A friend of my family had a baby shower last night here in sunny SoCal (apparently not so sunny yesterday) and my buddy pulls me over to do some tricks for some of his friends sitting with him. I had performed for him before and blew him away so he was raving about my tricks to them
So I pull a chair and gather them in a circle and perform Oz Pearlman's ACR routine. They thoroughly enjoyed it! I tell them I'm going to show them another one and proceed to perform Clutch. As I ask his friend to put the chosen card in the middle of the deck, leaving it half way out, he grabs the deck and puts it in for me and mixes it up, claiming I will put a finger in and hold it. I look at him, take my cards and walk away
I kept thinking that I should have responded better by just giving him the deck and telling him to finish the trick since he wants to be the magician, or doing or saying something, anything but walking away. I fear that it made me look weak and diminished my reputation. I think I'm right in taking a stance where I will not perform for anybody who doesn't want to be entertained
So when strolling around, I was asked to perform another trick and I refused. I told him that he ruined my presentation and I'm not up for doing any more tricks for him. I REALLY wanted to do more tricks but I'd be doing HIM a favor. It's too bad because I can tell that the others in the group wanted to see some good tricks
Two hours later, while lounging around, I get called over by a group that saw me perform. They were on the other side and were curious about what I was doing. I decided to twin card routine using a short card principle and they were blown away. The best part of the routine was luck though! Right when I was about to reveal a pair after shuffling the deck, I snapped my finger over the deck, but coincidentally lightning flashed brightly in the same instant. It was GREAT timing since it appeared staged. They were all burning the deck and simply saw a flash is if it had more to do with my fingers snapping than the weather!
That firs routine really set a positive mood for me, because up until then, I was still fuming about that heckler. I went on to perform for another 20 - 30 minutes and gathered a big crowd. It was fun for all of us and it ended as a good night what started to be a bad one
Now, I really want opinions here. I didn't just want to rant about that guy, but its rather obvious to me that I'm afraid to deal with hecklers. I simply don't know of good ways to deal with them without being confrontational. If I go about this the comedy way, I think people like him would catch that I'm deflecting, but I really want to embarrass them in front of the crowd so that I don't have to worry about finishing my trick without having them throw wrenches in my gears
I've been thinking about moving on and becoming a paid magician, performing at parties, whatever for a set price. Dealing with hecklers is one the things I need to learn to deal with, which is why I'm giving this a lot of thought. Normally, I perform or free for family, friends, friends of friends, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I feel alive when making them smile after seeing something incredible
What would anyone have done differently in a situation like this? Am I right in standing my ground by NOT performing for hecklers?
Also, if there any magicians in the SoCal are that is willing to me under their wing, by giving me the privilege of being a helping hand during shows (or simply a spectator with insight), that would be GREAT. I am not looking for compensation if I help, I want to do this for free. I'm just looking to learn anything to help me become a paid professional. School books are getting expensive and this step towards earning income as a magician feels so natural