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Topic: Table full of Hecklers!!
Message: Posted by: magico563 (Mar 16, 2008 08:05AM)
I was at a gig last night and I loved it!! There were no Hecklers (so far). On every table I went to there was not even a sniff of a Heckler and everyone was really enjoying the magic. But what it seemed to me was that they put all the Hecklers on one table because like I said, threw the hole gig I had no Hecklers but one table where every single person sat on that table was a Heckler. I have never had a harder performance!! I had Heckler comments from very angle, all the comments where wrong but because every person on the table was a Heckler, so they all agreed!!

The worse thing was that, that was my last table and I walked out with just that performance on my mind!!!

Have any of you guys had this experience before, if so how did you handle the FULL table of Hecklers??

Thanks, magico563 :)
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 16, 2008 08:22AM)
Pack up and leave.
Message: Posted by: Nala Nosmoht (Mar 16, 2008 08:55AM)
I agree. I would attempt to finish the routine I was into , say thank you and move on. (With grabbers or hecklers.)
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 16, 2008 09:27AM)
Me three!!! I've had that happen more times than I care to count! I finish the routine and leave as gracefully as I can!
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Mar 16, 2008 09:30AM)
Four! Pack up and go. See ya!

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Mar 16, 2008 10:17AM)
Yep, As a fairly tolerant fellow, I'd suffer through two heckled effects...then pack up, smile and walk away without another word. There is no excuse for rudeness.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Mar 16, 2008 10:18AM)
Five! I'd be outta there! Why perform for people that only have an interest in making you feel bad! If that was your last table, then I would have revisited some of your other tables if there were any and thanked them for coming in and invite them back so you leave on a positive.

Welcome to the club...
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Mar 16, 2008 10:18AM)
Yep, As a fairly tolerant fellow, I'd suffer through two heckled effects...then pack up, smile and walk away without another word. There is no excuse for rudeness.
Message: Posted by: SoCalPro (Mar 16, 2008 11:07AM)
Message: Posted by: Review King (Mar 16, 2008 11:50AM)
What I LOVE about this is that you can move on. You can't win if you stay and hope to win them over.
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Mar 16, 2008 11:54AM)
Yes I agree with everyone else,just finish as soon as and move on.There are very few if indeed any,situations where you HAVE to perform,regardless.Life s to short to try and change the world,if these people arnt prepared to buy into it then balls to em! :)
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Mar 16, 2008 12:21PM)
I disagree with everyone. Don't pack up and walk away...do what David Stone does in his videos. You can either take a beer bottle and smash it on their head or you can bite their tongue out so they can't talk anymore:). That is how a professional would handle it...just look at Mike Tyson:).
Message: Posted by: magico563 (Mar 16, 2008 12:46PM)
Thanks for all the help guys and yes I did pack up and leve afer my routine but I am talking about mid routine befor your routine end, what can you do to lower the level of the Heckling.

Thanks, magico563:-)
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 16, 2008 01:41PM)
Since the whole table was heckling you may not be able to ease the heckling.

"Excuse me but you've succeeded in making it impossible for me to continue. Have a nice evening."

There are a few different types of heckling, all handled differently.
Type 'hecklers' in the Café search.
Message: Posted by: patrick flanagan (Mar 16, 2008 02:27PM)
The table you are at has zero idea of how long or short your set is suppose to be. Ideally, at tables, I will perform 4 effects. However, I may do 3 if I sense, while they are enjoying the magic, the mood may have climaxed after the 3rd effect...then I will stop. For jerks, drunks, bores, and/or other less than desired tables, I will do 2, or even 1 effect, thank them for their time and move on. As I said, they don't know if I'm suppose to do 1 trick, 3 tricks, or 100 tricks. So just be pleasant and adjust.
Message: Posted by: Darren Kidby (Mar 16, 2008 02:49PM)
As it was said earlia just walk away...

Message: Posted by: warren (Mar 16, 2008 02:52PM)
I try to never let myself get dragged in to challenge magic and would of definately have finished the routine at the first chance I got,i would then have thanked them for their time and then gone to a table as close to them as possible and made sure I got a good response.
Message: Posted by: Clark (Mar 16, 2008 03:45PM)
On 2008-03-16 11:17, Skip Way wrote:
Yep, As a fairly tolerant fellow, I'd suffer through two heckled effects...then pack up, smile and walk away without another word. There is no excuse for rudeness.

right on. rudeness should not be tolerated.
Message: Posted by: DJBrenton (Mar 16, 2008 04:46PM)
Maybe you could have them thrown out for being rude. Whoops, that's another thread.
Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Mar 16, 2008 05:15PM)
You could always present a set of hardcore XCM flourishing to really turn them against you..oh silly me that's what some people do already ;)
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Mar 16, 2008 08:10PM)
This clip should be of some help. Pay particular attention at section 1:05...


Message: Posted by: mysto59 (Mar 16, 2008 08:17PM)
On 2008-03-16 21:10, BIlly James wrote:
This clip should be of some help. Pay particular attention at section 1:05...



Message: Posted by: Hansel (Mar 17, 2008 01:44AM)
On 2008-03-16 14:41, Jaz wrote:
Since the whole table was heckling you may not be able to ease the heckling.

"Excuse me but you've succeeded in making it impossible for me to continue. Have a nice evening."

There are a few different types of heckling, all handled differently.
Type 'hecklers' in the Café search.

Agree,if they don't have education with you,show YOU your education to the group,show you are a professional...if you don't note, at the end they feel bad about ruining your job,
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 17, 2008 07:46AM)
One of the best things about walk around magic is you can WALK to the next table whenever you want.
Message: Posted by: meyegr (Mar 17, 2008 10:51AM)
This is why I am always packing - I just let them know I am going to show them a rare treat: The bullet to the head -
Once word gets around the heckling stops.

Seriously - the hecklars are no more invasive than the magic was. Why do we blame the hecklers? Just walk on . . .
Message: Posted by: DJBrenton (Mar 17, 2008 11:37AM)
I wouldn't have known how to deal with hecklers had I not joined this site. Now, I break off from the trick, demand a tip, then staple a business card to their forehead whilst shouting one of my competitors names at them. It does seem to shut them up.
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Mar 17, 2008 11:58AM)
Birds of a feather, flock together. Better to have one table full of jerks, than have them spread out throughout the other tables. Feel fortunate only one table was painful. One bad apple at each table could have spoiled the entire evening....

Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Mar 17, 2008 12:11PM)
Hecklers can be a tough group to deal with. Friends out with friends and a little bit of liquor makes for a bad night. If your effects aren't flawless, then they will see right through them. Also, the hardest thing for a crowd to get over is someone they feel is being fake with them. If they threw you a curveball, and you just stayed on your practiced presentation, they will eat into it. I'm not saying morally degrade them, but if you want to try to fight with them, prepare to throw fire back. I'm not of the school to try and pick battles with spectators, but there are books that address the issue of comebacks that might come in handy.

Here's how I have handled a table in the past. I was doing my ACR and the guy kept saying things like, "You are doing something to get it to the top. You're just to fast, but I know what you are doing." Not heckling persay until he tried to take the deck from me. I had some magicians wax on my cardbox so I stole it off while he was trying to explain to his friends that I was sneaking the card out of the deck and to the top. I controlled the card to the bottom and did a bottom palm and gave him the deck. I placed my hands behind my back and put the wax on the back of the card. I asked him to turn over the top card of the deck. He laughed and said I wasn't a real magician. I mentioned that sometimes the effects don't work on narrow minded people, then I placed my hand on his shoulder. As soon as my hand was on his shoulder, I told him that my mind is so narrow that you have to turn sideways to walk through it. I didn't want him to feel threatened, especially since he had the chosen card stuck to his back.

I thanked them and walked away with them laughing about me not finding the card. About 20 minutes later I heard the whole table roaring as they saw the card on his back.

There are always ways to deal with it, just don't lose your cool.

Message: Posted by: magico563 (Mar 17, 2008 02:12PM)
The thing I find funny some times is that you introduce yourself to the table and everyone seems real nice and there is one person that you find to be a good person but then when you start performing to them, they suddenly turn into this monster that cant been seen enjoying themselves when watching magic and there personality totally changes!!

Thanks for all the help guys; I will see how things go :)

Thanks again, magico563 :)
Message: Posted by: C.W.G. (Mar 21, 2008 07:37PM)
Just my two cents here...

First of all I stick to Kentons rule of when approaching a table, try to impress the guy they are all looking at or talking to, win him over and they are all on side.

But if you do get a heckler I make a point of making him look like an ***, if he grabs the deck I just smile and pretend its the funniest thing ever and that that's what I wanted, then when I get it back, smile away and just say "he's brilliant, I'll let him carry on entertaining you" and walk straight off to another table.

Or if someone is just heckling you, STOP mid effect and walk off without saying a word. This baffles everyone at the table and unsettles them, just remember to keep smiling at all times.

Brad Christian (I'm not ashamed to say some of my earlier DVDs were his) made the point that your magic is too important to you to let some loser spoil it just because he is "mentally irregular". The most important thing to know is no matter how good you are, you'll NEVER win over a heckler, they don't want to be won over and would never admit to being impressed by you. And the longer you engage with such fools, the more they can bring you down and ruin your night.

And might I offer you this NLP technique to rid you of your bad memory of the gig (this is a classic).

Imagine the heckler standing about 10 feet away from you... naked. Also see a huge glass window between the two of you. The heckler is pooing into his own hand and flinging it toward you as hard as he can, only he'll never realise that his poo will stay on his side of the window, stinking up his world, thus making him throw more poo at everyone else he see's because he is so angry. All you have to do is maybe pity him and know that you can look away whenever you want, and realise that he is going to be stuck there all his life.

(Mods please leave this post be as the words are not offensive and I want the guys to get the benefit of the technique.... Ta)
Message: Posted by: AntonDreaming (Mar 21, 2008 08:33PM)
Truth good visual, honestly, that sums it up in a lot of ways.

I have one heckler story that I cant share because in mere words it would not acuratly depict the event. Long story short, the world moves on, either you are better or worse for it depending on what you take away. In table hopping a heckler can far worse than in a big group. Often times my intro consists of "if you like this trick feel free to clap and ill show you some more but if you don't like it say thanks, shake my hand, and ill be off" no one has ever sent me off. At last that gives them the option I guess.

Message: Posted by: morpheis91 (Mar 24, 2008 04:28PM)
If there was an Ultimate Heckler my Uncle Tony would be him. I'd have my family going at like Christmas and then bang he walks in and stares at my hands doesn't listen to a word I say and just ruins most tricks but not because he guesses right but because he brings down the mood. But one Xmas I came prepared I had an I.D. and a Queen of Hearts that was folded and I put his name on the back of it and put it in my pocket. Well just like always he started being an a** then I just stopped mid-routine said okay Uncle Tony just name one card.....HE NAMED THE QUEEN OF HEARTS (score)...I went in my pocket and said here I have something with your name on it I handed it to him smiled and continued with the trick I was in the middle of...It took a few seconds then he showed every1 the card he smiled than said "How the f*** did you do that?" Ever since then he just shut up and watched my magic and actually enjoyed it
Message: Posted by: john scot (Mar 24, 2008 09:19PM)
If they don't want to be entertained, don't entertain them.

The first time laugh it off, the second time walk away.

Unless you're Penn and Teller..

Message: Posted by: john scot (Mar 24, 2008 09:22PM)
P.S. Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz has a great chapter on hecklers and audience management.
Message: Posted by: C.W.G. (Mar 25, 2008 02:26PM)
Brilliant clip John... Cheers.
Message: Posted by: Shodan (Mar 25, 2008 04:18PM)
What a way to deal with a heckler!
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Mar 25, 2008 10:56PM)
I enjoyed the clip...HOWEVER...

What we see Penn do is what we all WISH we could do...and that is turn the heckler around and get him to enjoy our show or be impressed with our skill. The guy in Penn's clip (I'm guessing a paid part of the show) is an A$swhole who by the end of Penn doing this and then that, is now impressed and applaudes and it's concluded with a handshake.

HOW NICE would this be if we could all do this. My thing, is I would hate for a young one to be watching this and think that "if I just work harder and do more impressive things, I'll win this guys respect."

The best way to handle it is LEAVE QUICKLY and don't put up with it!
Message: Posted by: C.W.G. (Mar 26, 2008 06:43AM)
I whole heartedly agree with Lyle...
Message: Posted by: Chappo (Mar 26, 2008 06:59AM)
Same *** could advice in this thread. I test out my effects on a close mate from university, if it gets the OK from him I show his mates as well. This really is the test of all tests for me as they are all Applied Science Students (exercise science) just like myself, so if it goes down well with them that covers a big demographic.
Message: Posted by: HowaboutBob (Mar 27, 2008 07:31AM)
Stop, bid them good day, and walk. There are plenty of people who want to play nice. Bob
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Mar 28, 2008 02:04AM)
I whole heartedly agree with Finny.
Message: Posted by: morpheis91 (Mar 28, 2008 03:34AM)
I think that's right but has anyone ever one over hecklers? its the greatest feeling but its totally not worth it because they will, more often than not make you get nervous jittery and mess up your performance. Are there any good stories of notable heckler victories or even defeats?
Message: Posted by: magico563 (Mar 28, 2008 04:46AM)
There is some great advise here and I think the hole point of it is that you just need to leave as soon as possible without been rude and don’t try to win them over because you will just be digging your self in to a even bigger hole!!

Thanks, magico563 :)
Message: Posted by: darkdean (Mar 28, 2008 05:18AM)
I whole heartedly agree with Frank

Sorry I just could not Resist

Message: Posted by: darkdean (Mar 28, 2008 05:19AM)
I personally just ignore them and get on with my set as quickly as possible then thank them for being a great audiance and move on.

Message: Posted by: morpheis91 (Mar 31, 2008 05:04AM)
Dean you are absolutely right I often find that ignoring someone actually shuts them up. I believe that if you ignore them then go on with your current trick and put a lot of emphasis on the effect at hand then the audience will pay attention to you and ignore the heckler also and just make them feel dumb. But a table full of hecklers "AHHHHHH.....RUN!!!!" :)
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Apr 1, 2008 09:39PM)
Came across this thread last week, and today I had my share of hecklers - two 9 year old kids! I started with the sponge ball, they pinpointed every move I made, to my surprise, some were right (later I learned from the boy, a "magician" went to his class and taught him something) it was awkward, but competitiveness took over me and decided to stay on. I introduced my ring and rope trick, they had no idea but still challenged and heckled me every move. although I succeeded the trick with perfection, there was no winners, they weren't impressed because they thought there was an explanation for everything. And I didn't feel good because magic is just a bridge for me to connect with the customers, which I have failed on that. I still made them balloons to take home. I was too nice. Should have just walked away after the sponge ball routine.

I felt pretty bad and it is almost the end of my gig in the restaurant. but then I remember reading this thread on the forum, so decided to perform for one more table before I left. As I was looking around, a waitress grabbed me and told me that her sister was here with her boyfriend for their 5th year anniversary. So I just went up to them. It was perfect! My magic wowed them. And I even made them a two-dove-kissing-in-a-heart balloon. I think they will never forget this special day in their life. =)

thanks everybody for the sharing.

Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 2, 2008 11:03AM)
Yes its odd people can praise you all the time to the rafters but one bad comment can really knock you down and that's the one you remember.......human nature I guess.....
My favourite phrase to ANY heckle is
" I don't listen to my knockers"
It amuses me every time as there is a bit of innuendo there also.... :fruity:
Message: Posted by: CactusChris (Apr 2, 2008 11:29AM)

this is a performence by brian tudor called the heckler, though his patter is notoriously weak his performence of the tricks flow into eachother fast enough to confuse anyone, maybe this IS the best way to deal with hecklers
Message: Posted by: john scot (Apr 2, 2008 01:12PM)
What's the crack? I've never seen a speccy look so bored and confused in all my life..

You wouldn't have a drink or socialise with a complete dong, so why break your b**ls trying to impress them when you could just perform magic for sombody who really appreciates it?

I'm not feelin' it!

Message: Posted by: john scot (Apr 2, 2008 01:19PM)

Don't take this the wrong way mate, but that is what you get for giving it the big one in front of little kiddies, LOL!

Message: Posted by: nucinud (Apr 2, 2008 02:43PM)
#%&* Hecklers,they are just bullys. Walk away!
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 4, 2008 09:40AM)
Power and control can be as addicting as liquor and other drugs.

When the 3 are placed together it can be a learning experience.

The Art of War, Tongue Fu, or relaxation tapes may help.

If one is a worker, one deals with it. I have gone from restaurants, bars, comedy clubs(bars with stages) to work in prisons and schools including what many avoid..the Middle School Student. Anyone else love 8 AM shows with 7th Graders?

My work for table hopping is usually an add on to my dinner shows rather than restaurants these days....

Remember rule 62...take your job serious and yourself lightly.

2 old to know everything
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Apr 6, 2008 12:37PM)
>> including what many avoid..the Middle School Student. Anyone else love 8 AM shows with 7th Graders? <<

It's THAT REASON ALONE that I do not do Children's Entertainment. HOWEVER...when they come into your restaurant...little can be done to avoid the sitation.

Case and point...yesterday a kid comes in to watch me perform. The history...this little snot shows up at my Saturday Gig once ever couple of months or so. I can't stand this kid. Why? Becuase he knows everything (in his mind) and enjoys making my life a hell!

This kid and his family (if you wanna call it that) started coming to the restaurant about 2 years ago...like I said...every few months they'd show up. The kids parents are a complete waste of space and let this kid do whatever the hell he wants to do. I first walked up to their table, got heckled by this little (insert word) and quickly packed up and went to another table. That was 2 years ago.

Present Day! I REFUSE to go to their table anymore when they arrive...so this kid follows me around from table to table heckling me while I perform for others. WTF!!!!!?????

This has happened every single time they come in. I usually just ignore it and tell the people I'm performing for to ignore him too...but yesterday, I couldn't take anymore of it. I stopped my show at the table I was at...called the kid out, went to his parents and told them to control their child as he was being nusense while I worked.

The kids parents were outraged that their little darling was capable of such behavior and said they had never been so insulted and said they would never return. I said "You'l Be Missed" and went back to work. They left! Good ridence...

I told the GM about it and he agreed that the situation had gotten out of hand. Apparently, the kids parents were just as much HIS nightmare as the kid was mine! So a bullet was dodged on both ends of the gun I guess you could say.

This is the ONLY TIME I have just ever snapped like that at a gig...but you know what...a human being can take but so much abuse...

Message: Posted by: Adam1975 (Apr 6, 2008 01:29PM)
Lylemagic......I would have done the same.Good call!
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Apr 6, 2008 01:31PM)
You make your point very well. I'm not sure I would have done much better with the situation. I've had kids follow me around table to table before and will tell my audience what is going to happen next! Fortunately, there are many good kids and there are still parents out there that believe in discipline.

Actually being patient with children in a performance is not all that difficult for me. When I run into bratty kids I just adopt the attitude, "I just have to put up with these brats for 45-minutes and then I'm out of here with cash in my hand."

Now, putting up with kids as a parent 24/7, that's difficult!