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TommyTheTremendous
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I wasn't sure which forum to post this in, but since these questions have to revolve around doing a trick whenever, I thought this the best place to post it and I am sorry if this is the wrong place to ost it.

I am currently a senior in high school and have been doing magic since I was a sophomore. EVERYONE knows me as the "Magic Guy," "Magic Man," "Magic Tommy," etc. It's no secret to my town that I do magic. I enjoy performing in front of adults more than my own peers because it's not that I feel pressured by my peers, it's just that they annoy me and have no respect. Here are the most common issues I get almost every day at school and the questions I have for you guys to go along with the issues:

1. I do a trick and the crowd asks to inspect everything (half the time the trick has a gimmick and half the time it doesn't). Other magicians I've spoken to say that someone will rarely ask to inspect the trick aferwards. That has never helped me since they do, lol.

2. I do a trick and they of course ask the NUMBER ONE question that every magician gets...."How do you do it?" Well of course I have my one-liners, but then they (usually it is/are the female(s)) plead me. They basically grovel at my feet asking them how it is done. I have even been offered with bribes to tell a person how a trick is done. Being a person that is honest and true to my word, I don't tell them the secret. My question is, what can I do to "get the point across" that "I will NOT tell how it is done and you should quit begging me to do so."?

3. I am sitting in the classroom (this is DURING class just FYI) and some kid asks me to show him that one trick, or do that trick where you do this and that, etc. I say "Yes, I have that trick, but I am not going to show it to you because I don't want to." They usually reply (to taunt me of course), "Yeah. Ok. You just can't do that trick." My response is "You may say I don't know the trick, but I am the one that gets paid $__.__ an hour for doing it." Seeing as how this comeback takes a little bit to say and isn't repeatable hardly....What are quick come backs to someone who keeps bugging me to do this trick or that trick?

Please help!
- Tommy Magic
Cholly, by golly!
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Just say no! When they ask you to inspect your props, say no! When they ask you to tell them how a trick is done, say no! When they ask you to perform on demand, say no! Don't hesitate. Don't stammer. Don't make excuses. Just say no!
This seems very simplistic but it's not. You are a performer. You don't want to disappoint... you want to entertain! Part of being a great entertainer is CONTROLLING YOUR AUDIENCE! That's your job.
Don't worry about losing your audience. Don't worry about alienating your peers. They obviously like your magic. They aren't going anywhere.

Be polite. Be firm. Be professional... and just say no!
Jhonsky
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First of all, I'm not sure if this would apply to you anymore since your name is quite well-known. But for me, I approach my lay-audience in a very settle, and humble way. I sometimes say," Oh hey, I am not sure if I can do this but let me try. I'm gonna......." I think when I approach it this way, there is an awareness in their mind that I may or may not be able to do it. But when they see that I do, (and of course I do),they would be surprised. This may be better than approaching as a over-confident magician who thinks he can do a lot of stuff. Know I mean?
Hopefully this way I am not giving a room in their mind to be extra-skeptical before I actually do the trick. Therefore they will not ask about the presence of gimmick. And with this approach, most likely I just get a response like, " wow, how the heck? do it again!" And I would reply, " I wish I could, like I said earlier I can only do it some of the times and definetly not twice in a row."

Secondly, for persistent questions of revelations, maybe it's worth a try to honestly telling them that the trick will not be fun anymore once you know how to do it. And tell them how you feel as well when you know the secrets of great illusions, or magic tricks. Feel turned down maybe

Thirdly, if they keep bugging you, did you try saying,"sorry, but I'm off duty."
by the way, so what if they say,"You probably can't do that trick." It shouldn't really matter! You can't please everybody. You've got your pleasure doing that trick to hundreds of other people already anyway right? Just let him think what he wants to think. Again, I think the key is to be humble.
calexa
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Someone told me the example of a violin player. Nobody who has heart the player playing would ask him or her to let the spectators inspect the instrument. Ask them for a little bit of respect. I´m always tell them that I have to kill them if let them have a look at my stuff....

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Eight Spades
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Since you're relatively new, don't feel alone. Everyone goes through this phase as a close-up performer. Now is the time where most will take one of two paths:
1. Continue to attempt to control the crowd and/or find ways around letting them inspect the props.

2. Work on becoming a purist and only use non-gaffed items. Or, as a more realistic alternative, always finish with an effect that can be inspected and satisfies them.

Option 2 seems to work better, especially in an informal situation like you find yourself in. When performing for fun, I'd say at least 90% of my spectators are around my age (college). I've had the unfortunate experience of dealing with the jerkiest jerks. I think a great example of a nice routine (if you really want to use a gaffed deck) is to start out with that deck, put it in your pocket, do something else not card related, then finish by pulling out a normal deck from the same pocket and do your closer. Then they can examine and they'll believe it's the same deck. It's a simple example of a deck switch. If you'd like more examples PM me, my entire repetoire is purist-related.

-Christian
"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
paymerich
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Carry a big 2x4 and say " I will let you look if you let me smack you in the head first ..." Usually they don't want to look after that statement.

Seriously Audience management is key here , also make sure your stories/patter is not creating a sense of a puzzle or a contest to be figured out or won.
again be poilte and firm ..
Have a Magical Day!
<BR>
<BR>The Maniacal Mage
<BR>
<BR>Pablo Aymerich
<BR>Norwalk, CT 06851
TommyTheTremendous
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I took the "saying 'no'" into consideration but then I just remembered that I forgot another situation.

- I just get done performing a trick for a person or a group and afterwards, one of the viewers says outloud "Ah. I know how that trick was done." What am I supposed to say to that? How do I respond? I've said "So do I, but don't tell anyone." This is good to say a few times, but having a repeatable one liner for the repeating situation can be boring.
- Tommy Magic
EvanSparts
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I hate onliner responses. I think if you use one liners that are put downs it only adds to the tention. and viewed as corning and prepared.

On another note, saying no to performance is ok, you don't have to be their little dog that jumps through the hoop when they tell you too.
If you are using a gimmick then have enough patter to get the heat off the item and put away then do something like eight spades said. But I think that nothing can be worse then that moment someone asks you to see something and you say "no", Because no matter what you did or how you did it the moment is gone and they immediatly jump to the conclusion that it was the item that did the magic not you. This is why I to am a mostly a purist. I like having the ability to hand them something if they want to see it. One of my favorite things to do is give people the deck to keep when they say that's a trick deck (a gift for coming to the show).

One final thought, be rude if you have to your a senior and chances are after this year you will never see most of them agian.
David Bilan
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If the girls really whine... you can ask if they want to experience a little magic in an itimate setting.

Seriously, look at it as paying your dues. To many of your peers, you are a target. They don't want to be entertained as much as they want to be able to say they took you down a peg. Don't fall for it.

If you are getting paid $_ _ ._ _ an hour, tell them you don't give it away for free.

Even using non-gaffed items, the idiots will still give you a hard time. Let's be realistic, if you could really perform magic, you wouldn't be doing card tricks for high-schoolers. The cynics refuse to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. There isn't much you can do to change that, so why cast pearls before swine?

As Evasparts says, you won't see most of them in a year. Concentrate on your moves and put them out of your mind.

All the best,
David
Yes, I am a magician. No I did not make my hare (hair) disappear... it just took early retirement.
Mayo
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Well, Not much I can add onto here, but I would like to leave you with some food for thought for your collage days.

Don't present it as tricks.

It is late in the game for your class mates just as it is for your family, because they know you. but not everyone knows you.
I try to relate magic without bringing the word up. for instance, if I were to say I magic to someone in a word game there response would be trick!

So I try to keep them seperated. If they believe it is real there astonishment will cast the shadow over, "trick" which we as magicians like because now they won't hastle us as to " How did you do it?"
Of course you will still get heckelers which I hate them no matter how bad you try to entertain them they will just shoot you down. To me it is sad that they go through there lives so closed minded as to feel astonished. That has to be a big burden, I know when I was a layman it was always uplifting to see magic!
But back to topic.

gaffs are good things, you can work on your patter more then the magic itself so it will look nice when it is done. BUT, unless you can cast the astonishment you more then likely will get " Let me see it" which as stated some people can't be fooled they won't let themselves. So don't perform for them. In my humble opinion I strongly would encourage slieght of hand over gimmicks.

Also, perform on the off beat, it is a bit more magical. For instance I know this is not to good but I am winging it,

"Did you guys know that money is made out of cloth! I for some reason never had that click with me. Not a wonder it never disinigrated in the drier! I wonder what colors are used!"
Then pull a silk from the dollar.

I would definantly not suggest that patter line, but I am sure you understand.

Just don't approach saying, "want to see a trick?", Or when some ask you to perform I often use, "I am sorry. I really can't at the moment, I am feeling a bit drained." They can take that in two ways. One you feel sick, they will leave you alone. or to the magicial laymen that love to watch they will think you are drained of your power. often they will be on your side and agree.

Your friend,
Mayo
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Eric Leclerc
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If the crowd wants to inspect your tricks it means either 2 things, either you are making it seem like a challenge to them. OR you are leaving them too much time to think about whats going on AFTER the trick just finished. Example, at the end of a routine with gimmicked coins you do your final phase, then open your hand and pose to indicate you are done. THAT will incite them to want to see that coin, what if you had nothing left after? you vanish the coin to your pocket then you are left clean, "can I see the coin?" ------"what coin its gone!?"

The other solution is to do a gimmicked effect immediately followed by a cooler, ungimmicked effect.. As soon as you are done, put it away and eep talking like the trick isn't over, and go into your next one.. that keeps them distracted and focused on you and not your props.

Second thing you mentioned was people aksing you secrets. This is obviously a question we all have to deal with and you'd be suprised how many people ask you KNOWING you wont tell them, just to see if they could convince you to. I find the best way is to make them feel "stupid" for asking. I AM NOT saying to do this in a paying show.. but for high school, this is the most effective tactic. When they ask, just look at them and raise your brow like "ok there buddy as if I will tell you" (again don't say that, the look is enough". For formal, paid engagements, we cannot do this and this is where the corny one liners work well, and you know what, people like them. I guarantee after a few looks they will start realizing you aren't telling them anything and will refrain from asking and respect what you are doing.

Last thing is the performing on command... you know what..This is my biggest pet peeve with magic.. ESPECIALLY in high school. Sometimes, even when I am ready to go or perform the requested effect, the way they ask is either impolite or want to show you off to someone. You say no.. THEY know you can do it.. they have heard it or seen it... if you say "nah I don't feel like it" then they taunt you... that person isn't EVER seeing any magic one on one again.. finished... if they are trying to show you off to someone, because you just turned them down, they INSTANTLY become your spokesperson and tell their friend about the great things you have done (often embelished). Sometimes performing less is better than too much. My friends know not to ask me to do magic... they know when I have something appropriate to show them I will when I want...

people often say " you know what, if you catch this guy on a good day he'll show you the craziest things you'll ever see" They know I am not a performing puppy ready to go when they request it, and that, is perfect for me....again I was reffering everything above to a HIGH SCHOOL setting..hope my first post on this site helped.
lil_magic
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I used to have the same rpoblem when I first started doing magic, but when it came to my sr. year I just came up with some new stuff and just presented it as street magic type situtation. Not just hey look at my sponge ball type effect. I would do some crazy stuff. I would use school property and perform an effect with it and people would be like wow and man that cat is crazy and no longer would they ask how you did that they would go to other people and say did you see that.


I think I'm goin to write a book on school magic and use the tricks that I used. Like with desks, brooms, vending machines, bricks, etc.
devplus
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1. Do you have a subconscious attitude that you are "fooling" them? Henning nelms has written about "fooling" the audience, and how it is bad, and leads them to search for an answer. He says that if you present the trick as a solution to a problem all will be forgotten that it is a trick, and therefore there will be no need for a solution. For example, you could put a coin in someones hand and it bends. Very good, but it has no relevance, and people will wonder how to do it. But if you mention that you can make people strong (sorry, poor example) and then put the coin in their hand and it bends, they have no reason to think its a "trick".

If they insist to know how to do something, the secret, turn this around and make the explanation into another efect. Fay presto does a burnt and restored napkin, and shows the audience "how to do it". She says she burns the corner, not the centre, and then proceeds to burn a corner. But then shows that the entire napkin has vanished except from a tiny piece that has been lit in her hand.

For the people wanting you to do a trick, I have the very same problem, and find that if you get into an indepth convo about it they will see this as a weakness, and prey on it. If you say something short and simple that gets the point across they will geddit, For example I say, if asked to do a trick in class "like coffe in marathon, this is not the time, nor the place"
Eight Spades
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Sometimes you'll never escape that ass in the crowd that can't stand having the attention diverted away from him for 5 minutes. They'll do whatever they can do knock your legs out from under you. Evan and I did a prom last year and there was one guy that I almost took out back and beat. You've just gotta be the bigger man. If you must say something, try to intelligently out-wit him, which usually isn't too hard to do. It's high school, don't worry, things will get better.

And Mayo made a great point. Save it up for college when you can truly find yourself and your character.

-Christian
"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
magicandrew
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I am a hig school student my self and I have gone through with what you have. but in the the end think about it this way I get paid for what I do so I shouldn't show trick whenever you want too because you are not 'autorised' to see me. you can show an odd couple to your best friends but that's it.
""Magic is your art handle it well""
Eight Spades
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That's not a bad idea, but if you only do magic at payed performances you'll miss out on some great learning opportunities. Although the crowd can be tough when they're your peers, you learn some great crowd control. I would have to assume you haven't been doing magic for too long if you're in high school (correct me if I'm wrong), so it may be out of line to make your magic seem so exclusive that you must be paid to do it. I can only think of a few professionals that have tried to pull this off, and it comes across as very arrogent. Even Burger has a few effects to do when not getting paid. If nothing else, it's much easier to get jobs when you build up a reputation as a magician.

-Christian
"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
unilogo
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Inspection....

Ok here is a solution I learned that you MUST apply to your performance.....aside from the really good tip you got here of thinking of it as a solution...

bottom line in magic everything has TO FIT in with the effect. IN other words you do EVERYTHING for a reason.

In my invisible deck I do kind of slip up a line of them not being able to touch the deck because of a curse. This will probably work for you if you don't use many gimmicks as you said you don't. Start with the gimmick...move on to two inspectables
and by the end they wont care. THis is almost bullet proof.I don't think you want
that LONG of a show any way.

Everything happens for a reason. Just keep that in mind. You don't have to scare em but sometimes you JUST have to fit something of that caliber. I am also sure you
can come up with something that suits you better.

How do you do it....

You expect me to tell you how something impossible works? that's my patter remark.
Other wise I really almost never get asked and if I do I move on to an effect that
again fits in. I use coin bite and cardtoon to mask the where did I learn it part.

It works.....for me.

"you don't know how to do it"...

Pretty funny question. My favorite thing here is just to IGNORE it....

simple as that....

why......

they forget pretty fast , trust me.Atleast from my experience.

"I know how it is done"...

no you don't...do you...wow....can you show it to me......( I would only say this in the extreme circumstance of non stopping bugging).....

or ....

just plainly......your theories are valid ..but you are wrong.....

believe what you want.(leaves em wondering).

otherwise...

90% of the time...they will just give up.

Use some psychology...its your best weapon againts the pests.

Lil magic....I look forward to that book!...do it man Ill be first in line to get it you are pretty inspirational. Smile
AsL
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I just avoid the school settings. I don't do magic in school because it starts all kinds of problems. I've even been kicked out of school for doing magic in the hallways.Well...Good Luck!
Angela
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It's been said that nobody minds being fooled by a gentleman. If you create the right chemistry with your classmates, this really seems to be the case. You have to get into the mindset that your goal isn't to fool them, but rather to let them experience great magic. It's pretty wonderful when you get your spectators to stop trying to figure everything out and start trying to enjoy the magic for what it is. I know high school can be a rough setting for magic (I'm a senior too), but it has to be one of the best places to practice audience conditioning.

Angela
Eight Spades
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Quote:
On 2005-02-12 20:46, Angela wrote:
It's been said that nobody minds being fooled by a gentleman. If you create the right chemistry with your classmates, this really seems to be the case. You have to get into the mindset that your goal isn't to fool them, but rather to let them experience great magic. It's pretty wonderful when you get your spectators to stop trying to figure everything out and start trying to enjoy the magic for what it is. I know high school can be a rough setting for magic (I'm a senior too), but it has to be one of the best places to practice audience conditioning.

Angela


Very well put. I'm glad to see other people from this state got the right idea about performing early in the game.

One of the best sources for inspiration when it comes to this idea is the introduction to volume one of the Art of Astonishment. That and "Art and Magic" by S.H. Sharpe.

-Christian
"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
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