I Hate Magic!
A quick guide on how to deal with people that HATE magic, so that you are equipped, rather than whipped!
I personally LOVE magic, which is obvious, but if you’ve been performing for a while, there is a chance that you have encountered the MAGIC HATER! Yes, they exist! Fortunately, I’ve only ever met two and they both had different reasons for hating magic, which surprised me.
It might not have anything to do with you as a performer, so DON'T take it personally.
Here are a few reasons why someone might hate magic and how to deal with them.
Once upon a time, I was in bar in Ireland performing for a group of people, it was going well and everyone was having a great old ‘craic’. I approached a lady and said would you like to see a trick and she immediately said NO! Her friend came over and said “he’s really good, you should see something”, this time responding with a firmer NO and walking away.
I later found out from her friend that she was going through a divorce and her husband was a magician. She didn’t hate magic, or me for that matter, it was the ASSOCIATION with magic.
If someone doesn’t want to see a trick, respect them and your dignity, politely apologise and walk away. There is no point spending time trying to convince someone that your magic is awesome and force it on them. If you are good, people will come to you, rather than you hunting them down.
Another time, I was asked to perform at a posh Christmas do for a bunch of city stock brokers. The evening was going great and I was getting some fantastic reactions to my standard set. I was then asked to approach the main table with the BOSS MAN. I thought right, time to get the 'big guns out' and trotted over.
So, rather than going in for the kill, I thought it would be best to warm up the table and approached this lady, enthusiastically saying "can i show you a quick trick".
She responded "no thanks".
Taken back, I asked “are you sure, i will be quick" (insert rude comment here).
I must also add that this was at the beginning of my career when I was still learning.
She said "YES", quite abruptly, got up half way through her meal and walked away. One of her colleague's apologised to me and said don’t worry, she has this 'thing' about magic and its association with the ‘dark arts’. It is something deep rooted within her belief and culture.
Rather confused and slightly off-kilter, I performed my magic and it went great, however, I couldn't stop thinking how a few card tricks could be construed as ‘black magic’, or 'dark arts'? Subsequent research led me to believe that it is not as UNCOMMON as you might think.
Still to this day, some parts of the world and cultures hold views that magic (of any sort), is linked to the occult, even if it is just an innocent sponge ball routine. Don’t try and challenge their way of thinking, as you are entering a whole new REALM of debate surrounding religion.
Respect them, their views and yourself.
They Just Don’t Like Magic… or you (sorry)!
A bitter pill to swallow, but the reality is that some people REALLY don't like magic! Don’t worry, that’s life and you can’t do much about it. I hate boiled eggs and if someone tried to force me to eat one, I would be seriously pee'd off and quite possibly projectile vomit everywhere!
However, If it’s you as a performer, you need to swallow your ego and find out why people don’t like your magic. Are you not good enough yet, in which case you need to practise more. Is it your style, vocabulary (swearing), clothing, body odour? There could be a RAFT of reasons, just make sure to take any criticism on board and change if necessary.
RELATED POST - 5 Things NOT to do When Performing Magic!
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Keep it real!