Hecklers

Jun 30, 2008
33
1
Hey guys, these are just my personal experiences with hecklers.

1) I spread out the deck, the kid immediately says "Ive seen this before" or "i know how u do this" , but then when i had him but the card in the middle, hes like "Ok nevermind" lol. So i guess, if the person thinks theyve seen the tricks, just from the spreading of the cards, either say "Ok, then theres no point in my showing you" or show them, and watch them realize that it's definetely not the trick they thought of, any more suggestions?

2) Im performing a few card tricks for a classmate, then he goes up to another kid and says soemthing like "Watch this" or "He just did this awesome card trick" The kid just walks by and says "Card tricks are easy." Then the kid says "He put the card in the middle and it went to the top." then the other kid says "He flipped the deck..."
Im not sure how to act when these guys show up "Thats easy" and they give wrong conclusions, anyone have thoughts on it?

3) Im showing the teacher a trick with a crowd of kids around me, as Im showing them a trick, a girl (not in the crowd) says "I know how to do that" but Im pretty sure she didnt even see the trick. Most people think card tricks are those 3 card tricks you learned when you were young, and its our job to break the barrier. Any further thoughts on it.

4) Im showing my uncle the ambitious card (my uncle does NOT want to be fooled) he comes to the conclusion that he knows him I do it. He says, "Youre creating the illusion that the cards going in the middle" He didnt know how, but he drew that conclusion. Also, when I was showing him a trick, he liked to say "It's obvious" alot (that was months ago so corse ive practiced more) Thoughts?

5) I think the main reason people like to heckle younger people (Im 13) is because they think, because of our age , we just bought a magic kit, and weve practiced for 5 minutes. Corse not exactly xD. Most people I think expect little or no wonder or "magic" from a 14 or under boy. So I think age plays a big role. I know there are alot of people on here older than 13, what are your suggestions?
 
May 3, 2008
858
0
i hate hecklers

i don't see what kind of a sick mind it takes to ruin magic tricks for others

for example, i was doing some flourishing in school and while doing a really tall stack going to my chin some kid comes up and slams all the cards down
 
Sep 1, 2007
131
0
Hey man, I can say I've been there, and then some. Believe me, you'll always come across at least one person in the crowd who doesn't want to be entertained. But hey, sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. For me personally, I'll tend to ignore hecklers, or simply discredit their remarks as petty arrogance, which in most cases, is the case. Basically, the best thing you can do is keep on keepin' on. Endure through all the seemingly relentless heckling, because sometimes, it feels that way. It sounds to me that you're creating some great magic regardless of the hecklers that observe. As for question number 1, I think you should just commence with the trick, more than likely, they haven't seen it before. Question number 2, I would just ignore it, like I stated earlier. 3, Prove 'em wrong. Just show them that it isn't just a trick your grandpa taught you (Which actually might be a great trick, depending on who you have for a grandpa haha). 4, you did your job. You had him thinking that you somehow created the illusion of putting the cards in the middle. Congrats, you have fooled your uncle. And last but not least, 5, just prove to them that even though you are young, you can still create powerful illusions. Be self-confident, own that magic trick, and you'll surprise some folks. Last thing they expect is a 13 year old that can actually do magic. ;) Thanks for hearin' me out.
 
Sep 3, 2007
308
0
People busting you is a good feeling kinda. I mean it's not as good as pure amazement but it shows you what you need to work on. Just brush it off. Maybe they're just a jerk. But if you get similar comments over and over again try reworking your tricks...

"oh the one where you pick the card?"

Since you're young, you have to establish cred quick so they know your worth watching.

Start off with a solid trick that engages them and wins them over. Something simple that might get a WTF? (card in hand, hand in mouth etc)

and then build on that

and since you're into cards, learn a few flourishes, nothing too complicated (card fan, pirouette, card roll, arm spread etc.) These are great to establish your style, and impress them. Once you practice these enough, you'll start doing them subconsciously in your performance so you don't have to worry about planning them.

Or change it up simply by asking a friend, "Can I get your opinion on this?" So if it's amazing you can keep going, but if it's not you got some instant honest feedback.

I had a friend that I thought was being a heckler, but really it was just when I was starting out and my sleights weren't the best so it wasn't his fault.

Just keep working it.
 
Nov 10, 2008
1
0
i love hecklers.. not only because most the time there allways wrong, but even when they are kinda right, you can just keep telling them there wrong and you get to watch them get more and more frustrated. And if worst come to worse and you get the ones that just wont shut up. I like to hand them the deck and say " well if its that easy you do it then".

I think handeling hecklers just come's with practice.. i can recall back when i was just starting i used to get the shakes all the time just over little things......
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,410
6
Sydney, Australia
The post above is pretty much an example of how not to deal with hecklers. Needless to say, there have been a LOT of posts about hecklers on T11, and very few good ones.

Why is the post above bad?

Situation one. They guess your method every two seconds. You keep telling them they're wrong. Result: They get frustrated and angry. They draw more attention because of this. You lose attention. You lose the atmosphere of magic. The performance is no longer about entertaining but about undermining. You perform for yourself rather than your spectators. Other spectators lose focus on the magic. The experience becomes a hassle. No-one experiences magic. You have failed as a magician.

Situation two. "You do it then." Option a) Spectator can't. He's embarrassed, you laugh. You take the performance away from magic and towards embarrassment. You break your performance and ignore the other spectators for someone else. You disrupt the flow of your routine. A spectator gets alienated at best. You get an enemy at worst. You have failed as a magician.

Situation two. "You do it then." Option b) They take the cards, and do something with them. Regardless of the skill level - if they can perform the same trick, if they only show you, poorly, how it is done. You lose the sense of amazement. You lose your status as the magician. You lose control of your performance, your tools, your craft, and your audience. You lose the magic. You have failed as a magician.



Now to address your post, JustATrick.

1) This shouldn't set you back very far. All it means is, you should be careful how much you involve that person - don't rely on him for a classic force. Nonetheless, he is a more or less easily converted and easily amazed spectator. This is where versatility and originality come into play - Good luck finding a spectator who has seen "Cross Eyed Surprise" before. If you want to perform, just say "Just watch for a moment, I promise you won't have seen it, not like this." Otherwise, they're pretty much just normal spectators.

2) "That's easy." "Yeah? Well these guys haven't seen it, so let them experience some magic, and if you'd like, we can go into a more theoretical discussion about harder techniques later, ok?" "..." That more or less shuts them up without being rude - and indeed you're inviting them to talk. It also acknowledges your own performance, and encourages your current audience to want to see more.

Sometimes spectators also come up with ridiculous explanations. If they are harmlessly speculating, there is no need to acknowledge these - smile. It is important to ask yourself however if there is something you did wrong to prompt this. Did you make a suspicious move? Do listen to what they suspect. Why would they think that?

If they are persistant - it is inappropriate to prove them wrong. In my opinion, move on. But before you do...

The key is to befriend your spectators. If you do this, no matter what type of heckler appears, your audience will at the very least be on your side, and they will want to see magic and won't be bothered by any of the above.

3) Magicians do indeed have a stereotype - but in this case, I'd suggest that it's more the fault of the heckler, in terms of them wanting attention (though of course reasons could differ - this is a generalisation), which causes them to heckle. It's not that they actually think they know per se, they just want to seem like they know - and the latter is the important point. Hence in many situations, this barely warrants an acknowledgement.

If and when you engage with hecklers however, (with some exceptions - e.g. Gazzo) the key to responding is to acknowledge them, but to then appeal to the rest of the audience, in a way that neither disrupts the performance nor demeans any spectator.

More disastrous than a heckler ruining a trick, is a heckler ruining the entire experience of magic for everyone.

As for actual responses - If she didn't see the actual trick, play it really innocently - "Do what? I didn't do nuthin!" This gets a laugh if, as I said before, your audience are on your side. You're responding in an appropriate way that does not influence the rhythm of your presentation; nor is it out of the way enough to break the atmosphere for magic. If she did see it - "That's great! These guys haven't though so just let them watch and enjoy it ok?"

4) Every now and again, you will find a spectator, who, no matter what you do, will not believe in magic, and never will experience magic as an experience, through no fault of your own. There are many stories however of such people who see one particular trick which does amaze them. I mention this because it is possible; however it should be neither your goal nor your purpose to do this. Especially for an ordinary person, forget about it. For someone like your uncle - reconsider your objectives. If he realises/guesses that there is a depth illusion - again, reexamine your performance. However, for this type of person, just because they're very logical, doesn't mean you can't fool them. You probably won't ever get a "WTFGGZOMGQQ" response. Not happening. But a small smile, and a nod from them, can be just as rewarding - reconsider your objectives with such spectators. Remember that you are still an entertainer. As you yourself mentioned, you were younger and more inexperienced. In that situation, I'd probably say just look at your sleight of hand, and the construction of your routine - many things could be wrong that could potentially lead him to those responses, an already established exceedingly logical man. I'd refuse to believe however that he could guess every single method to everything however - in which case it's a matter of strengthening your sleights. Also, for something like ACR - vary it a bit. What would he say if the card went to your mouth, or your pocket, or jumped from packet to packet - if he pushed it in himself, or if he watched his signed card jump face up through the examinable, non-gimmicked deck? You may want to reconsider the construction of your effects, and your method for them.

5) Age, unfortunately, will always be a factor. To an extent, you can't help this. However, your attitude in magic, how you treat it, comes through in how you present effects, introduce yourself, and in many areas of your performance. If you treat magic seriously, (not to say don't have fun with magic, or wear your waaaarface :3 the entire time, or don't make a joke - but treat it with respect) then this will come across in your performance. If you treat it as mere chicanery and a simple throwaway trick - the attitude you described will be facilitated. If on the other hand you do obviously treat your magic well, then this will to some degree negate that opinion.

Hope some of this has been useful to you.
 
I haven't done much performing, but I haven't found any real hecklers because of my background in Flourishing. When you do that kind of stuff, they realise "Ok, maybe this person knows a little more than that look at the bottom key card and then hope they dont get seperated during shuffle" trick. I think to the younger audiance cardistry actually gets them interested and more open to magic, than the strict, no display of skill kind of thing. If they don't think you have any skills, and many young people don't believe in real magic since it's kinda nonsense, they are more amazed at how rediculously an impossible feat you have performed. They react to the impossible, they know it's not impossible, but they react and are impressed by the skill required to simulate the impossible convincingly.

Another thing is you need to be blunt with hecklers, rather than agressive, or let them trample you. I had one guy kinda heckle me, thought I was controlling the card in the deck during overhand shuffle (I actually was :p) but I had forced the card, so I did an out, put the cards in my pocket and said "I don't even need them, your card was the 8 of Hearts" and he was just like "..." and his "I know how you do this trick" instantly changed to "Ok, now I'm impressed".

I see magic as a skill rather than trying to fool my audiances, so that kind of attitude comes out in what I do and people seem to respect it, they are less inclined to heckle you if you don't treat them like a child. If you expect them to believe the card really got there by magic rather than slight of hand, of course you will get people going "omg you just moved the card there" because guess what, YOU DID! They can so easily heckle and disrupt this little magic bubble because in the face of increasing science and rationality, people are more offended by simple magic, being fooled by a 13 year old doing card tricks claiming it's magic is insulting to them, so they heckle you.

Show them skill, treat them with an iota of intelligence, and maybe things will go better for you.

PS: I'm not saying treat it as a "omg look how skillful I am execise" it's still very much about the bewilderment and the disbelief of something that SEEMS impossible, rather than IS impossible as it seems many magicians try and treat their magic.

Also, if you do something really easy like a Force, or even the Fan Control from T11 1 on 1, where it's basically a self contained no real moves required miracle, it generally impresses even the toughest critiques.
 
Sep 20, 2008
1,112
3
Throw a card in their eye and then run away laughing like a pirate


Haha =]


I usually just say "Really? that's cool/Really? good for you." and continue with my trick.
 
The post above is pretty much an example of how not to deal with hecklers. Needless to say, there have been a LOT of posts about hecklers on T11, and very few good ones.

Why is the post above bad?

Situation one. They guess your method every two seconds. You keep telling them they're wrong. Result: They get frustrated and angry. They draw more attention because of this. You lose attention. You lose the atmosphere of magic. The performance is no longer about entertaining but about undermining. You perform for yourself rather than your spectators. Other spectators lose focus on the magic. The experience becomes a hassle. No-one experiences magic. You have failed as a magician.

Situation two. "You do it then." Option a) Spectator can't. He's embarrassed, you laugh. You take the performance away from magic and towards embarrassment. You break your performance and ignore the other spectators for someone else. You disrupt the flow of your routine. A spectator gets alienated at best. You get an enemy at worst. You have failed as a magician.

Situation two. "You do it then." Option b) They take the cards, and do something with them. Regardless of the skill level - if they can perform the same trick, if they only show you, poorly, how it is done. You lose the sense of amazement. You lose your status as the magician. You lose control of your performance, your tools, your craft, and your audience. You lose the magic. You have failed as a magician.



Now to address your post, JustATrick.

1) This shouldn't set you back very far. All it means is, you should be careful how much you involve that person - don't rely on him for a classic force. Nonetheless, he is a more or less easily converted and easily amazed spectator. This is where versatility and originality come into play - Good luck finding a spectator who has seen "Cross Eyed Surprise" before. If you want to perform, just say "Just watch for a moment, I promise you won't have seen it, not like this." Otherwise, they're pretty much just normal spectators.

2) "That's easy." "Yeah? Well these guys haven't seen it, so let them experience some magic, and if you'd like, we can go into a more theoretical discussion about harder techniques later, ok?" "..." That more or less shuts them up without being rude - and indeed you're inviting them to talk. It also acknowledges your own performance, and encourages your current audience to want to see more.

Sometimes spectators also come up with ridiculous explanations. If they are harmlessly speculating, there is no need to acknowledge these - smile. It is important to ask yourself however if there is something you did wrong to prompt this. Did you make a suspicious move? Do listen to what they suspect. Why would they think that?

If they are persistant - it is inappropriate to prove them wrong. In my opinion, move on. But before you do...

The key is to befriend your spectators. If you do this, no matter what type of heckler appears, your audience will at the very least be on your side, and they will want to see magic and won't be bothered by any of the above.

3) Magicians do indeed have a stereotype - but in this case, I'd suggest that it's more the fault of the heckler, in terms of them wanting attention (though of course reasons could differ - this is a generalisation), which causes them to heckle. It's not that they actually think they know per se, they just want to seem like they know - and the latter is the important point. Hence in many situations, this barely warrants an acknowledgement.

If and when you engage with hecklers however, (with some exceptions - e.g. Gazzo) the key to responding is to acknowledge them, but to then appeal to the rest of the audience, in a way that neither disrupts the performance nor demeans any spectator.

More disastrous than a heckler ruining a trick, is a heckler ruining the entire experience of magic for everyone.

As for actual responses - If she didn't see the actual trick, play it really innocently - "Do what? I didn't do nuthin!" This gets a laugh if, as I said before, your audience are on your side. You're responding in an appropriate way that does not influence the rhythm of your presentation; nor is it out of the way enough to break the atmosphere for magic. If she did see it - "That's great! These guys haven't though so just let them watch and enjoy it ok?"

4) Every now and again, you will find a spectator, who, no matter what you do, will not believe in magic, and never will experience magic as an experience, through no fault of your own. There are many stories however of such people who see one particular trick which does amaze them. I mention this because it is possible; however it should be neither your goal nor your purpose to do this. Especially for an ordinary person, forget about it. For someone like your uncle - reconsider your objectives. If he realises/guesses that there is a depth illusion - again, reexamine your performance. However, for this type of person, just because they're very logical, doesn't mean you can't fool them. You probably won't ever get a "WTFGGZOMGQQ" response. Not happening. But a small smile, and a nod from them, can be just as rewarding - reconsider your objectives with such spectators. Remember that you are still an entertainer. As you yourself mentioned, you were younger and more inexperienced. In that situation, I'd probably say just look at your sleight of hand, and the construction of your routine - many things could be wrong that could potentially lead him to those responses, an already established exceedingly logical man. I'd refuse to believe however that he could guess every single method to everything however - in which case it's a matter of strengthening your sleights. Also, for something like ACR - vary it a bit. What would he say if the card went to your mouth, or your pocket, or jumped from packet to packet - if he pushed it in himself, or if he watched his signed card jump face up through the examinable, non-gimmicked deck? You may want to reconsider the construction of your effects, and your method for them.

5) Age, unfortunately, will always be a factor. To an extent, you can't help this. However, your attitude in magic, how you treat it, comes through in how you present effects, introduce yourself, and in many areas of your performance. If you treat magic seriously, (not to say don't have fun with magic, or wear your waaaarface :3 the entire time, or don't make a joke - but treat it with respect) then this will come across in your performance. If you treat it as mere chicanery and a simple throwaway trick - the attitude you described will be facilitated. If on the other hand you do obviously treat your magic well, then this will to some degree negate that opinion.

Hope some of this has been useful to you.

How are you not a mod yet?
 
Nov 19, 2008
107
0
i am your age and the usual way i start is by doing some manipulation, just simple stuff, giant fan, hot shot cut, one handed stuff. usually people get interested and dont claim to know how i do the stuff as quickly. but anyways the major thing is just to be more confident and expert looking than most peeps do when they try the old "is this your card" tricks.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,186
16
39
London
In a lot of cases, a performer pretty much invites people to heckle by setting themselves up as someone trying to "fool" their audience. As I see it, magic isn't about getting one over on the spectator by doing something that they can't work out, it's about involving them in an experience of the impossible. If a group's first contact with you is the invitation to "pick a card", they will usually have preconceptions and prejudices based on tricks a creepy kids show clown or disturbingly intimate older relative did for them at some point. They see you as presenting them with a challenge. The unspoken message is "Watch what I'm doing, because at some point I'm going to do something that I don't want you to see."

How about this? Rather than starting by getting someone to pick a card and then going into your patter about one card being ambitious or whatever, engage them in conversation before you even bring out the deck. If you firstly introduce yourself as a magician and then have some friendly chat, getting people's names, finding out if they're having a good time in whatever venue you might be and so on, it builds up anticipation to the point where they ask you to show them something. They know you're a magician, but no magic has happened, so it leaves a sense that something is unfulfilled until you finally acquiesce and pull the deck from your pocket. At this point, you aren't the intrusive, bow-tie-wearing, sterotype of a magician they had in their minds, they've given you a clear invitation. Also, this initial conversation allows you to size up your audience. Is there a loud-mouth potential heckler in the group? Involve them in your opening trick and make it flashy enough that they are instantly convinced of your skill and don't even think about challenging you.

Of course, every now and then there'll be drunks and just generally obnoxious people who are intent on destroying your performance no matter what. However, I believe a lot of heckling can be nipped in the metaphorical bud by engaging as a person first and a magician second.
 
Searching...
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results