MAGIC Live 2017?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 20th, 2017, 6:43 am

I am still unclear about one little detail. Bill's description was actually quite good and I could visualise the scene quite well particularly as I have seen the performers in question work. However, there was one tiny detail which was unclear and I would appreciate clarification. When the cashier went "ewww" at the card from fly was that an expression of amazement or disapproval?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 20th, 2017, 1:56 pm

One magician used magic to challenge her and as a means of trying to bet and win a prize from her that she was not authorized to bestow, and placed her in an awkward and uncomfortable position, with the only possible outcome being to make her wrong, and possibly put her job in jeopardy; the other magician pulled a card out of his fly in front of her. Is this really a case of the "magic" being lost on her?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 20th, 2017, 3:18 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:One magician used magic to challenge her and as a means of trying to bet and win a prize from her that she was not authorized to bestow, and placed her in an awkward and uncomfortable position, with the only possible outcome being to make her wrong, and possibly put her job in jeopardy; the other magician pulled a card out of his fly in front of her. Is this really a case of the "magic" being lost on her?


I can't disagree with Alfred, Performer, and Ted here. The betting premise made the cashier cautious and defensive. A cashier is usually on high alert for a short change transaction. Nobody on the job wants to get reprimanded or fired. Obviously Williamson was only kidding about the bet, but she may not have known that.

I have never understood the Anything from the Mouth effect. Whatever is drawn out of the mouth will have saliva all over it. Card from the Fly is a close relative of this.

I think it's a good thing that Bill described this incident. Best to learn from the mistakes of others, and as the late Eugene Burger once pointed out, even brain surgeons make mistakes.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 20th, 2017, 4:41 pm

Both Mac King and Tom Mullica do (did) the Card from Fly. It is/was a highlight in their acts.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 20th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Both Mac King and Tom Mullica do (did) the Card from Fly. It is/was a highlight in their acts.


In the context of a professional performance.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 20th, 2017, 5:20 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Both Mac King and Tom Mullica do (did) the Card from Fly. It is/was a highlight in their acts.


And Steve Martin also? This is probably not a good impromptu effect, and best done on stage.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 20th, 2017, 5:29 pm

It was hysterical when Mulliica did it. He would reach in, look perplexed, and say, "I think it's a CLUB." Still makes me smile.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby AJM » August 20th, 2017, 5:38 pm

I always thought the Card from Fly looked a little out of place in Mac's show.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 20th, 2017, 8:14 pm

AJM wrote:I always thought the Card from Fly looked a little out of place in Mac's show.

Andrew


Agreed. Quite disgraceful.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 20th, 2017, 8:16 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Both Mac King and Tom Mullica do (did) the Card from Fly. It is/was a highlight in their acts.


In the context of a professional performance.


I don't care whether it is a professional performance or not. It is dowright disgusting and should never be done under any circumstances no matter how much the low class people in the audience love it. You must never go down to their level.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 20th, 2017, 8:29 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Both Mac King and Tom Mullica do (did) the Card from Fly. It is/was a highlight in their acts.


I don't give a stuff whether it was a highlight in their act or not. Bad taste is bad taste. I feel very strongly about this. I don't care how successful a performer is or how much money he makes ,the very SECOND anyone performs this abomination is the very second he becomes a bad magician. No question about it. It is absolutely automatic. As soon as they degrade the art like this is the moment they are bad magicicians. As Victor Farelli once stated, "Anyone can raise a vulgar laugh"

If second rate comedians want to do filth of this nature that is a matter for them but a MAGICIAN should be a proud and honoured profession and should NEVER stoop to this disgusting level.

And the above applies to a public stage and that is bad enough. To actually do it impromptu for a complete stranger, and a female no less, is the height of bad manners and utter mediocrity. Utterly beyond the pale.

As for Mac King I have seen his live show. It was quite good and perfectly adequate without that kind of abomination. I am sure he performed it when I saw him but I tend to go into my own world when watching a magic show and fortunately must have missed it. As for Tom Mullica I never liked either him or his work. I found him gross and heard him use profanity on a video.

I may be old fashioned but I prefer to adhere to higher standards. There is no place for any kind of vulgarity in magic. It is an ancient and honourable art which should not be debased by this kind of lower class material.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 20th, 2017, 8:43 pm

Agreed. And my concern is that this woman will now be biased against all magicians - maybe forever. I don't know when I first heard it, but it struck a chord when I heard the saying that we are all "ambassadors of magic." It is no wonder, given some of the encounters people have had with magicians, that they are predisposed not to like them. And, if it's OK for a male performer to open their fly in front of a woman (a stranger, no less), reach in and pull out a card out of there, well then I suppose it would be perfectly fine to stick a Goshman Ding-Dong in her hand and let that pop-out as well. Many years ago, Justice Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court stated, "I can't define pornography, but I know it when I see it." The same can be said of poor taste...

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 20th, 2017, 8:58 pm

Oh, don't mention that utterly horrific ding dong trick! That is even worse that the card from fly! I still remember Glenn Bishop relating a tale of how his father was hired for a trade show that Albert Goshman had worked the year before. Goshman was no longer hired since he was daft enough to show a woman the Ding Dong trick. Alas she was the wife of the president of the company! Goshman himself told me one of his employees complained about him to the authorities since she alleged he was forcing her to manufacture pornographic materials in his sponge ball factory!

I have no idea if it is true or not but I was also told about a now deceased well known performer doing this particular trick in gay bars. I shuddered when I heard it and I hope to God it wasn't true. I couldn't see him doing something like but you just never know what people will do to produce a cheap temporary laugh and debase both themselves and the art in the long term.

Alas this is the way magic has been going in recent years. Profanity on stage, insult humour and making spectators the butt of the joke all with a "See--I fooled you" attitude. It was just unheard of in my day and I worked some of the roughest places. Even there, it just wasn't done no matter the level of the audience's bad taste. The performer always kept well above it.

So much for Leipzig's dictum that people like to be fooled by a gentleman................

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby PickaCard » August 20th, 2017, 10:01 pm

Nothing is quite a low as being asked to take your card that appeared from the magician's butt... Derek Hughes did it a Genii... Disgusting.
Last edited by PickaCard on August 20th, 2017, 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 20th, 2017, 10:03 pm

I sure do wish I had never told the story, and I'm sure I will regret saying any more, but . . .

1. I thought, originally, that an anecdote about a situation where some really strong magic was not getting the hoped-for reaction from a spectator would be something that many here could relate to, and I streamlined what happened to make that the point of the story. If I had realized that several here would use my tale to suggest that David Williamson and Mac King, two of the finest magicians I can name, don't know how to do a pick-a-card trick (my mind reels at even typing those words . . . ), and to promote themselves as more knowledgeable about the psychology of spectators, I would have never written it down.

2. I left parts out. Williamson did not start with the bet, but with the normal things you would say when you are doing a trick where you've swapped out the spec's selection for an indifferent card that they think is the card in question. The bet was an attempt (it seemed to me) to get the lady somehow invested in the trick, because she hadn't been up to that point. By the time he gave up, all of the group (and there were several other top flight magicians there, whom I won't name because I don't want to also drag them into into this dumpster fire of a discussion) were looking at each other in amazement that the lady did not have any of the reactions one would expect when having a trick performed for her, one that she had asked for. Likewise, I didn't mention everything Mac King did to attempt to give the lady a magical experience. But she wasn't having any of it, and when he pulled the card from his fly, it was as much for us (the rest of the group) as for her, and it was one last desperate attempt to get any kind of reaction from her. He wasn't trying to be shocking or gross, he was trying to end the awkward situation so we could pay up and leave.

3. My reluctance to post further on the event is because no matter what I say, I fully expect Mark to pontificate further about how he is a master at reading an audience and getting a reaction and is an all-around better magician than anyone else in the world, and this wouldn't have happened to him. After all, this is what he has done so far, even though a) He wasn't there, and b) I had said (twice) that my reporting wasn't good enough to draw strong conclusions about what really happened. Such is ego.

So, if you are reading this far, I wish it was possible for you to ignore what I wrote about that night above, and replace it with:
1. Lady asks for a magic trick.
2. David Williamson tries to give her a very good one, but she doesn't respond well.
3. Mac King tries also to give her a very good one, but she still doesn't respond well.
4. We leave, and have a discussion later about how some people don't respond well to magic.
5. I do a crappy job of trying to give a lively description of what happened, and people draw unwarranted conclusions about the magicians involved.
That is all.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 21st, 2017, 1:02 am

Dear Bill,

Please do not regret your post. What it raised is a very important point that deserves its own thread.

Earlier I mentioned that it is the context of the situation that we often fins ourselves in. Here it is being in the position of 'A Performing Pig'.

"Right Magic Boy, show me a trick."

It is irrelevant as to whether you are the greatest magician in the world, or a rank amateur. The spectator has invested nothing (time, effort, emotion, a personal item) into the experience.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 21st, 2017, 5:22 am

PickaCard wrote:Nothing is quite a low as being asked to take your card that appeared from the magician's butt... Derek Hughes did it a Genii... Disgusting.


I feel quite faint...............................

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 21st, 2017, 5:49 am

Bill Mullins wrote:I

3. My reluctance to post further on the event is because no matter what I say, I fully expect Mark to pontificate further about how he is a master at reading an audience and getting a reaction and is an all-around better magician than anyone else in the world, and this wouldn't have happened to him. After all, this is what he has done so far, even though a) He wasn't there, and b) I had said (twice) that my reporting wasn't good enough to draw strong conclusions about what really happened. Such is ego.



But I AM a master of reading an audience in close up situation! Nothing to do with ego. It is not my fault that I was blessed by the Gods in this manner. I do NOT claim to be the best all around magician in the world although naturally I am of a higher standard than most. I DO claim to be one of the best close up card magicians in the world particularly in an impromptu situation. In actual fact I am indeed "better than anyone else in the world" but I don't like to admit it because some may deem it immodest and humility has always been a major attribute of mine.

And I don't have to be there. I am psychic and already know what happened. And your latest description above confirmed what I thought. If someone ASKS to see a magic trick that means they are interested in seeing one. The reason she lost interest so quickly is not her fault but that of the performer. I suspect he performed very confidently and THAT was the problem! People resent being fooled and you have to take this into account and "take their guns away" as I have preached in the past. You have to downplay things not work in a too confident style.

I wish someone would tell that lady she is the subject of a discussion on a magic forum and get her to give her reasons for not reacting as well as she should. I would love to hear them. Somebody go in and find out please or even better get her to sign up here and tell us.

However, as a bone to make poor old Mullins feel better I will concede one thing which has not been mentioned. I suspect this wasn't the case here but I mention it as a faint possibility so that everyone can still hero worship their idols. I have always known there are certain people who just don't react to magic. That does NOT mean they don't like it! They can be stone faced but still be appreciating and admiring what you do. It is not uncommon for this to happen but only shrewd people like myself can modestly point this out to those of you wilth lesser experience in human psychology. I therefore concede in order to be fair that there is a faint possibility this was the case. She may have loved it but was not a natural reactor. And it is always a mistake to try to force the reaction you want by trying too hard. So yes. She may have liked it but didn't show it.

I doubt it though. Bill still hasn't answered my question if the "ewww" reaction was one of amazement rather than disapproval. But then he doesn't have to. If it was amazement he would have been eager to tell us all. So that leaves the disapproval. Still, at least it was a reaction although not an ideal one.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 21st, 2017, 6:04 am

Q. Kumber wrote:Dear Bill,

Please do not regret your post. What it raised is a very important point that deserves its own thread.

Earlier I mentioned that it is the context of the situation that we often fins ourselves in. Here it is being in the position of 'A Performing Pig'.

"Right Magic Boy, show me a trick."

It is irrelevant as to whether you are the greatest magician in the world, or a rank amateur. The spectator has invested nothing (time, effort, emotion, a personal item) into the experience.


I see things differently than most. I feel that it is my DUTY to perform if someone asks me. I may well hesitate to see if they are sincere and try to follow Leipzig's admonition not to perform unless coaxed but in 90 percent of cases away I will go. That is the reason I took up magic in the first place. To show people. How the hell do you expect to be any good if you don't perform?

In actual fact I LOVE it if they demand in a superior way that I show them something! I WANT them to be a bit condescending and demanding! I am happy to be slightly bullied and treated like a performing dog! It suits my style perfectly. I don't perform impromptu the way I perform at a trade show or svengali pitching. It is a much more low key effort and I pretend I have no idea what I am doing (and sometimes I don't). I let them underestimate me and I go in for the kill as I have already explained. I let them dominate me and even bully me. It takes the wind of their sails and turns the tables on them in an inoffensive way.

It is not for everyone to work this way. It may well not suit their personality or style. However, it would behoove them not to come on too strong either which is what I think happened in Vegas. Still, some of us are born to lead and some of us are born to follow............................

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Tom Moore » August 21st, 2017, 6:09 am

Bill - your clarification only highlights the important lessons here and the huge perception problems magicians have about what magic is; The cashier asked to see a magic trick, the magicians decided that that meant she wanted to see a complicated multi-phase card trick that required lots of concentration on her part. Clearly they were wrong and it is absolutely 100% the performers fault for not assessing the situation correctly. If any other punter went up to a cashier and tried to swindle them in to not paying for a meal then started pulling things out of their crotch the cops would be called; the only thing that makes these activities legitimate are if they are part of a magic trick and if those watching or participating don't perceive what's happening as a magic trick then the performers are in trouble.

The average layman's idea of what a "magic trick" looks like is a million miles away from the perception magicians have about magic trick. If DW had sneezed and pulled a bunch of feather flowers out of his nose then Mac pulled a rabbit out of a top hat i don't doubt the cashier would have been ecstatic. It is beyond question that they are both highly experienced performers but also (somewhat ironically) neither gets to do anything like as much real-world magic performance and many of the members on this board; they are both employed in long running shows where people come specifically expecting to see the style of magic they offer, or employed in corporate environments where the audience is aware that the type of entertainment that is on offer has been vetted and approved. Both tend to perform long-form, building up a world and environment the audience explores and understands which gives an acceptable and accessible context to the kooky or gross things they do; i'd hazard that 99% of the material they both do is completely inappropriate for this kind of hit-n-run magic performance.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby lybrary » August 21st, 2017, 7:53 am

Bill Mullins wrote:4. We leave, and have a discussion later about how some people don't respond well to magic.

I believe this is rule #2 from the magician's code of conduct:
- Rule #2: If the trick fails blame the spectator.
Which is followed by rule #3
- Rule #3: If the first trick fails immediately follow it with the card from fly, which is universally liked and appreciated.

Don't complain guys. They did it by the book.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 21st, 2017, 10:38 am

@Bill Mullins: "If I had realized that several here would use my tale to suggest that David Williamson and Mac King, two of the finest magicians I can name, don't know how to do a pick-a-card trick (my mind reels at even typing those words . . . ), and to promote themselves as more knowledgeable about the psychology of spectators, I would have never written it down."

I did not remember anyone on this thread suggesting that the magicians in question "don't know how to do a pick-a-card trick." Going back and reading again, I still did not see any comment suggesting this. I did see several comments questioning whether a pick-a-card trick was a good choice of a trick to perform in the situation. I also saw comments (I believe quite justified) that questioned challenging and betting against the spectator, and a denouement that consisted pulling the selection from the fly - even if you are frustrated that you did not get the reaction you wanted and even if it is for the benefit of your magician buddies. But even then, I think it is generally beside the point what kind of trick is presented, but matters more how we present ourselves...

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 21st, 2017, 12:41 pm

Bill's Vulcan Mind Suggestion won't work. We can't just forget what happened at that dining establishment. In this case, what happened in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas. :mrgreen:

Perhaps a bit of flash paper would have dazzled that otherwise recalcitrant cashier. Eugene Burger once noted that there is no magic trick that can't benefit from the addition of flash paper.

Or Simon Lovell's color change from Son of Simon Says might have worked here. No card is selected but the one on the face is shown with a presentation on perception as the deck is for a brief moment turned face down and then back up with a different card now on the face. Hopefully a contrasting one.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 21st, 2017, 1:22 pm

Another small but important point seems to have been missed. Naturally not everyone has my wonderful talent of getting reactions from laymen in under 30 seconds and having them worship me and want to build statues in my name. So why didn't they cut their losses when they could see quite quickly that they weren't getting anywhere? The worst thing to do when you are not going over well is to keep persisting until you do, making matters even worse. Any half decent restaurant magician walks away very quickly after a minute or so if he or she picks up vibes that the entertainment is not welcome at this time. If I am selling svengali decks and I have a crowd in front of me that I deem are not going to spend any money I may well cut the demonstration short and get rid of them and save myself time. At a trade show I may cut the show short if I sense enough is enough.

So if you are performing for a cashier and something in your manner or perhaps your trick (I suspect the former is more likely than the latter) does not seem to be going over very well then why prolong the agony. Bring the thing to an end quickly, pay your bill and get the hell out of there.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 21st, 2017, 3:41 pm

Leonard Wrote: "Perhaps a bit of flash paper would have dazzled that otherwise recalcitrant cashier. Eugene Burger once noted that there is no magic trick that can't benefit from the addition of flash paper."

So true (and magical), Leo. I never leave home without it. Or even a change from a one-dollar bill into a $20 or $100, via TT or flash cash, to pay the tab - or better yet to leave her a nice gratuity. Or, maybe vanish a pen by sleeving or the toss-up move, vanish a credit card with a Tenkai vanish, or perhaps even vanish a sponge ball which reappears to join the one placed in her hand. (That's always, by far, the strongest effect in a sponge ball routine). If cards must be used, what about just a one-phase ambitious, where she signs the card, it's placed "in center" and rises to top, whereupon she is given the card as a memento. I am thinking more and more that (as Tom Moore suggested) a layman's perception of what a magic trick should be is often far different from that of many magicians. This is not to say that there are not many fine and creative multi-phase routines done by talented performers, but oftentimes short and sweet and direct make the biggest impact - especially in the environment in question.

I have to add that Lybrary's post regarding the rules from the magicians "code of conduct" had me in stitches... And I would wager 10 desserts that Performer would have won her over within 30 seconds.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 21st, 2017, 4:19 pm

[quote="MagicbyAlfred"][b And I would wager 10 desserts that Performer would have won her over within 30 seconds.[/quote

I have done it many times. And on the rare occasion (I don't remember any) that I haven't I would cut my losses. If there was no reaction before 45 seconds at the most I would have cut my losses and stopped.

Not that I am the type to brag of course.


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