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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » fooling adults (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

mattk
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I have performed magic for some time but it is vey rare that you can fool an adult. You usually have to buy those very expensive props in order to fool them. Card warp, Troched and Restored, and the old classic Penny and Dime are the only tricks that have really fooled someone, above the age 18. I was wondering if anyone knew of routines that they knew fooled the pants off an individual over the age of 18. The cups and balls is out because they already usually know that a fourth ball is involved. If anyone has info. on tricks or routines fill free to e-mail me at MAK4911@aol.com or just reply. Thank you for your time.
Scott F. Guinn
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I couldn't disagree with you more. I think the problem here is twofold:

1)You are looking for the TRICKS to fool them;
2)Your primary concern is to FOOL them.

You need to make your presentation of the trick the focus as opposed to the trick itself. Further, instead of being so worried about just fooling them, concentrate on ENTERTAINING them and INSTILLING A SENSE OF WONDER.

I make a living performing for both children and adults. I have WAY more money invested in my kids' show props than in my adult show props. In fact, my mentalism has virtually no props at all, other than paper and pen, a newspaper, a deck of cards and some envelopes.

I recommend that you get Darwin Ortiz' book, "Strong Magic" as your next purchase. Follow that up with the Books of Wonder. Then get Bannon's Smoke and Mirrors or Harry Lorayne's Close Up Card Magic and Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic. You can (and many people have and do) make a very good living with just a deck of cards and some coins, performing exclusively for adults.

As for cups and balls being "out" why do 98% of the "name" magicians in the world have a version of it in their acts?
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Dolini
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Mattk,
I agree with Scott. Actually I think it is easier to "trick" an adult than it is a child. Children have caught me more than adults. I once did this complex card trick to a mixed audience where I predicted a card that was in an envelop. The adults were amazed and this 8 year old said it was just a coincident.
I see you like coins. The Hopping Half by Johnson Inc. is a great one.

I believe what Scott said to you was important. Have fun don't put them on the spot and don't make them look foolish. Let them have fun with you. I pretend I am not sure how to work the trick (or as suprised as they are when it works) or make them the hero by letting them do the trick and then ask them "How did you do that?" They have more fun and they spend less time trying to guess how it was done. I really don't like the word "trick" it is not what you are trying to do. You want to have fun with the audience and give them a pleasant experience.

Dolini Smile
John O'Shea Dolan
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Mack Magic
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I believe you can fool anyone if you have the right presentation with it but it's true that adults once in awhile seem to be hardest to fool.
I think two things that will fool an adult with the right presentation is a coin in bottle trick and a card effect called Hoodwink.
Hoodwink because what I do so I end with a clean finish is once I restore their card, I tear it up and ask them to try to do it as well.
Scotch and Soda, a coin trick will also get them good too.
Just my 2 cents..Smile
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PRmagic
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Okay Matt, now for the answer I think you are looking for. I'm not trying to say what you other guys are posting is not true, but I think this guy is looking for specific tricks that are really foolproof. I will name a few for you Matt...

Trick Decks: invisible, deja vu, mirage decks.

Coins: scotch & soda, coin in bottle, bitten coin
Other:Sponge Balls(if you buy a set of these you MUST buy a video. 25 tricks with sponge is a great one and its pretty cheap.) ,pen thru anything, Crazy Man's Handcuffs, The Watch Steal Video by Chappy Brazil.

Ok the ones I listed I have and if I don't have them, then I know people that do and they get a great reaction from them, including adults. You can go to MagicSmith or any other online dealer and look those up and check out reviews and demos if you want.

OR...you can always go and buy books and videos to teach you sleights and many routines without gaffs which is also a good way to go. Its up to you...sleights will help in the long run, but if you aren't taking magic too serious than just buy gimmicked items. But you still need a good amount of other knowledge. Get these tricks but also learn sleigh of hand. Good luck
Be Curious
Peter Marucci
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Scott and Dolini are right on!
Despite the crappy magicians' business cards that say "It's fun to be fooled", it isn't!
Nobody like to be fooled -- i.e., made a fool of, in reality.
It's the performer who is the real magic, not the props.
I've done my version of the Professor's Nightmare for lay audiences more than six thousand times and, despite some people seeing it a dozen or more times, it's still the one effect that they ALWAYS request.
But I most certainly don't do it as a "ha,ha, look what I can do and you can't" sort of thing; the magic happens TO me and I, apparently, don't even notice it.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
mattk
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Thank you all for your replys. I wasn't looking for props to do the magic for me, I was just looking for some pleasant and fun routines that would leave adults scratching their heads.
Stefan Rupar
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It seems like this topic maybe should be moved to another category, but since some moderator critters have posted with no complaint, well. . .

Fooling adults is a little bit trickier than fooling kids, and the trick is pretty complicated. It has to do with semantics and the wink which kids miss and which adults will get if you telegraph it correctly.

Say you are with some kids and you pull out an old fashioned change bag and show it empty. You put a red silk into the bag, then withdraw a white silk, showing the bag empty.

Here's where the semantics come in. You can tell the kids that a red silk has changed into a white silk. But all the adults will know that a silk was switched; they just won't believe what a child might believe; that there was a majic transformation.

To fool kids, you may, with skill, invoke the idea of magic. To Fool adults, you must make it a challenge to catch you. Watch the Doc Eason tapes. . .
Garrett Nelson
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I think often the magic is lost on children.

"OK, you guessed the card I picked right. You are a good guesser. Big deal."

Although I mainly do adult magic, I do chirdrens magic too, and it is definately a whole different animal than adult magic.
cardguy
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Regarding to what Stephan said, you must never challenge anyone, even adults, to catch you. If you set up a challenge mentality with the spectators then it becomes a 'you' vs. 'them' match. And that can be dangerous because now they are watching you like a hawk and want to catch you. Instead, you should set up a fun atmosphere. An atmosphere where the spectators will want to be fooled because they are having fun. And this is much harder to accomplish than most of the mechanics to your trick. It takes practice and experience.
The more you practice your magic, the more you will understand. Try this: pick any standard trick (it can be anything at all like invisible deck, scotch and soda, professor's nightmare, ambitious card, etc...)and perfect the mechanics. After that, sit down and really think about that trick. Why are you doing it? What is happening? How can I make it fun to watch? Then develop the patter you are going to use. It should make sense and it is always a good idea to make it humorous or thought provoking, not offensive. Most important of all, have fun with the people. Get them to like you, and they will like your magic and won't mind being fooled.
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Paul
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re;
I have performed magic for some time but it is very rare that you can fool an adult.

How long do you call some time?
Do you practice too? I found that helps.
It's not WHAT you do. it's the WAY that you do it.

Plenty of good advice already posted, plus one or too silly statements.

Paul.
Platt
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RE: Card warp, Troched and Restored, and the old classic Penny and Dime are the only tricks that have really fooled someone, above the age 18.

It sounds from this quote that these may be the only tricks you've performed for adults or at least performed well.

Fooling adults in many regards is easier. They have a much more rigid notion of the way the physical world works. So it's easy to play against that. They also listen to you. Kids don't listen. They just look, which makes misdirection a bit more difficult. But to answer your question, here's just a small list of favorties. Unlike others here, I believe the effect, and not only the presentation, is of great importance.

Any routine using the Sylvester Pitch.
Nail Writers
Invisible deck
Deep Astonishment
Ambitious Card
Red Hot Mama
8 card brainwave

Have you tried any of these?
They're adult proof.
Sugar Rush is here! Freakishly visual magic. http://www.plattmagic.com
Mikael Eriksson
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Hi Mattk.

When I perform for children, the adults get as fooled as the children. Hard to say why you don´t succeed...

Can it be that you only perform for friends? In that case it can be very hard, for reasons others probably can explain better than me.

Mikael
davekilpatrick
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I agree with Peter and Frank (Cardguy) about not making it a challenge. The only time I ever make something a challenge is if that "challenge" itself serves to misdirect the heck out of them.

Mikael has a good point too. I have a much harder time fooling my family (i.e., my wife, my kids, my siblings, parents, in laws) and people at work, because they know me first as Dave and second as magician. When I go out to perform, people automatically cast me in a different light, and fooling strangers is much easier (I'm using myself as an example, this, I suspect, applies to us all).

I believe many a magical career was snuffed out early because discouragement came at the hands of family and friends before ever trying one's skills on strangers.

I agree that adults are usually easier to fool. For me, performing for adults is a delight–easy to fool and they laugh at all of my jokes. They are so easily verbally misdirected (I'm not saying "patter" because sometimes that word is interpreted as "telling stories"). Children (which have become my specialty) were much more difficult to adjust to. I have to more carefully select my tricks. Then, for the same prop (e.g., Perfect Pen), I have an adult routine and a children's routine (by adult I don't mean "adult," cause I'm a G-rated guy). About 60% of my regularly used props/tricks I have learned to present routines at the adult level or kid level.

Finally, I make sure all my strictly kiddie magic will baffle adults as well. The adults watching along with the kids are the ones paying my fees and recommending me word of mouth to others. It is not enough to get the kids laughing so hard the kid up helping pees his pants (which I've had happen on more than one occasion). The adults have to be mystified as well. Then you get those repeat bookings.
Dolini
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davekilpatrick,

I knew I would end up agreeing with an Irishman. You made an excellant point when you said you have to make your show not only appeal to children but you must astound the adults who pay the bill. I put on show once where the adults liked this complex magic routine. A childs comment when asked what was your favorite magic trick, he responded "the little mouse (a finger puppet) that was in the show."

Children definately have a different perspective than adults. Ain't it great!!

Dolini
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John O'Shea Dolan
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Dolini
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Also we should not forget that you may be doing magic that can only "fool" adults and not kids or vice versa. Sometime it is the type of magic that "fools" the young. This is a difficult subject to discuss unless you define before you start what specific act do you perform and/or what type of magic.

Dolini Smile

PS - Don't forget the most important thing is having fun with the people involved. You take a journey with them. Get them on your side. Do not set out to make them look foolish or trick them.
John O'Shea Dolan
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Dolini
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Let me add just a few more comments. After talking to my wife I have concluded this about children and adults. The child some times lives in a more cartoon world. For example the properties of gravity don't work unless the cartoon character realizes he has run off the cliff. Or a stick of dynamite blowing up in your hand just blackens your face. Most adults know these rules of nature and are aware when they are violated. I know some of my adult friends live in a cartoon world.

I pulled out a deck of cards once and an eight year old child shouted, " I know this one!" After I started the trick she said "no that trick is not the one I know." She thought there was only one trick you show when you pull out a deck of cards. Not to mention the fact the child may not be aware of suits, number of cards etc. in a deck of 52 or is it 51.

That’s why I like disappearing and appearing. Most everyone understands that things don't just disappear.

Dolini
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John O'Shea Dolan
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