How will magic change after COVID?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
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erdnasephile
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How will magic change after COVID?

Postby erdnasephile » May 19th, 2020, 11:17 am

Lots of articles starting to appear in the mainstream press regarding how various social institutions (sporting events, doctors visits, eating out, etc.) are likely going to change (perhaps forever) post COVID.

With that in mind: How will magic change in the post-COVID era, both short term and long term? (or will it change hardly at all?)

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 19th, 2020, 11:38 am

Once there is a vaccine, nothing will change.
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby PressureFan » May 19th, 2020, 12:42 pm

Magicians will still lick their fingers.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Peter Ross » May 19th, 2020, 12:49 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Once there is a vaccine, nothing will change.


I'm not so sure about that. General virus etiquette will (or at least should) play a role in performances, especially in close-up and street magic. Any sort of in-the-hands magic should be preceded with a courteous request for permission (not always the case pre-virus).

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby PapaG » May 19th, 2020, 1:07 pm

'Point at a card' will have far more justification.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 19th, 2020, 1:08 pm

I will repeat, once there is a vaccine and the majority of people are inoculated, nothing will change.
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erdnasephile
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby erdnasephile » May 19th, 2020, 4:57 pm

Just to facilitate the discussion, let me reframe the question: how does magic change (if at all) prior to the development and widespread adoption of an effective, non-harmful vaccine?

I had a thought off the top of my head. Prior to COVID, I had noticed it was becoming harder to find bills to borrow from small audiences, especially for spectators in their 20's and 30's. As B & M business are reopening around here, a bunch have said they will accept only electronic payments from now on; thereby at least temporarily accelerating the move towards a cashless society. There are also some national medical guidelines precluding the use of cash or checks to pay balances at this time. Could it be that this might hasten the demise of a few borrowed bill tricks we love? (Yes, of course, we could use our own bills or even a similar object, but that would seem to negatively affect the impact/alter the methods of some tricks: bill switch, burned bill to impossible location, etc.).

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Anthony Vinson » May 20th, 2020, 8:55 am

History would tend to bear out Richard's assertion. Examples like a decline in the number of bills or pieces of change in people's pockets would certainly necessitate changes in how "impromptu" magic is presented, but would it change magic overall? Nah. Everything's fleeting, right? Remember cigarette tricks? Besides, I think the end of ready cash isn't too far in the future, regardless of external factors. We'll adjust. We always have so far.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 20th, 2020, 10:57 am

There will be a day when you will bring out a bill to do a trick and the spectators will stare with both curiosity and wonder. "Is that what paper money used to look like?"
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » May 20th, 2020, 11:48 am

Yeah, it won't be quite the same asking to borrow the scannable microchip embedded in the spectator's body (that does everything), have it signed, vanish it, and have it reappear in a lemon.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby John M. Dale » May 20th, 2020, 12:44 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:There will be a day when you will bring out a bill to do a trick and the spectators will stare with both curiosity and wonder. "Is that what paper money used to look like?"


Kind of like the way anyone under the age 25 reacts when you pull out a half dollar now?

Which is why I switched to silver Walker halves and just call them old silver coins. (Except I do still use a Kennedy for my black humor “I do a killer impression of Lee Harvey Oswald. Wanna see it?” version of Karate Coin if it’s someone who’s old enough to know who JFK is.)

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Peter Ross » May 20th, 2020, 3:33 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I will repeat, once there is a vaccine and the majority of people are inoculated, nothing will change.


Anthony Vinson wrote:History would tend to bear out Richard's assertion.


I find the certainty of Richard's assertion to be somewhat cavalier, and the claim that history supports it, dubious.
Regarding history, there has been no precedent for a worldwide pandemic and its aftermath during magic's modern era of professional and casual close-up, street magic, and restaurant work (The public largely experienced magic at the theater during the time of the 1918 flu). So this is new territory.

Whether everything will go back to normal versus whether it should go back to normal is also an important distinction. Post vaccine, magicians performing pick-a-card tricks, and in-the-hand magic should have hand sanitizer at the ready for both the spectator and themselves. Sure, there's a question of how skittish spectators may be, but I don't think you can automatically discount the collective shock people will still be under, and the possible tentativeness of some spectators. So I think it behooves magicians to be sensitive to that, be responsible, and not just assume "nothing will change."

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Diego » May 20th, 2020, 3:47 pm

Richard is correct that until (?) a vaccine/cure has been achieved, change (to before?) is doubtful, although right now on the news/online, you will see people in bars, malls, beaches, etc., interacting with each other, who aren't waiting or don't care.(to their peril)

But also people (whether they like doing it or not) are already dealing with what they have to do...going to meetings, interviews, funerals, family gatherings, at a distance or remotely. I have a friend who is already doing birthday parties and other events, from a social distance, (no contact, no handing out balloon animals etc.) for people who want their child to have entertainment at their party with these restrictions, rather than no entertainment/party.

On a different note, regarding safety in general, a security official in Israel noted that even during wars, the enemy isn't fear or panic, but complacency.
Last edited by Diego on May 20th, 2020, 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Diego » May 20th, 2020, 3:57 pm

Sometimes doing without or differently can show potential not considered before. The last few Sundays, David Sandy's Collectors FB page has been having magic history/collector's meetings via zoom/Facebook. Although I always valued and cherished meeting again those who share this interest in person, being able to hear/listen to people who may not normally get to a standard convention has it's benefits.

Most important, unlike before when a collector had to transport part of their collection, to a convention, or wait for the attendees to be in their city to visit, so they could see what they have, collectors can show/tour their collections in the comfort, privacy, and security of their home, knowing nothing will get damaged/lost.

Being able to get a personal tour of someone's collection, with their commentary, has given us an experience in the last few weeks, many of us never had before.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Anthony Vinson » May 20th, 2020, 5:04 pm

Peter Ross wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:I will repeat, once there is a vaccine and the majority of people are inoculated, nothing will change.


Anthony Vinson wrote:History would tend to bear out Richard's assertion.


I find the certainty of Richard's assertion to be somewhat cavalier, and the claim that history supports it, dubious.
Regarding history, there has been no precedent for a worldwide pandemic and its aftermath during magic's modern era of professional and casual close-up, street magic, and restaurant work (The public largely experienced magic at the theater during the time of the 1918 flu). So this is new territory.


Sure it's new territory, but not necessarily unprecedented regarding mankind's reactions to natural disaster on a global scale. And to be clear, I referred to history in terms of human nature's tendency toward regression to the mean, not recorded historical precedent.

Av

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Bill Mullins » May 20th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Peter Ross wrote:Regarding history, there has been no precedent for a worldwide pandemic and its aftermath during magic's modern era of professional and casual close-up, street magic, and restaurant work


The influenza pandemic of 1957-58 killed 116,000 Americans. Scaled to current population levels, that's 220,000 dead. This has happened before -- we just didn't react this way before.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Tom Gilbert » May 20th, 2020, 9:55 pm

I rarely have paper money on me anymore, well before the virus.

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Paco Nagata
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Paco Nagata » May 21st, 2020, 2:38 am

Tom Gilbert wrote:I rarely have paper money on me anymore, well before the virus.

Dear me! Tom, have you been splitting and restoring credit cards?! Awesome! (^_^)
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » May 21st, 2020, 3:26 am

Paco Nagata wrote:
Tom Gilbert wrote:I rarely have paper money on me anymore, well before the virus.

Dear me! Tom, have you been splitting and restoring credit cards?! Awesome! (^_^)
(Just joking)


I have neither paper money, nor credit cards - ever since...


...the purse snatching.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Chris Randal2 » May 29th, 2020, 8:33 am

As someone who works in the restaurant industry I will say certain things will never go back to normal and as Mr Kaufman has said other things won’t change. I Honestly feel that it will be like security theater after 911 now we will go through security cleanliness for show. I do magic with a mask and gloves since May 11th without a day off FYI (grrrr). I have many customers who are very freaked out by the virus and many who find it to be political and fake it’s our job as magicians and entertainers to play that center line. I feel it’s best to play the safe side right now like avoiding tricks like sponge balls is touching people or card to mouth. I have actually had a lot of fun being creative in finding new ways of doing card magic or having people pick cards. I have found that trick decks like blank deck invisible deck rising cards And cartoon have been playing amazing because people don’t want to touch the deck. Trick decks are back !!!!! Also I have been working on a version of card through the glass with my clear gloves. I do believe things will go back to normal after a vaccine but we need to reminder selves this may happen again and to be prepared not get discouraged and use this time to be creative and read the Gaetan Bloom books... or Tameriz. Learn the stack. Mike Close videos on Facebook are pretty amazing too.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Chris Randal2 » May 29th, 2020, 8:36 am

Sidenote I am watched as a restaurant employee all day and wash and re-sanitize you hands 50 times a day for my own safety and that of my customers. By the end of the day my hands look like I have been in a hot tub for 12 hours so lotion is key for your ears and hands.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby jason156 » May 29th, 2020, 9:26 am

Chris Randal2 wrote: it’s our job as magicians and entertainers to play that center line.


Is it? The fact that some are comfortable playing that center line, doesn't mean everyone should.

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Gordon Meyer
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Gordon Meyer » May 29th, 2020, 1:00 pm

(Except I do still use a Kennedy for my black humor “I do a killer impression of Lee Harvey Oswald. Wanna see it?” version of Karate Coin if it’s someone who’s old enough to know who JFK is.)


Too soon, buddy, too soon.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby tomyleft » May 29th, 2020, 2:00 pm

I used to work IN a magic shop, and now I work from home for the shop's online activities. I miss working with customers very much, BUT going back into the shop is not safe...

The fate of magic during/after the pandemic only bothers me...oh... once an HOUR or so EVERY DAY.

I agree with Peter Ross' comments, although I have to wonder if Mr. Kaufman is not being just a bit cynical in a quiet way. A lot of magicians probably will just go back to the "usual" when the vaccine comes, or even before. And Kaufman might not be quite as optimistic as he sounds.

Right now, I do think that magic in the spectators' hands is pretty much over. That is really too bad. Eugene Burger made it clear in print and in person that "close up" actually means "up close", and "up close" is not a good idea at the moment, or, maybe, ever again(?).

Virtual/video/Instagram magic is a whole other topic, and not one I wish to visit here, even though it is obviously connected.

There are things we CAN do, and SHOULD do, namely, rethinking the effects we do and how we do them. Have you been staying away from coin work, because it's not very interactive? Maybe it's time to take another look... I told someone a couple of months ago that I guess I would return to working on my Benson Bowl routine now that "Papa Rabbit Hits the Big Time" was out. Then I remembered the late, great Daryl showing Papa Rabbit on a sponge ball instructional dvd using a bowl in place of a spectator's hand. Say...that might just work, structured correctly. Is not the presentation up to me? Why, when Rene Lavand does "Three Bread Crumbs", do we feel like we're part of the mystery? How does he make it enchanting?

Magic has taken a major hit, but it's up to us to THINK about it in ways new (or old) to us and perform accordingly.

(On another topic, I enjoyed hearing Chris Randall on a recent "The Magic Word Podcast".)

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby John M. Dale » May 29th, 2020, 2:42 pm

Gordon Meyer wrote:
(Except I do still use a Kennedy for my black humor “I do a killer impression of Lee Harvey Oswald. Wanna see it?” version of Karate Coin if it’s someone who’s old enough to know who JFK is.)


Too soon, buddy, too soon.


Hmm, the JFK assassination happened 57 years ago this November so I don’t see how my presentation is “too soon.” Would it still be “too soon” if I change to a giant Lincoln penny and do my impression of John Wilkes Booth instead?

JMD

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 29th, 2020, 5:18 pm

"I agree with Peter Ross' comments, although I have to wonder if Mr. Kaufman is not being just a bit cynical in a quiet way. A lot of magicians probably will just go back to the "usual" when the vaccine comes, or even before. And Kaufman might not be quite as optimistic as he sounds."

I am quite optimistic, thank you, and not cynical at all.
Flu does not stop people from picking cards or holding sponge balls. COVID-19 will likely not prevent those things once there is a vaccine.
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Peter Ross » May 29th, 2020, 5:32 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Flu does not stop people from picking cards or holding sponge balls. COVID-19 will likely not prevent those things once there is a vaccine.


I don't believe it's wise to equate the Flu with Covid-19 in any scenario, vaccines included.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 29th, 2020, 7:17 pm

Well, if you don't think it's wise, then you shouldn't do it.
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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Steve Mills » June 1st, 2020, 6:11 pm

This crowd is so predictable.
I'm a living example that if you speak softly, you will get hit by a big stick.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 2nd, 2020, 11:49 am

Steve Mills wrote:This crowd is so predictable.


I knew you would say that . . .

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » June 3rd, 2020, 8:13 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Steve Mills wrote:This crowd is so predictable.


I knew you would say that . . .


Clearly, Bill has a predilection for wit.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Chris Randal2 » June 12th, 2020, 6:10 am

jason156 wrote:
Chris Randal2 wrote: it’s our job as magicians and entertainers to play that center line.


Is it? The fact that some are comfortable playing that center line, doesn't mean everyone should.



You are correct sir. I’m just getting old and feel safe playing the center line of making other feels safe and even myself. Younger me would have had a different response. I’m done taking risks in playing it safe for the second half of my life. That’s just me in this time yes safety and the middle line I feel is key if you have a different answer that says go crazy then I would love to hear how it makes sense but I don’t see it... respectively. But I wouldn’t take my opinions to seriously I have a lot to figure out in this life these are just opinions of the way I currently see the world.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby jason156 » June 12th, 2020, 7:34 am

Chris Randal2 wrote:
jason156 wrote:
Chris Randal2 wrote: it’s our job as magicians and entertainers to play that center line.


Is it? The fact that some are comfortable playing that center line, doesn't mean everyone should.



You are correct sir. I’m just getting old and feel safe playing the center line of making other feels safe and even myself.


That actually wasn't the point I was getting at, but the rules of this board prevent me from saying much more than that. These past few months have been very hard on all of us, and I fear the coming months may not be much better, but I don't fault anyone for doing what they can to survive .. I wish all of us luck.

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Re: How will magic change after COVID?

Postby Chris Randal2 » June 26th, 2020, 11:36 pm

I wish you the best we are all scared and unsure of coming events


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