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Topic: Presentation over effect?
Message: Posted by: pciccaglione (Aug 30, 2019 08:38PM)
I feel like this may start a debate of sorts but I need to ask; in your opinion, is the presentation more important than the effect itself and if so why?
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Aug 30, 2019 09:06PM)
A trick in itself is only a puzzle. Presentation can give it entertainment value.
Message: Posted by: kShepher (Aug 30, 2019 09:21PM)
You are parsing the inparsable.
Practice in parts...present as a whole.
A living entity. An organic existence.

K
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Aug 30, 2019 10:40PM)
What exactly do you mean when you say "effect"?

Because it's common in the magic world to make the terms "trick" and "effect" interchangeable. They are not.

The effect is what the audience experiences. The trick is a specific expression of a plot.

So really, the question doesn't make any sense. The presentation is what creates the effect - the two are inseparable.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Aug 31, 2019 04:50AM)
I agree with Witchy, but to add that many other factors enter into "effect" than "trick" and "presentation."
Since "effect" is what an observer perceives to be happening (or later remembers), it is problematic to reduce the term to a limited meaning.

Yet, in fairness, methinks the OP understands the "more than trick" idea. Could have said "trick" but did not, that term confused over "What came in the box"
and the secret behind the astonishment potential. All magicians seem sloppy in their use of such terms and it must confuse novices.

Our esteemed Dick Oslund would have "effect" only be what the audience sees, while I would allow that what the performer constructs for rehearsal also works --
the blending of prop handling, sleights, moves, stratagems, verbal script, lighting, character, etc. in imagined and mental role play.

Another problem is in reviewing a performance afterwards. How do we measure the success of the "effect?" By applause or re-bookings?
By comparison with the "planned effect" and apparent reaction? Is stunned silence better than applause? I am not sure --
but would suggest that "presentation" is not complete until some after-show reflection is undertaken. I always consider "affect" too.

I hope some of that may help the OP with any unanswered question like, "Where do I best place time and effort when starting out."

There are many skills to develop beyond gimmick manipulation, slights and routining. Most can be learned away from the practice room or Internet such as voice control.
"Presentation skills" can not be found in one box and a trick in another to be mushed together for a YouTune egofest.

So, I encourage pciccaglione to ask such deeper questions, but to be more clear on what need and intent over creating a multiple choice exam.
Message: Posted by: Laughing (Aug 31, 2019 12:07PM)
I think, perhaps controversially that in some instances the "effect" is enough if it is powerful enough. Imagine standing in a kitchen at a party talking to a magician, he, the magician, says, excuse me, disappears before your eyes.

Does this need presentation?

On a more, level playing field, there is a trick that uses 4 aces 3 of which are DF, And the effect is the 3 aces disappear and appear on the 4th ace. I do this from time to time and it always garners gasps, regardless of the presentation. It can be done in slence.
Message: Posted by: Kong (Aug 31, 2019 02:32PM)
As a born again beginner who'se spent little over a year studying and practicing card sleights purely for the technical challenge, I've only recently begun to think about and appreciate the importance of presentation. The moves, however simple or difficult, smooth and polished, are only part of the picture.

I've not started showing many people any tricks yet, and no-one even knows I've been practicing for the last year or so but this afternoon my brother and his wife came over to visit. They live at the other side of the country and we only see each other a few times a year so it's always good to see them.

Anyway, she noticed my deck of cards on the fireplace and asked if I play cards. Seeing my opportunity, I went for it with an improvised trick. "Sometimes, but not with these cards, they're a bit special...". I broke the cards out of the box and spread them loosely between my hands, roughly 2-3ft away from her. "They look ordinary...". I closed up the deck, turned it over and spread them again, this time face down. "...but if you touch the back of one, any one, with your finger..." I gestured the deck to her to touch a card as I spread through them slowly. "...it will do something really strange..."

At this point, to my surprise, they were both really intrigued and she eagerly touched a card. The next part is the nuts and bolts of the trick and I was really hoping that the completely improvised but surprisingly effective intro would help carry things through, and it did.

After showing them their card, and then pausing for some patter about the strangeness of this deck, I controlled it to the top (CP - my most practiced move), emphasised that the card was chosen from "anywhere in the middle of the deck", and with a DL I showed that of course the "top card" was random. Then some improv theatre...

"You're probably wondering what's so strange about this deck of cards. Put your hand flat on the deck and say the name of your card..."

"Now turn the top card over again".

Sister in law:
"WHAT THE ^&*£%^*???!!!"


A simple trick but somehow I managed to swing it quite hard and it went much better than I expected.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 31, 2019 11:47PM)
Wunnerful wunnerful!
`
What you DID, and, what you SAID, WAS THE P R E S E N T R A T I O N !!!

PRESENTATION: keep it SIMPLE and make it FUN! (KIS MIF)!!!

As I'm sure, you've noted, by now,the presentation for my "cards to pocket" is SIMPLE & FUN! (THAT IS THE REAL "SECRET" OF MAKING MAGIC E N T E R T A I N I N G!

Dr, A.M. Wilson, editor/publisher of the long defunct "SPHINX' magazine, had a "statement" on the 'op/ed" page of his magazine:

"Magic is an art that sometimes instructs, often amuses, but always entertains".

When I was 13, I believed that. As I aged and saw various magicians present their show, I realized that the good doctor, was W R O N G. One of the reasons that I realized that, was that I had read TARBELL, FITZKEE, MASKELYNNE & DEVANT (et al).
Message: Posted by: Kong (Sep 1, 2019 06:36AM)
Thanks, Dick.

My "mirror practice self" would have just performed the moves and shown the card on top but adding some context through patter - just enough, not too much (KIS) - made it more fun (MIF) and really added to the weight of the effect.

Of course it helps to know your audience and I already knew that my SIL is fairly superstitious and that the concept of a "strange and mysterious" deck of cards would appeal to her, so that's the direction I took the improv presentation.

(Thanks for the references too, Dick. I'll be looking those up.)
Message: Posted by: pciccaglione (Sep 1, 2019 11:57AM)
Can anyone recommend some reading on presentation?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 1, 2019 12:23PM)
Ken Weber is just republishing, this month, his book, "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT", with much added material. I give it my highest recommendation. It's still $40.00. Most dealers, if they have any business sense, will have it,

Also, watch for a used copy of Dariel Fitzkee's "Showmanship For Magicians", first published in 1945.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Sep 1, 2019 01:09PM)
Even David Cooperfield has good days and bad days. The difference from an audience POV is some days he cares about his presentation and other days he is just going through the motions.

Clearly, the presentation matters. However, without the magic effect, you are just an entertainer.

While researching magic, I have learned you do not need a 10k dollar apparatus to perform magic. You do not even need sleight of hand. You need to understand the mind of the audience. That's where magic happens.

A "new" magic trick will amaze people and will drop their mouth to the floor. The air quotes only mean new to the spectator. The magic coloring book is "new" to 4 year olds. Most lay persons do not know many magic tricks, and definitely do not know how its done. You can be very entertianing showing old tricks with a solid character and a strong presentation. You can even win awards.

If you can create a brand new method for an effect that is what separates you from the average magician. That can also earn you awards. In fact, if you have a new method, other magicians will happily create a routine for you. This new method can be sold as your trick.

So to answer your question, it depends. Are you a magic inventor or an entertainer? Are you trying to fool layperson or magicians?

One of the key components I am trying to teach my kids is presentation when something goes wrong. Yesterday, I had a magician give everyone in the audience 3 cards. Everyone ripped them in half, and put one half of a card in their pocket. After mixing the remainder cards, and trading cards with the person next to them, the cards were eliminated until one half card was left. If you followed l the directions, the half card matched the one in your pocket. It worked for most people in the audience. But there was a few it didn't. The magician, stated, friends if your neighbor didn't get the matching card, do yourself a favor and be a designated driver. It was a nice touch and a nice save. People need to practice what if cases too!
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Sep 4, 2019 08:12AM)
Which is more important, your heart or your lungs?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 4, 2019 08:30AM)
Hee hee Is this a course for doctors or magicians?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 9, 2019 08:18AM)
Jay Marshall and I were discussing, years ago, how to add a new trick to your repertoire. After an hour or so, we condensed our mutual thoughts like this:

1. Learn how the trick is DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3, Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS people.

Dr. A.M. Wilson, editor of the, long ago, "SPHINX" magazine, once wrote: "Magic is an art that sometimes instructs, often amuses, but always entertains." As a teenager, I believed that! After a lifetime of seeing magicians perform, I have realized that the good Dr. was WRONG.

Making the performance entertaining, depends on your PRESENTATION". (How you "sell" it to the audience!)

The EFFECT is simply, what the spectator perceives.

As Chris noted, PRESENTATION AND EFFECT ARE INSEPARABLE! (It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW you do it!)

i would suggest that you ignore Laughing's comment! He probably means well, but, IMO, he doesn't know what he is talking about!
Message: Posted by: Jonmaddgician (Sep 11, 2019 03:12AM)
Firstly, semantics.
I believe that the OP is asking about method vs effect, or technique vs presentation, or "what you're doing" vs "how you're doing it".

I do a little magic workshop for kids between 8 to 80, & I explain how to perform magic with 3 basic ingredients:

1) Sleight of hand (or method, or how to, etc). This is the easy part. Any book, DVD, digital download, YouTube reveal, other random pub "magician" you might meet. The technique of how a trick works mechanically, whether self working, or whether some sneaky moves are required.

2) Misdirection. There is no shortcut to this. The more you perform, the more you'll learn, the better you'll get. Hard to understand in theory, needs application, reflection, & revision to improve.

3) Bull$h*t, or the "Abracadabra" moment, where precisely nothing happens. This is the patter, this is the story you tell, this is how you work your personal character into the delivery of said trick. This is the part that should make you unique, this is the part where you might start off with standard lines, but hopefully with experience & experimentation come up with your own lines, this is the thinking part, or the playing part of performance.

Personally, I love simple magic because if I don't have to focus on what my hands are doing, & covering my angles, & if I'm flashing, if any spectators are burning my hands, etc. If I don't have to pay to much attention on all those factors, then all (or at least most) of my attention is on engaging the audience. The more I have to concentrate on what tricky sleights I'm gonna execute, the less focus I have on my spectator(s). If magic is an experience for the viewer, then my job is to draw them in, spin my web of deception or humour or nostalgia or mystery or whatever storyline suits the effect.

Sure the moves are important, & the bigger your arsenal, the bigger your vocabulary;
but it's how you string them together that turn words into poetry, that make sleights become magic.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 11, 2019 03:34AM)
IMO, magic "is" 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% sensory illusion, 5% esoteric science principles, and 85% PRESENTATION.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 11, 2019 07:20AM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
IMO, magic "is" 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% sensory illusion, 5% esoteric science principles, and 85% PRESENTATION. [/quote]


using the now popular "110%" effort standard, we can add:

5% finding an audience in a cell-phone free zone,

5% reducing one's vocabulary to PC language and words of few syllables
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 13, 2019 05:12PM)
[quote]On Sep 1, 2019, TomB wrote:
Even David Cooperfield has good days and bad days. The difference from an audience POV is some days he cares about his presentation and other days he is just going through the motions.

Clearly, the presentation matters. However, without the magic effect, you are just an entertainer.

While researching magic, I have learned you do not need a 10k dollar apparatus to perform magic. You do not even need sleight of hand. You need to understand the mind of the audience. That's where magic happens.

A "new" magic trick will amaze people and will drop their mouth to the floor. The air quotes only mean new to the spectator. The magic coloring book is "new" to 4 year olds. Most lay persons do not know many magic tricks, and definitely do not know how its done. You can be very entertianing showing old tricks with a solid character and a strong presentation. You can even win awards.

If you can create a brand new method for an effect that is what separates you from the average magician. That can also earn you awards. In fact, if you have a new method, other magicians will happily create a routine for you. This new method can be sold as your trick.

So to answer your question, it depends. Are you a magic inventor or an entertainer? Are you trying to fool layperson or magicians?

One of the key components I am trying to teach my kids is presentation when something goes wrong. Yesterday, I had a magician give everyone in the audience 3 cards. Everyone ripped them in half, and put one half of a card in their pocket. After mixing the remainder cards, and trading cards with the person next to them, the cards were eliminated until one half card was left. If you followed l the directions, the half card matched the one in your pocket. It worked for most people in the audience. But there was a few it didn't. The magician, stated, friends if your neighbor didn't get the matching card, do yourself a favor and be a designated driver. It was a nice touch and a nice save. People need to practice what if cases too! [/quote]

The EFFECT (what the audience perceives) DEPENDS on the PRESENTATION!!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 13, 2019 05:21PM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
IMO, magic "is" 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% sensory illusion, 5% esoteric science principles, and 85% PRESENTATION. [/quote]


using the now popular "110%" effort standard, we can add:

5% finding an audience in a cell-phone free zone,

5% reducing one's vocabulary to PC language and words of few syllables [/quote]

Obviously. I exaggerated the %age about PRESENTATION to emphasize the importance of PRESENTATION.
.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 13, 2019 05:58PM)
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Sep 11, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
IMO, magic "is" 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% sensory illusion, 5% esoteric science principles, and 85% PRESENTATION. [/quote]


using the now popular "110%" effort standard, we can add:

5% finding an audience in a cell-phone free zone,

5% reducing one's vocabulary to PC language and words of few syllables [/quote]

Obviously. I exaggerated the %age about PRESENTATION to emphasize the importance of PRESENTATION.
.
Message: Posted by: mentaldiego (Sep 20, 2019 02:30PM)
In my opinion the presentation and especially in mentalism that is the magic that I do is 90% of the trick
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 22, 2019 06:02AM)
Sorry Diego, your sentence makes no sense.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 22, 2019 08:28AM)
I think he might be saying that the desire to have the audience appreciate the magic is the key to a good presentation --
at least I hope so ;)
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Sep 22, 2019 08:40AM)
[quote]On Sep 22, 2019, Dick Oslund wrote:
Sorry Diego, your sentence makes no sense. [/quote]

I believe this is one of those situations where it helps if you add the necessary punctuation. I've narrowed it down to two possibilities...

1) In my opinion, the presentation (and especially in mentalism -- that is the magic that I do) is 90% of the trick.

2) In; my opinion the! ! ! presentation and especially in?; men...talism that is the( :magic that I do is. 90% of? the? trick?

(Just between you and me, I think it's the second one.)
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Sep 22, 2019 08:48AM)
Mentaldiego is from Spain with English not being his native tongue. So I believe what is being shared, is that it is 90% of presentation, especially in the chosen field of mentalism.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 22, 2019 07:59PM)
Thanks guys!

I wrote that too early in the AM! I guess I wasn't quite awake!

I'm a language man, and, I know that languages, and ways of expressing thoughts, meaning of idioms, etc. can be confusing, especially when two languages are involved.

"Youse guys", I think, have collectively translated Diego's thoughts into "Americanese"!

So, Diego, I apologize for judging you too quickly!
Message: Posted by: mentaldiego (Sep 23, 2019 07:12AM)
[quote]On Sep 22, 2019, Wravyn wrote:
Mentaldiego is from Spain with English not being his native tongue. So I believe what is being shared, is that it is 90% of presentation, especially in the chosen field of mentalism. [/quote]

That's what I meant!!!

, sorry if I bothered any of you

no problem Dick Oslund!!

Diego
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Sep 23, 2019 07:32AM)
No bother, Diego!

We are here because we like to be helpful!!!
Message: Posted by: Wravyn (Sep 23, 2019 03:02PM)
Diego, it was no bother. Your English is better than my Spanish!
I agree with you that presentation is what is needed.
Without a good presentation, we only display puzzles and bring confusion to our audiences. Neither a puzzle or confusion is magic (or mentalism) and are not entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Sep 24, 2019 04:12AM)
Pciccaglione

I have always had a major interest in the presentation side of magic as apposed to the more mechanical fascinations and move monkey mastery that others pursue. After a while you start to fall into the subgenres of magic that most appeal to you and I have found myself deep diving into the philosophy, theory and craft side of magic.

Personally, in many physical respects much of what can be done has been done, as I've said previously many times in the past it is a very difficult thing in magic to invent something 100% original without any influence of something else. With our history reportedly going back as far as 2700 BC in ancient Egypt its safe to say that our forebears have invented just about everything there is to invent in the full sense of the word.

All we have done in the subsequent decades has been refining, adding, modifying and substituting things in varying lengths and degrees.

The presentation frontier however I find there is still plenty of unexplored potential and diversity, and that is where I place my focus.

I derive joy from taking coal and polishing them into diamonds. Many magicians view magic from simply a performance art perspective where they choose the cream of the crop according to their personal taste but on the other hand reject the plentiful array of strange and convoluted and sometimes totally illogical procedures that are characteristic of other tricks.

But for those who indulge in the skills required in the craft side of magic, taking these ugly ducklings and trying to smooth out or justify their imperfections so they regain some element of logical sense is just as rewarding as an impeccably performed magic act. I personally believe it's the craft side of magic that is the beating heart of the evolutionary process of magic as we move forward into the future.

One of the many tools in polishing these tricks into diamonds is presentation.

I believe that presentations for magic need to be congruent with not only you as a person and the style of performer you are but also to the trick you're performing. Anything less than that is like trying on clothing that isn't your size. I won't go into detail on performing persona because in my experience this evolves naturally over time with each personality gravitating to one thing or another which develops you into the performer you eventually come to be.

On the trick front however I take a pragmatic approach by looking and analysing every aspect of the trick. I did this some time ago for a magician in the café looking for ideas for two tricks he hoped to perform so I gave a presentation that I came up with for one of them as well as the process I did to come up with it. If your interested you can see the results here: https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=614998&forum=106

Currently I'm working on ideas of creating logical and congruent presentations for the ten and twenty countdown force that draws attention away from the mathematic aspects of the force and refocus the attention on the theatrical as well as injecting logic into what would otherwise be an illogical procedure. Of course I could easily choose another force that doesn't have any of these problems to begin with, but what's the fun in that?

I have written extensively on my thoughts on presentation in a how-to guide I wrote many years ago that if your interested might be worth your time.

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=133685&forum=41

Anyway, I hope that gives you at least my brief thoughts on the subject.

Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: mentaldiego (Sep 24, 2019 02:29PM)
Thank you my friends Wravyn and Dick Oslund


I promise to improve my English!!!!😁😁