Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

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Magic Newswire
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Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Magic Newswire » February 24th, 2009, 7:16 pm

Mac King told me a story that he's told elsewhere, but that I'd never heard. Magic at a memorial service? Wow!

LISTEN

Brian Marks
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Brian Marks » February 24th, 2009, 7:28 pm

heard that story a few years ago.

I never had anything like that but I don't gig much. Drunk comedy club crowds have been the best and worst audiences I have had.

Mark Collier
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Mark Collier » February 24th, 2009, 8:00 pm

I was hired to do a show at a memorial service. Not just walk around but a full half hour show as part of the service!

I usually try to avoid meeting with clients for gigs that aren't high end but in this case I called for a meeting. I had no problem doing the show but was concerned about how I would be received. I wanted a relevant introduction that would give the audience permission to enjoy the show.

As I met with the widow and her friend, I learned that the audience would be a mixed crowd of 30 to 50 year old bikers and their more conservative relatives.

I explained my concern about the introduction and asked why they wanted magic show at the funeral. They said Tom would never go to a funeral and now they had to plan his. They asked themselves, "What would it take to get Tom to go to a funeral?" The answer they came up with was, a magic show!

They had a slide show running as people came into the room and one of the photos was of a 9 year old Tom dressed up as a magician for Halloween, top hat, cape and all. I had them stop the slide show on that photo and leave it up as a backdrop to my show.

It was a little awkward for some of the people at first but I felt that overall, the show went well and many people came up later to say how much they enjoyed it.


The other time that comes to mind was a school picnic show I had booked for 9/12/01. I did not feel like performing the day after the Towers fell but I called the school and they said they needed to reassure the kids, sense of normalcy etc.

The worst part was the principal went to the microphone and called for a moment of silence after which will be a magic show. Ouch! I stood there with my head bowed thinking what will I open with? How do I start? Luckily, as a back-up trick in case I had to deal with something like this, I had prepared a torn and restored newspaper that changed today's paper into a paper from a couple of days before. So I tore up the front page with all of the terrible news and talked about forgetting all of that for the moment and going back to a happier time earlier in the week etc.

I went on to finish the show. I think the kids liked it and the parents sympathized.

George Olson
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby George Olson » February 25th, 2009, 2:19 pm

I've had two:
Quite a few years ago, I was doing walk-around at a Resort in Washington State; they had at least two conventions a week so it was a great chance to work for a differant group every night.

The first was the Proctology (sp) convention. Not only were they unresposive, but remarkably undemonstrative very hushed conversations. It was a tough 3 days!

The other was a convention or rewards party for the McDonald's managers of Washington. It was chaos. They had an open bar. They rearranged the tables into two straight lines and were ordering triple this and double that. Yikes. One acne covered "manager" followed me around and when I left a table he'd proceed to do his interpretations of stuff I did. I got tired of it and started doing knuckle busting stuff. He came up to me and said that it wasn't fair, he didn't do the hard stuff!

Oh yes, then there was the California Funeral Directors Association convention in Anahiem.

GO
Last edited by George Olson on February 25th, 2009, 2:24 pm, edited 0 times in total.
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Silly Walter
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Silly Walter » February 26th, 2009, 11:41 am

One stands out.

Booked to perform at a wedding in West Philadelphia and I arrived not too long after the groom ditched the bride at the alter. I had only heard about it happening but had never been to a wedding where it actually occurred. Well, for some reason, they decided to have the reception anyway and wanted me to perform magic. It was a bit awkward but I had some people thanking me for helping them enjoy what was obviously an uncomfortable situation.

About 45 minutes into my 2 hour gig, I find out the reason the groom ditched the bride was because he got arrested for armed robbery and aggravated assault! To add to the excitement, his "crew" showed up and things started to get sketchy so I decided I had to leave this town ASAP.

So I went outside and ...

I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said "FRESH" and it had dice in the mirror...

I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie 'Yo homes smell ya later'
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air
Silly Walter The Polar Bear

Sebastien L.
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Sebastien L. » February 26th, 2009, 11:48 am

Oh snap!

Gerald Deutsch
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Gerald Deutsch » February 26th, 2009, 1:21 pm

Some years ago Ace Greenberg Bob Elliott and I were performing for charity at Father Ritter's Covenant House in New York. This was a haven for troubled kids.

Well, we split up and I was given the toughest kids - right from the street. They weren't crazy about my snappy one-liners so I decided to do a coin routine ending with a spectator's watch.

This went over great but then they started insisting that I teach them how. Luckily I was "saved" and taken to a more restrained group living there.

Brian Marks
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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby Brian Marks » February 26th, 2009, 5:19 pm

Gerald Deutsch wrote: Luckily I was "saved" and taken to a more restrained group living there.
The restrained guys wanted to learn escape magic?

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Re: Worst audience that you've ever performed magic for?

Postby MaxNY » February 26th, 2009, 9:21 pm

Tug Boat Captains (and their families) from New York's Harbor. It wasn't till afterwards when I was driving home, I thought....These guys have seen everything, dead bloated bodies, dead bloated circus animals, near misses of oil tankers...what I am going to do? Show them my tricky rings?


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