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Topic: Show me a trick...
Message: Posted by: jiayi (Jan 13, 2010 03:18PM)
So someone just found out you are a magician and asks you to show him a trick. What would you do? Do you show him a trick or would you say no? Understand everyone could be a potential client or a referral so I think it is important to show them your A game. Just curious what other working pros' take on this.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jan 13, 2010 03:56PM)
Always have coins on me and it's easier to carry IT all the time now with a Tarantula.
Otherwise I like to have one of the newest gizmos to try out on actual earthlings. This week it's Mojoe and Picasso Bands (as soon as they arrive).
Don't usually carry cards but I made an exception for Color Fusion.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jan 13, 2010 04:18PM)
Here is a similar thread...
Message: Posted by: MiketheMagicDude (Jan 13, 2010 04:43PM)
I think there is a much deeper underlying question here than what tricks or props you carry on you at any given time.

I am of the philosophy...at this moment in time...that I will not show someone a trick just because they found out I am a magician and asked for one.

To drop a pretty cliche anaoly: If you find out someone is a mechanic you don't ask them to fix a car: or ask a doctor to cure an illness etc just to prove they are what who they say they are.

I love performing. But there is a time and a place. I do not at this point in my "career" feel I need to carry a deck of cards or any "magic" on me at all times. I refuse to be ready at the drop of a dime to put on a show for someone who probably does not really care or who is intending for me to prove something to them rather than seeking entertainment.

This feeling, as many others seem to do, may change tomorrow.
Message: Posted by: MiketheMagicDude (Jan 13, 2010 05:28PM)
I forgot to add that I am really intrested in hearing other thoughts on this aspect of it...

Not what tricks you show them...but WHY you do or do not.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 13, 2010 06:12PM)
I think by definition of a magician, one should have the ability to perform at all times. This is not to say one HAS to perform. If we are magicians, then by nature we should have the ability to perform anything at any time? That is the perception of what a magician does.

We also can not rush to the conclusion that a person is asking just to annoy you or just to see if they can figure stuff out. In many cases they have never seen a real magician that close before. Magic and magicians can be a very curious thing and people are curious about what we do. Also, they may be genuine in their interest to see magic. They may not mean any harm at all. Not always is a person asking up to no good. We can never assume that.

Now the cliche about the mechanic can not really apply here. Sure you would not ask a mechanic to fix your car to prove he is a mechanic. However, in magic I do not think they are asking you to prove it. Remember that unlike a mechanic, we are entertainers. It is our goal to entertain people. A mechanic does not have that responsibility nor does a doctor.

Like anything, we have to feel out the situation. You can always turn something down if you feel the person asking is nnot genuine. In many cases, they are not causing any harm at all. In this case, I am always happy to show them a simple effect or quick routine.

By doing so, I am marketing myself and getting a chance to connect and network with someone. We can exchange names and possibly a business card. I never lose the opportunity to meet another prospect for my work.

I also will not turn down an opportunity to share magic with someone else. This not not mean becoming a magic stalker. I never cram magic at somesone. However, there are many times and opportunities for all magicians to make that little difference.

I was in line a few times and a girl in front of me was crying or upset. It is very easy to do a simple magic trick just to make them smile or giggle. It may last 30 seconds, but the kid and the parent will really thank you for it. I think this is something all magicians can do and learn from.

I am a firm believer that anyone and everyone is a potential prospect for the services you provide. If so, then why not open yourself to favorable opportunities when they present themselves.

Message: Posted by: MiketheMagicDude (Jan 13, 2010 06:23PM)
CAN you perform at all times?
Sure, we all know hundreds of impromptu tricks and jokes.

The question here is SHOULD you?

I have have held many "titles" in my life...magician being the only one where I have been called upon to "perform" upon declaration of that fact.

Oh, you're a chef...well done.

Oh, you're a janitor...neat.

Oh, you're a pianist...sounds nice.

Oh, you're a doctor...you must have a lot of patience.

Oh, you're a magician...show me a trick.

I have found that by saying no, it leaves them truly "wanting more" even though they never got anything to begin with.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 13, 2010 06:31PM)
I explained a lot of why that happens in my above post. I believe it is the nature of what we do and the perception of what a magician is in the mind of the lay person. We entertain. A person knows that a chef can not cfreate a meal for them right there. However a magician (in their own mind) has the ability to perform magic anywhere and at any time. I think the perception is there that we have this ability.

I do not always think being asked is a bad thing. Once again, you must weight the situation out. If the person feels genuine, then showing them a little something can have a benefit for you and for them.

Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Jan 13, 2010 08:15PM)
Make the most of it ... business card trick. Either a prediction written "just for them" on the back of your card, or the old (I forget the name) simple "switcheroo" where a blank card changes as it passes thru your hand into a printed business card.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jan 13, 2010 09:12PM)
Whenever I perform in front of the mirror, I always give myself a standing ovation,
and it's still boring.

I thought it curious that this topic was in the "Business" section but now I get it.

Do I get more work by acting foolishly in public and making strangers laugh for a few minutes?

I have no "A game" or "B game". If its's not appropriate, or I don't feel like it, I don't do it. But I rarely pass up an opportunity to meet new people, test new material and spread a little good will as an artist. The business part pretty much takes care of itself after that.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Jan 13, 2010 11:09PM)
I agree with Kyle, but each to his own. Personally speaking, I have done the Balducci Levitation if I can get the right angle on it or have used items nearby to make magic, such as napkins for spongeball routines, coins for vanishing and appearing, string or paper.

I also have done mathmatical magic for those who can comprehend the instructions and follow them. Seeing the reaction of the people is beautiful and most appreciate the time you took to entertain them.

I did get a couple of bookings from something like this, but I do it mostly for the enjoyment.

Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Jan 14, 2010 12:21PM)
I hear it all the time "Do you a trick"..my mind is saying ""Dance Monkey". I have stopped carrying cards and such with me. Though I am in the process of adding a business card trick to be in my wallet at all times for that moment. Also, I think it is very important for someone who calls themselves a "magician" to have a working knowledge of impromptu magic.

Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Jan 14, 2010 12:45PM)
My method has been: always show something.

My thinking on it is that, "It costs me nothing." I mean, maybe, what, two minutes of my life to bring someone joy? No problemo for me.

And, this is just my opinion of course, but I feel that I do need to prove myself. If I were say a doctor, chef, mechanic, etc, odds are I wouldn't be in business (for long, anyways) if I wasn't any good (lets hope so on the Doctor scenario, lol. But if I say, "magician" and don't show them anything, I think when talking to someone else they'll say, "Yeah , I met a magician but I have no idea if he's any good." Why not prove it right off the bat? I much rather have them say, "Omg, I met a magician and he showed me this awesome thing! Maybe we could use him at our event?"

Just my quick thoughts,

Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Jan 14, 2010 01:01PM)
Bravo Jamie

After all, people don't encounter a magician every day.
Why not make it memorable?
Message: Posted by: alpha alex (Jan 14, 2010 02:18PM)
I always carry my Silent Assasin Wallet and in there I carry a 20 minute show.. besides.. cards are my second wallet..
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jan 14, 2010 04:46PM)
(indignantly) "Trick?!?"
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jan 14, 2010 08:52PM)
What do you want to be perceived as a "highly-valued professional" or a "guy that knows some tricks"?

The simple fact that they said "trick" shows a total mis-understanding of the service that is provided by a professional. Acting on this request only reinforces the low value they are placing on you.
Message: Posted by: MiketheMagicDude (Jan 15, 2010 12:58AM)
On 2010-01-14 21:52, Scott Burton wrote:
What do you want to be perceived as a "highly-valued professional" or a "guy that knows some tricks"?

The simple fact that they said "trick" shows a total mis-understanding of the service that is provided by a professional. Acting on this request only reinforces the low value they are placing on you.

Message: Posted by: misterillusion (Jan 15, 2010 08:10AM)
I always carry some items with me like mis-made bill, $2 to $1, and some coins, but the most effective thing I carry and use is a three card monte where the chosen card (which is on a different color back) changes to my business card when turned over by the spectator. They get to keep this and they probably will not throw it away since it is the same shape as a playing card and has a card-back printed on the back. I have been booked from this marketing method.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 15, 2010 11:21AM)
Scott brings up an interesting point and I want to thank him for that. However, I think that most people in general will say “trick” not because they are trying to be mean or trying to degrade us. The simple point is that not many folks have ever really talked with or worked with a magician before. Many have seen one on TV or maybe at a festival. They get a perception in their mind as to what they think magic is about and what we do. I do not think they are doing it to be rude.

If that is the case, then can’t we learn to educate people? I do so in my marketing all the time. It is a way in which to get suspects and prospects to know who I am, what I am about and what makes me the professional I am. Often times their first questions to me seem uneducated. I know most of this is because they have never dealt with a magician before. I then work and educate them and through the process build a relationship with them.

So if someone in public asks me to perform a “trick”, I am not sure I can always find fault with that. I can not assume they are doing so to “place a low value” on me. They may be saying that because they are not yet educated. I think we can educate them a bit and have fun in the process. I think this is a natural course of action in the line of work we do.

Message: Posted by: Jay Mahon (Jan 15, 2010 02:39PM)
It depends who is asking really. Context is everything...

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 15, 2010 02:51PM)
It is indeed. Every situation is different.

Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jan 16, 2010 12:01AM)
In one of his books Richard Osterlind recommends not automatically doing tricks for people, to build up respect (but he does do tricks ("effects") for people).

In his lecture and lecture notes Jeff McBride recommends ALWAYS doing magic for people. Magician 24/7. He considers part of his personal discipline as a magician to ALWAYS do magic if he is asked, even if he doesn't feel like it. In relation to this he says "the magicians who get paid the most do the most shows" and considers every imromptu cards from the mouth or thumbtip trick as a show that makes him a better magician than he was.

If I am asked sincerely, I always do something. If I'm at my day job and some kid is just killing time I may or may not, depending on how I feel. If I feel inspired, I'll just do cards from the mouth or the magic wishing rainbow, or something else, even if no one asks; the vast majority of people really appreciate it and those few that don't usually put up with me and then we can change the subject and do something else.
Message: Posted by: Christophe Rossi (Jan 22, 2010 09:56AM)
It is funny to found this topic in the business part ...

It is actually difficult for everyone to realise that doing magic is how we make money and that it has a value ...
I also feel sometimes tired to listen anytime show me somethings just because I am a magician ...

But I also believe that in life giving is it a nice things and sharing also ...
I still do some magic to stranger time to time ...
I never perform in that occasion anythings from my repertoir that I use when I get pay but I still can do few good things who get reactions ...

Getting and simple thank you and somethings in people eyes still makes me happy ...

Anyway 3 days ago I was in a coffee and I was practicing some move, ( nothing very show off , just some culling) , a man show up and asked are you magician ?
Please show me somethings , actually that moment I was not in the mood of pulling anyhings but I could tell that he really wanted to see somethings ...
I did 2 or 3 things ..It turned that the man has a magic bar near by the place I was and he want now to organise event for me ...!!!

We never know how things are going and beeing open is a good things ...
We all have different view and I understand that sometimes it s heavy to listen always the "show me a trick" things but has magician I think that we must like people and be nice to them ...
After all magic it s not happening in our hands but betwen magicians to others...

Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 22, 2010 10:42AM)
I am not a performing seal for them to command.

I think it depends on context, and I think it depends on who is asking. It also depends on the performer.

I simply prefer that my show be seen in the context in which I have intended it to be. I do not "generally" show a trick to people who have the knee jerk reaction to finding out what I do. BUT someone who finds out, or knows and says something thoughtful such as "look my cousin is here and he REALLY loves magic would you please show them something" is a request I would have a hard time declining.

One is a "knee jerk" reaction and 1/2 the time they really couldn't care less. The other is a thoughtful response, more than a demand so I try to comply if possible.
Message: Posted by: M Sini (Jan 22, 2010 12:40PM)
I think McBride covers this very topic in his column in Magic Magazine this month.
Message: Posted by: andini1 (Jan 23, 2010 09:05AM)
On 2010-01-13 21:15, rossmacrae wrote:
Make the most of it ... business card trick. Either a prediction written "just for them" on the back of your card, or the old (I forget the name) simple "switcheroo" where a blank card changes as it passes thru your hand into a printed business card.
You've hit the nail in one !! Perfect !! A good entertainer should ALWAYS BE ON.
Without hesitation I do a quick business card trick and leave the card with them.
If they want more, the've got my number.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 23, 2010 10:22AM)
Acually, a good entertainer doesn't always have to be on. That is usually one of the things which can annoy the heck out of people.
Message: Posted by: andini1 (Jan 24, 2010 05:19AM)
From reading all the previous posts (above) it's clear that your opinion is in the minority. That doesn't mean that anybody is "wrong" or "right" - they are just opinions.
Why can't you "agree-to-differ" instead of wanting the last word.
With respect,
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 24, 2010 10:46AM)
Ummmm what part of "it also depends on the performer" confused you in my post? It means that there is more than one way to go about it. It means there is more than one answer.

I think it would show more "respect" if you actually read my post before just starting an arguement. (incidently the idea of always being "on" is annoying, and is different from the original question)

If you have some sort of personal problem, send it to me in a PM so I can ignore it without disturbing the others.
Message: Posted by: acesover (Jan 24, 2010 11:30AM)
On 2010-01-24 06:19, andini1 wrote:
From reading all the previous posts (above) it's clear that your opinion is in the minority. That doesn't mean that anybody is "wrong" or "right" - they are just opinions.
Why can't you "agree-to-differ" instead of wanting the last word.
With respect,

I am really having difficulty understanding what you mean in your post about Danny. His post starts out saying that he is not a trained seal for you to command. Nothing wrong in that are you a trained seal to act on command? He goes on to say that he would rather you see his performance in his act which is very understandable. Then goes on further to say that in certain cases he would do something for the person asking.

Having said all that, what the heck are you talking abaout?