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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » "Do me a favor..." Worst line ever. (26 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tukaram
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Iloilo, Philippines
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Everyone has their pet peeves... I was showing my college aged daughter a trick a couple years ago and said something along the lines of 'help me with this experiment' or someting similar... and she stopped me right there and said it was trite and told me to never use that line again ha ha
davidpaul$
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I cringe when I hear... "What I'm gonna do is...." or "What I want you to do is..." I sometimes catch myself saying it and bite my lip.
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Kuzushi
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If you don't like a particular phrase or word don't use it yourself. To try to generalize a rule for everyone to follow seems fruitless and a bit narcissistic. Why are your preferences so special? And to argue from the other side, I think that fretting over trivial verbiage is a first step in second guessing yourself and coming across as placating and lacking confidence.
Jamie D. Grant
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My 2 cents:

I think it could only be really overused if you said it repeatedly to the same spectator. I say the exact same lines, and I mean EXACT, to thousands of people. But to them, it's the first, and probably only, time they'll hear it from me. So it could actually be considered quite original, lol.

As for the actual term, I agree with those above me here. It's nice. Simple as that. It's the difference between, "Pick a card." and, "Can you do me a favor and pick a card for me?" Asking for someone's help always goes over better than issuing an order. At least it has for me.
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imgic
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This thread got me thinking about possible character development.

Imagine dressing up in 1930's style military uniform with leather riding boots, leather belt, and riding crop...

""You WILL pick a card! And you will pick it now!"

No need to say "please" or "do me a favor..."

Take it a step further...think how easy a force would be,,,

"You WILL pick a card...and you WILL pick the six of clubs!" (Slapping riding crop onto table)

Mmmm.... This could have some possibilities...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
TheMightyRicardo
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Thanks for the laugh, Imgic
EVILDAN
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In one of the classic books, either Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" or Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" one of the first ways to win someone over was to get them to do you a favor. Again, I forget which book I read it in.

I also found it in "10 Psychology Tricks You Can Use To Influence People" online.

Trick: Get someone to do a favor for you—also known as the Benjamin Franklin effect.

Legend has it that Benjamin Franklin once wanted to win over a man who didn’t like him. He asked the man to lend him a rare book and when the book was received he thanked him graciously. As a result, this the man who had never wanted to speak to him before, became good friends with Franklin. To quote Franklin: “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

Scientists decided to test this theory and found that those who were asked by the researcher for a personal favor rated the researcher much more favorably than the other groups did. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the theory is pretty sound. If someone does a favor for you, they are likely to rationalize that you must have been worth doing the favor for, and decide that therefore they must like you.

http://listverse.com/2013/02/03/10-psych......-people/
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Dannydoyle
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Books and studies you say? Well if you are going to use facts and proof...

No sir either way the kids here say it is the worst therefore all the new fangltfangly sciency stuff does not matter.
Danny Doyle
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JordanB
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It's in the Dale Carnegie book and what Carnegie was talking about in that book has no bearing on this conversation because when we say "do me a favor" we aren't really asking them to do us a favor. What we are doing is the magic equivalent of someone saying "Can I ask you a question?"

Tukaram hit the nail on the head. It is a trite expression to use in the context of a magic trick. Not only is it trite, but it implies a familiarity that can seem imposing and rude to relative strangers. If you would like an appopriate book to read that covers this subject and the context I suggest you read Emily Post's Etiquette.

It's easy to give instructions or ask for something in a nice, professional, classy manner without saying "do me a favor". It's not like its some impossible task.
Dannydoyle
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Yea definitely good to make blanket statements. That usually works out just great.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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"Do me a favor" is a common phrase in everyday speech. And when someone asks for your help, you feel like they are putting their trust/faith in you, and it feels very good. Good corporate managers know this and use it effectively. That said, they have to like you or be welcoming of your company before you can ask them to do you a favor. Spend the first 30 seconds at a table introducing yourself and getting on friendly terms before asking favors of a complete stranger. To me, this is the more important issue.
Rocky
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This conversation is important. However, how many magicians are actually out there performing who butcher these tired expressions/requests? I would be willing to bet that if every member of the café went to a random restaurant tonight, not one of us would encounter a "House Magician". In fact,the odds are pretty good that we could all patronize a different restaurant for an entire year and still be hard pressed to find a skilled table hopper. The same holds true for corporate events where many claim signing lucrative contracts for various private events. I am not suggesting that corporations will not pay top dollar for a skilled entertainer, but Ive attended hundreds of various corporate events and not one has had a magician wandering from group to group asking for favors.
The original poster is like most of us...we hear magicians use these lines constantly because we hang out with magicians. Its a pet peeve specific to us because we spend more time performing for other magicians than we do for laymen. Its the same reason I was told years ago to forget about performing the linking rings. Magicians claimed that it had been over performed and audiences were bored with the effect. In actuality, it had been over performed by magicians for other magicians...when I hear a layperson claim that magicians need to use different lines to fill their patter scripts or update the effects they perform due them being over performed I'll listen...with the lack of actual performing magicians it will be a long time before that situation happens.
JordanB
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The Professor, Dai Vernon, was known to say “details make for perfection, but perfection is no detail”, a quote he attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Changing your presentation to not say “do me a favor” is a small detail, but these small details can add up and make the difference between a good performance and something wonderful.

For example, I know a guy that is a well-seasoned performer. He has professional presentations and performs as a full time pro and has done so for many years. As part of his program he presents the cut and restored rope. He does it capably, but there are many things he could do to make it better. Little things, like bleaching the rope so it doesn’t look dingy, cutting the frayed ends off, or handling the props better. These all add up and could turn what is just a good trick into something sublime.

Magicians think just because something works or goes by an audience that it’s good. This is simply not true. I’m reminded of the New Yorker piece on Ricky Jay where he said the reason he doesn’t lecture at magic conventions is because he is still learning, yet some people have been doing magic six months want to go out and pontificate. His point was that we never stop learning and improving.

I can tell you that if the people who taught me etiquette ever heard me say at a dinner table “do me a favor and pass the potatoes” that they would roll over in their grave.

Saying not to make blanket statements is like this new trend of saying “don’t judge”. That is a lame excuse. A blanket statement is a statement of fact. Is saying “you need water to survive” wrong? I don’t think so. I have no reservations in stating that saying “do me a favor” in the context of a magic trick sucks. I’m not saying it ruins the trick, but in my opinion (and this is not a blanket statement, but my opinion) it makes you seem boorish.
Dannydoyle
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Out of pure idle curiosity how old are you and how long have you been a full time professional magician?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
JordanB
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It's not relevant to the facts at hand because I don't use the crummy line "do me a favor" in magic tricks. A more relevant question is: how long have you been a full time professional magician using this crummy line, and now that you have the facts are you going to stop saying it? It would still hold true if I had never done a trick in my life.
MeetMagicMike
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Fact:

JordanB doesn't like the phrase "Do me a favor" used in the context of a magic trick because he says some people taught him it was bad etiquette.

Conclusion:

JordanB shouldn't use that phrase in the context of a magic trick.
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JordanB
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dallas, tx
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Just to indulge Danny. I am 35 years old. I am not, nor have I ever been, a full time professional magician. I am a CPA and do corporate tax work.

I do have a degree in accounting and a Masters degree in taxation. I have over 170 college credit hours. The vast majority of my professors had little to none "real world" accounting or tax experience. Not once during a lecture did I raise my hands and ask "how old are you and how many years of full time experience do you have?" It wasn't relevant to that discussion, just as my age and years of experience aren't relative to this dicussion.

I do; however, realize that my words may seem harsh. I don't think saying "do me a favor" ruins magic. I DO think it is a bad line in ALL instances and should be avoided. I cannot think of one instance in magic where that line would be good (as opposed to just saying "Please").

I realize some of you may think this is a subjective trifle. I just disagree. I think it is an objective fact.
Keith Raygor
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Naples, FL
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It's easy to tell who does not earn their living performing for non-magician audiences. And to them I say, do me a favor, gain more experience and come back with your thoughts. I predict less certainty in your posts.
JordanB
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It certainly is easy for me to tell who uses "do me a favor".
Keith Raygor
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Busted. Sharp eye - useful for accounting.
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