It’s a cruel trick of nature.. Those that need the most practice and experience have the least opportunity to receive it. Those pesky professional magicians, they have hordes of new people to show their magic tricks to every night. Not only that, but they get paid to do it! What about those of us that are starting out, or simply prefer to treat magic as a hobby? How are we supposed to get better if we don’t have access to an ever changing audience to sharpen our classic pass’s on? The answer… our family and friends.
How to bore friends and annoy people
Your friends may love your magic tricks. You may always be asked to show them a trick or about how your magic is going. Being a magician is quite unusual, and you are probably the only magician your friends know. However, many of your friends, and most of your family knew you before you started to learn magic. They like you because.. well, you’re you! Hanging around with you is not a license for you to constantly show them your latest tricks, or even worse, each stage of development that your current favorite trick has reached. They haven’t decided to go and see a magic show every time they see you, so make sure you don’t ‘magic them to death’
71% of magicians partners reported that they no longer like being shown magic tricks. (Source: Feedback survey MagicShop.co.uk 2009 (Sample size 627)
Pick the right times to show them some magic. Wait to be invited to do so. Thinking that because you have a ‘relationship’ with someone, it’s fair game to make them watch endless card tricks, is a sure fire way to bore and annoy your friends and family. So who do you show your magic to? If you don’t perform to the public, your friends and family are your only audience. However, it’s really easy to avoid these pitfalls. You just need to keep in mind some simple advice.
The dynamic’s are different
The dynamics of performing magic to people who know you is very different to that of the general public. You already have a relationship with these people. Basically, they know you aren’t really magical. This gives them far fewer boundaries than someone who knows you only as a magician, there to entertain. This expresses itself in may different ways. Here are just a few:
- They ask more questions
- They will grab at props
- They try to get the ‘secret’ out of you
- They don’t regard you as a professional
- They want you to repeat the tricks
Another challenge when performing to people that know you, is that persona’s simply don’t work.
Suddenly switching to the character of a wild west hustler, or a mystic from the middle east, comes across as ridiculous. Your friend may have know you at school or has sat through several dull business meetings with you earlier that week. When you show them a trick and switch personalities to become someone else, it just doesn’t work. The only authentic style you can present these people, is one that fit’s with their knowledge about you. Basically, you have to be yourself!
Doing it right
We have written a free ebook that discusses the pitfalls of performing magic to your family and friends. The book gives you practical ways to:
Improve your presentation
Deal with ‘grabbers’
How to answer ‘ Do another one’
Being the centre of attention
How not to reveal the ‘secrets’
Do you have some advice for magicians performing to their friends? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below: