What's your favorite response to "I've seen this one!"?

Jan 2, 2016
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I think we've all had the experience of someone shouting "Oh I know this one!" or "I've seen this one!" as soon as you take out a deck of cards or say "pick a card".

How do you respond to this? Usually, I just go "Oh really? I'll do a different one then" and then pull out something else like rubber bands or coins. I don't say this in a sarcastic way or anything.

I know some magicians will ask them "What trick do you think I'm going to do?" or something along those lines but this always seemed rude to me.

I also know that some people will play it off as a joke and go "Oh really? I'll do something else then. Here pick a card" and then they just continue the exact same trick they were going to do and it's played as a joke.

What do you guys think? What would you say is the best approach to this common phrase?
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,768
2,871
There will be several responses, I'm sure - but since I'm about to get off the computer for the day I'll drop mine here instead of waiting like I usually do.

I address this problem by making sure it never happens.

I do that by having a developed character, persona, and subscript. I also never perform material the way that others do. That way no one looks at what I'm doing and thinks they've seen someone else do it. How could they? I'm the only one doing it.
 
Jun 18, 2019
547
295
17
West Bengal, India
I think we've all had the experience of someone shouting "Oh I know this one!" or "I've seen this one!" as soon as you take out a deck of cards or say "pick a card".

How do you respond to this? Usually, I just go "Oh really? I'll do a different one then" and then pull out something else like rubber bands or coins. I don't say this in a sarcastic way or anything.

I know some magicians will ask them "What trick do you think I'm going to do?" or something along those lines but this always seemed rude to me.

I also know that some people will play it off as a joke and go "Oh really? I'll do something else then. Here pick a card" and then they just continue the exact same trick they were going to do and it's played as a joke.

What do you guys think? What would you say is the best approach to this common phrase?


I doubt I'd be able to handle the situation in any way other than coercing them to see what I have to show because I'm the kind of person who thinks of comebacks and witty responses weeks after the actual incidence. That's why I try to nip the problem in the bud by following Alex Pandrea's advice.

When (and if) you spread a deck of cards and ask somebody to take a card, if I were to freeze you in that moment, that first frame of the actual beginning of your performance, then you'd look nothing different from a million other magicians in the world. In fact, your effect will look nothing different from all the other effects which entail choosing a card. At that moment, you look like the textbook definition of 'a card magician'. You look very, very typical.

So I go to huge lengths to make sure that my performance's first frame looks nothing like what the audience has seen a million times. I hand them the deck completely to take a card, I wash (shuffle) the cards while asking them to take one, I ask them to look at the face of one, or I just don't begin with a pick a card trick for my first effect (if I'm going to perform even two tricks back to back in routine).

That's just talking about the whole 'pick a card' trick presentations, but we can find several other examples in our performances. The way we reveal the card, the way we snap our fingers before the card comes to the top, the way we open our fingers after a coin vanishes, our patter, our whole poise which we might be unconscious of, all are situations where if we invest just a little bit of extra thought, hopefully, hopefully, nobody will say "I have seen this one!" right at the start of the effect.


But thanks to the variety of card magic plots, they might say that at the end. :p
 
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Jan 2, 2016
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I doubt I'd be able to handle the situation in any way other than coercing them to see what I have to show because I'm the kind of person who thinks of comebacks and witty responses weeks after the actual incidence. That's why I try to nip the problem in the bud by following Alex Pandrea's advice.

When (and if) you spread a deck of cards and ask somebody to take a card, if I were to freeze you in that moment, that first frame of the actual beginning of your performance, then you'd look nothing different from a million other magicians in the world. In fact, your effect will look nothing different from all the other effects which entail choosing a card. At that moment, you look like the textbook definition of 'a card magician'. You look very, very typical.

So I go to huge lengths to make sure that my performance's first frame looks nothing like what the audience has seen a million times. I hand them the deck completely to take a card, I wash (shuffle) the cards while asking them to take one, I ask them to look at the face of one, or I just don't begin with a pick a card trick for my first effect (if I'm going to perform even two tricks back to back in routine).

That's just talking about the whole 'pick a card' trick presentations, but we can find several other examples in our performances. The way we reveal the card, the way we snap our fingers before the card comes to the top, the way we open our fingers after a coin vanishes, our patter, our whole poise which we might be unconscious of, all are situations where if we invest just a little bit of extra thought, hopefully, hopefully, nobody will say "I have seen this one!" right at the start of the effect.


But thanks to the variety of card magic plots, they might say that at the end. :p
The thing is, a lot of the time, I'll get this as soon as I take the deck out from my pocket. I'm not really sure there's a unique way around this.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,768
2,871
Aside from my previous post, there's another thing to do - don't jump right into tricks. Start a conversation, get to know them a little, let them know you a little, and then introduce an interesting premise. Let the trick be an illustration of a premise, and they won't associate it with things they've seen elsewhere.

Example I'm sort of making up as I go - start by talking about the law of attraction/manifestation of desires. Then segue into Poker Player's Picnic, with the premise that they visualize the aces being on top of the packets they cut. Then it's revealed they succeeded - so not only is it relevant to what was being talked about, it puts the win on them.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,587
3,862
New Jersey
I'll get this as soon as I take the deck out from my pocket. I'm not really sure there's a unique way around this.

Two examples of how I begin two card tricks:

1. "When people find out I'm a magician, everyone always asks me HOW I became so interested in magic. I suspect the question they are really asking is "WHY is a grown adult so interested in magic?" Regardless of the question, the answer is the same. It’s my Uncle Jim’s fault. There are a lot of crazy uncles out there who perform card tricks and pull coins out of ears. But Uncle Jim took the crazy uncle thing to a new level."

2. "Growing up in the 1980s, every magazine for young women seemed to include a compatibility test at least twice a year. If you were lucky enough to have a girlfriend, sitting together on a Friday night and answering the questions and comparing answers became a ritual of passage. If you answered correctly, you were compatible and you passed. If you answered incorrectly, well, you were passed over. That made me wonder -- is it better for a couple to be more similar or more different? Are there any successful couples in the audience that have been together for a long time that could help me answer that question?"

After those introductions, nobody will say "I've seen that one before" when you pull out the deck. Essentially, it is the same strategy that @WitchDocIsIn applies.

I also know that some people will play it off as a joke and go "Oh really? I'll do something else then. Here pick a card" and then they just continue the exact same trick they were going to do and it's played as a joke.

At a kids show a number of years ago that was my response (after looking crestfallen that he had seen my effect before and then showing an inspired look telegraphing that I came up with something different). The kid thought I was serious, the adults got the joke. I've avoided getting a repeat by providing an introduction to any tricks.
 
Jul 26, 2016
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Them: "Oh I've seen this one."

Me: I cough up some cards.

They're usually too shocked and/or busy laughing at that point to say or do anything else.
 
Aug 24, 2015
45
5
Like the above poster, I always try to think of a way to do the effect differently from what I've seen. That takes some thought usually but I do it.
I can really only remember one time when an effect I was doing and a spectator was actually mostly correct in that he had seen something very similar to what I was doing. It surprised me but I just told him there are variations of the effect I had just done.
 
Mar 14, 2019
37
17
I usually either spread the deck face up for something different, do a "tell me when to stop"(dribble to side steal,riffle and peek,or thumb riffle), or simply ask them to name any card in a 52 card deck and remove it. I also use a turnover pass like it's on sale everyday. Covid 19 has made me have to adjust my presentations quite a bit.
 
Aug 24, 2015
45
5
No matter how good of an effect I perform sometimes there is just going to be someone who has to upstage you and tell everyone some amazing trick they saw on TV or someone else performed for them in the past. I'd like to tell them (but I don't) fine...let's see you do it.
 
Jun 18, 2019
547
295
17
West Bengal, India
My go to line is to say
"oh I've seen it before too! - but trust me, it's WAY more impressive the second time!"
This, is great.

I think I have found my alternative to shoving the trick down their throats! :D

No matter how good of an effect I perform sometimes there is just going to be someone who has to upstage you and tell everyone some amazing trick they saw on TV or someone else performed for them in the past. I'd like to tell them (but I don't) fine...let's see you do it.
Are you sure though that they didn't mean it as a compliment?
 
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Sep 20, 2009
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I personally do not like pre-determined and rehearsed lines for situations because every person, every audience, and every situation is different and unique and we have to look at it as individual experiences
 
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