Jolly good. Here is the answer:
Let me back up for a moment. In the last post I mentioned that you should not retaliate and be rude right back. If, on the other hand, you go against this and you do try to answer him back the performance could easily deteriorate into a slanging match which is not quite what you originally intended. Besides, the more you argue the more hell persist in wrecking the show. You will also find that by resisting him you may alienate the rest of the audience because you are attacking one of their number. We find that people are perverse and although some of the spectators will be annoyed by the pest, others for some psychological reason will tend to side with him, especially if he is not TOO obnoxious. This is probably because people have a subconscious resentment against being fooled. They feel somehow inferior to this sharp trickster who is deceiving them so convincingly and they react with delight when the clever so and so runs into trouble. This being so, they may identify with the heckler especially if the magician has a smart alec see-how-clever-I-am air about him.
One other reason not to trade words with the bore is that if destroys what actors call the suspension of disbelief. To explain this, when you watch a movie or theatre play you are absorbed completely; you know in your heart of hearts that the actors are only playing a part, that what is going on is not real, but for the moment while you are watching you SUSPEND your disbelief momentarily reveling in the illusion that everything is really happening. However, if a piece of scenery drops backstage or the movie projector breaks down you are quickly brought back to reality and the suspension of disbelief starts to disintegrate. Similarly with our magician; he creates the illusion that what he does is magic; of course, at the back of their minds the spectators (unless they are extremely gullible) know that it is not magic, but for the moment while they are enjoying the performance they are willing to suspend disbelief. However, let the performer start arguing with the heckler or tell him to shut up and the whole process will disintegrate very rapidly. Our magician is no longer superman; he actually does mundane things like get annoyed. This maker of miracles is just an ordinary mortal after all,-well, what an anti-climax! Our hero who was dazzling everyone a moment ago with feats of astonishment now shows himself to be just a normal human being who demeans himself by arguing with the lower orders. After all, if he was a real magician, he wouldnt waste time in conversation-he would simply make the heckler disappear!
You cannot ignore the heckler either as Darwin Ortiz recommends because as the presentation section of Expert Card Technique indicates if you ignore him he will persist. You need to shut him up and get him on your side which won't happen if you ignore him.
No,ignoring him or answering back is not the solution to our problem. A better plan is to try and be nice to the nuisance! This will take the wind out of his sails and might make him feel guilty! Of course you might say, Love thine enemy is easier said than done. Well, persevere, persevere. Try and get on his side, even flatter him a tiny bit. You can even let him bully you a little for you have a trump card. Ill tell you about it soon.
Heres more advice: try and make capital out of the situation, look for some amusing remark that wont give offence (do NOT say, We all make mistakes, your mother made one) humour him, laugh with him and try to turn things to your advantage. Oh, and dont worry-we have a trump card. Patience, patience-Ill tell you about it eventually.
More advice: if he says, I know how thats done! you reply, Thats strange, I know how its done too! It is essential that you furrow your brows as you do this.If he then tells everyone the secret and he is right you deflate him by asking, What do you want, --magic? If his antics become TOO irritating I suggest you threaten to turn him into a frog. No doubt this will make him quail with fear and he will immediately go as quiet as a mouse and treat you with the respect you deserve. If for some reason even this master stroke doesnt completely succeed, well, you have the trump card to fall back on. All right, all right. Were coming to it, I promise. But first, a little more advice on this subject.
Probably the best protection against the heckler is your own competence. After all, if you do your stuff well there is less opportunity for interruption. If you perform fluently and as if you know what you are doing it will tend to dissuade the pest from tormenting you. Everyone likes to watch a master at work, even the heckler. If you are exciting and entertaining this will often be enough to quell mutinous spectators. On the other hand, if you are ill at ease and awkward, not only will you cause the audience to experience the same feelings, you will be inviting trouble, as sure as the sun rises in the east. Your attitude is all-important; if you are humble you will tend to make people like you, and the more people like you the less heckling you will experience. Conversely, if you are arrogant and superior when you work, you will attract confrontation like a magnet, and well you will deserve it. Contrary to what you might expect, a little heckling is good for you. It keeps you alert, on your toes and teaches you not to be too complacent. It will encourage you to practice; when the loudmouth says, I saw you switch that card! hes actually doing you a favour. Maybe youll practice so hard that next time he wont see you switch it.
Oh, I mentioned a trump card if all else fails. Would you like to know what it is?