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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » What would you do? (24 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Rook
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I went to the Magic Cafe and all I got were these lousy
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Take the temperature of the moment. There's no one size fits all answer for all spur of the moment requests.

You'll know better in your own situation what to do than I. If you feel that it will cheapen your character or art at that moment...don't. Simple. Otherwise, I'd say go for it, but build a bit of drama while you're at it.

In most of my social situations, for example, it's not around family or friends. I'm usually around groups of distant acquaintances. This is often a good networking opportunity (naturally, this has changed dramatically in recent months). As such, I always have a simple, little routine handy that leaves my card and an impression with someone.

This, of course, would not fare as well at the dinner table with my in-laws (as an extreme example...though I will admit they make a great practice audience!)
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Politely refuse twice. If they persist a third time, then reluctantly show them something.

However, also look for opportunities to have something weird happen at random times (a.k.a. The Shiels Effect).
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
rowdymagi5
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I remember being in a situation with Eugene Burger. A person walked up and asked to see something magical. Eugene did not hesitate and commenced to show him a trick or two. When I asked him later if he always performs for those who ask, he responded, "Why wouldn't I"?
Mindpro
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Yes, he was also a magician. He was not a mentalist. As you said he was asked to "show him a TRICK or two." That is the last thing I would want anywhere near my mentalism.

Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events.
rowdymagi5
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Quote:
On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
Yes, he was also a magician. He was not a mentalist. As you said he was asked to "show him a TRICK or two." That is the last thing I would want anywhere near my mentalism.

Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events.


Good point. After some thought, I fully agree with you!
Julie
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Quote:
On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:

...Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events.


F.Y.I. In his early Chicago years, he left the teaching profession to pursue his special brand of unique close-up restaurant magic. He played primarily first class establishments, private parties and corporate events.

Julie
Tony Razzano
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I don't perforin unless I am getting paid. OR if I believe the effect I do might lead to a booking.
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
bubbles
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Can I ask, because I honestly don't get it- why would it be different for a magician vs a mentalist to perform something impromptu in a social situation?

Isn't the consensus that magicians are doing tricks, where as mentalists present their skills as an actual ability?
If you really had the ability to read a thought, wouldn't you do that in normal life? Not a whole show's worth of routines, but a small conversation piece.
If you were a magician you could be without your props, but if you had real mental powers they'd always be with you. No?

Also, the idea that a performer wouldn't perform just seems mad to me.
Again, obviously not a whole show, or go on and on the whole night for EVERY person who asks, but don't all performers have one or 2 things they can do in these situations?
Do you think if Elton John was at a party and there was a piano he wouldn't play A Song at some point? I just don't get the hardline "I don't PERFORM UNLESS I'M GETTING PAID" attitude.
The OP was asking about doing an effect when asked in a social situation, not doing a booking for 'exposure'.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jan 19, 2021, Julie wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 4, 2021, Mindpro wrote:

...Plus Eugene mostly did conventions, lectures, trainings, etc. more than actual performances so that is much more the nature at those types of events.


F.Y.I. In his early Chicago years, he left the teaching profession to pursue his special brand of unique close-up restaurant magic. He played primarily first class establishments, private parties and corporate events.

Julie



Absolutely! I was referring to him in more recent years before his passing which shifted away from structured bookings and was more of the convention circuit, teaching, and his materials.

Being from Chicago I remember him being quite the worker.
peirceman
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From a hobbyist's point of view, obviously, I perform something if I feel the request is genuine. There is usually a reason why a person would ask to see something. Most people have some sort of experience with magic tricks, whether it is on TV or it is a relative or close friend that performs the 21 card trick. With mentalism, if they have any reference point, it is usually Uri Geller (older crowd) or Derren Brown, but most have none. My personal opinion is that there would be a heightened curiosity about what a mentalist can actually do. Additionally, it seems to me that a mentalist would be able to do something at a moments notice because it is supposed to be who he or she is, not what he or she does.

With that said, I would do one bit, not a multi-bit routine. My favorite is Will to Read. It's only a piece of paper. I always carry a pen and business card, and can usually scrape up a coin if I don't have one

when I was in my twenties I was asked to do something (magic, not mentalism) at a corporate training event mixer. A gentleman who was in group watching came up to me afterwards and asked if I performed professionally. I had done gigs, but it was not my profession, but I was young and full of ego, so I said yes. I didn't have any magician business cards, so I gave him my company business card, scratched out Service Manager and wrote magician and my personal number. From that I was booked for several parties in the entertainment industry along with securing a six month gig at the Magic Island in Balboa.

You never know what you might miss out on by not sharing your passion with others.
Scott
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I can't remember the last time someone asked me to show them something when I've been out in a social situation.

It did happen now and then when I was much younger, and on those occasions it was usually when I was out with one or two friends and other people we didn't know at the time joined our group. In those situations it was usually my friends who asked me to do something for the benefit of the others.

I'd usually decline unless they all insisted.

So what to perform, well of course it depends on the impression you are trying to leave them with, so for me I have one totally prop-less effect I can do anywhere and that I've been refining for years and if they want more after that, I read palms or do a few tarot-less tarot readings.

I don't want to leave anybody with the idea that I'm a clever trickster, instead I want them to look at each other with a slightly worried look on their faces.

For those who have said they never perform socially or unless they are getting paid, I can see the thinking behind those statements and I will try to get out of it unless they insist, but here's an example of when I was asked and did.

I was standing in a bar on the waterfront in Fuengirola with a few friends when a couple approached us. One of my group knew the lady and introduced us all. After a few drinks one of my friends told the couple I read minds and palms so they insisted I show them something. I read her palm, calculated his lucky tarot card according to his birthday and performed the prop-less effect I mentioned earlier.

Later that evening the man approached me gave me his telephone number and asked me to give him a ring. Turns out he owned two cabaret clubs on the Costa as well as acting as a booking agent. When I called he asked if I'd like to work with him.

Those few short routines while out having a drink landed me 7 years worth of cabaret work in clubs up and down the Costa del Sol.

Remember if they do insist, use your power sparingly because you never know who watching.
Scott Creasey - Mind Reader

Original Routines With A Mental Flavour

http://www.mentalmagicism.com/
John C
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That’s awesome Scott. You never know.
The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
hypblake
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Quote:
On Dec 28, 2020, Mindpro wrote:
I have never once performed for anyone in a social situation. If they want to see me perform they'll have to come to one of my shows. Would you walk up to singer and just expect them to burst out in a song? If you saw someone at an airport carrying a guitar, would you ask then to play you a little something? If you were in waiting area of a restaurant and the person next to you identified themself as a brain surgeon, would you ask them to perform a lobotomy?

Of course not this is ridiculous - except for magicians with magician's thinking. Magicians might do this, not mentalists.


Not to argue this point as I think it is valid. The issue here is outside of the brain surgeon everyone else can practice without anyone around. A guitarist, or singer, can play/sing all day to improve and if someone is listening or not, is of little importance. A performer can also practice all day alone. The only issue is with many routines, you can't perfect it without testing it out on a live human. In my early days that was my poor sweet wife. I don't do this often anymore, but if there is something I am working on, I will sometimes take the opportunity to get my chops right on a group of people that say "show us something". I haven't actually been asked in years as I have been saying no for years, because I don't have anything I am working on.
David Thiel
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I've changed my mind about this whole matter over the years. There was a time when I simply would not perform in casual situations at all. Not any more.

See yourself from THEIR perspective. You've just met someone who can do something really interesting like...ummm...read a mind. Doesn't it make sense that you'd be really interested in experiencing something amazing? It's not a presumption on their part and I don't believe it denigrates my mentalism. Not at all...

At the risk of offending the "I never perform for free...are you KIDDING me?" people -- I honestly see mentalism as a 'conduit for wonder.' Everyone needs a little wonder-- especially these days. I make a good living performing (or rather I did...) and if they express an honest interest why wouldn't I freely share some of what I do with them?

Do I always perform? Nope. If the person's a jerk or an in-your-face skeptic I won't do it. If I am feeling less than sharp intellectually I won't do it.

I evaluate the person asking, the other people watching and myself to see if I feel like doing something for them.

I will do my Sharpshooter Cent** Tear -- which leads into some strong cold reading opportunities. Then if I'm having a good time and they are enjoying it, I'll do a reading or two.

Of course you might get a show out of it...but that's not why I do it.

In social situations I simply choose to like people.


David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
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JonHackl
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David, something like that makes me think: now, here's an artist.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
Djin
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There is something about the statement that one wouldn't do something unless they are getting paid to do it that implies they don't like doing that thing.
Mindpro
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It doesn't imply that at all. It simply states that I am a stage performer and if you want to see me perform come to my show. Has nothing to do with enjoying or liking it at all. It clearly states the point, there are no implications.

Also, we can see where a clear pattern here - those coming to mentalism through magic seem to have no problem performing when asked. Those who are mentalists (stage) not coming through magic seem not to ever do this.
Cervier
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I very rarely get asked to perform in social situations. I can't even remember when was the last time I was in a social situation... 2019 I believe Smile Anyway, people who ask me to demonstrate something are not walking to an artist, they are not requiring their favorite singer/actor/professional wrestler Smile to perform for free: they are asking this guy they know who has special abilities if he would be so kind as to let them have a taste of it. Sure, why wouldn't I??? Plus, as Scott mentionned, you never know who is watching! I got hired for private parties that way.

But mostly, I do it because I enjoy it and know (or are delusional enough to believe...) I can make them enjoy the experience as well. In fact, I only enjoy it if they do. So the only times I will decline is when I don't feel like I can make sure the experience will be enjoyable. Maybe I'm too tired, or have worries that would hinder my concentration, or the way I'm being asked makes me feel I should decline...

To sum things up, I act according to my character, and my character presents mentalism as being real, as most mentalist do (or should IMO), so:
- it makes sense that I still have those special skills or abilities when off stage,
- also, when on stage, my character tries to treat the audience as friends, so it makes sense that I grant friendly requests when offstage. Unless I feel ready to replay "No. Cervier is a nice guy. I'm not..."" Smile
"A friend is someone who know you well but loves you anyway" H. Lauwick
The Lynx Deck, http://jmmaries.free.fr/cervier/
Grapheeteez, on GooglePlay
Telemos the peek envelope, on SkywardMagic
Telemos en Francais sur TheMysteryStore
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