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njh
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Baltimore, MD
143 Posts

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This happened when I was performing magic at a bar for one rather inebriated man, a few other guys, and a girl. The girl was in her mid 20s, and the drunk guy was probably 35. Everybody seemed to love the magic and the performance went very well. But there was one bump.

There was a trick where I had the girl help out, she enjoyed it, and everyone was very impressed. But then the drunk guy started talking about how awesome magic must be to get girls, and how the next trick was gonna be "getting [the girl's] shirt off." There were also several other lewd comments that I don't remember, and if I did, I probably couldn't describe them here

The guy's comments didn't faze me at all, but the girl seemed to become pretty uncomfortable. And that's a problem for me as an entertainer.

I am a quick thinker when it comes to things to say, and I played it cool during this whole escapade. But I had absolutely no idea how to respond when the guy said these things. Can anyone give me some advice or tell me how the reacted in similar situations?
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
rumburak
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83 Posts

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It is probably best not to respond to and acknowledge those guys. Try to turn your audience against them. Like "we are enjoying magic and you disturb us". This can even be done with a "knowing look". Or, if you want to say something use a response like "Is he always like this?"

If you feel uncomfortable or even caught/guilty about what he said (like you actually had in mind what he suggested), your body language and facial expressions will show it.

Hence, don't do it. Remember, YOU are the focus of attention of your audience and if you feel comfortable and relaxed the others will too. Just stay calm and cool and continue.
anticoin
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I reckon you should have just played along...
It's like jazz...innovate, follow the flow
Avocat
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You must not let that sort of thing slide. It diminishes the session and, by extension, you as well. You must also not "laugh along" because, safe to say, other people were as offended as your female spectator appeared to be. People just don't want to be labeled "prudes," so they laugh along and bear it.

This has happened to me a few times, and I devised a handling after the first time that I've found effective. BTW, the first time, I just ignored it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now, when someone tries to get "cute" with off-colored remarks, I'll deliberately make a sour face combined with a smirk, the sort of face people make when they hear a pun or, for that matter, a tasteless joke they don't find funny. I'll pause a beat then say, "sit in the corner, [joker's name here]."

This has always gotten a laugh, has never offended the joker (at least not that he's shown) and, perhaps most importantly, gives the control of the situation back to me.

The delivery MUST be tongue-in-cheek. That way, the joker and audience can't take it as you being spitefully condescending. You're actually pretending to be condescending (while actually BEING condescending underneath the "pretend" - does that make sense?).

In short, it's a way to prevent a lesser performer (which is essentially what such a joker is, in this context) from stealing your thunder. You take control of the situation and "put him in his place" as gently and inofffensively as possible.

It's worked for me.

Magically yours,

Jim Kawashima
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Don't play Sir Lancelot, play it cool, get word to the manager or bouncer and let them take care of the situation.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Your profile says you are a senior citizen. I am 59 years old and I always play up my age with younger people "I have someone special at home that is much more woman that I can handle" "at my age just a smile from a young lady is enough thrill to hold me" "my wife constantly reminds my that with out my bottle of viagra I'm harmless" laughter is very disarming. When in doubt always, always, always pick the ugliest woman in the room, because no one will care if you flirt with her.
float like a butterfly and sting like a bee
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Vandy Grift
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Inner circle
Milwaukee
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 16:53, juggleral wrote:

Your profile says you are a senior citizen.



Juggleral, I think me may be a senior in High School. Which begges the question "What were you doing performning magic in a BAR young man!?!!??" LOL
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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WOW Vandy Gift
I thought that picture was a bit youthful. In that case njh I have no advise for you except the drinking age in Maryland is 21, so do your magic somewhere else.
Al

PS No one should have to deal with hostile drunks if you are not getting paid.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
njh
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Baltimore, MD
143 Posts

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I'm a senior in high school. Or was, since I graduated today. Woo Hoo!
Anyway, it was a combination bar-restaurant, and I went to the bar to get some practice performing for strangers. By the way, I wouldn't describe him as a hostile drunk. He actually gave me some of the best reactions, but he did make one obnoxious comment. Thanks for all of the advice.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Congradulations on your graduation.
have fun
Al
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Skip Way
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Hecklers have to be dealt with promptly and firmly. Anything less disrupts the flow of your show. Start out using humor to gently put the heckler "in his place." My favorite catch-all line for something like this is "Sir, this is Sparks...not Fantasy Island." It gets a laugh at the heckler's expense which puts the rest of the audience at ease, releases tension and keeps things light. If the heckler persists, I get a little meaner, but still go for the laughs...such as, "Strong words for a man who still lives with his mother" or "Sir, I hope that my attempt to entertain these fine people is not interfering with your drinking." If it goes beyond that, you're looking at a hardcore problem..."Sir, allow me to introduce you to a personal friend of mine...Manager!"

The point is, have a couple of all-purpose humorous zingers ready for the ever-present heckler. Keep the laughter going and you'll be fine.

:o) Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Skip baby
Welcome to the magic Café. You are a seasoned veteran with much to offer.
Have fun
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Skip Way
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Thanks for inviting me, Al! :o)

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
twistedace
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philadelphia
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I would have played off it a bit and taken the bite out of it. Something like I tried to get a girl's shirt off with magic...but her boyfriend beat me to it then beat me for trying so I don't anymore. Did you see her shaking for a second?...she thought I would actually try something that RUDE. I know what you're thinking (looking at the girl) you got the seat next to the ugly guy (pointing at yourself). It's ok we'll try to have fun anyway. It takes the sting out of the guy's initial comment while at the same time acknowledging that he actually said it plus it makes it a funny crack about yourself. That was just off of the top of my head but there are tons of stuff that you could say to take the heat off of the situation.
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5771 Posts

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The technique used to handle it, will depend on why she was uncomfortable with the comment. If it's because she feared for her safety or was offended by the guy, you would want to allow for a uncomfortable silent pause, so that he would get the idea that his comment was inappropriate.

If she was merely uncomfortable because she was afraid that you'd be offended, you can joke around, showing that you weren't offended by the comment. However, I wouldn't initiate any lewd comments - it's just inappropriate for a performer.
Matthew Bennett
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Louisville, KY
79 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-06-08 22:27, njh wrote:
drunk guy started talking about how awesome magic must be to get girls, and how the next trick was gonna be "getting [the girl's] shirt off." There were also several other lewd comments that I don't remember, and if I did, I probably couldn't describe them here



In a similar situation, I have said, "Well, I try not do do the kind of magic that gets me beat up or put in jail"
It doesn't really look as humorous in print as it sound when I say it. But it's what works for me.

When anything of this sort happens, the first word that comes to my mind is "diffuse" - cancel out the situation, don't make it worse, don't try to make it better - just cancel it out and move on. I don't have *that* much experience in magic, but I've worked in bars for quite a while.
Matthew A Bennett

fixmytricks.com

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sinnead zenun
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Mt. Makiling
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I think the man is jealous because your getting the attention of the girl so to get back the attention he started to make fun of you...
sometimes when performing specially in a bar you need to assess your spectator and volunteer as well... sometimes its better to chose a volunteer who is less attractive to avoid jealousy or instead let the man be the volunteer and give credit to him you know to raise his egooooo...
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