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Dick Oslund
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[quote]On Jul 14, 2019, kaubell wrote:
"...Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic.
Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

I think it matters what tricks you do.

Its like painter who don't care what he paints, just as long he blows whistles and jumps up and down in the art gallery.

You cant/dont want to pull up entertainment show everywhere you go.

When I watch magic trick where mysterious guy is silent, hes entrtaining.
When I watch magic show where goofy jingle bells guy jumps up and down and blows every whistle, I walk out.

What is entertaining, and what kind entertainment audience appreciates as valuable entertainment.
Theres no one solution for that. So, you can entertain anybody just by being completely silent. It can actually enchace your effect much more.

I don't say its right thing, but I don't think everybody should do whistle jump magic shows, and many can look more beliavable once they discover their own style, rather than quickjump to entertainment. [/quot

De gustibus non est disputandum! (Concerning tastes, is not arguable! (IMHO...You have "strange" tastes.)
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TomB
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I think the purpose of cell phones is to engage the audience. To put it in perspective, the cell phone today is as important to a teenager as an automobile was to a teenager in the 1950s. That little cell phone is how a teenager meets boys/girls. That cell phone is how a teenager is connected to all his/her friends. Sadly, they may even be dating on that phone. So if you can take that most prized possession away from them, they will be engaged.

David Copperfield last year performed for my coworker in his late 20s. The effect that drove him nuts was a mentalism trick where Copperfield sent and email, then picked random words from audience. Then afterwords, the email had all the predictions.

C. Angel did the cell phone in a bottle.

Michael Ammar is selling Exquisite with a cell phone in a floating cup.

People have a picture on the cellphone then make that item magically appear.

Of course there are cell phone magic apps too. Many card tricks or even the, gasp, broken screen.

The ring, watch, money vanish should be replaced with ring, cellphone, money vanish. Watches are purely jewelry now, whereas your cellphone is much more.

Taking the cell phone works because teenagers know its not gimmicked.

If you are performing for teenagers, you should have at least one cell phone trick. I would even encourage you to have the other teenagers record the performance on their phone.
funsway
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TomB - methinks you miss an important point. Is it magic?

Yes, if your objective is just to entertain, impress or "get in the face" of teenagers, then your words hold true.

Then you suggest "taking it away" a a means of getting attention. Not so sure about "engage" though it does rhyme with "rage."

I guess for you these activities are magical. But, "magical" means "sorta like magic" to me. Why not set a higher standard?

Opinion --

"Not gimmicked?" Everything about a cellphone is artificial and gimmicked. From the inflated price to claims of AI.
All options or from a small list decided by someone else. Apps are gimmicks to make money - not solve real problems.
The biggest gimmick is the sales hype that interconnectivity with strangers somehow equates to social progress.

by the way, the best magic effects cannot be recorded on a cellphone, and the attempt by someone to do so would destroy the magic for other observers.

Try using an app that strips the clothes from a woman, then have your girl friend take off her clothes live. Very entertaining and even engaging.
Not magic, but would be astonishing and probably encourage some cellphone recordings.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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TomB
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Funsway

To a teenager that is heckling, I would switch the tables and embarrass him. If you want to call that bullying fine, but I would not. It is no different than a comedian calling out a heckler. If they are taking away from your show and trying to be the center of attention then you should just grant them that opportunity. I would not call it bullying, but teaching them a lesson. 

I am not sure what DL meant in the context given but I am speculating it means down low. In the urban communities, if someone is having an affair, it is considered on the down low, or the DL. Since DL implies secrecy, it may be valid. I am not sure what you meant by "lowest common denominator", that's LCD and would have a different context.

"What reaction do you refer to? " The reaction is of surprise, astonishment, and amazement. You are not going to see a 65 year old man literally jump out of his shoes, but a 16 year old teenager might. You want someone to burst out in laughter or have the jaw drop to the floor, get a teenager. The reason why David Blaine is popular is because he looked for the right reactions.

"Do you perform any magic effects?" Only for friends, family, and co-workers and possibly the random unsuspecting stranger. I usually do a trick when no one is expecting and then play dumb as if nothing happened. I recall the first live trick I saw as a kid. I probably was 4 or 5 years old. My uncle was making a sandwich and accidentally cut off his thumb. The ketchup blood was everywhere and he totally sold it. At that moment, I was addicting the magic and pranks. Right now, I am looking to buy losander floating cup. Just so I can slip it on in a restaurant and fool my kids. I love magic and the deep history. I have probably watched every magic show on TV since the 1970s. Whenever I go on vacation, I always stop in the magic show. I teach my kids magic tricks too. If I buy losander exquisite, they probably will use it in their magic show next year. Last year, my kindergartner did the self tying shoes among other tricks. Yes, they had a whole skit where she walked up with extra long pink laces and her sister said tie her shoes and the little one claimed she didn't known how. Then they used magic. It was adorable and the school loved it. Hope that answers your question.

I have seen Copperfield bring people on the stage and everyone in the audience sees what's going on but the person onstage has no clue. Many top magicians do that. I'm offering it as a way to silent the heckler. If that's not your style, that is fine. I would rather confront the issue and show that you are in charge. If you have a heckler, and do not address it, then others will join in. You are best served to get him on your side by amazing him, or if needed have his friends laugh at him.
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TomB - thanks for the cogent responses. That I don't agree doesn't matter. Readers have a choice of views.

Part of my lifetime interest in performance magic is the study of why people find magic fascinated and how they respond in comparison with other decision-making processes.

I acknowledge that your view of "today's audience" is probably more practical than mine, but this saddens me (about humanity in general).

Me - I want my magic to be so strong that the other members of any audience would handle any heckler. No respect - no magic.

Decades ago as a substitute teacher I would weave magic effects into my lessons. Occasionally, if the class finished early I might give a "performance" too.
If students did not pay attention (such as giggling/poking each other) I would just stop and wait. Soon the other kids would get the interrupters into line.

I doubt that any heckler can be embarrassed. It is a matter of respect. I have better things to do in life than accommodate disrespect.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Bobby Forbes
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Asi Wind's "double exposure" feels really magical and it uses a cell phone's camera to capture the magic. Very cool effect.
funsway
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Quote:
On Jul 16, 2019, Bobby Forbes wrote:
Asi Wind's "double exposure" feels really magical and it uses a cell phone's camera to capture the magic. Very cool effect.



Probably so - but I am interested in a "must be magic" response rather than "feels really magical."
Just spoiled, I guess. I have experience with people talking to me about an effect they saw 40 years ago - and still think it must have been magic,
and can relate every detail - except any concern about how it was done.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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TomB
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I would not underestimate what a smart phone can do. I'm on my phone now typing this message. It has replaced my computer/laptop. Smart phones can beat any grandmaster chess champion. They can let you know where any of your kids are. They can alarm you when they leave the house. You can turn your lights on at your house when you are on vacation. You can get a video of your porch or driveway whenever motion is detected. You can go food shopping and have it delivered to your house. I can start cooking dinner before I leave work. They have a map with every road on the continent solving the never getting lost again problem. They have every newspaper in the world. For that matter, you can have thousands of magic pdf books. I would not minimize what a cell phone can do.

With all that said, the cell phone is typically just a prop. It replaces other props from your magic repertoire. We do not think the cell phone inherently creates the magic. We want to use magic skills on someone's most prized possession. Therefore, if you are borrowing an item from the audience, then you should be asking for a cell phone. A lot of tricks are outdated because they do not use the cell phone. Some people pay for everything with their cell phone, as it replaces the wallet. For teenagers, it is a no brainer to ask for the cell phone.

When I say the cell phone is not gimmicked, I mean the magician did not previously gimmick the audience member's cell phone. Or at least that's the perception to the person who handed you their cell phone, or even the phone number.

Simply swapping out the smart phone and then smashing it will provide a heart stopping feeling. The cell phone restore will bring great emotions. It's the same magic tricks you have done for decades, just using a smart phone. Of course it is magic!

that's not to say creating an app cannot create a magical effect. I have been updating/modernizing the mentalist Color Vision Box. In my version, the spectator secretly picks a color and closes the lid. The spectator is instructed to cover the box with both hands. The magician never touches the box after giving it to the spectator. The magician places his hand on the spectators head and announces the correct color. I am fairly certain I can even make it work the the magician blindfolded. I have a couple different variants of it. If that sounds magical, PM and I'll share my secret.
TomB
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I should mention that some smart phones are very expensive and if you accidentally drop them it can break. There is some risk with taking a piece of electronics. If you can manipulate a server and have them goto a webpage, it removes any handling risk.
funsway
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TomB - After musing on this discussion going no where, with no agreement on even the distinction between "magical" and "magic,"
it dawned on me that I view that the greatest potential for performance magic is to break the vicarious, cybernetic response cycle inherent to smartphones.

Jonathan Townsend recently posted, "Our little craft is about getting people to recall the limits of their knowledge and perceptions."

How is that possible for those with only an illusion of knowledge and perceptions of the universe limited to a tiny screen? What is there to recall?

I want magic effects that cause the observer to forget they even own a cellphone, or wish they could escape the addiction.

I will not perform using a cellphone or recommend any trick that employs one. If anyone pulls one out I will stop my performance.

I do not underestimate what a smart phone can do - nothing! It is a tool with sharp edges that can cut several ways.

For just a brief moment I might allow a spectator to realize there is more to living than being a Borg.

Will I perform for teenagers? Yes. Will I perform for cell [hones. No.

For me performance magic is a form of communication. A smart phone has no place in what I wish to communicate.

Magic happens in the mind of the observer. I don't want anything getting in the way.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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TomB
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It just dawned on me, what DL was if he was doing a card trick. If he was actually saying the letters DL at least he spoke in code.
Dick Oslund
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I've never had a heckler (except when I was doing a "soft sucker" trick, like a "bluff" sucker trick --e.g.: "hippity hop rabbits) when I was a teenager. I simply treated every audience with respect. (I never created an "adversary" situation.)

I never did "street magic", although I could have. I was a full time pro. and was paid for my show!

In developing a repertoire, I followed the "rule of 3". (To add a trick to my act,

1. Learn how it is DONE.

2, Learn how to DO it.

3. Learn how to DO it, so that it ENTERTAINS YOUR AUDIENCE.

Too many beginners don't understand, and DO #3. They are always doing "new" tricks. (the "latest & greatest") They MAY do #2, but, they definitely don't do #3! This, I think, is the "problem" of too many amateurs. They "perform" for a relatively "casual" group, so they are constantly needing to add to their repertoire.

They need to read and understand S. H. Sharpe's comment: "...Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

Perhaps, Dariel Fitzkee's statement in his "The Trick Brain" should be stressed, also: "...I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans."

A professional performs for "new" audiences! Amateurs are constantly performing for the same audiences.

Mr kaubell (Jan. 15 post, above) needs to understand this.
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kaubell
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Its true.
When you are rich, you can buy big house. When you are beautiful, you can have any woman. When you are professional paid gig stage magician, you can perform one eggbag trick for different audiences for 100 years. Its true.

About entertainment. Its 5050. At stage, for sure, but close up, its more about presence.
Magician can be very exhausting by his presence because he trys to be entertaining. The spectator has to do extra social work just to maintain the atmosphere. Laughs, fake laughs, tipsy toe whoops moments, its all tension entertanment. The spectator is under heavy work, just because somebody shows him couple tricks with heavy entertainment presentation.

I think many becomes entertaining magicians, since theres not much other options left either. If you are painter and your painting would be enough, you don't need to stand next to your painting naked to get attention.

Simple ACAAN trick done in silence can be very fascinating too.
When new magician trys to fix his performance, he hears he needs to entertaing the audience. So when he does dealing in ACAAN, he tells jokes, talks, and finally screams at card number 12. That will do it.

(It will actually do it for many comedian magicians if its your style.)
funsway
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Kaubel. You make some interesting points. I hope I am interpreting your intent over the language difficulty.

I do not see where any spectator is required to do any "heavy work." Yes, some are some addicted to entertainment, but that is a choice.
So, maybe I don't understand what you are trying to say. I never "try to be entertaining." I demonstrate inexplicable phenomena.
I create astonishment. Whether or not it is magic or entertainment is up to the observer - but it requires no work or agony.

Don't understand "theres not much other options left either." Wanting to be a magician is one issue. Wanting to be an entertainer another.

I think you have something important to contribute here - just not sure what it is.

I do take exception to "When you are beautiful, you can have any woman." This is insulting to both men and women, and ethics and integrity and much more.
If you really believe that, I tremble for the future of mankind ...

Back to magic or tricks or feeling sorry for spectators. Please clarify ...
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Josh Riel
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He should have said "when you are powerful you can have anyone"
Even then It would only be true ~ 70% of the time.

Almost all the time I find performing in front of everyone the same.
There are ONLY 2 kinds of people:
The kind that are just jerks
The kind that like having fun
The kind that enjoy seeing others have fun
The kind that are too polite to say anything out loud
The kind that are too timid to say anything out loud
The kind that have no internal filter
The kind that are entirely impolite
The kind that are terrified of being in the front of a group but MUST be loud in the back.
The Kind that have to be the center of attention and suck.
The homeschooled
The kind that are just jerks.
That's the only 2 kinds.

I fit into one of those 2 kinds. So do teenagers. But I really hate teenagers, any teenager between the ages of 10-89.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
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Teenagers are a great measure of your currency as a performer. Like it or not, they are in with what's cool, what's hip, what's fun, or at least they are on that trajection as to where it's all headed. I feel like if you're losing teenagers in performance, then it's probably a good time to reflect and see if maybe the music's not too loud, but perhaps you're getting too old?

Teenagers these days have unlimited access to the internet, YouTube reveals, reality talent shows, Penn & Teller's Fool Us, and a whole plethora of other magic shows on Netflix, etc. The secrets of magic, both fortunately and unfortunately, are not so secret anymore. The audience has a lot more to compare us against, & as such we can't afford to be photocopy magicians even more today than ever before. When a spectator sees a magic performance, they are engaging in an experience, and they want to be entertained. If you can't entertain an audience, then you're simply not a good magician, in my not so humble opinion.

Back to the topic, teenagers are just a tough audience, partly because they are "too cool", but also because they are the savviest and sassiest audiences. I would say that the key to tackling a teenage audience is with proper audience management skills, and a performance style that is fun, original, & not outdated.

As an end note, struggling with entertaining teenagers is not the end of the world. Just cater to a different target market! I mean realistically, teenagers are not the most financially viable market segment anyway for paid performers, right? If you're a young budding magician yourself, then hopefully you find a unique social point to approach and be likable. If you're a bit over the hill & are not being paid & are seriously concerned about not being able to perform to teenagers for free, then you're probably uncle creep, & should definitely stay away from teenagers anyway. =P
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Quote:
If you can't entertain an audience, then you're simply not a good magician, in my not so humble opinion.


What is entertaining, or entertainment.

Max Maven is entertaining. David Blaine makes me smile just by how minimal he is.
"Pick a card. Now watch" and its somewhere.

Theres so many forms of entertainment. Some persons face makes me simply smile.
That entertains me. Serious man can be funny as hell.

Trump is funny just because hes Trump, he don't need to entertain, he need to
just stand there and people laughs.

If Trump shows you magic trick, it don't matter what trick it is. He has to just
open deck of cards and people laughs.

If your goal is to entertain - the type of entertainment comes with you.

Entertainment is about feeling good, enjoying. Listening music. Watching movie.
You entertain when you take a walk in park.

If David Blaine floats, its cool.
If Copperfield floats, its classical.
If Trump floats, its the biggest joke on this earth. People laughs eyes out.

They all entertain at very different levels. They just need to do it and
it comes out different ways.

Have you ever heard magician telling jokes? Probably not.
If walking in park is entertainment, anything is.

We are steered by the simplicity of the word "entertainment", even when
the word includes wide category inside.

Whats your favourite movie? Whats your favourite band?
They entertain you. They are build from multiple entertaining elements
to entertain you.

Theres no specific element you can pick. Its different in movie than in song.
The thing the band does entertains you. That means, it includes songs,
gigs, artist, genre.

When you watch interview, that entertains you.
A man speaking to microphone about his gigs can entertain you.
that's enough to entertain you.

Where you put line where entertainment ends. Its endless.
Dick Oslund
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I've been entertaining teenagers in audiences numbering in the thousands, since I was a teenager. (i'm 87) I've gotten my share of encores, and standing ovations.

I think I'm qualified to discuss the subject. I've never had hecklers. I've never performed in the street, although I could have. I got well paid for my shows, so why should I perform for nothing?

I've even received standing ovations, in high schools, during the performance, of my comedy routine, with a brakawa fan!

I have performed for teenage drug addicts, reformatories, alternative high schools, and state prisons for teens who had killed someone. I've walked into high schools for an afternoon performance, to learn that a student had tried to stab the principal that morning, and another afternoon where a student had committed suicide that morning.

I have learned how to build a rapport with high school kids, and college kids. I've already talked about performing for teenagers, I'm not going to repeat it.
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Jonmaddgician
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Quote:
On Aug 9, 2019, kaubell wrote:
What is entertaining, or entertainment.


Basically, if you perform magic without entertaining your audience, then you're not a magician, just a move monkey.
(By "you", I don't mean you personally, but as a general statement.)

I've met many (as I'm sure many of you have) people who have excellent handling, flawless sleights, impressive techniques, but fall flat when it comes to performing for a live audience. This is where I feel the original thread is heading, that teenagers as an audience are ruthless, that they won't put up with politely being a silent observer when the performer is not engaging, not entertaining. Conversely, someone like David Williamson could perform the simplest trick and hold an entire auditorium!

What I'm trying to say is that being a magician isn't simply about technique, but about delivery as well, & that teenagers are not the problem as an audience, but the performer must be prepared to engage, or accept that they should simply just cater to a different audience. Unfortunately, there's not many books or videos out there on the topic of the "everything else" of magic...
funsway
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Quote:
On Aug 12, 2019, Jonmaddgician wrote:
"then you're not a magician, just a move monkey.



Welcome, but WOW, such a judgmental claim. I can agree with most of what you follow up with, but why the need to classify what others perceive as magic?

There are many uses for performance magic other than performing for audiences, and many ways of being involved in magic without answering the call "entertain me."

Because of hand disabilities I can't be a "move monkey" but could teach you dozens of sleights you have never seen or imagined.

That aside, you are correct in focusing on learning audience engagement over judging any audience. (opinion)

When I rarely perform I expect focused attention and respect and appreciation of magic as an art. If that eliminates many teenagers, it has nothing to do with my skills.
Yet, I am always prepared to perform some incredible magic effects for any group if the setting and conditions are right. Age cohort is not a factor.

Methinks you might have a lot to offer on the Café'. Myopic universal claims are not one of them. (opinion)

Magic happens in the mind of the observer. If that observer thinks "magician" on seeing a skill demo than that person is a magician in fact.
If some action of mine prompts a "must be magic" reaction, then I am magician even if I was just telling a story.

Does "entertainment" fit in there somewhere? Maybe. But it is not the rubric.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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