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Veteran user
Chicago, IL
397 Posts

Profile of BerkleyJL
Hello everyone!

I have a strange problem with my magic, and I'd like to think my situation is NOT unique. Maybe someone here can offer me some advice.

My techniques and skills are strong--as are the routines I have prepared. I can perform pretty well for my son and his friends. However, when I perform for strangers (or my wife, for some reason) I get so nervous my hands shake uncontrollably and VERY visibly.

I had planned to contact the Activities Directors at some local Nursing/Assisted Living Facilities and volunteer to perform for the residents to get some practice being in front of people. Does anyone have any other ideas that might be as/more effective?

Any words of encouragement?
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
Peter Marucci
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Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
I don't have any suggestions, beyond what you have already come up with, but I do have words of encouragement.
Even the great actor, Sir Laurence Olivier, used to become physically ill offstage before appearing.
So stage fright is nothing to be ashamed of or even to be particularly bothered by.
Your idea of gaining experience by appearing at nursing homes and assisted living facilities is a superb one.
You will gain both confidence and the satisfaction in knowing that you brought something to these people that mere money cannot buy: The knowledge that someone cares about them.
You win and they win; it is a classic win-win situation!
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Inner circle
2032 Posts

Profile of jimtron
I heard that John Lennon sometimes used to get physically ill before performing live.

I'm sure you'll be fine after getting more performances under your belt. I would suggest starting with low pressure performances (like nursing homes as you mentioned) and doing as many of these as you can. Also, make sure you're doing tricks that you know extremely well and don't have any problems with. If you have your routines down cold, that's one less thing to worry about. Maybe you can start with friends, then acquaintances, then strangers. Be patient and I'm sure you'll learn to cope with your stage fright. Good luck!
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Regular user
Lumberton, NC
147 Posts

Profile of Tspall
You already know about having your effects down solid. Once that happens, you can focus more on the actual performance. Be sure that you're practicing your patter along with the mechanics. Once you've become smooth at that, it'll take some more of the pressure off of you.

After that, you just need to "go for it"! Your ideas of performing for people are an excellent start. Once you've prepared as best you can, you need to get out there and just start performing. That will give you some great experience that practice can't give you. Hang in there, and you'll do very well.
"It's showtime!!"
My magic blog:
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