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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Audience Managment - Book / DVD / Download recommendation? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

coachawsm
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Hey.

The title says it - can anybody recommend a good book/dvd/download for audience management?
Stuff like: how to deal with the typical "can I shuffle the cards".. or "can I look at this or that" should be explained in it.

Thanks,
Andy
Terrible Wizard
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Good question. Interested to see the responses.

From my limited perspective, there's going to be quite few things that affect audiences a lot but which cannot really be taught/controlled easily: the status, dress and age of the performer; the make-up of the audience; the performing context, etc.

This is one area where I think the advice of professionals isn't going to be 100% useful for the hobbyist.

For example, it is a massively different thing for an established, middle-aged, confident and highly experienced performer to control an audience of paying spectators in a theatre compared to a teenager with limited confidence trying to do a magic trick for his drunk friends at a bus stop, lol Smile. What works for one group probably isn't going to work for another, or at least not in the same way.

For instance, it's common to get posts explaining that audiences won't ask to examine props if the performer's audience management techniques are up to scratch. I'm not so convinced by this if the audience is actually an older sibling who is quite desiring of you being 'found out', or is a tipsy stranger in the pub who wants to see if you're using a trick deck. It's more complex than simply being down to the performer's skill set (though obviously still a big factor). Audience, trick choice, environment, etc all matter.

Again, this is why I really believe that the world of the hobbyist and the professional magician are actually quite different in practice. Tricks, props and theories suitable for the one are not instantly and necessarily transferable to the other.

And, again, this is why I think there's room on these boards for a 'hobbyist/casual' sub-forum, but hey-Ho Smile

I wonder what texts will be recommended? Smile
coachawsm
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Hm still hoping for more Smile
Daniel Ulzen
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Maybe better ask this question for example here in "The little darlings"-forum for childrens magicicians. I am rather sure you would get good advice there.
Terrible Wizard
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I didn't think he was referring to kids.

Did you mean managing a child audience, coachaswm?

It might help if you tell us a little more about your performance context.
Ronin
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Hi Andy,

Some books you might try (but please note disclaimers below):

"Outs, Precautions and Challenges" by Charles Hopkins (Available in pdf form from many dealers)
"Kid Control" by Julian Franklin (which you can get thru his website: http://julianspeaks.com/kidcontrol.htm)
"Mastering the Art of Magic" by Eugene Burger (Available from many dealers.)

The first does address your specific questions on dealing with a card trick gone awry. It's been a long time since I read it and, to be honest, I didn't read it all that thoroughly. But it's considered a classic in the field, perhaps others can comment on it more in depth.


The other two books deal with larger strategies of audience management, and I've referred to them a lot over the years. In "Mastering the Art of Magic", Eugene has an essay on "Hecklers", with some tips on preparation, performer mindset, and tactics for management. He amplifies many of the ideas there in his essay on "Confidence and Power". Although "Kid Control" is written specifically about kid's shows, I use a lot of Franklin's advice in my work with adults (there's a similarity between a kid audience and a tipsy adult one). And just about any working magician is going to have to work with kids, even outside the birthday party market. Franklin's analysis about why children misbehave (with thoughts on tactics for dealing with various scenarios) closely mirrors a lot of Eugene's thoughts in "Mastering the Art of Magic".

Terrible Wizard made some good points about the challenges of being a hobbyist--friends and family are just so much more likely to want to shuffle the deck or examine that prop. Back when I was in high school and performed for my (sometimes grabby) peers, I had a rule that I wouldn't use any prop that couldn't be examined (hidden gimmicks were ok, as long as I had a good way to steal and ditch them). And I mostly did not perform unless asked, and kept performances very short. There's no replacement for experience, and it can be rough getting there--I sure have my fair share of embarrassing memories of failure.
David Hirata
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"Life is a combination of magic and pasta."
--Federico Fellini
coachawsm
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Ok sorry in case I didn't explain well enough Smile

So I am fairly new to magic... Started last year and currently studying mainly card and coin magic for about 3 hours or more per day.
I am at a level where I am only showing stuff to close friends yet, to make sure I don't make any mistakes.

Sometimes I let myself talk into showing something to strangers too in bars or pubs..... anyway.. I often come across the typical "can I shuffle the cards first" or "let me have a look at this or that"... "why do I have to put the card on this half of the deck instead of just putting it anywhere?" ...
So in case I need to have a deck prepared, I simply come up with a back up trick (like the biddle trick) where people can actually shuffle the cards. And I usually do not do a lot of gimmicked stuff anyway... but just in case.

I know its all just experience and so on, but I was wondering if there is a book out there who give you some advice or teach you about how to handle these situations!

thanks Smile

Quote:
On Jan 1, 2018, Ronin wrote:
Hi Andy,

Some books you might try (but please note disclaimers below):


thanks a lot for that Ronin!
Terrible Wizard
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I have to say that I haven't come across such a book, only the situation! Which is why I'm interested to hear recommendations. The lack of posts here might be reflective of two things: a) that many magi are professionals and so don't really encounter these problems, and b) there aren't many/any books that talk about such stuff!

From my own hobbyist experience I can only offer my own basic advice, and no books:

A) family and close friends are usually the worst audiences - they know you well, they don't have the normal 'social politeness barrier' that prevents examination of props etc, they'll want you to repeat tricks and tell them how you did it, and they might even want to mess you up deliberately. There are three ways to deal with this: a) don't perform for them unless they first ask to see something from you - let them come to you; b) demonstrate clear skill to them via flourishes and mental stunts (memory or lightning calculations) - they'll respect you more when you can do stuff for 'real'; c) only do impromtu 'fool proof' tricks for them.

B) try and develop your tricks around the following principles: impromptu, from a shuffled deck in use, no set-up required; done in the hands with no table required; short, direct and straightforward to follow; can be done surrounded and outside; fairly easy to perform; no gimmicks and totally examinable; super strong; the props are compact enough and normal enough to be everyday carry in the pockets. The more tricks you have of this kind the better off you'll be in the long run as an amatuer - don't waste time with all those really good tricks you discover that don't fit these criteria because you won't get to do them as often. Focus first on those tricks you can do anywhere, anytime, daily - it'll build experience and confidence.

C) a lot of well meaning advice given by professionals won't work for you as a hobbyist. The contexts are just too different. A classic bit of advice, for example is to focus on only six tricks as your repertoire and rather than get new tricks get new audiences. Sound advice for the pro, pointless for the casualist who has a limited, never growing circlle of people to perform for. The Jerx (an odd website worth checking out sometime) recommends closer to a hundred tricks for the casualist. Or, other workers might tell you about getting proficient in cups and balls, rope, egg bag etc. These are all great and worth checking out for your own development, but the chances of you being able to do many performances with these props are low - you gonna carry linking rings in your back pocket to work? You get the idea.

There's a ton more that could be said, but most of it is common sense. And I probably don't k ow what I'm on about anyway, so unless I end up writing a book about the amatuer situation, I'll best leave it there Smile. Good luck!
coachawsm
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Thanks so much for that! I am pretty sure you are right with most things and especially the point with the "Social politneness barrier" is something you are definitely right with.
Thanks again! Smile

Quote:
On Jan 2, 2018, Terrible Wizard wrote:
I have to say that I haven't come across such a book, only the situation! Which is why I'm interested to hear recommendations. The lack of posts here might be reflective of two things: a) that many magi are professionals and so don't really encounter these problems, and b) there aren't many/any books that talk about such stuff!

From my own hobbyist experience I can only offer my own basic advice, and no books:

A) family and close friends are usually the worst audiences - they know you well, they don't have the normal 'social politeness barrier' that prevents examination of props etc, they'll want you to repeat tricks and tell them how you did it, and they might even want to mess you up deliberately. There are three ways to deal with this: a) don't perform for them unless they first ask to see something from you - let them come to you; b) demonstrate clear skill to them via flourishes and mental stunts (memory or lightning calculations) - they'll respect you more when you can do stuff for 'real'; c) only do impromtu 'fool proof' tricks for them.

B) try and develop your tricks around the following principles: impromptu, from a shuffled deck in use, no set-up required; done in the hands with no table required; short, direct and straightforward to follow; can be done surrounded and outside; fairly easy to perform; no gimmicks and totally examinable; super strong; the props are compact enough and normal enough to be everyday carry in the pockets. The more tricks you have of this kind the better off you'll be in the long run as an amatuer - don't waste time with all those really good tricks you discover that don't fit these criteria because you won't get to do them as often. Focus first on those tricks you can do anywhere, anytime, daily - it'll build experience and confidence.

C) a lot of well meaning advice given by professionals won't work for you as a hobbyist. The contexts are just too different. A classic bit of advice, for example is to focus on only six tricks as your repertoire and rather than get new tricks get new audiences. Sound advice for the pro, pointless for the casualist who has a limited, never growing circlle of people to perform for. The Jerx (an odd website worth checking out sometime) recommends closer to a hundred tricks for the casualist. Or, other workers might tell you about getting proficient in cups and balls, rope, egg bag etc. These are all great and worth checking out for your own development, but the chances of you being able to do many performances with these props are low - you gonna carry linking rings in your back pocket to work? You get the idea.

There's a ton more that could be said, but most of it is common sense. And I probably don't k ow what I'm on about anyway, so unless I end up writing a book about the amatuer situation, I'll best leave it there Smile. Good luck!
Terrible Wizard
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More than welcome Smile I really do think that most magic books aren't really aimed at the modern casualist. For example, most 'beginner' card magic books give a load of tricks they require set-ups - the exact opposite of what the amatuer needs! Or some beginner books give loads of tricks requiring big props - again not very useful! You get the idea. Someone who actually is a casual magician should put together a book really for casual magicians Smile
Aus
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Audience Management by Gay Ljungberg is a book that I have in my personal Library deals with this topic, might be worth checking out.

Magically

Aus
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