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Topic: How did you do that?
Message: Posted by: The Village Idiots (Oct 19, 2002 01:55AM)
I have searched for this topic and have not had any success. So as far as I know I am starting it. If perhaps there is one already, feel free to move me. Just let me know so I can look around.

When a person comes up after a show and asks the only question they can think of...

"How did you do, blah blah blah?"

What do you say?

Sure there is the old.

"Can you keep a secret" gag. It sucks. I use it. I just always feel ashamed. There must be something better.

"Very carefully" Use it to. Refer to above comment.

"Very well" Never use it, anymore.

Sometimes I get real bored and I make it up.
"See up there? (pointing to sound booth) Well Keith, our sound man, runs down and when no one is looking, he changes it out."
They always start out with me, believing, then they feel suckered. So I don't like it. Refer to first comment.

Is there anything out there better? There must be.

Sillily, Will
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Oct 19, 2002 03:16PM)
My response, which I've never seen anyone else suggest, is to shift to a completely serious, deadpan delivery and - in a contemplative tone - say: "You know, I often wonder that very same thing..." Add a little "upspeak" at the end of the statement and then move on to the next thing in a row.

Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: Joe M. Turner (Oct 19, 2002 09:36PM)
"How do you do that?"

Some of the possible answers I have suggested include:

1. "I wish I knew! It only happens when there are other people around, so I'm glad you were here!"

2. "Years of practice and self-denial." (for the right group, after the right trick)

3. "Well, first you need a dead cat, an open field, and a full moon..." (again, choose your audience)

4. "Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!" (Take it as a compliment, and dodge the question.)

5. "It's magic." (Say it with a smile. It's old, but sometimes it's the best answer.)

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Oct 19, 2002 11:26PM)
. . . or, you could just hit 'em with a brick!
Message: Posted by: The Village Idiots (Oct 19, 2002 11:50PM)
I remembered one of my Favs after reading Joes' post.

"It's not how, but why!! Thats what I wonder."

Sillily, Will
Message: Posted by: Codex Reader (Oct 23, 2002 11:56PM)
How did you do that?

4 years ago, I was in a car wreck and died for 3 minutes while on the operating table. I was sucked into a black tunnel with a white light at the end. I kept flying toward the light until suddenly. I joined into the light and became one with it. In that instant, all knowledge was given to me, including power over matter and energy. Suddenly I found myself back in my body on the table.... wait a minute, that wasn't me, that was a movie I saw with Jeff Goldblum.

... What was the question again? :bg:
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Oct 31, 2002 11:12AM)
"The same way as last time, probably the same as next time!" :)

-bigwolf {*}
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Nov 2, 2002 11:15AM)
How to handle the 'How did you do it' thing can really be a hassle. I have tried all the approaches. The smart-aleck approach seemed to be the least successful for the following reason: Like it or not if YOUR magic is good, powerful, compelling, dang it, folks are going to want to know how you did that.

Note here, by the way, that most magicians assume that people want to know the secret out of a compulsion to 'know' the mechanics of the trick. But, that is not always the case. In some cases the spectator(s) are so down right flabbergasted that they want to know 'what power' you used. You are going to get a mix.

After some years of dealing with this, I came to the conclusion (and then tested it out) that the best way was to claim that I had in fact given my word of honor NOT to tell how my mysteries were done. I do this in the meekest possible manner so as to put the onus of continuing to 'bug me' on the other person. "Look, I'm a member of magical organizations that only allow membership with the promise that I will never reveal to anyone but a student, the how of my art. I just can't tell you… I'm really sorry."

Most people respond positively to this. First, they have heard for years that
'magicians don't tell' and thus with a strong enough statement on your part will give it up AND you get a rise in their respect ratio for YOU and MAGIC.

People are almost NEVER happy once they are told the secret. It is never what they expect. Their respect is only kept intact by the secret being exclusive to YOU.

Brad Burt
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Nov 2, 2002 11:31PM)
The question I always get is 'How do you learn to do your tricks?' I usually tell people it is by trial and error but it is not a response I really like either.
Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Nov 3, 2002 11:42AM)
I usually just give them a bewildered look and say "I'm not sure myself!"

A fun one with the right crowd, no gospel shows folks, is "I know what your thinking, years of practice but you would be wrong. I just made a deal with this guy with horns and hooves, and you want fire tricks, I got the best!" It doesn't look like much written down but it always gets a laugh and they forget to ask again, or are too scared too.
Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Nov 3, 2002 01:10PM)
"Come and see my show next week. I'll tell you then." 1. If they show up next week repeat the line, but chances are they won't. ;)
Message: Posted by: JJDrew (Jan 15, 2004 05:33AM)
I found Brad Burt's message particularly useful as I work in a magic shop myself and am bombarded daily with "How did you do that." I've said things to the effect that I swore an oath not to tell and it does go over well.
One that I save for the very persistant person (it's also an answer to "How did you learn magic)is to say I learned from books and from "trading" secrets with other magicians.I then propose that they show me a trick as good as the one I showed them, and that if I like it, we'll exchange methods.
More often then not, they decide they don't really want to know that badly. They've learned something about how magic info is spread, which contents them. If they take me up on it, we both benefit. I've learned some great effects through trading knowledge.
Obviously this technique wouldn't work during a performance as it takes time, but for after-performance inqueries it could come in handy.
Message: Posted by: Cabrera (Jan 15, 2004 09:02AM)
My ansewr: I missed a lot of parties and never had a date!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 15, 2004 09:44AM)
Being you are a business man, and want to be refered for more business.

Answer like an attorney. Change the question they ask. Thank them, and tell them how happy you are they enjoyed your tricks.

This question again, may be a lack of the person knowing what to say.

Message: Posted by: The Cardfather (Jan 16, 2004 12:28AM)
"How did you do that?"

"Very well, I thought."
Message: Posted by: philblackmore (Jan 19, 2004 06:23PM)
"That one was real magic, everything else was just a cheap trick, but that was for real." Tongue firmly in cheek. Then find something else to talk about, or walk away quickly.
Message: Posted by: fingerjack (Jan 20, 2004 03:02PM)
When kids ask me this question, I'm not afraid to tell them from books. "Go to the library, finish your schoolwork, and find a book on magic. Inside you will find enough magic and mystery to last a lifetime."

Even if it at least gets them to go to the library or read a book, it's got to better than video games. Inspiring reading for our children is a gift they can't afford to be without.

For adults, humor is the way out for me. I loved the one from Codex Reader. Gonna have to think one up like that.
Message: Posted by: kihei kid (Jan 20, 2004 06:33PM)
Ancient Chinese secret.
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Jan 23, 2004 08:30PM)
"I'm sorry, that's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

Said with the right, light touch, it usually works for me... then I change the subject, fast!

Which reminds me, this past summer I helped out with a production of Camelot. Helped Merlyn with a couple of magic tricks (which he did beautifully!). He wouldn't tell his wife how he did them (good man!), and she was practically begging me to tell her!

Another friend offered to set me up with her sister! I told her that she and I might have something to talk about. :cool:

Life is good!
Joe L.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 31, 2004 12:49AM)
Can you keep a secret? So can I...doesn't suck.
It gets a laugh everytime!

The dodge, Thank you, I'm glad you liked it is good too.
Message: Posted by: amadrigal (Sep 4, 2004 04:28AM)
For the young I love telling them that there is information in the library they look at me like the library IS magic

as for the adults "How did you do that?"...... DO WHAT? OH I got one for ya......
works very well