Are all people like this?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Noah B8, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. So the other day I preformed las vagas leaper (aka the trick where 3 cards go from my ten card packet to the spectators ten card packet.) for a friend of mine. I counted ten cards out and handed them to my friend. I said "here take these cards just like this and don't do anything with them". He then starts spining around and I have to tell him to stop. I show him how he is to count the cards and he does without trouble. Now I tell him to put the ten cards he just counted to his chest and hold the tight. I go and start to count my ten card packet but he removeds the cards and starts to count them again. I try to stop him but he counts and find the 13 cards. He seemed like might not even want to see magic. I can do slight of hand and palm cards right in front of his face, its just when he has to do something. He has to be the hardest person to preform for, I know its not audience management because I tell him exactly what to do and everything. I know its not because of a competitive attitude. I think I should just stop preforming for him. Also even if I do a trick that usually hits hard with other people when i show it to him he just doesn't seem to care. I need help thanks.
  2. Sometimes managing an audience includes knowing when not to perform.

    If you know this guy doesn't care, why bother performing anything for him?
  3. You know what they say. When the problem's in the screen, the recorder can't do anything.

    Or something like that. Long story short, you have answered your ownself to be frank. You have, as I can see, cancelled out a competitive attitude on his part and also the possibility that it's an audience-management issue? What do we help you with? [insert slightly confused face]

    However, keep in mind that audience management doesn't start and end with people doing what you tell them to. Usually that's the basic level and even potentially terrible hecklers may do that in order to not seem like a douche outright. Audience management is the ability to understand your 'audience' in any given situation, analyse their behaviour and characteristics on-spot, identify any potential dangers or sticky points your performance might encounter, low-key manipulate (a better term, 'lead') them to think and act in a way that benefits you all the while keeping audience satisfaction in mind.

    Also, keep two small things in mind:-

    1) Often magicians feel guilty of what they're doing, of the sleights or techniques they're using. This is a a bane of sleights and more than just a 'slight' mistake (ha ha) on the part of the magician. Being guilty renders even the best sleights and psychological techniques useless. It's the old 'They don't know what you did, they know that you did it'.

    2) It doesn't matter to the audience, to magic as an art form, to me or (hopefully) to you, that the cards actually travelled to the spectators packet or not. What matters is that the spectator believes it did. Tailor your performance keeping that idea in mind.
    Noah B8 and Al e Cat Dabra like this.
  4. Some of your biggest critics are friends and family. Don't try to force this performance, you can't please everyone and that's ok. I recommend not performing for this friend. Every magician has gone through this issue many times, some people just don't know how to enjoy a performance. I agree with both WitchDocIsIn and Mohana.
    Noah B8 and Al e Cat Dabra like this.
  5. No...not all people are like that. I have a close relative who would act like I'm trying to fool him all the time. Like I have a ring to coin routine that is one of my go to effects and he once said right before the end of it "let me turns back into the ring!" It was like he was pissed or something. Anybody else would have just enjoyed the trick. Some people just don't enjoy it as much I guess. I only perform something for him anymore if I know it's going to knock him on his ass with twist of speechlessness. You just run into that stuff sometimes. Luckily most people enjoy magic.
    Noah B8 likes this.
  6. In my personal experience, most people really enjoy watching magic - some even love it. However, there will always be some individuals (fortunately in the minority) who have such big egos that they cannot stand to be fooled, or resent it when anyone but them is the center of attention and getting props from their peeps. It is more important to them to show how "smart" they are or to try to outwit you than to kick back and enjoy what you have to offer. Usually this comes from their own feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. When you realize this, you will also realize that there is not much, if anything, you can do, except keep your cool when you encounter people like that.

    When you encounter this sort of spectator, whether it's one-on-one, or in a group situation, I would advise just finishing up whatever trick you happen to be doing and not attempting to perform anything else for them (ever). Above all, don't let them get to you, or engage with them in anger, or let them draw you into a negative interaction. Remember you have a gift to offer and the vast majority of people will be happy to receive it!
    Noah B8 likes this.
  7. Actually, part of it could be audience management. Think about what would make him want to count the cards. Was there something in the initial count of the cards that made him suspicious?

    As @MohanaMisra said, even executing a slight well may raise suspicion if your body language communicates that something is happening.

    Was there something in your presentation that tipped him off that the number of cards he was holding might change? In this effect, you want them to count the cards but at the right time. What did you say when you asked him to hold the cards? If you said "hold the cards and don't do anything else with them" that is suspicious. If you said "hold the cards where everyone can see them because from this point on, I don't want to touch them", that is better.

    Having someone hold cards against their chest is awkward... it makes them want to look at them. Have them put a palm out, you put the cards on their palm and then have them put their other hand on top. Adding, "I want you to stay just like that" helps. That position works better because their reaction is to stare at their hands. Try holding cards both ways and see if you feel differently.

    Avoid saying any negatives - words like "don't move" "don't look" "don't count" just make the person want to do what you told them not to do. Yes, we are all toddlers at heart when we are told "don't."

    Also, you have to make the number of cards seem random. If you emphasize the number ten too much, then a spectator will become suspicious and want to know if there really is ten.

    Audience management is more than just telling them what to do. It is guiding their thoughts and emotions in a way that they cooperate with you. Often difficult spectators give us a gift in that they help us realize what we could do better.

    Well, it may be and you don't realize it. Think about this question -- is the goal of your performance of magic for spectator's to see amazing things that you can do? I'm guessing most magicians answer yes. The problem is that the goal of your performance should be to provide your audience with a magical experience.

    Part of the problem is that most magicians use say-do-see presentations. They say what they are going to do, do it and then tell the audience to "see" what the result is. If you just talk about "what" you are doing, the audience is going to think about "how" you are doing it. If the focus is on you and what you are doing, the audience will perceive that as being competitive.

    If he is a willing spectator, it might be worth the effort to keep performing because if you develop pieces that you can perform and get a good reaction from him, you could get a good reaction from anyone. Think of it as a challenge.
  8. Thank you guys so much for all the feedback! I really appreciate it and love the tips you are Giving me. @RealityOne do you care on elaborating more on the the audience management. Like where else is the attention going to be shouldn’t be on me and what I’m doing? Thanks! I really do appreciate it guys!
  9. Just to comment on this interesting issue a bit further if I may. @Noah B8 strikes me as being quite humble and open minded, with a genuine desire to learn and improve as a performer. I think @RealityOne had some excellent and perceptive points in terms of human psychology as it relates to the performance of magic. If we are thoughtful and analytical about our experiences in performing and about our presentations, our understanding of both others and ourselves will increase, and we can apply what we learn toward becoming better and better performers. I would just add to what's been said that the more we put the focus on them and make them the centers of attention and the "stars," the more receptive and engaged they will be. And they will derive great enjoyment from our performances, of which they are an important part.

    As just one example among countless possible examples, take the invisible deck. Instead of orienting the presentation to how clever we are in having impossibly predicted the card they would think of, how about making it a test of their psychic powers, where we think of a card and ask them to try to read our minds. When they name the card they think we are thinking of, we then spread the deck to show them proof that they were absolutely correct and that they indeed have extraordinary powers of ESP...
    JoshL8, Noah B8 and RealityOne like this.
  10. 1. Your focus (in designing, scripting and performing) should be on your audience.

    @Steerpike, who used to be very active on these forums, would say that the question a a magic performance has to answer for the audience is, "why should I care?" So try to answer that question with each effect. Why should the person you are performing for care about what you are doing?

    Put another way, one of Juan Tamariz's seven veils is love of the audience. (

    A good performer makes the show about the audience. An audience who thinks it is about them is easier to manage. Perform magic with them, not for them.

    2. Your presentation should be about something more than what you are doing. It should enhance your magic. It should give it meaning, emotion, feeling. The problem is that is hard to do with most magic tricks because they typically are a "watch what I can do" demonstration.

    3. Audience management is putting attention where you want it to be. When you are forcing a card, you want it to seem that it doesn't matter which card they pick. When you are counting the cards in a cards across routine, the number of cards shouldn't be a big deal. Don't draw attention to places and times where you don't want it - don't make a big deal out of it. Having a presentation other than narrating what you are doing distracts attention away from what you are doing (e.g. you are asking the audience to pay attention to what you say so that they pay less attention to what you do).

    All of this is a developing an attitude that the magic is to make them feel good, not to make them think more highly of you because of your skill. Now, I've not seen you perform, but I'VE BEEN THERE. It is so easy in magic to make it about our skills and to be happy when we fool someone (heck, I think there might even be a show that celebrates that milestone). It takes a change in attitude to go from Fool Them to Entertain Them. Nobody wants to be a fool, everyone wants to be entertained.
  11. @Al e Cat Dabra thank you for the kind words and tips on helping with my magic. Okay so I got some things to say.

    1. I think a light just turned on in my head. I just realized how my goal it’s to entertain and get the audience involved. How my goal is to have meaningful patter that hooks the audience in and gets them to care. I feel so dumb and not seeing those Things before. I look back on my older performances like the one yesterday and can see how it was all about fooling them. I can see how it was not interesting and entertaining. I see it now and I feel so enlightened. I was so focused on being good at slights that I forgot it’s not to show how good I am, it’s to give a person a amazing experience. I should have realized this before and I would like to thank everyone for the help especially @RealityOne.

    2. I just Wrote my scripture and thought about my patter for cards across and it is some much better now. I am relaxed and there is not that much focus on the fact that there are ten cards, I don’t say any negative things. It’s so much better. I just preformed a two different tricks for the same friend and everything went so well he even said wow and had a look of shock.

    3. Here just some information about my and my magic life. I just turned 17 and have been into magic for two years. I love it and do it every day trying to better myself. Recently I realized the my preforming skills were not that good so I’m trying to get them better. I am always looks for ways to improve. I am currently going trough all my tricks and fixing the patter, making it as clear, fair and clean. I have about 12 tricks so I can focus on them and make them the best they can be. I love preforming and take magic as a serious student trying to learn everything as possible. I also have a lot of fun with it so sitting at a table for 8 hours playing with cards is not a burden. My favorite magic book is mnemonica and I do a lot of mem deck work and I do a lot of deck switches. They go hand in hand.

    4. Thanks to everyone for the help and like I said It payed off. The light clicked in my head and now I feel so much better. The slight of hand was there, so we’re the effects and now the patter and Performance are there also. Now I’m ready to entertain!
    RealityOne and Al e Cat Dabra like this.
  12. Actually, based on where you are, this isn't something you should have realized. You are doing the natural progression. By performing more, you realized you had a question that needed to be answered. When you have a question, that means you are ready to learn. Continue to ask questions and continue to seek answers. Keep performing and keep improving.
    RalphB2, Gabriel Z. and JoshL8 like this.
  13. Show him "Gator Boots"

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