The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 28th, 2019, 7:31 am

Just as a postscript to my comments above, I should mention that I am no longer performing at Ricardos after being abruptly and unceremoniously escorted out by the bouncers. One of my rabbits mouthed-off to a customer and I was blamed. OK, just kidding, there are no bouncers and I did not get thrown out. After 3 and 1/2 years of performing there (and other venues in the wine country and San Francisco), I relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I really like it here - it's beautiful and the cost of living is about half of what it was in Northern California. Owning a home is within reach, even if you're not wealthy. And, if I ever do decide to retire (doubtful), it would actually be feasible here.

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Paco Nagata » July 10th, 2019, 2:06 pm

"Total Coincidence" by Tamariz.
It's the card trick routine I've got the strongest reaction. However, the reaction of the viewers depends on many factors; not only the trick itself, but the mood of the people, the enviroment, the expressiveness of the magician, the number of people watching it...
As you can go to the Nature to escape from the stress of the city, you can also experience magic just to escape from the stress of the reality.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Q. Kumber » July 10th, 2019, 6:04 pm

I do the sponge bunnies and I never ask them to open their hand slowly. I want those bunnies springing out up into the air and flying all over the place. I don't care if they fall on the floor. It's a nuisance but a small price to pay for the reaction when they fly out. I want screams!

Bill Duncan
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Bill Duncan » July 10th, 2019, 10:07 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Someone needs to create a gimmick that will cause a sensation of tickling or movement in the spectator's hand when the bunnies are in there.


Ah, Wonder Words?

They don't have to feel anything, they just have to think they felt something.

Paco Nagata
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Paco Nagata » July 11th, 2019, 12:14 pm

Bill Duncan wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Someone needs to create a gimmick that will cause a sensation of tickling or movement in the spectator's hand when the bunnies are in there.


When I was a child, in the 80', I watched in a (Spanish) TV show a Tamariz's performance of that routine. At the end of the routine he tapped the spectator's hand with a finger in a casual way as he did the magical gesture. After that he asked the spectator: "did you feel something inside the hand?" The spectator replied: "a tickle". (!) I was really surprised with the spectator's answer. I wondered how the hell the spectator felt something!
Well, I was thinking about it for long time. A stooge only for that? I don't really think so. Maybe the charismatic Tamariz's words made the spectator believe that he felt something?...
When I get my first Magic Box with some sponge bunnies and I read the instructions for a version of the routine, I noticed something interesting practicing with the bunnies:
When I grabbed all the bunnies and keep them in my fist, I noticed that if I relax the fist just a little bit, a feeling of swelling is produce inside the fist. That gave me a hint about the mistery of that Tamariz's performance. It seemed that Tamariz tapped suddenly the spectator's hand to get him to relax his fist and making him to feel that tickle.
Well, it's my approach about it. Maybe that spectator just was a nice guy that wanted to colaborate with a famous magician on TV with the illusion of magic... Who knows...
As you can go to the Nature to escape from the stress of the city, you can also experience magic just to escape from the stress of the reality.

magicfish
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby magicfish » July 14th, 2019, 8:33 pm

performer wrote:I really wish I could find that lukewarm evaluation of the theory that tricks done in the hand are better. I swear it was Eugene Burger who wrote it. I am going to keep looking.

John Bannon I believe.
I'll try to find the reference when I'm home.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby ksevile » July 15th, 2019, 3:17 am

Fast Company by Darwin Ortiz easily. I always use it as an opener in prepared settings. I am totally stumped as to why I don’t hear about anyone else performing it. Strongest intermediate level effect I know.

One guy got up from his seat and said “this is some witchcraft (blank) right here”, running away. He seemed generally spooked.

I’ve always loved how you can get the same level of reaction from an audience when presenting something that’s more a demonstration of extraordinary skill, rather than something inherently magical. My favorite effect to perform, and will probably stay that way.

Mr. Charming
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Mr. Charming » July 16th, 2019, 2:40 pm

magicfish wrote:
performer wrote:I really wish I could find that lukewarm evaluation of the theory that tricks done in the hand are better. I swear it was Eugene Burger who wrote it. I am going to keep looking.

John Bannon I believe.
I'll try to find the reference when I'm home.


Maybe you are referring to Ken Krenzel's Ingenuities

magicfish
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby magicfish » July 16th, 2019, 10:02 pm

"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon, DMF pg. 69 

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Brad Jeffers » July 17th, 2019, 2:19 pm

magicfish wrote: that remark ought to scare the daylights out of any thinking magician

What's the remark he's referring to?

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Leonard Hevia » July 18th, 2019, 12:28 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:
magicfish wrote: that remark ought to scare the daylights out of any thinking magician

What's the remark he's referring to?


The Last Trick of Dr. Daly on the spectator's palm up hands. Black aces in one hand, reds in the other. The lady backtracked the effect and realized that the aces could not have possibly transposed while she was holding them. She then reasoned the switch must have happened before Bannon put the aces in her hands.

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erdnasephile
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby erdnasephile » July 18th, 2019, 1:40 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:
magicfish wrote: that remark ought to scare the daylights out of any thinking magician

What's the remark he's referring to?


The Last Trick of Dr. Daly on the spectator's palm up hands. Black aces in one hand, reds in the other. The lady backtracked the effect and realized that the aces could not have possibly transposed while she was holding them. She then reasoned the switch must have happened before Bannon put the aces in her hands.


It's another instance where the conviction of the method was not strong enough to back up the sell of the effect.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Dave Le Fevre » July 18th, 2019, 3:47 am

I think that that's a normal and reasonable reaction from a spectator who retrospectively considers what is and isn't possible.

Some people will have a jaw drop. Other will have a jaw drop followed by well, this can't have happened therefore that must've happened ..... but how?

When I saw Shawn Farquhar's signed card to sealed deck I realised what he must have done. Does that detract from a very magical effect?

Dave

Bob Coyne
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Bob Coyne » July 18th, 2019, 9:39 am

This is an example of the too perfect theory. By having the magic happen in their hands, one possible solution is eliminated, leading them to backtrack toward the actual method. Sometimes a little less magical is more deceptive. It's a tricky balance.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Q. Kumber » July 18th, 2019, 9:47 am

I don't know the context in which John Bannon performed - whether as a solo piece or part of a routine.

It is conceivable that the lady would have come to the same conclusion whether the cards changed on the table or in her hand.
I have always used the Daley trick (with Bev Bergeron's handling from his 1978 lecture notes) just before going into McDonald's Aces. Using the four aces for the Daley trick gives me a cover for placing the deck in my pocket to add the DFs.

I don't accept John's reasoning for not having magic happening in the spectator's hand. I do take it that we need to carefully construct our presentations so they can't be backtracked, - or that, if part of. routine, the routine continues before they have the opportunity to think.

Incidentally, back in the early 80's myself and two other magicians were booked to perform close-up in a Dublin restaurant. Coincidentally we all had McDonald's Aces in our repertoires. The owner and host would frequently watch. After a few months he said, "I've worked out all your tricks but I can't figure out those aces."

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erdnasephile
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby erdnasephile » July 18th, 2019, 9:48 am

Dave Le Fevre wrote:I think that that's a normal and reasonable reaction from a spectator who retrospectively considers what is and isn't possible.

Some people will have a jaw drop. Other will have a jaw drop followed by well, this can't have happened therefore that must've happened ..... but how?

When I saw Shawn Farquhar's signed card to sealed deck I realised what he must have done. Does that detract from a very magical effect?

Dave


Dave:
Your point is a good one. I personally think this kind of comes down to your personal definition of magic. Depending on whether you are shooting for otherworldly skill (ala Ortiz) vs. no rational explanation can possibly exist (ala Close) vs. something in-between, the types of methods and presentations you choose to create will vary, as will the answer to your question.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Jack Shalom » July 18th, 2019, 10:47 am

I strongly recommend The Jerx's series on exactly this issue. It begins here:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2019/6/23/c ... tonishment

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby magicfish » July 19th, 2019, 12:15 am

Jack Shalom wrote:I strongly recommend The Jerx's series on exactly this issue. It begins here:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2019/6/23/c ... tonishment

Just read it.
Drivel.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Jack Shalom » July 19th, 2019, 12:19 am

"What Paul Harris calls “astonishment,” and what I’ve been calling “initial astonishment” is really just, Surprise.

Surprise is typically an involuntary, fleeting feeling. In a matter of seconds, the spectator’s mind will attack that feeling of surprise and subject it to all the brain’s critical faculties. Often, they will be able to come up with a reasonable explanation (even if it’s just a general explanation) for what occurred and the moment will fizzle out. But if the feeling of surprise isn’t undermined by that process, then it develops into a feeling of Astonishment. (In fact, “an enduring surprise,” is a pretty good definition of magic.) This happens in a matter of seconds. The Surprise will either crumble away to nothing when looked at critically, or it will change into Astonishment when the spectator realizes they have no feasible explanation for what happened...

If the spectator can’t destroy the feeling of astonishment because the effect was too well constructed, or if they choose to accept the feeling, then it will eventually transform into a feeling of Mystery.

In previous posts I’ve talked about Paul Harris’ concept of Astonishment (which in this post I’m calling Surprise) and Mystery as two different things, but now I believe mystery is surprise that has evolved over time. Surprise is the seed, mystery is the flower."

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby magicfish » July 19th, 2019, 12:46 am

I've said it before but, does this guy really think his ideas are original? Does he think he is telling us something we don't know.
Gratuitous profanity aside., just getting through a paragraph is excruciating.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Jack Shalom » July 19th, 2019, 6:16 am

Focus is more important than originality; he's put together a series of articles that focuses on how to deal with the fleeting nature of Surprise, and steps the performer can take to extend the feeling of a magical experience in the spectator. Not easy otherwise to find much coverage of that issue in one place.

If you take a look at, say, a respected magic book like Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment or even Tamariz's Five Points in Magic there's almost nothing there that isn't obvious to an intermediate or even beginning theater student. But it is useful to have such information in one place for the magician, focused, if one wishes to improve one's stage magic performances. Just so for The Jerx's dissection of casual magic performed in a social setting.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Paco Nagata » July 20th, 2019, 12:45 am

Q. Kumber wrote:I do take it that we need to carefully construct our presentations so they can't be backtracked, - or that, if part of. routine, the routine continues before they have the opportunity to think.[/i]


That's the point in my opinion; after a "too perfect trick" I always continue with other routine to make spectator not to think too much, so after the show they only keep the magical effect. They only remember well the last one.
In other words, in my opinion it's better never performe a "too perfect routine" alone, without more.
As you can go to the Nature to escape from the stress of the city, you can also experience magic just to escape from the stress of the reality.

magicfish
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby magicfish » July 20th, 2019, 8:40 am

"Not easy otherwise to find much coverage of that issue in one place."
Don't equate accuracy, quality, or legitimacy to something because it may be the only game in town.
Anyway, back on topic.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Bill Duncan » July 21st, 2019, 2:22 am

The Daley trick isn't too perfect, it's insufficiently complex. The method isn't deep enough to prevent accurate speculation or back tracking.

It's a great trick. Hell I published a scripted version... but it's not a closer. And if you're only doing one trick, and you want to leave them baffled, do a closer.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Zig Zagger » July 22nd, 2019, 4:07 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:If you take a look at, say, a respected magic book like Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment or even Tamariz's Five Points in Magic there's almost nothing there that isn't obvious to an intermediate or even beginning theater student.


Jack, that's an interesting point! I think it would be a worthwhile project (and maybe a disillusioning one) to have our treasured magic texts checked through someone with an interest in magic and a master's thesis in drama school ahead. Magicians' staging, movements, blocking, body language, speech, focus, misdirection, dramaturgy--just child's play?

Any takers or magic folks affiliated with any drama departments?
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Jack Shalom » July 22nd, 2019, 11:57 pm

I think it's been said that it's easier to teach an actor to perform magic than to teach a magician to act. There may be some truth in that.

I would say that in your list above, misdirection is the one area where the magician's special knowledge supersedes the stagecraft knowledge of the actor. But all the rest--yes, that's pretty basic stuff. Even Tamariz's fun drawing of communication threads going out from his eyes to the audience was in Stanislavski's work a century ago.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Paco Nagata » July 23rd, 2019, 5:25 am

Many devotees of magic point out that a good magician is a good actor and a good psychologist. That would turn magic into a much more complex art than we first imagined. But this complexity does not go beyond being yourselves while you love magic. All people have a psychological and performative side, and the lover of magic will know how to use it appropriately to produce the illusion. It’s not necessary to study psychology or dramatic arts to be a good magician, but it is necessary to really want to be a magician to be a good magician. It’s the wish to be a magician that ends up making you the psychologist and the actor you need to be to be a good magician. In my opinion.
As you can go to the Nature to escape from the stress of the city, you can also experience magic just to escape from the stress of the reality.


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