The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » So what exactly is the greatest trick?? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
The greatest trick should be simple, direct, use ordinary or familiar objects, occur in the spectator's hand and be examinable. The greatest close-up tricks using the aformentioned criteria would be sponge balls and scotch and soda.

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2533 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
Quote:
On 2005-03-17 14:26, magicinsight wrote:
The greatest trick should be simple, direct, use ordinary or familiar objects, occur in the spectator's hand and be examinable.


OK, I'm with you. This makes a certain amount of sense. But then,

Quote:
The greatest close-up tricks using the aformentioned criteria would be sponge balls and scotch and soda.


What?! Sponge balls are NOT ordinary or familiar objects. The coins used for Scotch and Soda are NOT familiar objects to most folks. Heck, the Mexican coin used is obsolete.

Try again!
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
Barry,

I see that you are from Colorado. A beautiful place by the way. Well, here in New York, sponge balls practically drop by themselves from the sponge ball trees in Central Park. O.K., you got me on that one.

But with regards to the scotch and soda, I disagree with you. Coins are coins. People are familiar with coins, no matter what Country they come from. People do not know if the particular foreign (Mexican) coin is no longer made. As long as it it not some obvious fake, funny looking coin, people know that you are using REAL coins. While I take back the sponge balls, despite the numerous sponge ball trees, I stand by the oldie but goodie, Scotch and Soda.

Best regards,


Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
e-man
View Profile
Special user
HILTON HEAD,SC
836 Posts

Profile of e-man
The 2005 Adams Magic Ball and Vase! Hands down!
我被烹调
ERIC HELVENSTON
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2533 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
Quote:
On 2005-03-17 14:45, magicinsight wrote:
But with regards to the scotch and soda, I disagree with you. Coins are coins. People are familiar with coins, no matter what Country they come from. People do not know if the particular foreign (Mexican) coin is no longer made. As long as it it not some obvious fake, funny looking coin, people know that you are using REAL coins.


Most of the time, you're correct, and I agree with you. But I have run into quite a few folks who know that the Mexican coin is obsolete. Also, so many Scotch and Soda sets have been sold to laymen, that I've also run into folks who displayed that knowing grin when I brought out my Scotch and Soda set. Yes, some have even identified the trick by name.

In many other countries, people rarely carry coins any more. Instead, folks carry smart cards for handling things like small vending machine purchases. I can imagine that at some time in the not-so-distant future, hardly anyone will carry coins.

I do think that you're on to something when you list the conditions required for a great close-up effect:

Simple
Direct
Uses ordinary or familiar objects
Occurs in the spectator's hand
Examinable

So what fits these criteria? Hmmm...
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
TheReviewer
View Profile
New user
11 Posts

Profile of TheReviewer
A coin transposition of some variety perhaps?
Doomo
View Profile
Inner circle
2322 Posts

Profile of Doomo
Quote:
On 2005-03-16 18:14, RIVARDJLR wrote:
Good point The Reviewer ! I am a little tired about the sarcastic guys on the Magic Café who write comments empty of content ...
And I must admit that I am tired of questions that are empty of content... Do you have the right to ask them...? Of course... But bear in mind, others have just as much right to critcize when the question is puerile at best.
If you ever get to a point where words have no meaning, you're probably talking to a dog.

Remember! More Bang For LESS Bucks! It is the right way!

www.rfaproductions.com
Kent Wong
View Profile
Inner circle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

Profile of Kent Wong
Simple
Direct
Uses ordinary or familiar objects
occurs in the spectator's hand
examinable

Crazy Man's Handcuffs where one of the rubber bands is held by the spectator.

Pen through bill (cornelius). After penetration, have spectator hold bill as you rip pen away from it. Pen can be examined.
"Believing is Seeing"
<BR>______________________
<BR>
<BR>www.kentwongmagic.com
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
Pen Thru Bill is a good one. Would it be fair to include among the aforementioned list of criteria that the greatest effect be used with BORROWED objects?

If so, the criteria would then be:
simple
direct
uses ordinary or familair objects
occurs in spectator's hands
examinable
uses borrowed objects

I would like to know what people can come up with. I'm off to trim my sponge ball bush.

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
TheReviewer
View Profile
New user
11 Posts

Profile of TheReviewer
[quote]On 2005-03-17 16:09, Doomo wrote:
Quote:
And I must admit that I am tired of questions that are empty of content... Do you have the right to ask them...? Of course... But bear in mind, others have just as much right to criticize when the question is puerile at best.


Please keep in mind the context of the question. It was in response to a previous thread, I don't nesisarily think there is a best trick of all time but come on... Lighten up, I know it's a no-brainer. If it's beneath you then surely criticizing the question is also beneath you!?

I was hoping the question would spark a descussion on the merits of different effects. I know it's not a deep but I work hard and sometimes I just want some mindless chat about what I love.
zauber
View Profile
Regular user
126 Posts

Profile of zauber
Impromptu, everyday objects (well sort of), occurrences in the spectator's hands, left clean and examinable. My choice is:

Cody Fisher's C/S/B transpostion. It is a compilation/hybridization of some methods and ideas from John Bannon, Doc Eason, Cody Fisher, and others.
"I'm still learning."
-----Michelangelo
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
To delve further into the philosophical question as to what is the greatest trick and the criteria that should be used, does the "greatest" trick necessarily have to be done without the use of any gimmicks whatsoever? In order to qualify as the greatest trick, must he trick be done soley with slight of hand or can a gimmick/gaff be used either throughout the entire effect or switched in prior to or during the effect? Does the use of a gimmick or gaff neccesarily disqualifies a trick as being considered "the greatest.?"

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
jamesharrington
View Profile
New user
3 Posts

Profile of jamesharrington
Hmmm, good question. I think the answer to the hypothetical question "what is the world's greatest trick" must be based solely around the effect regardless of the method. Although having said that shouldn't it be based on an effect that is most "workable". You've got me thinking now!

Perhaps we need to answer the question "what makes a good trick?" can ease of method triumph over effect? I didn't think so, but how far do you take it before a trick looses all of its commercial points? ie: The effect of "Flying" by David Copperfield beats the Balducci Levitation hands down but you can't perform "Flying" in your resident restaurant can you?! - In this case the more workable method of the Balducci Levitation triumphs over the amazing effect of "Flying". Sure this is a ridiculous example and it is at the extreme end of the spectrum but how far do you take it?

The Reviewer

The Reviewer
jamesharrington
View Profile
New user
3 Posts

Profile of jamesharrington
Oh by the way, yes my name is James Harrington there is no point in staying anonymous. I'm an English magician and still learning, it's great to find a group of people who love magic so much!

The Reviewer - James Harrington
tdowell
View Profile
Inner circle
1078 Posts

Profile of tdowell
Forgetful Freddy is the greatest trick of all time. Its common knowledge amongst us true magician folk.
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
The Reviewer:

Your point is certainly a valid one. Ease of performance is an important element to consider when considering which effect is the greatest. I am not suggesting that the trick should be self-working. However, the trick should not require a performer to do triple lifts, muscle passes, back finger palms, etc. If any sleight is involved in the greatest trick, it should be within the ability of the average performer. In addition, your comment also implied that the trick should have no venue restrictions. I would also add that the greates trick have no angle problems.

Therefore, to sum up, at the present. to be considered the greatest trick, the trick must meet the following criteria:

simple
direct
use of ordinary or familiar objects
occur in spectator's hands
be examinable
use of borrowed objects
easily performable
no venue restrictions
no angle problems

Are there any other elements or criteria that should be included (or deleted) from this list?

Any tricks that meet these criteria come to mind?

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
Performed with a bit of a theatrical flare and presented with an engaging, perhaps even mystical story plot, the classic ashes to palm may be considered a great (greatest?) trick. It is simple, direct, happens in the spectator's hands (palm), uses ordinary objects (matches, paper, ash tray), can be examinable, objects can be borrowed, can be performed anywhere (inside or outside, no lighting or venue restrictions) and no angle problems.

What do you think?

By the way, we forgot that the above-mentioned criteria should also include that the (greatest) trick is entertaining and looks magical. Ashes to palm, when done properly and with the right story, is certainly entertaining and looks magical.

Best regards,


Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
BarryFernelius
View Profile
Inner circle
Still learning, even though I've made
2533 Posts

Profile of BarryFernelius
This has mutated into something sort of crazy. The current list of elements:

simple
direct
use of ordinary or familiar objects
occur in spectator's hands
be examinable
use of borrowed objects
easily performable
no venue restrictions
no angle problems

As long as we keep adding to the list, we'll soon have conditions that can't be met by any performance of magic! I'd propose a new list:

1. Magical - first and foremost, the effect must be magical. Curiously, this constraint wasn't even on the original list, and no one seemed to care! I'll use Whit Haydn's definition here. A magical event should cause a cognitive dissonance in the audience's head, a logical contradiction. On the one hand, I know that there's no such thing as magic, but on the other hand, what happened simply cannot be explained. The audience should go into temporary brain lock after a magical event.

2. Simple and Direct - this is as viewed by the spectators. The magical effect should be describable in a few sentences at most. From the performer's point of view, there may be great complexity, but this complexity should be hidden from the audience.

3. Ordinary Objects - for me, it's easier to create a logical contradiction and the condition that says that there's no explanation if seemingly ordinary objects are used. The fancy lacquered box with the Chinese characters just doesn't seem magical to me. I don't like the audience attributing the magic to a prop rather than to me. In my opinion, it's more magical to have ordinary objects do extraordinary things.

4. Examinable - in venues where this is appropriate, and at the points in the routine at which some kind of examination is logical, this is a desirable constraint. I like tricks that end clean, but I have no objections to using secret gimmicks if they can be taken in and out of play before anyone could know they were used.

The other items are interesting constraints, but they are far less important. Some of the other constraints are potentially confusing. Consider the constraint called 'easily performable.' Yes, the effect has to be performable, but 'easily performable' is a fairly relative standard. What's 'easily performable' for Jeff McBride is very different from what's 'easily performable' by a beginning magician.

So sticking to the first three or four constraints, which effects come to mind? How about:

Ashes on the Palm (as suggested above)
Floating Borrowed Object (bill, ring, etc.)
Grant's Slo-Motion Bill Switch (and all of its variations)
The Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver
Ring Flight
Pen Through Anything (yes, with a switch at some point)

What else?
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
magicinsight
View Profile
Inner circle
3887 Posts

Profile of magicinsight
Barry,

I respectfully do not think that the current list or even adding to this list, within reason of course, is unreasonable and is justified within the context of this thread. You mentioned that the list as I previously presented would present conditions that could not be met by the performance of any magic. While I understand and appreciate your comment, the whoe purpose of this thrread and these posts are to in fact define what the greatest trick is, which necessitates criteria which by their very nature will limit most tricks from being considered. That is the purpose of defining what the greatest trick is. This can only be done by exactly defining, no matter how exclusive, what would constitute the greatest trick. Not a good trick or an excellent trick, but the greatest trick.

Ease of performance is not confusing. If it is logically and reasonably defined by a reasonable and average performer. An ungaffed three fly routine, while an amazing magical feat, can not be considered the greatest trick because it does in fact require a great deal of manipulation expertize and therfore out of the reach and scope of most day to day performers.

I do not think, therefore, it is being unreasonable to retain the above-mentioned criteria.

With regards to your tricks that you mentioned, I of course agree about ashes to palm. With regards to the floating bill, you have again lighting, venue, set up and breakage issues. The slow-motion bill change is terrific but does not use borrowed bills, except if you use perhaps Eugene Burger's Last Bill Change. Ring Flight is top notch and always is entertaining and magical but unless you have a nemo ring flight by Ken Brookes, the ring case cannot be examined or even handled by the spectator. Pen thru anyhting is terific. and if you use, Voodoo Pen, a switch is not neccesary, although you do have to use your pen and not the spectator's. "Sure you made the pen go thru the bill with your pen. Do the same thing with my pen."

I certainly respect your comments and appreciate your thoughts. It is an interesting topic. By the way, I did mention that the trick should be magical in the previous post. But it is funny that I did not include it in my inital list. Once again that shows that sometimes we look through our own eyes and forget that the magic happens in the spectators' eyes.

Best regards,

Michael
“Belief matters more than truth. Every moment, belief in imaginary things alters lives while truth sits unnoticed and waits.”
—Hakim, Loreweaver
Randwill
View Profile
Inner circle
1915 Posts

Profile of Randwill
The greatest trick is the one you do that gets the strongest reaction, generates the most business for you and/or the largest tip. That's it.

This thread may now be locked.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » So what exactly is the greatest trick?? (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
X
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.26 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL