How can I perfect my performance?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Dmart, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. For the passed year since I've started getting into magic I've focused on my slights and perfecting a few tricks like French kiss, the ambitious card, and 4 cards, but now I'm starting to notice that my presentation is pretty weak. Any tips on how to improve?
  2. Usually I just wing whatever I do. I don't have really have anything set in my mind before hand. Just think about the effect and think of something that relates to it but it has to be something that fits you and don't make it cheesy. I'm a pretty outgoing guy so before I even start I'm pretty much best friends with the person I'm performing for. Building a rapport is the most important thing in my opinion. Before you start talk the the spectator be their friend, when you start building that relationship i Garuntee things will go more smoothly. Also please dont narrate the things you do. For example don't say things like now I'll put the card in the middle and shuffle the cards, I'll now give the cards a cut. Their are some books out their that you can look into. If you can definitely get a copy of maximum entertainment.
    Dmart likes this.
  3. Write a script. Most people only think they are good at improvising. Also, when you do not have a concept in mind ahead of time, it's really hard to come up with anything on the fly that isn't "Watch, I take the card and place it here" (ie: The Adventures of the Props).

    Write a script, and rehearse the entire routine, not just the sleights. Practice the physical moves until you're doing them without thinking, then rehearse doing the physical parts while also saying your script out loud as if you were performing for someone. Do this until you are doing the whole routine without having to think about it.

    Then perform. Analyze your performance, fix what needs to be fixed, rehearse the fixed routine, and do it all over again.

    The routine will be perfect when you've done that cycle many, many times. And by "perfect" I mean it will be as good as you will likely get it. Until you figure out a new thing and change it and make it better and start over.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying a routine is never perfect, it's just a journey of getting closer and closer to perfection.
  4. You keep performing and get the bad out of the way.
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  5. Like what ChristopherT said, writing a script will help you figure out what story you want to tell and how you want to present your character. Remember, people don't care about magic, people care about people. Focus more (while performing) on selling your character to your audience and have your effects supplement your character.

    Like what Grant said, you just got to keep at it. The more performances you do, the more you get comfortable doing it and the more you learn about how to properly entertain people. Perfection isn't a destination, it's a journey. It's just something you have to keep at and constantly evolving at.
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  6. Narration is not a bad thing, it all depends on how you use it. Sometimes I through in narration when I specifically want them to focus on something. Other than that I have nothing to add to what has already been said.
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  7. This only works if you are able to determine what "the bad" is.
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  8. The bad is your first 50 performances.
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  9. Or your first 50 rehearsals.
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  10. It really depends on what you are trying to do. The obvious things are flashing, looking clumsy in the move, or unsure of what you are doing. But outside of the core it is up to you to decide what is bad.
    Dmart likes this.
  11. Performance or rehearsal - you only improve if you can identify what it is that needs improvement. Lots of guys do the show and don't see any issue with anything they did. They're riding that endorphin high of being on stage and don't notice or don't want to notice things that need improvement.

    When I finish a performance I generally don't want to hear a review of it. My wife will write down a few critiques and let me know, good and bad, what she thought of it the next day.
    Dmart likes this.
  12. For me, this was a struggle. For a long time I was so obsessed with getting all of my moves perfect, and then I realized that no amount of skill can make up for bad presentation. I looked into books on showmanship, communication, the art of performing, and many others to build my skills. There's a great book out there by Eugene Berger, for the life of me I can't remember the name, but it was phenomenal, and helped me so much. Other than that, I would try writing a script. Even if it isn't exact, you can add to it here and there, trim what isn't good, improve what is, and really hammer in on the good stuff. I like to write my scripts to be very modular, so I can pick up and shift routines around at will, when I can. I can't with some, for example when I start my Red and Blue routine, I have to start with Can't Miss, because I have to set it up in advance. For transitions, I like to add some personality to it. I like to pick a spectator, and ask them what their name is. When they give it to me, I go with "Ah, awesome. I have a deck just for you, it suits your personality." At this point I can blatantly do a deck switch with complete motivation and launch into my Blank Deck routine. It works with all sorts of sets. For me, creating a fluid bridge between routines makes the whole set a lot better. Beyond that, it's just working on personality.
  13. Rehearsing is not at all like performing in front of a crowd,
    Are you performing at school? To strangers? all these variables change where you're going to take your routine, thus following a script word for word doesnt always work out quite how you'd like it.

    I think its important to have a basic understanding of "Where" the magic is coming from, whether or not you add a plot or a story is up to you, but you dont want your performance to be "Im gonna do this, now give me this, now watch, watch, okay watch" its boring. Watch some jay sankey performances. Hes a bit odd but he always has an idea of what hes going to say before he starts a trick.

    Half the time it doesnt even matter what trick you're doing, it's all about the audience management. Have fun with your audience, tell jokes *It really helps as a distraction so you can get some dirty work done while people are laughing*. You really just need to experiment with what works for you. But DONT rely solely on rehearsals to dictate whether or not you're a good performer, you need to actually perform to do that.
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