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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » When some jerk is hip to your methods (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JohnLamberti
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Los Angeles, CA
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So I'm doing a bit of mentalism for a small group of people. Basically making predictions with the help of a Swami Gimmick, pretty easy stuff. I've done a lot of practicing with it, and my fiancee (who knows the trick) says that she can't tell what I'm doing with the gimmick. There was this one guy there who kept trying to deliberately screw me up (I was performing for some friends, but this guy I had never met before.) He kept saying things like "Why don't you use a pen?" And "Hey, why don't you show us what you wrote first?" I got really flustered and didn't know what to do, so I just ended my little "show" early and put everything away. I didn't want to perform anymore.

The guy obviously had done a bit of reading on magic and mentalism, and knew how a Swami Gimmick works, but I can't imagine why anyone who knew what the trick was would deliberately try to ruin an effect for everyone else.

How do you deal with a jerk like this?
ashah
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Always a difficult situation. Also something that has been discussed here many times. To give you a head start, I offer these threads:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......;forum=6
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=106
Chessmann
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I would ask him why he feels the need to interrupt what is going on and spoil other people's entertainment.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
TommyTheTremendous
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Put him on the spot. He probably wants the attention...so give it to him. One of the posts that has been given said to just tell the guy "I am doing magic for these people who seem to be enjoying the show. Would you please quit ruining the show for everyone else and quit trying to get attention? Thanks. Now where were we?" >continue trick<

Then of course you have your one-liners that are all over the Café.
- Tommy Magic
Joe Mauro
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If you were not being paid, but doing it for friends, then I'd stop. No sense in competing with someone that is rude and needs the attention.
~Joe
Shnarker
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Pittsburgh, PA
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John...

As far as handling the question of "Hey, why don't you show us what you wrote first?". One suggestion would be to say, in a polite way, that people have changed their mind after seeing the prediction. Just a thought.

Ink loaded swami's are made. I cannot recall where I saw them online.

For my curiousity, were you using a pencil or a china marker type?
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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"Why don't you use a pen?"
'Because I have a pencil.'
'I used to but sometimes I have to erase my first impression.'

"Hey, why don't you show us what you wrote first?" (before something is named?)
'If my prediction is wrong I want to know before I show it (laugh).'

I think that this guy was a good test for you. Other people may ask themselves the same questions.
It seems to me that you may have done one too many 'successful' predictions. If you must do more than one, fail on an attempt or two.
Also using the pencils eraser on the first prediction may silently answer the first question above about why you use a pencil.

Letting them know that the experiment you are doing is not always 100% during your opening patter can be the the lead in to the answer I suggested for the second question.

Without the proper audience management you're likely to find these testy people quite a bit. Think about problems that may arise and try to eliminate them prior to presenting the trick.

I hope this helps.
Good luck.
Reis O'Brien
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Seattle, WA
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That's when you take the swami and write him a little note. Then say that the spirits have given you a message from beyond. Then hand him the note which reads, "Shut the **** up, or I will beat your ****ing skull in, you misanthropic little neandertal."

See if he feels like reading out loud to the group.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

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Kent Wong
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You could blame the spectator and carry on with life, or you could take the comments to heart as being indicative of weaknesses in the effect or the presentaiton. In either case, comments like this can come up from time to time and it is part of your job to develop appropriate responses to them. When you are performing, you are in control and you must stay in control at all times. Otherwise, your spectators will lose confidence in you.

This is especially true with mentalism - What? You tell me you can read thoughts, but you didn't see that comment coming?
"Believing is Seeing"
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calexa
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@ Reis O'Brien:

Very good advice....*lol* I like that!

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
BerkleyJL
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These two examples use techniques taught in "Wonder Words" by Kenton Knepper. I don't get any royalties for this plug, but I think it's one of the best things you can learn for enhancing your magic performances...especially if you perform a lot of mental miracles.

"I could show you my prediction first, but it will be more dramatic this way."
"This way everyone will know at the same time if my prediction was correct, and it will make the show better, don't you think?"
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
MattWayne
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Now, I'm a nice guy- but some people just push me too far. I enjoy performing, but then you get the jackasses (Sorry if that word should be censored); as everyone has come accrossed in their magical endeavors. But very rarely do I get those kind of people- so when I do; I get annoyed. Because in my mind; the idiotic person could've been prevented. "I must've done something wrong," I usually think to myself. "Oh, I'm just not entertaining tonight." Because at any time during my shows- someone is bored; we have a problem. I dislike it when people aren't satisfied. Perhaps I'm just to concerned with my spectators. It's a rare occurance, but like I said- it happens.

So, in answer to the question at hand- I normally after my demonstration; pull the guy aside and literally confront him. Now, I always remain calm- but sometimes things get 'bad.' Normally, the guy says that he was just being funny. Well, being funny just ruined the performance- thanks. I do however enjoy challenging the spectator. I often hand him the deck to do the same trick. Ha- then I feel superior!!!

Keep in touch,

Matt Tomasko
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BerkleyJL
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I think this is a very bad idea. You need to be able to "fix" the situation before the performance is ruined. With appropriate responses to the questions--or better, cancelling out those questions with methods and phrases before they come up, you save the opportunity to create magic for your audience.

A confrontation later is not a professional way to handle the situation at all.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
Zac Vee
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This is the best advice mate . hahaha

Quote:
On 2005-02-28 10:08, Reis O'Brien wrote:
That's when you take the swami and write him a little note. Then say that the spirits have given you a message from beyond. Then hand him the note which reads, "Shut the **** up, or I will beat your ****ing skull in, you misanthropic little neandertal."

See if he feels like reading out loud to the group.
peace, love and kindness.. no terms and conditions

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ClouDsss
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Facing Hecklers from time to time is part of a magician's life Smile

Try turning the audience against them if you can. This way, it saves you trouble and you can also identify who are the ones you should be performing for

Being angry would not change the fact and will only play into the hecklers trap who is out to get u

cheerios
Think outside the box, cos people are all thinking inside now!! - ClouDsss
Doc Pepper
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Black Hills of South Dakota
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I did a show for a group of 10-12 3 to 5 year olds but the problem was the Dads. When news got out that a guy was going to be there showing magic - well...

When I started the show, one of the dads kept trying to stand up and look over into my `items'. Another (over and over) kept saying, "I know how he does that".

Enough was enough, I had to called out the big guns.... I simply turned to the Mothers (ahh - no - the real MOMS) and asked them to make their `Childern behave' and they did. I finished the rest of the show for the kidos and Moms while the guys spent the rest of the time out back by the Bar-B-Que pit (drinking Beer).

That young a group is tough enough even without the Dads ;-).
The Doctor will see you now! ;-)
MattWayne
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When I said I 'confront' spectators- by no means do I threaten or harrass them! Ha ha; that'll be the day! My little thin self getting into a confrontation with some guy taller then me. I just meant that I would discuss his reasons for doing this. Asking him, "Did you see the method/how I did it? Did I 'flash/expose' the workings, etc. Almost always the people are gracious in their comments, and really help me in finding good material, and weeding out the bad. And always I ask, "So, have you dabbled around with magic as a kid, or are you a magician?" I've gotten a couple of positive replies, and have made some friends this way. Keep in touch!

Matt
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Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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I would say "Don't use a NW" and do something else instead like Stanley Jaks "This Way Out". There are numerous prediction effects one can do that do not rely on NW. You could also resort to a double writer like the BT2.
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Paul Alberstat
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Mike Brezler
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Waynesboro, Pa.
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I perform for kids. I always start out by asking them not to yell out or tell other audience members what is going on in case they might know (they usually don't, but think they do.) Asking them nicely to be polite and not ruin it for the other kids. This works most of the time. I always try to be kind.
Nick B
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London, England
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Roberto Giobbi, in Card College, gives a couple of useful ways of dealing with "hecklers" which, if memory serves, are along the lines of "Look, I'm doing these tricks for you, not for me - I've done them before so I already know how they're done. Please don't ruin it for everyone else."

He also suggests that, with a particularly difficult spectator, you can pretend to involve him in the trick by giving him a deck of cards and asking him to shuffle them thoroughly and, so no-one can see what he's doing, to do it in another room. You say that you'll call him back in when you're ready for him and just carry on with your routine without him!
Nick
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