Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reaction Time

Let me put something out there in the ether: Just because it gets reactions doesn't mean it's good.

I could strangle people in the street naked and get a reaction. Doesn't mean people like it. I am sick of hearing performers trying to validate an act, joke, or effect-for-sale with the "reaction" argument. Outside of magic, you can get a reaction from a simple false transfer with a coin. Doesn't mean I am gonna sell it on a DVD for 20$.

We fool ourselves into thinking reaction is the litmus test of how good or bad something is. Sometimes NO reaction is better because that means you fried them so hard they can't think or move. It's kinda like after sex when you... sorry forgot who I was talking to. It's like in D &D when you roll a natural 20.

A lot of comedians get nervous polite laughter and assume they wrote a good joke when in reality their line about sleeping with their sister came off less like a joke and more like a confession. The same thing happens in magic. People applaud by habit. Do enough shows you will know the good reactions from the bad.

So the next time you have an effect you wanna sell or defend because you got people on camera cussing or ma and pa six-pack are impressed at your local Wal-mart step back and write yourself a reality check.

Maybe it's not just you.

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