Too much talking?

Aug 15, 2017
656
439
Now I have noticed this flaw again and again in me while I perform, but I have no idea how to get rid of it!
I talk WAY too much while performing.
Now, my audience has NEVER objected to this. And I get srsly great reactions nevertheless. Am not justifying myself, it is as it is...I get quite good reactions tbh. Better than I think my skill-set should fetch, lol.
Anyways...I always find myself OVER-justifying my magic. Like, just the moment before the climax I over-talk. Maybe it comes from an unfounded fear that the audience won't get the effect, I dunno.
But this talking REALLY lengthens my performance. My simplest 'Is this you card?' WHILE RETAINING the impactful parts, takes about 2-3 minutes. Too long, I know. Which is why my routines of 3 tricks take around 10-15 minutes (add or subtract some).
I have seen AMAZING performances, even routines which are 3 minutes long in TOTAL.
I would appreciate it SO much if you guys could tell me how do I go about talking less? How do I shorten my patter? I don't really write it down, I just practice stuff till it becomes second nature to me.
And now it is my second nature to TALK when am nervous.
XD
Help REALLY appreciated.
Also, I have been doing magic for 5-6 years, to friends and family, very few strangers as well, distant relatives, etc. I have done close-up performances and really BIG stage ones (big as in the audience size was big, like more than 650 people...the effects were NOT BIG, they were the old close-up stuff modified).
However, when I do the smallest of tricks for even the closest friends
Lo and Behold
MY HAND STARTS SHAKING!!!
And it is so embarassing in close-up situations! Especially when I myself am talking calmly, behaving calmly...but my hands are shaking, I may even be sweating.
I have ZERO idea why, believe me! They are a few of my closest friends, I do magic for them all the time, they are the ones who form ''my territory'', you know, how you get all casual around such friends...yet my hands start shaking!
And don't even think about what happens in INTENSE situations.
It has become so common that frnds sometimes tell me "Your hands are shaking" and am like "Yeah, and I have NO IDEA why!"...
I would have though this was some medical condition, but then my hands are perfectly okay when performing for my father, mother and sister (closest family).
It is only when I do a full-blown planned act that my hands start shaking! If I suddenly pull a simple mind-reading thing on my friends at school, it is okay. But for the same friends when I do something planned...like I have planned the patter and things (but I have NOT OVER-PLANNED OR THOUGHT TOO MUCH), in those situations, I get the shakes!

So all in all, 2 questions:-
1) How to avoid talking too much and cut down the duration of my performance.
2) How to stop my hands from shaking even in calm situations.

Thanks guys, in advance :) :) :)
 
Jan 14, 2017
159
149
First, I applaud you for asking this question here. This is the type of important dialog that makes these Fora valuable.

Based on your [lengthy] post I would guess your lack of brevity is a personality trait (no offense intended).
Since that is "You" it would be very, very difficult for you to 'train' yourself otherwise. However, scripting and practicing [only] what you have scripted will be helpful. In addition, take your time and LOOK AT THE SPECTATOR. Make it a challenge (personal game) to try pacing the activities in an effect around the reactions you are getting; the subtle clues that come from the spectator(s) when you really pay attention to them.

It is quite normal to be focused SO MUCH on the mechanics (the moves) of an effect - particularly when you are inexperienced AND when you are trying something new to you. That is where (in my experience) there is no substitute for PRACTICE. Once all the moves and 'moments' are second-nature you can focus on the patter, presentation and the audience without the need to think about the mechanical pieces.

Finally, I believe ALL magicians have particular situations where they ALWAYS feel a bit shaky. For me it is when I am performing for my peers (members of my local IBM Ring, for example). Whereas a 'stranger' does not intimidate me. My psycho-analysis of it is that I value the opinion and acceptance of those people more than strangers I may never see again. But, for many people it is the opposite.

Others may disagree with what I have stated. And I fully expect someone to tease me about the long post. That, again, is the valuable exchange of ideas we need to foster and encourage.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Get some of these: https://www.amazon.com/Sharpie-1754468-Pen-Style-Highlighter-Fluorescent/dp/B00006IEJ3/

And a pen

And this: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/1258

Use the first two on the third, while you study it. If you follow the advice in the book, you will fix your verbiage problem.

This is what you don't learn from videos. I mean, above and beyond my opinion of YouTube, this kind of stuff is the "real" secret of magic and it's just not addressed in videos very often, which is why I constantly recommend books.

The good news is that the solution to your over talking problem will also go a long way to fixing the shaking. Most people shake for one of two reasons - they're nervous and being scared makes the adrenaline pump, or they're overly excited, and that also makes the adrenaline pump.

If you write a script, and trim it down, and rehearse it until it can be consistently delivered in a natural voice, you are going to be less nervous because you know what's going to happen. You've done it a hundred times, or a thousand times. Professor BC told me that if you're not sick of your material, you haven't rehearsed it enough.

To give a real world example - when I did my first solo show, it was 45 minutes long. I used only material that I had already been performing for years, just made a bit bigger for a parlor stage. 3 months before the show premiered, I had the script written beginning to end, and edited down to be efficient. I stood in my bedroom and rehearsed the script piece by piece until I could do any given routine from beginning to end the same, three times in a row. That process took about a month of nightly rehearsal. The next month was spent pantomiming the pieces until they were smooth and flowing into each other. The final month was spent doing the entire show, twice, every night, as if I were performing for a real audience. At that point that only nerves I had to worry about were how a bizarre magic show would go over in a conservative (largely Catholic) area.

From your posts I can tell that you're passionate about this, but that you're also kind of scattered in your learning. At this point I think it's time you start focusing on theater skills rather than magic methods. If you treat every performance like it was a professional show, you will have everything rehearsed and down solid, which will largely eliminate the cause of nervousness.
 
Jul 26, 2016
556
760
From what I've read, anxiety and nervousness (and hands shaking may be a symptom of that) comes from worrying about how one is coming across in interactions with others (and magic certainly qualifies as such), and also worry over what the outcome will be, as opposed to getting into the moment and enjoying it and having fun. I think that when you start reorienting yourself toward that and the hell with worrying over the impression you are making or might make, you will find yourself much more relaxed, having a ball, and a very improved performer with no more shaking. BTW, I highly recommend you look into improv classes, as I believe they would help you immensely with your issues.
 

DavidL11229

Elite Member
Jul 25, 2015
452
223
Seattle
Dang, I thought this thread was about the song. Any Sweet fans out there?

As for your situation, it sounds like nerves/anxiety. You need to be more comfortable performing. So more experience/repetitions, classes as suggested above and maybe some meditation.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
3,849
New Jersey
What @ChristopherT said, BUT DONT WRITE IN THE BOOK. o_O

The shaking and overtalking is due to a lack of confidence and lack of feedback.

Lack of confidence is, in part, about skills and rehersal but also is about "is this person going to like my magic... " Recognize that the primal instincts in your brain add "... or are they going to try and kill me and eat me." As a result, your body kicks up the adrenaline and you keep talking for fear that if you stop, you will be eaten. That is why you should engage your audience before you really do any magic. Ask a question, say something funny, use your script to draw them in. Their positive reactions will help you stop shaking because your brain will think, "hey, they aren't going to kill me and eat me."

I'm guessing your hands stop shaking after the first trick goes well and you get a good reaction. If so, you have gotten positive feedback that your audience will not kill you and eat you and this allows you to relax.

The first step to talking less is to write your scripts down. Edit the script until you have only as many words as needed.

Without scripting, you might say, "I would like you to help me out here. I'm going to spread the deck in front of you and I would like you to pick a card, actually pick any card you want. It can be a totally free choice from this deck which is perfectly normal and shuffled. Here you can look at it. Ok, I'm going to spread the cards now, can you pick any card?"

With scripting it becomes "Now, please take any card, just one." Make every word matter.

It is important that your script be about something more than narrating what you are doing. Remember, draw the audience into the effect. Let me give you an example with how one of my routines begins:

Have you ever heard the term “tea-totaler”? A tea-totaler is someone who doesn’t drink alcohol. My grandmother was a tea-totaler.. [brings out an old china tea pot]. Well, not really... let me explain. During prohibition, my grandmother would have her friends over for tea. The problem was that nobody really wanted to drink tea. [take out bottle of coke and pour into tea pot].​

People react to the first question and the "Well, not really" and then are drawn in when I begin to explain. No magic has happened, but the audience is wondering where the presentation will go. They are interested, they like me, and, it is highly unlikely they will kill and eat me.
 
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Biz

Elite Member
Jun 13, 2013
31
37
Romania
bizandfriends.com
Now I have noticed this flaw again and again in me while I perform, but I have no idea how to get rid of it!
I talk WAY too much while performing.
Now, my audience has NEVER objected to this. And I get srsly great reactions nevertheless. Am not justifying myself, it is as it is...I get quite good reactions tbh. Better than I think my skill-set should fetch, lol.
Anyways...I always find myself OVER-justifying my magic. Like, just the moment before the climax I over-talk. Maybe it comes from an unfounded fear that the audience won't get the effect, I dunno.
But this talking REALLY lengthens my performance. My simplest 'Is this you card?' WHILE RETAINING the impactful parts, takes about 2-3 minutes. Too long, I know. Which is why my routines of 3 tricks take around 10-15 minutes (add or subtract some).
I have seen AMAZING performances, even routines which are 3 minutes long in TOTAL.
I would appreciate it SO much if you guys could tell me how do I go about talking less? How do I shorten my patter? I don't really write it down, I just practice stuff till it becomes second nature to me.
And now it is my second nature to TALK when am nervous.
XD
Help REALLY appreciated.
Also, I have been doing magic for 5-6 years, to friends and family, very few strangers as well, distant relatives, etc. I have done close-up performances and really BIG stage ones (big as in the audience size was big, like more than 650 people...the effects were NOT BIG, they were the old close-up stuff modified).
However, when I do the smallest of tricks for even the closest friends
Lo and Behold
MY HAND STARTS SHAKING!!!
And it is so embarassing in close-up situations! Especially when I myself am talking calmly, behaving calmly...but my hands are shaking, I may even be sweating.
I have ZERO idea why, believe me! They are a few of my closest friends, I do magic for them all the time, they are the ones who form ''my territory'', you know, how you get all casual around such friends...yet my hands start shaking!
And don't even think about what happens in INTENSE situations.
It has become so common that frnds sometimes tell me "Your hands are shaking" and am like "Yeah, and I have NO IDEA why!"...
I would have though this was some medical condition, but then my hands are perfectly okay when performing for my father, mother and sister (closest family).
It is only when I do a full-blown planned act that my hands start shaking! If I suddenly pull a simple mind-reading thing on my friends at school, it is okay. But for the same friends when I do something planned...like I have planned the patter and things (but I have NOT OVER-PLANNED OR THOUGHT TOO MUCH), in those situations, I get the shakes!

So all in all, 2 questions:-
1) How to avoid talking too much and cut down the duration of my performance.
2) How to stop my hands from shaking even in calm situations.

Thanks guys, in advance :) :) :)


Incorporate the shaking in your routine. Accept it as part of yourself and you will in short time find that you no longer think of it.

Alan Watts said something along the lines of, "People make the mistake of fighting pain when they feel it. What one should do is accept it as part of itself. Pretend as if thy had this pain for the past years. And by doing so, you give it no more attention."

that's my 2 cents
 
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