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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Fellow Magicians - Know Any 'Simple' Tricks That Create a 'Big Impact'??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tim Sutton
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Heresy! How could that be? After all, the standing ovations, the high impact desired by almost every magician out there can be generated by having just the right effect, right?

You don't really need a performer at all. It's the next generation of self-working card trick.
spatlind
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Point agreed that tricks don't entertain. Entertainers do. Some better than others. That being said, some tricks I believe, are better than others.

You asked if we can tighten up on the definition of phenomena. Possibly but isn't a phenomenon only recognised as such in the eyes of the beholder? To some a phenomenon, to others an occurrence?

In the same vein, can we tighten up on the definition of a "performance"? We say a surgeon "performs" operations. In fact we can "perform" any task. Taking this, it just means "doing". If I had real powers, I would just "do" things, not "perform" them.

Now, eliciting responses. You walk into a pub and stand at the bar to order a drink. The guy next to you is showing a card trick to his mate. He's not aware you are watching, but you basically get what happens. His mate picks a card, returns it to the deck. The guy sets the deck on the bar and a moment later spreads the deck to show a card reversed in the centre. From the reaction of his mate, you can tell it's his card. You think to yourself, "Hey, that was kinda cool". Subdued, but a response all the same. He was performing, but not to you. Your response is simply a reaction to the events as you see them.

In another scenario, you go to the bar to order a drink. While there, you notice a guy sitting at the bar reading a book. As you look, a strange thing happens. His cigarette box on the bar opens by itself. A cigarette slowly comes out of the box and then floats through the air and into his mouth. He then raises his thumb to the cigarette and with a flame that appers from the end of his thumb, lights his cigarette. He takes a deep draw on the smoke, exhales slowly, turns the page of his book and goes back to reading. You think to yourself. " ". Blank. You can't think. No thoughts actually form in your brain. You take your drink and go back to your table to try to convey to your friends what you saw, except now you have a thought, which is "they'll never believe me".

Again your reaction is to the events you witnessed. However I believe the second event/trick would elicit a stronger reaction. Therefore "better".
Sorry, rambling I know
Scott
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I believe in God, only I spell it Nature - Frank Lloyd Wright.
Top Hat
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Spatlind! Spat-lindus! Spat-u-like! Ho ho.

How delightful to see you here after all these years! Trust you are still "treading the boards", as they say! Roberta sends her love.

One point I'd like to make is that sometimes tricks themselves can be entertaining, even if the performer isn't very entertaining.

Personally, I like "Open Prediction".


Quote:
On 2008-08-13 04:26, Tim Sutton wrote:
You don't really need a performer at all. It's the next generation of self-working card trick.

Many a true word...
TH Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
BarryFernelius
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On 2008-08-13 12:08, spatlind wrote:
Point agreed that tricks don't entertain. Entertainers do. Some better than others. That being said, some tricks I believe, are better than others.

I agree that some tricks are better than others. I'll even go further. It's not very hard to come up with a list of good tricks, and almost anyone can afford to buy enough very good tricks to last a lifetime. But many magicians invest too much energy in searching for that next great trick.

I remember seeing Bob Sheets perform Cube A Libre (aka Bewildering Blocks) at a magic convention a few years ago. Bob's performance had the kind of manic energy that brought down the house.

After witnessing this performance, what do you suppose happened? Did the magicians appreciate Bob's finely honed performance skills? Did they vow to work on their presentational skills? Nope. A bunch of guys went out and bought Cube A Libre.

As Eugene Burger says, "It's never the trick; it's always what you do with it."
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
Joemv
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"Lazy Man's Card Trick," by Harry Lorayne in his book Close Up-Card Magic. Great trick, spectator does all the work.

Joe
snipes
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Amazing how easily people can ruin a thread, who cares if it's the trick or performer that creates the strength of the effect? They both compliment eachother
chefmagic
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chefmagic
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Mark Masons 13 is another good one.
Mike

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Sword of the Soldier
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On 2008-08-13 18:49, snipes wrote:
Amazing how easily people can ruin a thread, who cares if it's the trick or performer that creates the strength of the effect? They both compliment eachother


I agree with Snipes. At the heart of it all we are entertainers and with that being said it means who we are and the material we utilize both contribute to the strength of our overall actions.

For example we have all seen comedians who present a joke terribly but yet illicit laughter because the joke itself was funny. On the opposite side we have seen comedians tell a bad joke but their face, and/or gestures and/or personality illicit laughter as well. HOWEVER it is the great comedians that combine the joke and personality to bring about the killer laughter. In my mind their is not difference when applied to magicians and our craft. You need two.

In Gansons book on Vernon he makes a point that Vernon performed no trick utilizing instructions by someone else... but rather created a formula that worked for him- and when he taught a trick he pushed that the performer tailor it to them and they would enjoy the same success he had. This is exactly my point. A trick with a set of instructions may work well with an audience and poor presentation. And a trick that isn't so great may work well with a skilled performer. However to be SUCCESSFUL (which was one of the key words in Gansons text if you ask me) you must tailor the trick to you.

Vernon also makes the point that some tricks do not work for some people, which in my mind suggests that their is a relativity to tricks that create big impact. I don't know....

I am still young, and the number of time I have performed hits no where near the number of times some of you have performed. It is no doubt you know more than I.

However I feel that theirs truth on both sides, and like many things its a hybrid that can lead to the best result.
Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-13 14:42, Top Hat wrote:
One point I'd like to make is that sometimes tricks themselves can be entertaining, even if the performer isn't very entertaining.


That is incorrect.

Tricks do not have the power to entertain.
Performers have the power to entertain.

Take a look at the entire thread and see the discussion.

Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-13 18:49, snipes wrote:
Amazing how easily people can ruin a thread, who cares if it's the trick or performer that creates the strength of the effect?


My, what a rude and ignorant comment.

First, we're having a discussion. If you don't like the subject, don't participate.
Secondly, some of the people who care (or have cared) if it's the trick or performer include:

Dai Vernon
Mike Skinner
Whit Haydn
Larry Jennings
Charlie Miller
Aaron Fisher
Harry Riser
Darwin Ortiz
Mike Close
Alan Ackerman
Bruce Cervon
Tommy Wonder
Paul Harris
Jean Hugard
Bert Allerton
Stephen Minch
Juan Tamariz
Bill Malone
John Bannon
John Carney
Slydini

and the list goes on and on.

All of these people have had something to say on the subject you apparently care nothing about. Golly-- when I decide which things are important in my study of magic, who should I listen to: people like them or people like you?

Steven Youell
Picard
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On 2008-08-12 21:19, Steven Youell wrote:
I'm betting he would get the same response.

The reason I say that is that the "strong material" Ben listed isn't enough to make up for a guy that sucks.

And if he is any good at all, then he'd be smart enough to let his personality and presentation make up for the weaknesses of the other effects.

Ok, so what you're saying is that only due to his personality and presentation a great magician would be able to elicit the same response with 21 card trick as with any other effect.
Sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense at all.
I am sure you choose very well the material you perform, don't you? Or you just perform whatever comes to mind since your personality and presentation will make up for the lack of impact?

While I agree that performers create impact, some effects simply do have more potential for impact then other (therefore they also contribute to the impact) otherwise we wouldn't be so selective with what we read and learn.
BarryFernelius
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On 2008-08-14 11:14, Picard wrote:
I am sure you choose very well the material you perform, don't you? Or you just perform whatever comes to mind since your personality and presentation will make up for the lack of impact?


I have witnessed Steven Youell in action. His presentational skills could blow you clear out of the room -- even if he did the stupidest pick a card trick that you could imagine. Steven's comedic and presentational skills are awesome to behold.

And to add insult to injury, Youell's got some of the sweetest sleight-of-hand chops that I've ever seen. He can do the difficult stuff and make it look effortless.

In other words, he knows what he's talking about.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

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Picard
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On 2008-08-14 12:30, BarryFernelius wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-08-14 11:14, Picard wrote:
I am sure you choose very well the material you perform, don't you? Or you just perform whatever comes to mind since your personality and presentation will make up for the lack of impact?


I have witnessed Steven Youell in action. His presentational skills could blow you clear out of the room -- even if he did the stupidest pick a card trick that you could imagine. Steven's comedic and presentational skills are awesome to behold.

And to add insult to injury, Youell's got some of the sweetest sleight-of-hand chops that I've ever seen. He can do the difficult stuff and make it look effortless.

In other words, he knows what he's talking about.

Ok, so what you're saying is that Steve is so good that he could blow me out with any existing effect in the world.

While I fully believe that Steve is a wonderful performer, I think that you are exaggerating a bit.

In case you are right I bow to you Steve, the Greatest Magician Who Has Ever Walked on Earth.
Open Traveller
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Steven,

You wrote
Quote:
People who argue that a trick has human traits (like the ability to impress someone)...


I think you're twisting some words and concepts around, assigning them to others, and then saying they're idiots for thinking that way.

Sunsets, mountains and the entire body of physics that drives the workings of the known universe don't have "the ability" to impress me. Yet, I'm impressed...and far more by them than by than any card trick you can show me. Likewise and on a smaller scale, a card trick doesn't have "the ability" to impress me and yet, even if I witness a performance of great suckitude, the trick itself can still impress me and other audiences.

So when you write
Quote:
Tricks do not have the power to entertain.
Performers have the power to entertain.


I agree.

And yet, there are numerous occasions, and I'm sure you've seen them yourself, Steven, where a performer who is mediocre at best received a pretty decent response when performing certain routines. Sponge balls, maybe? Red Hot Mama? The routine will always be more in the hands of a capable performer, but there's little arguing that to some degree, the routine did work, even if the performer did nearly everything wrong.

This is not a trick having "the power" to entertain. This is a trick being entertaining despite the performer's lack of ability. This is a trick that has some inherent quality to it that overcame a bad performer. This is why I wrote that some tricks have an inherent power, performer notwithstanding. All that other anthropomorphistic crap is stuff you threw in there. And while anthropomorphism certainly has its failings where good reasoning is concerned, anthropocentricity is equally crippling.

You're almost as good as I am at completely hijacking a thread. I'm impressed.
Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-14 11:14, Picard wrote:
Ok, so what you're saying is that only due to his personality and presentation a great magician would be able to elicit the same response with 21 card trick as with any other effect.


Nope, didn't say that. The quote you listed was my response to a specific scenario in which I was asked to voice an opinon. Hence, the use of the phrase "I'm betting".

If you'll notice, I also asked for definitions of some words that mean different things to different people-- words like "response", "impact", etc. You don't seem to understand the need for these definitions, so let me give you an example of how much they can vary.

"Impact" could mean someone remembers the performer, performance, effect or any one of the three. "Response" could mean an adrenaline rush, laughter, amazement, disgust, a pleasing memory, fear, or a myriad of other human type things.

So how could I possibly argue that two different performers could get the same response and/or impact with different tricks unless we have a common definition of the words? How could you possible argue that the response and/or impact would be different unless we have a common definition of the words?

I think you've missed my point completely. You're arguing that some tricks are better than other tricks. And if that's the case, I would agree. That does not contradict or conflict with MY point whatsoever. Although I've tried to be clear about it, I'll restate it AGAIN in a different way:

Tricks do not have the power to create.
Performers have the power to create.
To say otherwise is to indulge in fallacious reasoning.

Therefore the response/impact, etc. is soly the responsibility of the performer.

To sum up: You're confusing categories. I am not arguing that some tricks are better than others. I'm arguing that the responsibility for creating impact/standing ovations/strong response, etc. lies strictly on the shoulders of the performer.

If you're interested in the REASONS for me arguing this, please let me know.

Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-14 13:04, Open Traveller wrote:
I think you're twisting some words and concepts around, assigning them to others, and then saying they're idiots for thinking that way.


I'm sorry you feel that way. It certainly was not my intention.

Quote:
Sunsets, mountains and the entire body of physics that drives the workings of the known universe don't have "the ability" to impress me. Yet, I'm impressed...and far more by them than by than any card trick you can show me.


Yes, but those aren't "tricks". Therefore you're confusing categories. What you mention was not something devised by human beings, right? In order to for your statement to be relevant here (in my opinion), you'd have to have tricks that are on the same magnitude of a sunset, beautiful landscape, or the entire body of physics.

Additionally we'd have to discuss whether an audience could distinguish between something they KNOW humans didn't create (like a sunset) and something they DID create (like a performance of a trick).

And then, of course, we'd have to have the discussion of "Were those things created?" and you know where that'll go.

So all these things go into my suggestion that you're initial statement is confusing catagories-- Apples to Oranges.


Quote:
And yet, there are numerous occasions, and I'm sure you've seen them yourself, Steven, where a performer who is mediocre at best received a pretty decent response when performing certain routines. [\quote]

I believe you're making a logical error here. You're making the assumption that there are only two factors that go into the performance: The trick and the ability of the the performer. In doing that, you're ignoring the idea that each of those factors contain a MYRIAD of sub-factors. It's not that simple.

Again, you are arguing that some tricks are better than others. I am not.

Quote:
This is why I wrote that some tricks have an inherent power, performer notwithstanding.


I disagree with you. No trick has an inherent power. Some tricks are better than ohters. How does that happen? Human creativity, thought and experience.

Quote:
All that other anthropomorphistic crap is stuff you threw in there.[\quote]

Nope. When someone is reasoning fallaciouly, objection to the fallacy is a reasonable response.

You're almost as good as I am at completely hijacking a thread.


I don't think I hijacked this thread. I made a simple statement in response to what I thought was a poorly phrased question. A question that has been asked in various forms dozens if not hundreds of times on this forum. A question that allows people to shirk the responsibility of their own performance and place it on the material they perform. After that, I've pretty much only been responding to questions and objections to my original post.

Steven Youell
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Steven,

I don't believe I'm confusing categories. Instead, I'm responding directly to one of your premises, which comes out in this statement:

Quote:
People who argue that a trick has human traits (like the ability to impress someone)...


What you strongly seem to say here is that the ability to impress someone is a purely human trait. My point was that if you want to stick with the words "the ability to," then yes, you're probably correct; however, I think just about anyone would concede that's not what most people had in mind in this discussion.

Whether we're talking about mountains or card tricks is simply a matter of scale, but it's not confusing categories to say that even if they don't have "the ability to impress," the fact remains that they do, indeed, impress. My main point was that sometimes, on a certain percentage of occasions, card tricks or other effects can and do impress DESPITE the performer and this often happens because they possess some quality that doesn't depend entirely on the performer.

Your position, however, seems to be that ONLY the person performing the trick is responsible for whatever reaction it gets.

I think it's probably okay if I disagree.

Yes, I'll go with you that all tricks were created through some human activity, but this doesn't equate to saying that those tricks don't have an inherent power, unless we're just quibbling over terms here, which I'm beginning to suspect. Again, what I suggest is that with some, but not all, tricks there's a quality to them that functions on its own. I don't care where that quality came from -- the human mind, the power of the originator's creative process or whatever -- I'm just saying that it's there, and it seems to be there no matter WHO performs the trick. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that this is simply an example of a trick being better than others, but that's all. I'm saying this could be one reason WHY the trick is better than others.


Quote:
I don't think I hijacked this thread. I made a simple statement in response to what I thought was a poorly phrased question.


I'm with you in feeling that the original question had a weak premise, but the premise was still clear. What you did was deliberately ignore the intent of the original poster and bust that premise in pursuit of a larger thesis. I'm not faulting you for it; I simply recognize it because I do it here on the Café all the time. At least I own up to it.
Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-14 17:49, Open Traveller wrote:

Your position, however, seems to be that ONLY the person performing the trick is responsible for whatever reaction it gets.


That is exactly my position. Yes, it's OK if you disagree. However it is my opinion that by doing so and by espousing that you disagree, you encourage people to shirk their responsibility for the results of their performance.

I think it's probably okay if I disagree.

The rest of your post is arguing against something that I'm not arguing AT ALL.
I've acknowledged several times that I believe some tricks are better than others.

Your point SEEMS to be that the fact a trick is superior to others gives it some
sort of mystical "power" to entertain. I disagree.

Quote:
Whether we're talking about mountains or card tricks is simply a matter of scale...


No, it's not. One is created by human beings, the other is not. Those are two entirely separate catagories.
Quote:
What you did was deliberately ignore the intent of the original poster and bust that premise in pursuit of a larger thesis. I'm not faulting you for it; I simply recognize it because I do it here on the Café all the time. At least I own up to it.


If I listed tricks I thought were simple, yet had excellent contruction in response to the question posed, I would be a hypocrite. Instead I chose to point out that his question indicated that he did not understand that he was responsible for creating impact-- not the tricks.

It that's considered hijacking a thread, then I'm guilty as charged.

Steven Youell
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On 2008-08-14 16:16, Steven Youell wrote:
Quote:
On 2008-08-14 11:14, Picard wrote:
Ok, so what you're saying is that only due to his personality and presentation a great magician would be able to elicit the same response with 21 card trick as with any other effect.


Nope, didn't say that. The quote you listed was my response to a specific scenario in which I was asked to voice an opinon. Hence, the use of the phrase "I'm betting".

Yes, you did.
Do you need to see your words again?
Quote:
On 2008-08-12 21:19, Steven Youell wrote:
I'm betting he would get the same response.


And so what if you used phrase "I'm betting"??? It just confirms your confidence in what you said.

Quote:
On 2008-08-14 16:16, Steven Youell wrote:
To sum up: You're confusing categories. I am not arguing that some tricks are better than others. I'm arguing that the responsibility for creating impact/standing ovations/strong response, etc. lies strictly on the shoulders of the performer.

Nope, it's you who doesn't see the relationship between the categories. And I am not the only one who has pointed this out to you.
Imagine yourself performing 21 card trick instead of whatever it is that you usually perform and you'll understand why you're wrong.
Impact (or desired audience reaction) is created by conjuction of great presentation and great effect. Both contribute to creating desired impact/reaction.

When the creator of this topic asked for effects that create big impact he most probably didn't mean that the effects and effects only create an impact – of course they have to be performed first and presented properly! And you attacked him for exactly that.
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