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Topic: Hate being asked to do tricks?
Message: Posted by: Owen Thomas (Mar 3, 2008 07:39AM)
Does anyone sometimes get annoyed being asked to do tricks all the time for family and friends? Does this mean I got the wrong hobby? Maybe I'm not a performer and enjoy practicing tricks. Any thoughts? thanks
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Mar 3, 2008 08:50AM)
Heh, well, I think it depends, personally. I don't mind family or friends, most of the time. When I started this job, I did stuff for people at work, but they got the "pet magician" attitude, demanding magic tricks. I soon discovered performing on a spectator's terms like that leads to some crappy performances. Now, I never do anything when they ask. Every now and again I'll have something I want to do, and I will.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 3, 2008 10:16AM)
As Josh suggests, you need to put an end to the problem.
This "pet magician" thing happened to me years ago.
After a while, I simply began telling them that I didn't have anything new and that I would let them know when I did.
Now I only perform for those close to me on my terms.

Even if you only rarely perform, it's an enjoyable and interesting hobby.
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Mar 3, 2008 10:20AM)
It can get annoying if they have the "pet magician" attitude that Joshua mentioned. In that case, I only do things when [i]I[/i] want to, and it's a pretty rare occasion when I want to do anything for someone with that mindset. However, some people truly appreciate me sharing something with them, and in those cases I usually oblige. Although, it can be tough to have something "new" when I see them. After a couple meetings, it's fairly easy to tell the difference between the two types.
Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Mar 3, 2008 10:26AM)
Same here, I don't perform anymore when asked to.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 3, 2008 02:53PM)
I usually perform whenever asked. It's not as often as I expected to be asked, and I'm usually working on [i]something[/i] to show-off...

I also have the luxury of performing mostly while bartending, so I can always "look too busy" to do anything at the moment.

If you learn a number of impromptu effects with coins and such, you'll never be at a loss to show off something...

I certainly understand your feelings - no one wants to feel like a trained seal!

Back when I worked at "Houdini's Magic Shop" (sic) I would often refer to myself as a "trick monkey".
Message: Posted by: Hansel (Mar 3, 2008 03:18PM)
Well...when someone says to me: "Please, do a good magic trick," I only do 1 or 2. Why??? In another thread here in the Café, someone said to me, "We are not magic tricks machines," and he is right!!!! I don't refuse...I always have my cards with me, and to someone that has a finger ring, I do a small routine, but that's it... Answering to your question, honestly, I never hate it when someone asks for a trick.
Thanks,
Hansel!
Message: Posted by: trickytrav (Mar 3, 2008 03:26PM)
My family hates magic tricks, apart from my 3 year old son, who loves them but doesn't understand them.
Message: Posted by: jolly12 (Mar 3, 2008 03:52PM)
Haha... I found it extremely irritating when I only had 3 or 4 tricks "down" good enough that I was comfortable performing, and another 5 or 6 I just wasn't ready to haul out. After my family and friends saw the first few, they were always asking for more.
Message: Posted by: jolly12 (Mar 3, 2008 03:52PM)
How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.
Message: Posted by: MikeOB (Mar 3, 2008 03:56PM)
As far as my family and friends, when I get a new effect, I show it to them first. My wife is very good at letting me know what I need to work on.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Mar 3, 2008 05:15PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-03 16:52, jolly12 wrote:
How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.
[/quote]

That's not necessarily true. They may have enjoyed it and want to enjoy it again.
I don't see a problem knowing one good, unexplainable trick, or repeating a trick a few days later. It's when they want to see it repeated right away that I'd be suspicious.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 3, 2008 05:33PM)
Who was it who said to never do a trick unless they asked, and then [b][i]INSISTED[/b][/i] on seeing one? Thurston?
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Mar 3, 2008 05:34PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-03 16:52, jolly12 wrote:
How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.
[/quote]

You could learn to do the same thing by a different method...
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Mar 3, 2008 10:07PM)
Some good answers above. It is something we all go through. I often just say, "I don't really have anything with me," and that gets me off the hook. There is nothing wrong with enjoying practicing tricks and not performing, and there are a lot of magician hobbyist out there like that. I went through my performing years and did several years making my living doing magic, but for the last decade or so, I've only done it mostly for my own enjoyment. I can on rare occasions be coaxed into a show, but not often anymore. I completely enjoy spending hours working on a trick or some move just for my own enjoyment. I also love playing with tricks and patter until I've changed them enough that others won't recognize it. It is a great past time.
Message: Posted by: Yola Sol (Mar 4, 2008 06:40AM)
I like it if people ask me to do something. It doesn't happen to me that often - I'm sure it wouldn't be fun anymore if you get the pet magician situation.

Reading this topic made me think of something someone posted some time ago. I don't really remember who said it, but it was something along the lines of, "If I told people I'm an actor, they wouldn't ask me to act out Shakespeare."
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Mar 4, 2008 08:23AM)
If you are a doctor, you are often asked about medical things, especially from folks who don't know you very well. As a computer guy, I'm always asked about computer questions, even though my area of expertise is pretty esoteric to most people. Singers are often called on for singing. Instrumentalists often play music for their friends.

Folks ask me to do magic and, depending on the person and the circumstance, I either do something or say that I'm not ready yet. Or if it is someone I'm really friendly with, I'll ask them how much they want to see something and what they are willing to give me in return. With a pretty young girl, I'll ask for a kiss on the cheek. It's all done for fun.

Do something simple and baffling. An Imp bottle can be a blast. Sponge balls go over great, and even folks who have seen it before still seem to enjoy it. If someone is obviously just trying to figure something out, then just say to them, "If you really want to know that bad, here is the name of a book that will get you started." Reading a book will often stop someone in their tracks.

One guy, another engineer, just wants to know the secret. It's his nature to analyze things and to try and figure out how they work and how to make it "better". He understands things, and we have a bit of a truce. He doesn't ask anymore.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 4, 2008 06:45PM)
Wow, I've been in the same situation. Just refuse to perform, wait it out, and come back a year later with the same trick or a completely new one. If it is the same trick, they will be shocked to see it again, or they may forget what it was.
Message: Posted by: DPowell (Mar 5, 2008 11:48PM)
Friends and family don't always realize that you sometimes need a break. You are not a performing circus monkey. No one wants to do something over and over again, even if it is something that you love. I imagine if they ask you to show them what you're working on every once in a while, it is alright; but if they ask every day to see a new trick, well, that is just unfair on you. You also don't want to put people off by rudely saying no. I would say, "Not right now, my hands are cramping." Or, "If I keep showing you things, I'm going to have to start charging admission. How’s 50 dollars a trick sound?" Something to make them laugh and also get the point across that you don't want to. Hope I helped.
Message: Posted by: Owen Thomas (Mar 6, 2008 06:40AM)
Thanks for the responses. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Message: Posted by: housermagic (Mar 6, 2008 07:28AM)
Time was, when ordering at a local restaurant, the waitperson or manager would ask, "Did you bring any magic?" This was after attending a meeting of the local magic club. I would end up entertaining the waitstaff, as my food arrived and proceeded to get cold.

This did lead to an offer for me to do walk-around for the other patrons. Unfortunately, the owners were NOT on the same page, and there was no opportunity offered again.

BTW, there was never an offer to reheat or replace my cold food either.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Owen Thomas (Mar 6, 2008 08:36AM)
It's strange that every time I have been nagged into doing magic when I didn't feel like it, it has always gone wrong. lol
Message: Posted by: DPowell (Mar 6, 2008 10:25AM)
It isn't strange, your heart wasn't into your performance. You always do your best when you heart is in it.
Message: Posted by: Hushai (Mar 7, 2008 05:36PM)
So, you actually HAVE friends and family who LIKE magic?? I used to do church basement shows for groups consisting mostly of children, and they seemed to be very eager and happy to book me for special events such as banquets. But the only times I have ever been asked to perform impromptu for a few adult friends or family members in an informal situation, I got the impression they were asking only to be nice to me -- they themselves could not really have cared less about seeing magic, not if I were the greatest magician in the world. I started a thread about this elsewhere. I honestly think, though we do not like to hear this, that only a small percentage of people actually like magic.
Did you ever see "Arrested Development", that very dark sitcom of awhile back? It made the point over and over again that adults, anyway, who like magic are very rare. People tend to see it as something for children, if for anyone, not grownups. Or am I just too pessimistic about this?
Message: Posted by: pradell (Mar 8, 2008 04:08AM)
We wake up, we comb our hair, we put on a smile, and we go out into the world to create a little wonder. For ourselves, for others. Yes, sometimes we have to dig deep to retain our composure due to many factors. But if we give a little more than we take, perhaps we can truly find joy sometimes.

If we think we are simply trained monkeys and perform in our sleep without feeling, then we are truly missing something in our lives.

Perhaps it's time to think out of the box a little bit.

When we hate the art we love, when we feel like our art is simply work, when we insist on only doing what we love for money, something priceless is lost in the process.

Magic is a communicative art. We share the joy of wonder. It is hopefully what brought us to the art in the first place. Spread it around. If it becomes nothing more than routine and work, take a break, climb the mountaintop, reexamine the priorities, and return.

People don't hate magic. People like to be entertained. And if you're not entertaining the audience, i.e. communicating with them on some deep and meaningful level, you are missing out on the joy of one of the world's oldest crafts.

:magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: Michael J. Douglas (Mar 8, 2008 05:45AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-07 18:36, Hushai wrote:
Did you ever see "Arrested Development", that very dark sitcom of awhile back? It made the point over and over again that adults, anyway, who like magic are very rare. People tend to see it as something for children, if for anyone, not grownups. Or am I just too pessimistic about this?
[/quote]
Adults who like the Teletubbies are also very rare, and most would rather not sit through one of those shows in their spare time. You said it in your own post, many people tend to see magic as something for children....and/or some middle-aged man floating about the stage in a sequined shirt. Show them the difference. Most adults like magic for adults.
Message: Posted by: ViciousCycle (Mar 9, 2008 06:40AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-07 18:36, Hushai wrote:
Did you ever see "Arrested Development", that very dark sitcom of awhile back? It made the point over and over again that adults, anyway, who like magic are very rare. People tend to see it as something for children, if for anyone, not grownups. Or am I just too pessimistic about this?
[/quote]

You'd see it a lot differently in Chicago, where there's a lot of magic aimed at adults. The venue "Magic Chicago", which has sell-out shows, is recommended for audiences 17 and older. The magic-laden show "Supernatural Chicago", which has been playing at the Excalibar nightclub for years, is not recommended for children. There are bars that having strolling magicians regularly scheduled. Of course, there are a good number of top-notch magicians in Chicago who have enough audience awareness to know how to entertain adults.
Message: Posted by: The Amazing Noobini (Mar 9, 2008 09:51AM)
I think you are lucky to have people around you who are interested in what you do. You cannot expect family members and most friends to understand how you feel about what you do. It is too distant from anything they know.

I have studied all kinds of crafts, and nobody has ever gotten any of it. That is only natural. For instance, after many years in an art college, people would ask me to paint their walls. "Since you love painting so much..." You have to see the humor in these things.

"Magic pet"...what a great expression! I wouldn't mind being one for a while. Nobody ever asks me to do anything. Not even my parents have ever asked me to see a single magic trick, ever. Only...one of my closest friends has asked once. Who, by the way, hates magic, but he said he would endure watching it since I probably need the practice.
Message: Posted by: Bradley Roberts (Mar 14, 2008 03:24AM)
I am doing magic shows all the time for a living. My family has seen me do it so many times and don't want to see it anymore. The only thing my wife likes is to watch the reaction of the kids at my show. She loves that more than anything.

As far as going to my daughters school they all know that I am a magician. The one thing I get from them is the repeated "Do Magic, Do Magic, Do Magic". Most of the time I say I am out of magic and I have to recharge. Sometimes I just play a little trick on them. I have them all stand together, face the other way, and count to 3. By the time they get to 3 I have slipped out the door. Funny to hear the say... ooo man he tricked us :)

I do break down and give them a little show with coins if I have time when I drop my little ones off at school.

B-Rad
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 15, 2008 11:05PM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-03 08:39, Owen Thomas wrote:
Does anyone sometimes get annoyed being asked to do tricks all the time for family and friends? Does this mean I got the wrong hobby? Maybe I'm not a performer and enjoy practicing tricks. Any thoughts? thanks
[/quote]

When I was younger, just starting in magic my dad and family always asked me to do some tricks on occasion, and that was a good thing, It gave me needed practice and confidence in front of people, even though they were my own family.

As years went on, I would often initiate performance in front of my friends when we were all sitting around at the table or whatever.

But lately, I have really found my attitude and approach changing, I just don't do that anymore. even though I am a magician, when sitting around with others, I would much rather just participate in conversation and laugh and joke and if I am going to impress them with something, I'd now rather let it just be my personality.

Besides, some of the people I talk and converse with are church going folks, and to them pulling out a magic trick is tantamount to growing horns out of my head and jabbing them with a hot pitchfork...take it from a guy who knows...
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Mar 16, 2008 09:04AM)
I'm fairly new at being a magician but I'm a little on the opposite spectrum. I'd love for people to ask me to do a trick. (As long as I have something that I'm comfortable doing!) I haven't found too many people who seem turned off by magic. Most everyone so far has seemed to thouroghyly enjoy it. One thing does get tiring though. My 4 year old grandson comes for a visit every week. The first thing he usually does when he comes over is say, "Grandpa, show me the magic coloring book!" Now, THAT can get tiring!
Message: Posted by: 0045 (Mar 16, 2008 06:18PM)
I too am not a regular performer but I always have a P.W. with me for the occasions when someone asks to see something, a P.W. is just so versatile and it doesn't take much thinking to be able to come up with many routines that appear different but have the same method.

Also I quite often carry a packet trick or two, or a deck of cards with me just incase.

Regards 0045
Message: Posted by: Mikeal (Mar 19, 2008 05:13PM)
I don't mind it whe people ask, but its never okay when people expect me to do magic.
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Mar 19, 2008 10:30PM)
I don't mind them asking since I am a performer, and I like to perform. What gets me are those that feel that the have discover and reveal how the trick was done.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 21, 2008 08:05AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-16 10:04, rockwall wrote:
I'm fairly new at being a magician but I'm a little on the opposite spectrum. I'd love for people to ask me to do a trick. (As long as I have something that I'm comfortable doing!) I haven't found too many people who seem turned off by magic. Most everyone so far has seemed to thouroghyly enjoy it. One thing does get tiring though. My 4 year old grandson comes for a visit every week. The first thing he usually does when he comes over is say, "Grandpa, show me the magic coloring book!" Now, THAT can get tiring!
[/quote]
You need to get some other effects that are suitable for him. May I suggest Samuel Patrick Smith? (I hope he's still doing business.)

Posted: Mar 21, 2008 9:07am
Take it from me. You are never going to be able to get away from those types. They are always there. Lurking in the crowd. Waiting to pounce.

We can only try to deal with it the best we can.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Mar 21, 2008 10:00AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-21 09:05, daffydoug wrote:
You need to get some other effects that are suitable for him. May I suggest Samuel Patrick Smith? (I hope he's still doing business.)
[/quote]

I'll look up Samuel Patrick Smith. Thanks for the suggestion. I do have other tricks. If I say, "Not today" about the coloring book, then he asks for the money trick which is misers dream that I learned from Chris Capehart. He can spend all night throwing coins in the can and laughing at me getting mad about it.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Mar 21, 2008 07:09PM)
Here is Sammy's website. He's the best when it comes to kid effects. And a real friendly, helpful guy, also. (Not to mention, a seasoned pro who knows his kid stuff!)

http://www.spsmagic.com/