Success Story: Overcoming Performance Anxiety

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CPUYEAR, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. I thought it'd be cool to share a small but significant victory in my journey to become more comfortable performing magic for people. I'm typically a very social outgoing person, but for some reason I'm really insecure about showing my magic to people. I've posted several threads on this topic, including advice on getting my friends (all mid 20's professionals) interested in my magic, and I've gotten some awesome responses from my friends here, including @ChristopherT, @RickEverhart, @RealityOne, @Al e Cat Dabra.

    Last night I attended a St. Patrick's day party with all of my closest friends. Before I left the house I challenged myself to perform just one simple trick for somebody there. On the way to the party we stopped in at a brewery, and my girlfriend encouraged me to get my feet wet by going up to this older guy at the bar and doing something for him. I sat down next to him and stuck up a conversation for about 10 minutes. After he finished his drink he got up to leave and I asked him if I could show him a trick really quick. He was reluctant so I went with Lightspeed because it's short and punchy. It didn't blow his mind, but he smiled and chuckled and told me it was really good slight of hand.

    Once I got to the party I had worked up a little confidence, and when there was a lull in the conversation I asked my friend David if he'd like to see something I've been working on. David is the only one of my friends who I've shown magic to and his enthusiasm for the magic got everyone interested. I performed Lightspeed by Justin Miller again and the reactions were pretty good. Feeling like I had a bit of momentum I immediately went into a CAAN effect followed by Pocket Diary by Chris Crossgrove, and wrapped up with a powerful mentalism/ phone trick.

    The whole routine probably only took 15 minutes but by the end of it everyone was laughing and joking, and commenting on how they wished they had known earlier that I did magic. Even my friend Kyle who is a real skeptical, analytical person seemed impressed. Better yet I'm pretty confident that in the future when I ask my friends if they'd like to see something new they will say yes.

    Tonight was a huge turning point for me. I've been waffling over whether or not it was worth it to keep investing time and energy into magic if I was never going to perform for anyone. I never would have been able to pull this off without the encouragement and advice that I received on this forum. The suggestions about introducing magic as part of the conversation, and constructing a routine were invaluable, and have given me the confidence to keep moving forward and honing my skill. @RickEverhart 's suggestion to buy Jamie Grant's book The Approach was a total game changer for me.

    After last night I'm more inspired to keep going in my pursuit than every before.

    In case it's helpful to others who face similar challenges, here's a quick bullet list of what I learned through this experience:
    • If you're going to perform for a stranger spend a few minutes building a rapport with them before introducing Magic.
    • Magic Fridays are a game changer. Buy Jamie Grant's the Approach. Just do it.
    • It's helpful to have at least one person in a group that knows your magic and can get others excited for you.
    • The order and sequencing of tricks is really important to keep people engaged in the magic.
    • When you're just starting out load your routines with self workers. It allows you to really focus on presentation and can be a life saver when the nerves kick in. Diary by Chris CrossGrove is a lot of bang for your buck.
  2. Cool story!
    See, THIS is real magic...allowing people to overcome fear and connect.
    Lemme tell you, you really performed magic that day, and that magic was not Lightspeed or Pocket Diary or anything...that was you overcoming your performance anxiety and showing enough nerves to go and actually perform, which is the first step and also the step most don't take out of fear.

    See, THIS is real magic...allowing people to overcome fear and connect.

    May you have more success in your future performances and have and make a blast!
  3. I love hearing other people’s success stories! Thank you so much for sharing this!!! As thebsaying goes “the only thing to fear is fear itself.” 99% of what is holding ya back from performing is ourselves. Thank you so much for sharing this! Funny enough it lines up with my own approach to dealing with anxiety! A great learning experience for others maybe as well?

    Here is my own thoughts on the subject as well. Figured it is easier to post the video than type it all out. Haha

  4. Awesome stuff Thanks for sharing!
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  5. Just logged in and this was the first story I read. That's great news my friend. I'm happy you shared this experience. It gets better and better as you continue your journey. Yes, even now 18 years into performing I may have an effect not go as planned or not get me the reaction I was looking for so I rip it apart and work it over and over with different approaches and patter and give it due diligence. If I see an effect just simply isn't making the cut I move on to finding something new to fit in my arsenal.
    CPUYEAR and Antonio Diavolo like this.

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