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Zach Allen
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What are some of the most interesting spectator reactions that you've ever had? I had a very unusual one today...

I was performing for some friends of mine outside a Café in my town, and some other people stopped to watch. I ended up selecting a guy who was walking by to participate, and I did "Scotch and Soda" for him, just the basic effect with the Centavo changing into a quarter in his hand.

After I had him open his hand, he stared at it, not saying anything for about 30 seconds, and then said, "Interesting...very interesting." He then turned away, still with the quarter in his hand, and started to walk down the street, still staring at the quarter in his hand...right into a light pole on the sidewalk. OUCH!

Needless to say, I and several others rushed to his assistance, but he just shrugged us off, and continued walking down the street, staring at that quarter all the while. Hopefully he didn't try to cross the road.

So that's my interesting reaction....what are some of yours?

Happy Holidays,

Zach
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Kathryn Novak
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He walked into a light pole? One of the hazards of street magic, I guess. Did you get your quarter back or did you just let him walk off with it? Smile

The most interesting reaction I've ever gotten was a spectator accusing me of having a trap door in my thumb, where I was hiding the second and third of the three pieces of rope I'd just restored back into one piece. I had to sit down, I was laughing so hard. Smile
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Dark illusionist
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I was in this talent show once and I was about to perform kundalini riseing. Well with the lights on me I couldnt see exactly who I was selecting. So this girl comes up on stage, later in the show she was going to sing a song from caberet I think. She was wearing fishnets etc etc. After the card rise somebody screamed "burn the witch." I was afraid she was going to be malled or something. I used to do the scotch and soda but one time somebody Screamed out "your the devil" and ran away with the coin. I still havnt bought a new one
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Zach Allen
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I didn't get my quarter back, but I guess it's a small price to pay for the reactions...I'm just glad he didn't walk off with my half-dollar from the S & S set...I probably wouldn't have been laughing after that.

Zach
Check out all 6 of my e-books!
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Geoff Weber
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I used to do the balducci levitation before it started to get exposed so much. It created quite a reputation for me in college. When I did it for my R.A. he immediately called up his mom to tell her. Another time, I did it late at night for a guy who lived a few dorms down from me.. He got so excited, he ran through the whole building telling everyone he knew.. I got a knock on my door around 2:00am.. and when I look out there was a line of people that ran down the length of the hall and wound out of view. They all wanted to see the guy who could float.. So my roommate Larry (who knew how it worked) jumped in as my "manager" and helped a little with the crowd control, we admitted people into my room two at a time, and I did the levitation over and over. It was probably one of the strangest experiences I've had.
Kathryn Novak
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Geoff-I would have started charging people, letting them in one at a time to see me float. Smile
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ChrisZampese
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I think the strangest reaction I have had is from a group of guys that I was performing some card tricks for. I had come to the end of an effect which essentially had a face down random card in the specs hand change into their card.

I asked the spec if the card in his hand was his, and he said no. I asked him if he was sure, and he still said no. Instead of turning the card over he just dumped it on the table and muttered something about my abilities (or lack of). One of his cronies picked up the card....and just freaked out (It was the specs card of course). He showed the other guys, and I have honestly never seen reactions like that to any other trick I have done!! Bug eyes, shocked expressions, 'Bu..bu..but it was.." type of speech. Music to my ears!!

I think the least enjoyable reaction I have had is the little girl who acused me of cheating 'because I used magic'. She was totally not impressed by it!.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
Samuel Catoe
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I performed a booktest for a co-worker a while back. I made my revelation with him still holding the book. As I spoke he did not blink and even lost his grip on the book. There he was mouth open Smile , arm up as if still holding onto the now-on-the-floor book.

YEEESSS!!! Smile

Samuel
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Boxav8r
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New England
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I often accuse my wife of being so even tempered that I could light a fire-cracker and drop it down her pants and not get anything more than a very mundanely stated: "That's nice dear". I use this to tell when I've got something good. On three occasions I've gotten a jaw drop and a "Wow". These are now staple effects in my arsenal.

One time I was doing a short mentalism routine for a couple of women at a table, when I told them to think of a number between 1 and 10. A couple of seconds later I said to one, "No - don't use the number seven". Her jaw dropped and she said, "How did you know that"? I replied, "That's OK, but I did hear what you were thinking when I walked up".

She turned bright red!
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xicepik
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HAhahah.. I had a great laugh reading at your stories! I just wish that some sort of strange reactions will happen to me!

Well, it did once, when I was younger (like 10 years old)... I made a Penny "appear" (it was just stuck between my thumb and my hand) to my mother, and she was so shocked, she thought that I was Houdini or something. I was just laughing at her at this moment. I wasn't even practicing magic at that time.. Well, nothing compared to the guy staring at the quarter! Smile
Chrystal
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I agree these were all great stories! Enjoyed reading them. Well done all of you! Smile Smile Smile
ClodAppleleft
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I've gotten some great reactions from kids.

I work Ren-Faire's, and this story is what makes being a magician to me worth while.

I was walking around the faire one day, and I saw a set of parent's trying to get their son to move out from a corner by the entrance to the faire. He was very introverted, and scared, and just didn't want anything to do with anyone, including his parents. I walked over, looked at him, and asked him if he wanted to share an apple with his sister. He kind of looked at me funny, but then he slowly nodded. I then proceded to do my apple trick for him, where I tell a story while I cut an apple in half. When I am done, the apple is in a geometric shape where both halves have part of the top, part of the bottom, part of the left, and part of the right side of the apple. The kid's face just lit up, eyes bugged out, jaw dropped, the whole nine yards. He took his half and just stared at it for a little while. I asked him if he wanted to see another trick, and he nodded, and I just made a silk disappear. Same reaction as before. Then he gave me one of the biggest smiles I had ever seen. I then got the jaw drop and bug eyes from the parents. I smiled, told them to enjoy the rest of the faire, and walked away.

Later I saw the boy and he was having a great time, smiling, playing with his sister, etc. etc. The mother looked at me and mouthed "Thank You", and I just smiled.

That was the absolute best day I ever had at a faire, just because of that one encounter.

Jeff
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Stef
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I was working outdoors, trying to get people walking by to come into the theater and see the magic shows.

Picture the setting: Dusk in old Montreal, the orange sun almost setting. A cool breeze on a warm summer month.

An Italian man (for the sake of the story, we'll call him Joe) of about 60, walks up to the table... just him and me. He asks me to perform something, to which I was only happy to oblige. I don't remember the exact trick but it was, for him, a miracle!

He then asked me if I was doing magic for money. I replied that first and foremost, I was performing for the love of it.

Joe then makes reference to someone in the Bible who helped a lot of his fellow man. For this, God wanted to reward him with riches, but declined. And in the end, this Bible man ended up to be a rich man... and Joe said to me, "This is exaclty what is going to happen to you."

I thanked him for his comment, feeling VERY lucky to have someone think this way. Content, Joe walked away that evening having seen "A MIRACLE."

To this day, I get shivers down my back and have never lost that feeling whenever I tell this story.

May you all have an opportunity to meet your Joe.

Smile
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Reis O'Brien
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ok... my story...

Dad and I are shooting pool at the local bowling alley. In walk three Mexican guys with their pool ques. They speak very little english but ask if they could play the winner. We say "no sweat" and they lay down their quarters. Well, as always, Dad beats the pants off of me and starts to play the first guy int he group. So I'm watching and get the idea to do a trick for the other two guys while we wait out the game. So I grab one of the quarters on the table, say "watch this" to one of the guys and proceed to bite it in half, then blow it back together.

The two guys FREAK OUT! They get these seriously worried expressions on their faces and one points at me and yells, "Diablo! DIABLO!" they all grab their pool ques and push eachother out the door saying something is Spanish to me.

Dad, was pretty mad that he didn't get to finish the game! Thank god I didn't do my swallowing razor blades act!

Smile <----------- "DIABLO!"
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Hoelderlin
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Not exactly happened to me, rather read in TMC some times ago: the magician devines the card chosen by the spectator:
"Ok, your card is the Three of Clubs"
"Obvious, of course you know, you can read my thoughts..."

How to cope with such a spectator? Smile
Hölderlin (Massimo Manca) - Circolo Amici della Magia - Turin - Italy.
Wolfgang
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This is not the strangest thing that has happened to me. But it's one of the most meaningful, and it happened very recently.

I was doing a nursing home show for about 30 people in wheelchairs. Most were asleep (at least I hope they were asleep). And I got absolutely no reaction from them at all. Not a sound. Nothing!

When I was finished and packing up--feeling like it was the worst show I had ever done--a woman who was in the audience walked up to me.

She motioned toward a man in a wheelchair and said, "I just want to thank you for coming today. I can't remember the last time I saw my husband smile. But he smiled during your whole show. Bless you."

I felt as if all the years of practice I'd done my whole life were meant for that very moment.
"Sure, I do Scotch and Soda in every show. What? You mean there's a trick by that name?"
Hoelderlin
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Yes, performing for this kind of categories, gives often great sensations; I remember I did my first show in a community for mentally ill children: some Down, some with strong mental handicap and so on. I totally planned wrong my act, 'cause I went out with a quite difficult act of multiplying ping-pong balls, with almost no reaction.. until I transformed them in a giant yellow ball... I understood that I had to change all immediately and inflate a balloon for sculptures, making the classic doggy. Standing ovation... All children in row, each waiting for a baloon; the most interesting thing was a children that absolutely could not speak, and regarded always at the pavement, with just ONE tooth. He came disciplinately in the row, took his ballon, a bite and... BOOM!; after, he set himself at the end of the row, waiting for another, and so on. He make to explode at least four of five doggies, without changing expression, but nurses assured me he seemed very excited Smile
Hölderlin (Massimo Manca) - Circolo Amici della Magia - Turin - Italy.
Mike Robbins
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Quote:
I think the least enjoyable reaction I have had is the little girl who acused me of cheating 'because I used magic'. She was totally not impressed by it!.

I've had that happen in my ren faire act and I think it's one of the highest compliments you can get. You are so convincing in your acting that they suspend disbelief. I found that very enjoyable and rewarding.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Lee Darrow
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I used to do shows with another magician, the late, lamented Paul Huffaker.

Paul & I were working Jamie's Bar in Greenfield, MI when Paul got the strangest response to a card trick I had ever seen (this was almost 20 years ago, mind you).

Paul did a self working effect where an ace winds up face up above the other aces in a shuffled deck.

The guy he was performing for stood up and yelled: "You're of the Devil! You're not real! You're a NEGATIVE!!"

Paul sat down, poked himself in the chest and said, "Gee, I'm awfully solid for a negative!" and smiled his patented smile.

The guy, still extremely agitated, sat down. Paul talked to him for another few minutes. When Paul got up to leave the table, the guy stood up, shook his hand and said, loud enough for half the room to hear, "It's been an honor to meet you, sir."

Paul never told me what he said to the guy, but if that's not magic, I have no idea what IS! Smile

Many moons ago, I did a series of lectures on an urban myth about the supposed international satanic conspiracy and all its supposed trappings - baby killing, assassinations, undercover takeovers and the like.

On one instance, I was lecturing to a group of law enforcement officers at a training academy in Indiana.

I started off being introduced as a specialist in occult information and entered with a tray of white sand, in the center of which was burned a small four-toed footprint. The tray had an evidence tag attached.

I told a story about it being from a site where three people had been found ripped literally to small pieces, identifiable only by DNA matching. I introduced a small slab of rock with runes on it, stating that it was also found at the site and had an ancient incantation for, believe it or not, the conjuration of a demon.

I started to read it to the officers so "you will know what this stuff sounds like, should you hear it on surveillance."

As I read, I started to glaze over my eyes, shake slightly, my voice rising.

A whisp of smoke rose from the footprint. Suddenly, it burst into flames!

I screamed, "NO!! Back to the PIT!!!" and slammed the slab of rock down onto it.

Slowly, I uncovered the footprint, to reveal some oddly colored ash.

When I looked up, I was looking down the muzzles of 26 service pistols. Cocked.

Aimed right at the tray.

I slowly stepped away and breathed a sigh of relief.

Only ONE officer had not drawn down on the "apparition." And only because HE was not wearing his weapon!

When I explained to them that this was how the panic mongers out there could cripple their critical thinking with a bunch of hyperbole, they all flopped back in their chairs and looked at me with stunned amazement.

Each and every one of them stopped to shake my hand and thank me for the most impactful piece of training they had ever had.

The effect; Demon Dirt, by Maskelyn ye Mage (Tony Andruzzi), but using my own method to ignite.

Weird thing. Several weeks later, I did the same effect, the same way, for a bunch of hypnotherapists. No one moved or was surprised.

One of them, a little old lady, said afterwards, "Oh, we all KNEW you wouldn't let anything BAD happen to us!"

I retired the effect not long after. Too much work and some of the supplies are hard to get in Illinois these days.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
RandyStewart
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I've seen various reactions but my favorite has to be the silent grin. That's right, no shreiks, screams, or loud "oh my god!...oh!....MY!...Gawwwwwwd!"

I simply like the quiet stunned grin. You know the one that leaves even the I know it all loudmouth in the group just grinning without words. It simply says "I don't know what to say or do as you've just taken me to Mars and back".

Yeah that's my favorite reaction. Smile
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