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knowledge that you will return at a more suitable juncture where they will be slightly more relaxed, possibly more receptive and will have a longer time slot available. You are acting as a goodwill ambassador for the restaurant and sometimes you are not really required, in certain situations, to perform endless strings of routines. The very fact that you had acknowledged and spoken to the customers in some cases is enough. It's not always about the magic! People will remember the way you made them feel.

Dear Dr. Normansell,

I am tempted to try out some of my material at a comedy club open-mic spot. I am concerned as to what type of material to perform and how many items I should do, and for how long. Also what to do should I not be going down very well. Brian, Manchester

Dear Brian,

Whilst comedy clubs are a good place to try out new material, remember that whilst the audiences are generally very receptive they can be extremely critical and what you have to offer has got to come up to scratch. With regards to performing magic, from my experience I usually concentrated on one routine that can be built upon with plenty of appropriate funny patter and, more importantly, audience participation. Make sure that the material is strong, extremely direct and doesn't go on forever. Unfortunately a lot of magicians who perform at comedy clubs for the first time fall into the trap of doing overly complicated material and going on for too long. It may be noted that people have gone to a comedy club to have a laugh and be entertained. Always, but always, bear this in mind. Depending on the length of time you are booked to do, one or two routines is more than adequate and 'less is more'.

Dear Dr. Normansell,

Please could you tell me the secret to your brilliant effect: Jinx? George Resny, Toronto

Dr Normansell, I a renowned

& IH specialist in F , the art of

V/1 magical performance and trickery, will attempt to cure those who apparently possess a weakness in the area of entertainment. The common illness of 'Magic Malfunction' will soon become a thing of the past once the kind Dr. has given you the wisdom of his infinite knowledge. Remember, ladies and gentlemen: there is a cure. Now please disrobe, and we will begin...

Dear Dr. Normansell,

I recently performed close-up magic for a 50th wedding anniversary party - the first time I've ever done one. The people attending were nearly all 70 years old or over and, without being rude, many of them had either forgotten their glasses, forgot the card they were trying to remember, or were partially deaf! To remember a card, they insisted on passing the card around the table so that every person had a good look at it, which certainly interrupts the flow of the trick! Not the best situation to be in as a performer, as you can imagine. What's the best way of performing for the older crowd? Any advice would be appreciated! Kevin Jeffers, Sheffield.

Dear Kevin,

Unfortunately real-world performing situations offer unexpected situations and it is always a good plan to have a number of visual pieces you can perform to different groups of people that fall into more challenging categories, such as the elderly and the very young. Card tricks are often not suitable for either of these groups for the very reasons you mention. Why not opt for having cards signed, so your revelation will be of the signature, rather than the card itself? You may choose to use low-vision large index cards or, under certain circumstances, depending on the routine, jumbo cards. Alternatively, effects such as 'cut and restored rope' or 'handkerchief' may be more suitable and will be visible to a wider audience. Also, there is nothing to challenge the memory of the onlookers. They simply relax and enjoy the performance. Obviously you are going to encounter various difficult performing situations throughout your career and the best way to handle this is to be aware of all the pitfalls and have a suitable contingency.

Dear Dr. Normansell,

You know the situation...you've just got half way through your most stunning effect in a restaurant - and the waiters bring the next course out and plonk it down in front of the diners. What do you do? Carry on, letting their food go cold? How do you handle this? Martin Harries, Brighton via email.

Dear Martin,

As in all restaurant performances, dinner itself will always take precedence over the performer. The best time to perform is at coffee time, after dessert. However, since you have a presence in the restaurant you may be asked to perform at any time. The secret is to have routines that can be either lengthened or shortened at will. Try to make your routines segmented so that each segment offers a suitable climax that can be expanded upon. A good plan is to introduce yourself and then follow by doing one short effect, bearing in mind that anything could happen at any time throughout your routine. Be prepared to move on, leaving the spectators with the

Dear George, No. ms

The miraculous rings from DiJ km art's laboratory of magic!

Tike a large candle from a chandelier and show n around. Set ii alight and visibly multiply the tan die into two ¿and les!

Use reí I candí«! Set: includes two unprepared candles -md detailed." instructions on how to make as many Mephistu Candks as you ^ wish for your own use! í

Three solid black rings made from steel and a small silver ring ate themselves and a rope 1 times while in full view! le act with many nt effects that is great for jp and 51and-up, lean, end clean and have hing examined!

Advanced Hypnosis For Newbies

Advanced Hypnosis For Newbies

For anyone concerned that this is a report designed to teach readers how to convince crowds of people to act like chickens or dance to an unheard song just with a carefully placed keyword - relax. While hypnosis is often paraded in that form with large crowds visiting celebrity hypnosis experts to see what wonders they can perform, the majority of hypnosis used is to aid people seeking a solution to a problem they cannot resolve easily with any other method.

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