America's Got Talent performance

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America's Got Talent performance

Postby Brian Hebert » June 2nd, 2017, 7:42 pm

I'm surprised no one has started a thread about the performance of Will Tsai on AGT.
I thought it was quite interesting. I think the judges will remember that for along time.

Thoughts?

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2017, 9:27 pm

I enjoyed it very much. My critique would be that he did too many things using the same principle, and it was too perfect. In other words, the repetition of the effect led even laymen to the method.

But there's no question that it was beautiful work.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 2nd, 2017, 9:28 pm

They are certainly talking about it on Facebook. The comments from other magicians were not encouraging and reeked of jealousy. The trouble with magicians is that they think their opinions are important. I saw the kid and I thought he was quite good which is very odd since I think everyone is crap and some (actually most) are hypercrap. What bothers me the most is that the criticism on Facebook gives away the method. With the bloody internet there will soon be no magic secrets left any more. A grizzled old pro told me a few days ago that he thought magic will be dead in 20 years. I think he is being overly pessimistic but it isn't a good thing.

But yes. I thought the kid was pretty good. I must be mellowing with age I suppose.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 2nd, 2017, 9:53 pm

Discussion started on the cafe 5/26: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view ... 24&forum=3
The judges and audience liked what they saw.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Bill Mullins » June 2nd, 2017, 10:11 pm

I liked Darci Lynne's vent act much more.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Doomo » June 2nd, 2017, 10:24 pm

performer wrote:They are certainly talking about it on Facebook. The comments from other magicians were not encouraging and reeked of jealousy. The trouble with magicians is that they think their opinions are important. I saw the kid and I thought he was quite good which is very odd since I think everyone is crap and some (actually most) are hypercrap. What bothers me the most is that the criticism on Facebook gives away the method. With the bloody internet there will soon be no magic secrets left any more. A grizzled old pro told me a few days ago that he thought magic will be dead in 20 years. I think he is being overly pessimistic but it isn't a good thing.

But yes. I thought the kid was pretty good. I must be mellowing with age I suppose.
So if I didn't like the act I was jealous? Richard Kaufman was VERY vocal about his feelings about the new Alien movie. He mus be very jealous indeed. That is simply a wrong headed statement. You seem to be damn dismissive of anyone who disagrees with you.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Dave Le Fevre » June 3rd, 2017, 4:25 am

I think that one can dislike a performance without being jealous. There's a conjuror friend of mine whose performances I often dislike. It's just a personal opinion, and it doesn't affect our friendship.

And conjurors can so often be the worst judges of what a lay audience will or won't like. We tend to dismiss dealer items. Yet a few years ago someone on a UK TV talent show performed Cardtoon, and the audience loved it. My sister-in-law was telling me all about it, and she thought it the most amazing thing ever. Just because "we" know that it's readily available in magic shops and "we" know how it's done, that has no correlation to the impact that it has on a lay audience.

(I don't tend to watch such TV programmes. And being in the UK, I don't watch US TV. So I haven't seen the Will Tsai performance.)

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2017, 5:35 am

Doomo wrote:
performer wrote:They are certainly talking about it on Facebook. The comments from other magicians were not encouraging and reeked of jealousy. The trouble with magicians is that they think their opinions are important. I saw the kid and I thought he was quite good which is very odd since I think everyone is crap and some (actually most) are hypercrap. What bothers me the most is that the criticism on Facebook gives away the method. With the bloody internet there will soon be no magic secrets left any more. A grizzled old pro told me a few days ago that he thought magic will be dead in 20 years. I think he is being overly pessimistic but it isn't a good thing.

But yes. I thought the kid was pretty good. I must be mellowing with age I suppose.
So if I didn't like the act I was jealous? Richard Kaufman was VERY vocal about his feelings about the new Alien movie. He mus be very jealous indeed. That is simply a wrong headed statement. You seem to be damn dismissive of anyone who disagrees with you.


Doomo, old chap. I have utterly no idea what the Alien movie has to do with the matter. Richard is not a movie producer and therefore would have no reason to be jealous anyway. I have never even heard of this movie so that will make it somewhat easier for me to be not to be jealous too.

And OF COURSE I am dismissive of anyone who disagrees with me! After all I am MARK LEWIS and they aren't! When one is an unmitigated genius blessed by the Gods in ways that lesser magic mortals most certainly aren't then naturally one must of course be dismissive of opinions from other sources that are not in agreement with my own.

Now do pay attention, there's a good chap. I said "other magicians" reeked of jealousy. I didn't say YOU did although I suspect you propably were of that disposition otherwise you would not have been so vehement in your post. Obviously the truth hurts. I was not referring to ALL the magicians on Facebook who were moaning and groaning just most of them. You see magicians are a jealous bunch by nature. They can't help it. It is in their DNA. As soon as ANYBODY achieves success they all jump on the bandwaggon of criticism. And that includes me. However, I know I shouldn't and I at least try to bite my tongue even though I do not always succeed.

The opinion of the veriest layman is FAR, FAR, FAR more important than that of a Dai Vernon, a Goshman or a Slydini where audience reaction is concerned. What these people say is useful where technical matters are concerned and obviously in ways the performance MIGHT be improved but they are often wrong too. If one of them were to say, "It was below par" and a lay person were to say, "That was fantastic. You are the best magician I have ever seen" then I am sorry. The lay person's opinion should be given priority. Again, I repeat because it bears repeating. The trouble with magicians is that they think their opinions are important. They aren't.

Except mine of course. But of course that is patently obvious.

Now do trot along, Doomo old chap and try not to be jealous in future. Envy of others is not good for the soul. I shall reciprocate by not being jealous of you anyway. I do hope you appreciate it.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Q. Kumber » June 3rd, 2017, 8:48 am

Some years ago Brian Glover, Walt Lees and a layperson were judges at a magic society close-up competition.

One of the performers did a Fiber Optics rope routine and had a good presentation for it.
Another performer did the Victor C&R Rope with a pretty bland presentation.

When the judges got together, Brian and Walt spoke highly of the Fiber Optics performer. The lay judge strongly disagreed. She said, "But he only pretended to cut the rope with his fingers, the other guy actually did cut the rope with a scissors - he was much better."

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby AJM » June 3rd, 2017, 9:13 am

I'm sure I heard that there are 3 magic acts in tonight's Britain's Got Talent final.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby erdnasephile » June 3rd, 2017, 9:51 am




That was very smart magic done well--he knew that everyone would be watching the big screen (by necessity) and designed something incredibly magical that would look great on camera. It really looked like trick photography--quite amazing. My one, tiny nitpick was I thought the theme of the presentation was a bit weak--but at least he had one. (To Mr. Lewis and Q's point: the audience didn't care.)
Overall, extremely well done! I look forward to seeing what else he has in store.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Frame » June 3rd, 2017, 10:11 am

It’s exquisite, hyperglycemic eye candy! My hero Del Ray would have loved the routine.

But, as Richard stated, it’s too perfect. In the final, impossibly visual sequences, because Will’s hands aren’t in contact with the coins, the viewer is forced to eliminate sleight of hand as an explanation. That leaves them with the only possible (and correct) explanation, the table. The table also shakes in synch with the magic, drawing attention to itself.

The initial backfire Matrix sequence was not too perfect and arguably superior because Will handled the cards and coins and the magic happened while the coins were covered. That’s a good example of how magic occurring out of the viewer’s sight (under a card) is often stronger and more “bullet-proof” than magic done right before their very eyes.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2017, 10:33 am

I have actually had laymen accuse me of using trick tables even when I am not! Particularly for glass through table. And even coins through table. And believe it or not even when cards change to different ones on the table! I tell them they are welcome to take the table home with them for inspection.

I know Del Ray did well with a mechanical table. I would never dream of using one. There are so many tricks of equal effect that I don't see the necessity of lugging around a monster like that. And these things are very prone to going wrong in the middle of a performance. I know it happened to Del Ray himself on several occasions.

I don't see the practicality of things like that.

I am glad the kid did well though. I have no issue with him using that method. Only the practicality of that method in the long run. Still, he said he created it just for the show and it seems to have worked.

I am not a fan of the fakery in that show anyway. The fake reactions and suchlike. It is almost like watching an L and L audience but mixing in negative fake facial expressions and suchlike. I am sure the winner is determined beforehand.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 3rd, 2017, 10:41 am

AWESOME! Looks like what magic would look like if there really was magic. The look of wonder and awe on the judges' faces and the reaction of the audience say it all. Very well conceived presentation, beginning with the flower and petals, and the metaphor to the beauty, fragility and fleetingness of life, and then coming full circle with the flower petal transformation ending. And through it all, he projected complete humility, which contributed to how much the judges and audiences embraced him. People want to believe in magic and this left them believing that, yes, it just might really exist...

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Brad Henderson » June 3rd, 2017, 7:58 pm

tom, why would you think del would love this routine? speaking on behalf of dead people is problematic, don't you think? did you know del well? speak to him often about magic? or are you just guessing.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jackpot » June 3rd, 2017, 8:30 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:why would you think del would love this routine? speaking on behalf of dead people is problematic....


Perhaps Performer could check in with Del Ray to see if Mr. Frame is correct or not.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 3rd, 2017, 11:10 pm

I already did. He liked it.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2017, 9:35 am

Tom Frame wrote:But, as Richard stated, it’s too perfect.

I don't get why something that is less than perfect is labeled "too perfect".
Does anyone really suggest that, instead of improving the flawed piece, he should make it more flawed? That sounds like a self-destructive path to take.

The performance was good. The effect is strong, but the construction of the piece is somewhat weak. But all in all, I think Will can be satisfied with the exposure.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 4th, 2017, 12:06 pm

It's "Too Perfect" because the performance leads even uneducated viewers directly to the method.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Stone » June 4th, 2017, 12:53 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It's "Too Perfect" because the performance leads even uneducated viewers directly to the method.

Isn't proper term for that: "Flawed"? :-)

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 4th, 2017, 2:01 pm

That's a different way to look at it, but the end result is the same.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Moore » June 5th, 2017, 6:47 am

The argument about an effect being "too perfect" or "too proppy" is an incredibly modern one that most magicians don't even begin to understand, much less have a clear reasoned personal decision as to their stance on the matter. Outside of performers who presented themselves as psychics / spiritualists / mystics throughout the 18th & 19th century magicians you've all heard of included mostly demonstrations of technology they had invented/commissioned and were happy to present entirely as "look at this really cool gadget I've got" that gradually morphed in to hybrids of technology and magic (pseudo-automata like the Chess Playing Turk or any of the "painting automata" for example) still presented absolutely as "this is a cool machine" rather than "i have magic powers" - until in the early 20th century almost all stage magic/illusion (although achieved by purely magical means) was presented as "this is science based, don't I have cool scientific toys" a trend which continues to dominate right up to the 1970's

Obviously there are a few exceptions to the above but broadly speaking i'd argue that it's only with the relatively recent rise of manipulation / skill based magic (flare-style stage manip, close-up magic) and now mentalism that magicians have become really hung up on the idea of convincing their audience that they really do have special skills and powers rather than just a lot of cool toys whilst at the same time lacking any of the dramatic or psychological skills required to do so authentically. In the last 20 years stage magic in particular has switched from having a lot of "bad box pointers" to having a lot of "bad box pouters" as performers desperately try to crowbar pathos and psudo-drama in to their performance to keep up with the current performance fashion of being a magic person rather than just the owner of cool stuff.

There's plenty I would change with Will's routine to improve it further but it sits very comfortably within the history of impactful magic performance and with 50million views and the world googling his name i don't think he's too worried about what any bunch of strangers on the internet thinks.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 5th, 2017, 9:34 am

Tom Stone wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:It's "Too Perfect" because the performance leads even uneducated viewers directly to the method.

Isn't proper term for that: "Flawed"? :-)


I wish that were the case. The defect in this case is not on the surface of the action or the method used for the trick but in the particular combination which leaves the trickery exposed to the imagination of the audience. The article by Rick Johnsson was nice about the topic - suggesting ways to hide the trickery.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 5th, 2017, 9:36 am

Tom Moore wrote:The argument about an effect being "too perfect" or "too proppy" is an incredibly modern one that most magicians don't even begin to understand, much less have a clear reasoned ....


Please, please we all know it was a camera trick... no need to ruffle the feathers. 8-)
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 5th, 2017, 2:47 pm

If indeed it was a "camera trick," and not accomplished by the table as others have suggested, I don't really see any meaningful distinction between that and deceiving the spectators by means of gaffed cards, such as the Ultimate Monte cards, which as is the case with countless gaffed card tricks (like wild card), the cards are inherently suspect, obviously not examinable, and arguably susceptible to being characterized as "too perfect."

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 5th, 2017, 3:06 pm

Jonathan, it was not a camera trick, so what are you referring to?
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Q. Kumber » June 5th, 2017, 3:23 pm

Tom Moore wrote:The argument about an effect being "too perfect" or "too proppy" is an incredibly modern one that most magicians don't even begin to understand, much less have a clear reasoned personal decision as to their stance on the matter.


From what I've read over the years about prominent magicians of the past, they knew, for whatever reason, how to turn tricks into unfathomable mysteries, using all techniques and strategies at their disposal. And they certainly must have had a deep understanding of audience management, psychology, and misdirection.

I believe they had an inherent understanding, consciously or unconsciously of the theories recently promoted in magic books over the last thirty or forty years as "modern" theory. There are little clues all over the place in the "old" books, perhaps only a sentence or two, an odd remark that could easily be turned today into an essay, chapter, or complete book.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 5th, 2017, 3:42 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Jonathan, it was not a camera trick, so what are you referring to?


For the camera (with distance and a little lighting) it looks great. Not sure it would work as close as usual for the Roth chink-a-chink. We all saw the silver picture frame around the black velvet tabletop - folks with a background in general magic know what they're looking at.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 5th, 2017, 3:45 pm

That does not fall under the definition of a camera trick. It is a stage performance technique, sometimes used for close-up magic.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 5th, 2017, 4:34 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:The argument about an effect being "too perfect" or "too proppy" is an incredibly modern one that most magicians don't even begin to understand, much less have a clear reasoned personal decision as to their stance on the matter.


From what I've read over the years about prominent magicians of the past, they knew, for whatever reason, how to turn tricks into unfathomable mysteries, using all techniques and strategies at their disposal. And they certainly must have had a deep understanding of audience management, psychology, and misdirection.

I believe they had an inherent understanding, consciously or unconsciously of the theories recently promoted in magic books over the last thirty or forty years as "modern" theory. There are little clues all over the place in the "old" books, perhaps only a sentence or two, an odd remark that could easily be turned today into an essay, chapter, or complete book.


The Reynolds personage has it right here. This "too perfect" theory was mentioned on two occasions in print way before Rick Johnsonn started chattering about it, although it wasn't called that. So it is not "modern" after all. The first time I came across it was a cursory mention of it by Monk Watson but it was also explained by crusty old Wilfred Jonson in "Mr Smith's Guide to Sleight of Hand" when he was describing a coin trick. And what it said made complete sense.

Unlike this daft thread. I don't think this young man's appearance has anything to do with the too perfect theory anyway. The only thing too perfect about it is the fact that I approve of it. And of course that makes perfect sense.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 5th, 2017, 4:35 pm

In a discussion of the too perfect theory from 2005, John Lovick wrote ...

"Magic tricks simulate a violation of the laws of the universe to create an illusion of an impossible act. The simulation will always fall short of the ideal, the illusion will only be so good. Once you realize this, then it should be clear that by definition a magic trick can never be "too perfect". Covering up the weaknesses is one of the jobs of the magician. If you think there are too many tricks or acts or magicians that are too perfect, well, you must be going to different conventions than I am. Some tricks naturally point toward their own method, so the problem is not that the trick is too perfect, but that the method is too obvious."

I agree with Lovick's assertion that a magic trick can never be too perfect.

If Will Tsai's creation looks as good in person as it does in that YouTube video, then his is the state-of-the-art method when it comes to the creation of the illusion of the apportation of coins across a table top.

It looked perfectly magical.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Stone » June 5th, 2017, 4:58 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:It's "Too Perfect" because the performance leads even uneducated viewers directly to the method.

Isn't proper term for that: "Flawed"? :-)


I wish that were the case. The defect in this case is not on the surface of the action or the method used for the trick but in the particular combination which leaves the trickery exposed to the imagination of the audience. The article by Rick Johnsson was nice about the topic - suggesting ways to hide the trickery.


The Rick Johnsson article was crap, just like his "theory".
The quote marks because it isn't even a real theory, but a collection of flawed assumptions about what a magic effect is and a deep misunderstanding of what our art consist of.

Tony 'Doc' Shiels's "ALL magic is mental" is a lot more useful as both a theory and a diagnostic tool.
To get the magic/mental aspect, for what we do to become more than what it is, we must have gaps in what we do that the audience can fill in with their own fantasy of what might have happened there. What they imagine happens is always more impressive than what actually is happening.

In the original Chink-a-Chink, (if we ignore that the hands are necessary for the workings) the hands provide the gaps; the moments where no one can see what is happening, the moments where is necessary to fill in the blanks with one's own fantasy.

Will Tsai is basically doing the original Chink-a-Chink, but have made it flawed in that he have removed the part where the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks. Removed the part 'Doc' Shiels point out as being defining for what we do; the mental part - the magic part.
In other words, while interesting, it can never become more than what it is. It is exactly what it looks like, and therefore open to reverse-engineering for those watching it more than one time.

Also, see "In the Gaps, Magicians Reside", LodeStones, June issue of Genii 2009

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Moore » June 5th, 2017, 5:16 pm

For the camera (with distance and a little lighting) it looks great.


There's a LOT of experience using this exact technique in close-up situations; it works incredibly well and is a surprisingly robust technology in the harsh environment of live close-up performance; To choose 2 performers familiar to american's markets Latimer & Henry Evans both have a wealth of material that very blatently uses the technique up close without any issues or special lighting requirements; Henry has a whole lecture on the method and how to engineer your surroundings in order to make everything you want invisible to audience members sat 2ft from your table.
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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Brad Henderson » June 5th, 2017, 5:41 pm

tom is correct.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 5th, 2017, 5:58 pm

I more or less believe in the "too perfect" theory but it doesn't apply in every case. What it means is that a trick should have a few "outs", so as to lead the spectator away from the method. I think it should be called the "too impossible" theory which would make more sense. Something can be so impossible that there is only one method left and that is the obvious one. Something like that anyway. I don't stay up at night worrying about it as I know it when I see it. And I didn't see it here. I had no idea that it was a trick table until I read it here blazened all over the bloody internet for all to see. So it wasn't "too perfect" for me and I know a lot about magic.

Wilfrid Jonson described it well. It was to do with a great coin trick which would take too long to describe. The climax was that the spectator had 6 coins in his hand but thought he only had five. You show another coin and vanish it in the usual way. The spectator drops the coins into your hand and you count them on the table showing 6 to reveal the vanished coin.

This is what Wilfrid said about it and in a few lines explained the "too perfect" theory in 1945 a hell of a lot better than all the prattle that is going on in 2017 about it. Here is what he said. Now pay attention class:

"Some performers allow the spectator to open his hand and count the six coins himself, and this procedure has been suggested in most previous descriptions of the this trick. But it is a very ill advised thing to do and one which may easily lead the onlookers to realise the existence of the extra coin. It is attempting to make the climax too strong, a thing which can often weaken the whole structure of a trick. A good trick should always leave more than one solution open to the imagination of the spectators"

Old Wilfrid was a very wise man. And I am also a very wise man for knowing this and bringing it to you today.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 5th, 2017, 6:28 pm

Tom Stone wrote:Will Tsai is basically doing the original Chink-a-Chink, but have made it flawed in that he have removed the part where the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks. Removed the part 'Doc' Shiels point out as being defining for what we do; the mental part - the magic part.
In other words, while interesting, it can never become more than what it is. It is exactly what it looks like, and therefore open to reverse-engineering for those watching it more than one time.


Tom,
For the sake of discussion, answer me this ...

If you actually had the psychic ability of apportation and were demonstrating this ability using coins and a table top, would you still use the cover of cards or of your hands?

Would it still be a benefit to include the part where the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks; when there are no blanks - when what they are seeing happening is actually happening?

No illusion.

As I write this, it occurs to me that one might want to use the cover of cards or hands to disguise the actual method - i.e., real apportation ability. To create the illusion of illusion, so to speak.

It certainly would seem that one presentation would be much more astonishing that the other, but is one any more entertaining than the other?

As to reverse engineering of this particular effect, If someone has no idea how it is done on their first viewing of the video, I think they will still have no idea after a hundred views.

There is however, already a YouTube video exposing the method :(

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby performer » June 5th, 2017, 6:35 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:Will Tsai is basically doing the original Chink-a-Chink, but have made it flawed in that he have removed the part where the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks. Removed the part 'Doc' Shiels point out as being defining for what we do; the mental part - the magic part.
In other words, while interesting, it can never become more than what it is. It is exactly what it looks like, and therefore open to reverse-engineering for those watching it more than one time.


There is however, already a YouTube video exposing the method :(


It is about time something was done about this You Tube exposing. It has been bothering me for ages. And I think I know what to do about it too. I may well stir myself to sort this mess out once and for all. Single handedly if need be. Nobody else seems to care.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 5th, 2017, 6:42 pm

Funny things happen when being coy about methods. The lighting concern is flash photography - a bright light shone at odd angles can show depth, flaps, edges etc which are not always as they should be. There's a nice coin vanish item in the January 2012 issue called Schrodinger's Coin that comes to mind as application of the artistic principle embedded in the mechanics. There's also some impressive card magic in a recent issue around here ...

Agreed with TomS about leaving room for imagination by covering items, even for an instant. I'd go with "accounting for the magic" as principle. If you don't account for it - the audience will fill in whatever they need. Including mechanical things.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Stone » June 5th, 2017, 8:09 pm

performer wrote:Something can be so impossible that there is only one method left and that is the obvious one.

No. That's more a sign of a poorly structured routine, and a lack of understanding of what our art is.
If there is only one possible solution, and that's it; then it lacks everything that makes magic magic. Then it is not more than what it is - it is exactly what it is. That's a sign of being possible, not impossible. It is easy to become seduced by all sorts of James Bond gadgetry that at the end we do a display of scientific innovations while confusing it for something worthwhile.
The reason Karrell Fox's "Poka Cola" is immensly more magical than the standard demo of Cigarette through Coin is because the standard demo displays solely the technology. That can never become more than what it is - it is exactly what it looks like. While in Karrell Fox's piece, despite using the exact same props, there are gaps where the audience mentally have to fill in the blanks, and suddenly we have magic.

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Re: America's Got Talent performance

Postby Tom Stone » June 5th, 2017, 8:32 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:Tom,
For the sake of discussion, answer me this ...

If you actually had the psychic ability of apportation and were demonstrating this ability using coins and a table top, would you still use the cover of cards or of your hands?

Would it still be a benefit to include the part where the audience is allowed to fill in the blanks; when there are no blanks - when what they are seeing happening is actually happening?

No illusion.

That's a question that is impossible to give a rational answer to.
If it turned out that unicorns are real, and a herd suddenly was found - do you think they would be anything like the cartoons and fantasy films? If you had one before you, no fantasy involved, mud caught in its fur, smelly, radiating heat, a wild look in its eyes and that dangerously sharp spike in its forehead. I bet you would argue that these 'real' unicorns are nothing like the 'real' unicorns everyone dreamed of.

There are no psychic ability of apportation (ignoring Mark's abilities for now), just like there are no unicorns. And if such powers existed, it would likely look very different from its fictional counterpart. We still have the laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy to think about. If it was real, and the coin disintegrated at one place, and via quantum physics appeared somewhere else, the audience would more likely be too busy dying from radiation sickness to appreciate the feat.

The point is that it isn't real, and making it seem real isn't what our art consist of. Our art is to make it seem unreal. Our art is to nudge people to make the wrong conclusions about what is happening, and then in a dramatic fashion, make them aware of that. You will never get that by showing something to be what it is.

Or in other words - if the fictional concept of magic was real, any display of it would appear highly unmagical. It would feel as mysterious as pressing a button on the wall and have the lights in the ceiling go on.


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