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Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 11:07 am
by erdnasephile
Just saw P & T's "Honor System" on last week's Fool Us. I thought it was a intriguing presentation.

Question: Did any of you choose to close your eyes?

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 12:13 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
I turned my head away from the TV screen, back to PC screen, so yes :)

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 3:06 pm
by Christopher1979
It was a very intriguing presentation. I must admit I was left feeling that there should of be a kicker of some sort. But, yes, very interesting.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 5:06 pm
by Joe Lyons
erdnasephile wrote:Question: Did any of you choose to close your eyes?


No.

I am closing them now at the thought of the resultant dialogue between Peter Ross and Brad Henderson. ;)

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 5:17 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Snort.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 5:44 pm
by Jack Shalom
LOL.

I tried it both ways. Frankly, "the box was gimmicked" wasn't exactly a thunderous revelation.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 7:43 pm
by JFox
btw-- Very similar to the "Telescopic Box" in "Houdini's Escapes and Magic" - by Walter Gibson.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 10:45 pm
by Joe Lyons
JFox wrote:btw-- Very similar to the "Telescopic Box" in "Houdini's Escapes and Magic" - by Walter Gibson.


I agree. I had a major flashback to Houdini's Escapes when I saw this.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 12:07 am
by Ted M
Jack Shalom wrote:I tried it both ways. Frankly, "the box was gimmicked" wasn't exactly a thunderous revelation.

It was supposed to be underwhelming.

It's supposed to show the audience that magicians' secrets are often banal, that choosing not to know the workings can be more interesting and textured and enjoyable than knowing how the tricks work.

It's a show-don't-tell demonstration of Jim Steinmeyer's maxim that magicians guard an empty safe.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 12:25 am
by Jonathan Townsend
Finally watched the item open-eyed. What a sensible tribute to Houdini and one of his escapes. Wonderful :) Bravo!

*spoiler alert*
Got milk?
* end spoiler *

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 12:51 am
by Jack Shalom
Ted M wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:I tried it both ways. Frankly, "the box was gimmicked" wasn't exactly a thunderous revelation.

It was supposed to be underwhelming.

It's supposed to show the audience that magicians' secrets are often banal, that choosing not to know the workings can be more interesting and textured and enjoyable than knowing how the tricks work.

It's a show-don't-tell demonstration of Jim Steinmeyer's maxim that magicians guard an empty safe.


Fair enough. Then it certainly succeeded. :)

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 4:07 am
by Pete McCabe
I saw it live and kept my eyes closed. I haven't watched the episode of FU, but I am looking forward to finally seeing it.

This piece came up when I interviewed Teller for Scripting Magic.


Pete
Let’s take “Honor System.” In 1975 you had the concept of the audience keeping their eyes closed. What did you find compelling in that idea, and how did you set about trying to translate that into Penn & Teller? Or more generally, where do you start turning an idea into a showpiece?

Teller
What did we find compelling? It seemed a good statement of something that’s not readily stated in any other form. That bit does so many things. It contrasts two ways of viewing the world, and argues that things that are hurtful in the world (keeping yourself in the dark) can be beautiful in a theater. It argues that taking home a riddle from a magic show is taking home something that will stick with you, like a melody. It shows you how simultaneously fascinating and disappointing secrets are. And it does it all in a light, funny way.

We don’t turn ideas into Penn & Teller. We are Penn & Teller. When we get ideas they’re suitable for us. There is no “turning into.”


Re: the method, Teller says they "adapted the 'lead-lined-box' from the Houdini notebooks.'"

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 17th, 2019, 9:45 am
by Joe Lyons
Pete McCabe wrote:I saw it live and kept my eyes closed.


I’m curious Pete. Would you have closed them if you didn’t have an opportunity to watch again?

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 21st, 2019, 11:58 am
by Pete McCabe
At the time—this was at least 15 years ago—I had no idea that I would ever have an opportunity to see it again. YouTube did not exist.

But I don't like to suggest that this was some great achievement. I know the secrets of lots of magic tricks. One more or less is just not that big a deal. The self-satisfaction I get from having kept them closed is much more valuable to me.

Re: Poll: P & T's "Honor System"

Posted: August 21st, 2019, 1:44 pm
by Joe Lyons
Pete McCabe wrote: The self-satisfaction I get from having kept them closed is much more valuable to me.


Magicians enjoy the feeling of amazement more than laymen do.

That’s why we’re here.

From Jamy Ian Swiss’ Take Two blog:

“At the very first 31 Faces North conference in Toronto, a small, invitation-only event hosted by Allan Slaight and David Ben of Magicana, Tommy was the guest of honor. At his featured evening presentation, he performed for a time, and then stopped and said, “Well, I don’t know if this is supposed to be a show, or a lecture, or both … do you want me to explain some of this?” Without hesitation the elite group of magical artists and intellectuals responded virtually as one: No! Don’t explain anything! Just keep performing!

The magic was so beautiful, we didn’t need the secrets. We just wanted to continue the experience. And so Tommy shrugged and continued performing. It was a glorious, unforgettable night.”

The rest is here: https://www.magicana.com/news/blog/take ... mmy-wonder