What do you do when a heckler does this?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by starthelegend, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. I honestly want to know what a *mature* person is supposed to do in a situation like this, now i am going to be honest and say that i didn't handle it like a professional should, and i am pretty ashamed at myself for what i did. Ok here is the story i was doing some street magic down at a local hangout called cityplace (think of it as an outdoor mall), i was just having a good time that was it. I start to draw a small crowd which was cool, and one person in particular really gets into the show, and she was flipping out with the effects so i had her as a volunteer since she was enjoying the show so much. Well apparently her boyfriend wasnt too keen on the idea of another guy entertaining his girl (Now i had no clue she was this guys girlfriend) and halfway through two card monte he grabs the cards throws them into a puddle and just walks off without a word. Now i'm not going to go into detail on what happened after that, but i will say that some "language" was used by both parties. So just tell me how would you handle something like this?
  2. Honestly I would have been calm and told the rest of the audience, "Well, that was new!" But inside I would probably be red with rage. I'd probably want to hit the guy. I am by no means a professional magi this is just my opinion.

    Never let a heckler (or in this case, a straight up jealous bully) get to you. If you do then they have won. Remember that you are the one in control at all times in your performance.
  3. Ya next time keep your cool. He is just embarrassing himself, and other people will look at him as a jerk who doesn't understand entertainment, the audience will probably be sympathetic for you and be on "your side." If you get mad and swear at him, the audience will have not as much sympathy for you.
  4. I would've carried on with the rest of my show. No need to ruin everyone else's experience because of some jerk. If this ever happens again, just try to make a joke and try to ease the tension in the area. Plus, depending on where you were in the Two Card Monte, you could have used that situation as an interesting reveal. :)
  5. Im not sure what I would have done in that situation but giving thought to it I would have probably made a joke out of it and said. "I guess he doesn't believe in magic" Then continue on with the show
  6. Hahaha absolutely love it, I'll definitely use that line :)
  7. That sounds pretty rare to happen too many times... But anger will never solve any problem for any person at anytime.
  8. Things like this is exactly why I don't perform anything on the street. I exclusively only do performances at parties of friends and they are typically like me and they are usually very open, want to have fun, and chill out.

    Could you imagine what might possibly be your favorite deck of cards getting absolutely ruined because of some stranger in a jealous rage?

    When you think about it though, it is actually your fault. Sure you didn't know this guy was the girl's BF or something and typically you have no advanced warning that this guy was going to disrespect your property. But you should have been extra sure about the participants involved are all receptive to having magic performed for them.

    In either case, verbal confrontation was absolutely the worst idea you could have done. Remember, these people are strangers, and if they are socially idiotic enough to disrespect your property then what makes you think they have enough screws holding them together from doing the next thing down and get physical with you?

    The best thing you could have done is shrug your shoulders and go "ok, I guess some people don't like magic"
  9. Yea but he wasn't even up-front he was way in the back. I mean if he was standing right next to her and like holding her hand or something i wouldn't have used her as a volunteer. And its not like i could have carried on with the show all i had on me was a pack of cards (a pack of freshly opened JAQKS no less) i was just having some fun with some buddies and I just happened to start drawing a crowd.
  10. It all depends for me. As a teen I would of swung for him but for a professional magician it's important to maintain a good image. If it was an expensive/gimmicked deck I would of tried to persuade him that what he did was wrong and ask for money to buy a new one but if it was a standard deck of bikes I would let him walk off. You can't reason through jealousy so talking to him would of been counterproductive until he calmed down.
  11. This is a tough situation because you didn't know that he was the boyfriend standing in the back. His issue with you was that you were entertaining his girl in a way that he couldn't and he could tell she was excited. It is a normal jealous reaction if you have ever been in "his" shoes. I can honestly say I have been in his shoes and know that you get a "jealous" anger vibe running through you when your wife or girlfriend is flirty or having fun with another man. How he handled it was completely disrespectful to you and the crowd but that was his defense mechanism.

    Now, that being said, if I am table hopping, I ALWAYS do an effect for the guys at the table first to get on their good side and they will think everything is cool. Then perform an effect for the lady or ladies. Sometimes it is good to perform an effect that involves both of them if you can tell they are definitely together.

    I am not sure what I would have done in that situation because I have never had anything happen like that to me. I'm 33 and a pretty built dude so I don't think anyone is going to just come up and try and grab my props.
  12. From an overall, social awareness perspective, what Rick said is good advice; you should always try to perform for the males in the group first. Without going into too many details, this is social awareness that has many advantages.

    On your situation, first of all that's not going to happen too often. If it does then you're not giving off a strong vibe that you're in control, but it doesn't sound like this was the case here.

    For any issues that is this overt, next time (without missing a beat) say, "Perfect. Just like the way we rehearsed it! Ladies and gentlemen lets give him a big round of applause". All said in a cool, calm, and strong manner. And then move on to your next trick.
  13. I get the being professional part but I think that every one is forgetting that what happened here is called battery in most states. I can tell you that had this happen to me with no police around, I would have probably choked the guy out. Stood up and said, See I not only give magical performances but ju-jitsu demos as well. Then thank him for being a total moron. With police around you have him arrested. I believe fully that you must stand up for your self by what ever means necessary. You will always have people criticize you no matter what you do, its the way the world has become.
  14. "I bet that's how he treats his girlfriend!"
  15. And then someone goes and tells the police that you're assaulting a guy who threw your cards on the ground. Good luck getting the cops to take your side...
  16. Yes, and in every Canadian province as well. Battery is a tort, grounds for a civil case (you could sue if you could prove 'damages').

    And this is called assault, a criminal charge, and you would likely face arrest, and a civil suit for battery of your own, aside from terrifying everyone watching.

    Defending one's self is one thing; attacking someone that pissed you off when you're in no danger at all is a crime.
  17. Martock is entitled to his own opinion however I would advise against getting physically involved with a heckler unless he or she was physically endangering you.....knocking or throwing your cards down is not endangering you. It is a lose lose situation for you.
    Be deal if you beat up the heckler in front of a crowd, good luck ever getting hired again and hope that you don't get turned in for assault. If he knocks your cards at of your hands I would just end my show at that point...pick them up and let the crowd turn on him.
  18. Yeah i dont think i would ever lay a hand on a spectator in a violent manner even if they were the absolute worst heckler in the world. And thanks for the awesome advice Rick I'll definitely be doing that from now on.
  19. I had something similar at the beggining of the year. Some bloke was trying all night to chat up this girl in my local pub, she was having none of it from him, later on that night we had a lock in where she came up to me and said i heard you are a magician, show me a trick. Well of course i showed her a trick and got talking with her. This really angered the bloke and he spent the rest of the night heckling me. I only performed the one trick and that was it but his jealousy and rage kept building up. nothing much else happened about it, Although he did do a Rap Diss track about magic later that week.

    All i can say is learn from the experience. Magic can seperate us from everyone else, something that they cannot do and have no idea how to do it can be very frustrating. When a man is trying to be a man in front of a woman and he is brought down to the level of a kid with magic he will act like a child, you have to be the adult.
  20. I was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this week and I saw a few times when the audience members get a bit 'Excited'.

    How it was handled by the professional street performers was this: They let it go. They just carried on with the show until that person walked off.

    After they had walked off, my favourite response was "well we didn't need the %@!&£* anyway, did we guys!?!"

    The audience seeing what an annoying person the volunteer was quite happily agreed and the show continued as normal.

    My good friend that was doing the Fringe was doing a Straight Jacket Escape, and really wound up the guy that was strapping him into it. the guy knotted the straps after strapping them up. Although it took him longer to get out, he still did it and after explaining to the audience got a load of money right at the end.

    There are lots of different ways to handle an audience and you just have to work out the best way for you.


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