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Topic: My very first creep...how do you deal?
Message: Posted by: Evelyn (Sep 15, 2018 10:41PM)
Tonight I went to a distant cousin's wedding and wound up being the defacto baby sitter, so I brought out a couple of dumb card tricks to entertain them. A couple of times during the night, the photographer came over to flirt with me, even after I made it abundantly clear I wasn't really interested. Later on, he came over and insisted I do a card trick for him. I was using a marked deck, so I decided to just do a really quick and dirty mentalism read to get him away. He drew Jack of Diamonds. I know this immediately.

First, he takes my card and goes all the way across the room with it to look at. Fine, weird. So he comes back and I give him the deck to insert his card and he makes a big show of taking the deck and hiding the card. Cool. I go through the whole thing, about twenty people are watching at this point (mostly kids).Big finish...and he says.."yeah that's not my card". I ask--repeatedly-- if he's sure and he keeps insisting no, it's not his card. Finally, I just say "well I guess I must have used up all my magic, sorry about that" and try and move on, And the guy PULLS ANOTHER F@#$@ CARD OUT OF HIS POCKET. He'd stolen it out of my deck when he put his original card back in. He goes "how come you didn't know I'd switched my card I thought you were supposed to be a mind reader" then proceeds to pound me on the back -hard- and walk away, having ruined my trick and made me look like an ***.

This is the first time that kind of thing has ever happened to me, both from the standpoint of someone actively sabotaging a trick to unwanted physical contact.

I suppose this is mostly a rant, but I'd love advice on how you diffuse or refocus a jerk like this. Thankfully, this was in the lowest stakes possible, I was just messing around, but it really bothers me that someone would actively undermine my work like that, just to be "funny".
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Sep 15, 2018 11:38PM)
I'm sorry you went through that. That guy was more than an average jerk, he was really bad.

So, I'm sure you felt it before it happened. Just the way you describe his behavior before he asked you to perform magic for him, it's clear you knew he was off. So here's what I do in a case like that...well, one of the things I do, as I've learned (the hard way) how to deal with these guys. First, he never holds a prop. I don't let him take a card, I tell him to touch a card, and then *I* show it around to people. And I [i]never[/i] let them have the deck and walk away with it. With spectators like that, you have to keep control. I never let them converse with me. I stick to my script (and I have a script for every routine), and rather than talking with him [i]I give him instructions.[/i] "Raise your right hand. Touch a card. Look at it. Remember it. Take one step back." Stuff like that. You get him doing what you tell him to do, and you do not engage in conversation with him. I'd also involve other people. I've dropped guys like that in the middle of a trick and turned to someone else. And if I suspect mischief is afoot, I tend to start with a trick that says, "This ain't your uncle's card trick, and if you **** with me you're going to end up looking foolish."

The main thing is you [i]must[/i] maintain control of your props and the situation. Stop problems before they start. And if you see problems developing, dump him and turn your attention to a different spectator. I've also given them a card and told them to sit on it (or stand on it if there are no chairs) until I come back to them, then I start a new trick with someone else and never come back to them. I leave them sitting on that card where they can't mess with me until I'm done performing. And if he pipes up, I tell him to be patient, and then I physically turn away from him and ignore him.

This guy did not respect you as a person or as a magician. As a woman, you start at less than zero in terms of credibility with some guys. So you have to establish your credibility before you play with them. This kind of guy thinks it's a contest. It's not, and I let them know that right off. Once he knows I'm way more of a magician than he ever dreamed, I might give him a try, but I still won't let him take a card and especially not the deck. Instead of saying, "pick a card," I'll say, "Hold up one finger, now just touch any card as they go by." I never, ever surrender control to those guys. And I don't ever feel like I have to finish a trick with the guy I start it with.

Again, I'm sorry you had to deal with this. The physical assault is unreal! I would have punched that dirtbag in the face and made a big scene. And if he's a professional wedding photographer I'd go on Yelp and leave a review making sure to mention that he assaults women at weddings. I hope you learn that you [i]can[/i] control these jerks and avoid the very problems you ended up having to deal with. But we all deal with it. It's like they home in on us. If you let them know that you're performing not just doing magic tricks, and you learn how to control them before they act out, you'll stop seeing these guys. They don't mess with strong women who have the drop on them, because they are essentially weak and fear being made to look foolish.

I'm glad this was your first such guy. And I hope he's your last.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 16, 2018 07:40AM)
Dana is SPOT on! It is a shame in this day, we have to deal with dirt bags like this. I know the type. They believe they "OWN" women and they can act as they please. Until they meet Dana and get a broken nose! I'm a "huggy" guy. Today, I have to be careful. I was actually told (after hugging several women), "Touch me, and I break your FACE!" Nooo problem! I get away, FAR away from that. Still, I MAY have some #METOO folks after me, I don't know. I'm guilty of ALL of it. I MAY have been a dirt bag at one time. Never dangerous, but dammit, I was a Disc Jockey on the Radio! We were ALL dirt bags! Shameful!

Today, I have seen the error of my ways. What I THOUGHT was harmless fun was really borderline harassment. But...the girls at the radio station were JUST as bad! I won't tell you the sordid details. We had four radio station in the building. The Rap Station had newspaper on the windows because there was "nakedness afoot!" I was on the air at the Oldies station when one walked into MY studio! Completely in the buff. And tease? OH! How I HATE being TEASED! I'm at the point where I could cut diamonds, and she walks OUT! G'bye! Perky and proud, she was. Me? A defeated dirt bag. Got what I deserved.

Some men never grow up. Some are harmless. I'd say MOST are harmless and can be manipulated like clay with a woman like Dana. Not every woman HAS those skills, though. Dana is one tough lady! I would LOSE every time in any sort of "contest". I have to admit I am a bit intimidated. Merely because I do NOT want to offend! Too many are being offensive to women today. I do not want to be one of them. And guys! LISTEN! It is ALSO up to US to discourage this behavior from our fellow brothers! If you're out, and see one of these creeps at work? Well. I'm a little guy, and at 62 don't think I make a good body guard (LOL). But...I can alert OTHERS to action! Or am I wrong about this and should mind my own da*n business?

Message: Posted by: Evelyn (Sep 16, 2018 09:40AM)
Thank you Dana for your response and advice. These are beautifully well thought out answers and a real gift for someone just starting out and learning (and often
making mistakes). I am really grateful for your time and thoughtfulness.

Sidebar, this morning I considered ordering fancy embossed cards that say "An unfortunately unfunny member of the audience will ruin a trick", so now if that ever happens again..."Ladies and gentlemen the spirits spoke to me earlier this evening and foretold this would happen, sir will you read my prediction?" "And as you can see ladies and gentlemen it came true! Thank you sir!".

It's probably way too petty of a maneuver but I feel like it'd play well to the audience and break tension. Still deciding.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Sep 16, 2018 12:15PM)
Evelyn - Just to add a little to Dana's comments - don't feel you need to do magic for everyone who asks. Sounds like you knew he was trouble before you started. It's okay to say, "No, I'm all done for now." Or, "today I'm just focused on magic for the kids". Or, as Dana suggested, just move on to a more cooperative spectator.


PS. Like the idea of a bad review on Yelp :-).
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Sep 16, 2018 10:23PM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2018, Evelyn wrote:

Sidebar, this morning I considered ordering fancy embossed cards that say "An unfortunately unfunny member of the audience will ruin a trick", so now if that ever happens again..."Ladies and gentlemen the spirits spoke to me earlier this evening and foretold this would happen, sir will you read my prediction?" "And as you can see ladies and gentlemen it came true! Thank you sir!".

It's probably way too petty of a maneuver but I feel like it'd play well to the audience and break tension. Still deciding.[/quote]

I'm not sure about that. I have two immediate thoughts.

First is that if that happens to you often enough that you need to use those cards, you're doing something terribly wrong.

Second thought is that that's a good way to lose an audience who is with you. It might come off as funny. But it might sound snarky, too. And if it does that, you're going to lose the audience. The audience is on your side when they see a jerk messing with you. But no so much when you get jerky back. I'm not sure how that card would play.

Those cards might be a waste of your money. Fun concept though.
Message: Posted by: Evelyn (Sep 17, 2018 11:12AM)
You're not wrong...it was mostly a musing, I think, ultimately, I'm way too nice to actually ever do something like that. :D. Plus, your thoughts on losing the rest of the audience is spot on, I'd rather just move on instead of drawing more attention to the problem.
Message: Posted by: Stucky (Sep 19, 2018 09:19AM)
This is why I glimpse the cards people pick in walk around situations so I can call them out when they try to pull that stuff. These sort of thngs are a learning experience. Enjoy your first battle scar. There is more to come.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 22, 2018 04:45AM)
A professional magician doing trade shows, had a wise guy spectator. He solved the problem by forcing the 14 of spades on the guy. When he was asked, what card he had chosen. The guy replied the 14 of spades. You then say, everyone knows there is not such card in a deck. The magician then tried again to get the name of the spectator's card. Again, 14 of spades. This gets the audience on the magician's side, and it took care of the show off.

Ges such cards at Haines House of Cards on the internet.

It shuts down these guys, and put the audience on your side.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 22, 2018 03:55PM)

When a spectator decides to lie, a glimpse won't count for anything except to know you are right. It takes corroboration and sometimes that won't work if the jerk out ranks the other spectators.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 23, 2018 07:09AM)
ALWAYS have him show the card to others in the group! (ALWAYS!!!) --If you really want to show him a trick! Otherwise just cop out!
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Sep 24, 2018 07:50AM)
When I once worked a gay bar, a guy grabbed my assets and I gave him such a look that he apologized profusely. I should have known that in that environment things like that might happen but it was still awful. Since then I don't work gay bars but would if the money was good. Not that it's the same as the op experience but I think the entertainment industry is filled with such behavior and it's up to us to put a stop to it. Not all men gay or straight behave this way and when seen as attractive by a gay man, I think of it as a complement even though I'm straight. Touching is another thing and I feel like we all must help each other draw the line distinctly.

Evelyn, I'm sorry. Maybe in today's society and with the "Me Too" movement the industry will change and people can be held more accountable. Till then, we will need to watch our own assets.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 24, 2018 12:01PM)
Senor Fabuloso,

This seems off topic.

While the guy showed interest, there was no touching, just a fairly typical jerk ruining a Magic Trick (although the extra card is not typical).

All Women deal with passes at Magic gigs. Hecklers are a different problem.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Sep 24, 2018 12:47PM)
Sorry Fabuloso, I re-read and there was touching

Hard whacking on the back is not particularly sexual but still very wrong.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: 0pus (Oct 2, 2018 10:18AM)
Wasn't this guy the paid photographer?

Shouldn't he have been working instead of trying to trip up a performer or guest at the wedding?

Is he rated on yelp (or elsewhere)?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Oct 2, 2018 10:55AM)
I have nothing to add to Dana's advice regarding how to handle the performance part of it.

However - This guy is a professional wedding photographer? If he's independent, definitely post bad reviews on social media with details. Complain to your cousin, let them know the photographer they were probably paying quite a bit was extremely inappropriate with a guest of theirs. If the dude works for another company, complain to them - let them know their employee/contractor is being inappropriate with wedding guests.

I'm not even referring to messing up the card trick. The fact that he put his hands on you is not OK. If that had been my wedding and someone I hired, I would be furious if he mistreated a guest of mine like that. I for one believe there should be consequences to one's actions and this guy shouldn't be hired for anything else until he learns to behave with basic levels of decency.
Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Oct 13, 2018 10:53AM)
That's disgusting behavior, especially on the part of a professional worker at the wedding. It is typical jerk behavior; trying to regain a feeling of control by one-upping you, to compensate for his feeling of failure and embarrassment at not being able to dominate you earlier with his unwelcome advances. I really like the advice from danaruns and Mary Mowder! I also think that Bill Hegbli's suggestion about using the 14 of Spades might be a terrific (and less potentially offensive) way of implementing your idea about using a forced card to fight back while keeping the audience on your side, in a similar situation.

Informative thread! Thanks Evelyn for starting it.

Message: Posted by: Seth speaks (Oct 13, 2018 11:30AM)
And I TOTALLY agree with WitchDocChris--unwanted touching is unacceptable behavior that needs to have consequences. While you likely wouldn't want to react negatively during the event itself, as that might leave a sour taste for the wedding, I think notifying your cousin afterward (about the back slap) and holding him acountable on social media is completely warranted...