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Owen Thomas
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How do you prevent the "bet you can't figure this out" attitude?
When I perform, some people get this impression. I don't want this to happen.
Any help?
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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Change your character. Currently it sounds like you have a con artist type character. I would change it to something better suited for audiences. Maybe the "confused magician" or the Silent act, etc.

There is something for everyone. I like the Confused Magician personally (magic happening in the hand, and acting just as suprised as the spectator, etc. It fits my comedy routines perfectly).
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Frank Tougas
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The wonderful Don Alan used to use such engaging lines as "Isn't that ridiculous?" or "Even I don't understand this part." I believe some of this was the influience on Don of Roy Benson.

Both were highly skilled artists yet they had an engaging way of putting themselves and their audience on the same level.

While I don't recommend copying their lines or presentation, I do recommend thinking of ways you and your audience can both be having fun. Accomplish this and the confrontational nature between you and they will go away naturally.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Verno Inferno
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It may help to sit down and start scripting your patter, if you haven't done so yet. Take one of your effects and break it down, and think about what you want the audience to experience. Get a nice broad picture of what the effect is about, and then create a presentation that is not about a challenge to the spectator.

Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic discusses the benefits of scripting and what to look for in a good presentation.

Ortiz's Strong Magic goes on at length at destroying the puzzle/challenge mentality.

Which effect, specifically, are you having trouble with? Maybe you could post what happens as you perform and the reactions... The challenge effect can come from your attitude or the way you structure the effect...
Owen Thomas
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I did a effect for some guys at work, were a 2p coin turns into a 10p coin in the specs hand. I got a reatcion from it but not such a good reaction. Later they wanted to see it again (probally to figure out how it was done?)
I think my problem is that I am scared of getting busted so I use a lot of misdirection (which doesn't make sense or has no theme to the specs). I think I must concentrate more on patter.
Dark
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Sounds very much like your patter isn't scripted and possibly very disjointed. Do you get reactions like... "I don't get it?" or "You did something, but I missed it."

I would take Verno's suggetion and script your performance(video tape it! and review it later!). Keep in mind that misdirection isn't simply "look there's an elephant!", it has to have a logical reason for being in your presentation.

Also, have a theme! Is it a story? (a la Eugene Burger's Hindu thread and the story of Shiva) Is it to make a point? ("It's amazing how inflation has made my 10p only worth 2p") Is it to demonstrate something? ("yesterday, something odd happened to me... let me show you...") You need to engage the imaginations of the spectator, and then they won't have time to worry about "how you did it."
Rob Johnston
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Their is an undocumented rule about not doing an effect twice for the same audience. You made the right choice in that regard. I suggest getting another effect however, to appease that same audience.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
BerkleyJL
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Quote:
On 2004-12-10 16:53, Rob Johnston wrote:
Their is an undocumented rule about not doing an effect twice for the same audience. You made the right choice in that regard. I suggest getting another effect however, to appease that same audience.


I think that "rule" is pretty well documented. Even the spectators know it. Those who ask you to do it again expect you NOT to...but they still ask.
I need a stage name.

Joe Berkley
Lee Darrow
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"Patter." In a word - AARGH!!!

Magical presentations are not witty songs with fast paced lyrics with funny comments installed therein. Magiacl presentations are not (or, rather should not) canned, done by wrote fast talk routines that no one can understand.

To my way of thinking, the term patter demeans the most important aspect of a talking preformance - the wrods one uses and HOW they use them toenhance and clarify the particular magical piece that they are doing.

Sorry, but that's one of my hot buttons and the tirade is not aimed at anybody in particular. I know that the word is used almost universally in magic. But the word itself actually seems to downplay the importance of your SCRIPT and your performance of that script.

<rant mode OFF>

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
saxmangeoff
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Quote:
On 2004-12-10 14:37, Owen Thomas wrote:
I think my problem is that I am scared of getting busted so I use a lot of misdirection (which doesn't make sense or has no theme to the specs).


This definitely sounds like a good way to get busted.

Don't think of misdirection so much as something you do to cover the moves. Rather, misdirection should be more like always having a "spotlight" or "focus of attention" where every eye should be looking. You can then do your dirty work away from that center of attention.

Sure, you can set off a firecracker and get everyone to look in that direction, but the result will be much stronger if everyone is looking at x because x is where the interesting thing is happening right now.

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Reis O'Brien
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I had this attitude when I first started. This was mostly out of ignorance. I thought that's how magicians were supposed to be. Thank the gods I have since learned better!

The thing that broke me of this was indeed a matter of changing my character, as Rob pointed out. I began to develop a character that was somewhat absent minded and was usally just as amazed at the effect as the specs were. Kind of liek, "Wow! I can't believe that worked!" or I would play along the lines of the effects were performing themsleves through this unfortunate, muddled magician.

This character immediately showed the specs that I wasn't challenging their intellect or making fun of them. I was along for the ride almost as much as they were. And this was the best way I found to not come off like a board tosser on the streets.

My character is somnewhat different now, but I'm glad I went through the metamorphasis that I did.

Hopefully this could work for you, too.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

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what
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An easy thing to try (As you start developoing your ever-developing character) is to put your routine to a poem, or story.
The audience will naturally pay attention to your words, and will be entertained by a complete magical presentation with a beginning, midle and end.
Magic is fun!!!
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