Ennobling Magic

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 7th, 2017, 11:11 pm

You fellas really know how to tire a person out.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 7th, 2017, 11:14 pm

I could almost swear this was a massive wind up from start to finish!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 8th, 2017, 7:33 am

Brad Henderson wrote:is it?

jokes are funny.

or is this more self pleasuring.

i think we have a name for your act

'The Great Onan - he's honestly confusing.'


No, of course the suckers wouldn't find it funny. The ones who merely thougjt it was less than impressive.

I must admit I like the kind of humour that starts with a smattering of laughter from a few sharpies and gradually btings the house down.

Especially when the "suckers" thought they were smarter than me.

That's twice you've fsllen for it, Brad. I wish I could find a video of Lucy stealing the football from Charlie Brown just as he goes to kick it.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 8th, 2017, 10:19 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:You fellas really know how to tire a person out.


I have noticed that their posts are getting shorter. I think they are tiring themselves out!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2017, 10:33 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:is it?

jokes are funny.

or is this more self pleasuring.

i think we have a name for your act

'The Great Onan - he's honestly confusing.'


No, of course the suckers wouldn't find it funny. The ones who merely thougjt it was less than impressive.

I must admit I like the kind of humour that starts with a smattering of laughter from a few sharpies and gradually btings the house down.

Especially when the "suckers" thought they were smarter than me.

That's twice you've fsllen for it, Brad. I wish I could find a video of Lucy stealing the football from Charlie Brown just as he goes to kick it.



so you have a wine trick that has no conviction at the beginning and a card trick that has a muddled and confusion any climax non climax at the end.

i'm not sure i'm the one being deceived here.

but hey, if you want to think of your audiences as suckers, that says a lot

so to you the art of magic consists of presenting visual illusions that the audience of suckers is meant to figure out as you focus on your own self pleasure.

got it

that explains a lot.

a whole lot.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 8th, 2017, 12:01 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:... I would rather play to the smartest. Like I said before: if you can't fool the wise ones, they may educate the dullards. And that is yet another way that the audience can discover that you lie, regardless of how competent you are.


More commonly heard advice on the topic in general:
Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.
Usually followed by a comment about words and actions. But for the sake of argument we should not confuse magic methods with comedy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB-NnVpvQ78
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 8th, 2017, 1:06 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:... I would rather play to the smartest. Like I said before: if you can't fool the wise ones, they may educate the dullards. And that is yet another way that the audience can discover that you lie, regardless of how competent you are.


More commonly heard advice on the topic in general:
Now this overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others.
Usually followed by a comment about words and actions. But for the sake of argument we should not confuse magic methods with comedy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB-NnVpvQ78


I would agree with young Hamlet, that playing it straight is the way to go. My purpose wasn't so much to catch the conscience of the king as to hoodwink old Malvolio here.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2017, 1:27 pm

by providing an example that makes you appear incompetant and inexperienced?

wow keyes

you got me.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby observer » December 8th, 2017, 5:55 pm

At least the Erdnase thread had some interesting and useful information in it.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 8th, 2017, 6:04 pm

Yeah...when somebody considers themselves a Master Debater, there's a good chance they are using one too many syllables.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 8th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Mark Collier wrote:Yeah...when somebody considers themselves a Master Debater, there's a good chance they are using one too many syllables.


I am by no means a "show off" I work only as hard as I need to. You can blame Brad for the redundancy and the duration of this discussion. I would have been content with my original post, to have let you all hash it out.

But Mr. Henderson cannot resist a challenge. Apparently likes to be the big fish in a small pond. Would like to think he is unassailable.

And bitterly resents the outcome of our last debate, no doubt.

Dogged detetminstion on his part is what blew this out of proportion. His ego, not mine.

Perhaps one day I shall have the good fortune of taking on someone really formidable in this forum. Then I might be motivated to realise a bit more of my potential.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 8th, 2017, 8:02 pm

Like yourself, I also enjoy jokes that not everybody gets.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2017, 8:27 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Mark Collier wrote:Yeah...when somebody considers themselves a Master Debater, there's a good chance they are using one too many syllables.


I am by no means a "show off" I work only as hard as I need to. You can blame Brad for the redundancy and the duration of this discussion. I would have been content with my original post, to have let you all hash it out.

But Mr. Henderson cannot resist a challenge. Apparently likes to be the big fish in a small pond. Would like to think he is unassailable.

And bitterly resents the outcome of our last debate, no doubt.

Dogged detetminstion on his part is what blew this out of proportion. His ego, not mine.

Perhaps one day I shall have the good fortune of taking on someone really formidable in this forum. Then I might be motivated to realise a bit more of my potential.


yes - what was that claim again?

that lying harms the art - even when the audience can't know you are lying - except
for some lies. Those are ok

But then the claim became you do harm
to magic if you get CAUGHT lying - though it was never established that this was in any way more damning than getting caught with a card in your palm or a mirror

and then came the claim that great magicians never lie - except every magi offered as an example was shown to be a liar and several very well known magicians were shown who embrace lying.

and then we were treated to a personal example of a trick presented 'honestly' - except for the lies uttered in it - - - and then there was the fact it was completely undeceptive and likely unworkable in any place other than the performer's imagination

and then we were told it was wrong to lie again, and when pressed, we were still at
a loss to know how the audience would know that one was lying unless caught.

and then we had a bad card trick with a non ending ending.

and then that became just a 'joke', though no one seemed to be laughing.

and then we realied that to keyes cares more about his own pleasure than that of iis audiende.

and now keyes declares "victory" and makes some ad hominem comments.


it's not ego that motivates my replies - it's my love for magic. i will not stand silent and allow incredibly stupid and baseless ideas the opportunity to influence anyone who might some day attempt to perform magic in the real world.

it would be a disservice to the art of magic if someday someone read these forums and thought for a moment that magicians actually once believed this was an intelligent approach to magic

but then again, they will hopefully see the link to your example and that will be enough

but just in case - here i am!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 8th, 2017, 8:34 pm

I spoke too soon! The posts are beginning to get long again!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 8th, 2017, 8:44 pm

I find this interesting because this thread has made me go over my own work. For some odd reason I don't think I do much, if even any, lying at all when I perform. Fairy tales yes or deceptive practices yes. Or even white lies that the audience might even recognise as lies. Tongue in cheek false statements yes. False implications galore. But downright, barefaced lies of the kind that I think Mr Keyes means-no. It isn't that I have any ethical qualms about it or would blink an eyelid about it. It is just that somehow instinctively without even thinking about it I just don't do it.

It does make me wonder if he does indeed have a point. There may well be something in what he says and I think somewhere hidden in the literature I have a vague feeling that I read something similar once before.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 8th, 2017, 8:55 pm

I think Brad has a point. It is a tool that must be used correctly.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 8th, 2017, 9:30 pm

Mr. Henderson, if it makes you feel any better, I am not interested In "winning" debates. I think all contenders have something valid to say. Everyone benefits from the exchange.

It shouldn't be a competition, as that tends to marginalise one side or the other. Ideally we ought to arrive at full comprehension by recognising the merits in each other's argument.

I hope the readers do not strictly favour either one of us, but reflect upon the points made by each and every participant in this conversation.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2017, 9:37 pm

Mark Collier wrote:I think Brad has a point. It is a tool that must be used correctly.


Exactly. it is just one of the magician's many tools

to say we shouldn't lie because there is a risk that one could get caught is no different from saying we shouldn't palm cards because there is a risk that one could get caught - or that we shouldn't use a mirror because one could get caught.

and to think there is greater shame or damage to one's (or the art's) reputation in having been caught doing one as opposed to the others is groundless.

just as one needs to be skilled to palm a card - to know when to do it, when not to
do it, as well as how to do it skillfully - one needs to be skilled at lying. This skill is only in PART an issue of acting. It is also
an issue of knowing when and how and why to lie. It requires an understanding of the structures of deception. It requires one to think like a real person would. This requires grounding in both theory AND practice.

as the presence of a lie cannot be known to the audience unless the performer fails, and there has been no evidence or reason presented to suggest that being caught in a lie is more or less damning than being caught using any other deceptive technique, we are left wondering WHY?

why should we make the effort to follow this advice? what exactly is gained from
having done so? how will our SUCCESSFUL performances be observably enhanced?

and it seems like the only reason is a personal challenge of sorts (can i do it this way?) and maybe a bit of an appeal to the notion of honor (lying is bad (though we as performers are committing numerous deceptions even if we don't utter them verbally.))

So honor is at best questionable.

So we are left with a weird sort
of purist approach --- which is great, if your goal is to please yourself.

the purist places his own pleasure ahead of his audience's.

for a hobbyist who finds joy in creating puzzles, this makes perfect sense. (and for the record, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Magic is a house with many rooms, after all

But if one's goal is to convey the feelingful response of magic to groups of real people, it's just not good advice

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 8th, 2017, 9:45 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:Ideally we ought to arrive at full comprehension by recognising the merits in each other's argument..


I tried - and in yours i found none.

i say that not to be cruel, but honest.

Your position is groundless and you haven't offered anything to place it upon any sort of viable foundation.

I do always try to see what the other person is saying - even if i disagree with their conclusions i can sometimes find value from understanding what their questions were addressing.

From thinking on these ideas i did manage
to lead myself to clearer thinking on a couple of issues - so it hasn't been worthless to me. But i cannot say i find any value in what you have written as actual advice, for the many reason mentioned above.

The best we have gotten from
you is 'it stands to reason', 'it's self evident', and 'it's my opinion.'

those are insufficient.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 8th, 2017, 10:45 pm

I think I was lying about not lying. I just remembered that I will often babble to people before a trick starts that "I read this trick in a book this morning" or "I only learned this trick yesterday afternoon" when I have been doing the damn thing for about 40 years or so.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 9:01 am

Brad Henderson wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:Ideally we ought to arrive at full comprehension by recognising the merits in each other's argument..


I tried - and in yours i found none.

i say that not to be cruel, but honest.

Your position is groundless and you haven't offered anything to place it upon any sort of viable foundation.

I do always try to see what the other person is saying - even if i disagree with their conclusions i can sometimes find value from understanding what their questions were addressing.

From thinking on these ideas i did manage
to lead myself to clearer thinking on a couple of issues - so it hasn't been worthless to me. But i cannot say i find any value in what you have written as actual advice, for the many reason mentioned above.

The best we have gotten from
you is 'it stands to reason', 'it's self evident', and 'it's my opinion.'

those are insufficient.


My arguments is not "groundless", Mr. Henderson.

You say that the risk of getting caught in a verbal lie is "no greater" than tipping your hand. But my point is that it is an unnecessary risk. I think my WHY has a more solid foundation than your WHY NOT.

As for the risk to the general repute of Magic, it is indeed "self evident" that audiences resent lying. I don't think they regard it as "acting", they see it as cheating.
You are supposed to demonstrate your legerdemain, not your ability to sell used cars.

And I have shown how you may be suspected of lying whether you are "competent" or not. By making bold assurances that you neglect to verify. If the crowd already doubts your honesty, then demanding their trust can only exacerbate their scepticism.

Lastly you say that "honour" is of little importance. The "honour"of veracity. Yet you seek to gain their admiration for your mendacious routine.

Pardon, but I feel you are on soggier ground than I am.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 9th, 2017, 10:51 am

“Mr. Henderson, if it makes you feel any better, I am not interested In "winning" debates. I think all contenders have something valid to say. Everyone benefits from the exchange.”

“I have engaged in thousands of debates in all sorts of places, on great topics involving Science, Religion, and Government. While it would only be my subjective determination to say I won them all, I daresay I never lost.”

“It shouldn't be a competition, as that tends to marginalise one side or the other. Ideally we ought to arrive at full comprehension by recognising the merits in each other's argument.”

“I will match your wits in both logic and letters, Mr. Vinson. Care to go another?”

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 9th, 2017, 12:20 pm


You say that the risk of getting caught in a verbal lie is "no greater" than tipping your hand. But my point is that it is an unnecessary risk. I think my WHY has a more solid foundation than your WHY NOT.



and palming a card is unnecessary if you can use a duplicate. but sometimes using a palm is a better technique, produces a cleaner more direct routine. all moves have risks. we don't use that as a reason to avoid eschew sleight of hand. why should we treat lying as a technique differently.

As for the risk to the general repute of Magic, it is indeed "self evident" that audiences resent lying. I don't think they regard it as "acting", they see it as cheating.
You are supposed to demonstrate your legerdemain, not your ability to sell used cars.




do they? you say they do, but they don't seem to mind when the actor says his name is hamlet or the preacher promises rewards in the after life or the politician proclaims those who are hurt by his policies are winning? They thrill when the stunt man exaggerates his accomplishments and leaps. They gasp when the trapeze artist performs a feat 'never before attempted' and misses on their first attempt - even when it's written in the cue sheet. And when tom jones proclaims, 'you know, i've never felt so close to an audience before. I'm going to tell you something i've never told anyone' they swoon, and the sound man asks, 'is it 8:20 already'?

people aren't going to watch magic thinking it's a documentary. It's MAGIC. The very fact we promise to do the impossible establishes a context, a context in which we abandon 'truth' for the sake of a desired experience.

And I have shown how you may be suspected of lying whether you are "competent" or not. By making bold assurances that you neglect to verify. If the crowd already doubts your honesty, then demanding their trust can only exacerbate their scepticism.



so, when you lie, don't do it that way. As Mark C has pointed out, lying is a skill. If you don't know when to lie it's just as bad as when you don't know when to palm. And just as huge actions when you are palming are tells, so are certain types of statements.

the problem keyes is you refuse to acknowledge that most magic moves are essentially lies which go unnoticed WHEN DONE AT THE RIGHT TIME AND IN THE RIGHT WAY. The same is true for lying.

To find a point on which we could agree i would say, if you choose to lie, lie skillfully. Offering up an example of unskilled lying to 'prove' lying doesn't work would be like me offering a video of a raw beginner attempting to palm as evidence that palming "doesn't work. "

We know lying works because we can see it done successfully in the work of many magicians, including those you have chosen as examples of non liars

as i said, groundless

Lastly you say that "honour" is of little importance. The "honour"of veracity. Yet you seek to gain their admiration for your mendacious routine.


i don't seek admiration. stop
projecting. I seek to convey a feelingful response of magic. That's my goal. That's my only goal. If that in turn earns respect or condemnation is not relevant to my concerns.

But even if it were, what would one have to do with the other? You're the one who seems to be playing the 'honor' card, not I.

as i said, groundless.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 1:21 pm

The main problem I see with your logic, Mr. Henderson, is that you expect magicians to lie 'judiciously'. To employ this "tool" only when they feel it is appropriate. Well, who decides when it is called for? Do we let performers lie grossly in order to MASK their incompetence, their lack of ingenuity, and still consider it "magic"? Where do we draw the line?

I think it is the proverbial "slippery slope" to grant magicians carte blanche. Better to define Magic as "the art of deception without lies", than to risk the ennui of a crowd that presumes anything and everything you say is bogus.

To vaunt that you made something appear in a box that SEEMED to be empty is in the nature of the art, but to look into it from above and tell the audience, ,"Absolutely empty! Nothing in there" is a joke.

How then can we incorporate lying in our kit bags? The distinction between Magic and Tomfoolery can too easily be blurred.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 9th, 2017, 2:40 pm

we expect magicians to exploit sleights judiciously, and misdirection judicially, and gaffs judiciously - why is lying as a technique to be treated differently?

and why do you assume lies mask weaknesses? can they not also be used to reinforce strengths or even be employed as part of the creation of the illusion? take stanyon's piano trick for example - an entire illusion predicated on nothing more than lying about the conditions of two packets (actually the lie applies only to one, but the audience will apply
it to the second as a matter of course) - but the lie is impenetrable as it is founded on the audiences' natural interpretation of language.

why is lying lack of ingenuity? as weber alludes to, if the lie is the most effective tool then why avoid it? same can be said for palming, a gaff, or stooges.

and your definition you wish to force on is is baseless. To what end should we remove this tool from our box? why?

you say because it's a risk

but so is using ANY technique.

but all this returns us to the circle in which you keep spinning - the audience can only know you have lied if you get caught - the exact same with ANY technique.

why would being caught in a verbal lie be any different from being caught with a mirror in the box?

there is no difference

and why is a verbal lie different from a non verbal one? both share the same INTENT - to deceive.

again,
your position is baseless on ALL measures

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 9th, 2017, 2:49 pm

All sleights and other secrets should be used with discretion. I have no problem using gimmicks but if every trick employs them, it can become obvious. If you establish credibility with skill using normal cards, then you can accomplish miracles with an occasional double face etc. and they will attribute it to the skill that I have already established.

Here is an example of what I think would be a well-placed lie:
Let’s suppose I have the cards shuffled by the spectator and during a solid card set with well executed sleights, I perform a deceptive deck switch. I continue with some false shuffles and cuts before going into the finale that takes advantage of the set-up.

Just before the reveal, I say, “You shuffled the cards (Lie #1 not these cards), I shuffled the cards” (Lie #2 It was a false shuffle) then I go on to perform Out of This World to finish.

The lies reinforce the perceived conditions.

I agree with Brad that getting caught in a physical lie is just as bad as getting caught in a verbal lie.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » December 9th, 2017, 3:19 pm

Mark Collier wrote:Just before the reveal, I say, “You shuffled the cards (Lie #1 not these cards), I shuffled the cards” (Lie #2 It was a false shuffle)

As I interpret jkeyes position, I don't think these two statements would be considered to be lies.

Lies would be, "You shuffled these cards" and "I legitimately shuffled the cards".

You're not lying. You're just cleverly circumventing the truth, thereby maintaining your nobility!

Am I right, jkeyes?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 3:21 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:we expect magicians to exploit sleights judiciously, and misdirection judicially, and gaffs judiciously - why is lying as a technique to be treated differently?

and why do you assume lies mask weaknesses? can they not also be used to reinforce strengths or even be employed as part of the creation of the illusion? take stanyon's piano trick for example - an entire illusion predicated on nothing more than lying about the conditions of two packets (actually the lie applies only to one, but the audience will apply
it to the second as a matter of course) - but the lie is impenetrable as it is founded on the audiences' natural interpretation of language.

why is lying lack of ingenuity? as weber alludes to, if the lie is the most effective tool then why avoid it? same can be said for palming, a gaff, or stooges.

and your definition you wish to force on is is baseless. To what end should we remove this tool from our box? why?

you say because it's a risk

but so is using ANY technique.

but all this returns us to the circle in which you keep spinning - the audience can only know you have lied if you get caught - the exact same with ANY technique.

why would being caught in a verbal lie be any different from being caught with a mirror in the box?

there is no difference

and why is a verbal lie different from a non verbal one? both share the same INTENT - to deceive.

again,
your position is baseless on ALL measures


My position is that lying is not necessary. That a trick that relies on it is inferior to the vast majority of effects that do not require it.

I like The Piano Trick. But I would carefully craft my language to avoid making a DIRECT STATEMENT that is untrue. The potential impact is greater when the participant feels free to come to his or her conclusions. To be verbally assured by a performer who MAY OR MAY NOT be lying tends to inspire the worst kind of wonder. The wonder about your honesty.

Can you not understand that LETTING the audience satisfy itself of your veracity is a better set-up for the The Impossible than your dubious word?

I grant you that it would be a challenge to do The Piano Trick without fibbing, but I am sure it can be done. And when I come up with the answer it will blow the traditional version out of the water.

But my overall concern is the degradation of the repute of Magic. I fear that one day soon we will hear young kids saying, "Aw! I know how you did it. You just lied".

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 9th, 2017, 3:43 pm

again, how can it hurt the repute of magic if they don't know you are lying. you can only be known to be lying if you get caught, and getting caught is what damages the repute - not the particular method employed at that time

and i can prove it

people have been catching magicians for centuries and magicians have been lying to their audiences just as long - yet to this day no one exalts "i know how you did it, you lied." history shows that your claim is simply baseless

but to your basis: you have admitted there is no observable difference in a trick produced with lies and without - after all, there is no way for the audience to know unless you are incompetant - so how can you say the trick is improved without the lie?

you can't

so you can't say a trick suffers in the presence of lies

and finally, you seem to think the audience doesn't expect the magician to deceive. Dude, we call ourselves MAGICIANS. we say we do MAGIC. and you claim they will be offended when they realize we say things that are untrue?!?!?

as i said groundless
Last edited by Brad Henderson on December 9th, 2017, 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Mark Collier wrote:Just before the reveal, I say, “You shuffled the cards (Lie #1 not these cards), I shuffled the cards” (Lie #2 It was a false shuffle)

As I interpret jkeyes position, I don't think these two statements would be considered to be lies.

Lies would be, "You shuffled these cards" and "I legitimately shuffled the cards".

You're not lying. You're just cleverly circumventing the truth, thereby maintaining your nobility!

Am I right, jkeyes?


Absolutely. It's all in the language.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » December 9th, 2017, 4:22 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:and finally ...
Really?

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 4:54 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:again, how can it hurt the repute of magic if they don't know you are lying. you can only be known to be lying if you get caught, and getting caught is what damages the repute - not the particular method employed at that time

and i can prove it

people have been catching magicians for centuries and magicians have been lying to their audiences just as long - yet to this day no one exalts "i know how you did it, you lied." history shows that your claim is simply baseless

but to your basis: you have admitted there is no observable difference in a trick produced with lies and without - after all, there is no way for the audience to know unless you are incompetant - so how can you say the trick is improved without the lie?

you can't

so you can't say a trick suffers in the presence of lies

and finally, you seem to think the audience doesn't expect the magician to deceive. Dude, we call ourselves MAGICIANS. we say we do MAGIC. and you claim they will be offended when they realize we say things that are untrue?!?!?

as i said groundless


You are chasing your tail again, Mr. Henderson.

You repeatedly suggest there is only one way for an audience to know you are lying. An incompetent performance. I have responded every time by saying they don't need to KNOW. That the mere suspicion is sufficient to dull the effect.

And you admit that the crowd KNOWS that you are a liar because you claim to be a MAGICIAN, a worker of miracles.

Do you not see the fault in your reasoning? The spectators know (as you yourself have stated) that magicians use sleights and gimmicks because "the truth will out". If lies are commonly known to be employed by illusionists in the same general way, audiences will scoff.

They can appreciate the contraptions and the manual dexterity, but seriously, Who is going to be impressed by a magician who needs to lie in order to saw a woman in half?

"I'm sure many of you think you know the secret to this classic illusion, but I can assure you there is but one woman in the box."

That is the stuff of Comedy, funny because it is the opposite of what audiences expect. The hilarity of imposture.

Sure, they like to marvel. But if they find out that their amazement was caused by a simple misstatement, they will feel disappointed. Like someone who is told that the UFO they saw was really a weather balloon.

Word gets out, Mr. Henderson. So far, owing to a history of mostly honest patter, a concentration on devices and skilled moves, the public is not too cynical. But that may very well change as Society becomes more enlightened.

I think it is more important to preserve the reputation for verbal honesty (whether truly deserved or not) for the sake of those effects that are strengthened by factual statements, rather than resort to lies in order to compensate for the shortcomings of others that areI less ingenious.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 9th, 2017, 6:08 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:Who is going to be impressed by a magician who needs to lie in order to saw a woman in half?

"I'm sure many of you think you know the secret to this classic illusion, but I can assure you there is but one woman in the box."

That is the stuff of Comedy, funny because it is the opposite of what audiences expect.


I will agree that no one is going to be impressed. Not because the statement is necessarily a lie. (There are methods that do not require more than one assistant.) No one is going to be impressed because the statement interferes with the audiences sense of wonder and enjoyment. It's as if the audience is being moved by the suicides of Romeo and Juliet, and a dramaturge announces that they really aren't drinking poison.

In order for what you describe to be comedy one would need to have more information about how you would present the effect. The statement by itself is not comedy. It is only boring.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 9th, 2017, 6:10 pm



You repeatedly suggest there is only one way for an audience to know you are lying. An incompetent performance. I have responded every time by saying they don't need to KNOW. That the mere suspicion is sufficient to dull the effect.


as erdnase said re: palming, the audience 'must not suspect,
let alone detect' the use of the move

the same is true of lying

if the way you lie makes the audience suspect, you are doing it wrong.



Do you not see the fault in your reasoning? The spectators know (as you yourself have stated) that magicians use sleights and gimmicks because "the truth will out". If lies are commonly known to be employed by illusionists in the same general way, audiences will scoff.


are you drunk?

i'm saying lies ARE commonly known to be employed by magicians of all stripes: whether it is 'you shuffled the cards' or ' this mark assures us that this is the only bill like it on earth' to 'i will saw this woman in half' to . . .

the audience isn't scoffing. they expect the person who says they do magic to not be truthful - unless you are contending they actually believe the magician really cut that girl in two.

They can appreciate the contraptions and the manual dexterity, but seriously, Who is going to be impressed by a magician who needs to lie in order to saw a woman in half?


no - YOU appreciate these things. the audience doesn't care. they care how you make you feel

the spectator you imagine is one who would go to see a broadway musical and spend their time staring at the writing for the lights. sure that person may exist, but should we be reinforcing this value system by catering to it?

more importantly, your entire point is predicated on the audience knowing how the tricks were done i.e. that the magician is incompetent. you seem to think the audience knows what you know. stop performing for yourself. think of the audience - for once.


Sure, they like to marvel. But if they find out that their amazement was caused by a simple misstatement, they will feel disappointed. Like someone who is told that the UFO they saw was really a weather balloon.



again, for this to be relevant the magician has to be incompetent, otherwise how would they find out?

. Word gets out, Mr. Henderson. So far, owing to a history of mostly honest patter, a concentration on devices and skilled moves, the public is not too cynical. But that may very well change as Society becomes more enlightened.


you mean the public that goes to see a magician who does magic? of course they aren't cynical because these same people aren't offended when a man from iowa claims to. e a danish prince.

and your track record of referencing history isn't very good there keyes. the moment the magician pretends to place a coin in his hand, he is lying. when he pretends he is pretending to place a coin in his hand, he is lying. you are trying to create a special class of lying without any thing to back up that it's special or different from all the lies we tell. you have never established that to be a valid approach.

and the word doesn't get it - it IS out. magic secrets are readily available and always have been

the sky you claim is falling has never budged.


I think it is more important to preserve the reputation for verbal honesty (whether truly deserved or not) for the sake of those effects that are strengthened by factual statements, rather than resort to lies in order to compensate for the shortcomings of others that areI less ingenious


clearly, you don't know how to lie. lying in a powerful tool, just as is palming. lies don't make up for shortcomings. you are speaking as an expert on a technique you clearly do not understand

that is unwise.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 7:12 pm

It is quite clear that you don't appreciate the analytical approach to this subject Brad. Your understanding of the psychology of the audience is limited to the assumption that they just want to have a good time and don't really mind being lied to if it provides them a momentary diversion.

My belief is that people come to see a magic show to be impressed by a performer whose speciality is the practice of little known methods that allow him to create wondrous illusions. Lying is not a "little known method". It is as common as dirt.

Therefore I feel that it sullies the art. Now there is no way that you or I can prove that lying helps ot hurts. We can only consult our own intuition for an answer.

But I think you will admit that gaining and keeping the audience's trust is vital to any performer's career. Trust in What? That is the question. Trust that your words are true as you attempt to misdirect them, or trust that you cannot be trusted?

You seem to be saying that on ONE LEVEL, they know you are a liar, but if you hypnotise them with your brilliant llies, they will forgive and forget. I don't buy that, Mr. Henderson.

And even if it were true, it would be to the advantage of every magician to extend that trust beyond the moment of rapture; to the life long memory of their performances.

No one is going to begrudge you the use of gimmicks and sleights. They may smile and admire the cleverness of man's technology, or the fluid grace of his practiced moves, but when they realise that he lied in lieu of these things, they are likely to feel foolish, gullible and naive to have been astonished. Not the sort of thing that I would pay to see again. How about you, Brad?

Anyone? Where are these folks whose thoughts you know so well, despite the fact that you never discuss your methods with them?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 9th, 2017, 8:07 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:1. Your understanding of the psychology of the audience is limited to the assumption that they just want to have a good time and don't really mind being lied to if it provides them a momentary diversion.

2. My belief is that people come to see a magic show to be impressed by a performer whose speciality is the practice of little known methods that allow him to create wondrous illusions.

3. Now there is no way that you or I can prove that lying helps ot hurts.

4. They may smile and admire the cleverness of man's technology, or the fluid grace of his practiced moves, but when they realise that he lied in lieu of these things, they are likely to feel foolish, gullible and naive to have been astonished.

5. Anyone? Where are these folks whose thoughts you know so well, despite the fact that you never discuss your methods with them?


1. Based on what I have read on the posts for this topic Mr. Henderson actually understands entertainment. Since entertainment is meant to provide amusement and enjoyment the audience should expect to enjoy the good time watching the performance.

2. They do come to magic shows for that. Unless the magician is incompetent and "flashes" his methods that is what they experience: wondrous illusions.

3. Whoa Nellie! In your earlier posts on this topic you were a savant who knew that lying hurt magic.

4. While Mr. Henderson has addressed how the audience becomes aware of this you have condemned his reasonable explanation and refused to provide one of your own.

5. While other magicians session with me to share and discuss methods, my audiences show up to be entertained by my magic. When I don't entertain them they stop showing up.
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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 9th, 2017, 8:27 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:It is quite clear that you don't appreciate the analytical approach to this subject Brad. Your understanding of the psychology of the audience is limited to the assumption that they just want to have a good time and don't really mind being lied to if it provides them a momentary diversion.

My belief is that people come to see a magic show to be impressed by a performer whose speciality is the practice of little known methods that allow him to create wondrous illusions. Lying is not a "little known method". It is as common as dirt.

Therefore I feel that it sullies the art. Now there is no way that you or I can prove that lying helps ot hurts. We can only consult our own intuition for an answer.

But I think you will admit that gaining and keeping the audience's trust is vital to any performer's career. Trust in What? That is the question. Trust that your words are true as you attempt to misdirect them, or trust that you cannot be trusted?

You seem to be saying that on ONE LEVEL, they know you are a liar, but if you hypnotise them with your brilliant llies, they will forgive and forget. I don't buy that, Mr. Henderson.

And even if it were true, it would be to the advantage of every magician to extend that trust beyond the moment of rapture; to the life long memory of their performances.

No one is going to begrudge you the use of gimmicks and sleights. They may smile and admire the cleverness of man's technology, or the fluid grace of his practiced moves, but when they realise that he lied in lieu of these things, they are likely to feel foolish, gullible and naive to have been astonished. Not the sort of thing that I would pay to see again. How about you, Brad?

Anyone? Where are these folks whose thoughts you know so well, despite the fact that you never discuss your methods with them?


I think both I and Mr. Henderson have a sense of certainty. I acknowledge that there is no practical way of establishing a contention involving so many variables and so much subjective emotion.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 9th, 2017, 8:51 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:I think both I and Mr. Henderson have a sense of certainty. I acknowledge that there is no practical way of establishing a contention involving so many variables and so much subjective emotion.


Your acquiescence is admirable.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 10th, 2017, 12:04 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Pondering the many thoughts that have been offered on this thread, it gave me a clearer understanding of why (in my opinion) the use of ordinary objects is very desirable in magic. I think that while people don't like being overtly lied to, they don't like to be deceived in general, whether or not it is an overt lie. Of course, they expect that there will be deception inherent in the presentation of a magic trick, but there are arguably different kinds of deception. For example, if I do a clean and deceptive retention pass with their quarter and the coin appears to vanish, and let's say I can even show that it's not in the other hand (which is universally suspected after a coin vanish), they will know, I have deceived them, since the only alternative is that I have supernatural powers. But they will also have genuine respect and admiration for the skill involved. If, on the other hand, I bring out my Chinese coin, or a 20 Centavo piece, or even my own half dollar, they may (and often do) believe it is a trick coin - not because such coins do not actually exist, but because it is something unusual and unfamiliar, and it was the magician's prop with which the magic was done.

But being that it was their quarter, they will not even suspect that you used a trick coin, much less ask, "Is that an ordinary quarter." Harry Lorayne only performs card tricks with borrowed decks (impractical for most of us), but this is because he knows that even if he is using a perfectly innocent deck of Bikes or Bees, people will still suspect that they are "trick cards," and believe that they have been deceived, not by the magician's genuine skill, but cards that they could maybe buy at a magic store, and do the same thing themselves. And though the magician might truthfully deny it, if asked, they are still likely to believe they are trick cards, and to compound it, believe the magician has overtly lied to them. In such as case, perception does become reality. And, as Erdnase cautioned, "They should not even suspect, let alone detect." (paraphrasing). Even objects which are well known but not of the sort one would normally carry, can arouse the suspicion that it is a trick prop - such as in the safety pin example posted earlier, where the lady asked if they were ordinary safety pins.

I own a beautiful set of Sherwood cups and custom balls and a lovely Ickle Pickle Chalice chop cup. But, with the chop cup, or even the cups and balls (and I know I am treading on sacred ground here), whether they say so or not, they are likely to suspect the cup(s) which are not everyday items or the little balls with sweaters or whatever. In a layman's mind they may not know how something is gaffed, but if they even believe that it is, then their perception of the deception, if you will, is of a different kind then that they have been deceived by masterful sleight of hand, and the effect will be blunted, or at least not be as strong as it could be. That is why Skinner evolved to doing the cups and balls routine with coffee cups, cherries and a table knife, or John Carney's "Fruit Cup," using a coffee mug, rolled up borrowed dollar as a ball, and a table knife as the wand.

(Caution: These are opinions based on my own personal and empirical experience, and I have no data or studies to back them up). So, in the end, there are different kinds of deception, and I believe the audience can and will often differentiate. But if the magic is done with borrowed objects (or, almost as good) ordinary everyday objects, which are examinable, I believe we have a stronger brand of magic to offer. You could say that there has been "deception" in the accomplishment of the effect, but they don't feel that we've used "deceit," or feel "deceived."


While this topic seams to be running out of steam, what Magic by Alfred states is interesting . Magic by Alfred and I travel in different circles within the same community. Performer needs motivation to complete his annotations of "The Royal Road to Card Magic".?
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Jackpot
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 10th, 2017, 1:25 am

Jackpot wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:Pondering the many thoughts that have been offered on this thread, it gave me a clearer understanding of why (in my opinion) the use of ordinary objects is very desirable in magic. I think that while people don't like being overtly lied to, they don't like to be deceived in general, whether or not it is an overt lie. Of course, they expect that there will be deception inherent in the presentation of a magic trick, but there are arguably different kinds of deception. For example, if I do a clean and deceptive retention pass with their quarter and the coin appears to vanish, and let's say I can even show that it's not in the other hand (which is universally suspected after a coin vanish), they will know, I have deceived them, since the only alternative is that I have supernatural powers. But they will also have genuine respect and admiration for the skill involved. If, on the other hand, I bring out my Chinese coin, or a 20 Centavo piece, or even my own half dollar, they may (and often do) believe it is a trick coin - not because such coins do not actually exist, but because it is something unusual and unfamiliar, and it was the magician's prop with which the magic was done.

But being that it was their quarter, they will not even suspect that you used a trick coin, much less ask, "Is that an ordinary quarter." Harry Lorayne only performs card tricks with borrowed decks (impractical for most of us), but this is because he knows that even if he is using a perfectly innocent deck of Bikes or Bees, people will still suspect that they are "trick cards," and believe that they have been deceived, not by the magician's genuine skill, but cards that they could maybe buy at a magic store, and do the same thing themselves. And though the magician might truthfully deny it, if asked, they are still likely to believe they are trick cards, and to compound it, believe the magician has overtly lied to them. In such as case, perception does become reality. And, as Erdnase cautioned, "They should not even suspect, let alone detect." (paraphrasing). Even objects which are well known but not of the sort one would normally carry, can arouse the suspicion that it is a trick prop - such as in the safety pin example posted earlier, where the lady asked if they were ordinary safety pins.

I own a beautiful set of Sherwood cups and custom balls and a lovely Ickle Pickle Chalice chop cup. But, with the chop cup, or even the cups and balls (and I know I am treading on sacred ground here), whether they say so or not, they are likely to suspect the cup(s) which are not everyday items or the little balls with sweaters or whatever. In a layman's mind they may not know how something is gaffed, but if they even believe that it is, then their perception of the deception, if you will, is of a different kind then that they have been deceived by masterful sleight of hand, and the effect will be blunted, or at least not be as strong as it could be. That is why Skinner evolved to doing the cups and balls routine with coffee cups, cherries and a table knife, or John Carney's "Fruit Cup," using a coffee mug, rolled up borrowed dollar as a ball, and a table knife as the wand.

(Caution: These are opinions based on my own personal and empirical experience, and I have no data or studies to back them up). So, in the end, there are different kinds of deception, and I believe the audience can and will often differentiate. But if the magic is done with borrowed objects (or, almost as good) ordinary everyday objects, which are examinable, I believe we have a stronger brand of magic to offer. You could say that there has been "deception" in the accomplishment of the effect, but they don't feel that we've used "deceit," or feel "deceived."


While this topic seams to be running out of steam, what Magic by Alfred states is interesting . Magic by Alfred and I travel in different circles within the same community. Performer needs motivation to complete his annotations of "The Royal Road to Card Magic".?

In my opinion a new thread should be started. Magic by Allred proposes ideas which should be explored and performer need the motivation to annotate the remaining chapters of The Royal Road to Card Magic.
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