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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Intimidation (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Zephury
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Hollywood, FL
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Working in a smaller town, Port Saint Lucie, FL; I was very confident in my magic, performing at restaurants (Primarily a card worker for now) and I always "went over" no matter where I was. Recently, I've had to move down two hours south of me to the great Miami area of Florida which is full of opportunity... But, I constantly find myself performing for people who have seen their fair share of world class magicians before. People that work in theaters, know celebrities and see a lot of magicians from attending parties with them, and I'm sure that I'll end up performing for some celebrities myself eventually. What I'm getting at is now that I'm performing for people who have seen magicians of my type, I feel intimidated. I perform for people and they end up saying "Oh, I'm an event manager, I work with a lot of magicians." I'm not really looking for the solution, because I know what I have to do... Practice harder, become more original and develop a strong presence with high impact entertainment. I'm just looking for insight, stories, or similar issues you may have had and how you got over this sort of thing.

In my repertoire now, I do an in the hands triumph, an in the hands chicago opener, and an ambitious card ending with a card to wallet. So, I don't have a totally original repertoire. Those are my "go to" effects. Not my entire repertoire, but definitely the things I enjoy performing most. I know that if they've seen close up magicians before, they've seen very similar routines to what I do.

Not looking for advice to expand my horizons and start doing different forms of magic. I will continue with cards and coins till I feel strongly proficient and satisfied with my repertoire using them.
MagicKingdom10
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There is no need for intimidation, magic is about fun, laughter, and entertainment. I perform with a smile on my face and I exude my happiness to others. Positive emotions are very contagious!
I Love You God Smile
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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Try not to treat it as a contest to be the best.
But to develop your own style of magic that you
can call your own.
Todd
Theodore Lawton
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Just do what you do. Even if they might have seen it before, they may enjoy your performance just as much or even more because, as you say, you enjoy performing those effects. Joy is usually contagious.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
RedHatMagic
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So you are a place meeting wealthy people who presumably are good tippers and who can offer you future work. What an opportunity!
Let the Entertainment Commence!
Mike Gilbert
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Las Vegas, Nevada
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If they say they have seen something before, or are more than familiar with magicians, just tell them, "Oh! So you KNOW how AWESOME this is going to be!" :p
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
Ed_Millis
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Whatever "trick" they've seen before, they have never seen *you* before. Remember that it's not the magic itself that is entertaining -- it's you! They've seen bands, movies, singers, even magicians before. We are capable of having our favorites and still enjoying others. Present yourself for their enjoyment.

And that's why we have our favorite "go to" routines. Those are the ones that allow us to not worry about the magic and concentrate on giving our audience a great experience.

Ed
MVoss
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Yeah remember, its about entertainment not tricks. Just focus on being entertaining and being a great presenter.
1KJ
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Good advice. I wouldn't worry about whether they have seen any trick before. When I go to a bar with a live band, they frequently play other people's music. I'm still entertained.

I would suggest that you come up with something that is original to you, or perhaps an original way of doing a classic trick. For example, I do an oil and water routine with a genuinely shuffled deck using a paper bag. Magicians enjoy it because they have never seen it done quite like that, and to a layperson who has seen oil and water before, this looks nothing like what they have seen.

KJ
55Hudson
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Minneapolis
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Quote:
On Dec 1, 2014, 1KJ wrote:
Good advice. I wouldn't worry about whether they have seen any trick before. When I go to a bar with a live band, they frequently play other people's music. I'm still entertained.

I would suggest that you come up with something that is original to you, or perhaps an original way of doing a classic trick. For example, I do an oil and water routine with a genuinely shuffled deck using a paper bag. Magicians enjoy it because they have never seen it done quite like that, and to a layperson who has seen oil and water before, this looks nothing like what they have seen.

KJ


I would echo KJ's point about making a classic your own. It doesn't take much of a change in a routine, especially cards, for essentially the same effect to appear totally different to lay audience. Especially the story you tell to accompany the routine. The more personal it is, the more it seems like it could not possible be some 'trick you purchased".

Hudson
1KJ
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BTW, little correction. I meant to say "Out of This World", not "Oil and Water".

What I have found useful over the years is to watch lectures by very successful magicians. They frequently have put a lot of thought into how to take classics and make them more personal and more entertaining. And, on that subject, I would strongly advise watching lectures done by actors who are also magicians. Here are just a few names of actors or comedians who went on to do magic: Jay Sankey, Dan Harlan, Jonathan Levit, Jason Alexander. There are also many magicians who have really focused on the entertainment aspect of magic, including Doc Eason, David Williamson, Mel Mellers, Bill Malone, etc (I'm not sure if they were also actors or comedians).

As Hudson said, see how they have made some of the classics their own and modify them to make them YOUR OWN.

KJ
MichaelJae
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Me: Go ahead and pick a card
Spec: I already know this one
Me: (in my head-stfu) Awesome
End of routine
Spec: How the hell did you do that?
Me: I thought you already knew this one

This happens a couple of times a year. Too often spectators want to seem all knowing, especially when their amongst a group of friends.
Mortimer Graves
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My typical response to people saying they know the trick already is to grin from ear to ear and say, "Oh cool, I was hoping you'd say that! It always makes the surprise so much better when people think they know what to expect!"

Why? Because I never perform an effect the way everyone's used to seeing it, and by the time I'm done they know it. In not resisting their statement, but instead telling them it's great that they think they know, it automatically throws them off and increases their interest in what I'm going to do. It adds a sense of intrigue.

Plus, it doesn't seem defensive, nor does it refuse them the validation they're often seeking in saying such things. Quite often when people say they know a trick already what they're really saying is that they're familiar with it in some way, that they're not ignorant of its existence, and that they want you to think they're cool, or in the know.

Believe it or not, some people feel a little intimidated by us! Simply acknowledging that it's cool that they know something about magic and have been around a little can set them at ease and make them more comfortable, less insecure, and more open to seeing what we do that's different.

A lot of people feel or think on some level that there's a chance they'll end up looking foolish when we do our thing for them. Even if it's an irrational fear, it's still important for our audiences to like us and connect with us, and if acknowledging them and their experience helps, so be it.

All anyone really wants in this life is to feel like they fit in, that they're accepted. If your focus is on giving them a good experience and setting them at ease, you won't have to worry quite so much about being intimidated by them. They'll know you're more interested in giving them a good time than in looking like you're more special than everyone else, and it can make all the difference in the world.

If your material is really you, with your own touches added, it doesn't matter if they've seen it a million times. If they like you, chances are they'll like your magic.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
quietriot
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Often, with audience management, you might be able to avoid some "I know that trick" hecklers. But sometimes, you will still have them.

I handle hecklers, I know that trick, or others differently depending on the crowd, audience, and the heckler.

Sometimes, I stop the show, ask the hecklers name, and introduce him to the audience. I explain that he/she know this effect is done. So I will let give them a deck of cards, and let him show you. At that, I usually get a I know, but cant do it. Then I ask him to tell me what he he/she knows.

When they tell me, and they are generally as wrong as wrong can be. And it doesn't matter if they get it right or not.

So I say, yes! That is one way to do it!

Here, now let me show you a better way. Even when I do it as they described it, they don't see it.

I laugh and I smile, and even finished I often ask the audience to give the heckler a hand.

David
Mortimer Graves
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My friend (and mentor) Doug Conn has a unique and simple way of dealing with every form of "knower who blurts things" and which I've just remembered.

When they say something of the sort, like, "you're palming it!" he just says, "yep", and keeps on going, not missing a beat.

It's an acknowledgement and dismissal at the same time, and nobody interrupts again after that. That one little word tells them that persistence is useless, and that they're probably wrong, as well.

By the time he's done, they usually (hopefully) realize that he was actually doing them a favor; stopping them from making huge fools of themselves in front of everyone.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
SmaltrabTheAverage
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When I've been practicing over the years, I've tried all sorts of approaches to people, the confident, arrogant/slick to the softly comedic approach and you do have to adapt yourself a little to the people you're performing to. I've done a few prestigious black tie events, where my "UK Redneck" charm wouldn't go down too well (although I keep a bit of it) and for a local gig where marijuana comes before school, I wouldn't talk with a plum in my mouth..

I often find that people feel threatened somewhat when we approach... they have seen people made a fool of, or they're expecting something childish, if you can see they're uncomfortable, it makes you as the performer a little uncomforatble too.

If you're working somewhere there have been magicians before, you could approach with
"Listen, I'm sure you've seen some amazing magic, so you'd better get used to disappointment! Watch this"

I've used this on a couple of occasions where I've either filled in for a magician, or functions that have had magicians before. You're lowering their expectations, then surprising them with hopefully some great magic, and they will be a little kinder if it goes wrong too!

This method has a fine line of appearing arrogant though!
Mortimer Graves
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That's kind of like one of my favorite opening lines that I've never used:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I've come here tonight with the intent of showing you the greatest magic you have ever seen, something David Copperfield would give his right hand to learn! Something Penn and Teller would kill each other merely to see! Something which would make the heavens part, and cause the oceans to boil, by the sheer magnificence of it!"

*dramatic pause*

"Unfortunately, I left it in my hotel room on accident, so I'll be doing this instead."

XD
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
SmaltrabTheAverage
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Haha! Smile Smile Smile

I am definitely stealing that with your permission! Although if I have permission I guess it's not stolen?!
Mortimer Graves
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The general idea is old, the wording is mine, and now it's yours.

Take it and run with it, who knows, you might even decide to keep it in your act.

General rule with me; if I share it, feel free to use it.

^_^
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
george1953
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If someone says "I know how its done" I immediately hand them whatever trick it is and say oh good you do it instead. Then just stand there and wait. It usually shuts them up.
By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail.
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