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Mind Phantom

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Hello,
How do you go about selecting a volunteer to help you with one of your effects?
For me, I usually select a woman who seems to be enjoying the show ( I don't know why I choose a woman ). But the reason for my post is that I have in the past, asked someone for assistance and they declined and said "no" in a nice kind of way, which puts more stress on me to come up with an assistant or pass on doing the effect in the show.
That's worse than picking a volunteer who forgets the name of a chosen card. No, that's not true..but it comes in a close second place.
This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough for me to be concerned about it.
Thoughts & opinions?
Thanks,
Rick-
PS: I did see the other thread on Volunteers and I used to give the audience member who assisted me a $1.00 token from near-by Black Oak Casino ( which I called at the time a "lucky dollar" when I performed my Crooked Gambling Show ).
Doing mentalism I have yet to come up with a good "gift"for a show of this type. But, it's got me thinking you know?

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 

It depends on the type of show.  In the past, I have done corporate cocktail parties at trade shows.  Some of those were walk-around, but many (most probably) were what I call a formal sit-down affair.  The attendees knew I was there to perform for them and that I would be doing a "show" and not just strolling stuff.  The performance would vary, depending upon how long the client wanted me to perform.  I did the same basic routine with the same basic structure, I would simply add tricks to the middle of the performance to expand the time.  

When it came to volunteers, I also tended to choose women.  I found them to be very friendly and non-confrontational.  I have also used men as volunteers at times and never had a bad experience, but I can envision some not being the best.

It is hard to discuss any of this without dropping stereotypes into the mix.  All women don't behave in a particular way.  All men don't either.  I've just found in general, women tend to suit my requirements for a good spectator.

During the evening I would sometimes "scout out" potential volunteers.  Then, when they sat down, or gathered around the table, I'd invite certain ones to come forward.  The thing you also need to be aware of is when alcohol is involved, some folks lose their normal inhibitions.  This can result in an uncooperative volunteer, a "grabby" volunteer or a forgetful one.  If this happens, you simply thank them for their help and switch another volunteer into their spot.  Act like you were going to do that anyway, to give more people a chance to sit close, etc.

 

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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
When it came to volunteers, I also tended to choose women.  I found them to be very friendly and non-confrontational.  I have also used men as volunteers at times and never had a bad experience, but I can envision some not being the best.

Indeed, women tend to allow themself to be carry away by the illusion of magic more than men. So, in general terms, women are less interested in knowing how the trick is done.
So, less "problematic."
Nonetheless, I think that it depends a lot on the reputation of the magician as well; if you are well respected as a magician I don't think you'll have much problem with you spectators (unless you do an awful show).

I only choose someone if everyone is too shy to choose themselves.
I choose the ones that seem to pay me a lot of attention, and try to avoid the ones that keep silent and watching, since I reckon that those ones are the most "dangerous."

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