First Time Pro

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Adam Brooks » 10/16/01 06:06 AM

Almost everyone remembers their first kiss, their first 'F' in school, first girlfriend, etc. I'd like to add one more 'first' to the list: first professional paid performance, which for me, was tonight.

It feels late, having my first 'real' paid close-up gig at age 21. But no matter. I spent 2 hour performing walkaround at a local pub, which I have come to consider the most fun, and, in some senses, the most difficult venue to work. Because I haven't performed in the real world for nearly as long as most of the people in this forum, I am trying to develop the necessary skills, i.e. how to read people, how to know when to walk away, how to approach, etc. I get the impression, from different texts and from other performer, it's simply a matter of time and experimentation before I find the right techniques for me.

As it turned out tonight, there was a group of about 50 med students who had just become doctors. Many of them were drunk or on the way to becoming so, the ones who were sober kept the drunk from falling over. Still, I went over very well; they kept me going for over an hour! Not only did I get my pay, I gave out a few business cards, got some free drinks (after my shift was over, of course), and even got a phone number! If only all performances were as nice as tonight!

Experience: I yearn for it, I want it to teach me, I want it to show the raw, uncensored reality of the entertaining world. :eek:

Adam
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/16/01 11:15 AM

Adam, since I am not a professional magician, and have not had a paying gig since doing birthday parties when I was 13, I can't share your euphoria. However, I do remember the unadulterated thrill the first time I had the balls to do a Top Change for laymen--and no one saw it. Never forget that!
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Postby Jeremy Medows » 10/16/01 02:09 PM

Richard,

I remember getting away with my first top change (for my uncle) performing David Williamson's Torn and Restored Transposition, which was the coolest trick to me when I was in my early teens.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/16/01 02:11 PM

Jeremy, Williamson's method for the Top Change is an odd one, because he pivots the top card out in order to grasp it cleanly. It looks excellent when he does it--in fact, one of the best I've (n)ever seen!
But, Paul Gertner's Top Change looks equally good, and he's using a method that's hundreds of years old.
As with many sleights, it's a matter of finding the technique that somehow fits YOU best, and that you feel most comfortable with. You all know that feeling--some sleights don't feel right, while others (even the first few times you try them) just feel good when you do them.
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Postby Guest » 10/17/01 08:47 AM

Adam,
Don't feel bad that you are giving you're first paying performance at 21. I was a musician travelling all over the country for about 14 years until I finally got out of performing music and discovered the wonderful world of magic at the age of 27 and gave my first paying performance working in a restaurant at the age of 30. I'm now almost 36 (as of 10-22) and I'm performing all the time. If you ever feel like you're behing, just remember Bert Allerton. He didn't even start learning magic until he was in his 40's (I think) and was one of the biggest influences in close-up magic of our time.
Rick
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Postby Jeremy Medows » 10/17/01 08:50 AM

Originally posted by Adam Brooks:
As it turned out tonight, there was a group of about 50 med students who had just become doctors. Many of them were drunk or on the way to becoming so, the ones who were sober kept the drunk from falling over. Still, I went over very well; they kept me going for over an hour! Not only did I get my pay, I gave out a few business cards, got some free drinks (after my shift was over, of course), and even got a phone number! If only all performances were as nice as tonight!
Adam


Congrats on the successful show. Be careful about the phone numbers.

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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 11/05/01 04:08 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Paul Gertner's Top Change looks equally good


Yeah, a little too good. When I first learned that he uses a top change as a packet switch, I think I started to cry.
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Postby Guest » 11/07/01 02:05 AM

Adam, Top Man!! Congratulations. I guess it proves that the joy of magic is in the performance and the getting something back from the audience. I just wondered what tricks you performed. I am about to my first gig in one week and am quite nervous. Are you going to use that phone number?
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