The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

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

Postby Jason Ladanye » February 11th, 2018, 8:26 pm

I think this has been mentioned already, but worth repeating. I believe that any effect that happens in their hands is an absolute miracle. They're part of the magic and they'll remember it for a lifetime. It doesn't matter if the card is changing, or the signature is disappearing, or w/e. That's what I've noticed in my experience.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 11th, 2018, 8:42 pm

Spongeballs.
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MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 11th, 2018, 10:05 pm

Jason Ladanye wrote:I think this has been mentioned already, but worth repeating. I believe that any effect that happens in their hands is an absolute miracle. They're part of the magic and they'll remember it for a lifetime. It doesn't matter if the card is changing, or the signature is disappearing, or w/e. That's what I've noticed in my experience.


Welcome Jason! I couldn't agree more with you (and with Richard re the sponge balls, although for me, it's the rabbits). As far as cards, I would have to say though, that there are two effects in my experience, that are right up there, impact-wise, with a transformation in the spectator's hand, and those two effects are: (1) Signed Card on the Ceiling and (2) the good old ID. I would be quick to add though, that for one on one, it"s tough to beat OOTW, which I would think qualifies as "happening in their hands."

performer
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby performer » February 11th, 2018, 11:05 pm

I agree with this but I swear I read somewhere recently someone notable debunking this. I wish I could remember who it was.

Uh oh! I have a suspicion and a vague memory who it was! I had better check first in case I have it wrong.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby performer » February 12th, 2018, 10:01 pm

OK. I have searched and can't find it. And I read it fairly recently. I suppose I can't swear to it but I am almost certain it was Eugene Burger who was somewhat lukewarm about the principle that tricks done in the hands of a spectator were stronger. Mind you, he also thought the double lift was "an abomination". I suspect this was because he couldn't do it very well himself. In truth I was never overly excited about Burger's performing style but I will concede he was probably the best of the bad bunch that are seen around nowadays and admired by magicians. And of course magicians usually admire other magicians for the wrong things anyway.

But this brings up something I have been thinking about lately. When I first started magic I thought that everything everyone said about theory was gospel. 60 years later I think half of it is complete balderdash. Too many conflicting opinions by all the "experts" and too much not practicing what they preach. I still resent the awful Henning Nelms book on showmanship which guided me the wrong way for several months. Of course I didn't know at the time that Nelms had never done a show in his life.

But I have read fairly thoroughly the other theorists. I do find the Darwin Ortiz book "Strong Magic" pretty good except for his advice on hecklers. But overall it is an excellent analysis. I do think he is better at the preaching rather than the practicing but that is of no concern to me if the preaching is good. On the other hand I have read Jamy Ian Swiss's theories and find them mostly nonsense. He is at his best when describing stories and reminiscences of performers of the past. I think he should stick to that. Ironically I understand he panned the Ortiz book!

Of course that is an example of contradictory opinions. Here is another one. Burger wrote that you should perform magic in such a way that people don't want to analyse your secrets too much. He said you should try to avoid audiences being put in an analytical mood and gives an example of not having things examined because of this. On the other hand David Berglas likes to perform a trick and delays performing any more until people chatter about how the trick he just did might be done. In other words he WANTS them to be analytical! Different theories. How the hell is a beginner in magic supposed to know what is right or what is wrong? Oh, and just for good measure I found the Tamariz book "My Magic Way" full of tosh too!

Talking about David Berglas whom I have admired for decades I have just been reading Richard's excellent book on the great man. There is one section written by David himself on personality and presentation. I dearly wanted to agree with him but I couldn't quite manage it. I found that 75% of what he wrote I thought a load of old cobblers!

Here is another example: the much vaunted book by Ken Weber "Maximum Entertainment". I think 50% of it is fine but the other 50% is not so fine and I don't know why. I keep rereading it to see what I am missing. Perhaps I am biased by the forthright and in fact downright rude tone of the author so I keep trying to be objective and put that aside. But alas, I find that half of what he says is a load of old balderdash.

Now I don't know who is right or wrong. Me or the authors. It is all very subjective. The only point I am making here is that it is very unwise to take all you read as gospel just because it is in print. I do tend to do that myself until I either think about it or see the authors actually at work only to find they have a lot to learn themselves.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 13th, 2018, 1:42 pm

It seems inevitable that there will be, as Performer might say, "tosh, old cobblers and balderdash" within the annals of magic theory literature, and certainly priceless gems, as well. For my own part, my greatest teacher in magic has been Experience, and the most important institution of higher magic education, the School of Hard Knocks.

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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby performer » February 13th, 2018, 2:21 pm

Experience probably IS the best teacher but I have even seen that theory debunked! The logic was that by the time you get the experience you are too old and decrepit to put it into action! I will concede that this wasn't iin a book about magic and it wasn't quite the way the author put it but I know what he meant.

I think the only response to that is that you had better get the experience quickly! Be a fast learner in other words!

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erdnasephile
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby erdnasephile » February 14th, 2018, 10:39 am

Jason Ladanye wrote:I think this has been mentioned already, but worth repeating. I believe that any effect that happens in their hands is an absolute miracle. They're part of the magic and they'll remember it for a lifetime. It doesn't matter if the card is changing, or the signature is disappearing, or w/e. That's what I've noticed in my experience.


Welcome, Mr. Ladanye! (I'm a fan of your work!).

I don't think I realized the power of this until I had a spectator ask me to do that trick where "I [emphasis mine] make all the sponge rabbits appear."

I do think there are two main presentational paths to take on this: 1) where the magician causes the magic to happen in the spectator's hands and 2) where the spectator themselves do the magic. One seems more of a canceling strategy, while the other is allowing the spectator to be the star of the show. There are, of course, variants of these main trunks, but IMHO, which one you go with depends largely on your personal definition of magic.

I've also seen this handled badly, where the magician turns the spectator into meaningless, glorified shelf space (this seems to happen in kid shows not infrequently). However, done right: screams.

PS: While I'm on a rant: I'm not sure that all intelligent adult spectators are necessarily thrilled with taking home trash from our shows (torn envelopes, mangled cards, etc.). Certainly there are people who cherish this stuff, put them in frames, carry them around to show their friends, etc. but I wonder how many other people are thinking: "How in the world am I going to convince my bank to take this soggy $100 bill with my signature on it that's missing a corner?" I suppose like any other performing strategy, one must pick their participants with skill and care to make sure the effect intended is what will ultimately be produced.

Joe Mckay
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Joe Mckay » February 14th, 2018, 11:20 am

Andy has some interesting thoughts about what makes a good souvenir for the end of a magic trick:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/4/28/remembrance-of-things-past

He also came up with the best souvenir in the history of magic.

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/3/15/pixelatedpixilated

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

Postby Bill Mullins » February 14th, 2018, 11:48 am

Joe Mckay wrote:He also came up with the best souvenir in the history of magic.


There used to be a guy in our club who had an honest-to-goodness, real shrunken head.

Top that.

Joe Mckay
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby Joe Mckay » February 14th, 2018, 12:06 pm

Ha - you got me beat!

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 14th, 2018, 2:53 pm

erdnasephile wrote:[quote="J

I don't think I realized the power of this until I had a spectator ask me to do that trick where "I [emphasis mine] make all the sponge rabbits appear...

...I do think there are two main presentational paths to take on this: 1) where the magician causes the magic to happen in the spectator's hands and 2) where the spectator themselves do the magic. One seems more of a canceling strategy, while the other is allowing the spectator to be the star of the show. There are, of course, variants of these main trunks, but IMHO, which one you go with depends largely on your personal definition of magic...

...PS: While I'm on a rant: I'm not sure that all intelligent adult spectators are necessarily thrilled with taking home trash from our shows (torn envelopes, mangled cards, etc.). Certainly there are people who cherish this stuff, put them in frames, carry them around to show their friends, etc. but I wonder how many other people are thinking: "How in the world am I going to convince my bank to take this soggy $100 bill with my signature on it that's missing a corner?" I suppose like any other performing strategy, one must pick their participants with skill and care to make sure the effect intended is what will ultimately be produced.


I first began to develop my appreciation for the Multiplying Rabbits when I worked at Malone's Magic Bar in the Boca Raton Resort & Beach Club back in the 90's. There was a fine magician I worked with there, named Cory Allen, and the rabbits was a staple of his strolling repertoire. The reactions he almost invariably received were uncanny. I desperately wanted to do the routine, but protocol and courtesy dictated otherwise. But I started doing it at private events and it virtually always killed. Imagine sophisticated Palm Beach Millionaires imploring a magician to go over to friends' tables, with the entreaty, "Please do the rabbits for them!" I have been doing it ever since, and if I was told that I would be limited to doing just one trick all night long, well, it would be bunny city! I am not surprised that Michael Ammar has referred to it as "possibly the greatest close-up trick of all time."

As far as Erdnasephile's mention of the "two main presentational paths...1) where the magician causes the magic to happen in the spectator's hands and 2) where the spectator themselves do the magic," I think the strongest of all is when both paths can be converged. OOTW would be an example; Poker Player's Picnic, another. (For the latter, before having them begin the cutting and dealing sequence, try first palming off the 4 Aces, letting them shuffle, then replacing under cover of a question or remark directed at the spectator(s). Since the trick has not officially begun there is minimal-to-no heat as to the palming or replacement). You wanna talk about strong?!?!

I don't know how many magicians give back the spectator volunteer a soggy bill with the corner torn, but it would certainly be a tacky thing to do. Why not do a bill switch for a new one which they are then given, or just give them a nice crisp new one and take the used one. It'll dry out and very few, if any banks (especially your own) or vendors, are going to refuse it.

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 14th, 2018, 2:57 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:[quote="J

I don't think I realized the power of this until I had a spectator ask me to do that trick where "I [emphasis mine] make all the sponge rabbits appear...

...I do think there are two main presentational paths to take on this: 1) where the magician causes the magic to happen in the spectator's hands and 2) where the spectator themselves do the magic. One seems more of a canceling strategy, while the other is allowing the spectator to be the star of the show. There are, of course, variants of these main trunks, but IMHO, which one you go with depends largely on your personal definition of magic...

...PS: While I'm on a rant: I'm not sure that all intelligent adult spectators are necessarily thrilled with taking home trash from our shows (torn envelopes, mangled cards, etc.). Certainly there are people who cherish this stuff, put them in frames, carry them around to show their friends, etc. but I wonder how many other people are thinking: "How in the world am I going to convince my bank to take this soggy $100 bill with my signature on it that's missing a corner?" I suppose like any other performing strategy, one must pick their participants with skill and care to make sure the effect intended is what will ultimately be produced.


I first began to develop my appreciation for the Multiplying Rabbits when I worked at Malone's Magic Bar in the Boca Raton Resort & Beach Club back in the 90's. There was a fine magician I worked with there, named Cory Allen, and the rabbits was a staple of his strolling repertoire. The reactions he almost invariably received were uncanny. I desperately wanted to do the routine, but protocol and courtesy dictated otherwise. But I started doing it at private events and it virtually always killed. Imagine sophisticated Palm Beach Millionaires imploring a magician to go over to friends' tables, with the entreaty, "Please do the rabbits for them!" I have been doing it ever since, and if I was told that I would be limited to doing just one trick all night long, well, it would be bunny city! I am not surprised that Michael Ammar has referred to it as "possibly the greatest close-up trick of all time."

As far as Erdnasephile's mention of the "two main presentational paths...1) where the magician causes the magic to happen in the spectator's hands and 2) where the spectator themselves do the magic," I think the strongest of all is when both paths can be at least implicitly converged. OOTW would be an example; Poker Player's Picnic, another. (For the latter, before having them begin the cutting and dealing sequence, try first palming off the 4 Aces, letting them shuffle, then replacing under cover of a question or remark directed at the spectator(s). Since the trick has not officially begun there is minimal-to-no heat as to the palming or replacement). You wanna talk about strong?!?!

I don't know how many magicians give back the spectator volunteer a soggy bill with the corner torn, but it would certainly be a tacky thing to do. Why not do a bill switch for a new one which they are then given, or just give them a nice crisp new one and take the used one. It'll dry out and very few, if any banks (especially your own) or vendors, are going to refuse it.

performer
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Re: The Trick with the Strongest Reaction from Laymen

Postby performer » February 14th, 2018, 6:32 pm

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.


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