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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How to get rid of difficult participants? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Alexxander
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Frankfurt, Germany
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I never ever choose my on-stage participants randomly.
Following Bob Cassidy's advice, I always check out the audience before the show and take a close look during my opening major effect for potential on-stage-participants.
I choose people who look interested, engaged and friendly. (and mostly females, because in my experience they tend to look and behave nicer.... and have often way better handwriting! I feel so sexist writing this...)

Anyway- one day, even after doing everything I can to prevent it, I may call a difficult spectator up on stage.
I had a drunk person up on stage before, and I had a hard core skeptic trying to catch me out and not following instructions, but I managed to battle through and bring my routines to a successful conclusion in both cases.
Still, I want to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

What do you guys do when you get a really horrible spectator up and realize that they are extremely wasted / not following any instructions when they are already on stage?
How do you dismiss them without breaking the flow of the show or losing face?


Greetings,
Alex
E.E.
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Say: "You know what? I think I'm going to use you for something else later because I just can't make a conection with you, you have a very interesting mind. Please, go back to your seat and I might try with you later tonight"

And of course, you never call him/her back. Smile
I shall see you on the other side.
Stevious
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Poland
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Luckily, people who look interested, engaged, friendly won't cause much trouble most of the time.

As an unexperienced performer I think it's not big deal if you send someone back, your audience sees that the person is uncooperative and has to be replaced. This even makes the whole show look more real. It is great to have a friendly rapport with the whole audience, then they will support you, and troublemakers will be ashamed to cause trouble.

I remember that D.Brown casually send one girl back to her seat during his stage show, I don't know why, she didn't look like a troublemaker. He did it in a very friendly and kind manner, something like: 'I'm terribly sorry, but I don't think I will be able to do this with you, what is your name, what do you do for a living?' No one cared, I like this very kind and English approach.

Forcing a real troublemaker to be entertained/fooled is not rewarding, their reaction could be ungrateful emotionless 'So what?' (keeping their pride secure) which is a good reason to replace them beforehand.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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I just position them so they are standing on top of the trap door, then . . .

. . . well, I don't want to ruin the surprise.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Stu Montgomery
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St Petersburg FL
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Quote:
On Oct 13, 2016, E.E. wrote:
Say: "You know what? I think I'm going to use you for something else later because I just can't make a conection with you, you have a very interesting mind. Please, go back to your seat and I might try with you later tonight"

And of course, you never call him/her back. Smile


Agreed. Unfortunately Dynamo couldn't use this during his live televised "Live At The O2" show when he got a proper idiot for the phone to bottle effect - which, only to add to his misery, failed to go as planned!
"Round about what is, lies a whole mysterious world of might be" Longfellow.
Jacene
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[quote]On Oct 13, 2016, E.E. wrote:
Say: "You know what? I think I'm going to use you for something else later because I just can't make a conection with you, you have a very interesting mind. Please, go back to your seat and I might try with you later tonight"

And of course, you never call him/her back. Smile [/quote

I have basically said the exact same thing! My wording might not have been as friendly as yours! The gentleman was being being quite smart with me - I was more to the point of "I don't seem to have much of a connection with you, but what I am receiving makes me glad I don't have that connection" It was a close group of people and it got a great reaction and laughs as I moved on. I definitely only said this because I had previously got a feel for this crowd and knew all would be ok with that comment! It sure shut him up though! Smile
Jacene Dickson
2016 AFV Winner "Befuddled Baboon"
www.mindmystique.ca
Dr Spektor
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Carcosa
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"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
JanForster
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If it is really hard (very seldom) I make him sit on a chair close to me and ask him to pay extreme attention. Then I continue with somebody else and ignore him more or less. And I do not mind to step on his foot and to squeeze his hand when I shack his hand. He knows and feels it, but for the rest of the audience I treat him politely. Another strategy: once I run into an arrogant pinstriped employee during a corporate event of the Deutsche Bank. As he wanted to show off by not cooperating at all or answering anything (but he wanted to participate initially and obviously...) I simply told him that I have plenty of time... then the audience educated him. Jan
Jan Forster
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Colin johnson
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I don't understand why people want to behave this way but they want the attention. Find a way to put it on them but in a way that makes them uncomfortable, read their dirty thoughts call them out on something or like above make them stand out to the crowd and let them sort them out for a bit then take back control of your show. It's your show if you are getting paid there is someone who will take care of that person, because they paid money and do not want it to be a bad experience.
JanForster
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You said it, it is my show, and this is why I do not hesitate to make that clear Smile . Jan
Jan Forster
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magicowner
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It's very easy to do a magic trick on a difficult participant. Tell the audience that at the count of 3, you will make this difficult person disappear. Say, Uno...Dos...then, simply have security take him away. Then, tell the audience..."See, he vanished with a tres". LOL Smile
TonyB2009
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Difficult people are rare, but occasionally I get drunks or those on something stronger. I just say: You are being an ***. Sit down.

And I remove them from the stage. If they don't move, I physically remove them myself. I am normally one of the biggest guys in the room, so it is not a problem. This is very rare - a handful of times over a career. But I believe in dealing with it instantly and firmly.

Someone who is being overly sceptical, or a bit thick, I am more gentle with.
Alexxander
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Frankfurt, Germany
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Thank you for your suggestions!

I really like Ever's post - it's very friendly but gets the message across, I think Smile

Only if that doesn't work, I would very firmly make clear that he or she has to leave the stage now.
Shrubsole
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I find prevention is always better than cure: I talk to individuals in the audience during my opening dialogue and if someone doesn't respond as I wish, then I won't be calling them up. It's almost like selecting the best people at a hypnosis show, but without the hypnotic suggestion. People who seem happy to be there and respond enthusiastically to me are very likely to be brought up on stage. So after my opening dialogue is over, I already know the people I will need for later things.

If I really had a bad egg, I wouldn't try and send him/her back and then select someone else as if they are that much of an ***! then they might take that as confrontational and get more difficult. I would say "Let's try this with someone else" and select someone else to join the first person on stage and then do whatever with them. Then dismiss both at the conclusion of the routine.
Winner of the Dumbringer Award for total incompetence. (All years)
Pete Legend
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I got one guy to stand up, walk over to the corner of the room and face the wall. He was under the impression that is was a part of the effect. I told him to keep staring at the wall and I would get back to him shortly. After a minute or so of completing ignoring him he got the message and turned around... I made some joke, he laughed and so did the audience. He got the message and everything was fine. As far as I can recall that's as close I've ever gotten to a heckler. Some people can be slightly awkward, skeptical or have a "slow" moment and with those you must be light and breezy.
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Oct 18, 2016, Pete Legend wrote:
I got one guy to stand up, walk over to the corner of the room and face the wall. He was under the impression that is was a part of the effect.


Not a bad start to a routine, that. Could develop into quite a disturbing, dark piece of theatre.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Pete Legend
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Ha! Philemon that made me laugh - thanks!

Martin : He took it well infairness to him, maybe the view of the wall impressed him more than the show... who knows 😉
Robb
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I hear these stories a lot and makes me feel blessed I haven't really run into any problem participants yet. Not sure why, maybe just good luck? The worst I had was a guy who was a detective that wound up being in a lie detector routine with four others. He was somewhat smug and said something like, "I'm a cop, I know what you're doing...". I replied, "I'm sure you do! Most law enforcement officers are trained in these techniques!". It acknowledged his "specialness" and that was that.
Martin Pulman
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Quote:
On Oct 19, 2016, Robb wrote:
I hear these stories a lot and makes me feel blessed I haven't really run into any problem participants yet. Not sure why, maybe just good luck? The worst I had was a guy who was a detective that wound up being in a lie detector routine with four others. He was somewhat smug and said something like, "I'm a cop, I know what you're doing...". I replied, "I'm sure you do! Most law enforcement officers are trained in these techniques!". It acknowledged his "specialness" and that was that.

Although, apparently law enforcement officers are worse at spotting liars than thieves are, according to available evidence. But probably wise not to mention that at the time!
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