close up problem

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby weijie » 06/07/10 06:09 AM

Hi guys,
my name is WJ,
i had learn 2 years of cards close up,
but always had a big problem,
whenever i perform a trick or a few,
my hands always get shaky and i couldn't speak firmly and clearly,
therefore the magic ambience is very weak,
and the audience will feel is a trick rather than magic
i wish to know,
what is the causes?
does anyone have the same experience after 2 years of performing?
is it because of nervousness?
the most important thing is how can i solve this problem?~
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Postby mrgoat » 06/07/10 06:34 AM

Hi WJ.

The good news is it a very common problem that is fairly easy to solve.

You are shaking because you are nervous. This is (after two years) probably because you are trying to learn too many effects and are mastering none of them.

Or, naturally you are nervous around people.

Either way, simple to solve.

Concentrate your studies on JUST ONE TRICK. Just one. And work out a FULL script for that trick. Treat it like a small play. Write out the script and LEARN YOUR LINES! Just like in a play.

When you know for a fact what you will be saying, and what trick you will be doing it will remove the nerves massively.

Also, just do that trick on as many people as you can. At work/school. At the bus stop. At the bar. Everywhere, just to get experience doing it.

Also, be worth seeking out the help of a drama teacher to block your tricks and help with the script.

HTH

Damian
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 06/07/10 06:39 AM

Hi WJ,

I am going to suggest some very basic tings, so forgive me if you have already done these things.

1st, make sure that have dialog (lines) that are written out and MEMORIZED. Also make sure that all of your actions are pre planned and memorized.

2nd, find family or close friends to perform you material before. Perform many times in front them before trying an audience of strangers.

3rd, if you are still having this problem then consider see a counselor who specializes in panic/phobia.

Finally, if you have done all this and it does not help you might want to think about a different hobby or a different aspect of magic. Performing is not for everyone! Eugene Burger famously said, "The house of magic has many rooms". Perhaps you might create tricks, or just learn slight of hand or become a student of magic history.

I hope some of this helps.

Best wishes and good luck,

Bob
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/07/10 08:48 AM

How are you when it comes to getting onstage or performing before others in a context different than as a magician?

Better to seperate out the stage fright from the fuss fret.
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Postby weijie » 06/07/10 09:23 AM

oh thats help me a lot,
thx Damian and Bob for your replied and solution.
I will try these solution.
however i would ask if close up will get nervous does that mean in stage or parlour magic will makes me nervous too?
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Postby Bob Cunningham » 06/07/10 10:26 AM

Probably.

Something else you might consider if you are nervous in front of people, join your local Toastmasters. If you gain some confidence speaking to groups this might help you with your close up.
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Postby weijie » 06/12/10 12:00 PM

Hi, guys is me again.
Came back to update myself.
Recently,I performed a few magic trick that I am very confident with and each magic trick I prepared a script or a story like Damian suggested.
I found out this suggestion help me a lot, my hands shaked less and I know what to talked while I am performing. Comfortable enough to perform. Btw, I still have some problem. I found that, I still cannot control my audience(audience sometimes will see the card themselves without instructing them to do so,therefore without the right timing it decrease the magic ambience)and even I am able to control, I still feel lack of some mysteries ambience.How should I do?
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Postby Luigi Anzivino » 06/12/10 01:07 PM

Hi WJ,

Have you thought about not fighting it? My hands often shake noticeably when I perform (although not if I perform for children, strangely), and I found it works well to incorporate it into my performing persona, rather than trying to hide it. I come across as a nervous and slightly under-practiced magic enthusiast, and spectators often start pre-warming their sympathy engines in preparation for my seemingly inevitable failure.

When the effect then actually works it heightens the impact because expectations were low. This might only be appropriate if you, like me, perform in informal and impromtu circumstances, for people who are not expecting to see The Amazing Magician...

Good luck,
Luigi
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/10 01:11 PM

Your hands shake because you're afraid, and fear causes adrenaline to pump into your system, and that causes your hands to shake.

You need to eliminate fear from yourself when you perform.

It's a useless emotion.

At first, when Derek Dingle used to ask me to show him something, my hands shook like a diseased leaf. I was 14 or 15, and he was one of the greatest sleight of hand artists in the world. He had little patience for my shaking hands.

I figured out pretty quickly that in order to gain his respect as a student, I needed to purge fear from myself. And I also remember the first time I was able to show him something without worrying about it. It was a great personal triumph.

Fear gives you nothing as a magician, while confidence gives you everything.
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Postby weijie » 06/12/10 01:29 PM

yeah,thought of that, however you made a good point. But as for my opinion, I try to solve this problem because it irritates me while i am performing and I wanted to be a firm magician.I feel that showing shaky hands and tremble voices makes me look kinda not that "amazing magician"
:) thx for your opinion and suggestion.
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Postby weijie » 06/12/10 01:35 PM

Hi, Richard.
Thanks for your explanation. Now I know the reason why my hands shaked. Well for your infomation, my hands now shaked less and my voices are more firm after following Damian advice(2nd reply). Meanwhile,I will also try to get rid most of my fear after listening your post. However, I still have a problem. My problem is, I still cannot control my audience(audience sometimes will see the card themselves without instructing them to do so,therefore without the right timing it decrease the magic ambience)and even I am able to control, I still feel lack of some mysteries ambience.How should I do?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/10 02:35 PM

Learn some deep breathing exercises.
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Postby weijie » 06/12/10 03:03 PM

Sorry, I am not very good in english so does not really get your mean. Btw,do you mean learning some deep breath excercise help me to create the ambience and help me to kinda control my audience? or it helps my nervousness? or purposely doing deep breathing give them the impression that i am kinda not that confident about the magic trick?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/12/10 03:08 PM

Your audience will be more controlable (or to be more accurate, more directable) if you have an appearance of confidence. To get this confidence, and to stop your shaking hand problem, deep breathing exercises will help you.

Ian
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/12/10 03:19 PM

Deep breathing exercises help to calm you down and slow your heartbeat. This stops the production of adrenaline that, when pumped into your blood, causes your hands to shake.

http://www.stress-relief-exercises.com/ ... cises.html
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Postby Jim Martin » 06/12/10 03:46 PM

I would highly recommend the work of Don Greene, who is a sports psychologist and performance coach. His specialty is working with individuals who perform under extreme pressure (e.g., Olympic athletes, Formula One drivers, pro golfers, SWAT teams, orchestral musicians). Now his work is primarily with musicians (at seminars, Julliard, New World Symphony in Miami, etc.). I've used his books and attended lectures and they are exceptionally good.

He synthesizes a number of techniques to allow one perform well under pressure. No psycho-babble or 'just relax' malarkey. He provides a very practical approach worth exploring.

Here's his site:
http://www.dongreene.com/

Links to his books:
1. Fight Your Fear and Win (for general public)
http://www.amazon.com/Fight-Your-Fear-W ... 172&sr=8-2

2. Performance Success (written for musicians, but outstanding for the 100 question self-assessment questionnaire)
http://www.amazon.com/Performance-Succe ... 172&sr=8-1

3. Audition Success (also for musicians, two case studies in interview form)
http://www.amazon.com/Audition-Success- ... 172&sr=8-3
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Postby weijie » 06/13/10 01:16 AM

Thanks guys for ur link and explanation.
I will try to update myself and give you the good news asap.. :D
cheers
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 06/14/10 01:13 AM

Weijie,

You have said that the audience sometimes looks at the card they are holding when you do not want them to. This may be because you are nervous and not controlling the situation. Or a lack of control of the situation is causing you to be scared that they are going to look at the card.

What I am trying to say is that you must again look at your script and see if your plan of action and words are proper to get the audience to do what you want. If because of your planning you KNOW the audience will not be doing something, it may increase you confidence.
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Postby weijie » 06/14/10 02:24 AM

OK, I understand that. Well,in my routine I did tell them not to open the card first and one of the performances the audience is my best friend so after finishing my performance and all the people are gone, I went to explain to him about my problem and asked him why will he open the card?(because he is one of my best friends so i think is quite appropriate to do so.) Btw, he answer me that he know that thats was the card he has to open and he is eager to know so without telling he opened the card.
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Postby El Mystico » 06/14/10 06:55 AM

What is the trick you are doing?
Asking a spectator to hold a card but not look at it can involve a relatively high level of audience management.
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Postby weijie » 06/14/10 01:19 PM

My often magic is ask the audience to choose a card and shuffle the deck after they put their card in the middle of the deck. After they finish shuffling I will put the card one by one on the table as they stop whenever they like the n th card is their card. However, i will always show them the other card before i reveal the card where they stop. The reason was to create some ambience there but sometimes they already revealed the card before I show that the other card does not have the choosen card.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 06/14/10 01:50 PM

OK,, based on the trick you have just described......

create a protection against the card being revealed before you are ready.

For example, if you are dealing the cards until they say stop, when they stop you don't just place that card on the table. Place it under some object; a glass, a wand, the magic coin. Does not matter what the object is as long as you convey the impression that the card is to stay there untouched by you until the reveal. By emphasizing that the card is separate and now protected from your changing it, it will also prevent them from touching it. Now show the rest of the cards and make a moment of your revealing the card that has been put aside.
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Postby weijie » 06/14/10 10:00 PM

Ok, i will try that my next performance and update the outcome asap.
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Postby weijie » 06/15/10 12:25 PM

Hi guys, I feel is kinda waste if I post this question in a new topic so I posted it here. However, check this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyQ6AZd8GDc so did he use mentalism? But in the show he said that is a very easy trick for every magician. I m kinda confused cause I have no idea how he did that other than mentalism. But i think is not a f..ce card
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