Silent performance help

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by anachin6000, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Hi! I've started learning magic a couple of weeks ago. At first, it was kind of a disaster. My favourite kind of magic was always slight of hand card magic and I decided to stuck with that. I practiced a lot at home, but when I tried to perform I was very sloppy. The thing is, while I was training, I was focused more on the moves and tricks, than on actual performance. So when I first tried to do magic in front of a public, I failed horribly, because I was not used to talking and doing the trick at the same time. This is why I decided to go with silent performance. So far, it proved better for me. Being silent makes me more comfortable when doing magic and also helps my confidence (it's simply like I'm doing it at home). But there still remains a major downside. My audience can catch small mistakes easier. Especially my close friends, because I use them to test myself before performing to strangers, so they get to see some tricks multiple times.
    So, what are your tips for improving the silent style?
  2. Silent style of magic is very difficult in terms of performing (at least for me) and I've seen only a select few do it very well like Teller and Shin Lim.

    One of the things that you will learn as you perform more is that people don't care about magic. People care about people. So your effects need to supplement your performance rather than make your act. Or simply put, the effect doesn't make the magician, the magician makes the effect.

    Can you do this while being silent? Yes it's possible as Teller and Shin Lim have proven but it's very difficult to master since it limits your interactions with your audience. One thing that magicians forget that we had as laymen was what truly intrigued us and part of that was whenever another laymen, someone we could relate to, participated in the act in some way. It's hard for an audience to connect to a performer doing something by themselves without any dialogue giving any meaning as to why they are doing what they are doing. I just watched a Wes Barker show and he didn't do a whole lot of crazy illusions or tricks, he did about ten and filled the rest of the time with interacting with the audience for the hour.

    If you are still wanting to take this route, my best recommendation would be to study mimes and how they interact with audiences and keep them entertained. As a street performer I know that without dialogue I wouldn't be able to gain any interest in my act nor would anyone stay to watch. Mimes impress me a lot since they can hold a street show without saying anything.
  3. Side note: "A couple weeks ago" is an incredibly short amount of time to spend learning something like this before trying to perform it. On top of the excellent advice in Tyler's post, I strongly recommend much more practice and rehearsal before trying to perform.
  4. Practice is putting the moves all together so they are smooth. Rehersal is practicing the moves wih the presentation. Rather than abandoning speaking, try rehearsing by talking while you do the effect.

    As @TylerScottIllusionist said, otherwise you must learn pantomime, which is more difficult than talking.
    The Magic X likes this.
  5. For a magician who is 3 weeks into magic, you really have good courage to go out and perform. I would suggest, instead of learning JUST moves, you work on some patter. For instance, if you are doing a classic/erdnase color change (V1), then you could say," Your card shall be lost into the deck." then control it to the top. After, do a double lift, and act proud that you found "their card" when it really isn't. Then proceed to steal their card, and as you rub, say, "Watch the ink dissolve, and mold itself into your card, the Ace of Spades."
    Practice talking through a couple of card tricks, and you will find the memory of doing card tricks while speaking will stick. Also, after you have mastered the art of speaking while doing, then try improvisation. Just randomly do a card trick, and improvise.
    On being silent: Being silent and doing it well (Teller, Shin Lim, Houdin (sometimes), mimes) is incredibly hard. Being silent during tricks will come after you are a great speaker. People will be too focused, misdirection will be harder, etc. unless you are funny or have a personality that goes with silence.
    anachin6000 likes this.

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