Good trick...wrong audience

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Bill Wheeler » 03/02/05 03:04 PM

I thought I would start a thread that discussed times that we thought a trick we performed would slay an intended audience, but it played to the wrong group (i.e., magicians instead of laypeople or vice-versa). Perhaps discussing what we learned as well.

The trick I had in minded was Larry Jennings's "The Purloined Thought". I thought to myself: "thought cards across, what could be stronger for a layperson". In general the audience reaction was muted...and I couldn't figure out why; until I performed this effect for a magician. Magicians reactions were much much stronger.

In the end I realized it played stronger for magicians because it didn't look like I did anything to make the card jump across...its methodology was clever and offbeat. Laypeople (from what I recall) were putoff by having to name the card they thought of, and counting the cards to prove one had jumped wasn't as engaging.

Live and learn :)
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Postby Ed Oschmann » 03/02/05 07:23 PM

I once performed an amazing memorized deck effect to conclude my set. Upon completion the man said "That was good, but how did you fit two tennis balls under that cup?" reffering to my previous trick. Should've stopped at the chop cup routine with this particular audience.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 03/03/05 02:53 AM

Good trick: Al Goshman's 'Magic Ding Dong'

Wrong audience: Beijing, August 1978 - cabaret show at the Chinese Eunuchs Association Annual Convention
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 03/03/05 04:23 AM

Whenever I do a planned performance (not a quick impromptu effect - which I do mostly) I have a list of the effects I plan to perform (walk around or platform) and after the performance I "grade" each effect.

For example, I will put one of the following letters next to each effect and then I explain that the letters mean:

A Went over great
B Not done (did not seem appropriate to do here)
C I did it too fast
D Went over "fair"
E Did not go over well - not good for this group

And then I try to understand what I could do next time to make those effects that didn't go over "great" be better in the future and to understand what effects might have been better at that performance.
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Postby Guest » 03/03/05 07:41 AM

John - LOL!

I used to pretend to gouge my eye out with my fork for friends whenever I'd go out to eat somewhere that had coffee creamer. One time while going to an academic tournament with my science teacher, I made the mistake of doing it in front of her, and she nearly had a heart attack. She really thought I had poked my eye out!

Bless her heart.

Postby Guest » 03/03/05 10:26 AM

Good Effect: Needle Through Arm
Wrong Audience: Narcotics Anonymous Chapter

Good Effect: Headline Prediction
Wrong Audience: Anywhere on September 12, 2001

Good Effect: Razor blade shreds all cards in box except selection.
Wrong Audience: Post-abortion recovery room.

Good Effect: Chris Kenner's "Three-Fly".
Wrong Audience: Jonathan Townsend.

Good Effect: Magician successfully predicts the total of a column of five-digit numbers supplied by audience members.
Wrong Audience: Special Olympics.

Good Effect: Sand mixed in a bowl of water returns to its original form.
Wrong Audience: Tsunami relief benefit.

Good Effect: Performer produces yards and yards of colorful streamers from his mouth.
Wrong Audience: Bulimia support group.

Good Effect: Magician injects shock-value vulgarity into a predictable, formulaic joke structure.
Wrong Audience: Time will tell.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 03/03/05 11:01 AM

Originally posted by Dan Huffman:
Good Effect: Chris Kenner's "Three-Fly".
Wrong Audience: Jonathan Townsend.
Try that the OTHER WAY you *&($$#

Good Effect: Jon's coins across
Wrong Audience: Bob Kohler and Chris Kenner

Please get better before I have the chance to meet you.

(I lightened it up, not a complete grouch -JT )
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time
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Postby Guest » 03/03/05 02:05 PM

Dude...everyone here knows the history behind the theivery, renaming and popularizing of what you came up with. Hence the joke. Please lighten up before I have the chance to meet you.

(Crap. You were funnier when you were grouchy.)

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