When I’m asked, mostly by journalists, why I do magic, my common response has to do with it providing me with a means of connecting with people very quickly. After all, everybody responds to magic. But to paraphrase George Orwell, some respond more than others.
In this article, which is mainly for magicians, we count down the 6 spectator types every working magician meets on a daily basis…
My least favourite type of spectator. Almost always men, these spectators watch your hands like a hawk, forgetting their need to blink, and almost never react to anything throughout the routine. At the end of it they step away and discuss with their friends stating in their opinion exactly how you did what you did. The only saving grace is that they’re almost always wrong. I don’t feel these people enjoy the performance and they take all the enjoyment out of it for me too. Increasing the interactive element and dialling up the humour can sometimes defuse this less than ideal situation.
My favourite type and the polar opposite of the previous type. A pleasure to perform to, these people are disproportionately amazed even by the simplest of magic tricks. You always know within the first 30 seconds of a performance if you’ve got one of these on your hands, and during that time you typically make the decision to extend your set beyond what you were originally planning to do. Because THIS is gonna be fun!
These people are fun too, although they do take the challenge out of it a bit. You don’t have to even do tricks. All you have to do is say something’s vanished. They’ll react before you need to show proof.
You’ll know you’re dealing with this type if you’ve been asked twelve questions before you’ve even got the cards out of the box. They want to examine everything and seem to treat the performance more like an examination of whether I am genuinely magic or not. Which of course I never claimed to be in the first place. The saving grace for this type is that if you identify them early on you can counter their analytical focus by dialling up the humour. And then, absolutely blow their minds!
You could do the most amazing thing ever and they just don’t react. If they’re of a certain age you wonder if they fell asleep during the routine and if they’re younger you have to question whether they understand what happened. I don’t mind this type as much as you might think. I find it rather funny.
These guys just aren’t interested. Their inner children perished long ago leaving them with not the slightest curiosity when offered a touch of wonder. But when occasionally you can get a “No Thank You” to get involved and then blow their mind, there is no better reaction than that, nor a better feeling for me as a performer!
Have I missed one? Got something to add? Comment below…
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