Kind of annoying spectators

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Josh Burch, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Today at work I tried out a new routine that consists of a multi-phased card transpo. The method requires a top change to force a card. Usually I consider my top change to be nearly bulletproof but this time I had a coworker in the perfectly wrong spot and I hesitated just a bit as I did it. Needless to say she saw something and she spoke up "I saw that!" she didn't know what she saw but she was sure she saw something fishy. Throughout the remainder of the effect she continued to say things like "I know your secrets Josh, I caught you, just admit it". It was especially annoying when the whole trick came to an end and the climax had nothing to do with a top change and she still was going on about how I "did something".

    I took her aside afterwords and asked what she saw. She said she saw something when I put the card down. I asked her how that helped the cards change place and she couldn't answer me. But repeated that she figured the trick out. It was clear that she had no idea how it worked and the idea that I had done something sneaky was enough for her to assume that she knew how I did the whole effect.

    Anyways I left frustrated. She really was a distraction to the actual people I was performing for and she missed the point of the trick completely. This is a scenario that seems to repeat itself every so often and it drives me nuts. What do you think I could have done differently?
  2. This is an annoying complication when performing magic. When it happens to me, I act like it's no big deal and try to keep their attention on the effect later. You could just jump into a different effect without any flashes. You could even say in the right situation "I was just messing around, now watch"
  3. if i were you , when she didn't answer when you asked her how that helped the cards change place , i would hand her the deck , and ask her to do the effect since she had no idea how it worked .
  4. You most likely did it at the wrong time. The thing with the Top Change is that if it's done at the wrong, then it's "Game Over man! Game over!". What you should have done is wait for a bit and maybe instead of do the usual motion for it. Instead change the moment and maybe do the move as you adjust your glasses, or lean back and look at her, or shrug.
  5. It has been said many times that if the audience knows you did something it is just as bad as if they know what you did. And this spectator feels that they saw something and you should have cut it off there, not the effect but the done something to nullify the move you did.

    In your situation if you are holding the changed card casually get a break under the top card and place the other card on it. Ask the spectator what they saw and perform a double lift showing that nothing happened and proceed with the effect. If that card is already on the table then using the top card of the deck pick up the card and do a double lift.

    I am not going to sit here and tell you your presentation was wrong and that you were presenting your magic as a puzzle because there will always be done people who want to figure it out.
  6. ¨Go back to the kitchen woman!¨ Zing!

    Jokes aside, when that happens to me, I take it as the spectator has the chance to take momentarily the spotlight from you, they want attention, and I´m pretty sure that in your case she didn´t do it to ruin your performance or just because she hates you. I think she uncounciosly wanted some attention.

    Just smile, look at her and say ¨Crap, you got me :) ¨If you are confident that she didn´t actually figured out the method just say that out loud so that she gets the approval she needs from you. Now You may be starting to think ¨But that would take away from my magic and people will not believe my patter etc anymore¨the thing is that in what I have experienced ( wich it´s not much ) I have found out that if you don´t make a big deal out of it, they won´t either, and they will probably forget it soon enough.

    And as an extra, you worked good relations with a potential future heckler and by giving them approval and playing ( Just for a little bit ) their game you avoid any problems with them in future presentations.

    That aside I do actually think that you managed the thing quite decently, asking her later was a really cool thing to do, it was nice that you didn´t losed your cool over those kind of things.
  7. To answer your question specifically, you could have caught her eye, top-changed again and said something like, "Ah, you shouldn't believe everything you see", casually displaying the card and showing that nothing's happened. At this point, there's obviously nothing to see, and your back in the position you were before she "caught" you. Then you use the offbeat from that moment to top-change again and carry on with the routine. Now, you've also established the idea that if anything flashes, it might be a deliberate ploy to throw the eagle-eyed spectator off the scent, which suggests that it's pointless trying to catch you, so she might as well just enjoy the show.
  8. I still like my idea of changing the moment, and it could also because you were static when you did the move. The Top Change or ANY sleight for that matter are not meant to be done when you are standing completely still. Michael Vincent talked about this before in how it's best to have the sleights done on the moment of relaxation. IE; you turn to speak to person, you relax as they say something and in that brief moment the dirty work is done. Your hands also NEED a reason to come together. Pointing to a person and leaning back while saying "What was your card?" is a good reason. Or simply relaxing and adjusting your glasses with the hand that is holding the deck of cards (This also gives you A LOT of cover, and will cause them not to burn you. Because who does that when you are doing none magic things? Really.). Though if somebody does say they saw you do something, you can reply in a sarcastic tone by saying "You saw me, adjust my glasses. good for you..."
  9. Terrible advice. It's never a good idea to hand someone your props, it gives them room to make you look like an idiot. On top of that, being a magician isn't about doing something other people cant. Just because they can't explain what they saw doesn't mean you should open them up to ridicule amongst the group.

    In this situation I would look over to the girl, wink and say "keep it our little secret". That will encourage her keep quiet as you've included her in the magic, even though she's none the wiser than the very beginning.
  10. I HATE when this kind of thing happens. I had the discomfort of seeing the exact thing happen to a magician at a party I was at. He was performing an effect which involved string, and he for some reason didn't use invisible thread, but rather a thin black thread, perhaps to blend in with his suit coat. A girl noticed it, and she screamed "I KNOW HOW YOU DID IT!" And then proceeded to reveal the effect to the whole crowd. I felt terribly for the man. I like to throw the awkwardness right on them in a joking manner by cutting them off in the middle of saying they know how I did it by saying, "It's O.K. (insert name of person here). I know how to do the trick, I don't need any help." This is something they have trouble responding to, and it turns the joke right back at them.
  11. When people say they know what I did it reply "all right, you do it then" and hand them the deck or whatever (also works great for "Oh I seen this one") usually shuts them up for the duration of the effect.

    However, if it happened once, it can happen again. I say get a better force. Let this be a learning experience.
  12. My usual replies in these situations:

    Spec: "I saw that"/"I know what you did"
    Me: "Don't tell me! I don't want to know!"


    Spec: "You did something" or my favorite "You flipped it!!"
    Me: "I know... I was there..."

    I think everyone know's i did "something" obviously because it is a trick.

    I would however practice a bit more and work on making things invisible. It sure helped me. Next time do some sort of trick in their hands- i prefer search and destro by aaron fisher. It really grills them and gets you away from the trick a bit.
  13. The deck's gaffed so I can't just toss them the whole deck but I have decided to perform a less intense force, at least for now.

    Thanks for your help everyone. These things happen from time to time, especially when your experimenting with a new routine. Those are some great lines, all of you. Timing and misdirection could do a lot, in this instance it would have been difficult, she was sitting down behind me to my right at the worst possible angle for a top change and I didn't really realize she was watching until it was a little too late.

    Lots of good ideas though guys.
  14. #14 DannyT, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2012
    Anytime when a spectator tries to call me out on something when i'm doing strolling, I usually just play around with them. It's nothing to blow up about, even if they guess wrong. Just finish performing that trick and either move on to something that will fry them or just thank them for their time and go onto the next group.

    If she was ruining the rest of the trick as you were performing, I'd just turn to her, put my finger over my lips and tell her to shush and give a wink(being friendly, not rude). This way she thinks she's in on the trick and remains quiet throughout the rest of the performance.
  15. Ortiz talks about this in his book Strong Magic.
    It doesn't matter how much they saw, even just a suspicion, and they will feel like they know your secrets. This is motivation for the magician to carefully think through, not simply the sleight of hand, but each movement we make.

    When I think someone really did see something they shouldn't have, I will reply to their "I saw what you did!" with a sly smile and "but you'll keep it a secret too." I say it in a now-your-in-the-club sort of way. Works very well.
  16. This happened to me yesterday, I performed for 3 people. the problem began when I did a DMB control, it was invisible for 2 of the spectators and I'm pretty sure that for the third one too, however he claimed that the outjogged card wasn't the card he picked. I guess this happened because he has a little knowledge of magic and knows that sleight of hand is present in most impromptu tricks.

    Anyways, I ignored him completely. Surprisingly the other 2 spectators supported my attitude and even told the heckler to shut up. In the end I modified the effect I was performing and turned to a mentalism effect. I got awesome reactions.

Share This Page

{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results