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Topic: My parents are a sucky audience.
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Jun 3, 2009 11:23PM)
My parents are a sucky audience.

In case anyone was thinking about showing my parents a trick or two, don't bother. My mother will not recognize what was magic about it, and my Dad will have some helpful comments about why you didn't do it very well. All comments will be couched in a manic and meaningless enthusiasm.

P.S. My mother, who doesn't notice anything unusual when a yellow silk vanishes or turns blue, who can't read the numbers on the phone, somehow believes she sees me flashing a palmed coin in a choppy online video that is 3" wide. No one else has mentioned this and I can't see it, but not to worry, other than the palmed coin being visible the whole time, the rest of it is really terrific.
Message: Posted by: Irfaan Kahan (Jun 3, 2009 11:48PM)
Good to know - I'll keep an eye out for them. Maybe we should send an APB to all the magicians here with their mugshots included.

Just kidding. Don't worry mate. My girlfriend gets fooled by every lousy magician and his dog - but let me do the world's greatest self-working trick and she immediately proceeds to tell me exactly how I did it.
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Jun 4, 2009 12:53AM)
Same for me. My parents were the most unrewarding audience as well. They looked at magic as if it is something for kids when I was doing magic (well, tried to). And I am sure they did not catch me at something.

This behaviour changed lately, since they recognized that I am a member of the magic circle now. Hmmm. Seems that all of this is a matter of perspective. I am not much better now than before, but now they take me serious. Funny thing, isn't it? (And hey, I am no kid anymore with my 46 years of age). :)
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 4, 2009 03:43AM)
Even though I only do magic as a hobby, my mother clearly doesn't like it. I'm sure she would have preferred something less "childish" and more of the nature of a "proper" pass time. To which I agree in a way. I'm 40 and unemployed and should really be out there studying and trying to qualify for a real job instead of thinking about magic all day.

I kind of wish she would have asked to see a magic trick some time tho. Just once. She has always been extremely supportive in every way but it seems she simply isn't interested in magic at all. Which is fair enough. It's not like I pay attention when she goes into a 20 minute monologue about flowers.
Message: Posted by: Irfaan Kahan (Jun 4, 2009 04:22AM)
Noobini, it's time to pull up your socks! Get a few of your favorite quick close-up pieces together and start hitting the local restaurants!!

I know you have a particularly severe problem with nerves - but don't despair. I had the same problem once. Know what I did? I would sweat myself into a panic before every performance, scratching my head for excuses not to perform. Just when I was ready to quit altogether, I would (and still do) repeat something a famous magician said to me once: "JUST DO IT."

And I did. Many times. And now I don't shake anymore. I get nervous as heck, still - but once I'm up there "just doing it" - the nerves disappear and everybody is laughing and enjoying themselves (me included).

You love magic? Then "JUST DO IT!" Next time I see you on here I want you to tell us all about how successful your performances have been.

All the luck and good wishes.
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Jun 4, 2009 05:30AM)
Last time I have been in Norway there were not that much restaurants to be found. This could prove a little difficult...
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Jun 4, 2009 07:15AM)
On 2009-06-04 05:22, Irfaan Kahan wrote:

You love magic? Then "JUST DO IT!" Next time I see you on here I want you to tell us all about how successful your performances have been.

All the luck and good wishes.

Thanks! But I will most definitely not ever go to any restaurants and bother the poor customers. :) This just isn't done here and if I was ever in a restaurant and a magician came up to my table, I really wouldn't like it much. Just not the proper time and place for it the way I see it. In other countries where restaurants are more lively, I'm sure it is great. But here people mostly relax and talk in fairly low voices. If they want entertainment they go home and watch TV. Well... not that I can afford to ever go to a restaurant, but that is my impression anyway.

As for the existence of restaurants, I think there are actually about one for every three people where I live in Oslo. Almost as many as cafés hairdressers and shoe stores. It is a shame really because the people who own the buildings keep increasing the rent many times over and slowly all shops that aren't hugely commercial and mainstream disappear.

But getting back on topic (sort of), it can feel a bit disappointing to have your closest ones not have any interest in what you do. I think that is what it boils down to because if you simply needed a test audience, I'm sure you could find someone you knew. Many years ago I broke up with a dream girlfriend, mostly because she didn't have any interest whatsoever in what I did (starving melodramatic artist). She was very beautiful and funny and smart but apart from those three things, we didn't have anything in common. :)
Message: Posted by: HMAC (Jun 4, 2009 07:23AM)
My mother, who doesn't notice anything unusual when a yellow silk vanishes or turns blue.


I can understand that. I recently did the crazy man handcuff in my grandmother's hand. Everyone enjoy it but her. She did not understood what was special about it. She was expecting the elastics to vanish and looked at me puzzled asking why the elastic were still there... I admit I had no idea what to say. So I jumped to something else and did a switch in her hands. Once again, she told me that the cards did not changed place as they were not the same ones and asked why it had failed...
I still have no idea of what I could have answered to that...
Message: Posted by: nattefrost (Jun 4, 2009 07:43AM)
It's my Fiance who seems to not care about my magic. She WILL check out some effects I do as I use her as a practice "tool" and she spots everything and knows every secret and sleight there is (practically) but other than that she's really not interested in anything related to magic. She never asks to see anything, but that really doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes when she is fooled she shows interest, but not often.

My mother, on the other hand, just loves the fact that I am into magic, always asks me "when are you going to bring some tricks over to the house", and talks "magic" with me all the time (she is easily fooled and that's a plus). I did the Kennedy Mystery Box on her a while ago and she was so shocked that the card appeared in the box she spent a week calling me on the phone telling me how she thinks I did it, begging me for a hint to the method, and things like that. I love when she does that stuff. I'm 38 years old and I feel like a kid "hiding" something and laughing inside. I perform magic for her a lot and she loves it and most importantly, REALLY appreciates it.

I wish I could have done some effects for my dad, but he passed away in 2006 from Parkinsons Disease, and that's the time I was really starting to get back into magic HEAVILY, but I'm sure he would have loved the fact I was doing this and would have showed some interest, too. I know how he was. He knew I was into magic as he bought me all of the magic "sets" when I was younger, but I really got back into it around the time of his death.

It's too bad because the Bronx Veterans Hosiptal in NY was where he lived for 8 years and that would have been a great place to put on a nice little show or 2 for him and all of the other veterans there. I would have felt super comfortable doing a show like that, because there wouldn't be that much pressure and that's what I need since I'm not a professional magician. Come to think of it, I still could do something there since I know everyone who is there. My dad would of liked that.

Posted: Jun 4, 2009 8:59am
Daniel, sorry if I went off topic a little but It's no big deal about your parents. A lot of people are like that. Believe me I know. I'm lucky my mother loves my magic, but I know some people who don't like it and that's just the way it is. You'll find many people who LOVE what you do. And I'm sure you perform magic real good, too!
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Jun 4, 2009 08:16AM)

There are magicians who get paid for performances, and there are the other ones:

I guess I reached the bottom when my youngest son, asked if he would care to take a look at my new trick, answered: "Dad, what do you pay for it?"

There is that.
Message: Posted by: vpatanio (Jun 4, 2009 11:04AM)
My wife humors me...she allows me to show her ONLY ONE trick per day...once my quota is met, I have to wait until tomorrow to show her more. Haha

Message: Posted by: CamisBoss (Jun 5, 2009 02:15AM)
I'm blessed with supportive parents. My mom is fooled by everything, so it's a nice ego boost with her. My dad is supportive, but he already knows most sleights. So I have to really break out the magician foolers to get him. But he has a great eye for improvement, and always gives me great criticism...

My girlfriend on the other hand... Haha, she enjoys seeing a good effect. But only in moderation. ;)
Message: Posted by: zippyfix (Jun 5, 2009 01:02PM)
Sadly my wife is in the "moderation" catagory. I practice a lot so she gets sick of my stuff pretty fast.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jun 5, 2009 06:06PM)
On 2009-06-04 00:23, DanielCoyne wrote:
P.S. My mother, who doesn't notice anything unusual when a yellow silk vanishes or turns blue,
Try giving her a test to check if she is color blind or not.
Message: Posted by: jim_h (Jun 5, 2009 06:36PM)
YES!!! I take heart that I'm not alone with this "problem". My wife is a nightmare whenever I try any effects out on her. She always tells me how to do a trick better next time, even though she has no idea how I did it this time. She's also incredibly good at making me feel like a complete idiot when I show her something new I'm learning. Short of a room full of strangers, it's either my wife or a mirror. In future, it's always going to be the mirror.

Family are the worst audience of all, without exception :bawl: :)
Message: Posted by: nattefrost (Jun 5, 2009 07:22PM)
My Fiance is the only one who messed up Eric Ross' Election effect. Everyone else I got. She "felt it" and I was really not suprised. She just doesn't like the mechanics grip I guess.....
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Jun 5, 2009 11:42PM)
On 2009-06-04 00:23, DanielCoyne wrote:
My parents are a sucky audience.

How are they as parents?
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jun 6, 2009 08:00AM)
On 2009-06-04 09:16, olaf911 wrote:

There are magicians who get paid for performances, and there are the other ones:

I guess I reached the bottom when my youngest son, asked if he would care to take a look at my new trick, answered: "Dad, what do you pay for it?"

There is that.

Wow! You have to pay your son to watch you perform?
Message: Posted by: mimo67 (Jun 6, 2009 11:06AM)
You're not alone guys, it's the same here in France with my wife or family or even some friends :-(
Message: Posted by: olaf911 (Jun 6, 2009 11:19AM)

Well, I actually never paid him for watching. He's 11 years old and VERY greedy, but fortunatly all I have to do is to promise to show him a trick that he WILL find magical.

So far this worked out fine. The difficulty is in fact to trick him. He has a keen eye and nimble fingers. Sponge ball magic is well within his reach. So if some trick passes the test with my youngest son, I know at least the technique is okay. This makes him quite valuable for me (besides being family, that is) concerning magic.

No payment. Never! :)
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jun 6, 2009 02:06PM)
Olaf911, its good to know that no money changes hand. I am glad he is of great help to you. Kids can see things we are not aware of. And they can help improve our performances in many ways.
Message: Posted by: Matt101 (Jun 7, 2009 06:20AM)
It really depands, my mother supports me in my hobby but it is sometimes very difficult to perform for her, because she knows how the trick is done so she is watching the other hand which shouldn't be watched:-) but it helps me to improve!
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Jun 7, 2009 10:53AM)
One thing that should be mentioned is often when we show things to loved ones they really aren't ready for "prime" time. We still need to tighten things up, and smooth out the presentation. They don't know how to be critical in a useful way. They don't say, you flashed in the Ramsey subtlety after the second vanish. They will say, you suck, I saw how you did it.

I have friends who are bored by magic, but I have gotten them to sit up and pay attention when I've done something well.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jun 9, 2009 06:19AM)
My 88 year old parents love every magic effect I do for them, but I don't expect any critical evalaution from them. So, don't allow the fact that you don't like their comments divert you from any higher calling. To not perform for my parents would be an insult. My wife, on the othe rhand, is a most caluable resource. being very visually impaired she cannot see most of what I am doing and misses out on the 'magic' -- but she instantly knows when I am doing a sleight or fumbling a misdirection. So. I practice until she cannot 'know' or 'sense' my lack of confidence or that I am unintentionally telegraphing my 'dirty work'.

the mother who claims to see the flash of the palmed ball may be telling you that "you see the palmed ball" and therefor need more work. Honor the intuition if not the words.
Message: Posted by: Ronald72 (Jun 9, 2009 06:26AM)
My wife is a great help to give feedback on my magic. My parnts do not understand and I have a twinbrother who like it and just came up with a thumb tip. He was thinking that permorming was easy so he did on a family reunion. His performances was so bad that from embarresment he begins to explain how the trick worked. That get him either in more problems because the family did not like the fact that he was telling the secret and guving my business away.

I stopped like 3 years ago to perform for family and friends. And that works great! :)
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Jul 31, 2009 10:16PM)
Magic is an opinionated product much like Music. There are those that like it, those that don't, those that like only certain types, etc. We must respect those that do not like magic, our magic nor our performance of magic.

It would be appropriate to remind them that you are not interested in their interests as well, and case not to see or hear about them. It is not a one-sided-world.

Do I have kindred spirited, like-minded performers with me? What are your thoughts?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Aug 1, 2009 12:49AM)
On 2009-07-31 23:16, guitarmagic wrote:
It would be appropriate to remind them that you are not interested in their interests as well, and case not to see or hear about them. It is not a one-sided-world.

Since this thread is about parents, and possibly other relatives, it is hard to tell if you are asking about that situation, or performing in general. IMHO very little is gained in life by playing any tit for tat game. Trying to get others to conform to your particular view of living and interpersonal is saying "It's all about me!" -- and very "one sided." Try walking up to someone looking sad, or vexed or blank and say, "YOu seem in need of a friend -- home might I help?" Then be prepared to play your guitar or tell a story or do magic or just sit and listen. If another person is laughing or looking like the cat that ate the canary ask, "What do you know that I don't?" -- or just sit and listen and learn.

Your suggested approach sounds like the kid saying, "If you won't play by my rules I'll take my ball and go home." There are billions of people out there. Why waste any energy on those who don't wish to deal with you at the moment? Keep your focus on finding those who do wish to be with you.

if you are speaking of family only -- well, you chose 'em ;-)

Not what you wanted to hear, I am sure.
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Sep 3, 2009 10:20PM)
Some people make a great audience and some don't. My view is that we are all different. We have to accept the people we care about for who they are, not who we wish they were. I try not to do magic for people unless two things are true. 1. They enjoy it and 2. I enjoy it. Is there anything else that you both have some interest in? You are in a tough position but if it had an easy solution you would have found it by now.
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Sep 4, 2009 02:53PM)
My parents are VERY supportive of my magic. Almost to the point of nagging me when I don't practice enough or when I haven't booked enough shows. But they are a terrible audience. Its pretty impossible to get them interested in something or to really fool them. I am lucky if they pay attention for the whole trick. I think the people who raised you know that you don't have powers and so everything is a trick to them.

My ex girlfriend LOVES magic but she is a terrible audience. If she thinks she knows how it is done she will just blurt it out and grin. She is almost always right. She sees right through things, and it's not just me, other magicians too. I show her stuff when I want to be sure that it is totally bulletproof.

What I do is keep track of people who are GREAT to show tricks too. I have friends who love my magic, are always fooled and these are the people that I share my magic with first when I am figuring out if it is ready or if I just want an ego boost. One friend in particular always seems to make magic performances better. When I do a trick for her she reacts so well that other people become more amazed. Of course you can't use people like this as a crutch for bad magic. But it is good to know who is going to be a fun audience.
Message: Posted by: bodybyfood (Sep 4, 2009 03:13PM)
Get this one: I was showing my sister OOTW after I had just learned it (she was probably my second performance infront of a spectator) and she smiled and started naming every single card the same color! I didn't know what to do, so I just picked up the cards and left.
Message: Posted by: GamingNinja (Sep 6, 2009 06:48PM)
My mother is a terrible person to show magic to, and you can add my aunt, grandma, and one of my cousins to that list. They think I should be a housewife, no hobbies, just go to work and take care of my 4 year old. So when I come up with a sponge ball or a deck of cards I get, 'Aren't you too old for that?' Lame. My cousin is the worst, she'll do everything in her power to make you fail. You tell her to cut the deck, she'll shuffle the crap out of them. I even got tackled one day for a coin in bottle so she could get the bottle and see how it was done. She HATES to be fooled. I don't perform for her anymore, I might have had to resort to using the taser on her if I kept on.

My ex-husband is my best audience. He enjoys magic, he comes with me to the store to check out new things, and if he sees anything, he lets me know politely and I can work on it from there. He can't wait to see something new I learned, so it gives me a bit of confidence when my family is busy kicking me down. -_-

My 4 year old is getting into it now too, he got a little coin vanish box in his kids meal and runs around showing everyone. I see potential in him, he's so bright and picks things up with insane ease.

Its odd though, the females in my family are vicious, but the males really enjoy it. I can perform for my male cousins all night and we all have a ball, my female relatives give me the look of death if anyone even mentions the word 'magic'.
Message: Posted by: Darth_Prime (Sep 6, 2009 09:24PM)
I think me dad is the ultimate heckler.. ever!

He just yells random stuff sometimes that has nothing to do with the trick.
Message: Posted by: Irfaan Kahan (Sep 7, 2009 02:25AM)
I was performing Bill Malone's Leap of Faith at a table one night. At the end, everybody seemed suitably impressed at the effect, but one woman at the table, all the while that I was revealing the final effect (which takes a while, as 2 spectators have to count cards) kept saying: "It must have something to do with that funny count."

She kept saying this over and over, annoying EVERYBODY - I just ignored her. The lesson I took from this is to really sell the fact (?) that this is the way they count cards in Vegas casinos. I even demonstrate the count these days by using a few cards, as I share all the virtues (?) of counting cards this way. Nobody has ever questioned the count since I started doing this.
Message: Posted by: Jia Truong (Oct 12, 2009 03:49AM)
The one person that I can never trick in the world is my little sister. Whenever I asks her, she says that when I look her in the eye, it means I am hiding something. All my other family members are easy to trick. Weird, isn't it?
Message: Posted by: 55john55 (Oct 12, 2009 05:54AM)
I don't know if this will help or not. When I take our daughter's dog for a walk she tries to greet every person along the way as though they should be as excited to see her as she is to see them. I pull the dog as far away from the person as possible and tell the dog, "Stay back, not everyone likes dogs." The dog doesn't understand a word I say, but the people do. I'm telling them it's ok with me if they don't like dogs.
I'm suggesting that you somehow tell your relatives that it is ok if they don't like magic. You'll try not to do it in front of them. But if once in awhile you do, to give you a break and realize that it is one of the passions in your life. Why would they take your joy out of it? Odds are they will still give you a hard time. You have to decide if it is worth the pain. I don't think it is. I say save the tricks for when they aren't there. There is too much pleasure in doing magic for people who like it to have it stolen by people who don't.
Keep a short leash on your dog.
Does this help or is it stupid?
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Oct 12, 2009 01:24PM)
No that is smart. It's important to have critical audiences so that we improve but it is also very important to share our magic with people who are going to help us be better magicians, either with helpful criticism or confidence-boosting praise. Do NOT share your magic with people who aren't going to like it or say anything helpful. Close relatives are often the worst audience because, as it has been pointed out before, they KNOW that you don't have "powers," they can tell when you are trying to hide something, etc.

Don't worry if your close relatives are a poor audience. Try the tricks for strangers.
Message: Posted by: Darth_Prime (Oct 14, 2009 11:58AM)
Just wanted to update

I finally got me dad speechless by doing déjà vu by D&D
Message: Posted by: magicbobc (Oct 14, 2009 12:42PM)
My family has rarely seen me perform, they get to see me practice all the time, so they get tired of it. 10 years ago when I began learning magic my father was really dissapointed, and my brothers actually bothered me and thought I was lame haha!
But after I payed for my college tuitions, my father agreed to come see one of my shows. Now he loves to watch me perform. So be patient and don't desist. You can go far with magic!
Message: Posted by: tjaymagic (Nov 22, 2009 08:55PM)
I can't perform in front of my parents, after performing a trick with a deck of cards, she said straight away, 'I suppose that wouldn't work with another card would it?' - She also knows if I'm lying.

My father will take the cards away from me and shuffle them like mad, and will posbbilby resort to the 52 card pick up.

Cups and balls and rope....Don't even get me on that topic!

Acting is OK for my parents to watch...magic...NAH!!