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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » What do you reply when someone asks you how you did it? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alex1
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I'm learning a few tricks and understand it's best not to explain how you did it. When someone asks you, what's the best reply?
M Sini
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I seldom get that as a serious question anymore. People will still say things like "Wow, how'd you do that? That was great!" but they aren't seriously asking me how it's done. They are actually paying me a compliment.

When you have someone ask that actually wants to know, I think it depends on who it is, the situation and the effect.

One of the easiest things to do is to slide into another effect. Watch a clip of David Blaine performing mutiple effects on the street. He kindly ignores the request and goes right to his next effect.
gaddy
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Sometimes I say "by magic".

and sometimes I say "It took me years to learn this..." and leave it with that.

Just tell them as nicely as possible with FIRM CONVICTION IN YOUR VOICE that they're not going to get the secret out of you.

If they detect wavering in your tone or mannerism, they'll persist in asking.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Alex1
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I'm a little afraid my boss will ask me...I think a humorous reply of some type might work best here.
sethb
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When someone asks how you did that, you could just say "Very well, I thought!" Or if it's appropriate, you could smile and say "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you!"

I agree that most people are not really asking how it's done, they are actually marveling at the trick. In any event, go to the "Odds & Ends" section of the Café' and check out the "Words We Use" area, there is a lot of discussion about what to say to spectators and audience management. And welcome to the Café! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Mclary211
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When doing a card effect and am asked how I did it I like to answer mirrors and fishing line. It almost always catches them off gaurd and gets a laugh.
Michael Peterson
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Quote:
On 2008-11-18 12:40, Alex1 wrote:
I'm learning a few tricks and understand it's best not to explain how you did it. When someone asks you, what's the best reply?



very well!

Mike
mindfreak2.0
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Use humor to get out of it. I like to say "So you want to know how I did it, that will be $1000." It will catch them off guard and get a couple laughs as well
Hansel
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Quote:
On 2008-11-18 16:32, Michael Peterson wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-11-18 12:40, Alex1 wrote:
I'm learning a few tricks and understand it's best not to explain how you did it. When someone asks you, what's the best reply?



very well!

A Classic Winner!

Mike
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Larry Bean
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"Can you keep a secret?"

"So can I !"
mrunge
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Good one Larry!

Just tell them that you'd be stealing from them if you told them and you wouldn't want to do that. Stealing? Yep. You'd be taking away the entertainment and surprise they experience when you show them a trick.

Remember, it's all entertainment and fun anyway. Never forget that. Don't ever take yourself too serious.

Have fun with it!

Mark. Smile
MickeyPainless
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I've used the "very well" and others similar. I've used the "with smoke and mirrors and a lot of luck" type line. I try to stay easy going and humorous and most just laugh and leave it alone! If they're persistent and/or indignant, send em on a book hunt. I like the idea of just segueing into the next trick! There are volumes written on spectator management and as mentioned some real good stuff her on the Café. Use the search button and get to reading!

Mick
Dr. Delusion
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I usually say " I can't tell you, it's against the law ". Kids will sometimes yell back " no it's not !, so I tell them, "It's the law of magicians, when I first became a magician I promised not to tell any one how a trick is done, and if I do, I'll lose my magic license". The parents get a chuckle and the kids leave it at that.
Bob.
Ed_Millis
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There are several threads on this. One response that always comes back from Brad Burt is to just say "It's a trick." Depending on the attitude of the questioner, it can be tossed out casually with a shrug or delivered with a tone that says "Get a life, dude!!"

Check here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Ed
mmreed
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I like to be polite...

How did you do that?

Well, its taken me a long time to get to the point I can do things like that. Without understanding all the theory of magic, it would be confusing... instead let me show you this effect.... watch...

basically just diffuse the question and move on...


if they REALLY keep pestering, I say something like

I wish I could show you, but there is so much that goes into it... but if you are really interested in magic, I can point you to a few books to get your started...




Sometimes I also ask "well, how do YOU think it was done?" then just smile and say "I wish it was that easy"
Mark Reed
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Justin Style
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Quote:
On 2008-11-18 12:40, Alex1 wrote:
I'm learning a few tricks and understand it's best not to explain how you did it. When someone asks you, what's the best reply?



I say, "Can you keep a secret?" Their eyes get big, "YES!"

"Okay, take off your clothes and let's have sex, then I'll tell you."


It's a win-win for everybody! If they walk away, the secret is safe. If they say yes, then go for it. You will have to give up the secret, but at that point, who cares?!

Try it.
JackScratch
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Tell them there are a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they don't want to know. I always explain that the mechanics of a performance would be a great disappointment to audience members. Magic is designed to be enjoyed as an unknown, not solved like a puzzle. It is the audiences role to suspend their disbelief, and the magicians role to make it easy for them to do so. Enjoy not knowing, for once you know, it can never be taken away. In the end, if you are driven to learn, you will, hopefully to perform, otherwise the knowledge is completely wasted. If you can live without the knowledge, you get to enjoy magic for what it is intended to be, Magic. Magicians put a great deal of effort into their trade. Learning "how it's done' is an awful waste of that effort.

Also, in most cases, the "mechanics" are not ours to share, we purchased them, and the rights to perform them, and are obliged to let their creator profit rightfully from that information.
Justin Style
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Jack, you're a nice guy and you mean well but I like my method better.


Hey now...
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2008-11-18 19:53, Larry Bean wrote:
"Can you keep a secret?"

"So can I !"


Same here.
M2MAGIC
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Just tell them :

"Its an Underground Magic Witch I Prepare it with a Ghost"
if they Still want to know Tell them The Ghost is Whispering in my Ears
and Say if you didn't Stop Asking, you well fell Bad.

or Tell them
"that's you have a Friend from the Ghost World who do the Trick"
if they ask you how tell them I don't know,This why they Call it Magic

Enjoy

For me I just Explain it for my Friend cause I have to test every things on them ;-)
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