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Nathan Hastings
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Minneapolis, MN
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Well, today I did something I'm quite proud of, I performed my Ambitious Card Routine for a group of 10th graders. I don't perform as often as I should, so any performance is a good performance, as far as I'm concerned.

But lately I've been feeling off with my ACR. I don't know why, I've been performing it for months without a hitch, but as of late I've been messing up big time. Anyway, some of my angles were not so good, so one kid saw just about everything, which was bad angle management on my part. He didn't reveal anything, though.

But this one girl, after I do a nervously and quite poorly executed Bluff Pass, frickin' grabs my deck right out of my hands, despite my protests, and reveals that I've just turned over two cards as one.

And then, get this, she takes my frickin' cards and uses them to show everyone else her own card trick. It's flawless. I'm sitting there looking like an idiot. I half want to ruin the trick in the middle, just like she did to me, but the worst part is, I don't even know how she did it!

Please, has anyone else had problems with spectators grabbing your cards and revealing your trick? Is it just my nervousness and lack of showmanship that caused the suspicion?

Anyone who has anything to say about any of this, please tell me.
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
Erdnase27
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I never had it. don't let them get your cards at all . I think I would turn away or something.

As for you not knowing how she did the trick. You got me interested. Can you provide me with some more information about it:P
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
Nathan Hastings
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I honestly don't exactly know how it went, I was too busy fuming to pay attention. All I know is that at the end, the spectator named a card that turned out to be on top while the girl was shuffling.
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
criverstamu09
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You have already figured out the reason that you were caught. Work on it. As to your other problem, I suggest talking with her and seeing if she is really a magician or if she simply knows a trick. Either way, just take it in stride and practice.
"Who you are moment to moment is just a story."
Erdnase27
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Quote:
On 2007-10-02 18:08, Nathan Hastings wrote:
I honestly don't exactly know how it went, I was too busy fuming to pay attention. All I know is that at the end, the spectator named a card that turned out to be on top while the girl was shuffling.

So she was a magician?
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
Nathan Hastings
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Oh, no.
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
Mark Wilden
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After a similar experience, I'm now constantly on the alert for someone grabbing the deck.

///ark
TKE
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You have to control your audience...at times things happen out of your control. maybe this was one of those things. confidence is one of the best things to have in terms of controlling your audience. its one of those things that you cant practice...just after performing you can sort of predict people.
Dave V
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I see "wannabee" magicians on the Penguin forums who claim that if they were to encounter a magician that (in their own "not so humble" opinion) isn't as good as they are, that they'd do something like the girl did to you. I don't like it, and I tell them so but it seems to be part of their "game" to try and boost their own self confidence by tearing down others around them. Hopefully they'll grow out of it.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Father Photius
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We all have bad days, weeks, months. Just keep practicing, but maybe you are over practicing. Often over practice can make you sloppy. You get over confident. Try to practice more periodically. That is go through the routine, then set the cards down a while before going through it again. Make each start a cold start. Take a day or two off from parcticing it, then come back and do it, etc.
Learning to control the audience is a part of magic, some comes with experience, some can be learned from books and other magicians. But I found in such close up situations the best thing to do is maintain an "engagement distance" or the mai of martial arts from any one person you are doing the trick for. Basically an engage distance is the distance between your toes and the top of your head. You should be a minimum of that distance from the other person, then take at least a quarter step back from that. When you are at engagement distance or closer a martial artist can attack an opponent or be attacked fast enough that the there is not time for defensive reaction. But just beyond engagement distance (the reason for a quarter step back) it is impossible to be attacked without having time to respond. Thus at that distance they can't get their hands on your props before you can react to defend.
Besides that, be like the old poker adage and keep your cards close to the vest. Hold the cards close to your body midline about the height of your solar plexis, you are strongest there and very hard to get them away from you.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Nathan Hastings
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Great tips, photius, I'm sure I would have had more control if I hadn't been sitting at a desk. And come to think of it, my angles would have been better if I was standing.....
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
Andy the cardician
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Kids and youngsters have a lower threshold of grabbing and exposing. When I am performing for this group - I am always on alert.

back to the poster - s@@t happens. Get over it and back to the drawingboard. If you mess up, you are not good enough. You had your lesson - so take the learning seroiusly.
Cards never lie
The Amazing Noobini
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I would never ever consider performing for an entire group of 10th graders. One 10th grader, yes, if he or she was in a plexiglass cell like in Silence of The Lambs. But a group of them...

That could be considered an extreme sport rather than magic. Those animals will eat you alive. One might also get lost in the thick fog of hormones surrounding them. Escape could be difficult. No... better to work under conditions where you have some chance of being in control. Not with that age group. Unless you show up dressed in a nice new shark cage.
"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)
JamesTong
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Eternal Order
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These are learning experiences we all go through and we get better each time (provided we learn from it).

Learn to control your body movements with your hands and legs - gesturing, turning your body, stepping backwards, etc. These movements will help you prevent the items from being taken from you easily. This is easier done when you are standing and you have more room to manouver. When the audience are standing and you are sitting down, you are in a much more victimised position and any form ofheckling will really work against you.
rowdymagi5
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Some good advice here! Chalk it up as a learning experience, try not to get discouraged.
Brad Burt
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Nathan:

The very first lesson in my Mini Magic Course is on exactly this subject! Check it out. At worst you read the first one and then cancel, no biggie.

I remember when I was originally putting the 24 lesson course together (supposed to be only 8, but I just couldn't stop!) I was looking for the one thing that proved a problem for folks over the years and that reoccurred as a question of "What do I do?"

Audience Proximity and control just popped out at me...and, it IS a real problem not just for the relative tyro, but for many times for the pro as well. The difference is that the pro has had more experience in working out ways for it NOT to be a problem and that's what I share in Lesson #1. Best regards,
Brad Burt
Mark Wilden
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On the other hand, my son performs for 10th graders all the time (seeing as how he's a 10th grader himself). He's got horror stories, but he's learned how to handle his audiences.

///ark
Andy the cardician
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Running with the wolves is sometimes a valuable lesson
Cards never lie
Andre Hagen
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"I don't perform as often as I should, so any performance is a good performance, as far as I'm concerned."

Not true, especially since you already knew your ACR was feeling "off" to you.

Did the group ask you to perform, or did you ask them if they wanted to see a card trick? If the latter then you set yourself up in a "see if you can catch me" scenario.

Many of the greats (Malini and Slydini to name a few) would not perform unless the moment, the conditions and the audience was ideal.

In working restaurants I didn't have that choice, so to diffuse the confrontational "I can do something you can't do" attitude, I would begin by saying "Would you like to see something very strange?" or "This is really weird, watch!"

As for the girl, too bad you didn't have Jim Pace's The Web handy.

Andy
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein
Dizzy
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If she hadn't done it to you, she would have done it to someone else and even the best of us see effects which fry us, we learn new things everyday.


Please, please don't let this lower your confidence, it was always going to happen and from the advice given by the other members, it shouldn't stress you out as much. It happens to the best of people. Have a search for hecklers lines in the Café, as long as they are funny and not offensive, then you'll get the last laugh. Godd luck and keep smiling kiddo,

Smile


Diane
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