Inappropriate audience actions...

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Ian Kendall » 08/18/07 03:56 PM

Hello all,

Since the final show is now behind me and I have part of my life back, I'd like to throw out something that happened a couple of days ago and get some feedback.

The show was sold out, and as I started my introduction speak I noticed that a woman four rows back was holding a camera up as if to take a picture. Except she was not moving the camera. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, or appear a git too early in the proceedings, I asked 'is that video, or are you waiting for the opportune moment to take a still?'

She looked sheepish and lowered the camera. I don't think she realised that I keep 10% of the house lights up so I can see the audience, but about thirty seconds later she was back up and filming. I made another comment about going for another still photo (I don't remember exactly how I phrased it) and she put the camera down again.

A minute later I saw that she was now holding it by her hip, still pointing at me. I was halfway through a magic square routine and muttered 'that camera is really getting on my nerves now', but to someone in the right front row. Camera lady took the hint and put it away for the rest of the show.

I'm curious as to how others might have approached this situation. Jay Alexander is in the show after me, and he said he would have asked her to leave. I didn't want to be unkind, I just didn't want my show flimed without permission. Also, since she was in the centre of a row, to eject her would have meant climbing past half a dozen others, breaking the flow of the show and I would have been the bad guy.

Food for thought.

Take care, Ian
Ian Kendall
Posts: 2191
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Guest » 08/18/07 04:43 PM

I didn't want to be unkind, I just didn't want my show flimed without permission.
Why not just say that to the audience? Due to the internet and the ease of obtaining phones and cameras with video capability, there's a culture developing where it's okay to point and shoot anything. It's your show, tell them that it's not okay in that situation. In fact, why not have an announcement before the show over the house PA?

Postby Guest » 08/18/07 08:19 PM


I once had the rest of the audience vote to see if a video-taping guest should be allowed to stay. they voted that he be kicked out. I gave him one last opportunity to stay if he turned the camera off. He turned the camera off.

We make an announcement prior to the show that absolutely no video-taping is allowed. The rest of the audience now knows what the rules are. I think it's perfectly okay to enforce those rules once the show begins if need be. If done correctly, the audience will be on your side.

Tony Brent
Outta Control Magic Show

Postby Rick Ruhl » 08/19/07 08:22 AM

And Tony's show is great.

We alos have the 'no videos, etc' in our preshow announcement.

Then again, Tony, you could have had the guy that was taping stand under 'the box' and drop it on his head.

Gives a new meaning to your 'what's in the box' jingle ;)
Rick Ruhl
Posts: 630
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tampa, FL

Postby Guest » 08/19/07 10:19 AM

I think the reason many of us feel hesitant to inform someone videotaping is prohibited is that we fear the rest of the audience will feel we (the performers) are rude. Of course, the reality is that to tape someone's show without asking is rude. Here's an anecdote which indicates spectators really do know what's going on.

A few weeks ago I'm performing at a festival. The festival has an admission price, which is germaine to the story. Someone to my right, front row, is taping me. I ask them (with a tone of not too thinly veiled annoyance), "I have to ask you something. Most people, if given a choice between seeing a show live and seeing a show on TV would choose the live option. Why would you then come to a live show only to watch it through the teeny tiny screen of a video camera?" (audience snickers)

Camera person responds, "I'm taping the show for a friend who is not here."

I respond, "Then tell them to BUY A TICKET LIKE EVERYONE HERE DID."
Audience breaks into loud applause and cheering.
"Please don't tape my show. Thanks for understanding."

I realize my response may have sounded rather caustic and I wouldn't use it for more diplomatically demanding venues. But my point in bringing it up is the audience immediately understood that the cameraman was the "bad guy" and not me.



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