Opinions wanted: repeating an effect?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Mike » 03/31/08 09:17 PM

Hey there, 1st post for me here. :)

Before I get started, I'd like to thank everyone who reads this and takes the time to respond.

I'm curious about experienced magicians feelings about repeating an effect within a performance.

For the sake of example lets say I have a red deck and a blue deck, the spectator(s) are holding the blue deck which by all appearances is a brand new and unopened deck. Using the red deck, the magician performs a trick where a selected card vanishes from from deck. The spectator(s) open the blue deck, it is sifted through, and one red card is in the deck: it is the card that vanished from the red deck.

I know that stopping there and leaving well enough alone is a perfectly viable and acceptable course of action.

The question is, let's say I were to then perform a completely different trick using the red deck. Let's say in the second trick, one or more cards once again appear to vanish, but in a completely different way than the 1st vanish. The red card(s) once again reappear in the blue deck. Is this over the top?

By repeating the effect of having cards vanish from the red deck only to appear in the blue deck more than once, is the illusion cheapened or enhanced? Would it matter if a trick or 2 goes in between the 2 "teleportations" between the 2 decks?

Thanks again!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/31/08 10:28 PM

Many many tricks involve an element of repetition. This is not the same thing as repeating a trick.
The Ambitious Card, which many of us use, has a plot that is based on repetition.
A modern classic like Jennings' "Invisible Palm Aces" is repetitious. It grows stronger each time you do it.
Vernon's "Twisting the Aces" is repetitous.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 04/08/08 08:11 AM

I read the above question as to a magician repeating the same trick for the same audience. Here is my opinion. If the magician wants to do the same trick for the same audience - when they say "do that again" - They should use a different method or technique - to accomplish the same trick.

Just my opinion.
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Postby Green Skittle » 04/10/08 05:40 PM

If you are going to repeat a trick, it should be more impossible the second time around. If a spectator has any guesses as to how the trick is done, the repeat should prove these guesses impossible.

And to be more specific to your post Mike, I would say your example is a little over the top. Doing a trick, then one or two others, and then a trick that is similar to the first may have spectators saying "Haven't you already done this one?"
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Postby Bill Duncan » 04/10/08 06:03 PM

Mike, you're not talking about repeating a "trick" you're talking about repeating an "effect," which is a different thing altogether. As Richard noted, there are a fair number of good tricks which base part of their appeal on repetition of effect, within the trick.

That said, your example is actually talking about making a "call back" to an earlier trick, by repeating part of the effect of that earlier trick. That's not only acceptable, it's a good idea, as it will provide a degree of unity to the performance, and most likey add some humor too. For some reason, call backs are often funny...

As for the idea that you should vary the method, that's important to keep in mind in the context of a trick that uses repetition, but not so much in the case you describe (unless you think the method used is too transparent to escape notice) because the specator's won't be as likely to notice because they won't be expecting the repetition.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/11/08 08:11 AM

Mike, if there was some context which brought about the first "teleportation" and you want to use that and its consequence as a theme in your act - go for it. Working with themes is an important writing skill.

the linked text puts some of this into a different perspective than the "tricks/methods" frame: OTHER PERSPECTIVE

Folks, the language of dramatic writing for the theater need not change just because we're in the magic shop. Let's NOT waste time here fussing over what we think we mean by "trick" and "effect" - okay?

And now back to the intention of reality
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Postby Mike » 04/14/08 01:43 AM

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm preparing this little routine as we speak, and I plan on performing it soon for the first time. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Rest assured, the routine consists of 2 completely different tricks but with a similar outcome (ie cards that vanish from one deck appear in the other deck). I plan to use patter that will tie all this in together.
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Postby Silly Walter » 04/18/08 06:04 PM

Glenn Bishop wrote:I read the above question as to a magician repeating the same trick for the same audience. Here is my opinion. If the magician wants to do the same trick for the same audience - when they say "do that again" - They should use a different method or technique - to accomplish the same trick.

Just my opinion.


I absolutely agree with you. Tamariz uses this technique as do several other magicians. I wouldn't recommend it for every trick though.
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