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Do you let people examine your props or cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Randy, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Like if somebody asks to shuffle the cards and it has no impact on the routine and is just dead time, do you let them do it or simply say no.

    I was reading some stuff on the cafe and one guy said he had a repeat customer who constantly wanted to examine everything and even went as far as putting her hands in his pockets and constantly wanting to see his hands. I'd think in my opinion the min somebody wants I don't know wants to reach into my pockets is when I'd just smack their hand away and out right tell them stop it.

    The other thing is I remember watching Michael Vincent perform on one of his DVD sets and he did some coin magic, yet NOBODY asked to see the cards, the coins or any of the other items. He simply said "These are real Morgan dollars." and then went on to perform. So the thought hit me, if you have coins and don't want people examining them for whatever reason, couldn't you just say "These are antique coins passed down from my Grandfather." and then perform without having to show them to everybody.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2012
  2. I will usually let them shuffle the cards before I do a trick because it makes them believe I have no stack or any order to the deck. But when I'm performing and they ask to shuffle I will just say "Watch, watch, look at this" and do some cuts and proceed with the trick. So basically yes I do let them examine everything (if it is examinable!)
  3. RickEverhart

    RickEverhart forum moderator / t11 Moderator

    This is exactly why as I get more and more experienced I keep leaning towards non gimmicked effects. Don't get me wrong, I have tons of gimmicks, but when it comes down to just frying someone's mind and you have some people who like to shuffle and examine things...that's when I like to do hard hitting effects with every day props or better yet...with their borrowed items (ring, rubber bands, pen, their deck of cards, their money, coins etc.) Sometimes I will even allow a spectator who tends to not believe that I am using a real straight deck of cards, keep the deck at the conclusion of my performance. This really makes them scratch their head.

    To be honest when I am doing a show whether paid or just messing around, I tend to make sure that everyone knows that I am running the show and am in control. I also have a good friendly personality that makes them not even care to examine things...they just want to laugh, be amazed and get some entertainment.
  4. The key is that you maintain control over the audience. They shuffle when you want them to shuffle. They inspect what you want them to inspect. You do it on your terms. Build in things that disprove methods into your presentation. This doesn't mean showing them the deck and saying "look, every card is different" because that suggests that they should be looking for a method (i.e. you are openly disproving one method which makes them look for another) but rather spreading the deck and saying "that looks pretty well shuffled."

    If you let the audience dictate when they shuffle and when they inspect, that is asking for people to interrupt your routines at the most inopportune moments.

    The other key (as Rick also said) is to be entertaining. If people are entertained they don't bother to think about how you are doing the effect.
  5. Josh Burch

    Josh Burch Moderator

    Sometimes it depends on the venue. If I'm doing stand up it's very easy for me to get through the whole act without having anybody examine anything. People tend to be respectful when it is somewhat formal like that. If I'm doing walk around it gets a bit trickier. If it's possible I try to anticipate those moments in the routine that they would want to inspect something and design my set like that.
  6. I agree with goatears. When I do a more formal entertaining session people aren't as inclined to shuffle and look through things or examine them, but when I do magic for my friends they have actually grabbed the deck out of my hands at one point to try to find a method. I don't know if this was because they were so impressed or because I wasn't asserting my control over the situation, but it was a close one because luckily I had just finished palming two gaffed card off the top of the deck. Being that they are my friends and immature high school students I suppose I can't be too hard on them, but it was still frustrating.
  7. Justin.Morris

    Justin.Morris Moderator

    I absolutely let people examine props. Pockets are off limits. However when I perform for certain ethnic groups, they don't have the same boundaries, and when doing something like sponge balls, they try to search you for them. It's pretty funny. But for the most part I perform in formal corporate settings and people don't often ask.
  8. jc533436

    jc533436 Elite Member

    I would say normally yes, especially if you are using non-regular deck. I love use Deck One and Clip Joint, and the problem I encountered is that people will think that the deck is a gimmick. So let them examine it either beforehand or after the trick would be a good idea.
  9. It depends on the way I'm performing. For most of my performances, the audience won't even think to examine props. I carefully create my presentation to show how normal everything is (and it usually is normal, I don't use a lot of gaffs or gimmicks) without ever saying, "This is normal." That way the thought of checking things doesn't occur to my spectators. But when I was busking I would frequently get people who wanted to bust me out (either playfully or, in one case, for real). When they'd want to examine the cards, for instance, I would let them. But then I'd come around the table and get really close to them, pointing over their shoulders and talking really fast, saying stuff like, "Oh! Check that one out, it might be a trick card. Oh! You missed one, don't forget the Jack .. That's a two, wait, were there six twos? Better check that! Don't worry, I'm not trying to do a show and entertain these people or anything, just take your time I've got all night" etc, just rattling on, really close to them, pointing and gesturing. It usually got them laughing so much they couldn't keep examining the cards if they wanted to, and also, it entertained the crowd so there was no dead time. I don't recommend this for everyone, it works for me because of the character I played while busking.
  10. It depends on the look of the props...

    I used to use some magic props...that did look like magic props... so I try to use objects that people usually sees in their normal life, because they wouldn´t think on examine something if they don´t look suspicious...

    Also...I read something from Derren Brown´s book... that if you use perhaps the cigarrete thru coin...they obviously are going to think that regardless you do a perfect switch, they are going to arrive to the conclusion that you switch the coin at some moment... just some food for thought...
  11. I can usually get through a routine or a gig without anybody wanting to check my cards, coins, or anything. A lot of it has to do with the audience, and that's sometimes just how they are. But sometimes it has a lot to do with what the magician says, or how he acts. For example, if you say, "This is an extremely valuable, antique deck of cards passed down from my great grandfather that was a magician.." You're gonna have people that don't believe you or that want to check your cards. But, if you just present whatever prop you're using without acting like it's anything special, people mainly won't assume that there's anything fishy going on.

    Another thing that can help is to be open with your audience. Let them shuffle the cards, and examine the coin after you do a coin bend or something like that. Don't make them have to ask you. When you have nothing to hide, don't hide anything. This makes them trust you more and they won't doubt that everything you use is 100% legit.
  12. How about if your Soft Morgan dollars and just mention that they are antique coins passed down from your grandfather and so on. I'd think that type of scenario would work.

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