closeup magic with an emotional hook?

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closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Guest » October 4th, 2004, 1:35 pm

I have been thinking a lot lately about making my magic more memorable by using some type of emotional hook. I don't know if I am wasting my time or not but I want my audience to completely enjoy my, "tricks" and come away from my performance happier people.

Any thoughts at all would be great.

Pete McCabe
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Pete McCabe » October 4th, 2004, 1:59 pm

You are not wasting your time. The time you spend increasing the dramatic aspect of your magic will be very well spent.

Since you are starting out on this path, I recommend you begin with what makes you feel emotional about magic. Then make your first efforts about that. It's always easier to create emotion about a subject that affects you.

As a bonus, your tricks will communicate something about you, which will make everything you do more effective.

Robert Allen
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Robert Allen » October 4th, 2004, 2:20 pm

What, precisely, do you mean by "an emotional hook"?

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2004, 2:41 pm

Originally posted by sphaleros:
...some type of emotional hook. I don't know if I am wasting my time or not but I want my audience to completely enjoy my, "tricks" and come away from my performance happier people...
Different things make different people happy.

What kind of hook do you want to use to hook what particular emotion, and what sort of memory or expectation do you want to hook into?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Guest

Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Guest » October 4th, 2004, 5:45 pm

Thank you Mr.McCabe. I respect your opinion very much. I will continue my pursuit.
Mr.Townsend, I know I was speaking very generally. I am looking for the emotions that mirror the way people feel about stage magic.
When you are witness to a laymen at their first magic show, they are taken away into another world. Their day to day worries are temporarily put on hold and they have a feeling of bliss.
I would like my closeup magic to immitate that feeling as close as possible.

Jeff Haas
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Jeff Haas » October 4th, 2004, 6:19 pm

You can do that, it's just that closeup is a different venue, so it needs a different solution. And you probably need a different solution than other performers.

For examples of how other accomplished people do it, look at David Regal and Juan Tamariz. It can set the gears turning.

Jeff

Pete McCabe
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Pete McCabe » October 4th, 2004, 8:07 pm

If you want the audience to go into another world, one thing to keep in mind is that you want your alternate, magic world to be better than the world we live in.

This is one of the reasons Star Wars is so popular. Everyone wishes they lived in a world where you could have "the force". In contrast, the world of "Aliens" is much more difficult to entice people into.

What this means in magical terms is that the tricks you perform should seem desirable. It's a lot easier to get people to join you in a world where you can, say, reach into the air and pull out a silver dollar than one where you can make a silver dollar travel from one hand to the other.

Bill Duncan
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Bill Duncan » October 4th, 2004, 8:45 pm

Sphaleros,
I would point out that the emotional reactions to stage magic are not the same as they are (or should be for that matter) to close-up magic. The physical distance of stage magic requires bigger and more dramatic images to create emotional impact.

Close-up can create emotional reactions in the same way that normal conversation can because its a more intimate venue. Paul Harris has written extensively and well on the topic in his Art Of Astonishment series. I recommend those books highly as a source of both good ideas and good magic.

Michael Ammar has a couple of pieces which might interest you on his video Magic, Mastery & You, which is a general lecture video and includes powerful magic not directly related to this topic but worth knowing about.

To my mind there are several things that could be called an emotional hook.

Theres the general sense of wonder that all humans are capable of feeling given the right stimulus. Levitations trigger this in even the most jaded of audiences. The feeling that someone has read your mind which happens in the presence of a really good mental effect will evoke that same hook.

Theres the stated premise that creates interest by appealing to common hopes, dreams, fears, or prurient interests. Gambling themes, which purport to explain how people are swindled, are the most obvious example of this type of hook.

There are purely intellectual hooks, which tickle the imagination by offering something for which most people have no concrete frame of reference. Hollywood calls this sort of thing high concept. Absurd premises like My Mother The Car or Mr. Ed reflect the TV side of this. David Roths Portable Hole and Dan Sylvesters entire Sylvester The Jester act fall into this sub-category.

I find it much easier to decided what sort of emotion I want to convey (or hook) and then work on finding a trick or script, which makes that possible. It is, for me at least, almost impossible to add meaning to a trick afterwards. I tend to work from the premise to the effect. Much easier that way

And finally, David Regal has done what I once considered impossible in that has created a Cups And Balls routine which has its own EXTERNAL emotional content. By that I mean the hook has nothing directly to do with the trick and everything to do with the PERSON performing the trick. Regals routine is hands down the best presentation for that effect that I have ever seen. I wont spoil it for you by saying anything more except that you should see it on video or in person before you know any more about it.

Thanks for starting such an interesting topic.
:)

Guest

Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Guest » October 5th, 2004, 11:13 am

First of all thank you all for the feedback. Thank you Mr.Duncan, for your comments and references. I will try to obtain the material you mentioned. Do you know if the articles that Mr. Harris has in the "Art of Astonishment" are available by themselves in another book. I have more than enough effects but I would be interested in his theories. Thanks

Curtis Kam
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Curtis Kam » October 5th, 2004, 12:48 pm

Sphaleros,

Paul Harris wrote the introduction to his own "Close Up Seductions" and therein outlined the formula he was using then. I do not have it in front of me, however, I think the steps he identified were:

Hook
Position
Proposition
Perform
Satisfy

The "Hook" was, of course, the emotional hook you're talking about. Whatever the premise, it should be sufficiently interesting to grab the audience's attention from the beginning. No sense starting without that.

You then "Position" the audience to want to see what you're about to do. Here's where you make the connection between the cards and the emotional hook.

Finally, the specific "Proposition" is put forth: "If what I say is true, then this particular impossible thing must occur."

Perform: You've got to deliver on the above.

Satisfy: This is interesting, Mr. Harris suggests that your job does not end with fooling the audience and completing the deception. Your final obligation is to make the audience like the experience. And like you for presenting it to them. As he put it, simply fooling a bunch of people and then walking away is the magical equivallent of immediately "rolling over and going to sleep".

I've probably missed a lot here. I sugggest you look this up. I hope this material got into AOA, but I'm not sure.

Frank Starsinic
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Re: closeup magic with an emotional hook?

Postby Frank Starsinic » October 9th, 2004, 12:00 am

One simple effect comes to mind..
From Card College I

The Lucky Coin


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