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Topic: What's more important than secrets?
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 1, 2019 04:58AM)
IMHO, the following will really, really help your magic development (as well as the secrets):

A friendly and naturally charismatic personality
Chutzpah, boldness and huge amounts of self-confidence
Long hours of dedicated practice
Magician colleagues, friends or club mates
Creativity and an artistic bent
The gift of the gab, and good blagging skills
A conscience unbothered by lying and deception
Money
Living in an environment rich with strange, new audiences and performance opportunities
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 1, 2019 06:22AM)
What's more important than secrets? Presentation.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 1, 2019 06:30AM)
[quote]On Mar 1, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
What's more important than secrets? Presentation. [/quote]

And, getting an audience to [i][b]like you[/i][/b]!

Doug
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 1, 2019 06:43AM)
[quote]On Mar 1, 2019, Dougini wrote:

And, getting an audience to [i][b]like you[/i][/b]!

Doug [/quote]

I'm not sure being liked, is paramount in performing arts? Many people aren't liked but still considered, good performers. In our own ranks Dan Sperry, comes to mind. But generally speaking, I think your right, Doug?
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 1, 2019 08:03AM)
[quote]
And, getting an audience to [i][b]like you[/i][/b]![/quote]

Totally agree, Doug. More important than presentation (usually), unless you are so good at presentation that you pull off the incredibly difficult unlikeable but charismatic persona.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 1, 2019 08:05AM)
[quote] Presentation. [/quote]

And what enables or increases one's ability to develop a good 'presentation' (which varies according to context):

A friendly and naturally charismatic personality
Chutzpah, boldness and huge amounts of self-confidence
Long hours of dedicated practice
Magician colleagues, friends or club mates
Creativity and an artistic bent
The gift of the gab, and good blagging skills
A conscience unbothered by lying and deception
Money
Living in an environment rich with strange, new audiences and performance opportunities
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 1, 2019 08:42AM)
For me, presentations are an intellectual process, having nothing to do with the things you posted TW. One need only turn to ones own interests and life experiences, to find presentational ideas he can incorporate into his magic. imagination can be useful as well :)

Edit: I should have said that the development of presentation is an intellectual process. posted for clarity.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 1, 2019 09:25AM)
That's interesting. You don't think things like charisma or creativity impact presentational ability? Or that money and time put into acting classes or rehearsal improve presentations?
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 1, 2019 09:46AM)
I do but I don't think they are ESSENTIAL to good presentation. For me, it's not so much how you tell the story, as much as it is, the story itself. for others it may be different but I've seen a lousy story teller, tell a good story and kill. While I've seen a great story teller tell a bad story and bomb. Honestly, I strive to be both a good story teller, telling good stories. That's what my magic is all about. If I'm charismatic it's only because I'm beautiful :) NOT!
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Mar 1, 2019 09:50AM)
Cool :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 1, 2019 12:13PM)
A mentor put me on a workable path more than 60 years ago.

Question: "What is the most important part of a magic effect."

many members in our club chimed in with opinions: "practice," "audience connection, "secrecy," "timing," etc.

This one old guy said, "The most important part of anything you ever do is the part you are doing at that moment."

a close second was learned tears later in the thought:

"for someone in the audience this is their first exposure to magic. For another it is their last. Make your presentation vital for both."
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 1, 2019 04:26PM)
Years ago NATE LEIPZIG, was a HEADLINER IN VAUDEVILLE. His only prop was a pack of cards. He invited several people on stage. They sat around a card table. With those simple props,Nate entertained a theater full of paying customers!

His most famous statement on this thread's question: The most important thing is that the AUDIENCE LIKES YOU.

I'm sure that with his very successful act, he knew that a good PRESENTATION, MADE THE AUDIENCE LIKE HIM.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 1, 2019 06:45PM)
The reality is it is all about Personality. So many are missing this and think their "magic" or skills are enough. They're not.

Magic is about selling yourself, your presentation, and the wonder. This is all created and done through your personality. First and foremost you must be entertaining. Entertaining must come from you, not your tricks or skill. They can contribute to you being entertaining as "tools" to aid you and be utilized, but the first component to being entertaining is connection and rapport. Connection and rapport come from your personality.

These then combined with your skills and performance material can create the wonder.

I see so many miss these two important and crucial things - Personality and Being Entertaining. They will spend hours, days, weeks, and months on moves, movements, slights, storylines, plots, scripting, and execution, but little if any on personality and learning how to entertain with magic. The entertaining must come from you, not your magic.

Once you realize this AND completely understand it, you will see vast improvements much more quickly and garner far better responses and connections. Plus you'll find it to be much more rewarding.

You're welcome - I just gave you a nugget that takes some magicians years and even decades to discover.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 1, 2019 09:39PM)
Funsway and Dick as usual you both get it :)
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Mar 2, 2019 12:06AM)
Bebel. Eddie Fechter. Dan Sperry. What do they all have in common that flies in the face of this thread?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 2, 2019 07:06AM)
[quote]On Mar 2, 2019, danaruns wrote:
Bebel. Eddie Fechter. Dan Sperry. What do they all have in common that flies in the face of this thread? [/quote]

an audience chemically addicted to entertainment?? (Studying entertainment psychology is intriguing if not disheartening)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 2, 2019 07:21AM)
MIndpro - I can agree with most of you fine post above, and appreciate that inout.

but, I do have a problem with "I see so many miss these two important and crucial things - Personality and Being Entertaining."

That is only true for those choosing to use performance magic for entertainment. There are many other applications and venues.

Also, "being entertaining" hints (to me) of the need to cater to the ever lowering bar of what is entertaining to a general audience today - or what it is hyped to be.

Yes, if one choose to make a living from being an entertainer with magic as the tool, then your advice is right one.

If, however, one wishes to create an experience and memory of "must be magic" there are other more important factors.

Me - I would rather have an audience entertain the notion that their perceptions of impossible is flawed in enjoyable ways,
rather than pander to a "just entertain me" mania for those incapable of entertaining themselves. Doesn't pay very well though ;)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Mar 2, 2019 07:49AM)
Yes, great points indeed. The main point I was making was that one shouldn't rely on the trick to create the desired outcome - entertaining, wonder, amazement, etc. It must come from several other key factors. As Dick said being likable, being able to connect is key, which usually comes from personality and being entertaining.

I also agree that farting in a bucket of water can be seen as entertaining by some today. By what I suggest you are elevating and having control over the level of entertainment and raising the bar to a desired greater level.

Yes, my thoughts were based on doing this commercially or for a living (part-time or full), but also for anything more than just performing for family and friends. What many younger or newer performers do not understand are Audience Expectations and Performance Dynamics. Both of these have a crucial role in both how you are accepted and how interesting, entertaining and impactful you and your performance are to others (audience, guests, or the recipient of what you are performing.)

The point was to get performers to think beyond just their tricks and put more concern and emphasis on actually performing it with presentation, hooks, connection, interaction, and other elements that all come into play. These are often overlooked, not understood, or completely missing from most presentations, and even in actual purchased tricks or material. This is the first tell-tale sign of a beginner, amateur or newbie. These things alone can elevate both the level of your performance and greatly improve your confidence as a performer.

In creating the entertaining experience I believe your concerns could be included and incorporated as well.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Mar 2, 2019 09:39AM)
[quote]On Mar 2, 2019, funsway wrote:

If, however, one wishes to create an experience and memory of "must be magic" there are other more important factors.

Me - I would rather have an audience entertain the notion that their perceptions of impossible is flawed in enjoyable ways,
rather than pander to a "just entertain me" mania for those incapable of entertaining themselves. Doesn't pay very well though ;) [/quote]

Absolutely! When magic touches people on a visceral level, then and only then, has it accomplished it's artistic plateau. Funsway, you always get it spot on :)
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Mar 2, 2019 09:46AM)
[quote]On Mar 1, 2019, funsway wrote:
....

a close second was learned tears later in the thought:

"for someone in the audience this is their first exposure to magic. For another it is their last. Make your presentation vital for both." [/quote]

Wow! That is a powerful way to think about your performance. Thank you, Funsway!

Hudson
Message: Posted by: magicianbrady (Apr 27, 2019 11:58AM)
Be entertaining. People enjoy stuff even if they know the methods to it if you give them a fun time.
Message: Posted by: Bob G (Apr 28, 2019 01:21AM)
Lots of interesting ideas on this thread -- thanks, everybody! I just want to point out, Terrible Wizard, that certain items on your list seem almost designed to set yourself up for failure. I think it might help if you looked at your list again and asked yourself which items can be changed by your efforts, and which are beyond control. Charisma, for instance -- that's a rare commodity, and those of us who don't have it aren't likely to purchase it through work, however hard. (Though we may make some improvements in our dealings with people.) So, as with everything else in life, we have to play to our strengths while shoring up our weaknesses.



The great thing -- and I think this is a subtext of many of the posts on this thread -- is that you don't have to be Great to be useful. You can work hard enough to be Good Enough to bring some wonder and happiness to the people you know or meet.



See you,


Bob
Message: Posted by: Magical Moments (May 3, 2019 11:09AM)
Presentation, presentation, presentation...
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 6, 2019 04:13AM)
Many years ago, Dr. A. M. Wilson published, and edited, the "SPHINX", a long dead magazine for magicians. He had an op-ed page, a masthead, in which he stated: "Magic is an art which sometimes instructs, often amuses, but always entertains."

I was 14 or 15. I believed the good doctor. In the next few years, I had the opportunity to see many magicians present their show.

I soon realized that the Dr. Wilson was WRONG! MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (May 6, 2019 03:33PM)
P.S. Ya gotta make it entertaining with a good PRESENTATION!
Message: Posted by: Kevin Janise (Jun 12, 2019 05:54PM)
A great presentation will make all the difference. Take a trick like Wild Card and watch most presentations of it vs Tommy Wonder's. The secret is pretty much the same as any other version of Wild Card but the presentation is totally different and amazing to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMxaQN9Ma3o

When I was doing corporate training it was the same thing. Different instructors had the same material but a different presentation and it made all the difference. Same material but one class would say it was the best ever and another class would say it was terrible. Presentation made the difference.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jun 15, 2019 10:25AM)
Nothing is more important than secrets. If the secrets are exposed, the magic and the entertainment value are lost. Secrets are fundamental to any magic performance. Presentation rests on top of secrets. Without secrets it may be entertaining (e.g., comedians, actors, dancers), but it's not magic.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jun 15, 2019 10:49AM)
Writing a great novel is about so much more than just printing words on paper. But, at some point, to write a novel, you need to print some words on paper.

Performing a great magic trick is about so much more than just successfully employing a secret method. But, at some point, to perform a magic trick, you need to successfully employ a secret method.