Good trick...wrong audience

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Bill Wheeler
Posts: 172
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 10:22 am
Location: Downers Grove, IL

Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Bill Wheeler » March 2nd, 2005, 2:04 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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Ed Oschmann
Posts: 76
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Lake Worth Florida

Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Ed Oschmann » March 2nd, 2005, 6:23 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.

John Pezzullo
Posts: 455
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 5:19 am

Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby John Pezzullo » March 3rd, 2005, 1:53 am

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

Wrong audience: Beijing, August 1978 - cabaret show at the Chinese Eunuchs Association Annual Convention

Gerald Deutsch
Posts: 410
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Glen Head New York

Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Gerald Deutsch » March 3rd, 2005, 3:23 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.


Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Guest » March 3rd, 2005, 6:41 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.


Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Guest » March 3rd, 2005, 9:26 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.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7782
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY

Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 3rd, 2005, 10:01 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


Re: Good trick...wrong audience

Postby Guest » March 3rd, 2005, 1:05 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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