Mark asks: What is the best way to start approaching unknown people to perform magic?
This is another common question asked here at the Merchant of Magic, and it is a very tough thing to do if you have no idea where to start. This can be a real problem for someone wanting that bit more than just performing to family and friends.
So, how do you go from performing to people you know to performing to people you don’t know?
Here are my 5 best tips that I would like to share with you that I used when I began performing magic.
1) A great way to practice upon people you don’t know is to perform magic to friends and family when you are out for a meal. If you time it right you can perform some magic to the waitress or waiter when they come to serve you. Simply be talking about magic or playing with cards when they come over. They will most definitely tell their colleagues and then come back and ask to see some more. Tell them you will show them some magic tricks before you leave. You can then go and perform for them for a few minutes when you are finished with your meal. It is also worth noting that if you see a table being very interested and watching you then you can give them a nod and ask if they would like to see a quick trick, don't go overboard, a simple quick trick would be enough.
2) Ask any family and friends if they are hosting any dinner parties that you would be able to come and perform some magic at. My parents would entertain friends about once a month, and I would always jump at the chance to perform something for them.
3) Utilise your parents or friends as much as possible. For example, my Father was also a member of a shooting club and I offered to come along to their Christmas party to entertain everyone, I didn’t charge, but I got free food and drink and a great experience.
4) Another area to look at is for any local events like craft fairs or charity events being held in your local area. Simply check out whats on in your local town online. You can then contact the person in charge of the event and ask if it is ok to come and perform for the people attending.
5) Finally if you are of the correct age (18 and upwards) you can go out to pubs and bars and simply ask people who are in a group of friends if they would like to see some magic. If you wish to become a working magician you will have to do this at every event multiple times, so it is better to get used to introducing yourself! You will find it uncomfortable at first but once you get a strong reaction you will love the feeling and most likely attract attention from others whom you can give a nod to and go and show them something next!
So there they are my five best tips for getting out there and performing to people you don’t know. The experience is very different to performing to people that you know, and I am sure you will receive some great reactions.