Dealing with "non-believers".

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DCS, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. To start off I wanted to say I didn't use the word "hater" because I hear it so often and I believe that type of person I encounter aren't haters but, a type of folk that typically hates when they aren't in control of the room.

    Quick story time,

    Today I was doing a card trick routine using 2 people (a couple) because I have them kiss and the magic happens because of it. It was at my school out on campus so there was some people around. After the trick was done the boyfriend reacted "oh wow that was cool" and then went on to give me the "how do you do it" questions but, he knew I wasn't going to tell him (you know). A third person watching (The non-believer) interjected by saying "oh well did you see him put your sign card there" I begin to sigh because I been here before. He continues to say "I have a cousin and he is a "Magician" (HE ACTUALLY AIR QUOTED HIS MAGICIAN)" he goes on to tell the couple about a trick his cousin does and how he can see where the card went and whatnot while casually looking over at me sort of (in my opinion) calling me out.

    So my question is, what is the best way to handle folks of this nature. I have had others go "well, there must be some scientific explanation for this trick" normally I slap my deck of cards or coins down and and ask them to do the trick again but, I come off looking like a defensive jerk this way. Thoughts?
     
  2. I usually cut them off and say something along the lines of, "I know how the trick is done" with a chuckle and that usually makes them feel like they don't want to be that guy.
     
  3. Luckily I have only dealt with this person once. I found that being rude does NOT help, so I simply told them that that's very impressive, I also know how it works. I added in a friendly laugh so they didn't feel like I was being a jerk. Of course, if you aren't good friends with the people, you could always try the David Blaine TV type thing where he just walks away right after the trick is through.
     

  4. yeah, it killed me that he was the 4th man in. I was just fine when it was me and the couple they seem to enjoy the trick and all but, he just flew in. I'll try staying chill and laughing it a bit.
     
  5. Question: Did the guy who butted in have kind of an imperious attitude? Bit of a know-it-all vibe?

    I ask because some people do it because they don't know the etiquette for dealing with performers (this is the type of person who gets drunk at a comedy club and voices their thoughts like they're having a dialog with the comedian), and other people do it because they're really insecure. There are other motivations, but those are the two I've run across the most frequently.

    In the case of the former, you politely inform them that it's more fun not knowing.

    With the latter, a lighter touch is needed. There's a person like that in the mastermind I attend. Monopolizes every conversation she's in, has a know-it-all attitude, and looks visibly cowed by even the most trivial correction. Confronting these people directly only fosters more ill will. You need to deflect them in a way that does not embarrass them or otherwise challenge their intelligence. I speak from experience when I say that insecure people have very long memories, and anyone who (intentionally or otherwise) humiliates them in front of other goes on their **** list. They will hate you with such a venomous intensity that the next time you shake their hand you may get frostbite.
     
  6. I cant remember where ive heard this but i say this every time i get a jerk like that "listen, not everything in the world is magic, so its going to be magic, for 5 minutes just let it be magic" i think it was Zach Mueller but i cant remember.
     
  7. When something like that happens to me, and it has, I simply tell them to do the trick for me. Since they haven't got the proper teaching and they don't know the exact ways of doing it, they'll either back off or do the trick very poorly, and when that happens, I just start laughing which makes them feel uncomfortable and he'll never do something like that again.
     
  8. Every performer's different and this may work for you and your performance character, but I can't quite see it. This approach says, "I'm cleverer than you". Maybe that's what you want to convey, in which case, go for it. If someone says to me, "I know how that's done", I prefer to say, with a tone of genuine interest, "Do you? It's good, isn't it? Well, I've got another one you'll probably like." And then go straight into another trick without giving them a chance to respond. It kind of defuses the moment and gets past it without making a big deal out of it. Other spectators might not even have registered that it happened. The last thing I want to do in my performances is set up a situation when a spectator is given the spotlight and essentially told to try and make me look like an idiot. What if they do? Or what if they don't but everyone thinks that they have? How do you get back control of your show after that gracefully and without animosity? If I had a solution to these problems, then maybe aggressively challenging a spectator would be a good option for me. As it is, it isn't.
     
  9. Try doing Psychological Forces to an audience of Psych Majors. . .

    Thing is, you will run across this kind of jerk no matter what style of magic you do in that this is their mind-set and they love to be the know it all. . . sadly, I've had more than a handful of magicians telling their guests what's going on in significant detail and of course, boasting as to how they can do it "better" (though they've never owned a particular piece or know anything - back in my big stage days -- about working that sort of effect).

    Handing the deck or whatever to the shmuck is one way to deal with it. . . I've been there. . . my favorite has been handing the set of linked rings to the fool and letting them have fun for the rest of the show. . . it keeps them quiet, causes some chuckles and let's me move on. . . As a Mentalist however I've rarely encountered such assholiness so long as I'm not relying on props such as special wallets or even a Swami device. The Swami has been exposed on national TV and the wallets are something closely associated with magicians . . . especially when it comes to the illogic most of them have when it comes to peeks.

    Sorry for the side tracking. . . Dealing with this type is different for most all performers; the legendary comedian Don Rickles would get right back into their face and make them the brunt of his jokes but Jack Benny couldn't do this, it wasn't his style or personality and so its our burden as an individual to weigh the various ideas for handling hecklers and find those approaches that best fit us and how we work. Challenging someone to do the trick can be fun and funny IF SUCH A THING FITS YOUR PERSONA and of course, if you have a follow-up that allows the heckler to maybe be part of a pseudo-lesson in how to do the effect such as a Do As I Do routine. . . it appears you have taken them into your confidence and when you do this it tends to disarm the ****head.

    Find and define your performance character first and then you will find the best way for handling these situations.
     
  10. Yeah, hand your props over to someone and challenge them to try and best you. There is literally absolutely no way on earth that could possibly backfire or blow up in your face!
     
  11. This is never a good idea. You never know, you could be doing a poor job and the heckler could be a great magician who blows you out of the water.
     
  12. I actually use a lighter approach similar to this. I define what magic is, as most laymen think magic is the method. I say something like,

    "You know, most people think that magic is the 'trick' or the sleight of hand involved, or even the 'secret method', but real magic does exist, and that's the magical moment (turn towards the spectators you just performed for) that you guys just experienced. I'm always glad that I get to create these moments and memories for people. I really do appreciate you guys letting me share my art with you."

    This should shut the guy down, as you started with addressing him as the focus, and then shift it back to the spectators. This will also bring the spectators on your side, and if he chooses to continue, they most likely will defend you in continuing to perform for them.

    If he continues to be a jerk on purpose, "I have a special trick for you that even fooled David Blaine! Let me show you and I challenge you to see if you can figure it out!"...

    Gator Boots! *If you don't know this trick, do a search for it. Reserved for only the biggest a-holes*
     
  13. I like to take a lighter and more "brush it off" approach to someone who tries to bust me. I had a performance last week wherein a spectator started saying "I think I know how you did that, you just--" and I just cut him off and said "haha alright if you think you know how I did it, lets just keep it a secret between you and me" And then I moved on! I like that approach because because its just a quick nonchalant comment that shuts up that spectator, and allows you to keep moving on with your magic without being exposed. It's quick, and it doesn't make a huge deal out of the situation.
     
  14. Well in that case I have no idea what to do either.
     
  15. it was on the Theory11 google hangout. It was Zach
     
  16. One time i was doing the linking rings and i handed the linked set to a non-beliver and said if he can get these apart ill let him do my show for me. so he was standing there onstage fiddling with the rings while I continued with my act. then he took out a swiss army knife and attempted to cut through the rings. thank god he did not succeed or i will have two "key" rings
     
  17. I love that ring story. . . fact is, the better made rings are nearly impossible to cut through with anything other than a decent bandsaw blade.

    You can hand out your props when they are clean, nothing to be found. If you happen onto another magic lover, don't be afraid of the fact but learn from it. Truth is, any real magic lover wouldn't play such an immature role in real life so having such a person steal your thunder is doubtful. Having a drunk jerk that knows the 21 card trick try to up-stage you is classic play so don't sweat that either, they will be the one's to put mud on their own face when this is the case.

    As I believe I said earlier, always have an out. . . always have at least one alternative to each effect you do that relies on a different method of execution. When you are prepared at this level you can repeat an effect and do so in a way that prevents the observer from seeing repeated moves . . . the typical tattle-tale that tips our hand and gives them insight to what may be going on. By experimenting and of course studying all the material you can find on a particular piece, you will be able to apply all kinds of nuances that will make the effect yours! BUT you must rehearse that alternative material, knowing it as well as you know your primary handling.
     

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