I was recently watching a Derren Brown video on YouTube where he explained how he started out.
In the video, he was discussing that he used to do restaurant magic before he became a bigtime tv celebrity. The analysis that the person gave him about his restaurant magic was wonderful he said: “So basically when you are approaching people it is like the most awkward form of picking up girls in a bar?”.
I liked that analogy quite a lot, and it made me flashback to some of the trouble I used to have when I started performing magic, especially with opening people.
I used to come up with clever schemes and quick tricks to grab people their attention, before showing them what I actually wanted to show them. But, I don’t do this anymore.
In an earlier blog, I wrote about intention. If you have your intentions straight and it is a “giving” intention you should already have way less trouble with approaching and opening people.
A common belief between magicians (One that I used to have) is that you have to show people something spectacular in the first minute that you are with them.
This is actually not true. You can perfectly well hold a conversation with these people for a few minutes before showing them anything. This is important because it helps you to build your likeability and it makes you more human.
Just being there and talking to them is perfectly fine, even if you are getting paid to do the gig. You are getting paid for your time, not for your magic. However, if your magic is better it makes your time more valuable.
When I realized that I could talk with people as well, instead of only performing for them. Especially during the opening.
The performances became much more valuable. People rarely have the opportunity to talk to a magician. You have now granted them the opportunity, and you can share some wonderful magic with them.
The rules are not a set thing, they are there to learn from and then decide if they work for you or not.