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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » The challenge of performing for teenagers!!! (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Zac Vee
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Hi folks
I am not sure whether here the bigenners table is the right for this post , as many biggeners might have somthing similar to this , so I thought of posting here . Here we go

I happen to always perform for groups of teenagers in the streets, and of course they all different, they start form very polite , shy to jerks and I am not allowed to say more.lol

Its always a challenge , the age between 13 and 19 are the most diffecult spectators in my opinion, however I find this kind of challenge as an good practise, this way is the hard way improvement, also when you perform for those who are all over the place , saying thigs like ,hey I saw it , I know how did that, or you had two cards etc then you go and perform to others who only watch and enjoy the moment things looks a lot easier . So the teenagers are challenge but good one.


Yesterday I was performing for a group of 25 , in a garden near the beach , and they all were like those who say I saw and I know how you did it, so I just change the whole performance to Betchas and you cant do as I do , and ended up me v them, it was like no other performance that I had before , but was great fun at the end. There was a guy there who kept saying that was the DL , until I steped on his feet making it look accidently hehe and he stoped saying anything.


Do you guys face something like this, if you perform in the streets , the surely you come a cross lots of teenagers.



Zac
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unilogo
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I personally believe teen agers are the EASIEST people to perform for. Aside from ofcourse mature people.

But you reallly have to keep in mind all my routines are targeted to these audiences.

It seemst to me from what I am reading...and I might be wrong!You are showing your effects as a "i can trick you " routine. Which some people might appreciate...but most people would like to be tricked in an enjoyable way. Make sure you are touching topics they care about and making them feel relaxed and like you are in total control.

If you run into any teenager that just doesn't care, and I never have, Just leave. Who cares..there is plenty of teenagers elsewhere.
calexa
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As far as I know teenager don't like to be "tricked"....

Magixx
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magicreza
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On the average, when you are working with a group of teenagers, the best person to direct the magic to (picking cards, etc.) will be a girl. Usually, a girl's mind set is much easier to work with than a guy's.
A guy is more likly to want to spoil the trick, and try catch "the moves."

Over time, as you work with more and more audiences, you will be able to tell right away which people in a group will be easy to work with, and which people will be more difficult.
irossall
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Remember to use the words "You Know" in your storylines.
"Pick a card you know, now remember it you know and show it to everyone you know.
Now put the card back into the deck you know" and on and on and on.
Teens and young adults seem to use the word combo "You Know" in just about every sentence. It drives me nuts.
Maybe using their language will get them to accept you and may help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of performing for teens. But then again probably not, You Know.
Iven Smile
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ashah
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I actually think young children are the hardest group to perform for: they won't sit still, they somehow see things that older people don't and are therefore harder to fool, and they have no qualms about pulling things away from you or screaming randomly. But I would say that (male) teenagers are a close second. As someone said earlier, they don't like getting fooled.
Steven Steele
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I used to think that children and teenagers were very difficult to perform for. I hated it, but struggled through knowing that it was me that was the core problem. I studied everything I could about performing for children as well as adults.

Today, I have different shows for different groups and I have a great time performing for the children as well as the adults. Teenagers are different, but again you have to understand their psychology to adapt your performance.

A few years ago I was hired to do a banquet for some junior high students. It took a while to get them warmed up, but we had a great time. I did make one mistake, though. I turned my back to have a card replaced. (There is an old rule to never turn your back on the audience...it can be done, but that is the rule.). The GIRL who selected the card decided to keep it and pretend that she had replaced it. When I turned around, to my surprise, the entire group of students (about 10) turned on her and revealed her deception. I teased here and took the card and then used an out to complete the effect. She ended up not looking too bad in front of her friends and her friends loved the fact that I could work around the problem.

As for your issue, I would suggest that maybe you just need more study and experience. It will come.
Zac Vee
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Quote:
On 2005-05-09 06:57, irossall wrote:
Remember to use the words "You Know" in your storylines.
"Pick a card you know, now remember it you know and show it to everyone you know.
Now put the card back into the deck you know" and on and on and on.
Teens and young adults seem to use the word combo "You Know" in just about every sentence. It drives me nuts.
Maybe using their language will get them to accept you and may help you to avoid some of the pitfalls of performing for teens. But then again probably not, You Know.
Iven Smile




HEHEHEH Very true , here is all the time this word , YO KNOW WHAT I MEAN.?


We all know as preformers and magicians , mentalists etc its al about entertaiment , we never think of tricking people through magic , WHY on earth? Unfortunately however some people think we trying to trick them somehow, or show them how clever we are to make something disappear in our will. My point is , I never think of tricking someone by doing magic, if I want to trick someone then I will do other stuf not MAGIC.

But when spectators starts to become out of hand and shouting that was double l**T, then challenge comes in, I make them understand that if I really wanted to trick you it woul have looked compeletly different from entertaining you.





Zac
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rmoraleta
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My technique is non-confrontational. I let the teenagers do some of the Magic, meaning as if they did the Magic, although it was me who did the sleights for them.
Kent Wong
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I've never liked the Challenge mentality when it comes to magic. It creates a barrier that prevents the spectators from getting on side with the magician. I would rather have the spectators enjoying the show from in my corner rather than from the other side of a wall. The view is much better.

Kent
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Dick Oslund
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Just for my own fun, I'm "reviving this thread!

First, I don't/didn't, work streets. I am PAID when I perform! (I'm now retired, but, I was a full time pro. for 50 years. I toured coast to coast and border to border.) Early in my performing days, I decided that I wanted to PERFORM, not spend most of my time, trying to get booked.

I knew what the school assembly field was like. Most of my mentors had been full time school assembly performers. I planned and produced a program that would ENTERTAIN almost anyone, almost anywhere. I had to make a few 'adjustments' the first several seasons, but, I was never "at liberty" for 50 years. The managers of the various school assembly tours, called ME to find out when I was available!

I worked all levels, from Kindergarten to Senior High Schools and colleges, and Senior Citizen "Assisted Living" apartments and Nursing Homes. The tour often included dates in teen age reform schools, mentally and physically challenged groups, even "hard time" prisons.

My 45 minute program used mostly generic props (like rope, silks, cards, coins, etc,) Set up time was 2-3 minutes. I could leave the auditorium, 2 minutes after the curtain, (if there was one!) closed. The prop case was 13" x 20" x 8", and weighed 22 lbs.

Presenting a magic show, is much more than doing some tricks! PRESENTATION is CRITICAL!!!

I got many standing ovations in 'inner city' high schools. (PRESENTATION!)
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funsway
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But Dick, you can't revive kids with no life in the first place, i.e. real experience rather than vicarious ones.

Yes, presentation is critical, but so is paying attention and appreciating awe&wonder.

Do they even have school assemblies any more? - except maybe when they are doing locker checks for drugs and guns.

On the serious side, you posting here might indicate your health problems are under control - or is that an illusion?

These days, "standing" is as important as "ovation." Smile
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dick Oslund
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Hi Ken...

I'm not sure that I understand your first sentence,

I was raised in a conservative culture, in the '30s -'40s. We respected our elders. We respected the American flag, etc.

We studied TARBELL, et al. We learned how to ENTERTAIN. People were willing to pay us for ENTERTAINING them.

We have too many "magicians" (note quotes!) today who learn the secrets of a trick, which they "bought" at the magic shop, and run out to a street to show their "skill" to strangers, in an extremely casual situation, (*Wanna see a trick?).

They don't have the knowledge/skills to ENTERTAIN! They just know a few secret(s)! MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING.

"I'm a "VISUAL LEARNER"! I don't read books!"

Although the need for 'Chautauqua" and "Lyceum" is long gone, schools do have assemblies, but, now they want programs that teach.

My health problems are in remission! I still book an occasional date. I don't need to feed my ego, by accosting strangers on the street to show them a trick. I get paid for performing, and ENTERTAINING!

i am not sure that I understand your last sentence....









They
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jun 1, 2019, funsway wrote:
Do they even have school assemblies any more? - except maybe when they are doing locker checks for drugs and guns.


Are you kidding me? I just did 9 this past week, and nearly 400 this school year alone, and have for over 40 years. Again more opinion, theory or assumption rather than actual facts.

I agree with Dick about everything above. There used to be three levels - Entertainer, performer, and then magician (executor of magic), but now as Dick mentioned there is this newer fourth level that aren't even interested in magic (or it's mystery, mystique or amazement) but rather just showing the tricks and revealing the secrets.

I have always said this is primarily responsible thanks to the internet and U.K. street kiddies.

It is great news to hear you are feeling and doing better Dick. As always I enjoy your posts, insights, and most of all dealing in the reality from a position of knowledge and experience, as so many today, just post based on their thoughts, ideas, theories, and opinions which can often be so frustrating.
Dick Oslund
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Well said! Thank you!
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funsway
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Yes, I was kidding - thought that was obvious. Mindpro - add "joke" to your list of alternatives.

Dick, many crave a standing ovation, but some days just being able to stand is enough. Glad you are Dick.
Any day I am vertical is a good day!
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dick Oslund
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Ha! I read your post too early in the AM!!!

I saw the International President of the "I Bother Magicians Assn." get a FLEEING OVATION at a national convention, about 30 years ago. He had bought every 36" Rice Silk that Harold had in his catalog, plus Tannen's, Abbott's ETC., and jerked them one at a time from a prop spotted downstage left, and then, "marched solemnly" to a big net which hung on the backdrop, about 12 feet away, and stuffed each silk into the net. Then. he solemnly marched back to the production box, (a humongous square circle) and, did it again, and again, and again, and again..... He was the closing act. There was a line at the exit doors.
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funsway
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In appreciation of Dick's contributions ...

CONTACT TOO

His name was Lenny, and as magicians rate he wasn’t very good – but not for want of trying. A couple of missing fingers gave new meaning to “sleight of hand,” and he mostly stuck to sell-working apparatus and flashy silks. It came as a surprise, then, when he listed “My Dear Okito Box” as an entry for a close-up contest. You just never know about magicians – I mean, “what’s inside that sings.” Fellow magicians are a tough audience by which to gauge the power of a magic effect. They are biased by what they know or expect.

I won’t bore you with a list of tricks he did and – you all can probably do more exciting ones. What was unique was his reverence for that box. He handled it as though it was made of crystal instead of brass, and there was a tiny hesitation before he picked it up. Most intriguingly he always flicked the box with his nail and seemed to hear it ring, and somehow everyone knew that without the chime there would be no magic. Everyone strained in silence to catch a hint of what Lenny seemed to hear, and the appearance and transportation of coins became secondary to a simpler illusion. Any fumbled moves by his hands were masked by the complete immersion of the audience in anticipation of a chime never heard – only dreamed. We knew by his expression whether the magic had occurred or not, sharing his disappointment and repeated pass – the caressing gaze, the hesitant reach, the tiny stroking of the bell of eternity.

When the last coin had “done its thing,” Lenny polished the box with a cloth, placed it in a velvet bag and hid it away above his heart. There was not a sound in the room. Then he laughed and we joined in. I am not sure anyone else saw the tear in his eye.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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kaubell
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If you forget that magic is a secret, your whole body language and attitude changes.

How easy its to just talk to anybody. Ask directions if you got lost. Ask how much is the clock. Anything, you just talk.
You are not prepared to hide, or have secret in average human contacts. Nobody looks for it.

When you get exposed with secret, you feel like your pants been pulled down and everybody laughs.
You stand there, don't know what to do, pull pants up and continue. Its embarrasing.

If you eat sandwich and somebody says "you eat sandwich", all you can say "yep" and continue.
Theres no secrets there. Nobody makes you embarrased. Nobody pulls your pants down.
They cant expose you eating sandwich. Its not secret.

How much you care when somebody says "You did DL", and how you don't care at all when somebody says "you eat sandwich".
The difference is in secrecy.
Jed Maxwell
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I derive intense physical and emotional pleasure from scaring teenagers witless. It's like I seek to become a mental scar on the maximum number of undeveloped minds as possible.

Andrew Melia's Box of Fear, Eric Ross's Denail, Joe Russell's Disjointed, Johannes Mengel's Breaking Point, Wayne Houchin's Thread ... all the sick stuff. I'm really looking for Zoran's Horror Cutter to buy next but am unable to source it from anywhere.

This stuff culls the jerks. The jerks become limp and ineffectual. All-the-while your act will be talked about intensely for a few days and your name will spread.
"You're a mentalist!"
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