I know every one would like to know some good ways to deal with hecklers. If you have any pointers, post them here. I have a few.
How to Spot a Heckler
A heckler will usually not be quiet. Hecklers are really people who are afraid to surrender their control. A heckler wants to make themselves heard, and hear themselves speak. A heckler will of course challenge you in your routine at one point or another. Like HIV, you can't ever get rid of a heckler, but there are steps you can take to beating one at his own game. Bottom line, to spot a heckler, look for someone who speaks out, try's to turn people's trust and attention away from you, and someone who publicly challenges you. Hecklers are nothing more than insecure people who aren't able to believe what they're seeing. Hecklers are afraid to have people's attention on someone besides themselves.
After You've Spotted a Heckler
Some magicians fall peer pressured to allow a heckler to assist them in a trick, bad mistake. A child who acts out in class doesn't rewarded, he gets punished. A heckler should not be rewarded for being a heckler. Never chose a heckler. There are always so many magic lovers in an audience, they deserve to be chosen.
How to Deal with the Heckler
Hecklers feed on attention, don't give it to them; starve them of it until they are "weak." Never allow the rest of your audience members to give into a heckler. I know that most of you are tempted to do so, but never make yourself look bad trying to expose a heckler. Here's an example. A heckler says,"Show me the other hand!" and you retaliate and say a mean thing to the heckler, not only is the heckler going to continue, but you've also lost your entire audience on an emotional level, and even disgusted a few people, so please do not deal with a heckler that way. You could try being polite with them," Please sir, would you mind the people around you and try to leave the comments to yourself? Thank you." You could even add a little humor in after that. Say something," You don't want me to have get the probe again?" After that, the audience respects you for 1. Speaking about how the show is effected for them, and 2. For nicely, calmly, and politely dealing with the heckler. The heckler might also respect you. It shows him that you are nice, but mean business. It could possibly turn a heckler to your side; he sees that you are bothered by what he's saying, and the the magician is a just a nice guy with a sense of humor.
Just a little trick I thought of to show a heckler that you really are a magician. If you ever get a chance, slip a duplicate card into a heckler's pocket. Later on, force that same card from an identical deck, make it disappear, and invite your heckler to reach into his pocket, where his "freely" selected card is. This is the only trick you will get a heckler involved with.
Last edited by Bicycle12 on Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.