When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

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brianarudolph
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When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby brianarudolph » May 16th, 2016, 12:51 pm

On those occasions where you have been asked to "teach a trick or two" as part of your performance (often for a small/parlor-sized group of spectators in my case) which effect(s) have you elected to teach? I frequently have gotten this request for kids shows, but lately I've noticed that I'm getting this request for teens and general adult shows more and more.

Do you go with a rather well-known effect within the profession that has been taught to audiences for eons (but is likely to still be unknown to your audience)? Do you opt for a "sucker" type trick (i.e., teach the torn-and-restored napkin, but then pleasantly zing them with "restored extra pieces" kicker)? Or do you politely decline to teach any effect on the grounds of exposure/"a magician never reveals their secrets?"

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby I.M. Magician » May 16th, 2016, 12:58 pm

I never teach a trick! I find the request to be, let's say, peculiar.

If you are there to entertain, that's what you should do. If you are there to do a workshop, then of course you will teach tricks.

Do they hire a dancer to dance and then expect them to teach some dance steps? Or a singer to sing and then teach singing? I don't think so!

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby performer » May 16th, 2016, 1:32 pm

I am reluctant to teach tricks nowadays since there is enough bloody magic exposure as it is. And I don't particularly like to do it at paid gigs as it slows up the momentum. However, in social situations or in situations where I deem it to be good for business I do have one simple trick that I give away to the multitude if I feel in a generous mood. Here it is:

https://marklewismagician.wordpress.com ... oon-trick/

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby I.M. Magician » May 16th, 2016, 1:39 pm

I perform Tenyo's What's Next so I do tell the audience that I am going to teach them a trick but it's a sucker effect.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Larry Horowitz » May 16th, 2016, 2:11 pm

First I would teach a self working effect.

Second, my feeling regarding the exposure dilemma is this:

Those that have an interest in magic will pay attention and remember. Those with no interest ,won't. What can be wrong with teaching those with an interest?

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby performer » May 16th, 2016, 4:18 pm

Because I don't want them to be interested! Magic is supposed to be a secret art. I would FAR prefer it if people were less interested in magic and minded their own business. The way things are going there will be no bloody laymen left to show the tricks to. However, if you must show them something make it very simple indeed.

I really do not approve of everybody and their mother being interested in magic. There are enough horrendously bad magicians around as it is and I would prefer it if there were a lot less. And whether we like it or not the secrets of magic are the only reason that magic is still alive. And it won't be alive much longer the way things are going with all this bloody internet exposure.

I swear this is all Widdle's fault somehow.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby I.M. Magician » May 16th, 2016, 4:26 pm

Maybe you should do your performance, teach them some tricks, and help clean up the place and take the trash out too!

Any infants in the audience? Maybe you should change their diapers!

The point is, when you go above and beyond what you were hired for, you cheapen your role as a performer.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby performer » May 16th, 2016, 6:38 pm

I suppose I do have to concede that at kid shows I give out a mystery dollar or some other promotional thing which gives a few secrets away. This is not really a problem because in North America the kids can't read anyway and even if they could the tricks would be far too difficult in any case.

Oh, but wait a minute! I completely forgot that I do expose a trick in my kid show! It does get a big laugh! However, I can only plead innocence since I stole the very idea from an eminent performer when I saw him perform at the Victoria Palace in London well over 50 years ago. I even stole the very same trick. I figured that if it was all right for him to expose it in his show I didn't see why I couldn't. After all he was far more eminent than me. His name was (and oddly enough, still is) David Berglas.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby John Signa » May 16th, 2016, 7:24 pm

Could this not be an opportunity for the up sell?
"i don't normally do this, but for $X per child, I'll teach them how to do <insert favorite slum trick> and they'll get one to take to perform at home."

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby performer » May 16th, 2016, 7:26 pm

I suspect that might leave a bad taste in the booker's mouth. Mind you, Max Malini used to do things like that! But with adults rather than kids!

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby I.M. Magician » May 16th, 2016, 7:29 pm

Actually, I used to offer a nice small magic set at a reasonable price. I explained that I would present it to the birthday child in front of the audience. They sold quite well!

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erdnasephile
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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby erdnasephile » May 17th, 2016, 12:58 pm

Brian:

Jim Sisti has a detailed article on this subject in the September 2002 issue of MAGIC (pg 92-93) that you might find useful. In addition to his thoughts on the subject in general, he details a routine that starts as an explanation of a simple mathematical trick and ends with a magical climax.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Bob Farmer » May 17th, 2016, 1:26 pm

I say, "Sure I'll do that. However, before I do, you'll have to embrace Satan and all his works, pay homage to the demons of the Pit and be blindfolded for the 'Ceremony of the Blood Feast.'"

This is more effective if you pull back your eyelids to reveal the pentagrams tattooed on their undersides.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby brianarudolph » May 17th, 2016, 2:10 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Brian:

Jim Sisti has a detailed article on this subject in the September 2002 issue of MAGIC (pg 92-93) that you might find useful. In addition to his thoughts on the subject in general, he details a routine that starts as an explanation of a simple mathematical trick and ends with a magical climax.


Thanks, erdnasephile - I'll track that down. I only got back into magic since mid-2010 after being away for multiple life reasons since the late 1980s, so I've missed a lot of stuff in all those intervening years.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby erdnasephile » May 17th, 2016, 3:05 pm

Hi, Brian:

Daryl also has published an effect he used to use in this circumstance detailed in his "Daryl does Den Haag" lecture notes (pg 20). [He does note, however, that he stopped doing that because "IT'S TOO GOOD!" (emphasis per the original)] Nevertheless, I'll pass it on for your consideration.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Brad Jeffers » May 17th, 2016, 5:51 pm

Whenever asked to teach a trick, I always oblige.
I teach them Raise Rise.
They never ask again. ;)

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Tom Frame » May 17th, 2016, 6:28 pm

Very nice, Brad!
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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby magicfish » October 26th, 2016, 7:33 pm

I always decline. I never reveal the secrets of magic. As a boy I swore the Magician's Oath and I take that oath as seriously today as I did then.

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 26th, 2016, 8:21 pm

If I was doing strolling magic, and needed a trick to teach, I'd giveaway the Fortune Telling Fish.
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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Ian Kendall » October 27th, 2016, 3:23 am

Things can backfire; a couple of years ago there was a young girl, perhaps ten or eleven years old, who was interested in magic. I chatted to her a little at the table, and talked to her father. I explained that, if he was ok with it, I would email here a magic trick when I got home. He said that would be a great idea.

A couple of days later I sent her a copy of Josh Jay's Under/Over book and a simple card trick. Apparently her father went nuts, wondering why an adult was emailing his daughter. I asked her to get her father to email me, but she didn't. I cut off communication.

It seems that he was a bit drunk at the wedding when I spoke with him, and didn't remember our conversation. It was an unpleasant couple of days...

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Gerald Deutsch » October 27th, 2016, 9:23 am

Sometimes seeing a magician and then learning a simple trick could get a spectator interested in magic.

I have taught magic to children at schools and libraries and when I do I teach simple tricks like the pencil (or pen, or straw) that clings to your finger.

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erdnasephile
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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby erdnasephile » October 27th, 2016, 10:58 am

Ian Kendall wrote:Things can backfire; a couple of years ago there was a young girl, perhaps ten or eleven years old, who was interested in magic. I chatted to her a little at the table, and talked to her father. I explained that, if he was ok with it, I would email here a magic trick when I got home. He said that would be a great idea.

A couple of days later I sent her a copy of Josh Jay's Under/Over book and a simple card trick. Apparently her father went nuts, wondering why an adult was emailing his daughter. I asked her to get her father to email me, but she didn't. I cut off communication.

It seems that he was a bit drunk at the wedding when I spoke with him, and didn't remember our conversation. It was an unpleasant couple of days...


Wow...talk about how no good deed goes unpunished...

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Re: When You Are Asked To "Teach a Trick" At A Gig

Postby Steve Bryant » October 27th, 2016, 11:08 am

Hi, Ian. I had a similar but less creepy experience. At a funeral for a young cousin's grandma, I learned that the kid was interested in magic, so I sent him a book via Amazon. Unfortunately, he had previously used his dad's credit card and ordered a couple of hundred dollars worth of Pokemon cards. When the Amazon box arrived addressed to him, it was, "OK, Jacob, what did you order THIS time?" Fortunately it ended well.


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