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.