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Topic: What would you DO?
Message: Posted by: Mitch150 (May 5, 2012 08:54AM)
Well the revamping of the act is coming along nicely. Like riding a bicycle. Old sleights and passes are going well once the rust has come off - but I still have a nagging problem.

A number of years ago I lost one, and almost lost two Scotch & Soda gaffs. So I did the basic trick, and the jerks won't give me the gaff back. HE says - "Well you gave it to me, and I am keeping it." Putting it in his pocket. Reminds me of some nun in a parochial school catching you with a comic book. The first time I got it back, after talking with the host, the second time - it was gone forever.

I don't know what he thought he was going to do with the coin, and maybe just spent it, or tried to cash it out at the bank.

I now have a new one, and I am thinking if I am going into the audience again, I should get one based on a Euro.

With my past experience, I am going to the S & S without the audience - one of the deeper routines on the DVD - and - forget the audience participation for this one.

Your thoughts or experiences? How would you get your gaff back from some jerk?

Message: Posted by: Joe Kispokis (May 5, 2012 09:25AM)
Have him arrested. Tell him it's an expensive trick coin (he probably already knows) and that if he doesn't return it immediately you are going to have him arrested. Theft is theft. Doesn't matter if it's "50 cents" or a million dollars.

Seriously. I wouldn't hesitate on this one.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 5, 2012 09:55AM)
Make it part of your routining to take the coin back before they know the trick is over - in other words, make it seem as if there may be more coming until you have the coin back. Or tell him its the only half-dollar you have and need it - its a prop - in order to continue working with your next trick or next table.
Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (May 5, 2012 11:18AM)
I'd chalk it up to a bad experience, letting the S.O.B. keep the coin, and be mindful of what to do next time; whether a change in routine or a switch out. An expensive lesson you wouldn't have to repeat again!
Message: Posted by: Octopus Sun (May 5, 2012 11:48AM)
Thieves are Thieves and should be treated accordingly.
Message: Posted by: cablerock (May 5, 2012 02:01PM)
Agreed. It's not okay regardless. Maybe as a precaution, take out anything that might suggest you are 'giving' them a coin, as well. But honestly you have to be a real a*****e to do this.

So Mitch, was it the same person, or different people? I'd like to hear more details about this, as it seems unusual.
Message: Posted by: BuddhaStephy (May 5, 2012 02:56PM)
Subterfuge Magic System has a scotch and soda routine on the DVD where the spec. only has the "special coin" in there open hand and as you close their hand, they are only left holding 2 real coins. If you use this method, they never actually get their hands on 'your' coin(s) and you will never lose it/them... and the "special coins" are WAY cheaper than traditional scotch and soda coins so you aren't so upset if you happen to lose one.
Message: Posted by: BuddhaStephy (May 5, 2012 03:06PM)
On 2012-05-05 15:56, BuddhaStephy wrote:
Subterfuge Magic System has a scotch and soda routine on the DVD where the spec. only has the "special coin" in there open hand and as you close their hand, they are only left holding 2 real coins. If you use this method, they never actually get their hands on 'your' coin(s) and you will never lose it/them... and the "special coins" are WAY cheaper than traditional scotch and soda coins so you aren't so upset if you happen to lose one.

oh yeah... and it happens in their hand. They see the two coins you put in their hand, you do not touch the coins once they are in their hand, you close their hand, they can feel two coins in their hand and can jiggle them around, and when they open their hand, they have more money than they had when they closed it... and the two coins they have are real so they can take them all they want... or you can just give the coins to them. It's a pretty cool routine.
I have to admit that I have only seen traditional scotch and soda routines 3 or 4 times and Kenneths version just seems way more interactive and more 'magical' to me.
Message: Posted by: Mitch150 (May 5, 2012 04:29PM)
Cablerock -

It was two different people at two different "corporate" events - actually receptions. I was asked to do an hour or so of the act, so I did. I have been told that either a 10 year old birthday party, or doing the act in front of drunk adults has the same problems.

Some people just want to "know" the secrets, or feel they have been "taken", and want some kind of revenge - you get the result.

In the first case, the party was for one of my clients, and I told the contact person - the guy who signs my work contracts what had happened - he got it back for me. I guess doing an outstanding job for them pays dividends.

In the second, it was about the same deal - late in the act, I do this as part of the audience participation part. This was not one of my clients, but a gig I had hooked. I had no connection to this one. I asked the host to help me get my "stage coin" back, but the jerk denied in LOUD TERMS that I was "full of it" and he didn't take the coin / keep the coin. Better judgement was to just let it go at that, rather than have a major scene, and screw up bookings in the future.

The third problem I have encountered, with card effects is this. There is always some jerk in the audience who "knows" how it is done, and will do their best to make you look the fool, and in some way blow the effect. Guys are the worst, gals seem to go along with being a good assistant. Who knows, maybe they just want to show you up - prove they are a big man - or just be a wise guy in front of their friends. In any case, I now only do effects where the chosen / forced card is shown around, and thus eliminating the problem of them secretly knowing the card, and then when the thing comes to it's end, changing what they drew / were forced to draw.

Live and learn. Mostly now, I am doing things which when it gets down to the audience part, I choose very carefully what I do, and pick effects which they either can't screw up, or it won't make any difference, as they are just helping out and the real effect is happening on my side of the fence.

Hope that explains it.

Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (May 5, 2012 04:51PM)
Sounds like you figured it out, Mitch!
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (May 5, 2012 06:03PM)
If you run into these situations routinely then it may be your presentation that needs reassessment. In my experience these situations arise when you frame the magic as a challenge. Even if you don't say it explicitly, you might be giving off a you vs. them vibe. In which case their behavior, while still not appropriate, is at least understandable in that context.

The only way to suss out whether this theory has merit is to spend some time in honest and thoughtful self-evaluation.
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (May 5, 2012 08:20PM)
Also, it can help to simply ask your audience about your performance and their thoughts about it. This can be done in some way or another with almost any audience but is easiest and best with a friendly and imformal audience. You can also pick up a lot of how your audience perceives you by watching the,, their reactions to each routine. Definitely easier to do in some venues than others, but try to get in the habit of watching for your audience's reactions.

Take care!

Message: Posted by: eatonmagic (May 7, 2012 10:24AM)
I've always found that the easiest way to avoid ANY conflict such as this was to build a rapport with my guests first. One of the topics I discuss in both my lecture and our company's training seminar for magicians is something called "The three R's: Read, Relate, Rapport)

Basically you greet the guests, equate yourself on their level finding some common ground with them (a familiarity with where they're from, a piece of jewelry, clothing, etc) and the establish a rapport with them. I agree with Steven that most magicians present magic as a challenge even if that's not their intention. The perception by the spectator(s) is that of, "He's gonna try to fool me so I'm gonna catch him." This is why it is vital to break down ANY tension before the magic begins. I think most magicians would be surprised if you just spent a minute or two engaging in a friendly conversation with someone before performing it really helps. Very rarely when performing do I have to be the first to acknowledge who I am. Usually the conversation will begin to flow into that direction as the guest will ask what my role is at the event and that's when I mention I'm the magician. They are much more excited and now ask me to perform for their group.
Message: Posted by: cablerock (May 7, 2012 07:09PM)

Thanks for responding to my question. As you see it prompted a lot of great thoughts. Since it was two separate people at separate events, I am inclined to agree with what Steven said. Maybe there is something in your presentation that makes certain people want to 'catch you' or figure it out or whatever. If they see you as a potential threat to their intelligence, they are going to be more hostile to you. I don't know if that is the case, but definitely something to think about considering the circumstances.

Also, Eaton's post is incredibly important. Before anybody even knows you do magic, you have got to get them to like you and further, care about you. Once you've done this, you've basically got them, as they *want* you to succeed, instead of hoping and trying to make you fail.
Message: Posted by: taiga (May 8, 2012 12:06AM)
Before saying anything to the people about what's coming, I would ask for something of value like a 10/20 dollar bill and place it in full view on me (a coat/shirt pocket, but not completely inside, let it visible the entire time). Then, introduce your S&S coins, do your routine and ask for your coin at the end saying that THIS COIN has more then the faculty to change (or whatever) itself but can influence other things that it may comes in contact with! " FOR EXEMPLE YOUR BILL!!" He'll let you have the coin back to see what comes next!! Then proceed with a bill switch or whatever you feel right to do with his bill!

Your story scared me enough to consider this very solution for myself!!

Take care!
Message: Posted by: Ronald72 (May 8, 2012 01:25AM)
Eatonmagic has some good tips, it also comes down to audience management. What you saying, how you behave, what kind of instructions you give, how you react etc. I think the lesson to be learned here is that you didn't succeed in proper audience management. The good news is we all have been there. Now important is why do you want to adjust your routine to one incident? I assume you created your S&S routine with great care and give it good thoughts. Unless a sequence or a part of the effect really falls flat by lay audience hang in there and go out there and do the routine you have in your mind.

Best of luck!