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akschulz
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I'm not familiar with "sarcasam"
Dannydoyle
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On 2012-12-29 17:09, akschulz wrote:
I'm not familiar with "sarcasam"


Ya know there is nothing wrong with not knowing. Admitting that is the first step to learning something.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
CRshelton
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Akshulz, we all have experienced this, but it seems from this thread that you experience it more often. Perhaps you are just unlucky with audiences, but you should not be so quick to dismiss the idea that it has something to do with your performances. I am in agreement with others here that the solution is not to seek out new effects, but to make the effects you already do work better for you, and your audience.

That said, you've been pretty clear what is the angle that you want to approach the problem from, and I have a few questions that I think may help guide you.

The first question I would ask is, do you find that there are certain routines you do that elicit this 'show-off and grab' activity more than others? Are there any routines you do where it almost never happens?

The next I would ask is if it seems to come at a certain time in your performance, ie. always during the first few minutes? Is it your experience that if you've gotten safely through the first 5 minutes you are probably in the clear? Do you always make it through the first 5 minutes, but rarely through the next 5? It seems like you are comfortable that by the end of your act you will win them over, so I assume you rarely encounter this heckling during your closing effect. Is that accurate?

The last I would ask is how strictly you stick to your 'set list' and how specific your script is (patter, if you prefer). That is, do you know which effect you will open with, and which will follow, and which will follow that... all the way to the end? And could you basically write out what you say each time, or do you 'wing it' based on your crowd?

I don't know if you would call these questions about your 'structure', or 'form', or whatever, but I think this kind of reflection is where you have to start in order to solve the problem.
akschulz
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This is funny. Its like if you ask a stranger how they deal with a bad break-up and that person, without knowing you at all, keeps focusing on your personality flaws and asking why you keep having break-ups at all in the first place. You protest that everyone has had a bad break-up and that it is NOT a common thing, although it is an important thing. Or its like if someone accuses you of being an alcoholic and when you deny that they say the first sign of alcoholism is denial.

That being said, Thank you CRshelton for your thoughtful response. I took your response more as an attempt to engage with the issue and less as a focus on me.

Your first and second question have to do with when, in my personal experience, the situation arises:

No, I do not find that certain routines set this person going. This person shows themselves right away in a table-hopping situation. If they exist, when they do, whether often or not, they make themselves known very quickly. I know within seconds (i.e. when I've introduced myself to the table) or maybe even before I approach the table if I've got this person or not. You can see this person from a mile away sometimes. And I believe they are not our enemy, they are our challenge.

To your last question: yes I know what effects I will open with. From there I may change my "set list" depending on the audience. I never "wing it" with respect to what I am going to say in a given routine although I always am trying out new ideas and approaches. This is only healthy.

Many people on this thread seem to want to focus on giving ME performance advice. I think that is simply avoiding the question. Yes, I can improve my performance, we all can. I don't deny that. And table-hopping and street performing are the best places to learn from experience, which is what I do. But I feel that some on this thread (not you CRshelton) just want to play teacher and congratulate themselves on how wise and experienced they think they are. Danny Doyle, for example, is a hypnotist and as far as I can tell doesn't do table-hopping magic and/or never really has (forgive me Danny but you've avoided direct questions about your experience in this area so I can't help but be suspicious). Doing a stage-show where an audience has paid to see a performance is an entirely different scenario, and I know that from experience as well.

So, I take it as a given that personality, jokes, performance style, etc can help cover the issue or smooth it over when it arises, whether often or not. My question is more academic. When it happens, are there routines or plots which are better suited than others in dealing with it. I've given some examples of things I suspect might be better, like surprise productions as opposed to involved routines with lots of patter. Some have offered their opinions on this stuff as well and I, for one, welcome further discussion about it. Further discussion of this person's or that person's particular resume is just not helpful I think.
davidpaul$
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Quote:
On 2013-01-05 05:56, akschulz wrote:
My question is more academic. When it happens, are there routines or plots which are better suited than others in dealing with it. I've given some examples of things I suspect might be better, like surprise productions as opposed to involved routines with lots of patter. Some have offered their opinions on this stuff as well and I, for one, welcome further discussion about it. Further discussion of this person's or that person's particular resume is just not helpful I think.


My plot or routine (as I stated before) is about something or someone that is important to the spectator. The heckler's focus is on the person involved and not so much me.....I carry a realistic ceramic egg in my pocket and sometimes out of the blue I'll ask someone, with an inquisitive look on my face, even the heckler,if they brought that with them? They look at me confused and I reach over and pull the egg from their ear.

This is totally unexpected and an egg is a funny object. The reactions are great and leads to many funny comments from the table. For some it's like being splashed in the face with cold water (sort of) and changes the dynamic at the table which in turn difuses the heckler/grabber.

I have had my share of Hecklers and Grabbers BUT my plot/routine does not give them ammunition or time to be confrontational. I keep it moving, my focus is about what is important to the spectator in the effects I perform. I'm starting my 11th year performing several times every week in restaurants so, like you, we've seen MANY personality types. SOMETIMES...when the true jerk is present I smile and bid them a "Have a great day" and leave.......

Again and I know you don't want to hear it but a friendly engaging personality goes along way. Hecklers usually heckle people they don't like. I know you are looking for routines or plots that are better suited for the situations. Routines and plots are directly related to the person performing. That's why so many pros say "Make it your own"... I've learned that people care mostly about themselves so that's what I try and do when selecting routines and plots.....When I leave a table and I hear "That was fun! or "That was really good" I know I've succeeded whether there was a heckler or not, because the heckler is saying the same thing. (usually)
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
TheAmbitiousCard
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Sorry for calling you a newbie. Your questions are often asked by newbies so I just incorrectly assummed you were new.
I still think it all boils down to experience, attitude and character.

How do you describe your character? What attitude to you exude? How would you characterize the tricks you do?
What feeling do you leave the audience with? What would you hope a spectator said about you after you left their table?


Let's take your original questions one issue at a time...
Quote:
I sometimes encounter one person at the table who insists on trying to steal the show. They sometimes will begin by hanging on to props if they are given the chance and comically demonstrating their ability to fake hide/vanish things.

The experienced magician stays one step ahead at all times because they've seen it all before and are now prepared

Quote:
This person will have a running commentary about how "the coin is not in that hand anymore" or "you switched that there". Never mind the fact that they are most often completely wrong in their theories.

The experienced performer adapts known routines with feints and bluffs early-on to test for know-it-alls and to reveal the false prophet to all.

Quote:
they continue to blurt them out at every instance and it seems like I'm always playing catch-up trying to demonstrate their theories are wrong rather than progressing with the routine.

An experienced magician has a strong character and a fantastic sense of timing, leaving no room for blurting and theorizing.

Quote:
I've tried working with it by acting as if they know exactly what I'm doing and suggesting that they just don't tell anyone else but I feel like there might be better methods of dealing with this person.

The experienced magician entertains so well that the spectators' brains shuts down. They are too busy being entertained to care.

Quote:
For example, do you try to ignore this person and just focus on those willing to enjoy the show? Or do you, as I am most often tempted to do, focus on them and get them to be as involved as possible. My favorite strategy is to get them involved in one of my safe, stunner effects, in the hopes that I might really WOW them thereby communicating to the rest of the table that this effect really was something amazing.

The experienced magician knows that wow'ing a know-it-all just isn't going to happen if they don't want to be wow'd.

Quote:
So I'm curious how others deal with this in general. Mostly I am able to completely negate their theories by showing the hand empty, say, or surprising them with an unexpected production. But, even when I know I've impressed the rest of the people, I sometimes go away feeling as if I'd failed in some meaningful way. There should be a way of dealing with this through the structure of a routine or careful choice of material. Is there a go-to routine you all have when encountering this person? Or are there other strategies you employ as soon as you realize you've got this person at the table?

The experienced magician entertains their audience instead of tyring to impress them with tricks. Afterall, they are just tricks


I think too often you're expecting confrontation and are still tyring to figure out ways to beat the bad guys to prove your worthy. I think many magicians (especially less experienced ones) approach a table and think of it as an adverserial situation. A battle that you have to win, as if you have something to prove. Do you feel you have something to prove at each table?

I also think, as I thought before, that your routines and character are not FULL enough to fill the empty spaces in your act.

Are you still using store-bought material with canned patter? Or has it developed into your own "stuff" by now?

Nothing invites hecklers and know-it-alls more than performing "other people's material".
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Dannydoyle
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You have definately shown an amazing capacity to learn right here in this thread.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
themagicguy
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Quote:
On 2013-01-05 05:56, akschulz wrote:
No, I do not find that certain routines set this person going. This person shows themselves right away in a table-hopping situation.


So why are you asking about specific tricks?

Are you trying to win some battle? The battle is won, by being funny and entertaining. Not fooling people or getting the better of them with your tricks.
howlinhobbit
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I've returned to this thread a few times in the (scant) week+ that I've been here on the Café. interesting points here and there but...

I worked at Micky Hades Int'l. for a time in the mid-80s and it was my great honor to hang out with Eugene Burger on several occasions during that time.

Eugene didn't like "hecklers." as a term that is. he suggested that instead of treating them as "hecklers" you should maybe treat them as humans who simply wanted to be part of the show--you know, this whole magical experience we are supposedly promulgating. so the best way to deal with the situation is to let them be a part of the show.

instead of trying to shut them down (gently or not) be prepared to point the audience's attention to them, laugh with them, and let them have their moment in the spotlight.

at the time I was doing a lot of appearances (either as an "act" or as the MC) for comedy shows. this was during the Great Comedy Scare of the 80s when (at least, in Seattle) you could find a comedy club on more corners than a Starbucks. there were all too many so-called comedians who thought they were Don Rickles and would try to "one up" the supposed heckler. but there were a few wise souls who realized that if they were to let the laughs flow without trying to shame the person making with the funny, the audience would go away thinking what a great time they had at this person's show... not necessarily how hilarious Bill the Tipsy in the audience was.

there is a lot to be said for being "in control" of your act. but remember the wise words of Jack Benny who, when asked why he let Rochester "steal" so many scenes replied, "I'd rather let him steal the scenes than have him steal the scenes."
Dannydoyle
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It is about so much more than tricks and lines. You are right.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
akschulz
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Frank,

Thanks you for your post. I'm sorry too that I reacted to your original response the way I did. Smile

Anyway, I can't argue with the points you make at all. I wouldn't want to as I find myself agreeing and liking them all way too much.

Your thesis seems to be that an experienced magician/performer will rarely IF EVER experience a problem from people like the show-off and grabber because they have worked out an attitude and tactic to preempt this person.

Yes?
akschulz
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Quote:

I think too often you're expecting confrontation and are still tyring to figure out ways to beat the bad guys to prove your worthy. I think many magicians (especially less experienced ones) approach a table and think of it as an adverserial situation. A battle that you have to win, as if you have something to prove. Do you feel you have something to prove at each table?

I also think, as I thought before, that your routines and character are not FULL enough to fill the empty spaces in your act.

Are you still using store-bought material with canned patter? Or has it developed into your own "stuff" by now?

Nothing invites hecklers and know-it-alls more than performing "other people's material".


Based on these questions I think you may have the wrong picture of who I am. To respond generally, though, I've been performing my CMH and linking rubber band routine with my own patter for over 20 yrs. The last time I used canned patter was so long ago I can't remember (maybe when I was 12 I performed a canned patter version of professors nightmare). I cringe at the idea. And I generally do not buy "magic tricks" at all. But to respond specifically:


1. Confrontation: I admit that once I am faced with the show-off and grabber and or rude spectator/heckler, I begin to see the scenario as a confrontation. Prior to that no. I never approach a performance with this attitude . Once challenged, though, I feel the need to respond in some way and yes, if I can show the *** hand empty when they demand to see it, I think its helpful. I agree again though that when I a routine prompts too much of this from "normal" spectators then something serious is missing in the performance or routine structure.

2. Filling in: I do feel that some routines I have developed are less apt to the challenges I describe in my original post. My version of the shadow coin routine, for example, has developed over time to preempt many problems with show-offs and grabbers/hecklers. This routine began with some holes that needed "filling in". Too often people felt challenged and were prompted to demand to see under that hand or whatever. Now, based on the "filling in" I've done in my patter AS WELL AS structural changes to the routine, it is so much tighter and more entertaining and rarely if ever prompts a challenge. To be fair though, I don't do this routine for everyone. It's presented a a special thing I can show them if they really want to see it which sets the situation up differently.

3. Originality: personally I perform a lot of coin magic with non-gaffed coins (i.e. not store-bought material) unless I'm doing coin-in-bottle. I'm a coin-kinda-guy. I also rely consistently on CMH, Sponge-balls when appropriate, immaculate connection, bill switch and every once in a while I'll pull out my ACR which is good but, not being a hard-core-card guy, not my go-to-routine. But all of my routines are mine or at most have been inspired by (i.e. not copied from)others. Many I've performed literally thousands of times and for over 20 yrs. But I have never been interested in performing "other people's material" (my old/ancient stage-stuff, for which I've posted a video link in this thread should give a vague idea of my approach to originality in routine).
akschulz
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Quote:
On 2013-01-05 05:56, akschulz wrote:
No, I do not find that certain routines set this person going. This person shows themselves right away in a table-hopping situation.


So why are you asking about specific tricks?

Are you trying to win some battle? The battle is won, by being funny and entertaining. Not fooling people or getting the better of them with your tricks.
[/quote]

because if I know I've got this person at the table before even approaching it I may alter or vary that approach. I may have thought to open with a coin sequence but may instead opt for a bottle production, or whatever. Make sense?
Dannydoyle
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Based on how confrontational and defensive you have been just in this thread it might be an indication of the issue.!
Danny Doyle
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akschulz
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Quote:
On 2013-01-06 15:24, Dannydoyle wrote:
Based on how confrontational and defensive you have been just in this thread it might be an indication of the issue.!


fair enough.
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Akschulz, not to comment on how you are as person, because I've never met you, but in my personal experience, I find that if I come across as likeable and charismatic, there usually is never a problem with grabby people and true hecklers.

That said, I don't consider theorists "true" hecklers. The way to minimize people theorizing is to constantly keep their minds occupied with what you want them to be occupied with. This has a lot to do with the words you use and the stage you set. People theorize because they have time to think. So don't give them time to think. Also, I think it's been scientifically proven (can't remember the source, I think it was a Penn Gillette article from a Psychology magazine) that people cannot think logically when they are laughing out loud from something funny...So well timed jokes, even if corny, can serve as verbal misdirection.

E.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2013-01-08 02:47, evikshin wrote this and other stuff:

The way to minimize people theorizing is to constantly keep their minds occupied with what you want them to be occupied with. This has a lot to do with the words you use and the stage you set. People theorize because they have time to think.



people cannot think logically when they are laughing out loud from something funny...So well timed jokes, even if corny, can serve as verbal misdirection.



That's a great post.
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akschulz
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I have a (only in part rhetorical) question for all those who have posted here about dealing with show-off/grabber/hecklers through humor or scripting:

do you believe this person would LIKE to be completely fooled? Deep down, do they really want to just show off or would they really prefer being absolutely stunned?
Dannydoyle
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People don't mind being fooled. They however don't like to be made a fool of. You are totally missing if they are entertained, engaged, excited and so forth.

Again I am sorry but your lack of experience shows with these posts and your admirable but misplaced determination to somehow salvage being right.

Here is a thought. This is all "theory" anyhow. You have a theory. It works for you. (Most of the time anyhow.) So it is right.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
akschulz
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Quote:
On 2013-01-10 10:16, Dannydoyle wrote:
People don't mind being fooled. They however don't like to be made a fool of. You are totally missing if they are entertained, engaged, excited and so forth.



what is it that makes you think I disagree with that?

My entire post was motivated by the "theory" behind magic in general.
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