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Topic: Juggling as magic
Message: Posted by: lynnef (May 15, 2011 05:57PM)
Ok jugglers! I posted a response in the "Deckless" section in which I opined that juggling is indeed 'magic'. Most of the card people disagree; and I think a few actually have too narrow a definition. In short there is controversy,perhaps a tempest in a teapot. I like BOTH card magic and juggling, and feel they BOTH belong in the Magic Café. Please weigh in via the 'deckless' section in 'flourish and false cut'.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 16, 2011 09:11AM)
Now that I made my post at deckless I'm sure that I have made about 50, or 100 nerds hate me. Of course you realize that card manipulators never get up out of their chairs, and jugglers never sit down. Juggling is generally hated by sleight of hand magicians, and musicians, so we are not going to change anyone's opinion here.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (May 16, 2011 01:38PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-16 10:11, Al Angello wrote:
Now that I made my post at deckless I'm sure that I have made about 50, or 100 nerds hate me. Of course you realize that card manipulators never get up out of their chairs, and jugglers never sit down. Juggling is generally hated by sleight of hand magicians, and musicians, so we are not going to change anyone's opinion here.
[/quote]

Thank you for posting in the cards section. I'm mainly a cards and coins guy; but I think there are many of us who love to watch a good juggling act, and welcome juggling as part of the magic community. I try not to define 'magic' so narrowly .... I think of it as the art of 'amazement', and good juggling fits that criterion! Even dare-devil escape acts are part of that (I hear David Blaine is preparing a new one as we correspond).
Many slight of hand performers also juggle as well .. I once saw a Penn and Teller act where Teller juggled as part of a 'misdirection' for another part of a trick.
One thing that bothered me in the Deckless section wasn't just the definition of 'magic'. It's Ok for people to disagree on that. But I didn't like the tone of condescension.
Finally, I'd like to add that I'm a musician; and the lead singer of my last band was a juggler as well!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 16, 2011 01:48PM)
Card mechanics, and mind readers live in their own world. When I go to lectures at our local magic club there is always a few guys that do not listen to the lecture, because they only do card tricks. We are not going to change any minds here, but I gave them my two cents.

Musicians do not like jugglers because there are very few musicians making a living performing.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (May 18, 2011 04:23PM)
Musicians do not like jugglers because there are very few musicians making a living performing.
[/quote]

Not sure if that's the reason ... but it's true that most musicians have a day job! It's the source of a lot of great musician jokes!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (May 18, 2011 09:52PM)
Once I did a job with a four piece band. Before the guests arrived the band members pressured me into telling them how much I was getting paid that night, so I reluctantly told them. My pay was $10 more than the four of made together, and they did two sets. After that they stopped talking to me, and I will never make that mistake again. When you practice the guitar for ten, or more years you get kinda touchy.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 22, 2011 11:58AM)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the term "juggling is magic".

Nope, I'm afraid magic IS juggling. We are all jongleurs after all are we not?

This includes musicians too.

We all come from the same humble beginnings and although these days its more common to refer to things as magic and the allied arts that's not an historically correct way of referring to such matters. And if people are going to get all hot under the collar about such trivial things then I think they should use the correct terminology. That is simply that we are all jongleurs, or jugglers, regardless of whether we manipulate balls, cards, coins or the air around us.
Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (May 31, 2011 04:57PM)
It seems that it's mostly an ego thing whenever people get upset over these things. Different people want their art or hobby to be defined in regards to how they wish to be seen and what they think is important. Whatever their favorite magician's philosophy is on performing good magic suddenly becomes the inalienable truth. I refer mainly to those who discover a performer such as Lennert Green and because they are so fooled by what he does they conclude that his style is superior to all others and stuggle to be like him, and start to eschew any conflicting opinions. They convince themselves that the philosophy they believe in is the only valid philosophy. Some have very convincing arguments, either developed over years of study and performing, or more often by posers who want to be like their idols merely parroting what they've heard or read.
Many magicians don't feel like magic and juggling should be placed in a similar catagory, just like there are a lot of jugglers that don't want to be placed in the same catagory as clowns.
I don't think that concrete definitions are what further the art of entertaining, whatever means you use to do so. If we settle on a definite 'This is exactly it' then there is less experimentation and performers start to look more like each other. There may or may not be an exception to every rule, but there is an exception to a lot of them. I think it's important that entertainers have a clear idea of what they are trying to do, and work to make something that is unique to them. They need to develop their own philosophy of what good entertainment is. But I don't think that in any art there is only one right way to go about things.
Many use narrow definitions for things when they know or study a lot about them, therefore they separate things into more detailed catagories. But the general public don't see things the way insiders do, and place performers into much more general catagories. A lot of people simply group all variety entertainment into 'circus' (or vaudville) and leave it at that.
Myself I just say hang it all, and do what pleases you, believe what you want, but for goodness sake just try to make it entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (May 31, 2011 06:53PM)
Here's something that I found interesting. I've recently added a flower stick routine into my school show. Once I've packed up I always get changed in to civvies and hang around listening to what the kids say about the show without them knowing I'm there. On a few occasions I've heard them discussing the floating wand trick.

At first I thought they were talking about someone else. But it turns out they meant my flower stick routine.

It's happened at more than one show. And even in workshops the kids gasp and want to know how I make it fly.

It reminded me of this thread. So juggling can really be seen as magic in the minds of an audience. This has never happened to me before doing this routine. It's quite a cool feeling.

I've always fancied doing a juggling routine based on the scene from Sorcerer's Apprentice where the brooms, mops and buckets are all under the wizard's control.
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Sep 1, 2011 03:09PM)
I used to go to more magic conventions than I do now. I like to observe. It seemed that the jugglers drew more attention than the magicians did.

Bob Phillips

P.S. I noticed that Charlie Frye has more "magical chops" than most magicians do.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Sep 1, 2011 04:03PM)
I pull my cj ball out of a cloud of bubbles, and, at times "pop" it.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 2, 2011 10:21AM)
This is a great topic and is proving to be a fascinating read.

I want to thank everyone for some thoughtful and insightful comments.

I do find myself in concert with Roslyn. The statement, “We all come from the same humble beginnings…” is great.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 5, 2011 02:07PM)
I completely agree with the post above about flower/devil sticks. People find this really magical and often can not get their head around how it works.
The same goes for contact juggling.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 5, 2011 03:51PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-05 15:07, jugglestruck wrote:
I completely agree with the post above about flower/devil sticks. People find this really magical and often can not get their head around how it works.
The same goes for contact juggling.
[/quote]


Fushigi may have tarnished Contact Juggling for a few years at least.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 7, 2011 09:20PM)
The IJA was organized at the 1946 Pittsburgh IBM convention. There were only a few performing juggling acts in the country. The IBM invited 8 jugglers to their convention to organize, and eventually become the IJA. There has always been (until just recently) one juggler at every magic convention, and one magician at every juggling convention. The Chinese call both juggling, and magic hand skills.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Sep 7, 2011 10:15PM)
Back in my day (look at Photo) we called all of it juggling as to say one was doing magic was to atract "Inquisitive" people. not a good idea. :bat:
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 8, 2011 03:38AM)
I go to both juggling and magic conventions and the huge difference between the two is that at a juggling convention people show everybody anything and at a magic convention everything is veiled in secrecy.
Obvious I know but a real difference in attitude.....
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 8, 2011 12:31PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-07 22:20, Al Angello wrote:
The IJA was organized at the 1946 Pittsburgh IBM convention. There were only a few performing juggling acts in the country. The IBM invited 8 jugglers to their convention to organize, and eventually become the IJA. There has always been (until just recently) one juggler at every magic convention, and one magician at every juggling convention. The Chinese call both juggling, and magic hand skills.
[/quote]

Al,
I did not know about the Chinese designation, "magic hand skills."
Fascinating; thanks for sharing!
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 8, 2011 12:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-08 04:38, jugglestruck wrote:
I go to both juggling and magic conventions and the huge difference between the two is that at a juggling convention people show everybody anything and at a magic convention everything is veiled in secrecy.
Obvious I know but a real difference in attitude.....
[/quote]


I recall Al Angello commenting on this extensively in a previous post.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 8, 2011 01:41PM)
And it's not just the secrecy aspect, at magic conventions things HAPPEN ON TIME because timetables are firmly adhered to by respectably coiffeured gentlemen.
At a juggling convention I once waited six hours for a stoned hippy to get out of his pit to run a contact juggling workshop - and well worth the wait it was too!
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 8, 2011 06:42PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-08 14:41, jugglestruck wrote:
And it's not just the secrecy aspect, at magic conventions things HAPPEN ON TIME because timetables are firmly adhered to by respectably coiffeured gentlemen.
At a juggling convention I once waited six hours for a stoned hippy to get out of his pit to run a contact juggling workshop - and well worth the wait it was too!
[/quote]

Respectable magicians?

: )
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 9, 2011 01:11PM)
Okay, point taken :)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 9, 2011 01:59PM)
Jugglers are just cut from a different cloth than magicians, and magicians haven't a clue what we are talking about.

Jugglestruck
In all fairness getting a buzz on is more accepted in your country. Where as the rest of us live in an uptight backward society.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 10, 2011 09:00AM)
By the way, Al, it is great to see you back!!!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 10, 2011 01:02PM)
I'm not really back I only post here, rope magic, and kids magic. You are very unlikely to ever see me at not very magical still forum.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Sep 11, 2011 11:05AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-10 14:02, Al Angello wrote:
I'm not really back I only post here, rope magic, and kids magic. You are very unlikely to ever see me at not very magical still forum.
[/quote]


Well, it is still nice to see you and be able to read your posts.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 11, 2011 04:55PM)
Al, I love your post "magicians haven't a clue what we are talking about."
I hear you!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 12, 2011 08:09AM)
There is a brotherhood among jugglers that magicians don't believe, or understand. A simple concep like "Share the art" magicians interpert as "Sell the art". The fact that ALL juggling tricks are in the public domaine, and only juggling routines are considered personal property is a simple concept that magicians will argue with you on until the cows come home. Once Nick Gatto said to me that if you can copy Anthony's routine you have earned the right to perform it. LOL
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 12, 2011 02:25PM)
I feel the share/sell issue stems from the fact that if you just watch a juggler you can see there is no real secret but you know to copy him just takes long, long hours of practice - take the Anthony Gatto comment above.

When people watch a magician they are after that particular secret, the workings, the hidden move that is so ellusive. The public think if they know that secret then they too would be able to achieve the miracle, of course it is not that simple, but they think it is.

There is no doubt that some magic has a quick, easy secret and that is where the selling comes in. I can see why too - say you invented the TT do you give it away or make a few bucks? Human nature seems to dictate the latter......

A long time ago (1991) I invented a juggling pattern called Luke's Shuffle which I happily donated to Charlie Dancey to include in his book "The encyclopedia of three ball juggling". I must admit, money never crossed my mind, I was, and still am, just really glad it is out there in the public domain.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 12, 2011 03:38PM)
No one that I have ever met learned to to a three ball cascade in order to use that skill to make money at it. The making money part comes way after the desire to become a real juggler is achieved. I do silly clumsy juggling in my show, and I tell kids that I practiced an hour a day for twenty five years before I got good enough to juggle, and make it look clumsy.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 12, 2011 04:04PM)
It is interesting just how often you read in magic related articles things like - How to make more money, How to charge top rates etc whereas in all my years of juggling I always got the impression people did it for love and money really didn't enter the equation.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 12, 2011 04:25PM)
Making money is very important, but first you must be a juggler.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Sep 20, 2011 09:06AM)
For me it boils down to the fact that it took a good five years before my 4 minute stick routine was anywhere close to where it is today and yet last week I learned a 3 minute magic routine in five minutes. That is where the secrecy lies IMO. I know there are exceptions to this. Many card slights would take years to master. But there are few, if any, juggling tricks a person can learn in a short time. So if time equals money then jugglers are highly under paid.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 22, 2011 05:31AM)
Good point, if anybody wants to watch me juggle 5 balls it's gonna cost them!
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 22, 2011 05:35AM)
Rotten
You are right, but I have been offered chump change to do magic conventions, because magicians just don't get it.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Sep 23, 2011 11:46PM)
And I have taken their chump change. They are the best audiences for a juggler, aren't they? You must be stubborn to be a juggler. Or is it patience? Either way we're a little crazy or we wouldn't be doing it.
Message: Posted by: FifthColumnist (Oct 15, 2011 05:45PM)
I feel this topic could run forever. I'm going to throw my twopenn'orth in as someone who pretty much began to learn both (and origami) at the same time in my early teens.

The common root is performance art. The audience is key. It is like the old question about a tree falling in a forest. If no-one hears it does it still make a sound. Replace falling tree with performing; magician, juggler, musician or comedian and the principle is the same.

I think magicians would have a greater problem with the question 'if gaffs are used is it magic?' Pure card legerdemain is closer to juggling than bent/gaffed cards purely because of the skill involved. This argument would defeat the most cynical of card fondlers!

The difference between the two is what the spectator sees. In juggling you display your skill as the centrepoint. In legerdemain, NOT showing anything other than everyday moves is the key. I think it is this deception that causes the card men to huff, tut and look down on the humble juggler.

The final point is perception of both. For so long the magician has had the veneer of respectability, more so with a stage, top hat and beautiful assistant. Whereas the juggler has been represented by university dropouts in baggy/striped trousers and smelling vaguely of pot, virtually begging for tips on the Thames embankment... Frankly, it isn't any wonder that some of the best jugglers hide their respective lights under a bushel.
Message: Posted by: esther_scheffer (Oct 16, 2011 01:32PM)
Those jugglers you look down on can be real jugglers. Juggling from the heart.
You have people who can juggle (and might use this in performance) and then you have jugglers (who might also juggle in performances).
Anyway being a juggler goes way beyond what kind of clothes you wear and/or worring about what other jugglers wear.
Message: Posted by: FifthColumnist (Oct 17, 2011 10:08AM)
Esther, (and anyone else this pertains too) I meant no offence in my description of jugglers. The perception I implied is from the viewpoint of the spectator. To reinforce my point, when was the last time you say a juggler on mainstream television? In the UK we have had something of a renaissance in magic on television. For the past few years, Derren Brown and more recently Dynamo and 'Penn and Teller Fool Us'. Frankly I have no problem with either community and happily straddle both. I agree with your last point, well said. :)
Message: Posted by: elmago (Jul 1, 2012 01:18AM)
I guess it all comes down to the presentation. If there is a magic effect with the juggling, then it is magic. If you make a ball appear and dissapear during your juggling, then you have a combo act.

Ive been at the magic castle in Hollywood where the have jugglers featured in the stage show. It is usually referred to as "a different kind of magic".

The word magic is a broad term that is very subjective. A magical feeling! The sun rising or setting is magical. You saw a concert by your favorite musician and it was magical. The birth of your children was magical. You first kiss was magical, and so on.

Lets assume the magic the title of this thread is the type of magic this site is known to be. Then, deception is a part of magic. It is the part that makes the magic, well, magic. The presentation is always the most important feature. But some kind of deception has to be there to be classified as a magic trick.

So let say you make a ball appear, then a second. You start juggling the two and then out of nowhere, a third appears as you go into a cascade. The balls appreared magically. How? That is the magic.

But juggling by itself is not magic. Although a great performance of juggling can be very magical.
Message: Posted by: MagicJuggler (Jul 10, 2012 08:57AM)
Contact Juggling is one of the few styles however that elicits the 'magic' response before the 'juggling' response. I think it's due to some of the inherent optical illusions, and the fact that it's most often performed with 'crystal' balls.

Though the different philosophies about teaching are legit for each art form. In magic the secrets have to be guarded otherwise they get out and become public knowlege and thus ruin the mystery. Juggling is what it appears to be, and doesn't try to decieve, therefore there is no need for secrets.

I'm both magician and juggler (as if my login name didn't give it away) and I see the sense of both sides. With magic I'm selective of what I'll teach someone, especially if it's my own creation or a pet trick (or part of my act) and with juggling (I'm primarily a contact juggler) even though I've published a set of videos on contact juggling, I'll still teach anyone who wants to learn. My goal in teaching (anything really) is to make the other person skilled enough to look good. I think it's a poor teacher who holds back out of jealosy that someone might get better than them or become competition.

But I think as far as definitions go, I think just forget it and make what you do look good, the audience doesn't care about definitions, only about being entertained.
Message: Posted by: Phil Blackmore (Jul 22, 2012 06:57PM)
http://juggling.tv/2789
Message: Posted by: fred compagnie poc (Jul 27, 2012 02:23AM)
Hi every Body!
as a new one in the magic Café, I first get to this forum because juggling is part of my work...
and for me the difference between juggling and magic(i mean manipulations) is that for magic you have to hide the technique and in juggling there is no need to hide it (it's most of time about performance)... well it's surly a bit restrictive ... I am more interested in Artistic juggling (where the technique help for esthetique... poetic...) acrylic balls is about that ... i'am using bouncing balls and trying to make the balls not exactly masterised
to do ... some surprise ...
this is a clip of my perfomance..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSwZrR3puGM&feature=fvsr

there is some other objects then acrylic balls wich create some amazing optic illusions
rings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJxngxuAbN8&feature=channel&list=UL
sticks
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00OWHXl4HbI&feature=youtu.be

Sorry for writing mistakes ... (please try to hear the french accent in it...)
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 28, 2012 11:48AM)
Fifth Columnist
Please never compare a card mechanic to a juggler. Jugglers actually get paid for what we do, and we also have friends. LOL
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 28, 2012 02:14PM)
When I attend a SAM 4 magic meeting all the card wranglers sit together in the back of the room showing each other their latest tricks while everybody else is participating in the magic meeting. They sit in the back of the room because not even magicians can stand to hear them say "pick a card" over, and over, and over again. Comparing a card mechanic to a juggler is like comparing a math teacher to an astronaut.
Message: Posted by: 1tepa1 (Jul 30, 2012 10:47PM)
Everyone likes astronauts
Message: Posted by: fingerflinger (Oct 22, 2015 12:19AM)
Juggling can indeed be done in a way that looks very magical. There are a number of misdirection tricks used in juggling patterns (especially in 3 balls, and hat juggling) that have a very magical look. A contact juggling ball, rolling around one's body is very magical looking...like the ball just has a mind of its own...