Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project 365 (346/365): On Hecklers

.:346/365: On Hecklers:.

It’s happened to the best of us. We’re out there, minding our own business, performing for a most appreciative audience. Then there’s this one guy who looks at the whole thing sternly with his arms crossed, and he couldn’t help but feel envious that the magician is the centre of attraction now and for the next, oh, five minutes or so.

He walks up to you, and tells you with so much conviction: that’s fake. That’s not real magic. You look at him, dumbstruck. He’s what? 25, maybe 27 years old, and he still believes in real magic? Is something wrong with him? Next thing you know, he tries to grab your cards when he thinks you’re doing something funny, he chalks up all those sleepless nights he spent watching the Masked Magician as he tries to reveal your secrets, and clearly, everyone else is just tolerating this guy because he’s their friend.

Thankfully, you’re not, and with people like those, do you really want to be?

Welcome to the experience of being heckled. Consider yourself unlucky if you’ve never gone through this before, because heaven help you if you get so big and successful before your first one comes along to ruin your style and to wreck your day.

Hecklers never fail to get the goat of magicians. You will find on magician’s forums endless topics devoted to how to deal with them and at times, even wish fulfilment fantasy of showing them up and putting them in their place through some brilliant means or some other. In reality, though, there is no one surefire way to deal with them.

Some hecklers are best ignored. Others are best played along with. Still others are best maimed and left a bloody pulp on the ground. The rare breed are best taken out for dinner and a movie. Regardless, a lot of attention has been showered on these hecklers, but we haven’t even come close to solving the problem yet. And while it’s a bit disastrous to have magicians getting heckled, I can safely say that comedians have it tougher when it comes to hecklers.

And you know the worst thing about it? More often than not, your first ever hecklers would be family. It’s one of the most disheartening things to encounter, but it’s so commonplace already that it’s like a rite of passage. If you could actually impress your family, then you’re on your way to something good.

Really, when it comes to hecklers, there’s only one applicable advice at all times: get better. Whether it’s your magic that needs to improve, or your spectator management skills, you just get better, and it wouldn’t matter if former president GMA herself were heckling you.

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