When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
MagicbyAlfred
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 11th, 2017, 1:45 pm

You win, Brad.

performer
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 11th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Actually, I tend to agree with Alfred now that I have read this thread a little more thoroughly. And oddly enough I am agreeing with him BECAUSE of something a magic icon once wrote! He was extremely dead at the time I read it but it scared me rigid all the same and as a result I have most of the time followed his advice on the matter. His name was Jean Hugard and he was highly disapproving of the procedure Brad seems to recommend. Or perhaps it was crusty old Wilfred Jonson who pontificated mightily on the matter. Or perhaps even both of them. I will have to check it out and report back.

In any event I was taught a long, long time ago that it was imperative that you should never tell a spectator to place a card back in a specific spot but it was far better procedure to give them a choice. On the very odd occasion I have broken this rule but so rarely it has hardly been worth bothering about. In general it is very wise procedure to follow.

performer
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 11th, 2017, 3:18 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I am not going to mention any names - to protect the guilty - but I have seen many illustrious card men, who have been all but deified, routinely cut the pack after a card has been selected and instruct the spectator to: "Place your card here," or "Place your card back in the deck" (while indicating precisely where to do so), or some similar directive. While I can palm cards without detection and do some cool flourishes, I would definitely not consider myself a card man, by any definition of the term. However, I have been performing magic long enough to know that this destroys the conviction of the spectators that their card is truly lost in the deck after the replacement, and therefore diminishes the magical effect, no matter how impressive the ultimate revelation. In tricks where a card is selected, if they don't believe they had a free choice to begin with (e.g. the so-called riffle force), or they have a tangible reason to suspect the selection is being controlled (typically because they are being told where to replace their card in lieu of making that decision for themselves), the ball game is essentially over. I would guess that many of the members here, probably on multiple occasions, have encountered spectators who are overtly honest about their reluctance to insert a card back where the magician wants them to, and will rebel by insisting on replacing the card where they want to, in order to thwart the performer, or to challenge or test the performer's (at least implied) claim of being able to do magic. And just because many spectators are too polite to do that, or to express their skepticism or suspicions, doesn't mean those suspicions are not there. So the card man's flawless pass after return of the selection, while impressive to magicians, may be all for naught when performing for laymen..

There is another thing I have seen many magicians, who are undoubtedly deemed icons by many other magicians, do. And that is to do an obvious get-ready prior to executing a _ o_ b _ e l _ f _. Laymen notice these things - probably more than magicians do - and even if magicians don't believe they are being noticed. They don't know what the magician did, but they know he/she "did something," and that's enough to destroy the illusion of magic. As Erdnase said, "They should not even suspect, let alone detect."


It seems as if this is the post that is causing all the fuss. I have now had time to read it and since I have always wanted to be an icon I must inform the multitude that I agree with every word that Alfred has written. And of course as everyone knows my word is gospel in these matters. Now I must search the literature I own to find out if it was Jonson or Hugard who thundered about this important matter so many decades ago. I am somewhat pleased that I still remember the teaching whoever it was that imparted it.

performer
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 11th, 2017, 3:26 pm

Incidentally, and in connection with this matter I also seem to remember Hugard also stating that too many people give the game away that a card has been forced by being too eager to offer the deck for shuffling after the selection. I think this is correct and even after I do a classic force I never offer the deck for shuffling afterwards and just have the card replaced as normal. Unless of course a spectator insists on shuffling. However, I find it better not to offer the deck too eagerly to be shuffled as it slows the trick down and as Hugard stated it can give the game away that you are far too pleased with yourself having forced the card successfully, particularly if you are using the classic force.

Brad Henderson
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2017, 7:49 pm

it's not that i disagree with the proceedure, only that it is a misplaced concern. The proceedure is irrelevant if they are either convinced you are real or have no faith in your abilities. a smart performer structures his or her magic to tell a consistent story. if the card is meant to be lost, one should make choices that convey that. But those choices alone aren't the path to conviction.

Jackpot
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jackpot » April 11th, 2017, 8:12 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:if the card is meant to be lost, one should make choices that convey that.


I understood this as the point that Alfred was making.
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

performer
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 11th, 2017, 9:20 pm

I think the procedure is very relevant. There are going to be exceptions according to individual circumstances and individual personalities but in general the procedure outlined by Alfred is perfectly sensible and is borne out by experience over decades by many performers. Sure, there are going to be exceptions and on occasion I have used certain controls such as the bluff pass or Blackstone's Roly Poly pass which do necessitate replacement in a specific location. However, this is done as a change of pace and as a way of varying my methods of controlling cards. However, on balance it is better not to do too much of this and the more latitude you give to a spectator to replace his selected card the better.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 12th, 2017, 2:38 am

performer wrote:Incidentally, and in connection with this matter I also seem to remember Hugard also stating that too many people give the game away that a card has been forced by being too eager to offer the deck for shuffling after the selection. I think this is correct and even after I do a classic force I never offer the deck for shuffling afterwards and just have the card replaced as normal. Unless of course a spectator insists on shuffling. However, I find it better not to offer the deck too eagerly to be shuffled as it slows the trick down and as Hugard stated it can give the game away that you are far too pleased with yourself having forced the card successfully, particularly if you are using the classic force.


I feel this is an insightful and important point, and great advice. When i read Performer's post as to his modus operandi after the classic force, and the rationale behind it, it really resonated and rang true . It is an approach that is firmly rooted in an understanding of human psychology, which can be applied to great advantage...

performer
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 12th, 2017, 5:41 pm

Well, I have always felt that to be a good magician, particularly a close up performer where you are in close proximity to your audience, you need to be a good psychologist. I have always felt this aspect of magic is almost completely disregarded in magic yet it is one of the most important qualities required in order to get strong reactions. Most magicians if not all know the value of technical ability and selection of good material. They know the tricks in other words. They also realise how important misdirection is. And they certainly realise the importance of presentation even though in most cases they only pay lip service to it. And they may or may not realise the importance of personality and portraying some kind of persona. Hopefully an interesting persona and not that of a dial tone.

However, one thing they rarely or even never mention either in conversation or in books is the utterly vital matter of being a good psychologist. You have to know human nature and how people think or react to be a good magician. If you are a good judge of character you will know what tricks to show to what people, how long to perform for and what words to emphasise, how to deal with hecklers and how to disarm them without offending them and indeed get them on your side. How to manipulate the people as well as the props. Magic is PEOPLE and knowing how they think can be a very valuable asset indeed.

Bill Duncan
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Bill Duncan » April 13th, 2017, 3:14 am

brianarudolph wrote:I'm not so sure about that, Bill. Think of the amount of serious facilitation such a deck would give a magician. Again, I'm talking about (future imagining) a deck of 52 cards, each of which has the same thickness, feel and flexibility of an ordinary deck by today's standards - but whose faces and backs are in reality computer-controlled displays. Add in the relatively trivial bit of capability to detect their own position whenever stacked together (as a full deck, in piles, in a fanned poker hand, etc.) and we've got a device for the ages.


Not to sound too much like a jerk, but that's pretty much how people who don't create technology imagine technology works. If we applied that same thinking to silk magic you'd have an act using two thumbtips and eight false finger tips. It's overkill.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 13th, 2017, 3:59 pm

I'd go with "fascination" more than "facilitation" for the iCards - more the way a layman thinks - fine for stories but not so practical for deception.

Maybe a q-card type printing overlay so cards look different when seen though a virtual reality device would be fun.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

webbmaster
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby webbmaster » April 19th, 2017, 11:17 am

now, now. Anyway, I think what I got out of this thread is 'figure out what works for you. Invent your own tricks and patter based on what works for you. Then don't even worry about what works for others.' Also, what works for one guy probably doesn't work for everyone or maybe even anyone else.

As far as replacing cards in the deck...maybe we an invent card magic that doesn't involve 'Pick a card, any card' at all. Lots of other plots. Have a nice day.


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