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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » How do you keep the secrets of magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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pcuccia
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Mike
It's interesting I came across your topic when I did. It was just yesterday that I taught my boss the simple cup & ball routine that you get in magic sets. I used the water cooler dixie cups and crumpled pieces of a postits.
I don't make it a habit of performing at work, but once in a while I would do a quick one (impromptu stuff).
After some time of "Can you show me" and saying that I can not and that it would ruin the fun for you, I realized that he had a genuine interest. Teaching him that simple trick made him so happy. Hmmm....another way to make your boss happy! It's a good thing. Go for it. You make a new magic buddy of him.
Peter
mrunge
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How do I do it? It's a secret. Pretty easy, huh?

Mark. Smile
Servante
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If s/he is persistent, after all the put-offs, I take the person aside, show them a French drop.
You'd be surprised what a revelation a French drop can be.
Then I tell them that the public library has books on magic. That, I tell them, is how I started long ago...and the secrets begin there.

If they truly have an interest, they will go to the library and check out a book. If they have a calling they will check out all the books.

And I will likely see them again, and they will have tricks of their own.
Mike Brezler
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If someone really insists and just using humor won't stop their insisting.
I usually pull my IBM card out of my wallet and show them the reverse side.
It has written

Pledge
Acceptance of this membership card is
your pledge that you will uphold the
Constitution and Bylaws of the
International Brotherhood of Magicians;
And that you will not violate the
"Code of Ethics" of this organization.

I then tell them it's the first rule that we are not allowed to reveal the secrets of magic.
Kent Wong
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Quote:
On 2005-10-01 21:29, MikeRaffone wrote:
Usually, they will think of magic as being about the trick and doesn't realize all the practice and presentation that goes into performing a strong effect.


You pretty much answered the question yourself. The true secrets of magic can't be bought in a magic store and it can't be blindly imitated by others. Technique and presentation combine to create a magical performance. This is the ultimate truth that you eventually need to get your boss or potential client to realize.

Without a solid combination of the two elements to create an engaging piece of magical entertainment, all he may become is a trickster. Ask him if he wants to become a mere trickster or if he wants to really become a magician.

If it is the former, he doesn't need your help. If it is the latter, then, refer him to a magic store and recommend some good beginner tricks. Once he has the tricks in hand, help him understand the instructions. Ensure he practices the technical moves required of the trick. Then, have him THINK about the best presentation possible for the trick and have him understand exactly what makes that presentation strong. Then have him rehearse until the performance is polished. Now he's on his road to becoming a magician.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
<BR>______________________
<BR>
<BR>www.kentwongmagic.com
Leland Stone
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Most who ask me for the secret (as opposed to those who merely spew out their guesses) react well to this response:

"I am bound by oath and honour not to reveal the secrets of my Art to any, except another Magician."

They either:

1] Smile and nod in gracious understanding. (90%+)
2] Ask how they can become a Magician, which typically leads to my recommending
a visit to the library or a local Magic shop. (less than 10%)

Leland
shiolo
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I hate that situation.
if it arises I try to avoid and not teach anything but if for a certain reason I'm oblied to teach..i teach a card trick using a key card...something really simple and that many layman usually know..
morgandollarman
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I don't tell it's a secret ,if they really are interested then I would tell them to go and have a look in the library first and see if they can be bothered if they then come back and are really interested then I would suggest a good magic shop so they can find what they are lookin for but only if they seem genuine..
Mark R. Williams
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I have some cheap loaner books, and I will give one to a persistent, possibly sincerely interested individual.

M
"One more step on the pathway of Knowledge, that is if we don't break our leg crossing the street"
ibm_usa
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My elementary school principal was a begining magician, he would constantly call me up to his office to investigate knew magic ideas he had, ignoring the fact that he knew I had school work to attend to. The ideas were okay, not the best. But he would constantly expose his secret to me so that I might use it in good faith. I took it for granet (SP?) at first, but the stuff he taught me was mostly card tricks, but they are my best card tricks up to date and I use them frequently. Once we had a magician that came to our school, the principal got me out of class to come and talk "business" with the magician, we three became good friends, we sworn never to discuss any business that was discussed between us.

anyway, straight to the point, it is okay to teach a trick, the one I always teach to some one interested is the suspended pencil or the clinging pencil as some call it, it is impromptu, magic is not harmed when the trick is exposed because half of the the people who have seen it know how it is done.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
DStachowiak
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Well you could always fall back on the old "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you..."
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
Andy the cardician
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Remember Eve and the apple . . .
Cards never lie
cartoon cowboy
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I have occasionally offered, when pressed about teaching a secret, that I could obviously not just give away secrets, but if the person is serious about learning magic that I would be happy to give him lessons. This makes the person feel like he will get what he wants (just not right at the moment), and that he is getting special attention since I have invited him to learn. It also tends to keep the person quiet and helpful for the remainder of your magic, since he is going to be 'in on your secret' later, and will want to show that he can keep a secret and appreciate the act himself. If he is seriously interested, you may now have a student. If not, he will never bother to contact you, but will feel more special than if he were just pointed to the library.

(I remember being young and asking magicians for help and being pointed "to the library!". I felt it was a brush-off, which of course it may have been. Also, my imagination of a secret brotherhood, a guild of practiced craftsmen, was shattered to think that a professional was telling me it could all be learned from library books.)
Happy Trails,
- CC Smile
Erick Hershey
magic.hersheyarts.com
cartoon cowboy
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I thought of other things I have done, also.

1) Tell them, "I'm sorry I can't tell you the secret, but you can help me out though...", then pull them right up to assist in a trick that really utilizes them as a part of the act (not just picking a card). Of course this would only be advisable if you feel the person won't take over the act.

2) If you teach them a simple trick in a casual setting, make sure it is something that, if done poorly (since they probably won't practice much), won't give away big secrets. I used to show how to use a key card to locate a chosen card after a straight cut. It can't really be screwed up, and if you teach them no presentation, it will not impress anyone. If they are really interrested, they will come back to you and ask how to make it better, or will start to get the magic-bug and devise better presentations.

I remember reading an article in MUM recently by Jay Sankey, I believe, that said that we might find a way to pull the curtain back a little occasionally to let the audiences see everything that goes into magic. Not giving away secrets en masse, but showing how hard it is to devise, theme, stage, practice, book, and perform magic. That would give a greater appreciation for our craft, and maybe start the public seeing it as an "art" again. The "science of magic" type television shows did a good job at starting that, I think.

- Erick
Happy Trails,
- CC Smile
Erick Hershey
magic.hersheyarts.com
mcharisse
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Usually, the "sworn to secrecy" gambit works -- and as I recall, I did swear an oath when I was a kid, it was included in some magic book. Or a simple, "you don't really want to know" which is the truth. But occassionally I've run into someone who might be sincere. At that point, I show them the rubbing the coin into your arm. First, I fool them with it, then show them the handling and say once they've mastered that, I'll show them something else. Overall, I agree with David Devant, who insisted secrets were a minor matter in magic - so many have been tipped, yet the old ones still fool with the right handling.
I really like what Jim Steinmeyer has had to say about our contradictory relationship with secrets -- that they are important, he says, is the first deception in any magic show. Also, that we keep secrets to PROTECT the audience from them.
and like it or not, secret are for sale -- the magic shops don't check your credentials or anything before selling you the trick.
Mark R. Williams
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WOW, I wholeheartedly agree with mcharisse (and David Devant)as above.

M
"One more step on the pathway of Knowledge, that is if we don't break our leg crossing the street"
GWSchott
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How many of you have seen the movie The Prestige? I can't remember the magician's name (the one played by Batman) but he told a kid never to divulge the secret of a trick because after you do you're nothing to them. How true. I used to find it difficult to do just one trick because afterwards you spend five minutes fighting off theories on how you did it. Instead I move on to another trick and it diverts their attention, then finish with one that's a real mind blower.
Yours In Magic,
Gordon
Tony Webs
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Just do MAGIC.
chris_johnson_au
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"Secret? There is no secret to reading thoughts... just years of practice and even then it's not guaranteed."
Chris Johnson
0433 181 675
www.thementalist.com.au
tony2514
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One of the best weapons in the magicians armoury is friendly banter and this even works with the boss at work.

It has already been stated that the general public beleive that magicians are literally sworn to secrecy.

When my daughter was about eight years old and just learning magic, she used to practice on her friends and teachers at school. She knew that she should never reveal how a trick is done so asked me what she should say when asked, which is where she got her catch phrase...

..."If I told you, I'd have to kill you with a grapefruit!"
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