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Kathryn Novak
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Maybe we should be a little more strict about keeping the posts in a thread on topic. I've also noticed that they seem to evolve into something entirely different down the line. Smile

Of course, my above post has nothing to do with the original topic. Come to think of it, neither does this post. I feel like a hypocrite now. Smile
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Oh GREAT! Now you've got us ALL writing off-topic posts, Raven.....
Kathryn Novak
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At least that's better than getting you all to post the same post twice. Smile
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Larry Davidson
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Posting twice is just wrong. Posting twice is just wrong.
Adam V
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In the book "Carter Beats the Devil" Carter would ask for the most intelligent person in the room to raise their hand.
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
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Profile of vernon
Sad, sad, sad...I reckon we've all got too much time on our hands...Seriously, though, some very funny ideas for eliciting the assistance of a spectator. Humorous or otherwise, I agree with the basic idea of treating the spectator with respect, and if it is possible to whisper an aside that all will be okay, they'll feel more comfortable.

I don't know if this is of use, but once you have mentally selected the person you are going to have on stage, do not take no for an answer, as it can have a domino effect, in that if your original choice refuses so will the next spectator if you move directly onto them, making you look unprofessional and desparate.

But if this happens close the show forthwith and blame it on the unsuspecting person that didn't help...then take up gardening...

Sid Mayer
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Okay, the original post did say "adults" but in keeping with the widespread tendency to stray off post...

If you're working for kids...

"OK, I need someone to help me with my next trick."

You should get a chorus of "me, me, me."
If you don't, take away their ritalin.
If you do, and you will...

"Alright, who said 'me' first?"

This time they'll all shout "me, me."

"Very well, who said 'me' last?"

Play off the reaction. Then pick the one you wanted in the first place.

Sid Smile Smile Smile
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
Kathryn Novak
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An easy way to get over the above mentioned situation with the spec that won't help: Promise them $100.00 if they agree to come up on stage and help. This is a sure fire way to get them to come up and do whatever it is you need them to do. At the end when they ask for the $100.00, say something like: "Did I say $100.00? I meant $1.00..." And do a bill switch. Let them have the $1.00. Smile
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Simon Williams
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Do you NEED to do effects where a spectator is required on stage? I have a general rule not to bring spectators up. Use spectators, but where they are.

At the beginning of the show I tell everyone I will not be embarrassing anyone, etc. You can often see the look of relief on people's faces! What have some performers put them through?

Having said that, there is sometimes the need to bring someone up. I simply reassure them I won't embarrass them. We can have fun and a laugh but not hurtfully. Wouldn't it be great if our audiences said "I wish s/he chose me," rather than "I'm glad s/he didn't"?
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Profile of Dynamike
Ask an adult a simple question, (a good magic word). Whatever answer they give you, tell them they won a free ticket to have a exciting time. Have them come up to get the ticket they've won.
Darrin Cook
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Simon makes a good point --you first need to limit the number of people you have on stage. Audience participation routines can be a blast --but they can also kill an act.

You need to have a portion of your act that works without anyone else's assistance. Here you should establish your competence and a personality that is not likely to abuse audience volunteers.

The next step is also (as Simon mentions) to involve volunteers, but in such a way that they only need to answer a question, or say the name of a card, and never leave their seats.

If you have demonstrated competence and have been courteous in your treatment of volunteers operating from the relative safety
of their seats, you are then more likely to get people to come up on stage. I try to screen these people in advance, looking for people who are clearly having fun. Here I must also echo someone else's advice --don't choose the woman who is too good looking.

If I call someone to come up and he balks, it is no doubt because he is unsure of, and therefore afraid of, what will happen. I allay those fears by telling him what will happen. "Hey, I just need you to choose a card for me. No one gets embarrassed. We're here to have fun."
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Sometimes some of my volunteers are not sure if they want to come up to help me. And I do not care much if they do. (Well, I do)
But what I do care about is that in the end, they are happy they did.

I know the original was about a humorous way to bring a volunteer on stage, but my funny ones are silent ones. Sorry.. Smile
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LOL, peter that's great.. drunk children... anyway... I recently went to a lecture by Andy Nyman.. he suggested the following.. look directly at the person you want to come on stage.. describe them a little bit.. point right at them and say everyone give him a big round of applause as he comes up! At the up in his speech he tilts his head to the left and starts clapping himself.. they can't refuse now since they already got the applause going.
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
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I think thats a great idea Ben-Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
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Profile of mforteath
This thread has really become something! Its a game of Chinese whisper. I tend to say very little during my routines, which are all to selected music, so I often just point nicely to an audience member, and whisper to them, would you like to help me with this? So far so good! Mark.
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Profile of sdgiu
How about asking "who would like to make $500.00 for 5 minutes of work."
Hands should go up all over.
Pick one and get them up on stage.

Do the polite "ask them their name, etc... polite small talk for a minute or so," and then say "so you'd like to make $500.00 for 5 minutes of work eh?"

Usually a Yes is obtained, to which you reply (in the spirit of Groucho) Smile
"Well so would I." (stop there or possibly add "Do you know how we can do it?" do you have a gun and a couple of ski masks on you, etc...)

Then procede to whatever you got them on stage for.

I agree that you should be nice to your Volunteers, but I don't think getting them up on stage by nefarious Smile means is wrong.

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Steve Smile
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When I need a volunteer, I ask if he/she could stand up. Then I ask, can you put your left foot forward - now your right foot - now left again - right - left - right etc. until they are near the stage.
Ellen Kotzin
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If you are in a straightjacket ask for someone to come up and sratch your back, nose etc...

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If you are looking for a great audience participation trick for adults or children, check out David Acer's Party of Six. It is a great routine, worth the price Smile
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Profile of ClodAppleleft
I work ren-faire's, and the majority of the people that attend my show know that I do a lot of audience participation. I tend to bring up kids a lot, and they are always eager, but I have two tricks that require adults, one is a mentalist trick which I always bring a guy up and the other one is sword thru the neck, which I always bring a woman up for. What I tend to do is ask for an adult volunteer. Based on people's reactions, I pick my mark. I then walk out into the audience, and start to describe the person to the most intricate detail I can come up with.

When I'm done, I'm standing right next to the person, and I say, "Sir (or miss) you look exactly like the person I need. Everyone give this person a round of applause." and then I drag them up on stage. I have yet to have a problem with it.

One time, I asked for a volunteer, and a guy raised his girlfriends hand. The girl was rather attractive, and I described her in a very flattering way (beautiful eyes, pretty face, etc. etc.) stood next to her and then said, "M'Lady, you are exactly the type of woman I am looking for, unfortunately for this trick I need a pesky, dorky looking man" looked at her boyfriend, and said, "you sir, come up on stage." Everyone laughed and I brought the guy up on stage. She gave me a $10.00 tip at the end of my show.

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