilbert
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Profile of superhiro
I wouldn't really say that the adrenaline rush of maybe getting caught is part of the reason for doing magic. That makes it more of a trick rather than magic.

Medic I think the more you perform and succeed the more confident you will become and thus the less fear you will have when you perform. So get your confidence up by performing magic that you are confident at.

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Inner circle
Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan
1158 Posts

Profile of dynamiteassasin
Experience will teach you.. Smile When doing a switch or a sleight with cards, the best thing to do is act loose. Don't pay attention to your sleights, if you don't then your audience will not.
Be casual and loose.


tip from :

thanks Brad Christian

Clifford the Red
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Inner circle
LA, California
1935 Posts

Profile of Clifford the Red
One thing you must realize is most of the time, even if the audience sees something, they don't know what they saw or what it means. If you give it no meaning, neither will they.

Of course there are times where the gods are against you and you really screw up and it is oh so painfully obvious. But you must realize in that situation, if you've done your presentations properly, the audience is on your side. They are worried too when something happens! So be a leader. Have a plan and it can be as simple as laughing and saying, "Back to the Drawing Board with that one!" and move on. They will laugh, be relieved and move on as well. You just must remain in control of the situation.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
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