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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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Dannydoyle
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I thought so. Though I would have never foresee 35.

Thank you for the perspective.

Keep those pencils sharp and when I want an opinion about accounting I will keep you in mind.

Funny part is I don't use the line as Jordan wants to imply.

But when accountants who have never made a l living doing magic offer such strong conclusions about performance it becomes almost as silly as me offering absolute about tax deductions. He would be enraged if we did that and rightly so.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Kaliix
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Personally, I don't think "what" is said is near as important as "how" you say it. Don't get me wrong, phrasing matters, just not near as much as tone, inflection, timing, body language and attitude. If those things are not right, it doesn't really matter "what" one says.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Keith Raygor
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Bingo!
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2015, JordanB wrote:
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.


You lost the argument at "I think it is an objective fact." Clearly this is not an objective fact. Objective facts can be proven under test conditions. By definition they are not subject to personal feelings or bias.

Your argument about accounting professors during lectures and never asking about their age and years of experience is a tremendously obvious fallacy: argument by analogy. I'm surprised with your 170 college credit hours (which apparently you still need to tout at 35) that you never learned simple argumentative fallacies.

The question of whether or not "Do me a favor" is a good line is certainly up for debate - BUT that debate should be had by those with experience as a professional magician, working in different venues for different audiences for thousands of hours. And the reason it should be had by those people isn't to be elitist. It's because if you haven't had the experience, you cannot possibly know how people do or do not react to a particular line.
JordanB
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In the interest of transparency I was being obtuse although I thought this would be clear to everyone.

@Brian: how do you have a tremendously obviously fallacy? What separates it from the normal obvious fallacy? I kid, I kid. Arguing using analogy is actually a form of reasoning and not really a fallacy. However,introducining the argument that my years of "full time professional experience" somehow invalidate my points is a logical fallacy. I'm not exactly sure whether it would be a red herring or an ad hominem attack, but someone could probably make a credible case for each.

I still contend that saying "do me a favor" is similar to someone saying "Can I ask you a question?". I just think its not good. A lot of guys say "watch close" when they should be saying "watch closely". Kaliix hit the nail on the head. There are many pieces to a puzzle. The puzzle is incomplete without them all, but some are more important than others.
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Mar 16, 2015, JordanB wrote:
However,introducining the argument that my years of "full time professional experience" somehow invalidate my points is a logical fallacy. I'm not exactly sure whether it would be a red herring or an ad hominem attack, but someone could probably make a credible case for each.


You are wrong here. Red herring is introducing something irrelevant to throw your opponent down a misleading path. An ad hominem attack is arguing for conclusions based on the person making the argument rather than the facts presented.

The reason that your years of experience as a professional magician are both relevant and integral to this discussion is because the line in question "Do me a favor..." cannot be removed from its context for the purpose of debate. We're discussing how people (non magicians) do or do not react to a particular sentence ("Do me a favor..."), in a particular situation (strolling gig/event), with a particular sort of person (professional strolling entertainer). If you strip away the context you lose the foundation of this debate. So your experience matters. It is not a red herring or an ad hominem attack.

EDIT: I'd like to add that first, all argument by analogies are bad, because there is no such thing as a perfect analogy (or it wouldn't be an analogy). Second, your argument by analogy is a fallacy because you've used a false analogy, one that does not fundamentally reflect the topic at hand.
JordanB
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Now I understand the problem. You are discussing how people react. I am not.

I will assume the blame since I was admittedly, as stated above, being obtuse initially. I apologize at the outset for the use of metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and analogy. I am, after all, from Texas.

So I will drop the snark. Saying "do me a favor" is redundant, trite, overused, etc. It is almost identical to saying "Can I ask you a question?".

I know people don't poke you in the eye with a fork when you say it, but that's not the point. It's like saying "watch close". It's not correct. It's "watch closely". I don't need to be an expert on magic, philosophy, accounting or anything else to know how it sounds. I have 30 years experience as a spectator and although I always react positiviely when I hear it I cringe on the inside. I realize that not everyone cringes, but there are those in "polite society" who do not appreciate it.

And for the record, having worked for corporate managers and with corporate managers and executives full-time for over fifteen years I cannot recall having heard a single one utter the phrase "do me a favor" in any context, ever.
Zephury
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I haven't read all the replies about this line, but for the few I skimmed through, I think most of you are missing something.

Character... Good magicians maintain a character or style. Some play them self, others play something a little more out of context like Pop Haydn who is apparently stuck in modern time but was born many years before our time. It all depends on the perception you want to give off and the style you choose.

"Do me a favor" reminds me of something a New York mobster would have said. If someone were a mobster type character, carried an accent from New York or something a long those lines, I think the line could suit them. Others want to portray someone of elegance and sophistication in which the line would not be in character for. I think it depends on the person. IF it irritates you that someone uses that line, that's all you. I believe it can work for certain characters and not for others.

I don't wanna get in any debates, but that's my two cents.
Dannydoyle
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Well isn't that the point? Being yourself as opposed to what some snarky guy from Texas wants to put on everyone to be?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Mar 16, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well isn't that the point? Being yourself as opposed to what some snarky guy from Texas wants to put on everyone to be?


This is what it's all about. Danny knows it. Pros know it. If the phrase "Do me a favor" sounds trite to you, then for goodness sake don't use it! By the same token it may be perfectly natural, within context, for a great many performers, and therefore sound pleasing and respectful to their audiences.

If we were discussing a phrase like "Pick a card, any card" I would be having a very different discussion, because that is an example of a phrase that has become embedded in the public's consciousness as the stereotypical bad magician. "Do me a favor" is not part of that stereotype.
Pop Haydn
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The real question is what sort of way of asking is best for the character--what relationships do we want to set with the audience that establishes the performer and his position with the audience. Is this a relationship of equals?

In my book Street Magic, I talk about some things I learned about performing from a legless man in a wheelchair who called himself "the Captain."

I have always found his advice to be extremely valuable:

"I don’t remember much of what he said, but he did say one thing that stuck in my mind.
“Don’t ask for stuff. You have to tell people what to do. Take over. Not in a bad way—in a friendly way. People want someone to direct. They are more comfortable when they know someone is in charge. When you are working, just say ‘Take a card,’ not ‘Would you please take a card.’ You are like the captain or the director. Just tell people what to do and they will do it. Take the situation over. 'Let people know what is expected of them. Let ’em know what you want.'
"I saw him a few more times, and then he just seemed to disappear. I could never forget the sheer force of his personality.
"And I think he was right about the attitude of the performer and the need for authority. The audience needs to be directed and told what you want from them. The performer is not the host and the audience his guests. The performer is the one running the show.
"You don’t ask them to laugh—you make them laugh."
~Street Magic

I think it is important to remember the dynamic you want to set up with your audience. Perhaps "equals" at a discussion or party is the wrong approach. Perhaps the manners need to reflect the power situation you want to establish with the spectators.
Dannydoyle
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I have thought a lot about that. It was the point.

I am 6'4" and about 270 lbs. Large by most standards. So giving orders orders does not reflect well upon what I wish to project. So the nicer approach is what I chose to go with.

While I do not pass judgment on the line itself I can certainly see it being useful. But as Brian points out it is completely situational.

When blanket statements are made it usually tells more about the person making then then what they are saying.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
BrianMillerMagic
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Pop, I deeply respect your magic and your knowledge/experience. In this case, I do disagree. As a strolling entertainer at an event approaching a group of people, I am inserting myself into their space. Therefore I do so as politely and respectfully as possible. If I were mingling at an event, chatting with friends, and some stranger came up to us, starting doing a trick, and then told me what to do, I would be extremely put off. "Please," "thank you," "if you would...", "do me a favor," "could you help me out?", "would you be willing to...?" etc all go a long way when it comes to respecting someone else's space.

BUT as a stage performer I completely agree. When someone comes on stage during a show, they enter MY space, and I will say "stand here," "turn this way," "hold this," etc. Very different environment.
Pop Haydn
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I would always begin a walk-around show by asking permission, "I am a part of your entertainment tonight. Would you like to see some magic?" Once they agree, it is an agreement to let me take over the situation--to take charge and present my show.

If the performer is deferential after that point, it is easy for difficult members of the audience to insinuate themselves and challenge you for the attention of the group:

"Would you like to take a card?" "No."

"Would you do me a favor?" "I don't know; you gonna do me a favor?"

As a street performer, this sort of fight is commonplace, but it does come up every now in then even at the most elegant walkaround environments. Taking charge of the attention and holding it is an important prophylactic against such difficulties.
Rolyan
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Quote:
On Mar 10, 2015, JordanB wrote:
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.

Those that disagree with you (by continuing to use the expression 'do me a favour') don't think it's an impossible task. They are simply deciding that your opinion is not valid for them.

Yours is just an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Yet you write as if you believe that is is somehow more than this. You may strongly believe that your perception of the way things should be is the only true way, but unfortunately that's not the case.

All of which is just my opnion of course, so do me a favour and take it as intended.
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2015, Rolyan wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 10, 2015, JordanB wrote:
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.

Those that disagree with you (by continuing to use the expression 'do me a favour') don't think it's an impossible task. They are simply deciding that your opinion is not valid for them.

Yours is just an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Yet you write as if you believe that is is somehow more than this. You may strongly believe that your perception of the way things should be is the only true way, but unfortunately that's not the case.

All of which is just my opnion of course, so do me a favour and take it as intended.



Well, I think that is a bit off. JordenB not only gave his opinion, and explained it, he sited Emily Post and Dale Carnegie. You didn't even give a justification for your opinion. Everyone has an opinion, but some are worth listening to much more than others. JordenB never implied that his perception is the only true way. You are cutting off discussion for no reason. Everyone has an opinion, but a lot of people would like to try and sort through those opinions to find which has the most merit. So far, I wouldn't give much weight to yours...If you don't want to contribute, or to listen to other opinions, why are you here?
Dannydoyle
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Yea I simply think that to tell others not to use it is pointless. So is cutting off discussion.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
AndreJ
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Wow...this thread really took off...

I think the whole discussion is the thing that makes us all better performers (although I´m a humble newbie among some real masters here). By thinking about something, and analyzing it with the help of others, you always learn something.

My point is that you have to actively think about what lines you use. For some, the line may be right, for others it mat be wrong...and for some, it´s a line that comes out of their mouth without them even realizing it. The devil is in the details, and if you can eliminate a line that you use without thought, I think that´s a good thing.

Speaking of details...I should have put a question mark in the title...
My background: Loved magic for 25 years, always wanted to do paid gigs but never had the courage. Faced my fears some years ago and now perform regularly.
Dannydoyle
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Well the position that every line should be thought of is certainly relevant. Absolutely agree.

Spurring discussion is also great. Which is why the able l absolute positions are strange to me.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Rolyan
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Quote:
On Mar 18, 2015, Pop Haydn wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 18, 2015, Rolyan wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 10, 2015, JordanB wrote:
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.

Those that disagree with you (by continuing to use the expression 'do me a favour') don't think it's an impossible task. They are simply deciding that your opinion is not valid for them.

Yours is just an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Yet you write as if you believe that is is somehow more than this. You may strongly believe that your perception of the way things should be is the only true way, but unfortunately that's not the case.

All of which is just my opnion of course, so do me a favour and take it as intended.



Well, I think that is a bit off. JordenB not only gave his opinion, and explained it, he sited Emily Post and Dale Carnegie. You didn't even give a justification for your opinion. Everyone has an opinion, but some are worth listening to much more than others. JordenB never implied that his perception is the only true way. You are cutting off discussion for no reason. Everyone has an opinion, but a lot of people would like to try and sort through those opinions to find which has the most merit. So far, I wouldn't give much weight to yours...If you don't want to contribute, or to listen to other opinions, why are you here?

I don't need you to give much weight to mine, it's just my opinion, the same as yours is just your opinion. Nothing more, nothing less, although it appears I differ from you in that I believe that everyone's opinions are worth listening to with equal merit. We'll have to agree to disagree.

He said that it was trite. He said that it can infer a familiarity. He said its easy to be polite and classy without using the expression. That's all fine and hunky dory, his opinion. But then he said its not like its an impossible task not to use the expression. I was simply pointing out that it is nothing to do with it being an impossible task. It's to do with others not agreeing with him that the expression shouldn't be used. That's a contribution even if you don't agree with it.

I'm not stopping him having an opinion, or asking him not to express it, or saying he shouldn't post it. I'm not cutting off discussion. I'm simply saying that in my opinion he has failed to understand why some are not accepting his argument not to use the expression. That is my opinion. You ask me if I don't want to listen to other opinions then why am I here. I could say the same to you. Your reply was far more dismissive of my post than mine was of his.

I'm hoping that he understood my position and that he doesn't need you to jump in and defend him where no defence is needed. I doubt it upset him that much (it really wasn't "a bit off") and hopefully he will accept that it's just my opinion, the way that I very clearly accepted and explained it as being just his opinion.
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