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Topic: What would you do?
Message: Posted by: kleqy (Dec 28, 2020 11:35AM)
Let's say you are in a social situation and someone asks to see something.Not knowing how much time they have before they leave,would you perform for them ONE thing that they will never forget in their life,or would you start off with something basic and then build up your effects?
In other words,would you take them on a short experience they will never forget or perform a mini-show?
If you build up your effects,are you not afraid they would leave early/not be mind blown by what they have seen at first (for example:equi***e)not knowing you will build up?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 28, 2020 11:51AM)
I have never once performed for anyone in a social situation. If they want to see me perform they'll have to come to one of my shows. Would you walk up to singer and just expect them to burst out in a song? If you saw someone at an airport carrying a guitar, would you ask then to play you a little something? If you were in waiting area of a restaurant and the person next to you identified themself as a brain surgeon, would you ask them to perform a lobotomy?

Of course not this is ridiculous - except for magicians with magician's thinking. Magicians might do this, not mentalists.
Message: Posted by: kleqy (Dec 28, 2020 12:28PM)
Yes this is 100% true.
I just lately found myself hanging out with friends a lot(I know that they know that I cant really read minds)and they would ask me to perform some stuff for like one of THEIR friends or cousin etc...(and it is always 5+ persons).So this is why I am asking because I am not doing stage shows in this period of time and I am finding myself sitting close-up more.
I am still interested in everyone's opinion though.
Message: Posted by: lancenicolai58 (Dec 28, 2020 12:45PM)
Kleqy - you do whatever you want. Mindpro has a great point - no one should expect you to perform if they asked. However, if you want to share with them a special experience, go for it. When I was a substitute teacher back in the day, I would have many students come up to me at the mall when I was with my gf (now wife) and ask me to perform something for them. Some may not like to be approached like this and be expect to perform something, but for me, it made their day. I love seeing their reactions. Also, it made me feel better about myself. Back then I didn't know that I had aspergers syndrome which causes me to have trouble in a social setting. When I was able to perform magic, it gave me the confidence to be in control of the situation. This made me feel somewhat normal and a part of the group which normally I don't get that feeling. After I was diagnosed at the beginning of 2020, it all started making sense. If you are given a gift or special ability, its ok to share it.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 28, 2020 01:20PM)
Kind of a weird question of me, but I will try to answer in imagined alternate state of being.

"social situation and someone asks to see something" For me "being social" does not include asking people to do things,
nor does such action fit a definition of "friend." Any one who would start a conversation and then just walk away is not a friend.
My being a conjuror or mentalist does not place any obligation on me to perform, even for folks who are not friends.
I can agree with Mindpro that mental based effects are a poorer choice here than physical based impossibles (but not his opinion for making that choice).
Any action by you should be influenced by audience experience/knowledge, setting, expectations and time restraints moire than by "what you prefer."

But, accepting that your version of hanging out and being asked to perform is normal and social for you, the questions is what to perform,
and a what level of astonishment/inexplicable do you attempt? The concept of "short and powerful" vs "prelude and adjustment" is a valid one for any setting.
You apparently want to be known as a "mystic arts performer" and like performing when asked. So be it.

Not enough info here to give good answer. What is the experience of this individual with live magic effects?
What are the time restraints? How prone are they to distraction and interruption?


Without such knowledge it is unlikely to be able to perform a "never to be forgotten" effect.

Since magic must happen in their mind, a stepped approach to either learn or teach might be best, if you have uninterrupted time.

I would suggest sticking to using familiar object and progress from magical to astonishing, perhaps attracting the attention of others.
Then schedule a showing for those who indicate an interest and appreciation in which you progress to some "powerful magic."

This is to say, never perform your best effects in a casual setting, social or not, friends or strangers.
Orchestrate the right conditions ands follow ...
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 28, 2020 02:32PM)
Just before the latest lockdown I was sitting with a well-known UK singer (views measured in billions on YouTube) who was telling me about writing their latest song. I asked if I could hear it and they happily picked up an acoustic and performed it for me.

The real world is never black and white. There's a hell of a lot of grey in there.
Message: Posted by: bubbles (Dec 28, 2020 02:42PM)
If someone asks you to show them something, and then they leave before you're done, then that makes them the terrible person. If they were about to leave and then decided they need to see some magic first, then its on them to stay to see it through.

I think it depends on your mood. If you want to really share something powerful, and they asked for something, I think you should go for it!
They become your guinea pigs once they ask you to entertain them. Try out new material, give them a party trick, or give them a powerful experience- they belong to you at that point.
Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Dec 28, 2020 09:14PM)
STOP! Just STOP!

And think about YOUR desired outcome. Then go out and fail miserably at it. Then learn from that. Figure out WHY they are asking. Learn if it is better to hit them hard and leave them wanting more.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Dec 28, 2020 10:52PM)
Have one or two bulletproof things you can do in a social situation. Things that nobody is going to figure out by watching again. Bulletproof. Not mind blowing. Save that for paid gigs. If someone asks for something, tell them itll take 5-9 minutes. You have enough time for that? That gives them the choice to commit or not.

Do the thing. Anyone says do more, you tell them Id like to, but I save my best material for paid performances because it really takes a lot out of me. Let them wonder what else you might be able to do.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Mark Timon (Dec 29, 2020 05:07AM)
Don't do anything but tell them what you could do. After all if you do something at someone request, you just devalue yourself.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 29, 2020 06:46AM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, Mark Timon wrote:
Don't do anything but tell them what you could do. After all if you do something at someone request, you just devalue yourself. [/quote]
It depends who's making the request, I would have thought?
Message: Posted by: kleqy (Dec 29, 2020 06:49AM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, Mark Timon wrote:
Don't do anything but tell them what you could do. After all if you do something at someone request, you just devalue yourself. [/quote]

But I might be wasting a potential gig.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 29, 2020 07:20AM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, kleqy wrote:
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, Mark Timon wrote:
Don't do anything but tell them what you could do. After all if you do something at someone request, you just devalue yourself. [/quote]

But I might be wasting a potential gig. [/quote]

It used to be enough to hand out business a card to set up a potential gig.
Now it is inexpensive enough to have a thumbdrive demo of some magic effects as teasers.

But, it occurs to me that if you have to prove your ability "on the fly" to get a gig, then what prompted the request in the frst place?
If your "friends" know you are competent magician then no future gig is at risk whether you perform or not.
If they doubt you ability and need proof, then a "quicky" with drink in hand is hardly good advertisement for a later show.

If you just want to be the popular "go to guy" as a diversion from party boredom, then the quality of the trick will hardly matter.

Do you wish to be known as guy with a ready trick, or the man who orchestrate a 30 year memory of magic? You can't be both.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Dec 29, 2020 07:51AM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, funsway wrote:

If your "friends" know you are competent magician then no future gig is at risk whether you perform or not.
If they doubt you ability and need proof, then a "quicky" with drink in hand is hardly good advertisement for a later show.

If you just want to be the popular "go to guy" as a diversion from party boredom, then the quality of the trick will hardly matter.

Do you wish to be known as guy with a ready trick, or the man who orchestrate a 30 year memory of magic? You can't be both. [/quote]
When David Berglas performed his e******* routine at parties (as outlined in The Mind and Magic of David Berglas) which one was he?
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Dec 29, 2020 01:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2020, Martin Pulman wrote:
Just before the latest lockdown I was sitting with a well-known UK singer (views measured in billions on YouTube) who was telling me about writing their latest song. I asked if I could hear it and they happily picked up an acoustic and performed it for me.

The real world is never black and white. There's a hell of a lot of grey in there. [/quote]

I would agree with this and I think Mindpro was using an analogy that the late, Bob Cassidy was often accredited for saying. Like, Martin, I too have spent company with entertainers who are known worldwide and you know the common denominator amongst them all?... Ego! Yes, they get their kicks from being told how good they are irrespective who is telling them. One, or one thousand people. It doesn't matter. It is their driving force. I have plenty of stuff I can demonstrate 'on the fly.' Why not? Life is short and God forbid I become so precious about all of this that I think I am above showing my talents to a stranger. BTW - On more than one of these occasions I happened to secure a TV spot and made good friends with a well known entertainer all because I parked my inflated ego to one side and decided to 'show' some effects to an agent of a worldwide singer! I didn't know who he was at the time & I didn't care. Something to think about while you finish chewing your leftover turkey.
Message: Posted by: bubbles (Dec 30, 2020 02:52PM)
There's a big difference between being a guy who goes to social gatherings and says "WHO WANTS TO SEE A TRICK?!" and a guy who's known as a performer who is prepared to show something when asked.
I think saying "No" is fine, but what's the harm in having something ready?
As stated above, you never know who that person may be, and networking never hurts when it comes to getting paid gigs.
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 3, 2021 10:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2020, Martin Pulman wrote:
Just before the latest lockdown I was sitting with a well-known UK singer (views measured in billions on YouTube) who was telling me about writing their latest song. I asked if I could hear it and they happily picked up an acoustic and performed it for me.

The real world is never black and white. There's a hell of a lot of grey in there. [/quote]

I play guitar and learn a lot from youtube. Surprisingly enough Robby Krieger of the doors teaches how to play all his licks. Ringo teaches stuff, Leslie West of mountain taught how to play Mississippi Queen. It's crazy.
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 3, 2021 10:50PM)
[quote]On Dec 30, 2020, bubbles wrote:
There's a big difference between being a guy who goes to social gatherings and says "WHO WANTS TO SEE A TRICK?!" and a guy who's known as a performer who is prepared to show something when asked.
I think saying "No" is fine, but what's the harm in having something ready?
As stated above, you never know who that person may be, and networking never hurts when it comes to getting paid gigs. [/quote]

Hey bubbles do you perform mentalism?
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 3, 2021 10:53PM)
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, kleqy wrote:
[quote]On Dec 29, 2020, Mark Timon wrote:
Don't do anything but tell them what you could do. After all if you do something at someone request, you just devalue yourself. [/quote]

But I might be wasting a potential gig. [/quote]

There are currently very few gigs right now anyway. But if you think, if you really believe you are bypassing a potential gig then there is your answer right there. Perform a 10 minute set.
Message: Posted by: Haruspex (Jan 4, 2021 03:42AM)
There are different reasons why you may get asked to show something.

I find that people who are interested in what you do, often ask about how you got into it instead of asking to show something. They want to know how you started out, how you practice etc. Generally these people have a genuine interest in things like psychology etc. and are fascinated by the concept of mentalism.
Of course there are many effects that can be casually performed during the conversation, like which-hand effects of effects where the spectator hides different objects into different pockets etc.

However in this kind of setting often the person does not need/desire to see an effect to be intrigued, the already are. Seeing an effect only serves as a sort of confirmation. Its up to you if you want to use an effect as an example of something, during the conversation.

Then there are people who just enjoy to see an effect. If you see their interest in genuine, then again there is nothing wrong with showing them something. Another option is to have a demo video on your website, so they can get an idea of what it is you do. Often the people who are looking for an entertainer for an upcoming event fall under this category

The final group, which luckily you don't encounter often, are the people with no interest whatsoever in what you do. The just want to put you on the spot and sometimes heckle a little along the way. Fortunately you can often recognize their false interest.

Finally, I don't believe you de-valuate yourself if you perform something for people with genuine interest.
Message: Posted by: Rook (Jan 4, 2021 08:32AM)
Take the temperature of the moment. There's no one size fits all answer for all spur of the moment requests.

You'll know better in your own situation what to do than I. If you feel that it will cheapen your character or art at that moment...don't. Simple. Otherwise, I'd say go for it, but build a bit of drama while you're at it.

In most of my social situations, for example, it's not around family or friends. I'm usually around groups of distant acquaintances. This is often a good networking opportunity (naturally, this has changed dramatically in recent months). As such, I always have a simple, little routine handy that leaves my card and an impression with someone.

This, of course, would not fare as well at the dinner table with my in-laws (as an extreme example...though I will admit they make a great practice audience!)
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Jan 4, 2021 09:28AM)
Politely refuse twice. If they persist a third time, then reluctantly show them something.

However, also look for opportunities to have something weird happen at random times (a.k.a. The Shiels Effect).
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Jan 4, 2021 09:32AM)
I remember being in a situation with Eugene Burger. A person walked up and asked to see something magical. Eugene did not hesitate and commenced to show him a trick or two. When I asked him later if he always performs for those who ask, he responded, "Why wouldn't I"?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jan 4, 2021 10:05AM)
Yes, he was also a magician. He was not a mentalist. As you said he was asked to "show him a TRICK or two." That is the last thing I would want anywhere near my mentalism.

Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Jan 5, 2021 05:54AM)
[quote]On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
Yes, he was also a magician. He was not a mentalist. As you said he was asked to "show him a TRICK or two." That is the last thing I would want anywhere near my mentalism.

Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events. [/quote]

Good point. After some thought, I fully agree with you!
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jan 19, 2021 06:49PM)
[quote]On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:

...Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events. [/quote]

F.Y.I. In his early Chicago years, he left the teaching profession to pursue his special brand of unique close-up restaurant magic. He played primarily first class establishments, private parties and corporate events.

Julie
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Jan 19, 2021 08:52PM)
I don't perforin unless I am getting paid. OR if I believe the effect I do might lead to a booking.
Message: Posted by: bubbles (Jan 19, 2021 10:52PM)
Can I ask, because I honestly don't get it- why would it be different for a magician vs a mentalist to perform something impromptu in a social situation?

Isn't the consensus that magicians are doing tricks, where as mentalists present their skills as an actual ability?
If you really had the ability to read a thought, wouldn't you do that in normal life? Not a whole show's worth of routines, but a small conversation piece.
If you were a magician you could be without your props, but if you had real mental powers they'd always be with you. No?

Also, the idea that a performer wouldn't perform just seems mad to me.
Again, obviously not a whole show, or go on and on the whole night for EVERY person who asks, but don't all performers have one or 2 things they can do in these situations?
Do you think if Elton John was at a party and there was a piano he wouldn't play A Song at some point? I just don't get the hardline "I don't PERFORM UNLESS I'M GETTING PAID" attitude.
The OP was asking about doing an effect when asked in a social situation, not doing a booking for 'exposure'.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jan 19, 2021 11:13PM)
[quote]On Jan 19, 2021, Julie wrote:
[quote]On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:

...Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events. [/quote]

F.Y.I. In his early Chicago years, he left the teaching profession to pursue his special brand of unique close-up restaurant magic. He played primarily first class establishments, private parties and corporate events.

Julie [/quote]


Absolutely! I was referring to him in more recent years before his passing which shifted away from structured bookings and was more of the convention circuit, teaching, and his materials.

Being from Chicago I remember him being quite the worker.
Message: Posted by: peirceman (Jan 20, 2021 06:21AM)
From a hobbyist's point of view, obviously, I perform something if I feel the request is genuine. There is usually a reason why a person would ask to see something. Most people have some sort of experience with magic tricks, whether it is on TV or it is a relative or close friend that performs the 21 card trick. With mentalism, if they have any reference point, it is usually Uri Geller (older crowd) or Derren Brown, but most have none. My personal opinion is that there would be a heightened curiosity about what a mentalist can actually do. Additionally, it seems to me that a mentalist would be able to do something at a moments notice because it is supposed to be who he or she is, not what he or she does.

With that said, I would do one bit, not a multi-bit routine. My favorite is Will to Read. It's only a piece of paper. I always carry a pen and business card, and can usually scrape up a coin if I don't have one

when I was in my twenties I was asked to do something (magic, not mentalism) at a corporate training event mixer. A gentleman who was in group watching came up to me afterwards and asked if I performed professionally. I had done gigs, but it was not my profession, but I was young and full of ego, so I said yes. I didn't have any magician business cards, so I gave him my company business card, scratched out Service Manager and wrote magician and my personal number. From that I was booked for several parties in the entertainment industry along with securing a six month gig at the Magic Island in Balboa.

You never know what you might miss out on by not sharing your passion with others.
Message: Posted by: Scott (Jan 20, 2021 09:10AM)
I can't remember the last time someone asked me to show them something when I've been out in a social situation.

It did happen now and then when I was much younger, and on those occasions it was usually when I was out with one or two friends and other people we didn't know at the time joined our group. In those situations it was usually my friends who asked me to do something for the benefit of the others.

I'd usually decline unless they all insisted.

So what to perform, well of course it depends on the impression you are trying to leave them with, so for me I have one totally prop-less effect I can do anywhere and that I've been refining for years and if they want more after that, I read palms or do a few tarot-less tarot readings.

I don't want to leave anybody with the idea that I'm a clever trickster, instead I want them to look at each other with a slightly worried look on their faces.

For those who have said they never perform socially or unless they are getting paid, I can see the thinking behind those statements and I will try to get out of it unless they insist, but here's an example of when I was asked and did.

I was standing in a bar on the waterfront in Fuengirola with a few friends when a couple approached us. One of my group knew the lady and introduced us all. After a few drinks one of my friends told the couple I read minds and palms so they insisted I show them something. I read her palm, calculated his lucky tarot card according to his birthday and performed the prop-less effect I mentioned earlier.

Later that evening the man approached me gave me his telephone number and asked me to give him a ring. Turns out he owned two cabaret clubs on the Costa as well as acting as a booking agent. When I called he asked if I'd like to work with him.

Those few short routines while out having a drink landed me 7 years worth of cabaret work in clubs up and down the Costa del Sol.

Remember if they do insist, use your power sparingly because you never know who watching.
Message: Posted by: John C (Jan 20, 2021 05:37PM)
Thats awesome Scott. You never know.
Message: Posted by: hypblake (Feb 2, 2021 08:42PM)
[quote]On Dec 28, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
I have never once performed for anyone in a social situation. If they want to see me perform they'll have to come to one of my shows. Would you walk up to singer and just expect them to burst out in a song? If you saw someone at an airport carrying a guitar, would you ask then to play you a little something? If you were in waiting area of a restaurant and the person next to you identified themself as a brain surgeon, would you ask them to perform a lobotomy?

Of course not this is ridiculous - except for magicians with magician's thinking. Magicians might do this, not mentalists. [/quote]

Not to argue this point as I think it is valid. The issue here is outside of the brain surgeon everyone else can practice without anyone around. A guitarist, or singer, can play/sing all day to improve and if someone is listening or not, is of little importance. A performer can also practice all day alone. The only issue is with many routines, you can't perfect it without testing it out on a live human. In my early days that was my poor sweet wife. I don't do this often anymore, but if there is something I am working on, I will sometimes take the opportunity to get my chops right on a group of people that say "show us something". I haven't actually been asked in years as I have been saying no for years, because I don't have anything I am working on.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Feb 2, 2021 10:07PM)
I've changed my mind about this whole matter over the years. There was a time when I simply would not perform in casual situations at all. Not any more.

See yourself from THEIR perspective. You've just met someone who can do something really interesting like...ummm...read a mind. Doesn't it make sense that you'd be really interested in experiencing something amazing? It's not a presumption on their part and I don't believe it denigrates my mentalism. Not at all...

At the risk of offending the "I never perform for free...are you KIDDING me?" people -- I honestly see mentalism as a 'conduit for wonder.' Everyone needs a little wonder-- especially these days. I make a good living performing (or rather I did...) and if they express an honest interest why wouldn't I freely share some of what I do with them?

Do I always perform? Nope. If the person's a jerk or an in-your-face skeptic I won't do it. If I am feeling less than sharp intellectually I won't do it.

I evaluate the person asking, the other people watching and myself to see if I feel like doing something for them.

I will do my Sharpshooter Cent** Tear -- which leads into some strong cold reading opportunities. Then if I'm having a good time and they are enjoying it, I'll do a reading or two.

Of course you might get a show out of it...but that's not why I do it.

In social situations I simply choose to like people.


David
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 4, 2021 05:14AM)
David, something like that makes me think: now, here's an artist.
Message: Posted by: Djin (Feb 5, 2021 05:36PM)
There is something about the statement that one wouldn't do something unless they are getting paid to do it that implies they don't like doing that thing.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 5, 2021 06:41PM)
It doesn't imply that at all. It simply states that I am a stage performer and if you want to see me perform come to my show. Has nothing to do with enjoying or liking it at all. It clearly states the point, there are no implications.

Also, we can see where a clear pattern here - those coming to mentalism through magic seem to have no problem performing when asked. Those who are mentalists (stage) not coming through magic seem not to ever do this.
Message: Posted by: Cervier (Feb 6, 2021 08:49AM)
I very rarely get asked to perform in social situations. I can't even remember when was the last time I was in a social situation... 2019 I believe :rotf: Anyway, people who ask me to demonstrate something are not walking to an artist, they are not requiring their favorite singer/actor/professional wrestler ;) to perform for free: they are asking this guy they know who has special abilities if he would be so kind as to let them have a taste of it. Sure, why wouldn't I??? Plus, as Scott mentionned, you never know who is watching! I got hired for private parties that way.

But mostly, I do it because I enjoy it and know (or are delusional enough to believe...) I can make them enjoy the experience as well. In fact, I only enjoy it if they do. So the only times I will decline is when I don't feel like I can make sure the experience will be enjoyable. Maybe I'm too tired, or have worries that would hinder my concentration, or the way I'm being asked makes me feel I should decline...

To sum things up, I act [b]according to my character[/b], and my character presents mentalism as being real, as most mentalist do (or should IMO), so:
- it makes sense that I still have those special skills or abilities when off stage,
- also, when on stage, my character tries to treat the audience as friends, so it makes sense that I grant friendly requests when offstage. Unless I feel ready to replay "[i]No. Cervier is a nice guy. I'm not..."[/i]" :rotf: