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Topic: I Am So Mad
Message: Posted by: Nathan Hastings (Oct 2, 2007 04:55PM)
Well, today I did something I'm quite proud of, I performed my Ambitious Card Routine for a group of 10th graders. I don't perform as often as I should, so any performance is a good performance, as far as I'm concerned.

But lately I've been feeling off with my ACR. I don't know why, I've been performing it for months without a hitch, but as of late I've been messing up big time. Anyway, some of my angles were not so good, so one kid saw just about everything, which was bad angle management on my part. He didn't reveal anything, though.

But this one girl, after I do a nervously and quite poorly executed Bluff Pass, frickin' grabs my deck right out of my hands, despite my protests, and reveals that I've just turned over two cards as one.

And then, get this, she takes my frickin' cards and uses them to show everyone else her own card trick. It's flawless. I'm sitting there looking like an idiot. I half want to ruin the trick in the middle, just like she did to me, but the worst part is, [b]I don't even know how she did it![/b]

Please, has anyone else had problems with spectators grabbing your cards and revealing your trick? Is it just my nervousness and lack of showmanship that caused the suspicion?

Anyone who has anything to say about any of this, please tell me.
Message: Posted by: Erdnase27 (Oct 2, 2007 04:59PM)
I never had it. don't let them get your cards at all . I think I would turn away or something.

As for you not knowing how she did the trick. You got me interested. Can you provide me with some more information about it:P
Message: Posted by: Nathan Hastings (Oct 2, 2007 05:08PM)
I honestly don't exactly know how it went, I was too busy fuming to pay attention. All I know is that at the end, the spectator named a card that turned out to be on top while the girl was shuffling.
Message: Posted by: criverstamu09 (Oct 2, 2007 05:09PM)
You have already figured out the reason that you were caught. Work on it. As to your other problem, I suggest talking with her and seeing if she is really a magician or if she simply knows a trick. Either way, just take it in stride and practice.
Message: Posted by: Erdnase27 (Oct 2, 2007 05:10PM)
On 2007-10-02 18:08, Nathan Hastings wrote:
I honestly don't exactly know how it went, I was too busy fuming to pay attention. All I know is that at the end, the spectator named a card that turned out to be on top while the girl was shuffling.
So she was a magician?
Message: Posted by: Nathan Hastings (Oct 2, 2007 05:13PM)
Oh, no.
Message: Posted by: Mark Wilden (Oct 2, 2007 05:22PM)
After a similar experience, I'm now constantly on the alert for someone grabbing the deck.

Message: Posted by: TKE (Oct 2, 2007 05:33PM)
You have to control your audience...at times things happen out of your control. maybe this was one of those things. confidence is one of the best things to have in terms of controlling your audience. its one of those things that you cant practice...just after performing you can sort of predict people.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Oct 2, 2007 07:05PM)
I see "wannabee" magicians on the Penguin forums who claim that if they were to encounter a magician that (in their own "not so humble" opinion) isn't as good as they are, that they'd do something like the girl did to you. I don't like it, and I tell them so but it seems to be part of their "game" to try and boost their own self confidence by tearing down others around them. Hopefully they'll grow out of it.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Oct 2, 2007 08:30PM)
We all have bad days, weeks, months. Just keep practicing, but maybe you are over practicing. Often over practice can make you sloppy. You get over confident. Try to practice more periodically. That is go through the routine, then set the cards down a while before going through it again. Make each start a cold start. Take a day or two off from parcticing it, then come back and do it, etc.
Learning to control the audience is a part of magic, some comes with experience, some can be learned from books and other magicians. But I found in such close up situations the best thing to do is maintain an "engagement distance" or the mai of martial arts from any one person you are doing the trick for. Basically an engage distance is the distance between your toes and the top of your head. You should be a minimum of that distance from the other person, then take at least a quarter step back from that. When you are at engagement distance or closer a martial artist can attack an opponent or be attacked fast enough that the there is not time for defensive reaction. But just beyond engagement distance (the reason for a quarter step back) it is impossible to be attacked without having time to respond. Thus at that distance they can't get their hands on your props before you can react to defend.
Besides that, be like the old poker adage and keep your cards close to the vest. Hold the cards close to your body midline about the height of your solar plexis, you are strongest there and very hard to get them away from you.
Message: Posted by: Nathan Hastings (Oct 2, 2007 09:01PM)
Great tips, photius, I'm sure I would have had more control if I hadn't been sitting at a desk. And come to think of it, my angles would have been better if I was standing.....
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Oct 2, 2007 09:34PM)
Kids and youngsters have a lower threshold of grabbing and exposing. When I am performing for this group - I am always on alert.

back to the poster - s@@t happens. Get over it and back to the drawingboard. If you mess up, you are not good enough. You had your lesson - so take the learning seroiusly.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Oct 2, 2007 11:23PM)
I would never ever consider performing for an entire group of 10th graders. One 10th grader, yes, if he or she was in a plexiglass cell like in Silence of The Lambs. But a group of them...

That could be considered an extreme sport rather than magic. Those animals will eat you alive. One might also get lost in the thick fog of hormones surrounding them. Escape could be difficult. No... better to work under conditions where you have some chance of being in control. Not with that age group. Unless you show up dressed in a nice new shark cage.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 3, 2007 04:46AM)
These are learning experiences we all go through and we get better each time (provided we learn from it).

Learn to control your body movements with your hands and legs - gesturing, turning your body, stepping backwards, etc. These movements will help you prevent the items from being taken from you easily. This is easier done when you are standing and you have more room to manouver. When the audience are standing and you are sitting down, you are in a much more victimised position and any form ofheckling will really work against you.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Oct 3, 2007 10:02AM)
Some good advice here! Chalk it up as a learning experience, try not to get discouraged.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Oct 3, 2007 04:09PM)

The very first lesson in my Mini Magic Course is on exactly this subject! Check it out. At worst you read the first one and then cancel, no biggie.

I remember when I was originally putting the 24 lesson course together (supposed to be only 8, but I just couldn't stop!) I was looking for the one thing that proved a problem for folks over the years and that reoccurred as a question of "What do I do?"

Audience Proximity and control just popped out at me...and, it IS a real problem not just for the relative tyro, but for many times for the pro as well. The difference is that the pro has had more experience in working out ways for it NOT to be a problem and that's what I share in Lesson #1. Best regards,
Message: Posted by: Mark Wilden (Oct 3, 2007 05:59PM)
On the other hand, my son performs for 10th graders all the time (seeing as how he's a 10th grader himself). He's got horror stories, but he's learned how to handle his audiences.

Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Oct 3, 2007 06:05PM)
Running with the wolves is sometimes a valuable lesson
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Oct 4, 2007 05:48PM)
"I don't perform as often as I should, so any performance is a good performance, as far as I'm concerned."

Not true, especially since you already knew your ACR was feeling "off" to you.

Did the group ask you to perform, or did you ask them if they wanted to see a card trick? If the latter then you set yourself up in a "see if you can catch me" scenario.

Many of the greats (Malini and Slydini to name a few) would not perform unless the moment, the conditions and the audience was ideal.

In working restaurants I didn't have that choice, so to diffuse the confrontational "I can do something you can't do" attitude, I would begin by saying "Would you like to see something very strange?" or "This is really weird, watch!"

As for the girl, too bad you didn't have Jim Pace's The Web handy.

Message: Posted by: Dizzy (Oct 4, 2007 07:57PM)
If she hadn't done it to you, she would have done it to someone else and even the best of us see effects which fry us, we learn new things everyday.

Please, please don't let this lower your confidence, it was always going to happen and from the advice given by the other members, it shouldn't stress you out as much. It happens to the best of people. Have a search for hecklers lines in the Café, as long as they are funny and not offensive, then you'll get the last laugh. Godd luck and keep smiling kiddo,


Message: Posted by: Nathan Hastings (Oct 4, 2007 08:20PM)
Thanks for all your encouragement everyone.... <sniff>..... it really means a lot... <sniff sniff>.... I LOVE YOU ALL

But seriously, thanks for the advice and kind concern.
Message: Posted by: silentsoulriot (Oct 5, 2007 12:36AM)
What a jerk!
I would've kicked her ass!

but...getting angry isn't going to solve anything

I would just practice tons, and show a different, better trick
to the same people, and boggle their minds!

then they will know who's the boss.

good luck to you!
Message: Posted by: boynextdoor (Oct 8, 2007 11:51PM)
Wow, what a brat. Check to see if you can speak with her parole officer...

Was the teacher in the room?

Is there any way you can find a group that has expressed interest in seeing magic? Perhaps some group that isn't harboring future felons? Maybe you can get a big, burly, scary person to be your assistant?

Honestly, my first reaction was the same as silentsoulriot. Well, 52 pick up... but still... Something to be all in her face like, "GET THEE BACK TO HELL, DEMON!"

Maybe take a break from that trick for a while. I know that with juggling it seems like if you miss a day you stink at it, miss a week and you rock.

But, hey, big hugs. You stared death in the face and lived to tell about it. Look at it that way... And now, if it happens again, you won't be so surprised. You might even have mace.
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Oct 9, 2007 01:11AM)
Welcome to the club.

That girl, I believe that she did not even know she ruined your performance by did her own trick. On the other hand, like most fellow said before, I will embrace such as a valuable lesson as now you know that you had angle problems, your DL is not good enough to convinced your audience, you cannot control your audience, you have not master your ACR…

Write down all your weakness in bullet form, and crash them one at a time, until you can do your ACR without thinking your patter and even closed your eyes.

You may see the late Tommy Wonder’s ACR on youtube, that’s for free now, and you can see how a great master in magic control his audience, he could even let them see the Ambitious card face up in the middle! (method not expose here)

That is the only way to continue your road in magic, unless you told us you want to quit and give up.
Message: Posted by: RichardE40K (Oct 9, 2007 03:10PM)
People grab off you for mainly two reasons.

A: Jealousy and want some attention on themselves.
B: Plain rudeness.

The best way to deal with it when the cards or whatever has been taken from your hands is to stay calm and use appropriate words while they insist on getting "Their ten seconds of fame.

For example
I am now handing over to my lovely assistant, who will also be giving refunds.
Thank heavens your here! I needed a break.
Look out, there is a card thief about!
Aha, you take my cards but I will take your soul.

Ok, I made them up on the spot but I still believe acting calm and just saying a witty line is the best cause, if it does come to your cards or whatever being nicked.

If all fails, pop em in the mouth and processed with running in the opposite direction

Heh heh