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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:48 pm 
BTW, It is not advised to use magic to show up the spectator because that will only fuel their anger, jerkieness, or whatever. You should rather just talk to them in a calming voice and just say something like "Sir/mam, everyone here is trying to have a great time so would you pleas try to engoy yourself too.

or

you could do what giobbi says in his books. Give them a spare deck of cards and tell them that you will include them in a big effect. Tell them to leave to a different room and shuffle up the cards exactly 100 times. then come back. while they are shuffling the cards show a few more tricks and whne they return take the cards back and just say "Thankyou, you did your part, and my show is over"


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:52 pm 
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I like the idea with the cards, but I guess it's all down to an individual's own preferences as to whether he should defest hecklers with magic, or in your case, John, misdirection.

The slightly cockier magician will try the cigarette stunt. The more relaxed magician who is highly respected, yet there is still one troublemaker will try the "just relax" or the "shuffle these cards" techniques. I like them both but I will probably use them in different situations.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:05 pm 
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John_Frawley wrote:
okay, I have to disaree with you. I practice my material around what hecklers would say, and I have never had a heckler in about a year and I perform all the time in public. The way you introduce yourself is important. Look at how the pros introduce themselves, like sankey and lennart green. They stop the hecklers by saying that they are not there to fool them, they are not singling them out in the crowd, they are just there to have fun. Make it a point to say that you do not want them to look at your skill, but rather the fact that it is amazing that these things are possible to do with the props given.

Hehe as I said, it depends on the kind of act you do and the type of venue you work. I'm not talking theory here I am talking from many years of experience as a working pro performing in some very tough working mens clubs. I don't practice around what hecklers would say, I work around what they do say and have said in the 20 years I've been doing paid gigs. There are certain venues that you will get heckled regardless of who you are and what your style is. That is the nature of the venue and many of these hecklers are darn clever, not the "it's in your other hand" crowd. In these kind of venues heckling is a sport and you are the prey, they expect you to give as good as you get and will not respect you unless you can both take it and dish it out. But you still need to come accross as a shining wit rather than a ---- ----- :) Think of it as verbal fencing with the performer demonstrating mastery. Whilst you may crush your opponent it is always with a smile and never with malice.

There are other venues where you really should not expect to get a heckler and the kind of act you perform for those audiences will reflect that, ding dong sponges would not be appropriate at a rotary club dinner and dance, but in a working mens club it will go down a storm, likewise telling a heckler that he looks like a film star ..... like lassie having a poo (poo only used to keep within the rules :)) will go down real well in a working mens club but will end your carreer in a "High quality" establishment.

In pretty much any working mens club in the UK and many of the comedy clubs you better know how to deal with a heckler and you'd better be confident or you will not survive to the end of your act. You mention Jay Sankey, I'll lay down money that as a stand up comic he has worked many of the kinds of venues I'm talking about and has had his share of hecklers and knows how to deal with them, his use of profanity in his DVD's is a good indication of that.

The debate about the right way to deal with a heckler is difficult to resolve without context, different situations and venues call for different responses. The bottom line for a working pro is to know your audience and what they expect of you, then deliver exactly that (or turn down the gig if your act is not suited to the requirements of the venue).

Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:05 pm 
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Very wise words indeed. Have you any more nuggets of information? That last post was gold dust! In a place where you, the magician are being hunted down with words, like a fox being chased by a dozen or two beagles, what kind of phrases or methods do you use to outsmart the heckling hunters?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:35 pm 
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Lawboy wrote:
Very wise words indeed. Have you any more nuggets of information? That last post was gold dust! In a place where you, the magician are being hunted down with words, like a fox being chased by a dozen or two beagles, what kind of phrases or methods do you use to outsmart the heckling hunters?


Hehe most of those I use on a regular basis would break the forum rules, but generally speaking a lot of it is ad lib and if you can twist the other guys quip back at him even better. Funny enough I've found a common insult used by hecklers in London is to call the performer a [edited], my stock response to "you're a [edited]" or similar, is "Nice of you to offer mate, I'll have a pint", I've also found following up a few moments later with, "and have one yourself" gets an extra (and sometimes bigger) laugh. Often though a simple hahaha go away (replace go away with something ending in off ;)) will work wonders if delivered quick. Sometimes hitting their physical appearence eg if it's a bald guy, it's not his fault he's angry, he spent 20 minutes combing his hair before he came out then forgot to bring it with him. The most important thing is that it be instant, if it is instant you can even say nonesense and often it will get a laugh, once I heard myself responding "Yeah and I bet you fart bubbles too", made no sense at all but they laughed (oh and the most important rule, never work a club without a mic, the man with the mic ALWAYS wins)

Often though if it is a club I will do my best to find out all the local info before I start, who's the local loudmouth, has anything funny or unusual happened etc. To give you an example in a recent show I found out the local loud mouth was johnny hammer, one of the regulars brand new Ford Escort had been stolen from the high street a few days before, and one of the regular girls had just got engaged and was shoving her ring in everyones face to show off the huge stone. There was plenty more like the rival establishment was run by a guy called Michael Turtle and he was hated by all the regulars and other little snippets.

Armed with this info within a few moments of arriving on the floor a heckler shouted out something unintelligable, I immediately looked over in his direction and proclaimed "bugger me, I bet that's Johnny Hammer". This went down a real storm, the personal touch is priceless for a performer. I then said that I nearly didn't make it because I went to the wrong place, I went to "name of rival club". I asked the audience "Who's the twat that runs that place?" Someone called out Michael Turtle, I responded "Which one is he? The one with the nunchucks or the one with the swords? Funny enough I expected the ninja turtles reference to raise no more than a smile but it got a real big laugh. I then used a few other jokes at the rival establishments expense (much to the enjoyment of my audience but I doubt Mr Turtle will be in a hurry to book me ;)). After doing some magic I then require a female assistant and made a point of calling the recently engaged girl up, as I took her hand I lifted it up and looked closely at her ring and said "Wow that's a nice ring" .. pause.. "it's even got a place for a stone". They loved it. At the end of my act I said "Before I go I'd like to tell you about a funny thing that happened to me the other day, I was down the High St and I went like this" (spreads arms apart in magical gesture) "and this *censored* Escort disappeared." Of course this brought the house down.

This was one of those times that everything fell into place, it isn't always so easy and quite often there is very little usefull local info forthcoming and sometimes you are just destined to die (if it hasn't happened to you yet, be ready for it, it will, we all die on stage sooner or later). But the more you can personalise it to your audience the more they see you as one of them. Show you are not intimidated by them but only give back what you receive, take the mick but as I said always with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek. Whatever happens show no fear, an audience can smell fear a mile away and they will respond to it like a pack of dogs. Personalise your performance as much as you can it makes a world of difference and will warm the audience to you. Make them like you and they will take any abuse with a smile, give them a chance to hate you and the cleverest material is worthless.

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:19 am 
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We have much to learn from you.

I guess the moral is that if you keep the audience entertained, then they'll have no reason to heckle you. From the analogy you used above, it seems like you were even trying to heckle the audience! But in a fun way.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:58 am 
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Lawboy wrote:
We have much to learn from you.

I guess the moral is that if you keep the audience entertained, then they'll have no reason to heckle you. From the analogy you used above, it seems like you were even trying to heckle the audience! But in a fun way.


Hehe not quite but close, in that show I initially got some heckles (in these type of venues the heckling usually starts the moment you get to the mic, kind of a rite of passage). In this instance it probably was Johhny Hammer heckling me (as he was the local loudmouth). The fact that I called him by name satisfied his ego because he had been acknowledge and my knowing his name demonstrated that he was important, he no longer needs to heckle, his job is done and by acknowledging him on a personal level I gave him "respect" and got him on my side. Of course if it wasn't Johnny, the guy probably thought "better to shut up and let Johnny take the fall ;)

Sometimes the heckler will put up more of a fight and this can be some of the best entertainment you can get because the audience see it as spontaneous, you can get 10 solid minutes of entertainment out of a good heckler. But it is hard to explain because whilst you will try to crush him it is done in fun, not in anger.

One simple way of developing a "quick wit" is to get every book on one liners and gags that you can get, good or bad. Don't read them and try to learn the jokes, instead just pick up a book every morning and open it at random and read 5 jokes or lines. Do that every day and you find that your ability to spontaneously find a witty retort develops quite quickly.

Mark


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