A Year of Stories: “Professional Courtesy”
A professional magician showed up at an event that was open to the public. He knew I was performing close-up magic that evening and asked to see a trick. I am always honored when another magician wants to see me work, so I was happy to oblige.
I launched into one of my favorite and most powerful pieces of coin magic. What happened next was mind blowing for all the wrong reasons. He reached over and physically adjusted my hand in the middle of the trick.
“This is the proper position,” he stated.
I was stunned.
He could have waited until the end of my evening, or sent me a message later offering a suggestion, if he believed that my technique needed work. (And I’m sure that it did!)
Even if I would have been put off by the unsolicited advice, that would have been a more respectful way of going about it.
But to physically adjust my hand position in the middle of a paid, professional performance? It was inappropriate in every way.
I stared at him and, with nothing else to say, stopped performing on the spot.
Most importantly: avoid offering unsolicited advice. I don’t know anybody who appreciates that. This is especially true if you do not have an established personal relationship with the person.
If you still feel compelled to offer feedback, be very careful to choose the correct time, place, and tone.
How something is said is so much more important than what is said.
Until next time,
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Connect with Brian!
- A Year of Stories: “Faking Confidence” July 24, 2016
- A Year of Stories: “Professional Courtesy” July 17, 2016
- A Year of Stories: “Be Patient” July 10, 2016
- A Year of Stories: “Just Ask” a.k.a. How I Got Sponsored July 3, 2016
- A Year of Stories: “Meeting Kristen Schaal” June 26, 2016