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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » Hot Rod helper (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dave V
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Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

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I found myself one evening at a gathering that had booked a walk-around magician (not me)

He approached our group and proceeded to do a "Hot Rod" routine, puzzling all around him. Invariably the questions started: "How did you do that?" etc finally ending with: "Can I see that?"

He had already set up the ending with the jewels being half matching and half assorted so he gave it to her. As she was turning it over looking for the "secret" I asked to see it too. I then went into a pseudo-explanatory routine and showed the rod changing back and forth on both sides. I finished with a smile to the other magician and handed it back to him. No, he wasn't upset, although some might have been. He just returned the smile and went into his next trick.

I introduced myself again to him later that evening and we shared a drink together (my treat of course)

Smile
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Erik Anderson
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Des Moines, Iowa
171 Posts

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So much of that kind of thing is how you approach it. If you are supporting the guy working and not trying to upstage him, they'll generally feel pretty good about it. I've had a lot of guys though that try prove to everyone gathered that they're either just as good or better than the guy that was hired for for the event. That is just bad form. I used to try to make them look like a fool, then later, I realized they often don't need my help at all.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
mysticuk
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12 Posts

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Doing the Hot Rod routine I mention that I am "Colour Blind" And ask them to tell me the colour they have "Freely" selected (As I can't tell which colour is which) That does it for me because it is them that announce the colour not me.
When I finish the routine I "Vanish" the Hot Rod (A'la cigarette vanish) and say ANY QUESTIONS? by that time I have done the trick and the Hot Rod is not there.
It does it for me.
MagicAndBlackjack
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Elite user
442 Posts

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I always thought it would be fun to help a magician fool people by helping him out without people knowing I'm a magician too, especially when the actual magician working doesn't know.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20495 Posts

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Once I had another magician at a trade show be my volunteer for Scotch & Soda, and he switched bottom coins on me. He never said a word and just smiled. Later we talked and he told me he did magic on another floor of the trade show for a shoe company. Of course, the audience never knew the difference. But I was SHOCKED! No wonder I feel at home as the Amazed Wiz.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
MagicAndBlackjack
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Bob,
That's exciting, but I don't get what you mean when you say he switched the bottom coins?
Rob Johnston
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Inner circle
Utah
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I love it when someone performs in front of me not knowing that I am a magician.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
phil
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Me too, especially when the routine fits together well Smile
truthteller
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Allow me to offer a disenting view. I would be very upset if a magician, well meaning or otherwise, interloped on my routine. Unless you personally know the performer, you have no idea how his routine might be developing and how certain beats and moments are used to either build dramatic tension or cover certain moves. When you add your two bits to the routine you run the risk of detroying the foundation he or she is building.

Now, some may ask, what about the spectator who chimes in with a line or whatever. As a rule, I think most professionals who know their material actually anticipate these moments or have ways to handle them. It is a far cry from having someone add a "coda" to you otherwise thought out routine.

I think you are better served just telling him you are a fellow magician after his performance concludes.
MagicAndBlackjack
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Truthteller,


I disagree. I think that a good performer would actually rather be happy that a fellow magician would help out without anyone else knowing. I think that a good magician would also be able to improvise and they also probably don't have such a set routine with everything planned out second by second.
I would hope that most magicians just have a nice routine ready with each trick flowing smoothly from one trick to the next with, for the most part, planned patter, and then expect to be able to improvise a lot.

Just my opinion.
truthteller
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Would Kristen Chenowith be happy for someone to sing along with her during the middle of one of her featured arias from "Wicked?" Would one of the acrobatic performers from Cirque du Soliel be happy if the person they brought on stage began doing cartwheels?

When I perform it is my job to deliver the best performance I can. That performance is the product of my artistic sensibilities. It is my job as an artist to craft a performance which conveys that conception hopefully each and every time.

If I need someone from the audience to help me, its my job to have one trained and ready. Unexpected "help" often isn't. What if the performer had a steal to make, and now that someone has launched into their own hot rod show the performer is left "holding out" their load longer than expected. What if the performer uses the change of the coins in the spectators hand to set up his next trick, but when the hands are opened the coins are completely vanished? What if it is a trade show performer who is trying to work his crowd up into a fever pitch, but has the energy from the crowd sucked dry because he has to wait an extra second for Mr. Helpful to fish the coins from his pocket.

Good performers will tell you that the difference between an ok response and screams of adoration are built on the most minute considerations of timing, inflection, and movement. Anyone who has seen Tamariz lecture, unquestionably a "good magician" has seen his theory of magical energy in action, and seen how one line in the wrong place can destroy the impact of a routine.

When you "help" the performer you are interfering with what they have planned. Sure a good performr can "recover" but is forcing a performer to "recover" or "improvise" really being helpful? Yes I can "improvise a lot", but my show is best when it proceedes as I have planned and rehearsed. When you "help" in this manner you are not getting the show I have planned.

(Further, where some magicians are masters of imporovising off their live audiences responses, it is one thing to work with an audience of "real" people, versus magicians who think they are being funny and clever. Talk to any "good magicians" who actually make their living working for real audiences but also have considerable experience in performing for the magic world. Magical audiences are a pain becasue so many people are often trying to "help" out.)

Finally, who are you to redirect the performer's show along what you think is entertaining and not what he or she has invisioned. It is not your show. Be an audience memeber. That is your role.
Bill
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and Pretty Nice Guy
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I agree with Truthteller. Unless you've introduced yourself before he performs and worked out something with him he can't know what your motives are. Are you going to try to upstage him later, join in and show a trick of your own, try to impress your friends that you know as much as he does, etc. I think if you want to try to help him out, be the spectator we'd all like to have (I'm thinking John from L&L videos).

:applause: Smile Smile
K-Max
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Oklahoma City
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Maybe I misread the post, but I got the impression that he was actually trying to help. It seemed to me that the lady had wanted to examine the hot rod too early and so he was forced to end the routine. What the audience-magician did was just set him up again so he could do his climax. I think that kind of help would be greatly appreciated. Did I read it wrong?
Jamie Schoolcraft
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Palmdale, CA
136 Posts

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I know it's sometimes difficult to do but I feel when it's someone else's gig, just sit back relax and just WATCH. I performed at several restaurants early in my days, and I would at time come across other magicians, which is fine but at least half the time they were there looking for the gig because they saw advertisements that there was a magician currently working there. Sorry but those are my personal feelings on this issue.
Reis O'Brien
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
2467 Posts

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There is a fine line between helping out and stealing your show. I had a magician just walk up and steal my show once. It wasn't a paid gig, but I was in the swing of the routine and he just reached over and grabbed the deck and said, "Hey, check this one out!" I totally lost my vibe with the specs.

Later, I told him that I thought he was out of line coming up and stealing my thunder, and he said, "But I was trying to help you look good!" An odd point of view to say the least.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

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Gordon
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Chicago
692 Posts

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Professional courtesy would ask that you just watch, smile and maybe say hello after the performance is concluded. I can't imagine any form of entertainment where it would be considered acceptable to pitch-in like this. Music, comedy, dance, ventriloquism, etc. I'm having a hard time picturing in any of these how this would be viewed as "helping" the performance.
Jamie Schoolcraft
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Regular user
Palmdale, CA
136 Posts

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Ditto Gordon!!!
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