The essence of *Close up magic*...

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 09/04/05 10:18 AM

Books can be written and have been re the theory of how *magic* should look like and be presented.

In this case, I'm solely refering to *real* close-up magic and what I mean by *real*, in this in this case, is impromptu, anywhere/anytime magic performed surrounded by ppl.

It is no secret that I am highly devoted to the way Al Goshman did present his work and I'm not in doubt, even today his act would still be in demand, despite of he did his act in a sit down situation and it was a *set* performance..

Nevertheless, I highly admire the work of others doing their work under the above mentioned circumstances, anywhere/anytime and actually even without being *prepared* for any *set* performance..

The best example re this -and this is what the header "The essence of *Close up magic*..." is all about- is the work of Gregory Wilson, and in this case I'd like to mention *THE* routine that fullfills everything IMHO is asked for re the 'header' of this topic.

I would advice any coinworker to have a look at his *Quick Silver* routine in his DVD *On the Spot*.

That routine is everything COINMAGIC should be about.

In effect and in short, it is an incredible coinflurry where -in this case- a nickle vanishes in a spec hand and appears repeatively at diff. places, like the specs shoulder, the performers eye (worn like a monocle), under the specs watch and this is repeated a couple of times under testconditions.

On this capture Greg Wilson does show incerdible outstanding and superb timing walking through all the mentioned stages.

You se, I also like a lot of other performers stuff, but in many cases, the real good stuff is too angle depending.

I know it has been denied many times by a lot of expert performers, but stuff like the edge grip in all of its variations, backclipping aso. would have a hard time under the above mentioned conditions, in the real world!!

I know the above might probably upset some of the established users of these sleights, but I would simply advise them to watch Gregory Wilsons perfomances of *Quick Silver* on the mentioned DVD and compare if THEY where able to get a similar effect out of THEIR technically much more demanding performances under the SAME conditions Greg Wilson is working?

This routine has it all, he can do it completely surrounded, there are no angle problems.

This too is due to the superb and calculated misdirection and correct timing he uses throughhout that routine.

It is also highly entertaining and does fool the pants of his specs, especially the ladies :) ...

As much as I always disliked the use of smal change/nickles/dimes for ANY coinroutine, because of *visibility*, in this case it plays well and there is no reason he couldn't do that routine using halfdollar(s)...

Why did I write the above?

Simply because the mentioned routine fullfills the *header* of this topic and his *coin in the eye*-loads did even fool me twice and it will fool each and every knowledgable watcher of his DVD/routine..
You don't believe me?
Se for yourself...

Apart from the great coinroutines from ppl like f.ex. Eric C. Jones, Homer Liwag, and many more, the above mentioned routine IMHO is even more suited for the mentioned anywhere/anytime conditions, as there is no angleproblem re *hideing*, no JW grip to cover the angles, aso. aso.

I love all the other stuff from ppl like Homer Liwag, Eric C. Jones and many more, but it couldn't be performed under the same conditions the above mentioned routine from Gregory Wilson can.. :(
Apart from this, it HIGHLY does involve spectators participation and so is incredibly entertaining and magical!

Just some thoughts re how *real* coinmagic should look like, maybe *food for thought* for some.. :)
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Postby Larry Barnowsky » 09/04/05 10:44 AM

Excellent point Werner. I will have to get "Off The Cuff" because this sounds exactly like the type of coin magic I love to watch and the kind that I perform myself. It's coin magic in the trenches, performing under extreme conditions with people all around you and often no access to a table or sometimes even elbow room. I've been there and when asked to do magic with coins I have 3 effects from my book that I always rely on for those conditions. I just go on magic autopilot and perform.
The Book of Destiny
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Postby Guest » 09/04/05 11:34 AM

:)
Sorry, *Quick Silver* is in his *On the Spot* DVD, but I also would highly recommend *Off the Cuff* .
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Postby Guest » 09/04/05 10:44 PM

Anybody else cares to comment/disagree or even agree re the *The essence of Close up Magic* ? :D
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 09/05/05 03:21 AM

What you mean is the essence of impromptu magic, not of close-up magic. And even then, it's a terminology thing. For magic to be impromptu in the strictest sense, you'd be finding stuff that's around you and do whatever you can, and even then your background is there for you to help.

Then there is impromptu magic in which you'd do tricks that you know and that you can do everywhere with everyday objects, which is the kind of close up magic you prefer, and that you're calling the essence of close-up.

There is also impromptu-looking magic like if you carry a shell or thumbtip, or even a small gimmick for a specific trick in your pocket and take it from there. If it looks impromptu to the audience because you can pull it off as such, it's just as good and has the potential to be even better, depending on your skills but, at the same time it is less practical for most people. You decide for yourself how practival or impractical it is to carry something at all times, or part of the time, and how valuable is a square inch of your pocket, according to your performing conditions.

If you talk about the essence of close-up, that's not the point. The essence of close-up is that it's performed up close. Still, it's all a terminology thing. You may decide to call close up to magic in which the spectator can look down at a table and identify a playing card, or read the date on a coin, or hear you whisper or done for audiences of a certain number of people: 6? 8? 25?

"Close-up" It's actually a term established for convenience to define a kind of magic, like for telling you what a book is about, and even if it's not clearly defined, when somebody talks of close-up magic, we all seem to understand more or less the same thing.

But my point is that there are no limits to what one can do. There is nothing that "should be" or that one "should do." The name comes after, so maybe there are things one should do, if one is to call it a certain way. You do whatever you want and people like whatever they like.

If there is a wrong thing to do, it is to present an unrehearsed performance if you're not prepared for it. The only wrong thing with angly magic is to perform it where it flashes.
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Postby Guest » 09/05/05 08:22 AM

I agree heartfully with most of what you mentioned..TBH, I took what I mentioned re *the essence...* rather lighthearted and NOT literally, but solely expressed my feelings..
I shortly insert below one single comment though..

Originally posted by Rafael Benatar:

If it looks impromptu to the audience because you can pull it off as such, it's just as good and has the potential to be even better, depending on your skills but, at the same time it is less practical for most people.
It is not for the audience to judge this, the term *impromptu* has to be defined by the performer soley and it really SHOULD cover what it means, the work can be done anywhere/anytime with borrowed articles, the only script and rehearsal is hopefully in the mind of the performer.

My example re Greg Wilson did cover exactly that situaton re his *Quick Silver*, and that example was styled to point out my definition of what I called *real* Close-up Magic, where here, IMHO, the *real* stands for the impromptu situation and not a *set* performance.

An extra coin needed?

Well, this also might be impromptu as one can ask a spec to remove a handfull of coins -which one of them hopefully has- and therefrom *steal* even the extra.

Patter and direction can cover this, asking for somebody who has a variaty of coins in his pocket, *I need a coin with a specific date on it*, aso. blablabla... :D , looking through his collection of cash..

*Maybe I can use this one, nope, that one is better..Oh, I'm not sure*, aso. aso. blabalbalbla..just get that extra coin ;)

In the above case the whole scenario IS impromptu and that is what I call *REAL* CLOSE-UP MAGIC, contrary to *close-up magic* which is exactly as you explained..

I'm fully aware of that the term *REAL CLOSE-UP MAGIC* is not something that is commonly used, it is just my own definition of deceptions shown at close range to the specs that can be done totally impromptu..

A lot of effects fullfilling that *term* are covered/shown in GWs *On the Spot* and *Off the Cuff*, as well as in other DVDs and publications.

The hand supported on a table that turns around 180 degrees at the wrist is a prototype re the/my defintion of *REAL CLOSE-UP MAGIC*..
:cool:
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Postby cataquet » 09/05/05 09:46 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with Rafael's superb analysis. Werner is saying that the "essence of closeup magic" (or as he later describes it "real closeup magic") is completely impromptu magic. However, as Rafael points out, "impromptu" is a perception by the spectators. If I perform a trick with a pack of borrowed cards, it's impromptu. If I take the pack of cards out of my pocket (even if its ASDIU), it's no longer truly impromptu (as I provided the cards). Does that make the magic less "real"? If not, then this is not a useful distinction! If I borrow four quarters from a spectator, load a shell (which I had in my pocket), and then do Roth's shell coins across. Is this somehow "less" magical? Again, I don't see the validity of the distinction Werner is trying to make. In this last case, the spectator gave me the coin, and in the end I give them the coins back. As far as THEY are concerned, it's a completely impromptu trick. (As an aside, note that Werner has to borrow the extra coin from the spectator, and then at the end, he is left with an extra coin which he has to return to the spectator!)

You want to do magic that can be done without having to pack anything in your pockets. Fine. But is this the only restriction? For example, at the outset of your topic, you complain about magic that is angle sensitive. But if the angles aren't good, then don't perform the trick or wait until the angles are right. You can't blame the trick! Similarly, you mention Shinkoh's "Twisting Arm Illusion" as the perfect effect. However, you have to be wearing a jacket! So, it can NOT be done anytime!

Again let me refer to Rafael's post for two more points:
The essence of close-up is that it's performed up close.
But my point is that there are no limits to what one can do. There is nothing that "should be" or that one "should do."
Amen, Rafael!
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Postby Guest » 09/05/05 10:15 AM

Originally posted by Harold Cataquet:
I wholeheartedly agree with Rafael's [b]superb analysis. Werner is saying that the "essence of closeup magic" (or as he later describes it "real closeup magic") is completely impromptu magic. However, as Rafael points out, "impromptu" is a perception by the spectators. If I perform a trick with a pack of borrowed cards, it's impromptu. If I take the pack of cards out of my pocket (even if its ASDIU), it's no longer truly impromptu (as I provided the cards). Does that make the magic less "real"? [/b]
Harold, IMHO, the magic is *real*, but the spec never can or should be able to distinguise what is *impromptu* and what is a prepared *set*.

The goal of each and every close-up magician actually CAN be to do ones *magic* as *impromptu* as possible and we all know what that means.
It very well might cover what I have outlined?

It doesn't matter the slightest to ANY spec, if one does *Impromptu* or what I called in another term *real* magic, they shouldn't know the difference, even a *set* performance should and could look to them, that's OK!!
As long as they love it and they are deceived and happy, any performer can be happy too.

To be able to do magic impromptu however is soley of the cooncern of the magician himself.

He might and does choice that option out of the desire to be able to perform at any time and anywhere -I'm not talking about a large stage, we are talking close-up here, right!.

Impromptu, IMHO, is NOT perception by the spectators, but is what the magician is able to put forward
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Postby cataquet » 09/05/05 05:16 PM

I'm totally confused with your terminology, Werner. One minute you're saying that "real" magic should be totally impromptu; the next minute you say that it only needs to feel impromptu! I don't see what it is you are trying to say.

If I had to guess, all you are saying is that closeup magic should look as though you are using ordinary objects (even if you are not). Isn't this obvious?
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Postby Curtis Kam » 09/05/05 05:47 PM

Any time, any place, without preparation, emphasizing audience involvement and fools the pants off them, especially the ladies?

Werner, careful you don't prove that the "essence of close up magic" is mentalism! :)
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Postby Guest » 09/05/05 11:24 PM

Originally posted by Harold Cataquet:
I'm totally confused with your terminology, Werner. One minute you're saying that "real" magic should be totally impromptu; the next minute you say that it only needs to feel impromptu! I don't see what it is you are trying to say.

If I had to guess, all you are saying is that closeup magic should look as though you are using ordinary objects (even if you are not). Isn't this obvious?
:)
It is very hard to put forward ones thoughts, because I too realized, that I made assumptions/had thoughts, I didn't clearly put into my postings, so I'd better stop to confuse.

What I meant was simply that *TO ME* close-up magic in it's best form was the real impromptu kind of work, which isn't equal what I do myself always, but I to would love to do more of that kind!

I gave some examples and I still stick to them, even if a jacket is needed for the *Twisting the Arm* illusion :)

Re *the next minute you say that it only needs to feel impromptu!* I don't recall and didn't check back I ever said that, as I DON'T mean that, so I apologize if one could get the impression.

The word impromptu is probably interpreted by me slightly diff. then by others, because I interpret it as being able to perform anywhere/anytime/unprepared (just with the *script* in the head and the rehearsal done many times also under fire) with props available at the place one is present.
No stuff inside ones pocket, nothing, everythiung done with borrowed objects.

I most certainly made the mistake to *invent* a new word for *impromptu Close-up magic*, as I call it -in my mind- *Real Close-up Magic*.
Actually hopefully the above explains my thoughts..
This hopefull also explains that :

*all you are saying is that closeup magic should look as though you are using ordinary objects (even if you are not). Isn't this obvious?*

This is exactly NOT what I ment, it SHOULDN'T *just* look like ordinary objects are used, but actually ordinary and borrowed objects should BE used :)

Originally posted by Curtis Kam:
Any time, any place, without preparation, emphasizing audience involvement and fools the pants off them, especially the ladies?

Werner, careful you don't prove that the "essence of close up magic" is mentalism! :)
Curtis, would make me sad if this was so :D
I'm not especially in favour for mentalisme, also I can enjoy it very much when done by ppl like Tim Conover or Max Maven :p
Sorry for all the confusion :confused:
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 09/06/05 02:01 AM

Well, maybe we're getting somewhere. As Harold said, it's a terminology thing (BTW, what is ASDIU?). If a term means something to everybody, even adding "to me," as you (Werner) did in your last message, can be misleading, as is the case with your term "real magic."

Magic exists as the illusion of real magic, as the sensation created in the spectator's mind, but we simply call it magic. Real magic is understood by most magicians as that thing that doesn't exist, and we refer to it when talking of something that looks like it (looks like real magic), or feels like it (feels like real magic) or even as part of a script when we are pretending (whether tongue-in-cheek or seriously) to be doing it.

If you want to use the term "real magic" for something else, sorry, it's already taken. Happened to me when I tried to register in Yahoo! with the nick I wanted.

Werner, I agree with your point about the fact that the term "impromptu" is for the magicians' use, as a practical consideration. That's why I distinguished "impromptu-looking" magic, which obviously refers to the spectator's point of view.

Having said all that, well, yeah, we know what you meant in the first place :)
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Postby Terry Screen » 09/06/05 02:18 AM

Originally posted by Rafael Benatar:
Well, maybe we're getting somewhere. As Harold said, it's a teminology thing (BTW, what is ASDIU?).
Rafael . . . ASDIU = 'A shuffled deck in use', as popularised by Mr. Paul Cummins in his book titled 'FASDIU', 'From a shuffled deck in use' which highlights the magic that is possible with an ordinary ungimmicked borrowed deck.

Regards . .

Terry.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/06/05 02:42 AM

Puzzled by the shifts in discussion between appearances and methods.

The methods are impertinent to the audience, unless of course they are for some reason exposed.

As I treat the word, magic is an audience view of the entertainment we offer.

As to unmotivated fussing, we probably need to look at the first statement above and examine each action to see if it pertains to something we are doing FOR the audience or something we are doing FOR our methods. It would seem sensible if not efficient to have the two overlap as much as possible.

Okay back to discussion of "reality" in our realm of illusion...
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Postby Guest » 09/06/05 02:51 AM

Rafael, I appreciate your responce and thoughts on the matter I brought up.. :)

The definitions you brought forward are exactly as I look at them too, and the *To me* really means my own look and interpretation on certain things that hardly can brought forward to others by use of few words and neither is of any interest to anybody, apart from, when not explained thorougly, does just confuse.

This too goes for when I mention *real* magic :D

My interpretation of this is again something that might differ from what fellow magicians in general use.

When I say *real magic*, I mean magic that is of the impromptu type and not only this, but that it is an incident happening for the ppl around you in a non-set situation, at places where one doesn't expect a *magician* to be present, at a pub, on the street, a bar, a restaurant, anywhere.

When I mention *restaurant*, I mean a guy PRESENT that does some stuff, not a *house magician*..

At the same time I define it -and this is again a *to me* :) - as the old fashioned form (somehow I think of it that way - of doing improvised magic, by use of extreme misdirection -forget the *Twistig the arm*-illusion, also it should be done -the get-ready- by use of a such)and under use/consideration of the *off beat* moments!!!

My example re Greg Wilsons *Quick Silver* was right up to that point.

I simply LOVE that kind of close-up magic!

TBH, I don't have the guts to run that routine (I should have!) as doing it well, as well as GW does, is soley possible after having just jumped into it and has done it countless of times under fire, which is the only way to learn it, like so many other stuff, the classic force, aso. aso.
(Of course after proper rehearsal of the handling!)

I hope, my posting wasn't too confusing and also gave food for thought to some of the readers.

The thing I call *real* magic to me is to fullfill those conditions, to do magic that takes advantage of the *off beat* moments and so bring miracles and deception to the onlookers.

Max Malini and so many others since did that kind of magic and the mentioned example re GWs Quick Silver is the very best I could come up with at present.

I'm a devotee of the work of Al Goshman and several others that use misdirection (even if some ppl these days fancy to call it *direction*, which basically covers when it comes to the basics the same thing, even to me it is a play of words weather it's called misdirection or direction, though I fully understand the thoughts behind that *other* way of calling the same basic thing by another name :D )

To clarify this might be to call it *Misdirection by direction* :D

Talking *technique*, also I know it is the effect that counts, no matter how it is achieved, a *top change* compared to a *Double Lift*, both basically achieving the same result you can guess which one I would term *Real Magic* in my vocabulary!!

It is the *old fashoned way of course, the Top Change.

Curtis Kam will know, I do a certain coinroutine using a gaff, and IIRC, he'll also know I do the very same routine using almost the same *movements* without the use of the gaff and that might explain also my thoughts.

The gaffed version might fool even *some* magicians badly, the gaffless one is aimed at the layaudiences and they hardly are able to *se* the differerence in handling.

I never claimed I was able to do what I call *Real magic*, but I gladly admit I would love to do more of that kind, close-up magic that depends more on *using* a situation, using the occuring *off beats* to get to the final result, the impression on the specs.

I realize, this is soley for ones own pleasure, but to me it is what magic is all about.
One can press a button and probably get a great result re impact/effect on the audience, but I prefer it the oldfashioned way...

Pleasure in preforming, that's what it is all about for me..

I well recall a remark of AG during a payed performnace he gave when he *out of line* went into doing *Spellbound*.
Here is his intro to this out of memory..

"I've done magic, I've done magic for your pleasure for the last couple of minutes, I do this one for mine"

Here was a high payed, high class pro, that did magic for a few moments for his 'own' pleasure -and no doubt his specs enjoyed it too..
Salute, dear friend Albert! ;)

So much about technique/pleasure in mastering it and the effect on the audience, the final result..

One has to have fun too, IMHO, that's the difference between just pressing a button and spending time in playing with more advanced methods, even if the endeffect is the same for the audirnce.

Anyway, hopefully not to add more to the confusion, my *term* *REAL CLOSE-UP MAGIC* is best illustrated in the example mentioned so many times, GWs Quick Silver :p

I'll stop my arguing now, because I can't explain my thoughts on what I called *The essence of Close-up Magic* any better, but I still appreciate the comments that popped up and maybe still will..
Have a nice day..
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/06/05 11:45 AM

Originally posted by Terry Screen:
[QB] ASDIU = 'A shuffled deck in use', as popularised by Mr. Paul Cummins in his book titled 'FASDIU', 'From a shuffled deck in use' which highlights the magic that is possible with an ordinary ungimmicked borrowed deck.
Not quite. Unless Paul has changed things recently, the deck he uses is not an ordinary, ungimmicked borrowed deck (it has a duplicate card).

What the FASDIU philosophy means, or at least, what it means to me, is that you can do the trick without stopping to put the set up in place. Sometimes this means the trick requires no setup, sometimes it means that you can do the setup secretly during the course of the trick.

I've always thought this was a terrific point with regard to repertoire. Trick that require a setup are more or less limited to openers, or following a deck switch. So think of all the tricks you do that require a small setup. Are they either A) suitable as openers, or b) worth a deck switch? If the answer is neither, then when are you going to perform them?

FASDIU tricks (in the larger sense, not limited to those created by Paul Cummins) can be done anytime, anywhere, using the deck you normally use. That can be a deck with two four of hearts, or a marked deck, or a stripper, or what have you.
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