How to improve my street magic?

Oct 22, 2011
23
0
Hey guys, I was wondering how to make my street magic better. By this I mean how to approach the spectators what to say, how to not be nervous, how to be natural and how to enhance the overall experience for the spectator. If you could give any advice I would appreciate it! Thanks
 
Dec 11, 2010
124
0
California
Only advice I can give is practice. If you can execute the slights you are using with ease and perfection, there is less chance for messing up in front of a spectator. Whith that being said, the quickest and most efficient way (IMO) for getting over nervousness is to perform for spectators. The more people you perform magic for the more confidence you will gain. Lastly I would say to watch videos on how professional magicians perform. Dont copy their style but try to find out what it is that they are doing that makes them successful.
 
Nov 27, 2009
456
3
I'll only add to what Schism169 said, because he's right on.

No one can tell you how to be natural. That is something you have to figure out for yourself because what's natural for you is different for what's natural for me and so on.

As far as approaching spectators in a casual environment, i.e on the street, in the mall, places like that, saying, "Hi, do you wanna see a card trick?" works brilliantly, or "Can I show you something cool?" works just as well. One time I was at a restaurant, eating outside, and I wanted to do a trick for some people at a nearby table. I waked up to them and said, "Hi, I'm just a random guy on a street with a deck of cards. Do you wanna see a card trick?" It got a laugh, and they wanted to see a trick. I ended up doing three tricks and they loved it. Note, we were outdoors and anyone could have walked up. This wasn't a fenced in eating area. If it had been a fenced in eating area, I would not have done that.

Also, make sure they have a minute or two to watch before you launch into your 7 phase ACR that takes a whole 5 minutes to complete. (That was a joke, btw.)

Other than that, just have fun! If you're having fun, the people will have fun. I make jokes all the time based on what my audience is saying and doing. That's my "Character," and it fits me very well. It also let's the audience know that I'm paying attention to what's going on.
 
Oct 22, 2011
23
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Yeah thanks for the advice, Ill bear it in mind when the summer comes. Thats when Im gonna start my street magic, everyones relaxed and up for a good time :) thanks for answering.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,739
2,854
Remember that you're performing FOR them, not AT them. Just doing sleights and executing a trick successfully is not a good performance. Practicing until you can execute moves subconsciously is the start, but to learn how to perform well will take time and a lot of performing. There's really no shortcut, you just go out there and perform, then reflect on each performance and what went well or poorly, how to fix the crap parts and keep doing the good parts.
 

jc533436

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2011
20
0
Well, I was doing some search about this topic and google lead me to this page..the article linked below may help you a little bit.
https://sites.google.com/site/itsmorethantricks/learnstreetmagic-makingyourapproach

Basically, the writer is arguing that instead of say "do you want to see some magic", which makes them feel like you are begging, "Have you ever seen three card monte? or just something specifically related to your routine. " Or funny approach like what YRA talked about.

As for the nerves problem, many people's suggestion is to start your trick with something simple, say a mind-reading with a force etc to get both yourself and your audience relax, than go into a more sophisticated phase.
 
To get your own style... I would recommend finding a magic book that has a few tricks that sound like you would love to perform. Learn them from the BOOK and perform them. This will force you to make your own style sense you have not seen a magician perform it before.

Also just have fun because it is fun and don't take it personally if you mess up or get called out. The less you care the less everyone else will, just start another effect.
 
Oct 22, 2011
97
2
California
Sounds like you are in good hands so far so I'll throw in my two pence. Practice is the cure-all for magic and will eventually solve any problem you have. As far as being nervous though, nervousness is not a bad thing necessarily. Being nervous keeps you on your game and prevents you from making silly mistakes and flashing. If you are a more high energy act then you can let that nervous energy fuel your wacky comedic jazzed up performance. The other day I did some simple tricks for the wife of my youth pastor and for some reason I was on the verge of shaking because I was so damn nervous. And she is someone that I've known for a while and absolutely adore and I am really comfortable around her. On the other hand, today, before I took the ACT test, I did some magic for a friend of a friend of a friend whom I had never met and I did the same tricks and was calm as a painted ship on a painted ocean. Nervousness happens. You just have to adapt and turn it into an advantage instead of a disadvantage.

On the note of naturalness, again practice will solve it, but fortunately there is more than one way to skin a cat. Justin Whilman said it nicely on expose in his interview with Zach; You have to try who you're not to find who you are. So go through the fedora and go through the wacky bow tie and go through the eye shadow and black clothes and all that other jazz and see what is NOT you and what IS you. The only person who can tell you who you are is you and who you are will be natural and that naturalness will transmit to your spectators.

And that's all I have to say about that.
 
Apr 23, 2012
13
0
Drink a few beers and go up to some people and say "Guys, do you like magic" while springing your cards or doing something that conveys skill. It differs you from the noobs that waste time doing self workers and for some people even just a simple card spring is absolutely amazing to watch. Try to choose groups for 4 people or more and go up to them alone (it's less intrusive if you're alone and if there are more than one of them they feel better about the experience) Your friends can join you later if you introduce them.

If they say yes when you ask if they like magic say "well check this out" and show them something very hard hitting and very quick > if they like that.. move on to something else etc..

If they say No, it can be pretty embarrassing so I developed a trick to get out of it. I write Liar in black marker on a card and if they say no I either force it on them or just spring it out of the deck and catch it. (only when it's not windy because if you don't catch it you look so stupid) As soon as they have the liar card you should walk away and show show them any tricks. I guarantee they will be like 'How the hell' I've had people say "go on then :p show us something we do like it really" I refuse because people that are unfriendly don't deserve to be entertained while I waste my time.

NOTE: When I say have a few beers, I mean get merry and confident.. not 'fall over' drunk.
 
Dec 11, 2010
124
0
California
Just a personal opinion, but its better for you to obtain confidence and become merry without the help of beer. Or else every time you want to be confident and merry you will resort to beer as a "cure".
 
Apr 23, 2012
13
0
In my experience, and I was very shy and nervous, I was drinking anyway because I'd be doing magic on nights out. As I gained more confidence with my magic and people started recognising me etc . . self confidence grows as well and in my case I've actually started drinking less over all because I'm more confident in myself.

Perhaps it's just me.
 
practice

Hey guys, I was wondering how to make my street magic better. By this I mean how to approach the spectators what to say, how to not be nervous, how to be natural and how to enhance the overall experience for the spectator. If you could give any advice I would appreciate it! Thanks

practice , practice , practice preform for people you know and get comfortable with friends and extended family. the way not to be nervous is just do it dont think. and getting the attention of the spectator i just walk around doing color changes i was at the dentist he saw me do shapeshifter and went :eek: and said he wanted to see more tricks.

p.s. im 14 years old
 
Apr 29, 2012
7
0
Dallas, TX
After a few slow starts, four years ago or so, I started to run with a wing. The wing is usually someone who is more experienced or more street-wise than me (or I wing for someone who needs it). All he or she does is walk up to people and goes "guys, have you seen that dude? He just disappeared that man's jacket" or some such stuff. That usually gets me into groups and from there on out I have those groups become my best advertisers.

When I started doing paid street gigs (festivals, etc.) I made sure that I always performed near the last location. People notice that "something" went on and want to know what it is. Throw your squealers into the mix when most people are looking. One thing I usually do when I have a larger audience (that is the original group and others looking on or even coming over) is to do levitation or large scale vanishes. When I have a smaller group I do more involved stuff like ambitious card routines, an in-hand Triumph, that stuff. When the crowd gets bigger I bust out the flash paper. And when there are onlookers on the other side of the street I do the squealers, you know the kind.

By now most festivals or venue gigs have someone who knows me. The worst thing you can do is look like you're just hopping from hot girl group to hot girl group, it'll shut down groups. Instead focus on taking groups indiscriminately and the group next to that will WANT to be shown something, sidle up, approach you, etc.
 
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