Failing|Essay

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mr.MadMan, May 5, 2010.

  1. #1 Mr.MadMan, May 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2010
    Failing|Thoughts

    Hello, long time no see eh :).

    I thought i'd talk a little about Failing and the actual benefit of it. So without further ado, ill go right in.

    My Thought Cycle:

    Recently i had an accident with an image duplication. It happens from time to time that something goes wrong and comes out the way you wouldn't want it to come out.

    There is a real big benefit of failing in front of a crowd of 150 people. And that is...
    you learn to handle your audience. I bet there have been times where a certain sleight, peek, tool or something of that nature did not work.
    Well then you know the feeling that the blood from your face will flow away pretty quickly if the desired effect does not protrude.

    In my case it was an image duplication which by some unexplainable reasons got messed up really badly. Being that i drew a House and she drew a Sigarette. Although i hide all kinds of things on my pictures from time to time(something i picked up from Psychological Subtleties i believe) it's still pretty bad to draw the wrong thing. The thought i had instantly was to play it off as securely and as damage free as i could.

    What was my initial reaction?

    My face went white, i sweat like hell and i looked at the sigarette for 20 seconds to lift my sight and say: "You know, there comes a time, where everything just does not want to go the way you want it to".

    Ill stop right here and discuss what this sentence did. I'm actually going to use the exact same procedure i had right there. But the sentences actually implies that something MIGHT have gone wrong but you are not admitting it. It's a kind of 50-50 sentence which makes the audience believe that something has happened but they don't know what. Anyway, what i got from that was that 90% of the audience laughed. Later i learned that the sentence had made them laugh due to the tension being to big and that was the last straw.

    So i talked BS for 30 seconds trying to find a connection between the two. Then i finally had to give in and show my drawing. I talked about mixed messages and sent the spectator away.

    But i didn't give up though!
    And here comes the advice of the day. Hold a straight back, full confidence and just hit them with your backup effect(make one!!!). I always have the Copperfield Thumbs up illusion in my head. It has helped me get through sticky situations in the past when i've gone bold and done something psychological which hasnt turned out.
    But it always helpes me and it takes away from the Fail you made and puts something new and fresh into their heads.

    Always, use something simple as a backup though. And do it quick, nothing complicated, nothing serious. Simple, effective and straight on!
    Always smile, always be confident and always try to keep entertaining in mind. Your magic is secondary, the entertainment part is what keeps the show rolling.

    For me, i kept the tension in the theater so high that you could hear a hair hit the floor. The entire time i drew it was quiet and thats what was the point. Later people talked about how tense it was and how funny it was, rather than talking about how i failed.

    So the main point i'm trying to make(besides bragging about my show) is that always be ready for a bad situation. And make sure to not miss anything during the Fail period. Try to learn from it, advance and make corrections.

    And the benefit?

    You become universal. You will be successful no matter what the circumstance, either if you are doing everything right or failing, the impression must stay the same.

    A little question, what have you learned from a fail?

    M.
     
  2. where is the essay?
     
  3. The same question as in the previous post, man...
     
  4. My stupid hands accidentally clicked the Post button and not the preview button.
    Had to make the thing in double time so sorry if its a bit rough on the edges ill make some changes in due time :).

    M.
     
  5. this reminded me of the video of the masked magician flubbing a trick...

    "you have done something very special!!"

    he did manage to pull out that trick...magicians could tell he screwed up...BIG TIME!!!
     
  6. Heh, interesting time for me to read this question. My last show was a 30th birthday party. About 35 people there and I open with Richard Sanders 'Interlace' (see link below). Well everything is going well, they are howling over the jokes, there was a lot of extra byplay because of all their comments and jokes, so I was having a ton of fun with it. I vanish the ring, I get it to my shoelace, I call attention to it, and it's not there. I look on the floor, it's not there. The ring didn't quite make it. So there I am at the climax after this great journey, and nothing... I knew where the ring was and there was no way it was going to fix itself without me bending over to fix it. In which case it is not impressive that the ring is there. There was no recovery.
    Awful. That has never happened. Ever.

    But it made the rest of the night hilarious. Everyone was joking around, and it became a reoccurring joke for the evening. I would make a prediction and someone would say "It had better be bang on after that first trick..." and the room would laugh and I would follow that up with a line.

    They knew I had messed up the first trick, but they loved the rest of the show, and I had lots of people asking for cards after the show.

    But at the same time, it has to be my most embarrassing performance moment.
     
  7. well...
    I did a thriumph routine and I mix the deck and everything was going great...

    so I spreaded the cards and then everybody was amazed that all the cards were re-arranged..but I didn`t see the chosen card..I thought "relax!! maybe is under a card...just find it" but it wasn`t there...I spend like 10 seconds looking for the card and I said "so as you can see all the cards re-arrange themselves" and the spectator said "and my card?" and I said "especially your card!!"

    everybody laugh and they forgot about the messup...in their minds it never happened in the first place!!!
     
  8. Whhaaaattt

    Fail huh? Heres what I learned. Blame them make them feel like you did it on purpose as a joke. If I drop the card, coin etc... on the ground I say crap that SOB was heavy! Then I make them pick it up and pretend I got caught looking at their toosh. Always and I mean always make them think you did it on purose! :D
     
  9. That is horrible advice, you should never blame your spectators if you mess up!
     
  10. Mikk what did you go into if I was you I would have just asked the audience as a whole who was thinking of a house whilst raising my hand. Revealed the house then got the spectator on stage to draw something else with the audience not sending mixed messages. Or just draw the cigarette after getting the audience to focus on it with the spectator on stage.
     
  11. Dang, why didn't i think of that.
    Hm, okay nothings lost luckily. But i will deffenently keep this in mind for the next time, if there is going to one. Totally redoing the effect to make it rock solid and so that nothing can go wrong.

    @Xdelamuertex Your point is good, but blaming the spectator is a wrong move. You will probably just take away from the expierience too much with that.

    M.
     
  12. I remember having a similar "fail":

    I had my imp. pad installed inside my card case, so I had the spectator, on a post-it note, to wrote down any card she would think of, remove the note, and put it away.

    Well, I was building up the climax, until... you guessed it ... I got the card wrong... I named the 8 of Hearts, she wrote down the 3 of Hearts.

    I specifically told her to write the card big so everyone could see the card, and it would be easy and clear to read at the end, to varify as proof... well, she did the opposite, when she showed the note, at the end, the writing was VERY tiny, and you couldn't even decipher a thing... and I would "blame" part of it was the imp. pad, as you know, when using the pad, the writing kind of 'blobs' (those who use them [or the one I use] will know what I mean), but I couldn't get over the fact that I named the 8 because the 8 is VERY similar in format to a 3... so if they (the audience) were to re-think that moment, than it would seem suspicious as to, and kind of obvious as to what happened.

    And YES, I DO have good audience managment and YES, I DO perform very well, and KNOW how to perform, but who was to REALLY blame? (She went against my askings, the prop also contributed to the downfall, and I put that moment [me naming the wrong card] in their head.

    But at the end of the day, they seemed to forget that I ever guessed it wrong, and they still recalled that trick (as they saw me perform it to another group) and said it was the greatest trick they ever saw, and I was the best magician they've ever seen... so with that said, I think everything went well, and I did my job (my job to entertain).
     
  13. Mikk the reason you did not think of it is because you are not me. I also have a few things left to teach you. Send me a pm and I will share a few hints I have hidden from you.

    JV two questions 1 are you still using UI or have ou moved onto the Tommy pad. And 2 what did you learn from this mess up.

    Basically what I think Mikk was trying to get across on this original post was risk makes magic fun. And with risk you are going to fail and make mistakes, however the real thing is don't fail with the same mistake twice.

    I won't even start on using failures as a convincer for success.
     
  14. All in all though, your failure wasn't too bad. Imagine if it had been the very first thing you attempted (instead of, I assume, the 3rd or 4th) and you had failed. That's always the worst.
     
  15. I had a similar fail (AT A GIG) with universal impression. It failed (nothing showed up) I didn't panic at all. I had my invisible deck in my pocket.

    I said "ok so I am going to make a prediction. "

    I took one card (never showed it) and placed it face down in the face up deck.

    I then put the cards back in the box and put it in my pocket.

    I said "For the first time, in a loud clear voice, could you take the paper out and reveal to us your card!"

    After she revealed the card i of course pulled out the invisible deck and showed that my face down prediction was "correct"
     
  16. The key is to always have an out!
     
  17. or practice enough to prevent..

    the key is not solve the problem...but prevent it...

    but sometimes...such is life
     
  18. No, the key is not to have an out.

    Outs are good. Outs are handy. Sometimes, outs are necessary.

    Other times, outs weaken an effect, because it is too obvious that you're trying to turn it into a multi-ending routine.

    I saw this thread when it was first made but didn't want to post until I had something thoughtful to contribute. So here it is.

    Let's consider by way of example, a situation where you're on TV. You've managed to get an interview on the most watched daily news program in your region. You get the chance to perform one effect.

    Would you perform an effect that isn't surefire in this situation?

    No! Of course you wouldn't. At least, if you, like me, have never had the opportunity to be on TV and be broadcast to the country, or at least the state, then no, you don't want anything to go wrong.

    Why? Why is failure bad in this situation?

    Because it's a special situation. A once in a lifetime event. Because this represents not one performance, but the opportunity to greatly amplify your reputation and what you do, and you cannot make a bad impression. Because you get one chance and one chance only.

    When you apply this reasoning to all performance situations, it is easier to consider the ramifications of failing. Consider a regular stage show. You've got multiple routines, for one. That means, that you get several chances. It means that something came before and something will come after. It's not a once in a lifetime event. You have other chances to make an impression. This is just one part, and the larger goal here is not to increase your reputation specifically, it is to entertain.

    In this context, you should be able to see that failure has very few ramifications to a good performer. And, as Mikk has said, there can often be good arising from it.

    So the question you should ask about failure is this: Does it matter if I fail?

    And if the situation, logically, says that NO, it does not matter if you fail, and you still are hesitant to fail, then you need to consider whether YOU yourself are inhibiting your performance. If you do not place any importance on failing, then failing is not an issue.

    NB: The above thoughts are not entirely original to myself. For a probably better explanation of what I have written, contact Rick Maue.
     
  19. hMMM

    lol WHAT i WAS SAYING IS Act like you did it on purpose by saying stuff like wow your breathing heavy and the gust blew it away. Ive been reading people for a very very long time and I know what people I can joke with like this. Generally they think its funny and I get an arm slap and a stop from the spectator. Either way when Im done someone is laughing or freaked out. By all means pass the blame in a joking matter is what I am saying. Im not talking about getting pissed and pointing fingers. If I get pissed someone gets slapped! :D
     

  20. I totally agree with you.
    Although i could fight with you on the out part the fact still remains that you are there to entertain, the way you do it really does not matter, the goal is to just entertain.
    I think Jackass is a great example of a sick TV show but yet they have gotten some crazy views. And thats because people are entertained by it.

    M.
     

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