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Bill Thompson
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Profile of Bill Thompson
Today I met the Puzzler. The Puzzler is very sweet nice east Indian lady at work. I was doing some magic for some magic for some students and she saw me and afterwards told me about how she likes magic and all so I brought out the Hopping Halves. I use a patter about two coins, Jack and Beth, and how their love for one another has kept them inseparable through tragedy and circumstance. She was delighted (or so I thought) saying that it was very good. I asked her if she liked the story and she said I wasn't listening to what you said I was watching your hands to see what you did. !!!???

So... Uhhhhh... I wonder now did she like what I did? Was she entertained? Did I do something wrong or is she just a puzzler who thinks all magic is merely a puzzle to be solved? Have any of you met people like this? I'm sure you all have. What do you do when you are met with someone like this? Are they worth trying to entertain? If so what type of effects should you show them?
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
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Profile of rgranville
Different people find entertainment in different things. This woman said she was entertained by your magic, just not in the way you expected. Take her at her word.


I asked her if she liked the story and she said I wasn't listening to what you said I was watching your hands to see what you did. !!!???

You didn't know she wasn't listening to you until she told you afterwards? !!!??? indeed! You weren't talking with her, you were talking at her. No wonder she tuned you out and focused on your hands.

Especially one on one, you should be directly engaging the spectator. You can tell a story, but make it a dialog. Include questions: "Has that ever happened to you?" "What do you think happened next?" And wait for answers. Make eye contact. Involve your spectator and she can't tune you out, but more importantly, she won't want to.

Brad Burt
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Profile of Brad Burt
In a very real sense people 'know' that the magic we do is not real. Hopefully or not hopefully depending on how you look at this fact. What we really are attempting to do is perform a puzzle that is SO freaking good that the mind of the spectator is just halted in mid stride and thus the amazement the sets in and for a moment the watcher is transported to another place.

Think of ourselves as magicians. Think of the last REALLY killer trick you saw and how fooled you were. Bang, you forget everything you know for a moment and sit impressed. But, what happens a little later? You try to figure out how you were fooled. We all do it! It's not right or wrong, it just is. I have professional musician friends who when the hear a great piece of new music will try to figure out how the guy played it. Same with us. Same with regular folks who watch magic.

The only difference with regular folks is that they have no technical matrix in which to really figure out how a magic routine is done and so give up quickly. Spectator's come in all stripes. Most, thank God, just like to watch and enjoy. Some are wired so that they are looking for the 'Man behind the curtain' and that's enjoyment for them. You can't always verbally engage someone if they don't care to be verbally engaged. If what they want is to watch then your trying to engage them will simply cause dissonance for them that will not enhance the entertainment value in any way. Best,
Brad Burt
David Fletcher
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Profile of David Fletcher

Happens all the time. One in every crowd. So what do you do about it? Not worry! Nothing you can do about it. Some people "hate" magic but want to see another one. Some try to bust you or tell there friends in the audience what what they think you're doing while your performing - this especially with a group of bar mitzvah kids or some guy trying to impress his date. they just don't know they are being rude. I "love" it when some guy comes up after a show or a set and says, "you're really smooth." Right!!

If I have fun my audience has fun. And that's what counts.
You have to give it away to keep it.
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