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"V"
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UK
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Doing a card trick this lunchtime for a small number of colleagues ("design for laughter" from RRTCM) which if I say so myself went very well.

Then the participant in question announces "I know how that was done," and proceeds to give a completely erroneous and frankly nonsensical theory that left all the other spectators in a state of smug unimpressedness.

How best to handle such (attempts at) exposure? Smile
rowdymagi5
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Virginia
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It sucks! However with good audience management, this can be overcome. I especially hate it when a spectator "grabs" at your cards, props, etc.

In time you will learn how to handle such situations smoothly. In the meantime, check out some of the performers in your local area, and ask them how they handle it. Watch as many magic videos as you can, and read books, etc.

I, myself, just go into another routine when this happens. Sometimes I will do something quick using sleight of hand and draw the attention away from the "know-it-all." Usually the other spectators view this person as irritating as well. Depending on your style, you can even ask the "know-it-all" to participate in your next trick, and proceed to blow him away in front of everybody! Be careful you never poke fun of him though; make it fun for all.
r4bid
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I am going to say something that many people here will disagree with but if you are performing in school in a casual setting it is sometimes a necessary evil.

Hand the loud mouth the deck and ask them to do it how he/she just explained.

The person will do one of three things

1. Try to do it and fail because they are wrong about the method.
2. Take back what they said or refuse to try.
3. Turn out to be a magician who is being disrespectful and end up being able to do the routine.

#2 is the most common result.

It is a mean thing to do and is really going to embarrass the person so please only do this when you are out of other choices.

I would really recommend looking at your performing style. Are you creating a competative atmosphere? Are you challenging them to figure it out? Try to work on a presentation in which you have the audience focus on the moment and have fun instead of making them worry about how you are doing what you are doing.
"V"
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No competitive atmosphere at all! The other participants (for whom I'd done other tricks that same lunchtime) were all having a jolly good time sharing in the fun and enjoying being astonished (no credit to me- the tricks were all simple ones that just happen to look good!). The only fly in the ointment was this one guy who out of the blue decided to say what he did.

Ah well.

Thanks for some good ideas though !
espalding
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St. Louis
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I've had this happen to me when performing tricks for friends, and I've decided to try this response: "The point isn't whether or not you think you know how it's done. The point is whether or not you enjoyed it." That seems to put the emphasis more on the entertainment value than the "fooling people" aspect. Then you can launch into another trick by saying "and if you enjoyed that, you might enjoy this one."

Eric.
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Sounds like this person is a co-worker, or at least someone who you know. Pull him aside and explain to him...

"Joe, we both know this isn't real magic. It's just fun and entertaining. I get a lot of kicks out of it and so do the others. It really rains on our parade when you say those things. Perhaps, instead, you will join the fun? Maybe even do a trick yourself?"
what
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In a work environment, this sort of thing is bound to happen. These people know you and know that you are a regular guy like the rest of them. They won't be as likely to accept that you are an entertainer. To them, you are just another coworker. It is likely that the offender was just trying to be conversational. Don't make anything of it. As your reputation grows, so does the ease in handling these types of situations.

Enjoy!

Mike
Magic is fun!!!
Peter Marucci
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Tell him, in front of the others, "You're absolutely right."
Then, before he or anyone else has a chance to say anything, add, "Of course, no matter what anyone says, I always tell them that they are absolutely right."

Smile
"V"
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Thanks all... I may try a combination of all these approaches and, having been positively instructed by your combined experience, I shall call off the team of trained winged monkeys I was planning to unleash upon him...
Eirik
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He He, do that..

I - like most "hobby magicians" have experienced just that.

If I could turn back time to the first performance l did for my most suspicious friends l would have started off with a couple of selfworking tricks like scotch'n soda, lazy man's card trick or the "do as I do" trick.

When people who know you see you do tricks for the first time they will not respect your knowlege, and they will do anything to spoil your routine, therefore go "safe" at first and build up your act as you get more and more of the reactions you hoped for. Though-presentation is the key, but that needs practice, and you always have to start on someone......?

-e-
...As long as i`m not a world-champion at anything, the great reactions of doin` magic will do just fine.....
Steven Steele
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I had a similar problem from a spectator, except he would blurt out everthing I was doing. He obviously had learned some secrets...but was no magician. Anyway, I switched to some fantastic self-working effects that I'd learned and when everybody looked to him for an explanation he was lost. Once he lost credibility I went back to sleight of hand and he was a non-factor for the rest of the performance.
Paul Menzel
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I think the explanation offered can make a difference in your response. If, for example, he accused you of palming a card where your hand never was, you could say something like, "I can see how you might think that, if I had ever touched that card/reached over there." If it is a really wild explanation, you could say, "Wow! I wished I'd thought of doing it that way! It would have been a lot easier than what I did." Peter's solution is also a good option.

The thing to avoid though is outright denial. As has been said, even if you are being truthful, it often serves to convince other spectators that the specualtion was correct. It may also fuel more speculation rather than diffuse it. ("If you didn't do that, then maybe you...") Yep been there, made that mistake, not a good idea...
rcad
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St-Eustache
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A lot of very good responses have beed suggested so far.

If I may add, nobody talked about choosing your audience or the setting so that you can have some control over who will be your audience. Invite people who enjoy magic and present it somewhere difficult for someone to barge in.

I will be performing magic at work on our last day before Christmas and a lot of people know that I do magic but I invited only those who showed interest. It should be the perfect audience since they all want to see "magic" and thus won't feel "fooled" because they "want" to be amazed.

I think that people who react like you described do not want to see magic. They are watching it either because they happened to be around or because they really want to step on your head to be the star instead of you. You can avoid both by controling who and where. When you are a professional, it's different, but as an amateur, I certainly will do everything I can to avoid people like that.

And if all fails, just agree... with a smile...

Richard
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
DanielGreenWolf
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I love Peter's idea. In fact, I'm curious if you thought that one up or if you got it from somewhere and in either case, could I pass it on to my students with credit to you?

-Daniel GreenWolf
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
Peter Marucci
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Daniel,
If I recall correctly -- and that's not ALWAYS the case <G> -- I got it from somewhere else (can't remember who or where, but it was a long time ago).

So, like anything else I write up in public, feel free to pass it on, if you like it.

(Credit is appreciated; thank you.)

Smile
G. LaBarre
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Vancouver, B.C. Canada
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Nod your head like you're really listening and then raise your eyebrows and say, "That might just work. Do you mind if I try playing with that idea?"

Even if they are correct in their guess, they will now think that you must have done it some other way.

OR Claim...

I guess a mere mortal might be tempted to conjure in such a deceitful way.
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Erik Anderson
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Des Moines, Iowa
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Quote:
On 2003-12-03 03:53, "V" wrote:
I shall call off the team of trained winged monkeys I was planning to unleash upon him...


And miss such a wonderful pay-per-view opportunity for your other co-workers?
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
"V"
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Good point Erik!

"Come on lads, banana rations doubled for the first one in the air." Smile
Erik Anderson
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Why am I hearing "Ride of the Valkyries" all of a sudden?
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
Shenaniganz
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Cypress, CA
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Quote:
On 2003-12-02 10:16, rowdymagi5 wrote:
I especially hate it when a spectator "grabs" at your cards, props, etc.


I had a problem with a friend of mine who was a grabber. The next time I performed with him there, I pulled out my coin pouch and handed it to him. I let him look it over for a while, and then told everyone it is made from kangaroo scrotum.

He didn't want to touch any of my things again.
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