I am bored stiff!

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Jager
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jager » November 5th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Mark.Lewis wrote:One question though. Is Kelly referring to a children's show (I notice he mentions young people) or an adult show? I can pontificate about both but the approaches are different.

Mark, my question pertains to close up and parlour magic. By young people I meant 16-30 year olds.
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 5th, 2009, 1:38 pm

I didn't realise that it was for close up magic. That makes it slightly more complicated but it is indeed an important question. I have often said and it bears repeating even if people are sick of me saying it that any fool can learn to manipulate cards, coins etc; however the secret to becoming a great close up magician is learning how to manipulate the PEOPLE. I remember one incompetent magician in Ireland once telling me that it is not possible to manipulate the people.

He was wrong. You HAVE to manipulate the people if you are going to be any good. And your question addresses that issue. I am still tired out so will answer it later. It is actually a very important question.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 5th, 2009, 3:20 pm

I will just touch on one aspect of Kelly's question and come back to the main thrust of it later. Again I am only referring to close up impromptu magic here rather than a parlour magic show or a more formal structure. I will try to cover these scenarios later.

Who do you use to help? You use EVERYBODY. Obviously there is going to be a bias towards the more receptive people and if you need to classic force a card then use that person.However even though the temptation will be to work to someone that reacts well don't work to them exclusively. Perhaps more than anyone else but not exclusively. YOu should work to everyone even if it just means somebody assists by doing something minor such as blowing on a card or saying a magic word.

You are there to entertain everybody so focus on everybody and make every person there feel important in some way. Try to BRING THEM INTO IT. Make it personal. If you focus on one person you are not spreading the magic. Spread your talent and charisma around to everyone whether they be miserable and grumpy, or an obnoxious heckler. EVERYONE should be attended to in some way. Impromptu close up audiences are usually very small so you should be able to use everyone.

Now you know. I shall expand on Kelly's questions later.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Glenn Bishop » November 5th, 2009, 3:29 pm

Mark.Lewis wrote:I have often said and it bears repeating even if people are sick of me saying it that any fool can learn to manipulate cards, coins etc; however the secret to becoming a great close up magician is learning how to manipulate the PEOPLE.

Standing Ovation! Well said! I have very much enjoyed reading this thread - thanks again Mark.

Just my opinion.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 5th, 2009, 3:37 pm

Mark,

I did not miss your point. Using a sucker trick for a Difficult Audience Member - let's call them a DAM - is a bad idea especially in a close-up situation.

And you are completely wrong about how I handle the situation. I would never reprimand a heckler. That's an even worse suggestion.

I've now read that bloody quote from Quentin about 2,400 times. You are very fond of posting it, sometimes several times a day. However, when considering your advice we should also take into account the fact that your close-up repertoire includes the most awful dice trick in the world (are there any other kind?) and the horrific Choo Choo Train trick. By the way, I notice that your Choo Choo Train thread is dying a miserable death. The only person to have any response to that big bag of bollocks is your silly shill Jolly Roger.

Now back to the important topic of handling DAMs.

Kelly does indeed raise an important point. When working in a strolling situation, you will typically have from 2 to 8 people watching. Choosing the first person to help is very important. Mark is right that you should use/include everyone, but you still need to choose someone to pick that first card.

There are many complex factors that go into this important decision which is made in an instant. If there is a DAM in the audience you can usually sense it. There is a subtle vibe when you approach the group, perhaps one person slightly bristles or you catch a certain look in their eye.

Whatever it is, you'll catch it as soon as you start speaking and as soon as you sense that you have a DAM on your hands you must determine something very quickly... what kind of DAM are you dealing with?

There are several kinds of DAMs and each type requires a different response. That is why it is ludicrous for Mark to simply tell you all to do a sucker trick which at best is ineffectual and at worst may lead to serious bodily harm.

Let's talk about the two most common types of DAM and how you might handle them.

1. The person who hates magic and magicians with a passion
2. The person who wants to be center of attention (alpha male)

Despite what the average Genii reader might think, there is a significant percentage of the population that thinks magicians are sad little losers who lack social skills and often have poor personal hygiene. And in many cases they are right.

If you meet this type of DAM in a strolling situation you either leave immediately and pass on to the next group, or you do a mercifully brief trick for the other people in the group and move on. You do not engage this type of spectator at all. You certainly do not do a sucker trick at all. If you do a sucker trick for a group that contains a Type #1 DAM, you will reinforce every negative stereotype they have about magicians. Not only that, the negative feelings will spread like a virus to the other members of the group infecting them with similar negative feelings.

No! You smile nicely and at least pretend you have a modicum of social skills and move on quickly. You may find that some of the group who are more receptive to watching some magic will leave the kill-joy and join you at another group.

The Type #2 DAM or alpha male is a fascinating type of spectator to work with.

It is true what Mark said that this type of DAM can sometimes turn into your biggest fan, but you need to have excellent skills to do this.

You must never do a sucker trick. Silly, silly advice from Mark. All that happens is the DAM thinks he has the upper hand and loves it until you smack him in the face with the sucker ending. Then he will feel the desire to literally smack you in the face in return.

The other huge mistake is to get into any kind of challenge situation.

No! Instead, you turn the Type #2 DAM into a co-conspirator. You give him some of the lime light. You let him do the magic and be the hero. You need to stoke his ego a little. Feed him some lines and let him supply the punchline.

Mark is again right that to be a successful close-up performer you need to manipulate the audience. With the Type #2 DAM, you need to first gain complete rapport before you start subtly leading him in the dance.

So in conclusion, if anyone is still reading at this point, Mark has some useful advice but he ruins everything with the nonsense about sucker tricks. Forget about the type of tricks and instead develop your observation skills. Try to determine what type of DAM you are dealing with. Think about their motivations. Close-up magic should never be a battle or challenge. It should be about everyone having fun together. Developing rapport is far more important than choosing an appropriate trick.

Best,
James
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Tom Frame » November 5th, 2009, 7:22 pm

Permit me to give a DAM. Im curious to hear how people deal with a third type of DAM. He neither hates magic, nor craves to be the center of attention.

This guy knows a wee bit of inferior magic. During your performance, he smiles knowingly, nods and whispers to his girlfriend. He is either explaining what he believes to be the method (and hes probably wrong), or hes telling his girlfriend what to look for in order to catch you doing the dirty work.

He is mildly disruptive and other audience members notice his whispering. They may ask him if he knows the method. He smugly nods and states in a low voice that he will explain or demonstrate the method to them later.

Any thoughts on dealing with this guy?
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 5th, 2009, 7:32 pm

Treat him exactly the same as Type 2. Give him the cards to shuffle. He will be nervous and his hands will shake. He may even start sweating. Resist the temptation to act superior towards him. Instead, compliment him saying things like, "you obviously know how to handle cards. I better watch out for you!" Give him a knowing wink to let him know you know he is part of the secret magicians' club. Boost his ego, the poor fellow needs it.

He will beam from ear to ear and after that will be your new best friend.

Best,
James
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 5th, 2009, 7:58 pm

I feel I really should contribute something to Mark's excellent thread, but I have little to say. However, I will tell you that I discovered today that Munton's father is the same age as me, and my birthday was the same date as the late Carl Ballantine...September 27th. However, Carl was a little older than me. Mark Lewis is much older than me! JR
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Lee Almond » November 5th, 2009, 8:04 pm

Excellent post James, I could not agree more with your statements above. I hate the damn sucker tricks, and some magi's wonder why the hell the lay people hate magic and magicians. BTW I also hate the word "fooled" use in the context of a magic effect or presentation. But understand I do not know EVERYTHING about magic and proper presentation like other's confess. Peace all.
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jager » November 5th, 2009, 8:34 pm

I really like that solution James. I know this is Mark's thread but it's good to hear more than one solution to the same problem. I assume that what works for Mark might not work for you and visa versa. What works for either of you might not work for me either but the more options I have the more likely I will be able to find what best suits my style of performing.
Are you working on a book of your own James?
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 5th, 2009, 10:14 pm

James Munton wrote:Mark,

By the way, I notice that your Choo Choo Train thread is dying a miserable death. The only person to have any response to that big bag of bollocks is your silly shill Jolly Roger.















James......you really do need to listen to me and Mark when it comes to children's entertainment. You have much to learn in this department, it seems. For those not too familiar with Mr. Munton, I understand that he opens up his children's show with the Hot Book. Very odd, if I may say so.

For those who might be interested, James and I will both be lecturing at a convention in Washington DC in January. It should be fun! As he used to live in that city, he has promised to take me on a pub crawl, and introduce me to his friends at the Whitehouse! Here is the link: www.KapitalKidvention.com

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 5th, 2009, 11:12 pm

Munton has got it wrong again. He obviously hasn't read my very first post where I explained my proviso that this approach was done in an impromptu situation usually for no money at all. Since all Moneybags Munton is interested is money and never performs impromptu I should be listened to not him. I hardly mentioned strolling magic and when I did I made plain that if the heckler was drunk as Munton often is then he can easily be avoided. And this applies to other types of hecklers too. But you don't have to if you are as good as me which James clearly isn't.

My advice to Mr Frame is just to simply read what I said before Munton interrupted the class. Since his irritant spectator is only a mild irritant it will be even easier to handle him. You must bring him into it and feed his sense of importance and you can indeed do what James said. It doesn't conflict in the slightest to what I said and you will note that he said he agreed with me except for the sucker tricks.

The sucker tricks are wonderful and I use them even when nobody is heckling. They have to be done in the correct manner and at all costs not in a smirky superior way. Some of the greatest card tricks of all time are sucker tricks such as 3 and a half of clubs, Dunbury Delusion, The long card, Matching the Cards and many, many more. If you do them in a smart alec manner then they won't work. You will of course note that Munton has a smart alec manner whereas you will also note that I am timid, quiet and humble. My style is the one to have if you do sucker tricks.

I also said that the sucker effects should be used only as a LAST RESORT. Most of the time if you follow my other suggestions you won't need it. You have to CHARM the heckler and Munton has as much charm as a poisoned rattlesnake.Anyone who performs the disgraceful bra trick and does the Hot Book at children's parties has a lot to learn. Not to say someone who denigrates the famous Dr Sacks dice trick. And of course Munton has never seen me perform it so he doesn't even know what he is
denigrating.

You can tell what a disgraceful person he is by the dreadful British profanity in his above post.

I have indeed posted the quote from Quentin Reynolds several times in order to annoy him and make him wish he hadn't said it. I shall also be shortly marketing his Punch and Judy show which I secretly taped one day when he wasn't looking. Not that it is any good anyway.

I haven't the slightest idea what DAM stands for. I do wish James would speak the Queen's English properly. I am afraid he has been in America too long.

Furthermore I must inform Mr Almond that I am MARK LEWIS and indeed know EVERYTHING about magic and it would behoove him not to question my great wisdom on these matters.

The sucker trick will work perfectly providing you come across as sweet, innocent and humble like me instead of an arrogant British ex-public schoolboy like Munton. It is part of the British Public School system (which actually means private school in the U.K) to breed students with great arrogance like James.

He is most ungrateful since if it weren't for my training he would not be a star TV hypnotist.

He really shouldn't be hijacking my thread because it delays the responses to other people since I have to waste time repling to him. I do hope he considers himself severely reprimanded.

In any case I shall have to delay my responses for a few days since in my capacity as an unholy man of the cloth I have to go on a divine mission of depriving the public of their money...erm.....I mean collecting donations from my congregation. From tomorrow my posts will decline for a few days although I may still be able to post a little. However my time will be more limited.

I do hope that Munton and others do not attempt to hijack this thread while I am otherwise occupied.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 6th, 2009, 12:21 am

Jager wrote:Are you working on a book of your own James?


Has Mark been nattering on about his book again? I must say I think it will be a most excellent book and probably a best seller as long as Mark doesn't mention the horrific Choo Choo Train trick.

I am not planning to write a magic book - that seems so 1990's. Even Richard Kaufman doesn't seem to do magic books any more. I will however have a very excellent and very expensive marketing course for sale to coincide with my lecture at the Kapital Kidvention in January.

After 10 years of being very successful in the Washington, DC area, I moved to Dallas, TX and literally had to build up my business from nothing. In 30 days my schedule was booked solid. I will tell you how I did it.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 6th, 2009, 1:04 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:I haven't the slightest idea what DAM stands for. I do wish James would speak the Queen's English properly. I am afraid he has been in America too long


If Mark actually reads my post, he will see that it is an acronym for Difficult Audience Member. He's obviously been in Canada too long.

I am glad to see he is now backing away from the sucker tricks and suggests people use them as a "LAST RESORT" (his capitals).

I see no difference between performing impromptu and performing at a paid gig. It is also perfectly possible to perform for drunks using the suggestions I have outlined. If you refuse to perform for drunks, as Mark recommends, you will eliminate 70% of your audience at the typical company holiday party, which will not go down well with the person who signs your check (who usually happens to be the drunkest person at the party).

Drunks like to have their egos stroked and sucker tricks can cause them to get physically violent. But if you can get the drunk person on your side, the rest of the group will love it. Be extra careful of a drunk woman. She can be very unpredictable. However, if you can get her on your side, you have a good chance of a shag.

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James
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby mrgoat » November 6th, 2009, 3:32 am

I don't think I will be buying a marketing course from a man who tries to get drunken sex from his audiences.

And boasts about it.

What next? Roofies and Magic - All you need to know to get in her knickers?

Sigh.

Leave Rev Lewis' decent thread alone. Start your own with your awesome 'bedding women' advice if you want, but you are now spoiling a decent thread with your nonsense.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 6th, 2009, 6:47 am

Quite right Mr Goat. As for Munton's sudden disapproval of books
no doubt that is because he has already written one that seems to have been rejected by publishers and literary agents. I happen to know that he HAS written one although I know not what it was about. He has recently been trying to hawk it for sale to the general market but since he has quite gone off books it is a sign that the general market has shown great disinterest and quite right too. He ain't no Charles Dickens it seems.

The approach for impromptu audiences IS different than for paid gigs. I did say that a lot of the same techniques I espoused can be used for them. I have done many strolling gigs and the amount of drunks I have seen are few and far between so Munton is talking rot again. I expect the only person drunk at his gigs is himself. I happen to know that his alcohol intake is nearly as much as the Amazing Lambert that I referenced in my svengali book and he has already confessed this elsewhere. I have Jolly Roger as a witness.

Munton's suggestion for a difficult audience member is exactly the same as mine. No doubt he was copying from me. Great minds do think alike but if anyone thinks that Munton has a great mind then God may have mercy on their soul.

He agrees with every word I say except for the sucker tricks. That is because he has far too arrogant a personality to do sucker tricks successfully. And I didn't say you should do sucker tricks for drunks anyway. I said you should avoid drunks when you can.

Munton has admitted to avoiding hecklers who dislike magic but says he seeks out drunks. Hecklers who dislike magic are no different than hecklers who merely want to show off.They are still bloody hecklers. I am baffled as to why James is afraid of one but bravely engages the other. I can charm hecklers that don't like magic and make them change their minds (until they see James perform of course)and by the time I am finished they will be praising me to the skies.

Anyway Mr Goat is quite correct. Munton has been disrupting the class and has not apologised for doing so like Mr Bishop has done. If he wishes to pontificate about having sexual intercourse with drunken women and writing marketing courses to deprive magicians of their money or how to do the disgraceful bra trick or how the hot book is perfectly acceptable for children's parties or how awful Dr Sacks dice trick or how terrible Edwin's (not mine) Choo Choo trick is then he should start his own thread.

Besides hasn't he got shows this weekend?

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Glenn Bishop » November 6th, 2009, 9:02 am

I have a question Mark. When doing a stand up show do you have a way of selecting people out of the audience? And when you do so how do you get them from the audience up to the stage?

I am talking about a grown up show not a kid show. In the U.S. Kids like to come up onto the stage and often many adults hesitate and are often reluctant to come up onto a stage.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 6th, 2009, 9:05 am

Mr Goat,

You are guilty of the worst of all sins... you lack a sense of humor.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 6th, 2009, 9:40 am

Mark,

With regards to books, you know full well that I am one of the most well-read people you have ever not met. I was talking specifically about magic books. You yourself are fond of saying that you don't read magic books published after 1954 (which I think is a terrible insult to Richard Kaufman who published over 27,000 magic books between 1988 and 1999).

The problem is your advice is often as dated as the magic books you read. Although perhaps it is okay, because the only people you perform for these days are the old folks in retirement homes that David organizes for you. I have no suggestions on how to deal with octogenarian hecklers. I would defer to your vast experience of that particular group.

You are correct that I recently wrote a non-magic book, but as usual wrong about the other 90%. I was actually very successful in getting a literary agent (I had several fighting over me.) But I am beginning to think it was a big mistake because my agent seems worse than David Ben and he's having me rewrite almost everything before he submits it to publishers.

Mark.Lewis wrote:Hecklers who dislike magic are no different than hecklers who merely want to show off.They are still bloody hecklers.


In all seriousness, this is very poor advice indeed. If you were a doctor, you wouldn't prescribe the same medicine for everyone who came through your door.

If you are at a party and you came across someone who just does not want to watch any magic, why on earth would you impose your awful dice tricks on her?

In an instant you have turned from a magician to an "inflictor of magic."

If you can't see the difference after all these years, Mark, you are no better than the awful teenage restaurant magicians who think you should ambush people with lines such as "Did anyone drop a knife?"

Mark.Lewis wrote:Munton's suggestion for a difficult audience member is exactly the same as mine. No doubt he was copying from me.


Yes, it is a rare talent I have of copying people before they have said something. But I am glad you admit to agreeing with my excellent advice in your own funny way.

As for shows, I do indeed have a busy weekend including a show this evening in an upscale bar for a 50th birthday party where I am quite sure I will encounter plenty of drunks and Type #1 and #2 DAMs. I am tempted to do nothing but sucker tricks all night and report back how they went. However, I would like to actually get paid at the end of the evening.

Best.
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 6th, 2009, 11:52 pm

James. If you wish to be a blithering idiot would you kindly blither somewhere else? Start your own thread if you wish to blither. People are asking serious questions for which they require serious answers. While you are chattering here I haven't time to answer them. I shall simply say that I was doing this stuff when you were breastfeeding and I know what I am doing.

You are not saying anything different than me except for the use of sucker tricks. If you don't agree then keep your disagreement to yourself. If you don't like the Dr Sacks trick that is your pregorative. But keep it to yourself. I don't like the way you perform the hot book for children and encourage them to burn the house down and neither do I appreciate your awful bra trick which promotes magic for the lower classes. However I don't go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about it.

And I DON'T prescribe the same medicine for everyone. I play situations by ear and I am very skillful at it. I understand people inside out and I work according to what I have figured out about them as individuals.

And I NEVER inflict magic on people. This has never been my style. I believe in Leipzig's dictum of never performing unless coaxed. However I make sure they coax me. I have ways of doing this but I am not going to explain them to you since the effort would be wasted.

If people don't want to see magic they will within seconds of me working.They have no choice but again I haven't the space to explain why. But other people will coax me. I never perform unless people beg me to. I just manipulate matters so they beg-that is all.

The Dr Sacks dice trick is an absolute masterpiece if it is done in the right way and at the right time. Bob Sheets does it regularly from what I hear so why don't you go and make fun of him too while you are at it? I can assure you the reaction is tremendous.

With regard to publishers and literary agents EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM will ask for the manuscript to be rewritten. The conflict between editors and authors always results in a better book.

I really don't want to discuss this any more. This is MY thread and you are disturbing it. My time is very limited this weekend and I can't get to people's questions because of your interruptions so why don't you be a good chap and toddle off?

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 7th, 2009, 12:36 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:I don't like the way you perform the hot book for children and encourage them to burn the house down and neither do I appreciate your awful bra trick which promotes magic for the lower classes. However I don't go on and on and on and on and on and on and on about it.


Ha! Thanks for giving me a jolly good laugh. You are obsessed with my use of the Hot Book and mention it at least once a day.

I think I have actually rattled your cage. You seem to be genuinely irritated. This is indeed a great day!!! Friends of the Genii Forum, this is an historic occasion!

I know why you are so annoyed. It is because I have been giving better advice and secretly you wish you had said it first.

Also, you are probably short-tempered because you spent the day pretending to be a psychic. Now that is the ultimate sucker trick.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 7th, 2009, 12:40 am

I think that this might be an opportune moment for me to diffuse the dissagreement between my friends Munton and Lewis, and to mention that I am near completion of my own book, which will be self published. It is called "The Spiritual Stage." Here is the link: www.SpiritualStage.com

The nice thing about self publishing, is that it goes to print exactly the way that you want it, and you do not have to rely on the often biased opinions of editors. However, if any of you out there are writing a book and wish to have it edited, I happen to know that Munton's wife is an expert in this field, but I suspect, being married to Munton, her services do not come cheap!! JR
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 7th, 2009, 12:45 am

James. I take offence at your insinuation. I AM a genuine psychic and have thousands of clients who depend on my honesty over these matters. Please keep your scepticism to yourself.

You know perfectly well that I don't mind your banter but on this occasion I am indeed irritated. It is not your fault that you are irritating me and you are entirely innocent.

I have just sent you an e-mail explaing the cause of my irritation. It has nothing to do with the bloody dice trick or the hot book. It is a far more serious matter. Please check your e-mail now and talk to me privately about it.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 7th, 2009, 12:47 am

Typical Roger making matters worse.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 7th, 2009, 12:58 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:Typical Roger making matters worse.


Sorry, Ronnie. Why don't you copy me on the email you sent to James. JR
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 7th, 2009, 1:00 am

I shall indeed

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 7th, 2009, 11:26 pm

Now that Munton has finally quietened down I shall reusme answering the questions I missed. Not right now though. Counselling my congregation this weekend has been a trifle exhausing.

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Jolly Roger
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 8th, 2009, 12:19 am

You are obviously exhausted as you have spelt(spelled) the word "resume" in a dislexic fashion. That would not look good on your resume! JR
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 8th, 2009, 6:56 am

Roger. You are obviously exhausted since you have spelt (spelled) the word "Dyslextic" in a dyslextic fashion. That would not look good on your resume! ML

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Jolly Roger » November 8th, 2009, 11:48 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:Roger. You are obviously exhausted since you have spelt (spelled) the word "Dyslextic" in a dyslextic fashion. That would not look good on your resume! ML


I am impressed that you spotted the deliberate mistake. I also notice you left the / off the top of the "e" in resume, as did I. The reason I did it is because I have no idea what to press on my keyboard for an ecute or grave(french) accent. I think we should now resume with the original topic, don't you? JR
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Matt Colman » November 8th, 2009, 12:41 pm

Mark, I always enjoy your stories - please share you favourite...
Not a question yet, let me re-phrase. Do you have a favourite story to share?
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 8th, 2009, 10:11 pm

I have too many stories to have a favourite. My upcoming memoirs will no doubt have a few of them.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 9th, 2009, 9:44 am

I have now lost track of all the unanswered questions because of the interuptions from a Brit who is under the delusion that he is an American just because he now lives in Texas.

I shall however reply to Glenn because he asked an easy one that should be disposed of quickly. He asked how to get people up on stage.

I know Glenn does hypnosis and I have very good advice in this situation that I learned from Maurice Fogel which has been absolutely priceless to me. That will indeed take a bit of explanation so I shall leave it for another time.

For other situations in a regular magic show where less people are needed it is a very easy matter. Do NOT ask for a volunteer. That entails a stage wait and the person you get up might turn out to be a bloody nuisance. You could get an obnoxious show off or someone who is so dim that they can't follow directions properly.

No. Pick out who you want and bring that person up. This gives you more control since you can scan the audience and choose who you want. Ideally do this before you go on but if you have to you can make good judgements when you are on stage and can see the crowd. Pick out someone who looks cheerful and reasonably compos mentis. Avoid senior citizens. And at all costs avoid the ones who appear to be showing off. Don't get hecklers up on stage despite the daft advice you sometimes see about bringing them up on the theory that this will quieten them down. It bloody won't and in fact will make matters worse.

Now it is indeed true that many people are reluctant to come on stage as Glenn mentioned. That is probably because of natural shyness since a stage is a foreign environment for most people. I must say, however, that magicians don't help when they mistreat volunteers who arrive on stage. I see time and time again how performers abuse the people who come on stage such as feeding them "lumps of sugar" and demeaning them in suchlike ways.

I am terribly old fashioned and fuddy-duddy about this. I believe that people are your GUESTS on stage and should be treated with courtesy and not used as a human prop for other's entertainment. In a hypnosis show you have to do this otherwise there will be no show but for a magic show there is no necessity to demean people. Incompetent performers do this under the doubtful justification that the person on stage realises it is all "fun" and they are acting as good sports. Well, I think it is not "fun" in the eyes of the audience and is in fact bloody awful.

This sort of thing is bad advertising and makes it difficult to encourage people to come on stage in the first place.

Anyway you get around all this reluctance by acting in a courteous manner and generally when the audience applauds the volunteer as you say "give the gentleman (or lady) a big round of applause as he (or she) comes on stage" he or she will really have no choice in the matter as it is very difficult to buck the tide and refuse to come up if everyone is applauding you.

Now the key matter is how you approach the volunteer in the first place. There are a whole bunch of methods to do this. You should certainly speak to them while they are in the audience before you bring them up. Get them used to you before you ask them up. Get them to participate in some way from their seats before you bring them up. For example naming a card or something, even calling out a magic word. Any bloody thing.

You can do a quick gag or trick with them in the audience for example and then say, "You did that trick very well. In fact you did it so well that I wonder if you would mind helping me do another one. You would? Then come right on stage. Give him a big round of applause for helping!" As I stated earlier the round of applause is very important and stops them from saying no. I don't think I have EVER had anyone refuse to come on stage when I do this. Of course as I also said earlier I choose carefully who I pick on.

I really don't want to describe what I personally do in case everybody starts to steal my bloody act. However you can do the baby gag with someone in the audience or Danny Archer's pig trick. I also use a card trick gag with someone in the audience. Once they have assisted you with a trick where they stay in their seat then there is no problem continuing your relationship by simply bringing them up on stage.

I quite like Paul Potassy's approach with a long rope which I have also seen the late David Nixon do. Get the Potassy DVD or book to find out what it is.

This took longer to explain that I thought it would. I wish I hadn't bloody started. Anyway I hope it is a useful reply for Glenn and others anyway.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 9th, 2009, 10:40 am

I'm almost reluctant to post anything for fear that Mother will get annoyed again. Besides, I noticed that on another thread one of my wonderful posts was deleted. I thought that sort of thing only happened on the Tragic Cafe.

Anyway, I will try to refrain from criticizing anything Mother does, because she'll get all stroppy. I agree with about 94% of what has been posted above. However, here is the most important piece of advice.

Unless you are doing a theater show (which most of us are not), you should have plenty of opportunity to talk to a few people before the show. This is an excellent time to find a few prospective helpers. For example, I do a trick where I need someone to lend me a $20 bill. I ALWAYS set this up in advance by asking two or three people if they have a bill.

Here is what I say, "I wonder if you could do me a big favor. Near the beginning of my show, I need to borrow a $20 bill from someone. Just in case nobody else has one and raises their hand, would you be my Go-To guy? I probably won't need to ask you, but do you have a bill just in case?"

I then make sure they check to see if they have one and remind them that I probably won't need to use them at all.

I think this is important, because I don't want them to sit there and start getting all nervous for the next ten minutes. Also, I might genuinely choose someone else and I don't want them to feel bad if I end up not using them.

I also ask the host if there is anyone in particular who would be fun to help me and I make sure I chat with them for a minute to make sure. Don't just take the host's suggestion without meeting the person first.

Doing a bit of mingling before the show is extremely useful because it breaks the ice a little and allows you to look out for certain faces once you start and give them a nod or smile during the first few minutes of the show. This makes a huge difference.

Best,
James
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Glenn Bishop » November 9th, 2009, 11:54 am

I just wanted to jump in here and thank Mark Lewis to thank him for answering my question with a really oustanding post.



Thanks very much Mark.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 9th, 2009, 1:21 pm

James. You know perfectly well that I do not approve of "mingling" on the grounds that I am very shy and retiring not to say ant--social. You on the other hand are probably trying to sell them something so it doesn't surprise me that you would want to talk to them.

When some performers arrive at a venue they look as if they own the place. When I arrive it looks like I am trying to steal the silverwear.

It suits me therefore to do things the way I do them. This is why I refuse to do pre-show work as some mentalists do and years ago I used to hate finding a stooge in the Northern Clubs to wear a tie for the most wondrous tie-cutting trick. I knew that if I didn't do the trick the bloody act would die a death because of the type of audience that inhabited those dreadful places.

Of course I compensate myself with the wisdom that old time performers would NEVER be seen before the show. I remember working in a circus once and glimpsed out at the audience and the ringmaster and owner of the circus was most disapproving saying "You should be a surprise for them." I certainly was of course since I must have been the only performer in living memory to perform card tricks in a circus ring. I have absolutely no idea how I got away with it. Thank God it was a small circus.

Of course I know that this is great advice for circus and theatrical performers who should NOT be seen before the show. I do appreciate however that this advice is not applicable to other situations. And in fact sometimes being seen before the show actually helps.

Still, I am what I am.

I do sympathise with you about your post being deleted. I have no idea as yet which post you are referring to but I hope it is the one I expressed my concern to you privately about. I expect it is another one though and no doubt you were being very rude to somebody or other as you often are.

Still I know how you feel. I cannot reply to you on the Choo Choo train trick thread since I think Richard has done some dastardly computer thing so that I cannot respond. He has told me that I am featured on too many threads and should not be so ubiquitous. My defence is that God is supposed to be everywhere so I don't see why I can't be as well. After all I am a godlike figure in magic so I have no idea why I can't be everywhere as well. Why should God get all the fun?

Anyway the thread is now left to you and Roger. I shall merely say that the Choo Choo trick (which used to be called the Magic Menu) is a far better warm up than the hot book which is liable to warm the place up too much and burn the bloody house down.

Anyway before you distract me too much I must thank Glenn for his appreciation of my advice. I did forget to mention that this technique will also work if you want to get two people up. You have to subdivide the proceeding trick a bit though. For example if you are using the baby gag combined with the well known NO gag you ask one spectator to think of a word and the other one to think of a celebrity. Or the pig trick you ask one person to think of an animal and repeat with another person. Then you can get both of them to come up on stage.

If there are three people or more which sometimes happens then you have to use the wonderful Maurice Fogel advice regarding the help of a committee. For example I do pseudo-psychometry with six people on stage and there really is no way to do that unless you simply ask for volunteers. And of course volunteers can be slow in coming. The advice of Fogel solves that problem in a wonderful way. I shall talk about it another time providing James (who is actually a good online friend of mine) does not distract me again.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 9th, 2009, 1:30 pm

I am not familiar with Fogel's method and I would love to hear it. I promise not to interrupt.
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 9th, 2009, 2:01 pm

James. I don't trust you. Besides you don't like the Choo-Choo trick so I am in a great huff over the matter.

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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby James Munton » November 9th, 2009, 2:36 pm

Nobody likes the Choo Choo Train Wreck which is why it hasn't been performed in over 53 years.

But in any case, I have a feeling you will soon post Fogel's solution in great detail with or without any interruptions.
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Re: I am bored stiff!

Postby Mark.Lewis » November 9th, 2009, 2:39 pm

You are correct. However I am far too tired. If you are in a hurry I shall merely say that I bet you have it already.


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