Had the weirdest "heckler" the other day...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Antonio Diavolo, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Idk what you'd call this because honestly it was just plain bizarre to me. I was at work and I had some time to kill so I thought I'd show these other teens in the store some tricks.

    Now, I'm used to people purposely trying to mess up tricks and I can kind of understand the mindset of those people. But this was just weird.

    Anyway, I started with the Biddle Trick and I get to the part where I'm like "Alright I think it's one of these five but don't tell me which one, I'm going to try to figure it out". And as I pass his card he just goes "That's it! That's my card. The five of spades" and he seemed to think this was hilarious. I am still confused because as far as he knew, the reveal was going to be the classic "was this your card?" type trick. So blurting out the card doesn't mess up the trick for me, it just ruins it for himself. But I continued with the effect and it got a good reaction.

    After a few more card tricks, I decided to do WikiTest because it's still sorta new to me, I wanted the practice, and I knew it would blow them away. In the trick, there's a part where you have them remember a long word on the wikipedia page. I was doing it to a girl in the group and the kid from before was looking over her shoulder. I told her to look at and remember one word but don't say it out loud. So the kid from before just starts yelling out all the long words he sees on the page. Once again, I was confused because it's not really messing me up, it's just ruining the trick for themselves.

    Like I said, I can understand why people try to mess up magic tricks. They just want the attention most of the time. So it sorta makes sense to me when people do things like refuse to say their card out loud, try to grab things from you, blurt out answers, etc.

    Has anyone else had something similar happen? If so, do you know why? lmao thanks guys.
    010rusty likes this.
  2. Why do you always have the weirdest performance stories? Lmao
    Justin.Morris, Clee26 and CWhite like this.
  3. I honestly don't know. I could go on for hours about the weird (non-magic related) crap that happens at work.
    010rusty likes this.
  4. Instances like that are nearly impossible to prevent. You just gotta (try to) make the best of the situation. I think for the Biddle Trick effect you did, you were right to continue on. And like you said, it was a kid....and sometimes, kids can be...."strange." That's the nicest way I'll put it.
  5. I didn't really care that much because like I said, they weren't really messing me up. The trick could still go as planned. They were just ruining it for themselves for some reason. lol
  6. Because you told them not to.

    People (especially teenagers) do not respond well to the word "don't." Your instructions need to be in the positive and not the negative.

    "I'm going to go through five cards, one of them might be your card. As you see each card, I want you to say as convincingly as possible, 'that is not my card.' Can you do that?"

    "I want you to look at that page and remember one word by repeating it silently to yourself. I only want you to think of the word. In a minute, I'm going to ask you to say the word, but for now, only think of the word. Are you ready?"

    Note that both of those give the spectator something to do and then asks for their agreement to the terms before you proceed. What you aren't doing is suggesting what you don't want them to do.
  7. Ah there we go. Thank you!
  8. @RealityOne shared some really insightful thoughts and wisdom there, and I wholeheartedly agree.

    That being said, there will be times when, regardless of how we phrase things, there may be that rude individual who will insist on being the center of attention. When we are performing, even in a casual setting, we are the center of attention. We are exhibiting a talent and a skill and are in a position of gaining the admiration of others. Certain individuals who crave to be the center of attention, may resent and be jealous of the attention we are getting, and try to steal the attention for themselves - to bring the performer down, in an effort to bring themselves up. When encountering someone like that, it may just be best to politely say something to the spectators along the lines of, "Well, thank you for letting me share some of my magic with you," or, "Thanks for letting me entertain you for a while," and then just call it a day. Chances are, if you encounter some of those people again, outside the presence of the heckler, they will ask you to perform for them.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  9. Thanks man!
  10. I've actually had a similar situation once but it was while busking/strolling. He was with his mom and I was performing some prediction based card stuff and he kept spoiling the reveal for himself. Moved on to an ambitious card routine from there and he would say "Oh my cards on top now!". At first I thought it was just weird mockery and after finishing up and about to move on elsewhere, his mom pulled me aside and thanked me for performing for them, her autistic son really loves magic tricks. I felt like an ass for judging and assuming he was... "heckling".

    Your case is quite different to mine but I still think back to that every once and awhile. Performance is a weird hobby/job and strange things can occur, also @RealityOne always bringing that sage advice.
    RickEverhart likes this.
  11. More gold from @RealityOne

    Sometimes people just want to mess things up to get attention. Sometimes they're stupid.

    This is where audience management comes in. Make the instructions clear, and as David said, try to make them in the positive as much as possible.

    One other thing is to learn to emphasize that by playing along they'll make themselves look good.
    what8006, obrienmagic and 010rusty like this.
  12. Ill repeat what these two said one more time because i feel it is super important. Many times we accidenally create these situations for ourselves because of the words we choose.

    I actually would see this everyday working at Disney. When rides would close (sometimes rides would close 2-3 times a day for maintence issues) we would have some people atand out front letting the guests know thay we are closed. There are two ways to do this... one gets a generally negative reaction amd the other a more optimistic one. Here are two examples.

    1. Sorry everyone. We are closed and not sure when we will open. You are welcome to try back again soon of you like.


    2. Hello everyone. We are not open at the moment but do expect to be open later today. You are wedome to try back again soon if you like.

    I said the same thing in both examples but im a different way. The first one sounds super megative using words like closed and not sure. The second example is more optimistic using words like open and we do expect. The same can be said for magic. How we phrase things matters.

    Now having said all that. Sometimes people just want attention and will do watever they can to get it. Makes for some great storytime here on the forums though! Haha
    what8006 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  13. Doesn’t Disney actually enforce saying it the second way? I’m trying to remember from the summer I spent scooping ice cream there. I also hated the first name rule. Because someone who worked their longer than me went what I went by I had to pick a random name. I still occasionally respond to Dan when someone says it out loud. Bleh.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  14. Enforce may be a strong word for it lol. Encourage maybe? I was an operations lead/trainer so i would try to encourage the cast to use these ways of speaking but i could not reprimand them if they didnt. Also first name rule? Never heard of it haha. I was there for almost 10 years. Unless you worked at WDW or they just did things differently in your dept.
    010rusty likes this.
  15. I think I had related is before once, but anyways...it's not a weird-heckler thing, but a rather funny one tbh. Also, I guess I agree with @010rusty ...weird stuff keeps happening to you mate! You got the most exciting life XD

    So, this was a family function-sorta thing. At that time, people were just chilling out and catching up with each other. Some of the uncles there knew I did magic, so they called upon me, and, I went happily. This particular uncle was being a nuinsance for a long time while I was performing. He was saying things like--when I would perform mental magic stuff--"Oh this is all chance...this is how they do it...do once more..."

    His daughter (my cousin sister) was also sick of this childish behaviour of his, but he wouldn't relent. So for my last trick, I decided to do one of the most hard-hitting but simplest tricks in the book...And the Force was with me ;)
    So of course, he had to show his intelligence and as the volunteer was looking at the card, he started saying,
    "Oh! That's easy! I tell you, there's no 'magic' or talent here! It's simple! When you place the card back, they look at the card before your card and then of course when they spread the deck--"

    and I cut across him with...

    [To volunteer, in a loud voice] "Here, take the deck and place the card wherever you want, and then keep the deck away."

    It remains one of my fondest memories in magic. #whenmagiciansbecomesassy

    But yeah, I have had some of my friends who have been watching me perform for ages now and even today when I casually ask them to look at a card, they always blurt out the name of the card...and I look at them like,

    And THEN they realise their mistake and are like, "Oh, I did not have to say it loud?"

    And here I'm like bruh, you've been seeing my magic for years now and if even now you don't know that basic rule then, I am sorry, there's no hope for you.

    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  16. It’s always fun when you can sort of casually shut down people’s accusations of how you’re doing the trick.

    That kinda reminds me, I’ve been learning mnemonica and I’ve found that a trick with a memorized deck is a great way to mess with those people who think they know every magic technique.

    And Ive had people say their card out loud on accident before. Hell, Ive probably done it before. But this kid was purposely saying it out loud just to mess with me lmao.
  17. I once went to a friends house when I had only been doing magic for a week, so I wasn't very good. I still had some tricks to show, but they weren't that great, and I wasn't very great.
    Anyways, my friend has a little brother who is 16 years old. And for his age, he is VERY immature. And I don't mean this as an insult. He is legitimately the most immature person I have ever met. My 9 year old sister is more mature than him.

    But anyways, he was my first heckler. He doesn't mean it in a rude kind of way, he just think it's funny to ruin magic tricks. If he suspected you were hiding something behind your hand, he wouldn't say "show me the back of your hand", he would leap for your hand and forcibly show the back side. He was just plain up annoying.

    But the other day, I visited my friend again, and his little brother was there. He wasn't breathing down my neck the entire time like he did first I came over. I had a little more experience and skill with magic then, so I decided to bend a fork for him. When he examined the forks and wached me handle it, he had that smug "I'm gonna expose you" look. As I started my trick, and he could see the fork bending, his eyes went wide, and afterwards, he refused to participate in any of my tricks.

    Basically, he got angry when he couldn't expose me, and decided, as always, to be immature about it.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.

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