(Close Window)
Topic: Magic for the blind
Message: Posted by: edshern (Sep 18, 2017 12:57PM)
Has anyone performed magic for the blind one on one?
It would have to be something done verbally and in their hands.
If so what effect did you use.
Message: Posted by: psychod (Sep 19, 2017 02:02PM)
At one of the Magic Lives, there was a show with this exact theme. Each spectator was blindfolded and then led to a seat. A box with items in it was strapped to your leg and at various times, the performer would tell the audience to take a particular item out of the box and give directions as to what to do with it. It was a somewhat surreal experience but it did force you to think. I'm sorry but I can't remember the performer's name offhand.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 25, 2017 10:53AM)
To understand how difficult is is for a sighted person to understand, notice how Psychod described the participants in the Magic Live program! (He called the participants, "spectators"!

My pal, the late Dennis Loomis, on a tour for National School Assemblies, about 20+ years ago, was booked in a school for deaf children. (Some states, out west, have boarding schools for deaf youngsters.) When he arrived, he learned that about half of the audience were blind.

The school provided a "signer" who would translate his patter. (I've done many similar schools.) The blind youngsters were seated behind the deaf kids. A teacher, would describe what Denny was doing, as the show progressed!

Many years ago, I donated my show to a summer camp that served handicapped kids. About a hundred kid attended. In the front row, a lad of about 12, sat next to another lad of about the same age. The first boy kept whispering to the second boy. After the show, I learned that the second kid was blind.
Message: Posted by: Marqus (Mar 14, 2018 07:49AM)
Sorry I just saw this.

I was hired to do a birthday party for a young boy several years ago who was blind & (I think) autistic.
This was very 'tricky' because he was the only blind kid; the others kids in attendance all could see. So not only did I have to entertain & make the blind boy feel special (because of his birthday) but I also had to entertain the other kids. This was one of my biggest challenges.

The show went over great, as the parents (who were doctors besides) loved it!

If you want, I can look through my file cabinet & track down the tricks that I performed.

Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 27, 2018 04:33AM)
Please note that "blind" does not mean that a person is completely without sight. Vision impairment covers an entire range of restrictions.
A person may be "legally blind" and still be able to observe some magic effects quite well.

So, for the OP - determine the "limits of visual perceptions" before trying to select appropriate effects.

the adage "know your audience" always applies.

Now, it would seem prudent for the performing magician to have an effect or two prepared for many "other than normal" situations.

As Marqus indicated, the real issue how to perform for a mixed audience with varying degrees of sightedness.

edshern did say "one on one," but there may be others observing as well. If that person is totally blind, who made the arrangements to hire you?

For example, say you are exploring performing for an Assisted Living Center. The manager expresses concern because, "many of their residents don't see very well."
What do you offer to get the job?

You are table hopping and a man approaches saying, "I love magic and would like to have you come to our table. But, my daughter has a visual problem and is upset by any sudden movements. Do you have any tricks where she can handle the objects first and she can see them up close?" Are you prepared?

My point is that how you handle the situation of blindness may be more important than "what" you perform for the individual.

My wife is very visually impaired and loves magic effects. She does not have to see everything that is going on in order to have a magical experience.
One night I was performing Linking RIngs at the request of a guest. My wife could see that I was moving my arms and caught flashes of light,
but could not "see" the rings joining and separating. But she could imagine these events. Later she was able to describe in fine detail what I had done
to another friend. She knew where every moment of magic was based on the reactions of the other guests.

She never wants to know how an effect was done, and does not understand why anyone would.
She likes embracing impossible things. Being blind can have advantages.
Message: Posted by: alan1954 (Apr 12, 2018 02:26PM)
There's some wonderful posts in this section. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: mndude (Nov 16, 2019 09:33PM)
I have done the following tricks for the blind:

* Multi-dimensional (with braille added to the sides)
* toothpick in napkin
* Industrial Revelation
* Pro-Mystic Evolution
* Scotch And Soda (improvised slightly)
Message: Posted by: vanp8 (Dec 1, 2019 07:37AM)
Ii Used quarter squeeze when I ran into this situation. The joy on the boys face w
Hen magic happened in his hands was priceless.
Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (Dec 2, 2019 01:18PM)
Joshua Jay :)
Message: Posted by: walidosama (Dec 6, 2019 03:58AM)
I think the mentalism is the best in this situation
Message: Posted by: JackThomson (Nov 19, 2020 07:16PM)
I have a close family member with severe sight problems and I have to agree with the above posters that it comes down to three things:

1. Their willingness to trust the reactions of others

It is impossible for them to be able to follow the vast majority of effects due to the lack of sight so as long as everything that is happening and explained, they can imagine from everyone else's reaction what has just transpired.

2. Always include them in the effects

Even if the effect is a visual one, when someone secretly selects a card, have it whispered to the person. Always be sensitive to their lack of sight but NEVER make a deal of it or exclude anyone because of it, which leads me to point 3.

3. Make them the main spectator with mentalism

Many many mentalism effects do not involve reading, writing or seeing anything at all. These range from Which Hand demonstrations, Pschometry, Predictions and the vast majority of propless mentalism.

All in all, blind people certainly can enjoy and participate in magic and we should all be brave and embrace it. They deserve magic in their lives more than most of us.

They cannot enjoy movie magic, being able to take in the magic of art is difficult and they often stuggle to physically see a beautiful landscape so cannot experience the magic of that.

The magic we can bring to them can have much more resonance and meaning to them than the average audience member.
Message: Posted by: dbaltes1520 (Dec 7, 2020 08:36AM)
This is a great topic as I do some children shows (for libraries) and senior living centers - where any kind of impairment exist. Changing the "visual" to something the participant can "sense" in other ways would be a great presentation. Thanks to all who posted their experiences and suggestions.
Message: Posted by: Haruspex (Dec 15, 2020 02:52AM)
Apart from including blind spectators in you're standard effects, I think there are many effects that can be done one on one without the spectator having to rely on the reaction of others.

-If you are using a die, blind people can feel the sides for the amount of spots and make a selection that way.
-Effects where you have them hide different small objects in different pockets.
-Effects that only occur in the mind of the spectator, like birthday revelations, effects based on B.A, etc
-Some metal bending effects can be done entirely in the spectators hand, these would also suit well
Message: Posted by: TomB (Dec 17, 2020 08:12PM)
Pop Haydn has a great write up from his lecture on his website dealing with a performance he did for a blind lady.

He makes her the star. Definitely worth looking for.
Message: Posted by: gregg webb (Jan 28, 2021 06:40PM)
I found that blind people really liked holding my doves. That was all I could think of when it happened to me. But we got through it. Just now I was thinking "How about sponge balls ?" I haven't really thought this through though.
Message: Posted by: Josh Burch (Jan 29, 2021 03:21PM)
Here are some approaches I have tried over the years:

Message: Posted by: davfreeman (Feb 4, 2021 09:01PM)
Joshua Jays Out Of Sight could work for you.
Message: Posted by: Bohacek (Feb 28, 2021 12:48PM)
At one time in one of the magic club magazines, I read about a trick especially made for a blind man. In the trick, the magician asks his blind volunteer to think of any card in the deck, other than the jokers. But do not say it out loud. He has a totally free choice of which card he uses. The magician then hands the volunteer a deck of cards. To inform the audience and not the magician, who has turned around so he can not see, he asks the blind volunteer, to place one card on the table for each pip on his selected card. For example, he would place 5 cards on the table if he had chosen 5 of diamonds. After this is completed, the volunteer is then asked to slowly place one card if it was a club, two cards if it was a diamond, three for a heart and four for a spade. He then hands places the remaining deck on top of the other cards so that the magician can not "card count" to determine which card the blind volunteer has freely selected. The magician takes the deck and announces to everyone the thought of card. I, however, do not remember which issue of either S.A.M. or linking ring that this effect was documented. IF you happen to know I would appreciate the magazine, issue, and number, please.