Friday, March 18, 2011


Andrew Musgrave from the Ye old magic blog recently brought up the topic of tricks that are scary to perform I will talk on that in a bit but first I want to wax poetic about fear and stage fright.

Fear is a good thing. It keeps us alert and on our toes. It keeps us from making silly mistakes. That said you can't let fear stop you. As for stage fright I think magicians have more potential for stage fright than any other performer. We have all the same bits of stage fright as say an actor; "What if I forget my lines, what if I drop my props, what if I trip, what if they boo...etc" We have all that then we have to attempt to do something sneaky in front of people that lets face it sometimes just want to see you mess up. Some people just can't accept magic for anything other than a puzzle. But that's what you got to deal with, you practice, train and rehearse, then go out and do it.

Now for tricks that frighten me. I can't think of any trick that I'm afraid to do. But there are moves that scare me. The bold moves. The moves where you say you're doing one thing and then you boldly and sneakily do something else. Tell me that theres a slight that has poor angles and requires you thumbs to pass through separate dimensions, I'll practice the heck out of it set up with the correct angles and breeze through it. Tell me I have to do a Marlo Tilt and my hands start to shake. True story.

The first time I ever did magic for a complete stranger was when I was waiting on my order at Burger King. I was listening to the advice that practicing your magic in public place will help you get used to the idea of performing. SO I'm playing with a deck of cards and one of the employees, notices and starts talking to me which leads him to ask to see a trick. So I started doing an ACR and all was going great I had done two or three phases and was going to end it by putting his card in face up and having it rise to the top. And I was going to do the Marlo Tilt to do it. My hands started shaking so bad I lost my break twice and then I lost his card. I put it in way too far down. I didn't know what to do I just apologized, told him I had messed up. Luckily he got called away to do his job and I used that chance to set up the deck the way I needed, and just started control shuffling till he returned. He walked up I ask him if he remembered his card, did my color change. Got my order and left.

I know that with time, practice, and real performances that eventually I will be able to do those moves as good as my others. But they still scare me. Its like I think they're too simple to fool anyone and that translates to doubt which leads to messing up.

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