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Profile of VMC_Alex
What do you do when you ask for a spectator's help, and you ask who wants to help and no one really wants to? Smile
Reg Rozee
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Vancouver, Canada
592 Posts

Profile of Reg Rozee
I ran into this once and substituted the effect I was going to do with a comedy bit masquerading as a trick. When I asked again for a volunteer and no one replied, I answered myself in another voice. I worked in a bit of by-play:
"Now we've never met before, have we?"
"I don't know, I seem awfully familiar to me..."

Then I fanned the deck, turned my head, and asked myself to pick a card, which I did. "Now look at it, but don't tell me what it is..." I turned my head back and looked at the card, and in the other voice I said "Okaaay..." with a real doubtful note.

Then I turned my head back away, switched voices, and got myself to show everyone else the card, the whole time keeping my head turned away, even shielding my eyes with my hands. Then I put the card face down on the table, turned to face the audience again, and slowly and painfully deduced the card, something like:
"OK, I think I see's dark, it must be a black card, no wait it's red but it looks black because it's in the dark...I think it may be a face card, no, no, what I mean is it's face down...<etc.>"

Then with a grandiose gesture and a little "tah-dah!" I announce the card's identity and flip it over, topping it off with a smug grin and a little bow. When I asked "Now, who wants to help me with the next one?", I did get volunteers. Not sure why though... Smile

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick

Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
Donovan Deschner
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
24 Posts

Profile of Donovan Deschner
People are rarely willing to volunteer in my stage shows. There is a rampant fear of stage time in most people, so volunteering to get up on stage is a scary thing. In fact, I tend to ignore those people who anxiously stick up their hands— I find that they try to upstage me.

So I never ask for volunteers, I select them and ask them to join me on stage. I try to make them focus on me, not on the audience. This way they feel as though I am in control and they are not required to perform, just to help out. Most people are afraid of looking foolish, not necessarily of being on stage, so if I can assure them with my actions and words that I am there to protect them, then they are willing to come up on stage.

I have audience volunteers absolutely refuse— fine, I move on to someone else and usually try to make a joke of it. The danger in moving on is that it gives the audience member control of the situation over the performer, that attitude can spread amongst audience members when they see one defiant individual. But I would rather have a willing participant than a freaked out participant.

Hope this helps,
Donovan L Deschner
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