Exit the Comfort Zone
I think it is important to get out of your comfort zone. In my case it is performing on stage. I consider myself a stage performer. I have a background in theater and love to mix that element with magic. So when I was asked to step off the stage, and perform at Magic Bar LA, I was rather nervous.
I enjoy doing magic up close, but usually the setting is less than ideal. A Loud DJ is often playing, guests are eating, and you forcibly intrude on personal space and small talk. But I quickly learned that performing sleight of hand magic in an intimate setting like Magic Bar LA can be really fun when guests come specifically to see magic. They are excited, which makes you the performer excited.
Magic Bar LA was started by Ben Schrader (Broadway Credits include Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. Also a little indie movie called Frozen) a few months back. Guests show up at Woodley Proper Restaurant in Encino, CA and are escorted to a speakeasy style back room. For the next hour or so, drinks are mixed and magic is performed. A very laid back setting, in a conversational magical performance. Guests get to ask questions and enjoy one on one sleight of hand.
I did a 7pm show and a 9pm show. I was able to perform some close up routines that I can’t normally do in my stage show. And was also able to modify routines that I normally do for hundreds of people, into working for the limited 20 seats the room holds.
Magic up close is the best type of magic. It is intimate and everything happens right next to you. By the end of both shows, I felt like I had made a honest connection with the audiences in a completely different way than I normally do on stage. I look forward to the next time I get to perform there.
I am also happy I didn’t chicken out, and was able to try something new.