Circuit

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Tom Frame
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Circuit

Postby Tom Frame » May 24th, 2013, 2:48 pm

Hi folks,

I’ve never heard of Zach Heath and I have no involvement with this product. With that announcement out of the way, drop whatever you’re doing and check out this visually stunning effect.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it! I’d love to hear what you think of the effect and your speculations about the method. I don’t have a clue how it’s done.

Enjoy!

http://www.theory11.com/tricks/circuit-by-zach-heath
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Re: Circuit

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 24th, 2013, 3:59 pm

Lost me at "no awkward movements" - from audience view (mugglevision) it seems that inertia and the snapping action does the move. Again that's in mugglevision. Whether or not the real method uses partial rings, black art and strong fishing line ... I'll go with the informed "he did it during the seizure" explanation.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 24th, 2013, 5:11 pm

wasn't there a ring flourish where the ring rolled from finger tip to finger tip? This (mugglevision) seems to be that just really fast.

which brings up a point: many magicians of the theory 11/Ellusionist set seem to like executing the method at the moment of the effect. Or if there is a set up, it is done out in the open hoping that a large nonsensical action might keep the audience from seeing what was done - even if it is obvious to anyone who isn't a prospective download customer that something WAS done.

I'm good friends with a couple of these "creators" and am very good friends with one of them. every trick he puts together seems to suffer from those flaws - though he is at least willing to try and fix them when it is called to his attention.

Do you think this is one of the downsides of the YouTube approach to learning magic? Set ups can occur off camera and visual flash is privileged over deep mystery.

Just an observation.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Circuit

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 24th, 2013, 5:20 pm

Brad, I think it's a natural outgrowth of the direction in which magic is heading among the young.
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 24th, 2013, 6:10 pm

and the direction is dictated by .....

I think the Internet. With a web cam set up and clean up become trivial - you just don't show them. likewise, magic created solely for video would logicially focus of visuals. And, based on conversations with many of these younger magicians, they simply have no (or very little) understanding of deceptive magic structure - hence the tendency to do the move at the moment of magic, or relying on a single principle that generates the effect (as opposed to layering deception).

Clearly something is at the heart of this direction and I'm unaware they had a meeting and created a manifesto. All of the traits which make these choices weaknesses in live performance are assets in the world of the web cam. the media is breeding the magic.

That's not inherently a bad thing (as anyone who listened to caveney's insightful magiccon talk would attest) but it does create a problem when a neophyte expects the trick he just bought might be viable for off line performances.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 24th, 2013, 6:14 pm

They have no concept of magic structure because they have no education in it. They'll learn if they see good magic that fools them badly.
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Re: Circuit

Postby Pete McCabe » May 24th, 2013, 6:16 pm

Brad, I think everything you are saying is right. But I think there's another factor, which is that for a professional like yourself, setup/cleanup, reset, getting into and out of the trick, etc. are hugely important. For just an amateur doing tricks for his/her friends, they may not be so important. The visual moment of magic may be all that matters for many amateurs.

David Byrne's fascinating How Music Works puts forth the theory that venue has a huge effect on music. For example music composed to be played outside at a crowded market will focus on rhythms, which can be heard above (or maybe it's below) the crowd. That music doesn't work in a stone church with huge reverb times, so you have choral compositions with slow chord changes. The same factors apply in magic to some degree, I think.

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Re: Circuit

Postby MManchester » May 24th, 2013, 7:13 pm

The increasing reliance on sophisticated trailers to sell an otherwise simple effect is also a cause for concern. The graphics, editing and especially the dramatic score all manipulate our emotions. This influence on a buyer's perception of an effect doesn't translate into a real world performance. Does this generation have to say to an audience: "Imagine there's some really cool music like they use in an action movies playing right now."
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Re: Circuit

Postby erdnasephile » May 24th, 2013, 7:30 pm

The effect just left me cold--what's the climax of the effect supposed to be?

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Re: Circuit

Postby Tom Gilbert » May 24th, 2013, 9:51 pm

There's supposed to be a climax to a magic effect?

At least with the trailers being put out today, it's safe to skip the first 30 seconds.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Mark Tams » May 27th, 2013, 9:27 am

Tom, thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. It's a shame this thread got hijacked to talk about anything other than Circuit. It would be nice if those thoughts could be posted in a new thread and we could stay on point about Circuit.

I have been lucky enough to know Zach for several years and to see this routine from the beginning stages to the point of being a released gem to the fraternity. He is a very talented magician and creator! Every time I see Circuit, it kicks my ass ... and I know what he's doing.

But the real acid test is that when I see Zach show it to new magicians that have never seen it; it kicks their ass too. I just returned home from a small convention of some of the top close up performers anywhere and I got to see it kick them as well as see and here their accolades for this beautiful piece.

It is without a doubt worth pursuing as a close a magician.!!!

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Re: Circuit

Postby atkinsod » May 27th, 2013, 10:12 am

Mark, I don't think the thread got Hijacked. The discussion is about the lack if a presentation for Circuit, as demo'd in the video. As clever as the effect is, you are really left with it just looking like a stunt and not a magic trick. Yes, show another magician and he'll be floored, but show it as a trick to an audience, and without a climax, it looks neat but leaves you flat. Granted, it is a demo video and maybe that's all it is intended to do, but the discussion here is that we need to make sure we go beyond the flash.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 27th, 2013, 12:00 pm

There was a prop version of something like this - with a flat cutout hand covered by a handkerchief. ... been too long to recall it without some research... anyone here remember the item?
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Re: Circuit

Postby MManchester » May 27th, 2013, 12:14 pm

It's a shame this thread got hijacked


I can't improve on atkinsod's eloquent rebuttal, so I won't try.

One of the many reasons I enjoy the Genii forum is that each thread is more like a conversation. The discussion can diverge from the original author's intent depending on what subsequent contributors have to say. On other forums moderators will merely delete comments they don't like thus stifling debate.
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erdnasephile
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Re: Circuit

Postby erdnasephile » May 27th, 2013, 12:59 pm

A relevant quote from Jay Sankey can be found in 100% Sankey where he talks about the evolution of his thinking, regarding creating magic effects.

He writes, in part: "In other words, I no longer worship the god of the eyes or practice what I now think of as the vanity of the hands."

I don't think of this of an either/or proposition. A program consisting of just visual effects or just story effects would be boring. However, I do think that good magic should have context and meaning, or at least relatability to the audience to be most effective.
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Re: Circuit

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 27th, 2013, 1:22 pm

If you train the audience to watch your hands
You might succeed and find them watching
Even when you need them to be looking elsewhere.
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Re: Circuit

Postby erdnasephile » May 27th, 2013, 2:13 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:There was a prop version of something like this - with a flat cutout hand covered by a handkerchief. ... been too long to recall it without some research... anyone here remember the item?


I seem to remember The Magic Hands or El Duco had something like this. (Wasn't it made of black lucite?) Can't recall the specifics, however.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Zach Heath » May 27th, 2013, 4:51 pm

Hey guys, it's an honor to be able to discuss my first contribution, wether you believe it dilutes or distills the existing body of magic, in the company of those I've studied, enjoyed the company of, or have yet to meet. Hopefully we can resolve that last one if that's the case.

Mr. Frame - Thanks for providing the jump off for this discussion. Your apparent enthusiasm to share the effect with others is flattering to say the least. A pleasant surprise that was very unexpected.

Mr. Townsend - The seizure was an unfortunate side effect of the flashes that pepper the trailer. I've contacted theory11 about inserting a disclaimer about the inherent dangers of viewing the trailer if you are pregnant, have heart problems, or adverse ocular reactions to visually paraphrased effects. We don't need more victims... ;) I completely agree with your sentiment about the woes of training an audience to watch your hands. That being said, it is the more appropriate, of the two performance approaches taught, for use in a trailer. The decision is a bit of a catch 22 that is analogous to blockbuster cinematic trailers. The casual movie enthusiast sees the visual confections that will hopefully persuade them to hit the theatre for the release, while the more cerebral critics that enjoy the subsequent discussions on plot execution, dialogue, and character dynamics are unaffected by this front. The opinions of the latter are of greater importance to me in both situations. I hope that the trailer won't dissuade the critics from taking a closer look at the feature. The structure of the other handling detailed is what, I believe, you will consider the more favorable of the two. The full routine opens with a closed handling that implies the penetration before moving into the more visual phases. My patter for the routine is included for consideration as well. Oddly enough, many magicians find the use of the principle idea as a method cancel for a well known classic from Martin Gardner presents as the best application.

Mr. Henderson - I believe the ring flourish you referenced is called the steeple chase by De'vo. Sort of a coin roll at the fingertips. Beautiful - can't do it. Your comment on executing method at the moment of the effect is spot on. The aforementioned alternate handling may be the spoonful of sugar that makes the trailer go down for you, but I can't make that guarantee. One I can make, wether or not you were referring to this routine, is that there is no off-camera set up/clean-up. Your last point about visual flash vs. deep mystery is hard to give a definitive response to since that will vary from person to person, especially when the routine or effect is divorced from a larger set that strikes a balance between the two. In my humble opinion though, the deep mystery flavor is more savory and lasts longer.

Mr. Kaufman - I'm definitely young, being just shy of 30. A quote that has always resonated with and in me is that, 'When you stop growing, you start dying.' I agree that there has been a dramatic shift in the direction of magic among the youth, but I'm confident that those who survive that natural selection process will take care of our craft/art (not opening that can), no matter the direction it takes. Looking forward to crossing paths soon.

Mr. Tams - I absentmindedly spent the 20 bucks that was supposed to compensate you for your glowing review on some string, wax, and llama refills for Circuit. I could say that I'll get it to you eventually, but I wouldn't count on it. Thanks for your kind words.

I admire this forum for it's civility throughout these thoughtful discussions about magic, and I hope you'll keep me. Cheers!

Zach Heath

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Re: Circuit

Postby mrgoat » May 27th, 2013, 6:17 pm

Best. First. Post. Ever.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 27th, 2013, 6:24 pm

Pete, while it is true that a pro may need to consider set up and clean up more carefully and deeply than one performing the occasional trick for friends, i am speaking not only of trick to trick management concerns but also set up and clean up in a single trick itself. Case in point, my good friend loves rubber band tricks. One could film one of those tricks from point a to b and it would look miraculous. BUT unless you are willing to walk up to a table with the bands pre laced and twisted between your fingers, there are moves that must occur in order to get to point a. Too often these moves are done, in performance, as fast as possible using some gesture (along with a prayer) that the audience will not see the set up being executed. While the magic moment itself may look great, the illusion is destroyed because one knows the performer 'did something' during his furtive and unmotivated mechanations.

so, we agree to a degree. You are absolutely correct that doing a one off trick presents different requirements , but too often it seems the the single trick being sold is impractical even if taken as a one off.

Which brings up an interesting issue : the amount of macro false advertising in magic. I am amazed to read cafe posts filled with misinformation. I'm amazed how many buyers believe the sellers are professional performing magicians. Of course, it doesn't hurt that many of these sellers make claims about their material which is simply untrue. I recall one magician who claimed he performed his latest product for years at trade shows. This guy has never done a paid show for lay people as far as I know and has NEVER worked a trade show, especially not at the age his ads claimed he would have.

We see creators talk about how this or that trick kills in their paid shows - but those who know the sellers know that these guys never do paid shows (unless you consider magic lectures a show).

it kind of angers me to see that happen, but mostly it makes me sad. Sad that the buyers are being fed lies and conned into buying material that has no test history in the real world.

Which bring me to my friend Marks comment. (glad to see you here Mark, please forgive the continued high jack but like Many here I find the discussion of ideas more beneficial than a discussion about a trick). If Mark says the trick looks great I believe him. he's a smart guy. But that doesn't tell me the trick will appeal to real people, it just tells me the trick appeals to magicians.

I can watch some pretty lame ass presentations and still find something interesting in a magicians demonstration. I can watch the demonstration of a move and be enthralled - but that's because i know the move and what goes into it.

I have no doubt magicians (especially magicians who love moves and ace assembly variations enough to attend a convention filled with same) would see this and love it. Just think of all the flourishes we aww over - moves that to a non magician might even appear easy.

so, when I hear a trick was the hit of a magic convention or magicians love a trick - all that tells me is that this is the kind of trick that appeals to the things that MAGICIANS value.

And as anyone who has ever taken a girlfriend to a magic event can attest - what magicians value (in a trick or even personal hygiene) are often very different from what real people value.

Zach, please note my earlier comments were directed to magic in general and not your offering per se - though yours does seem to suffer from the weakness of putting the move on display, performing it the moment of magic.

As a visual surprise it look fine. but as others mentioned - it lacks any sense of purpose. No beginning middle or end. No motivation.

I think that as a middle or penultimate phase in a ring on/off finger routine it might be a great moment. I would be inclined to use it akin to (forgive me can't remember if this is asher's or Shields') visual flicker of the card rising through the deck as part of an ambitious cars routine. By coupling it with other principles of deception then the move at the moment concern is diminished because even if the audience thinks 'he just did it real fast' the other phases cancel that notion. Plus it allows one to build the impossibility of the effect, leading your audience into the mystery and taking them on a journey through the possibilities.

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Re: Circuit

Postby JordanB » May 27th, 2013, 10:03 pm

I met Zach through Lance Pierce a few years ago at the Dallas Super Session.

Like Zach said above don't judge the feature only by the trailer. I think this is a good trick.

Frankly, I don't know why anyone would care about the presentation being included with the trick. The presentation comes with the download, but honestly, the adept magician will completely disregard Mr. Heath's presentation and find something that suits his/her own persona. Still for those who find such things of value it is included.

Brad- I was not two feet from you when you saw this at the Dallas Super Session in March. It was in the lobby after midnight, but you were there. I could have sworn you talked to Zach about it after the fact, but not 100% sure.

Tricks like this have been showing up for decades. To me it's just like Fickle Nickel. A visual piece of eye candy that is begging for a presentation. Or the Masuda "WoW". I don't think generational divides have anything to do with it.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 27th, 2013, 10:11 pm

I would honestly like the effect better if the movement of the ring could be cover by a slow and magical gesture rather than a jerking movement. Is that possible?
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 27th, 2013, 11:34 pm

Jordan, I did not realize this was the Zach from the session. His face appears only briefly. I have only the vaguest memory of maybe seeing him, or someone, flipping a ring between fingers and thinking it was a flourish. I do not recall seeing it either as a full routine or as portrayed in the video. 

though I didnt make the presentation point, I do believe there is a worthy concern here. Magicians (most) learn magic from these videos. if they never see tricks with presentations, smart or otherwise, why would they believe they are needed, or come to learn except through trial and error what may or may not work?  have we not all read some truly awful advice on the cafe about presentations and their importance or lack there of? How many times have we seen magicians praised for their presentations, and these presentations are nothing more than clever jokes meant for magicians and entertaining explanations of methods which are more interesting than the tricks they produce?

Likewise we "learn" what is good based on what we are shown, what is held up to be interesting or noteworthy, or important enough one which to spend one's money. What do our sales videos say about what is important - Presentation and engagement or flash which produces shallow depth of feelinng?

As I said earlier, magicians have a different value system than real people QED this video. This video is selling the visual stunt - because theory 11 knows that's what excites magicians. I find it troubling that we don't see engaging presentations being positioned as the selling point/teaser of a trick. if it were truly a producer's goal to educate magicians and empower them with resources which they can use successfully in the real world, these teaser videos (and the majority of stuff being hawked today) would be quite different. 

sadly, I don't think that is usually their goal. 

as to this offering, I would be interested to see it in context of a full routine. I realize now that I know Zach and would expect him to either sell a visual novelty as a visual novelty, or a routine as a routine. 

it is unfortunate that the video leaves in innacurrate impression of the whole, and reinforces choices/values which may not be in the best interest of someone who wishes to perform magic for real people in real situations. 

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Re: Circuit

Postby Steve Hook » May 28th, 2013, 1:32 am

Agreed. Good post, Zach.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Zach Heath » May 28th, 2013, 10:06 am

I would honestly like the effect better if the movement of the ring could be cover by a slow and magical gesture rather than a jerking movement. Is that possible?

Yes it is. There are two approaches taught for the intermediate phases, both of which can be applied to the entire visual phase.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Jeffers » May 28th, 2013, 6:32 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Wasn't there a ring flourish where the ring rolled from finger tip to finger tip?


Its called the Gryphon roll.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Mindman » May 28th, 2013, 11:46 pm

I suspect some of the negative comments in this discussion stem more from a failure to understand modern video marketing than from Zach Heath's 'Circuit' effect.

Commercial realities compel magic vendors to produce video clips that are brief and feature the magical moment and spectator reactions. They must do this or die. Today's viewers have a very limited attention span, have complete control of what they watch and have an almost unlimited choice in a very competitive global market.

That,of course, is no excuse for misleading advertising. I agree that visuals which exclude some glaring weakness in an effect, or otherwise give a false impression, are totally unacceptable. But provided we are given a fair viewing of what the magical moment offers, we must accept that we usually will not see the 'whole show'.

As to 'Circuit', I don't entirely agree with some other comments in this thread.

...many magicians of the theory 11/Ellusionist set seem to like executing the method at the moment of the effect.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. We generally avoid doing the move at the magical moment because in so much magic the move would be apparent at that time. It also would allow for easier backtracking by the audience, because the secret is buried under only one layer of deception or concealment. But if the move is sufficiently concealed and the magical effect is powerful enough, executing the method at the moment of the effect is perfectly acceptable. I think 'Circuit' meets this requirement.

"The effect just left me cold--what's the climax of the effect supposed to be?" and "The discussion is about the lack if a presentation for Circuit, as demo'd in the video. As clever as the effect is, you are really left with it just looking like a stunt and not a magic trick."

If presented as a quick 'jumping ring' effect I suppose the climax is when the ring does a final jump across three fingers (instead of one). Not much of a climax, one might say. But for a roving magician, a pretty flashy opener.
More importantly, I don't think we should denigrate a strong visual effect because we have not been shown a whole routine in which to use it. Is there any probem with marketing, say, some new and amazing card colour change, without the demo video clip showing how it can be used in a card routine? Obviously not. In fact, the visual effect itself could well be the perfect climax to a well constructed routine. I am incorporating 'Circuit' into an existing routine in which a ring repeatedly jumps from one spectator's hand to another's. For this I will be using the slow magical gesture for all the phases of the routine, including the 'Circuit' phase.

As a first-time contributor, I'm pleased to be able to participate in GeniiForum. I thoroughly appreciate and enjoy the considered and often robust, but always courteous, discussions I have been reading on the forum.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 29th, 2013, 12:38 am

there is nothing wrong with selling a color change. The magic marketeers do their customers and the art a disservice when they fail to convey that a color change in isolation will not satisfy in a performance setting, or even intentionally mislead by suggesting that a stand alone visual moment is the be all end all for use in one's professional appearances.

People have short attention spans. We get it. But that's not the issue. The issue is people promising nutrition but selling only sugar. These videos (market driven though they sadly are) reinforce poor values - at least if one's goal is to perform magic in the real world for other humans.

You also made me think:

What highly regarded, powerful magic effects position the key move at the moment of the magic? (I was thinking some of the pull based vanishes, but one could argue that the non visual one's are more impactful. They also tend to point away from the 'up his sleeve' go to explanation.)

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Re: Circuit

Postby Pete McCabe » May 29th, 2013, 1:08 am

The Striking Vanish is pretty high on that list. The Erdnase (i.e. Houdini) color change, maybe. All the backpalm card productions and vanishes. Most versions of The Miser's Dream that I've seen. Five-Zero-Five. Using a pass to effect a color change.

Interesting question.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Steve Hook » May 29th, 2013, 1:19 am

Mindman wrote:
But if the move is sufficiently concealed and the magical effect is powerful enough, executing the method at the moment of the effect is perfectly acceptable. I think 'Circuit' meets this requirement.


Good point. I'd say the same about Mike Rubinstein's uncovered "Touch" [not sure if that's exactly what he calls it] Spellbound change, as well as many other coin magic effects....and many other "small object" effects, like, say, "Circuit".

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Re: Circuit

Postby Bill Mullins » May 29th, 2013, 2:15 am

Mindman wrote:I suspect some of the negative comments in this discussion stem more from a failure to understand modern video marketing than from Zach Heath's 'Circuit' effect.


If a video/commericial/marketing item doesn't connect with a potential customer, it's not the customer's fault for "failure to understand modern video marketing."

It's the marketeer's fault. Period.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 29th, 2013, 2:37 am

re erdnase change, the moment of the method occurs prior to the moment of the magic (the revelation that the card has changed.) A snap change would be the right example. If one did the pass to effect a visual color change, then yes. (One could pass and keep the new card hidden from view until a beat or two had passed.) I (and I believe Swiss) have written about the weakness of visual moments as compared to those where the spectator's imagination is engaged. At least for me, these visual changes are much less amazing and magical (and experience teaches convey a shallower depth of feeling to the audience) than non visible changes. WOW being in interesting exception, though I think one needs to add an extra layer of deception or two to that in order to make it a workable commercial tool. But I digress.

The method of the misers dream is more complicated - first in most good routines you have the layering of different methods. As far as the traditional "move" in the misers dream, the moment of the method (dropping the hidden coin into the bucket) does NOT occur at the moment of magic. The moment of magic is the revelation of the coin. As most routines do not consists of shooting the coin into the hand the moment it is revealed, I would discount the miser's dream as being an example.

In split fanning the primary deception occurs after the moment of magic, as the cards are stolen back into back palm while others are being dropped. I think many if not most lay people know (or think they know) that the magician is holding the cards behind their hand. The mystery to them is not because of the move which does occur at the moment of magic - the production - but in "how do those cards GET there - a product of the drop.

But, I think the back/front palm makes an interesting point. Reread Fisher's history of manipulation on the stage. Manipulation was a display of SKILL. Down's and Thurston even sold booklets showing the moves. One would conclude, then, that these were not meant to produce deep magical responses, but awe at the dextrous skill of the magician.

And, let's face it, even to some laymen GREAT manipulator's still elicit the "isn't he just holding them behind his hand" retorts. Does this speak to a weakness/result from positioning methods at the moment of magic - creates an appearance of skill over mystery?

Another trait seems to be the creation of the "flash" effect - that sudden flicker of a magical happening. Are other "flash effects" the result of the same construction? Flip stick comes to mind.

Finally, re striking vanish, is the real secret of this (and perhaps flip stick) less the moment when the object moves out of view, and more the secret manipulations which occur distant from the moment; manipulations which elevate the tricks from "let me see the other hand" to "it disappeared."

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Re: Circuit

Postby Mindman » May 29th, 2013, 4:15 am

If a video/commericial/marketing item doesn't connect with a potential customer, it's not the customer's fault for "failure to understand modern video marketing." It's the marketeer's fault. Period.


Bill, I think you've misunderstood the point I was making. These marketing methods are connecting with potential customers - the market at large. That is why they are so prevalent. The fact that they they may not connect with a few contributors to this discussion doesn't mean the marketeer is at 'fault'.

We need to understand that the marketeers are connecting effectively with their target market and provided they are not putting out misleading video clips, in my view that is fine. Aspiring magicians need to learn the other essential skills around the bare bones of the trick, hopefully, on the DVD or download itself, or find them elsewhere. In my discussions with young magicians they generally do 'get it'. I think they are more sophisticated than many of us older magicians (that's 50 years in this game for me!) may realise.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Jeffers » May 29th, 2013, 4:22 am

In doing the color changing knife, which would be better... to show a white knife, place it on the palm of your hand, close your fingers around the knife, make a magical gesture and open your hand to reveal that the knife has changed to black (a minor miracle)... or to show a white knife held between the thumb and index finger, give it a twirl and have it visibly change to black.

Which creates a more magical effect for the spectator. Is the visible change weaker? Is the closed hand transformation stronger because it "engages the spectator's imagination"?

Why is it when you ask a spectator "Would you like to see this next coin travel visibly or invisibly" (to wherever), they invariably say visibly. Don't they know that would just ruin it for them, by failing to properly engage their imagination, and that the proper answer is invisibly.

Of course a well structured routine will incorporate various methods for repetitive effects, some more visual than others.

Think about this ... If there really was such a thing as magic, and you really had the power to do magical things, then the "moment of the method" would never occur prior to the "moment of the magic". They would always occur simultaneously.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 29th, 2013, 12:22 pm

jaws, alien, and Blair witch taught us it's not what we see that moves us, it's what we don't see.

When something happens visually, you either accept it or you don't. When you see condition a, the magician does something mysterious, and you see condition b, one's imagination during that moment of mystery is free to imagine any sort of wonder. Of course; there must be that moment of magic; and the audience must see when that moment occurs, even if they don't see what is happening to the object AT that moment.

It helps if the magician has conviction in that moment as well. Anyone who saw Tommy wonder at the world magic summit felt this truth palpably.

as to spectators request: if magician who should know better unnacurrately believe a visible moment will be stronger than an imagined one, why would we expect a lay man to know better?

I think magicians like visual magic because it puts the move on display and we value and enjoy moves and technical skill. Most magicians are afraid of magic (Burger) and diffuse what they do, undercutting it with jokes and rushing through the juicy moments.

As to knives, the strongest moment in a knife routine I have seen is the knife vanish in haydn's routine. Note, the moment of the move occurs long before the alleged moment of magic. and note: if one were to just show a knife, spin it and it changed, everyone would know it was different on the two sides. Deceptively speaking, it is the moves NOT at the moment which make the knife deceptive. The opening display does more for the deception than the change it colors. BUT emotionally, when one closes their hand around the knife, stares silently and takes one deep breath, the fingers perhaps tightening ever so slightly around the object --- THAT is what engages and pulls the audience in. What is he doing? Can he be doing it?

Magic occurs not in the fingers or in the objects but in the minds and hearts of the audience.

We are not manipulating objects, we a leading perceptions and guiding feelings.

Visual magic is shallow. It neither requires nor elicits engagement.

and remember, everytime the layman says they want to see something done visibly - how does that work out for them? in practice, when this ruse is played out, are they happy they asked for it, or are they thankful the magician repeated it - this time invisibly ---- and magically!

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Re: Circuit

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 29th, 2013, 12:26 pm

+1 to Brad's stated opinion about the magician oriented appeal of "visible". What you show them is not always as strong, convincing or affecting as what they can be led to imagine.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Circuit

Postby erdnasephile » May 29th, 2013, 12:30 pm

Mindman wrote:I suspect some of the negative comments in this discussion stem more from a failure to understand modern video marketing than from Zach Heath's 'Circuit' effect.....

"The effect just left me cold--what's the climax of the effect supposed to be?" and "The discussion is about the lack if a presentation for Circuit, as demo'd in the video. As clever as the effect is, you are really left with it just looking like a stunt and not a magic trick."

If presented as a quick 'jumping ring' effect I suppose the climax is when the ring does a final jump across three fingers (instead of one). Not much of a climax, one might say. But for a roving magician, a pretty flashy opener.
.


A hearty welcome to Mindman!

What I was reacting to was this ad text from the publishers of this effect: (from the link in the first post): "Place a ring on your index finger - fairly. With a jolt of your wrist, it visibly JUMPS to your middle finger. That’s only the beginning. A second shake makes the ring jump to your ring finger. Then back to the middle finger. As a final feat, you can make the ring jump from your middle finger ALL the way to your pinky"

This text makes it sound like that's the entire routine.

I will concede the point that this would make a potentially interesting sequence in a longer routine, but as a stand alone item, I still find it somewhat lacking. To wit: If the climax is making the ring jump farther, it's almost conceding that it's not as much magic as a manipulative skill that we are demonstrating (since the climax is just to skip one finger which is physically harder--if it's magic, is skipping a finger really that big a deal?)

Yet, I see the point about the need for a quick introductory effect for strolling folks or table hoppers. These are different venues/conditions in which I usually perform, so my lack of passion for this item should be taken as more a personal taste thing. I'm glad that some are enthusiastic about it--horses for courses, as they say.

As far as Brad's question: I think that DeSouza's Shapeshifter might qualify as technique occuring at the moment of magic. However, as cool as Shapeshifter is, I don't think it's a standalone item, but rather a tool in a longer routine. Perhaps I should look at Circuit in this light.

As I said above, I believe there's are times, places, and uses for visual v. contemplative mysteries.

Good discussion!

(On a tangential note: I notice this routine continues with the current trent of titanium/tungsten rings. Some unsoliticited advice, if you wear one of these and every injure your hand, I'd get that ring off your finger ASAP before swelling sets in. I've taken care of people with these, and they can be extremely difficult to remove with acute hand injuries. Gold and Silver are much friendlier to remove.)
Last edited by erdnasephile on May 30th, 2013, 8:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 29th, 2013, 12:39 pm

just thought of this; think of all the commercials that depict magicians waving a wand, puff if smoke, and something happens visually.

No engagement. no magic.

the mounds commercial where the nuts changed in jack
adams' closing fingers is stronger. the fact they are both camera tricks only reinforces the feelingful point.

Erdnasephile: experience demonstrates that performing shapeshifter as a one off often leads to the "how else" response of "you flipped it".

I prefer revolving the card in the classic one handed manner coupled with a wave along the arm. they see a card, it is shaken, the card has changed. This produces deeper magic, at least for me when I do it.

BUT it is too easy to back track. So I start with a single face up and do the wave change with a triple. That way I can immediately turn the newly exposed double over and instantly get another change. I find it effective when one gets more than can be explained by the obvious method.

Racherbaumer's variation on the erdnase/Houdini is another great example. By getting an extra change with zero extra moves, it helps negate the obvious solution.

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Re: Circuit

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 29th, 2013, 12:44 pm

Can Circuit be done while the other hand (or a volunteer's hand) reaches over to touch the fingertip? Does the ring have to wind up on another finger?

The image of a ring evading grasp by jumping onto another finger seems amusing.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Brad Henderson
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Re: Circuit

Postby Brad Henderson » May 29th, 2013, 12:53 pm

Mindman wrote:
If a video/commericial/marketing item doesn't connect with a potential customer, it's not the customer's fault for "failure to understand modern video marketing." It's the marketeer's fault. Period.


Bill, I think you've misunderstood the point I was
making. These marketing methods are connecting with potential customers - the market at large. That is why they are so prevalent. The fact that they they may not connect with a few contributors to this discussion doesn't mean the marketeer is at 'fault'.

We need to understand that the marketeers are connecting effectively with their target market and provided they are not putting out misleading video clips, in my view that is fine. Aspiring magicians need to learn the other essential skills around the bare bones of the
trick, hopefully, on the DVD or download itself, or find them elsewhere. In my discussions with young magicians they generally do 'get it'. I think they are more sophisticated than many of us older magicians (that's 50 years in this game for me!) may realise.


I think you miss the point. Marketeers are doing a good job when it comes to selling stuff. They do manage to appeal to their target market.

The issue is what they present as meaningful, or important, or worthy of being valued WHEN THEIR PRODUCT IS MEANT TO BE AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL FOR THE GROWTH OF A MAGICIAN.

Sex sells. Popularity sells. And if someone chooses to believe a brand of shoes or yogurt pop will make them cool, i don't care. No one is positioning these items as educational tools.

My issue with magic trailers is that they are purportedly being released by companies who intend to provide viable tools for a magicians education or their amateur/professional use. But rather than sell the elements which might actually accomplish either, they sell the visual candy which, though appealing like sugar, is not what the diet of a real world magician calls for.

So young magicians seek out more candy (after all, it's obviously what's good about magic or it wouldn't be pushed so heavily) and often fail to learn the tools and ideas which lead to real world successful encounters.

The magic sellers are cheating their customers. At least those who claim they are trying to help.

I have nothing against magic for magic's sake, or people who like to play magic for their own amusement. Learning impractical moves that interest only oneself is a fine diversion.

But I do take issue when people who have never worked a real show in their life tell excited eager magicians that their latest trick is worthy of study and emulation when, really, it is designed to appeal to magician's values, not real peoples.


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