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nickanap
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After I perform tricks people will say "Lemme see your deck or cards!" or "Lemme hold that!" in a rude aggressive manner. If I let them examine it, it reveals the secret.
Does anybody know any techniques that will work when refusing to let a spectator examnine something?
*Mark Lewis*
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If you are working impromptu then you must let them examine it if they want otherwise they will think they have defeated you. That means you either have to work with an ordinary deck of find a way to let the trick deck be examined. And there are ways. I just don't have time to describe them.

If you are working professionally it is a different ball game. You can't let people examine things as it slows up the show. Again there are ways to avoid this problem but I have no energy to explain them. Wait until I am in a good mood. It does happen on the very odd occasion.
Rectify
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Work on some impromptu tricks that don't require gimmicks, or move on to another trick. When they ask if you can show them, just say "How about I show you something better?" and move along. Most times that will be enough to get the heat off of your previous gaffs or gimmicks.
Opine Traveler
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Quote:
If you are working professionally it is a different ball game. You can't let people examine things as it slows up the show.


nickanap, this actually depends a great deal on what kind of show it is, where you're working, and who you're working for. A stage or platform show is less vulnerable to these kinds of requests than, say, table-hopping close up.

First, realize that not everyone who presents you with a challenging request is a heckler. In fact, probably very few of them are. Given what you just did for them, asking to see the deck may be a perfectly reasonable request, even if you think it's asked rudely. The further into the close-up venue you delve, the more you're going to get these kinds of requests. The idea isn't to keep them from happening, but managing them so they become a good part of your act and actually help things rather than hinder them. This will likely come with experience, but only after you change your perspective about your audience.

Good luck.
*Mark Lewis*
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If you are table hopping close up and you have time you can let them examine the deck. But you are better off not bothering. If you present your magic with an air of authority they won't bother asking. If they ask it is difficult to refuse. The trick is knowing how to manipulate people so they don't ask in the first place.

As to heckling generally I can give very thorough advice on this based on experience. I may do so if I feel the urge.
Opine Traveler
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It can also be an opportunity for more magic. If someone asks, palm off some cards as you say, "Sure," and hand them the pack. As soon as he takes it, produce cards from various pockets as you say, "Don't forget this one...and this one...or this one...you might want this one, too...hey, wait a minute! Let me see that deck again!" take the pack back, immediately palm off more cards and spread the deck face up on the table. Reach behind the spectator's arm or inside his jacket and come out with a fan, saying, "I thought so!"

Not everything has to be a problem.
j100taylor
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Quote:
On 2011-06-24 08:06, Opine Traveler wrote:
It can also be an opportunity for more magic. If someone asks, palm off some cards as you say, "Sure," and hand them the pack. As soon as he takes it, produce cards from various pockets as you say, "Don't forget this one...and this one...or this one...you might want this one, too...hey, wait a minute! Let me see that deck again!" take the pack back, immediately palm off more cards and spread the deck face up on the table. Reach behind the spectator's arm or inside his jacket and come out with a fan, saying, "I thought so!"



Hah - I like that...
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Opine Traveler
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I'll also say, nickanap, that Mark has a good point about carrying the magic in such a way that people feel less of a need to ask such questions (although from time to time, they will still arise). He refers to having a sense of authority, which I agree with, but caution against confusing authority with being authoritarian. Perhaps suggesting that you develop a sense of command would be better.

There are also ways to arrange your routines so that information is given to the spectators along the way that answer these questions before they arise. A person would be far less inclined to ask to see the deck if they feel they've seen the deck adequately already, just through the course of the routine. So, maybe there's something about the routines you're doing that don't give enough of an impression of fairness.

If the question does arise, refusing could be seen as a sign of weakness. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why are you hiding? On the other hand, there ARE ways to decline a request that can be humorous while still maintaining your sense of command. Finding the ways that work for you will take a lot of thought augmented by experience.

And as already said, actually letting them examine something doesn't have to be a problem in itself, because there are ways to keep the magic rolling. Those times can become part of your act rather than an obstacle to it.

Please allow me to re-emphasize that it doesn't help you to apply the label of "heckler" to anyone who challenges you. Hecklers are in a class by themselves and work on a whole other level than people who simply ask to verify the conditions of things. When we do close-up magic for people, we're opening a conversation with them, and that's just part of the conversation.

Thanks.
IllusionsMichael
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I really like Opine's point about "hecklers". A lot of spectators who ask to see the deck are doing so because they actually want it to be a completely normal deck with no hint as to how the trick was done. It's almost like they want to generate a mini-climax to the effect by verifying that what you just did is truly impossible.

Personally, my repertoire consists almost entirely of impromptu effects and as a result, I LOVE it when a spectator asks to see the deck. I hand it to them giddily because I know that when they see it's a normal deck, it will create that "mini-climax" and they will be wowed even more.

If you really want to use the gimick tricks, then I would suggest saving those for the middle of your routine. Begin with some tricks that are completely examinable so that they gain confidence in your deck. Then quickly go through the setup tricks and present them in a way that allows for speedy transitions back into something examinable. If you can spread through a normal deck at the beginning and end of your routine, they'll assume it was normal the whole time.
Michael Bluth: "So this is the magic trick, huh?"

Gob: "Illusion, Michael. Tricks are something a **** does for money."
Opine Traveler
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It's nice to hand out the deck sometimes, but like Mark said, if you're working, it can be a different story. It can, for instance, really trash the rhythm of your performance. So, these things have to be managed.
IllusionsMichael
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Also, I like Opine's idea of palming off and doing a series of humorous productions. Not only is it a fun trick in itself, but it also serves to keep you in command, and very gently mocks the spectator's insistence on seeing all the cards. Sort of a "hey, you asked for it" response.

I'd also add another possible line: "Sure you can see the deck. But only if you can perform something for us!" I think this accomplishes a few things: 1) it subtly reminds the spec that you're trying to perform here, 2) that you're not going to let them have the deck whenever they ask, 3) discourages them from taking it in the first place.

One more idea: say "Sure, just one second" Then start doing a completely over-the-top "fixing" of the deck. Take 4 cards from the top and put them in your pocket. Flip half the deck upside down. Turn some cards 180 degrees (not face-up to face-down, just twist them). Tear a couple cards in half, switch the halves, and tape them together. Rub some spit on a card to "remove a mark". Then when you're done, hand them the mess and say "There! As you can see, a totally normal deck of cards!" As soon as they even reach out to touch it, take it away and perform the next trick.
Michael Bluth: "So this is the magic trick, huh?"

Gob: "Illusion, Michael. Tricks are something a **** does for money."
Maximilien
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Is the term "heckler" really justified? For the "rude" manner, maybe. But not because they want to see a prop that they suspect (and they are right to suspect it). I think you should re-design your effects so that either the prop is "out of sight, ouf of mind", or examinable. It is often a good thing to be able to end "clean". Just a thought, and sorry for my English,

Best,

Maximilien
Chris Piercy
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If I do have gimmick cards in a deck for instance I often assume that someone might ask to check the cards and set myself for copping or palming the cards out as I hand the deck out.
Alternatively by the very action of complying with their request is enough for someone to be happy that a deck or prop is "kosher"
Adam1975
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How to deal with hecklers...what about,starting to cry,then slinking away like a big girls blouse.Is this good advice ?
Ive upped my standards.Now,up yours!
*Mark Lewis*
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Incidentally, I do not remember a single occasion during thousands of formal close up performances where a spectator has asked to examine anything. It does happen quite often if I am working impromptu but never when I am performing for money. The issue doesn't even arise. I do not work in an "authoritarian" manner. What I mean by working with authority is simply working in a fluent style. People don't want to interrupt when you do that.

Now when I work at trade shows a special situation arises. I always perform the Svengali deck at a trade show because it is almost as if God made the deck for incorporating sales messages. 75% of the sales messages I deliver is through the Svengali deck. And the other reason is that through decades of working it at consumer shows there is an instinctive procedure that seems to set in. I have even seen the body language of the crowd change and I don't even allow anyone to scratch their ear. This is something I cannot explain to lesser mortals on the magic Café so I won't even try.

However, my point is that I am using a trick deck. And it even looks like one yet nobody wants to examine it. Even at consumer shows very few people want to examine it and I snarl at them if they do. But at a trade show they kind of know to keep their paws off. And at a trade show they KNOW it is a trick deck because I tell them! I actually start by saying, "here is a trick deck of cards that I purchased at a magic shop". It doesn't make a tosser worth of difference. The reaction from the crowd is just as terrific. But the interesting thing is that although this is the last trick and there is opportunity for people to ask to examine the deck nobody ever does.

To sum up, if you are working impromptu and not in a set show by all means let them examine things providing they don't overdo it and drive you up the wall. So you use ordinary looking objects like coins, playing cards etc; and that discourages it. Cards are more suspect and people often think you use marked cards so you can let them examine them.

Incidentally, although since I started magic I have always read that it is far more effective to do magic with a borrowed deck. This is all very well but where in God's name are you supposed to borrow a deck of cards? Who carries cards around with them unless they are a magician and of course if they are it doesn't matter a toss if you use your own cards or not. I have been told that in some bars and pubs you can borrow a deck from the bartender but since I do not visit these dens of iniquity I wouldn't know. The only other scenario where you can borrow a deck is if you visit a private house. I never do that since I don't like people or their bloody houses so I keep well clear of them.
Hugokhf
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However, sometimes when you are playing cards with your friends, they will undouboutly, ask you to show some magic tricks.
that's why I still prefer performing impromtu effetts
labound
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Agree with everything posted. I don't consider anyone asking to look at my props as being a heckler, just someone who is curious. After all, you've just messed with what they know to be physically impossible. However, when I do run into a heckler (which is almost evertime I perform - they buggers are everywhere!), I try to use them to my advantage.

I think of a heckler as someone who is seeking attention... looking to become the star of the show. With this in mind, almost always I begin with some type of a sucker effect. First I lead them down a path, and let them think they know what I'm doing. The heckler always wants attention, so they will make themself known rather quickly (sometimes you can pick them out just by their facial expressions). After they get hit with the zinger at the end, they have a tendency to return to their cave.

I don't want them feeling picked on, so I work them back in on the next effect. Now they're not nearly as aggressive. If they haven't learned their lesson, the rest of the audience will usually tell them to chill out.
Leland
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Wow Mark that was an amazing insight into the mind of the spectator. Understanding our audience mindframe will give us an edge of what we can expect from them. Knowing what we can expect from them will help us prepare for that moment when they ask to let them see the cards or coins or what have you. So knowing this, we have to prepare.

We can prepare by ditching, switching or coming up with some cute line to feed them, walking away or like Mark said make the performance so that the audience no longer wants to inspect them. They just want to enjoy the moment.

A heckler is a whole different issue. They're just out to ruin your act!
Life of Magic!
*Mark Lewis*
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Yes. I really don't consider people who want to examine things hecklers at all. Perhaps the topic should have been titled a little differently.
Leland
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Maybe "How to deal with people that are a pain in the butt!"
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