‘J’ contacted us about a problem he is having with his magic: Showing magic tricks to friends of his friends.
Sometimes his friends have seen him perform a magic trick and they want him to show their friends as well. The problem J faces, is that they have already discussed it with their friends beforehand, and hyped it up, as well as giving away the ‘surprise’ ending to the trick. The result of this is that J finds his second performance does not have as good an impact as his first.
‘They spread the word to their friends, but somehow their friends will end-up sort of disappointed (what I felt from them) and comment “Your hands are really fast” instead of OMG! Or any other surprising reaction. How can I change my patter in order to get the reaction like I got the first time?’
Ben Williams: This can be a common problem when performing for many people that know each other. One technique I use at weddings and other similar gigs is that I will say, after I have finished, something like this:
‘By all means if you would like to tell people about the miracles you have just witnessed please do not tell them exactly what happened as it is kind of like telling the punchline before I get to deliver the joke. If you want, you can say I did something crazy with your ring or with the cards, but try not to detail what it was and just tell them they must see me!’
This way people understand not to ruin the surprise for people who have not yet had the chance to see my magic. I would also like to point out that when I speak of miracles I do it very tongue in cheek and not in an arrogant way at all.
Also, you must try to perform your magic as slowly as possible, if they are telling you have really quick hands it may be that you are moving too fast, or it may even be just that you are not cancelling that theory out. When I perform Ring Flight I do it as slowly and deliberately as possible and I tell them I have not moved my hands quickly and also I get them to agree, this heightens the impossibility of the routine quite dramatically.
These are a couple of quick tips that I use when I perform. I hope it helps you out in your situation.
QUESTION TO YOU: Do you have any further advice you can give J on this problem? How do you deal with having to repeat a trick when some of the spectators have already seen it? Let us know in the comments section below:
Photo courtesy of: Move The Cloud