Ben Train pops in to offer some important tips to help you overcome any fear you may have surrounding performing the magic tricks that you’ve been practicing on.
For those of you who don’t know Ben, he is Jonah’s housemate, his business partner, and the better looking half of their duo act (his words). And over the next few months, Ben is going to be doing a series of short podcasts dedicated to helping you become better and more confident performers.
Ben has been doing magic for about 25 years and for the first 10 or so years of that, he loved magic, practiced magic, but refused to show people tricks. It didn’t matter who was asking, whether it was friends or family, or even complete strangers. When they asked to see a trick, Ben would freeze up, his mind would go blank and he would have to come up with an excuse for why he didn’t want to share something.
If that sounds like a problem that you’re dealing with, Ben can empathize. Showing magic to people when you don’t know who you’re going to be showing it to, when you don’t know what to say, and when you don’t know if they’re going to like it, that is scary.
So, Ben has some tips that’ll help you get out there, to get over that hump, and start showing magic. For the purpose of this episode we’re going to assume that you already know some tricks and you’ve practiced them so that they’re ready to be shown to people. If you’re still practicing, don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time, but assuming you have some tricks ready to go, what do you do so that you can start showing them to people? Well, Ben thinks it starts by asking yourself three very important questions.
Who do you want to perform for? Where do you want to perform? And what is it that you will be performing now?
Who Do You Want To Perform For?
If you’re not a professional magician, you don’t have to be ready to perform in every situation. You don’t have to be an expert at kid magic, stand up magic, stage magic, close-up magic, and adult magic. You can pick which audience you want to perform for. Obviously, performing for drunk adults is different from performing for children. So if you feel like you’re more comfortable performing for kids, that’s who you’re going to target with your performances. If you want to perform for your friends in school or buddies at work, you know who you’re planning on performing for.
Where Do You Want To Perform?
You don’t have to be an expert at everything. You can pick and say, “I want to do close-up magic for people when I go out for drinks”. Or you can say, “on the bus on the way to school, I want to be able to show someone a trick”. Knowing who you’re planning on performing for and where you’re planning on performing gives you the tools you need to pick the right trick to do. And this is very important. We’re not trying to figure out how to put together an entire act that we can perform all over the world. Right now, we’re just trying to work up the courage. We need to start performing for people in our lives.
What Will You Perform?
You don’t have to come up with an entire set list of material. You just have to pick one trick that you’re going to practice. One trick that you’re going to do for a specific audience and in a specific setting. And if you do that, suddenly you’ll notice that you have a lot more confidence because you feel more prepared. Know thy enemy, know the battlefield and you are prepared to bring the tools you need to conquer those enemies or battlefields.
Think about it like a UFC fighter. A UFC fighter trained specifically for the match ahead of him, a grappler you train for differently than you’re going to train for a striker, for instance. So if you know you’re going to be doing that for a specific group, and you’re going to be doing it in a specific place, and you know the trick you’re going to do, you can prepare yourself in advance both mentally and physically to do that.
Now we’re not talking about becoming an expert in performing in every situation. That comes later. Right now, you’re going to focus on one group for one type of setting and one specific trick. And once you perform that a few times for people, you will be confident because you’ll know the trick works, the audience likes it, and it works in that type of setting. And now you will have one piece that is ready to go in your repertoire and you can start working on the next one. And before you know it, you’ll be ready to rock and roll and do magic whenever you want to.
Reach Out For More Help
Reach out if you have more questions by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re going to be doing a series of these helpful tips. And if you want to follow more, if you want to get more tips, and if you want to be involved in some of the fun workshops we’re planning on doing visit discourseinmagic.com/updates and join the Discourse In Magic Facebook group, because we’ve got a lot of fun stuff planned.