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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Uncooperative Spectators (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TeddyBoy
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For close-up workers, I was just wondering what is the frequency of coming across spectators that actively try and make you mess up? Maybe I should phrase it as what percent of spectators either heckle or subvert your performance? For example, I learned a trick requiring taking or replacing a card near the middle of a spread. Then when I gave it a tryout at least one of the "spectators"would select or replace the card near the end/beginning of the spread. Being a newbie to this art, and one with no performance experience, I had to punt and go to another trick. Man, I felt foolish.

How often does this kind of stuff happen?
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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You're going to hate the answer. It almost never happens to me.

But the real answer is it is different for everyone depending on 1,000 plus variables. First are you being paid to perform? How much experience do you have? Are you doing puzzle magic or engaging them.

It will happen less and less with more experience.
Nobody can give you a number relevant to you situation without a lot more knowledge of that situation.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TeddyBoy
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Thanks for your input. I thought it may be a difficult question to answer in general terms. I guess I was correct.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
imgic
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Moved to Seattle to see
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Awhile back I was performing John Archer's Deja Too routine. It requires a volunteer to write down a card they'd selected earlier in the routine. I handed her pen and pad and asked her to write her card. She drew something else. Upon reveal, I was surprised, and asked if that was card she'd selected. She admitted it was not, but it was "her" card (her favorite card)...and she told me I hadn't said to draw her selected card. While it ruined the trick, I did get some playful banter out of it.

A few weeks later I was in a magic shop and talking to a much more experienced and wiser magician, and I was lamenting over the uncooperative spectator, when he chastised me. He told me it was my fault. Audience management is a key aspect many overlook. You have to be specific with instructions. You have to try to "idiot proof" your routines. You have to be aware of who you're asking to volunteer. You don't call up the kid who's running around screaming. In podcast interview for Practical Magic, the Amazing Jonathan offered the advice "never pick a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt" It was his experience that guys who were such loud shirts seek attention and are more likely to be uncooperative.


It does happen to me, but upon reflection, it happens a lot less now than when I started out. Danny is right...the more you perform, you'll learn where in the routine there may be problems and fix them. You'll also gain confidence which impacts how people interact with you.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
davidpaul$
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I took a key word from Danny's post "Experience" and a word that stood out to me from imgic's post
"Confidence". I'll add a " Friendly and engaging personality" If you come across as a person with a certain arrogance, people are more likely to mess with you. Experience,confidence and a likeable personality, oh yes "CHOPS" will go a long way in performance an successful interactions.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
MeetMagicMike
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Danny and Imgic are correct. It will happen less with more experience. But even now there are a few things that might help:

Perform for people other than relatives and close friends. People who know you are more apt to try to bust your magic.

Choose a volunteer who seems interested in the trick but not overly interested in being your volunteer.

Choose a girl or woman to be your volunteer. Boys and men sometimes think if it a contest for attention. This is not always true. Some females can be just as adversarial as any male.

Michael Ammar talks about taking the sting out of your magic. When doing three-card monte for instance tell the story of how you were folle3d rather than putting your spectator on the spot.

And finally, Learn your routines well enough that you don't have any awkward pauses that give the spectator a moment to jump in. When I first perform copper silver brass I often had people wanting to inspect the coins at the worst moment. As I got smoother with the routine and kept things flowing that never happened again.
Magic Mike

MeetMagicMike.com



I took the Pledge
TeddyBoy
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Thanks All, much interesting comments to think about. Right off the bat, confidence will be a problem but I am working on it.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
davidpaul$
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Teddy,
The "ONLY" way to gain confidence is to get out there and perform. You'll experience failure and success. The more you perform for different people
with different personalities you'll eventually know, over time, what to expect. Sure you have to know the effects as well as outs in case you run into trouble
which you will. We all do, no matter how experienced you are. But.. you'll have been there done that. Your confidence level "WILL" increase, over time. There are no other short cuts.

I've learned that I can practice effects at home, in front of a mirror, for hours and days. But it is totally different when in front of spectators. Find opportunities.
Know what you are going to perform to the very best of your ability then "Just Do IT" BUT HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
TeddyBoy
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David, thanks so much for your encouraging insights. Apparently, performing for people will have to wait until after the pandemic. Until then, all I have is my wife.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
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