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Profile of punxtron12
I'm sometimes practicing new magic on my 10 year old brother and some other family members and there friends. Sometimes I get someone that says "it was in your hand" or "You have a thread attached to your hand", when I really don't . I know my performance must need work. I was just wanting to know what is somethings I could say other than "no there was nothing in my hand","there is nothing attached to my hands" or It was magic or something supernatural. I've thought some other things to say. I just would like to know what others say when this comes up.
Thank you
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Inner circle
Chattanooga, TN
1909 Posts

Profile of DWRackley
It may not be so much that your performance needs work, especially if they’re guessing WRONG. But it does sound like a case of over-familiarity. (“A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.” - Mat 13:57)

Maybe you should have something for them to find, something really ridiculous. I was going through George B. Anderson’s “Magic Digest” for about the hundredth time, and read a story (just last night actually) about a conversation he had with Laurie Ireland about “a kind of thread that would be really invisible to the human eye.” Laurie showed him some tricks and he couldn’t see anything. Then Laurie laughed and showed him the common white twine he’d been using, always keeping it hidden by a series of clever moves.

If your young audience is looking at the other hand, have some fake dog poo palmed there. If they’re looking for thread, pull out a bright yellow rope. Something up your sleeve? Reach in and pull out a mousetrap.

You might not need to say anything at all other than “You’re right!”
...what if I could read your mind?

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Harrisburg, PA
1432 Posts

Profile of mmreed
Showing your hands clean before and after is strong. People familiar with magic often toss out what items seem logical. If you moved or levitated something, and they are aware of what invisible thread or loops are, it clicks in their head as the reason.

The key is to not share the methods with them if you use them for practice. It sounds as if over the past, they have become aware of how you have done things...

Also - DW is dead on - if they expect something in your hand - give them something... something that will baffle and puzzle them.

One big tip - video tape yourself. Study yourself from the other side of the view.
Do this BEFORE you perform for others. Looks for flashes, weak spots, areas for tweaking, ect... Video cams are dirt cheap these days.

Lastly - make the performance stronger than the effect. A good magician can take a dull boring prop such as a ball and vase and make it an entertaining miracle.

Its not what the effect does... its what you do and say that makes things a miracle.
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
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Profile of stijnhommes
It seems they're trying to figure out a puzzle rather than be entertained by the magic. Unless you specifically asked them to find mistakes while you practice, you might want to see if you could improve on presentation rather than moves. Of course, some people simply don't like magic.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
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Profile of Mr. Mystoffelees
I agree that it is likely a presentation issue, combined with familiarity. One thing for sure, it is not good for specs to walk away thinking they know how an effect is done, even if they're wrong...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
If there's nothing in your hand you could say, "You're right. Watch it disappear!" and make a magic gesture and show the hand empty.
The Burnaby Kid
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St. John's, Canada
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Profile of The Burnaby Kid
Don't perform for family members.
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Port Orchard, Washington
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Profile of Metatron
I think this will go away after your skill level increases and presentation style improves. Part of it is (as previously stated) is that your spectators know you. Part of it may be how you present it.

If a magician presents an effect as a Puzzle to be figured out, it almost forces the spectators to offer some kind of explanation. If the effect is presented more as an entertainment peice the challenge of figuring it out is lessened.

Routining a few effects together can also lessen the 'you did it this way' attitude. One effect is finished, slight pause for astonishment to set in, on to the next effect forcing the spectators to now concentrate on the new presentation instead of offering their explanations.

Don't worry to much about it, just keep performing and practicing, and this will happen less and less.

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Is the number you're thinking of...
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Profile of elimagic
I completely agree. I perform all my new effects first to my family. Sometimes I ask them to look for any issues, flashes, mistakes, ect
Although performing for family all the time, they aren't as "amazed" so to speak anymore, simply for the fact that they have grown used to the wow factor. Family members in my opinion if you have grown up showing them tricks and bouncing them off of them, should be used as just another set of eyes to spot potential issues, not as spectators. So do not be dismayed if family is not giving the reactions you are seeking.
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Puerto Rico
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Profile of Hansel
On 2010-01-31 13:06, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Don't perform for family members.

I Agree!
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Profile of punxtron12
Thank you all so much for the tips.
I just get where I want to show my family that my time is not being wasted. Some of them think it is.I just reunited with magic a year ago. I ended up drifting away from it when I was younger. My parents always told me I was had OCD or I was becoming to obsessed with magic. They thought I was wasting my time. I love magical arts I will never give up now.
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Yuma, AZ
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Profile of Ed_Millis
The other bad thing is showing a 10 year old, *especially* your little brother! To them, it's a competition thing. Most kids in that stage of life feel they must not be fooled or they are stupid. And a little brother has spent his whole life trying to prove that he's just as big as you.

Presentation will be a big help: either present a story that draws them in or give them so much fun they don't care how the magic happened.

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Profile of punxtron12
Well it's not the reactions from only kids . I get some of the same reactions from adults at times to.
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Profile of Flyswatter
Although I tried to not present any half arsed routines/new magic goodies to family, friends, girlfriends, who else can help me as in improving my act? There are no fellow magicians in my area/college to my knowledge.
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Yuma, AZ
2286 Posts

Profile of Ed_Millis
If you can manage to find one or two friends to help you critique a routine or move, you have found a great treasure. For a complete act, see if you can find a group, club, venue, etc. - maybe Kiwanis, Rotary, local library, whatever, depending on the make-up of your complete act.

Do not forget that a video camera can be your most reliable and merciless friend. One idea I've had, but no pushed forward, is to schedule with the local high school drama coach - see if you can come in during an advanced class and have the students critique you.

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Profile of scaevola
Volunteer. that's my advice. Find a library, a hospital, a retirement center, a day care, maybe you owe someone a favor. Get creative and figure out a place you can volunteer to do some magic at. When you volunteer, everyone likes you before you start! There's no stress because it doesn't really matter all that much if you suck! (of course you will want to get better...) Volunteer gigs have led to paid gigs for me and best of all, I get real honest helpful feedback from doing volunteer gigs.
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Profile of funsway
I was taught by mentors more than 50 years ago that in any show of more than 30 minutes that you must show yourself "to be human." Some in the "More Perfect Theory" camp feel this means deliberately flubbing a trick. For other it means performing a trick that is entertaining but not designed to fool anyone -- like Ball & Vase.

I prefer to let a spectator "get the better of me" or even pretend that a trick didn't work so that magic can save me. Whatever ...

the point is that some spectators need to go away thinking they figures out a trick. Others will be pleased to learn something, so give-away might be in order. (I use Adair's Butterfly) Some people may become afraid if your magic is too overwhelming. You can't control what the spectator's might think, but can control your reaction to "other than desired" feedback. Thank them sincerely for helping you be a better magician and a better person -- then come up with a routine so magically compelling that no one dare interrupt or detract from the shared awe and wonder.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Profile of HerbLarry
Seeing how it's just family try:
"Sit down, shut up, and just cause you think you know all the in's & out's doesn't give you the right to spoil the show for everyone else."
They will be surprised and one of two things will happen, one good the other bad but you will never know until you try.
You know why don't act naive.
Brad Burt
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Profile of Brad Burt
No matter what they say, agree. Seriously, it throws them off and you can NOT win such arguments. You say, "No I don't." and they say, "Yes, you do." How do you win that? So just agree and go on.

Now....that said....what you MUST do later is sit down and go over what you did in the performance. What did 'they' do? Where did they look, how did they act?

You HAVE TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE PLACE OF THE AUDIENCE, kind of like a profiler trying to find a serial killer. WHY did they suspect 'X' and HOW do you change your performance so that you eliminate the problem in the future?

You try things and see how they work tweeking continuously until you work out the correct combination, staying flexible enough so that with experience you KNOW how to change things slightly to fit some unexpected situation.

Brad Burt
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Profile of Vick
Sounds like practice, presentation and familiarity issues

You could be performing effects before you are really ready

Once you are comfortable with the effect think about the presentation,
If possible make it so your presentation takes away all possible (or at least easily reached) solutions

Example - floating a card or other object with IT, pass your hand everywhere around the object in a not too obvious fashion or on the very obvious road take the spectators hand and pass their hand over and around - whatever fits you best

Or at the other far end of the spectrum maybe you are frying their brains so hard they have to come up with a plausible explanation to keep from going insane thinking you have real powers
- It's probably the competition issue with your brother, you are his brother, there is no way he is going to allow you to be that cool to be able to do something he can't understand
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