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Topic: School magic
Message: Posted by: crdshark86 (Apr 21, 2006 10:35PM)
Hi- I am a student magician and I often perform tricks at my school. I am intermediate/advanced and I have quite a knowledge of card magic. I need some advice- I am performing at school and there are very smart people. Some people are not looking to be amazed, but to figure out the tricks. then, with 1 stupid person yelling out something, stealing a card, "I know how you did that...", smart alec, it takes away from the effect and people get tired of the magic and soon... boom. No more. I don't know what to do and I need some advice. Any help? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Apr 23, 2006 08:46PM)
Don't do magic at school, find other places to do it. Maybe get employed with a restaurant doing some table-hopping magic. But the people at school are often the worst audiences.

Good Luck,


If you need more help PM me.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 23, 2006 08:57PM)
That advice is unfortunately true. Mature audiences do make a difference.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: magicman226 (Apr 24, 2006 06:16AM)
I agree with Shane. Teenagers can be brutal. Out of everyone I have performed for, teenagers are always the ones that I do worst with.

Message: Posted by: iwillfoolu (Apr 24, 2006 04:58PM)
1) Do not perform during classes. During Lunch or on the bus are OK but not between classes.
2) Everybody needs a place to polish his or her skills. Even if you practice with a video camera, there are times where you will get burned by a layman. Just make sure you do practice with a camera or mirror first.
3) There will ALWAYS be a loudmouth. I used to keep performing. I was trying to impress that person. It is a waste of time. Don't do tricks for people like this.
4) Work on a routine that is based on you getting "caught". Card on forehead for example.
5) Also there are some stock lines for "I know how you did that". Try replying with "Really?.....SO DO I!"
6) Always leave them wanting more. Less is more. Teenagers can be a hard audience, but they can also be very appreciative if you really fool them. Once you impress them, STOP. No matter how much they bug you, don't do more. If you do 1 more and mess up, your credibility is ruined.

Message: Posted by: magicman226 (Apr 24, 2006 07:50PM)
I've actually started to get to the point where whether I mess up or not, even the tough ones want more.
Message: Posted by: mc_magi (Apr 25, 2006 11:36PM)
If you think teenagers are bad...
try little kids.

Actually I have never had problems with people at my highschool. It's all about "long term audience management" I think. There are quite a few "smart alecs" out there at my school, just make sure that your personality gets across than the tricks. In my case anyway, that has stopped much of heckling.

Of course pulling small groups aside and showing them something really visual once in a while has helped with the reputation too.
But really, teenagers are not that hard of an audience to deal with.... or do I just go to really weird school? lol
Message: Posted by: magicman226 (Apr 27, 2006 06:29AM)
Some are awesome to perform for, while others are terrible. It's almost like Russian Roulette. You're going to do magic for someone. You either end up with a group that rocks, or you get a group that doesn't care about magic, except for wanting to screw you up. If I end up with a group that sucks, I don't pay any attention to comments. I know from experience that even if they know exactly how you do a trick, they might still be surprised at what happens. For instance, I was doing cups and balls at a show one time for a small group of elementary school kids. I was going in to put the secret load in, and someone was like "I saw you do that." They thought I was putting in another ball. When I ended up with a lemon or whatever I was using, they still freaked. Hecklers are going to be everywhere. As long as you can handle them, it's not difficult to still get them amazed.

Speaking of school magic, I'm performing in the talent show this afternoon. I'm doing a rope routine from Fiber Optics and Gene Anderson's Torn and Restored Newspaper (they don't give much time for acts). It's my very first show on a stage, and it is for over a 1,000 people. It'll be SCARY. I just need my Force powers, and I will do muy excellente. haha

Message: Posted by: J0ma (May 1, 2006 02:10PM)
Actually, I've had very nice experiences performing at school. :) Now I must learn my bill-in-kiwi and then go perform on stage. woohoo! :D I'll just drop a killer trick on them and they'll usually freak. Something like the raven or something like that. Sorry if this sounds cheesy. ;)


PS: Michael, Good Luck to your show!
Message: Posted by: magicalsongwriter (May 2, 2006 03:24PM)

I definitely understand where you are coming from. I am a full-time school performer of all grade levels. Yes, kids can be brutal but here are my 2 cents.

First of all, many times kids come up to me and ask me how tricks are done. I reply "Of course I can't tell you but if you guess the correct method I will tell you if you are right". 95% of the time they are wrong. But you can not let your audience heckle you. I think you need to learn the difference between doing tricks and performing magic.

In my opinion you are still at the "doing tricks" stage. By this I mean you are presenting your material to the kids at your school with an attitude of look at me and how cool I am and how good this trick is. Instead go in there with the attitude of "let's experience this together". In other words by just doing a trick you are inviting others to try to figure it out and this gets boring. Think of yourself as having an interaction with a person where your goal is to have that person have a good time and laugh and you just happen to do magic. The trick is just your way of presenting a piece of yourself to that person. Attach a meaningful story or a bit of comedy to the trick. Make the person a part of your trick and get them emotionally involved. Then it doesn't matter if they caught a move because you had a good time together.

Instead of making your goal fooling your audience, make your goal having a good time with your audience while at the same time you are fooling them. Once I learned the difference between these two it made a huge difference in my performances.

Hope this helps.

Jeff Blum