Problems I often encounter

Hello guys,

Because I am rather new in magic and I perform for my friends all the time, I sometimes do mistakes, and they are cool with it. The problem is when it happens with other people. What shall I do in the following situations??:

  • I SAW YOU MOVED THAT CARD !!!! LET ME SEE THE CARDS !!!
  • Please show me that one thing again pleaseee ( I do other 10 effects and they still wanna see the first one again and again and again ).
  • Read my mind right now ! What am I thinking exactly now??? I bet you can't guess !
  • I found your trick on the internet !! Do it again and I will explain everybody how you do it ! ( Wtf?? Why would I do this?? )

And these are just some of the things that happen to me. It also happens that people see a magician on tv performing a simple mind reading with a card force or a spoon bend and they tell me to do this. I do exactly the same trick ( because if I use a different force they jump into the air screaming that I am not doing what they saw on tv ) and after I am done they just say it wasn't that trick. For example, a guy did a spoon bend on tv where he held the spoon with his hands over the hand of the show host and it was bending blah blah... Everyone told me the same thing : The guy put the spoon on the host's hand and it started to bend IN HIS HAND!!! The magician wasn't touching the spoon like you do. What on earth am I supposed to do ?!!?

EDIT: One more thing. It often happens for me to do a coin vanish and while I want to reveal that the coin has vanished, people look all over the place and at my other hand and at my pokets and on the table BEFORE I even show them that the coin is gone. I can't open the hand and show it empty because no one is looking.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 1, 2007
1,393
7
35
Belgrade, Serbia
Hello guys,

Because I am rather new in magic and I perform for my friends all the time, I sometimes do mistakes, and they are cool with it. The problem is when it happens with other people. What shall I do in the following situations??:

  • I SAW YOU MOVED THAT CARD !!!! LET ME SEE THE CARDS !!!
  • Please show me that one thing again pleaseee ( I do other 10 effects and they still wanna see the first one again and again and again ).
  • Read my mind right now ! What am I thinking exactly now??? I bet you can't guess !
  • I found your trick on the internet !! Do it again and I will explain everybody how you do it ! ( Wtf?? Why would I do this?? )

And these are just some of the things that happen to me. It also happens that people see a magician on tv performing a simple mind reading with a card force or a spoon bend and they tell me to do this. I do exactly the same trick ( because if I use a different force they jump into the air screaming that I am not doing what they saw on tv ) and after I am done they just say it wasn't that trick. For example, a guy did a spoon bend on tv where he held the spoon with his hands over the hand of the show host and it was bending blah blah... Everyone told me the same thing : The guy put the spoon on the host's hand and it started to bend IN HIS HAND!!! The magician wasn't touching the spoon like you do. What on earth am I supposed to do ?!!?

Hey man, this may help:

"I SAW YOU MOVED THAT CARD !!!! LET ME SEE THE CARDS !!!" - Practice your angles or use different sleights so that they will not see you move the card. Other than practicing and improving, not much else you can do with this one. I sometimes say "I could show you the card, because there is nothing to be found anyways, but then you would be running the show and not me, and it's still my show" and give him a wink.

"Please show me that one thing again pleaseee ( I do other 10 effects and they still wanna see the first one again and again and again )." - This is really up to you. Some tricks can be performed again and again, and they only get better and more impossible the more time you do it (the invisible deck off the top of my head). So just use your judgement on this one. If you can show it again, than it's up to you. If you cannot show it again, than you can do one of two things, you can either say the same thing as above about how you are the one running the show, or you can just say "that one trick is only for special occasions and I may do it some other time." If after that they keep insisting, NEVER do that trick again because their intentions are not good.

"Read my mind right now ! What am I thinking exactly now??? I bet you can't guess !" - I love this one, when someone asks me what are they thinking, I always say "You're thinking Wow, he is really attractive" and give them a wink. Doesn't matter if it's a guy or a girl, and long as you say it jokingly. They should laugh and drop the whole thing. If they keep asking in not a nice way, put one hand behind your back and say "guess which finger I'm showing you right now", they should get the point.

"I found your trick on the internet !! Do it again and I will explain everybody how you do it ! ( Wtf?? Why would I do this?? )" - Stop doing tricks that can be found on YouTube, it's as simple as that. If they tell you that, then honestly ask them "why in hell would I want to do that?" and they should get the point.

As for the spoon bending, buy a "self bending spoon" lol
 

Jeremy Hanrahan

Craftsman, <a href="http://www.theory11.com/gear/h
Sep 1, 2007
191
1
Simcoe Ontario Canada
It really comes down to spectator management. If you lose control of your spectators then you will lose control of the magic. As for people seeing a card move you should have the effect down so that nothing is seen that you don't want to be seen. And lastly I never do a coin vanish in a street setting unless I plan on doing the vanish and walk away. I stick to coins across and a copper/silver effect so I can hand everything out right after I am done.

Jeremy
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
62
Northampton, MA - USA
Welcome to the world of being a new magician. . .

This sort of thing is normal and it's what will force you to study your handling and clean things up or make you give up and run away from magic (or worse, become gimmick & prop dependent).

Find yourself three mirrors that are about 14-16 inches tall and 12-14 inches wide and create a "soft hinge" that connects two of them to the center one (a "soft hinge" is made from tape. . . I suggest simple duct tape). Now you have a 3 faced practice mirror to work with that will show you most of the angles people will be looking from and thus, you will be able to see for yourself where you need to clean things up. Spend at least an hour a day working on one primary move (think of it as learning to play an instrument; it's not going to happen over night, you must practice and find the nuances that make things flow in a smooth and certain way).

Once you are confident with your basics start combining them and creating sequences but while working with the mirror; you will find points where you flash as you segue from one position to the next when you start coupling moves & methods.

The next step, at least when it comes to practice, is to video tape yourself as you work so you can study your hand actions without having to focus on the move + the reflective image in the mirror at the same time. Zoom the camera in on your hands this isn't a performance, it's practice.

OK, NOW THAT, THAT PART IS OVER. . . you need to start learning other subtleties a.k.a. misdirection. There are several different forms of misdirection, the first you will need to learn is physical misdirection (and yes, I know I'm being very elementary with things here. It's not meant to insult you but to walk you and others down a certain path that will lead to a better understanding of things) The other part of preliminary misdirection is your patter and how you use it in tandem with your physical actions. That's not saying that you can't use an original script/storyline, only that you need to think it all through understanding what has to happen how and when and the actions that work BEST FOR YOU given the routine. . . how I do the Ambitious Card isn't the same way anyone else does it because we all have our own twists and approaches to every effect/routine; the more we work with it the more we unconsciously (usually) toss in little quirks that make it "our own". While you can rehearse some of these things based on the theories and rules common to misdirection the real test happens when you get out in the real world and start performing. HINT: Do Not Perform for Family & Friends! These are the people that will give you a ration of stuff no matter how good you get, so wait until you have gained confidence and savvy by working with total strangers and getting their feedback.

Depending on your age you can either hang out at the food court in the mall or a coffee house. . . some place that's comfortable for you and gives you an appropriate peer group when it comes to audience composition. Just sit there and play with a coin or deck of cards in a way that is quite deliberate and looks like the kind of thing a magician would do. . . trust me, someone will come up and ask you to do a trick; that's your opening! Be prepared with enough material to do about 10 minutes at first, without boring folks to sleep -- have "an act" that you've outlined, scripted & rehearsed and KNOW. Get people's reactions and on a note pad score your material for yourself; how the group received you in general, their reactions to each effect and the routine as a whole. Be critical and do not deceive yourself by being overly positive in your grading process, be as brutally honest as you can that's the only way the grade-card approach can benefit you.

If you keep working along this course you WILL overcome the harassment noted above while likewise developing a reputation that is positive and supportive (the sort of thing that gets you invited to do paid gigs).

Hope that helps you out.
 
In response to the second part of your post, just tell them "I don't know how to do that." There is nothing wrong with saying you don't know how to do something. You can learn...

What you are referring to at the beginning of you post are hecklers, these individuals are simply insecure and cannot stand the attention you are getting. It's why they draw that attention to themselves, they have no skill or art of their own that may impress others so they try and expose what you are doing in the pathetic attempt to make you seem as talentless as they are under the guise of trying to be clever.

Hecklers do not deserve to experience the gift of magic that is given to them freely by the magician. So my best advice to you being that you are relatively new to magic, is to simply thank those who were behaving themselves and enjoying your magic, put the cards back in the box, put them in your pocket and walk away.

You have nothing to prove to anyone, especially someone(s) who's sole purpose is to make you look like a fool and humiliate you. I have nothing but contempt for these creatures as they do their absolute best to lace negativity within something meant for excitement, joy and inspiration.

Once you've been doing this for awhile and become more confident with your skills, then you can start having a little fun with hecklers. No matter how long you perform magic sometimes you are going to make mistakes, it is inevitable no matter how good you are. Learn to work around it by going through scenarios with each routine...ask yourself: "Now what would I do if I made a mistake here, or there...what if I dropped this card or forgot to double undercut? How would I correct this, can I correct this?" etc....

Have outs, (hence my username)...have ways of getting yourself out of a jam when things go wrong. The fact of the matter is, is that sometimes there are no outs. You're stuck with the outcome of failing and that is extremely difficult to swallow, and you just have to bite the bullet.

During situations like that...let's say I lost track of someones chosen card that wasn't forced, I just grab a random card from the deck (and once in a very short while it will end up being their selected card, then you are both amazed!) have the back of the card toward them and say:

"Please name your card." and they say "3 of clubs" and I can obviously see it's the Jack of Hearts, I say "Now, would you be amazed if this was the 3 of clubs?" And they say "Extremely" ... and at the same time I reveal the card to them I say "Yeah, me too because this is the Jack of Hearts."

It get's a good laugh, and they think it was a little joke I played on them...and I move right along to the next effect.

A few years ago I was performing magic for a group of about 8 people, not counting the fellow standing at the back of the group sulking. I showed them a few effects, and during the middle of one of them the sulking guy perks up for a moment and starts paying more attention to what I'm doing.

Then (I knew it was coming) at the end of one effect that got some really great reactions he blurted out "I know how that's done, I know how you do that. I've seen it done before..." And everyone slowly turned their eyes back toward me.

I said, "Really? That's quite interesting because to my knowledge there are only 2 people who perform this effect...myself, and another fellow but he only shows it to Idiots and A-holes. And since this is the first time you've seen me perform..."

Everyone laughs at them, they usually walk away probably to go cry themselves to sleep.

Another thing I like to do more than the latter is when someone says "I know how to do that, I know how it's done." I put the cards back in the box and extend the deck out to them and say:

"Here ya go", which is always met with a confused look followed by a "Huh?", and then I say "Here...take the deck, you said you could do it because you know how it's done, right? I'd be very curious to see your handling of it." (insert disingenuous smile here), then they recoil away from the deck and say "I can't do it...but".

And I cut them off after the "I can't do it..." with an "Exactly!" there is a huge difference between knowing how to do something and being able to actually do it.

I know how winemakers make wine, but could I just go to a vineyard and start making award winning Merlot? Of course not, I'd end up making something that tasted like fermented kerosene.

Anyway, they look like a moron, and you go on with your act.

But again, if I were you...for right now just put the cards in your pocket and walk away. And you'll find when you do that, that sometimes the people who were actually enjoying your magic will get upset with the heckler and scold them because they ruined their good time.

- Steve
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,241
3
Back in Time
Hello guys,

Because I am rather new in magic and I perform for my friends all the time, I sometimes do mistakes, and they are cool with it. The problem is when it happens with other people. What shall I do in the following situations??:

  • I SAW YOU MOVED THAT CARD !!!! LET ME SEE THE CARDS !!!
  • Please show me that one thing again pleaseee ( I do other 10 effects and they still wanna see the first one again and again and again ).
  • Read my mind right now ! What am I thinking exactly now??? I bet you can't guess !
  • I found your trick on the internet !! Do it again and I will explain everybody how you do it ! ( Wtf?? Why would I do this?? )

And these are just some of the things that happen to me. It also happens that people see a magician on tv performing a simple mind reading with a card force or a spoon bend and they tell me to do this. I do exactly the same trick ( because if I use a different force they jump into the air screaming that I am not doing what they saw on tv ) and after I am done they just say it wasn't that trick. For example, a guy did a spoon bend on tv where he held the spoon with his hands over the hand of the show host and it was bending blah blah... Everyone told me the same thing : The guy put the spoon on the host's hand and it started to bend IN HIS HAND!!! The magician wasn't touching the spoon like you do. What on earth am I supposed to do ?!!?

EDIT: One more thing. It often happens for me to do a coin vanish and while I want to reveal that the coin has vanished, people look all over the place and at my other hand and at my pokets and on the table BEFORE I even show them that the coin is gone. I can't open the hand and show it empty because no one is looking.


Work on a better presentation than just telling them what you are doing. People only pay attention to what you are doing BECAUSE you are TELLING them that you are doing something. Weather this is shuffling the cards, or cutting the deck. Don't say it, just let your actions speak for you.

Also another thing is to try to rehearse and practice your effects and routines in slow motion and try to teach yourself to do the dirty work during moments of relaxation.

Also, I'm going to change what Craig said, and offer instead that you should buy a small video camera and attach it to a lamp that is about the average height of a human. Then just record yourself performing and rehearsing with the camera positioned at different angles.

Also, don't perform for Family or people that know you.

As for the whole "Do what so-so did on TV." you could simply tell them "No." or say something like "I don't do requests."
 
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