How to approach a Group!
There are several different ways you could approach people to show them magic. In this weeks video, Michael is going to offer some advice on the do's and don'ts of how to approach people as well as the three main ways he likes to hook people in and get them prepared for a show!
Approachable or not approachable?
When you are looking for people to show magic to, be sure to use situational awareness to determine if they are approachable or not. What do I mean? Simply put, not everyone is ready to see your magic, so to avoid an awkward interaction, it is best to vet your candidates before you even approach them. Here are some examples:
-Having fun with their family/friends
-Makes eye contact
-Not too preoccupied with other things
-Seems serious/ in deep thought
-In deep conversation/ argument
-Avoids eye contact
Casual vs. Professional Environments
The following approach ideas can be used well in both casual environments, such as hanging out with friends, chilling at the mall, sitting at the bar, etc. These methods also work well in professional environments such as paid gigs, restaurant magic, cocktail events, weddings, etc. It is important to note that she approaches may work better than others for different situations depending on your personality and performance style.
How to Approach a Group!
The following are the ways I approach different groups the most. Keep in mind that these are not the be all, end all ways to do so, however they have been the most practical ways I have noticed that work best for me. Be sure to try and experiment with different approach styles to see what works best
1. Reel them in: This method allows you to both vet your prospect as well as create interest in your magic. The easiest way to do this is position yourself in a way that your prospect can see you. Then begin playing with your cards. Do some visual shuffles, cuts, card springs etc. If you you notice they are making a lot of eye contact or focusing on what you are doing, you can ask "Would you like to see something cool?" Usually they will say yes and then you can simply proceed on with your act! This is the method I use most while out with friends in casual settings.
2. Catch them by surprise: This method allows you to create a magical moment that catches them off guard while simultaneously showing them that you are a magician. An example of how to do this would be to secretly drop a wallet on the floor. Ask the table near it "Excuse me, is this your wallet?" They will say no. You can then explain that you need to check the ID to see who it belongs to. While you open the wallet you ignite it causing it to burst into flames! This will catch them off guard as well as show them that you are actually magician. At this point you can ask them if they want to see more magic. If they agree then continue on with your act. This method works great in both casual and professional environments!
3. Introduce yourself: This method is perhaps the one I use most often. I will approach a table and ask them how their night is going. I will then introduce myself. "My name is Michael, I am the house magician this evening. My job is to go from table to table and show people magic while they wait for their meal. Would you like to see a quick magic show?" If they agree then continue on with your act. Usually they assume that I am the manager or something when I approach them so they usually give me their full attention. This is the method I use almost 100% of the time at my paid professional gigs, especially at restaurants.
Notice that in all three methods I ask if they would like to see some magic before continuing on with my act? This is very important. DO NOT start performing your show until you have gotten permission to do so from the group you have just approached. If you do this and they have to stop you in the middle of your act, this will look extremely unprofessional and very embracing.
Dealing with Rejection
Let's assume you used one of the above methods and the prospects politely decline your offer.
Usually this happens for one of three reasons:
1. They do not want to commit to anything financially: Sometimes people will politely decline your offer because they think they need to pay you. You can very kindly explain that the restaurant is compensating you for your time so they are at no obligation to pay for your show.
2. They are preoccupied and you may be intruding: Sometimes they simply want to watch the sports game or finish their conversation they were in the middle of having. This is totally ok. Just simply thank them for their time and let them know you will be happy to come back when they are ready.
3. They simply do not care for magic: Sometimes people just do not like magic and don't care to see your act. Thank them for their time and let them know you will be happy to come back if they change their mind. Sometimes they will see what fun the other tables are having and may
ask you back.
It is important to note that when turned down, it is ok to simply move on to the next table.
DO NOT beg them to let you stay and perform for them. Simply thank them for their time and move on. Leave the door open for them so if they want you back, you may return and do a show for them. Make sure that they invite you back before returning. If you come off as pushy, it may cause them to complain to the manager about you. You do not want that.