When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

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brianarudolph
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When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby brianarudolph » April 8th, 2017, 1:25 pm

Spurred by another thread in which I posted that I disagreed with a part of Derek Dingle's Cigarette Through Quarter routine, I'm curious in what other tricks, routines, principles, theories, etc. my fellow forum figures have felt "Magic Sacrilege" by being a mere magic mortal but daring to disagree with something you've seen from a very prominent magic luminary/icon/god, etc? This is not meant in a spirit of acerbic vitriol, but rather that of a "I really don't agree and I'm surprised I just saw that" kind of thing from so-and-so. I'll start with two examples of my own.

The first is the one I just mentioned: in at least one of Derek Dingle's Cigarette Through Quarter performances, he uses both a full-bore gimmick as well as the traditional spring-loaded trapdoor gimmick. But he exposes the full-bore gimmick to his audience (actually a bullethole quarter, not just a flat-edged hole) as a joke at the end pf phase one, saying something like "oh, I just used this quarter with a bullet hole in it and you didn't see me switch it" before going on to secretly use the flap gimmick while continuing "but a real magician would do it like this ..." I disagree with the combination of openly producing a quarter with a hole in it and talking about how good you are at invisibly switching things as part of the performance. The latter they already most likely suspect before you even walked out to perform, but the former also shows a "trick object" that looks like a "real object." Especially in the case of this routine, I wouldn't want to let the audience seen a "trick quarter" at any time.

The second was during a three-card monte performance by Dai Vernon. It think I saw it on an L&L video many years ago. During the performance, Vernon is talking about the hucksters and the game, but at one point while holding two traditionally-tented cards in one hand, he tells that spectator something like "... now keep an eye on this, because I don't want you thinking that I'm actually throwing the top card ..." or some such. My memory is a lot vaguer on this one, so if anyone else has seen this and perhaps had a similar reaction, let me know. And while I get that Vernon was extremely good and probably got a huge amount of personal satisfaction from actually exposing the method while saying that it was precisely what he was NOT doing, it's still one of those things where I had that uncomfortable "magic sacrilege"/I'd never do that"/"why'd he just do that?" kind of a reaction.

What about examples from your experiences? Again, none of this is meant in a spirit of contempt, but rather just about citing examples of when you realized you were in disagreement with a well-known magic professional and why?

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 8th, 2017, 1:31 pm

Sorry, but I think Dingle's routine for "Cigarette Through Quarter" is perfect: because he's already shown a gimmicked coin, it never occurs to the spectators that the second coin might not be ordinary. Every time I've seen someone else perform "Cigarette through Quarter," every laymen wants to grab the quarter and look at it, thus leading to a switch at exactly the moment when everyone expects it.

Michael Ammar had a very good solution to this as well--I cannot remember in which book he published it, but he switched the gimmicked coin AS he slid it off the end of (I think) a pencil. Perfect timing.
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Q. Kumber » April 8th, 2017, 2:32 pm

Now Brian, you are disagreeing with TWO magical icons.

And if I were an icon, that would be three. ;)

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 8th, 2017, 2:40 pm

unless you are that magic icon i can't imagine why you COULD possibly agree with them. Some of us are fat. Some funny. Some have accents. Some of us make you want to like them, some of us push you away.

there are moves and strategies an experienced magician can make work than a beginner can't - even if that 'move' requires no skill. heck, especially when the move requires no skill.

that's not to say there are theories that have wide ranging validity - but ultimately all theories are subject to the influence of the independent variable of the actual magician performing.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby brianarudolph » April 8th, 2017, 3:24 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Sorry, but I think Dingle's routine for "Cigarette Through Quarter" is perfect: because he's already shown a gimmicked coin, it never occurs to the spectators that the second coin might not be ordinary. Every time I've seen someone else perform "Cigarette through Quarter," every laymen wants to grab the quarter and look at it, thus leading to a switch at exactly the moment when everyone expects it.

Michael Ammar had a very good solution to this as well--I cannot remember in which book he published it, but he switched the gimmicked coin AS he slid it off the end of (I think) a pencil. Perfect timing.


Ah, the "no one expects TWO Trojan Horses" thing, eh, Richard? I was glad that Dingle showed a bullethole quarter rather than a flat "someone just drilled a hole in it" quarter as that made the quarter appear to be more of an item with a curious history that he was just fooling around with rather than something simply made for magic. I'm still wrestling with the "I faked it, but then I did it for real" vs. "I did it for 'real' twice and showed both sides at one point" thing, but I'll have to think about it - and that's ultimately my point for starting this thread! Thanks, Richard!

Q. Kumber wrote:Now Brian, you are disagreeing with TWO magical icons.

And if I were an icon, that would be three. ;)


No worries, Q and Brad - if we all agreed all the time, it'd be too tempting to think all of us were always right and we'd never learn anything/advance the art/advance the craft.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 8th, 2017, 10:41 pm

I disagree with virtually every magic so called "icon" who ever lived! Quite frankly I don't find any of them particularly iconic.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 8th, 2017, 11:17 pm

The "icons" shared what works them - usually without much of the design/verification data - so take it with as much context as you can.

IMHO exposing a possible method as gag is not a theory so much as a ploy. If you've got the audience engaged they are not thinking "how" but "what". Just do the routine and notice how your audience responds. If you've got them with you the pause for an anecdote or sharing about methods will work for you. Either way notice the feedback with/without the ploy.

There's a story about someone exposing the linking rings...

Then there's a story about someone dropping the gaff for coin in glass vanish (yeah he had a second one palmed ready to go)
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby erdnasephile » April 8th, 2017, 11:51 pm

OK, I'll bite.

I disagree with Mr. Rogers on "kickers" (too absolutist for me).
I disagree with Dr. Krenzel's hard line Re: mentioning methods (I favor the psychology of Dai Vernon's loading sequence as written).

I'll readily admit that I agree with the icons far more often because I figure it would be foolish of me not to take advantage of their vast experience. That said, I completely agree that what works for them may not work for me; however, I prefer to try it their way first before making my own modifications until I really understand why I want to make those changes.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby erdnasephile » April 8th, 2017, 11:56 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Michael Ammar had a very good solution to this as well--I cannot remember in which book he published it, but he switched the gimmicked coin AS he slid it off the end of (I think) a pencil. Perfect timing.


It's in "Command Performance 2" and in "The Magic of Michael Ammar".

It reads pretty dry, but watching it on the old Videonics tapes sold me on it but good!

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 9th, 2017, 1:40 am

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."

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 9th, 2017, 4:04 am

I always liked Faucett Ross's dictum that there is no rule in magic that cannot be broken. However, my caveat is that at least you should be aware of the rule in the first place and be aware you are breaking it and if possible know why you are breaking it.

I will also qualify my earlier statement that there are no icons I find iconic. On thinking about it I do agree that there are indeed a tiny few. Alas they are so tiny they are almost infinitesimal. And even the tiny few I find iconic I nevertheless see faults with their work, and sometimes even grave faults. Naturally I am far too tactful to mention names.

Come to think of it I have also seen a few performers who are not iconic that should be. Superb performers that other magicians don't seem to have even heard of.

Oh, and incidentally, mere technical and creative ability without performing skills does not to me an icon make although no doubt a very useful contribution overall to the art of magic. To me magic is a PERFORMING art. If you are not a good performer you are not a good magician. However, your skills as a back room boy are relevant and gratefully received but you should not be regarded as a good magician, merely a useful contributor to the art.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby brianarudolph » April 9th, 2017, 10:41 am

Glutton for punishment that I am, Alfred reminded me of another point on which I disagree with many active performers (many of them "icons") who, at least to my pea-brain, are completely missing a point stressed by another icon (who I've disagreed with on other points.)

I've seen many top card magicians either open with or perform a color change, top change, etc. very early on in their set. I've always disagreed with doing that. And I strongly disagree because of something Vernon said to the effect of "the most powerful thing you can do for a spectator in card magic is to change one card into another. card"

When I first read/heard that precept eons ago when I was starting out, my conclusion was "OK - then I should just be sure to save that stuff for the end." I came to that simple conclusion very quickly back then; I wasn't doing so as some prodigy of magic theory or philosophy - I was just viewing it as both an extension and a confirmation of another principle that had been drilled into me long before: save the best for last.

It wasn't until I was much older that I revisited my beliefs and realized an even deeper facet hiding within that precept, which while definitely "deep", still could very easily have a subconscious if not conscious impact on my spectators. To hopefully put it as simply as I can: if at any time I can cause one card to change into another card, then that's how all my card magic is accomplished in the minds of the spectators. It makes no difference if they don't know HOW I'm changing one card into another or that they can't catch me changing one card into another - once they realize that I *can* change one card into another, then that's how all of my card effects are accomplished. To try and use an analogy, it is not a mystery to anyone as to how you could verifiably be in New York City in the morning and yet also be in Los Angeles in the afternoon on the same day. You may not understand how a jet airplane - something that weighs hundreds of tons - actually works with the physics of lift and thrust, let alone the engineering of the airplane itself, but you've seen it happen with your own eyes/experience, so you know that it works. So there's nothing magical about being 3000 miles away from where you woke up in the span of a few hours. Thus there's also nothing magical about subsequently getting from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and then San Francisco to Denver, and then from Denver to Atlanta in the span of a few hours either.

I always said that if science ever perfects Star Trek's transporter, the transporter will become the spectator's go-to explanation for any magic performance. "You've just got a transporter behind the curtain (or backstage or out in the parking lot or in your case)! So what?" Think about it. As ludicrous as it may sound right now, couldn't a carefully choreographed routine using a transporter operated in sync by an unseen assistant (or by an app on your remotely activated iPad) duplicate just about any magic effect?

Since then I've conjectured about the next intermediary step we might see in the realm of card magic too. We've already got (very pricey, but wait) decks of cards that can be identified by wireless devices. So here's what I see next (US Playing Card Company and Christian Schenk take note): with display technology technology advancing as rapidly as it is, what would eventually prevent someone from releasing a deck of cards with the same form factor, thickness, flexibility and feel of great quality playing cards as we know them today, but whose faces and backs are actually electronic displays that can be controlled by the performer either personally during the performance or by by an assistant remotely? Any card could truly become any other card on command. (The implications of such a deck existing would indeed be staggering in so many realms to say the least.)

Mark Wilson's TV show assurances that "no camera tricks are used" will evolve into "In the magic you are about to see, no LCD decks or matter transportation devices are being employed" - with the "camera tricks" caveat added on top off that for any live TV broadcast or video recording.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 9th, 2017, 11:26 am

The classic disagreement with a magic icon has to be Vernon's cups and balls exposure moment at the beginning of the final loading sequence: "I don't really take the ball, I just pretend to take it." Argh! The french drop laid bare before all.

The color changing silks is a pseudo exposure effect, but I love that trick. The icons understood that laymen are not idiots and know magicians do not have real powers. Some of those icons decided to use that fact as a misdirective tool in their arsenal to fool the audience: Of course this isn't real.

I think their strategy worked, but at the cost of some exposure. That's a price some of us are not willing to pay.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Stephen Burton » April 9th, 2017, 3:32 pm

I disagree with the ploy used by Ron Wilson (and others) to break the ice for walk-around performers by "finding" something lying on the floor and asking if someone lost it. First of all, why would you want to pick up something off the floor, let alone handle it and hand it to people? It would make even the least germaphobic spectator not want you to even come close to them.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 9th, 2017, 4:52 pm

Stephen Burton wrote:I disagree with the ploy used by Ron Wilson (and others) to break the ice for walk-around performers by "finding" something lying on the floor and asking if someone lost it. First of all, why would you want to pick up something off the floor, let alone handle it and hand it to people? It would make even the least germaphobic spectator not want you to even come close to them.


Mr. Burton,

I can only surmise that you are referring to my post on another active thread (re ordinary everyday objects) where I commented that: "The discussion about the pocket knife reminded me of an encounter I had at the Bar recently that was both amusing and kind of scary at the same time. I sometimes use Ron Wilson's ploy (from The Uncanny Scot) for approaching strangers and breaking the ice...etc. etc."

Now you are welcome to disagree to your heart's content. But please enlighten me as to where in my post I said that I hand the knife to people? That would be kind of stupid, wouldn't it? Or are you not aware of what a color-changing knife is? Furthermore, if you read my post, I never said that I "pick it up off the floor," but rather that I have it palmed and pretend to pick it up off the floor.

Plus, now you've got me thinking that maybe I should perform with one of those medical masks so I can still perform close up for the germaphobes...

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 9th, 2017, 8:46 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:...maybe I should perform with one of those medical masks so I can still perform close up for the germaphobes...


disposable gloves too?
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 9th, 2017, 9:00 pm

I think the "did anyone lose a knife" ploy of Ron Wilson is an excellent one although I have often seen criticisms of it. I have no idea why. It seems a perfectly sensible option and if I did strolling or restaurant magic I would probably use it myself.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Bill Duncan » April 9th, 2017, 10:54 pm

brianarudolph wrote:...what would eventually prevent someone from releasing a deck of cards with the same form factor, thickness, flexibility and feel of great quality playing cards as we know them today, but whose faces and backs are actually electronic displays that can be controlled by the performer either personally during the performance or by by an assistant remotely? Any card could truly become any other card on command. (The implications of such a deck existing would indeed be staggering in so many realms to say the least.)

While this is possible, I doubt you'll ever see such tech in common use. For the same reason robots haven't replaced humans: humans a more fun to produce, and easier to program.

The technology to create a color change "deck" not only exists but would be fairly easy to implement at a reasonable price. A poker sized screen and a cellphone (computer) designed to run Android (a Linux variant) could be added to the face of a deck (and later removed) with a Gambler's Cop. Then it would just be a matter of adding a switch for suits and values.

But such a device would be more fun to create than it would ever be to use.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Tom Stone » April 9th, 2017, 11:48 pm

performer wrote:I think the "did anyone lose a knife" ploy of Ron Wilson is an excellent one although I have often seen criticisms of it. I have no idea why. It seems a perfectly sensible option and if I did strolling or restaurant magic I would probably use it myself.

Bringing out a knife in front of strangers in the climate of today would likely result in a body slam and handcuffs.

Disagreeing with icons is healthy. Dissent is good! Provided some energy is invested in it, not if it is automatic. :-)

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 10th, 2017, 6:09 am

Tom Stone wrote:
performer wrote:I think the "did anyone lose a knife" ploy of Ron Wilson is an excellent one although I have often seen criticisms of it. I have no idea why. It seems a perfectly sensible option and if I did strolling or restaurant magic I would probably use it myself.

Bringing out a knife in front of strangers in the climate of today would likely result in a body slam and handcuffs.

Disagreeing with icons is healthy. Dissent is good! Provided some energy is invested in it, not if it is automatic. :-)


Perhaps in America but that is a very odd place. I am not advocating producing an open dagger or stilletto knife. I am talkling about a silly little closed pen knife that changes colour. And I expect many of the people at the table will know the guy is a magician either because he is wearing very odd clothing or they have seen him performing at other tables. Besides the colour changing knives is a damn good trick.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 10th, 2017, 6:26 am

Incidentally talking about knives just the other day I figured out a way to do the Malini card stab trick without a knife. Sure there is nothing more dramatic and effective than using a knife but alas I work impromptu and can't be carrying knives and blocks of bloody wood around with me. I do have a handkerchief handy for other tricks so the blindfold is taken care of automatically. I do the trick as normal but instead of stabbing the card thus ruining the deck for other tricks, scaring people to death with a little penknife or a not so little stilletto as alleged elsewhere by timid foreigners, ruining someone's new or antique beautiful table, what I do is make each card rise in the air instead. Completely impromptu and somewhat amusing. Not as good as the knife thing but more practical for impromptu use.

Besides I have been in touch with Malini in the spirit world and he thought it was quite good so it does have his seal of approval.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby brianarudolph » April 10th, 2017, 10:46 am

Bill Duncan wrote:While this is possible, I doubt you'll ever see such tech in common use. For the same reason robots haven't replaced humans: humans a more fun to produce, and easier to program.

The technology to create a color change "deck" not only exists but would be fairly easy to implement at a reasonable price. A poker sized screen and a cellphone (computer) designed to run Android (a Linux variant) could be added to the face of a deck (and later removed) with a Gambler's Cop. Then it would just be a matter of adding a switch for suits and values.

But such a device would be more fun to create than it would ever be to use.


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.

Imagine what it could do! Ambitious card? Trivial - go ahead ... REALLY take the Two of Clubs and insert it in the middle of the pack. Let the spectator even peek at it one more time while it's partially inserted. On tapping it in, just turn over the top card and bam! - the Two of Clubs is back on top. Double lift? Trivial - Show that the actual top card is not their card and poof! - once you put it back on top of the deck, it is their card and you can do whatever you want with it. Top changes? No longer necessary. Heck, you can even watch the face of the card change to the one you want while it's facing you as you're holding it miles away from the deck and legitimately never going near the deck. (I wouldn't recommend ever showing such a visible change to the spectators lest they think - legitimately! - that you CAN change any card into any other card!) Color changing deck? Piece of cake - change the backs to whatever you want at any time. Other effects? Unlimited! Give the deck to a spectator. Let them legitimately shuffle it. Presto! Once it's back in your hands, it's now in your favorite memorized deck order or stacked for your next effect - no deck switches or culling ever required (except maybe one real deck switch at the end of your show so you can give a legitmate deck away as a souvenir to a helpful spectator.)

With all due respect and apologies to Marshall Brodien, I'd say that such a deck would truly - and quite literally - be a pack of "TV Magic Cards!"

Of course, there would be downsides too. While you could do an entire (sleight-free) show with such a deck (switching it out for a real one at the end), as soon as word of the existence of such a deck was popularized among the laity, you'd be back in required disclaimer territory. If you did use one of these decks, it might be better to switch it in and out appropriately so that you could use a regular deck whenever the TV deck wasn't really required or feasible - for example a torn-and-restored or a card-to-impossible-location effect - thereby also periodically passively "proving" that you weren't using a TV deck. And for heaven's sake: be sure your damned deck is fully charged immediately BEFORE *every* performance!!!

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 10th, 2017, 10:50 am

alfred,

how a card is best returned to the pack depends upon the effect which is to follow. for example, it is best for an ambitious card effect for the audience to know precisely where the card was returned. i mean, if it were returned randomly and shuffled you could have intentionally or accidentally shuffled it to the top. sometimes the effect you are about to produce is more amazing if they KNOW where there card is. Now for a standard 'pick a card and i find it' effect randomess may be preferred. but you have made a blanket statement which is simply
untrue.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 10th, 2017, 11:28 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. ...


That's what a lay audience is supposed to think or imagine. The job here is to get ordinary paper cards to present that impression in performance.
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jack Shalom » April 10th, 2017, 12:08 pm

Yes, but only if in the audience's mind that impression is still firmly in the world of fantasy. Otherwise, rightly or wrongly, it's not magic but technology.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 10th, 2017, 12:22 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Yes, but only if in the audience's mind that impression is still firmly in the world of fantasy. Otherwise, rightly or wrongly, it's not magic but technology.


So it might be cute cook to fake up a "card computer" box that looks to be full of machinery and circuits - you slide the pack in one side and the selection pops up through a slot in the box?

Sounds like we're going backwards from Robert-Houdin
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby brianarudolph » April 10th, 2017, 1:27 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
brianarudolph wrote:...
I'm not so sure about that, Bill. Think of the amount of serious facilitation such a deck would give a magician. ...


That's what a lay audience is supposed to think or imagine. The job here is to get ordinary paper cards to present that impression in performance.


I totally agree, Johnathan.

My conjecture for the future is that, to reiterate, at some point there could very well be a 52-card double-backed display "tech deck" that would truly be indistinguishable (without intentional exposure by the performer) from a normal paper deck (once of course technology advances far enough to produce such.) Each card (really two full edge-to-edge displays back-to-back) would have the same thickness, texture and flexibility as a standard paper card, so that the entire deck appeared - even on close examination - to be a regular paper deck. The deck could be riffle shuffled, bridged, sprung from hand to hand, etc. just as any ordinary deck (you just wouldn't want to use it for torn-and-restored or other effects that mutilate individual cards.)

And to be clear, I'm not saying I *want* this idea to become reality. Far from it! Rather, given the rapid advancement of technology, I *fear* this idea becoming reality - since at that point anybody will be able to duplicate magical effects formerly requiring various degrees of skill from beginner to expert within a few minutes of opening such a deck and setting it up to communicate with their preferred devices. And at that point it will become the go-to dismissive, cliched, crutch explanation for many people after witnessing a genuine non-technology enhanced presentation of magical skill in the future because "Big deal. I can do that too."

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

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 10th, 2017, 2:20 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:alfred,

how a card is best returned to the pack depends upon the effect which is to follow. for example, it is best for an ambitious card effect for the audience to know precisely where the card was returned. i mean, if it were returned randomly and shuffled you could have intentionally or accidentally shuffled it to the top. sometimes the effect you are about to produce is more amazing if they KNOW where there card is. Now for a standard 'pick a card and i find it' effect randomess may be preferred. but you have made a blanket statement which is simply
untrue.


Brad,

My thoughts were directed to the typical situation where a card is selected and then "lost" in the pack. Of course, the ambitious card presents a different, and entirely unique situation.

Stephen Burton
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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Stephen Burton » April 10th, 2017, 2:35 pm


Mr. Burton,

I can only surmise that you are referring to my post on another active thread (re ordinary everyday objects) where I commented that: "The discussion about the pocket knife reminded me of an encounter I had at the Bar recently that was both amusing and kind of scary at the same time. I sometimes use Ron Wilson's ploy (from The Uncanny Scot) for approaching strangers and breaking the ice...etc. etc."



No, sorry, I wasn't referring to your quote. I was actually thinking of another performer here in Houston that uses that same idea. It is just something I find distasteful; David Stone also uses the same idea as an icebreaker with a wallet that he supposedly found. The topic was about disagreement with magic icons and I wanted to voice mine since I see it being used so extensively.

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

Postby performer » April 10th, 2017, 4:31 pm

What on earth is distasteful about asking if someone has lost something?

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

Postby Brad Henderson » April 10th, 2017, 5:10 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:alfred,

how a card is best returned to the pack depends upon the effect which is to follow. for example, it is best for an ambitious card effect for the audience to know precisely where the card was returned. i mean, if it were returned randomly and shuffled you could have intentionally or accidentally shuffled it to the top. sometimes the effect you are about to produce is more amazing if they KNOW where there card is. Now for a standard 'pick a card and i find it' effect randomess may be preferred. but you have made a blanket statement which is simply
untrue.


Brad,

My thoughts were directed to the typical situation where a card is selected and then "lost" in the pack. Of course, the ambitious card presents a different, and entirely unique situation.


no

every trick presents a different and entirely unique situation

every performer presents a different and entirely unique situation

ever audience presents a different and entirely unique situation.

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

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 10th, 2017, 6:12 pm

Brad,

I am going to try to reiterate my point, and maybe clarify a bit. My original comment was specifically directed to the situation where a card is selected by a spectator, then supposedly irretrievably lost in the deck, and ultimately discovered or revealed by the magician in an astonishing and/or surprising and/or otherwise entertaining fashion. I realize that there are a myriad of card effects that can be accomplished in a myriad of ways. I realize that there are differences and unique atributes among magicians, audiences and tricks. But I believe that there is one common denominator, IMHO, that is vital in the creation of strong magic. And that is the creation of conviction. Again, I can only speak from my own personal experience. When a card is withdrawn from the deck and a magician wishes to convey the impression that, after the card is replaced, it is truly lost in the pack, yet he/she instructs the spectator as to where to replace it, or limits the choices of where it can be replaced, conviction is diminished and/or suspicion arises, and the ultimate discovery or revelation will not be as strong as it would have been if the spectator really believed he/she could reinsert the card anywhere they chose to and that their car was truly lost in the deck.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 10th, 2017, 6:39 pm

PS I think this discussion raises the broader issue of how a performer of a card effect that involves the selection of a card supposedly unknown to the magician and which is supposedly lost in the pack, can create the maximum conviction in a spectator's mind, such that the ultimate effect will be of maximum strength. One scenario that comes to mind would be the flawless execution of a classic force first instilling in the spectator's mind(s) that there was an unfettered free selection. Of course the spectator could then insert the card back anywhere they please, and then shuffle the deck. If you pull off the force convincingly, and follow the foregoing procedure, that would seem to set the conditions for maximum impact upon the ultimate revelation of the card.

To bump it up a notch, imagine this: The deck is handed to a spectator to shuffle, and while the magician turns his back, the spectator cuts the deck anywhere they like, and completes the cut, and cuts and completes the cut as many times as desired. The spectator then looks at the top card and inserts it into the deck at any spot of their choosing. They then thoroughly shuffle the deck. Only then, do they relinquish custody of the deck to the performer. Now that is really the creation of conviction, both as to a free choice and the card being hopelessly lost and undiscoverable! Yet the performer finds or reveals the selection in a very magical/entertaining way. I have thought of a method to accomplish this, but I have never tried it out.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby performer » April 10th, 2017, 8:14 pm

Here is something I sometimes do if I feel that the spectators need convincing that the card is lost. I get it FOURTH from the top! I show the top three cards and ask, "is it there?". They say "no" and I lay them on the table. I then show a few of the bottom cards and ask a similar question. Again they say "no". I then pick up the discarded three cards and place them on the face of the deck. The selected card is now on top where you want it. This procedure will disarm the most suspicious spectators and they will most certainly believe the card is lost somewhere in the deck.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2017, 6:53 am

and what you still overlook alfred is that there are more things than just the dance of the cards that impact the level of conviction that an audience member has.

some performers CAN have a card returned to a specific place without diminishing the conviction of the audience because the audience is not in a critical
mindset at
that point for a myriad of reasons.

you are focused too much on the cards and not enough on the magic. you are focused on the techniques of the fingers and the blocking of the props and not enough on the character of the performer and how it sets the tone for everything.

the experience david berglas can create is different from that of a 12 year old who just learned his first trick. but berglas could do that 12 year olds trick and convince his audience he is a wizard.

sure, technique and blocking of props is important, but those can be easily over shadowed by more powerful/important elements. icon status being one of them.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 11th, 2017, 7:43 am

it's nice to watch things that work for someone else in a different context. But that does not tell you how something needs to be done by you in your context.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 11th, 2017, 9:52 am

@Performer: Nice idea as to getting the selection 4th from top and doing an acquitment with the top 3 and then several of the bottom cards

Brad Wrote: "and what you still overlook alfred is that there are more things than just the dance of the cards that impact the level of conviction that an audience member has."

Brad, I have not overlooked "that there are more things than just the dance of the cards that impact the level of conviction that an audience member has." I agree with that. It was just not my intention to author a comprehensive treatise on everything that goes into creating conviction in the minds of spectators. If you want to have that discussion, it would be a fascinating one. But, my comments were simply focused upon ONE FACTOR bearing upon the creation of conviction in card effects involving the selection of a card where the performer ("icon" or not) is seeking to convey the impression that the card is subsequently lost in the pack. I was not, and am not, saying it is the ONLY factor. My focus upon that particular factor being relevant does not imply that all others are irrelevant.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2017, 11:56 am

it only becomes relevant when the other more important factors are ignored.

case in point - why do those magical icons who you know should know better don't feel it important enough to bother with them? do you really believe it's because you know something they don't or that their audiences are just too polite? can one become a magical icon being obtuse to his or her audiences reaction?

it's because conviction comes from factors that are more emotional than rational.

the kid doing a card trick invites suspicion that someone who is introduced as one of the best in the world does not have to worry about. a kid who has the card selected and returned fairly obviously uses the cards that are cut funny.

go re read your tommy wonder. it's in there. just not in tne chapter on which you have focused.

magic is in the details. but if you ignore the biggest details the small ones will never overcome

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 11th, 2017, 12:39 pm

Brad,

At this point you are shadow-boxing with yourself and I honestly don't need you to lecture to me. I call em' as I see em. I am an entertainer, and that brings great joy to me, and apparently to those for whom I perform. The people that I perform for night after night are my teachers, and they also pay my bills - not you, or any so-called icon. So I am primarily going to listen to and absorb what THEY teach me.

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Re: When Have You Disagreed With A Magic Icon?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2017, 1:33 pm

says the man who wants all of us to know how clever he is because he has found a flaw in the icons to which he never refers by name or whose example he never identifies.

seems to me like you are more interested in making yourself feel good than being accurate. first it's every card trick. then it's some card tricks. and now faced with the observation that your theory just doesn't hold in the face of more important traits and choices you get all defensive and walk away.

that's cool

some people are confident in their ideas. others just want to be hailed a hero and run when questioned.

i guess i'll ok to disagree with a magic icon - but not so much to disagree with you.


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