The Magic Cafť
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Our new arrivals Ľ Ľ Philosopher Magician Ľ Ľ TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of dorbolo

I am enjoying the Magic Cafe greatly.

I am pleased to make your aquaintance.

I teach philosophy at Oregon State University.

I am very interested in how magic coincides with epistemology (theory of knowledge) - but that is a whole other conversation. Ethics is a major area of mine, and I am quite keen to apply ethical theory to the world of magic.

Most of my current work at OSU is in assisting other Profs. to use the web for teaching. I teach online (I built a web-based philosophy course in 1993-94) and am director of the Computing and Philosophy conference

and Editor of the Newsletter on Philosophy and Computing.

Magic is a terrific tool in my lectures and workshops.

Iíve been in philosophy and magic about the same amount of time. I started looking into Plato when I was about ten and that year I got a magic set. I did some Bday gigs in High School with a friend, then I lost track of magic for a few decades. Iíve been back into the craft for five years now and I go at it with passion Smile I have a lot of work to do to make good at it - and I am putting in the effort.

I worked several festivals and fairs last summer. Mostly I did a balloon twisting routine, which includes a close-up effect for each kid or group of kids (hot rod, TT silk, cards, etc.) When the line is long (which it is often), Iíll pull the tip and put on a short platform routine with rope, cards, and (of course) balloon magic. The strongest effects so far are needle through balloon and balloon swallowing. I must tell you that visibly swallowing a four foot balloon with the "Mars" movement from Holstís "The Planets" has a remarkable effect on people Smile

Now I am working towards a table-hopping act. Iíve developed a character and have scripted three routines. I take structured practice for at least 20 minutes each day, with a full rehersal once a week. Iím following Eugene Burgerís process and promise that Iíll go the the end of the path before seeking a gig.

Where I need the most work is in understanding misdirection technique.

I study Fitzkee and Gary Kurtz diligently, but I suspect that competent misdirection is learned by experience. This leads to the beginnerís dilemma: Donít go public until you are really good, but to get really good you need lots of performance experience (which is what a restaurant gig provides). Iím not sure how one transcends that dilemma.

I am looking forward to learning from you all and sharing my ideas.

In good spirit,

Steve Brooks
View Profile
Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4817 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
Greetings and Welcome dorbolo, we are excited to have another customer at our little establishment we simply like to call The Magic Cafe.



There will always be those that wish to rain on your parade, so never leave home without an umbrella...
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Dennis Michael
View Profile
Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Greetings and Welcome aboard.

Your background seems very interesting.

I hope this gives you some insite on misdirection. McBride VHS, DVD tapes demonstrate misdirection principles very well. Dog Henning, was a master at this and if you watch closely, and understand how a trick is done, you learn from his tapes.

We all fall before we get good. You ask a good question and I am going to watch for the response from the readers on this one.



Dennis Dowhy (800) 927-6671

Dennis Michael
Jeb Sherrill
View Profile
Inner circle
1161 Posts

Profile of Jeb Sherrill

Itís good to make your aquaintance. We are brothers of a sort as I have spent a good deal of my life in magic, and quite a bit of that has been devoted to the (layman) study of theology, philosophy and quantum physics. Itís come together into a sort of quantum theosophy and Iíd love to see how magic has influenced your work. I know itís influenced mine. I look forward to your input.

Sable Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Scott O.
View Profile
Inner circle
1141 Posts

Profile of Scott O.

Welcome to the Magic Cafe'. I see you've been busy the past few decades. It also appears that you take your studies seriously. That will, no doubt, serve you well in magic.

Scott Smile
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Steve Landavazo
View Profile
Special user
Northern California
654 Posts

Profile of Steve Landavazo
Hi Dorbolo!

It's very nice to have you here! You obviously take our craft very seriously, and I'm looking forward to your posts!

Welcome! Smile
Courage is the willingness to be afraid and act anyway!
Michael Peterson
View Profile
Inner circle
is where I'm trapped, because of my
4071 Posts

Profile of Michael Peterson
Thank you for joining us, I can see that you will be a great asset to the Cafe.






"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
View Profile
Special user
Just outside parts unknown.
713 Posts

Profile of Magicman0323
Welcome to the CAFE !!!!

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Northern CA
5725 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Welcome, Jon, to The Cafe Smile

There is no need for you to become proficient at performing. Discussing ethics within the magical community will consume all your time. Smile

OK, the hey to successful misdirection is naturalness. The direction must be congruous with the character. This luckily can be tried out and honed on friends and acquaintances before reaching for professional gigs.

There will be a step or change when people who know nothing about you watch you perform. Your friends know you and will follow direction which is natural to you. Others won't necessarily follow so easily. You must establish you character first.

You can get a sense of this by doing volunteer gigs. Once you have these under your belt and have progressed you willl then be ready to take on your first pro gigs...which will have their own steps and changes.

It is quite a marvelous journey. I look forward to hearing more about ethics from you. Are they the societal standard of action or are they loftier ideals. The societal standard of magic could use some work. Smile

But that is a discussion for another time and another forum.

Glad you could join us! Smile


Lee Marelli
View Profile
Special user
Aurora, Colorado
876 Posts

Profile of Lee Marelli
Welcome! If you do not already have it, Ortiz's Stong Magic can give you a wealth of usable, practical information. It is not a series of tricks and methods, but more a dissertation on the philospohy and psychology of magic, particularly close-up.

If you get a chance drop by the mentalists' table. It's the one in the corner by the window under the sign that says "A Penny For Your Thoughts," but I sensed you already knew that. Smile
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Big Al Jnr
View Profile
Regular user
Yorkshire, England
144 Posts

Profile of Big Al Jnr
Hello and Welcome.

Iíve heard Chris Carey "Find the stuff thatís You" is another good book. It has the strapline "Discover who you are - and let your audience in on it!"

Once again Welcome, I look forward to your postings.

Al. Smile
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they canít find them, make them. George Bernard Shaw.
View Profile
New user
akron ohio
82 Posts

Profile of bigjoeblue
Welcome Jon!

Philosophy and misdirection in the same college course? Hmmmm........

I see you pounding home the social values of an honest and strong moral fiber within us, and then, when Iím not looking, an elephant magically apears in the middle of the classroom. That's sick, That's evil,

You will fit in well with the rest of us because it is also clever, and funny.

Canít wait to read more of your posts.

Itís wonderful to have such a well spoken, and learned new member.

Look forward to chatting with you soon......

View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of dorbolo
For several years I taught a course on the "Philosophy of Lying and Deception." Fascinating topics.

Unfortunately this was before I

re-discovered my passion for the craft.

But yes, I find magic and teaching to be natural partners.

Sometime we can get into the theory of that...

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome. This is a special community and I already feel at home. Smile

I want to make crystal clear that to be professionally engaged in ethics is to be knowledgeable of the history, theories, and methods of ethics. No philosopher or theologist that I have ever read or met can rightly lay claim to being the best judge of what is right and wrong in a situation. Philosophy is an expertise in the investigation of ideas, not a license to pontificate to others.

If anyone here is interested in a brilliant use of magic in a scholarly context, see "Visual Explanations" by Edward R. Tufte. His chapter on "Explaining Magic: Pictorial Instructions and Disinformation Design" is fascinating. Tufte (with Jamy Ian Swiss as co-author) uses magic as a paradigm of deliberate disinformation. Since the purpose in his book is to detail methods for accurately presenting information, he suggests taking rules of magic and reversing them. If magic is the art of disinformation, then investing the methods of magic will lead to an art of information design. Wonderful work that demonstrates how magic can be applied to everyday life.

Thanks for your good ideas, everyone.

I wish you a fine holiday.

In good spirit,

Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Welcome aboard, Jon.

You obviously have a great deal to offer here and you are, indeed, welcome.


Peter Marucci
Mya Angel
View Profile
Special Assistant
1397 Posts

Profile of Mya Angel
Smile Hi dorbolo! Smile

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome.

To The "Magic Cafe"

We're soooo glad you are here!

Smile Smile Smile

Smile Smile Smile

Smile Smile Smile

Mya Smile
There is nothing that remains so constant as change. Don't end up like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. Smile

He who slings mud will surely lose ground.
View Profile
Veteran user
309 Posts

Profile of Bengi
Welcome to The Cafe, Jon!!!

Bengi Smile
View Profile
Inner circle
Americaís North Coast, Ohio
3177 Posts

Profile of BroDavid
Interesting background! I have always felt that the best performers are the ones who:

1. Know themselves

(who they are, and who they are NOT)

2. Know people

(read and respond to them)

By my reckoning that should give you a leg up on a lot of performers.

As for when to go public, as a recovering perfectionist, I subscribe to the philosophy that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

Even after I explain, some people will disagree with me, and that is OK.

Sometimes I don't even agree with me.

But I say this because I have seen too much good work go unexperienced publicly, and therefore unappreciated, simply because it was not YET perfect. And I don't know of a performer who did his/her best work the first time out.

And even our stuff that we think is really great will be better the next time out, and more so the time after that, etc.

So get it right, get it ready, and get it out there. I am not saying that you shouldn't prepare, but at some point you have to say, "Here it goes!"

And remember that nothing shapes a performer and their performance, like the response of a live audience. Each and every audience will teach you even more about who you are as a performer. But you can't learn it until you get in front of them.

I am excited to have you here and can't wait to hear more from you!

BroDavid Smile


If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of dorbolo
Thanks to all for the warm welcome Smile


I get your point. I agree that real-world performing is crucial to develop a sense of what practice and rehearsal must be.

Without the friction of a genuine audience, one could easily end up practicing the wrong stuff!

Here is how I've dealt with that.

I have worked to build a proficiency with balloon twisting. Now I am able to perform on the street (fairs, etc.) as well as impromptu. (airports, etc.)

The balloons are pretty safe territory.

People welcome them and parents will always allow kids to get a balloon. All I need do at a fair (after getting permission) is to start twisting and I get a line of kids and parents in minutes.

Each balloon is a mini personal performance for that child or family. And, each child gets a close-up effect (hot-rod, vanishing silk, gypsy thread, etc.) Parents adore this as it shows very special attention to that child. I'll also pull some effects for selected adults (invisible deck, B'wave, ect.)

When I have pulled a large enough tip,

I announce my magic break and do some platform effects for the crowd (which can be from 10 to 30 people).

This makes people waiting for balloons happy and allows me to move from one on one, to large group and back to one on one interactions.

I like keeping the balloon theme for this, so I typically use needle through balloon, the popped and restored balloon animal, and balloon-sword swallowing in these acts.

My story version of the Prof's nightmare is a constant in these.

At the end of such a Saturday, I've made a few hundred balloons, shown scores of close-up routines, and played 5-10 platform short acts, and pocketed $100+ in tips (unsolicited - "balloons and magic are free, tips graciously accepted").

Now, this is satisfying street magic,

though the magic is supplemental to the ballooning.

I think that is just great for a novice student of magic, because if my magic is off, I can fall back on the ballooning without losing face or giving ground at all.

I've had some remarkable experiences along this path.

At the Seattle Center a grandfather with six grandkids came back at the end of the day to talk and tell me that my performance was the "best part of his whole day because of the love I showed for the kids."

Almost always, some kids stick around and want to become part of the action. Kind of balloon magician groupies Smile

Anyway, from these experiences I get the perks that keep me firmly on the magic path.

And by this approach I gained a lot of performing experience last summer. Now I find that winter is less hospitable to this approach. Thus I am developing a restaurant repertoire so that I can gain more experience. One thing for sure is that I'll keep ballooning in the act.

One thing though... I won't try magic that I have not scripted, practiced, rehearsed, and taped, critiqued, and test performed.

Since I have a good balloon repertoire,

I have no pressure to over reach myself with magic.

Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

In good spirit,

View Profile
Inner circle
Americaís North Coast, Ohio
3177 Posts

Profile of BroDavid
Right Strong Strategy Jon!

And I love what you shared about the Grandfather. Too many times we perform and wonder; did they "get it?" Did I reach anyone?

But when someone brings that kind of honest appreciation and encouragement, Man! - that goes a Looooooooong way! Smile

Thanks for sharing that! And thanks for being here! I already liked this place.

And now with you here, I like it even better!



If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of dorbolo
Thanks for the encouragement.

It helps to put these thoughts into writing.

I, too, am enjoying myself in this forum. Folks like you make it work.

In good spirit,

The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Our new arrivals Ľ Ľ Philosopher Magician Ľ Ľ TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 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