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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Steve Forte TV Special from the Past (25 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cain
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On May 19, 2018, shaunluttin wrote:
So we censored it. Problem solved. Magic is predicated on censorship.


Yeah, sure. Even though Forte's ruse in question is unpublished, perhaps we can informally call it the "Streisand Effect." That way it will get lost in Google searches. But to any monkeys who manage to excavate this thread:

Hi there. A shift was NOT used.
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tenchu
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There is a very, very skilled and knowledgeable magician you all know (I won't mention his name). I know his opinion about the expose part in the Cups and Balls routine where you explain the fake placing of the ball into the other hand.

You know, that swindle Dai Vernon did on TV. And many, many other magicians throughout the years.

This is just awful. It's bad thinking.

I agree with that 100% and I can't imagine how a legend like Dai Vernon could do that.

(Props to Ricky Jay, though, for finding quite an elegant way for this, but still...)

The fact that you're explaining the fake take/placement of the ball simply ruins the magic. Now, every time you put something in your hand, they will have a solid point of reference. Because you explained that pretty clearly, you dummy.

Saying that, I think any type of exposure (especially on tv) is not a good thing.

Let's keep the exposure level at minimum, mkay?

Mike
The Burnaby Kid
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On May 20, 2018, tenchu wrote:
You know, that swindle Dai Vernon did on TV. And many, many other magicians throughout the years.

This is just awful. It's bad thinking.

I agree with that 100% and I can't imagine how a legend like Dai Vernon could do that.

(Props to Ricky Jay, though, for finding quite an elegant way for this, but still...)


It's actually a pretty complicated issue.

While Ricky Jay's approach strives to keep a certain element of mystery in his routine, it still takes some away by virtue of the fact that it explains what other magicians are supposedly doing. You know, kind of like what's happening in this thread. That said...

Digging deeper into your average variant on the Vernon Cups and Balls routine, the idea behind giving away the FT is arguably two-fold. First, it addresses the elephant in the room because the routine pretty blatantly points towards the FT as a method anyway simply because it gets used so much. Lance Pierce has made the point that most intelligent people who are trying to figure the trick out end up mentally in that approximate ballpark. So, in a way, pointing this out can sort of harness where people's heads are at.

This is important because of the second dimension, which is that of immediate escalation, first to the reappearance of THREE balls under the center cup, which seems to undermine the idea that the routine is all about the FT, because how in the heck does the FT accomplish that? And if that mini-climax didn't blow their minds, suddenly BAM-BAM-BAM-BAM happens and the table's been turned into the grocer's fruit aisle.

There's a definite history in the art of messing around with descriptions of method to a regular audience for the sake of red herrings. It certainly predates Vernon. Pseudo-exposures as red herrings might not be everybody's cup of tea, but they can serve a useful purpose, and Vernon doesn't need to be marched naked through the streets of King's Landing for it.

Although that's a sexy image if there ever was one.
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shaunluttin
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Quote:
On May 20, 2018, Magic-Daniel wrote:
Quote:
On May 20, 2018, JasonEngland wrote:
Quote:
On May 19, 2018, shaunluttin wrote:. I'm not sure our exposure of Forte's routine is any more wrong than Forte's expose of seconds/bottoms/blinds.

I'm stunned that you can't see the difference. Amazing.
Jason

Me too

Thank you. That means I have some learning to do.

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

shaunluttin
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Burnaby Kid,

Man, I welcome the complexity of your thinking in this thread and your focus on its ideas.

What Vernon does with the FT reminds me of what he does in his Ace Assembly. For the last Ace, he explains it via palming. Doing that seems to be generally acceptable in the magic community. Why? Maybe because the laity already has a vague understanding of what palming is. Through Vernon's explanation, they don't get any further understanding and instead might become more confused. There's an argument that we should be burying palming even further instead of reminding people of its existence, but if we cannot bury something, and since it's hard to put a cat back in to a bag, we might as well obscure the concept as much as we can, and that's arguably what Vernon's doing in his routine. He is not actually exposing palming; he is demonstrating something else and calling it palming.

I'm not sure how the the magic community would respond to an actual expose of real palming techniques, though a pseudo expose seems okay, as does an expose of bottoms/seconds/blinds. As I think about this more, in his cups and balls, he is doing an actual expose of the FT instead of a pseudo display, so the analogy between the two routines is thinner than I initially thought.

I'm learning a lot from this thread and love that sexy image you left in my head.

Shaun

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

shaunluttin
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Quote:
On May 20, 2018, Cain wrote:
Quote:
On May 19, 2018, shaunluttin wrote:
So we censored it. Problem solved. Magic is predicated on censorship.

Yeah, sure. Even though Forte's ruse in question is unpublished, perhaps we can informally call it the "Streisand Effect."

Sounds good to me. The Streisand Effect is a really clever idea; bravo to Forte for devising it. I'll defer to him about whether that name sticks. I'm glad we stuffed his cat back in to the bag.

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

Mr. Bones
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Sometimes the obtuse overthink related to exposure of a guys unpublished routines and ideas, and whether it's "OK" or not to expose amazes me.

This isn't brain surgery ... nor is it particularly difficult to figure out what the "right thing" to do is.

Forget the minutia, this is Fortes routine. He owns it. It's not yours. It's not mine.

Don't pick the routine apart in a public forum.
Don't share "guessing games" about specific moves contained within the routine in a public forum.
Don't pick the routine apart and then publish how you "think" it was done online (or anywhere else).

I guess if one day Forte wants to share the routine with folks, he'll do just that.
Until then, work on your own stuff.
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shaunluttin
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Mr Bones,

I think we established that it was not okay to expose Forte's routine.

There does seem to be some difficulty, though, in figuring out when exactly exposure is okay and of what content. This thread among intelligent people is evidence of that. To me that's what the conversation is about now.

For instance:

* Is Vernon's exposure of the FT okay?
* Is Vernon's exposure of palming okay?
* Is Forte's exposure of seconds/bottoms/blinds okay?
* In each case, why and when is it okay?

In these conversations, I tend to respond better when people consider me intelligent rather than obtuse. I appreciate that in passionate topics ad hominems are bound to arise. Though I don't take it personally, others might, and to push ethics forward, I need us to elucidate ideas rather than to criticize character.

Shaun

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

Mr. Bones
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Quote:
On May 20, 2018, shaunluttin wrote:

* In each case, why and when is it okay?

As I noted in my post, but you so quickly brushed off ... "This isn't brain surgery ... nor is it particularly difficult to figure out what the "right thing" to do is."

If you're inclined to try and turn it into brain surgery, you'll have to venture there on your own.
Mr. Bones
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The Burnaby Kid
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The community is notoriously fickle on a number of issues. This is one of them.

Whenever I find myself unsure how to calibrate my personal moral and ethical compass, I look to George Carlin, who once had this to say: "People wonder why I do commercials for 10-10-220 while attacking advertising -- you'll just have to figure that shtuff out on your own."

It's a tricky concept to grasp, because it puts the onus on you to find a spiritual center within an apparent hypocrisy, or the sound logic within an apparent paradox.

Plus, why would Carlin say "shtuff"? That's not even a word.
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MagicianInTrouble
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There is a very, very skilled and knowledgeable magician you all know (I won't mention his name). I know his opinion about the expose part in the Cups and Balls routine where you explain the fake placing of the ball into the other hand.

You know, that swindle Dai Vernon did on TV. And many, many other magicians throughout the years.

This is just awful. It's bad thinking.

I agree with that 100% and I can't imagine how a legend like Dai Vernon could do that.

(Props to Ricky Jay, though, for finding quite an elegant way for this, but still...)


It may not be exposure when everybody in the world already knows it. Most magicians have the experience of doing a false transfer for a child and having the child reach for the other hand to see if the object is somehow there instead. Heck, we even have video of dogs and monkeys doing it. This behavior is instinctive and ubiquitous. If something is suddenly not in one hand, it must be in the other, and until it's proven not to be there, the magician has a credibility issue. This issue comes up in *most* of our routines, from Cups and Balls to Sponge Balls to the $100 Bill Change to most coin tricks.

We have all kinds of ways to try to overcome this, of course...some better than others. There are few ploys, for example, better than to show the one hand empty before opening the other to show the object is gone, if you can manage it. This leaves the audience nowhere to go, and it's very effective.

But in a cups and balls routine, it's more difficult to do this with every vanish, as generally the entire thing is completely founded on false transfers, one after the other, again and again and again. What Vernon realized was that by the middle of the routine, even the most daft in the audience would often come to the conclusion that the ball isn't being placed where you say it is, and this happens simply as a result of the structure of the routine, regardless of how perfectly the transfers are executed. His solution, which is completely sound, was to say exactly what most people in the audience are thinking anyway. He made it explicit, addressed it, and then proved how it doesn't explain anything that happened or happens after. He used the audience's own assumptions against them, completely disarming them of the most plausible -- and often, the only -- solution they had.

We see this again in Vernon's presentation of the Linking Rings. By the time we get deep into the routine, most audiences will come to believe that one or more rings must have a hidden opening. Shoot, many audience members START with that assumption, because it's fairly common for laypeople to have encountered linking rings in magic sets or by other means. Who among us hasn't performed the Linking Rings and had the experience of being approached by laypeople who tell us that they have a set of linking rings at home, but they don't work like ours?

And Vernon, again realizing that audiences have this assumption of the hidden opening, brings it right out into the open, addresses it, and then proves it completely wrong. Audience members who were on that path now have nowhere to turn, and nothing after that point is explainable or can be rationalized, which seems to be right where we're always striving to get them, so what exactly is the problem?

Other examples of this kind of thing are the Coin in the Bottle and Cigarette Through Quarter. Anyone who has performed these tricks enough eventually realizes that many audiences will not accept that what just happened, happened with their coin. They frequently assume that it was a different coin that was switched in. The thing is, it's not exposure to mention switches, since anyone can explain, without even a second's thought, the concept of secretly switching two things, and along comes Derek Dingle.

After performing Cigarette Through Quarter for years, he realized how often people simply assume the coin they saw penetrated couldn't be their coin, no matter how skillfully the exchange was made. The level of technique didn't matter because in order to explain what they saw, a switch HAD to have happened, regardless of how absolutely compelling everything looked. It was the Too Perfect Theory in action...things happened in such a way that astute onlookers could only come to one conclusion, and in this case, it was exactly the right one.

So, since they're thinking it anyway, Derek pulled a brilliant swindle and explicitly discusses exactly what's on their minds. He shows them what is apparently their coin and explains that he switched it for the one with a hole in it, and he shows the other coin with a hole bored through it. It all makes perfect sense. Once he does that, they're committed much like the false explanation in the Torn and Restored Napkin, and when he follows up by putting the cigarette through THEIR coin, it's only then that they're completely destroyed, because the one theory they had doesn't explain THIS, and they've nowhere to go.

Quote:
The fact that you're explaining the fake take/placement of the ball simply ruins the magic. Now, every time you put something in your hand, they will have a solid point of reference. Because you explained that pretty clearly, you dummy.


Well, usually something as powerful as cups and balls should probably be either a stand-alone piece or a closer for a set. If a magician does it toward the beginning or in the middle -- a routine that makes liberal use of false transfers -- and then follows it with more routines that also use similar false transfers, the problem is more likely with the thinking behind the structure of the act rather than the thinking behind the cups and balls.

Quote:
For instance:

* Is Vernon's exposure of the FT okay?
* Is Vernon's exposure of palming okay?
* Is Forte's exposure of seconds/bottoms/blinds okay?
* In each case, why and when is it okay?


At the next opportunity, at some random point, ask your audience, "Hey, by show of hands, how many people have heard of switching things?" or "Hey, by show of hands, how many people have heard of dealing from the bottom of the deck?" or "Hey, by show of hands, how many of you have seen magicians who put things in their hand, but don't really put them there?" After all the hands go up, look around the room and say, "Okay, well, I guess I won't be doing THAT trick, then!"

So, you get your gag in, you get a nice laugh, but you also get to learn just how commonly understood these things are. If a large percentage of people are at least casually aware of these things, it's hard to claim it's exposure to talk about them.
shaunluttin
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MagicianInTrouble,

That seems very reasonable. It reminds me of software development contracts I sometimes sign.

These contracts usually have a non-disclosure section. It basically comes down to keeping secret any intellectual property we develop while working for the company. This has all sorts of gray area, though, because some things we develop are common knowledge, are obvious, or have no place being anyone's property. Software development patents are a mess for this reason, because people request patents on these kinds of things, and the lawmakers granting the patents know very little about software. Result: we have patents on the software equivalent of addition and subtraction.

Coming back to what you said, it would be absurd for a company to sue me for revealing how addition and subtraction work, because those are so commonly understood. And just because it's okay to talk about addition and subtraction, does not mean it's okay to reveal how DuckDuckGo's search engine algorithm works.

Shaun

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

AsL
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I just wanted to say Steve Forte is an absolute inspiration. That's all.

All the Best,
AsL
shaunluttin
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Totally... it blows my mind how skilled he is with his hands.

I used to be sensitive to criticism, but I am not really sensitive to it any more. Please do criticize my technique, presentation, and posts. It helps me to grow, and I promise to take responsibility and not to be defensive.

SimonCard
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Forte is simply on an entirely different level than everyone else.
Sebastian Oudot
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On May 31, 2018, SimonCard wrote:
Forte is simply on an entirely different level than everyone else.


Not to mention that the video must be something like 15/20 years old.
Jaybs
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Apart from his incredible sleight of hand skills and knowledge, he's also one heck of a nice guy, with a very personable demeanor. I enjoyed hearing Bill Malone's stories of his interactions with Steve in his Penguin lecture.
The Burnaby Kid
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Pffft. I don't know why you all are praising this guy so much. He can't even throw dice properly. Every time he does, the same numbers keep coming up.
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