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Topic: The Worst Spectator In The World
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Nov 30, 2004 11:06PM)
What is your WORST spectator experience?
Message: Posted by: Cliffg37 (Dec 1, 2004 09:18AM)
At my 9th Birthday party, I did a magic show for my friends using my new magic kit. I had practiced thoroughly and did the tricks well. After each trick, one of my friends called out the correct solution as to how it was done. It was differennt friends for each trick, and I guess everyone had the same magic kit I did. It was several years before I returned to magic.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Dec 1, 2004 04:39PM)
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Dec 2, 2004 03:51PM)
Judging by the fact that you called them "solutions", you're thinking of magic apparently way too much as a puzzle. Spectators (at least some of them) will also share in that opinion if you let 'em. People don't go see a guitar player, and say "I KNOW HOW YOU DO THAT", even if they really can. Try to make it more entertaining than a puzzle, and that should help solve your problem...at least part of it.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Dec 3, 2004 06:01PM)
Of course, he was NINE at the time so I prepared to cut him a little slack!
Message: Posted by: afun14u (Dec 16, 2004 09:11PM)
My worst - I was a Comic/Magician at the Dixie Stampede and I was doing Collector Workshop's "Side Kick". Well, the audience volunteer I picked knew how the trick worked and tried EVERYTHING in his power to mess me up. After all was said and done with the routine he leans over to me and my mic anouncing to 2500 audience members that he was just giving me a hard time because he was a "MAGICIAN" too? Yes, you read that right. I (working for another company) couldn't really tell this man what I wanted too and just then his wife yells out that he is a good one too. I couldn't let it rest I had to say something, so I did: I said "Well it's obvious he has never read any books on Ethics?" This couple and their friends left WELL before the end of the show and I never heard from them again.

Lesson - If a magician calls you to be their helper on stage ... making them look good will only make you look good.

Robert Jones
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 18, 2004 09:10AM)
Sounds like this guy had a bit of an ego problem!
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Dec 30, 2004 07:37PM)
I chose a member of the audience to select a card.. and he tore the card up into pieces-up. It shocked me because I would have never selected him to help me if I thought that he was a trouble maker. Then he had this smart a** grin on his face..LOL!! I never saw it coming, but I went on with the show.
Message: Posted by: michaelmystic2003 (May 28, 2008 09:47AM)
To ressurect an OLLLD thread.

At Christmas last year I was working a University Christmas party, doing some close-up and walkaround for guests. I was at a table performing some Paul Harris routines.. during one of them I executed a one-handed cut. A man at the table suddenly nudges his friends and tells them "That's a CARLY Cut."

I was caught off guard by this a bit and there was a tiny moment of silence. Then the man said "Oh, I used to be a magician too... you're not bad for your age."

This rather ticked me off... this man obviously had limited knowledge of anything in the magic field and he has the audactiy to critique me in the middle of performance? I decided, just for him, to perform a disarming magician fooler by Bob King which has an extremely foolproof method... almost impossible to reconstruct for any spectator. After finishing the man said "Not bad... I know how it's done, and you did it well". Well, after this, I thanked everone for their attention and went on my merry way.
Message: Posted by: pepka (May 29, 2008 12:05AM)
The worst trouble I have is when someone at the function does not realize that I am a paid professional. They may think that I'm just a waiter who doesn't have anything better to do, a friend of the DJ or whatever. About 2 weeks ago, at my restaurant gig, I ran into a girl I knew a few years ago through my old job. She had never seen me perform and introduced me to her friends and I started my routine. One girl was just relentless, "Give me the deck, give me the deck, give me the deck....." Nothing I threw at her, including "Hey, shut the Hell up" would work. I finally looked at my "friend" and told her to come back when she had some nicer friends with her and walked away.
Message: Posted by: magic-upclose (Jun 2, 2008 03:28AM)
I've had a spectator do something similar.

His girlfriend and her friend were very impressed by the magic but he kept spoiling the effects by saying things like "the card's under the glass" and "he put two in your hand". After I finished my set he tells me he's a magician also. Wow, thanks.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jun 2, 2008 08:14AM)
The people who do things like that aren't MUCH of a magician!

Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jun 2, 2008 04:05PM)
Been getting a few problem spectators lately on stage. I usually select pretty well but when the audience all knows each other, sometimes one wants some attention. I also try to pick women helpers but they can also be just as bad sometimes but most are not. Lately it has been with card calling (Osterlind). I have them hand me a card I call out and they hand me the wrong one. Its really not funny but they think it is. I use lighthearted comedy in all my shows so it is played off but it still interupts the timing of the effect and surely doesn't have the bang like it is suppose to. Its a "cannot wait to get off the stage and go home" magic moment. The last guy I called on it and said why did you hand me the 3H when I knew you were looking at another card?" He said he was being an A** and I agreed with him.

Over the years I have learned my biggest challenge is not performing but being accepted and that is my first and foremost goal beginning a gig. I try my darnest not to even appear a challenge and show them I am just a regular guy doing some crazy wierd things.
Message: Posted by: canadasphere (Jun 3, 2008 03:24AM)
I had a crowd of a hundred people laugh, applaud and cheer the whole way through my show and then tip me out five dollars.

completely bizarre.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 3, 2008 05:26AM)
Anyone or a group I go to perform for, I try to always be prepared for it to go wrong because of a wiseguy(gal). If you aren't ready for it, it throws you off and it's difficult to recover.

I like to start with a normal deck. If I can do a trick with that without "let me shuffle, he's forcing the card, that's a trick deck" sort of comments, I know if I have time, I can ring in a gaff deck.

If they cause trouble on the first effect, I'm done. I finish and move on.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jun 5, 2008 05:32PM)
And who is the worst spectator in the world?

Simon Cowell
Message: Posted by: michaelmagicart (Jun 7, 2008 05:42PM)
This is a tough situation to tackle, however, my premise has always been that you, the magician, must control these factors. Much of it will do with your personality and demeanor. You must be in charge at all times. Whether you are working one on one or 1,000, you must have the dominating personality, or you will lose control of your audience. You must be confident in what you are doing.

Confidence comes from practice and experience. Not just in magic, but all that you do. Practice and rehearsal are an absolute must in magic. You can't expect to purchase a trick, haphazardly read the instructions and then attempt to perform it, without knowing all the possible ins and outs. If you do not practice and rehearse you are heading for disaster. Practice does not mean just the moves, patter and timing. Practice includes you creating in your own mind the different circumstances, interruptions, etc., that might occur, when you are performing, and then analyze what you would do to overcome those circumstances. True much of this will be learned the hard way through experience, however, you must instill in yourself the confidence to overcome situations as they occur. You must be prepared! You must be in charge.

Let's take Janus109 and the spectator that tore up his card. I would not have let it rattle me, but instead I would have handed him the rest of the deck, stating "you tore up the wrong one"! Here take the deck and tear up the right one. I will let you know when you do! Meanwhile I will continue entertaining the rest of these NICE PEOPLE. "Say it with a smile!" Then continue with your next trick and ignore the "a*****e"! Maybe occasionally looking over and saying "still not the right one" as he tears up the cards". So you lose a deck of cards, but you have in a nice way, emphasized he is an A**. You will also gain the respect of the rest of the audience as they realize you "are in charge", not the jerk that looks like a 2 year old in a diaper who is tearing up a deck of playing cards. You must put in your mind that you are "the entertainer being paid to perform". Basically he is "jealous", and is not being paid to make an "A** of himself. Believe me, an audience does not appreciate his action, but most audiences hate a jerk like him as much as you do. Then continue to entertain your audience as you are being paid to do.

Regarding your post Candin, believe me I can sympathize with you and audiences of today. In my current position I deal with over 20,000 college students on an annual basis, at a major university. The attitude of this age group has changed drastically in the past few years. The language that spills from the lips of these "youngsters" now days would make a paratrooper blush, and if they were raised by my Grandmother, they would have eaten enough "yellow soap" by now to never need a laxative the rest of their lives. Simply stated, if they do not respect themselves, then you must present a strong character, one that is not going to be influenced by their "smart A** attitude. You are in charge. Along with other colleagues I do four presentations a year for new "Orientation Leaders". I use magic in my presentations, and as a result on many occasions as I have left the platform, the students have "chanted my name" wanting me to come back. Is it because of the magic, yes! But, not only that, these students understand I am in charge. I use several in the effects that I do. I have yet to ever have one attempt to "mess" up an effect. I use both young men and women, and I deliberately choose the extroverts to assist me. I believe strongly that if you select someone who inwardly feels that you might make him look foolish in front of his peers, that person will in-turn cooperate with you to his/her fullest, in order to hope that you like them and will "go easy on them"., so to speak. One final thing I would like you to consider. Remember, you are not just a "regular guy". You are a professional Magician, and therefore you deserve respect. If a spectator deliberately miss calls a card to try and trip you up, I would hit them instantly with a line like "What did you do, Fail the FCAT? Look again! If you do comedy and have a big pair of sunglasses I would put them on the "jerk" and say try again. You are the paid performer. It is your job to squash irritable assistants, yet do it tongue in cheek. Orbin books have a number of ways of handling situations like this. I would encourage you to never allow the feeling that you want to pack up and go home even enter into thoughts. Basically I am telling you that you are smarter than the audience. If you weren't you would not be hired to perform.
Message: Posted by: MagicAndy (Jun 12, 2008 05:31AM)
As long as they don't go over the top, I find hecklers to be quite an enjoyable experience as it helps me practice thinking on my feet and comedy lines, if you can turn their comment into a joke and make the audience laugh, you get a lot more respect than the jerk who made the comment.
But when things get too much I'll do a simple vanish, say "It's floating behind you." And walk off as they turn to look.