- Join Date
- May 2010
Spectators with mixed feelings?
I had an interesting thing happen to me when performing at a local restaurant recently. I approached a table with an elderly couple who was watching me from a few tables down perform for a small family. I introduced myself, they seemed very friendly, but when asked if they'd like to see some magic the man was completely against it. His wife, on the other hand, was really excited to see something. They didn't argue with each other, they just looked at me, the woman expecting me to perform and her husband expecting me to leave. I felt uncomfortable, but ended up performing for just the woman. But, the entire time getting dirty looks from her husband. Did I handle this right? How would you handle this situation? I didn't want to upset either of them but it was almost impossible to avoid. I'm excited to hear the feedback."I was doing a show and put out the profound thought that the secret of life is to remember that everyone is always right and no one knows anything. Then some guy said, 'Your right.'"
Don't feel bad...I've had the EXACT same thing happen at a wedding reception. Elderly couple....husband didn't want anything to do with magic and wife wanted to see a few things. It is a difficult situation because you want to respect the husbands wishes yet you don't want to cause a scene or bickering between the two of them.
What I did was perform at the table right next to them, but VERY close to the wife of the elderly man so that she could turn her chair and enjoy the effect as well. It seemed to work in my situation.
I know if I was in that situation as the person who wanted to see something, and someone I was with had said they didn't, I'd still expect to see something. Somebody else's decision is not mine. Vice versa--if I was in the situation of not wanting to see something and the person I was with did, I would want them to enjoy it. Just because I didn't want to be entertained doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it. I'm certainly not suffering for it. At worst, the person who doesn't want to be involved doesn't have to be. They have the option to look away to their cell phone, go to the bathroom, sit and cry, practice counting their fingers, etc.
In short, somebody else's "no" never trumps someone else's "yes" in my book.
A tip to avoid the awkwardness is to just start for the person that says "yes" without hesitation. Don't look around and imply that the people need to discuss things and come to a consensus. Just take the person up on their "yes" and go into it with confidence, energy, and without hesitation. Also, chances are you'll win over whoever had said "no" beforehand anyhow, and they'll feel a bit like a jerk too for having said "no" for someone else without consulting them first.