I'm just starting and need some tips

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Timmeh77, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Hello, my name is Izaak and I wanted to start out performing magic. I can't think of material though, like things to say during it, and I don't know what to wear. Also how do I get gigs and stuff like that or performing in the streets how would I start in that. All help is appreciated.

  2. The first thing you should do is actually practice and study the basics. How much do you know, how long have you been learning, and from where?
  3. I've been learning for about six months straight and I know a decent amount. I've been learning from YouTubers like Chris Ramsey, The Russian Genius and MLT Tricks(His are the easiest and the best) and it has been very helpful. I made my own two tricks already using concepts like the David Blaine color change and an ambitious card trick.
  4. The first thing you need to do is really learn the basics. Assuming that you want to start in card magic, go ahead and buy "The Royal Road to Card Magic". It is a cheap introduction into performing, and will really help you out.
  5. Okay, will do!
  6. Now what about gigs and what to wear? I'm only 14 btw if that changes anything.
  7. Izaak,
    You are not alone. A good presentation for a routine can often be as difficult to come up with as mastering the moves and sleights. It looks like you are aware of how important it is. Start by trying to come up with a story to go with the trick you are presenting. It is a very simple example, but many of us remember that one of the first card tricks we ever saw or learned was the one where the four Jacks were "four burglars" who wanted to rob a house. One burglar went down to the basement (jack is placed on bottom of deck); one jack went down to the ground floor (jack inserted into deck near bottom), one burglar went upstairs (jack inserted near top of deck) and one jack stayed up on the roof as a look-out (jack placed on top of deck). All of a sudden the police came, but there was no time for the lookout burger to warn his friends, but fortunately he was a magician. So he just said some magic words and all four burglars were back together (turn up top 4 cards of deck to reveal the 4 jacks) and they made a quick getaway. I am certainly not suggesting you perform this trick, but it provides a good example of coming up with an imaginative story that fits with the magic. Avoid just describing what you are doing, such as, "I take the coin, place it in my hand, blow on it, and it's gone," or "I just place the card in the middle of the deck, snap my fingers, and it jumps to the top." It's always a good idea to involve your spectators, get them involved in the magic, do magic that happens in their hands, maybe have them "do" the magic by waving their hand or snapping their fingers etc. For ambitious card you could have them sign the card with a sharpie and remark that when a card is signed it takes on the personality and character of the person who signs it. You can say then, "You strike me as a person, who just can't be kept down - one way or another you will always end up on top. People are very interested in themselves and other people so take advantage of that.

    As for how to dress for performances? A good rule of thumb is to try and dress one notch better than the people who will be at the event are likely to be dressed. So if they will be dressed casually, than you wear a nice dressy shirt and dress pants; if they are going to be dressed a little better than just casual, then you can wear a jacket and tie. And always wear nice shoes that are clean and polished. If you are going to wear running shoes make it really nice Nikes or similar that are very clean and in great condition. People really notice shoes.
  8. Wow thanks that was a ton of help I will try that. How do you think I can get gigs or do street performing though if you know how. Thanks again!
  9. You really need to learn the basics first. After that, work on performing to people casually. Then you can start performing for real out on the street. Seriously, study the basics. From what I can tell (and I mean this in the nicest way possible), your performance will be horrible. There is no scripting, there is just a couple loose unrelated effects that probably need work.

    Trust me, go through the basics before you try performing.
  10. Street performing is easy. Just go do it! You may or may not be able to put out a hat or tip jar depending on the municipal laws on busking, but as far as just performing, it's as simple as standing on the sidewalk and doing your thing. If you have a very visual piece that doesn't require spectator involvement that you can use as an attention-getter (linking ring, levitations, etc), great. If you don't, you'll probably have to approach people yourself (at least at the top of the performance). This is a little bit tougher, as I think most people are weary of anybody coming up and badgering them, but if you approach the right people, are very polite, and ready to take "no" for an answer, it shouldn't be an issue. The way you dress will make a big difference here. Also, try for people that are standing waiting for something (bus, uber, friends, etc). Don't try to intercept people who obviously have a mission.

    As for getting gigs, that's a whole different ballgame. I'm a freelance filmmaker, and I've essentially started two different businesses in the last 5 years (though they are very closely related). There are lots of avenues you can take that won't cost you any advertising dollars, including building relationships with local venues and event planners and posting your info on craigslist or other local classifieds websites, but the best place to start is with the people you know. Once you have enough material mastered (aka "practiced/rehearsed until you don't even like it anymore"), approach your local friends and family and let them know what you've been up to. Tell them you would like to start making money as a magician, and you need to get a few gigs under your belt to start. Ask if they have any parties or events coming up that would be suitable and offer your services. If nothing is coming up, ask if they know anybody they could refer you to that might be interested. You may want to do a short routine for the person you're pitching as a demo to show what you can do and that you mean business.

    I'm sure some people would disagree with what I'm about to say, but I don't think it's a bad idea to do a couple gigs for free in the beginning. First, it's an easy sell because what does the host have to lose? Nothing. Second, it's basically free advertising. If you do a killer show or walk around at a party, it's almost inevitable that someone who saw you will ask for your info sooner or later, and you'll get a paid gig later on--this happens a few times, and suddenly you find yourself getting calls regularly from people you don't even know very well, if at all. In my experience, most successful freelance businesses start this way: a few free/cheap jobs up front that roll into an exponentially growing clientele. And finally, since you're young and inexperienced, a chance to prove your chops when there's no real money at stake can take the pressure off. If you kill it, awesome. If you find out that you have a lot of learning to do (which honestly you probably will), then your host will have the tacit understanding that you get what you pay for, which was basically nothing--so no harm done.

    I'm not a professional magician--heck, I'm not a magician at all--but just from my own freelance experience, this is what I know. The most important thing is to just become really good at what you're trying to do, and then get out there and do it where people can see. After that, things tend to work themselves out.
  11. And for the record, I completely agree with everything Maaz has been saying. We've all been through the place you're at right now. You've just learned a bunch of really cool miracles, watched every clip of David Blaine or Chris Ramsey or whomever, performed a few times for family and friends (to great results), and you feel like you've arrived. Trust me, you're about to discover how much you don't know, and you don't want to discover that at a party someone has hired you to play. Do what Maaz said, make sure you have the basics down (and maybe that's what we should talk about next), videotape yourself performing all of your material and do a thorough critique of your performance. Did you flash? Did stuff look fishy? Do you present confidently? And most importantly, was it fun and entertaining? THEN go out and start performing for not only friends and family, but people you don't know. Strangers are harder to predict, and that's good to try to work with.

    It's also not a bad idea to find some sort of mentor to help you out. If you don't have any local magic groups or magic shops, these forums have several members who generously contribute their years of knowledge to serious students. Record yourself performing things and ask for critiques.
    ParkinT, Timmeh77 and Maaz Hasan like this.
  12. I was thinking of recording my self but I didn't know if that was just a weird idea, but I will do that also Maaz do you have like an example of a routine that I could base mine off of? Not steal it but I mean so I understand how to make a routine and things.
  13. First off, you are starting out right now (or that's what am assuming,since you said you have been performing for 6 months)...and so I feel (and I may be woefully wrong) that more than gigs and street performances, you should try with your friends and family for atleast 6 more months. Prolly, even more than that. And don't worry, that will not only give you confidence and practice but also develop you...there are PLENTY of hecklers to tackle among friends and family too, you will get a lot of sticky situations and learn how to deal with them.
    Street magic? I dunno, but I don't THINK you should attempt gigs right now. Why?
    Because first off, people may not want to trust you with gigs. And second, even if they do, after seeing that you are performing really well, due to lack of exposure to tricky conditions and situations...there might be a mishap (think people guessing methods and stuff).
    IF that happens, then you will leave a bad impression on the ones who hired you.
    I am in favour of YT most of the time too, and YT does have some GREAT tips on how to handle unfavourable situations. But unless you GO there and DO it, it won't help knowing them theoritically.
    As for street magic, go ahead and do that if you feel confident enough. No one there will be pressurising you to put on a good show.
    But I still recommend doing it for people you KNOW first. Contrary to popular belief, THAT is the most difficult thing...amazing people who already have seen your stuff.
    You said you like Chris Ramsay (btw, notice the spelling mate :) )?
    Then am sure you have some great tips already to build up your confidence.
    What tricks you should perform?
    Mate, that's up to you! Do anything you want! Just don't be like David Blaine or Dynamo or Criss Angel or Chris Ramsay or anyone. Be YOU.
    What you should wear? Whatever you want.
    More specifically...whatever you want your audience to think about you. Don-t dress up like a goth to pull out hankies from your pocket.
    Know what? Buy Complete Idiot's Guide to STREET Magic by Tom Ogden. I know it makes it sound like it is for novices, but I brought it 3 years ago, when I had already BEEN performing for 3 years, and I, to this date, find it one of the most valuable reads. People recommend Modern Coin Magic, Anneman and RRTCM? I recommend Tom Ogden's this particular book.
    Before I say anything, I should say Ogden's book answers ALL your problems, 100%. And am not sponsored.
    You can't think of things to say? That is because you have been doing magic for 6 months. Am sure you have developed quite a bit of skill and are better than others who PRETEND to love magic and leave magic after a week or two. BUT, pure skills in sleights won't help. Even with the best books and videos at you aid, you will require a LOT more time to develop yourself. And I don't mean yourself as in your patter or your tricks. Those will be developed sooner or later. That's the easy part. You need to develop your BRAND.
    You don't need to have T-shirts with your name on them. But you know how we associate a particular trick with Angel and a particular trick with Blaine? Based on their persona? Developing that magic persona will take so much time that by the time you finish, you will have been doing magic for years :) :) :)
    And then you would be much better prepared to do street magic OR EVEN gigs:)
    All I can say is, give yourself the most valuable thing ever.

    Give yourself Time.
    Don't rush it. That will do more harm than good. Am not telling you to wait till you are 65...am telling you to wait a bit more, just a bit more. Believe me, a few months later, you will NOT be saying you know a decent amount. You will be saying "Heck I know so less!" And mate! Am not trying to belittle you! It is just the phase everyone goes through! We all have. A few months and we wanna showcase our talents. And that is good, that is ttly fine bruh! But I think you'd rather prefer showcasing them to closer people first.

    Get some books! They help a LOT! Ramsay did a video on how to read the books as well, because you can't read magic books from one point to another like a text book, no matter HOW MUCH the book's preface urges you to do that. And trust me, all the books will be like, "Start at the beginning then slowly move ahead"
    That is a surefire way to hone your skills, I know. But a SUREFIRE way to BORE YOURSELF to the point you wanna run away from the book!
    Practice more mate. Read more. Perform more. And then go to your room to...
    Practice more. Read more. Perform more. Then return to your room to...
    Practice more. And this drill will guarantee you success!
    You wanna be the one who is called amazing! Not be someone who tries to rush stuff!
    Tell ya what? If an ugly caterpillar tried to rush things...it would die and become a rotting stuff (bleah!!! That's disgusting...srry for that)
    And if it waited for the right moment, it becomes a butterfly!

    Don't depend on YT too much. That is good when you have books to accompany you. Otherwise, nope.
    Also, you see Russian Genius? I USED to think that guy was amazing, but in SO many places he does not give credits saying it was difficult to trace down the creator, when I myself can find out the creator by a single search on Google! Also, his teaching lacks details and correct methods. Ramsay is good, check out Asad from 52kards...that guy is dope too! And you MUST check out Jay Sankey too! Couple these channels with books and presto! You have got amazing repertoire!
    Basically, all your problems will be answered by YOURSELF after some time. But for God's Sake, don't STOP performing. Keep doing so, but let the ideas of large scale performances rest for the time being.
    Of course you can call me a douchébag and go ahead with your plans. :D

    Am 14 too! Whoa, we have SO much in common
    Anyways, have fun.Magic is not data consuming or money consuming. It is time consuming.
    Antonio Diavolo and Timmeh77 like this.
  14. Thank you soooo much that was a lot of help I will get that book and I agree I watch maybe some of The Russian Geniuses videos but they're odd but I do watch all of the others. But I was also wondering if you had a routine that I could study so I can make my own if that's okay?
    Lord Magic likes this.
  15. Also I started to make a business card and I was wanting to incorporate into a magic trick so I can do that instead of just handing it to them. Is that a good idea?
  16. Yes, in my opinion it is a good idea. I never give out my business card without doing something magical with it first: Examples could be: (1) Do a nice clean Tenkai vanish with it and then magically produce it seemingly from thin air, or from behind your knee, or from behind spectator's elbow, wherever; (2) Do a prediction effect where you write your prediction on the back of the card, then after the reveal (showing that your prediction was correct), give out the card (the trick will play on in the spectator's mind into the future because he/she will be reminded of the magic you did); (3) Do the pen thru anything effect with it, then pull out the pen and hand them the card, fully restored.
    Timmeh77 likes this.
  17. !Okay I will for sure do one of those! Where do you suggest I print them from? Like what website?
  18. I think it's great that you want to perform, but maybe you're getting a little ahead of yourself. You just asked to see an example of a routine. Let me ask you this: If you were the client, would you hire a magician who knows 2 tricks? Would you be satisfied with him performing for 2 minutes, then being done?

    If you study the basics, you will be ahead of most people. Just take it slow. Gigs will come after you perform a lot, and you will only perform a lot if you have something to perform, and you will only have something to perform if you go through the basics and find your style of performing.
  19. Okay I was just gonna try and make a few routines so I can get a feel for doing it.
  20. Not sure why you have to ask around here for examples of routines. Just go on YouTube and search, “Ed Marlo routine” or “Paul Daniels routine” or Paul Harris, Harry Lorayne, Ricky Jay, Richard Turner, Tommy Wonder. These guys are the best of the best, and there are tons of performances you can see on YouTube to help you get and idea of how to make magic entertaining.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.

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