Michael Ammar lecture is OVER

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The Magic Apple
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Michael Ammar lecture is OVER

Postby The Magic Apple » August 18th, 2008, 6:10 pm

what a great evening it was with Michael Ammar last night at THe Magic Apple! Of course we all know him and what he has accomplished in magic but this was AMAZING. Michael covered a BUNCH of material and has patience like no one I have ever seen. We have all been to lectures before and know the 'questions' that get asked, Ammar didn't flinch and answered everything without hesitation! There are only a FEW magicians that I would have back for a second (or even third) lecture, and Mr. Ammar is DEFINETELY one of them!

Thank you again Michael.
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Bob Postelnik
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Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Bob Postelnik » August 19th, 2008, 11:24 am

What a great evening it was with Michael Ammar...
Ditto on that!

It was a fantastic night, the time flew by and it was a great lecture in a packed venue with an enthusiastic audience. Michael was so patient with the twits who asked the obvious questions or belabored a topic that was already covered or was clearly explained.

He performed some of his most popular routines and explained them in detail to the satisfaction of everyone no matter their skill level. His Cups and Balls routine was exceptional and he provided lengthy explainations of the Vernon Wand Spin and Drop Vanish, the Strike Vanish and the Wand thru Hand Vanish.

This was not a product demonstration event but he did have a good selection of his products available for sale at special pricing just for this lecture.

His comments on performance and persistence were helpful as well as his suggestions on misdirection. The phrase of the night was, "the attention goes where the energy flows!"

He demonstrated the Topit; Appearing Wine Bottle using a topit; coin in bottle; Feets of Magic signed card from shoe tip; Instructions on how to build an incredible close-up table from a picture frame and screw on legs; an ear popping Card in Balloon; Haley's Comet Flash Ball production; and the S.C.A.M. Insurance Policy that is a clever customized spectator pleaser. All-in-all, it was fun, fantastic and fullfilling.

Michael wrapped it up with a very heartfelt thank you to Brent and his Magic Apple store for promoting the art of magic and for providing a venue that attracts magicians from far and wide. I think the award for travelling the farthest had to be a couple from Oregon and the gentleman who drove in from Palmdale.

Thanks Michael and Brent for a great evening, no one wanted to go home and many lingered to get autographs and pictures. Michael was very gracious and generous with this one on one time.
Life is a journey, so do not arrive at your grave safe and in a well preserved body. Enjoy the Ride!

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CraigMitchell
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby CraigMitchell » August 19th, 2008, 11:32 am

Michael is without a doubt one of magic's gems ... if you have never had the opportunity to spend time with this creative genius - you are missing out. He lives, breathes and is magic.

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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Dave Egleston » August 20th, 2008, 1:27 pm

Did Mr. Ammar speak for more than 80 minutes?

Did he bring his own props and supplies? ie. cups and balls, wand, playing cards and close up mat.

Was he there before the lecture was scheduled to start or did he show up right at the lecture time?

Did he offer to do a "Knuckle Buster" premium added lecture after the regularly scheduled lecture for an additional charge and teach the "3" card trick?

Did he have products available for sale after the lecture including notes or did he have you order the stuff and ship it to you later?

Did he start looking at his watch as soon as he stepped up to the podium?

Did he complain/comment on the size of the audience?

I'm asking for future reference, I plan on attending one of his lectures this year after not seeing him since his Modesto (1992?)lecture and it would be a shame for a teaching icon such as Mr. Ammar to resort to any of the above.

Dave

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CraigMitchell
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby CraigMitchell » August 20th, 2008, 2:19 pm

Dave - if you're wanting to say something - rather just say it.

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Magic Newswire
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Magic Newswire » August 20th, 2008, 2:21 pm

Umm.. yeah.. I don't understand the gist of your post unless it was intended to infer that this was your experience with him when you last saw him lecture. Why dance around it.. As my Cajun friends would say.. "Get the marbles out of your mouth."

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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Brad Henderson » August 20th, 2008, 2:49 pm

Here is something I published in 2003 regarding the eye following ENERGY" (From Theory into Practice by Brad Henderson).

The human eye follows motion. The big movement hides the little movement.

True or false?

Well, if you look at the statements simplistically, they are true in their essence. However I do not believe that looking at concepts as a simpleton leads to the most impactful magic. So, lets analyze these concepts and come perhaps to a better understanding of the role of energy in magic.

The eye follows movement.

Imagine you are witnessing a well-performed French Drop. (Or better yet, try this on someone.) Execute the French drop to the point where the right hand has moved away (to the side and a few inches upwards) apparently holding the coin, and the left hand has remained motionless allowing the audience to see the emptiness which resides between the fingers and thumb. Now, look at the right hand and let the left hand FALL. Really fall. Like a wrestlers arm after he has been knocked out by a sleeper hold, fall.

Glance at your audiences eyes. Where are they looking?

I think you will find, if your French drop is up to speed, that they will be looking at the RIGHT hand NOT the left.

But the left hand just moved, didnt it? According to our maxim, the eye should follow motion. But clearly it doesnt always.

Lets try another experiment. Perform the same actions except instead of letting the left hand fall, MOVE it down to position slowly, as if traveling through molasses. Where are they looking now? At the left hand.

Interesting. They are the same motion (direction and distance), but one case is not focused on by the eyes, and the other is. What makes these two motions different?

Energy.

The eye does not follow motion, it follows energy. Now, motion IS a kind of energy, but by understanding the larger concept of energy we can hide secret motions with greater success. There are different kinds of energy, and different kinds of motions. For example, why didnt the eye follow the first drop? Because the hand dropping to gravity is not an active energy. It is simply reacting to gravity. The eye follows ACTIVE energy.

When the right hand pretends to take the coin and lifts it slightly, the eye is directed to the right hand. The strongest directions of energy are upward and outward, invading the space of the spectator. Outward energy is the most compelling. Active energy directs and holds the attention of the audience. When the left hand falls, that is a non-energy moment. It is the result of gravity. It enters the conscious of the audience, of course, but they are not directed to that action. However, moving the hand slowly is RESISTING gravity and that requires work - energy. The eye and the brain will focus on that movement.

Likewise, imagine you are sitting at the table and about to perform the French Drop. You get to the moment where the hand falls and instead of letting it hit the tables top, as it would had you been our knocked out wrestler, you direct it to move backwards past the edge and into your lap. It requires energy to change the falling hands direction, and the audience will see it. However, if you were to begin with your body well back from the table, so the purely dropped hand fell naturally into your lap, and then moved the right hand upward and forward to a position above the middle of the table, no eyes, no minds, would be focused on the ditching hand.

I will also add, that in the case of the standing French drop example, the left hands journey is quite a big longer than that of the slightly lifting right hand. The right hand is the SMALLER movement, the left the bigger. However, the eye follows the right. Why? Because it is the movement with more (active) energy.

Lets look at a more elaborate example which can be applied to any situation where one wishes to load an object secretly beneath another.

Lets consider the Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver, or more specifically a variation thereof. Imagine in the middle of the table is a pack of cards. Hidden beneath it, a coin. You are standing behind the box.

Show a coin in the left hand. Execute a French drop: The right hand approaches the coin. The left hand secretly drops the coin into the fingers, BUT NOTHING MOVES - NO ENERGY! The right hand moves away, moving a few inches to the right and a few inches higher than the apparently empty left hand. It doesnt take a lot of energy to pull the eye. Now allow the left hand to fall to the side. Keep your eyes on the right hand, or on the audience. (Clearly, the eyes can betray the energy by looking at the left hand.)

Lean down over the table, the right hand a few inches to the right of the box. The left hand dangles behind the table, or falls to rest on the left thigh. Pretend to take the coin which is in the right hand and bounce it on the table. The right hand hits the table causing the box to jump a little. Keep your body positioned low (your right hand rests on the table top) as you look at the audience and ask, Did you see it go?

The right hand moves over to the box and lifts it an inch or so. Freeze. The coin is visible. Your body should still be bent over the table.

Now, stand up. The energy of this action is in your chest. The audience will look up at your eyes or chest. As the body straightens, the right hand with box naturally moves toward the body, and he left hand with coin naturally rises to the same level of the box. Let the box rest in the left hand on top of the coin. These will both be at waist level.

Notice how this required NO ENERGY on the part of the hands. The hands reacted to the energy put forth by the chest. The audiences eyes were directed upward and the hands work occurred in shadow,

Now, the right hand reaches forward to the coin. As the coin is near the middle of the table, again the body bends and the left hand moves forward slightly as a reaction to the right hands reaching - the source of energy. The right hand is compelling as the direction of the energy is toward the audiences space. Their eyes will be on the right hand. The left hand is a few inches behind the right, but is in a very dark shadow because of the energy cast by the right hand.

The right hand grabs the coin and lifts it up. As it moves upward, the left sets the box on the table with the coin beneath. This is the hardest move of the routine, traditionally, as one must maneuver the fingers out from under the object, set the coin silently to the table, etc. The energy of lifting the coin is very strong, however, and gives you the cover for the energy exerted by the left fingers in the action.

You are now in a position to repeat.

Note, many magicians when revealing a load, use the object (the cup, for example) to kick the load forward toward the spectator as cover for a second load. While this is the energy theory in action, I think it is a very ham-fisted use of the energy theory. For most normal loads, the kicking action is too strong and depending on the control of the kick, can lead to a loss of direction and focus. Of course, some loads may require a technique this heavy, but as a rule, I think one should strive for the most elegant of solutions.

In conclusion, I hope this study provides something to consider when structuring magical movement. The human eye follows energy, specifically the strongest energy. Energy is motion/action that is upward, outward, or resistant to natural forces. If you need to hide any action, simply make sure there is an action of greater energy taking place during the hidden action.

Also, before performing a non-energy action you wish to remain hidden, make sure an energy action occurs FIRST to direct their gaze. Once directed, it will be held, until the next energy action occurs.

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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby The Magic Apple » August 20th, 2008, 11:17 pm

Dave - what are you getting at. Ammar is one of the BEST lectures I have ever seen, and I have seen plenty.

I don't even think he had a watch one. Of course he brought his cups and balls...he only had about 10 different products on the counter AND only one of each. He did not complain about the size of the audience, if fact, it was HIS idea to limit it to only 30 people. THere are VERY FEW lecturers in the past that have wanted only a few people. Some magicians want 50-60 people attending. More people, more money, more sales is their thinking. Not Ammar. Not only was he on time, but was an hour early AND stayed to chatting and signing autographs at least an HOUR after the event.

There are a lot of "whores" in magic who sell about 40 different items and have dozens of each and believe me Michael is NOT one of them.

if you get a chance, book him, watch him, learn from him
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Dave Egleston
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Dave Egleston » August 20th, 2008, 11:45 pm

Craig Mitchell wrote:Dave - if you're wanting to say something - rather just say it.


You're right, I've been trying to forgive Mr. Ammar for more than a decade now.

I'd been to 5-6 Ammar Lectures in the early 90's and when we booked him for our local SAM chapter he did EXACTLY what I asked about in my earlier post.

He didn't think enough of our 24 person gathering to even bring a deck of cards with him.

So yes, I still get pissed because he is one of the finest teachers in magic, but didn't feel like he had to give his best because we were just a little backwater town.

For those of you who are wondering; yes, he charged his whole fee and no, he didn't offer to refund part of it.

I had 15 young people with hundreds of dollars in their pockets WANTING to spend it on our hero's products, for him to say that he didn't think he'd sell anything here (Modesto) so he sent his products and books ahead to Sacramento, I guess that's where his props were, too.

I'm not blind and readily agree Mr. Ammar has had a big influence on magic and magical education, but I'm from back east and it takes me a long time forgive and forget, it's especially painful when you ruin your reputation by bring "The best lecturer you'll ever see" into town have people pay 10 dollars more than any other lecturer who came through, make up the difference between paid entries and Mr. Ammar's fee out of my and two other older guy's pocket.

Anyways........

I tried to be tactful and Craig had to push it.

Dave

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CraigMitchell
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby CraigMitchell » August 21st, 2008, 3:10 am

Dave - sorry, but with the greatest of respect - you were anything but tactful. Your post was meant to elicit a response. By all means, comment on your past experience - but this happened 16 YEARS AGO - 16 YEARS AGO - and if it is STILL a point of contention, then something is horribly wrong.

Attempting to trash somebody's name on the basis of what happened 16 YEARS AGO is stretching it just a bit.

I don't know whether you ever spoke to Michael directly regarding your thoughts - but why don't you drop him a line now because some things need to be put to rest.

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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Terry » August 21st, 2008, 4:54 pm

Carrying something around for 16 years is like a female storing a man's screwup in her mental rolodex in order to whip it out during an argument she is losing.

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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 21st, 2008, 5:20 pm

One of the first things one might teach a student beginning in magic is that our very craft is founded upon respect for other people's subjective reality.

It would be interesting to read some experiences from those who've booked Michael Ammar recently which describe a better outcome for the local group.

Terry
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Re: Michael Ammar lecture

Postby Terry » August 23rd, 2008, 7:08 pm

Jonathan,

Ring 198 had Michael in for it's 2006 Unconventional Convention and he was great. He made himself available the whole weekend and not just before/during/after lecture.

He had his family with him and seemed to really enjoy being in the midst of the Daniel Boone National Forest.


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