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chris mcbrien
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My tricks are also angle-proof...I just want them to see the show as I'd like them to see it....
I am also a control freak, I think you have to be to be professional.
jay leslie
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Here are a few one-liners that will help to clear out a few adults - Incidentally, I ALWAYS mention (during the planning stages) that magicians work against a wall, so it's like a theatre setting - this way the party planner will have a space for you that works. Not discussing all the details of what makes you happy would be like getting married to a stranger to find out later that you have nothing in common.

Here we Go - can't give credit for these as I don't remember where I heard them firs and I've expounded on the principles myself:

I'm sorry, the price of admission allows you to see the show from the front. There will be an extra fee if you stand behind me.

Excuse me... Do I come to your house and look over YOUR shokder you when you're doing something important? Come on out front so we can all have a good time.

You know... being a magician is NOT like playing the Tuba. If I was playing the Tuba you COULD stand back there...but I'm not!!!

(Tongue in cheek): Usually, the magician does not have anyone standing on his side or behind him...Usually the people standing behind him realize he is talking about them...Usually the people standing behind the magician have moved by now...)Face to face): Oh HI...Didn't you get the memo? I can't have people stand around me while I do the show. There are a few seats left...where ALL the other people are standing.

Usually the magician can not have photographers stand on his side... etc.


HERE is my point:

While we sometimes CAN have people stand behind us...why distract from the show? Every time someone stands behind you they take away from the experience of watching you.

Yes, yes, yes there are plenty of shows designed to be performed in the round. I myself did countless performances at a major amusement park BUT given the chance I would rather have it set up like a theatre where the audience does not cross the line.

The best way to do this is by working out the details before the show - If you
can't perform the way you feel comfortable then why not alternatively send the show to someone else. There is no law that states just because someone calls you, that you have to take their money. Be good to yourself and be good to your customers, but work out all the details long before you arrive.

Would ANY major star allow people to walk around behind them during their performance? Why should you?
magicgeorge
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Belfast
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Quote:
On 2007-08-13 08:54, MoonRazor wrote:
I usually tell the parents to stand behind me to get the best pictures of the kids. But then I don't have many effects that cannot be done surrounded.


I don't know about you, but when an adult does that in my show half the children magically change from having a great time laughing and interacting to staring gormlessly at some eejit with a camera. Luckily, my monkey is a "solutions provider" and attacks the adult in question thus giving them the shot they where looking for.

If all my tricks could be done surrounded I would find people standing behind me just as off-putting.

George
chris mcbrien
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Jay,
Can I use the "tuba line"...I really like it!!!!
George,
As usual, we completely agree. What kind of monkey do you have?
NJJ
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For some reason, whenever I try funny utility lines designed to get audiences to do something serious it always backfires. They laugh and the ignore me thinking I was just joking!

My all time favourite line is from Seriously Silly used when kids start moving too far forwards..."Move back a little will ya? You're sneaking up on me like a cheap pair of pants!"
chris mcbrien
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What's funny is at first I thought this was a question of how far you're willing to travel....
KC Cameron
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Quote:
'It's fine to stand there but I ought to warn you, you WILL get wet!'

LMAO - I am going to have to use that one!

Like Chris, I don't allow it. I try to nicely nudge them to the front, but I have stopped things if they did not take the hint. I am not so worried about what they will see, but what they won't see. Each adult that watches my show is a possible ambassador for me - I can book more shows through them if they watch the show.

Like the others, I too find it distracting. This is especially true because if there are 2 or more, they will be talking. I don't know why they think it is ok to talk during a kid's show, but a terrible thing for a kid to talk during something they are watching.

I use my backdrop when possible, but outside if it gets windy, my backdrop comes down if I want it to or not . . .
chris mcbrien
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I have also had that thought, Captain! Some of the adults will start a conversation that I can hear clearly...yet if they're watching something and the kid distracts: "shad'yap, kid!"
kimmo
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If two parents are talking loudly I will stop the show, silently gesture that the kids be quiet and look directly at them. It can be a very funny situation with every child and adult in the room all staring directly at two people chatting away, oblivious of what's going on.

Usually they suddenly sense that the room has gone quiet and look up to find everyone staring directly at them. It's now that I say:

'I'm sorry, was our show interrupting your conversation?'

This usually gets a big laugh from the rest of the adults present. I'll then give them my very best 'only joking' smile and then carry on with the show.

I can get away with this sort of thing because it suits my character - a friend of mine tried it in his show and it went down like a lead balloon, so beware!!
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KC Cameron
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If there are a lot of adults at a show and they look like they will be talking, I will mention that they would not want kids talking at a play they were going to, so please don't talk during the kids theater. It helps.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2007-08-13 19:08, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
For some reason, whenever I try funny utility lines designed to get audiences to do something serious it always backfires. They laugh and the ignore me thinking I was just joking!


That's so true! It happened to me a few months ago. I made a joke about moving, they laughed and didn't move. I laughed along then stopped laughing abruptly and said rather sternly "No, I'm serious". They laughed at that, too and stayed put. I went over to the door and started banging my head against it murmuring "parents, who'd have 'em". They laughed again. So I shot them. Police turned up and they all stood behind me.....

There seems to be no room for subtelty, when making these hints. For two parents talking I quite often quiet the children then say to them "Adults, huh, they never shut up, do they?" Then do the international yappy chatter-box sign with my hand. Sometimes I have both hands talk to each other parodying a typical gossipy conversation.

George
jay leslie
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Anyone can use the lines I wrote above.

I don't see any reason to stop the show. By stopping the show you have announced that you have lost control and the audience got the best of you. The only reason to stop a show is if you die onstage.

One liners can become the show (and often do). This is a live performance, there are no repeats - you are doing theatre. Sometimes it's necessary to pile the one liners on top of each other until you gain control again. It's not the 50s, its a new era where the audience is undisiplined. You will gain more respect, attention and higher tips if you learn to handle the audience no matter what they are doing.

There is a time to refuse to perform. That time is before you start IF you decide there is no contract because of too many problems. Once you've begun it's going to look a lot better for you if you can keep it going. We are not school teachers, There is no principals office or detention. Collect the check and write about it in your encyclopidia of horrors that you will publish when you turn 80.

Here are a few more one liners:

"If you are going to talk. please share with the class, I'm sure they are interested in what you have to say."

"You know - you're going to need a hall pass if you keep coming and going, like that."

Last week I was poolside and two people would NOT stop talking. SO I plugged in a spare microphone, put it in the stand - and placed it between them so the audience could hear them... after turning the volume up, they finally stopped.
After the show, did people come up to me and tell me how much they liked the magic? No... all they could talk about was how funny it was to hear those two busybodies talking about what kind of socks they buy... I got a good tip and people asked for my card. So the show dod not stop = It just migrated and the talkers became the show.

Got lemons? - make lemonade!
btedeski
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Trying to think, nope nothing,....

I mean nothing in my small show that would tell from behind.

The larger show I only do where I have control of sides and behind -or- I start cutting effects.
Billy The Clown
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Bill Tedeski
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Were magic is just too funny....
KC Cameron
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The problem I see with being blunt, is you may well create people who will bad mouth your show. I have to balance that with how much they are ruining the current show. I find one liners often work if very direct, but not always.

Once when I was pretty frustrated I went up to the adult and asked in a loud voice "Do any kids know who's parent this is? (holding up the adult's hand)" Problem solved.
chris mcbrien
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Good point, Captain! It has to be done "just right". You know what I mean. Love your line BTW!
Keep in mind there are points that I scream "stop everything" and "stop the show" during my act anyway, so it really doesn't matter.....
NJJ
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You certainly need to be polite...firm but polite.

However, it is also important to remember that PREVENTION is far more successful than any funny line, bit of business or fix.
MagicByFranklin
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Much good advice in this thread.. I try to convey the ideal environment to the host beforehand, and hopefully he or she will help out if a situation like the one originally mentioned arises.

If not, I take the time to instruct them in a positive light, like "You won't be able to see the show from there, feel free to come around to the front so you can enjoy it with the rest of the audience."
-= Joseph Franklin =-
-=Vice President I.B.M. Ring #56=-
http://www.magicbyfranklin.com/
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