Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2017, 9:02 pm

:) Thanks

What do you make of Jerry's approach to sharing magic with the audience?

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6561
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 12th, 2017, 9:21 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote::) Thanks

What do you make of Jerry's approach to sharing magic with the audience?

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6561


Yes I am of a similar mind to Mr. Deutch. Most of my original routines start off in a very low key. Humble, awkward, ineloquent. The ultimate success of the act comes from a) a really good trick in he first place, b) the appearance of difficult!ty in obtaining the effect, and c) seeming to be as surprised as anyone else that I managed it.

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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 12th, 2017, 10:30 pm

@Jkeyes1000: "Even if I managed to make good money I still wouldn't get the satisfaction of truly blowing people away."

IMHO, both are attainable...

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 13th, 2017, 12:44 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:@Jkeyes1000: "Even if I managed to make good money I still wouldn't get the satisfaction of truly blowing people away."

IMHO, both are attainable...


Two very different sensations for me. The reaction one gets as a magician is born of credulity, or the "suspension of disbelief". A sort of confidence in the performer's ability to do the impossible. But the response I get as as an Ordinary Joe is earned despite the cynicism of the spectators. It turns them inside out. But again, it depends on having a totally amazing bit. It needs to be fresh and original. Dressed up sufficiently to make them wonder for ages.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby erdnasephile » March 13th, 2017, 6:20 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:The level of respect I gain from this approach is far greater than anything I ever felt when presenting myself as a magician. I exceed their expectations far more now. Which is why I am reluctant to return to the profession. I fear it would be a let down. Even if I managed to make good money I still wouldn't get the satisfaction of truly blowing people away.


I think you are exactly correct---> their expectations are low (and presumably you are performing for free for your friends). Therefore, anything that exceeds that bar is going to make a positive impression. It's not clear to me, however, that the idea behind the premise of this thread (e.g., Overtly demonstrating "work" and effort is more impressive) contributes more to that positive impression than the difference between expectations and performance.

I'm glad the "perverse magic" approach works for you--it can be very tough to pull that off. (The only guy I've seen who can convincingly sell me on his apparent lack of skill is Bob Sheets). I'm more comfortable with a middle approach--not trying to hide skill, but not flaunting it either. I try to add variable texture to my performance: some routines give the impression of skillful ease, with perhaps one routine that is apparently "hard" for me. I'd like to think even with the "skillful" tricks the audience realizes that sometimes the true sign of skill (and the hard work that takes) is that the performer is able to make it look easy. If I were to try to make every routine look tough, I'm not sure I could sell that convincingly, and there would be a sameness in my set I wish to avoid.

Again, I think it's great that the approach you have chosen for yourself works for you and your audiences, which is what really matters.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 13th, 2017, 8:30 am

erdnasephile wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:The level of respect I gain from this approach is far greater than anything I ever felt when presenting myself as a magician. I exceed their expectations far more now. Which is why I am reluctant to return to the profession. I fear it would be a let down. Even if I managed to make good money I still wouldn't get the satisfaction of truly blowing people away.


I think you are exactly correct---> their expectations are low (and presumably you are performing for free for your friends). Therefore, anything that exceeds that bar is going to make a positive impression. It's not clear to me, however, that the idea behind the premise of this thread (e.g., Overtly demonstrating "work" and effort is more impressive) contributes more to that positive impression than the difference between expectations and performance.

I'm glad the "perverse magic" approach works for you--it can be very tough to pull that off. (The only guy I've seen who can convincingly sell me on his apparent lack of skill is Bob Sheets). I'm more comfortable with a middle approach--not trying to hide skill, but not flaunting it either. I try to add variable texture to my performance: some routines give the impression of skillful ease, with perhaps one routine that is apparently "hard" for me. I'd like to think even with the "skillful" tricks the audience realizes that sometimes the true sign of skill (and the hard work that takes) is that the performer is able to make it look easy. If I were to try to make every routine look tough, I'm not sure I could sell that convincingly, and there would be a sameness in my set I wish to avoid.

Again, I think it's great that the approach you have chosen for yourself works for you and your audiences, which is what really matters.


Yes it's true that one shouldn't overdo it. Nowadays I perform one trick and "leave them wanting more". They beg me to play magician but I modestly insist I am no such thing. Until next time. Probably another reason why I don't have an act. I wouldn't recommend my approach as a career. Your middle of the road style is more practical and sustainable. If I were to develop an act seriously, I might start off with a "challenging" trick and then sort of gradually recover and ultimately redeem myself as a graceful prestidigitator.

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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby performer » March 13th, 2017, 8:33 am

There is a lot to be said for Mr Keye's approach. I used to use it myself when I was much younger and it can be devastingly effective. They underestimate you and then you go in for the kill. I still do it to a degree nowadays but it is much harder since my personality has changed over the years. It is actually an easier approach for an amateur magician to pull off than for a professional for obvious reasons. A far better approach than appearing to be the big confident "I AM" in fact. It actually ties in quite well with my theory of "defensive resentment" that I have talked about in the past.

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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby jkeyes1000 » March 13th, 2017, 10:11 am

performer wrote:There is a lot to be said for Mr Keye's approach. I used to use it myself when I was much younger and it can be devastingly effective. They underestimate you and then you go in for the kill. I still do it to a degree nowadays but it is much harder since my personality has changed over the years. It is actually an easier approach for an amateur magician to pull off than for a professional for obvious reasons. A far better approach than appearing to be the big confident "I AM" in fact. It actually ties in quite well with my theory of "defensive resentment" that I have talked about in the past.


Thanks, Mark! Another point I would make is that everyone is going to show their vulnerability on occasion whether they want to or not. Better to confess that you are not perfect yet have the potential to "save yourself". What better way to demonstrate your magical powers than to spare yourself the public humilation of fumbling?

Brad Henderson
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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby Brad Henderson » March 13th, 2017, 10:23 am

i used to run from magic. hid from its power. i was a 'skeptic' after all

then i learned that i was holding myself back and cheating my audiences.

people crave the experience of the wonderful, extraordinary. they want stories they can tell their friends. they want to be a part of something singular.

why do you think skeptics are still skepticking? is it because people no longer believe in outrageous things?

quite the contrary. the more informed we become, tne more we crave the mystery.

people want something worth believing in

give them that, and the world is yours.

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Re: Philosophical debate for Mark and other pensive folk

Postby performer » March 13th, 2017, 11:22 am

One thing I will add with regard to Mr Keyes approach is that is an absolutely fantastic technique when confronted with a heckler. You let them bully you and underestimate you and let them hang themselves with their own rope by simply doing a sucker trick! There are a ton of suitable card tricks which are suitable for this such as Matching the Cards, Design for Laughter/Dunbury Delusion and the three and a half of clubs. Your meek approach will make the loud mouthed heckler become even more loud mouthed and when the tables are turned the laughter from the rest of the crowd directed at him will be incredibly gratifying. After that the only defence they have for the blow to their ego is to simply praise you to the skies and become your biggest booster. The old adage of "if you can't beat 'em join 'em"

A far better heckler technique than using smart remarks or ignoring the heckler. What other technique can be used to change a heckler into a fan?
I learned this a long, long, long time ago when I was a teenager in magic and have tried to use it ever since. As I keep saying magic is PEOPLE and you have to be a good psychologist and understand how people think in order to be a good magician. FAR more important than the latest tricks and techniques. Psychological manipulation is FAR more important than digital manipulation!


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