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KN_Magic
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Just to clarify, I can talk perfectly well (perhaps even entertainingly) to non-magicians on many subjects. There's one I have problems with, and that's magic itself (or more specifically, other people's magic shows).

If someone's blunt and asks, "How did they do ...?", I can relatively easily deflect such a question.
However, recently someone was talking in general terms about Derren Brown's Chess Trick and they said "He must be really good at Chess to be able to pull this off, right?"
I replied something along the lines of "There's a certain knack to it. He's got a brilliant mind and is an excellent performer".

Any thoughts on how I can appear knowledgeable (note to self: why is this necessary?), but without tipping any of the workings and diminishing the awe of the spectator?

To put it another way: I'm impressed by different things than a lay person (timing, showmanship, sleights, boldness), so how can we communicate without me spoiling the enjoyment for the other person.

I'd appreciate any thoughts.

Kevin.
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends - it gives a lovely light!
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Jonathan Townsend
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Perhaps you could smugly (why is a MUCH BETTER QUESTION) let them know that Derren discussed his creation at a recent lecture you were proud to attend.

Similarly you can let them know how secretive magicians are about their methods and how important it is TO YOU that you respect other magician's secrets.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
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That's an excellent approach.

Another is to say, "Derren Who?"

There is always, "That's a possibility."

Or

"I've never really given it much thought. I enjoy watching him perform. He is amazing."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Frank Tougas
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Don't let vanity get in the way of saying you don't discuss methods with non magicians. They already knew that when they asked the question so don't disappoint them. If they respond -"You don't know do you?" thinking they have you on the ropes, reply, "Okay if it feels better for me not to know, I can go along with that too." This bluff contains a bit of face saving.

As for myself, I just shrug and tell them, "I don't know - it isn't a trick I do." That way I have both acknowledged the question and emphasized that I am still knowledgeable regarding magic. Best of both worlds. Smile

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Patrick Differ
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I'm a firm believer in always saying good things about magic and magicians. I do this all the time, without exception, ever. It never matters to me if I "like" the magician or if I "know" a lot about the work.

Whenever someone asks, prompts, goads, or teases me into a discussion as one you've described, my stock answer is always the same.

"Beats the beejeepers out of me! He/She is really good, y'know?" This sends the ball back into their court, and that is where I want it.

Sometimes this is not always the truth, and I really don't mind. You'd never know it wasn't the truth by hearing me say it. I've pracitced and rehearsed the line so that I can deliver it and convince with it everytime.

Hope you use it.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Mike Walton
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"I'm not sure with that specifically, but I think something happens at the molecular level..."

There's my answer that I keep in a can which I open and pour on individuals trolling for answers and I say it in a matter of fact manner while shaking my head. It gets a pause as they squint while their mind processes this possiblity then it gets a laugh.

"You're not going to tell me."
"I don't know what you're talking about."

I think a spectator believes that a true magician wouldn't tip the method or even discuss it while hobbists would want to show how much they know. Use the opportunity to create mystery which is a magic and acting performance in itself.
Jaz
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If watching a magic trick and someone says,"He must be really good to be able to pull this off, right?"
The simple answer is, "Yes."

If asked if I can do the same thing or know the secret the basic answer is, "No."


Patrick? "beejeepers"? hehehe
tommy
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If asked if I can do the same thing I would tell them, one artist does not imitate anothers work. If I was a painter and I painted a copy of the Mona Lisa what would that be worth? I would ask them. If asked how another did something I would merely tell them, it was magic, and leave them guessing.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Patrick Differ
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...well...I don't want the moderators chewing the beejeepers out of my hindquarters...public forum...and all that.

Hehehe.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Jaz
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Golly cheesewhiz Patrick. I see what you're saying.
Beejeepers! I luv it!

Bees off roading in Jeeps? Smile
BlackShadow
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I tend to simply say I don't know how he does that, even if I do. If someone quizzes me a bit more I'll just say there's lots of different ways and it's all very individual to the performer (not really a lie). I know it's not appearing very knowlegable, but as you say, why is that necessary? I think people make reputations with their own magic rather than how much they know about other performer's stuff.
Tor Egil
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The easiest thing is to say you don't know.
Just leave the ego at the door.
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2005-09-30 12:32, Frank Tougas wrote:
Don't let vanity get in the way of saying you don't discuss methods with non magicians.


That's the best approach for me Frank. Actually, whether I'm in the know or not, I always say "I DON'T HAVE A CLUE". Think about it guys do you really want to talk long and deep about magic with non magicians?
Jonathan Townsend
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That's so-and-so's piece and we don't discuss or perform other people's magic until they say it's okay.

Simple and true.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Alewishus
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If you want to communicate, and it's with a member of the fairer sex, I would suggest that you be forward and invite the lady to your boudoir.
I find that after a healthy lovemaking session I have no qualms about secrets.


A.
Sack subs, ok Ross?
We miss you asper.
Bill Palmer
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Later this month, I will make one of my pilgrimages to Nashville for the big bluegrass festival. Many of the people there know that I am a magician, but the subject doesn't come up. I don't go "loaded for bear." If the opportunity presents itself, I can do one of several routines that require few props, if any.

A lot of the people at these things do not like magic at all. So I don't force it on them.

If anyone asks me how, let's say, David Blaine does a particular trick, I'll answer, "That's a good question. I'm not really sure. But he does it well, doesn't he?"

There is another side to this problem. That is the one with the spectator who comes up after the show and says, "I know how your (insert name of trick here_ works."

"Really? That's interesting."

If they begin to explain it, no matter whether they got it right or not, I'll answer either, "Apparently you are giving me credit for far much more skill than I actually have," or "That's an interesting approach. I never thought of that."

Then I take their names, send a government agent to their house, and the next day they find themselves waking up on Kwajalein. Okay, I'm kidding about that last part.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
asper
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Alewishus,

After a healthy session, my head is very clear and I realize that I don't want to be with the person I picked up -- so I get the heck out of there before she wakes up.

As for discussing other magicians, don't let your ego get in the way too much. Often spectators want to be able to relate to you, which is why they mention other magicians. I love it when customers start chatting me up during a walk-around performance (or even on stage). I'm getting paid for doing nothing but listening. And they'll like you more if you can fake it well. Which brings us back to the first paragraph...
Quote:

On 2005-10-03 00:12, Alewishus wrote:
If you want to communicate, and it's with a member of the fairer sex, I would suggest that you be forward and invite the lady to your boudoir.
I find that after a healthy lovemaking session I have no qualms about secrets.
A.
Patrick Differ
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Bill Palmer wrote:

"Then I take their names, send a government agent to their house, and the next day they find themselves waking up on Kwajalein. Okay, I'm kidding about that last part."

Bill, are you kidding about the taking their names part, the goverment agent part, or the Kwajalein part? Just curious...
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Nosher
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I'm afraid I do not understand this post at all.

If someone asked "He must be really good at Chess to be able to pull this off, right?", I'd consider this an opportunity to talk about chess, rather than magic.

If you want to display deep knowledge of magic, it's best to talk to magicians. A surgeon talking about the latest techniques in laparoscopic surgery can wow them at a medical convention, but would send the average dinner party into a coma.
Escapemaster-in-chief from all sorts of houdingplaces - Finnegans Wake
kregg
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I always took the Mad Magazine, "Snappy answers to stupid questions" approach.
"Can you keep a secret...
POOF!
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