Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Joe Lyons
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Joe Lyons » December 3rd, 2019, 2:17 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:He felt that libraries provide a broader spectrum of information than a conventional school.


So did Dr. Eliot and he included Twain’s “Jumping frog” as one of his Classics.

I recently purchased the complete set of Harvard Classics on Apples book store for $1.

I feel smarter already.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 3rd, 2019, 2:33 pm

performer wrote:I bet nobody taught Mark Twain how to write! I suspect it came instinctively!
He was setting type at a local paper at age eleven. That's a real hands-on education in grammar, rhetoric, and storytelling.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

performer
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2019, 2:45 pm

I think the secret to being a good writer is very simple. Read a LOT! You don't have to do much else. It almost comes by osmosis if you do that.

Paco Nagata
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Paco Nagata » December 3rd, 2019, 6:48 pm

Magic and Reality are supposed to be two well separated concepts, to the point of being necessary to do "something" to jump from our Real world to the Magic world, and that "something" is what the magician do: The Magical Gesture.
The magician who doesn't do a Magical Gesture doesn't look a magician, but someone that have done a trick.
The question is, what kind of Magic Gesture? Well, it depends on many factors.
The most important one is the personality; if you do a Magical Gesture that doesn't fit your personality, you will look like a disoriented magician that don't know even how to convey the magic illusion. For example, if you are a funny talkative magician like Bill Malone you would better to do a funny quick gesture, whereas if your are more tranquil like Darwin Ortiz, maybe your ideal Magical Gesture is just a Mystery Silent.
Another factor is the Magic you pretend to do. For example, if a card is going to change magically, a finger snap would be ok. However, if a card is going to rise from the deck, maybe it would be better to wave your hands. If both hands were busy your Magical Voice could be your Magical Gesture.
Another factor is the Showmanship. So to speak, you can convey the magical illusion in a very different ways. For example, you could pretend to have done the wrong Magical Gesture, so the magic doesn't happen. Then, you try another one and you get it. You can also improvise a Magical Gesture in front of the spectators to try if it works; If not, you try another one. It would convey very well that Magic comes from your Magical Gesture, and not from a procedure you carried out during the routine.
The thing is:
Don't use the Magical Gesture as a stupid thing, but do it seriously; conveying that it is NECESSARY for the magic you want to do.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 3rd, 2019, 8:20 pm

Hi Paco, if you wanted to show someone a good example of this - what would you show them? Could be your work or a youtube clip you found - looking for good examples of the idea.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Paco Nagata
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Paco Nagata » December 4th, 2019, 4:34 am

- Well, in an ACR it fits very well a simple snap every time the card comes to the top. If you didn't do anything it would help the audience to think that "of course" you already had it on top. Nontheless, you can just wait some seconds as well and say something like: "up, up, up." The Magic Gesture would be you voice. Anyway it's important to do something to look like a magician. For instance I like Tomohiro Maeda's performance (from 2:00):

https://youtu.be/T4ecwqwWuL4

- Daryl Martinez, in his ACR, the card didn't come to the top because maybe didn't hear the snap, so he did it stronger and got it! A very nice idea to convey that the Magic is in the gesture, and not in any sleight of hand.

- I have performed long time ago a version in with I don't get the card to the top because I snap my thumb with my middle finger. So, if I snap the thumb with the index finger I get it! Whereas the other way I get it second from the top. This details helped me to convey to my people the idea that I were a real magician, and not someone that have learned a trick.

By the way, I generally talk from the point of view of a family amateur that try to look like a professional (real) magician. Maybe professionals don't need too much work to transmit the idea that they do real magic as real magicians.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
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"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
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Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 4th, 2019, 10:39 am

Paco has made some insightful observations and comments (as have others) on this most interesting and important topic.

"Making the magic happen" can also be accomplished with "magic words" in lieu of, or in conjunction with, gestures. Many people, stemming from stories, movies, and TV shows they became acquainted with in early childhood, associate the occurrence of magic with the magic words ("Open Sesame" from Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves is one prominent example, among others). The use of magic words in the wildly popular Harry Potter books and movies is virtually indispensable, and adds hugely to the aura of mystery and magic. The effectiveness of the use of "magic words" in presenting magic should not be underestimated, and it is also an effective way to get spectators involved, and to help make the magic happen.

In my own Magic Coloring Book Routine, I have a little girl come up, have her put on a plastic top hat and giver her a glittery magic wand. (The wand, of course, is another familiar, ritualistic icon of the magician, which resonates with people and which "accomplishes the magic.") I have her wave the wand over the book and say "Abacadadra" in order to magically make drawings or cartoons appear in the book, whose pages are, curiously, blank. "Whoops, it didn't work - Ah, I know why; it's because we said the wrong magic words. The words should have been 'Presto Chango.' " Sometimes I tell them to use "Wingardium Leviosa," the well-known magic words from Harry Potter. And voila, when the "right" magic words are spoken, it works! Now it is time to magically color the drawings. A wave of the wand and the magic words..."Whoops wrong magic words - the drawings disappeared! Let's see if we can make the drawings come back." I get a lot of magical mileage out of this presentation (as far as I know, it's my own) continuing this shtick throughout the routine, and it works like -- well -- magic.

Paco Nagata
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby Paco Nagata » December 8th, 2019, 2:53 am

The Accidental Magic Gesture is another interesting concept that worth to pay some attention.
"CuPit" by Pit Hartling is a good example of it:

https://youtu.be/pvjtnwOUO-I

The magician uses a Joker as a Magic Tool. He does some Magic Gestures with it to get some cards matched by their soul-mates along the routine. Finally he places incidentally the Joker on top of the box (which contains some mixed cards), and after finishing his story the magician notices where he placed the Joker... So, he opens the box...
Pit is one of my favourite card magicians as I like his way of showing card magic.
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 6/12/2019.

performer
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby performer » December 9th, 2019, 2:12 pm

Oddly enough I was reading about this in one of my favourite magic books this morning. It was written in 1945 and is not easy to obtain. I am referring to "Mr Smith's Guide to Sleight of Hand" by Wilfrid Jonson. He mentions gestures and makes what I think a valid point. He is all for gestures but feels they should not be overdone. He feels that the magical gesture should be in proportion to the effect. He illustrates this in connection with a coins across trick. He feels that since if you are merely sending one coin across rather than a whole bunch of them at once you should make a small magic gesture rather than an extravagant one.
OK. He doesn't quite say this but it is more or less what he meant, I think.

Anyway, if you can somehow obtain this book it is well worth reading. Thinnish book with delightful writing style and slightly opinionated too. I love this book. Lots of tidbits of wisdom therein.

DanZ
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby DanZ » December 9th, 2019, 4:33 pm

Mr Smith's Guide is available on Lybrary.com for U$10.00

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 9th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Paco Nagata wrote: The magician uses a Joker as a Magic Tool. He does some Magic Gestures with it to get some cards matched by their soul-mates along the routine.


Wild Card is a classic example of this. The magic is almost infectious; it spreads from one card to another like wildfire...

performer
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Re: Magical Gestures and Flourishes

Postby performer » December 10th, 2019, 12:45 pm

DanZ wrote:Mr Smith's Guide is available on Lybrary.com for U$10.00


I was reading it again today. I really enjoy his rude remarks about Professor Hoffman and other crusty comments. For example he mentions the common ploy of a sucker explanation of the torn and restored paper thus, "From all artistic viewpoints the practice is abominable and indefensible" and "A man who descends to "getting a laugh" from such a hackneyed wheeze must be singularly lacking in real entertaining ability"

Regarding thimble work, "I think there is nothing so ludicrous as to see a man performing with thimbles. The thimble trick should be left to our women conjurers for whom it is eminently suitable"

Since Nate Leipzig was around at the time I wonder what he would have made of the above two paragraphs since he performed both the thimble trick and the sucker torn and restored paper!

I like this one too, "guard against the habit some performers fall into of executing their sleights as though they were performing them for their own amusement. These performers, engrossed in their work, seldom look at their audience at all, and often give the impression that they are afraid to do so, perhaps because the audience may have walked out"

Wonderful prickly opinionated remarks which made me smile! However, there is also wonderful teaching on sleight of hand, great tips on how to present things and the best description I have ever read on the way to learn patter (or if we have to use that pretentious word "script")


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