First Walkaround show

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kendonaga, May 8, 2009.

  1. Hey, I'm doing a walkaround show in a couple of weeks time. I've preformed before and done magic for years now. But never walkaround. I've got a few quieries that I'm sure some of the more experience walkarounders will be able to answer.

    -How do you approach the group, I know how to build rappour and what I'm doing once into the situation but what do you say to get noticed at first, I don't want to interupt them, or come across the wrong way... First impressions count!

    -Is there a way to make sure you don't go back to the same group twice that you use? Or is it just simple common sense to this answer?!

    Thats all for no folks, hope you can help!
  2. I usually walk up with a polite "excuse me how are you? would you like to see a little bit of magic while you're waiting?" if they aren't or are. I also, just a personal thing I will immediately make it seem like they have control over the show. I will say "All right, cards or no cards your choice" or something like that. Following the logic as I see it it's this guy just interrupted us politely but still interrupted us. He wants to entertain us, and now he's giving us the choice of how to be entertained.

    As far as not going back to the same group-
    Sometimes you end up having to. And sometimes you want to because of the attention their reaction draws. I typically just start at one end and kinda of zigzag through the room. Which allows you to separate the room and allow for repeating of your strongest material. Remember people aren't always looking at you or what you are doing they can always hear the reactions though.
  3. Hey man, congrats on the gig!

    Walkaround is a interesting type of performance. I'll give you a few tips that I've learned (the hard way) of things to do in preparation and then actually at the venue.

    First, make your set and learn it well. Nothing will kill you in walkaround like being unorganized with your routines and props. Write down your set, collect your props and then organize them in your pockets so that everything has its place where it will stay and/or be used from each time. Again, organization is key. Know each effect you are going to do and eliminate any possibility of fumbling while you think of the next bit.

    Next, see if your event contact can spread the word of a magician. That way, when you approach, people will know that you are official and usually will be much more open to seeing what you've got to offer.

    As for approaching, the simple "Hey guys, my name's _______ and I'm an entertainer thats been hired here today. Would you like to see some magic?" is still one of the best ways to go. However, you can be more sneaky as well.

    Walk up to someone you want to perform for and hand them a coin (preferably a silver dollar if possible) and ask them if they dropped it. When they say no, quickly make it vanish and then go into your intro.

    The above method is a great approach because you get to show a little bit of magic before you even introduce yourself. Any salesman will tell you that you always have a greater chance of selling your product if you get to demonstrate it first.

    Also, you have changed the, somewhat awkward, paradigm of walking up to the group of people. Instead of you asking them for something (their time) you are trying to give them something you think they may have dropped. It is a friendly gesture and, I believe, a great method.

    As for approaching the same group twice, that won't be a problem. Even if you don't recognize them, they surely will recognize you. However, be prepared with a backup routine for those repeat-spectators who want to see more magic.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you need anything else.

  4. Walkaround gigs are fairly intense due to the amount of magic you have to show in the designated amount of time.

    Your Approach should depend on your audience and venue.

    -Formal Venues: "How has everyone's evening been so far? Great?" From there you can either introduce yourself as the entertainment, or open with a simple visual trick, eg card from mouth or a coin production.

    -Informal venues eg clubs "Hi how are you guys" then talk for a bit and then something like "Im actually the free entertainment for this evening, but im taking a break atm, you guys wanna see what I do?" Something along those lines.

    Spend a short amount of time with each group, and it is generally a good idea to get people to tell management how good you were rather than taking tips unless that is your major source of income.

  5. You should buy Eric Mead's book, Tangled web

    a great book for walk-around
  6. #6 OneCardWonder, May 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2009
    Some great advice in Cliff's post and I cannot stress it enough. People see you perform to one group they want to be next, especially if they're in some half boring conversation, and so you don't have time to be rummaging around in your pockets looking for props. Your entire wardrobe should be contrived to give you maximum storage, and you should know where everything is. You may want to be switching decks a lot, so make sure they're in a natural pocket.

    As to approach, you'll notice that the first approach is the pain in the ass, but once that's overwith people around that group tend to notice you. I'm not sure what type of venue you'll be doing this in, but if you get a good reaction from one group, others tend to notice and you start clocking people lifting eyes in your direction. To be honest it is for this reason that I do wide spread panic by A. Fisher as an opener pretty much every time, if there's a suitable platform nearby, because its engaging, its a great opener, and you get great reactions, and a lot of laughter too if you plagerize his patter. -coughs-

    As to an approach it depends, you have to watch very carefully for breaks in conversations, but whilst I've found it does help to let people know that you're there as a performer, it's even better to let them know you're also there as a person. Though just like in any situation what'll win people over is you approaching, shaking hands and intorducing yourself. Never lead with a deck of cards or a trick. Keep that in your pocket, or in one hand held at your side and give them a big smile, and say, "Hi, I'm dave."

    If its a networking event of some kind people are doing that -constantly- anyway and so people expect it.

    Dress like they do baring in mind that you have to have props invariably, but if I'm at a network event and some guy in a suit comes up and starts chatting nicely and becomes a part of my conversation then wants to show me a trick, I want to see it. Its not an interuption at that point.

    Ask them how they are, get them engaged in you. Its easier said than done, but the best way is to treat it as a standard introduction, ask them some polite quesitons, they'll do the same, "how did you get here?" blah blah etc. Simple small talk stuff. Then a nice lead in, "Well...much as I'm enjoying this conversation I guess I better get to work." Then say nothing. Invariably one of them will ask (depending on the venue) about that statement, and you can say, "I'm the entertainment" or something cheesy and ask them if they want to see something. When you produce the cards/whatever you want to attract some attention. Don't be obnoxious loud, but be slightly louder. People in other gourps may seek eye contact when they notice you, make eye contact back with people in other groups at opportune moments, whilst maintaining focus on other groups. Once that's happened you have an immediate right of approach as other groups are already interested in speaking to you. It all builds up expectation, and as I said, nothing makes people want to see what you do more than hearing a group of people with you in it laughing and having fun, and remember, this isn't a David Blaine special. People are looking to be entertained, not horrendously baffled. The both can go hand in hand, but its better to be polite, well mannered and funny than it is to be weird magic and odd at most corporate events.

    The single biggest thing I can say is, be natural when you approach. Don't approach as captain magic. Be a person, be nice, be polite, be likeable, don't wear the fact you're the entertainment like an albatros around your neck.

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