MAGIC Live 2017?

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erdnasephile
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MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 13th, 2017, 8:15 pm

Hi, all:

Just wondering if people might be willing to post their real time impressions of MAGIC Live's highs/lows for those of us who couldn't attend please.

Scott usually does a great job of this, but I'd also like to hear what ya'll think as well please.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Steve Bryant » August 13th, 2017, 8:36 pm

Yes, very curious as to how Stan themed it this year and filled it with talent and events. Hope it is great.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 13th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Appears to be road oriented. The signs include a "Route 17" logo, and the photo badges are in the style of a driving license. Tonight's party is titled "At the Hop," and we are encouraged to dress in a 1950s style.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2017, 2:32 am

I had a rootbeer float.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 14th, 2017, 8:48 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Appears to be road oriented. The signs include a "Route 17" logo, and the photo badges are in the style of a driving license. Tonight's party is titled "At the Hop," and we are encouraged to dress in a 1950s style.


Given Stan's penchant for secrecy: Did they let you all know ahead of the convention you were to dress up or did people just make up their costumes on the fly?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 14th, 2017, 11:18 am

we were forewarned in an email.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Steve Bryant » August 14th, 2017, 2:48 pm

Scott Wells has already posted Day 1 of his themagicwordpodcast.com's podcasts and photos from MAGIC Live. Scott is as good as it gets for those who can't attend this or that convention. I just listened, and pay special attention to Larry Hass. He has some exciting news regarding Eugene Burger's legacy.

Thanks, Scott, and Bill, and everyone else, please post.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 14th, 2017, 5:52 pm

The "Ask Me" button idea sounds really cool. Can't believe that Paul Gertner is walking around and no one is asking! (yet)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 14th, 2017, 10:29 pm

Eugene Burger wrote two books to be released after his death.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 15th, 2017, 1:22 am

Last night was the opening party. The mixer game was as follows: Each attendee was given an envelope with nine license plates (cardboard), each identical. You were to ask around and swap with others to get a full set of nine.

Each of the license plates referred to a magician, and you were invited to get them all autographed. The license plates were:

California: MOPMN
California: BEM1NE
Illinois: YZONE
Maryland: ESPDUO
Massachusetts: UNSHFLD
Michigan: TRNPAPR
Nevada: ANDCO
Nevada: TGWTR
Texas: ESTRS

I'll refrain from explaining who the clues referred to for a while, but I will say that it was only possible to get eight of them signed.

This morning, my group had a chance to see two of three "Focus Sessions", which included Richard Hatch and Jason England talking about Erdnase, Ken Scott on family magic, and Anthony Owen on mentalism. I just watched Richard and Jason do their thing twice.

Next was a collaborative activity involving Thayer apparatus and a puzzle. I'll say no more about it, as some attendees still haven't gone through it and it should be as novel to them as it was to me.

The afternoon was a series of "TED-talk" styled talks, hosted by Julie Eng and Jonathan Levitt. Levitt interviewed Joshua Jay regarding some detailed research of audience thoughts on magic and magicians, upsetting many preconceived notions; Abbey Goldrake talking about how she was paralyzed in an accident doing a levitation, and her recovery; Simon Pierro on how his IPAD act has developed an how he has taken a unique idea and grown it into an identity; Dan Creed on sales skills and techniques for booking acts; and Cyril discussing how he developed and performs his aquarium effect.

The stage show was emceed by juggling act The Passing Zone, and had performances by (forgive me for not recording or recognizing names), David Goldrake (illusion), fan manipulation act (Asian performer), Levante, Simon Pierro tribute to Cardini, ball manipulation act (Dutch performer), and a British crossbow-shooting act.

I've seen a bunch of people, including some I knew only from the Genii Forum; met a number of new folks; and left a chunk of my money with Gabe Fajuri in the dealer's room.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby John Signa » August 15th, 2017, 3:39 am

erdnasephile wrote:The "Ask Me" button idea sounds really cool. Can't believe that Paul Gertner is walking around and no one is asking! (yet)

Had lunch with Paul today and he showed something he's developed. Great lunch.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 15th, 2017, 3:56 am

Thank you Bill for your detailed post.

Larry Hass had mentioned a new book by Eugene Burger on the subject of teaching magic, and according to Richard's post there will be another book as well. That's excellent news.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 15th, 2017, 5:24 am

John Signa wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:The "Ask Me" button idea sounds really cool. Can't believe that Paul Gertner is walking around and no one is asking! (yet)

Had lunch with Paul today and he showed something he's developed. Great lunch.


Sweet! Is Paul showing around his new version of Unshuffled from "Fool Us"? (He had stated he was going to market it at some point).

Bill--thanks for the detailed report--- I would have liked to have been at the Josh Jay TED talk, as I had some several methodological concerns about that survey when it was published.

I was just thinking about Gabe Fajuri--I was wondering if all of the money that gets extracted during MAGIC Live will depress the auction gavel prices on the Busby auction this Saturday (wishful thinking...)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Daniel Z » August 15th, 2017, 10:51 am

Bill. The line up last night was:
David Goldrake, Po-Cheng Lai, Levent, Simon Pierro, Jonathan Goodwin, Niek Takes.
Hosted by: The Passing Zone

Looking forward to running into you!
Daniel

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Doug Thornton » August 15th, 2017, 11:36 am

Q. Kumber wrote:Thank you Bill for your detailed post.

Larry Hass had mentioned a new book by Eugene Burger on the subject of teaching magic, and according to Richard's post there will be another book as well. That's excellent news.


Larry was only in Vegas for one night since he needed to get back to Chicago to take care of some of Eugene's affairs. He told me Eugene left the way he wished - peacefully, painlessly.

Also, Derren Brown, who has hailed Eugene as his greatest influence (even more than David Berglas), has written the Afterword for one of Eugene's books.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby John Signa » August 15th, 2017, 7:29 pm

erdnasephile wrote:Sweet! Is Paul showing around his new version of Unshuffled from "Fool Us"? (He had stated he was going to market it at some point).

He showed another routine with regular deck he's working on. He just finished reshooting some of the explanation video for the extended Unshuffled, so sounds like coming out soon.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Steve Bryant » August 16th, 2017, 6:17 pm

Updates?

Enjoy the party!

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 18th, 2017, 1:56 am

I was asked offline about the swag. Nothing spectacular -- a tote bag with the Magic Live logo, and a T-shirt. There was a nice box for putting the notes and program in. Penguin was giving away their new marked deck via a coupon which was easy to get, so this was swag-ish. The opening party had milkshakes, and the closing one also had a buffet line for making burgers in addition to the milkshakes.

The closing evening show included juggler Viktor Kee, who is just as good as his youtube videos would lead you to believe. The theater at the Orleans is very wide, and I was on the far left side. Several of the acts were hard to see (and a couple, to be honest, were hard to figure out what was going on). Alex Ramon did Steinmeyer's Toccata for Light Bulb, and while that trick is good straight-on, I was at such an angle that the case blocked my view of the bulb, so the vanishes, etc. were lost on me.

Steve Valentine was emcee, and while I always enjoy him, a friend at dinner pointed out that there were a couple of "moments" backstage that a really good emcee would have covered better. He also would make jokes at the expense of the acts which had just finished, which isn't what you want in an emcee. So, mixed review on him -- he had some really funny material, but could have handled things slightly better.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 7:30 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Steve Valentine was emcee, and while I always enjoy him, a friend at dinner pointed out that there were a couple of "moments" backstage that a really good emcee would have covered better. He also would make jokes at the expense of the acts which had just finished, which isn't what you want in an emcee. So, mixed review on him -- he had some really funny material, but could have handled things slightly better.


I have seen many MCs do this and not just at magic shows. I always cringe when they do this and deem it very disrespectful. In the clubs of Northern England it was very common to see magicians bearing the brunt of this. The audiences in these places were quite tough and a little restless and even rowdy at times. They could be very inattentive and disrespectful of the acts. So many comperes would have a standard line saying, "If you lot don't shut up I will bring the magician back on!" They said this no matter who the magician was!

One of the best MCs I have ever worked with was a magician named Jerry Bergmann. I worked with him in Germany at American army bases. He once told me, "It doesn't matter what the audience think of me so much as what they think of the entire show. I am responsible for the entire show rather than just myself. I want everyone to be good and that reflects on me too"

He was a real pro and would never dream of making fun of any acts on a show he was in charge of.

He once gave me some priceless advice on how to get drunks and obnoxious audience volunteers off the stage tactfully which was a problem I had in my younger days. He was very well known in his day but seems to have been forgotten nowadays. I expect some old timers would remember him though.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 18th, 2017, 8:53 am

Hi, Bill:

Thanks for your reports!

What was (were) the hot item(s) from the dealer room?

Did any "names" who normally don't go to conventions show up?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 18th, 2017, 3:14 pm

Hot items -- hard to say. I don't buy that much new product. I know that Vanishing Inc seemed to have a full booth all the time. I know that Richard Kaufman and Dustin Stinett sold a ton of Kaufman books and Genii subscriptions (Richard had marked down the prices heavily on many of his old books and was making some great deals). Magicana had some proof pages and mockups of the upcoming book on Johnny Thompson, and it looks like it will be a must-have. Meir Yedid had a brand new (not even on his website yet, I think) presentation of the trapdoor card, done with a dollar bill. Includes a DVD with presentation/method, and a template for cutting the hole in the bill with precision. SEO magic had a small apparatus/illusion made of Legos, with which you can produce a Star Wars minifig. I believe Santa will put this under my son's Christmas tree in a few months.

Mostly I bought books, and some old trade cards from Gabe Fajuri. But, after seeing David Williamson playing with one at dinner one night, I did get a small penlight that you shine on a dollar bill, ostensibly testing for counterfeits. When you have the light pressed up against the bill, it only makes a small illuminated spot. But if you pull it back, it projects the word "copy" onto whatever you are shining it on. SEO had them in their booth, but I can't find it to link to right now.

Big "names" -- again, hard to say. I don't go to many conventions, so I don't know who regularly attends. I will say that everyone I met was open and friendly. Christopher Hart was there, and was especially kind. My son Thomas (age 10) had recently seen the Addams Family movies in which Hart plays Thing. I called home, and told my son that I had spoken to Thing earlier in the day, and explained. Thomas has never been anything like star-struck in his life, but asked me to get an autograph for him. Christopher graciously consented, and then had me pose for a picture: I stood facing the camera, and he squatted down behind me and placed his hand on top of my head, in the fashion of Thing, so that it was the only part of him visible. (and given that I'm 5'6" and he is well over 6 feet, he had to squat a little more than usual). So my son now has a picture of his dad with Thing on top of his head. Super nice guy, and as part of David Sandy's workshop, he gave some excellent tips on the color-changing silk with a dye tube.

Wednesday morning, the dealer's room was fairly quiet. I had been in Gabe Fajuri's booth talking, and in walks David Copperfield. All of a sudden, it's so crowded you can't swing a dead cat. Some of it was his entourage (two really nice looking young ladies had name tags that said "Copperfield Guest #1" and "Copperfield Guest #2") but mostly it was just people who seemed to be following him around, wanting pictures and autographs, or just to stand in his general vicinity. While you can't feel too bad for a person who owns his own islands, it must really be a grind to be famous enough that you can't just go to a magic convention and hang out like everyone else. I heard Criss Angel dropped by, but didn't see him. I passed by Kevin James one time, and wish that I had taken a moment to speak to him -- he is a really creative magician, and I've never met him otherwise.

I mostly hung out with Richard Hatch, Jason England, Paul Wilson and Dustin Stinett, and spent most of my time in the dealer's room at Potter & Potter, the Genii booth, and with David Ben at Magicana for a while. Monday night I had dinner at the hotel with Paul, Jason, Darwin Ortiz, and Paul Gertner. Paul W. and I walked in together, and there was a band playing. I said, "Oh, listen, they've got both kinds of music -- Country and Western." That got a laugh from him, as he said he had just watched "The Blues Brothers" a few days earlier. Tuesday evening, Jason, Paul, Mike Caveney, David Williamson, and Mac King and I headed to Sweets Raku (high-end Japanese restaurant; Google it) for a late dessert. We got there and was told there would be a 45 minute wait (the massage parlor next door did not seem to have a line, though), so we headed elsewhere to Blueberry Hill (which is more like a Denny's). With this crew, you can imagine that there was a lot of laughter, and I just sat there quietly, listening to story after story. We finished (I had some pretty good cheesecake), and went to pay. The cashier said, "Are you guys magicians? Do me a trick."

Have you ever had a spectator for whom magic was simply a lost cause? That was this lady. David pulled out a deck, had her select a card, controlled it to second from the top, and showed her the top card. He top changed it, and placed it on the counter (it was now her selection), and said "I bet you my dessert that that's your card laying there" (David has one of the smoothest Top Changes around). The cashier got caught up in the bet, though, and said "But you have to pay for your dessert." David tried to refocus her attention on the card, and I think she believed that her card was not on the counter (although it really was, from the TC), but she wouldn't focus on the trick, and was wrapped up in the money for the bill. David said, "Look, I'll pay for TWO desserts if that's not your card." But she wouldn't go for it. David finally showed her the card, and she didn't react (I think she had forgotten her card).

So Mac King takes over. He has her select a card, does some stuff, reveals it, and she doesn't react. He said, "Is that your card?" and she says right back, "Is that my card?" Mac says, "The Eight of Clubs -- is that the card you picked?" And she said "Clubs?", and I don't believe she was quite clear on the difference between Clubs and Spades. Mac finally got her to say that yes, the 8C was her card, and he palmed it off and pulled it from his fly, and pitched it on the counter. She went "EWWW", and we paid up and left. I don't think she was trying to, but she was the worst spectator for magic I've ever seen.

So all through the parking lot, Jason or Caveney (forget which) kept saying, "The two best magicians in Vegas, and y'all can't find one damn card between you."

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 18th, 2017, 3:27 pm

I never explained the Sunday night puzzle:

California: MOPMN Tina Lenert
California: BEM1NE Steve Valentine
Illinois: YZONE ("Wise One") Eugene Burger
Maryland: ESPDUO Evasons
Massachusetts: UNSHFLD Paul Gertner
Michigan: TRNPAPR Gene Anderson
Nevada: ANDCO Thomsoni and Co.
Nevada: TGWTR Stan Allen ("The Guy With The Rabbit", which really was his license plate for years)
Texas: ESTRS Ray Anderson (Host of "Esther's Follies" in Austin)

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 3:52 pm

From the above description I am not in the least surprised the cashier didn't react.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 18th, 2017, 5:09 pm

Nor me.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 18th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Well, that's on me and my descriptive abilities. Both of them were doing a fine job of presenting a pick-a-card trick on the spur of the moment.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 5:39 pm

Q. Kumber wrote:Nor me.


I am glad to see that I am not alone.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 5:42 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Well, that's on me and my descriptive abilities. Both of them were doing a fine job of presenting a pick-a-card trick on the spur of the moment.


There is an art to performing on the spur of the moment. A knowledge of people and psychology. And a good dollop of common sense. That includes saying the right thing at the right time.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Bill Mullins » August 18th, 2017, 5:55 pm

I feel confident that both David Williamson and Mac King have all of the knowledge, skills and ability to do that, and more.

What is in doubt is my ability to convey what happened in a way that makes you realize that they were both doing good magic, and that the spectator was not receptive to it.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 6:14 pm

No reflection on these worthy chaps of course but I don't share your confidence. And of course the cashier was receptive to magic. After all she asked for it in the first place. All I can say is that I GUARANTEE that I would have had her gasping and laughing within seconds, without having to resort to low class vulgarities like card to fly. But then some of us are born to lead and some of us are born to follow....................

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 18th, 2017, 6:16 pm

Thanks for the stories, Bill-- hilarious!

I'm going to be at David Sandy's workshop this year, so I was interested to hear he did a workshop on doing a workshop.

It's been several large conventions a row now where there hasn't been a strong hit trick of the convention in the dealer's room. I wonder if that's due to everything getting to the Internet so quickly or maybe the market has "magic fatigue" (AKA 50 different instant downloads with variations of coin in bottle.)

Still, it's really the people make the convention, so it sounds like a great time!

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby lybrary » August 18th, 2017, 6:38 pm

It is the effect of the long tail, not just in magic but in many other markets. The size of the big hits reduces - meaning the biggest hits aren't as big as they used to be. And the long tail increases - meaning more products are available at any given moment in time. Essentially the available amount of money, which for all practical purposes you can consider constant, gets spread over a larger and larger amount of products.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 18th, 2017, 6:41 pm

performer wrote:No reflection on these worthy chaps of course but I don't share your confidence. And of course the cashier was receptive to magic. After all she asked for it in the first place. All I can say is that I GUARANTEE that I would have had her gasping and laughing within seconds,


Having seen performer in many similar situations, I concur with his statement.

Bill, you did a very good job describing what happened and I would not argue that they performed excellent magic but the context is completely wrong. I was in a similar situation only yesterday and I too did not make an impression at all, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

About seven years ago when Docc Hilford was in Manchester we spent quite a bit of time discussing this question - Docc had also been in a similar situation. Yesterday I forgot the solutions we discussed. I won't any more.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Ted M » August 18th, 2017, 7:00 pm

It sounds like the cashier's focus was diverted when Williamson offered a bet that would allow him to escape paying for part of his bill.

From that point on, her focus may well have been entirely on her register not coming up short of its expected cash total, which depended on her not being tricked.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 7:05 pm

I know it may sound odd coming from me of all people but the key to this particular situation is humility. You don't show how good you are. You show how humble you are. Even how slightly embarrassed you are. You let them underestimate you and then you go in for the kill. But I lied when I said this is the key to this situation. There is FAR more to it but I am reluctant to pontificate on these matters. Still that reluctance has never stopped me before so here you are:

This is a cashier situation. Their time is limited. You need to get them gasping within the first 30 seconds. If you are doing a trick which takes two minutes before you get to the climax (and knowing the average American magician who talks too much it probably takes longer) you are going to dilute the reaction considerably. You need to do something which takes 30 seconds at most and get them going IMMEDIATELY!
If after that initial effort you judge the situation that she has more time to spare you can do a bit longer but not more than a minute. Get in and get out although sometimes there are rare exceptions depending on the circumstances.

And in the name of God don't do that awful card to fly abomination particularly in front of a female cashier. It comes off as very cheesy and disgusting. And never challenge anyone. No wonder the poor woman did not react to someone betting the card is not their card. Wrong approach entirely and a lack of humility. Especially when betting for a free dessert! I can see the domino effect of negativity setting in early on and no matter what he did after that he was doomed.

You have to be able to manipulate the PEOPLE as well as the cards. And judge the prevailing situation. That is what I mean by common sense.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 7:07 pm

Ted M wrote:It sounds like the cashier's focus was diverted when Williamson offered a bet that would allow him to escape paying for part of his bill.

From that point on, her focus may well have been entirely on her register not coming up short of its expected cash total, which depended on her not being tricked.


Indeed. Good point and I meant to say that in my above post. You saved me the trouble. And it sets up a challenge aspect which is most undesirable particulary in this case.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby lybrary » August 18th, 2017, 7:11 pm

I am sure I will get all beaten up by criticizing these famous magicians, but why the hell would you do a pick/remember a card trick in this situation?! If a beginner in magic does that I understand. But these pros? If you want to do a card trick in this situation you do a color change, or a twisting the aces or some other quick visual effect that does not require one to pick and or remember a card.
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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby erdnasephile » August 18th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Wasn't it Leipzig who said that he only performed impromptu if he was asked twice?

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 18th, 2017, 9:00 pm

lybrary wrote:I am sure I will get all beaten up by criticizing these famous magicians, but why the hell would you do a pick/remember a card trick in this situation?! If a beginner in magic does that I understand. But these pros? If you want to do a card trick in this situation you do a color change, or a twisting the aces or some other quick visual effect that does not require one to pick and or remember a card.


Correct! I would never get a card selected in that situation. I would probably just do a double lift then lay it face down and get her to put her hand on it, get her to say some daft magic word or other then turn it over to show the change. That really is all you need. If there was a good reaction to that I might well do something else depending on how busy she seemed to be.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby Matthew Field » August 19th, 2017, 3:49 am

This thread makes me sick.

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Re: MAGIC Live 2017?

Postby performer » August 19th, 2017, 7:23 am

Matthew Field wrote:This thread makes me sick.


Indeed. I get the same feeling when I visit the Magic Circle.


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