Looking for Opportunities

January 20, 2011

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything.  The holidays were nutty as they usually are so I didn’t have time to put fingers to keys and scratch my thoughts into the wet cement of the information superhighway.  But, finally, things have calmed down and it’s a good thing too,  because my brain has been going crazy these past few weeks.

I’ve been really spinning my wheels trying to flesh out my own performance character and style.  The really frustrating part about all this is that I know, consciously, that it is completely impossible to work out these things inside my own head.  The only way to really figure this stuff out is to perform.  A lot.  The problem is that I’m having trouble finding opportunities to perform regularly enough to learn at the pace I want to.

For most magi in the close-up arena, a regular gig is to be had by getting a job performing at restaurants.  This sort of gig has a lot of advantages.  It gives you a regular place to work on and perfect your stuff as well as a regular income.  Unfortunately, working in that kind of environment is really hard for me.  I just find it really difficult to walk up to people cold and perform.  I actually find being in front of a group on a stage easier because even though I’m still very nervous before going on, when I’m up there it’s MY space, I’m in control and I’m supposed to be there.  Surprising people at a table or on the street makes me impossibly nervous.  This need to perform that I have coupled with these feelings has just left me feeling stuck and frustrated.

So that’s where I am now.  It’s not a very productive place, but I’m pushing through and looking for any opportunity to perform that I can.  Hopefully, by being vigilant, I’ll be ready when the right opportunity comes along.  Back to work.  More to come…

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One Response to “Looking for Opportunities”

  1. You are not alone in your nervousness concerning restaurant magic. That is one of the most stressful venues for me as well, and I avoid it if at all possible. HOWEVER, it is probably the best venue to try out your close-up work, and smaller parlour illusions! I used to work a Mexican restaurant up here, and every time a large group came in, I would hustle back to my case and pull out some parlour routine that I was working out. It is a great point of feedback and to check general audience reaction. Also, I would try out one liners and jokes on the folks in the restaurant, watching (without appearing to watch) very closely their reactions, and seeing what worked best on men, women, children, senior adults, young marrieds, etc. I ended up with 4 or 5 solid sets geared specifically around the demographics of the table. The illusions didn’t change a whole lot, but the patter and byplay shifts dramatically. I hate working ’em, but they have been and are invaluable evaluation tools for your material and your illusions. Much success to you, Brother!
    Grace and Peace,
    Brother Timothy

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