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Profile of Genio
I really love to perform and have in the past perfomed in the Blaine-esque style before. Now, it seems, I have terrible "stage fright" and am unable to walk up to someone on the street and perform.

Now I only perform at private parties for family or business.

Help me. What are some ideas on overcoming this fear of performing on the street? Smile
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Profile of dchung
Do you know why or how this "fright" developed?
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Profile of Genio
I went about a year between the time i perfomed on the street to now. There has been some lack of practice on the street. Smile
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Brian Proctor
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Profile of Brian Proctor
Wow, this is exactly how i feel. But now im slowly emerging from my shell.
I used to be a daily street performer. But i stopped because of school and stuff like that. Girlfriend, family time... But now I feel like a scared rabbit in a cage. Lol. I can do it. Thats all i say to myself.
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Profile of x-treem
I was performing on the street, literally to make a living, for about six months. Besides the fact I did not have a permit to be a street performer, I too was scared witless. However I warmed up to it by performing for the least threatening thing I could think of, little old ladies that were chit chatting in a park or waiting for the bus... after sometime I moved on to mother who were having obvious problems with their kids, the entertainment help both the mother and the childeren (taking both of their minds off the fight at hand, at least according to a few of the moms) and I just sort of progressed from there.

Hope this helps.

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Profile of TOBIAS
I would say this, make all your sleights second nature to yourself, and this will let you worry on your patter and connecting with the people instead of being scared of performing your magic. A lot of people when they start become the people they learn the tricks from to get over this fact. This only works some of the time. I you make the trick yours it will be like breathing, second nature. Spend time on the entertaining not fooling them and this will help out...
Relax... Take a breath... And start again...
Be true to your art, and it will be true to you
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Part of the problem might be that you are trying to perform in Blaine's style -- rather than your own!
Peter Marucci
Matt Graves
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Profile of Matt Graves
I suffer from some of the worst "stage fright" you could imagine. (although I've never done a show onstage . . . Smile )
But Mr. Marucci has a good point. If you'll "be yourself" more, it really really helps. I can vouch for that. If you watch one of Garth Brooks's concerts (the man I'd consider to be probably the greatest entertainer in all show business), just notice how he interacts with the audience. At least that's what I do . . . or find someone you admire outside of magic who is a great showman and go from there . . .
It's strange how things work like that. I remember reading a book that said if you want to write horror stories, try to read as much non-horror as you can. For some reason trying to copy other horror-writers doesn't work too well. It works the same way with magicians, evidently. It's strange, I know, but it really works that way a lot.
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Profile of Bird Brain

I was also REALLY scared about doing street magic! But you know what the funny thing is? As soon as I started, I was so relaxed! I was like "what am I scared of?" Street performing "works" for me....tho not in the dollar figure yet! Smile
Yeah, you just have to try. The worst that happens is that you look like a fool, and we ALL look like fools some time in our lives...heck just look at this guy:


Another thing: What I just said may not apply to you, as I do a different kind of street magic. I do it for money, (busking) so I do less one on one stuff, and more one on ten stuff, like linking rings, tt silks, etc.

You MIGHT want to consider doing some of that as well, as the guys at the cafe here advised me that it was the way to go if I wanted to make money...And it's pretty fun!
But when it's slow, or you've just got two people watching you, then you can whip out the cards and knock their socks off with some close up stuff!

So just JUMP. Fully and completely. You'll be glad you did.

And you meet some cool people. I have long hair (as you can see in my picture), and it's fun when people ask you if it's real or not! Ah, I guess I'm easily amused. Smile

Bird Brain
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Profile of Genio
Thanks for all the comforting advice. I think I feel better.

Oh, I don't try to perfom like David Blaine but I enjoy doing magic for only a few people. It's a real joy to perform and connect with people. When I DO perfom, I almost always make that cool connection and people talk about that (an observation that makes me wonder why I am so afraid).

What kind of places are good for this type of performing? Places with lots of people is my guess. I perfomed in the common for old ladies in benches before so I might do that again.

Genio Smile
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Profile of BroDavid
My advice is to have fun!

If you are having fun, then the folks around you will have fun too! That makes it comfortable for everyone!.

Next, realize that good or bad, it isn't likely to be fatal.

Dont put so much pressure on yourself looking for constant perfection. I dont mean you should be sloppy, or try to perform effects that you havent practiced. But I dont know any performers who dont, after most shows, say to themselves, or to someone else, "I can do that a little better next time!"

I have acted, performed, spoken, lectured, and preached. And I am always amazed by the comments. What people see and hear - is a lot different than what you think they see and hear.

So the pressure is only on you to just do it as well as you can. You can not be completely responsbile for how they receive it. You have only one part in a perfromance. the rest is up to the audience and you cant control that.

Some will like it, and Some wont like it, and So What! Do you best, smile to yourself, content that you did what you could, and move along....

I have had standing ovations for lousy performances, and been panned for some of the best I have ever done. So I just go on, and do my best on that particular day. And what happens happens. And tomorrow is another day.

Entertainment is a lot easier when you remember that both parties (you and the audience) are allowed to have fun.

If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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Profile of Priest
I was always in stage productions, plays, etc in High School. I LOVED IT! To me, there is nothing more thrilling that performing live in front of a crowd.

It's been a few years and I haven't been infront of a crowd. I NEED to do something, I NEED to get back out there.

I have butterflies.

But the more I think about it, the more I start to understand some stuff. First, I think that it is important to practice, practice, practice, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! When you know, without a doubt, how everything is supposed to be then you come off confidant and "seemingly" flawless. Also, it is most important to have fun, and not take yourself too seriously. I don't mean, "Don't take the performance seriously." What I mean is to just relax and have fun.

If you remember anything from this, then remember this: Rehearse your performance. Do a full "dress" rehearsal so that if any obstacles arise, you understand them and know how to work it out.

Rehearse, relax, have fun.

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Profile of primoshock
Here is my thought on it:

How do you feel when you are nervous?

How do you feel when you are excited?

Hmmm I have the same answers for both . . . so I figure you have a choice - either being nervous about performing, or being thrilled to do it . . . cause based on the results - they are the same.

Its your choice - I say choose excitement, cause performing magic and stumping people is the coolest feeling ever!

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Profile of davidpaul$
I couldn't agree more primoshock. Great advice. You got me thinking. Alot of anxiety comes from our bodies endocrine system responding to our thoughts. More adreniline is produced, our heart beats faster, our stomachs quiver, we sweat, etc. We as human beings can experience the same anger feeling over something that happened years ago, just because we may think about it. Emotions are just responders to our thoughts.

We've all been to a movie, we know it's a movie, yet, we cry, laugh, get scared and our body is responding with hormones effecting heart rate etc. Now we know the movie is just a movie, but our endocrine system doesn't know that.

So getting excited in a good way about our performances, being aware of our thoughts and changing them for positive ones will take care of the negative emotional responses. Again, great advice !!
David Paul Smile
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Profile of MagiclDave
I find that what works for me is just saying to yourself as go go up to someone "I'll never see them again so just do it and give it your all" and slowly but surly it starts to get easier.

-Dave Smile
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Profile of Chessmann
Just ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?" If you mess up, chalk it up to experience, keep practicing.... the great thing about street is there's always a new audience around.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Luke Kerr
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Profile of Luke Kerr
Take a deep breath and go to perform only three tricks.
At the third i think your fright will be gone.
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Profile of SpiffnikHopkins
I first started performing on the streets fo money, without asking for money. I know how to juggle some cool stuff but was too timid to even put out a hat! I had no idea what I was doing, and felt like I had no place being there but should leave this stuff the the proffessionals. I just started doing it! I drew a good crowd and would bow, and run away almost literally. I did it cause I loved doing what I did. If you have that, go out and do what you love and HAVE FUN. As you get exp everything else comes. No I rake in a good amount of dough and still do it cause I love it, not for the dough.

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Profile of DavidKenney
I have been a youth minister for 15 years and I am still nervous sometimes speaking to crowds or in public. Even when I know the kids and are familiar with them – I think a lot of it has to do with a fear of failure. (for me anyways) I want to do a good job, but my fear of messing up gets in my way. Confidence will be built in time and practice.

I hope those guys that jump out of planes never “get used to it” if they did – where would the fun be?
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Profile of Pokie-Poke
If you don't get at least butterflys then you don't care about what you are doing, and it will show!
as far as who to show your stuff to, look for bord people.
jump in with both feet. it's fun! the longer you wait the mor likly you are to fail as you will sike your self out. the only way to truly fail at this point is to not to do it. learn nothing by doing nothing!

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