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What Kinds of Entertainers do you Get in Your Audience?
After a performance do you hear the groups that hang around talk about your show? Do you get heckled from other performers? Well this all begins with you and your attitude and how you handle the situation.
There are a few types of negative Audience Entertainers (AEs), in my opinion and according to a lot of performers. The first would be the person who goes to the performance to steal routines and/or patter from the performer. This is probably the worst of the different kinds of AEs. This is the one that steals your act, music, and/or routine, then copies it and calls it his. Now, you ask, isn’t copying a form of flattery? In this case, NO, the reason being if he does a bad job of it, you get all the credit. If he does a good job, then he gets all the credit and soon everyone has forgotten it was yours to begin with. Then they start blaming you for stealing or badmouthing him.
The second kind is the person who goes to the show to discredit the performer or cause as much havoc for the performer as he can. This person is either bitter towards the performer or he lacks the self-confidence to perform himself. Sometimes this kind of AEs also is the one who does a bad show and gives everyone else a bad name. He heckles, cause havoc, or ruins the show for everyone. The more the performer try’s to shut him up or heaven forbids, attempts to humiliate him, the more the AE gets out of hand.
Another type of AE is the one who tells everyone around him how the magic is done and/or sometimes says it out loud so all can hear. He sometimes also brags how much better he is than the performer. This is the guy who has read a book or two on magic at the local library. He will do everything he can to attract attention to himself.
There is another type that just does not respond to you. They won’t clap, yell or acknowledge that you are entertaining him. This is your basic “you don’t impress me” type. Sometimes they are combined with the type above and they just mutter they know how to do that and they are better at it than you.
Almost all of these types want just one thing, that is to impress whom they are with or they want the ATTENTION on themselves. Some might even want to just meet you after the show and again are trying to get your attention to let you know that he is also an entertainer.
Now, that we have some idea of the negative AEs, we can see how the best course of action to fend them off is. First, never ever try to humiliate or put them down, never try to yell or curse at them, and for your sake don’t get mad. Your audience can smell a troublemaker a mile away and they sometimes will correct the situation themselves by silencing them.
The performer must never stoop to the lever of the AE, by doing so you run the risk of alienating rest of the audience. At all times you must maintain an air of coolness and keep smiling. In the case of the second type, you can stop your performance at a timely place and recognize the person by saying; “excuse me for a minute, I think I recognize a fellow magician in the audience”. Then have him stand and tell everyone his name, thank him for coming and go on with the show. After the show is the time to ream him and put him in his place and let him know he is not welcome at any of your other shows unless he behaves.
The reason you should never get mad is that by doing so you jeopardize the rest of your show. By getting mad, you lose your concentration, the rhythm or timing of the show is hurt, and your focus on the show, but most of all, you have just slipped down to his level. The audience can tell when you are mad, and they might be offended by it. I said it before, but the audience usually takes care of people like that. Again, just smile and go on with the show.
The real pain is the fellow performer in the audience that feels you must acknowledge him to the rest of the audience or else. I feel, that at your last bow, you take a minute and try to do your acknowledgements of the people you know in the audience then. If he is causing a big disturbance, stop and take a moment to say that you just happened to notice a fellow entertainer in the audience. This will more than likely shut him up and at the same time let the audience know who he is and turn the heat on him if he continues.
If you hear someone in the audience giving away the secrets, call for a volunteer (the troublemaker) and bring him onto the stage. While he is helping you quietly tell him to stop his disruptions or you will have him escorted out. Most of the time, just bringing him on stage shuts him up. The same goes true for someone who is not responding and is muttering or talking to the people around him. Just call on him to join you on the stage for help and that usually does it.
I waited until last to handle the worst offender, the one who comes to steal your act, music, patter and/or hands his cards out. The reason is, there is really not much you can do at the time. You can confront him and tell him that using your material is theft and you can or will sue. If he is a local magic club member you can go through them and ask for help. Just remember, most likely he can duplicate your act or routine, but he can never really add your personality to it. After awhile the message will get around who this guy is and what he is doing with other magicians’ acts and/or routines. The magic community has a way of taking care of its own.
Remember to always do your best, don’t get mad or even, and especially don’t harass or humiliate your audience.
The masses will love you.
The Mental Institution™
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Tuesday, 27 October 2009
© 2013 - MagicGizmo.com
Last Updated (Tuesday, 27 October 2009 15:37)
Our valuable member Massimo Malloque has been with us since Sunday, 23 August 2009.
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