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Nate Smith

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Last night I hosted my third show, A Night of Curiosities. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a magic enthusiast with just over a year of learning under my belt. I definitely don’t consider myself a magician and up until last night didn’t have the confidence to perform magic to a real audience.

But because I love magic and wanted to see more of it in my city (Portland, OR) I rented the smaller space at the comedy theater I perform at (I’ve been performing improv comedy for 20 years) and began hosting a monthly magic show.

As the host I consider it my job to keep the show moving and get out of the way so the magicians can do their thing. But my kids were disappointed when I told them I wasn’t going to be doing any tricks. So on the way to the theater, I thought of a simple effect I could do that would be low pressure.

I do this bit to make my kids laugh where I “attempt” to shuffle the cards and they explode out of my hands and fly all over the place. It always gets a laugh. So I brought my kids up onstage with me during the first transition between 2 of the magicians, and told the audience how I’m not really a magician, but that I got into magic because my kids begged me to show them a card trick. “And here is the first one I learned. Let’s see if I can still do it.” Then I had one of my kids select a card, show it around, and put it back in the deck. Then I shuffled the deck and the cards exploded into the air and all over the floor. It got a great laugh. “Well...do you see your card anywhere?” Then as they started to look I said, “Oh look, one of them landed in my pocket” and out of my vest pocket I produced their card.

This is the kind of thing that even last month I would have been extremely nervous to try. But I convinced myself that this trick wasn’t about the magic. I was just trying to get a laugh from the exploding cards bit. If they caught me in the act, it didn’t really matter. And suddenly, when put in that context, I felt very confident doing it.

So anyway, I’m very excited about this personal progress.

On another note, Rudy performed in my show last night and CRUSHED IT!
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jim ferguson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well done, it sounds like it went over very well - and and that you had fun doing it.

I'm the complete opposite to you by the sounds of it - I'll happily perform a piece of magic, but stand up improv comedy sounds daunting as heck. I don't think I'd ever have the nerve for something like that.

Thank you for sharing.


Jim



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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ferguson
Well done, it sounds like it went over very well - and and that you had fun doing it.

I'm the complete opposite to you by the sounds of it - I'll happily perform a piece of magic, but stand up improv comedy sounds daunting as heck. I don't think I'd ever have the nerve for something like that.

Thank you for sharing.


Jim





Thanks!

When it comes to the confidence, I think it just depends on where we’ve devoted our time and energy over the years. I’ve done so many comedy shows, that they don’t phase me at all any more. I thought that I would have that same level of confidence when performing magic. But I quickly found out it’s a lot like switching between two colleges...a lot of my credits didn’t transfer.
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Senor Fabuloso

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For me

To get over stage fright, it was like taking a test in school. The more prepared I am the more confident I could be about getting an A.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Smith
Last night I hosted my third show, A Night of Curiosities. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a magic enthusiast with just over a year of learning under my belt. I definitely don’t consider myself a magician and up until last night didn’t have the confidence to perform magic to a real audience.

But because I love magic and wanted to see more of it in my city (Portland, OR) I rented the smaller space at the comedy theater I perform at (I’ve been performing improv comedy for 20 years) and began hosting a monthly magic show.

As the host I consider it my job to keep the show moving and get out of the way so the magicians can do their thing. But my kids were disappointed when I told them I wasn’t going to be doing any tricks. So on the way to the theater, I thought of a simple effect I could do that would be low pressure.

I do this bit to make my kids laugh where I “attempt” to shuffle the cards and they explode out of my hands and fly all over the place. It always gets a laugh. So I brought my kids up onstage with me during the first transition between 2 of the magicians, and told the audience how I’m not really a magician, but that I got into magic because my kids begged me to show them a card trick. “And here is the first one I learned. Let’s see if I can still do it.” Then I had one of my kids select a card, show it around, and put it back in the deck. Then I shuffled the deck and the cards exploded into the air and all over the floor. It got a great laugh. “Well...do you see your card anywhere?” Then as they started to look I said, “Oh look, one of them landed in my pocket” and out of my vest pocket I produced their card.

This is the kind of thing that even last month I would have been extremely nervous to try. But I convinced myself that this trick wasn’t about the magic. I was just trying to get a laugh from the exploding cards bit. If they caught me in the act, it didn’t really matter. And suddenly, when put in that context, I felt very confident doing it.

So anyway, I’m very excited about this personal progress.

On another note, Rudy performed in my show last night and CRUSHED IT!


Good for you!  It is all downhill from here.  Hey, what types of effects did Rudy do?  I've only seen him do closeup and mainly cards.

Congrats on the success of your shows!
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Way to go, Nate! As the saying goes, "Watch that first step, it's a doozy!" And now that you've taken that first step, you've begun your journey... and here's wishing you a long and pleasant one.

If I may, it's sounds as if you kept in mind one of the most important aspects of performing: it's all about connecting with the audience. That's a lesson that many performers never manage to grasp.

Again, way to go, and please keep us updated as you progress.

Av
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Fabuloso
For me

To get over stage fright, it was like taking a test in school. The more prepared I am the more confident I could be about getting an A.


Ah but you see, I don’t really have stage fright, per se. I am very comfortable getting onstage in front of 100+ people and being completely “unprepared” (technically we improvisers prepare by practicing being unprepared).

But I know what you mean. The more I do it, and not just in front of a mirror but in front of actual people, the more I’ll trust myself.
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Good for you!  It is all downhill from here.  Hey, what types of effects did Rudy do?  I've only seen him do closeup and mainly cards.

Congrats on the success of your shows!


Thanks Ray!

Rudy did all closeup card effects and one card effect using a matchbook which later turned into the selected card. I’m horrible at remembering the names of effects so hopefully Rudy can jump in here and share what he did.
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Way to go, Nate! As the saying goes, "Watch that first step, it's a doozy!" And now that you've taken that first step, you've begun your journey... and here's wishing you a long and pleasant one.

If I may, it's sounds as if you kept in mind one of the most important aspects of performing: it's all about connecting with the audience. That's a lesson that many performers never manage to grasp.

Again, way to go, and please keep us updated as you progress.

Av


Thanks Anthony! And yeah, once I turned my focus to the kind of reaction I wanted to get, all I needed to do was pick the right trick. That mental shift really helped me.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Smith


Thanks Ray!

Rudy did all closeup card effects and one card effect using a matchbook which later turned into the selected card. I’m horrible at remembering the names of effects so hopefully Rudy can jump in here and share what he did.


O.K., thanks!  I thought he might have done more "stand up" stuff and was interested in what that might have been.

Take care!
Ray
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #11 
Sounds like a great bit of emcee magic that went over well, Nate. Good work!
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris w
Sounds like a great bit of emcee magic that went over well, Nate. Good work!


Thanks!
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #13 
Check out this photo our photographer captured of the explosion moment.

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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #14 
Here’s video of the trick I did.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #15 
The cards definitely asploded!

Another ending you might try is card on forehead. It is fun to mix it up and try new things.
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
The cards definitely asploded!

Another ending you might try is card on forehead. It is fun to mix it up and try new things.


Fun idea!
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Jim Straight

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Reply with quote  #17 
How cool is that to have a great photo of your first stage performance!
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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Straight
How cool is that to have a great photo of your first stage performance!


Indeed!
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Smith
Here’s video of the trick I did.


Nailed it!!

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Nate Smith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco


Nailed it!!


Thanks Rudy!
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Don Podlas

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thank's Nate for sharing your experiences.  I agree with most respondents. I've been performing close-up for many years and still get little nervous rushes during any performance. But doing stand-up comedy, forget it!!...I ain't got the sand for that one! Now that would make me really nervous...continued success!

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #22 
Over the years I found one of the keys to performing magic is to believe what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s not about doing a double and then burying in the deck. It’s about showing a card and then burying in the deck. If you can get in this mindset your magic will improve. Believe your own lies.
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Jed

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Over the years I found one of the keys to performing magic is to believe what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s not about doing a double and then burying in the deck. It’s about showing a card and then burying in the deck. If you can get in this mindset your magic will improve. Believe your own lies.


Like my favorite quote in magic:
"An amateur is about what the magician shows, a professional is about what the audience see"
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Over the years I found one of the keys to performing magic is to believe what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s not about doing a double and then burying in the deck. It’s about showing a card and then burying in the deck. If you can get in this mindset your magic will improve. Believe your own lies.


Yes, conviction is all-important!

Harry Lorayne frequently says in order for an action to be natural you have to do it "for real" at least 20 times, then do the sleight and try to make it appear the same.  Another proponent of this is Al Schneider.

When you can make a movement appear normal and natural, then you can truly fool the audience and express your own conviction that you are doing what they think you are doing, not what you are actually doing.
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