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Owen Thomas
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Does anyone sometimes get annoyed being asked to do tricks all the time for family and friends? Does this mean I got the wrong hobby? Maybe I'm not a performer and enjoy practicing tricks. Any thoughts? thanks
Joshua Barrett
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Heh, well, I think it depends, personally. I don't mind family or friends, most of the time. When I started this job, I did stuff for people at work, but they got the "pet magician" attitude, demanding magic tricks. I soon discovered performing on a spectator's terms like that leads to some crappy performances. Now, I never do anything when they ask. Every now and again I'll have something I want to do, and I will.
Jaz
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As Josh suggests, you need to put an end to the problem.
This "pet magician" thing happened to me years ago.
After a while, I simply began telling them that I didn't have anything new and that I would let them know when I did.
Now I only perform for those close to me on my terms.

Even if you only rarely perform, it's an enjoyable and interesting hobby.
Michael J. Douglas
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It can get annoying if they have the "pet magician" attitude that Joshua mentioned. In that case, I only do things when I want to, and it's a pretty rare occasion when I want to do anything for someone with that mindset. However, some people truly appreciate me sharing something with them, and in those cases I usually oblige. Although, it can be tough to have something "new" when I see them. After a couple meetings, it's fairly easy to tell the difference between the two types.
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
rmoraleta
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Same here, I don't perform anymore when asked to.
gaddy
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I usually perform whenever asked. It's not as often as I expected to be asked, and I'm usually working on something to show-off...

I also have the luxury of performing mostly while bartending, so I can always "look too busy" to do anything at the moment.

If you learn a number of impromptu effects with coins and such, you'll never be at a loss to show off something...

I certainly understand your feelings - no one wants to feel like a trained seal!

Back when I worked at "Houdini's Magic Shop" (sic) I would often refer to myself as a "trick monkey".
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Hansel
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Well...when someone says to me: "Please, do a good magic trick," I only do 1 or 2. Why??? In another thread here in the Café, someone said to me, "We are not magic tricks machines," and he is right!!!! I don't refuse...I always have my cards with me, and to someone that has a finger ring, I do a small routine, but that's it... Answering to your question, honestly, I never hate it when someone asks for a trick.
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trickytrav
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My family hates magic tricks, apart from my 3 year old son, who loves them but doesn't understand them.
jolly12
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Haha... I found it extremely irritating when I only had 3 or 4 tricks "down" good enough that I was comfortable performing, and another 5 or 6 I just wasn't ready to haul out. After my family and friends saw the first few, they were always asking for more.
jolly12
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How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.
MikeOB
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As far as my family and friends, when I get a new effect, I show it to them first. My wife is very good at letting me know what I need to work on.
Jaz
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Quote:
On 2008-03-03 16:52, jolly12 wrote:
How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.


That's not necessarily true. They may have enjoyed it and want to enjoy it again.
I don't see a problem knowing one good, unexplainable trick, or repeating a trick a few days later. It's when they want to see it repeated right away that I'd be suspicious.
gaddy
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Who was it who said to never do a trick unless they asked, and then INSISTED on seeing one? Thurston?
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2008-03-03 16:52, jolly12 wrote:
How about when they ask to see the same trick only a few days later?? You know they are only digging for the secret.


You could learn to do the same thing by a different method...
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Father Photius
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Some good answers above. It is something we all go through. I often just say, "I don't really have anything with me," and that gets me off the hook. There is nothing wrong with enjoying practicing tricks and not performing, and there are a lot of magician hobbyist out there like that. I went through my performing years and did several years making my living doing magic, but for the last decade or so, I've only done it mostly for my own enjoyment. I can on rare occasions be coaxed into a show, but not often anymore. I completely enjoy spending hours working on a trick or some move just for my own enjoyment. I also love playing with tricks and patter until I've changed them enough that others won't recognize it. It is a great past time.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Yola Sol
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I like it if people ask me to do something. It doesn't happen to me that often - I'm sure it wouldn't be fun anymore if you get the pet magician situation.

Reading this topic made me think of something someone posted some time ago. I don't really remember who said it, but it was something along the lines of, "If I told people I'm an actor, they wouldn't ask me to act out Shakespeare."
On the road of life, don't forget to stop and eat the roses
marty.sasaki
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If you are a doctor, you are often asked about medical things, especially from folks who don't know you very well. As a computer guy, I'm always asked about computer questions, even though my area of expertise is pretty esoteric to most people. Singers are often called on for singing. Instrumentalists often play music for their friends.

Folks ask me to do magic and, depending on the person and the circumstance, I either do something or say that I'm not ready yet. Or if it is someone I'm really friendly with, I'll ask them how much they want to see something and what they are willing to give me in return. With a pretty young girl, I'll ask for a kiss on the cheek. It's all done for fun.

Do something simple and baffling. An Imp bottle can be a blast. Sponge balls go over great, and even folks who have seen it before still seem to enjoy it. If someone is obviously just trying to figure something out, then just say to them, "If you really want to know that bad, here is the name of a book that will get you started." Reading a book will often stop someone in their tracks.

One guy, another engineer, just wants to know the secret. It's his nature to analyze things and to try and figure out how they work and how to make it "better". He understands things, and we have a bit of a truce. He doesn't ask anymore.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
ibm_usa
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Wow, I've been in the same situation. Just refuse to perform, wait it out, and come back a year later with the same trick or a completely new one. If it is the same trick, they will be shocked to see it again, or they may forget what it was.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

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DPowell
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Friends and family don't always realize that you sometimes need a break. You are not a performing circus monkey. No one wants to do something over and over again, even if it is something that you love. I imagine if they ask you to show them what you're working on every once in a while, it is alright; but if they ask every day to see a new trick, well, that is just unfair on you. You also don't want to put people off by rudely saying no. I would say, "Not right now, my hands are cramping." Or, "If I keep showing you things, I'm going to have to start charging admission. How’s 50 dollars a trick sound?" Something to make them laugh and also get the point across that you don't want to. Hope I helped.
Owen Thomas
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Thanks for the responses. I'm glad I'm not the only one.
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