About doing magic

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » August 31st, 2018, 4:34 pm

Joe
Hey man, you got my juices going. I must look at this stuff. But I warn you, I am a bigger misfit in QM than I am in magic. I hope you read my book "New Age Quantum Physics." The warning is that it goes against the grain of established physics. And I have problems with the Bell Theorem. I just don't get it. But I am going to study that video you linked to.


Q. Kumber: could you reveal what you idea is. Intensely curious.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1565
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Joe Mckay » August 31st, 2018, 5:04 pm

Al? I just checked out your Cups and Balls routine. You have excellent chops!

I don't know much about this trick but since I am a big fan of Peter Kane, I was recently studying his excellent three cup load. It appears in the Books of Wonder (Vol. 2). It is an excellent idea that is worth playing with. Since I don't know this area of magic well - I am not sure how well known it is among magicians who perform this trick. Anyway - just wanted to pass along the tip.

Glenn Bish Bishop
Posts: 33
Joined: July 5th, 2018, 12:44 pm
Favorite Magician: Billy Bishop

Re: About doing magic

Postby Glenn Bish Bishop » August 31st, 2018, 5:40 pm

Holey moley Al, there is another routine I would like to learn and one I would use. How do you keep coming up with routines and ideas that look so much like magic. I have no idea.

User avatar
Peirceman
Posts: 14
Joined: July 20th, 2018, 3:28 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Peirceman » August 31st, 2018, 5:54 pm

I just read this thread and it made me think back.

Back in the 80s I performed at the Magic Island in Balboa CA. I believe I performed well, but most of my stuff was not original to me. When I started, I closed my act with David Williamson's Hypnotized out of his Williamson's Wonders book. I performed 5 15 minute sets a night and the trick never seemed to get a reaction. Considering the time and effort I took to learn the trick, I was diasapppointed. Because it was at the end of my set, it seemed to kill the feel of my entire routine.

The last night of the week, I asked a magician that was working with me to watch my act and give me some advice, specifically on my finally (sic?).

Afterwards, same reaction as before. Silence, then applause after my bow. He said, "so that's the trick the customers were talking about." Greeaaat I thought. It was so bad people were telling the other performers about it. Nope. The color change at the end scrambled them and they were processing instead of reacting. His advice was simple, great trick, just not a routine ender.

My point? Sometimes a lack of response is not due to poor magic or poor performance. Sometimes you just have to give your audience time to process a WTF moment. The struggle for most magicians, myself included, is to divine between stunned silence and a I don't care reaction.

That experience made me hungry for two things. Lots of feedback and more stunned silence.

Love this thread as I think it highlights that most magicians don't get how a really great effect can impact a spectator, and that great magic will not always get the reaction we expect. The lady who thought the aces got to the top of each pile by accident was probably scrambled and her mind was trying to find some real world explanation for what happened.

Those moments are why I perform magic. Anytime someone tells me I got lucky or some other random explanation, those are the times I know I did good job, because in their heart of hearts, they know they just experienced magic.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1635
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Q. Kumber » August 31st, 2018, 6:36 pm

Al Schneider wrote:Q. Kumber: could you reveal what you idea is. Intensely curious.


Al, I've sent you a private message.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » August 31st, 2018, 9:52 pm

Joe

I have seen this article in the past. I have read a couple of books by Herbert. I find them very misleading. He is a typical author that reads scientific texts and attempts to reveal them to the public. He uses analogies. They often do not fit what is actually going on.

The issue is that no one understands what quantum mechanics is (see Richard Feynmann and QED great lecture on Youtube). Yet people like Herbert explain what it is.

Here is a Youtube video I put up to explain quantum mechanics as we understand it today. A recent graduate with a major in QM saw this and said he did not understand QM until he saw this video.

https://youtu.be/B2z4bBgESBI
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » August 31st, 2018, 10:02 pm

Peirceman
Your observation that powerful magic does not get a strong response from the audience is correct, in my opinion.
This is a subject in my book, "The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception."

I propose that strong magic does not get a reaction while weak or "theater magic" gets a very strong reaction. I got a note from a table hopper that agreed with me. He says that when he looks for a gig he shows the hiring manager strong magic. The guy is impressed. Then he works a table to show the manager how he works a table. Then he does a manipulative trick or theater magic. The people at the table applaud strongly and he gets the gig.

Silence in the audience can mean they are stunned and cannot imagine a solution.
Heavy reaction and applause means they know there is some manipulation or gimmick behind the effect and enjoy the surprise or skill.
Silence implies they do not know how skill or gimmick could accomplish the effect.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » August 31st, 2018, 10:15 pm

I would like to add a thought about me. In both Physics and magic, both of which I have spent a lifetime studying (Started with special relativity when I was 11 and magic when I was 17). The ideas I have come up with are opposed to contemporary thinking. I get heat for that. I am just one of those people that do that, along with Issac Newton, Avagadro, Galileo, and many others. Sorry.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 1st, 2018, 12:31 pm

Working on making a video.

Just for giggles, here is an email I got:

-------------------------------------------------------- ooOoo ----------------------------------------------------------------
Youtube Logo
liberalguy513 commented on your video
A Little Cup and Ball Routine

liberalguy513
Yeah, I don't like it. Like most of your stuff, it's technically good, but devoid of any entertainment value.

------------------------------------------------------------ ooOoo ----------------------------------------------------------------
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Jackpot
Posts: 178
Joined: June 8th, 2016, 12:38 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: About doing magic

Postby Jackpot » September 1st, 2018, 12:38 pm

Joe Mckay wrote: "Why is it that a lot of dull magicians are actually interesting and entertaining in a non-magic context?"

In my opinion dull magicians are interesting and entertaining in non-magic contexts because they have more opportunities and experience in those non-magic contexts. For a variety of reasons they don't have/take/make opportunities to hone their magical presentations through repeated performances in front of audiences. They don't have the same problem when it comes to sharing antidotes or developing amusing remarks to liven up conversations in everyday interactions. Due to a lack of practice and performing many magicians are not as comfortable with the magical material they perform. This causes them to come across as stiff rather than that lively person who told the great story at party or meeting last month.

Another factor is the ready made audience that many magicians end up performing for: other magicians. What most magicians find interesting and intriguing often does not translate to what a lay audience finds interesting and entertaining.

There is something to be said for performing walk around and three shows a day at county fairs for a number of summers. While my life now no longer allows as much time for performing, those earlier opportunities helped me develop routines and understandings which I still use today.

Al Schneider wrote: "I propose that strong magic does not get a reaction while weak or "theater magic" gets a very strong reaction. I got a note from a table hopper that agreed with me. He says that when he looks for a gig he shows the hiring manager strong magic. The guy is impressed. Then he works a table to show the manager how he works a table. Then he does a manipulative trick or theater magic. The people at the table applaud strongly and he gets the gig."

With all due respect I disagree because I don't find this statement completely true. Both reactions are strong, perhaps equally as strong, but expressed in different ways. One is expressed outward and the other is more introspective. The restaurant manager needs to know that the magician is good and that he will impress his patrons. He knows the magic is good when he is blown away by an effect. He knows his customers enjoy it by the reaction he sees and hears.

The above quote from Mr. Schneider fits his initial hypothesis: "I personally do not care a whit about being entertaining. I believe if you do magic, the audience will be entertained." And I agree that strong magic will be entertaining. It just may look different to an observer who is not actually participating in the performance as a member of the audience. I find Mr. Schneider's style minimalistic. I mean that as a complement. By minimalistic I mean Boom! And Boom! translates to "Here is magic without anything distracting the audience from the miracle just presented."
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 1st, 2018, 1:47 pm

There is a difference between, "I don't know how he did that," and "I don't know how he could do that."

The latter is extremely rare.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 1087
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: About doing magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 1st, 2018, 3:22 pm

This is a fascinating discussion - the kind I have long wished we could have more of on here. Interesting reading all the members' various takes on this issue. I have generally found something to agree with in most every post.

In regards to reactions, I think it is true that we should not feel disappointed by silence because it is not necessarily indicative that a strong impression was not made. The person(s) who does not react overtly may be reacting, even going crazy, on the inside. This leads to the theory that a significant variable is the individual person and his/her personality type. In other words, while one individual may say "WTF"!!! in a super-emotive, loud voice, another may be equally be impressed, but saying it to him/herself.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 1st, 2018, 3:41 pm

Jackpot
I believe the first few paragraphs of your post is very accurate.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 1st, 2018, 11:22 pm

Again, just for giggles. Some more emails to me about the little cup and ball routine.

---------------------------- ooOOoo ----------------------------------------
liberalguy513 commented on your video
A Little Cup and Ball Routine
liberalguy513
There's a reason you have a day job, it's because you are not an entertaining magician. You couldn't make a living at it.
---------------------------- ooOOoo ----------------------------------------
liberalguy513 commented on your video
A Little Cup and Ball Routine
liberalguy513
And by the way, removing my comment only proves it's true. You are a failure, your father was right.
---------------------------- ooOOoo ----------------------------------------

The strange thing is that I did not remove the comment. Youtube did.
I leave these kinds of comments up for it reveals more about them than me.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

Rick Franceschin
Posts: 46
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 9:17 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Rick Franceschin » September 2nd, 2018, 12:28 am

I was once at a party where a fellow picked up a deck of cards that was laying around and asked, "who wants to see a card trick?" He was young, affable, and handsome. Folks gathered round. He did the 21 Card Trick, with a Magician's Choice type ending. He was committed to the effect, smiled a lot and enjoyed the attention he was getting. Naturally, they loved him. Later, I asked him if he knew other tricks, had magician friends, etc. He did not. I've never forgotten the lesson there, a strong effect and sincere fellowship go a long way in performance.

PS - I have long admired your work Mr. Schneider. Thank you for the endless enjoyment and valuable education.

Jackpot
Posts: 178
Joined: June 8th, 2016, 12:38 am
Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Re: About doing magic

Postby Jackpot » September 2nd, 2018, 11:02 am

Mr. Schneider thank you for your kind words. (I wish I'd caught "antidotes" instead of "anecdotes" before I'd posted. [Or understood how to correct it after I'd posted.] Oh, well.)

The negative comments you've received tell us a lot about the maturity of your under developed critic. It is sad that the only contribution he makes are anonymous jabs which do nothing but confirm his lack of understanding of magic. If he doesn't like your magic he should just not watch it. But that is never the path taken by trolls.

While I cannot speak for the majority of magicians, I suspect that, like me, the vast majority appreciate the contributions your have make to our art. Thank you.
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 3rd, 2018, 1:55 pm

In the initial post for this thread, the thrust was to discuss if magicians know how the audience perceives the magic they do.

To encourage the discussion, I intended to relate my experiences with various venues and performances.

In this post I wish to share an experience about what non-magicians observe. I have presented this bit in several places probably including this forum. It goes like this:

I have worked magic convention dealer booths many times. One day a young guy (let’s say his name was Mac) and his wife stopped by my booth to see what they could see. As usual the wife stood back a bit while her husband talked magic. Matrix was one of the books I sold. As the conversation went on I eventually asked if he had seen Matrix. At this the wife came alive and stepped forward to say that Mac did Matrix and it was her favorite trick. To this I responded that I need not demonstrate it. Mac said he would like to see it anyway. I did Matrix. Then, Mac’s wife slipped an arm around her husband. She pulled him close so she could speak softly into his ear. She said, “That’s not the same trick. When you do it you touch the cards to make the coins move. He doesn’t touch anything and the coins move anyway.”

I assume Mac was doing the somewhat standard sequence in which the cards are raised to show the coin not transferred then the coins are covered and raised to show a coin has moved.

The point here is that his version and my version used the same moves. The order of presentation differed. The effect to his wife and probably many others was drastically different.

So this aims at the question this thread is posing: how many magicians know what their audiences are seeing.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 1087
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: About doing magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 3rd, 2018, 3:08 pm

"So this aims at the question this thread is posing: how many magicians know what their audiences are seeing."

It is indeed an intriguing and important question. I learned the fine points in the presentation of Matrix, and importantly, the creation of the perception of the effect, that Al mentioned in his post, after purchasing his instructional videos years ago. Thank you, Al.

I think that it is difficult for magicians to know what their audiences are seeing due to the fact that it is generally difficult to see and perceive things through the eyes of another - in magic, or otherwise. But we can gather evidence from performing experience, the more the better, because they say things - often surprising things - and/or do not react the way the magician would expect. This is why I have long maintained that laymen are our best teachers. They give us the glimpse of what it looks like to see and perceive through their eyes and we can tailor our presentations accordingly.

I remember a couple years ago I performed one of my favorite packet tricks for some of my "regulars" at the bar. The effect is making each one of four of a kind cards (e.g the queens) magically turn face up and then face down one at a time, in succession, and ultimately changing the four cards into credit cards. It's an eye popper and very popular with laymen. (I'll skip the patter here). The woman in the group, who had seen me perform for literally years, told me she really liked it, but thought it was suspicious that I immediately put the cards in a little wallet and placed them into my pocket immediately after the trick, and that for her, this took away from the magic.

I learned something there and came up with a new finale where I followed up by turning the credit cards into money ala Flash Cash. (Some members here are likely to have seen Eric DeCamps do similar with his wild card routine). In the layman's mind, the cards were gone, or changed into money, and I could show the bills cleanly, and one at a time, with a convincing display. That solved my problem and heightened the effect beyond measure. Putting the money in my (regular) wallet, and then putting the wallet back in my pocket, is then a natural/practical thing to do.

The woman Al mentioned was already a big fan of Matrix, but when presented by Al, it rose to an infinitely higher level, because he understands how to create perception in order to set up exponentiation of the magical effect.

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 951
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: About doing magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 3rd, 2018, 4:35 pm

Al Schneider wrote: Once I watched Larry Jennings do a card trick for a young lady. He had her cut the deck into four stacks. Then the top cards were turned over to reveal aces. She did not respond. Larry inquired and the lady said the aces were there by accident.
The lady could have been right.
Read this blog post from Jason Ladanye.

Al Schneider
Posts: 133
Joined: July 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby Al Schneider » September 3rd, 2018, 5:19 pm

I prefer Richard Kaufman's explanation.
The single absolute truth is that we don't know.

User avatar
Brad Jeffers
Posts: 951
Joined: April 11th, 2008, 5:52 pm
Location: Savannah, GA

Re: About doing magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 3rd, 2018, 6:37 pm

What's funny is that the aces being there "by accident" is the effect.

You have somehow bucked the 1 in 270,725 odds of this happening.

A once in a lifetime occurrence. A minor miracle!

The mathematics of the situation being lost on the woman, I wonder what kind of response Jennings would have received had he performed something like B'wave, a trick that always seems to goes over well, despite being something that would occur 1 in 4 times without any kind of trickery.

Paradoxically, the woman would have probably been amazed.

performer
Posts: 3052
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby performer » September 3rd, 2018, 8:23 pm

I have a theory as to why laymen sometimes do not react to a trick or a performer. I do hope this theory is not too revolutionary. It could be that they are not terribly impressed. I worked that out all by myself.

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1565
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Joe Mckay » September 3rd, 2018, 10:30 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:What's funny is that the aces being there "by accident" is the effect.

You have somehow bucked the 1 in 270,725 odds of this happening.

A once in a lifetime occurrence. A minor miracle!

The mathematics of the situation being lost on the woman, I wonder what kind of response Jennings would have received had he performed something like B'wave, a trick that always seems to goes over well, despite being something that would occur 1 in 4 times without any kind of trickery.

Paradoxically, the woman would have probably been amazed.

Andy had a great post on this very issue:

http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2018/7/1/the-tit

performer
Posts: 3052
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby performer » September 4th, 2018, 8:32 am

I read the Jerk post. As usual the chap has no idea what he is talking about. The "too perfect'' theory is perfectly valid and I have known about it for decades before people ever started yapping about it. As soon as I read that he didn't believe in it my bias set in but I finished reading to be fair but in the end knew he was talking nonsense.

I have devoted quite a lot of thought to non reactors over the years. There are WAYS to make them react if you have a bit of cunning and knowledge of psychology. As for tricks that are allegedly so stunning that people don't react I only know of one. But you do get the "after the show talk" which can go on for months if not years on end.

The odds are very high that if you are not getting reactions, particularly on a consistent basis, you are doing something wrong and you have to fix it. Sometimes a simple word or phrase will fix it. Sometimes a little action or a tiny change in presentation will fix it. The worst thing you can do is shrug your shoulders and say, "Oh, that is the way it has to be. The trick is so strong that nobody is reacting" which is a load of old baloney. There are solutions to this, one of which is placement of such a trick in your performance and using your brain to figure out how to deal with this. After all forewarned is forearmed.

Oh, and it does help to be entertaining. That alone will deal with 90 percent of non reaction situations.

performer
Posts: 3052
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby performer » September 4th, 2018, 8:42 am

This 4 ace discussion is absolutely ridiculous. All you have to do to get reaction is to take a few seconds to recap the situation before the aces are turned over. I have no idea which version is being used in this example but this is what I say, "Now, you could have cut the cards anywhere you like---I haven't touched them, I haven't handled them. Do you remember that I said that I thought you were the gambling type? Turn over the top card of each pile" And there it is.

I have done the trick hundreds of times and not even once has anyone not realised what the effect is. And I use a slightly complex version.
But it doesn't matter what version you use. Simply tell the person before starting the trick that they are the gambling type because you can see a card sharping glint in their eye. You do this in a tongue in cheek manner. If you do that they will follow the effect.

Or say something else that fits. This stuff isn't rocket science you know.

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 1087
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: About doing magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 4th, 2018, 10:40 am

I read somewhere years ago (It may have been in the Stars of Magic, but I am away from home right now and cannot check) that Francis Carlyle was a big proponent of emphasizing the procedure and the situation to spectators so that they would be optimally prepared to perceive and appreciate the effect. This had an influence on me, as I had previously taken it for granted that spectators would automatically do that. I guess you could call the Carlyle approach "pre-programming" the spectator.

I never got nearly the reaction for Poker Player's Picnic (RRTCM) as when I started palming the aces prior to the start of the routine, and handing the deck to the spectator to shuffle. Then, beginning at that point, and at each juncture, thereafter, asking specific questions of the spectator. For example, after they shuffle and the replacement of the aces is accomplished: "So, Doug, if I ask you later, who shuffled the deck before we began, what would you say?" Of course, that elicits an express admission that it was he who shuffled. Then after the spectator cuts into 4 piles: "Doug, if I ask you later who it was that cut the deck, what would you say?" Again, the response is, of course, that he did. Then following the spectator's dealing of the cards (placing 3 cards from each pile on bottom of that pile and one card on each of the other piles etc.): "And, if I were to ask you later, who dealt the cards, what would you say?" Again, the inevitable admission by the spectator.

This procedure really focuses the spectator's attention and ingrains the perception that he/she is totally in control every step of the way. Finally, I announce and gain the spec's admission that. I never in fact, even touched the cards - that he shuffled, then cut, then dealt all by him/herself. They never remember that I did in fact touch the deck briefly after they shuffled (in order to replace the aces). As the coup de gras, the spectator is asked to turn over the top card of each pile as it is re-emphasized that the magician does Not even want to touch the cards." As I said, the reactions became greater than the already excellent reactions I used to get when I performed the trick as written up by Hugged and Braue. Try it - you'll like it.

fausstroll
Posts: 14
Joined: July 10th, 2013, 4:39 am
Location: Paris - France

Re: About doing magic

Postby fausstroll » September 4th, 2018, 11:05 am

Totally agree on Magic Alfred Point of explaining very explicitely the starting point and the procedure and reinforcing at each step.

Just one point it is "coup de grâce" (decisive blow).
MagicbyAlfred wrote: the coup de gras

means "fat blow". :->

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1565
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Joe Mckay » September 4th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Summing up the conditions of a trick definitely increases the impact of the climax. That is one of the first lessons you learn in magic. But it cannot be empathized enough. You are using the spectator's own words to trap them.

It is also a great way of implanting false memories. This is something Juan Tamariz is a master of. For instance - you have the spectator give the deck as many cuts as they want. Later - you refer to the fact that the deck was freely mixed by the spectator. And then after revealing the climax - and they are in a momentary state of shock - you slip in the notion that at the beginning the deck was freely shuffled by the spectator.

A lot of the time - they will go away thinking they shuffled the deck, rather than cutting it, at the beginning of the trick.

Creating false memories in magic is something I have become very interested in lately.

I often think of magic principles in terms of Venn diagrams. A trick tend to be stronger the more circles you have overlapping. This goes back to Tommy Wonder's The Three Pillars essay. A trick relying on gaffs and sleights will tend to be stronger than a trick relying on sleights alone, and so on.

The other thing to think about is the size of those circles. Some of the circles are small. For instance - mathematical principles. With the best will in the world - the addition of mathematical principles does not tend to add a great deal to a magic trick. Since as a principle it is not that powerful to begin with. Any magic trick relying on mathematical principles will tend to be stronger by simply switching in a one-way deck. Sorry Stewart James. You wasted your life creating magic that is ultimately less effective than simply ringing in a deck of 52 identical cards.

One circle that is very big - and one that most magicians overlook - is the psychology involved in a magic trick. Particularly the ability to shape how a spectator will recall a trick. As with everything in life - the moment itself is fleeting. What actually lasts is the memory of the event rather than the event itself. It does not matter what a spectator witnesses. It only matters what a spectator remembers.

This is an incredibly powerful principle. One of the reasons it does not get more coverage is because it is something you only realise when you perform magic. And understand how a spectator can be manipulated in their retelling of the event. It is not something you can really design by simply sitting alone in a room. Which is where most magic tricks are invented (and performed).

Sadly the majority of magic tricks in print have been witnessed by nobody other than the creator himself.

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 1087
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: About doing magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 4th, 2018, 1:10 pm

fausstroll wrote:Totally agree on Magic Alfred Point of explaining very explicitely the starting point and the procedure and reinforcing at each step.

Just one point it is "coup de grâce" (decisive blow).
MagicbyAlfred wrote: the coup de gras

means "fat blow". :->


Thank you for your post (Merci beaucoup), and for correcting my French. It is an honor to learn the right way, especially from a genuine Parisian!

PS and speaking of French, I meant HugARD in my post, not "Hugged." Don't you hate it when the auto-"correct" actually changes your word from correct to incorrect?

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1565
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Joe Mckay » September 4th, 2018, 2:01 pm

This thread might be of interest. It is a discussion on the role of Assumptions in magic.

https://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=29325

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1273
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: About doing magic

Postby Tom Stone » September 4th, 2018, 3:03 pm

performer wrote:The "too perfect'' theory is perfectly valid


Nope. Whenever it seems to be valid, it always turns out that the real problem is that the audience doesn't percieve the effect you've intended.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8066
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: About doing magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 4th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Summing up the conditions of a trick definitely increases the impact of the climax. That is one of the first lessons you learn in magic. But it cannot be empathized enough. You are using the spectator's own words to trap them...

How do you get them to tell you (what they believe are) the conditions?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1565
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: About doing magic

Postby Joe Mckay » September 4th, 2018, 4:23 pm

You make a couple of statements and ask them to confirm them - for example, "You shuffled the cards. Correct? You had a free choice. Correct?", and so on...

performer
Posts: 3052
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby performer » September 4th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
performer wrote:The "too perfect'' theory is perfectly valid


Nope. Whenever it seems to be valid, it always turns out that the real problem is that the audience doesn't perceive the effect you've intended.


Tom. I can assure you that I am never wrong. I do know absolutely everything about magic after all. However, I have been backed up by such people as Wilfrid Jonson, Monk Watson, Roy Benson who are almost as worthy as myself. And they wrote about it way before Rick Johnson ever pontificated about it and made it look as if he came up with the theory. Oddly enough it was pointed out to me by a young upstart I was coaching at the time. He told me in connection with some thing we were working on "You have to leave the audience an out". I scoffed at this silliness on the grounds that I was the master and he was the student. However, later on I researched it and realised he was correct. He did go on to become one of the world's leading street performers and he has always acknowledged how much he learned from me when he was young even though he has called me "as charming as a rattlesnake". His name is Peter Snow and here he is at work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k03Pf3XKXz4

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1273
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: About doing magic

Postby Tom Stone » September 4th, 2018, 6:48 pm

performer wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:
performer wrote:The "too perfect'' theory is perfectly valid


Nope. Whenever it seems to be valid, it always turns out that the real problem is that the audience doesn't perceive the effect you've intended.


Tom. I can assure you that I am never wrong. I do know absolutely everything about magic after all. However, I have been backed up by such people as Wilfrid Jonson, Monk Watson, Roy Benson who are almost as worthy as myself.

Wilfrid Jonson, Monk Watson and Roy Benson were wrong. The 'Too perfect' phenomena is indeed a real thing, but it is never about anything being too perfect. Whenever it occurs, it is always about the performer not properly understanding the effect, hence putting 'convincers' in all the wrong places.

Jack Shalom
Posts: 733
Joined: February 7th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Brooklyn NY

Re: About doing magic

Postby Jack Shalom » September 4th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Sounds interesting, Tom. Care to expand?

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4078
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby erdnasephile » September 4th, 2018, 9:02 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Summing up the conditions of a trick definitely increases the impact of the climax. That is one of the first lessons you learn in magic. But it cannot be empathized enough. You are using the spectator's own words to trap them. It is also a great way of implanting false memories. This is something Juan Tamariz is a master of...


I wonder if anyone else would agree with the following observation.

The presentational strategy referenced above has seemingly permeated modern close-up magic, largely due to the influence of the brilliant Sr. Tamariz. So much so, that practically every recent close-up performer I've seen is using it for nearly every trick. Consequently, a lot of these people sound a lot the same: almost like a history teacher summarizing the lesson...

It is an incredibly powerful technique in the right hands, but is it in danger of being overused these days?

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 1087
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: About doing magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 4th, 2018, 9:45 pm

I have long believed that magic is a path to self discovery, and that the greatest gift we can give to our audiences is our authentic self. If we try to copy or become a clone of any one else, we will lose our way, and fail to give our audiences what they deserve - the best of ourselves.

PS E. I think somehow the messages I sent you in response to your PM about the cups and balls must not have gotten to you...

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1273
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: About doing magic

Postby Tom Stone » September 4th, 2018, 10:44 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Sounds interesting, Tom. Care to expand?

Tommy Wonder evolved what should have been the perfect Watch in nest of boxes routine. Instead he was surprised to find that people, sometimes even the owner of the watch, made the conclusion that it was a duplicate watch at the end. To him, it seemed to be a case of the Too Perfect theory. But if you view the piece, you see the real problem at once. The effect is not "too perfect", rather, there is no effect, so therefore, all the convincers are pointless.


Edit: Hm.. seems the Youtube BB code isn't working.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yitDadWvMf4

performer
Posts: 3052
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: About doing magic

Postby performer » September 4th, 2018, 10:54 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Joe Mckay wrote:Summing up the conditions of a trick definitely increases the impact of the climax. That is one of the first lessons you learn in magic. But it cannot be empathized enough. You are using the spectator's own words to trap them. It is also a great way of implanting false memories. This is something Juan Tamariz is a master of...


I wonder if anyone else would agree with the following observation.

The presentational strategy referenced above has seemingly permeated modern close-up magic, largely due to the influence of the brilliant Sr. Tamariz. So much so, that practically every recent close-up performer I've seen is using it for nearly every trick. Consequently, a lot of these people sound a lot the same: almost like a history teacher summarizing the lesson...

It is an incredibly powerful technique in the right hands, but is it in danger of being overused these days?


I try not to use it too much. It can lead to long windedness.


Return to “Close-Up Magic”