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Tony Thomas
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Does anyone have any lines that can save you in a moment when something has gone terribly wrong. For instance...
"Here I am folks, once again demonstrating that I am a really nice guy... a bad magician, but a nice guy."

Others? Anyone?
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stoneunhinged
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I don't like it. Never say you're bad at anything, even if you are and you know it, unless your character is supposed to be bad.

One time on stage (I was, however, playing music and not performing magic) I (or my partner Smile--who cares?) screwed up so badly that it was doing more harm than good to continue. I signaled to stop. Then I said to the audience (but in German, so this is a loose translation):

"Hey, THAT sucked! What does everyone think? Should we start over or go on to the next song?"

Everyone voted that we start over. And we did and all was OK.

Of course, magic might be different.
Chappo
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I dunno... I think it's better to defuse a situation with whatever line is appropriate.

Personally, I think Tony's line is excellent. If you've smashed out some fantastic effects prior to the mistake and absolutely flabbergasted your spectators, they KNOW that you aren't crap. They will just enjoy the laugh. Smile As long as you quickly move on to the next part of the routine/a different effect, no one will really give a stuff. Once again, it comes down to the philosophy that magic is not magic. It's a portrayal of incredible illusions. Most people are out to have fun. I constantly rave about the spectator-magi relationship. It should be a dynamic equilibrium between a funny magic performer dude and spectator, NOT a smart-arse-out-to-prove-everyone-is-an-idiot and spectator relationship.

Just my 2 cents. Smile I certainly know that people will disagree with this, as there are a couple of exceptions to the above statement
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
magicgeorge
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*#$&!
fxdude
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I like Tony's line. I know I've heard a few others, I'll have to see if I can remember them.
magic4u02
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I always have some minor or fuinny thing happen in the course of a show. Murphy's law just can not be controlled no matter how prepared you think you are. I always use this line and it gets a lot of laughs for certain situations.

For example. I will be done a trick and go and pick up a box or prop and accidentially drop it or it slips out of my hands. I look at the audience.....stare at audience.... look at prop on floor.. then say "Yes folks I can saw a woman in half, float a kid on the edge of a chair but I can't hold on to a pack of playing cards."

It usually gets a really nice laugh and it shows the audience that you are aware of the situation and in some cases they think it was all planned as part of the routine.

Kyle
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stoneunhinged
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Quote:
On 2008-04-29 08:09, Chappo wrote:
Once again, it comes down to the philosophy that magic is not magic.


If not magic, what is it?

I've been having a lot of problems with this "philosophy" lately. But that belongs in another forum.

I like MagicGeorge's suggestion the best. Just move on.

There is, buried somewhere deep in the Café, a post by someone who saw Ricky Jay blow an effect. According to the story, he actually reset his stack in front of the audience and went on. Yes, it's audacious. Yes, he's Ricky Jay and we're not. But any clever line shatters an illusion, in my opinion, that it is best not to shatter.

Of course, if someone has a truly funny line that serves, then I'll be *very* fast to admit I'm wrong. But the "nice guy bad magician" line just doesn't do it for me.

Jeff
magic4u02
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I think it also comes down to your own style and personality as well. I love improving and adding comedy to the magic I do. Part of my style is a very light-hearted approach where I do not always take myself so seriously. if I have a helper on stage and I drop something or something goes subtly wrong, I use it to my advantage and I improv off the situation. In many cases this has resulted in some of the funniest acts I have done. So much so that if it does happen and the audience likes it, I make it a point to try and see if I can cause it to happen every show.

Kyle
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Father Photius
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What has always worked for me was saying "We will all now pause for a moment of silent prayer for this trick which just died", then bow you head, the longer you keep your head bowed the louder and longer the laugh you get.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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If I drop a prop or cards, I usually just stare at the prop on the ground and say "looks like we'll skip that one" and substitute it with something else. It gets a relatively good laugh, and leaves the people thinking what the hell was he going to do? It works for me anyway.

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Tony Thomas
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Thanks for the comments so far. Stoneunhinged, for the record, I don't like the line much myself. I started the thread because I have found myself twice in a situation of needing such a line. Hate to admit it, but it's true, "I messed up". So, I was thinking, maybe I could have recovered better. Just moving on is certainly one option, but if it is a situation where everyone knows you messed up. Like, you knock something over, or a card trick doesn't work (maybe the stacked deck wasn't reset correctly), what do you do?
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Chappo
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Quote:
On 2008-04-29 13:52, photius wrote:
What has always worked for me was saying "We will all now pause for a moment of silent prayer for this trick which just died", then bow you head, the longer you keep your head bowed the louder and longer the laugh you get.


That is fantastic Photius. Smile

Quote:
If magic isn't magic.... what is it


Precisely what I said before. An ingenious presentation of a sleight of hand and illusions. It isn't magic, it just seems to be. Hence the term 'magic'. Smile Otherwise we'd have 168 year old witches trundling around the local bars with their cauldrons performing roving gigs. Smile
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
Jerskin
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I throw down the mic and storm off the stage...
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
Chappo
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Genius, Jerskin. Pure genius. LOL
The rules of a sleight of hand artist, Are three, and all others are vain,

The 1st & the 2nd are practice... And the 3rd one is practice again


- 'Magic of the Hands', Edward Victor (1940)
Eric Lott
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I had a recent show where one thing went wrong and it was quite embarrassing. As I left, I said "As you're cleaning up tonight, if anyone finds my dignity could you please send it back to me? Thanks!"
ERIC
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Well isn't that special....For my next trick....
Tony Thomas
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Quote:
"Yes folks I can saw a woman in half, float a kid on the edge of a chair but I can't hold on to a pack of playing cards."
Kyle


Quote:
On 2008-04-30 17:00, ERIC wrote:
Well isn't that special....For my next trick....
Eric


These are my favorites so far! Nice job guys. I think being able to handle a problem well is one of the things that seperates a pro from an amateur. Another thing that seperates a pro of course is eliminating the problems altogether, but one step at a time, right...
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Tony Thomas

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Tony Thomas
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Quote:
"We will all now pause for a moment of silent prayer for this trick which just died".
Photius


Woops, I liked this one two. Being a Pastor, this one will especially work for me. Thanks Photius. Keep the ideas coming...
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Tony Thomas

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Magicmike1949
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There's a lengthy thread on this topic under the Café heading "The Words We Use"
ERIC
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Quote:
On 2008-04-30 22:02, Tony Thomas wrote:
I think being able to handle a problem well is one of the things that seperates a pro from an amateur. Another thing that seperates a pro of course is eliminating the problems altogether, but one step at a time, right...


When Lance Burton came out to Atlantic City a couple of years ago, there was a MAJOR flash during the duck productions, so even the big pros have the occasional problem. Stuff happens.
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