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BT
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Ok, so last night I was doing a corporate xmas party and it was one of those shows that was just a nightmare from beginning to end. It really bothered me for quite some time afterwards, and just felt like I needed to post my experience here. Had quite a few smart-assed audience members who seemed like they were really out to prove that I couldn't read their minds.
Started out with Osterlind's bank night routine to lighten the mood. No problems there.
Then I performed Tribute to Tarbell (Mind Mysteries Too)- Did a false cut, and then asked the guy to put the card on my left pile- Of course he decides to bury it under some other cards- I tried to pull the deck away but he held a firm grip and kept shoving it in, all the while smiling at me as he's doing so. I new right then and there that this guy was not the best choice for a volunteer. Of course the card was lost, and after briefly saying that I just couldn't pick up anything from this guy, I moved on. Further into the night I had a little bit of payback, when he raised his hand asking to volunteer again - To the amusement of the audience, I jokingly said: "oh we can't use you remember? You've got nothing in that head of yours!"

Next I performed the PCT which went over really well followed by Maven's fabulous book test "autome"- Again a smart-assed comment from my assistant- when she read the first line from the page in the book, it had nothing to do with my prediction- Of course after a few minutes of awkwardness, she says well I didn't read the first line because it wasn't a complete sentence- So she took the liberty of starting on line 3.
Turned out alright in the end though...
Ended the night off with a bang - Osterlind's magazine test (the one with the magazine behind her back drawing a circle) Absolutely killed them on this one!!
Thanks Richard for this wonderful effect... Ok, I'm done venting now..Thanks for listening folks! I guess having an off show once in a while can make you see that nothing is ever 100% sure-fire and the only thing we can do is learn from these experiences. Just curious as to how others handle difficult situations like this?

Regards,
Brian T.
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
BT
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Oh yeah, performed the cell phone effect (Mind Mysteries) to huge applause as well! So simple yet so effective! People were stunned!

Ok, I'm done...I think... Smile
Brian T.
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
Parson Smith
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Brian,
Congratulations on your show.
Years from now, only YOU will remember the flubs.
There will always be those who will want to be cute at your expense.
But I have found that usually, my messups have come from me... not making instructions as clearly as I should.
Magic, like life, is a learning experience and we learn from our mistakes.
Hang in there. You will do fine.
Peace,
Parson
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BT
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Thanks for the kind words Parson!

Brian T. Smile
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
JamesBiss
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Brian... Sorry to hear of your frustrating night. It happens. I had a rough night a couple of Fridays ago when a routine I've been honing just bombed. It's a "Dowsing" bit right in the audience and even a lame cover-up by me didn't disguise the fact that it ... sucked. And it was my opening trick and I'm the star of the show.

I can assure you that the particular thing that went wrong will never go wrong again if I can help it as I've already made changes to the method. My point is that I try to commit to never making the same "mistake" again and learn from each screw-up. Some of my favourite effects evolved continually over several trials. Part of the nature of mentalism is that it can only truly be "practised" in front of real audiences so errors are part of the growing and evolotion process.

...And yes, some shows and audiences just don't happen right.

Hope you recover and kill them again this season and write here to tell us about it....

Cheers,

James
James Biss
BT
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Quote:
On 2005-11-27 22:38, JamesBiss wrote:
Part of the nature of mentalism is that it can only truly be "practised" in front of real audiences so errors are part of the growing and evolotion process.


So very true James. This is what makes it both exciting and terrifying at the same time!

Cheers,
Brian T. Smile
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
mormonyoyoman
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Brian, I note that it is the simplest methods that garner the biggest and strongest responses. And those simplest methods make it unlikely that anyone could possibly mess us up.

On the other hand, Richard's advice on handling a smart-aleck (during the explanation for Q & A "the Final Answer" on Mind Mysteries Too Vol 7) comes to mind. Saying something like that, could make the person run red-faced to the hills!

*jeep!
--Chet
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Parson Smith
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Brian,
When I was about 30 years old I was able to book a show with a couple of thousand teenagers.
I wanted something really special, so I worked out a Russian Roulette Routine.
I had air powered rifles and thin plates.
I had practiced it several times and always the glass shattered with a crash to the floor.
In order to keep from messing up the stage, I had a big tarp placed on the floor to catch the glass.
I explained to the audience that the air powered would not kill me, but I could be injured, maybe even lose an eye.

The big moment came.
1 rifle was aimed at me.
5 rifles aimed at the plates.
All rifles but one were loaded and ready to go.
A deathly hush came over the crowd.
I yelled FIRE.
The rifles fired and not ONE plate broke.
In the hush, it was easy for 3000 young people to hear BB's rolling across the stage.
I doubt that you will ever experience such an embarrasing moment.
I survived.
Peace,
Parson
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BT
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Chet: Yes it is funny that most of the time, the "simpler" effects seem to really knock 'em dead! Richard's handling with "Mr. Bin Ladin" was priceless indeed. Smile

Parson: Ok, now I'm laughing Smile That's too funny...Thanks for the laugh.

Hey, I just purchased both e-books: "Making Magic Real" & "Making Real Magic" from Richard's site. I know that I will gain lots of insight from these!

Peace,
Brian T. Smile
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
mormonyoyoman
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Quote:
On 2005-11-27 23:19, BT wrote:
Hey, I just purchased both e-books: "Making Magic Real" & "Making Real Magic" from Richard's site. I know that I will gain lots of insight from these!


Yes, you will. I rather envy you, getting to read them for the first time. But I've noticed that every time I go back to them, I learn a little more.

When you have completely digested those two (and it may take several readings) then consider his next books.

Oh, I won't have to convince you?

*jeep!
--Chet
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Parson Smith
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BT,
Congratulations on one of the best purchases you will ever make.
IMHO, this should be required reading for all magi.
Peace,
Parson
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truthteller
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Everyone makes mistakes, but it is important to realize that mistakes come from US, from our words, and our choices. Do not blame the audience. If you desire to improve, consider each moment that misfired and ask yourself, "What could I have said or done to have prevented that from happening?"

If your instructions are clear, you will not need to worry about the guy not placing his cards in the right spot, or the woman reading the incorrect line.

I have discovered that improvement comes from realizing that the fault is ultimately my own, not theirs, and it is my jon to make sure it never happens again. Sure you will still get surprised, but if you make sure that surprise never happens again, you gradually eliminate the chance for error.

Brad Henderson
Sven Rygh
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Quote:
On 2005-11-28 03:00, truthteller wrote:
I have discovered that improvement comes from realizing that the fault is ultimately my own, not theirs, and it is my jon to make sure it never happens again. Sure you will still get surprised, but if you make sure that surprise never happens again, you gradually eliminate the chance for error.




Nothing could be more true!
Tom Jorgenson
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BT-

You might put in a little'cooperation' thingy at the front, saying how easy it is to fight a psychic worker, and have notheing happen...that a successful evening can be had by wanting the experiments to succeed....etc.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Piers
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... and Ortiz's Strong Magic book might help, with advice on 'volunteers'?

Best,

Piers.
Smile



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entity
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I've found that corporate events are the most likely places for audience members to speak up and act out. This is for a few reasons:

1. They are among their own friends and co-workers, and so feel more comfortable in speaking out. In this scenerio, YOU are the stranger, and they feel strength in their numbers.

2. Often, intoxicating beverages are offered at these coporate events. By the time your performance begins, several members of the audience might be under the influence.

3. Corporate audiences are usually made up partly of Sales people. Sales people are used to making themselves the center of attention. they like to be the one telling the jokes, etc. They do this to get their buyers' attention. They are also used to rejection and put-downs, and so will often keep going in the face of insults or even peer pressure.

A performer should take these concerns into account, and structure their performance so that they can side-step these potential problems.

I've found that, when possible, making the rounds and talking with the audience before hand is very helpful. Do a few close-up effects and the word gets around that you're a good guy (or girl) and pretty amazing! by the time show time arrives, you're one of them, instead of them against you.

While making the rounds, you can also see who is drinking a lot, and you can avoid calling on them during your show.

With regard to the Sales people, I would suggest that insulting them is not the way to go. As I said earlier, they thrive on attention, good or bad. Two things work for me when confronted with an audience of sales people:

First, have the head of the Company introduce you. Give them a written introduction to read, and make it strong and somewhat dignified. Then use the head of the Company in an early effect. Treat them well, with respect, and make sure that the Company Head is really amazed. That will set the tome for everyone else to follow.

The other thing is to structure some effects in your show so that you can make the loud-mouth the star for a moment, allowing him or her their moment to be in the spotlight, but in the end having the effect come to a strong conclusion, with the loudmouth being more amazed than anyone else. That person will turn out to be your biggest supporter.

Usually, the loud-mouth isn't really trying to ruin your performance, they actually think that they are helping with the entertainment. Rarely, however, there will be confronted with someone who is out to ruin your performance and who will persist in trying to do so. I've hit upon an odd idea that I use for corporate shows now, and it works. I've only needed to resort to this once, but it worked beautifully.

Before every Corporate performance, I speak with the Company Head in person. I do a few close-up effects to amaze him or her and get the Head in my cheering section. Then, I explain that sometimes in events where there is an open bar/energetic vibe, etc., there might be a heckler who could try to ruin the show for everyone. I explain that I have a very funny way of dealing with such people, but I'd like the Company Head's help.

I have a pre-printed letter on good stationery, with the Company Head's name at the bottom, printed, and ready for signing. The letter reads:

Our Guest Artist tonight informed me that he knew you would try to ruin the show for everyone here. I thought our employees had better manners, but just in case, we've prepared this letter to tell you to knock it off! If you don't behave, you're OUT!

Signed,

President of the company.


I have the Company head sign the letter, seal it in an envelope, and keep it in his breast pocket in case it is needed. I only use it as a last resort.

If I encounter such a boorish person, such that I know the show can't continue with his or her outbursts, I ask his name. When he answers, I act amazed and say:

"You know, I had a premonition that I would run into you here tonight. It's true! I've even given someone an envelope with a prediction to that effect, before the show started! Who was that? Oh, Mr. Company Head. Would you please give the envelope to that fellow? Now, read it carefully to yourself. It does indeed predict what will happen here with you, now, doesn't it? Do you understand? Excellent. Please take your seat. Give the fellow a hand for his co-operation, folks!"

As I said, I've only had to use this once, but it shut the heckler up immediately.

- entity
markiquark
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BT, let me just say: I am ready to hit the guy, from your report alone.
If you are going to Puerto Vallarta on your acations, let me know and write me a PM. I am interested in meeting magicians.
Ian Rowland
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BT - take heart, relax, learn from it, move on.

We all have bad moments, bad gigs or times when things just don't work out, on or off the stage. So it's not just you.

Broadly speaking, gigs fall into three categories: good, average, bad. The good ones are when we feel king of the world. Average ones are... well... average. That's when we make some notes about small improvements we might try next time. Bad gigs aren't nice, and they hurt at the time, but those are the ones we really learn the most from. So you can at least savour the learning experience.

Don't be discouraged. Magic is wonderful. Mentalism is a great branch of magic to be in. It's a truly marvellous form of thought-proviking entertainment to bring into the world, and one evening when things don't work out too well doesn't change any of this.

Don't own ALL the blame. Share it. We all have to be mature enough to take repsonsibility for our own occasional weaknesses as a performer (I could list mine all night). However, there IS such a thing as bad luck, and there ARE some specs whom you really can't do much about, no matter how great and experienced a performer you may be. That's just the way it is, and it's sometimes fair to just shrug and say 'Hey, there just wasn't much I could do'.

This is a living, performing art. There are no certainties about what happens on stage, and you never stop learning... nor would any of us ever want to.

Performing is challenging and difficult. Never underestimate this, and never fail to give yourself credit for the fact that you can do it, and it USUALLY goes well. The fact that things sometimes go pear-shaped just udnerlines the fact that this stuff isn't easy.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
BT
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Thank you all so much for the fine advice and kind words...I definitely agree that this only makes us stronger as mentalists, when things go awry from time to time. Keeping my head up high - I've got another corporate xmas party this weekend; we'll see how that one goes over Smile

Regards,
Brian T.
Brian T.


"Nothing I do can't be done by a 10-year-old with 15 years of practice."
Harry Blackstone, Jr.
R Don
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How did it go bt?
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