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Fooling a beginner ?

Nov 20, 2007
Sydney, Australia
My response to that would be the same as I posted above regarding taking them aside. I just don't think it's a practical step for young performers. Not ready to play the role of a mentor.
Here's a thought that's pretty relevant to the topic. I think we can all agree it's impractical and sometimes impossible to entertain everyone at a gig strictly with magic. In fact, more often than not, there will always be someone in attendance who is not interested in magic in any way, shape, or form. These people may gradually become hecklers in your act due to their lack of interest, unfavorable preconceptions of magic, and their lack of emotional investment in your show.

A great way to prevent an uninterested spectator from becoming a heckler is to get him enthusiastic in your magic by using another spectator's response to be his source of entertainment. For instance, think back to Blaine's earliest specials. His magic was relatively dull and overly simple by any experienced magician's standards, yet he produced some of the most animated reactions from people on the street. I personally think the success of his television specials came from the diversity of hilarious reactions he received from the people he encountered. People connect to other people's emotions. Magicians and laymen alike found Blaine's specials extremely refreshing and entertaining, because his televised audiences were real people who had some of the most humorous and outrageous reactions to make some original, entertaining television. As performers, I believe we can adopt similar principles into our live work. Instead of forcing magic or witty lines upon hecklers, reel them in with the positive energy and joy of an enthusiastic spectator.

I'm not really talking about using power in numbers against the heckler in any way. More accurately, as a performer managing the crowd, I'm essentially offering the heckler something else to watch and observe altogether. Instead of having him focus on your magic-- showcase the other people who are enjoying your material and let him connect with their surprise and disbelief. Let him enjoy THEIR reactions rather than critique YOUR magic. All so often, I find that one person in a crowd will laugh and scream simply because they like how another person laughs or screams. People's reactions build off one another and people naturally connect to each other's emotions. Personally, I find that people's reactions are usually much more entertaining than the actual trick that inspired it. I think that's why magic is so effective at bringing people together.

More practically, I would find the most animated person in a crowd and save that person to perform the strongest magic in my repertoire. Of course, I would have others involved as well, but I would save my best for that particular person. If I find one person isn't into what I'm performing-- or if I'm being slightly heckled as we've discussed, I would casually joke with my "go-to" spectator and point out something about her reactions that I really want to showcase and trigger. Using basic NLP techniques, I would trigger that same reaction and intensify it using the effects I particularly saved for her. By now, the others in the crowd will be more focused on her reaction rather than the magic I'm doing and naturally follow her lead.

I hope I explained this adequately. I think it's a good alternative to confronting a heckling spectator. Rather than using the crowd to shut a heckler up or challenging him to humiliation, a skilled performer can focus the heckler's attention to something else he would find more entertaining to ultimately be more involved in your show, such as a peculiar trait in a person's reaction to your work. Once he's latched on to that quality, he'll want you to perform and continue impressing everyone so he can enjoy himself seeing everyone else have a good time. Make sense? This way, the heckler will become interested (albeit indirectly) in what you have to offer; his negative preconceptions may be disproved, and he'll become emotionally invested by connecting with other people's fun.

Just my two cents.

Oct 27, 2009
This happened to me yesterday, I just didn't mind them, a kid was shouting, "double lift, double lift, the card is really on top",

I talked to the audience, gave them a nice laugh, they did not mind the beginner, and the poor beginner walked away; his powers were stripped from him.

I don't like hecklers who really 'touch' the cards though.
Jul 13, 2009
Edmonton, Canada
This happened to me yesterday, I just didn't mind them, a kid was shouting, "double lift, double lift, the card is really on top",

I talked to the audience, gave them a nice laugh, they did not mind the beginner, and the poor beginner walked away; his powers were stripped from him.

I don't like hecklers who really 'touch' the cards though.

Yeah i know and it sad when they sometime ruins the effect for everyone watching
Oct 27, 2009
Yeah i know and it sad when they sometime ruins the effect for everyone watching

It is sad, there are spectators who really love to be entertained by magic.

I moved, then the others followed me and asked for a finale (another trick), the beginner's were there - again, staring directly at the cards, so I did a card-to-mouth, the spectators enjoyed, the beginner's started to 'expose' it, then I did a Classic Force + Stigmata, that blew their heads off. :p
Okay, i don't have much time right now so i didn't read all the other posts, so this may have been posted already. On the off chance that it hasn't i figured i'd post it cuzz it works wonders.

Just do what stand up comedians do. Ask him to come on stage (i.e. hand him the deck) then you go down to where he was sitting (i.e. watch him like he was watching you) and say, "okay, your turn Mr. magic. Entertain us.:D" And then sit back and watch him squirm for five seconds then take the deck back and say "thats what i thought, shut up". You can be more or less abrasive but that's just an example.

Or do some moveless stuff, with key cards and junk and blow him away like that. Or just keep away from moves he knows. Or refine your technique above what he thinks is possible so when you do a double lift he has no idea like the rest of the muggles. Alright thats enough "or's"


Jul 19, 2009
I'm not a card magician but since this topic seem to be on hecklers I thought I'd post my thoughts on the matter.

What most of you seem to fail to understand is the reason behind the hecklers heckling. He's not heckling because he wants you any harm, his reasons are far more selfish than that, he wants a part in the spotlight.

What most people seem to be suggesting is to confuse them, and prove them wrong, but then again, that would result in:
"Aha, you did a double lift!"
"No I didn't, look" *proves it*
3 seconds later..
"Aha, you did a..."

Point is, you can't let a heckler interrupt your performance, feed him the pinky and he'll devour the whole hand.

If we see their reasons as perhaps jealously, wanting to steal the attention, what is the best way to make sure they don't get that attention?
Deny their existence. No matter what happens, he doesn't exist.

If you end up with a crowd standing there, being enthusiastic about your magic, and this random kid stands there shouting random names and theories, without anyone caring, I think that will end up with making him feel stupid, and the crowd feel anger towards him.

If you absolutely must let out a witty comment, due to the spectator being a one-of-a-kind heckler, don't look him in the eyes while doing it, don't acknowledge his existence. Say something like "and this is why incest is illegal", notice how the comment is in no way directed to the heckler, but the audience still understands who it's aimed towards, yet he doesn't get any of the attention that he craves. This is only a option in the most extreme of cases, and even then I wouldn't recommend it.

Then if there's grabbing hecklers, just like the others suggested, you gotta know when to walk away.
Nov 12, 2009
Last Page

I thought it may have been deleted posts.
Tried El Ds advice, I had it set at default 15- pages per thread, tried 5, 10, 25, 30...all with the same results, but a 50 page per thread setting has fixed this in that particular thread.
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