“There’s Something Under That Cup!”
How to Handle the Magic YouTube Know-it-All
We have all experienced it… the spectator in the audience who watched a few Magic How To Videos on YouTube and armed with that knowledge is about to make your life miserable. He is waiting for just the right moment to pounce… “You have an extra coin in your hand!” “You switched the cards.” “You used an invisible thread.” “There’s something under that cup!” You smile, you try to ignore him but that makes it even worse. So what do you do? How can you keep the audience on your side when you have an difficult spectator intent on messing up your show?
The first thing to consider is, that if this happens to you on a frequent basis perhaps you need to look in the mirror. Pull out the video camera and begin taping those routines and find out if your technique is where it should be. It’s quite possible that the reason you are being called out is simply because you need more practice and that the only person you are fooling is yourself. Properly performed magic is deceptive and the secrets should not be obvious to a general audience.
But let’s assume that is NOT the problem. Your technique is good, your routine is polished, your presentation is rehearsed but there is that spectator from hell trying to expose and up-stage you with his unwanted commentary on the secret behind the tricks. What do you do?
If this happens the second thing to consider is this. Anyone who is willing to reveal a magic secret like that probably has not put any effort or time into mastering the technique or the secret he is so willing to easily expose. To them they think the power is in knowing about the secret or the move…but it’s not. So if we know that the Magic YouTube Know-it-All has no ability, no chops and is nothing but a loud-mouth looking for attention… there is a very simple solution to the problem. You give them the attention they are looking for, you simply hand them the props. You hand them the deck of cards, the cups, the coin whatever it is you are using and then you sit down, you stare at them and you say nothing… and you wait.
Yes they will feel a little uncomfortable, but they deserve it. They will feel the eyes of everyone watching them and your audience may even snicker at them. You might even prompt them with a little verbal direction… “What you said sounds interesting, can you show me what you mean.” “I’ve never heard of that. You mean you hold two cards together like… one? But I can see what your doing… I can see the edges… I can see both cards.” It’s fun to play dumb and begin to ask them questions that will make them look silly. “You mean like someone can hold a coin in their palm and it won’t fall out? What kind of glue do you use?”
I can assure you that in less than 60 seconds of being put on the spot in front of an audience they will hand the props back to you and in frustration say something like: “I didn’t say I could do it!” And at that point you smile, you take back the cards or the props and as you do… look them directly in the eye with a look that says: “Well then keep your mouth shut!” Trust me they will.