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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Backwards audiences? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Nate The Magician
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So a very odd thing happened when I was performing recently- I was doing the cups and balls for a local crowd and they were applauding and just astonished throughout a good amount of the routine- then I got to the final loads- where I have some billiard balls under the cups.
Silence.
No applause, no smiles- just vacant stares.
Then one kid says "Hey, can you go back to the little balls?" and I do this kind of sloppy feeling production of the three balls to my hat and everybody breaks into rampant cheering.
Same kind of thing happens when I perform the linking rings- when I break out the long chains of rings toward the end, everyone just walks away and the moments that they seem to enjoy the most are when I'm doing these very sleight-heavy moves with three rings.
Has anyone else had this kind of experience where an audience of laymen (I'm fairly sure they were laymen, anyway) don't care about the big stuff?
MRSharpe
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That's interesting, but I've never had that happen before. Could you video your performance and post it? This is a difficult question to answer without seeing the routines.
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
Tony Thomas
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I wonder if you struck an applause pose during your routine, and we're relying more on the loads to create applause without "help from you". Just a thought. Interesting...
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Nate The Magician
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I don't own a video camera, sorry.
I was just wondering if anyone else has had audiences who found the "big moments" of a routine less impressive than the main body.
Al Schneider
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Not sure if this applies. If it does you are very good.

It comes under my theory of Theater magic vs. Virtual magic.

In essence, theater magic is that which the audience is aware it is done by trickery. They are aware they must suspend understanding to see the value of the magic. They applaud your skill. In virtual magic, the magic occurs without understanding that it is simply a trick. Such magic is so good the audience cannot percieve how it is done. They do not see how you could do it. Thus, they do not applaude you for they are not sure what caused the magic. To summarize, when the audience is blown away, they do not respond.

When I perform Expansion of Texture, the audience rarely responds. Often, the person holding the hank and coins, doesn't even move. Often, someone stading nearby takes the props out of the helper's hands to see if the coin really went into the folds of the hank.

Doing the bird cage often got the same response. I did it as an opener. When the cage vanished, the audience sat there and just looked at me blankly. I thought I had failed. After the show, many people would come up to me and ask, "Where did the bird go?" Other parts of the show were forgotten.

Just a thought.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Russ P.
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I've never had anything like that, of course I've never preformed on any kind of stage. The closest I get is I've had people afraid to open their hand during parts of my sponge ball routine.
Dick Oslund
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AHEM!!! (Russ) It's PERformed!!!

NATE:::::

Volume II of my TARBELL is autograhed: "And as they gazed, the wonder grew. The more they saw, the less they knew!"

When Howard THURSTON first closed his big show with IASIA, there was NO APPLAUSE. A backstage "analysis & critique" meeting was hastily held! At the finish, the next night, there was a big laugh,--and BIG APPLAUSE. (IT'S PRESENTATION!!!) --See Al Schneider's comment above: "...when the audience is blown away,they do not respond."

NATE! Go back and re-read the first two responses,and then re-read twice, Al Schneider's. Each of them has a very worthwhile comment.

I SUSPECT that the problem is in your PRESENTATION. The PERFORMER, and his PRESENTATION, is ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HIS PROP(S)!!! Or, as the old timers, when I was a kid, used to say: "It aint WHAT YOU DO, It's HOW YOU DO IT!"

Many, if not most, magicians "suffer" from lack of dirction! George Anderson, in his "IT MUST BE MINDREADING", tells of his first theater booking in the depression of the 1930s. The pre show publicity and promotion filled the house, but George realized that his act was far from a "smash". The theater manager, was pleased with the box office, but strongly suggested that George go and see a "tent-rep." show playing nearby to consult with the tent show's director. George did and, as a 17 year old kid, from then on, he was making $100. per night, while some professionals were making peanuts.

I infer from the number of posts you've made, that you are possibly fairly new at performing. (That's OK--When you're "green" you can get "ripe"! When you are "ripe" you just get "rotten"! (hee hee, look at ME!) Go! Get involved with a local theater group. Ask their director to help you.

Best wishes.......
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Alan Munro
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In NLP it's called a "pattern interupt", to prime them in order to get them to applaud. But, I'd wait until they come to a good appreciation of the effect, before snapping them out of state and giving an applause cue.
Al Schneider
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This reminds me of a struggle I had with salt shaker throught the table.
Its a grat trick.
Cover the shaker with paper and the shaker slips through the table.
Alas, there was no reaction from the audience.
This happened show after show.
Then, on one show, I balled up the napking when the trick was over flicking it with my finger into the audience.
The audience burst into laughter and applause.
I like Alan's thought.
Hold them in that field of suspense for awhile.
Then release it.
I must ponder this some.
And I learn.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Nate The Magician
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What I was saying was that ordinarily the audience applauds at the "climax" moments when I perform. I was just curious if anyone elses audience has reacted this way. The "pattern interrupt" notion of Alan's seems like it's the most likely culprit.
Dick, I spotted that typo after I pressed submit- mea culpa!
Thanks to all for your responses!
Donnie Buckley
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HOW TO PRODUCE MIRACLES (Ormand McGill, 1976, $1.50, Signet)
This is a now rare paperback, which instructs the reader on a variety of techniques for producing what appears to be miracles. I mention it here in this thread because Ormand succinctly describes the effect that a miracle has upon an audience, as opposed to your typical magic effect, as a non-applause event.
It's worth searching out a copy and reading if you are interested in what makes up a "miracle" in the mind.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On Mar 10, 2014, Nate The Magician wrote:
What I was saying was that ordinarily the audience applauds at the "climax" moments when I perform. I was just curious if anyone elses audience has reacted this way. The "pattern interrupt" notion of Alan's seems like it's the most likely culprit.
Dick, I spotted that typo after I pressed submit- mea culpa!
Thanks to all for your responses!


I read the above as you saying, it is not me, it is them. That is kind of true, but you cause the to act that way. Remember, they are not magicians and even though I read silly comments, like, everyone in the world has seen the Linking Rings and Cups and Balls, it just is not true.

Go back and see what you did differently on those occasions. Yes, you did something different. If not, then what your audience was saying, what is next. They missed that it was the finale of the tricks. The little kid that said, he wanted to see the little balls, was not saying go back and do the trick over. It was to late, the audience has moved on. The little kid was actually saying, show me more magic tricks.

What a professional would have done, he would have said to the kid, I am glad you like the little balls, but have you seen this coin trick, and hold up the coin. Or, you could have said, instead of showing you the same trick over again, I have real magic trick to show you. Then begin the new trick.

You see, at some point you will stop having to think of all the moves and in your tricks if you do them enough. Then you will be able to focus on your audiences. You will realize you have to communicate with them and interact with them. Good Luck!
Al Schneider
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I don't have much to say here other than to support what Bill Hegbli has said.
Often people ask me what I think of such and such.
I say, "Do it for people and see what they think."
I think I am a good magician.
If so it is because I listen to my audiences.
To be honest, I do a lot of material that just bombs.
I must do that to see if it works.
I cannot see my audience's reaction as I do not look at the audience when the magic happens.
I must listen what they say or plant a friend in the audience that can tell me later what happened.
Then, I pay attention to what people say after.
I ponder their words a great deal.
Anyway, that is my penny here.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Alan Munro
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If we don't bomb, we don't make much progress. Everyone needs a place to be bad, so that we can bring our best when we have to be at our best.
Ray Haining
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A rationalization for doing a bad performance.
Alan Munro
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You can't make your performances the best they can be, unless you take chances on bombing. Top professionals will tell you the same thing.
Ray Haining
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Taking chances on bombing is different from bombing. Bombing, screwing up, does not necessarily translate into better performances. Good performances do not depend on bombing.
Pete Biro
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I had a strong closing bit. It got a great reaction.
Then on the second show one night, mild reaction.
Chatting with Byron Walker, who saw both show, I asked him if he could figure what I may have done wrong on second show.
He nailed it. I made a funny noise and wiggled my fingers on show one, and forgot to on show two. (it was a moving pip card).
Once I figured that out it became my signature closer in comedy clubs for years.javascript:emoticon(' Smile ')
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Alan Munro
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2014, Ray Haining wrote:
Taking chances on bombing is different from bombing. Bombing, screwing up, does not necessarily translate into better performances. Good performances do not depend on bombing.


True. But, I'm not talking about good performances. I'm talking about what it takes to have great performances. Risk is involved. If one has enough material to test, they'll most likely bomb at some point. Also, what constitutes "bombing" for one performer may be a good performance for another.
Ray Haining
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I'm just saying that bombing does not necessarily translate into better performances. A lot depends on the material. Most of the time when I've bombed it was because I was trying out a new trick and it just didn't work. It was the trick, not the performance. So instead of spending an inordinate amount of time trying to make the trick better, I just dropped it. In that sense, it made my performance better.

Of course, there have been times when I screwed up a move or two, which resulted in my improving my performance by working on that particular move{s}.

One other thing: amateur magicians are just as capable of great performances as are "top professionals."
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