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pwagorn
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What do you do when someone (correctly) guesses (& points out to all ) how you did something? "I saw that card in your hand!!", "you lifted up 2 cards!!"
RandyWakeman
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Quote:
On 2002-08-07 01:31, pwagorn wrote:
what do you do when someone (correctly) guesses (& points out to all ) how you did something? "I saw that card in your hand!!", "you lifted up 2 cards!!"



I weep uncontrollably, tell God I'm sorry, and buy a Chia Pet for a friend.

Seriously, if this happens with frequency, you might want to evaluate what you are doing-- and why.

If they "saw that card in your hand," it's hardly their fault. Did they? Why? If your DL is obvious, then it is time to perhaps rethink what it is you are doing.

I have no knowledge of your experiences, but I can tell you what I've observed in the past. It is often a performing style and attitude that "makes" people want to catch you.

All too often, magicians present themselves in a confrontational way. We are not trying to validate a scientific principle, and we are not doing brain surgery here. Hopefully, there is mystery with entertainment. We fool them, but not "just" to fool them. We fool them in order to entertain them.

If they consistently see what should be invisible actions, it is bad technique, poor presentation, or bad thinking / direction. Or, likely, a combination of these problems.

It is not our audience's job to be amazed or entertained-- it is our job to create mystery and entertainment for them.

In the situation cited, it is not "what you do." If they see a card in your hand, it is too late. You'd have to be far more skilled with snappy answers to stupid questions than I am to generate a satisfying conclusion from that picture.
pwagorn
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Well, I agree that presentation has a lot to do with it, but imagine a scenario, where you are performing for me - I'm half-cut, and feeling like a jerk (!), and you pull out your 'Invisible Deck', and I end up pulling out the chosen card and announce "Hey! this card is all rough on the back!"

Or, you perform a trick that I know, and announce it to the world.

What's a recovery from this?
RandyWakeman
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I don't think my previous post hit home.

If the audience is not on your side, you don't have much hope.
Steve Brooks
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To be a good performer, not only do your sleight of hand skills and technical know-how need to be sharp, your presentation honed to a science, but you must be able to think on your feet!

Always be prepared for the worse! When practicing an effect, imagine yourself in an actual performing situation, then imagine the worse possible scenario. Ask yourself; "What if...."

Be prepared, always. You can be sure any magician who does magic for a living has had one of those nights, and has learned a valuable lesson because of it.
Only experience will teach you what to do, for your style and personality are your very own, thus the solution must be as well.
Good luck. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Dave Egleston
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The way I overcame those embarassing incidents you've descibed; Try performing for magicians only for about 2 years - more or less - Magicians, for the most part, already know exactly what you're doing - usually before you get the first line out of your mouth.

I hardly ever got nervous performing for other magicians (though the one time in my life I had a chance to show LJ a sleight - I dropped the whole deck on the floor) - They were all better than I was and almost always offered to show me what mistakes I might have made and how to correct them and more importantly - they would give me ideas about what to say if I got caught.

Though I don't know the level of your experience - It sounds like a better class of spectator or at least some spectators that want to see some magic would do you a world of good.
Dave Egleston
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Advice: practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice practice
practice practice practice - And then: practice some more
And then if you get burned, smile and tell the spectator he's got some very sharp eyes congratulate him/her - go back to your inner-sactum and practice!!!!!! I'm pretty sure this is written in some book somewhere but not as eloquently
gilbreath76
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Quote:
On 2002-08-07 02:25, pwagorn wrote:
Well, I agree that presentation has a lot to do with it, but imagine a scenario, where you are performing for me - I'm half-cut, and feeling like a jerk (!), and you pull out your 'Invisible Deck', and I end up pulling out the chosen card and announce "Hey! this card is all rough on the back!"

Or, you perform a trick that I know, and announce it to the world.

What's a recovery from this?


Sounds like you're performing in the presence of the masked magician. Your scenario is highly unlikely. I really can't give you advice because "people in the know" have never tried to embarass me. If it were to happen, I would probably give him a round-house to the head.
Card Sheister
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'What to do' has already been given to you. Take your lumps, and practice infront of the mirror enough times to make the sleights invisible to even yourself.

Be advised that people also call bluffs. Don't get sucked in.
gmartins
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You can practice your entire life and still things can go wrong. Maybe it's your fault, maybe it's the spectator who doesn't like magic and doesn't colaborate, the prop doesn't work, lot's of thing can happen.

I think above all things, keep your smile and your manners. If they say:"He has the card in his hand!", or "He put his finger where he placed the card", or "the card is on top", etc. First, most of the times this happens, it's probably your fault. Rethink your routine, your techniques (angles, timing),etc.

But if this happens to you, just move on and keep the routine going.
But sometimes, it's just the spectator who won't cooperate, and starts yelling sugestions of what you're doing (most of them wrong!). Try to ignore him, or just apologize and leave the group. If they don't want to see magic, no point in performing.
Gonçalo Martins
Magic333
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I had the recent experience of having a spectator assume that every time I placed a coin in my hand, that it was a fake transfer. They would only stare at the wrong hand. Once I spotted this, I did two things. First, I asked them a question which forced them to start to think again rather than stare at an empty hand. I also switched over to a "steal" rather than a transfer. This took the heat off, at least for this one spectator.
harris
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They say you have to bomb to get good.

I was taught to get to a certain level of comfortability with a routine before I try it out on someone. This was learned the hardway.

In the early 70's my uncle was one of my earliest audience. He was gut level honest, which hurt my pride. Three years ago he asked me to perform at his 60th anniversary party.
I had to go through the early days to get both the skill with the cards and more so connection with an audience.

I am far from a "card guy", I am more like an
audience guy. As Randy W. said getting them
to like you (on your side) is VERY important.

It still amazes me, that after we,(the
audience and I are in the "zone", what little bits can get a much bigger response)

Harris (still green after 25 years of studying,playing and sharing with Magic)

PS.
This section has been great. Thanks to all of
you who have PM. YOU all are very much appreciated!
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Jim Morton
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Well, it's always a good idea to keep plenty of outs on hand for emergencies. If they catch you, no biggie. Everyone gets caught from time to time. When it happens to me, I just shrug and say, "Well, sometimes it works. It's really impressive when it does too." And I move on. If it seems to happen often with certain effects, then you need to examine those tricks and figure out how to fix the problem.

One thing that I think Randy was trying to point out bears reiterating. If you perceive a member of your audience as a jerk, then why in the world should you expect him or her to treat you with any more respect?

Jim
pwagorn
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"If you perceive a member of your audience as a jerk, then why in the world should you expect him or her to treat you with any more respect?"

That's a good point, but sometimes this just happens. Especially when alcohol is involved.

Drunk guy + girls at the table he wants to impress, in just the right quatities equals a showoff. I guess part of the skill is in knowing who NOT to entertain!.
pwagorn
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I also have this problem when performing for friends. Sometimes, because they think they are a friend, they want to embarrass you.

My response is to feel like a dolt for being caught, and just not show them anymore magic.

I'd love to come up with some sort of one-liner, but perhaps the response is to just hold your nose & deal with it.
David Fogel
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that some people just don't like magic. Simple solution: don't perform for them!

A key point of magic is the cooperative nature between audience and magician. Most people watch magic because they enjoy and are entertained by the 'fooling' aspect. Such people tend toward the care-free and self-confident. They don't feel like they are diminished in any way by being fooled by a magician.

I go out of my way to make my magic non-confrontational. My main goal is to entertain people. Therefore, I strive to create an atmosphere in which the audience will be comfortable outwardly expressing their astonishment. In one-on-one situations, this is easier, because they aren't afraid of looking foolish in front of a 3rd party. When you're performing for two or more people, the situation has to be handled more delicately. I'll often say something off-hand like, "let me show you something bizarre. It may not fool you, but I think you'll find it pretty interesting."

Some people, however, will never feel comfortable 'admitting' that they were fooled. For them, magic is a challenge to be overcome. Such people fall into two broad categories. The first category actually *enjoys* the challenge. They think that a magic show is a two-way dialogue, and honestly don't realize that they are acting inappropriately by blurting out their theories (right or wrong) on how you did the trick. For this type, you could make a simple remark like "I perform for entertainment, not competition purposes." In other words, I subtlely inform them that their participation is unwanted -- but I don't embarass them in front of their peers. If you do, you're simply setting the stage for a battle royale between you and the audience.

If subtle hints don't get through, consider packing up your marbles and going home. Unless you're in a paying situation, nothin is forcing you to go on with the show. Often times, this is enough to get them to knock it off. If not, then they don't deserve to see your great magic show after all.

If you'd prefer to go on, tell them bluntly that some people *like* to be fooled, so please don't ruin it for them. Hopefully, you've got the rest of the audience on your side, and they ought to help you shut up the odd-man-out. If they are not on your side, then for God sakes, stop your performance now. Unless you're a prison inmate, and you're performing for cigarettes, never ever perform for a hostile mob. Not if your goal is to entertain.

The last category -- those that see the magician as a 'fraud' that is 'trying to get the better of them -- is the worst from a performer's point of view. These people, for whatever reason (I tend to think they are trying to compenstate for under-endowment below the waist, but that's getting off on a tangent) absolutely cannot handle anybody else fooling them in any way. They literally feel like they're being played the fool by a magician. There is very little you can do with this type. Don't try to beat them at their game. If anything, teach them a simple trick, and act as if he's 'in on the secret' -- so he can save face with those around him.

Bottom line: concentrate on fooling those that enjoy being fooled!
davidfogel@attbi.com



"I'm not a praying man, but if you're up there, Please save me Superman!"

Homer J. Simpson
TheAmbitiousCard
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This is difficult for me even to write about, but here goes...

I performed for a wedding party at their rehearsal dinner a couple weeks ago and basically, the groom-to-be caught me at more than one trick. OUCH!
He caught me at one point perfroming Anniversary Waltz because as I squared the deck to pick it up, the reversed card was briefly displayed. This never happened before! Yikes!
I know why it happened; because the reversed card was not from the original deck and now I realize that if I'm not careful, there is a slight tendency for that card to show itself while squaring the tabled deck.

He also heard me do the mercury card fold.
(I should have riffled the deck beforehand a la Sankey's suggestion)

He also saw me do a top-change.
(Not enought misdirection)

I was mortified. I felt angry. I'd been caught here and there before and it didn't bother me to this degree. So WHY?

His personality was such that he would not listen to patter, he would not look at me. He was just burning my hands and basically ignoring anything I said, trying to catch me 'doing something'. Then when he did, he'd whisper to his wife-to-be what I was doing.
ggrrrrrr...

Oh, I almost forgot. At one point in the Anniversary Walts, the couple's hands are together holding 'their cards'. I saw him trying to flick the 'cards' held in their hands to see how many there were. (The bas***d was thumcounting the cards) WOW!!!!!! PARINOIA!!!! He had no interest in the romantic storyline at all. As anyone who performs this effect knows, it's one of the most enjoyed of all the tricks you can do; I've even had one person get tears in their eyes.... but this???

Since my personality is to enjoy magic as a performer and spectator it really rubs me the wrong way when someone could care less and sees it as a game of who's smarter. I do expect this from a 5th grader, but not a 45 year old man.

Afterwards I kept going over the following:

FACT:
This was not his fault, of course, it is still my fault that he caught anything.
They were my imperfections, not his.
Solution: practice makes perfect.

FACT:
I was not trying to be challenging in any way at all, but still he took my performance as a challenge. Some audience memebers are like him.
He might have wanted to impress his wife-to-be, but that's his choice to do.

Solution: don't take a spectators attitude personally. I did. Not during the performance, but afterwards, it really bothered me.


I think at a gut level, I was angry because I love magic so much. Not to fool people, but to provide them something they don't get to experience often; illusions or magical effects. When I experience these things, to me they appear real, even though I'm a magician; and I want to share that experience. A person like that has no interest in that for whatever reason: ego, insecurities, whatever.." Since I don't understand how that is possible, AND I'm the one performing, for god's sake, I take it personally, (or I did, anyway).

Phew........... (I feel better, I think).
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
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Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
gmartins
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I think that kind of atittudes show a lot of a person personality, so it's hard after the show not remember that and act has nothing happened.
Well, you can't change those people. If you see a spectator is like that, don't place "cards" in his hands and avoid moves where you can get caught (a top change can be seen if people are looking at the deck no matter how well you do it).
And don't feel bad about your magic because of that. See what went wrong (with you, not the spectator) and practice more those aspects.
Thanks for sharing your experience
Gonçalo Martins
Kjellstrom
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My experience of hecklers/besserwissers;
I always starts my magic show with several effects that is extremely strong and that is almost impossible to reveal. Then if you audience likes you, then you will have a good start and the rest of the show will go well, probably.

If you flash the secret move or the invisible gimmick, then you have to do more practise. It will take time to master the art of performing magic for people. But, sometimes when I have some bad moments in my magic show I just go on and ignore the mis-happenings. I also have a arsenal of "heckler-stoppers", they are very good to have in an emergency situation.

But, sometimes there are some jerks that want to "kill" your magic. One solution for this is to take them up and put them into a magic-guiljoutine or a electric chair.
The audience loves it when "besserwissers" have to play the role as a subdue person.
I have a French Guiljotine and this effect makes the atmosphere very weird and funny with the correct presentation.

The success key for me is to have a good reputation plus a bag of lot of experiences.
gmartins
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Kjellstrom, you really put the hecklers on the guillotine? Smile wow, that's something!
I thougth you're kidding! Smile
How do they react?
Gonçalo Martins
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