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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Who first said that "magic happens in the spectator's mind"? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Anatole
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I'm guessing that the quote"magic happens in the spectator's mind" goes back quite some ways. Can anyone cite the original (or at least oldest known) source?

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
tommy
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Probably Doug Henning as the Rockefeller came up the idea of “nothing is real” for big business to sell people the label rather than the quality of the goods. The idea was promoted by the Beatles and so on and the magicians picked up on it through their indoctrination in the 1960s.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Dick Oslund
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Hi Sonny!

I THINK that, as far as the Café is concerned, I was the first guy to use that "statement", in the Café, a "few" years ago. I was making the point that "one cannot BUY 'magic'", for someone who had talked about buying "magic".

Michael, "the prop builder", will remember that I opened my lecture in Birmingham AL, in the '80s, and before, with: "How much magic do you own?" The responses varied from, "a trunk full", a drawer full, a basement full, ETC."

Then, I defined the terms, "magic", "trick", "prop", "effect", "presentation", etc. It proved to be an "eye opener" to many of those present. --How can ANYONE who considers himself/herself, to be a magician, not know the meaning of basic terminology?

I'm aware that there is an ongoing "argument/discussion" about whether a TT is a gimmick, or a feke!

I had learned the definitions eons before. I had GOOD mentors!!!

Dick
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:
Hi Sonny!

I THINK that, as far as the Café is concerned, I was the first guy to use that "statement", in the Café, a "few" years ago. I was making the point that "one cannot BUY 'magic'", for someone who had talked about buying "magic".

Michael, "the prop builder", will remember that I opened my lecture in Birmingham AL, in the '80s, and before, with: "How much magic do you own?" The responses varied from, "a trunk full", a drawer full, a basement full, ETC."

Then, I defined the terms, "magic", "trick", "prop", "effect", "presentation", etc. It proved to be an "eye opener" to many of those present. --How can ANYONE who considers himself/herself, to be a magician, not know the meaning of basic terminology?

I'm aware that there is an ongoing "argument/discussion" about whether a TT is a gimmick, or a feke!

I had learned the definitions eons before. I had GOOD mentors!!!

Dick


OK...so the young guys don't have a sleepless night, trying to figure out, who is "Michael the prop builder", I'll tip.

Michael Davis, as a young man, was in the audience, when I lectured in Birmingham AL in the mid '80s. When I "joined" the Café, in December 2012, he PMd me to make me welcome.
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tommy
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Fellas here at café have been using the phrase, magic happens in the mind of the spectator, ever since the café opened, circa 2002. Therefore, then, Dick’s legend happens in his own mind.

At the end of each World of Magic performance, Henning addressed the audience with the same monologue: "Anything the mind can conceive is possible. Nothing is impossible. All you have to do is look within, and you can realize your fondest dreams. I would like to wish each one of you all of life's wonders and a joyful age of enlightenment."
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dick Oslund
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I knew Doug Henning when he was a teenager, and came to Abbott's GTG. I told that story in my book. I am very familiar with Doug's thinking. Heqq! I have a picture of Doug with SHORT HAIR, at about age 16.

It's entirely possible that the phrase, "magic happens in the spectator(s) mind(s) has been expressed long before I joined the Café, in December 2012.

Scroll up to my post. I didn't "claim responsibility". I just said that, "I THINK" (etc.)

I have read a gezillion posts since I "arrived". I honestly cannot remember anyone else writing, that statement, but, it certainly is possible! After all, IMO, it's a self evident truth!

I was just trying to help out my friend of many years, Anatole.
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tommy
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We have seen a promo photo of Doug when he had short hair; levitating his sister Nancy when he was 20. He was breath of fresh air anyhow.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dick Oslund
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Well, I HAVE that picture of Doug, which Doug sent to me! I even remember when Doug was "Shoe Shoe" the clown! Denny Loomis and I were very close friends with Doug.
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tommy
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Well, in fact, we have seen more than one promotional photo of Henning, with short hair, doing the levitation with his sister. It was a sad day for the art when Doug Henning retired from the stage. He certainly knew how to create to my mind. ''Magician: Have Rabbit, Will Travel.' Smile
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Tommy
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If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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Another Tommy offered in print in 1996 "The Books of Wonder."

"Magic only exists in their minds; it does not exist in reality." referring to the audience
"there is real merit in the magician who tries to be creative – from such endeavors magic sustains its life energy." Harold Rice



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tommy
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What exactly is the difference between saying that magic happens in the mind of the spectator and saying our magic is what I call the illusion of magic?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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funsway
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Recall Al Schneider's focus on the performer's ability to only create astonishment (or kindle it), with distinction between the "Intention of Reality" and the "intention of Magic" (hope I got it right).
Thus, any "illusion" is what the performer intends to create within the constraints of what the spectator believes to be true real and what is impossible.

Al continues, "Whether or not the spectators considers this to be magic is up to them." This is in relationship to the differences of Clown, Theater and Virtual magic.

I do feel that the performer's knowing they are creating conditions under which magic can occur can pass to the observer in non-verbal ways. This is not an illusion.
What the spectator experiences is not an illusion - it is very real, and happening "right now."

If you are only intent on creating a "gotcha" moment, then "so that is what real magic looks like" is less likely to bubble up in mind than when both performer and spectator
are involved in creating a story be to told to grandchildren twenty years from now. The memory with the label "magic" attached is not an illusion. It is as real as any other long term memory.
"there is real merit in the magician who tries to be creative – from such endeavors magic sustains its life energy." Harold Rice



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tommy
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An illusion is a distortion of what is true or real. There are many sorts of illusions. An illusion can be very real in appearance but it isn’t quite true or real. Because illusions are not true or real, they can only exist in the mind of the spectator. Our magic is not real it is a distortion of reality. By way of secret manipulation of the truth, we create the illusion of impossibility in the mind of the spectator which does not exist in reality. It appears very real to the spectator but it isn’t. Our magic is what I call 'illusion magic'. That is what Doug Hemming called our magic and what millions of others have called it down through the ages. Yet when someone says magic happens in the mind of the spectator they think there is something new about it. There isn’t any difference between saying that and our magic is what I call 'illusion magic' or calling a magician an illusionist, it seems to me.

Note that an illusion is not created by total lies. Illusions are distortions of reality and do contain some truth. Our magic effects do contain some truth and some lies, indeed most of what we show is true. We only twist a little bit.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Ray Pierce
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Tommy has thoughts closer to my own. I've always said that without an audience, when I'm just working on something... it is nothing but a trick. Once I perfect it and add the physical and psychological elements to make it deceptive, then in my hands it has become magic... but when the spectator observes it and fills in the missing pieces of the puzzle with false information suggested by my psychology and control, and then their brain short circuits creating that mix of wonder and amazement... then in their mind they have created the illusion. For me illusion doesn't exist without observation and that suggested shift of critical thinking. It's technical but what I still go with.
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Our magic happens in the heart and the mind actually. While everything we do matters, not everything we do is questioned. Nobody questions fiction; they simply go along with any absurd nonsense to enter the spirit of the thing for their amusement. This side of our magic does not happen in their mind but rather it happens in their hearts. Once one has won their heart then one goes to win their mind with the magic by proving nonsense is apparently true. Man is both a corporeal and spiritual being and thinking that magic happens in the mind we must never forget the spirit of thing. We satisfy their hearts with entertainment and their minds with magic. When we learn to listen to our hearts and minds then intelligence of the universe will be ours.

Incidentally, it may be worth a mention that, unlike a hallucination which is a product of inner world only, an illusion is always stimulated by somebody or something in the outer physical world. Our act is that stimulus which causes the illusion to happen in the inner world of the spectator.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2017, Anatole wrote:
I'm guessing that the quote"magic happens in the spectator's mind" goes back quite some ways. Can anyone cite the original (or at least oldest known) source?

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez


Seneca's Moral Epistles "...as harmlessly deceptive as the juggler's cup and dice, in which it is the very trickery that pleases me."
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moral_let......etter_45
Looks like they understood back in 65AD
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funsway
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Thanks Ray and Tommy for the expansion of thought, We are not in disagreement, yet at cross purposes a bit, I think.

To me, you speak of actions that prompts astonishment that indeed is an illusion. This illusion is independent from the truth of the evidence.
Yes, this illusion exist because of "observation and suggested shift ..."

But that does not require a conclusion of "magic." The long term memory of "I saw something impossible occur, and I have no answer" is not an illusion. It is a forged and nurtured memory - reality.

We use the audience capacity for illusion to create conditions under which "must be magic" can be the ultimate conclusion.
Some will persist in "must be a trick" or "great puzzle" or "the devil is responsible."

I just don't by the phrase "illusion of magic" as being either meaningful or useful. Magic is not an illusion. It is a causal name applied to an illusion prompting astonishment.

Illusion happens in their minds and sometimes "magic" happens also, but they are not the same.

As I have related many times over the years. In tens of thousands of presentations I have used illusion to create astonishment and mental discordance where the result was "guess I have to reconsider what I think is impossible" rather than "must be magic."
"there is real merit in the magician who tries to be creative – from such endeavors magic sustains its life energy." Harold Rice



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tommy
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If I saw something impossible occur, then it must be an illusion because the impossible does not exist in reality and that is the answer.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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Quote:
On Jan 23, 2017, tommy wrote:
If I saw something impossible occur, then it must be an illusion because the impossible does not exist in reality and that is the answer.



yes, but that does make it magic. Besides, you "perceived" something interpreted as impossible. "Seeing" is only part of that. Much more comes from expectations, knowledge and degrees of certainty.
"there is real merit in the magician who tries to be creative – from such endeavors magic sustains its life energy." Harold Rice



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tommy
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We can only hope that our audience never completely runs away with the fairies. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Ray Pierce
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I think one of our skills as magicians is the proper framing of what the audience sees. We can frame it as science, witchcraft or magic among many other things. I believe our goal is in framing things that could be interpreted many ways to create the illusion of magic. This is wholly a thing that occurs in the spectators mind.
Ray Pierce
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tommy
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Illusions happen in the left hemisphere of the mind only. That left side which allows for objective rationalization. We dress up our magic with entertainment which happens in the right hemisphere of the mind. That right side which does not allow for objective rationalization. An equal proportion of magic and entertainment gives our audience whole brain satisfaction. In the entertainment we offer fiction, then we apparently show that fiction to be fact, by way of distorting the facts. Fiction cannot possibly be fact and so therein lies their dilemma.

The charlatan offers facts and shows them as facts and so it is to his audience that the charlatan actually speaks to the dead. So the magic of the charlatan happens in the left hemisphere of the mind only.


Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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magicusb
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I have to look it up, but Houdini said something to the effect..
It is not what people see but what they think they see.
Might try a google search. I will later but busy with our Kickstarter Houdini project at the moment

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/172......-hero-b/ or http://houdiniopoly.com
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Dick Oslund
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THAT may be where I first heard that remark, or a reasonable "facsimile"!
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tommy
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It is funny but I like magic when it drives me out of my mind. That magic moment, when one feels like one has lost control of one’s mental faculties; when there it is but it cannot be!
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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I don't know who said it first, but the one who said it shortest was Tony 'Doc' Shiels:

ALL magic is mental.
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Dick Oslund
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Good one, TStone~!

I dropped out of this thread when tommy started talking about magic happening "in the heart"! As far as I know, the heart is a MUSCLE! The heart pumps blood!

I may be 'crazy', but, I am not stupid!

I NEVER claimed originality for that simple statement (magic happens in the mind).

I'm a retired 50 year professional, but I have never claimed, or even implied that I was a "legend". (See tommy's post, above)I do have a fairly high IQ, but, I don't flaunt that.
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