Two Essays I found on penguins pages while searching around.
Both I found rather good, and can apply to many of you penguins.
heres the first one:
Performing Your First Trick
Remember the first time you performed magic for someone? We can all relate to that first little trick or routine that sparked the 'penguin' inside of us. You know, that time when you built up enough courage to perform magic for the first time? We've all been there. I know I have. It was that first trick that made me want to perform again... and practice even harder than I did the first time. For some people, it was the first time they felt what it was like to truly astonish someone. Or for many of you, like me, that first trick went wrong in every way.
The first trick that I ever performed was Dr. Bob's Acrobatic Aces. It's one of those packet tricks where the cards turn face down one at a time... then there's a kicker at the end where the backs all change colors. Anyway, the trick floors people... when performed correctly. I didn't have that luck! My hands shook, the cards fell on the floor and the spectator wasn't convinced at all. In a nutshell, I looked like a total klutz.
The first time is something that every magician has to go through. It can be a rough experience, but with a few tips from someone who's gone through it already, your first time performing magic can be a blast... for you and the spectator. Whether you're looking to perform for the first time, or a seasoned pro, or somewhere in between, I'm sure you'll agree that these tips will help out in a big way.
Do a trick that you know. Nothing is scarier then performing a trick that you're not sure about. It sounds like common sense, I know. However, I've seen so many magicians make this mistake. I know I have!
Be patient and practice a trick until you get it down; as if it were second nature. This will help take care of those first time jitters! Everyone knows that repition is the mother of skill. In other words, practice makes perfect,or as I've learned over the years, perfect practice makes perfect performance. Don't be in a rush to perform any trick. Especially if it's your first time.
Pick a friendly spectator. Find someone who looks like they won't tear your head off! This doesn't mean that you have to perform for a family member or a close friend... they can actually be you're toughest audience. Try performing magic for someone you don't know, a class mate or someone you work with. These people can definately give you an honest reaction and help you get better. When it's your first time performing magic, keep in mind that you're not trying to prove anything. Don't think you're going to 'fool' someone. Just relax and make a new friend. The magic will come naturally!
KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! You don't have to make an airplane appear out of thin air when you do your first trick! Stick to something simple in psychology and make it personable. You don't want to lose your audience by confusing them, or seeming as if you're trying to test their intelligence. Perform a self working trick where you can concentrate on your presentation rather than technique and handling.
Remember: It's only your first time doing magic! You might not be a big hit your first time, but you will get better with experience and patience.
DON'T SWEAT IT!!! Most people try a magic trick, it doesn't work and they give up, never touching magic again. They never give themselves a chance to improve like you. So congratulations for sticking with it and having faith in yourself.
For many magicians, that first trick means so much. It's the one event that changed their life because they knew that from that moment on they were hooked on performing. I'm sure that if you consider at least one of these tips your first experience performing magic will be a success. Get out there, do the best you can, and have fun!
And the second:
Our best advice on picking a trick
Get clear on how you're going to use the effect before you buy.
If you're a magic trick inventor, you might decide to invest in a trick just to "see how it works". That's fine, you'll probably do the trick a few times for yourself, get some ideas for tricks you're developing, and be completely satisfied.
But, if you're a performer and you get a trick just to see how it works, you may be disappointed with your investment.
The real value of a magic purchase for a performer comes from performing the effect. It sounds obvious, but many magic stores overlook it. They talk about the trick and how cool it is. We're very proud of our tricks, but we're more interested in the powerful performances you achieve with them.
Imagine the difference: two people buy the same trick for $30. The first person opens the package, reads the instructions, tries the trick a few times, maybe even shows a few people... it's cool, but not something he's going to do much with. The second person opens the package, masters the trick, and starts performing it for everyone he sees. He takes it with him everywhere, incorporates it into his stand-up routine, uses it as a conversation jump-starter, and even teaches it to one of his friends who is just getting interested in magic. The first person never realized the performance value of the trick. Same trick, but the second person made the better buy.
Most of our customers are performers; all of our tricks are performance tools.
We don't recommend that you buy a trick just because it sounds cool or just because you want to see how it works (unless you're an inventor doing research). Instead, when you look at a trick imagine yourself performing it. Think about the unique audience experience and incredible entertainment value that you will provide with the effect
Its the performance and presentation that entertains the audience, that makes the trick awesome. A trick is just a trick, its you job to make it magical and entertaining.
Too juat buy a trick because it sounds cool or looks cool, is by far not the smartest idea. MAny times you are disappointed... mainly because you expected it too be simple and amazing right of the box.
It seems many of you dont wish to put the needed effort into magic.
If you put the effort into it, the effect will take life.
So buy something that interests you, buy something that you think you can and will use.
Dont ask us what you should buy. We are not you, we dont know anything about you. Only you know you, what you like, dislike, are able to perform, etc.