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Profile of geckguy
I was performing some simple stuff for my buddies just hangin around at summer school (i was doing grade forgiveness).then some girl that was about my age comes up and starts grabbing cards as I perform tricks and yelling LOOK HE'S A FAKE. she also rambled incorrect or silly reasons for the effects and just went OMG this is sooo stupid the entire time. then when I asked her to leave (as politely as I could) she refuses outright. what would you guys have done about this because I just stopped performing and walked away. and then she has the nerve to curse me out. how often does this crap happen and what do you do. I seriously don't understand how someone could walk up to a stranger and start treating them like garbage just because they felt like it? that was my first random street performance thing. I was just showing people tricks to pass the time after finals.
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Profile of tnscot
Bottom line is: You were offering your time to entertain others. I did a couple of tricks for a friend of mine once, and I didn't like the way she reacted...trying to "catch" me instead of watching the performance. I havent performed for he since, and I never will again. My advice (and you will hear opposing view on this, I'm sure) is that once it gets out of hand like that, just roll em up, and tell your audience, "I'm sorry. I'll try again when she isn't around to spoil our good time" and walk away. don't walk away defeated...make it known that you are choosing not to entertain anymore because of the hostile environment. Then walk away with your head held high becasue you know that you value what you are doing too much to let some ignorant wretch destroy your performance.
As Always,
Scot Legdermain
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Profile of geckguy
That's a pretty good idea. if its made known you will stop when people interfere people just wont let them stay or people will be angry at them not me.
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Profile of Jaxon
Sad to say but you haven't meet the last person like this. They are out there and you'll run into more of them. I had one girl count my deck of cards. Found there where 3 missing so assumed that told her that something wasn't right and it explained every trick I did (included the card tricks where cards where signed I just performed). I pointed this out and she still kept on about the cards missing. Somehow it n her mind that also had something to do with the coin tricks I was doing. Smile

They're out there and you could have been the greatest magician in the world (if there was such a thing) and they would have treated you the same way. It's not you, it's them.

There are ways to deal with it but I don't think there's any one set way to deal with it. Experience will give you the edge. The best thing to do is learn from them. For example in my story about about the cards missing. I might have said something along the lines of, "Of course, I never play with a full deck.. Who does?". Or the time someone yelled out that when I performed Fearson's floating cigarette that I did it with a magnet in my mouth. I just said. "On man. you got me. I just picked up the magnets they sell at Radio Shack". I wonder how many radio shakcs that guy visited trying to find magnets that'll levitate things.. Smile

So there are things that can be done in some situations. But here's my rule of thumb. I never except their challenge unless it'll discredit their attitude. That brings to mind another example when I performed the floating cigarette. I had "one of those people" watching me. After I made it float he came up and lit my cigarette with an attitude of "Let's see you do it now". I refused to do it again. That is until he turned his back to face the people and laugh at me some more. What he didn't know was while he wasn't looking at me I made the lit cigarette float again. before he turned to face me again I made it float back to my mouth. So he never saw me make it float but they all did. So the more he tried to discredit me the dumber he looked. Smile

So don't make it a challenge. Or I should say don't let them make it a challenge. But if you can find a way to turn it into a laugh. To continue to be entertaining and got past them then go for it. If you can't then just leave it. Go to the next crowd. Make them laugh and let the crowd with the jerk in it wish their jerk would leave. But try not to let it get to you.

There's a saying that you shouldn't believe your own press. Basically that means that if they say your the best then feel good about that because you've entertained them. But it doesn't mean your the best. It just means they really liked it. The same is true when they don't like it. That doesn't mean you're not good. They just didn't like it. So what!

As much as we love our magic it's still just magic.

Ron Jaxon

After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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Profile of mitchb2
My brother-in-law is a complete jerk. He's 35-going-on-10.
I've learned now not to do anything when he's around. It's a shame, too, because his wife is the best audience you could ever have. She's genuinely fooled by just about anything I do.

I did healed-and-sealed last week, and everybody was gasping and "oohh"-ing.
The jerk announces to the room how the can's opening was "healed," and points out the gimmick.

I did Crazy Man's Handcuffs to everyone's amazement, and he grabs the rubber bands from me, twists them around in some weird fashion, and then acts as if he just performed the same trick, like " hard is that?"

He's ruined the pen-through-dollar, Holy Moly...he even spoils my KIDS' tricks!

It's a lame power trip from a small mind, that's how I look at it.
Incredibly immature, but not likely to change.
So at the next get together when someone asks me to do something, I'll just say "Nah, Brian just ruins it for everyone."
The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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Profile of The Amazing Noobini
Brrr. Just as I was almost ready to try a debut performance, I am again reminded of the dangers cheeky spectators. Especially young drunk women. I'm afraid of those anyway but I'm just certain that they will immediately go for the cards if I put them down on the table. As I will have to do. Somehow. Casually. With my shaking hands. While whistling inconspicuously.

Anyway. geckguy, one has to appreciate the fact that one doesn't have to spend every day in the company of those individuals who act like that. They have to live with the burden of being morons so they are really worse off than the people who have to endure their company for only a few minutes.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
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Profile of Froste
I'm reminded of my sister in law. She "knows a few card tricks" if ya know what I mean. (yeah, the 21 card trick is in her repertoire) I tried to share some stuff when I was even more of a noob than I am today. She was sarcastic and rude, pointing out that she could see what I was doing, etc. Granted I should have practiced more before showing her anything, however her reactions almost had me wanting never to touch another deck of cards again.

Thankfully, I got over it. Still haven't shown her anything seriously since, though... though I'm much more confident and have been performing in front of strangers every Sat morning for about two months now. There are just some people I won't perform for. My supervisor at work is one of them as well. He po0intedly asked me one day whether the "coin biting trick" is just a trick coin or what. I refused to answer. He promptly concluded that I didn't know how the trick was done, and I let him believe that.

After all, magic is for making wondrous moments... not trying to prove a point to some rude idiot, right? Smile
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Profile of tony2514
From talking to magicians of all ages, I think Geckguy found himself in front of the worst crowd he could encounter. I hear many stories of young magicians trying to perform in front of their peers and being shot down in flames. Unfortunately teenagers are, in essence, herd animals and anyone who tries to distinguish themselves above the others (except for in the ALPHA sense) leaves themselves open for ridicule and attack. It boils down to jealousy. Most teenagers have a deep desire to be special but are afraid to be different from the pack. So when one of their peers distinguishes him or herself by displaying amazing talent, they feel threatened and often act in the way Geckguy describes.

Fortunately, most people grow out of this but unfortunately some don't and Mith's brother-in-law appears to be a case in point.

In the over comfortable world of peer and family groups these situations seem to crop up quite frequently. In my experience it happens hardly ever in normal performances. Think about it. Just about everyone in the audience knew there was going to be a magician before they arrived at the venue and quite often they will have paid to see that magician, so why would they try to ruin the show unless:

A/ The magician was rubbish or
B/ They were drunk or
C/ It was Mitch's brother-in-law or one of his ilk.

The only way to deal with the first situation is to stop taking gigs and go home and practice more.

Drunks can on ocasion be a problem, but on the plus side, they are easier to fool with simpler tricks. I never walk up to drunks with unexaminable props of any kind and I always try to keep cards at arms length with them. Drunks MAY grab at stuff is what I'm saying. If it's one or two drunks in a group it's easy to deal with because the rest of the group will help you out. If the whole group is tipsy, you may be best to do some quick tricks and move on to the next lot of punters.

Very occasionally you will get one bloke (and it is invariably a bloke, not a woman) who will shout stuff out. In my experience, they are 'll mouth and no trousers' as the English saying goes. That is, they will shout out suggestions, insults or pereived witticisms, but if you ask them to come and assist you they will back down. Most times it is best to ignore a heckler because the rest of the audience will son make him feel uncomfortable enough to stop. If they don't stop, ask them to assist you - you will be surprised at how shy many of these idiots are - they may well refuse your offer and clam up.

If that fails and they want to assist, I have been known to do an appearing coin trick where they concentrate on their open palms which suddenly fill with coins. Because they were concentrating on their hands they didn't see the coins dropping out of the brim of my hat, but the rest of the crowd did. Or I disappear a hankie by hitting it twice on their hand and on the third hit it has gone. They are astounde, but the rest of the crowd saw it going over their head and behind them.

You may, of course want to use your quick wit and repartee to stun them into silence, but you don't really want to engage them in a dialogue as this can ruin your act as quickly as anything else. If you do wish to learn some good put down's one of my favourite's is "let me get on with my job. I don't come to your work and tell you how to flip burgers!" For cleverer and more invetive ideas try getting "Snappy Comebacks to Stop Hecklers" byDon A. Rickles out of the library or on Amazon.

Hope this helps
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Profile of sparks
I think two things points already made are worth repeating. One… stop the performance and make it clear to all that you are “rolling it up” because so-and-so is ruining the fun for everyone (note: ruining the fun for everyone, not ruining your performance). Two… do not take on a defeated attitude, no matter how bad you want to continue performing. As already said by others, make it clear that this is your decision and a decision easily made (i.e. it is no problem for you to just “roll-it-up”).

It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney
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Profile of JackScratch
Put the cards away and ignore her. Reaction is what she craves and if there is no method to gain it, she will leave. Take away anything she can "attack" and behave as though she does not exest. You must be extremely strong willed when doing this.
Justin Style
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Profile of Justin Style
I have Never, Ever had that happen to me and I have been performing for more than twenty years! I have performed on the mean streets of New York City, in bars, parks, subways and for all kinds of people and never once did someone treat me that way.

But, if they started something like that with me, I would just end what I was doing and walk away. Why stay and get in to a losing battle with someone. If you do, then they have won because they interrupted what you were doing and dragged you into their slum...

But I can't totally blame the other person either. I would reevaluate my self and see what could have been done differently as to not let that happen in the first place...
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Profile of mrunge
Yep...those type people just need attention. No sense in trying to argue with them. Just stop, let them be the jerks they are and start performing again when they leave.

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Profile of Edith
If people are messing with you, you can just mess around with them.... most people just want to have some fun. I always treat them like that even if they want to challenge me and are maybe trying to ruin the show....
One time the drunk birthday kid(18th birthday Smile) wanted to be funny and play the 52 pick-up game with he ended up picking them up for me... I said someting along the lines: " So is that the way how you shuffle cards? How about you pick them up so we can continue? Look, it is e a s y . Reach down, take a card and put it here... now it is your turn..."
After that one girl told me 10 min long how well I had done overall and how well I handled this situation...

Magnus Eisengrim
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A couple of things come to mind.

1. In geckguy's story, the person who interfered wasn't even part of the intended audience. She was a jerk, and there is very little geckguy can do about her, except keep his eyes wide open...

2. There is no reason to expect everyone to react to our magic the way we would like them to. I play guitar, and I know from experience that not everyone wants me to play for them, not everyone cares about music, and of those who do care about music, not everyone wants to hear the sorts of songs I play. If I walked up to people with my guitar and just started singing and playing, I would be the jerk, not them. I think the same applies to magic.

3. As several people have mentioned, choose your audience--especially if you are an amateur. The rules for working pros are a little different.

4. Like most things, you learn how to head off trouble from experience. Beginning teachers have way more discipline problems than experienced teachers because they are much more frequently taken by surprise. The same is true for performers.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Robert Apodaca
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Profile of Robert Apodaca
You will get this a lot if your perform at your school.
Andy the cardician
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Profile of Andy the cardician
Tony made a great point about using peer pressure. Try it out, it will work like a charm.
Cards never lie
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Profile of MagiClyde
Or the time someone yelled out that when I performed Fearson's floating cigarette that I did it with a magnet in my mouth. I just said. "On man. you got me. I just picked up the magnets they sell at Radio Shack". I wonder how many radio shacks that guy visited trying to find magnets that'll levitate things..

Yeah, that's right! Make sure that you mention that they are those new, special, paper magnets that all the magicians are getting these days! Of course, you'll have to show him how you "polarize" the paper to work with these special magnets! Smile

It sounds, if I'm hearing this right, like handling these situations is a matter of experience. The good responses seem to be something you can only learn over time. Developing a quick wit regarding these things takes time. If true, I have a long way to go.

One thing that I do have a problem with is that if someone knows I'm about to magic trick, they will refuse to take their eyes off my hands in an attempt to "catch me in the act". The worst are the ones who deliberately point out anything that is "out of the ordinary" during the trick, even if it's not even part of the trick. UGH!!! Smile

What really makes this bad for me is that I already have performance anxiety about performing in front of lay people and know that the only way to get over it is to DO IT! The last thing I need is someone like the people mentioned above.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
Stopping your set until the heckler stops harrassing you is the best bet.

The girl sounds like a lunatic.
She called you a fake? A fake what?
If your the type who tries to convince people that you do "real magic" then that may have set her off. It's no crime to admit it's a trick to create the illusion of magic and entertain.

Good post here:

A search for 'hecklers' and 'grabbers' should help with solutions.
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Profile of Xemm
Well Geckguy "THEY" are always out there no matter what, eventhough they are not "attack" you directly, they will saying things behind your back to make themselves look good and smart. In your case, I like what Edith say, don't let them control the situation, don't let yourself pulled into their game. I know it is hard, you have to have a high self confidence and attitude to control the crowd but, confidence came from experience and knowledge.

"They" absolutely have no interest and appreciation in magic, so they won't collect magic books, dvds and learned and practice the material as much as we(magicians)do. In my case I met a lot of these kind of people among my audience, once in my regular family meeting I have an (trying to be a smartass) uncle who continuesly comment about my card trick performance and even put up a challenge for him to shuffle the card etc. I stopped my card trick and invite him join me up in front of the family, I made him part of my performance in order to embarass him. I came up with some simple mind tricks challenge and mentalism tricks which I prepared in case this thing happened. I smoked him, even I did not finish my prepared performance, I got out the situations head up and got my appreciations.

My advice is getting prepared for this kind of situations, you can pick many impromptu tricks that can be used as get away tricks. For me Magic is not only about the tricks, is about how you represent the trick as a performance, so don't let "them" intimidate you, because you are the performer not "them".
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Profile of JackScratch
3. As several people have mentioned, choose your audience--especially if you are an amateur. The rules for working pros are a little different.

I'm afraid I disagree. I'm a working pro, and you can bet I'll bail on a person who acts like this. I would just move on to the next group. Were I performing in a theatre, on stage, I would have security remove the person.

For those who have suggested some variety of "Tet a tet". I think that's an extremely bad idea. 1 you should really restrain yourself to your scripted performance. If your special friend will not allow that, then move on. The worst possible thing you could do is make this person the center of attention or lend them credibility of any kind. Debate is the air they breathe and if you engage them, you are breathing life into them.
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