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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What to do after a reaction in an impromptu setting? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

noahrobd
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Right now I don't have an act, but to get practice with performance and presentation, I will perform single tricks to family, friends or other people I know. If I have practiced, but not performed yet a trick, I like to start by performing it one on one for just one person at a time until I get more confident and better at presenting it. When I do this its usually very informal and casual, I'll just say "I have a new trick I've been working on which is pretty neat." Kind of impromptu, but I let them know I intend to perform a trick first. (Until I build up the number of tricks I can do, I only like to perform one trick to a person at a given time.)

I have been careful, and so far I have been getting good reactions a lot more often than not from the climax of tricks I've performed. Often at this point I will get a reaction of amazement. But after the spectator's reaction I usually can't think of anything to say. I haven't figured out a good way to react to my spectator's reaction at the end of a trick, unless I ask them for feed back on what they thought or how I did. Being that I am performing a single trick (usually to a single person) in an informal setting, I'd like to be able to seamlessly segue back into conversation after the climax of a trick has sunk in with the spectator. But what usually happens is we both have long pauses with nothing to say at that moment, which feels slightly awkward.

Does anyone have any suggestions how to segue back into normal conversation once a spec has reacted in amazement, or how I should react to their amazement?
MattWayne
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Noahrobd-

This is very normal. I remember when I wanted to introduce new material into my act or shows I would always ALWAYS go to family. I consider still to this day- my grandfather to be my, 'greatest and harshest critic.' He would always offer his harshest critique on me. Ha, but anyway.

If it's an informal setting; I normally would just say, "So, what did you think?" Then just listen to them. If they don't say anything for a great while you could probably assume that they're thinking of a way to politely tell you that the effect sucked. But that's not always the case. OR they are just so amazed. Either way- try and get a response out of them. Since it was your idea to perform for them; the least they could do is offer valuable critique. Whenever I perform for family I ask them to be completely honest and tell me everything they noticed that could've gone wrong. I ask them not to 'sugar coat' anything. Because I'd rather they notice something- tell me- so I could fix it- and not have a real spectator notice.

So these long periods of silence could be used to get immediate feedback. Ask them what they liked the most. If you want to go immediatley into a normal conversation afterwards; that's most likely not going to happen. It's like showing them a million dollar bill and asking them not to say anything to even one person. They're going to want to discuss the bill, or in this case: the magic. At least in my opinion.

Hope some of this helps you out.

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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David Fletcher
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What I do - Ask friend or family member if they could help me with something new I'm working on. If they have time to watch, that is good, if not, next time. This leaves the door open for me to ask how they felt. Even if I can see their reaction I still ask.
You have to give it away to keep it.
Parson Smith
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Noahrobd,
The only thing that I would do differently is to not use the word "trick."
I would say something like,"I just saw the strangest thing. Would you like to see it?"

Peace,
Parson
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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onezero1
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Noahrobd I get what you are saying. You are finished the effect and are satisfied that it works well, now you wish that they would just forget what they had seen and you could get on with talking about last nights game or whatever.
You get awkward silences, I used to babble nonsense at them.
Its purely because you are rehearsing an effect using them as a live test dummy
rather then performing a finished piece to entertain a human. Once the effect is over you have learned what you need and wish to move on. Street magicians can walk away, stage magicians can bow and glide into the wings.
But the young Amateur Magician chilling at his friends house can't really float a dollar bill, wink, say "magic!" and jump out the window laughing into the night. He's at billys house to play X-box, he aint going anywhere and Billy wants to know what the hell was up with that dollar???
The reason they are silent could be because they want you to provide some more data on what just happened. They don't want to say anything because you may be messing with them in some way (heh!) and they do not want to appear foolish.
They need you to let them know its okay to be shocked and awed and jumping around the room screaming "ohmygodohmygodohmygod!"
'though it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way...it would seem that we are all negligent.
Jaz
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You don't have to say anything.
It's likely they will be the first ones to make a remark or ask a question like, "How ja do dat?".
Then you can respond with, "Ain't telling, but glad you liked it", "Thanks, I'll consider that a compliment", or similar.
David Blaine don't say anything. He just looks at them, smiles and let's them react. It works for him.
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Quote:
On 2005-11-25 02:31, noahrobd wrote:
I haven't figured out a good way to react to my spectator's reaction at the end of a trick, unless I ask them for feed back on what they thought or how I did. Being that I am performing a single trick (usually to a single person) in an informal setting, I'd like to be able to seamlessly segue back into conversation after the climax of a trick has sunk in with the spectator. But what usually happens is we both have long pauses with nothing to say at that moment, which feels slightly awkward.


The emphasis I added should be a clue. Unless you give the cue, your spectator doesn't know what you want. Being someone you know, they will be extra careful of your feelings. You need to express what you want, plainly. If you want to know how you did, simply ask. If you want to leave the trick behind and get on with other things, you could say "That was a pretty cool trick, wasn't it - do you want to go to the movies, later?" In other words, direct the conversation.
Foucault
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What an excellent question!

As has already been said, you're at the stage where you want some feedback, so you can decide to keep, improve or ditch the trick, so I see absolutely no problem with asking your audience what they thought. It's often said here that your family is the toughest audience you'll ever get, so it's good practice!
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