One reason, (of many) for not doing shows for children, is tiring of hearing, “Oh, I know that one.” Although, that is perfectly acceptable and a predictable outcry with children. They are easily excited and eager to let their friends know they are “one step” ahead of everybody else.
My personal choice of entertainment is close up magic for adults. It’s a communicative dialogue with the ending result being an “astonished “group of people. (Which is most often accompanied by applause, laughter and an occasional benign vulgarity. NFW!)
So, I’ve been working several years, and I never hear, “Oh, I know that one” anymore, until…
Yes, it happened twice in the last year! I don’t know exactly why. If I did I suppose I’d be a psychic, not a magician. For some reason it bothers me a little with adults. It has nothing to do with the interruption, as that is expected. Close Up is truly interactive, and perhaps the reason I enjoy it so much. (I can’t help it; a grown adult bursting out, “I know that one” bothers me, just a little.)
So, I’m spreading some cards towards a female spectator, my head’s turned away so I can’t see anything. “Just pull one out, anyone, it doesn’t matter. You got one? Would you please take this pen and sign your name, real big all the way across the face.”
I don’t recall exactly when, but at some point between, pull one out and sign the face, her girlfriend shouts out “Oh, I know that one.” I replied, “You do?”…”Yes, My boyfriend showed me” I reply, “Oh…that’s nice.” I continue with having the card replaced followed by my hand smacking the pack. “Do you know where your card is? Well, it has gone up this sleeve, run across…uh, yes that would be my chest. It then ran down my other sleeve and jumped into my pocket.” My rather obvious empty hand goes into the pocket and removes a card, turns it over to verify the signature…it really is her card. I turn to her friend, “Is that the card trick your boyfriend showed you?” The answer is, “uhh, no.” “Are you sure” I want to verify as some boyfriends do know everything. The reply remains the same. “Watch,” I take the card and rub it on my thigh…I lift my hand, and it is gone. For the suspicious ones I show the first few cards on top of the deck, in case they thought I snuck it back. “Do you know where it went?” I subtlety point to my pocket, the obviously empty hand goes in again, and brings out the “signed” selected card.
I can’t help myself, “Is that the one your boyfriend showed you?” The answer remains the same.
However the trick continues, the spectator actually pushes the signed card into the deck. After a slight pause, I point to my left breast pocket. The card is now there, in full view for everyone to see. Yeah, you know, “Is that the one your boyfriend showed you?” Her head shakes back and forth in the universal sign language which means “no.”
Finally the entire deck is placed on my left thigh, there is a slight pause as the deck is squished into nothingness, leaving only one card. (The signed card) Finale time, the entire deck has jumped to my left coat pocket. No, I don’t ask her again. I politely shake her hand and end, “Thanks so much for being a good sport. Have a great evening!” I truly hope that will take away any “sting” she may have felt during the trick… I am not hired to embarrass any of the clients. I would never dream of it.
Joe Ferranti Comedy Magician, Boston Ma.