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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Be willing to ditch at anytime (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Big Sam
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Florida
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Recently I had a meeting with school administrators to pitch a program that teaches critical thinking skills to kids using magic. I had this great idea to print up a card with the school's logo and incorporate it into Elmsley's four-card trick. So, I spent hours getting the printout aligned correctly, splitting cards and re-gluing the with the new logo, practicing the effect, etc.

When I began my spiel and started reaching for the packet in my shirt pocket, one of the administrators announced, "I hate magic, it drives me nuts when someone fools me. I just can't stand it."

I left the cards in my pocket.

The point here is that you should be willing to NOT do magic in the face of a resistant audience. Too often our ego (I'll show 'em!) or the effort expended (But I spent hours on this!) causes us to force magic on an audience. It matters not how great the trick is, such an audience will push back and hate magic even more after you're done.

So, be prepared to perform, but also be prepared to not perform. You'll soon get a reputation as a magician rather than someone who bothers people with magic tricks.

Sam
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes
Atom3339
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Spokane, WA
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Wise move on your part, Sam. As David Neighbors says, you've got to know WHEN to do magic!
TH

Occupy Your Dream
Dougini
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The Beautiful State Of Maine
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Sam, I fully agree!

If I detect the LEAST hesitation, I stop. It's amazing how I changed, from, "Lemme show ya a trick..." to avoiding the situation like the plague! Too bad I learned this lesson so late in life! Smile

Doug
satellite23
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Good story.

I remember something I read once....I'm not sure where or who it was about.

This magician would apparently sit at the dinner table (at a gathering) with all of his props ready to go in his lap or pocket. He would be soooooooo excited to perform, but he never would until someone specifically asked him too. Then, he would make it seem like a coincidence that he had his props with him.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I am a bit confused. If the session was to "pitch a program that teaches critical thinking skills to kids using magic" how do you leave out the magic? Why did this administrator not know what the topic was to be? Certainly, if I am booked to DO a magic show and someone says something similar (it has happened) I play it off and perform my show. God forbid they have to hear me sing or whatever else is in the bag as an alternative!
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Wes65
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I had the same question. If you were there to sell your magic, perhaps you should have let the administrator know that what you were proposing was for the children, and even though he/she would not enjoy it most of the kids would. And, of course, nothing pleases everyone.

I'm a strong proponent of knowing when to do magic and when to back off. I also don't like pushy salespeople. However, a salesperson has to at least be able to overcome the first objection.
Wes
Big Sam
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Florida
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Good questions - let me clarify

The purpose of the program is to teach critical thinking skills and magic was one of the instructional vehicles. I was pitching myself as a teacher, not a magician. So I focused on the learning outcomes and how the program was constructed rather than demonstrate my skills in magic. The effect I was planning was to add some interest to the presentation rather than be a selling point. If I were attempting to get booked as a magician, then a demonstration of skills would be necessary. But since the focus was on teaching, it was more important to demonstrate the instructional design and overall purpose.

It's the same idea as when a speaker decided to open with a joke and doesn't think about how the audience will react.(something I've seen too many times) Sure it might be the speaker's favorite joke, but if the audience finds it tasteless then the rest of the speech is going to be negatively received.

Sam
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes
Wes65
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Makes sense now. You made a wise decision.
Wes
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Yeah, me too. Thanks, Sam...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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