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skabopoewich
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I am a little frustrated because it seems that most of the time spectators are concerned only with figuring out how the "trick" was done. Even if they are watching a great magician, I still hear them whispering to each other how they think the secret works. Sometimes they can even get pretty close to the correct solution for certain parts of the routine.



Many audiences probably think of magic as a trivial thing. Should I be worried about this?



I like to think that great magic should leave no possible solution in the spectators mind. Maybe with great magic they can enjoy the show without even caring about "How it was done" because magic is magic and not tricks.



Am I taking magic too seriously? Maybe I should lighten up and let them try to guess the answer if that is what they want to do.



Or should I perhaps try to tell a story or something in my own shows to hopefully put them in the right mood??? Smile
Steve Brooks
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First of all, I think that magic is tricks presented in an entertaining way.

It is very natural for some to whisper to each other, trying to figure out effects.

I saw this at a Copperfield show once.

People pointing, then smiling and nodding to each other, convinced of the methods.

That is just human nature, please do not let that bother you and your performance.



The issue of presenting your effects with stories would be a personal choice for you to make. Many magicians approach magic in this manner, just as many do not.



It really boils down to your own style, and what you are comfortable doing. If you feel the effects you are using are not fooling your audience, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate both your presentation and the effects themselves.

Hope this helps! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
clunk_71
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I think most will say that they have this problem in moderation from time to time.



But don't worry about it too much, you'll find that these sort of problems are normally counter balanced with the great time that the other members of your crowd are having.



It's great when they come up to you and say they just can't get their heads around it..... so you know they have tried to figure out how it's done to no avail.



If they ask me how it's done I tell them "Very well" or "Magic"



And if they say they think they know how it's done I cut in before they give it away and explain that we magicians never reveal our secrets and neither should they.



That way they will know something that nobody else does and that revealing it to their friends does not make them a better person for it.



I hope that is a little food for thought for you. Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile



_________________

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" Dogs do tricks ".......



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Dennis Michael
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Steve Brooks' reply was right on target.



Men like to figure out puzzles, this is one reason why so many men are into Magic. This is also why many women don't like magic, because they don't want to waste their time figuring out the mechanics of it.



Now, presenting the "illusion" of something in an entertaining way without the focus of "look at me I am a mystic" is the way to go when doing magic.



Copperfield uses the story telling, similar to what Bill Bixby did in the TV series, The Magician, Magic was not the focus, but a tool to entertain.



Smile







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atkinsod
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All of the above are very good.



I think there are "moments" in many performances in which the audience can become enveloped in the performance and just enjoy it for the sake of magic, but for the most part, the audience is going to try and figure it out.



As a magician, I always watch a performance with an eye to "figure it out", yet I still enjoy the show. I remember watching David Talent in Dollywood perform the Linking Rings. Even knowing the method, it was still great to watch him because the performance was so natural (heís probably performed them thousands of times). Or, watching Lenart Green on one of the Worldís Greatest Magic shows when the cards disappeared into his hands while dealing. You knew where they had to go, but watching was still unbelievable!



I also think part of many of us "has" to find an explanation for the inexplicable. Thatís why people would say things like "up his sleeve" or "trapdoor" as a generic explanation, even when such explanations arenít possible.



As you suggested, sometimes a good storyline can engross people enough in the magic that they are able to suspend their disbelief a bit, but even this has to be done carefully and requires a good storytelling skill integrated with the appropriate effect.



Doug A.
Davro
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I use the guesses people have as feedback. I then try to alter that part of the routine to take that answer away from them. For instance if you hear 'it went up his sleeve'

next time perform with your sleeves rolled up.Hope this helps.

Regards, David
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martinkaplan
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In my experience I have discovered that my audiences are made up of people who are willing to give themselves over to the experience of magic and just enjoy the moment and those who are determined to analyze the effects with the intent of figuring everything out. The analysts tend to be men.



-Marty
Paul
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Some people do enjoy trying to figure it out, some are content to watch, a small minority get frustrated when they cannot work it out, the more you perform the more you meet. No two people really think alike.



I think that magicians should aim to leave them with no clue whatsoever as to how the effect has been accomplished. This means you have to be more selective with your material.



If someone comes up with a workable solution, they may as well as, come up with the right one, their friends will accept the logic of it and there is no way you can prove them wrong without giving them the real secret, which you wouldn't do.



Don't worry to much about what they think, but try and construct your routines to eliminate possible solutions. Tamariz is a master of this with some of his presentations.



Paul Hallas.
Peter Marucci
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The object of your performance should be to present a routine so captivating and emotionally involving for the audience that they don't CARE how it was done.

But that is an ideal goal and can only rarely be reached.

The rest of the time? Don't let it bother you; it's only human nature.

And it proves that they are interested, if they are willing to take the time to try to figure it out!

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Jeb Sherrill
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All of the above are really good points. I'll tell you something we tend to forget as magicians though, People guess at how tricks are done all the time, but, because we know how most things are done, we forget what it's like to REALLY be "guessing".



It doesn't matter what method you use to float something, they will always say "it's strings". The fact is though, they don't know and they really are just guessing. Sure they'll hit it sometimes, but they still don't KNOW and the difference between a guess and knowing for sure can be several miles.



I've had people tell me they know how I've done something with so much conviction, I just knew they'd seen the gaff, But when I shrugged (my favourite vague response) I could still see the doubt in their eyes. They didn't see it, they're just guessing.



People don't like to not know, and so they will state guesses with that very kind of conviction. Don't worry about it. Just have faith in your magic. If it really bothers you, do what Paul says and limit your magic to things you feel they can't guess at.



Frankly I think people can "guess" at just about anything (with those fertile little minds of theirs), but I tend to do what Paul does myself. My repertoire is very limited to effects I trust beyond doubt.

Do what works best for you. Smile



Sable

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Bengi
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I won't try to be modest here... even I watch another magician and say to myself,

"I know how he/she does that!" Yet, when I try it myself, it doesn't work!!!!



You will always get one or two in the audience who may think they have you all figured out.... chances are, they DON'T. Concentrate on the audience members who are there to just be entertained. A good performance is what your goal should be.

And if you succeed at that, you have done what you were there for.



Bengi Smile
skabopoewich
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Thanks everyone for responding.



I feel better about this now. Everybody is different and some may want to guess, but why should I care about that?

Most people are enjoying the magic, so why worry about the analysts, critics, skeptics, etc? Anyway, when they guess, they are going to be mostly wrong, and they still are probably entertained by the whole thing, even if it is a puzzle to them.



Still the idea of magic being seen as a puzzle makes me a little sick, so I'll keep working on eliminating possible solutions; making it seem even more impossible and flawless, leaving the audience in a state of shock and wonder, without explanation!



This sort of discussion I find interesting, so please respond to this if you haven't already, I'd like to hear more people's perspectives. Smile
Jeb Sherrill
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skabopoewich, I will give one word of caution here from someone whoís been there. You can go too far with removing all the "flaws". Here's how it will work: you'll do a trick, know the method and realize "someone might see the gaff or move". So of course you cover that gaff/move with something else and realize you have to cover the cover (I mean itís got to be done somehow). After six of seven revolutions you realize the only ones you're fooling are the magicians. Learn a good trick, do it well and then move on. By that I mean move on to more important and difficult techniques like misdirection. You can spend hours working on a slight, but misdirection will take a lifetime to master and it's worth it.

I've seen the old masters fool me with the most basic of tricks, the ones I learned as a kid, and they did it with their pure skill of performance. Often we look in the old books and wonder how anyone ever got away with the simple techniques many of them appear to use. Well it was all in the misdirection. Enjoy, just asking these questions you're off to a great start.



Sable,

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I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:

On 2002-01-05 18:19, semianimus wrote:

skabopoewich, I will give one word of caution here from someone whoís been there. Y can go to far with removing all the "flaws". Here's how it will work: you'll do a trick, know the method and realize "someone might see the gaff". So of course you cover that gaff with something else and realize you have to cover the cover (I mean itís got to be done somehow). Sable,





Sable just described what is known as "The Toothpaste tube theory." Squeeze one end and the paste goes to the other.
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MagicalChris
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I would always have a spec saying they think they know how itís done and stuff and then I realized that I need to stop buying gimicks (cards) and just use a normal deck. I know lots of good tricks with a normal deck but didnít practice them much.. so now I do. Why today, I performed 2 tricks for some people.. (a trick I made up called Card Flip -- mail me for the effect), and I did a color change, they had no clue how either trick was done and then I just spread the deck to show it was normal.

I use gimmicks in coins because people donít suspect gimmicked coins AS MUCH, like scotch and soda because

A. they are made so well

B. a good ammount of coin tricks are examinable

C. well there is no C that I can think of Smile but I am reading through BoBoís book and it rules..

Have fun,
Jeb Sherrill
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Quote:
Sable just described what is known as "The Toothpaste tube theory." Squeeze one end and the paste goes to the other.


Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile



Toothpaste tube theory: I like that!



Sable

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I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Mr. Ed
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A lot of interesting comments on this topic. One thing that I have noticed by observing spectators, while others perform in strolling situations is this: After a particularly interesting effect they (the spectators) discuss what has happened and how they think it was done. The interesting thing is that quite often what they think is happening is more difficult than what the Magician did.



Example. In Howie Scharzmanís star warp I have heard specs say they just canít figure out how the extra card was ditched. If you are familiar with this effect this should be pretty funny.



Iíve had a non-magician friend of mine say a magician did this to him, The magician held out a handful of various coins and let my buddy pick one and hold it in his closed fist. The magician never touched the coin or my buddy and when my bud opened his hand he was holding 2 different coins than the one he picked. Great trick, if thatís what really happened.



I think a lot of people see hoof prints in the sand and look for zebras.





Smile
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vovin
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Yeah, if this concerns you too much you can always do what I do, all of my tricks border on the supernatural, bending spoons, ITR, levitation etc... Things that donít exactly give me away as a magician, thus I almost never get the issue of props and handling them or grabbers. Nor do I get much problems with people trying to figure out how the trick was done. Because they are not sure it was a trick. The downside is, thereís not a lot of tricks out there that people like me can do. Itís difficult to find material.
Smile
DoctorAmazo
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I think it's important to remember that we do magic to ENTERTAIN.



If someone finds joy (and entertainment) in analyzing an effect to try to figure it out, that's still good. While we would prefer that everyone give themselves over to the magic (suspend belief), that's just not gonna happen. As long as all are entertained in their own way, we've been successful.



And, as was pointed out, even WE can find entertainment in the outlandish theories from the audience. Smile
Bird Brain
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Quote:
On 2002-01-06 01:56, MagicMrEd wrote:
A lot of interesting comments on this topic. One thing that I have noticed by observing spectators, while others perform in strolling situations is this: After a particularly interesting effect they (the spectators) discuss what has happened and how they think it was done. The interesting thing is that quite often what they think is happening is more difficult than what the Magician did.



Smile


Yeah! I know what you mean! I showed my little buddy, who's a little kid, this trick... If his "explanation" was correct, I'd be telling you all how to do magic! Lol!
I only wish I was as fast as he said I was!
:lol:


5150,
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Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
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