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terrychylton
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United Kingdom
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I'm fairly new to performing close up magic, I have performed at a couple of birthdays and some local restaurants through friends. I've got a lot of confidence through street magic and these small gigs I've done have always gone (apart from terrible nervous) quite well. Getting better and better. However recently I was just doing a 20 minute set at a friend of a friends house warming party. I was feeling quite confident and was a lot more relaxed than previous performances. I only do card magic and I was only using a normal deck of cards and one or two packet tricks. I always start by letting the cards be shuffled by a spectator. This time however there was a man who stated straight away "i have seen one of those trick packs, I have a couple" he then listed a few gaffed decks. So I did my best to show they the cards were perfectly normal and even let him shuffle. He persisted and began to explain in front of everyone how the decks he used to have worked. Some people obviously new they were not the same thing, they had been given out and shuffled twice, looked through. However some people went "oh I see that's how that's done" when it was effects that could have never been achieved by the decks he'd mentioned, also they could just see blindly they were normal cards. I was just so shocked that he would first even think that I was using a gaffed deck after he shuffled it, secondly that he would keep on trying to ruin it, just so he looked like he knew about it. I tried to just stick to tricks where the spectator does all the work, though they were hard to think of off the top of my head and it kinda ruined my (hopefully haha) flowing routine I had planned. Some people dismissed it and enjoyed the magic, but a lot took what he said as true and it really undermined the whole routine. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas about how to handle this better, as I said I'm fairly new to handling an audience and have always had very easy spectators who just let themselves enjoy it. Any help would be great, I can't of think of what I could have done differently, but I'm sure it could have gone a lot better. Thanks for any help.
Athelus
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Aberdeen, Scotland
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Try defusing it with a joke of some sort like "So YOUR'RE the one that bought all those magic packets and made me have to learn how to do this the hard way?" If that doesn't swing the crowd back in your favour try doing a couple do as I do tricks using him as the volunteer. When the tricks work for you and not for him despite him owning the gaffed versions the crowd theoretically start dismissing him as the party pooper or attention seeker.

Not saying either way would of worked of course and having never had an actual performance myself can't imagine what I would have done when the nerves were in full effect and adrennaline kicked in.

~Stewart
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
JRediens
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Roma, Italy
147 Posts

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Recently got an experience alike that one. Terrible! Luckly I dislike to use gimmicked deck and the audience after some little doubts was with me. Maybe If you give the secret of one of those secret and How it works withouo a general "check it" they will undestand that is no the kind of things you do since you just gave them the secret.
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Maybe you could have asked if the host had a deck you could borrow, and then let the guy examine it - "Is this a normal deck or one of your trick decks?"

Or perhaps you could politely address him: "It's always great to meet a fellow magician. Maybe after I'm done here, we could get together, and then you can tell me how to improve my act."

Usually, though, short of calling the bouncer, you're not going to shut this type down. He's threated because you can do by skill - and he knows it! - what he could not do with a trick deck. You have dared to touch his ego, and he must defend himself against his worst enemy - embarassment - by attacking you. This kind of person only feels bigger when they're standing on top of someone they've pushed down.

It's one of the perils of performing. There's lots of threads on here about dealing with hecklers and nasty people. Sometimes the only way to go is to fold everything up and tell the rest of the people, "I'm sorry folks, but I can't concentrate with him jabbering on like that." Start to walk away and you'd be amazed at how many people will come to your rescue.

Ed
terrychylton
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United Kingdom
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Stewart, thank you for the advice, I wish I had thought of that joke at the time (or just any joke, however bad) I was just blown away at what was happening and couldn't think of anything along those lines. What you said about doing a trick that engages the person trying to ruin it, now thinking about it that sounds like a good way to go, that shouts fairness. If I did have a gimmick deck, I would never do a trick on the one guy who supposedly "knows all about them". Cheers mate.
Cyberqat
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It sounds to me like he just wanted some attention.

I think I would have tried to bring him in by smiling at him and handing him the deck saying something like "Oh good! Then you can make sure for everyone that this isn't one of those decks!" Let him play expert for a minute and he'd probably be your best buddy the rest of the night.

Something I learned from a lot of practical experience is that if you can take where an unruly audience member wants to go and incorporate it into what you are doing, everyone will love you for it Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
terrychylton
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I'm glad it's not just me JRediens. Smile

Exactly, you hit the nail on the head Ed, that's exactly what he seemed to be to me, he definitely had an ego and needed to be the centre of attention. I just never knew that some spectators would take what he said as being true, just because it was said. I guess it's a good thing to have to deal with, keep me on my toes and improve my handling of an audience in different situations. (I wasn't thinking that at the time though). Cheers mate.

Posted: Mar 31, 2011 7:16pm
Cyberqat, I like the line about him making sure it isn't one of those decks, that's perfect, it politely challenges his knowledge and it forces him to come clean and say it isn't or else he looks stupid if people obviously find out it isn't.( Playing on his ego ) It also engages him and gets him on side, why didn't I think of that simple line, I wish I could go back in time. I guess they'll be others. Thanks for the advice.
JRediens
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Roma, Italy
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I wish I could edit my post, it was terribly witten, I'm so sorry! I hope That it was enough clear. Share A little secret to gain credibility and be trusted.

Anyway I join the feeling of debt towards Cyberqat for that so simple and marvelous line to handle those situation!
Yellowcustard
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New Zealand
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One thing is your out their doing your thing so well done. Second is people liked what you did.

I feel that some people moved on as they saw him as the attention getter and couldn’t be bothered with him. Just to let you know don’t worry to much. This will not happen all the time. Also as you gain experience your learn from it. This is in fact what your post is doing now. When your more prepared and confidant these type be less lightly to confront you. I always carry a spare deck with me most of time. So if he hit on me I would say great you know this deck if you could help me and take it over there and show those people as I am busy here. Then ill take out the spare deck and carry on.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
scottds80
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Victoria, Australia
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What an idiot!
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
mmalone
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Dallas, Texas
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Terry,

I have had some wise guys try to bust up impromptu party fun and it sounds to me like you definitely took the "high road" in your dealings with him. You should rest easy knowing that if he was truly a magician he would never have revealed those things to your audience and would not have revealed the fact to you until after you were finished. I have done some impromptu party magic and had a drunk grab the deck of cards after I did an effect and throw them all up in the air yelling 52 card pickup. You can never prepare for everything, stay calm and have fun, there are always surprises.

Mike
Wes65
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Advice from the coin section.

Quote:
On 2011-03-26 20:58, MICKEY SILVER wrote:
SECRET #4

While I'm performing my coin magic and I run into a big mouth,poor sport or just the usual know it all.....I appeal to their Ego !!!

I say to them quietly and closely "I can see that your a smart person. OMG I wouldn't try to put anything past you. How could I ? You'd be onto me in a heartbeat ....SHHHH maybe you can help me!!!

Those lines alone make them shut up and feel good about themselves as they watch me waiting to help me ( I give a glance ,wink, smile and hold my index finger up as to say 1 sec.)..

..........When I'm all done I ignore them and move on, saying to my self , They got to help me " BY SHUTTING UP"

Appealing to someones Ego is a smart move and a winning one!!!!!


MICKEY SILVER- "HANDS OF LAS VEGAS"
Wes
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