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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Underestimating the spectator (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tommy
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Interesting. If the spectator can not work out how trick is done do they presume themselves to be stupid?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Michael Baker
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On 2005-11-13 23:40, tommy wrote:
Interesting. If the spectator can not work out how trick is done do they presume themselves to be stupid?


If they are allowed to, sure.
~michael baker
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Derek Rutt Creations
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There is only one thought for a person standing up on a stage .....or where-ever.....and that is am I entertaining the audience with what I am doing ? wether you are doing Magic, Singing,juggling....anything.........every audience is a new one and very different and of course should be treated with respect....but for me the ENTERTAINMENT is the final say and we should take great attention to the audience reaction and alter the presentation according to their reactions.
Derek
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redheadjuggler
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Quote:
On 2005-11-13 23:40, tommy wrote:
Interesting. If the spectator can not work out how trick is done do they presume themselves to be stupid?

I think many spectator feel stupid after seeing magic. I try really hard to help then come to grips with what they are seeing. I also believe that most spectators (as a way of dealing with that stupid feeling) will turn magic into a puzzle. I have actually stop performing for a few of my friends because they can't get past the "I have to figure that out" mentality.
I commpletely agree with Derren Brown on the premise of treating your spectators with the upmost respect. Many times we are intrupting their conversations and dates and whatever. How dare we! and then to insult them further by making them feel stupid. I don't know about anyone else out there, but I hate feeling retarded. Magic is an art form that people should want to see. And after they see it, they should walk away feeling somehow enlightened or at least entertain, but not insulted.
Just my rant
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tommy
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There is a difference between singing etc and magic. In magic there is a conflict of interest: You want to treat them with respect and not insult their intelligence, at the same time you must deceive them.
However I think everyone likes being fooled, what magician does not? Why should the company be any different.
When a magician fools me I get a sort of feeling, that I am not as smart as I thought I was, but it is not bad feeling, I love it and I think they do to. Weirdly, the better they fool me the better I feel.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pablo Leal
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Quote:
On 2005-11-14 03:40, redheadjuggler wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-11-13 23:40, tommy wrote:
Interesting. If the spectator can not work out how trick is done do they presume themselves to be stupid?

I think many spectator feel stupid after seeing magic. I try really hard to help then come to grips with what they are seeing. I also believe that most spectators (as a way of dealing with that stupid feeling) will turn magic into a puzzle. I have actually stop performing for a few of my friends because they can't get past the "I have to figure that out" mentality.
I commpletely agree with Derren Brown on the premise of treating your spectators with the upmost respect. Many times we are intrupting their conversations and dates and whatever. How dare we! and then to insult them further by making them feel stupid. I don't know about anyone else out there, but I hate feeling retarded. Magic is an art form that people should want to see. And after they see it, they should walk away feeling somehow enlightened or at least entertain, but not insulted.
Just my rant
Juggler
I don't think most of the people feel stupid after a good trick. They feel stupid or uncomfortable when your presentation leads to that. A good trick should sorprize them, not fool them. If you don't want them to feel stupid don't treat them like so...
"The one that seeks for the truth takes the chance to find it". Isabel Allende

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Pablo Leal
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Redheadjuggler,

I'm sorry, I didn't read your post well. I can see you were saying right the oposite of what I thought you posted. My mistake... Smile

Cheers
"The one that seeks for the truth takes the chance to find it". Isabel Allende

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tommy
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Pablo


You say:

"I don't know about anyone else out there, but I hate feeling retarded."

Do you not like the feeling of, not having a clue, how a magician did a trick?

Tommy
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Big Daddy Cool
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Quote:
On 2005-11-13 00:11, Alex Linian wrote:
There are three ways in which a magician can participate in a demostration of magic:

He can cause the magic to happen.
He can watch the magic on it's own.
He can fall victim to the magic and can't stop it.


Alex,
This is a description of my principle of Killer, Witness Victim that I discuss in the 13 steps of character development here on the Café and in my lecture "Making Magic Your Own."
We'll catch ya on the Back of the Cereal Box!
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Jonathan Townsend
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On 2005-11-14 09:42, Big Daddy Cool wrote:... principle of Killer, Witness Victim ...


One can also use the TA language of Parent, Adult and Child if one wishes. The parent does what is right, the adult makes a choice and goes with it, the child does not make the choices, just reacts to them. The tools have been with us for a LONG time, what we name them is a matter of taste.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Alex Linian
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Quote:
On 2005-11-13 23:40, tommy wrote:
Interesting. If the spectator can not work out how trick is done do they presume themselves to be stupid?


An spectator should not be able to work out how the trick is done. And they should not care. Analyzing what has happened after you perform the effect is in one thing. It is part of the reaction. But, if someone tries to figure out the trick later, I believe it is because you did not do your job right.

However, that's not what we are discussing. We are talking about presentation. And about treating the spectators with respect.
saxmangeoff
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I went to a performance this weekend (Royal Circus of Moscow on Ice) that included some quick-change magic. I've seen quick change on TV before but never live. This act was done rather well, and had many changes of costume, enough to make the changes "impossible" and not simply explained by removing one layer and revealing a layer underneath.

It was fun to hear reactions of people around me. There was a man behind me who commented that it blew him away. He had no idea how it was being done, but he was very impressed, and commented on how cool it was. (During the act, each costume change seemed to get a bigger "wow" out of him.)

From what I heard from spectators, they were very strongly fooled, but didn't feel stupid at all. It wasn't that sort of presentation. It was an enjoyable presentation of something impossible. We were invited simply to wonder at what we were seeing. I doubt most of the spectators would have classified it as a "magic trick" even though that's what it was.

Geoff
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Frank Tougas
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Quote:
On 2005-11-13 00:11, Alex Linian wrote:
There are three ways in which a magician can participate in a demostration of magic:

He can cause the magic to happen.
He can watch the magic on it's own.
He can fall victim to the magic and can't stop it.


Boy,

Take a week off and all heck breaks loose. Alex, I respectfully disagree. You are starting with a flawed premise. There are hundreds of ways, variations, and approaches magicians can take in their presentation. Probably as many ways as there are magicians.

To try and catagorize presentation into three "boxlike" statements shows a lack of maturity in the development of your personal philosophy of why magic works. Or how best to present that in the context of your philosophy.

Obviously you believe in the first of the three, and coincidentally it is the most direct statement. The other two all have a negative spin built into them making anyone choosing a different path from yours - basically wrong.

I think you would do well to accept the fact that there is more than one right answer and more than three possibilities. When deciding upon your personal philosophy always leave some wiggle room or you may find yourself painted into a corner.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Alex Linian
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Your right. My perspective may change. There, I said it.

However, right now I'm believe I'm right, and I'm sticking to my statement, Respectfully.

Could you discuss and give examples of other approaches?
I'd apprecciate it.
tommy
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In my view it is an insult to their intelligence if you think they take you seriously when say, this is magic or you can do magic.
Tell them the Aces are magic and they will not be insulted but amused. Show them that the Aces are magical and they will be entertained.
But to expect then to actually believe that you are speaking sincerely and telling the truth when you say that, is underestimating them.

He can cause the magic to happen.
He can watch the magic on it's own.
He can fall victim to the magic and can't stop it.

None of these statements would be taken seriously by an adult and you could not reasonably expect them to. They are merely entertained by such notions. It's clap trap and bosh and they know it, the same as they know an actor is acting. What does it matter what you tell them, they know it's all nonsense. So long as the nonsense is entertaining tell them what you like. Tell them that you drank the blood of a fire breathing red dragon that you slew in the year 666 and you have been able do magic ever since if like. They would not be insulted because they know your not serious even if you pretend to be. It’s just make believe, that’s what magic is.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jaz
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Some people will simply enjoy the entertainment knowing well that it's not real and not be analytical about it.

Others will enjoy the show but still try to analyze regardless of what you do. It's their nature.

Then there are those spectators who in some way believe in the supernatural. It may be something as simple as a black cat or breaking a mirror but they believe these things deep down. If it's tarot readings, mentalism, telekinetic or medium type act, people tend to want to believe these things are possible and some will believe it's true.

Some present their stuff and make the claim that they don't exactly know how or where thier "gift" works. Perhaps from thier god, a dead friend or a different plane of existance. In this way they alienate themselves from the magic and if they fail then the higher power was not looking upon them too fondly.

Bizarrists often present stories about cursed or magical objects. Not necessarily Saint Christopher medals that have been blessed but pyramid power, Ankhs, talimans, voodoo dolls, etc.

Prestidigitators are often suspected of chicanery and using skills. That's OK by me if it's entertaining. Having some of the audience think that you're the magic source or that there's some magic going on is fine. Even if it just suspends their disbelief for a while. Tongue in cheek claims of objects having magic properties can be fun.

All magi are different be it comedy, mind bending, gambling demos or whatever.

All audiences are different. What one believes another will not.
Alex Linian
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Quote:
On 2005-11-14 15:26, tommy wrote:
In my view it is an insult to their intelligence if you think they take you seriously when say, this is magic or you can do magic.
Tell them the Aces are magic and they will not be insulted but amused. Show them that the Aces are magical and they will be entertained.
But to expect then to actually believe that you are speaking sincerely and telling the truth when you say that, is underestimating them.

He can cause the magic to happen.
He can watch the magic on it's own.
He can fall victim to the magic and can't stop it.

None of these statements would be taken seriously by an adult and you could not reasonably expect them to.


Exactly. That's why you don't state any of that (that you are magic, or what it is that is causing the magic, etc.). You simply suggest it. They decide what is causing what. Of course, you should know what you want the effect to be.
tommy
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I do not agree. I see no reason you can not state it openly. "It" being things like "These aces are magical" etc it is ridicules to think that the company would feel the magician was insulting their intelligence if he said such things. The magician need not hide such things by suggestion as the company know the magician is acting the part. What next. Do you only suggest your a magician in case you insult their intelligence by stating that? If we hold to your line of thinking we could not snap our fingers or say a magic word for fear of being ridiculed or insulting some ones intelligence. The magician knows the magic word is not causing magic to happen so do the company and neither gives a hoot because both parties know it’s only make believe. That’s why the magician can tell them any nonsense without any fear of insulting them.
Take for example the nonsense patter a magician uses when explaining a card trick, are you suggesting that none of these ludicrous stories should be used in case it insults their intelligence?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pablo Leal
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I think what it might insult them is not exactly the words you say, but the way you say them.

I haven't seen anyone yet being upset after seing a magician performing a Cups and Balls rutine where constantly using the power of a magic wand. I don't think either that people who saw Vernon performing the Canguru Coins felt in any way insulted after the legend he tolds at the beggining.

I think it all depends on the context of the performance you make. People will responce to the way you treat them during your act.
"The one that seeks for the truth takes the chance to find it". Isabel Allende

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Frank Tougas
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Quote:
On 2005-11-14 14:40, Alex Linian wrote:
You're right. My perspective may change... Could you discuss and give examples of other approaches?
I'd appreciate it.


Thanks for the opportunity.
There are theatrical styles that do not easily lend themselves to your stated categories. Examples would be what Copperfield does and Thompsoni & Co.

There is pure skill/manipulative type of presentation such as seen in the genre of Fred Kaps and the Award winning FISM act of Lance Burton.

There are very stylistic type performers, whose styles who do not lend themselves to duplication yet are quite individual from each other, I would point out the smooth multi-motion style of Slydini, or the more reserved and directness of Dai Vernon.

There are playful/down home presentations, where the audience is invited into the world of the magician - Don Alan and Al Goshman come to mind.

There is a sarcastic and acerbic style of presentation such as that presented by Penn and Teller.

Street smart as practiced by David Blaine.

None of this even mentions performers who specialize in Bizarre magic, mentalism (Which can be within and also beyond your three categories) Escape artists, religious themed magic, period performers such as witnessed at Renaissance Faires.
And then there is Cris Angel?? - Thus far there IS no category for what he does.

I am sure there are other examples but it is early and I haven't had my coffee yet. Hope this gets you thinking. I must comment that your willingness to rethink this demonstrates a quality in you than is shared by few in the field of magic (not counting the top performers who do share it although not all of them do). I will leave it up to you to figure out what it is as I have no word for it other than to say it lies somewhere between curiosity and humility.

Who knows, you may invent a category of your own one day. You have my agreement that you can.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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