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EdLd_mage
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It seems that I have always had problems keeping magic away from spectators. When ever I get to the illusion the person I am doing the trick for always wants to reach for the item. I have learned that when I use a waist high table it is always good to put things near my crotch. This keeps people from grabbing the item, and if they try to it is easy to swat the hand away and say, “watch what your reaching for there”. But that is the only technique I know of. If any one out there could give me other ideas I would appreciate it. Thanks
eddieloughran
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I've never really had this problem and not sure what you are doing !
What does "when I get to the illusion" mean ? You are not carrying big props for close up ?
Its a bit glib to say don't put your cards or whatever down in front of the spectator, but it does seem appropriate.
Don't put anything down on the table at all.

The idea of "swating" off the specs hand may seem clever but even in fun be carefull of moves like this. Its a good way of getting into serious trouble.
You could try putting down a close-up mat, as some magicians think it defines a section of your table, but I'm not sure.

You may also have a problem with lack of respect. That would depend on your age, aproach, style, whare you are working, and so on -

After all the above negitive thoughts may I suggest, seriously, that you develop a routine that is in-the-hands, uses no table, and the props go back in the pocket.

If nothing else - you will need such an act for walk around.
sjdavison
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Good advice Eddie - there's someone to listen to!

If you could provide some more information on yourself and the content of your act, then people will be able to help.

From first impressions, though, it seems that you have people too close, and are performing effects that make people want to examine the prop - if it is a glitsy looking prop, out of the ordinary context, that seems to have done something impossible, people are going to want to examine it.


Try starting with effects that use ordinary items - better still, borrowed. Then, if need be, bring out some other props after establishing your credentials. Other than that, working on the presentation, so it is YOU that has made the magic happen, not the prop.

Give us some more information, and people will be able to help more.

Simon
Simon, 32, UK



www.sidavisonmagic.com
Corey Harris
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You are lacking audience control. You must be able to control your audience.
EdLd_mage
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One of the tricks I have had problems with is the hovering card. When ever the card starts to pull away (the illusion) the person I am doing the trick for wants to grab the card. This could just be whom I am deciding to perform this for, as many of the people have been teens in high school. I’ll start trying to find a wider variety of people and see how things work out. I’ll also try out the mat.

As for audience control, I have never worked on this. What are some good ways of learning audience control? (i am still extreamly know)

thanks for the advice
Frank Tougas
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If your intention is to fool a teenager, you are doomed from the start. If you approach your magic as "heres a pretty cool thing" and join them in having fun, you've got a better shot.

Audience management is a lot to talk about. I am not an expert but I can start the ball rolling by saying confidence plays a big part. Are you confident you know the mechanics of the trick? confident of your patter? presentation? social skills? can you banter back and forth with your audience? Can you instill confidence? Can they be confident in your ability to entertain?

If you develop that kind of confidence, then your audience will want you to be in charge - they will sit back and enjoy the show. If you lack confidence your audience will be uncomfortable with you being in charge and will to some degree take charge themselves.

Get some performance videos or teaching videos with some top close-up people. Watch how they move, where they look, when they banter with the crowd, how they pace a trick and how they move the trick along.

Pick a good self-working trick. Do it for some people, then improve it. Improve how you set it up. Improve the pacing, patter, making it fun for your audience. Then show it to some more people - back to the drawing board for more tweaking. This method will stand you in good stead when you are working on more skill based magic.

Take some chances. Have them hold something that really can't be examined. Emphasize the word hold. See what happens. If they fiddle with it you lack confidence in how you instruct or manage your audience. If they simply hold it, then analyze what you did right. Keep at it - we all took very similar routes. I have confidence you will get there. And you have my complete agreement that you can.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Lynne Kelly
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Take this advice with the warning that most of what I have experience with is cold reading and some stage mentalism. My close-up experience is way less extensive. My card routines are just developing, so only been in perfromance for a year or so. With that proviso ...

I use some props that they can hold. I create my own or use unusual things. So I use Frank's suggestion of giving them something to hold. My mentor keeps telling me that magic which happens in the spectator's hands is very powerful.

Because my props are distinct, they are of interest. I make sure I handle all my props with great - even exaggerated - care, and find this ensures the spectators do so as well. Even teenagers, who are commonly my audience. Here I again agree with Frank. My patter is as inclusive as possible. I never do the "I am a clever magician" approach. We have fun together. We try out an experiment. We ... do whatever ... together. I guess that comes a bit from cold reading experience. The set-up implies that how well this will work depends on their involvement.

When I use a regular card deck, I am still having some difficulty with spectators, especially my beloved teeangers. They do like to add their own little enhancements! So the control issue is still an issue. I look forward to further comments on that aspect from those with more experience.

Lynne
calexa
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Quote:
On 2005-09-27 16:33, Corey Harris wrote:
You are lacking audience control. You must be able to control your audience.


Right. First of all you must make the impression that YOU are the one who knows what he is doing. Secondly you must try to avoid fancy props.

With the levitation: don´t forget that with a good presentation nobody will believe that you can levitate something. They grab for the card to find the "device" that makes the card rise....

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
onezero1
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Quote:
On 2005-09-28 01:08, Lynne Kelly wrote:

When I use a regular card deck, I am still having some difficulty with spectators, especially my beloved teeangers. They do like to add their own little enhancements!

Lynne


Oh yes! Hey, did I tell you to shuffle those? These people may be getting a little challenge vibe from you, eg: if you fail to find their card they win.
Which is why they do such charming things to "enhance the challenge".
I get this whenever I try to perform an effect I haven't really practiced as much as I should have. They seem to sense I'm trying to "pull it off" rather then simply doing it and react as teenagers do when they feel you are under pressure, they SMELL it and pile on some more!
'though it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way...it would seem that we are all negligent.
EdLd_mage
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Quote:
On 2005-09-28 08:44, onezero1 wrote:

Oh yes! Hey, did I tell you to shuffle those? These people may be getting a little challenge vibe from you, eg: if you fail to find their card they win.



This brings up another question. If the audience believes that they are competing with you from the get go, is there really any way to win? Especially with tricks where you have to find there card. There have been several times when I have done a trick for someone, knowing that I have done it correctly, and the person says that I have picked out the wrong card. If I am lucky, this will be fallowed by another person telling the other guy that he is wrong and that I have picked out the right card. Whether it is the person trying to win a game or just forgetfulness on there part, it is a big issue.
Matt Malinas
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In the end it all comes down to you. you have to make them understand that what you are doing is for their entertainment and it is not a contest between you and them. you have to work on your act. a lot I think. I had the same problem when I started out and it drove me nuts. they always grabbed for the cards , coins ,whatever I was using. what I realized was that I didn't present my magic as entertainment. get some magic videos (that focus on the audience) and get some tips. after that watch some good magicians at work and don't pay attention to the tricks. pay attention to their gestures , what they say , tone of voice etc.
put some work into it and have patience .
I hope that my advice will help

-Matt
Your One Stop Booze Abusing Comedy Magic Show!
Dougini
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I agree with all the above advice!

When a new magician encounters these situations, it can be VERY discouraging. The old saying, "Been there, done that" is true in so many ways...

First, we find in our society today, the lack of what I call the "WOW" factor. A lot of society seems "wireless" these days, and that brings with it a level of thought. New technology is rampant, for example...computers, photo and video editing suites that will run on ordinary Windows and Macs...you can do photo and video magic right on your screen. Regular folk can do stuff we never could before. That's just one example. People are more "techy" than ever before.

With that in mind, people tend to be less "surprised", "fooled", or reacting in a way that used to be typical in the early days of our art. They see it as a challenge, or a puzzle to be solved. This is not good for a person trying to entertain. I know. I've actually stopped right in the middle of a close-up performance, apologized that my performance was "interrupted" and made an exit.

Sometimes it gets out of control, and there is NOTHING you can do. I felt at times, it is better to stop...than just let someone expose another pet effect. Or, to continue awkwardly, and end in less than desirable conditions. Does this make sense? I cannot tell you how many times in 30 years that a "grabber" has killed a good trick that I'm performing.

90% of the time, I feel it WAS a respect thing. I allowed myself to become too intimate. Too much of, "Hey, I'm yer buddy!" Then people feel more free to invade your space. Really, that is hard to explain, but I think you get the jist of it.

I've become more stand-offish lately, less inclined to perform, unless in extremely controllable circumstances...one-on-one, or very polite small groups. Lest I appear snobbish, I'm a very friendly guy...it just can be a detriment at times! Smile

Doug
mouliu
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EdLD_mage, there're already many valuable advices given to you. I add my 2 cents here.

As a novice, I also encountered the same scenario as you did. There're 2 ways to solve the problem.

1) Be entertaining: it has been said in above but I think this factor will never be talked enough. Polish your patter and gesture, try to make you act entertaining but NOT CHALLENGING. You're going to entertain them by your magic, but not challenging them with a puzzle. Put yourself into audience's shoes when you making up your patter, always. Be nice. If they like you, more likely they like your magic.

2) Better rountining: rountine your act and finish clean. It's not a golden rule. But you'll feel much more comfortable ending clean. If Trick A isn't end clean, then it'd better be followed by Trick B which ends clean. Of coz you have to think about the transition from Trick A to Trick B.

Hope this helps.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
evolve629
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Have you tried to use perhaps signs or objects to set up a personal space on the table to convey to folks that everything and anything behond this line is not for you to touch?
One hundred percent of the shots you don't take don't go in - Wayne Gretzky
My favorite part is putting the gaffs in the spectators hands...it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside! - Bob Kohler
John Bowlin
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Fortunately I haven't had too much trouble in managing these situations. I use to demo at construction trade shows so I think I really got some good experience there. Try showing construction guys with 30 yrs experience how to use a new tool from some guy in a polo shirt. It helps to use body language and subtleties to tell your audience what their boundaries are. One way I do this is to extend my arm with hand bent back(palm out) and make an arc with your arm while saying "I'm going to need a little room here". It kind of makes an invisible circle for you. Another comment is..."if you'd be so kind to step back so everyone can get a good view...thank you very much(big smile)". Makes them seem rude if they don't oblige. If it's just a couple people and you suspect one may be trouble then it is best just to move on. Instincts go a long way on this one. Engaging in a little casual conversation before beginning can gain you knowledge. Sometimes I'll ask after a little banter "has anyone here seen any entertaining magic lately?". This question is too inviting for the avg heckler or total pain in the arse and will usually ferret them out. Probably the most common heckler answer I get to this question is "nothing I can't figure out". There are so many ways to handle this kind of person. One is to feign comradeship with the heckler at the same time putting the rest of the audience on your side with a comment such as "your obviously very well informed so lets not ruin it for the rest". Voice inflection is important here as you must not sound condescending and yet authoratative. The words you put emphasis on have such a huge impact. Never put anyone down even if you have to walk away and you still garner the respect of most.
abc
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This may not be the best advice and many people may get angry at me saying this but it works with teenagers. Let your first or second effect be a signed card and then get yourself one of those pens that shocks the person when he tries to write with it. Then just continue to refering to the pen whenever you do magic. Use it as a magic wand or whatever. It is funny and when you say that your things are not to be touched because they all work with electricity the sepcs will know it is not true because you can not get electricity into a pack of cards for instance but the humor behind it will assist you in controlling them. If someone reaches for something or tries to grab it create enough time to get rid of it by saying (with a smile) "The pen.....remember"
I don't know how old you are but I remember when I started magic at 14 and did some stuff at school all the kids were older than me. Some of them 18 or whatever and I had a tough time at first. The seniors want to see magic but they are out to "get" you. Understand that they don't hate you because you can do magic. It is a way of entertaining themselves and making fun of you in the same way they do with everyone else. I remember there was one guy who always had tons of people many of them girls around him. We all called him Vanilla Ice because of his manner and hairstyle(not the exact Ice style) but I did a trick one day where he was like the hero of the trick. A person takes a card and then he knows which card they took. It takes some personality to perform but it is a oiece of cake. I think Luke Jermay does something very similar but I forget where I learned it. The reason I say this is he wanted to do this trick everytime he saw me. He loved it. I eventually taught him a simple trick with the aces that he could do on his own after about six months but he saved me many times. One day I had poeple sneak up behind me to see the "moves" and he said Quote"are you looking at his As## or the magic." I never got into any trouble at school that he couldn't get me out of but I also learned a valuable lesson in audience control. You do not have to go after the heckler to try and beat him. Make him your friend. And then Be his friend. I have had this in comedy clubs later in my life where guys (for some unknown reason) come to see the same show 50 times. But if you controlled the situation correctly without making an enemy you have a great ally. another story. I messed up a trick in my one comedy act (the only reason the guy knew was because he had seen the show 50 times and the first night I wanrted to kill him. We ended up having some beers after the show and are still friends) and when he realised I messed up he said "Do you do requests?" to which I said "do I look like a rock and roll band" He got up and handed me a piece of paper and said "Do this trick. It is my favorite or something like that. He wrote the name of the card the person took on the piece of paper. It was useless information because it was a card in lemon and I messed it up but the idea is that I had a "stooge" without even planning it.
I know this is a long post but there are sometimes when you do trick people and sometimes when you just entertain them. To control the audience you have to be able to tell very quickly which is which. Then use story telling or whatever to make the effects real from an entertainment point of view whether the stories are scary or bizarre or funny slapstick kinda stuff.
Good luck
mouliu
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Thanks for your sharing, abc. I like the part on "unplaned stooge" most. I always remind myself I'm doing magic to entertain them, treat them politely and in a humor way as if we're friends.

btw, abc, I'm leaving Taiwan tomorrow, going to Thailand for a convention and will then stay there for some time. Bye and thanks for your help.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
mouliu
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Thanks for your sharing, abc. I like the part on "unplaned stooge" most. I always remind myself I'm doing magic to entertain them, treat them politely and in a humor way as if we're friends.

btw, abc, I'm leaving Taiwan tomorrow, going to Thailand for a convention and will then stay there for some time. Bye and thanks for your help.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
jack_is_dead
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Abc..great post!
one eyed man is the king in the blind land
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