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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How do you approach people cold? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I use puppets (with out words) at the start of strolling events. These have ranged from fairs, corporate to artsy places like museums.

Many times there was live music. The music has also a wide range, from rag time piano to classical harp.(not the harp I call the harmonica)

My marionettes can dance from hip hop to jazz. After I establish my self with the puppets it is easy to transition to a sleight of hand routine. (also to the music, or with patter if it works for the particular venue.


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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PenEnpitsu
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Like previously posted, if I wanted to show magic to a stranger, I would treat it as a cold approach. Just say hi and get to know the person. If you are too nervous about running out of things to say, you could use the no-fail "That's a cute dress/necklace/hairstyle/watch, isn't it?" (to the girls) or comment about something in the immediate environment that you find interesting. Follow up with finding out about them, and when there is a lull in the conversation, you could light a piece of flash paper and throw it in the air. That'll get them to ask you "wtf did you just do?" and you can transition into your next trick there.

Oh and I wanted to add, if you ever questioned whether doing something to another person is acceptable, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel afterwards? Use that judgement to guide your decisions. Never do anything that would

1) lower their regards towards magic, or think less of magicians (don't tell them the secret no matter what)
2) demonstrate lower value to either party (reflect badly on yourself or them)
3) cause physical harm (don't light the flash paper next to people who are obviously using hair product)

Pay special attention to rule #3 because violating that guideline may get you arrested.

By getting to know the individual you can get general idea of their personality and whether they would be receptive to seeing cool stuff (but do you really know anyone who wouldn't like to see magic?). You could also theoretically use what you know about them to determine what kind of magic they would like to see. Cold reading practice, if you will Smile
Cyberqat
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Btw... if you have the balls for it, on "The Machurian Approach" Anthony Jacquin suggest a fromula he got from a soo called "speed seduction" expert:

(1) Compliment. And something someone would like to hear. (Hint: Avoid physical compliments, Telling a beautiful women she is isn't likely to do you much. She knows that. OTOH complimenting her sense of style or her laugh is a lot more likely to be effective.)

(2) Introduce. Tell them your name and that you are a magician.

(3) Ask a question. "Have you seen any famous magicians?" Something like that. "Do you like magic?" is probably too obvious a come on. Youw ant to strat a conversation, not give them a simpel out to end it.

Again this takes the ability to front supreme confidence, and that's not the same as over-confidence. if you don't have it, its better to let people come to you.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
CRMagius
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I'll agree with the overall theme here, approaching people is to be done with care IF it is done at all. Better than approaching is to create for the spectator, an invitation to approach YOU.

As a beginner, of several months, here is what I do:

I take a seat at a table in my favourite pub, choosing a seat that I can easily cover my bad angles from. I then roll out a mat and start "practicing"/flourishing.

Having both the mat and cards in front of me, in addition to just a pint, tends to be enough to attract the notice of anyone open to seeing some magic, and I then go from there. There is a particularly good table there that is in a little darkened niche (sense of mystery) right next to a high traffic area. I'll also leave the tuck box and card clip at the corner of the mat, but it is the mat itself that seems to make the difference. I don't catch half as many "victims" when I don't have it.

One thing I have noticed, which may be an artifact of my locale, is that men and women approach me differently. The girls almost always start with, "Are you a magician?", which gets the performance off to a flying start - (My pat answer is "Yes, and I have the magic wand to prove it! Oh you want to see it? Sorry it's in my underpants.. I MEAN OTHER.. My Other pants.." Always gets a laugh.) The guys, on the other hand, always start with something like, "Hey, why are you playing cards by yourself?" It's more work leading into the performance from this, but I can usually get a really good reaction, as they're less expecting to see a trick.

If you're going to do bars/pubs, though, you have to be able to guage how drunk people are. A little can help, more will not - A drunkie will forget their card 4 out of 5 times and CANNOT follow instruction.
leantransform
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I have been in magic for only 21 months, and have a few effects I am comfortable with thanks to working with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and most recently Mario Morris. I was at dinner the other night practicing an effect and the waiter asked me "Are you a magician,can you show me a trick?" I was happy to show him a quick mentalism effect and after a color change, which wowed him. He then proceeded to ask to show me a card trick. I have had many people ask me to show them tricks when I travel, when they ask what you do and you mention you are also a magician. I try to carry simple effects like string through finger or bullet proof self working effects to build confidence, and only do what I know I can. Most important thing I found is to smile and have fun!
Roger Chen
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Magic at the right time, can bring you unexpected things such as:
1.better service
2. complimentary items (free)


Of course some choose to only do magic when they are being paid in cash.
There are other things of value to be obtained from using our talents.

Harris
still 2 old to know everything.....
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Cyberqat
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I will sometimes slip on my PK ring and practice silveware manipulation while waiting for my meal in a resteraunt. It gives me a chance to play with slightly different configurations then I have at home. (eg knife on salt shaker, etc)

Ive often gotten smiles from wait staff though only one actually walked up and asked what I was doing.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
acesover
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I am not going to give a lot of theory here or why this or that. Just something I have used and it works very well. It is the same technique I use for my small mentalist act. Difference being in the act I just come out and say "Think of a number between 1 an 100" while pointing at one person. This is not my idea but rather that from the great Richard Osterlind.

Here goes the approach:

Excuse me, but would you please think of a number between 1 and 100 and tell me what it is? (They may look at you strange and say what.) But it is a very non threatening approach and I have not yet been refused (I have only done this at gatherings and not on the street). I am sure if I do it often enough I will be rejected and forever damaged. Smile

NAIL WRITER...If you are quick with a nail writer just say , "I thought so" and hand it to them. If you need a little time the old "is there any reason you chose that number" and hand it to them, or "did you say "xx"? Then hand it to them. While this works for me you have should understand that I do not really approach strangers. This is done in a party atmosphere or a gathering of some sort, wedding etc. However I believe it will work when approaching total strangers on the street. But this is a guess on my part. No matter what approach you use you do need a set of round things to approach total strangers and possiibly be rejected.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
Medortho
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Yes, care is important on a normal approach. But why not go into conversation in a guerilla type of way. Do something impossible quite casually before their eyes (best in a way it doesn't even seem on purpose). Make an object disappear or float. They'll get interested and ask you about it. Then you can tell them about whatever, lead to a trick, etc... In the end it'll seem to them as if they'd approached you.
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Just want to let you guys know I'm really enjoying this thread and pulling a lot from it. Thank you all
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