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Topic: Can every trick be improved on?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 10, 2019 11:40PM)
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Mar 11, 2019 12:07AM)
To paraphrase Ascanio: "Magic isn't architecture -- it's gardening."

In other words, magic is -- like any craft or artful endeavour -- constantly growing and evolving. And it needs gardeners to tend to it. It's a deliriously fun job, no?

Vernon was well into his nineties and still creating, thinking, and improving. And what about Marlo? Or Lorayne?

Those are the folks we should model our magic after. We should strive to improve every trick, always, because they will never be finished.

In the words of one well-known "fixer": Onward...
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 11, 2019 12:12AM)
Fun question. Just to be contrary, I'll mention this:

I think it was George S. Kaufman, who after a month's run of one of his hit plays, called an emergency meeting of the cast to remove all the "improvements."

As with any work of art, part of the process is knowing when to stop.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Mar 11, 2019 12:24AM)
Important question: What do you mean by "improve," Magicfish? When it comes to a magic trick, that could mean any number of things!

[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, landmark wrote:
Fun question. Just to be contrary, I'll mention this:

I think it was George S. Kaufman, who after a month's run of one of his hit plays, called an emergency meeting of the cast to remove all the "improvements."

As with any work of art, part of the process is knowing when to stop. [/quote]

And I'll add that knowing when to stop and striving to improve aren't mutually exclusive.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 01:15AM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, landmark wrote:
Fun question. Just to be contrary, I'll mention this:

I think it was George S. Kaufman, who after a month's run of one of his hit plays, called an emergency meeting of the cast to remove all the "improvements."

As with any work of art, part of the process is knowing when to stop. [/quote]
I tend to agree with this.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 01:21AM)
Rupert wrote:
"We should strive to improve every trick, always, because they will never be finished."

I agree with the first part- that we should strive to improve. But the second part has me wondering. Some effects, I believe, are finished. Surely, there must be a point in which an effect cannot be improved. Changed?, adapted?, tinkered with? Absolutely. But improved? Possibly, but always? I'm not so sure.
Message: Posted by: Poof-Daddy (Mar 11, 2019 07:17AM)
I don’t think “every effect” can be improved. I think some effects are “as good as they are gonna get”. I do however believe most effects can be “tinkered with” to be updated or modernized to whatever the state of great magic is at this time in history. Many of the “hot new items” these days are simply adaptations of good effects hidden away in older books. I really like the quote Lance Pierce printed in his “Recharmed, I’m Sure” directions while comparing to Troy Hooser’s “Charming Chinese Challenge” — “Troy’s routine is already classic and well formed, and it isn’t in need of much tinkering, but as magicians with the spirit to explore, tinker we must”.

Tinkering, updating and modernization of effects may not really “Improve” an effect for the sake of making it a better effect than it originally was. It can however make a great older effect more palatable or understandable to a new audience. At the same time, I wonder, is it the effect, the method or the presentation that makes the biggest difference.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Mar 11, 2019 07:59AM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Rupert wrote:
"We should strive to improve every trick, always, because they will never be finished."

I agree with the first part- that we should strive to improve. But the second part has me wondering. Some effects, I believe, are finished. Surely, there must be a point in which an effect cannot be improved. Changed?, adapted?, tinkered with? Absolutely. But improved? Possibly, but always? I'm not so sure. [/quote]

I'll ask again. What do you mean by "improved"? A trick is made up of a dozen little components: premise, presentation, method, handling...

Also, I don't believe that tricks exist independent of their performer and performing contexts. I can't think of a single trick that is one-size-fits-all in either respect. But hit me with any examples if you can.
Message: Posted by: puggo (Mar 11, 2019 08:03AM)
To follow PD's comment, I take it that the main question relates to method, in which case, maybe. To say that something can't be improved may be limiting, but it does make sense to listen to those who have the 'flight time' under fire before trying to change stuff.

Also, many seem to perform for a camera rather than for real people. In such cases, there are a new set of limitations and freedoms which would suggest more scope for 'improvement'. There is also the performing for other magicians element - in this case, there may be ways to 'improve' the method to fool magicians which may actually make the method worse for lay people.

As someone who does not perform for a camera/instagram etc. (or magicians), my main question with every effect is 'can I improve the experience for the audience/participants?' With this question, the answer is much more likely to be a yes as it is rarely focused on the mechanics/method. Part of the reason that I like the Jerx is that even although he states that he focuses on the casual/social performer, he inspires me to think much more about the experience (for those that don't know his work, Google 'Jerx Spectator Cuts to the Aces' as an example of his thinking - you may not like the swearing, the style or whatever, but take a moment to consider the experience).

Charlie
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Mar 11, 2019 08:19AM)
Another point...I think every trick can be improved upon, BY A GIVEN PERFORMER. Each performer can tweak, tinker with, and update the script and handling of any trick to make it more natural and deceptive for them. These changes may not work for the greater magical community but that doesn't mean the trick hasn't been improved upon.

One man's improvement is another man's... well, you get the point.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 11, 2019 08:52AM)
Insofar as every trick has a weakness, and that weakness is its method, then so long as one person apart from the performer can see the method, then yes, the trick can be improved upon.
Message: Posted by: JoeHohman (Mar 11, 2019 11:56AM)
Keith Richards says that the original Fender Telecaster has never been improved upon as an electric guitar. (He probably knows better than I do.)

I think this might apply to magic tricks, as well. I still perform the original Triumph as written up in Stars of Magic. I have learned other methods -- but I don't think they are necessarily improvements. Maybe they are variations.

On the other hand, and again using a musical analogy, some of Mozart's variations are pretty darned interesting... Less than a month ago I learned a Triumph variation that I have performed probably a dozen times since. I knew it was effective when it fooled my daughter, who usually burns my hands and lives to thwart me in every conceivable way. So was this method an improvement? Maybe so, because Vernon's original might not have survived her scrutiny.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 01:49PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, Poof-Daddy wrote:
I don’t think “every effect” can be improved. I think some effects are “as good as they are gonna get”. I do however believe most effects can be “tinkered with” to be updated or modernized to whatever the state of great magic is at this time in history. Many of the “hot new items” these days are simply adaptations of good effects hidden away in older books. I really like the quote Lance Pierce printed in his “Recharmed, I’m Sure” directions while comparing to Troy Hooser’s “Charming Chinese Challenge” — “Troy’s routine is already classic and well formed, and it isn’t in need of much tinkering, but as magicians with the spirit to explore, tinker we must”.

Tinkering, updating and modernization of effects may not really “Improve” an effect for the sake of making it a better effect than it originally was. It can however make a great older effect more palatable or understandable to a new audience. At the same time, I wonder, is it the effect, the method or the presentation that makes the biggest difference. [/quote]
Well said Poof.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 01:51PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Insofar as every trick has a weakness, and that weakness is its method, then so long as one person apart from the performer can see the method, then yes, the trick can be improved upon. [/quote] forever?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 01:54PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Rupert wrote:
"We should strive to improve every trick, always, because they will never be finished."

I agree with the first part- that we should strive to improve. But the second part has me wondering. Some effects, I believe, are finished. Surely, there must be a point in which an effect cannot be improved. Changed?, adapted?, tinkered with? Absolutely. But improved? Possibly, but always? I'm not so sure. [/quote]

I'll ask again. What do you mean by "improved"? A trick is made up of a dozen little components: premise, presentation, method, handling...

Also, I don't believe that tricks exist independent of their performer and performing contexts. I can't think of a single trick that is one-size-fits-all in either respect. But hit me with any examples if you can. [/quote]
You tell us , Rupert. In your opinion, what improves a trick?
Message: Posted by: fonda57 (Mar 11, 2019 02:13PM)
Can Darwin Ortiz Pschotronic Card be improved? ive developed ways to do it other than how it is written, but does that improve it?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 11, 2019 02:37PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Insofar as every trick has a weakness, and that weakness is its method, then so long as one person apart from the performer can see the method, then yes, the trick can be improved upon. [/quote] forever? [/quote]

Yes. Insofar as one person apart from the performer can see the method.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 02:45PM)
And when they can't?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 11, 2019 02:49PM)
If nobody knows how you did what you did, then you've got your mystery factor figured out.

Obviously when it comes to presentation there are different things to consider. While I don't know that every trick's presentation can be improved upon -- very difficult to measure that empirically -- the trick benefits from the magician constantly analyzing it AS IF it can be improved upon. I had a pretty slick three card monte routine after doing it somewhere between one to two thousand times for spectators, but I was still eyeing changes to it even after that long. It helped, because the routine is now better than it was then.
Message: Posted by: Kimura (Mar 11, 2019 03:18PM)
One man's treasure is another man's garbage.

Everything can be improved upon, as soon as it gets into another person's hands.

Thinking your stuff is perfect is why there is so much ego and not a whole lot of art.
Message: Posted by: Daegs (Mar 11, 2019 04:10PM)
Every unique magician's perfect version is different from the rest.

Every trick can be improved for you, though not necessarily for everyone else. A lot of the classics are such because they are adaptable to many unique personalities.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Mar 11, 2019 04:12PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Rupert wrote:
"We should strive to improve every trick, always, because they will never be finished."

I agree with the first part- that we should strive to improve. But the second part has me wondering. Some effects, I believe, are finished. Surely, there must be a point in which an effect cannot be improved. Changed?, adapted?, tinkered with? Absolutely. But improved? Possibly, but always? I'm not so sure. [/quote]

I'll ask again. What do you mean by "improved"? A trick is made up of a dozen little components: premise, presentation, method, handling...

Also, I don't believe that tricks exist independent of their performer and performing contexts. I can't think of a single trick that is one-size-fits-all in either respect. But hit me with any examples if you can. [/quote]
You tell us , Rupert. In your opinion, what improves a trick? [/quote]

What improves a book?

(In other words, it's a nonsense question. If you have a specific trick in mind, let's talk about that. I was just qualifying your broad and unfocused question.)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 04:17PM)
I disagree. I think it is a valid question and one that thoughtful constructors should always be considering.
I feel there are ideas that can serve to improve all card magic regardless of the specific trick.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Mar 11, 2019 04:19PM)
My answer is: It depends on the trick... and what needs improving.
Message: Posted by: Inert (Mar 11, 2019 04:30PM)
I'd say sometimes yes & sometimes no. For example, I've never seen any improvement to Card Warp. It's already a masterpiece. Any changes I've seen wreck the effect. On the other hand, numerous effects have been radically improved over the history of magic.
Message: Posted by: fonda57 (Mar 11, 2019 05:20PM)
I mentioned a specific trick :approve:
Message: Posted by: fonda57 (Mar 11, 2019 07:51PM)
There is an episode of Big Bang Theory that fits right in here. Howard kept doing a card trick and Sheldon wanted to figure it out. He then claimed to have then improved on it but the method that was so blatant it was immediately revealed by someone else.

Which makes me wonder: who decides when a trick is improved?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 11, 2019 11:11PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, fonda57 wrote:
Can Darwin Ortiz Pschotronic Card be improved? ive developed ways to do it other than how it is written, but does that improve it? [/quote]
Darwin Ortiz is a great example. Many of his effects are wonderfully constructed.
His sleight selection (or elimination) is sublime. Can Psychotronic Card be improved on? Good question. If it can, I'd sure like to see it.
Message: Posted by: ekgdoc (Mar 11, 2019 11:59PM)
I am not sure if EVERY card trick can be improved on. But I am certain that every card trick can be made worse.

David M.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Mar 12, 2019 08:42AM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, fonda57 wrote:
Can Darwin Ortiz Pschotronic Card be improved? ive developed ways to do it other than how it is written, but does that improve it? [/quote]
Darwin Ortiz is a great example. Many of his effects are wonderfully constructed.
His sleight selection (or elimination) is sublime. Can Psychotronic Card be improved on? Good question. If it can, I'd sure like to see it. [/quote]

I haven't seen Ortiz perform that trick, but I've seen him perform many others. Generally, I think his stage persona is kind of stiff. If I were a paid consultant, that's what I would tell him to work on. Technique is not all.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Mar 12, 2019 09:54AM)
For those interested, here is Ortiz performing
"psychotronic card"

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/3840
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 11:05AM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can Psychotronic Card be improved on? Good question. If it can, I'd sure like to see it. [/quote]

Well, start with the Mind Movie. If you were capable of REAL magic, how would the trick look?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 12:32PM)
If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. I doubt there would be card plots.
Message: Posted by: helder (Mar 12, 2019 12:57PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, fonda57 wrote:
Can Darwin Ortiz Pschotronic Card be improved? ive developed ways to do it other than how it is written, but does that improve it? [/quote]

It can, absolutely. After many years Darwin still does changes to make it better. For example, now he does it with the spectator holding the deck instead of just leaving it on the table. Looks like a detail but makes the effect stronger.

In my opinion you can improve every routine. I look at every word I say, the pace, the pauses, the moves. I've routines that I've performed more than 1000 times and I still change details.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 01:52PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
I doubt there would be card plots. [/quote]

You wouldn't deal yourself a royal flush whenever you wanted?

You wouldn't want to play underspeed a la Ricky Jay, you wouldn't beat them with the hand just above theirs?

You wouldn't use your powers to read minds at the poker table?

You wouldn't want to sneak extra cards into your hand?

You wouldn't want to make bad cards disappear from your hand?

You wouldn't want the best card in every hand to jump into yours?

You wouldn't want to show that the spectator's intuition was uncanny?

You wouldn't want to show you could read the future?

This doesn't even begin to cover what would happen if magic were real but you weren't in perfect control of it. Fred Kaps, Tommy Wonder...
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 02:09PM)
No. If I wanted money I would make it appear in my wallet as my toothbrush floated up and scrubbed my teeth. I wouldn't need a casino.
Can we please stick to card tricks?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 02:11PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can we please stick to card tricks? [/quote]

I mean... do you want to? You don't seem to have a very high appreciation of the meaning behind them. Either that, or you're dismissing the point so as to gain an edge in an argument, when that very point will help you understand how to answer your own question that started this whole thing off.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 02:30PM)
Once agsin will give the benefit of the doubt and assume your condescension and arrogance is unintended and a result of impersonal electronic communication.
As far as appreciation of card magic goes, I have devoted my life to them. I'm certain I've been doing them, studying them, practicing them, longer than you have. But I don't know why I'm under scrutiny here. As far as understanding my own question, I understand it perfectly and have provided my opinion/answer. I can clarify or elaborate if you wish.
As far as gaining an edge in an argument I feel there is no argument here, I just wanted a friendly discussion about a topic near and dear to my heart. If you can do that then by all means I hope you stick around. If you're looking to argue I'm not interested. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 02:35PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...your condescension and arrogance...
[/quote]

No, I'm actually genuinely baffled. You're curious to know about how and whether card tricks can be improved, and the question is put to you as to what you would do if you could REALLY do magic, and you dismiss it outright. The fact that you don't see how some of the questions asked would intrigue a regular spectator makes me wonder if you do appreciate card magic.

I'm happy to give you the benefit of the doubt, so let's try a different question. A supernatural being comes down to earth and bestows upon you supernatural power over cards. What do you do with that power?
Message: Posted by: JBSmith1978 (Mar 12, 2019 02:37PM)
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]

Define your terms.

Do you mean improving method, plot, impact, wonder? In general I would say yes. Regarding a specific performer? I would say yes. Both performer and audience is a moving target.

If you want to limit the extent one can improve something by let's say overgeneralizing terms, then no.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 02:42PM)
"...and the question is put to you as to what you would do if you could REALLY do magic, and you dismiss it outright."

No. I didn't. This is false. Not only did I not dismiss it outright, I gave you an honest direct answer. I will cut and paste since, again giving you the benefit of the doubt, you genuinely missed it.
"If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. 
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 02:44PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, JBSmith1978 wrote:
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]

Define your terms.

Do you mean improving method, plot, impact, wonder? In general I would say yes. Regarding a specific performer? I would say yes. Both performer and audience is a moving target.

If you want to limit the extent one can improve something by let's say overgeneralizing terms, then no. [/quote]
All terms I suppose J.B., nothing hard and fast here, just an open discussion among magic friends.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 02:58PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, Daegs wrote:
Every unique magician's perfect version is different from the rest.

Every trick can be improved for you, though not necessarily for everyone else. A lot of the classics are such because they are adaptable to many unique personalities. [/quote]
This is a good point Daegs
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 02:58PM)
Dude, you said "I doubt there would be card plots" and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out, you said you'd float toothbrushes or whatever, and asked to get BACK to card tricks. In the most generous and polite estimation, what you wrote was a dismissal of a point.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 12, 2019 03:00PM)
Ugh. Never mind. Do what you like.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 05:14PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, fonda57 wrote:
I mentioned a specific trick :approve: [/quote]
Card Warp is an interesting example, Fonda, as there have been many good interpretations, handlings, etc. Are you familiar with Eugene Burger's or Bruce Cervon's?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 12, 2019 07:38PM)
"...and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out..."

Again, if I could do real magic, these would not be meaningful scenarios, for me.
Message: Posted by: ekgdoc (Mar 12, 2019 11:56PM)
Can every trick be improved on? The answer is no, and I would cite the Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley as a trick that cannot be improved upon. (I perform a minor variation of the Bill Malone handling.) Q.E.D.

David M.
Message: Posted by: Kimura (Mar 13, 2019 01:51AM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"...and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out..."

Again, if I could do real magic, these would not be meaningful scenarios, for me. [/quote]

I have to agree with this.

I think I would only get to the stage of magic-ing myself a good poker hand if: A) I had already solved a lot of the world's more pressing problems and B) found myself REALLY bored.

Real magic would become banal after some time. It would be much more fun to learn to cheat at poker than magic some good hands - if you got busted you could just magic the problems away :)
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 13, 2019 06:51AM)
Alright, I apologize for yesterday's irritability and if anybody feels I slighted them in any way. I'll take full responsibility if the point I was trying to make was unclear.

The aim in the "What if I could do real magic?" isn't to explore what would happen if you suddenly had supernatural powers. One COULD go in that direction for the purposes of developing a repertoire, as has folks like Derren Brown, in order to pick the best effects possible that would fit your powers (including the limitations of your powers), but that's a different avenue.

Rather, the point of it, as outlined by guys like Tommy Wonder, is to figure out what could be done if one didn't have to rely on some non-magical method like a sleight or a prearrangement or what-have-you. You figure out how it would look if for some admittedly cuckoo-for-coco-puffs crazy reason it's something you wanted to do and could do by real magic, and you then design the method around that.

If you don't want to take my word for it, and I don't blame anybody if they don't want to given the absence of charm exhibited yesterday, then take Wonder's word for it. He approached his tricks all the time from this standpoint, and his magic was all the more sublime because of it. It's an exercise worth engaging in for the express purpose of identifying what the illusion of real magic would look like in the instance of that trick, rather than pondering on what the illusion of a real magician would look like within the context of overall performance.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Mar 13, 2019 12:29PM)
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. I doubt there would be card plots. [/quote]

Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic? Do you want people to know it, or keep it hidden? What reason have you for performing magic tricks for others? Perhaps you are hiding the fact that you can do real magic because...

Charlie X did card tricks for the crew of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek. It was real magic, though the crew didn't know it at the time.

I think it is a good question how it would look if it were real, but most magicians quit right there with the question as if there were no answer, before they come up with real justification for what they do...

"I knew when I was three or four that I was different. I could make things appear and disappear or change colors just with my mind. But I quickly learned that others didn't like that and were scared by it. So I kept it a secret. It only worked with little stuff, anyway. When I first learned that there were others like me, called magicians, I was excited. When I found out they were really just using trickery, I became fascinated. I learned card tricks and got really good at it. I was very proud of my achievement, while considering "real magic" an unimportant little "knack." So I love to perform magic, I only used "real" magic when I got in trouble or lost the break or something...and then I would keep it secret because in my mind, using real magic in a card trick was cheating."

There are thousands of different stories like that out there. Pop Haydn is based on "what if a 19th Century conman and medicine show performer were to suddenly be thrust into the 21st Century?" How would he make a living? What would he consider trickery, and what real magic? Can you imagine the Wizard of Oz doing magic tricks for the Munchkins in order to impress them?

Pop thinks most of his magic is trickery--standard performance magic. But he believes the Teleportation Device, Tesla Coil, and magnetized water are all "science" and "true."

The magic story is the backstory of who you are, why you can do real magic, and why you are here demonstrating magic to these people...
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 13, 2019 01:26PM)
Yes! Yes! To Pop Haydn you listen!

[here endeth the Yoda voice]
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Mar 13, 2019 01:36PM)
There are two magic stories. One is the story the spectators will tell of having met the magician. It begins when he enters, and ends when he leaves. The second story, the one the spectators may have to guess at, is the backstory--who is this person, why are they here, what do they want, where will they be going next? The magician knows this story, and everything he does is in perfect co-ordination with this story. The spectators sense the story is there, even if they don't exactly know what it is.

How is the story of meeting the magician different from the story of having met a "real" magician?

[youtube]nxmaYsZjnXo[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 13, 2019 05:30PM)
[quote]On Mar 13, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. I doubt there would be card plots. [/quote]

Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic? Do you want people to know it, or keep it hidden? What reason have you for performing magic tricks for others? Perhaps you are hiding the fact that you can do real magic because...

Charlie X did card tricks for the crew of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek. It was real magic, though the crew didn't know it at the time.

I think it is a good question how it would look if it were real, but most magicians quit right there with the question as if there were no answer, before they come up with real justification for what they do...

"I knew when I was three or four that I was different. I could make things appear and disappear or change colors just with my mind. But I quickly learned that others didn't like that and were scared by it. So I kept it a secret. It only worked with little stuff, anyway. When I first learned that there were others like me, called magicians, I was excited. When I found out they were really just using trickery, I became fascinated. I learned card tricks and got really good at it. I was very proud of my achievement, while considering "real magic" an unimportant little "knack." So I love to perform magic, I only used "real" magic when I got in trouble or lost the break or something...and then I would keep it secret because in my mind, using real magic in a card trick was cheating."

There are thousands of different stories like that out there. Pop Haydn is based on "what if a 19th Century conman and medicine show performer were to suddenly be thrust into the 21st Century?" How would he make a living? What would he consider trickery, and what real magic? Can you imagine the Wizard of Oz doing magic tricks for the Munchkins in order to impress them?

Pop thinks most of his magic is trickery--standard performance magic. But he believes the Teleportation Device, Tesla Coil, and magnetized water are all "science" and "true."

The magic story is the backstory of who you are, why you can do real magic, and why you are here demonstrating magic to these people... [/quote]
I want people to know it. I should have said OVERT levitating, transporting, combusting, transforming, appearing, and disappearing, etc.
I wouldn't deal myself a royal flush, or beat hands by one, or make good cards appear in my hand, or make bad cards disappear from my hand. Or do Further than .or triumph. Or dunbury delusion. Or Daleys, you get the idea.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 13, 2019 06:41PM)
Q: "Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic?"

A: Andrew infused it into my blood cells during a "can every card trick be improved" thread.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Mar 13, 2019 10:37PM)
:) Well, then those are your character choices. My character if he were real would be doing exactly the magic he is doing here in the 21st Century in front of any audience I work for, both close up or stage--linking rings, card tricks, sponge balls--whatever.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 14, 2019 08:35AM)
And wonderful stuff it is Pop.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Mar 16, 2019 06:54AM)
Tally so far:
Can Every Card Trick Ever Devised be Improved?
No- 4
Yes-6
Not Sure/Maybe- 3
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 7, 2019 12:41PM)
"We will assume that the Kings have been segregated from the deck. Use them in a short
but good trick such as Vernon’s Twisting the Aces or Dr. Daley’s Last Trick. May I suggest
you look up either of the original handlings and do it exactly as written up, don’t use any of
the so-called «improved» versions. (He, who says to have improved Vernon or Daley, is like
saying he improved Beethoven or Mozart – he’s either a fool or a liar.)"

- Roberto Giobbi

New tally: no=5
Yes=6
Not sure/maybe=3
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Apr 8, 2019 07:40AM)
Magicfish, I think you asked a great question and unfortunately as it often goes, the points got sidetracked by unnecessary rancor. So I will offer my views and hopefully there will be some nice discussion.

Can Every Card Trick Ever Devised be Improved?

No. That is my answer. I believe there are some card tricks that are perfect just as they are. To alter them weakens them and removes the impact of the original. We went through a phase in magic where every trick seemed to morph into a "packet trick" where things had to turn over (even if it made no sense) or backs had to change color (even if there were no motivation) or cards had to end up in impossible locations (just because).

Tricks can be changed for many reasons. Some tricks are altered because the way it was devised used a difficult sleight unattainable by many. That might make it better for the performer, but rarely better for the audience.
An added surprise is often added to a routine to so-called improve it. The result can be debatable. If the added effect detracts from the original routine, it weakens the entire construction.

Al Schneider was said to be very upset when magicians began producing jumbo coins following his Matrix. Multiple coins, Chinese coins, etc. all have been added to Matrix as "improvements", or variations. Al feels they detract from the beauty and wonder of the original routine.

I'm sure Vernon wasn't keen on the 1001 variations of Twisting The Aces either. You can twist them, change their color and then turn them into a royal flush. Oh, and for good measure cause them to transport magically to your pockets, front, back, side, breast.....heck, cram them into the wallet too while you are at it.

I'll bet some people feel these things are indeed improvements. I tend to fall on the side of keeping things simple, effects clear and not adding so many climaxes onto a trick that at the end the audience cannot even remember what the point was in the first place.

So to sum up, yes, some tricks can be improved upon but certainly not all of them.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 8, 2019 01:48PM)
Thankyou for such a thoughtful, well written post Tortuga. And I'm not just saying that because I agree with you. ;)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 8, 2019 01:49PM)
No 6
Yes 6
Maybe 3
Message: Posted by: ejohn (Apr 8, 2019 02:40PM)
No, not every.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Apr 8, 2019 03:37PM)
Yes, tortuga:
you said: I'll bet some people feel these things are indeed improvements. I tend to fall on the side of keeping things simple, effects clear and not adding so many climaxes onto a trick that at the end the audience cannot even remember what the point was in the first place.

I agree. I tend toward simpler more stunning effects. Where if real magic were to happen they would not see any real difference. I am perhaps a heretic in this sense: I am not convince that a longer routine of average or average plus magic really makes that much difference to spectators. They want to be shocked, and overwhelmed by a miracle. That is why a lot of what I perform as a pro is magic I had to create and test.

But I respect you if whatever you do works for you.
Message: Posted by: jim ferguson (Apr 9, 2019 11:39AM)
Countrymaven,

Are there any examples/clips of these stunning professional miracles you keep telling us all about in your posts ? As a pro, I assume you have a website we can check out ?

Very few rise to the miracle class in their performances. To repeatedly claim your own work is stunning etc is quite extraordinary - and you know what they say about extraordinary claims..



Jim
Message: Posted by: EllisJames52 (Apr 10, 2019 02:00PM)
Countrymaven,
I disagree about “overwhelming” and “shocking” the audience. Why would an audience want to be overwhelmed? Audiences aren’t stupid. The majority of them know that they aren’t seeing “real” magic.

I feel like a lot could be cleared up with a video of a routine or a written example. Perhaps I am struggling to imagine magic that is simple, overwhelming, and of miracle status.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 10, 2019 03:27PM)
No 7
Yes 6
Maybe 3
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Apr 10, 2019 03:45PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
Countrymaven,
I disagree about “overwhelming” and “shocking” the audience. Why would an audience want to be overwhelmed? Audiences aren’t stupid. The majority of them know that they aren’t seeing “real” magic.

I feel like a lot could be cleared up with a video of a routine or a written example. Perhaps I am struggling to imagine magic that is simple, overwhelming, and of miracle status. [/quote]

[youtube]HAOQyfgqZMY[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: scottvraneshfallin (Apr 10, 2019 04:26PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
I feel like a lot could be cleared up with a video of a routine or a written example. Perhaps I am struggling to imagine magic that is simple, overwhelming, and of miracle status. [/quote]

[youtube]HAOQyfgqZMY[/youtube] [/quote]

That would qualify, Pop!
Message: Posted by: EllisJames52 (Apr 10, 2019 05:56PM)
Pop, that’s one of my favorite routines of yours. It’s direct and simple and oh so powerful. (Most of your routines are)
But I wouldn’t say that it’s overwhelming. It’s clear and direct. I could also be misunderstanding what you mean by “overwhelming”
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Apr 10, 2019 06:02PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
Pop, that’s one of my favorite routines of yours. It’s direct and simple and oh so powerful. (Most of your routines are)
But I wouldn’t say that it’s overwhelming. It’s clear and direct. I could also be misunderstanding what you mean by “overwhelming” [/quote]

That is because you cannot be overwhelmed. You can't see the magic from the spectator's point of view. You are looking from the jaundiced view of the magician, not the spectator.

Look at the guy's face. He is overwhelmed. Laughing from total mystification.

When the dilemma is set hard, the experience can be very overwhelming. They don't believe they have witnessed magic, but they haven't got even a clue what it was they did see: There is no such thing as magic/There is no other possible explanation.
Message: Posted by: EllisJames52 (Apr 10, 2019 06:25PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
Pop, that’s one of my favorite routines of yours. It’s direct and simple and oh so powerful. (Most of your routines are)
But I wouldn’t say that it’s overwhelming. It’s clear and direct. I could also be misunderstanding what you mean by “overwhelming” [/quote]

That is because you cannot be overwhelmed. You can't see the magic from the spectator's point of view. You are looking from the jaundiced view of the magician, not the spectator.

Look at the guy's face. He is overwhelmed. Laughing from total mystification.

When the dilemma is set hard, the experience can be very overwhelming. They don't believe they have witnessed magic, but they haven't got even a clue what it was they did see: There is no such thing as magic/There is no other possible explanation. [/quote]

I haven’t thought about it that way. I was thinking about being overwhelmed by too much stimuli, like when a trick gets too confusing or too hard to follow.
Thank you for the explanation, Pop! Do you have tips on learning to see from the spectators POV?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 10, 2019 06:27PM)
Tough to improve on that one.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Apr 10, 2019 07:13PM)
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Apr 10, 2019, EllisJames52 wrote:
Pop, that’s one of my favorite routines of yours. It’s direct and simple and oh so powerful. (Most of your routines are)
But I wouldn’t say that it’s overwhelming. It’s clear and direct. I could also be misunderstanding what you mean by “overwhelming” [/quote]

That is because you cannot be overwhelmed. You can't see the magic from the spectator's point of view. You are looking from the jaundiced view of the magician, not the spectator.

Look at the guy's face. He is overwhelmed. Laughing from total mystification.

When the dilemma is set hard, the experience can be very overwhelming. They don't believe they have witnessed magic, but they haven't got even a clue what it was they did see: There is no such thing as magic/There is no other possible explanation. [/quote]

I haven’t thought about it that way. I was thinking about being overwhelmed by too much stimuli, like when a trick gets too confusing or too hard to follow.
Thank you for the explanation, Pop! Do you have tips on learning to see from the spectators POV? [/quote]

Try telling the story the spectator will be telling later. Look at the trick step by step, what will the spectator be thinking here?

I saw a guy put a coin in a bottle.
No way!
Yes, it was amazing!
Maybe it was a trick bottle?
I drank a beer out of that bottle!
Then it was a trick coin.
I examined the coin.
Maybe he switched coins on you...
Maybe he did. But he threw the coin through the bottom of the bottle. I was holding the other end, so what kind of trick coin can go through the bottom of the bottle?
You got me. Do you think it was real magic?
Of course not! But you tell me, what was it?

It is our job to create this story for them to tell, and give them all the arguments they need to defend their story.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Apr 10, 2019 10:20PM)
I would agree with Whit. His coin in a bottle, by the spectator's reactions, is a miracle. He is not trying to finesse it or do it three times etc. It is a miracle.

I think if you develop original material nowadays, if it registers in the miracle class, it is better, often to keep it to yourself. It is so hard to make a great magic trick pay off, with all the overseas discounters and the magic market as it is.

For example, I do a very simple sponge ball routine, but VERY SHORT. I use a unique device I made. I have shown it to a couple magicians and their jaws dropped. Today during a trip I stopped at Mcdonalds and did it and the spectators were too scared to see more magic. Until I coaxed them. So I think, by the spectators' reactions, this is what I described, something short and direct, and which looks just like real magic.

But obviously, this can also be achieved with something like Master Haydn's great coin in bottle. Again, it is the spectator's reaction to a "miracle" that is what I am looking for.

I am just making the point again, that doing a long pick a card and find it routine, etc, does not mean it is really impressive to spectators. Also, I need to test drive my magic as often as possible. If I have a routine that is too long, I could rarely find someone to test it on, apart from my shows.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 10, 2019 10:27PM)
"...doing a long pick a card and find it routine, etc, does not mean it is really impressive to spectators."
No, but it can be miraculous.
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Apr 11, 2019 12:06PM)
Yes I agree magicfish. Yes, in the right hands. Good point. I have to test most of my effects, and it is hard for me to find people willing to watch a long routine. I guess attention spans have shortened. But in the right hands, yes, almost anything can be magical.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Apr 11, 2019 12:59PM)
[quote]On Apr 11, 2019, countrymaven wrote:
Yes I agree magicfish. Yes, in the right hands. Good point. I have to test most of my effects, and it is hard for me to find people willing to watch a long routine. I guess attention spans have shortened. But in the right hands, yes, almost anything can be magical. [/quote]

The problem is not with the length of the routine, but the ability of the routine to hold the spectator's attention. People will watch long routines if they are constructed so that something interesting is happening on a regular basis. A good long routine is really like a series of short miraculous effects.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 13, 2019 12:08AM)
I agree.

Https://youtu.be/IX9adPALLzA
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Apr 13, 2019 10:19PM)
Yes master Haydn, I agree. But I was trying to say if the magic is not so great, or average in quality, making it longer does not really add a lot to it. But if it is high quality and well presented, yes it is magical.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Apr 13, 2019 11:12PM)
As above.
A prediction matches a selection.
That's it.
And it is a long routine.
And it is a $#@!@$ miracle.
Message: Posted by: FlightRisk (Apr 18, 2019 02:14PM)
My opinion is that not all effects can be improved upon, they are either perfect in their simplicity or in their method, but the PERFORMANCE can be improved. We can have an effect like S&S or coin in a bottle that has been around forever, but then someone creates a better way of generating a response to it with an audience. Sometimes that performance suits our style and we incorporate it with few changes, and other times we make more adjustments to ensure that it fits our character. The most successful performers I have ever seen, do something to "make it their own". Just look how often you see comments here like, "I do Pop's version of 'The Chicago Opener'" ("Chicago Surprise") or "I do Roth's version of 'Coins Across'" (Shell Coins Across). The magicians we will remember generations from now added their little something to an effect that long predated them and yet it becomes as much identified with them as George Burns' cigar.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Apr 19, 2019 07:42AM)
[quote]On Apr 18, 2019, FlightRisk wrote:
My opinion is that not all effects can be improved upon, they are either perfect in their simplicity or in their method, but the PERFORMANCE can be improved. We can have an effect like S&S or coin in a bottle that has been around forever, but then someone creates a better way of generating a response to it with an audience. Sometimes that performance suits our style and we incorporate it with few changes, and other times we make more adjustments to ensure that it fits our character. The most successful performers I have ever seen, do something to "make it their own". Just look how often you see comments here like, "I do Pop's version of 'The Chicago Opener'" ("Chicago Surprise") or "I do Roth's version of 'Coins Across'" (Shell Coins Across). The magicians we will remember generations from now added their little something to an effect that long predated them and yet it becomes as much identified with them as George Burns' cigar. [/quote]

FlightRisk, you make a good point about making an effect your own. We should always strive to do that. Copying can be debated ad nauseam, but personally I think it is bad form to not try to add "something" to an effect in an attempt to personalize it. Even if it is simply presentation. Obviously there are limits and there are routines that really can't be modified much, but when possible, attempts should be made.

Chris Kenner developed his version of Three Fly for a specific reason. He did several versions of Coins Across, but found that in the environment he was performing in that the audience couldn't really see what was happening. So he worked on a version that brought the coins up higher, more toward his face. He had inspiration from Johathan Townsend, but took the work to another level. Look at all of the versions of Three Fly there are now. Folks took the premise and created "backfire" versions, changed coins from silver to copper, etc., etc. I would argue that many of the variants were really not improvements however. Many complicated what was a simple effect, three coins travel invisibly and magically from one hand to the other.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Sep 10, 2019 10:37AM)
[quote]On Apr 19, 2019, Tortuga wrote:

FlightRisk, you make a good point about making an effect your own. We should always strive to do that. Copying can be debated ad nauseam, but personally I think it is bad form to not try to add "something" to an effect in an attempt to personalize it. Even if it is simply presentation. Obviously there are limits and there are routines that really can't be modified much, but when possible, attempts should be made.
/quote]

You make an effect your own with your personality. Why change a line or move in a solid routine? Just to be different? You make it your own by getting inside the routine and understanding it inside out. Figuring out why the lines work and what they are for. When you can do the moves and lines effortlessly and without thinking, they become your own.

In my opinion, most routines shouldn't be monkeyed without a solid reason or need to change.
Message: Posted by: j100taylor (Sep 10, 2019 12:22PM)
Pop Hayden is proof that any classic can be made better.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 10, 2019 06:44PM)
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]There was a guy who started his card routine by demonstrating the entire pack would do whatever he wished. That was the opener. He then improved upon that effect by demonstrating some other things using cards, such as having someone think of a card and making that card appear where [i]they[/i] wished it to be. He improved upon that by having four of a kind appear in whichever packet a volunteer would select. He went on from there. That was around 1860. It's 2019 and folks are still exploring what can be done with card effects.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 10, 2019 07:37PM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]There was a guy who started his card routine by demonstrating the entire pack would do whatever he wished. That was the opener. He then improved upon that effect by demonstrating some other things using cards, such as having someone think of a card and making that card appear where [i]they[/i] wished it to be. He improved upon that by having four of a kind appear in whichever packet a volunteer would select. He went on from there. That was around 1860. It's 2019 and folks are still exploring what can be done with card effects. [/quote]
Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 11, 2019 07:41AM)
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]

Getting this discussion back on track. If this thought has been covered already in this thread I apologize but I don't have time to review all of the pages just now.

One thing that occurred to me is as time has marched on, new and exciting sleights have been originated that have opened the door to new effects. But those same sleights can often be used to go back and perhaps "improve" existing effects.

It wasn't that long ago that the preferred method of controlling a card was the classic pass. Now we have multitudes of methods of doing the same.

Maybe some of those methods "fit" better into existing routines and can enhance the outcome. Either by streamlining the methodology or adding to the impact of the effect.

Thoughts?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 11, 2019 10:48AM)
Great point Tortuga
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 11, 2019 10:49AM)
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP. [/quote]What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 11, 2019 01:07PM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP. [/quote]What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it. [/quote]

Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 11, 2019 06:26PM)
[quote]On Sep 12, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP. [/quote]What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it. [/quote]

Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion. [/quote]
To be fair, the initial question is so broad and open that it could be seen as reasonable to answer "yes - by evolving it into a different effect"...
But if that's off the table (the effect needs to remain the same) then that leaves things such as performance, method etc. which I certainly think can be improved for a given audience for most any effect. And my measurement of how good an effect is I am measuring mostly on audience reaction, weighted a little bit for ease of method.
To be more specific, if I am performing an effect for kids, the "ideal" way to perform and deliver the effect will differ from a room of attentive adults, different again from a noisy drunken bar crowd, different again from a handful of fellow magicians, etc. And it will be different if I am fresh and well practiced, to if I am rusty and tired (in which case an easier method might "improve" the effect).
If I were to say the effect, as succinctly described and performed, cannot be improved, which one am I describing? Context is everything.
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 11, 2019 07:03PM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that? [/quote]I hope so.

Hofzinser started his performance with some spectacular some flourishes. He presented card tricks driven by ideas and mental imagery more than clever manipulation. For example the plot Everywhere and Nowhere is about a card being where a volunteer wishes it to be. He also used a gaffed deck for some flourishes so it appears he was not done exploring what can be done with apparent skill demonstrations. :)
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Sep 11, 2019 07:14PM)
I am certain that the writing in Hamlet can be improved. But who wants to bell that cat?
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 11, 2019 07:56PM)
[quote]On Sep 12, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
I am certain that the writing in Hamlet can be improved. But who wants to bell that cat? [/quote]
Agreed, but the writing is just one part of the play Hamlet. There’s also the directing, the acting, the staging, etc.
Has the “perfect” Hamlet ever been delivered? And isn’t “perfect” context-related in any case?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 11, 2019 07:57PM)
What Andrew said. No trick exists in a vacuum. It's a useless question in both theory and practice.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 11, 2019 09:33PM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
[quote]On Sep 12, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP. [/quote]What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it. [/quote]

Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion. [/quote]
To be fair, the initial question is so broad and open that it could be seen as reasonable to answer "yes - by evolving it into a different effect"...
But if that's off the table (the effect needs to remain the same) then that leaves things such as performance, method etc. which I certainly think can be improved for a given audience for most any effect. And my measurement of how good an effect is I am measuring mostly on audience reaction, weighted a little bit for ease of method.
To be more specific, if I am performing an effect for kids, the "ideal" way to perform and deliver the effect will differ from a room of attentive adults, different again from a noisy drunken bar crowd, different again from a handful of fellow magicians, etc. And it will be different if I am fresh and well practiced, to if I am rusty and tired (in which case an easier method might "improve" the effect).
If I were to say the effect, as succinctly described and performed, cannot be improved, which one am I describing? Context is everything.
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that? [/quote]

You make some good comments but the OP said trick, not effect. They can be different. I'm not splitting hairs for the sake of it, the distinction is important. By trick I believe he was meaning Triumph or Rollover Aces, etc. Those are effects, yes, but so is saying you will cut to four aces. You can then come up with a gazillion ways to do that. I took the intent as a little more narrowly focused. So for example can Triumph be improved? Obviously there are hundreds of variations including color changes, blank cards, two selections, etc., but are they really still Triumph? Or did they morph into effects in a different category?
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 11, 2019 09:59PM)
[quote]On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]
Actually the OP said effect. I was reading his original post (above).
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 11, 2019 10:06PM)
The title says trick. Then within the post it says effect. I took his intent to be confined to a specific trick. Otherwise the sky is the limit and the discussion too unwieldy IMHO. But it is Magicfish's thread, let him weigh in.
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Sep 13, 2019 06:09AM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
What Andrew said. No trick exists in a vacuum. It's a useless question in both theory and practice. [/quote]
I agree. It’s a theoretical question to which the answer is simply “yes”. Why? Because perfection doesn’t exist, therefore in theory every trick is improvable.

Asked this way, the question is a dead end.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 13, 2019 08:24AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Francois Lagrange wrote:

I agree. It’s a theoretical question to which the answer is simply “yes”. Why? Because perfection doesn’t exist, therefore in theory every trick is improvable.

Asked this way, the question is a dead end. [/quote]

Maybe not. If the goal of an trick is to elicit a particular response from a spectator, then there may be a wall. No extra lilt or shift or sigh in presentation would make them believe harder in the magic. They may well be more entertained, or think the magican is funnier or sexier, but the trick itself is not improved.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 13, 2019 09:20AM)
Again, the goal here is to determine if every trick as in every single trick can be improved on. Not made perfect. That was not stated as the question. If we go down the rabbit hole of perfection, what it is, whether it is achievable in actuality or simply in the mind, then we've gone too far. I invoked the word perfect in an earlier post. To paraphrase I said I felt that some tricks are perfect as-is and shouldn't be changed. I didn't mean to indicate that perfection itself was the goal.

Magicfish needs to weigh in since it is his topic but I think what might have spawned his thread is the idea that some tricks are best left alone. There are folks that believe to tinker with some of the classics diminishes their impact. There are a long list of what are considered "classic" tricks or effects, if you will. I won't bother to name them all as it is impossible. In an earlier post I said that Matrix is an example of a classic routine and that the creator, Al Schneider, was reportedly unhappy when all of the "variations" were spawned. He felt the beauty and clarity of the effect were compromised.

So, Magicfish, if you are out there am I close to what you were asking?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 09:40AM)
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 13, 2019 10:06AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic. [/quote]

I'd define Cups & Balls as a routine comprised of tricks.
Changing the order or patter, or adding additions or a kicker to a series does not constitute improving a "trick".
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 13, 2019 10:07AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic. [/quote]

Were all the unwaveringly entertaining routines the same?
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 13, 2019 10:18AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic. [/quote]

I'd define Cups & Balls as a routine comprised of tricks.
Changing the order or patter, or adding additions or a kicker to a series does not constitute improving a "trick". [/quote]

I would further add that saying cups and balls is the equivalent to saying deck of cards or linking rings. The prop is not the effect.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 10:24AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic. [/quote]

Were all the unwaveringly entertaining routines the same? [/quote]

No, and that’s where we return to the tricky Theseus’ Ship quandary that plagues this topic and renders it unproductively circuitous. If I devise a mediocre Cups & Balls routine that utilizes, say, two of Vernon’s phases, am I ruining Vernon’s routine? How much of Vernon’s DNA needs to be in the routine to constitute it being ruined? (No off-color jokes, Burnaby. This is a family forum.)

WHY shouldn’t we tinker with, alter, or strive to improve classic tricks? Even failure is progress.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 10:32AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The Cups & Balls unwaveringly entertained audiences for 5,000 years. Vernon was a true fool to think that he could just come along and improve such a beloved classic. [/quote]

I'd define Cups & Balls as a routine comprised of tricks.
Changing the order or patter, or adding additions or a kicker to a series does not constitute improving a "trick". [/quote]

I would further add that saying cups and balls is the equivalent to saying deck of cards or linking rings. The prop is not the effect. [/quote]

Sure, we can venture back to grad school to discuss the ins and outs of metonymy. But I thought it went without saying that when I refer to the Cups & Balls in this context, I’m referring to the basic methodological structure upon which Bosco, Robert-Houdin, Vernon and dozens of others built their “classic” routines.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 13, 2019 11:15AM)
Do we want to go down the path of "what do you mean by" questions?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 11:20AM)
No. Especially since we already have — to little success:

[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Mar 12, 2019, JBSmith1978 wrote:
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]

Define your terms.

Do you mean improving method, plot, impact, wonder? In general I would say yes. Regarding a specific performer? I would say yes. Both performer and audience is a moving target.

If you want to limit the extent one can improve something by let's say overgeneralizing terms, then no. [/quote]
All terms I suppose J.B., nothing hard and fast here, just an open discussion among magic friends. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 11:22AM)
"Can you be specific?"

"I'd rather not."

:)
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 13, 2019 11:43AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
How much of Vernon’s DNA needs to be in the routine to constitute it being ruined? (No off-color jokes, Burnaby. This is a family forum.)
[/quote]

Killjoy.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 13, 2019 12:23PM)
There are boundaries (sometimes hazy) between tricks and routines. Otherwise every effect can be improved with the levitation and disappearance of a hat.
A stripped-down trick has a maximum impact and wonderment level. To increase awe with kickers is a routine, not a trick. To add flourishes or wit is presentation and personality, not trick-improvement.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 12:29PM)
Exactly. It's a hazy questions with hazy boundaries.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Sep 13, 2019 01:41PM)
Maybe the question should be "Should we try to improve every trick we want to perform."
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 13, 2019 02:01PM)
Dig if you will the picture... on one side we have the original trick, on the other side we have the improved trick, and in the middle we've got a chasm filled with the dead, rotting, maggot-infested corpses of tricks that tried to get from one side to the other.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 13, 2019 03:21PM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Do we want to go down the path of "what do you mean by" questions? [/quote]

Sometimes you have to. Otherwise we talk past one-another. Again, I await Magicfish's confirmation but I believe he meant can all tricks, meaning published tricks, be improved.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 13, 2019 03:30PM)
That is indeed what I meant Tortuga.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 13, 2019 03:45PM)
What makes a trick "good"?

Once everyone agrees on that, then we can have a productive conversation ;)
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 13, 2019 08:07PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
What makes a trick "good"?

Once everyone agrees on that, then we can have a productive conversation ;) [/quote]
Here here.
There seems to be an implication in the question itself (by asking for a yes or no answer) that somehow “how good a trick/effect is” is something objective, rather than subjective.
It’s a little like asking if every recipe can be improved.
In the frame of the chef, it may be that the answer is no for certain recipes of hers, as she has achieved precisely the flavour, texture and other components which she wanted to achieve, and tinkering will only change that.
But for that same recipe, the answer may well be yes in the frame of the consumer. We all have different palates and if I prefer saltier food and my partner prefers less salty food then the recipe may be improved FOR US by increasing/decreasing the salt content.
I firmly believe that magical tastes are equally subjective and while a trick may not be able to be improved in the eyes of its creator and certain audiences, for every trick there is an audience for whom it could be improved IN THEIR EYES.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 13, 2019 08:16PM)
As an example: I performed card through window for a family gathering (not my family). One of the kids watching observed that the trick would have been much cooler if the window had smashed and the card was stuck to a shard of the glass. Personally I disagree for all sorts of reasons which hopefully are obvious to adults here! But I’m not going to say that kid’s opinion was wrong for him. It’s all subjective.
And I don’t think the argument “but that would be a different trick - that’s card to shard of glass” is valid because that would render the original question meaningless. Any improvement implies a change in something, so we can’t argue that any change makes it a different trick, because that renders the question trivial.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 13, 2019 08:37PM)
"It’s a little like asking if every recipe can be improved."

Great question.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 13, 2019 08:59PM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
What makes a trick "good"?

Once everyone agrees on that, then we can have a productive conversation ;) [/quote]

Two thoughts on this. First, even if we agree upon what's good, presumably even a good thing can still be improved upon. Second, good luck convincing those who believe there's no such thing as a bad trick.

[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
It’s a little like asking if every recipe can be improved.
[/quote]

Obviously it's possible to put out a meal or trick that's so satisfying it feels like it couldn't possibly be improved upon, but keep in mind that with magic we are chasing a concept that's more tangible than an excitation of somebody's taste buds.

Start with this: If magic as a performing art disappeared tomorrow, what would we lack? The answer to that question gives us the real meaning behind magic. In the end it's going to be something that revolves around giving people the experience of seeing something completely mysterious and impossible-seeming, something that shouldn't be and yet is. So long as we have our mundane methods, though, we can only approach that ideal asymptotically, getting closer and closer to perfection without being able to attain it. But, we can still get closer and closer. And so long as we can do that, we can improve.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 13, 2019 09:37PM)
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 13, 2019 11:40PM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, magicfish wrote:
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]

She could have turned the tray over and revealed a filet mignon and a single-malt whiskey.
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Sep 14, 2019 02:35AM)
What about choreography... scripting... overall aesthetics... dramatic pauses and magic moments (Mike Skinner)...these all add to a tricks impact and can always be polished or improved.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 14, 2019 04:28AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]
Were the cards dealt face up? If not, that would improve the trick I think. However, if they were dealt face up when you saw it, you may just have a point!
Message: Posted by: Bobby Forbes (Sep 14, 2019 04:33AM)
In that particular trick, if all of the other cards were shown blank, it could have been stronger. Ruling out the possibility of multiple outs. The trick could only have worked with that particular card. There would be no other possible explanation
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 14, 2019 04:42AM)
I don’t quite agree with Bobby (to me, the idea it is a truly ordinary shuffled deck is a better trick) but even that illustrates the point that improvement is subjective and depends on audience as much as anything. I think dealing all the cards out face up and seeing them being a regular deck of 52 would be better (but only because I think 52 multiple outs is pushing it!)
Actually when you described the trick MagicFish, I also immediately suspected multiple outs as part of the method. So I wouldn’t think that the trick couldn’t be improved, if only to remove that as an option.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 07:17AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, magicfish wrote:
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]

To paraphrase Al Baker, magicians stop thinking too soon.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 07:23AM)
Some do. Some don't. Including Al Baker.
Some tricks can be improved. Some can't.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 07:26AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, magicfish wrote:
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]

She could have turned the tray over and revealed a filet mignon and a single-malt whiskey. [/quote]
Lol. Exactly. Old Gene stopped thinking too soon.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:19AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, VernonOnCoins wrote:
What about choreography... scripting... overall aesthetics... dramatic pauses and magic moments (Mike Skinner)...these all add to a tricks impact and can always be polished or improved. [/quote]
Have you met Mr. Burger? Let's just say there was goosebump- inducing choreography, scripting, and you'll probably never experience a more dramatic pause.
But you make excellent points and I agree with you that these are all part of a strong trick.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:50AM)
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:10AM)
Magic is not real. Therefore, all magic methods are, to some degree, a compromise. The shot glass production would be better without the Squash gimmick, which is a compromise.

Unless you can tell my why that's not the case? Why Squash is, in fact, the ideal past, present, and future method?
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 14, 2019 10:00AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
As an example: I performed card through window for a family gathering (not my family). One of the kids watching observed that the trick would have been much cooler if the window had smashed and the card was stuck to a shard of the glass. [/quote]

And for once the Forum was in unanimous agreement: Card on shard is a much cooler trick.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 10:18AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved. [/quote]

Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 14, 2019 10:24AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Bobby Forbes wrote:
In that particular trick, if all of the other cards were shown blank, it could have been stronger. Ruling out the possibility of multiple outs. The trick could only have worked with that particular card. There would be no other possible explanation [/quote]

Not necessarily because having only one card points to a force. Too perfect?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 10:29AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved. [/quote]

Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's. [/quote]
I disagree.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 10:35AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Bobby Forbes wrote:
In that particular trick, if all of the other cards were shown blank, it could have been stronger. Ruling out the possibility of multiple outs. The trick could only have worked with that particular card. There would be no other possible explanation [/quote]

Not necessarily because having only one card points to a force. Too perfect? [/quote]
I agree. Not that blanks are a bad suggestion , but it's a prime example of what this thread is about. It's in our nature to tinker and try to improve. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact I think it is great.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 10:35AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved. [/quote]

Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's. [/quote]
I disagree. [/quote]

Let's hear why.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 14, 2019 12:16PM)
When is a joke or song or painting or a trick complete? Can they and should they be improved?
This is a death match between art and science.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 12:23PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
When is a joke or song or painting or a trick complete? Can they and should they be improved?
This is a death match between art and science. [/quote]

Many of our greatest musical artists and songwriters continue to evolve their songs long after they were first recorded. Especially in live performance.

Way back at the very beginning of the thread, I paraphrased Ascanio: "Magic isn't architecture -- it's gardening."
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 01:31PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved. [/quote]

Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's. [/quote]
I disagree. [/quote]

Let's hear why. [/quote]
Same reason I don't think it would improve the cups and balls if the spec moved the cups around and balls jumped around and turned into lemons.
If that was possible the spec would just walk around producing shot glasses from folded bags.
You wouldnt have to write the magician a che k as he wouldnt need to be there.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 01:49PM)
By that logic, any magic that happens in the spectator's hands would not be strong because it would mean they could do whatever they wanted with that power outside the show. Change one card into another in their hands? Weak, because now they can change coffee cards into credit cards whenever they wanted. Change one spongeball into two? Weak, because now they can change $5 into $10 whenever they wanted.

And yet, we know as magicians that magic that happens in the spectator's hands is amongst the strongest there is.

Try again.

What makes the appearing shotglass trick that I described weaker than Eugene Burger's?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 01:50PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Same reason I don't think it would improve the cups and balls if the spec moved the cups around and balls jumped around and turned into lemons.
If that was possible the spec would just walk around producing shot glasses from folded bags.
You wouldnt have to write the magician a che k as he wouldnt need to be there. [/quote]

Imagine a 19th-century performer balking at the description of a Devano deck's capabilities. After all, the houlette works perfectly fine, and why would you want a card to rise in their own hands? If that were possible, the spectator would just walk around rising cards willy nilly.
Message: Posted by: Francois Lagrange (Sep 14, 2019 02:40PM)
Even if “real magic” existed, there’s no reason to assume that all the tricks would be perfect. After all, we’re only humans and we can’t expect that we would all equally master the art of “real magic”. Some would be good at it, and others awful like in any other field of skill or knowledge. I believe we’ve all heard of the [i]sorcerer's apprentice[/i]. Thinking that if "real magic" existed we would suddenly be endowed with perfect power is a common fallacy.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 03:14PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
By that logic, any magic that happens in the spectator's hands would not be strong because it would mean they could do whatever they wanted with that power outside the show. Change one card into another in their hands? Weak, because now they can change coffee cards into credit cards whenever they wanted. Change one spongeball into two? Weak, because now they can change $5 into $10 whenever they wanted.

And yet, we know as magicians that magic that happens in the spectator's hands is amongst the strongest there is.

Try again.

What makes the appearing shotglass trick that I described weaker than Eugene Burger's? [/quote]
Incorrect.
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 03:35PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Incorrect.
[/quote]

I have a straightforward question for you... When was the last time you performed a trick for somebody, where the magic happened in their hands, and where the spectator was obviously disappointed by the fact that they, rather than the magician, were holding the item?

[quote]
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.
[/quote]

A citation on that one is going to be needed, because it sounds like there's context there which you're omitting. That said, until then, here's a counterpoint: Dai Vernon said that you can close a walk-around performance with Copper/Silver. Why is that? Why that particular trick? If you don't trust Dai, trust Eugene. Have you seen his spongeball routine? Why did he close it that way? Why, when he could have just multiplied the spongeballs in his own hand?

[quote]
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.
[/quote]

We hand spectators mundane things all the time!

[quote]
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers. [/quote]

So Eugene Burger's trick is stronger because if you did the one I described, it would be proof that real, honest-to-goodness magic powers exist, and that somehow makes it weaker.

Setting aside the monumentally bizarre logic in that idea, look again at something like spongeballs or a changing card. Why do magicians consistently try to make this sort of magic happen in the spectator's hands? By your reasoning process, upon experiencing those effects, spectators should come to the conclusion that they now have magic powers, and there should be no further need for magicians. This is not reflected in reality at all.

Again, I have to ask, what in your performing experience has led you to this sort of conclusion?
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 14, 2019 04:53PM)
Guys, once again a topic has jumped the shark. It was stated as a legitimate question, albeit a bit vague for some and now it has morphed into hypothetical bags.

I'll give one last answer to Magicfish who began this journey. I think it was a great question, worthy of pondering and exploring. I understood it as can all published tricks (or effects if you prefer) be improved upon? My answer then as now is no, they cannot. Some should be respected for what they represent if nothing else. There is something noble in paying homage to an author by doing their trick AS WRITTEN.

Some of you may know Harry Monti, past president of S.A.M and a popular performer at the Magic Castle. As a young, aspiring magician I was fortunate to study under his tutelage. Our local I.B.M. Chapter hosted a dinner and show in his honor. Since I was a student I was asked to do a close-up set. Nobody instructed me as to what tricks to do but in my heart there was only one choice. I did a set comprised of tricks Harry had tought me and I did them exactly as taught, which was exactly as written. I did it to honor him.

Harry's wife Recognized exactly what I was doing and she beamed with pride. The set was well-received by all.

So in addition to the fact that some tricks are great just the way they are, others, I believe should be done as designed.

Sometimes variation is good, but other times it weakens the effect. Knowing why is the key. The answer is spread out throughout this thread, amongst the white noise.

Many will see it differently and that's OK. Echo chambers are anathema. But so is arguing for arguments sake.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 05:00PM)
If a trick is intended for performance, than it will never be perfected, because audiences (and performers) change.

So the answer is yes... eventually.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 14, 2019 06:16PM)
Tortuga I don’t think anyone here is arguing for arguing’s sake. We’re all genuinely interested and passionate about this.
It’s perfectly normal to be debating specifics of things like the paper bag trick.
In order to disprove a statement of the type “all x’s have property y” (in this case all tricks/effects have the property that they can be improved” it is simply necessary to identify one x which does not have property y. One trick that cannot be improved. So it’s inevitable you’ll end up talking about the specifics of an individual trick/s which the proponent believes cannot be improved.
I think you’re quite right that in your situation, the tricks you performed could not be improved in that context.
All I’m arguing is that there are SOME situations/contexts in which those very same tricks COULD be improved.
If the question is “given a fixed performer/audience/environment, are there tricks which could not be improved?” Then I would agree the answer could be yes.
But even then, we are changing all the time as performers, so that’s not a very helpful question.
I’m passionate to keep debating this because at the heart is a deeper question “should we be striving to always improve our magic?” and the answer to that one is a resounding “Yes” in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 07:01PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
Tortuga I don’t think anyone here is arguing for arguing’s sake. We’re all genuinely interested and passionate about this.
It’s perfectly normal to be debating specifics of things like the paper bag trick.
In order to disprove a statement of the type “all x’s have property y” (in this case all tricks/effects have the property that they can be improved” it is simply necessary to identify one x which does not have property y. One trick that cannot be improved. So it’s inevitable you’ll end up talking about the specifics of an individual trick/s which the proponent believes cannot be improved.
I think you’re quite right that in your situation, the tricks you performed could not be improved in that context.
All I’m arguing is that there are SOME situations/contexts in which those very same tricks COULD be improved.
If the question is “given a fixed performer/audience/environment, are there tricks which could not be improved?” Then I would agree the answer could be yes.
But even then, we are changing all the time as performers, so that’s not a very helpful question.
I’m passionate to keep debating this because at the heart is a deeper question “should we be striving to always improve our magic?” and the answer to that one is a resounding “Yes” in my opinion. [/quote]
Should we always be striving to improve our magic? Of course. Can many tricks be improved? Of course. Can every single trick be made better? I say no.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 07:11PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Incorrect.
[/quote]

I have a straightforward question for you... When was the last time you performed a trick for somebody, where the magic happened in their hands, and where the spectator was obviously disappointed by the fact that they, rather than the magician, were holding the item?

[quote]
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.
[/quote]

A citation on that one is going to be needed, because it sounds like there's context there which you're omitting. That said, until then, here's a counterpoint: Dai Vernon said that you can close a walk-around performance with Copper/Silver. Why is that? Why that particular trick? If you don't trust Dai, trust Eugene. Have you seen his spongeball routine? Why did he close it that way? Why, when he could have just multiplied the spongeballs in his own hand?

[quote]
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.
[/quote]

We hand spectators mundane things all the time!

[quote]
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers. [/quote]

So Eugene Burger's trick is stronger because if you did the one I described, it would be proof that real, honest-to-goodness magic powers exist, and that somehow makes it weaker.

Setting aside the monumentally bizarre logic in that idea, look again at something like spongeballs or a changing card. Why do magicians consistently try to make this sort of magic happen in the spectator's hands? By your reasoning process, upon experiencing those effects, spectators should come to the conclusion that they now have magic powers, and there should be no further need for magicians. This is not reflected in reality at all.

Again, I have to ask, what in your performing experience has led you to this sort of conclusion? [/quote]
I don't know how to respond to points individually like you did above but I'll try to without the copy and pasting.

I trust both Dai and Eugene. The inherent quality of the sponge allows for great conviction. Spec thinks a ball is in her hand- feels it. Opens hand and there are 17.
Awesome. See Roth's Fugitive Coin for another great example of conviction in line with Ortiz' essays.

Nobody here said magic in the spectators hands isn't strong.

I would always rather the billiard balls multiply in Cardini's hands than in mine.
I would rather Slydini put the coins through the table.

A card changing in the spectators hand is indeed strong provided she is convinced of its original identity.
If her conviction is weak, "in her hands" is ineffective of course.

Are you familiar with Ortiz' Do as I Did?

P.s. Handing someone a mundane object is fine.
Handing them a flattened bag and flying to nunavut and they open it themselves and find a shot glass doesn't do much for me.
Crappy opener too.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 07:37PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Are you familiar with Ortiz' Do as I Did?
[/quote]

I'll answer your question when you answer mine: When, in your performing experience, did you come across a spectator who was disappointed that the magic happened in their hands rather than the magician's?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 07:55PM)
I try not to do magic that takes place in the spectator's hands.
I mentioned an exception above.
Your turn.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:09PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
I try not to do magic that takes place in the spectator's hands.
[/quote]

Out of the times that you HAVE performed magic that takes place in the spectator's hands, when have you sensed their disappointment that it happened in their hands rather than in the magician's?

It's really not a difficult question.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:14PM)
No it isn't. Not sure why you're being smart alecky about it either.
My answer shouldnt be difficult for you to comprehend either but since you're getting snarky I'll repeat it.
I don't do magic in the spectators hands.
On the few occasions that I do, I cant imagine any spectator ever pulling a magician aside and saying,"that was great but ai wouldve preferred it in your hands."
It just wouldnt happen.
Your question is silly.
Mine however is quite simple.
I'll wait for your answer.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:32PM)
[quote]
I don't do magic in the spectators hands.
[/quote]

Ok. At least now it's easier to see where you're coming from, and why you might think the modified shotglass-in-bag trick would be weaker.

You're missing out, though. There's a whole world of magic out there that you're cutting yourself off from.

Do As I Did? Yes, the trick where the spectator takes the deck into their own hands, cuts it as many times as they like under the table, makes a choice of card that they'd like to insert reversed into the center, and all while the magician doesn't touch anything.

It's a good trick. One can only wonder why.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:33PM)
Can you improve it?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:37PM)
P.s. there are certain tricks I do in the spectators hands. I mentioned fugitive coin already, there are a couple more, but I generally try to keep the magic in my hands.
For good reason.
Missing out? Not in my opinion.
And Ortiz' Do as I Did is not an example of magic happening in the spectators hands if that was what you implied with, "one can only wonder why"
Magic happening in their hands is much different than having them shuffle, cut, etc.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:38PM)
I'd like to stay on improvements or lack thereof. Magic in their hands might be great for another thread.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:38PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can you improve it? [/quote]

There are features that could be added to the trick to improve it, yes.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:41PM)
I would like to hear them if you're game.
I feel it cannot be improved upon.
But I understand if youd like to keep your ideas to yourself.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:43PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Magic happening in their hands is much different than having them shuffle, cut, etc. [/quote]

When the effect is one of coincidence then yeah, the fact that those things happen in their hands has a direct relationship with the power of the effect.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 08:44PM)
The lack of one's ability to improve a trick does not mean that trick cannot be improved.

If that were the case, Matrix wouldn't exist.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:45PM)
Mind you, whose hands the magic occurs in has a valid place here as it could mean an improvement, or as in some cases a detriment.
Would Johnny Ace Palmers FISM routine be better if he handed the cups to the spek and she made the chicks appear? Or they appear in her purse?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:45PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The lack of one's ability to improve a trick does not mean that trick cannot be improved.

If that were the case, Matrix wouldn't exist. [/quote]
Nobody here mentioned that they personally couldn't improve it.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:47PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Magic happening in their hands is much different than having them shuffle, cut, etc. [/quote]

When the effect is one of coincidence then yeah, the fact that those things happen in their hands has a direct relationship with the power of the effect. [/quote]
Correct, but the magic doesn't occur in their hands. (Sponge bunnies, copper silver, bent penny etc.)
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:51PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
But I understand if youd like to keep your ideas to yourself. [/quote]

Here's two possibilities:

1) The spectator pulls out their own cards and shuffles them, before going under the table. The cards are still shown to match.

2) The magician has his deck out on the table before the trick starts. When it comes time to reveal the card he reversed, the spectator removes those cards from the box, spreads to the reversed card themselves, and then compares the two.

Furthermore, we could compare it to the original ID. The addition of a second deck has the strength that nobody sees the spectator's reversed card until after the magician places theirs on the table. But, it would be improved if the magician placed their reversed card onto the table, the spectator just named a random card, and the two matched.

And, of course, there's the question of whether or not we should be using cards in the first place for an effect of coincidence, but we can leave that for another discussion.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 08:56PM)
Again you're bringing things to the table that don't exist in reality. Your logic isn't based on logic.
Ok, I can improve twisting the aces by handing a spectator 4 face down aces and every time they count them a different ace is face up.
Just one problem.
As your partner said earlier, magic isn't real.
So let's try to maintain some practicality here.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 08:59PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Again you're bringing things to the table that don't exist in reality.[/quote]

Except Juan Tamariz has done exactly that.

I could tell you how, but honestly, if you haven't liked any of the other ideas in this thread, you wouldn't like this one either, which is too bad, because it is diabolical.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:01PM)
No. He hasn't.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 09:07PM)
Uh... no magicfish, I'm sorry, but he's done what I described.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 14, 2019 09:09PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can you improve it? [/quote]
Lol
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:12PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The lack of one's ability to improve a trick does not mean that trick cannot be improved.

If that were the case, Matrix wouldn't exist. [/quote]
Nobody here mentioned that they personally couldn't improve it. [/quote]

Oh, I thought that's why you brought up Eugene's trick and said, "I can't think of a way to improve it."

Just a non sequitur, I guess? :)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:13PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Uh... no magicfish, I'm sorry, but he's done what I described. [/quote]
You didn't describe anything except a couple of ideas to make Darwin Ortiz' trick better.
Admirable and interesting, but not improvements in my opinion.
Are you saying that Tamsriz has improved the Ortiz trick?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:14PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
The lack of one's ability to improve a trick does not mean that trick cannot be improved.

If that were the case, Matrix wouldn't exist. [/quote]
Nobody here mentioned that they personally couldn't improve it. [/quote]

Oh, I thought that's why you brought up Eugene's trick and said, "I can't think of a way to improve it."

Just a non sequitur, I guess? :) [/quote]
I think some tricks cannot be improved.
Not just by me.
I thought I made that clear from the beginning.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:20PM)
Magicians tend to obsessively latch on to and adere to phrases and concepts unnecessarily like: He stopped thinking too soon or, the magic is always stronger in the spectators' hands. I find it cyclical. Cant wait for the next flawed frenzy.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:23PM)
So what's the point of asking Burnaby if HE can improve a trick? In a discussion like this, one assumes it's a rhetorical point. If it's not, then... Well, I guess we're back to the non sequitur possibility.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:24PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Magicians tend to obsessively latch on to and adere to phrases and concepts unnecessarily like: He stopped thinking too soon or, the magic is always stronger in the spectators' hands. I find it cyclical. Cant wait for the next flawed frenzy. [/quote]

Agreed. I find it silly that magicians see such obvious notions as pearls of wisdom.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:25PM)
Because he is of the opinion that it can be improved. I asked how.
Simple. The suggestions don't have to be his.
I thought the trick would be a good one to present opposing positions. No big deal.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:27PM)
Great! Just as long as we're clear that a failure to answer that question isn't a failure of the argument.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:28PM)
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 14, 2019 09:29PM)
Night fellas. Back tomorrow.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 09:30PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Uh... no magicfish, I'm sorry, but he's done what I described. [/quote]
You didn't describe anything except a couple of ideas to make Darwin Ortiz' trick better.
Admirable and interesting, but not improvements in my opinion.
Are you saying that Tamsriz has improved the Ortiz trick? [/quote]

I described two approaches that would improve Ortiz's trick, and then I described a third approach which eliminated the need for a second deck altogether, where the magician simply puts his card face down first before the spectator names whatever card they like, and they match. Tamariz has done the third.

I think I can see what the issue here is... when people offer you possible features to add to a trick, your mind jumps to the methodological compromises that would have to be made to actually pull the trick off, and that causes you to dismiss the features as improvements. Am I correct there?
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:32PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon [/quote]

You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands. A rather obvious case of the Too Perfect Theory.

You also left out the part where Bannon basically says, "Nevertheless, I still perform it that way..." :)
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 14, 2019 09:36PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands.[/quote]

Ah well, there you go. Daley's Last Trick, while pretty good, is definitely a candidate for further improvement. Thank goodness for Fechter.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:37PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands.[/quote]

Ah well, there you go. Daley's Last Trick, while pretty good, is definitely a candidate for further improvement. Thank goodness for Fechter. [/quote]

Fechter? I hardly knew her.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Pupkin (Sep 14, 2019 09:38PM)
And yes, I agree. Fechter fixed that basic dynamic.

We have fun here, folks.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 15, 2019 03:12AM)
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, magicfish wrote:
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]
@magicfish, Great that you got to enjoy some time with Eugene Burger. And also great that you were affected by that item.

Did Eugene Burger share his thoughts about developing that item. If it's in print let's call it by name, okay? (citation please - that way I can get his perspective before making comment about his item)

There's a feedback loop of design, rehearse, perform, get feedback and repeat in the improvement process. I don't know where you are in that process with that item since you gave it as an example. Do your performances of that item get the same response as Eugene's performance did?

Go with phenomena, noumena, or [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBPnRh9U8ZE]Mah Nà Mah Nà[/url]?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 08:18AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Uh... no magicfish, I'm sorry, but he's done what I described. [/quote]
You didn't describe anything except a couple of ideas to make Darwin Ortiz' trick better.
Admirable and interesting, but not improvements in my opinion.
Are you saying that Tamsriz has improved the Ortiz trick? [/quote]

I described two approaches that would improve Ortiz's trick, and then I described a third approach which eliminated the need for a second deck altogether, where the magician simply puts his card face down first before the spectator names whatever card they like, and they match. Tamariz has done the third.

I think I can see what the issue here is... when people offer you possible features to add to a trick, your mind jumps to the methodological compromises that would have to be made to actually pull the trick off, and that causes you to dismiss the features as improvements. Am I correct there? [/quote]
Good morning. That sounds more like Bannons AK-47 than Ortiz' Do as I Did. No?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 08:21AM)
[quote]On Sep 15, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Sep 13, 2019, magicfish wrote:
In 1997 I sat with Eugene Burger in New York.
He had a lady deal shuffled cards onto a tray I was holding and I was to say stop whenever I liked. She dealt, I said stop. 6 of spades.
The cards were taken away and I was told to turn over the tray. The entire bottom of the tray was one giant 6 of spades.
I was shattered to the core.
23 years later I still haven't figured out a way to improve it.
Some tricks just cant be improved. [/quote]
@magicfish, Great that you got to enjoy some time with Eugene Burger. And also great that you were affected by that item.

Did Eugene Burger share his thoughts about developing that item. If it's in print let's call it by name, okay? (citation please - that way I can get his perspective before making comment about his item)

There's a feedback loop of design, rehearse, perform, get feedback and repeat in the improvement process. I don't know where you are in that process with that item since you gave it as an example. Do your performances of that item get the same response as Eugene's performance did?

Go with phenomena, noumena, or [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBPnRh9U8ZE]Mah Nà Mah Nà[/url]? [/quote]
I don't perform it.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 08:21AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands.[/quote]

Ah well, there you go. Daley's Last Trick, while pretty good, is definitely a candidate for further improvement. Thank goodness for Fechter. [/quote]
Fechter? What about him?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 09:05AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon [/quote]

You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands. A rather obvious case of the Too Perfect Theory.

You also left out the part where Bannon basically says, "Nevertheless, I still perform it that way..." :) [/quote]

"He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands."
- precisely.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 10:18AM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon [/quote]

You're leaving out the context. He's referring to performing Daley's Last Trick in a spectator's hands. A rather obvious case of the Too Perfect Theory.

You also left out the part where Bannon basically says, "Nevertheless, I still perform it that way..." :) [/quote]
So you agree with me that not every trick is better in the spectators hands.
I'm pleasantly surprised.
Just gonna prep dinner guys. Standby.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 12:44PM)
Ok the roast is in. Prime Rib Sunday baby!
I feel that in art there are some things that cannot be improved. This is purely subjective of course.
The Mona Lisa
St. Paul's Cathedral
The Taj Mahal
People seem ok with this. It doesn't anger them.
In music,
Imagine- Lennon
Yesterday- McCartney
Spring- Vivaldi.
People seem ok with this.

I wouldn't dream of tinkering with them or trying to improve them .

In magic,
Lance Burton's FISM routine
Slydini's coins thru table
Neilsons Floating Violin

Now it gets shaky, but generally, most agree.

But dare say that a piece of card magic can attain this same status and all of a sudden it's:
Just cause you cant do it doesn't mean it cant be.
He stopped thinking too soon, and
We have to improve everything etc.

Funny how in an art we revere and devote our lives to we cant find one item that should just be left alone and adored for what it is.

Commence lambasting.
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 15, 2019 01:16PM)
Lambasting? I thought it was prime rib? Personally I like an end cut so I cag get the salty taste, but the tradeoff is the meat is generally a warmer temperature than I like. But life is full of concessions.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 15, 2019 02:21PM)
If you're performing a work as taught to you and you feel it's fine as is - then great for you. All the better to have some initial exposure to the item as ideal goal for your performances. Your feelings about a work don't require validation from others. Others may respect your choices as regards a work though their own sensibilities direct them toward their own objectives as regards the work.

Is Eugene Burger's dealing cards onto a tray and revelation in print? I'm holding out comment on that item till I know its status. (citation?)

If you like Norm Neilson's violin routine go tell him. That's part of the feedback process for living artists. If they have published you have some options about using aspects of the routine as they suit your purposes.

Leonardo was a fine painter and the Mona Lisa is a fine example of a portrait. Do other painters use that shading technique to enhance faces in their portraits?
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 03:56PM)
I don't quite understand what you're saying Jon.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 15, 2019 04:18PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon [/quote]
Looking at Dear Mr Fantasy - page 69, there's some work on both the patter and audience management. Good for him. Sure, he could continue exploring and perhaps try Hamman's Acey Ducey or using two volunteers but it's his exploration - does he still do the trick that way or has he improved it into something else?

If our appreciation of a trick is at best affirmed, though likely diminished, by performance (i.e. the phenomenon of feedback changes the noumena of the trick we feel when we think about the trick) then ...is that why folks talk about tricks they don't do? :)
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 04:26PM)
I'll try to respond to each point as best I can. Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting:

"If you're performing a work as taught to you and you feel it's fine as is - then great for you. All the better to have some initial exposure to the item as ideal goal for your performances. Your feelings about a work don't require validation from others. Others may respect your choices as regards a work though their own sensibilities direct them toward their own objectives as regards the work."
- I'm not performing a work as taught to me.
And I don't think works that cant be improved are 'fine as the area's I think they are brilliant, sometimes genius.

"Is Eugene Burger's dealing cards onto a tray and revelation in print? I'm holding out comment on that item till I know its status. (citation?) "
-Dont know. Never asked.

"If you like Norm Neilson's violin routine go tell him. That's part of the feedback process for living artists. If they have published you have some options about using aspects of the routine as they suit your purposes."
-Why must I tell him? His routine is legendary. Trust me he has received plenty of feedback without needing to hear from me.
I never mentioned anything about borrowing aspects of a published work. It has little to do with this topic.

"Leonardo was a fine painter and the Mona Lisa is a fine example of a portrait. Do other painters use that shading technique to enhance faces in their portraits?"
-Not sure. What difference does it make.
Borrowing techniques has nothing to do with it. The point is, the Mona Lisa is what it is. You could repaint it with her eating a cheeseburger, or smelling a rose, or laughing histerrically, or riding a horse, it would never, couldnever be an improvement.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 05:06PM)
[quote]On Sep 15, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Even though she was still fooled by the trick, that remark 
ought to scare the daylights out 
of any thinking magician. It did me. 
It also made me reconsider the conventional bromide that you 
should strive to do magic in the spectators' hands. Tain't 
necessarily so..." 
John Bannon [/quote]
Looking at Dear Mr Fantasy - page 69, there's some work on both the patter and audience management. Good for him. Sure, he could continue exploring and perhaps try Hamman's Acey Ducey or using two volunteers but it's his exploration - does he still do the trick that way or has he improved it into something else?

If our appreciation of a trick is at best affirmed, though likely diminished, by performance (i.e. the phenomenon of feedback changes the noumena of the trick we feel when we think about the trick) then ...is that why folks talk about tricks they don't do? :) [/quote]

"If our appreciation of a trick is at best affirmed, though likely diminished, by performance"

-I think our appreciation of a trick is at best affirmed by watching it.
We talk about tricks we don't do more than tricks we do.
Do you think every person who ever saw Blackstones floating lightbulb talked about it because they performed it?
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 15, 2019 05:19PM)
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
[quote]On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Magicians tend to obsessively latch on to and adere to phrases and concepts unnecessarily like: He stopped thinking too soon or, the magic is always stronger in the spectators' hands. I find it cyclical. Cant wait for the next flawed frenzy. [/quote]

Agreed. I find it silly that magicians see such obvious notions as pearls of wisdom. [/quote]

I disagree. I think you are taking it a bit too far. Those statements were made by great magicians and are true in many situations. They should not be seen as absolutes or laws to be rigidly adhered to. There are a lot of bromides in magic and somebody had to say it first, or become associated with it. Vernon's "be natural" for example. It is generally true but then there are magicians that display decidedly unnatural skill through cardistry moves yet they still fool and entertain.

Magicfish was absolutely correct to say magicians should not OBSESSIVELY latch on to those concepts.

But we shouldn't dismiss the wisdom of those who went before us.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 15, 2019 06:47PM)
So is this about the quantifier [i]any[/i]?

In the item you described with the tray - recall Tommy Wonder's Wildcard routine and his approach to repeat performances. Hmmm? :D
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 15, 2019 07:06PM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"Leonardo was a fine painter and the Mona Lisa is a fine example of a portrait. Do other painters use that shading technique to enhance faces in their portraits?"
-Not sure. What difference does it make.
Borrowing techniques has nothing to do with it. The point is, the Mona Lisa is what it is. You could repaint it with her eating a cheeseburger, or smelling a rose, or laughing histerrically, or riding a horse, it would never, could never be an improvement. [/quote]
I guess that's where you and I differ wildly in our opinions.
Much (and if anyone has seen the painting itself in the Louvre, they may well be thinking all) of the Mona Lisa's perceived perfection comes from centuries of people being told how perfect it is. I swear, if you know NOTHING of the painting at all, and had never seen nor heard of it, then it would not stand out to you as anything other than a fine portrait.
Was Leonardo even satisfied that it was perfect? We can never know that for sure. We do know that he continually modified, painted over and retouched his work so perhaps even he might look at it and see how he may have improved it.

I'm not going off tangent here - I think that perhaps some of our belief that a trick cannot be improved might lie in us being taught that way, to respect the mastery of the greats and the brilliance of certain tricks. If we were to see the tricks cold without any of their history or provenance known to us, would we be so blown away? I'll use your tray trick as an example. If I watched that, I'd would enjoy it, but I would immediately be thinking "oh ok so either the card was time-forced or there were multiple outs". It would be a clever presentation but not a "trick that couldn't be improved", in my view. Perfection and improvement are of necessity subjective.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 07:40PM)
"We do know that he continually modified, painted over and retouched his work so perhaps even he might look at it and see how he may have improved it."
As many if not all artists do before they put out s finished product.
It's the finished product that I feel cant be improved- not the various earlier morphs as part of the artist's creative process.
Message: Posted by: Mr Salk (Sep 15, 2019 08:06PM)
Duchamp and Dali made significant improvements to the Mona Lisa. The original isn't the least bit humorous.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 15, 2019 08:19PM)
[quote]On Sep 15, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
Duchamp and Dali made significant improvements to the Mona Lisa. The original isn't the least bit humorous. [/quote]
Why would it be?

Improvement is subjective as many here have stated- I agree. But ten thousand people could ponder how to improve the ceiling of th the Sistine Chapel and they wouldnt be wrong in their own minds, but they would be wrong.
Some things shouldnt be "improved".
I think most people would agree with this.
But magicians are a funny lot.

Take Michael Ammar's performance of Roll Over Aces on the Tonight Show. Complete with security guards and a stop watch. It was a masterpiece. Improve it? Not a chance.
Just my opinion of course.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 15, 2019 09:00PM)
From Vernon Courtesy of David Ben: [quote]The late Dr. Elliott was thoroly [sic] versed in the secrets of the professional gambler, and by their judicious use was able to non
plus and completely bewilder the even well-schooled magicians of his time. Furthermore, he realized the vital importance of making all sleights and move under cover of perfectly natural movements. He had absolutely no use for any fanciful or exaggerated gestures of any kind. “Be Natural,” was his favorite slogan. No one but Dr. Elliott’s closest friends can conceive the years of practice he put in on single trifling little moves to bring them to perfection. All the time he was practicing another was doing likewise. His name is Arthur Finley, and today I haven’t a doubt but he is the rightful successor to Dr. Elliott.[/quote] Have a good night folks.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 16, 2019 04:03AM)
Good Morning Jon. A great passage and one I have read many times.
Could you tell us how it pertains to this topic?
Message: Posted by: Tortuga (Sep 16, 2019 08:59AM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Good Morning Jon. A great passage and one I have read many times.
Could you tell us how it pertains to this topic? [/quote]

Perhaps because I used the Vernon "Be natural" quote in a previous post?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 16, 2019 09:25AM)
[quote]On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on? [/quote]Good morning,

As best I recall from asking those who make things... craftsman will say a work is done for its purpose while artists working toward some aesthetic produce many attempts (or studies) and rather than claim perfection, just move on to some other exploration as directed by their muses. Look at Josef Albers work. He kind of had the entire square/color thing done in [url=https://www.wright20.com/auctions/2017/10/art-design/116]1950[/url] with that painting done on a board... but oh those colors. And his Aquarium! (1939 woodblock) you can see how that evolved from a line doodle and and a discovery.

So far getting [i]any[/i] card trick into some form which reads as natural for me requires some, if not extensive tailoring, improvements. Researching routines to go back to earliest sources and tracking forward to present day for useful options ... usually surprising where the tricks go. I wanted a two card transposition which uses a bluff call before the card change. The choreography I was using led to Ken Krenzel suggesting a "do as I do" presentation. Is that work perfect or finished... I don't know but it's a good trick. Thank you Ken Krenzel for helping me and Harry Lorayne for getting it into print before it got around and lost clear provenance.

If you read elsewhere on the Café you can find my exploration of the Elmsley Count into three candidates for practical use. Sadly I missed presenting Alex Elmsley himself that cute note between generations "Yo Alex" - but there's a lesson. I better get a thank you note to Roy Walton for his mid-count change (used in Elmsley's Four Card Trick and Vernon's Twisting). So between base technique, magical effect, presentation frame, apparent actions, prop managment ... five degrees of freedom and no clear "perfect" items yet.

If I wanted to produce a portrait, would I morph Leonardo's work to reflect my subject?... Not likely. So whatever Leonardo's portrait was to him - to me it's an artifact and reminder of what artists can do - a level bar. Same for most of the "classic" or "perfect" art examples you might cite.

Is that trick with the tray and dealing cards in print? It reads as a nice update on the "spin bottle to wind up at selection" item from Ponsin's book. And the idea of doing it standing so folks deal cards onto a tray ... wonderful. The logistical problem is carrying one or more trays. I'm thinking the practical choice will be down to finding a tray with a slot to insert a jumbo card versus having a few trays as in the Nemo 1500 wallets.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 16, 2019 10:44AM)
I'm not sure whether it's in print or not.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 16, 2019 10:54AM)
A couple of members alluded to a Fechter item earlier in the thread. Apparently an Improvement to Daleys Last Trick. At first I thought they were referring to Be Honest, What is it?
But that couldn't be.
Anyone know which item they may've been referring to.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 16, 2019 11:29AM)
How do you come to an opinion that "Be Honest, What is it" is not the item?

* :) Looks like today's news has a find in Shakespeare scholarship. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/16/when-milton-met-shakespeare-poets-notes-on-bard-appear-to-have-been-found
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 16, 2019 10:28PM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
How do you come to an opinion that "Be Honest, What is it" is not the item?

* :) Looks like today's news has a find in Shakespeare scholarship. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/16/when-milton-met-shakespeare-poets-notes-on-bard-appear-to-have-been-found [/quote]
Because it is not a version of Daley's Last Trick. It is Fechter's excellent Be Honest, What is it? Great trick.
Message: Posted by: AndrewI (Sep 17, 2019 04:13AM)
[quote]On Sep 16, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Take Michael Ammar's performance of Roll Over Aces on the Tonight Show. Complete with security guards and a stop watch. It was a masterpiece. Improve it? Not a chance.
Just my opinion of course. [/quote]
In the post just above this quoted one, you said that people who thought the Sistine chapel ceiling could be improved would not be wrong in their own minds, but they would be wrong.
Meanwhile in this post quoted, you accept that your view that Ammar’s performance could not be improved is just your opinion. Is it possible that, by your own logic, you may not be wrong in your own mind, but you may be wrong?
Or perhaps your first post should have read “... they would not be wrong in their own minds, but they would be wrong IN MINE.” Which is a different matter entirely, and one with which I agree.
Message: Posted by: magicfish (Sep 17, 2019 05:44AM)
Good point Andrewl, and thankyou for pointing it out. I agree, they would be wrong in my mind.