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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Why do so many magicians do the classic tricks? (38 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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coachawsm
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Hey Dick. Amazing credentials. I have only a few card routines in bars to offer, so again, you guys definitely know what you are talking about..

Agree with the Slydini Knots for sure.
I feel a bit different about certain things though. Yes, it definitely is a must that the magician knows how to entertain the people.
But for me personally, no matter how good the entertainer, if I don't care about a certain trick, prop or routine, then I am simply not interested.
For example I love David Williamson and his work with a rope and a ring from a magicians point of view and I think we can agree he is an outstanding performer.
Still, as a viewer or part of a crowd I don't really care about it. And beeing to a lot of shows and really spending so many hours of watching things like that, to me it always seems like
ropes, (big) rings etc get the least reactions... maybe it is because it is using uncommon props that do not surround people in their real life? I mean the first thing people say is "that rope looks weird.. who has a rope like that" or "the ring must be gimmick" (even it's not)... I mean even if 90% are amazing, if somebody even thinks he figured out 10% of it he is not impressed anymore. I just get the feel that people nowadays want to see more things with cards, coins or other every day objects.
Dick Oslund
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Well, I don't care to do card tricks! When I was a teenager (I'm 86. I should be 87, but, I was sick for a year.) I studied ERDNASE. The only thing that I do, and, have done for 65 years are the flourishes, and, fancy shuffles. (My audiences think they are fun to watch.) At 16, I realized that a teen ager wasn't going to "make it" as a gambler. I love watching Ricky Jay do the "Queens Coterie" from Erdnase. I think that that's the correct title. I wrote an anecdote about Ricky, "killing a bunch of news reporters in Chicago with THAT card trick, in my book. Ricky and I share a common interest in carnivals. (I broke in, in a ten in one.

I dabbled with mental stuff in my high school and college bookings. It played well, but, the kids wanted to believe that it was REAL. I cut it.

There are tricks and routines that I don't care for either. When I was 13-14, I thought that "boxes and tubes" were "it". After I met C. Thomas Magrum, and Stuart Ross, I had an 'epiphany'. My 45-60 minute act/show, weighs about 20 lbs. It's mostly classical tricks with handkerchiefs/silks, rope, paper, egg bag, golf balls, 3 linking rings, and Misers Dream. I met Bobo, in 1951. We were friends 'til he died. I do/did the coin roll with four coins, simultaneously, the five coin star with both hands, the Down's palm with both hands, ETC. because they killed audiences. (no longer...arthritis)

I am not interested in "apparatus". (an antiquated term for props, from the 1700s, and the dawn of the age of science.) My audiences realize that it's ME, not boxes, doing the "magic".

I am not a fan of David Williamson.

I get tremendous response with rope and ring (very visual effects) coins, silks, etc. I do in high schools a comedy routine with a couple of wands, and a brakawa fan, that is hilarious, and, has gotten standing ovations. I do a five minute "comedy/frustration bit with golf balls, and the laughs never stop. If it's a family audience, you wouldn't want to try to follow my Misers Dream.

In 50 years, I was never "at liberty".

Best wishes...
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
55Hudson
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Coachawsm - I perform linking rings - for corporate groups - and it is one of the audience favorites

I suggest you check out Pop Haydn's website where he has videos of his performances. Linking rings, six card repeat. Old (classic) routines get great reactions, even if the audience thinks they know how the trick is done, if well excited. A well executed routine will systematically eliminate the audiences' assumption on how a trick is accomplished. Pop's routines are well constructed and well executed.

Hudson
Dick Oslund
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YES!!!!!!!
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Pop Haydn
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These are all classic effects that get strong reactions:







funsway
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Rereading all of the posts here, there seems to be confusion over "classical prop," "classical presentation" and possibly "classical theme."
Then throw in "traditional" and "popular" as substitutes when they can mean something altogether different.

I am just suggesting that posters should be more clear about what they intend to convey.

Look at Pop's four examples (my interpretation).

Each indicate why he is a popular entertainer. He uses classical props in non-traditional ways to give new life to classical themes,
i.e to make such themes entertaining for today's audiences. His character has evolved over decades to reflect this desire to engage different audiences.
In this, he is a classic -- or at least a class act, even though his presentations are not "standard" by what some would consider as "classical magic."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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danaruns
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Quote:
On Jan 24, 2018, Pop Haydn wrote:
These are all classic effects that get strong reactions:









The things I love about Pop Haydn (who is working the WC Fields Bar at the Magic Castle this week beginning tonight, so come by and see him if you can) and why he makes these "old" tricks work so incredibly well include:

--He works from a well-defined character with a back story, who is interesting no matter what he does;

--Every routine he performs embodies and is personalized to his character;

--Every routine he does embodies his philosophy of magic (I think he has a new book out or about to come out on that, and you should get it);

--He takes the time to craft a new and highly entertaining (and did I say new) presentation of an old trick. He takes the time to develop it and get it exactly right before he performs it;

--He scripts each routine down the the syllable, and never wanders away from it, though he does engage spectators; and

--At the same time, his performance is always WITH the audience, not AT the audience.

Pop has taught me so much, far more than he knows. He has a tremendous amount to offer, also more than he knows. And I have learned a great deal about the art of magic just from watching and studying his performances, and you should study him, too. He embodies all the reasons why magic is good, and why classic "old" magic tricks work beautifully when the right things are brought to them. As you can tell, I'm a huge fan. And there's a reason for that. Pop performs "old" tricks in "new" ways that are mystifying and highly entertaining. IMHO he sets the standard for how "old" tricks should be approached by modern magicians.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
tvbuzz
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At the end of the day, classics work! You need to make them your own in order to make it work for you
Dick Oslund
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THAT'S a very fine statement! (especially "Make thwm your own"!)

I think that far too many present a trick, only showing the "bare bones" as John Northern Hilliard "usta" say.

The performers PERSONALITY must be involved in his PRESENTATION!!! I realize that, THAT, is a challenge!

I'll repeat a statement that I've printed here many times and, in my book, too. My late, very good friend, JAY MARSHALL, and I shared this thought:

TO PUT A TRICK INTO YOUR ACT, there are three "things" necessary:

1. Learn how it's DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3, Learn how to DO it, so that it entertains an audience!

If you just learn #1, and #2, youse aint gonna make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Russo
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Especially for -children - don't just do a TRICK - tell a story with it- example- I've done the '3 pigs' with the 20th centry silks-- 'Alice in Wonderland' with the Die Box - Picture of my "Pet and her family" with the Spot Card -'Pirates' with the Girl in half, rope tie- etc. you CAN do several so called 'sucker' effects if they are done with a STORY - NOT just "I FOOLED YOU" ???????????????????????????
rboyd
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Quote:
On Jan 27, 2018, Russo wrote:
Especially for -children - don't just do a TRICK - tell a story with it- example- I've done the '3 pigs' with the 20th centry silks-- 'Alice in Wonderland' with the Die Box - Picture of my "Pet and her family" with the Spot Card -'Pirates' with the Girl in half, rope tie- etc. you CAN do several so called 'sucker' effects if they are done with a STORY - NOT just "I FOOLED YOU" ???????????????????????????


I think it's most effective when you don't even mention filling them, the trick speaks for itself - best kids performers I've seen do a routine of a few tricks whilst telling the story, the kids see the tricks and are amazed but the magician carries on. The kids seem to become glued to him and it works well.
Dick Oslund
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My friend Russo, and I, "go back" a "few" years! (to the late Ken & Roberta Griffin show). We enjoy reminiscing, about "how great it was". We do, however have a little difference of opinion, regarding sucker tricks.

I open with a "soft" sucker trick, and that trick plays exceptionally well, to high school teenagers and Kindergartners, and, yes,to adults, also! It's FUN routine, that also FOOLS 'EM.

I've told this before, but, there are always new people joining the Café, who, just don't have the time to read a "gezillion" old threads. I learned, about 60 years ago, that the "general presentation" of "a" sucker trick, can, and does, too often create an "adversary" situation between the magician and his audience. --And, that's the last thing that a WISE performer wants to happen!

My motto has been, for more years than I care to count: KIS MIF! (for the "first o' Mays", and "Johnnie come latelys", that's an acronym. It stands for "KEEP IT SIMPLE MAKE IT FUN".

In my book, "DICK OSLUND -- ROAD SCHOLAR" I spend a "page or two", discussing sucker tricks. I explain what I consider to be the three "types" of sucker tricks. They are the "BLUFF", the "OOPS", and, the "TEACH A TRICK". For the explanations, you'll need to read my book! For the lines that get the LAUGH, and, APPLAUSE, you'll need to read my book. (I've also learned that "if it's free, it's not worth learning"!)

My "soft sucker trick" is a classic TRICK. The tiny kids, the teenagers, and, even the adults, soon realize that, I'm teasing them, that I'm fooling them without making fools OF them. When I get to the finish, I don't get an "AWWW", I get LAUGHS, A N D APPLAUSE! --and, I've established a relationship! which lasts throughout the show.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
funsway
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I remember performing my newly acquired (used) Hippity-Hop Rabbits at a child birthday party when I was 13. The kids were having a great time
and I was milking their reactions with ad libs and playing head of hearing over the shouts. I also noticed the adults along the back wall nudging each other in a knowing way,
smirking, laughing and poining at the kids. Then came the final display, The kids became silent and glanced around at their friends for reassurance.

The adults were another matter. First open mouths and elbow poking. Then a smattering of applause. Then some chuckles as some realized they had set themselves up for the astonishment.

So, who had more fun? Who was more astonished? Who found more magic? For the first time I get a tip beyond my modest fee.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Russo
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Friend Dick- I disn't do a few sucker tricks in a row and NEVER "I FOOLED" You - the end(sucker??) always was the conclusion of the story - for instance My Pet "spot", the 6 pack was ALL her puppies (not "I FOOL'D YOU") FUN IS FUN(:->)
Pop Haydn
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An old classic:

Luke Jonas
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Just goes to show that if done right, as in the case of Pop Haydn, 'the classics' are still just as powerful as any modern equivalent.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jan 29, 2018, Russo wrote:
Friend Dick- I disn't do a few sucker tricks in a row and NEVER "I FOOLED" You - the end(sucker??) always was the conclusion of the story - for instance My Pet "spot", the 6 pack was ALL her puppies (not "I FOOL'D YOU") FUN IS FUN(:->)


Hi! Ah! I seem to have misunderstood! Sorry!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
thomasR
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While story tricks work for some performers (Copperfield seems to have done "ok" with them Smile jk ) what you can see from Pop Haydn's performances above is he makes the trick the story. "It's a classic of magic called the 6 card trick" "you've probably seen a magician take a piece of rope, cut it, and put it back together" "over 2,000 years, the ancient mystery of the chinese linking rings" - think about this. The legend of these tricks can be a story by themselves.
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Feb 5, 2018, thomasR wrote:
While story tricks work for some performers (Copperfield seems to have done "ok" with them Smile jk ) what you can see from Pop Haydn's performances above is he makes the trick the story. "It's a classic of magic called the 6 card trick" "you've probably seen a magician take a piece of rope, cut it, and put it back together" "over 2,000 years, the ancient mystery of the Chinese linking rings" - think about this. The legend of these tricks can be a story by themselves.


The character Pop Haydn is a fantasy character from 1910, transported by accident into the 21st Century. He doesn't have magical powers at all but is a huckster and con man who is an excellent vaudevillian magician. He believes that the Teleportation Device, Tesla Coil, and Magnetized Water demonstrations are genuine and sincere, and presented for the audience's scientific edification. The "magic" is just sleight of hand and balderdash, presented with a likable "magical" character.

The tropes of magic are familiar to most people in our culture. They marvel over the years at some mysteries that eventually become commonplace. Only to be revived again for a new generation, or re-invented by a creative innovator. We and the audience share the knowledge that there are other people, better or worse, who attempt to entertain the public with magic. It would be only natural to admit this and acknowledge it, and then find a way to answer the objection by being different than expected to be, and still entertaining -- "I'm not like any of those other magicians you have seen."
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Now wait just a second there. Are you saying that Magnetized Water isn't real?
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
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