A formative experience in my attitude to magic was when I saw an excellent sleight-of-hand magician performing to my small group of friends (waiting in a line for an event). He was very convincing and great fun; but there was a moment in the middle of his series of tricks when my attention was caught by something else in the distance. When I looked back after five seconds of distraction, he was mid-trick; and I saw him matter-of-factly take a foam ball from his hand, put it into his pocket, and then open his hand to reveal no foam balls—to general astonishment. All his other tricks, before and after, I found completely convincing.
Accordingly, I grok that there’s an entire art of doing incredibly obvious things in such a way that the viewer doesn’t understand that something obvious has happened. That’s one of the main things I want to learn from magic: how to perform trivial bullshit very convincingly (e.g. by knowing how to direct the viewer’s attention).
Thanks for the tip about performing repeatedly to new groups. Now that you mention it, it’s extremely obvious, but I don’t think I’d have come up with that myself.