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Moyle with Parkinsons
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Hello Everyone
I will start by saying that I know this is a misplaced thread. My discussion here is about social interaction with your spectators however I couldn't find a board with anything like this here so being into cards I thought that I would just put it here. I am only new so perhaps there is a board about spectator control, if there is could someone tell me where it is? If there isn't and some magic Café staff read this may I offer this post as food for thought perhaps a board for spectator related issues could be added.

Anyway my question here relates to I suppose the etiquette of interacting with a spectator in the strolling or street magic environment. I am fairly new to this area and I have found recently that the most common question that I get after I have shown the spectator a trick, apart from the obvious and oh so common "How did you do that?", is "Where did you learn how to do that?"

Now here is a question that, before hitting the street, I never got asked. Everyone I was performing for previously knew where I learnt my stuff and so the question never needed to be asked. So far, I have been answering with something like this "Oh well, I learn some stuff from here and there, you know books and stuff" This usually leads into me introducing myself and we begin a short conversation usually followed by a few more tricks.

Now here is my question. I am a very sociable person I love meeting new people but I wonder whether, as far as my performance, I am being too sociable for my own good in that if I interact with the spectator on such a one to one level am I demystifying my performance. Would it be better to answer something like this "I was actually taught to conjure by a swami that I met in whilst travelling in India" or something of the like thus still being somewhat sociable but not portraying myself as a complete laymen, not that there's anything wrong with that.

OK I think I have just made myself sound very pretentious here I finish by saying I'm sorry for not having worded this post better.
"Signatures cause far too much trouble!" an original quote by Moyle With Parkinsons.
Daegs
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What are your goals with magic?

Do you want to work paid jobs and make a lot of money?
Do you want to work paid jobs and make medium amounts of money?
Do you want to have your own TV special?
Do you want to be famous?
Do you want to make all your friends think your cool?
Do you want to be able to break the ice with people?
Do you want to make people think you are actually performing magic?
Do you want to come across as someone who's spent their whole life working on it or as someone who the magic comes naturally to?
Do you want to busk in the street and do street shows for money?

How you should handle your presentation and your answers to those questions depends directly on answers to questions such as these.

It really depends on what your goals are, and then you should perform correctly to those goals.



To come here and ask the question without explaining your goals is pointless as no one can answer your question(however, I'm sure there *will* be people answering your question giving you all sorts of advice following this post... ask yourself how can they answer without knowing what your goals are?)

So the only answer we can give, is "It Depends."

If you want to talk specifics then please post your goals and whatnot, but other than that it really depends on each person and their goals... Some might go the "swami" route seriously, others might go that route with tongue in cheek, others might say they've spent years on it, others will say they don't even understand how it works...

Even others will control the audience before the audience ask that question so its never asked, others might induce the spectator to ask that so they can give their answer...

It all depends...
Cesar Munoz
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It's a valid question and you have to find the answer that works for you. I think that you have a decided advantage in that you are very sociable and can really connect with people. I don't think the mystery comes from being aloof or distant with people. If people like you--it's easier to like your magic. Perhaps if you are performing as a certain "character" or "persona", then you may want to stay in character. Otherwise, I don't think having real conversations with real people is a good thing. If you do a search in the Café, I'm pretty sure you'll find pat answers to most of the questions you get from spectators--so of those may fit your personality as well--and contribute to the entertainment factor as well.
Moyle with Parkinsons
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Daegs,

Well in the interests of getting a good answer I will take your advice and say that my goals in magic are to entertain people. I like to think that I can perform magic to someone and make them happy. I like to think sometimes that someone I perform to might go home and say to someone they know "You'll never believe what happened to me today I was walking along and some guy came up to me and show me some magic tricks" You know give a few people a small show to lighten their day and keep life interesting. I don't have any interest in making any money off magic I just like seeing the look on peoples faces when I show them something they haven't seen before.

I hope that clarifies my situation

Moyle
"Signatures cause far too much trouble!" an original quote by Moyle With Parkinsons.
Daegs
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It does....

Ok, now envision what you want that person to say *about* your magic tricks.

Are they amazing feats that anyone could do with practice, or are they secrets only learned to a select few? Or arcane arts?

From your sentence, it seems as if you only want to be thought of as "some guy" and the real focus is on the magic tricks, is that correct?

Perhaps you want them to see the effects as if "Some weird thing that you weren't even in control of but merely showing the effects of" ?

All important aspects to keep in mind when coming up with a persona(and therefore methods to handle the questions and answers).

It sounds as if you would downplay the questions rather than harp on them as you want to be thought of as "some guy" and have the focus on the effects..
Moyle with Parkinsons
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Well daegs that certainly is fantastic food for thought. Thank-you. I suppose you are right I am sort of working with a conflicting persona. Though my goal is have the focus of the interaction be my effects this conflicts with my personality which focuses solely on myself. I think with what you said in mind my performance become a lot more complicated as I have a way in which I would like to perform but also an urge to be friendly and meeting people which requires the performance to take somewhat of a back see.

I think my preference as to how the effects are perceived is leaning towards the tricks being something that I really have no control over as I am always quick to add a joke to my presentation I like being able to have a laugh with people while I perform something for them, sort of a "Hey, would you have any idea why this card would keep rising to the top of my deck, its the darnedest thing but I can't get the thing to just stay in the middle of the deck"

But then I suppose I have just answered my own question then haven't I? I suppose by answering the question in the sort of style I have given above then I remain some guy but I still have the option to continue the conversation and become Moyle if I please.
"Signatures cause far too much trouble!" an original quote by Moyle With Parkinsons.
Cesar Munoz
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I meant to say: I think having real conversations with real people is a good thing.
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