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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Hecklers & How You've Dealt With Them (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

blackandwhiteillusions
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I thought it'd be a good time to bring up a discussion about hecklers. I was talking with a friend/magician & builder today. He brought up a story about a recent performance and a drunk heckler. I have an event on the 22nd with up to 8,000+ in attendance I'll be on the main stage for 30 minutes, I know I will have a handful of hecklers as this event is about booze, food, and good music/entertainment for 8hrs. I'm bound to deal with some hecklers... I'm interested in hearing your stories about hecklers and how you've dealt with them... I had one a long time ago when I was performing as a kid... She was really drunk and rude... I was 5 so I left and moved on to the appreciate group of the party... Thoughts comments and stories would be appreciated!

Christian Ford
Bairefoot
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I've noticed that the older I get the less hecklers I have. Now when I work comedy clubs I sometimes have them. About two weeks ago there was a guy in the audience that was very rude. I went and just baited him to say something then I just tore a hole in him. People pay good money to see comics and magicians they do not want someone who is loud and drunk to ruin it for everyone else. I was told to tear him down and that's what I did. But, only after he started his crap with me and my show. Now if you are doing walk around just be polite and go to the next people. You are not the magic police some people just don't want to see magic escpecially when all the probably seen in person is bad magic. If you are a pro then don't worry about it just go to the next group. I would tell you what I told the heckler but, its kinda rude and need to be 18 to hear it. Good luck

Bairefoot
Kent Wong
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I find that if you follow 3 basic elements in routining your show, you can minimize the risk of hecklers:

1. Open the show with a routine that clearly establishes your credibility.
2. Connect with the audience early on. Get them on your side and invite them along for the fun-filled ride.
3. Avoid creating a challenge mentality with the audience.

Remember, you're on the main stage in front of 8000+ people. You have the microphone. You have the spotlight. Just because you can see/hear the heckler, doesn't mean the rest of the audience can see/hear him as well. In these circumstances, if any hecklers should arise, simply ignore them. The rest of the audience is on your side and will likely help to quiet him down.
"Believing is Seeing"
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Chris Stolz
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I rarely have to do it these days, but I have used a few different lines over the years to get the audience to help calm a heckler down (shut him up Smile ). Here are a couple that have worked for me in the past:

"Can I get a show of hands of everyone who paid to see my show tonight? (with humor -->) Great, now can I get a show of hands of everyone who paid to see THAT GUY. None? Well sir, the audience has spoken so on with the show... (big smile)"

"What is your name sir? James. (with humor) James don't make me sick the rest of the audience on you now: 500 to 1 are not good odds. Everyone turn and look at James...now growl like a tiger.....(grrrrr)...now look at me...and don't blink because this next effect is...."(and on with the show)

"Now sir, I can tell that it has always been your dream to be in the spotlight but tonight, it's my turn. If you would kindly let me do the performing I'm sure the audience would truly appreciate it, right audience?. Thank you again for your help, you are a true gentleman."

All of these are really only things I've used if I was absolutely getting killed by the guy. They were all said with humor with the exception of the last one which was delivered with great sincerity.
ClintonMagus
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I'm not condoning this, but I once saw a magician who was heckled while performing Sidekick turn the blank pistol toward the heckler and tell him to "Sit down and shut up!"

He did! Smile
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Mark Boody Illusionist
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I believe Magic Magazine had an article about dealing w/ hecklers a couple of months ago. Check it out. It had some very solid advice from working pros.

Mark
Doc Dixon
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Performers have different ways of dealing with hecklers, all with varying degrees of success. I have a technique that works 100% of the time!

Step 1. Look at the heckler
Step 2. Hold up a hand towards the heckler
Step 3. Shout "Klaatu barada nikto"

Works all the time.

You're welcome.

DD
“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
See http://www.dixonmagic.com/page5/page5.html
blackandwhiteillusions
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Thanks for all the input! The show went really well they went nuts over the crystal casket and dropped their jaws at the master prediction system easy crowd to please. We had people coming up taking pictures of the wall which we wrote all the info on for the MPS they couldn't believe it. Thankfully no hecklers!

Best,
CF
Dynamike
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Harry Allen has a book dealing one liners. It is called "Sleight of Mouth." It has one liners for everything from A to Z.
blackandwhiteillusions
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I'll check that out!
blackandwhiteillusions
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Harry is a good man! I got to meet him for the first time in 10 years about 3 months ago... to bad I was rushing to the airport! Would've spent all day there!
Aftereight
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Because you have the mic, you get the control. Most of the people don't know what the heckler is saying, so just start talking with your own Q&A.
When someone is heckling me, I usually said:
I am sorry sir what are you saying....(before he could answer me)...Oooohhh you are lonely...I am sorry but you are in the wrong place. Go out the hall, after 100 meters turn right and there you will get some company....
Works every time, audience are usually helping me with laughter....
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