OPINION: Getting caught by friends and family

OPINION: Getting caught by friends and family
This isn’t the topic I was intending to write about, but it has come from a comment by Kurtis Chin on a previous post about the double lift.
Now I’m coming at this from a theory point of view as I have never performed a magic trick for my family and very rarely for friends. My approach to these situations (and they do happen) when performing professionally wouldn’t help, I get to move to another table, as a hobbyist you sit back down and enjoy a cup of tea.
First, let’s get some perspective on having a method guessed or a being caught doing a move. It really doesn’t matter at all. It happens every day to magicians of all levels, it is very much part of performing magic and putting yourself out there. It is simply something you need to accept and learn from, otherwise you will be left performing for the just the cat.
The Guilt!
The magic community holds secrets very close to its chest, and this adds guilt to revealing a method. Remember this has happened to all the members of the magic community at some point, occasionally on national TV! They are still very good magicians.
What do you say when quizzed?
If they are quizzing for the method or claim to have the correct method, I’d try and say something non-committal, like’ “Interesting, that could be a way of doing it” followed by, “Did you enjoy it though?”. Hopefully this will move the conversation away from the guessing game and back to the effect. A bonus maybe you discover what they like about your magic.
There are people who treat magic as a puzzle for them to solve. there is no denying it. In my experience the is a limited amount you can do about them but if you know that is their mindset, just try and be as entertaining as you can, so they focus less on the method and enjoy the performance.
What do you say when you get caught?
If they see you do a move, you can’t deny what they saw and I’d engage with them, otherwise these things can haunt you.
Remember who you are and who your audience is: you are a friend trying to amuse other friends, so I’d go with a straight, “Ah, mate! You got me.” And then compliment them with a suggestion it is because of a personal attribute they have, like a good degree or because they had their glasses on. It can be sincere or humorous, they are your friends and family. You can downplay it as much as possible because that will help you psychologically, it is really unimportant unless you let it affect you negatively. Again, I would ask still if they liked the trick for some feedback and to give the conversation a positive twist.
And then what?
If possible, do another trick which is strong and sure-fire. Having a few good self-workers in your arsenal is something I’d recommend for anyone. This will give you back some pride and you would have entertained your mates and that is what they will remember.
Is it always the same person?
If it is always the same person then you have two choices, don’t perform when they are about or ask them to be your confidant. We all need someone to fail in front of and receive constructive advice from, may be this is your person. Simply admit they are very perceptive, and you’d like them to help you get better. Now you will get a helpful report on your performance and the trick etc whenever you show this person or group some magic.
The aftermath!
Get back on the bike and start riding! Put it behind you.
Your friends and family support you and your hobby, they want you to get better, I bet they love the fact you do magic. Getting caught is no big deal unless YOU make it one.
As a fellow magician, I want you to enjoy performing magic, to have fun and to entertain people. It is a brilliant hobby, probably the best in the world.
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