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Topic: Tip for dealing with the high school magicians...
Message: Posted by: SSG (Aug 16, 2007 04:51PM)
I'm doing a series of close-up magic shows in area high schools.

Criss Angel has made magic cool and hip again and a lot of young kids are getting into it these days. Some of them are serious about the craft but a lot of them are just edgy wannabes thinking that magic will make them cool.

I find that a lot of these dudes wind up being real smart-alecks. They make some pretty cruel comments from their posts in the audience, mostly because they want to be the ones reaping the attention and they can't understand why the principal didn't book THEM to perform instead of YOU!!!

Here's what I do now: Before I start the show, I ask if there are any other magicians in the room. If someone puts his hand up, I'll ask his name, ask how long he's been doing it, and shake his hand. I tell him I'm glad to meet him and that I'd be happy to hang out with him after the show and see some of his effects.

Then I deliver a brief lecture on how much I like hobnobbing with other magicians and what a pain I was when I was in high school and just learning the craft.

"When I was in high school, we had a magician come perform for us and I just made his life hell," I say. "But that's because I was so insecure back then and I was jealous that the audience was paying attention to him and not to me. Then I got older and I started doing the high school circuit and for a while, I was worried that I might run into youngsters who are the way I used to be. Thankfully, it's rare that I'll meet one these days. Most of them are like you, <insert name here>, honest decent guys who care about the craft."

Problem solved - I've given him attention, I've complimented him, and subtly informed him that any wise assed comments will be interpreted, by the audience, as insecurity on his part.

Works wonders.
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Aug 16, 2007 07:00PM)

You set them up to be good or otherwise look like a dumbass!

Good thinking in suggesting that they would look insecure and jealous if they act up.

They are at an age where they want to impress the girls and look cool.

My top hat is off to you!

Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 17, 2007 10:53AM)
Working in a high school these last 8 or so years I have seen some cool magic learned quickly by these students. At least one or two made it to a club meeting as well as the famous and now past...The Workshop.

DVD makes learning curves a lot different than my reading manuscripts..

Mentorship could also be used in regard to this thread...or perhaps another if it is not appropriate here...

On this thread we are seeing more folks at club meetings through Angel, Brown, and YouTube Videos on magic..

An ounce of prevention...

Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Aug 17, 2007 11:53AM)
Brilliant way to handle a potentially difficult situation!

Message: Posted by: mrunge (Aug 17, 2007 12:01PM)
Fabulous....just fabulous. No, really! That is a stroke of genius in dealing with a potentially difficult situation before it has a chance to become reality.

What a great idea!

Mark. :)
Message: Posted by: SSG (Aug 17, 2007 07:58PM)
Seriously, I hope everyone else will take the suggestion to heart. Glad I helped.
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Aug 17, 2007 08:11PM)
Wonderful post.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 19, 2007 07:53PM)
Seems a little transparent to me. Kids that age know what you're up to, and may even take offense at your attempt to manipulate them. Has this actually worked for you, or is it just and idea at this point?
Message: Posted by: John C (Aug 19, 2007 08:38PM)
On 2007-08-19 20:53, Starrpower wrote:
Seems a little transparent to me. Kids that age know what you're up to, and may even take offense at your attempt to manipulate them. Has this actually worked for you, or is it just and idea at this point?

I agree with Starrpower. I would not try this myself. I've not had a big problem with middle/highschool kids.

Message: Posted by: toomuchmagic (Aug 19, 2007 09:50PM)
Ahh the old jedi mind trick.

" You didn't see two cards there"
"No, you're right, it was only one card. Amazing!"
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Aug 20, 2007 11:11AM)
Seemed transparent to me too, but if it worked, nice stuff. Kids with a little bit of knowledge can be real hazards during a show.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Aug 20, 2007 11:56AM)
I do something similar when I do hypnotism show. It may or may not look transparent, but it works. Lots of other hypnotists do it too, it is in several texts. I never thought about bringing it to a HS magic show. I think it is great.
Message: Posted by: SSG (Aug 21, 2007 02:23PM)
Well, obviously I don't do the whole spiel by rote.

Another tip, when you're booked to do a show, ask the principal if there are any magicians at the school. (Teenaged magicians are attention hounds and will ALWAYS make their talents known.)

If there are, get in touch with them on facebook. Tell them you're doing a show and you'd like it if they could help you out. Make them your friends instead of your rivals.
Message: Posted by: KC Cameron (Aug 22, 2007 11:54AM)
[quote]Teenaged magicians are attention hounds[/quote] I don't think that is only true for teenage magicians . . .*G*

The Facebook idea is another great suggestion!
Message: Posted by: Jonathanmc (Aug 27, 2007 03:56PM)
I would highly recommend NOT contacting students on line.

I think the idea is a good one. Transparent or not, I think it would work.
Message: Posted by: Cody Comet (Aug 28, 2007 04:19PM)
Not all teenage magicans are like that. I'm one myself,and I'm nothing like the teen magicans you all describe as annoying. I didn't get interested through Criss Angel or David Blaine. I would probably understand if another magician preformed at my school besides me, and since my school is the high school Lance Burton went to...if another magician performed at my school besides me, it would probably be him. I'm not an attention hound. Actually hardly anyone knows that I'm a magician. But that's probably because I just came in as a freshman. But I do respect everyone elses point of view on the subject. Not meaning to be a pain.
Message: Posted by: SSG (Aug 29, 2007 07:36PM)
No problem, Cody. I certainly didn't mean to paint all teenaged magicians with the same brush. I was merely stating that some of them could use a good lesson in tact.

Another idea I heard for dealing with the problem. (This isn't necessarily a teenaged magician, it can be any high school student who is giving you a hard time.)

Have the bad guy come up and take a card. Then send him off to the library. "There is a book there called THE MAGIC BOOK. It is in section 793. I want you to go to the library and open that book. You'll find an envelope between pages 201 and 202."

So bad guy goes to the library and gets the book. Upon opening the envelope, he reads the following: "Listen, please stop acting stupid in my show. You're spoiling the fun for me and the other students. One day, you'll get to be in the spotlight. Right now, I'm in it. So bugger off. PS - Your card is the 10 of clubs."
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Aug 30, 2007 10:18PM)
On 2007-08-27 16:56, Jonathanmc wrote:

I think the idea is a good one. Transparent or not, I think it would work.

As a high-school teacher, I have a pretty good handle on how kids that age think and act. Teenagers are generally pretty astute and aware of what's going on. True, they tend to be socially awkward and self-absorbed, but they also are pretty bright. I would be truly amazed if kids not only failed to see through such a ruse, but didn't start heckling as a result.

I really don't believe this technique has been successfully applied too often; sounds like a theory to me.

P.S. SSG, that was funny!
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Aug 31, 2007 07:02AM)
I think this is an example of so focusing on a problem that you lose sight of your show. What a dud way to begin your performance, with a lecture about not making you look bad! I would not do this either. Not to mention potentially embarrassing the teen magicians in the crowd by implying they don't know how to behave (so much for mentoring, or inspiring future magicians).

There has to be another way! What about beginning with music that connects to this generation? What about drawing them into the entertainment? What about admitting that everything they are about to see is illusion, but sometimes... it's just fun to believe! I think the teen in this thread spoke well - Good job!
Message: Posted by: SSG (Sep 1, 2007 09:35AM)
Hey y'all:

Thanks for your comments.

After much thought, I've decided to discontinue the pre-show talk. You're right. I think it it transparent and patronizing.

Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Sep 1, 2007 07:11PM)
Good reverse psychology. Although it kind of makes you seem insecure yourself. Never had that problem in highschool many years ago, as I was literally the only magician in the entire school. At least the only known one publicly, and no one ever approached me about being one. Was a good time I guess. :)