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

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liam-j-gilbert
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Leeds, England
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I always used to get grabby spectators when my handling wasn't clean and fluid and my routines weren't well sequenced. The more you perform with audiences the more you learn about good scripting, linguistics, etc. That can help to calm those itchy, grabby fingers.

If you want to look at magic theory and structuring, Card College 2 by Roberto Giobbi has a very wordy and difficult to read section on magic theory but it is worth sifting through it.
www.liamgilbert.co.uk -- for info, booking or queries on Liam Gilbert
briantwig
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Quote:
On 2004-07-12 20:40, Magic Grandpa wrote:
Magic Grandpa Here:

My approach is very direct. If they grab, I stop and say, "Grab something one more time, and you'll be sorry." I stare them down.

In my personal, private life I am often rude and direct with people who warrant such treatment. When performing magic I try to be the nicest guy on the planet.

When I first started performing I knew people would try and grab but I never came up with a plan to verbally handle it. After it happening twice I decided to come up with my verbal que to get them to stop.

The first thing I say is, "Please don't touch my cards (or whatever they grabbed)." It will be followed by your method. Surprisingly I have not had to proceed past "Please..." Which to be honest I am kind of disappointed about.
wol
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Norfolk, UK
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Personally I would never say, 'You'll be sorry.' It seems a bit too threatening. Obviously that's what you're going for but you never know. I used a similar put down once on a guy calling out stuff during a comedy mind reading routine, he shut up but after the show came at me yelling he was gonna kick my head in!

I now say things along the lines of, 'Please keep your voice down as you are ruining the show for everyone else.' This 99% of the time gets the rest of the room against the noisy guy and they pretty soon get the point that they are not welcome. This works for stage/close-up, even little kids get the hint and I still look really nice! I have even had people come up afterwards and apologize for the other person's behaviour! Don't know if this is even relevant but anywho there it is!
Keep passing the open windows!
warren
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uk
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A tip I got at a lecture was, if you have to put something down on the table that you don't want touched, put it close to your groin area. I'd never really thought about it before but I always use this idea now, sorry I can't remember who to give the credit to.
Bob Johnston
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Philadelphia, PA
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The only time this had been a problem for me is when working with IT. My solution has been to say, “Please keep your arms and hands still so as not to effect the static flow.” No one has ever asked what “static flow” is, but more importantly, no one has “found” the IT.

Bob
Bobcape
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Rapid City, SD
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Excellent idea! It provides a reason to not grab, without using a threat. I'll use that if you don't mind.

Bob
Be Amazed! + Enjoy The Magic!
ivfour
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Texas
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ALWAYS KNOW YOUR DISTANCE!!!!!
Jerry Smile
Bob Johnston
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Sounds good, Jerry, but:
Many magicians utilize closeness in their routines. I for one, love to have kids close to me for many of my routines. For example, I would not want an “assistant” to stay “out of reach” of me. Nor would I ask kids in the audience to back up 10 feet, if I come out near them when doing Miser’s Dream.

Having your Close Up audience close to you, does not mean you will have a problem with “grabbers.”

It has a lot to do with intangibles having nothing to do with your audience being “within reach” of the magician.

Bob
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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"Well, thanks, that just ended my performance."

Once I had a grabby lady whilst I was in a close-up contest. I took the table cloth off the table and covered her with it, saying, "in just a few seconds something amazing will happen to you..."

I left her sitting there covered the rest of the show.

I won the contest too.

Francis Carlisle had a great line... "Do you touch the fiddle when Heifitz plays?"
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
dynamiteassasin
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Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan
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Another tip is give a "NICE GUY/GAL" impression. This builds up respect and they would never think of grabbing your magic stuff. Smile
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Not everyone is respectful.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
PROFED
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Under cover of a silk, I vanished a pair of thumbcuffs that I just escaped from. Afterwards, she stuck her hands under my shirt and started down my pants. I did not tell here she had two hours to get her hands out of my pants, but wish I had.
Angela
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Ohio
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Quote:
On 2004-07-25 00:31, Pete Biro wrote:
"Well, thanks, that just ended my performance."

Once I had a grabby lady whilst I was in a close-up contest. I took the table cloth off the table and covered her with it, saying, "in just a few seconds something amazing will happen to you..."

I left her sitting there covered the rest of the show.

I won the contest too.

Francis Carlisle had a great line... "Do you touch the fiddle when Heifitz plays?"


That's GREAT!! I wish I could cover my sister up and leave her there for a few hours. Heck-- today when I bent a fork for her, she grabbed it and started rubbing the handle in frustration screaming, "It won't work!" My sister is *the hardest* person for me to control... I guess it's good that I practice on her. Smile

Angela
dynamiteassasin
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Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan
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Another solution to this problem is
do Body Magic.
No one can grab yourself, that would be harassment!
:) try it!
Rafael Benatar
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Spain
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Thank you Pete, for the Carlyle-Heifetz reference. I have used a similar line, but it's good to know the original phrasing and the source. In any case, the message to be conveyed (without plainly stating so) should be that they may not touch your props because they are yours or because it gets in the way of your performance, but that you really don't care. When I do the cups and balls in an informal setting, with people sitting very close, I toss the irresistible velvet bag to a reachable area of the table to tempt the potential grabber and deal with him/her before the routine is in progress. If there are kids resting their hands within grabbing distance, I say "one. two, and three solid cups" while hitting hitting a cup firmly against the table and stacking the other two on top. Just hard enough so they'd hurt your fingers. Then the parents will automatically take care of their children. Incidentally, if hey grab the loads at the end, when it doesn't matter, for example the onion: "Want a bite?" If they say, as they often do: "Wow, and it's a real potato!" You can say: "What did you expect? This is the ------ (name of venue)." Another line that I use for grabbers, only in small groups, is: "If you did this to Copperfield, the police would take you out." But always mark your territory and control your distance and be ready to grab their arm before it's too late for any of the above.
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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Don Alan used to say, "I don't play with yours, don't play with mine."

I was on a local TV show one morning. I did the vanishing birdcage, and the hostess started to frisk me. I said "When you get through, it's my turn."

She cracked up! So did the cameraman. I didn't know why. It wasn't really that funny.

About 2 years later, I was doing a promotion for the Renaissance Festival, and she asked for me to be on her show, and to do the birdcage. So I did.

When I finished, she started to frisk me again. I said the line again, and she laughed again.

On the break, I said,"You knew I would say that, didn't you?"

She replied, "That's why I asked you back."

I found out later that she'd had a double mastectomy and was wearing a pair of prostheses. She felt that my line was one of the biggest compliments she had ever gotten on the show.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
CamelotFX
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Minnesota
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I believe that Heifitz has had his fiddle grabbed more than once. Magicians aren't alone.

I usually sneeze all over my props at the beginning, then apologize and say that I have a bad cold. Nobody touches a thing. Smile
Enigmo
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I personally believe that this is largely dependent on your performing venue. When I perform professionally, spectators who grab is much less of a problem than when performing for so called friends... I think some of the people who replied stating that fewer people grab their props than they used to should clarify what their current performing venue is.

In the initial posting, itsmagic describes a social situation where he presented magic and where the wife of a coworker grabbed the prop. You weren't probably paid and as such you weren't perceived as a professional entertainer. Furthermore, the lady was put in a situation by her husband to watch you implying that she would be fooled. Obviously, you can expect her to be on her guard and prove her husband wrong. Finally there are some people who view magicians as mere pranksters where the only difference between you and them is the fact you know the secret... Since you are a prankster, this is equivalent to giving them carte blanche to strip search you. There are a few solutions to this.

1) Don't perform when put in that situation. Only perform if you're paid. By accepting to perform for free when requested, you are accepting to lower your value.

2) If you do decide to perform, use ungimmicked props at first and show that you are a professional polished performer. Also direct the magic to the person who asked you to perform or at the group.

3) I have other theories but I have to go back to work...

J-L
The Mac
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HI guys,

I've also hag grabby spectators - its often one guy who is so caught up in the moment he lunges forward. that's why when I perform I also am ready to step back or tighten my grip. If a spectator is starting to get antsy I'll say somethign like: " cmon, you're ruining the magic for everyone else.." That puts them at odds with the rest in their mind and they soon settle down.

Its better to have on suillen member of the audience than a blown illusion which you can never perform for the same people again.

During A card routine, like Ambitious card.. I like to invite the guy even closer and I'll put him in a position of being so close that he sees nothing! like I'll Do the classic color change with him looking directly down at my hands and as I do it I'll move my hands slowly closer to his face making it very difficult to focus on what he is seeing.

With Restricted Angle trick like Reformation: To get them in a non threathening field of view I say stuff like "I want you to see this clearly..stand here so you can see this properly."

Those are my tips..hope it helps

yours
MacGyver
Clarioneer
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Ferndown, Dorset, UK
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There is so much ungimmicked stuff available I don't really have too much of a problem in fact like it when they do Smile unless its part way thro' that just annoys...

I know at least 3 scotch and soda's that are ungimmicked but I guess people use gimmicked sets to extend the routine...
catch you later

Clarioneer
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