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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Heckler Stoppers When You Can't Walk Away (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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warren
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I cam across a post on a magic forum group on FB where a magician was performing for a group of 10 people and one spectator was giving him a real hard time, you know the sort ie can I shuffle the cards, I want to change my card for another one, let me look at those rings altogether, let me hold the rope and see if you can get the ring on etc.

So I thought it might be good to post some real world advice for when this situation arrives so that we can have something to fall back on.

Imagine the situation, your being paid to perform and you get called over to perform something for a certain person only to discover this person is the spectator from hell, now remember your being paid well, you've been asked to show this person something perhaps from the host so what do you do ?

To get the ball rolling here's some ideas.

1/ Marked deck: once the spectator actually takes a card and shows it around you've basically won that round.

2/ The Bar Code Gag: it fits in your wallet so packs small, your guaranteed to make the group laugh, the spectator won't like it but hey who cares

3/ MD Mini: Even though I don't find these type of routines entertaining as long as more than one person gets to see what colour is showing or number if using a die it's going to be impossible to get it wrong

Over to you
puggo
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I've not really encountered much in the way of issues in recent years (touch wood) and if someone is a bit feisty and cards are in play, I would opt for a light hearted thought of card quickie with a top change and CTW 'out'. I've used this many times for challenging spectators and it hasn't failed me (and allows me to keep control of the cards).
You can then of course let a (nice) audience member shuffle them if you want Smile
In many ways, I think good lines/banter can be at least as effective as a heckler stopper trick.

I used to carry one of these: https://www.cards4magic.co.uk/donor-card......309.html as it got a laugh and was not confrontational, but stopped a few years back.

My first ever proper gig was with 2 other magicians (who were good friends) and there was this woman who was really aggressive/disruptive/challenging.
She was really giving one of the magicians a hard time. He was about to walk off so I introduced myself and asked if she could guess what was in my pocket. I happened to have an 8 foot appearing pole that I produced and it completely floored her in a good way - she was laughing and happily watched another trick without issue.
However, when my magi friend returned with the intent of perhaps giving it another go, she turned back into a pain in the a**...
With that said, after a couple of gigs I stopped carrying the pole at close up gigs due to the impractical reset etc.

I think that the more you do, the less hecklers you get due to a good approach, experience at managing difficult situations etc., but sadly there's no way of completely eliminating the chance of running into an idiot. For most close up workers, our job is intruding on people and that carries risk!

Not that I have an MD mini, but I wouldn't risk such a prop with a bad crowd (I'm too tight!). I also wonder if a 'challenge' trick may be less effective compared to something surprising/silly.
Dannydoyle
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No matter who hired you for how much you are not a trained monkey. You don't have to be treated like that.

Finish up what you are doing and move on. You never are going to look great in the exchange so why bother? Nobody knows what routines you have planned. Just move on.

If you can force a card the game is over.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
warren
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Thanks for the response and Danny I agree with you completely personally I just wouldn't bother with that type of spectator either.

Puggo as soon as you mentioned the 8ft pole from pocket it made me chuckle I would imagine that would disarm any hostile type spectators ha ha
Dannydoyle
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The truth is that sometimes "that guy " is just that guy and nothing you do is going to help. It simply doesn't matter who hired you for how much you can't make people not be who they are.

It is vanity that makes magicians try in the first place. It is a complete lack of understandable of the audience. When you are in walk around situations you may not always be welcome. The fact is you may be an interruption, and not a welcome one.

Contrary to what magicians seem to believe not everyone wants to see or even likes magic. To try to make them watch is pointless.

Also the part of the equation that is missed is the spectators point of view. Clearly they don't want to watch so to try to force some effect on them they don't want to see in the first place is just crazy in my view. Go to those who want to watch.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
warren
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Danny once again I agree with you however in our hypothetical situation it was the booker that asked you to do something for their friend, in this situation you would have been put on the spot as you wouldn't have been able to gauge the situation beforehand.

Admittedly this would be a very rare situation but I also think that this would be the worst case scenario so if one can walk away from this situation with some degree of success then the magician would have done well.
davidpaul$
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I was hired to entertain at a graduation party strolling around from group to group. I ran into one of those "guys". The person that hired me was enjoying following me around to watch his guests interactions and responses. I could not avoid or walk away from this particular "heckler" spectator.
If I did, I would not have fulfilled my obligation to the person that booked me plus he was watching me.. How did I handle it???? One example;

I used my experience with "Outs" and other subtleties. He wanted to see a card trick, so I obliged.
I had controlled his signed card to the top. He said "my card is on the top of the deck". I then executed some false shuffles and cuts. He said "my card is still on top of the deck". I then legitimately cut his card to the center and handed him the deck to shuffle. I asked if he was satisfied. He was. Then I did something bold and asked if he was sure his card was still in the deck while I was searching for it right in front of him. (Cards tilted toward me of course) I culled his card back to the top casually. I said to the heckler, "Your card is not in here, it's in my pocket.
I executed the Glenn Morphew top palm (a little plug for Glenn) and slowly removed his card from my pocket. The person stood up, shook my hand, shook his head and said WOW well done.

Hecklers can be handled successfully in many different ways. Sometimes when I experience a difficult person I will jokingly say "I see we have a heckler in our midst" This often times gets a laugh and diffuses the situation. Sometimes it's the performers personality / approach, that can be off putting and encourage a heckler. Perform effects that are fair and don't arouse suspicion. I rarely force cards but rather have someone think of a card in their minds and use signatures. You just have to have many different moves and sleights in your arsenal to draw upon. Experience and knowledge as well as practice, of course.

Then there is that rare person that nothing you can do or say that will suffice. It happens.
I keep my composure, smile, possibly shake their hand and say something nice to them.
MOVE ON...
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jul 10, 2019, warren wrote:
Danny once again I agree with you however in our hypothetical situation it was the booker that asked you to do something for their friend, in this situation you would have been put on the spot as you wouldn't have been able to gauge the situation beforehand.

Admittedly this would be a very rare situation but I also think that this would be the worst case scenario so if one can walk away from this situation with some degree of success then the magician would have done well.


This hypothetical situation almost never happens in real life. Almost never is a generous estimate.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Gerald Deutsch
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Sometimes (not always) when you are performing "Perverse Magic" you can appear to be on the heckler's side and sort of be puzzled when the effect works.
warren
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Davidpaul whenever I come across an awkward situation when using cards my go to is to palm the selection as I hand the deck to be shuffled and produce it from my wallet which has always got me a good reaction and usually gets the spectator onside too.

Danny point taken lets get back on topic now please.
Dannydoyle
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If the situation is as extreme as you pretend here, then palming a card is the LAST thing you want to be doing. I mean getting busted flat out with the card in your hand with NO way out is just not going to be a good thing in the end.

This is why a force works so well. No matter what happens if you force the card, then have the problem child show it to others you are golden. You need to be able to do something that flat out can be examined, shuffled and just hit every time no matter what. There is no condition under which a force will not cover the problem child.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
warren
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Quote:
On Jul 10, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
If the situation is as extreme as you pretend here, then palming a card is the LAST thing you want to be doing. I mean getting busted flat out with the card in your hand with NO way out is just not going to be a good thing in the end.

This is why a force works so well. No matter what happens if you force the card, then have the problem child show it to others you are golden. You need to be able to do something that flat out can be examined, shuffled and just hit every time no matter what. There is no condition under which a force will not cover the problem child.


I wasn't talking about my hypothetical situation I was just agreeing with David as it's something I've done in the past when someone has asked me if they can shuffle the cards. Back to the hypothetical situation the spectator isn't really going to be easy to force a card on to and would most likely say oh no I don't want that card let me change it for another card.

Something that I think would work is to allow the spectator to shuffle the deck, then take it back riffle the deck and get the spectator to glimpse a card and then to peek it as you hand the deck back to be shuffled which sort of allows for what you were saying.
Kaliix
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Let them pick the card, then fan the cards and have them shove it back in where ever they want. The deck should be pinched firmly so that the card stops going into the deck a bit past halfway. Either the spectator stops pushing and you crimp the card when you push it in or the spectator pushes against your firm grip and crimps it for you. After that, finding it is no problem, proceed as you will.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
Dannydoyle
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Forces like the slip force work 100% of the time. If they want another one, force another one. The point is toy know their card and the effect is easy.

You keep moving the goalposts and creating an imaginary spectator who can't be worked for. Which brings us full circle to why work for them?

It was aids earlier that the more experience you have the less this happens in reality.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
warren
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Kaliix the fan control you mentioned is actually something that I was also thinking of and agree that it is a very disarming method.

Danny I'm not moving any goal posts perhaps you should reread the original question especially the 5th line down.
I'm not saying that forcing a card isn't a good idea or that it would not work in many situations but I'm referring to the worst case scenario. For example this could be your opening effect, which most likely wouldn't even be a card trick.
warren
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My mistake that should have read 3rd line down.
imgic
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Quote:
On Jul 10, 2019, Gerald Deutsch wrote:
Sometimes (not always) when you are performing "Perverse Magic" you can appear to be on the heckler's side and sort of be puzzled when the effect works.


I was curious about "Perverse Magic" and so I googled it. After seeing results of first search, I added "magic trick" to the search and got some more suitable returns. Found a great blog entry on it:

https://jackshalom.net/tag/perverse-magic/

It's review and discussion on what I'm assuming is Gerald's book. Love the outlook and will be ordering a copy to read in the future.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Dannydoyle
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Jack did a wonderful review of it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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I largely just agree with Danny. If someone is actively hostile to me, I don't perform for them, host request or not. I should also note - I've set my character up to be in line with that ideal. When I introduce myself and do things for people, I point out that generally I need the audience to be cooperative and if they fight me, it won't work.

By setting it up that way I take the wind out of their sails, so to speak, and it makes messing with me no fun. "Ok, you're fighting me. I told you it wouldn't work if you fought me right off the bat. Now, if you'd like to try this, just follow my instructions ..."

To indulge in the OP's original question, though - If I had a truly troublesome audience member that I absolutely had to perform for, for some reason, I'd do something he couldn't possibly bust.

That's going to be different for each performer, of course, as it has to be in line with their character. But I can put a needle through my hand, and it suits my character. Few things silence an attempted heckler like seeing a few inches of metal shoved through the performer's hand while they make eye contact.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
warren
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Thanks for everyone's input, just to be clear I'm in total agreement that the best thing to do is not perform for them I just thought it was worthy of a thread to help fellow magicians should the situation arise.
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