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Topic: An unwanted response from spectators
Message: Posted by: Avrakdavra (Jul 28, 2004 07:28AM)
I am taking baby steps in performing and finding that, although the tricks I am doing do elicit surprise and appreciation, there is another reaction I am typically getting that is not good. The response is along the lines of "let me see those cards!" or "You must have done it by..."(and even grabbing for the props).

Part of this may be because I am doing tricks for family and friends, who feel more at liberty than strangers to jump in and make such demands. However, I think my [i]presentation[/i] must have something to do with it. I am not presenting just the mechanics (i.e. I am using patter and trying to build up an effect rather than just doing the moves), but the response still has much to do with figuring out the method or challenging me. I find this really odd, because of course they know as well as I do that I am not actually violating the laws of nature, so why do they feel the need to prove that it was "just" a trick?

Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 28, 2004 07:34AM)
Because many people hate puzzles. They want to know HOW it's done. Some people feel insulted if you do something they can't explain, and feel they have to EXPOSE you to save face.

Message: Posted by: Avrakdavra (Jul 28, 2004 08:43AM)
So how does one mitigate that feeling?
Message: Posted by: jcards01 (Jul 28, 2004 11:01AM)
I work strictly with cards and I get that all the time. Because what we do most people feel that you just can't do that, it must be the cards......

I usually tell them the next time they visit to bring their own deck and ask for me and I'll be happy to perform for them. I usually let them look at the cards when they ask to. I like watching most specators look at the cards without a clue of what they are looking for or how to look for it!

I have had plenty bring back decks of cards for me to perform for them and it is great. Imagine the look on people's faces when you cheat them with their own cards or do stuff they can't explain!
Message: Posted by: Matt Andrews (Jul 28, 2004 12:12PM)
I did a show for my family last Friday and it was a success.

As an introduction, I asked them the following question : "if you were in a restaurant and a magician came and showed you an effect with cards, would you grab his deck afterwards ?" As the obvious "no" answer came, I then said "then for tonight, let me be this magician and let me entertain you like this magician." And it worked perfectly.

When you perform, you want to wear your magician's hat. I mean, you want to make sure that the "audience" sees you as Avrakdavra the magician and not as son/daughter, sibling, colleague, etc.

Matt (a newbie as well)
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jul 28, 2004 12:51PM)
Personally, my toughest audiences are family members.

I perform a lot for my extended family. At almost every gathering I do something, but it is very hard for me to perform the same as I do in my paid shows. The main reason for this is, though my performing character is similar to my natural personality, it is a theatrical character. When I perform for family members, it is difficult to play the character convicingly. It shakes my confidence.
Message: Posted by: Police Magician (Aug 2, 2004 12:12AM)
Sometimes this happens with friends, family or associates. I had a similar problem three weeks ago when doing a little magic at our patrol party. A couple of officers, along with my finace', tried giving me a hard time. They wanted to inspect the Sucker Die Box, the Die and my escape shackles. I allowed them to inspect to a point, but told them if they broke it, they bought me a brand new one which would run into some money.

When they started up again, I told them to sit back, relax and enjoy the show or I was not going to entertain them. They did just that. Doing shows for close friends or family will have them feeling they have liberties such as you mentioned. I like the post that Matt wrote and will use it myself should this occur again.

Message: Posted by: jsmagus (Aug 2, 2004 06:08AM)
I have also had this problem. It finally got so bad that I started having to bring an unopened deck of cards with me to prove that it wasn't the cards. My mother-in-law especially CANNOT enjoy magic, but rather feels the need to "solve the puzzle". I think that some people are too insecure to allow themselves to be mystified.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 2, 2004 08:41AM)
There's an old saying in magic: "It's fun to be fooled."

Well, it isn't.

After all, who wants to be fooled?

So, if the trick is presented as "just a puzzle", naturally the audience will want to figure it out.

But, since you focus on the presentation, Av, and you are doing this for friends and family, it IS the audience.

As several people have pointed out here, it is very hard to present magic to those who know you well.
Even the Bible says, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country."

So, about the only solution, is to perform more for relative strangers and less for close friends and family.

That may not seem fair but nobody said life was fair! LOL!
Message: Posted by: mattisdx (Aug 2, 2004 09:45AM)
If someone grabs your props/gimmicked deck/what-not than don't let them. They belong to you, and if they want to see them, tell them that you'll show them it after your show :D
Message: Posted by: samuelchong (Aug 2, 2004 11:04AM)

You are the performer and you are the person in-charge, don't let them step into your territory. Just like what mattisdx said, kindly tell your audience that you'll show them the "what" or "how" later (audience normally forget that after they are astound). By the way, remember, try not to embarass your audience just to stop them from disturbing you.

Prove to your audience you are not only good in performance, however you are also good in controling the crowd as well as respecting them.

Then tell them it was just a trick, no big deal.

You may "try to explain" how the effect works before the ending your routine then give them a hit on their head with a finale. Routine likes Cups & Balls, Chop Cup, gambling routine, ambitious (maybe), 3 card monte so on and so forth.

There are lots of famous magician use this pattern to build their routine.
Message: Posted by: Frostgale (Aug 4, 2004 08:33AM)
Actually if you get such responses-attempts ,i think it's better not to perform for them at all..

Message: Posted by: Ryan 101 (Aug 4, 2004 01:29PM)
I think strangers will not try to grab your props unless they are young kids.

Message: Posted by: samuelchong (Aug 4, 2004 09:24PM)
On 2004-08-04 14:29, Ryan 101 wrote:

I think strangers will not try to grab your props unless they are young kids.


If you are in Asia, that can't be true cause there are some strangers that do grab your stuff out of curiousity. Not all strangers but there are some that do that.
Message: Posted by: abc (Aug 5, 2004 01:38AM)
I live in Taiwan and I agree with Samuel. but the same happened in the beginning to me in South Africa. My act now is a little over the top when it involves a situation where people are close enough to grab props and it always ends in a laugh rather than in awe which seems to work for me.
Just like going for advanced driving courses and still not being able to control other drivers the same applies to performing magic or comedy. You can be perfectly prepared (and the more you read and practise audience contol for lack of a better word the better) but you cannot control a person that is out to get you. Just cope with it.
90% of people that do grab your stuff or do the things you mention do not do it to burn you. They do it out of pure curiousty so when you handle them keep that in mind. They are not bad people at all.
Message: Posted by: Mike Walton (Aug 5, 2004 08:41AM)
I've heard the same with Antarctica. So if you would ever happen to travel there, then be careful as they'll wait for you to finish performing and then snag your cards with a whale hook.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Aug 5, 2004 10:16AM)
Let them see the cards. I've seen miracles performed using a house deck. Do a Hindu Shuffle and a Double L. You don't need anything stronger than that.

Message: Posted by: dazelle (Aug 7, 2004 04:26PM)
Avrakdavra, this is something that we all go through, from when we started and every now everyonce in a while, or atleast it used to for me, I once had a specator reach into my pocket after hopping halfs while I was talking to another specator

ticked me off pretty bad, but after going through what you are now.. is it really that bad to limit the amount of gimmick you use? no its not, infact the only thing like that now I use would be a tt, but they arnt ment to be seen anyways, the last time I performed was for fun at a cd shop and the had the girl want to see the cards, so I handed them for her, if you have nothign to hide then don't

"let me see those cards!" there is amany of ways to get around this over at my old hang out sleightgeek.com theres a post like that on ungimmick ways to perform gimmicked card trick