What does a magician do?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Adam Brooks » 06/29/05 08:27 PM

I'm not kidding, what does a magician do? These days, there are many who label themselves as magicians who don't do magic. They do tricks. Do magicians create wonder? Yeah, sometimes, for the right people. Do magicians do things people can't explain? Again, sometimes, but not really.

Can someone give a real answer to this question?
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/30/05 09:26 AM

Not me.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 06/30/05 09:29 AM

Originally posted by Adam Brooks:
...Can someone give a real answer to this question?
Finds doors and windows where others have seen only walls.
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Postby Guest » 08/17/05 08:48 PM

What does a magician do?
A magician shatters your expectations.
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/17/05 09:11 PM

A magician comes into a magic shop and says, "What's new? I have show tonight and need some new tricks." :D :D :p :D :D
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 08:53 AM

Originally posted by Adam Brooks:
I'm not kidding, what does a magician do? These days, there are many who label themselves as magicians who don't do magic. They do tricks. Do magicians create wonder? Yeah, sometimes, for the right people. Do magicians do things people can't explain? Again, sometimes, but not really.

Can someone give a real answer to this question?
Your question sounds rhetorical. Do you already have an answer in mind? Or a more specific question? Maybe we should be asking "What should the term "magician" mean to our audiences?" "Are there different definitions for different audiences?" "Shouldn't we be presenting a specific model that is clear cut for the public?"

Answers to those questions might make a difference in the way we are percieved...

Best, PSC
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Postby Scott Fridinger » 08/18/05 11:21 AM

A magician thinks he can actually make some money cheating at cards...
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Postby Guest » 08/18/05 11:43 AM

I asked several guys at work "What does a magician do?" and received the following answers:

Wear a bad (possibly velvet)suit with a ruffled or sparkly shirt
Kids parties
Tricks
Prance about a stage with an assistant
Vanish things
Illusions
Perform magic

Unfortuantely none of them said "entertain" or "amaze" or "the impossible" They also seemed to have an image of a cheesy guy with overly white teeth wearing someting sparkly or a tux and acting quite camp.

I then asked them to name a famous magician. ALL of them said Paul Daniels. (I live in the UK) Nobody said Derren Brown or David Blaine (the current en vogue guys). This lead me to think that the term "magician" has a particular image attached to it that doesn't seem to immediately transpire to all forms of the genre.

I thought this an interesting angle to add to the discussion as I guess most people "in our business" refer to themselves as a magician but maybe don't realise what this means to a lay person when they think what the term means.

I personally don't like to refer to myself as a "magician" I think it gives people the wrong idea of what I do (close up card stuff). John Bannon discusses this in his "Dear Mr Fantasy" book and Derek Dingle had similar thoughts but went further and actually described himself as a "Sleight of hand artist". I think it's pushing the envelope a little to expect (or even ask) my audience to believe that what I'm doing is accomplished by "magic". I find that whenever I use the term "magician" everyone thinks that I indeed perform for children and wear bad suits!
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Postby Tabman » 08/18/05 06:41 PM

That's intresting Andy. I try to avoid any non magic person knowing my deep involvement with magic because they usually want me to show their kids some magic. Give me the company of magicians and I'm happy.

-=tabman
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Postby Adam Brooks » 08/18/05 07:02 PM

Originally posted by pchosse:
Originally posted by Adam Brooks:
[b] I'm not kidding, what does a magician do? These days, there are many who label themselves as magicians who don't do magic. They do tricks. Do magicians create wonder? Yeah, sometimes, for the right people. Do magicians do things people can't explain? Again, sometimes, but not really.

Can someone give a real answer to this question?
Your question sounds rhetorical. Do you already have an answer in mind? Or a more specific question? Maybe we should be asking "What should the term "magician" mean to our audiences?" "Are there different definitions for different audiences?" "Shouldn't we be presenting a specific model that is clear cut for the public?"

Answers to those questions might make a difference in the way we are percieved...

Best, PSC [/b]
Paul,

I didn't intend it as a rhetorical question. However, I think your questions are better, at least as a step in the right direction:

"What should the term "magician" mean to our audiences?"

Depends how much of being a magician is defined by the dictionary, which, in my eyes, is very, very little.

"Are there different definitions for different audiences?"

Different for each person, unfortunately, and homogenizing them would be real magic, given the scope of those performing and those who witness it.

"Shouldn't we be presenting a specific model that is clear cut for the public?"

I'd probably go smaller, and see if a single element, or set of elements X could be defined such that every person billed as a magician would have X. Again, actually finding such elements would be real magic.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 08/19/05 12:02 AM

Originally posted by Adam Brooks:
What does a magician do?
They stand on a pole for several days, or lay in the street and get run over by an SUV.
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