VagueTheory

Elite Member
Dec 1, 2007
674
67
Raleigh, North Carolina
I think reactions like that are a small case of low self esteem, as in, people who don't like to be "tricked" because they'll feel like fools.

To some of these people, no matter how inviting we are as performers, they will never get over the idea that "This guy is about to trick me. I'm not stupid."

I had a friend who was semi-aggressive about this. I would show him an effect and he would yell "Dude, I'm not f(riggin') stupid." And then grab my deck/props and try to "show me" how I did it, and when he couldn't, he would be quiet. Every single time! Of course, I slowly stopped performing for him.

Some books on audience management are fantastic, but we have to accept that sometimes, we cannot change some people's views on our craft because of their personalities and "fixed" views. Just some people though.
 
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RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,597
3,893
New Jersey
The thing to remember to create scripts and presentations that aren't challenging is just to respect the intelligence of your audience. Give them an interesting thing to think about, show them something unusual, and they will usually go along with it - analytical or not.

In the absence of something else to latch onto, people will view magic as something to figure out. The engineering / scientific types more than others. If presentation is say-do-see (saying what you are doing, doing it and telling the audience to see what happens) then you are putting the focus on what you are doing which inevitably leads the audience to focus on how you are doing it.

The key is to find a way that the audience to disregard disbelief. With intelligent people it is impossible to get them to believe that you have magical powers. Suspension of disbelief means they realize it isn't real but go along with it. Disregarding disbelief is that they don't care if it is real because the reality of the presentation is what they are focused on. They know it isn't real, but they accept that they have seen something that appears to be impossible because it has meaning within the presentation.

Actually, yes. Whenever I perform magic at school, "I'll say something like, "Pick a card" and someone says "I know that trick!". Like there are so many tricks with "Pick a card", it just doesn't make sense

I was doing a kids show and asked one of the kids to pick a card. Another kid yelled out "I know this one!" I looked at him and asked, "are you sure?" He said "yes." Then, with a disappointed tone in my voice, I said, "OK, well I'll have to do a different trick." I had the spectator return the card to the deck, shuffled the deck and then asked the spectator, "Can you pick a card?' The kids didn't react much, but all of the adults in the room just started laughing.
 
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Jan 2, 2016
1,039
861
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California
I was doing a kids show and asked one of the kids to pick a card. Another kid yelled out "I know this one!" I looked at him and asked, "are you sure?" He said "yes." Then, with a disappointed tone in my voice, I said, "OK, well I'll have to do a different trick." I had the spectator return the card to the deck, shuffled the deck and then asked the spectator, "Can you pick a card?' The kids didn't react much, but all of the adults in the room just started laughing.
That's hilarious.
 
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