Do you prefer performing magic sitting or standing?

Jul 26, 2016
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760
For me it depends on the situation. 90% of my close-up work involves strolling, as opposed to being in a stationary spot like you see performers during the performances in the majority of instructional DVDs. Generally it is a bit weird and presumptuous to just sit down with people at their table unless invited. When I am invited, however, or when I feel comfortable enough to ask if I can sit down and join them, I really relish the opportunity. There is a certain intimacy and camaraderie when you are sitting with them - it's like you are part of the group - a peer in a way, rather than kind of being an outsider with a dividing line when standing at their table, with everyone below you. And I have found that the lap is the best servante you could ever want, and it opens up possibilities for vanishes and clean-ups you can never have when standing. On the other hand, I would find it quite awkward to do certain routines such as chop cup/cups and balls (especially the final loading sequences), the Egg Bag or Professor's Nightmare while sitting.
 
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Dec 28, 2017
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I perform for my family members mostly, so sitting at the table kind of gives me more intimacy (not in a weird way lol) and lets me know they pay more attention. I can definitely handle many card tricks standing up, especially if surrounded by spectators. But for some reason, sitting at the table gives me more cosiness. Also, some tricks and techniques, especially with coins are better if performed seated. I usually work with one spectator at a time, so that's also an advantage. Also, I want them to follow the trick, not just let me finish performing and then, once they realize it had a good ending, ask me to do it again. I continuously ask them to keep following the trick. Sitting at the table makes it easier, but I can definitely handle standing up
 
Jan 26, 2017
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Virginia
I would like to make an exception to my earlier post:
I said standing because I'm normally performing in a "stand-up" situation.

However, if I'm just hanging out with friends at a table or something, I'm gonna perform sitting down, just because that's normal. If the effect requires I stand up, I'll have to make an excuse to get up and perform, which is weird. Pretty much why I love simple effects in the Royal Road and stuff that I normally wouldn't perform in an act - my friends will really enjoy them as it is an entirely different situation.
 
Aug 15, 2017
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So... How do you prefer to perform close-up magic? Sitting or standing? Why?
Sitting down while performing sometimes offers amazing advantages that standing up cannot always compensate for. But that's speaking with respect to the sleights one can use...
When I stand up, I can make the performance more, dynamic. And the audience feels more involved if you actually take a small step towards them than lean over from one end of the table to them.
Standing up provides for more misdirection, since the 'frame' is greater and the audience needs to pay attention to more of you. So they generally focus on your upper tors, which means most of the part below your waist is free for dirty work, provided of course that you can do it without too much movement.
Standing up gives me a wider range of movement as well.

So I prefer to stand up while performing. But sitting down adds a level of seriousness to what you are doing. If you stand up even while performing for friends, sometimes it gives the vibes that, "This is a show. And I am performing for you." which is not the vibe I always wanna give. If you sit down, it makes the thing more intimate to that one or two people you are performing for.

So while I do prefer standing up, I won't hesitate to just sit down and do what I need to, if the mood of the situation demands it.
 
Jan 20, 2018
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5
I personally prefer standing, simply because it makes sure that the spectator knows I don't have a table to hide anything. Plus, I'm mobile, tables aren't.
 
Aug 5, 2017
268
261
WA state USA
Prefer? Its more out of necessity rather than preference for me. I am new to preforming and most of my material is done in strolling situations so my answer is standing. I have not much opportunity to preform sitting save for the occasional dinner/drink situation and due to this only have a few tricks that require a table.
 
Jan 20, 2018
9
5
Prefer? Its more out of necessity rather than preference for me. I am new to preforming and most of my material is done in strolling situations so my answer is standing. I have not much opportunity to preform sitting save for the occasional dinner/drink situation and due to this only have a few tricks that require a table.
How exactly is it a necessity? I rarely come across tricks that can't preformed at a table.
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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I think most things designed for parlor or stage would not be effective at a table, unless they were reworked to suit that environment. I seriously doubt I could do most of my material seated as is, I'd have to re-block everything.
 
Aug 5, 2017
268
261
WA state USA
How exactly is it a necessity? I rarely come across tricks that can't preformed at a table.
I mean I have a few tricks that need a table. Lapping stuff specifically. I mean I can just drop it at my feet but cleanup gets more difficult then.


Also seated you have some space or a barrier between you your audience. I feel it's more personable if you are closer to them.

I guess that's a check in the direction of preference.
 
Aug 5, 2017
268
261
WA state USA
Ugh, I replied yesterday on my phone and I see how my response is clearly lacking and misses the point. That is something I wish to avoid in these forums!

So here is a further clarification, its in the vein of what Christopher T has said but not fleshed out.

Sure you can do many tricks that are standing or strolling also with a table, but they don't need a table. You then have a prop that isn't justified it is just there or maybe even in the way. This can make your magic seem forced or less personable to the audience due to the barrier between you. If you are to use a table there should be a reason for that is not to support the sleights used. Its because you are needing to have piles of cards for the spectators to choose from or you need to spread the cards for better displaying for the audience and so on. Then you can use sleights to take advantage of the tabled situation in achieving your trick.

Using a table doesn't always hinder a connection between you and your audience but it can is the point. In the book RRTCM there is a list of standing and table routines, if you look at the tricks and how they progress you can get a feel of what I mean more by how the table is used as a justified prop rather than it just being there.

All that being said I see I should work on a decent tabled routine this year since I don't have one, I just have a few table tricks.

This post isn't comprehensive by any means, I am sure others have some valid points they can add.
 
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