Magic Castle Junior Society

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.

Postby David Thomas » 07/17/08 08:21 PM

Hey everybody I'm almost 14 years of age and I've been doing magic since the beginning of march 2008, so I'm not really a beginner but I'm a pretty young magician so I thought I could post this here (?). Anyways I want to audition for their junior society for ages 13-19. I was wondering if anyone here could tell me if the audiences will be mostly magician or mostly laypeople. Also, How should I put my best 5 minutes into an audition on the last saturday of september? And exactly how skilled do I have to be? And can anyone recommend some routines to show them from the classic magic of larry jennings? Any answers to my questions or advice on the audition would be much appreciated.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/17/08 09:23 PM

cardmechanic, I would say that even though I'm now 50, and have been interested in magic since age 5, that in many ways I am still a beginner. You certainly are. And it's great that you've posted here and are asking questions.
There are not many easy routines in The Classic Magic of Larry Jennings--and the easy ones require excellent presentation. The simplest is "Impossible," which is a very good trick, but requires you to have something interesting to talk about during the mixing and dealing of the cards.
An easy trick to do, that's also very good, is the "Lorayne Poker Deal" out of his book Close-Up Card Magic. The book is only $20 and has many excellent routines you could do. I believe Harry can even sell it to you as a download for that price.
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Postby rkosby » 07/17/08 11:41 PM

Hi cardmechanic,

Be yourself. Do what you are most experienced and comfortable with. Be courteous and thoughtful when performing and when interviewing. If you can, show originality in one or more aspect of magic such as showmanship, presentation, timing, misdirection, effect, and or method. Above all, relax. You may end up auditioning more than once (like me).

Good luck!

Ray
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Postby David Thomas » 07/20/08 12:33 AM

Will the audiences be laypeople or magicians? I need to know this in order to construct the right performance.
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Postby Dave V » 07/20/08 01:50 AM

I was in the audience for one of last year's shows. It's a mix of members and guests. If you're worried about the audition, I suspect they'll all be Castle members. Don't try to "fool" anyone. That's not why we're there. Read what Ray wrote. As long as you make a sincere effort and put some thought into it, you'll do fine.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby rkosby » 07/20/08 01:21 PM

I can't remember if there were laymen when I auditioned. It was so long ago that I can't remember. I suspect most people auditioning had one parent in the the audience.

Ray
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Postby El Mystico » 09/16/08 10:01 AM

That's funny.
He asks for advice.
Mr Genii recommends two (just two) routines.
And now its clear he didn't bother to follow up on at least one of them.

I was lucky. when I was a lot younger, I saw Eric Mason performing a routine in a pub. Afterwards I started arguing with him about one point, and wouldn't agree with his response. Brian Sinclair (Buzzing) pulled me to one side. "You c*nt," he said. "You are in the company of one of England's finest magicians, and what are you? You have a golden opportunity here to learn from the best. Listen."
Those words came back to me today.
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Postby Donal Chayce » 09/16/08 02:34 PM

He's been pestering folks about this on the MC forum as well. I'm all for helping the youngsters, but it seems that the older I get, the less patience I have for poor manners.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/16/08 07:29 PM

I had classic magic before I posted this that's why I asked for good routines from it. but besides he wasn't recommending impossible he was just saying that it was one of the easiest in a book of many difficult effects. I already have a much better handling of the Marlo/Gardner poker deal that will fool magicians and KILL the laypeople, so I actually did follow up on both. However, thank you for your comment.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/17/08 06:58 AM

I wish I had the balls to think I could improve a Marlo/Gardner effect after learning magic for a few months. Come to think of it, I'd love to have the balls to think I could fool magicians at the Magic Castle with anything at all. And I've been doing magic for 26 years.
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Postby El Mystico » 09/17/08 07:29 AM

mrgoat; to be fair to this boy, he isn't claiming to have improved the trick. It looks like a dealer saw him coming, and he fell for it.
check the thread on the Marlo Benzais (sic) Poker Deal if you want a good laugh.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/17/08 09:50 AM

Oh I see. I had skipped that thread because poker deals bore the tits off me. It is funny though. Thanks!
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Postby David Thomas » 09/17/08 09:56 AM

It's OK mrgoat just because you have never been good at magic and have never fooled anyone you don't have to be jealous of others. Also, don't be jealous of other people just because they have something that you don't have.....don't make me say it. Use your brain and find the major changes made, El Mystico...well...never mind...


Best,
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Postby mrgoat » 09/17/08 10:31 AM

David Thomas wrote:It's OK mrgoat just because you have never been good at magic and have never fooled anyone you don't have to be jealous of others. Also, don't be jealous of other people just because they have something that you don't have.....don't make me say it. Use your brain and find the major changes made, El Mystico...well...never mind...


Best,


I agree with RK, you're a troll.

a) your syntax and vocab is too good for a 14 year old
b) you NEVER revert to txt spk
c) now you are getting attention, you revert to very Troll 101 basics

You aren't [censored], as you don't have his rhetoric in your posts.

So, who are you?

It's jolly funny, whoever you are, but come on. Fess up. Who are you really?
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/17/08 12:06 PM

I don't know Damian; I think he comes across like a lot (certainly not all, but a lot) of 14 year-olds here in the States: They think they know everything and are not ashamed to share that knowledge with those of us who they believe do not. It's nothing new really. Hell, I wish I know now half of what I thought I knew when I was 14 (though it would be much better to be 14 and know what I know now).

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Postby mrgoat » 09/17/08 01:17 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:I don't know Damian; I think he comes across like a lot (certainly not all, but a lot) of 14 year-olds here in the States: They think they know everything and are not ashamed to share that knowledge with those of us who they believe do not. It's nothing new really. Hell, I wish I know now half of what I thought I knew when I was 14 (though it would be much better to be 14 and know what I know now).

Dustin


True enough Mr S.

I just have a feeling it is someone yanking our collective chains.

Well if he IS 14 and not a troll then he can at least be praised for his writing skills.

And you are dead right, we all think we know it all at that age. Then realise we don't.

However when we were 14 that arrogance was at least kept to people we met in real life and now has gone. David's will be recorded forever.

I shudder at the thought of an online searchable record of my teenage years...
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Postby mai-ling » 09/17/08 02:47 PM

when i was 14, i thought i knew it all.

when you admit you don't know, that is
when you begin to better yourself.
you will remember my name
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/17/08 03:10 PM

mrgoat wrote:I shudder at the thought of an online searchable record of my teenage years...


If only that were 100 percent true for me. A fine example of my callow youth can be found among the pages of MUM where I took it upon myself to correct someone. Of course, the columnistwho was, of course, correct all alongdid a fine job of putting me in my place (thank you Dr. Grossman, wherever you are).

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Postby mai-ling » 09/17/08 06:27 PM

anyway, what is the point of these clubs and soceities?

they don't make you any better a magician.

Aunt Frances (Marshall) had the perfect quote,
and it escapes me at this very moment.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/17/08 06:37 PM

We all think we know it all, and it is true, I do not know nearly as much as many people on this forum...everyone else was correct all along. A lesson learned for me. It's true: I am 14, and not a troll. We all have different opinions on different effects and their handlings. Troll 101 is just natural for me I suppose...kind of scary...
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Postby David Thomas » 09/17/08 06:40 PM

Just read Mai Ling's post. The reason I want to join is to do shows and hang out with other magicians my age. Also, I would have access to the library, club, and the lectures when someone I'd like to meet comes into town. For example, Richard Turner will be there 2 weeks after I audition, and it would be a great experience to meet him.
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Postby El Mystico » 09/18/08 03:46 AM

...so you can ignore his advice too?
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Postby rkosby » 09/18/08 09:57 AM

Mai,

The Magic Castle Junior Society provides opportunities that can help make someone a better magician. It provides a great library, excellent lectures, and mentoring from experienced magicians. But, ultimately, the abilities of the member will determine if the Junior Society makes them a better magician.

Ray
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Postby David Thomas » 09/18/08 10:10 AM

El Mystico wrote:...so you can ignore his advice too?


No, so I can work on my gambling stuff!
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Postby Kent Gunn » 09/18/08 03:31 PM

To all,

Young Mr. Thomas has, since joining this board:

Changed his handle from CardMechanic to his real name.
Apologized repeatedly in this very thread.
Like the rest of us, when he is attacked in public, he retaliates.

He's 14 and is less of a pain in the ass than many of the adults on this forum. Could we try to behave like adults in his presence? He seems to be giving it a shot.

Don't confuse enthusiasm, all to rare, with ignorance.

He is enthusiastic and probably new to participating with adults, in an on-line forum.

There is no reason to coddle him. I just think we could draw a line in the sand. Let's hold off on the sarcasm and vitrol and see how he responds to our collective responses when we're not making snide remarks.

Or we could gang up on him and let him know how we're all better-read, more informed and obviously much better in every way than an enthusiastic 14-year-old boy. Yeah, that makes me feel important.
Last edited by Kent Gunn on 09/18/08 03:33 PM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: First draft was sappy.
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Postby mai-ling » 09/18/08 07:04 PM

rkosby wrote:Mai,

The Magic Castle Junior Society provides opportunities that can help make someone a better magician. It provides a great library, excellent lectures, and mentoring from experienced magicians. But, ultimately, the abilities of the member will determine if the Junior Society makes them a better magician.

Ray


i disagree.

societies do not make you a better anything...period.

its like saying someone is born with talent or is a prodigy.

there is no such thing.

hard work makes you better.
passion drives you to become great.
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Postby David Thomas » 09/18/08 09:04 PM

You can't deny it provides great mentoring...
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Postby mai-ling » 09/18/08 10:10 PM

you don't need to belong
or pay to belong to a
clique to get great mentoring.
you will remember my name
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Postby David Thomas » 09/18/08 10:13 PM


you don't need to belong to a clique
to get great mentoring.


Touch. But it helps get it.
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Postby Ryan Matney » 09/18/08 11:49 PM

Mai-Ling,

I respectfully but strongly dissagree with you. Talented people are born with a certain innate ability and no amount of hard work will ever help the hopeless.

I can't think of a single bad magician I have seen that has worked extremely hard and then become great. they may improve but A certain ability must be there before the work.
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Postby mai-ling » 09/19/08 12:41 AM

Ryan, i understand where you are going with this.
however, in order to cultivate any so called
inner talent, the person still has to work hard at it.

I find it really awkward when people say how talented i am,
because in the end, if i was a lazy frump who didn't
work at my art, having natural talent would be a
bunch of B.S. Basically I would be awful, because
I didn't work my ass off.

How do you get to Carnigie Hall?
Practice, Practice, Practice.
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Postby Kent Gunn » 09/19/08 01:34 AM

Ryan,

You're awfully cynical. I feel the exact opposite. I don't think many people have any innate skills. I think those who succeed in this life do so because they work really hard. I read through Tommy Wonder's book. All those effects that look as though it is his wonderful personality that just carries them along . . . He worked and refined them his entire life. Was that hard work to him? I don't know. It was his life's work.

Every great magician started out as a non-magician and worked at their craft. There is no inherent gift of the Gods. I think it is all about practice and rehearsal.

I know the lack of practice and rehearsal are what keep me from ever becoming even a passable magician. Oh, and a complete lack of original material.
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Postby castawaydave » 09/19/08 01:53 AM

"If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem wonderful at all." --Michelangelo
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Postby mrgoat » 09/19/08 06:05 AM

Ryan Matney wrote:Mai-Ling,

I respectfully but strongly dissagree with you. Talented people are born with a certain innate ability and no amount of hard work will ever help the hopeless



Do you have any evidence to back up your claim you are 'born' with ability/talent?
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Postby mai-ling » 09/19/08 08:22 AM

Kent Gunn wrote:Ryan,

You're awfully cynical. I feel the exact opposite. I don't think many people have any innate skills. I think those who succeed in this life do so because they work really hard. I read through Tommy Wonder's book. All those effects that look as though it is his wonderful personality that just carries them along . . . He worked and refined them his entire life. Was that hard work to him? I don't know. It was his life's work.

Every great magician started out as a non-magician and worked at their craft. There is no inherent gift of the Gods. I think it is all about practice and rehearsal.

I know the lack of practice and rehearsal are what keep me from ever becoming even a passable magician. Oh, and a complete lack of original material.



EXACTLY!





mrgoat wrote:
Ryan Matney wrote:Mai-Ling,

I respectfully but strongly dissagree with you. Talented people are born with a certain innate ability and no amount of hard work will ever help the hopeless



Do you have any evidence to back up your claim you are 'born' with ability/talent?



Yes.
I am evidence of it.
I was not born with anything.
Just the want and passion to be better.
I asked questions, I listen.
I search, and I worked my ass off.
I didn't take anything for granted
that I had any kind of inate ability.
Even to this day, I work hard at what I do.
Because if I don't make higher goals for myself
I will fail at my own expectations of what
I want to succeed in life.

Even if for the umteenth time I have been
told I have the skills of such great and high esteem
artists; or that I am like Mozart.
I don't just figure that I can just
stop and let it just happen. I know that as I
get older, I will reach a higher and higher level.
Because I am constantly expanding my knowledge
and wanting to learn.

That is why I say so.

/ ramble
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/19/08 10:03 AM

Ryan Matney wrote:Mai-Ling,

I respectfully but strongly dissagree with you. Talented people are born with a certain innate ability and no amount of hard work will ever help the hopeless.



There was an article in the New Yorker a year or so ago which detailed the results of a study done upon musicians at a conservatory in New England. The study charted the amount of hours a student practiced compared with their (at least partly subjective) ability as measured by their teachers.

The goal of the study was to identify the students with greater innate talent -- those whose achieve a greater level of ability with less time spent practicing.

The result was that they could find no evidence of innate talent whatsoever. Ability was correlated with amount of practice, and nothing else.

So perhaps the reason why it's so very rare for a bad magician to markedly improve is because bad magicians rarely have a good work ethic. This, I have noticed, is something that very rarely changes once you become an adult.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/19/08 10:11 AM

Pete McCabe wrote:[...
There was an article in the New Yorker a year or so ago which detailed the results of a study done upon musicians at a conservatory in New England. The study charted the amount of hours a student practiced compared with their (at least partly subjective) ability as measured by their teachers.

The goal of the study was to identify the students with greater innate talent -- those whose achieve a greater level of ability with less time spent practicing.

The result was that they could find no evidence of innate talent whatsoever. Ability was correlated with amount of practice, and nothing else.
...


Amusing - and sad if taken as more than social science (who presumed what and concluded what based upon what argument offered)

Has "audience rapport ability" been modeled?

*for those who don't perform that's something ... well do some performing and learn for yourself ;)
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Postby Ryan Matney » 09/19/08 12:35 PM

Well now I wish I hadn't gotten into it and opened the can of worms. ;)

I think what Pete McCabe said about the study in the New Yorker is interesting. However, it begins with a flawed concept in argument to the point I was making, if ALL of the students did not have an innate ability to perform music and play musical instruments then they would not be at the conservatory.

Could you take a tone-deaf kid that has an interest in skate-boarding and make him as good a musician as the others?

My whole point is that there must be something there to begin with. You can't develope and polish what does not exsist.

Since we all seem to like musical metaphores. How about this: Kid Rock is a terrible musician, has taken lessons, works hard and is very very enthusiastic about his craft. He managed to eek out a modicum of ability to play instruments, write songs, and sing. He has virtually no born-in talent but through sheer hard work and desire has created himself.

Now think about Bob Dylan, no lessons, just instinct. And, while you might argue that he is not a great instrumentalist or singer, he is universally acclaimed as one of the great poets of rock and roll. His ability was on display almost as soon as he began to use it and it seems to come astonishingly easy to him. Sure he polished and honed his craft through later influences and experience but there was an enormous amount of talent already there.

Another example, Jerry Lee Lewis, not one lesson for playing and singing and yet he created a style of music and playing that was unique and virtuoso. This also came to him almost second nature. He credits god.

I agree that talent isn't enough, you must work hard to develope it. You also must know yourself and your limitations and that is very difficult for anyone. A lot of bad magicians would be better if they just realized what they could NOT do.

But you can't tell me that hard work would turn Kid Rock into a song-writer to compare with Bob Dylan and a musician on level with Jerry Lee Lewis because what they have; just is not present in the Kid.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/19/08 01:22 PM

Ryan Matney wrote:My whole point is that there must be something there to begin with. You can't develope and polish what does not exsist.


Although your lovely examples were a joy to read, have you got access to any research at all that backs up your claim?

Scientific American can back up my claim you are wrong :)

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the ... ind&page=1

"The preponderance of psychological evidence indicates that experts are made, not born. "

"At this point, many skeptics will finally lose patience. Surely, they will say, it takes more to get to Carnegie Hall than practice, practice, practice. Yet this belief in the importance of innate talent, strongest perhaps among the experts themselves and their trainers, is strangely lacking in hard evidence to substantiate it."

Yes, evidence! That pesky thing...
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Postby mai-ling » 09/19/08 01:23 PM

Ryan, what you wrote is a matter of your own personal opinion.
when you say kid rock is an awful musician and comparing
him to dylan and lewis.

i'm not going to agree to disagree with you because what i would
write is an opinion and there's no point going there.

i will say this.

When i was a toddler it was expected of me to automatically
become a magicienne. In fact, Aunt Frances expected me to
become the next great female magician hands down.

It was obvious that I came from a great background and
history already and was surrounded by so many great
magicians who would be there to mentor me and such.

But I didn't, to much great disappointment.
Yes it was personal choice.
I just didn't have the passion to do it.
I do love magic with all my heart, just not to perform it.
I also didn't want to work my hard and practise to
be an accomplished magician.

I just wasn't eager to do it.

I was more eager to become a musician instead.


: another story :

About 15 years ago, I went to a recital and
this woman in mid-50's came up to play "Fur Elise"

She told a story about herself when she was younger
her parents had her take piano lessons.
She ended up quitting because she found the
time it took to learn and practise to be too much.
As years went by she started to regret her decision.
She finally decided to go back and take lessons
so she pushed herself to learn "Fur Elise."
And she was so proud to be be able to perform
it that evening, she started to cry. It took
her 40 years and lots of practise to get to
that point on the stage that evening.

I've remember that because there had been
times where I had wanted to quit but I just
couldn't. And I think about her and how I
might regret the same decision later down the
road.


I have something else to say, and it's from
a personal aspect that I will share later.
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