The Jerx Year Two

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
performer
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby performer » February 1st, 2017, 2:36 pm

I am becoming more suspicious by the minute that not a single one of those Jerx tricks have ever been performed before a single human being. Not that I have a cynical nature of course. The old fashioned term used by those of us who have been around a while is "pipe dreams"

Still I have been distracted by Joe's long post and alas because I am somewhat exhausted as a result of my spiritual work I am trying to figure out what he is trying to say. Is he saying that an impromptu trick should be presented in a casual off hand manner as if it were merely part of a conversation? And that it should simply be performed in a non theatrical way without any showmanship or patter?

Then I looked at this part of his post:

"But the wider point about Andy's work is one of the classic questions in magic that most magicians consider at one point or another. What else are we trying to offer spectators other than the feeling of being fooled?"

I would have thought the answer to this question is bloody obvious. In fact so obvious that I hardly even should find it necessary to mention it. You are there to ENTERTAIN. The astonishment part, though important is secondary. And I dislike the word "fooled" anyway. The very concept and sub text of that horrible word is what is wrong with magic and the way all the daft people that do it approach it. And they wonder why they get hecklers and antagonistic or disinterested spectators. People don't like being fooled. Amazed and entranced -yes. Fooled--no.

Now if you accept my premise that you are there to entertain first and baffle second (and I don't give a stuff if you don't accept it) then when performing impromptu you need just as much showmanship as you need on a stage or formal presentation. A little quieter perhaps but just as necessary. And just acting like your normal boring self is not the way to go about it. YOU are the magic not your bloody trick! I haven't the patience any more to watch a trick no matter how well it is done technically. If the performer's personality does not grab me I lose interest rapidly. I can't watch magic for more than 30 seconds because it bores the crap out of me. However, if the magician has something about his personality that intrigues me I will suffer the trick and might even enjoy it. And when I say "something" I don't mean a lot of noise and talking too much which rather a lot of over rated so called "legends" indulge in.

Magic is more than that. Much more than that.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 1st, 2017, 3:54 pm

Agreed, Performer!

Oftentimes, when I am performing at the bar or the tables in the restaurant, people will approach me and ask, "Are you the magician?" or sometimes, "Are all those cards up there on the ceiling yours?" "Can you do a trick for us?" Many times, I will say, "Yes, of course, but I am not here to try and fool you, but to entertain and amaze you! Sound good?" They will invariably relax (it's clear from their body language), smile, and nod their heads affirmatively, as if that's exactly what they were waiting and needed to hear. It's as if I had said the real magic words. Once at ease like that, they are very receptive. It is clear that we have gotten off on the right foot, and it is almost always a very positive experience for all concerned...

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chriswahlers
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby chriswahlers » February 1st, 2017, 6:10 pm

performer wrote:I would have thought the answer to this question is bloody obvious. In fact so obvious that I hardly even should find it necessary to mention it. You are there to ENTERTAIN.


I don’t think any would argue against that. But it’s worth repeated emphasis because it’s easy to forget - particularly because many of us did not get into magic because of a desire to perform, but a desire to understand.

What I took away from Andy’s booklet on amateur performance was that the ‘entertainment’ that we can provide in a "non-professional" setting can often be more affecting than a professional performance. We’ve probably all had one or two experiences of that that we can relate to. I’m paraphrasing one of his analogies, but it’s the difference between appreciating the grace and fluidity of a dancer on stage, and a first school dance with a teenage crush. Most people will appreciate the memory of the latter for longer, notwithstanding it (likely) carried less artistic merit.

I prefer to believe that the stories are based in fact, partly because they're always entertaining, partly because Andy has never failed to deliver on his word, and partly because my own happiness is increased that way.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby performer » February 1st, 2017, 7:00 pm

No. I agree that not a single soul will argue against the premise that entertainment comes first. However, all they are doing is paying lip service to the premise, then having fulfillied their obligatory duty to supporting this mantra, they then continue on being as awful as ever. After all it takes no effort whatsoever to simply say, "oh yes, entertainment comes first" but it takes a hell of a lot of effort to actually make it happen. Far more effort than learning the trick itself in many cases. And far more drudgery and tedious rehearsal and preparation to make it happen.

I have seen very few good magicians in my life. But rather a lot of "laughing ears" types. I suppose I had better explain to the uninitiated what "laughing ears" is. It is a showbusiness term. It refers to the delusion many performers have that they are going over well when in fact they are not doing as well as they think they are. And to be fair other magicians often add to this delusion by praising various incompetent performers to the sky thus feeding the delusion. It should be remembered that what goes over well with magicians does not always go quite as well with the lay public. That is because magicians appreciate the wrong things.That is why I have always considered those silly competitions at magic conventions with other magicians judging the event to have no validity whatsoever. To me it is the blind judging the blind.

But to the "laughing ears" disease. Let us imagine a mediocre performer who gets a sympathetic smile from someone in the front row. He will translate this in his mind to, "I am really going over well" ignoring the other 90 percent of the audience who are looking grimly at him. Or he gets a sudden burst of laughter and he suddenly thinks he is on a par with Tommy Cooper or Carl Ballantine ignoring the fact that it is the only laugh he gets in his show and it may well because they are laughing AT him rather than with him. Or he gets a spontaneous round of applause and he translates this to a standing ovation just because someone stood up to go the washroom while he was performing. Or they are applauding with relief that the bloody trick has finished. Or a few people cheer him on and make him think he is as good as Siegried and Roy. Or afterwards someone come up to him after the show and praises him whereas he doesn't realise they are merely praising him because he reminds them of their favourite uncle who has left them something in his will.

In other words they misjudge the reaction. It can go the other way too. Sometimes the magician will think he has died the death when he has gone over a lot better than he thought. However, the scenario I described in the last paragraph is the more likely one.

When doing close up magic he may well get gasps of astonishment because of the strength of the trick itself and imagine he is a showman of the first order when he most certainly isn't. In other words it is the inventor of the trick that deserves the applause rather than himself.

Anyway that is "laughing ears". I often cringe when a performer tells me entertainment comes first because I know they are only paying lip service to the concept or they have the "laughing ears" disease . Someone who REALLY believes in the concept spends hours and hours trying to figure out how to execute the concept. The rest merely murder it.

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chriswahlers
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby chriswahlers » February 2nd, 2017, 4:52 am

Absolutely. It’s the Stockdale Paradox. It’s important to retain faith that we will reach our goals, but we must confront the most brutal facts about our reality. For the professional that’s probably quite easy – they won’t get paid, or at least won’t get rebooked if they fail to achieve their goals. But for the amateur it’s often harder because those that we perform for often hide the truth out of kindness. But I can’t help but agree with Andy: “… putting your time and energy into … entertaining family and friends … without looking for anything in return, is probably one of the most worthwhile things you can do.”

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby performer » February 2nd, 2017, 5:35 am

I am always willing to perform impromptu for no money at all. In fact I actually consider it my duty. It is the reason I took up magic in the first place although I now do it for money also. But that is my personal mindset and I am not pushing it on to anyone else. However, I far prefer to perform for strangers rather than people I know. You get the correct reaction that way.

Performing for members of your family are particularly problematic. They will either say you are wonderful or you are not very good and neither may be the exact truth. A bit like performing for magicians come to think of it. And performing for your layman friends is OK providing you don't do too much of it because they can get sick of it fairly quickly and besides because they know your every mannerism they can detect your secrets more quickly if something doesn't seem quite right.

You really have to perform for strangers on a frequent basis to become good at your work. That is because magic is not secrets. It is PEOPLE.

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Steve Bryant
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Steve Bryant » February 2nd, 2017, 11:40 am

Anybody tried this yet? I first tried a paper plate, and the dry erase marker acted as a permanent marker. Next I tried my wooden desk. The dry erase marker rubs off fine, but did not behave as in the gif on Andy's web site. (No motion.) And if it works at all, what surface is practical for Andy's trick (a moving dry erase stick figure in a a permanent rectangle)? Love to see this work as planned.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Joe Mckay » February 2nd, 2017, 12:45 pm

Haven't tried it yet.

But did you try blowing on the figure to get it to move? That is a key detail.

Also - Andy's description mentions these surfaces:

You have a plastic folder or a small mirror or something else you can draw on in front of you.

So I wonder if using one of those surfaces might help improve it?

I hope this trick works!

It has really caught my eye. I love "table crap" like this. It really breaks up a set of magic tricks nicely. And performed impromptu stuff like this often has more impact than a traditional trick.

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Steve Bryant
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Steve Bryant » February 2nd, 2017, 1:24 pm

Ah, blowing helped. Not as perfect s the gif, but the same idea. Thanks.

Joe Mckay
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Joe Mckay » March 16th, 2017, 6:53 am

Andy has an interesting bonus coming up for supporters of his site:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/3/15/p ... dpixilated

It is a trick he created for David Blaine - that got cut out of the latest TV special.

I am also really enjoying the JAMM as well. We are two issues in. Both great. I think the last one was 40 pages long.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 16th, 2017, 11:23 am

chriswahlers wrote:
performer wrote:... did not get into magic because of a desire to perform, but a desire to understand...


It gets worse with imagined, inner or virtual audiences. That disconnect between real people feedback and ad copy effect description ...

How's it going with the wet ink? - Any chance two colors and some paper will get a marbling effect?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Joe Mckay » March 17th, 2017, 1:26 am

Since that thing with the marker went viral, youtube has been filled with videos of people attempting it. I also got feedback from a couple of friends. And the results seem to be inconsistent at best.

Shame.

It seems the gif that went viral was of one of the few occasions where it worked like a dream.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 17th, 2017, 4:46 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Since that thing with the marker went viral, youtube has been filled with videos of people attempting it. I also got feedback from a couple of friends. And the results seem to be inconsistent at best.

Shame.

It seems the gif that went viral was of one of the few occasions where it worked like a dream.


Haven't tried this trick, only read of it cursorily, but I can see potential for all sorts of animated scenarios. Hangman escapes noose, etc. Cop nabs robber. Apparently getting the figure to move is the problem. Looks to me like the image in the gif might have been nudged by an electric fan

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 17th, 2017, 5:04 pm

It's an experimental verification problem. What will reliably lift the dry-erase ink?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 17th, 2017, 5:38 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:It's an experimental verification problem. What will reliably lift the dry-erase ink?


I would think that would depend on the lubricity of the surface. Glass, celluloid, chrome maybe. Varnished wood. You want to avoid porous surfaces that will absorb the ink.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 17th, 2017, 7:03 pm

Okay, I've watched a few of the YouTube vids showing the dry erase marker trick, and they confirm my supposition that you need a smooth non porous surface. And the more ink the better. In other words, the thicker and heavier it is, the more likely it will retain its shape when dislodged by the water.

I would experiment with plastic coated playing cards. Wouldn't it be spiffy to show a Five Of Hearts and then dunk it in a glass of water, swish it about, and visibly shed the "5"s, as well as one of the pips, effectively transforming it to a Four Of Hearts? Or better yet, ask the volunteer to remove the card from the glass as it changes to the one he or she selected.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 18th, 2017, 10:45 pm

The water and dry erase markers I have didn't get that result. But... did get a surprise when trying the black marker.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjon.townsend.148%2Fposts%2F1464236733587034%3Fcomment_id%3D1464246440252730&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 743&type=3

time for a new episode of Samurai Jack on Cartoon Network. later folks.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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jkeyes1000
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 18th, 2017, 11:10 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:The water and dry erase markers I have didn't get that result. But... did get a surprise when trying the black marker.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/comment_embed.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjon.townsend.148%2Fposts%2F1464236733587034%3Fcomment_id%3D1464246440252730&include_parent=false" width="560" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... 743&type=3

time for a new episode of Samurai Jack on Cartoon Network. later folks.


After a bit of experimentation, I have found that the surface ought to be lubricated for best results. I tried chapstick and then dish soap, both of which produced the effect seen in the videos. Smear it on and wipe off the excess.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 19th, 2017, 1:51 pm

Obviously I've got nothing better to do than work on this lame effect. In my final analysis, I have concluded that glass is the optimal surface to use, but glazed China and reflective metals such as stainless steel and chrome do fairly well too. Unfortunately, most plastics are too adhesive. I have not tried wax paper.

The pen needs to be of high quality with plenty of ink flow. The figure drawn on the surface should be thoroughly pigmented. Any weak areas in the design will cause it to deteriorate and lose form.

The likelihood of dislodging the dry erase sketch without distortion is very slight. Success would depend on careful and considered application of the water, and a bit of luck.

I see no practical application of this method in the context of a magic trick.

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Re: The Jerx Year Two

Postby Joe Mckay » May 19th, 2017, 10:41 am

For those who want to learn more about Andy's monthly magazine (called JAMM) - you can find a useful thread here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=642048&forum=218

Joe Mckay (Bob_Hummer in the thread above).


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