The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » How to handle "grabby" spectators? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
dboeren
View Profile
New user
Atlanta, GA
16 Posts

Profile of dboeren
I am a beginner learning card magic, and have been performing some very basic effects for my friends and fiancee (after plenty of practice, of course).

As horrible as it may sound, many of them are "grabby". That is, they will suddenly try to snatch the cards away from me to look at them. I assume they have some pet theory they want to confirm about how I'm doing the trick.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you how amazingly rude this is. I'm sure none of them would do this to a magician at a restaurant because he is a "professional", but because we are friends they seem to feel like they are entitled to do whatever they want. People at work do not seem to do this, just more personal friends and significant others.

What can I do about this? I've heard some lines to say when people ASK how you do something, but I've never seen anyone address people who actually try to grab the deck away from you.
mysticz
View Profile
Special user
D.C. metro area
680 Posts

Profile of mysticz
First, review how you are presenting your magic to your audience -- if your approach is one of "look at what I can do" or your magic is presented as a puzzle, often the spectators will spend their time trying to figure out how you are accomplishing the trick instead of enjoying the performance. And occasionally some will try to examine your props (sometimes in a very rude manner). If so, one answer is to frame your effect in a more audience-friendly presentation that entertains rather than puzzles.

Barring that, you should always try to routine your effects in a way that enables you to manage the audience as well as your props. Audience management is an important element to consider, and its application is of paramount importance to anyone who chooses to perform professionally. Proper management of your audience and props will make it very difficult for the occasional "upstart" spectator to upset your performance.

Finally, performing for close friends and relatives can be exasperating in itself. When all fails, end your performance abruptly and don't perform again until you have a more appreciative audience.

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
Chris Becker
View Profile
Veteran user
New York, NY
371 Posts

Profile of Chris Becker
My brother-in-law has invented grabbing at magicians' props! For me, the following has always worked and you can state this either in a serious manner or tongue-in-cheek (when performing for friends):
"There are people who pay me for doing magic, and not too badly at all." Suggest, alas, that you're not dependent on them as spectators. They will stop as - and this is a very important point - the ones who grab at your props are most usually those particularly interested in watching magic. They're simply too curious and you have to set limits to them.

Best, Chris
- - -
<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
JimMaloney
View Profile
Inner circle
1184 Posts

Profile of JimMaloney
Check out Vol 1 of Eugene Burger's most recent videos/DVD's. When one of the spectators (David, the ever-present dumbfounded L&L spectator) tries to grab a sponge ball, Eugene simply smacks his hand and says "Don't touch that!" And then he looks around for "Mr. Whip." It's actually pretty amusing and works quite well.

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 17th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
Philemon Vanderbeck
View Profile
Inner circle
Seattle, WA
4469 Posts

Profile of Philemon Vanderbeck
I use a non-gimmicked Hand Chopper as my next trick with the problem spectator as my 'volunteer'.

:evilgrin:
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
bumbleface
View Profile
Elite user
434 Posts

Profile of bumbleface
I would challenge the spectator to a challenge where he would have to keep his hands up or something like that.
Magique Hands
View Profile
Loyal user
Lincoln, NE.
247 Posts

Profile of Magique Hands
Mysticz really said it best! Structure your routines so that the magic is entertaining -vs- a 'look what I can do' sort of puzzle. Unfortunately (it was this way for me too when I first started out), we begin doing magic as kind of a 'sucker' type show. The more depth we present to our magic, the more this 'sucker' type show becomes non-existant... at least it should.

Magic is a very puzzling thing... and when presented in an entertaining and involving flow, lessens the 'puzzle' part, and emphasizes the 'magical' parts.

Food For Thought,
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Matt Graves
View Profile
Special user
Huntsville, Alabama (USA)
504 Posts

Profile of Matt Graves
That Eugene Burger thing is hilarious . . .
Smile
He always seems to know how to handle himself. I guess that's what I'd do, just try to say something to them in a playful way. I've really never had people try to grab stuff too much. I've found out that if you're fidgety , it encourages that kind of stuff. If you look like you're totally focused on what you're doing and it's something you've worked on a lot, people can sense it. They'll show you some degree of respect for that. And if that fails, I guess there's always Mr. Whip . . . man I gotta' see that tape . . .
Thoughtreader
View Profile
Inner circle
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

Profile of Thoughtreader
I remember working a cub scout banquet years ago and all through the show there was one very mouthy cub scout and while I had my "Presto Nesto <the plastic nesting wands)" he tried to reach out and grab them and with a very loud "whack" (due to the plastic wands being hollow not because of any major force as it was actually rather light, but the noice it made was intimidating) I hit the back of his grabbing hand and at the same time I said "Don't touch! Their mine!" which not only got a huge laugh, got me a standing ovation right there from all the scout leaders, but it kept the kid quiet for the rest of the show.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul "don't mess with my props" Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
dpe666
View Profile
Inner circle
2894 Posts

Profile of dpe666
Going back to the 1st post, I think the problem is that you are performing for family and friends. Because they know you personally, they are more comfortable taking things from you. In my experience, strangers will not touch my props, but friends and family will. Smile
ecardinal
View Profile
New user
San Jose, CA
16 Posts

Profile of ecardinal
Careful when thwacking grabby spectators. It could backfire in a BIG way.

You could always just put away the props and say "I'm sorry, but if you can't just watch without touching, I'm afraid I can't continue." If there are other spectators, they'll usually peer-pressure the miscreant into behaving.
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
ecardinal makes a very good point: whacking a grabby spectator could backfire big time!
You could find yourself the next one being whacked!
Better to structure your act so that the issue will not come up:
Most of it has been said, above: Don't present your material as a puzzle; learn how to manage the audience; etc.
But, if none of that works, simply put your props (cards, etc.) away. And stop. Period.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
JBmagic
View Profile
Regular user
New Jersey
110 Posts

Profile of JBmagic
I have a pill bottle which I made my own label for, it's called Grabvil (advil bottle).
It's label reads "Grabvil - for those with a bad case of the touchy feelies"

It's filled with M&M's, in case they want to play along and take a few Smile

this solves two things, it allows them the opportunity to redeem themselves in the face of the crowd, and play along a bit. And it let's them know I don't want them touching my props Smile

Also, in another pocket, I carry Hecklonal Extra Strength, reduces Heckling and loud verbal outbursts Smile

Try it, it gets laughs and works every single time Smile
Jay Buchanan
JBmagic
View Profile
Regular user
New Jersey
110 Posts

Profile of JBmagic
Also, I forgot to mention, if the person in question acts favorably to the Grabvil bottle, and people seem to like it, you can use it as a running gag throughout Smile I have often tossed the bottle back to the same spectator two or three times, simply because he seems in awe of a routine, and I say, "here, I know you need this again!"
Jay Buchanan
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
what if you're at a baseball stadium with thougands of people and you're doing strolling magic or at a small table and someone will not give your props back, e.g. your sponge balls or your wonderful mike rogers baseballs..

then what would you do?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
dpe666
View Profile
Inner circle
2894 Posts

Profile of dpe666
Grab a baseball bat, and go to work on their head. Smile Smile
Jax
View Profile
Regular user
London, UK
170 Posts

Profile of Jax
I think its all down to perception - your friends know you, and know you're not a super human with psychic or whatever - I could do the same trick as TV magician for my friends - with me they're looking for the secret ... if the same trick had been performed by the TV magician they would have been blown away !
Donnie
View Profile
Loyal user
224 Posts

Profile of Donnie
I think the way a spectator responds is a matter of your persona. For example when i perform i try to make every moment special. There's no dead air i am always talking or doing magic or interacting. If you keep a situation interesting enough they wont feel the need to grab anything.
dpe666
View Profile
Inner circle
2894 Posts

Profile of dpe666
I agree with Jax. There is an old saying that says, "A prophet is not known in his own land." Friends and family are not going to give you nearly as much credit as a stranger will. Smile
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
i still think it's good practice to work on family and frineds but i rarely do it except for the friends that "really" want to see magic or their kids.

too many of my relatives are just looking for the secret and when you do it flawlessly they just say, "do it again, i wasn't watching" just so they have another chance at catching you.

it is a very different arena, the family thing, so i would worry about it. if it bothers you, do what i've done and STOP performing for them. it's a letdown.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » How to handle "grabby" spectators? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.13 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL