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Topic: Some folks expect you to be "ON" all the time.
Message: Posted by: kasper (Apr 20, 2011 09:01PM)
Has anyone here have this happen? Your out and about and people expect you to perform all the time? Granted I take it as a compliment.

People just won't let up! I don't mind doin a few requests but GEEZ. You show somebody something and they won't let you alone ALL NIGHT LONG. I guess it comes with the territory being in this hobby. Has this generation become rude? This whole I want it and I want it now attitude that goes on nowadays. If you don't perform on demand they get really really angry. What has happened out there? WOW!
Message: Posted by: Bondy (Apr 20, 2011 11:31PM)
Always remain in power just remember your not a tool you an artist. If someone asks me to perform especially if it's a female spectator, I say "ok I'll show you a trick but first I want you to make your favorite animal noise to the best of your abilities". Try it out 50% of the time they wont do it and if the do we it's always gets a great laugh from people. It also demonstrates you're in control.
Message: Posted by: kasper (Apr 21, 2011 07:26AM)
I agree Bondy.

I wrote this post cause its got to be a big problem out there. Not just about just performing on request. Ive noticed this demanding attitude with people in general. Ive seen folks do it to others. You don't know how many times Ive seen resently someone say to someone "Nobody says NO to me." Is it this "bullying" trend they talk about in schools nowadays? When we were kids we just knocked your block off. I came from a small town. It was common to stand up for yourself or you didn't get repect. I know that's not the best answer but it worked. You told a guy to back off: well if he didn't you knocked him down: Case closed. As an adult its different.

Back to fierce requests: I laughed one day and said "What! Should I walk around and give everyone a back massage"? They got the point.
I use that line to this day. It works.

Not everyone acts like this out there. Im just talkin about the ones that get WAY over top. But Ive seen a lot more of it out there.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 21, 2011 07:49AM)
I used to limit requests by simply saying,"That's all I have." after an effect or 2.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Apr 21, 2011 08:17AM)
It's common to get a request for a trick once they find out what you do. So, there are really only a few options.

1) be a jerk and refuse (a career-limiting decision)
2) don't tell them you are a magician in the first place
3) ALWAYS be prepared.

I always have either a deck of cards, or some other close-up improptu effect ready. It's a great way to try out new material, as well. I see it as a compliment, kind of like a celebrity being asked for an autograph.

Alas, I have also seen celebs act like jerks when asked for autographs, too.

It IS true that you have to control the situation, though...otherwise you will be the featured entertainment...and you won't get paid.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Apr 21, 2011 08:14PM)
Two elastic bands, 4 old pennies and a deck of cards Means I have plenty to perform along with what you find laying around. If I know I might have a opportunity to perform I will take a good opener and strong closer and the middle will be something I need to try out on a real audience.
I feel that as we say were magicians people do expect us to perform. I also think we should always be practicing on real people when we get a chance. But do stay in control as this is part of being a performer. After a few tricks I always say this is my last trick and at the end say thatís it from me for now.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 29, 2011 02:54PM)
Never allow yourself to be bullied. What else can I say? If they want your respect, then they need to show you the same. It's that simple. I have read other threads on this topic, and some say they DON'T perform upon request, unless they get payed. I suppose that's their right. They say it cheapens what they do. We are not a fat man with an organ grinder and a little monkey that does tricks when someone puts in a penny or less. If we wish to maintain the dignity of our profession (I know that with today's Youtube, Masked Magician, and Cris Angel camera tricks attitude, some may question that.) But if we wish to maintain whatever threads of dignity the magic profession has left, then we need to view it that way in our own minds.

Now on the other hand, there is also the fact that we should also be generous with our talent to an extent. Being a butt hole is not going to bring anything positive to the magic profession, either. I think we just need to find the point where we can strike a healthy balance between too little and too much. That has to be a different point for each of us. If we perform for free past the point of comfort, then we have definitely crossed the yellow line.
Message: Posted by: Dimitri Mystery Artist (Apr 30, 2011 08:32PM)
Unless I am with close friends or family, I like when someone ask him to show him a trick, as a close up worker, I always have something with me (usually tricks that I want to get more experience performing)

I have a line, that I say (on some occasions only), when someone say "oh, you are a magician, show me a trick"
I answer: do you always ask people to demonstrate there profession?, what if told you that I'm a porn star?? :)
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Apr 30, 2011 09:31PM)
Hey, good line!!!
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (May 2, 2011 05:31AM)
LOL! I have had celebs tell me that they have been asked for an autograph while they were standing at the urinal.

There are some great comebacks there...just not for this forum.
Message: Posted by: MrMajestic (May 4, 2011 12:27PM)
Depending on who's asking I'll tell them my mana is depleted :-P
Message: Posted by: debjit (Mar 20, 2019 11:48AM)
I face this problem all the time. My colleagues at work know I'm a magician and request me to perform magic sometimes in awkward situations, like when I'm working or under stress. They don't take No for an answer. That's why I've made a set of 10 second tricks I can always do like Ring on Chain, Social Prediction, Digital Force Bag, Stigmata, etc.
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Mar 25, 2019 07:18AM)
If you saw a Professional singer in a grocery store or restaraunt, would you ask them to belt out a tune right then and there? Or , if you were at a restaraunt and they ask you to preform a trick, just say that your magic uses a lot of pyrotechnics and then say "excuse me, I have to find the fuse box", then walk off.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Mar 25, 2019 12:15PM)
Jeff McBride has some strong opinions on subjects such as this...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Apr 1, 2019 08:48AM)
"Oh, you are a surgeon! Would you demonstrate an operation for me?"

There is a story of a medical doctor who met a lawyer at a party.
"How do I get people to quit asking me for free medical advice?" he asked.
The attorney relied, "Hand them a card with your business card with office hours. You are a professional."
The next day the doctor received a bill from the attorney.


on the flip side, just because you make a "I am not an organ-grinder monkey" type response,
does not mean that later you cannot perform an effect on your terms.

"Throughout the evening several of you have mentioned your favorite magic experience.
With so much interest, I would like to show you all something a bit different ... "
Message: Posted by: Nem (Apr 12, 2019 03:22PM)
I used to get this from my own family every time I visited. Anytime I was out with them they wanted me to perform for someone impromptu. I have many impromptu bits without need to carry props, but it was not a good feeling knowing I could not be "off" even around family. I always try to look at it like another chance to showcase and another potential customer for future engagements.
Message: Posted by: BradenCarlisle (Sep 26, 2019 02:54AM)
I say no a lot, but I also say yes a lot. No one is ever mad once you learn to back down with regret/grace. Sometimes I offer it up, and sometimes I'll decline the whole night. Mostly it's friends asking me to show their friends, which I will or won't, depending on how I feel. I have not recently felt pressured, though.
Message: Posted by: nyborn (Feb 12, 2020 08:26PM)
Has anyone ever suggested they come to the place you perform or hand them your business card? Not an everytime solution, just spitballing options.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Mar 26, 2020 06:31PM)

And.......so do I......

One of MY opinions is.......when it comes to the Art of Performing Magic.....

Jeff McBride is almost ALWAYS right!

One thing to think about.....GENERAL QUESTION here.........

If you're a REAL Magician, are you ON 24/7...or just when you're at your paid performing Venue?
Message: Posted by: BeachCat (May 8, 2020 02:44AM)
The oddest time I was asked to show a magic trick to someone was when I was at the Castle in the Parlour. The magician performing asked me to join him on stage (not realizing that is was me who was the magician member). He asked me a question which brought out my response that I was a magician member and he asked if I would show him a trick. I replied by saying that my best magic was done with his clothes off. It got a great laugh and he was at a loss for words. Moral of the story, don't assume the woman in the room is not a magician!

My two cents on this question is when someone asks you to show them some magic, it's a huge compliment. They think you have something mysterious or fascinating to show them. (So prove them right and be mysterious and fascinating!) If you set the expectation by saying something like "I have one thing I can show you", you've set the limit. One thing. Just make sure you have business cards to pass out to direct them to your website of where you'll be performing next or how they can contact you if they would like some entertainment at their next event.
Message: Posted by: Russo (May 8, 2020 08:05AM)
Note; if you are continuously asked to 'do a trick - do a trick - do a trick ' - ask them for a coin or better a dollar bill - do a trick with that object. then put the coin or bill into YOUR pocket. If they ask or complain for it - say "Magic is my Living - I thank you - My family thanks you" usually no more continuous asking. -- Ralph (russo) Rousseau
Message: Posted by: marcomotroni (Dec 15, 2020 01:29PM)
I think some people here fail to realize that being asked to perform is indeed a good thing! I can understand wanting to be off and not having to do magic 24/7, but we must understand where these supposed Neanderthals are coming from. Most of the people have never seen a magician live before in their lives! You are a wizard to them!
I could never imagine how it must feel to know of some apparant immortal god performing baffling feats of conjuring, ask him/her to a trick for me, only to receive a one-liner.
Also, for the whole doctor, surgeon, pornstar analogy: yes, in all of these situations it isn't proper to ask them to show their profession, however magic is unique in that it is MEANT to be shared among others! What would magic be if we never shared it? Of course, this is the rationale of the spectator. They don't consider it to be rude, even though we can find it to be a tad irritating (it's the same with celebrity autographs).
Spectators don't consider it rude if you say you're a magician and they ask you to do a trick. If anything, it is them giving you the opportunity to take the spotlight!

I think that, if you really want to create a moment, don't spit off some one liner and instead, either oblige or respectfully decline. Who knows though, I may have your opinion as the years go by!
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 21, 2020 01:02PM)
[quote]On May 2, 2011, Mike Maturen wrote:
LOL! I have had celebs tell me that they have been asked for an autograph while they were standing at the urinal.

There are some great comebacks there...just not for this forum. [/quote]

Billy McComb loved it when someone complimented his show while standing with him in the men's room. He would wait all night for the right opportunity, and then when that guy was with his friends, Billy would lean into the group, "I just wanted to thank you for the compliment you gave me in the Men's Room. Very kind of you to say..." and then he would turn and disappear.