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New Mexico
211 Posts

Profile of Shawn74
To start with, I fell exhilerated, but at the same time completely depressed and horrible. So I'll try to post as coherently as I can LOL.

I performed today for the first time in a few years. I have always shied away from performing because I was always afraid that I would mess up and that would be the end of it. Finally I have gained the courage to just say "Whatever" and do it. This I feel is a good thing and a big step for me.

I was in my training class at work and my trainer had just given an inspirational speech to those of us about to hit the call floor next week. Then he said he wanted me to do a magic trick. I told him that I didn't know anything that really played to a big crowd, just close-up effects. I realized this as my normal self trying to chicken out, so I went. "ok" and go tup in front of the class. I did Chicago Opener. And it blew him away. Then I did some back-palming for the rest of the class and they enjoyed that. All the while my hands were shaking so bad I could hardly handel the cards.

Later on, I went to ask him a question and his boss was there. He had told his boss because they both wanted me to do some more magic. I got the shakes again, but decided not to even give myself the chance to back down this time and just started into a few effects. I did an ACR and Kardekuntse(?). Unfortunatly I blew both of them.
Now mind you these are effects that I have been rehersing and practicing for the last 10 years or so. Never a hitch, so to blow them when I finally have the nerve to perform them about killed my confidence. My cards were talking, the wrong ones were controled, plus my hands were shaking so bad I could barely do a DL.
They were very cool about the whole thing. Even though my trainers boss saw a side slip and heard a pass that didn't quite clear, they were still wowed by the end effect. I was suprised that I was able to keep any eye-contact with them. When I was done, thanked them both and told them that they were the first people I had done anything for in quite some time. They didn't believe me, though.
Later in the day the boss came in and did a great mentalism/math effect for the class. But then turned around and told them that as cool as it was, he knew it wasn't as cool as the things that I did.
Though it made me feel great, I still feel really bad for flubbing up the effects that I did in the way that I did. I feel that I should apologize to the magic community for giving the performance that I did.
On the up side I feel more confident because I figure it couldn't get much worse than it was today(even though it probably could, we won't go into that LOL).

Sorry for messing up the tricks, gang, and sorry for the long post. I just needed to get this off my chest.
Thanks For Listening
Hold your breath...make a wish...count to 3... and you'll be in a world of pure imagination
Willy Wonka
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Inner circle
Long Beach, CA
2492 Posts

Profile of Cliffg37
There are all kinds of confidence building techniques you could possibly use. First and forment you have the skill, and tough skills at that. How are you at public speaking? Many people get help for "toastmasters" where inexperienced speakers get to practice in a "safe environment".

I remember the first time I went on stage. I was a kid singing a song solo. I was really nevervous. As it turned out I had nothing to worry about. The guy manning the lights put it right in my face and I couln't see a thing.

Other common tricks include perfrom for only one person, and make either the person you trust most (put a relative in the audience) or the person who looks the most harmless to you.

I never cared for the imagine them in underwear or on the toilet techniques, but supposedly these do work. Some pople advocate a shot of scotch before a show!

I guess the bottom line is, if you can do the effects well in front of a mirror, or your family, it is just a metter of getting comfortable in front of people. I know this is hard for some, and very easy for me to say, because I talk in front of groups that are rather unforgiving everyday for a living. (high school teacher).

Trust me though it can be done. And do pat yourself on the back for making the attempt, it takes guts to do that.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Mi.
2537 Posts

Profile of Jaxon
Thanks for sharing your experience Shawn. I'm sure you'll find that all of us have had similar experiences and feelings at one time or another.

Thanks for sharing your advice as well Cliffg37.

I'd like to add that this kind of nervousness, or growth of confidence will come in many stages. I remember a point where I would only perform tricks for people I knew such as family and friends. When they'd ask me to do one for someone I didn't know I'd shy away from it and give a number of excuses. I think it's mainly because my family and friends got tired of me doing tricks for them all the time that I started to gain the desire to perform for others. Then the break thru occurred and I started to enjoy performing for anyone who wanted to see it.

This is how it went for years. Then I made another step in my confidence. This one is actually kind of scary at first because you're torn between the good feeling of self realization and the feeling of keeping this new found confidence in check.
I'm talking about the moment when everything just feels right and you say to yourself, "Man, I'm good at this". When this feeling hits you you're not comparing yourself to anyone else. You just discover that this is what I enjoy doing and I'm doing a good job at it.

Now, the best advice I think I can give is to realize that these people have probably never seen magic up close. Or not often anyway. You can get as good a reaction from vanishing a silk in a t-tip as you get with an advanced card trick. Sometimes the easier tricks actually get a better reaction. It's all new to them.

Another thing is that people see you as an entertainer when you act like one. It's still amazing to me how just a change in your mood can effect the spectators. I sometimes try and visualize some celebrity being in the room with me and how I'd react to them being there. Then I try to visualize how that celebrity would act. Then I try to put myself in the mind frame that I am the celebrity during this show. I don't know if that will help anyone but it's just a little confidence booster I use sometimes.

I've performed for some top magicians such as Blackstone Jr, Jay Marshall, Mike Powers, just to name a few and I had no trouble. A few months later I'm performing a show for a 4th grade class and I've got the shakes.

So you're not alone. Keep it fun.

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
1724 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod

Well done shawn-we have all & I mean all ! magicians at some stage stuffed up when doing effects we havent performed for a while-dont worry learn from it we all do!!

At some stage during any performance Murphys Law will strike-Have an out for any effect & move on!

Keep it up!!

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