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Topic: On undercover magic with case studies
Message: Posted by: Prahlad (May 1, 2021 12:30PM)
In Strong Magic Darwin Ortiz discusses the merits of performing magic undercover. He reasons that anything we can do as magicians is going to be less incredible than what an audience might imagine. One of the examples he cites to illustrate this is Max Maven's presentation of Glorpy as a spirit writing effect. He suggests that the spirit writing effect would be less impressive if someone came up with a method which that doesn't require cover for this reason.

I thought that it might it might be helpful to test the veracity of this concept by analysing a trick where the magician has come up with a method that doesn't require cover. The following tricks are such examples.

https://youtu.be/OPtEFoagU98

https://youtu.be/fO7WJMUPdBE

I'm interested in what your thoughts are on the topic.

Please note that I don't intend this discussion to become about how close to the surface (wink wink) the method is in these videos, nor whether the audience attributes sleights or gimmicks as the cause. Ortiz goes over some of this in the chapter on visual magic in Designing Miracles.

What I'm interested in is what stimulates the audience's imagination better both in this case and in general. I think that this analysis might be a fruitful exercise. (Ortiz himself suggests a combination is the most effective in general.)
Message: Posted by: tommy (May 1, 2021 04:32PM)
The no cover version looked gimmicked to me.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 5, 2021 10:33AM)
Fussy looking transitions into get-ready and post-effect diminish the magical effect. For example handling solid silver coins as if they are volatile chemicals or sand paintings...

Isolated by a box, a cover, closed hand reads differently than open transformations when it comes to "the magician did it".

Even on TV, when using editing - they also used a sound effect and the character made a gesture - be that a nose wiggle or a blink.
Message: Posted by: landmark (May 7, 2021 12:18PM)
Too strong when the visible version is performed by itself.

It gains meaning only after the covered version--"yeah, but what are you hiding?"

Otherwise, especially on TV--"they used some kind of camera trick." ("Jimmy and the audience were in on it," etc.)