Learning The Hard Way

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Adam Brooks » 08/17/01 03:29 AM

Hiya folks,

Ok, with the vast literature on almost anything and everything magic related, it seems that one with enough time and money could read through enough material and practice enough to feel ready to perform for "real people." Here my question:

What has performing for real people taught you about magic that no magic book could ever provide?

I mean, there's obviously more to magic than double lifts, Elmsley counts, and two-handed side-shift-control-fan-passes. Then again, that stuff definitely isn't necessary for one to experience what we call 'magic'; a well placed crimson sunset can no doubt cause a similar sense of wonder and astonishment...

Then there's the whole "the presentation's the thing" mantra. Acting skills, emotions, status changes, everything that's important for the actor is just as important for the magician...

Maybe it's that sense of balance between the technique and the performance that magicians strive for in real world magishing...

He of the wandering, pondering mind,

Adam
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 08/17/01 11:34 AM

I've learnt that you have to pay attention to the audience. this may sound obvious, but I mean really pay attention. Listen to what they say,where they look, how and where they react. All this info will help to improve your act.
If working at a close-up table, paying attention to them will have you ready to prevent someone from turning over a card or coin, you don't yet want touched.
Listening to everything that is being said, may afford you an opening for a trick. All kinds of happy coincedences can come up, when you are looking for them.
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 08/17/01 09:31 PM

Interesting comments, Larry. You may want to look at a great article on the subject by Jack Merlin. It's titled "The Pulse of the Public" and it's in p. 89 of his book "...and a Pack of Cards."
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Postby David Acer » 08/17/01 10:43 PM

As an older, wiser member of the Genii forum than Adam (I am Member #321, while Adam is merely #322), I can honestly say that the difference between a trick in a book and one in the real world is very much the difference between a square drawn on a piece of paper and a cube held in your hand. That cube may resemble the square from a certain perspective, but the fact is, out in the real world, it has depth and breadth that are not in evidence on the printed page, an instant, automatic bi-product of the trick being performed for and scrutinized by an audience. The square may belong to the magician, but the cube belongs everyone. So to answer your question, what I have learned from performing for real people that I could never have learned from books is how to TRUST my audiences enough to allow us to create solid, engaging cubes together out of flat, lifeless squares. And no, Im not stoned
Now tweeting daily from @David_Acer
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Postby Adam Brooks » 08/17/01 11:52 PM

As an older, wiser member of the Genii forum than Adam (I am Member #321, while Adam is merely #322)


Hmmm...I can only vouch for the older part...

These squares that you speak of, are they kinda squarish, or more circular shaped? After reading a recent set of your lecture notes, I find I was grossly misinformed about geometry...

-Adam
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