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Topic: How do you get the audience at the right angle?
Message: Posted by: Batty (Apr 23, 2006 12:41PM)
Usually, I like close-up effects that I can fit in a pocket and require little-no preperation. However, some of these tricks are angle sensitiv. Is there any effective way to get the audience to move to an angle where they won't see the secret? This has mostly applied to the 3 shell game, where people crown around my desk in places where they can clearly see the secret moves. So, how do you get the audience to move when doing angle-sensitive tricks. And for most of these cases, I can't move, because I'm sitting down.
Message: Posted by: Zazz (Apr 23, 2006 01:10PM)
As a new bee to magic I might not have the experience as the pros but I do perform a lot for people in different size groups and in different areas where angles might show.

What I do is either move myself so the angles are right, move the spectators (if there are only a couple) or hold off doing the trick until the conditions are right.

~ Dan
Message: Posted by: Batty (Apr 23, 2006 02:20PM)
But my trouble is moving the spectators, because if you make them move, then they will suspect that the effect is angle sensitive, or just become suspicious that they were moved.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 23, 2006 02:43PM)
There are other discussions on audience management here at the Café.

You should work on those angle problems with some handling and body language modifications. This should be fairly easy with the shell game.

For table work you can tell them to please stand back for a better view or do as Zazz suggests and shift your self. Don't begin until they're where you want them to be. Don't worry about their being suspicious. They're usually suspicious anyway. ;)

If standing and surrounded try and pick effects with good angle, place your back to a safe spot and keep things close to your self when angles are bad.
Message: Posted by: Zazz (Apr 23, 2006 02:48PM)
I think I know what you’re going through.
In the case of the 3 shell game, try putting something between you and them such as a file cabinet or small portable table.

~ Dan
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Apr 23, 2006 03:02PM)
For audience management, I recomend remembering to use what is available. Shills are nice, if you have friends avaiable to take up bad spots. I also like using terain. Nothing like having a wall, support beam, or lamp post right where that bad angle is. Biringing your own performance surface to the performance is always a nice touch. Build a table that naturaly puts all observers at a good angle. (I have found that one particularly useful for the 3 shell game) I hate to say this, but you may also have to consider removing problem effects, such as your 3 shells, from your performance, until such time as all issues have been resolved.

Just a few ideas hastily spewed out. Nothing etched in stone, if they don't help, good luck with other suggestions.
Message: Posted by: Batty (Apr 23, 2006 03:47PM)
Thanks for the responses. It wasn't specifically the three shells, but that was what I was carrying around in my pocket when the problem occured to me. But I like the idea of using the terrain to your advantage, and I will definitely try to use that.
Message: Posted by: Jaxon (Apr 24, 2006 03:00PM)
I think the best advice I can give on this issue is to just not do tricks that won't work with the location of the spectators (Jazz already touched on these thoughts by the way). I know that can be annoying because you have a trick or routine that you you're sure they'll enjoy but the conditions aren't right for it (lighting, angles, wind, etc...). This is why I stress to every magician the importance of the basics and to have a good range of material for different conditions. I know this probably isn't the answer you're looking for and maybe you already know this. But others will read this and I wanted to mention that because I feel it's very important to understand.

Having said that there are some other techniques that might help you on this. Let's use your example of the three shell game. You spectators can't be on your side or behind you or they might see how it's done. One way to get them to the front is to perform something else before you do the shell game that doesn't have angle problems. But perform it in such a way that if they are on your side or behind you they won't be able to see what you are doing. So if those behind or beside you want to see what you are doing they'll have to move to the front.

There's also nothing wrong with simply saying, "You might want to move over here to see this one because you won't be able to see it from there". If they want to see it they'll move because they don't know what you're about to do.

You can also move yourself. You say your sitting when you perform. Then you can tell them that they won't be able to see this trick from where you are now sitting so you'll move over there.

I still think the best solution is to just not do the tricks if the conditions aren't right for it. Remember that most people don't see magic in person very often. Vanishing salt in a thumb tip is just as impressive and astonishing as the most elaborate card trick you know to them. Quite often more so. So if you have the erge to perform a certain trick but the conditons aren't right for it. Figure out if want to perform that for yourself or for them. Because other tricks might be just as good in their minds.

Ron Jaxon
Message: Posted by: Batty (Apr 24, 2006 04:46PM)
Thanks for the advice Ron, and I think that you have a good point. However, another thing I want to know is when I do get the audience at the right angle, how would I prevent people from crowding around me. In one case with the shell game, for example, a person behind me yelled, "The pea is in your hand" in the middle of my routine, and I didn't even know that they were watching. But now I know how to get the audience at the right angle at the beginnings of tricks, and I will definitely use some of these tips.