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Topic: Practicing Magic at work?
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 4, 2012 08:02PM)
Hey all. I am new to the forum and besides some posts in the new user section (which do not count) this is my first official "counting" post. Anyway, I am brand new to performing magic but have been in love with it for years. For the past few months I have been practicing every chance I get with cards and am now also including practice in cup / balls and sponge balls. The question I have for you amateurs out there is if you have ever had any problems / complaints from practicing at work. I work in corporate America, and as many of you know, it is not always the most understanding environment. People are quick to take offense to the silliest things and I am interested to hear if any of you have ever had issues practicing your craft on co-workers?

Shane
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 4, 2012 08:09PM)
If I had any second thoughts about it, I would avoid doing magic there. (And I'm an old graduate business professor.) There are safer opportunities available.
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 4, 2012 08:13PM)
Thanks Bob, I definitely keep it to a minimum and only practice with those close to me. Even with that I try to ensure no one is overlooking while we do it.

Shane
Message: Posted by: Athelus (Mar 4, 2012 08:33PM)
Well as a croupier in a casino it is slightly forwned upon to demonstrate card manipulation and then turn to a customer and expect them to not think cheating is involved. :)
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 4, 2012 08:47PM)
- Athelus - how could they possibly not enjoy the free show! But your right I think I would walk quickly away from the table after seeing someone demonstrating.
Message: Posted by: bowers (Mar 4, 2012 08:54PM)
I work in a plant with around 200 people.i perform magic quite a bit at breaks and lunch. if I don't bring something with me. they get on me about it.they really
look forward to it.and it gives me plenty of practice.
todd
Message: Posted by: whiteoakcanyon (Mar 4, 2012 10:51PM)
If you work at a desk job you can easily practice palming a coin or various coin sleights without raising any attention. Similar to Todd, I do perform at work. Every Monday, I do "Magic Monday" with the Marketing Department. It is usually a quick effect and then back to work. In our case, it helps ease the stress of the working environment.
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Mar 5, 2012 12:26AM)
A quick trick in the office isn't a bad thing at all. (Get your minds out of the gutter)

But I wouldn't do more than one or two. When you get more experience you might talk to your HR folks and tell them you would like to do a lunch time walk around show for about a half hour, which doesn't cost the company a dime. You also get experience and might get a gig or two out of it. It might even help you climb the corporate ladder, since everyone loves an entertainer. Such is life in corparate, as I'm sure you know. I'm a retired corporate guy and I wasn't into magic back then or I would have taken the same advice I'm giving you. :)
Message: Posted by: bowers (Mar 5, 2012 01:11AM)
Since I do mostly kids shows. doing magic at work has landed me a lot of gigs with the childrens parents or grandparents from work. and school shows also because the men at work there wifes some are teachers also.
Message: Posted by: djurmann (Mar 5, 2012 01:19AM)
Are we talking practice or performing? I do both....in the lunch breaks or after work. ONLY in the breaks.
Message: Posted by: bowers (Mar 5, 2012 01:26AM)
I'm performing which gives me practice. but like I said only at breaks or lunch.
Message: Posted by: Albatros (Mar 5, 2012 02:17AM)
Hey all!

Despite being pretty new both around here and in magic this topic covers some thoughts I had of late. As I said I am a newbie in magic and not yet confident to perform, so I stick with practice. At work that is limited to basic exercises, mostly palming little objects such as coins (living in europe the small size of even the 2Ä coin makes it a worthwile exercise) or little balls. Just the stuff that hopefully nobody will notice and that wont distract me too much from the job at hand ;)

Sven
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 5, 2012 11:02AM)
There can be benefits to performing magic at work. Years ago I was a receiving clerk in a warehouse. I never performed magic at work but everyone knew I did shows on the side. One year I was asked to perform at the Holiday Luncheon as the were too cheap to actually hire someone to come in.
A couple of months later I was called upstairs into the Operation Managers office. The new IT director was there and he offered me a job installing the companies new computerized point of sale systems. It easily paid twice what I was making as a warehouse grunt and also came with a health benefit package.
Unfortunately I knew absolutely nothing about computers, and I told them so.
"No problem" said the IT Director. "You're smart and figure them out. What's more important is you've got great people skills and since you will also be training and supporting the equipment people skills are more important."
He had seen my performance at the Holiday Party and erroneously thought because of it that I had good people skills. I didn't tell him that my people skills were somewhat awful but my excellent crowd skills were what he had seen.
So they sent me to a couple of night courses in basic computing and the rest I figured out by myself. I'm still in computer support to this day. now doing it for our local electric utility.
A career change all because I did a magic show at a company Holiday Party. so yes, there can be advantages to doing magic at work.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Mar 5, 2012 01:39PM)
It depends how good you are.
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 5, 2012 02:49PM)
So far seems like most of you are doing what I do wi no issue. I practice a lot at my desk where o one can see. I even do the occasional shuffle while in meeting etc. but I only do the erformances for small isolated groups. I would also like to start opening staff meetings with a small effect to ice break which should be no problem.

Shame
Message: Posted by: Bob1Dog (Mar 5, 2012 03:17PM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 15:49, chrom wrote:
So far seems like most of you are doing what I do wi no issue. I practice a lot at my desk where o one can see. I even do the occasional shuffle while in meeting etc. but I only do the erformances for small isolated groups. I would also like to start opening staff meetings with a small effect to ice break which should be no problem.

Shame
[/quote]
I'm not sure I'd do a shuffle during a meeting. It could be distracting, and frankly, give the impression that you don't have your mind on the meeting. Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: The MailMan (Mar 5, 2012 03:38PM)
I work in IT and as you can imagine that can involve a lot of waiting around so I tend to keep a deck of cards on me at all times to practice at my desk to kill time. I havent had any complaints but I have been fairly good about keeping myself from getting too involved.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Mar 5, 2012 09:31PM)
If you are performing make it a trick or two you know very well and do them at lunch once a week.

As for practising, Thatís fine but people may watch and pick up bit and bobs of what you up to. But not to say you canít practice. I use to practice ACR while on hold on the phone.

You might want have some close confidence you can use for trying new tricks on. So if it does go wrong the office bully donít label you an egg that screwed up a magic trick 4 years ago.

Check out this link it migth give you a idea http://magicfriday.blogspot.co.nz/

Keep going have fun.
Message: Posted by: Albatros (Mar 6, 2012 03:49AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 15:49, chrom wrote:
So far seems like most of you are doing what I do wi no issue. I practice a lot at my desk where o one can see. I even do the occasional shuffle while in meeting etc. but I only do the erformances for small isolated groups. I would also like to start opening staff meetings with a small effect to ice break which should be no problem.

Shame
[/quote]
wow... somehow I am sure that if I would even dare to have a deck of cards visible during a meeting I would be asked to do that again - for the HR-lady while waiting for my papers :O

I rather stick to palming small objects, maybe a small paperball (those look inconspicuous enaugh for the most occasions)
Message: Posted by: Albatros (Mar 6, 2012 03:52AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 22:31, Yellowcustard wrote:

As for practising, Thatís fine but people may watch and pick up bit and bobs of what you up to. But not to say you canít practice. I use to practice ACR while on hold on the phone.
[/quote]
that's indeed a good idea - Maybe it just depends on the situation and what kind of job one does...
Message: Posted by: Erdnase27 (Mar 6, 2012 07:23AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-04 21:33, Athelus wrote:
Well as a croupier in a casino it is slightly forwned upon to demonstrate card manipulation and then turn to a customer and expect them to not think cheating is involved. :)
[/quote]
Doing it during break poses no problems though;)
Message: Posted by: Athelus (Mar 6, 2012 07:29AM)
Yeah I do tend to sit with a deck of cards in hand all break :)
Message: Posted by: yabi (Mar 6, 2012 10:37AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 16:38, The MailMan wrote:
I work in IT and as you can imagine that can involve a lot of waiting around so I tend to keep a deck of cards on me at all times to practice at my desk to kill time. I havent had any complaints but I have been fairly good about keeping myself from getting too involved.
[/quote]
Absolutely agree with this statement, which means I too agree that magic at work is fine as long as it's not interfering with your work performance. Personally I've entertained my clients during long wait times while they are looking over my shoulder. Typical situation would be;

client walks in and asks, "how we doing?"
I respond, "good, after the reboot you should be all set."
*client grabs chair, pulls up along side of me
I say, "hey, this reboot is going to take a few minutes - want to see something other then watching the little bar slide back and forth on the screen?"

They always say "sure" or "yes". Great thing is, once you perform something, they usually are "shocked" and walk out of the room which is perfect for me as I hate people watching over my shoulders.

Often enough, most of my appointments end with a trick or two. I only do this mini-show for VIP's as it helps build our business relationship together. My clients can get their computers fixed by any company, but for them to get fixed by a magician - how cool is that? Not to get too out of topic, but this helps gather referrals too. They call a friend and tell them what their computer guy just did in their office. Now their friend wants to see me and I turn it into a two-way business opportunity: magic opportunity for me and an IT opportunity for my company.

Hope this helps,
y.
Message: Posted by: Eric the Excellent (Mar 6, 2012 03:57PM)
I've taken to carrying multiplying balls and a half dollar around in my coat so that whenever I have a spare moment I can break them out and at least practice manipulation. I do this at college, usually during breaks or lulls in lectures, and no one seems to mind in the least; it probably just looks to them like I am fidgeting.

Admitted, however, that college is a fair cry different than work, but I can't imagine anyone taking an issue with it.
Message: Posted by: Kyle Elder (Mar 6, 2012 06:46PM)
I work at Starbucks and do magic for customers all the time. I've done it for three years and all the managers I've worked under actually ask me to perform to their favorite customers often. When I'm working throughout the drive through I always have great opportunities while they are just sitting their waiting. I have little routines I have put together with straws and things we have around. Customers love it and remember me and seem to come in with friends to see my magic. I have fun, it enhances our customer service and our tips increase, not to mention I have scored gigs from it.
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 6, 2012 07:06PM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-06 04:49, Albatros wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 15:49, chrom wrote:
So far seems like most of you are doing what I do wi no issue. I practice a lot at my desk where o one can see. I even do the occasional shuffle while in meeting etc. but I only do the erformances for small isolated groups. I would also like to start opening staff meetings with a small effect to ice break which should be no problem.

Shame
[/quote]
wow... somehow I am sure that if I would even dare to have a deck of cards visible during a meeting I would be asked to do that again - for the HR-lady while waiting for my papers :O

I rather stick to palming small objects, maybe a small paperball (those look inconspicuous enaugh for the most occasions)
[/quote]

You would be surprised. Almost no one even asks me what I am doing. I am in an all day staff meeting tomorrow and guaranteed my cards will be with me.

Shane
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 6, 2012 07:08PM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-05 22:31, Yellowcustard wrote:

As for practising, Thatís fine but people may watch and pick up bit and bobs of what you up to. But not to say you canít practice. I use to practice ACR while on hold on the phone.

You might want have some close confidence you can use for trying new tricks on. So if it does go wrong the office bully donít label you an egg that screwed up a magic trick 4 years ago.

Check out this link it migth give you a idea http://magicfriday.blogspot.co.nz/

Keep going have fun.
[/quote]
Thanks for the info. I have already found that I practice on one person before going more public. Th way I can work out any issues.

Shane
Message: Posted by: The MailMan (Mar 7, 2012 04:07AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-06 19:46, Kyle Elder wrote:
I work at Starbucks and do magic for customers all the time. I've done it for three years and all the managers I've worked under actually ask me to perform to their favorite customers often. When I'm working throughout the drive through I always have great opportunities while they are just sitting their waiting. I have little routines I have put together with straws and things we have around. Customers love it and remember me and seem to come in with friends to see my magic. I have fun, it enhances our customer service and our tips increase, not to mention I have scored gigs from it.
[/quote]

Kyle you need to get Craig Petty's chop, you are in the ideal position to make it a banger!
Message: Posted by: yabi (Mar 7, 2012 08:05AM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-06 19:46, Kyle Elder wrote:
I work at Starbucks and do magic for customers all the time. I've done it for three years and all the managers I've worked under actually ask me to perform to their favorite customers often. When I'm working throughout the drive through I always have great opportunities while they are just sitting their waiting. I have little routines I have put together with straws and things we have around. Customers love it and remember me and seem to come in with friends to see my magic. I have fun, it enhances our customer service and our tips increase, not to mention I have scored gigs from it.
[/quote]

Sounds fantastic! There are so many Starbucks these days that this is a great way to draw people to your location. From my office, I have about 5 different Starbucks I could go to and I would drive out of my way to be a patron at your location. Brilliant idea - I hope the boss pays you well. =0)

Cheers,
y.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Mar 7, 2012 03:09PM)
[quote]
On 2012-03-06 19:46, Kyle Elder wrote:
I work at Starbucks and do magic for customers all the time. I've done it for three years and all the managers I've worked under actually ask me to perform to their favorite customers often. When I'm working throughout the drive through I always have great opportunities while they are just sitting their waiting. I have little routines I have put together with straws and things we have around. Customers love it and remember me and seem to come in with friends to see my magic. I have fun, it enhances our customer service and our tips increase, not to mention I have scored gigs from it.
[/quote]

This is a great example of magic begin taken out there. I personally feel if were magicians we should be able if requested do a simple magic effect. And this is a every day setting.

Keep going and if you can get a video of you at the drive thru that would be a blast to see.
Message: Posted by: Yellowcustard (Mar 7, 2012 03:10PM)
[/quote]

Thanks for the info. I have already found that I practice on one person before going more public. Th way I can work out any issues.

Shane
[/quote]

Sounds as if your working it out good on you.
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 7, 2012 03:48PM)
The meeting went well today. When I got bored with cards I switched to sponge balls :) Yet again no one asked what I was doing until the very end.

Shane
Message: Posted by: Prismatic (Mar 9, 2012 11:14AM)
I do tricks at work, usually just when things are quiet I'll ask "hey, wanna see something neat?" it allows me crowd control experience and practice with my patter. plus these people aren't friends but aren't strangers, they don't know me and can accept my role as performer. Personally I enjoy it.