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Profile of MikeRaffone
Occasionally someone who heard about or saw my magic will ask me to teach them something they can impress their friends with (close-up of course). I try to circumvent the question, but they keep insisting that I teach them something every time I see them. Usually, they will think of magic as being about the trick and doesn't realize all the practice and presentation that goes into performing a strong effect. Referring them to a beginner book or a local magic club doesn't keep them off your back. As far as they are concerned, I'm the only person they know who can do magic, so I'm the one who should teach them. What kind of answer can you give in this situation or is there a trick you can teach that can satisfy this person's needs without being rude or saying trite things such as "a magician never tell their secrets". How do you respond in a way where a person will think better of you?
Mike Perrello
DC Area's Leading Family Entertainment Expert
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Busking is work.
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Profile of Jerrine
Tigers hunt, fish swim, ice floats, Magicians don't tell. What you are dictates what you do.
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Dannydoyle
To tell to get someone "off your back" is a silly reason.

To teach someone with a genuine interest is completley different.

Fortunatly for us the public thinks we are truley sworn to secrecy. Oaths and all instead of the reality. Use this to your advantage. Let them think it is true that you can't break sacred oaths. Anything you have to.

Needless to say some will be more persistant, but you will actually diminish yourself in their eyes if you start teaching them.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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Opelika, Alabama
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Profile of sunnydolan
Its easy. Point them towards your favorite magic website, and tell them to buy some cheap close up trick like a folding half dollar, or a bite-out coin. Those usually discourage laymen after they see how much practice they will need to put in to the handeling, being new to coin sleights. That should keep them off.
An amatuer practices untill he gets it right, a professinal practices untill he can't get it wrong.

Don't wait for oppurtunity to knock, throw open the door, grab it by the throat and drag it inside kicking and screaming.

Magically yours
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Profile of MikeRaffone
Here's the challenge. How would you respond if this was your boss at work or a potential client, someone you want to keep in your favor?
Mike Perrello
DC Area's Leading Family Entertainment Expert
Corey Harris
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Kansas City, MO
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Profile of Corey Harris
On 2005-10-02 07:53, MikeRaffone wrote:
Here's the challenge. How would you respond if this was your boss at work or a potential client, someone you want to keep in your favor?

That wouldnt make any difference to me personally. I don't care if its the freaking pope. Unless some one shows a genuine intrest in this art I'm not going to show them a thing.
Gary Dayton
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New Jersey
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Profile of Gary Dayton
It sounds like they have asked you more than once, so it could be more than casual interest. You could meet them half-way. Teach them a simple sleight-of-hand trick and see what they do with that. If they take an active interest, practice, etc., then you know they are earnest. You've now got someone who has a similar interest in magic and your friendship can take on a new dimension. If, on the other hand, they shy away from the practice then you have an answer for them the next time they ask. Pick something simple and effective like a straight-up coin vanish or the Chinese Matches to teach.
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Collegeville, PA
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Profile of RADIOMAN
I usually show them a simple illusion that they can perform after I have them participate in it. Take a piece of paper and roll it up into a ball. Have them stand in front of you. Take their right hand and proceed to put the ball into their hand. Count one, two, three as you place your hand on theirs. On each count, raise you arm above their head. Between the count of two and three you toss the paper ball over their head. Have someone catch it and put in in their pocket, etc. Everyone knows how to do the trick except the person involved in it.
After a few seconds, show them how it was done.

You have taught them a simple illusion and perhaps piqued their interest in magic without revealing too much. If they come back for more, refer them to a magic shop or this website.
Robert Daniels. "The Great Mystini"
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Seattle, WA
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Profile of wsduncan
I recommend they purchase a copy of "Magic For Dummies", telling them that inspite of the title there are many very good tricks that are relatively easy to do.

Then I would show them one, like Chad Long's "Shuffling Lesson" and explain that it would take an hour to teach it to them but with the book they can learn at their own pace.
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Profile of Jaz
I'd feel them out and maybe show some simple and not very interesting tricks.
If they show me that they have put in some effort and come up with a simple but decent presentation I'll take it a step further.

Depending on their interest, I'd also recommend a book for beginners recommended by Café members.

Or maybe..
"Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand. When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave." -Master Kan

"Show me wax on, wax off." - Mr. Miyagi
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Profile of CyberMage
I agree with Gary Dayton. Show him something simple and see what he does with it. If he runs with it, then go the next step and show him something that is a little more complex. He will either not learn it, showing you he really isn't interested in our art, or he will and you have successfully promoted the art.

That's how it was done with me when I was learning, and that is how I do it with those that approach me.
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Profile of jsmagus
If I feel that there might be a genuine intrest, I will show them a little something to see what they do with it. On the other hand, if I feel that they just "want to know how it's done", I usually tell them that I am a member of the IBM, and that if I deviate from the rules, I could get kicked out!
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Profile of Alan Munro
Quote him a fee for lessons. Afterall, money talks and ..... you know the rest.
Joe Russell
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Buffalo NY
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Profile of Joe Russell
If they show a genuine interest in it perhaps I will teach them a basic key card routine, you guys all say never show a layman anything but lets remember that we were all laymen at one time before we had "The Great Revelation of Enlightenment" and whether you started all on your own or some one got you into it, we each have our beginnings and you could open that great door that we once walked into for this person and change their lives forever. And on the other hand if they aren't serious about it, theres almost a 99.9 pecent chance that after a month they won't remember what you taught them anyway because only some one who is serious would practice and would come back to you with new ideas. And that's how you know when someone is serious, they try to teach you things that they came up with useing your techniques.
Who is Tattoo Joe?
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Allentown, PA
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Profile of JohnCressman
I simply tell them "If the other magicians find out I've given away their secrets, they'll saw me in half and not put me back together!"

That usually gets a laugh and I quickly change the subject.
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Profile of paisa23
I show them a simple effect. I mean really or I don't. Make it seem like I have . But if I feel he is genuine I will let him borrow a book. If he can come back to me and show me something "something that says he has been trying" Then that's when I will help him learn. a lot of time they wont bother to read. Twice they have read and continued there learning.
Matt Malinas
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Inner circle
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Profile of Matt Malinas
Nice one john cressman. I like that. I agree with paisa23 50% .
if they insist I show them a very easy effect they can do. usually with cards. but I realized that many people seem genuine and excited to learn at first but it quickly fades away. if they are really interested they will search for material they can learn from and purhcase some videos or books or something.
it happened to me once that I lend erdnase-expert at the card table to a person who really seemed interested and he read it alright . I think once. he learned the tricks from there and started performing them very sloppy and with very "SAD" double lifts and gave away the tricks. that was a huge mistake I did and I hope I won't repeat it.

The masters make the rules, for the wise men and the fools
Gede Nibo
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Inner circle
2447 Posts

Profile of Gede Nibo
How to keep the secrets?

by remembering what Granny used to say: "Two can keep a secret when one of them is dead..."

as for me, being in the "Bizarre" realm, I simply threaten them with a curse or two...
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Profile of johnnymagic
I always wisper to them "can you keep a secret" and when they say "yes" I say " so can I"

Out of all the magicians I know, you're one of 'em...
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Vancouver, BC
104 Posts

Profile of YVRDave
YOu can always show them one of those tricks like Silk To Egg where they think you are showing them how it is done, but end up fooling them twice.
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