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Pete Carroll
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Ireland
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Today during lunch, I did a number of tricks for my work mates, everything was going really great and I simply blew them away with trick after trick. I did not see one person sitting over in the corner, he suddenly came over to me and asked me to perform one of my tricks again, which I did. He knew exactly what I was up to, I palmed a card and straight away he said turn over your hand. I was so embarassed. He must of seen me palm the cards in an earlier trick when I didn't realize he was there. He then announced to everyone that this is how I was fooling them all. Now everyone knows how a lot of my tricks are done, all because I didn't see this man over in the corner. I love magic, but the way I feel now I might just give it up. It's a Friday night and I'm feeling low, all my hard work spoiled and it wasn't even due to bad technique. Smile
Peace to you all, from your friend Pete
Geoff Williams
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St. Pete Beach, FL
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Pete,

Don't feel bad. You got overzealous and forgot the first rule of magic:

"Don't repeat the same trick in the same setting for the same people/person."

Since he "requested" a trick, that should have tipped you off to be on guard. Now that he has "exposed himself" by exposing you, you know what his mindset is regarding magic tricks (especially ones that fool people). I bet you'll "graciously decline" performing for him again!

Think of how much wiser you are now! Think of how strong your magic will be now that you've learned such an important lesson! Think of what you've gained in this relatively-unimportant moment of a single day. Wow!

I envy you.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
cardguy
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Queens, New York
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Pete,

I think every magician here can say that at least once in their career they have been "caught" by keen spectators, whether it was a professional gig or not. But once you do get caught you learn not to ever do that same mistake again. Your mistake was repeating the same trick to the same people twice in one setting. You have to realize that one thing that makes magic strong is the surprise element. The spectators aren't supposed to know what you are going to be doing next. For example, when a spec. picks a card and places it back in the deck they might know that your going to try to find it, but they don't know how. It might rise out of the deck, appear in your wallet, change color...etc. It is up to you to keep a surprise element in your magic. If you repeat a trick then that element is lost, and everyone will be watching your every move like a hawk.

So, what do you do when someone asks you to immediately repeat a trick? Well, everyone handles it differently. I say, "Actually, this next trick is really fun", or "You'll really like this next demonstration", or "Lets move on because I want to show you something very strange...". Or if you have no more tricks then just stop performing and leave them hanging. It's always a good idea to leave them wanting more. Whatever you do, just make up an excuse that is believable or humorous.

I hope I have convinced you not to quit. Just keep on practicing and remember another golden rule of magic: Don't perform anything you haven't mastered. Smile
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Thomas Wayne
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Alaska
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This once happened to me also; this is what I did...

When she (yeah, a FEMALE magician-buster!) said "let me see what's in your hand", I immediately said "What?... Okay, but YOU first". At the same time I was saying this I turned sharply - about 45 degrees - to my right to face her more square on (she was on the right); simultaneously I did a sort-of "handwashing" maneuver to simulate a "secret transfer" of the card to my left hand. I immediately followed this by dropping my left hand to about waist level and freezing it in an awkward sort of "card-palming" position. Immediately I closed my right hand into a tight fist (ruining the selection by crumpling it severely in half) and leaving only my index finger extended in a pointing gesture.

Now I know that all sounds like a lot to do, but it actually went very fast; by the time I had said "...you first", I was pointing at her with my right (card hiding) hand. Of course she was non-plussed, which allowed me to take a half step back and reiterate "That's right, I'll show you mine, but only after YOU show me yours". The tight fist and pointing finger very effectively suggested an empty right hand - after all, who would dare squeeze a card into a tight fist? Why that could RUIN a card (which is unthinkable to the average spectator).

She actually looked down at her own hands and turned them open palm up - as I slid my right hand into my pocket and ditched the ruined selection, then let that hand hang at my side in a loose fist. Of course the LEFT hand was still frozen in position, like a deer in the headlights, so after she recovered she still wanted to "see what was in my hand". The finish was a little weak - primarily because I was recovering from a near heart-attack - but it was the best I could manage; I allowed her to grab my left hand and find it empty, then grab down at my right hand and find IT empty... finally I declared that the interuption had undoubtedly ruined the "miracle" and we would have to start over...

Of course, the person holding the deck couldn't seem to find the selection in the deck (or anywhere else) so I declared that it must have been in the very middle of its "magical transformation", and must now be somewhere lost in "limbo". As I said, weak... but way better than getting caught with a palmed card.

Now, I wish I could take credit for being cool under fire, that's not what happened; what happened was I refused to let this women get the best of me. Which brings me to the point: NEVER allow yourself to just get "caught"; it's YOUR show and you're in charge, so go down FIGHTING! If you've got the rest of the deck in your other hand, just put the card back on top; if they grab your wrist, knee 'em in the groin; if you're performing naked, put BOTH hands behind your back, fold the card in half or quarters and hide it in the crack of... um... the wall behind you. But NEVER NEVER NEVER just let them catch you with a card (coin, lemon, elephant...) palmed in your hand.

By the way, the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" stuff got some laughter and a good reaction from the rest of the crowd, PLUS it effectively shut down the magician-buster. However, I DID shift gears to sure-fire stuff and finished up quickly, so I could go change underwear...

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Burt Yaroch
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Dallas,TX
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Smile Thomas you ROCK!!!
Thanks for passing that on.

Pete, definitely don't give up on your magic. Life is full of stumbling blocks. We trip over them, wipe off the blood and keep on. I thank you for sharing that experience with us. You have just helped smooth the path for countless new magicians (myself included). Bravo sir! We'll get 'em next time.

And since we're all sharing our bad experiences...

This one time, at band camp... Smile
Yakworld.
Jeb Sherrill
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Elsewhere
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Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Geoff Williams
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St. Pete Beach, FL
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Quote:
On 2002-02-22 15:46, yakandjak wrote:
This one time, at band camp... Smile


Ah, Band Camp. They make canned Pork & Beans, right? Reminds me of "Card to Vienna Sausages." What a classic!
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Paul S
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Scotland UK
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Can't remember where I read this advice but it goes like this "go out and get caught". Makes you a better magician apparently. Hmm. Course if you stick to the "Golden Rules" you won't need to follow that advice.

I'm a bit angry about that person sat in the corner though. What's the mindset behind doing that? Imagine. Watch somebody entertain, from a bad angle, and then demand a repetition of some effect or the other just so you can expose the method. Spoil the fun for everybody, and no doubt imagine that it makes him look clever. I mean, everybody knows that there is trickery involved, so what's the big deal about revealing the exact method? My advice is that you perform the 'finger chopper' illusion on this person. But get it wrong. OOPS! - the magic has gone! grrrrrr!
Lonnie Dilan
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Canyon Country, California
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Hey,

I have had this happen to me too. It's a part of learning! Don't give up on magic.

If your in a room performing you might want to look around and check out the area. Depending on what you see then you do you crazy stuff. Look for those bad angles in the room. It's also pretty easy to spot the hecklers most of the time.

Next time if you are ever caught again make them think it was part of the routine. Lie Lie Lie! You are doing it anyway. Always have an out for yourself.

I can't remember when I was caught last...maybe about 5 years ago...but it happens man.

in the words of the great Joe Dirt "you just gotta keep on keeping on"
Geoff Williams
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I've taken to doing Jerry Andrus' "Floating Card" in my restaurant gig (I cut down all angles by doing it below table level within the confines of the individual booths).

But I won't perform it if I know there's someone sitting at another table or booth who might possibly look over and see the
"secret."

It's just a matter of being aware.

Also, should someone say "I think I know how that's done" (whether they actually do or not), I tend to quickly respond with "Well, don't tell anybody the secret! We magicians have to stick together, y'know."

This kind of brings them "into the fold", so to speak, and gets them on my side. I've found it to be quite effective in suppressing unnecessary outbursts.

Try it.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Marduke Kurios
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Vancouver, Canada
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Hey Pete,

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

I did a little show for friends during the New Years holidays and there was one person who sat in the corner as well. I could see he was interested and watching, so about a third of the way through the act, I looked over and said I needed him for the next illusion. He looked kind of surprised as I think maybe he thought I was totally ignoring him or visa versa (and it's good to respect that sometimes people need their own space). He came over and instantly became a part of the show. It really changed the energy in the room for the better and everyone felt it. I could tell he was a bit skeptical about the magic, but his mood changed as soon as he was actively involved, and he really enjoyed himself that evening.

I was given an important piece of advice by a mentor who said basically, 'Always know your environment'. Before performing take a quick look around for the shadow people lurking in the corners. We can always involve them.

As far as repeating a trick, well, we all get asked that. I always say, 'You've already enjoyed that one. THIS ONE will really amaze you!' (and continue).


BTW - Geoff, I really like your quote from Stephen Wright. Must remember that one! Smile
Live well,
Laugh often,
Love always.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

Without Prejudice, All Rights Reserved.
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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Pete-

Actually, IMO, your mistake wasn't in repeating a trick. You made two mistakes.
A: you weren't aware of performing angles (it sounds like you knew the guy was there but not that he could see what you were "secretly" doing), and
B: you repeated a trick with the SAME METHOD!

It's fine to repeat a trick. Many of our best routines (Ambitious Card, Coins Acros, Rope Routines, etc) are strong BECAUSE they are repeated! But learn a few different methods or SIMILAR EFFECTS that use different methods. Had you shown this guy what looked like the same trick but with a different method, or even the same method at a different time, you would have fooled not only him, but anyone else in the group who thought they had "caught on" to the method!

And EVERYONE makes mistakes! I've seen the biggest names flub tricks that they've done a thousand times! Don't sweat it! Learn from it, improve, and move on, sir!

Scott
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Gianni
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WILMINGTON, DE
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I know I have felt the way Pete did on a few occasions early on. And from the sounds of things, everybody else involved in magic has, too.

My question now for Pete is this: Now that you've heard from everyone here, and time has passed since the disaster, how are you feeling?

Gianni
Pete Carroll
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Ireland
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Hey guys, I just want to say a big thanks to you lot. Reading your cool messages and that story by Tom which cracked me up made me feel a whole heap better Smile A week has gone by and man I feel great. I have been performing more than ever and the reactions I'm getting are making it all worth while. I seem to have lost the fear of being caught out so my confidence is sky high and my magic seems sooooooo much better. I just want to say a huge thanks to Tom, Geoff, Paul, Dilan, Gianni, Mr Guinn, Kurios, yakandjak and Cardguy. Big Shout on to you guys cause your one cool bunch. I love magic more than ever and always will. You guys are the best. Oh, I made one woman scream and call me the devil after I showed her one of my fav pieces of magic and I was thinking of giving magic up, what a fool I was. Thanks Guys. Smile
Peace to you all, from your friend Pete
M.P.D.
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illinois
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Hey, don't get down on yourself to hard for being caught in a few tricks. practice more, try harder and kick some b**t next time! everyone has been caught a time or two and I am sure it will happen again to everyone. what is really important, is... did they like you as a person and as a performer?
If they did.. ..... and, I'm sure they did... it doesn't matter which tricks you do. they will want to experience your performance again and again.... so get back up off the ground grab your cards and throw the crowd a curve ball! Smile Smile
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