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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The July 2010 entrée: Tyler Wilson » » For Every Action... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tyler Wilson
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V.I.P.
Calgary
123 Posts

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Hey Guys,
Perusing the forums, it seems like we only have one judging criterion for good magic: “reactions.” This caught my attention. We talk about how phenomenal a trick is because we did it last night and got great reactions. But what exactly does that mean? And why is it all we care about? It's such a vague claim. Did the audience laugh? Clap? Gasp? Cry? Scream? Remain in stunned silence? Become pregnant?

Reactions are such an easy thing to get, that it's a pretty low bar to aim for. I could punch a spectator in the face and get a great reaction, but that doesn't mean I've performed some powerful magic. Heck, reactions don't inherently suggest ANY magic at all!

So if the simple concept of “reactions” is just too simple, how can we refine our criteria for judging a trick's effectiveness? Or should we base it on something else entirely?

Tyler Wilson
scottsheltonmagic
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Raleigh, NC
59 Posts

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This is an insightful question and deserves a thoughtful (and smart-alecky) response...

Unfortunately, Copperfield pretty much ruined pregnancy tricks for all of us. Smile

What is *good* magic? The definition will undoubtedly differ depending on each magician's personal goals for their magic. If your goal is to make a living from magic, then perhaps good magic is that which gets you booked more shows. If you're doing street magic, reactions may be all you get. If you're performing magic for magicians, your goal may be to fool them or receive praise and approval from your peers. If your goal is to attract women (or men), learn card tricks. If your goal is to spread the joy of mystery into people's lives, perhaps reactions are enough--although I think you should purposefully decide which EMOTION you're trying to evoke when crafting a routine.

Emotions are different from reactions. Reactions encapsulate the immediate surprise upon experiencing something magical. Emotions can be longer lasting and contribute to the audience's memory (or not) of the effect. We don't have any control over the audience's reactions as they will vary wildly by individual--gasping, stunned silence, anger, apathy, etc. We can at least steer them towards specific emotions with the appropriate dialogue, music, interactions, etc., just like in films. If you're not trying to evoke any emotions and are simply going for "Wow!" reactions, you may be limiting yourself to the role of trickster.

And naturally, good magic should be executed proficiently so as not to expose methods or raise awareness that there even are methods at all.

So, my definition of *good* magic is that which is executed well, evokes the desired emotions in the audience, is true to the performer's character, and whose performance is enjoyed by both the audience and performer alike.

Scott Shelton
Tom Dobrowolski
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If you chose to perform magic for others, it's not about reactions it's about being entertaining. Our spectators are not there for us we're there for them.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The July 2010 entrée: Tyler Wilson » » For Every Action... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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