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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » New & Sophisticated audience? Really? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RandyStewart
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For those of you who insist the average audience is more advanced and difficult to fool compared to audiences of the past, I may have my doubts. Perhaps the context in which I mention the average person here will not parallel the mindset of the audience watching a good performer but if this context I refer to is anything like a modern audience mindset, a good performer has little to worry about.

My family owns several grocery stores and I recently visited one of their new locations. I grew up stocking those shelves, sweeping and mopping those floors, and sacking more *** groceries that I care to recount.

But I recently rolled up my sleeves and helped father be of service to those shopping at his new location. Please don’t take any of the following observations as a negative and condescending commentary. We love these customers and appreciate their business. But from a performer’s perspective, namely a magician, the muggles have their heads so far up a certain place it landed back on their shoulders and don't even know it. Let me explain.

It’s been a long time since I’ve served such a crowd but having a new and alert view of them I found so many, actually most, to be in some sort of a daze. I was afraid to even ask any of them what day it was.

First thing that came to mind is the aisles of a supermarket are a pickpocket haven. Walking the aisles I noticed women have most of their purses wide open and in the child carrying seat if no children are with them. They also tend to stray just far enough from that open purse for one to pickup the wallet. This easily done if the basket is angled right as you lean forward to grab an item off the shelf. If the basket isn’t angled right, just wait and follow her and she’ll eventually park just as you need it. For those with the child In seat, the purse is often piled on top of groceries yet still open. Another thing I couldn’t understand was the congregation of shopping carts in one spot of a mile long aisle! You know those situations where as soon as you turn into it you turn out as you can clearly see you won’t get through. And of course, the owner of each basket is at the other end of the aisle. The pickpocket dressed in a sports coat and Toppit, could see to it that the woman’s wallet wouldn’t stand a chance! However a plainly dressed female pickpocket also with purse in same place within her basket would draw far less attention and could get away with murder.

Turning another aisle is two children in a cart and one of them with cash in his mouth! Trying to chew on it I find his mother is clear down the other end. Total cash in hand $121.00 - one $100, one $20, and one $1. Would of made a nice tip had I been someone else. Might of been that families grocery money for the week as well.

For those writing a check, people at the checkout always have to be told and reminded that there is a pen right In front of them! Do these people not notice things right under their nose? The majority of check writers without a pen would stand there with pen in front of them as I had finished ringing them up, given them the total, and then stare at them as they stare back. Gesturing at the pen right smack in front them I’d say “Did you want to use this pen?”….They always seem to shake their head and come out of a daze. Of course everyone else in line is in a state of somnambulism. What’s going on with some of these people?

Driver’s Licenses are constantly left behind, purses are left in the bathrooms, wallets are recovered in the parking lot. I spoke with one of our stockers and asked him if he ever finds anything interesting left behind by others. He said if a person could walk in the store with It, they’ve forgotten about it and left it behind INCLUDING CHILDREN! How in the world, if you didn’t forget anything on your shopping list did you forget Junior? He also said he doesn’t mind sweeping the aisles as it keeps him looking at the floor where all dropped cash ends up.

And of course, this has never happened to any of you, but the most common item left behind is groceries they just paid for! Wow. I had a very interesting week at the grand opening, meeting nice hard working people we love, and of course, returning their items to them the entire time.

If you find any of that far-fetched, keep in mind I spent a week there. That's a bit longer than most rushed people spend in there during any visit.

That’s some advanced and ‘sophisticated’ audience alright….
magicalaurie
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Tip of the iceberg there, I'd say, Randy. Smile
Jaz
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Shoppers have a whole different mindset than and audiences who go to see magic.

I'm in a Home Depot nearly every day and see how shoppers act.
They are often oblivious to what's going on around them.
Most seem to focus of what they need and are heedless of the people and forklifts around them as they head towards their goal. Others are on cellphones and are virtually blind. Their kids are climbing on things, running out in front of moving carts and machinery. Scary stuff!
There's nothing about sophistication here. Just plain ignorance.
RandyStewart
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Jaz,

I agree, well I should say I'd hope, none of the mindset I saw is any part of an audience. If you watch my act you really need to be paying attention or you'll miss a lot. I've worked hard on it and would consider it a waste if most of it were missed despite them sitting right in front of me.

I'd also hate to think someone would be as tired as I was when I went to the movies and fell asleep! Man! that's tired! Then to wake 15 min. before the end and walk out annoyed at having wasted money on a nap.

Well have you noticed how comfortable those seats are?

Hahahaha!

Quote:
On 2006-03-25 12:43, Jaz wrote:
Shoppers have a whole different mindset than and audiences who go to see magic.


Good because what I saw would scare ya.
leapinglizards
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Try working in a theme park for a while. You will have NO faith left in the human race!
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
<BR>
<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
Bill Palmer
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My wife is one of the worst when it comes to noticing things around her. We can be walking down the street and I will say, "Look out for that guy up there on the right."

"What guy?"

"The guy who is sticking his head out behind the big green van."

"What van?"

"The one up there on the right. The Chevrolet with the Utah license plates."

"Oh, that one?"

I swear, it's a miracle she doesn't get mugged.

Actually, she did once. I wasn't there when it happened. She was with a bunch of her equally alert friends. They pounded the c**p out of the mugger, but he got her purse anyway.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
evolve629
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I shop at one of my favorite grocery stores, CUB stores - own by Supervalu, and I don't even need my checkbook or handbag when I shop. Why, because they use your a machine that reads your index finger and deduct money from your checking a/c.

Now that's a sophisticated new system that can help eliminate putting the handbag unattended in the cart while you try to select some fresh greens!
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
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-03-25 14:50, evolve629 wrote:
I shop at one of my favorite grocery stores, CUB stores - own by Supervalu, and I don't even need my checkbook or handbag when I shop. Why, because they use your a machine that reads your index finger and deduct money from your checking a/c.


So Minnesota was to be one of the first states in that prophecy huh. OK let's put that can of worms back on the shelf.

Well it would do away with the mishandling of purse contents but still leaves the questionable state of mind.
Michael Baker
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You ought to spend time working in a bar. Take this same group of individuals and get a couple drinks in them...

I once knew a cocktail waitress who made more money than any of the other girls, and it didn't come from serving more drinks or shaking her ***. All she did was walk around and look at the floor.

People are prone to distraction... not focusing where they ought to be. That's part of how we do our jobs as magicians.

I think if you observe almost any crowd with a eye for criminal opportunities, you'll surely find enough to keep yourself in business. Obviously, some already do.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Palmer
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I've worked with musicians who always checked the coin return slots of all of the coin operated machines in the joints they worked in.

Made good money that way.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-03-25 17:49, Michael Baker wrote:
You ought to spend time working in a bar. Take this same group of individuals and get a couple drinks in them...


Ha that could be interesting. Again, for those coming into this topic none of us are speaking down on the general public or a magician's audience. The focus has been on the distracted fuzzy minded condition I found customers to be in most of the time. I quickly came to wonder how many of their waking hours are spent like that.
magicalaurie
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Perhaps too many. Smile
Michael Baker
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Precisely! That is largely what makes our jobs as magicians possible. Not speaking down on a magician's audience. They, as most people are prone to missing what is happening around them when focusing upon something else. The fact that it is observable in every day life, is more than just sad or amusing. It is a wonderful study in misdirection.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Regan
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Quote:
On 2006-03-25 13:04, leapinglizards wrote:
Try working in a theme park for a while- you will have NO faith left in the human race!



Amen!
Mister Mystery
Bob Sanders
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Now you know why I love marketing research! Even "sophisticated" people are only so in rare moments.

You can do your best coins across for a blue collar worker and he will be insulted. Yet, I have entertained serious CEOs with the coloring book. Much of true sophistication is confidence in self. Insecure people make poor audiences. One of the first things I noticed when I stopped working in smoke was that the audiences were much sharper but easier to entertain. They were not threatened by knowing that something had to get by them. (How many smokers began smoking because they were self-confident? None! It was “group-think”. It is one of those things that makes marketing research fun.)

Bob Sanders
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Bob Sanders

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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2006-04-21 09:15, Bob Sanders wrote:

Now you know why I love marketing research! Even "sophisticated" people are only so in rare moments.

You can do your best coins across for a blue collar worker and he will be insulted. Yet, I have entertained serious CEOs with the coloring book. Much of true sophistication is confidence in self. Insecure people make poor audiences. One of the first things I noticed when I stopped working in smoke was that the audiences were much sharper but easier to entertain. They were not threatened by knowing that something had to get by them. (How many smokers began smoking because they were self-confident? None! It was “group-think”. It is one of those things that makes marketing research fun.)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander



That is an amazing analogy!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
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