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122 Posts

Profile of zmagicleez
Whilst doing a table hopping gig in a famous American restaurant in London I approached a table with a man and two girls.

I started doing an effect and the man stopped me to say that neither of the girls spoke English. I assured him that no language was necessary and proceeded to do a sponge ball effect. Needless to say the girls were amazed and the guy was really pleased.

The real lucky point was the following night when the manager approached me and informed me that they were mystery shoppers and were impressed with the restaurant and the entertainer. He got promoted and the new manager did not like magicians. There's justice for you.
It's a small world... but you wouldn't want to hoover it.
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Inner circle
Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
1579 Posts

Profile of RiffClown
A few choice words come to mind but, "that's the way the spoon bends".
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
3588 Posts

Profile of Lee Darrow
No good deed goes unpunished.

But working for those who do not speak your language is a trying thing, indeed.

I did a party recently. The guest of honor was the Consul General to Chicago from Argentina. Needless to say, very few people at the party spoke much English.

I got to do strolling magic and hardly said a word, but they loved the magic. If you stay visual and can mime a bit to get your intentions across, they like it even more.

Play with them and they will follow your lead and play along!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Jason Fleming
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Veteran user
Marooned, Hawaii
374 Posts

Profile of Jason Fleming
Shoot and Apollo's "Cultural Exchange" DVD is full of short visual routines that are specifically designed to be fully visual and require no patter.
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
3588 Posts

Profile of Lee Darrow
Now a short horror story - or it could have been.

I was hired to perform for another group and again, the Counsul General from Argentina was in the audience. I had been assured that the audience all spoke english, but when I arrived, I was met at the door by someone who did NOT speak English and went through three people to GET to someone who spoke english.

As my Spanish is not anywhere near fluent, despite a reasonable accent I'm told, I was in a near-panic as I had been booekd to do my HYPNOSIS show.

Try doing THAT in mine, folks!

Fortunately, several of the guests were actually having a little fun at my expense, a tradition in the family from what I understand, and we all had a good laugh about it.

Show went very well too.

But I DID have several minutes of wondering if I was going to need the paramedics for my impending heart failure. Smile

So, gang, when you book them, make SURE about languages beforehand! Word to the wise...

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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Forest Grove, Oregon
310 Posts

Profile of mplegare
True story: Last year I worked a party/banquet event where a company rented out the Dickens Christmas Fair site for their holiday party, and I was retained as a magician.

So, kitted out with my usual (3 card monte, a deck of cards, etc) I set out to the gig.

Turns out that perhaps 20% of the crowd of 400 spoke any English beyond "Hello!" "Goodbye!" "Thank you!" and "How much?"


Thankfully, I had packed a pair of d'lites and the 'light up ears gimmick' (just to play around with them) the week before and they were still in my bag. A little tape to secure the control for the 'ears' and I wandered out again.

I wound up improvising what turned into a 1 minute routine of light 'grabbing', throwing, catching, sticking the light into my ear (which lit), smacking my head (to put the light in my 'other' ear 'through' my head), pulling the red LED off a kid's game boy, etc. Whew. Got some really good reactions without saying (or understanding) a single word Smile
Matthew Legare aka Tobias the Adequate! - - you know you want to.
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589 Posts

Profile of El_Lamo
Another true story.

Last spring I was doing a fair bit of travelling. After delivering my workshop I would often go back to my hotel and go down to the pool / hot tub to relax.

When I climbed in the hot tub, there was a family there, a grandfather, two girls about eight and ten. They were talking in french. My french is fairly limited. There were a few others in the tub as well.

I was sitting in the whirlpool reading as I usually do. I had brought one of my paperback magic books with me, probably a Fulves card tricks. One little girl noticed and spoke to her grandfather.

In English he said, "She would like you to do some magic for her."

Gulp... I am in a hot tub wearing a bathing suit. I don't even have keys because I have one of those electronic room pass cards. Word and mentalism stuff won't work. Wrong audience and my language barrier. Then I realize...

I smile. Hop out of the whirlpool and go grab my towel, I slip into my shoes, lower the towel and perform disapearing leg. The little girl loves it and claps in delight. The grandfather laughs and says he can do that too... He raises his leg in the water and shows me that it is missing. On another chair, I now see his prosthetic leg.

I could only applaud. I climbed back in the water and we chatted and clapped as his grand-daughter performed the disapearing leg for us.

Cheers - El Lamo
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
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Inner circle
1552 Posts

Profile of Chrystal
Ohmygawd!!! I loved these stories!!! You guys have more? Thanks for making me laugh! Smile

With the exception of the first post of course..then I sympathize.
Neale Bacon
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Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

Profile of Neale Bacon
I had a show once at a Japanese fishing co op one Christmas.

I asked if there would be a language problem and they said No, so I planned for my usual show.

When I arrived they introduced me to my translator. As I spoke, he translated which meant most verbal puns didn't work and that all my laughs were about 30 seconds late.

I must have looked like a badly dubbed film.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
14062 Posts

Profile of daffydoug
I, too, was asked to perform recently for some visitors from Mexico. They spoke not a word of English, but they loved my magic. Sponge balls do go a long way in these kind of performances! I did kind of wish that Henry Evans was at my side during these performances , though!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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New user
Maui, Hawaii
58 Posts

Profile of Dallen
It's amazing how certain things are, dance, food, and of course, magic. I love it when you can interact with someone even though you don't speak the same langauge.
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