Have you ever been at a point wherein you wanted to try something new, something that you’ve been practicing for gruesome hours in the four corners of your room in front of the mirror and when the moment comes to test it to an unsuspecting group spectators, you just got rejected?
Being rejected is a bad feeling, in fact it is very awkward not only to magicians but to everybody else as well.
Even famous magicians get their share of rejections such as David Blaine, Criss Angel, Alonzo to name a few. Every close up magician has been in that uncomfortable situation.
Yes, you may try your newest trick to your friends and relatives but there is something unique about trying it to strangers. You will be able to feel that eagerness, the nervousness, the anxiety, the hype whenever you try it to people that you don’t know. My point of advice is that, just make sure that you’ve practiced the trick and studied it a million of times before you head out there.
I had my share of rejections from spectators and the feeling is very embarrassing indeed. Just imagine yourself offering something that would amaze them and you were just shooed off like a beggar. I’ve been delving on this for quite some time and retraced my steps here and there.
With that, I made a system for myself, you can use it too if you want.
Step 1 – Dress Up
Appearance is important to magicians. Wearing decent attire or something that would describe your personality would be a big factor. Don’t look like a hoodlum because if you do, chances are people would shove you away. Another thing that you should bear in mind is that you should dress up depending on the place or spot where you will be doing your crash performances.
Step 2 – Groom Properly
This is as important as dressing properly. Having dirty nails is a big ‘NO’ in being a magician. Remember that it is your hands that people will be looking at. If possible, have your nails polished neatly before you think of doing crash performances.
Smelling nice is also very important; don’t approach a group of spectators smelling like an entire basketball team. You get the idea. Look for a light cologne or perfume and spray some on yourself before approaching them. Bear in mind, that women have their senses on high alert whenever a guy approaches them. You get my point.
STEP 3 – (Optional) Have a script
Patter is very important for a trick in order to look elegant and wonderful. Having a good patter would not only impress your spectators but would also save you from unnecessary dull moments. Avoid saying ‘Uhm’ or ‘Aah’ when talking to them.
Now it is time for the implementation part.
STEP 4 – Have a catchy opening gambit
Opening gambits is very important especially to close up magicians who are doing walkaround or table hopping performances. The same thing goes if you are doing crash performances. When I approach a group of spectators I don’t give them the idea that I’m a magician immediately. One way to do that is by hiding your deck in your pocket if you’re about to do card magic.
Here is one of my opening gambits that I usually use:
“Are you guys from around here? (it doesn’t matter what their answer is) Well, I’ve been trying out something and I would love to have your female opinion on it. This will be quick and for sure you’ll love it”. – then go with the intro phase before they can say another word.
At this point they are wondering what you have in store for them. The reason why I don’t tell them that I’m a magician, it’s because I want to develop curiosity from them.
Social study dictates that people have an urge to look at something that is intentionally being hidden from them than something that is blatantly shown.
STEP 5 – Introductions
Before they could say anything after you told them that you will be showing something amazing or something entertaining, you go ahead with your introductions. Tell them your name and ask for theirs. This is very important. Don’t go into your routine without proper courtesy.
As they tell you their names one by one, put your self in comfortable position with them. You may want to sit beside them or just stand closer to them. – this is where smelling nice takes place.
Now once all of the names have been given, you can give them the idea that you’re a magician.
Here is a sample:
“Well I’ve been working on this effect and I would love to put it on my show which means that your feedbacks and reactions on it would be of a big value for me”. Then you proceed with your routine which includes a very good patter. Patter generates a magical environment that makes an effect even stronger than it already is.
What if they still would say no and tell you that they’re busy? Would you apologize, turn around and do the walk of shame? You shouldn’t! At least walk out of there with dignity (though this word may seem too overrated).
What I usually do is this:
“Well okay”. (Don’t push yourself into them). By the way, if ever you have a very big event and you need a prime performer for it ,here’s my calling card. (then do a visual effect using your calling card, whether you make the letters move, make the colors change or make it float on thin air). Then walk away. Just make sure that what you did should have impressed them, make their jaws drop if possible.
Make them feel that they miss out on something.
Tried this approach among spectators who are too scared or too busy to watch some magical effects and at a 99% rate they invited me back into their company and 60% of the time I don’t go back there and pretend I don’t hear them calling my name then approach another group.
Sometimes I like the feeling that people miss out on something because of their own doing. Just saying.
Well, I sure do hope that this post have been helpful in some way or another. Just my point of view.