(Close Window)
Topic: A prophet without honor
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 24, 2003 11:47PM)
I often perform impromptu, on the spot, etc, for friends and those around me. Problem is, no matter how great the effects, or no matter how hard I try, nobody really wants to view me as a "real magician' because I am just Doug who they know, and I can't POSSIBLY be the real thing. A lot of times when I show them my best material, they will say something like, " did you see that thing that David Blaine did, blah, blah, blah,..." This is real frustrating to me, as many of the effects I show them are as good as or even superior to Blaine's material. But I'm just Doug. I can't possibly have authentic powers. If a mysterious stranger walked up to them, though, and bit the quarter, then they would swoon. Am I alone in this experience, or am I possibly the planet's worst magician and don't yet know it? What do you think guys? :bawl:
Message: Posted by: Chris Michaels (Dec 25, 2003 12:59AM)
I think you answered your own question. "If a mysterious stranger walked up to them, though, and bit the quarter, then they would swoon."

Exactly.. they don't know the person.. he'd get the reactions he wants. So what do you do to get the reactions you want? Simple, go to people you don't know. That way, they don't know you either, and can be amazed.
Message: Posted by: Chout (Dec 28, 2003 02:34AM)
What both of you said is very true. Friends are not as easily impressed because they know you. You've probably impressed them so many times that by now its second nature and no big deal at all. Go out and astonish unexpected people.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 29, 2003 03:58AM)
Why do you think Houdini left this country for Europe? Even Christ had to leave his native region. lol
Message: Posted by: Chris Michaels (Dec 29, 2003 04:04AM)
Is that Henry or Jesus? :P
Message: Posted by: David Neighbors (Dec 29, 2003 04:28PM)
Yea it's the same when your lecturing! I do my stuff for the boys at the Denver Magic Round table and thay say "O Yea that's David. He does that kind of stuff"!
And I go out on the road and lecture and ahow the same stuff to the boys out there and It Kills! Some times it helps if you don't just do a trick for them. But you do a show...! You look more like a pro! ie. You look more like you know what you are doing! Don't just do your magic at the drop of a hat! Wait to they want to see it!

Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Dec 30, 2003 03:32AM)
On 2003-12-29 05:04, Chris Michaels wrote:
Is that Henry or Jesus? :P
Jesus, of course. Henry only gets respect among magicians. lol
Message: Posted by: MagicAndBlackjack (Jan 7, 2004 03:16PM)
People that you know know that you are just the same old friend that they know, but they are still most likely amazed. Although, since they know it's not "real magic", and since they have seen that you can do this type of stuff all the time, they don't give a very strong reaction because its expected that you can do this type of stuff.
As other people have pointed out, go out and try to get a job at a restaurant or parties or corporate events so you can do the magic for people you don't know, thus getting the reactions you want.
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Jan 7, 2004 06:11PM)
You realize that amongst David's friends he's just David and when he does a trick to them they say, "That's nice... but you should see what Doug can do." :lol:
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Jan 13, 2004 02:25PM)
1)"A prophet is without honor in his own country." I think this is more principle than homily.

2) Your friends know that real magic powers do not exist, and that if you can do magical stuff, its all a trick.

3)Start some mentalism. They'll be more ready to believe in the existance of those 'real' powers within the field of mentalism than they would among the field of, say, rope tricks.

4) Learn the Tarot, and do instant 3-card prognostications upon demand. Don't cold-read, just do it straight and see how it flies. The successes and hits will build you a quick and very weird reputation among your friends. They'll start paying atention to the other mystical secrets you possess.

5) Change friends. No, wait, that's not practical. Stop showing your friends magic unlesthey're all around and bored.

6) They are complimenting you, in their way, and you have opened up the subject of magic to them...wanting to add to the gestalt of the moment, they are adding what they can to the conversation, but knowing nothing about magic, the only thing they can do is comment on some other magic that they have seen. Well, as they havent seen Henning or Houdini, and have forgotten Copperfield already, they talk about who they have seen, which is Blaine at the moment. Don't concern yourself with it, they're trying their best without having anything to say, referring only to what they have to refer to. Plow ahead.
Message: Posted by: Will_Tingle (Feb 1, 2004 05:17PM)
People who know you make lousy audiences—FACT.

To your friends you are not a magician, a magician is "one of them" who does amazing and impossible things. You on the other hand are "one of us" and, therefore, just trying to "trick us."
Message: Posted by: BradleyNott (Feb 1, 2004 08:19PM)
Try to perform for people you don't know while your friends are watching. They will see the genuine surprise you give people and hopefully have a change of heart.
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Feb 3, 2004 04:39PM)
Although I agree with many who say that "familiarity breeds contempt," or as actually been stated here, a prophet with honor in his homeland, friends and family feel more free in engaging and challenging you. They know it is a trick from the start. So the premise of something being "magical" never occurs to them.

But I also see something else common with many magicians, which may also explain the lack of respect. It is that they tend to "practice" on folks they know. So they bring out the magic, for these folks, before they are ready to perform it. And as a result of a poor performance, they get a bad reaction.

Another thing that I noticed just the other day was that I went to do an effect for a couple of family members that I was not as concerned about angles, etc., and that was a mistake. I had people sitting across a glass table, while I was standing. They not only had a "look up" angle, they had a glimpse off of the glass table top. Doh! As soon as I noticed the issue, I thought "how unprofessional" and ended that effect which surely would have been caught, saying "Wait a minute...I have a better one for you," and I went on to another one where the angles were not an issue at all, and got a good reaction.

Make sure that no matter who is your audience, that you are practiced and ready to perform. And also make sure that you are positioned for performing where the audience can appreciate your magic, not see it exposed behind the scenes.

Message: Posted by: GlenD (Feb 3, 2004 05:03PM)
Good advice and excellent observations, BroDavid. I admit, I have been guilty of all of those situations that you mention. But I try to learn from those mistakes and try to not repeat them.

Daffydoug, that's the same thing I have experienced too. I remember my first big stage performance (it was at a church) and afterwards someone asked me if I do shows at my home church. I said no, not yet...besides they know me there and wouldn't buy it! We both sort of cracked up a bit, little did I know how true that remark was. Although I realize what an unprofessional comment that is and wouldn't repeat it. Just thought I would share.

Message: Posted by: Popo (Feb 3, 2004 07:30PM)
All true and good insight. I would just add that many of your friends may have known you before you did magic or were to the point you are now. To them the process has been gradual and they know that it is a skill that you have developed.

If you have children you can see this point. You see you children daily and although you notice changes in them what happens when a relative sees them for the first time in a couple of months? They remark at how much the children have changed.

As for the developing skill, when they see a David Blaine they have not watched him from the time he began to now. All they see is the end result. Also, I agree with making them wait until they are ready and wanting to see the magic. Like Sidney Poitier said, "If they see you for free all week, they won't want to pay to see you on the weekend."
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Feb 13, 2004 11:34PM)
That example about the children growing up gradually was very enlightening, and in fact most of this posts on this thread are great food for thought. That is what I love most about this forum: I can truly begin to see things from other magicians' perspectives, thus my own perspective widens tremendously.

The ideas you all share help more than you may ever know or realize. A heart-felt thanks to all my brothers in magic.

I love you guys!
Message: Posted by: kerpa (Feb 15, 2004 09:52AM)
I can sympathize, because I am in a very similar situation. Lately, I have had some success by focusing on punching up the presentation. I will try to introduce the trick with a provocative question—for me,"lateral thinking" questions seem to work. So, for Twisting the Aces I ask, "Did you know cards have three sides?" I say this so seriously, my friends start to doubt my sanity. That's when I launch into Twisting the Aces.

For me, the pitfall is making the intro too wordy (I can get verbose, as you can see from this email!). But, however short or long the presentation is, I think the answer lies in using it to craft your persona. Sooner or later, some very modest scripting needs to be employed (I am talking maybe one to two lines).

Darwin Ortiz has a great discussion of persona in [i]Strong Magic[/i] (out of print, alas).

a/k/a Mike Miller
Chicago area
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Feb 15, 2004 10:18AM)
I have found that you are far more magical to friends and family if they watch you entertain others rather than themselves. They then experience some of the pleasure you experience when you perform.

One day, I was entertaining my uncle. He was polite but reserved about the magic. Later, after dinner out, we went for a walk along a boardwalk beach. For fun, I started entertaining others on the beach. My uncle got right into it and started calling others over.

Ever since then, he has made a point of asking me do magic in impromptu situations including a Christmas party with over 100 people. I went behind the bar and did some wonderful close-up magic.

Cheers - El Lamo