How to Handle Hecklers: The complete guide to dealing with every performers worst nightmare!

by Keith Fields

A5, 120 pages, soft back

Reviewed by Duncan Trillo/MagicWeek

Since turning professional 20 years ago Keith Fields has worked more comedy clubs than just about any other magician in the country, with hundreds and hundreds of performances at the Comedy Store in London's West End, Jongleurs night clubs across the UK, and perhaps the toughest club of them all, the infamous Tunnel Palladium.

 

How to Handle Hecklers takes all that hard-won audience experience and packs it into 120 brilliant pages of solid advice, notes, and killer put-downs (over 200!).

 

You'll learn how to turn imminent disaster into instant success. As a quick example, here are a few lines taken from the book, under a section titled 'Talk to the audience, not the heckler':

 

One important thing I have learned is always try and take the sting out of a line, don't get personal, deliver the line to the audience and not the heckler. e.g. A line like this one "We could have a battle of wits but you're unarmed." Is too direct and can be softened and made less threatening by delivering it to the audience in general rather than to the heckler specifically, it is a small but important change: "We could have a battle of wits but he's unarmed." Remember that the heckler is a valid member of the audience and therefore deserves to be entertained and respected not insulted... until he goes too far! Then you can attack from the moral high ground safe in the knowledge that he started it.

 

How to Handle Hecklers is littered throughout with such advice, often going into great depth.

 

A quick list of headings will give you some idea of what's covered:

 

Who is Keith Fields anyway?

A bit of background

Introduction

What is a heckle?

So what do I do if I'm heckled?

The danger of dialogue

Expect the unexpected

Good heckles

Killer heckles

Learn from experience

An ethical question

Strategies

The first heckler

The funny heckler

The drunk heckler

The persistent heckler

The professional heckler

The female heckler

The personal heckler

The child heckler

The honest heckler

Popular heckles

Heckles for magicians only

The machine gun put down

How to use put down lines

Talk to the audience not the heckler

Once again with feeling!

Ad-libs

Different rules for different groups

A warning for close-up magicians

First contact

Mild put downs

Female hecklers

Lines to use with care

Audience members walking out

Audience members coming back or arriving late

Little or late laughter and applause

Uncontrollable laughter

No laughs or applause

Coping with a bad intro

Coughing and sneezing fits

When you fluff a line

People talking

Someone drops something

Final words

 

What's on offer here is invaluable. How to Handle Hecklers presents a perfect solution for just about every conceivable heckle that you are ever likely to face in your performing career.

 

This is one book that every working magician should own - it gets my very highest recommendation.

 

 

Order from: www.keithfields.co.uk

(Dealer enquiries welcome)

 

Duncan Trillo, February 2006

 

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