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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:20 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 1549
Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
Much advice has been given before, but I will sum up several key points:

1) You should practice, practice, practice until your fingers bleed. Then practice some more.
2) An amateur practices untill he can do it right. A professional practices until he can't do it wrong.
3) If you do mess up, gods forbid, you must have an out line, like "Sorry, it's my first day with these new hands and I still haven't broken them in," or "You're fired!" when you drop a prop.
4) If a heckler says he knows how it's done, simply congratulate him, and give him a treat, like a buscuit or piece of gum. If he keeps it up, hand him a dollar and tell him, "Okay, now you've been paid to perform, your turn, partner." That way, if he keeps it, he has to put up or shut up, and if he gives it back, he now has no credibility. Also, one of the best ways to get rid of a heckler is to make him part of the act.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:07 pm 
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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Take it well, laugh about it, and congratulate them?

If they say "I know thats how its done... its..." just budge in and tell them to shurrup, nicely though, just politely ask them to keep it to themselves, its more fun for them that way.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:53 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 1549
Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
No, no, the way I do it doesn't play well in text, it must be seen to be understood. I'll try to elaborate:

Heckler: I know how you did that!
Me: (Before he gets another word in) That's great, here! (he gets a piece of gum)
Heckler: (who is expecting to be heckled back) uh......thanks?

See, when you give in to a heckler and start an argument, you are forgetting the rest of your audience, and they want to see magic, not a discussion. By defusing a heckler, you no longer have a heckler, you have a passive audience member who is now aware that you are smarter than him.

Also, the gum bit almost always works for me, and in the rare instances it hasn't, the dollar gag always has. It gets the audience on my side, and really shuts the heckler up.

A heckler doesn't want to see magic, he wants to prove to himself that he is superior to you. You encourage this by engaging him. If you don't give him what he wants, you win. If you argue, in his mind, he wins, and you lose. You have given in, and at the same time, given him permission to continue heckling you.

I learned this the hard way. I have a very snappy sense of humor when I want to, and I would try to Don Rickles the heckler. This led to insults and taunts, and the whole time, the heckler was satisfied, and my audience left.

The heckler must be silenced, but in a way that shows you are in control.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:13 am 
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Very well said jamesjay1.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:27 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 06 Jul 2006
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Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
Thank you. We live in a society of people who just love to smack talk each other, and it's really becoming annoying. When a magician engages in this kind of banter, he really lowers himself to the level of the heckler, which is generally an uneducated buffoon.

Any fool with a put-down book can do this, but a genius and true performer controls the crowd and makes the heckler either voluntarily go away, or become part of the interested crowd.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:20 am 
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jamesjay1 wrote:
Thank you. We live in a society of people who just love to smack talk each other, and it's really becoming annoying. When a magician engages in this kind of banter, he really lowers himself to the level of the heckler, which is generally an uneducated buffoon.

Any fool with a put-down book can do this, but a genius and true performer controls the crowd and makes the heckler either voluntarily go away, or become part of the interested crowd.


those are great insights and ideas jamesjay. I love the gum bit and will have to try it.

Some other ideas can be seen in Gazzo's writings (and I'm sure some others). But many of those ideas are confrontational in nature and perhaps shouldn't be attempted unless you are of Gazzo's style, or you've already won the crowd and alienated the heckler to them. Then the crowd will help you dismiss the guy and he has no power.

Heckler has power in the following degrees:
OVERWHELMING: If he disrupts you, changes your routine, and causes the audience to leave.

MODERATE: If you are able to stay more or less on your game, but the crowd is still distracted by this guy.

NONE: If the crowd is against him. If no one is listening to the heckler and everyone wants him to shut up...he'll just leave or he'll be forced to by the rest of the crowd. Almost all of us, including hecklers, want to be held in esteem, want to be the center of (particularly good) attention. If the crowd is against him, they will ostracise him and there is no more point to his heckling.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:21 am 
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Incidentally, regarding the last post...you still need to deal with the heckler who has "MODERATE" power. That cannot be allowed to persist.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:03 am 
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Location: Houston,TX USA
magicmandan wrote:
Most of the time, you can reply with something like this: "Hm... I'm not denying that its possible to do that way, but I'm not really understanding what youre saying. Would you mind demonstrating?"

This is not a sarcastic comment but a genuine request. Most of the time they will simply not be able to accomplish the effect by the method you used even if they can conceptualize it in their mind. That renders the method impossible in the minds of the other spectators, and quiets the one on the spot.


very good method, but what if they DO figure out how to do it?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:36 pm 
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happens to me alot of times at my school, they figure it out, but then i tell them no thats not how i do it, and i tell them a fake way, and then they will try it later and see that they cant do it, for little kids as in 6 or 5 years old, i just say magic when they ask me how i do something


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:54 pm 
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Kamodo wrote:
happens to me alot of times at my school, they figure it out, but then I tell them no thats not how I do it, and I tell them a fake way, and then they will try it later and see that they cant do it, for little kids as in 6 or 5 years old, I just say magic when they ask me how I do something


The opening phrases (I started to say "sentences" until I realized that your post is just one long sentence.)tells us a lot about you. All of it bad. If you are doing things so badly that you expose the secret "a lot of times" You have not practice the trick and you are doing it before you are ready. This is what screws up magic for a lot of people.

Quit until you can perform the tricks better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:48 pm 
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Don't engage hecklers... that's what they want.

Either diffuse the situation quickly, or ignore them.

People that hand the deck out and ask a heckler to try... yeah great :? I would really love to watch your show... I'm not here to get "tricked", I'm here to be entertained.


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 Post subject: hi, lol sorry bout spelling mistakes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 6:52 pm 
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don't worry about i am very young in this but i know quite a bit about the history of it. even the famous slieght of hand master max malini got a diamond misplaced during his trick, a comedian had taken it, (every one thoguh he made it apear or pickpocketed it any way) so he created a long lie to get it back.


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 Post subject: Re: hi, lol sorry bout spelling mistakes
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:04 pm 
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LUCASW wrote:
don't worry about I am very young in this but I know quite a bit about the history of it. even the famous slieght of hand master max malini got a diamond misplaced during his trick, a comedian had taken it, (every one thoguh he made it apear or pickpocketed it any way) so he created a long lie to get it back.


well, if you're talking about flubbing a trick, that can happen even after a lot of practice. In that case, to paraphrase Darwin Ortiz, *briefly* apologize and move on. "Sorry about that, but let me show you this, it's even better...."
If you flub your closer, then have an emergency backup closer ready.
If you flub your closer, and your backup...you probably need to practice more before performing.

If, on the other hand, you're talking about a heckler messing up your trick. You may need to consider your audience manipulation skills.
1. Don't pick uncooperative specs.
2. If a heckler is trying to wreck your trick -- ignore him thus denying him the attention.
3. If a hecker is trying to spoil the method, one of a few possibilities are the case:
a. You either got caught and need more practice. Consider that the heckler is helping you improve.
b. The heckler has the method all wrong. Just go on and finish your routine. Then restructure your routine later to eliminate the possibility of the method described.
c. The heckler has the method right, but not completely and you will end up revealing that when you climax the trick. In that case, again, ignore and then go back and practice more so your method does not become exposed.

Some may disagree, but I appreciate what Darwin Ortiz says regarding the person who catches you out. If you're caught because you flash, or flub, or for whatever reason give away the method. The spec who sees and points that out is NOT a heckler. They are just a spec who caught you. In that case, take it as feedback and then go pull out your close up mat and get in front of your mirror and practice, practice, practice.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:32 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 18 May 2006
Posts: 1784
You are the one performing, so this is how I deal with hecklers now:

I do magic at my school almost everyday now, only because I feel that I know what I'm doing enough to pull it off, and since it is school practically my entire audience is just hecklers, but not all of them. I usually hang around until lunch even though I can leave earlier to do magic, so I have a table full of people for an audience.

(I suggest not to do magic at school, you will get caught sooner or later, its best to avoid that, but I didn't know when I began so I did it and have been caught, but since I have real performing experience in proffesional settings now I feel like I can handle it just fine, and I have not been caught this year doing magic everyday except for one time, which was due to someone coming up behind me without me realizing it until the secret was exposed)

So first off I only do what fits the situation. I would love to perform Kaos, however having probably like 3 people heckling me, I'm not going to get away with Kaos because of something about me personally, I cant say what because of exposure. So I don't perform Kaos. However, Stigmata for another example is an effect that works great for the situation, and no one can easily heckle me about it.

Now if I have hecklers, I simply engage them directly and basically kind of demand respect by saying something back to them very strongly, and then continuing.

Here is an example, since I said I have performed Stigmata I was performing that today and I was getting heckled a little at the beginning point of the trick. So I showed that what they said might be happening was not actually happening, (although I was actually doing it the moment they mentioned it, but they were guessing), and then I did the move again to do what I needed to do.

The conversation was something like: heckler "You're looking at it" (which I was, but they didnt know, the heckler was guessing) me "No I'm not looking at it, you can see that I cannot see through it, its folded up good." (I stopped what I was doing, and then showed what they said to be wrong although it was close to what was happening, and then I did it so I could continue with the trick)

To keep the heckler from talking more I stood and spaced myself back a little, which makes people give you more respect for some reason. And I started talking about how I needed the person to really visualize their thought, which engaged my audience, including the heckler.

The key is showmanship. You have to show hecklers YOU are in charge and not them. I think its best to engage hecklers head on like they engage you with a direct stern response to what they said saying it is wrong basically, and then ignore them, and then interest your audience in the trick with some interesting talk.

But some people prefer to not engage the heckler and ignore them right away, and then interest the audience in the trick and gain the audience on their side.

Either way works, I just prefer to show the heckler they are not superior to me probably because right now I'm dealing with hecklers that are my classmates mainly lol. But lots of times when I perform for strangers I will just ignore a heckler because that works well too, and its more polite to a stranger. So just make either one come naturally to your performing style.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:42 am 
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thecooltonto wrote:
The key is showmanship. You have to show hecklers YOU are in charge and not them. I think its best to engage hecklers head on like they engage you with a direct stern response to what they said saying it is wrong basically, and then ignore them, and then interest your audience in the trick with some interesting talk.

But some people prefer to not engage the heckler and ignore them right away, and then interest the audience in the trick and gain the audience on their side.


Thanks for your post tonto. Again, I think the key, to put a finer point on it is to reinforce to the heckler that they are not the center of attention.

The approach of a short, direct answer and then ignoring them is probably good, as is just ignoring them from the start. Either way, the real key that you brought out is that you are *engaging* your audience. This is the key....if you engage the audience you are entertaining them....if you engage the heckler, you're encouraging him (while the rest of your audience either gets bored, or gets caught up in the verbal back and forth -- which is not what you wanted to show them).


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