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Topic: The Finger Snap
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Oct 19, 2020 07:33AM)
I'm not sure why, but when I see a magician snap their finger to "make the magic happen", I get a cheezy feeling in my bones. What feels even worse is when a magician snaps their fingers once, then uses an "alakazam" the next time. I feel like this is ok for children's shows, but not adults.

I suppose if a person really had magical powers, if you could really use your mind to alter reality, would it take a finger snap to make it all happen? And, if so, then every time you did something magical, I guess you would need to snap your finger.

what do you think?
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 19, 2020 08:10AM)
There is an advantage to having some signal as to the "moment of magic" in controlling anticipation, surprise, or the completion of rhythm, etc.
That is, it is an essential part of misdirection and creating an expectation that magic is about to occur.

But, I agree that consistency is better than a random collection of actions. If you use a wand in one effect, you should use it in all.

It you tap a cup to produce a ring in one sequence, it is silly not to use the ring to signal that magic moment in others.

Personally, I never introduce the idea that the sound (snap, ring word) causes the magic to happen, only that it signals when it has occurred.

As to having real magic powers (magical mean sorta like magic), those that I am believed to have are fractious and therefor cannot be signaled or cued as to occurance.
We all "alter reality" with our minds - that is what perception means, and if one had a strange power that others considered to be actual and controllable it would be a reality for that person and observers.

Thus, one cannot have a magic power as it would be science for them. Others might think it to be magic based on their perception of what is impossible,
so the question is why the person doing the act would wish to draw attention to it with a word or action? Would not the impossible event be enough?

Of course, if I did something magic like cause clouds to gather for needed rain, I might want to give warning so that folks would be prepared and find a lost umbrella.
So, my snapping my fingers would be an alert to focus attention and would not be a cause for the rain - just like when I pretend at magic.

Mostly, magic just happens around me without any signal or warning, and my making a sound just means I get blamed.
Wizard work best invisibly and allow other to take credit, or so say those wizards of my acquintance.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 19, 2020 11:28AM)
Yes, finger snapping is bit naff: lacking in style.
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Oct 19, 2020 07:08PM)
Funsway, That was very enlightening. Maybe it's just my style, maybe it's having seen a ton of magicians, that the more I see some things, the more they annoy me. For example, when someone picks "any card" from a face down deck and the performer says: "Are you sure?" I know some performers who do that every single time. I can appreciate if there is a reason to say something like: "Do you want this one or that one" when it's close, but not "Are you sure?" or "Do you want to change your mind... or are you happy with the mind you have?".

Back to the finger snapping and "magic phrases" for adults, I guess working magical gestures or signals into the patter is more my style. I think I also f

ind in many cases it's just not necessary. For example, I like to do "Ringnature" by Ed Ellis. A rubberband is wrapped around the deck, and the way I do it, their card comes flying out of the deck with a rubber band and ring attached to it. It really doesn't need any finger snap.

I like your thought on signaling the time. I also like to make a wind "whistling" sound.

KJ
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Oct 19, 2020 07:11PM)
Yes Tommy, I agree that for me, it does seem naff. I'm sure others can pull it off well, just not me.
KJ
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 19, 2020 07:56PM)
Unless of course, one is Duke Ellington

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p040mgk7


:cool:
Message: Posted by: 1KJ (Oct 20, 2020 08:53PM)
Yeah, The Duke definitely can pull off the snap. Ol' blue eyes too.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 22, 2020 08:14AM)
Https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/4/28/the-least-you-can-do?rq=finger%20snap
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 23, 2020 10:01PM)
If you're cool keeping time - good for you.
Snaps have other meanings elsewhere. What are you depicting? Here's a bad guess:
"And when I snap my fingers the hypnotic suggestion will evaporate and you will see that the card has really been sitting on top of the pack"
Message: Posted by: tommy (Oct 24, 2020 04:46AM)
I am thinking of commissioning a statue of myself snapping my fingers and then going standing in my own shadow.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Oct 26, 2020 06:02PM)
Will you transform into the Two of Hearts?
Message: Posted by: KungFuMagic (Dec 21, 2020 01:30PM)
[quote]On Oct 19, 2020, 1KJ wrote:
For example, when someone picks "any card" from a face down deck and the performer says: "Are you sure?" I know some performers who do that every single time. I can appreciate if there is a reason to say something like: "Do you want this one or that one" when it's close, but not "Are you sure?" or "Do you want to change your mind... or are you happy with the mind you have?".

KJ [/quote]

There can be a useful reason to offer the choice of change ... to "close the door" on a force, to reinforce the free choice element. That said, there are certainly graceful, smooth means of weaving that into the routine that I have seen used, that aren't as blunt as "Are you really sure?"
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 23, 2020 12:01AM)
I agree that it is overused and a hack device... until it isn’t. I will admit that I have only used it once in all of my years in a routine I developed at Hollywood Magic and still open my parlor and stand up shows with. I simply want the audience to know that something happened of my own intention and to think in disbelief that it could be what they expect is going to happen in defiance of their knowledge that it is impossible. After I snap my fingers, I have regularly heard the audience say, “No... no way” while their expectations formulate what just happened. I slow down the pace just drawing out that moment to tease them then their reaction on the reveal pays off the initial climax before I close with the actual finish. That moment... that hackneyed snap serves a very special purpose in this very specific routine. For the life of me I can’t think of any other time I would use it but for every rule, there is an exception and I’m sticking with this.

This is just a scratch recording I made to document it to show some friends. I can only say that at the Castle and every other place I’ve done it... it plays.

https://youtu.be/TmiI2ahXs0k

Feel free to lambaste it, call me an idiot... but I’m sticking with it after 40 years. It can be my albatross.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 23, 2020 04:32AM)
That was wonderful Ray.

Merry Christmas! :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 23, 2020 06:31AM)
Rya, I really appreciate the way that this effect can work as an opener -- a prelude for event to come for those not yer paying attention or unsure
of what performance magic is about. The snap works in contrast to the jumbled questions and answers churning in the observer's mind.
"Will magic just happen - just like that?" or "Is magic all around if I just pay attention?"

A good magic routine is an orchestration of experiences. Thanks for this.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Dec 23, 2020 09:40PM)
What's wrong with the snap? The finger snap makes a noise, movement, and directs to a single location using only [b]TWO[/b] fingers on one hand, leaving the other fingers and hand available for... whatever. It's perfect!
I get it: You've seen magicians snapping their fingers repeatedly, hell magicians tend to do and say a lot of things that are seen ad nauseam between other magicians ONLY. Not viewers, and they matter.

I've heard magicians complain about behaviors, moves, and effects ad nauseam, to the point I'd hate magic entirely if I wasn't so in love with it.
Good magic should be able to survive the guy who hates the finger snap.

The reals question is: What is happening that a finger snap is even considered in the effect? I am imagining now the spectators walking away saying: Yeah, it was good.... but he snapped" Like an old Seinfeld show.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 24, 2020 04:14PM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2020, funsway wrote:
Rya, I really appreciate the way that this effect can work as an opener -- a prelude for event to come for those not yer paying attention or unsure
of what performance magic is about. The snap works in contrast to the jumbled questions and answers churning in the observer's mind.
"Will magic just happen - just like that?" or "Is magic all around if I just pay attention?"

A good magic routine is an orchestration of experiences. Thanks for this. [/quote]

Thank you for understanding the context of this effect. It is absolutely a part of the show but plays as sort of a prelude or preshow. I wanted something that would sneak into the magic before thy were expecting anything to happen. It plays in an unusually disarming fashion and with any luck, lowers their expectations so they have no awareness that I’m actually doing nothing. It came into being when I was at Hollywood Magic. People would come into the shop with the usual declaration “Show me a trick!” I could have the deck in my hands and explain that I just had to “warm up first” then I could show them something good. Again, lowering expectations to increase the effect.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Thank you all for being a constant inspiration!!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 26, 2020 12:59PM)
It seems to me there are negative and positive forces at work here. :)
Message: Posted by: Seluj (Dec 29, 2020 06:29AM)
[quote]On Oct 22, 2020, landmark wrote:
Https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/4/28/the-least-you-can-do?rq=finger%20snap [/quote]

Definitly a good source for a reflexion about the "magician" gestures and their meaning. Other posts as "The Pulp Fringe-Imp" and "Cause and Effect" developp the same idea.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2020 09:53AM)
I do it, and then show it is meaningless.

I actually say "you know the snapping has nothing to do with all that right?"

In reality I guess it is about style of presentation and mine does not fit that in.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Jan 2, 2021 06:05PM)
Michael Ammar said at one point in explaining one of his tricks, "you do the magic", in reference to almost any kind of gesture (he even passes a shadow of his hand over the cards in one trick) that leads to something magical about to happen. It's the magician's choice I guess (if your snap is weak, do something different), but IMHO your special gesture (which might be a snap) adds a little bit of drama and misdirection of looking at the hand instead of cards. Lynn
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 7, 2021 10:41AM)
Https://www.thejerx.com/blog/2017/5/18/the-pulp-fringe-imp
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jan 8, 2021 05:17AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2021, lynnef wrote:
Michael Ammar said at one point in explaining one of his tricks, "you do the magic", in reference to almost any kind of gesture (he even passes a shadow of his hand over the cards in one trick) that leads to something magical about to happen.[/quote]

Wow, waving your hand is even less effort than snapping your finger, this Michael Ammar guy must be a real hack, Right, Tommy?

Again, my philosophy is... pontificate less, perform more. The audience will teach you more in a week of performing then you will learn in a year of philosophizing.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 8, 2021 02:38PM)
If he waved a hand, perhaps, Ray, but certainly if he waved a hoof.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jan 8, 2021 03:15PM)
Years ago I had a spectator provide the action to "make it happen." More than half chose a span or fingers or clap of hands.
About a third wanted to say a word and often asked for an ancient one to try.
Others waved their hand or pointed a finger.

This process allows for a lot of anticipation and misdirection, plus essential audience engagement.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 8, 2021 03:45PM)
[quote]On Jan 8, 2021, Ray Pierce wrote:
[quote]On Jan 2, 2021, lynnef wrote:
Michael Ammar said at one point in explaining one of his tricks, "you do the magic", in reference to almost any kind of gesture (he even passes a shadow of his hand over the cards in one trick) that leads to something magical about to happen.[/quote]

Wow, waving your hand is even less effort than snapping your finger, this Michael Ammar guy must be a real hack, Right, Tommy?

Again, my philosophy is... pontificate less, perform more. The audience will teach you more in a week of performing then you will learn in a year of philosophizing. [/quote]

I would argue your figures are a bit off.

I think you can learn more in a week performing than you can in a "lifetime" of philosophizing. (Especially on the internet.) (Although I would substitute the word "bloviating" for "philosophizing".)

All in all we agree totally!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 8, 2021 09:35PM)
You might learn you need to go home and study in a week performing.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 8, 2021 09:47PM)
Usually in the first week you learn a LOT needs to be back on the drawing board. I have had shows produced that just did not click the way I had imagined they would on paper or in the rehearsal studio. I have had things I have had to change not a line, but a WORD in a line! Heck once I just changed the pause and it played.

Not things you can learn online bloviating sorry to tell you. At some point just the same way any great chef must cook at least one edible meal, magic needs to be performed.

I was told early that "we learn our craft from each other, we learn our art from our audience". Can't learn art by bloviating.