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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2005 entrée: Al Schneider » » The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MattWayne
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Hey Al,

Well there's so many questions I could ask you. But I thought I'd start off with one about your book. I have heard that it's out of print now, yes? And if so- any plans on reproducing it? I am rereading it now for the fourth time. Might I just say- I find something new everytime I read it.

I found that it's a great theoretical piece full of useful information. I've enjoyed analyzing my own routines and improving them- based on what I've read in this manuscript.

Chapter Four on assumptions and how the audience assumes the magic has been very helpful. How they themselves see the magic. Brought me to the conclusion that some of the moves I perform are just that- moves. That I concentrated so much on learning the sleight itself- not the theatrical misdirection that tags along with it. And that if I really could vanish a coin; why not just place it in the hand, and voila open it and the 'miracle' has occured almost seemlessly. Why did I even bother with a grip or concealment that wasn't natural? Just some things I learned. This book has not only helped me with coin magic, but also with my cups and balls routine. So, thank you for putting this out.

I do have one 'starter' question for you. I've noticed that you do a lot of lapping and/or sleeving in your close up work. I viewed a lecture of yours recently and the sleeving I'm referring to was the chain vanish. The lapping pertains to just some of the coin sleights. Which do you prefer more? Obvious perks to both, but I find that lapping overrates sleeving in many respects. I find it to be cleaner and less 'fishy.' Perhaps I'm thinking too hard.

I'm sure I'll post more questions to you later regarding the book- I have many, but for now I just wanted to introduce the topic. Thanks for being here!

best regards,
Matt Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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Al Schneider
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First about the book on theory.
I don't know what to do with it now.
I kind of plan to put it out as a .pdf.
Howver, my knowledge on theory is growoing and I want to include that in the book.
Also I have planned a super DVD on theory. I am not sure what I will do.

About lapping and sleeving. Actually I do little of either. I came up with some better sleeving technology and that is demonstrated in a clip on my site. The lapping stuff was part of Ideas 2005. This is really new with me. The lapping done on the clips was just to go somewhere with the vanish moves. You can't just do a vanish and sit there. Most laymen will simply say, "Its over there." They don't know that for a fact. It is just simple logic. Technically speaking a simple vanish won't work because there has been only one false assumption made. For magic to really work, the audience should make at least two false assumptions. The second false assumption covers the fact a first false assumption was made.

In most of my work I go at lengths to avoid lapping or sleeving. Often I just keep whatever it is in palm position until I put props away. Or I work out the routine so the item automatically ends up out of the way. If I use lapping or sleeving there will be a very, very good reason to do so. Also it should not be used to simply make somethng disappear. If a coin disappears, over the edge is just to logical a place for it to go. If the vanish is good the audience will think of that in an instant.

This has an aside incidently. If you have a very good coin vanish, it must be performed in such a way so as to eliminate the edge or sleeve. If those remain a possibility for the audience, they will simply become the solution for the audience. In that case there is no magic no matter how good your vanish.

There is more to magic than moves or gimmicks.

A mystery does not make magic.

Al
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
MattWayne
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Al,

Thanks for the reply. I really have focused a lot of my magic and have molded my routines around the basis of knowing that the audience does make assumptions. So whereever there is a cause for concern- or a funny move; I've tried to smooth it down. Still working on it though.

One interesting point in your book and you referred to it above is that you: eliminate the first assumption by immediately presenting misdirection that leads to a second false assumption- leading the audience to be trapped in between two assumptions that were naturally made- causing them to think, "oh, wow a miracle." Leaving the move to be way passed and over with. Hence- true successful misdirection? But doesn't even a subtle move lead to a small assumption? So, thus never truly out of mind? I'm just probably thinking too hard.

Also, if I remember correctly- I'm going to have to pull out the book here after I submit this, but you mention and advise: not to mix effects. Maybe this is the problem I'm having. I was always taught to have a natural flow from one piece of magic to another. And this is what my coin routine is based off of.

Here it is:

The production of four coins. Normal Matrix routine with four cards. Four coins to pocket- then causing one to jump through the fibers of my pants leg and penetrate through. Now I have just one coin. Simple vanishes thus leading to reproductions all around the body. Under the knee cap, under the arm. This portion lasts only ten seconds. Coin roll in there somewhere. Then a quick little pass over the coin and it changes to copper. Now, we are performing a Spellbound routine. Ending with a silver Kennedy coin- but then as a final miracle- it grows into a jumbo coin. I honestly believe it flows very well.

Now- applying what I've learned in your book I'm trying to limit the number of flaunty 'oh look the coin vanishes' type of moves. But trying to intermix them with a desired cause and effect emotion. "Oh, the coin vanishes- ah wait, oh look travels under my knee. Ha ha, must have a trick knee." Sounds daunting, but it flows. Perhaps only in my opinion though. I probably want to break it down more. I've performed this routine nearly every close up show I do. And it's gotten great reactions. But then I always feel that there's something missing. It's not too long- it's not too short; so that's not the issue. The magic or my assumption of magic is there. Just can't seem to get it yet.

best regards,
Matt
Matt Wayne
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Al Schneider
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You are addressing a lot about personal style.

I once attempted to have everything flow. Then while in the middle of my routine the waitress came over and asked if anyone wanted desert. I also noticed people going Uhhuh, Uhhuh, Uhhuh as I progressed through a rouitne. I personally decided to do a trick and end it. Then begin another. My cup and ball routine is similiar. It consists of 5 phases. Between each phase I stop and relate something with patter. Then I launch into the next phase. Note, this is what works best for me. I can not really answer your question but only express my feelings for what I do.

When I refer to not mixing effects I am refering to not doing something like a transposition and change at the same time. For example, a silver half would not jump to under a card and change to copper. Or a card would not appear in someones pocket and be the chosen card. First reveal the chosen card. Then make it jump to someone's pocket.
Al Schneider
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ithomson
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Al

Have you ever thought of of an in-depth answer to Ali Bongo's question?

Keep in touch. Let me know how the PDF ideas are going.

Ian
Al Schneider
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Ithomson

"Have you ever thought of of an in-depth answer to Ali Bongo's question?"

Actually my book on magic deception theory is the answer to his question as well as the first DVD in the 4 DVD series.

To those of you wondering what we are saying: In my early years I had just come out with my first book called OFF. It was an experiment to learn how to print books. I was at a lecture and stood up as a dealer at a dealer show at a convention to pitch the book. I stated before all, that the book covered some theory of magic. When I stepped of the stage, Ali Bongo approached me and said, "I say, during your comments you said something about your book discussing theory. I say, do you think that is really necessary?"

Well I do. I took his question seriously and produced the book of theory which eventually found its way into the first DVD of the 4 DVD set, "Al Schneider Technique". That book and the DVD is the answer to that question.

The production of that DVD is a story in itself. When L&L contacted me I suggested the concept of a DVD on theory. Lewis did not seem particularly warm to the idea. He is from New York so that might just be his way of talking. Don't know. Anyway I thought this would be a good idea. I was leary about it also. So I contacted Jerry Fishman in Chicago and worked out a plan to do a lecture there. The idea was to attempt to present a lecture that would eventually become the DVD. Well the the lecture went very well but did not seem to work well for what I wanted. I learned from that experience and alterened how the DVD should be organized. By the way the guys in Chicago are very smart and we had a very good discussion during the lecture.

At the time of the shoot in CA, Lewis picked me and Angie at the airport and drove us to his studio. We were out of the car and unpacked in minutes. A few minutes later we were shooting the DVD on theory. I think he had doubts about the material and wanted to get it out of the way so we could get to the important stuff. The shoot did not go well. I was confused becasue it was my first time before a camera and I had this horrible cough. I was very tired because I had been working for a month and a half getting ready for this shoot. I could barely function. However, we persisted. Lewis kept giving me pep talks and Angie was backing him up. But it all got caputured on tape. I had not idea how it would turn out. I did not know for years what had happened with it. Eventually I got some proofs in the mail from L&L. The proofs were great. The editors Lewis had hirec did miricles with the tapes. I sounded intelligent. They cut out all the coughing and patched in words here and there that made sense. The tape is very, very good.

About .pdf's. I haven't started on that yet. I looked into buying an Acrobat pdf builder but right now it is to expensive for me. Adobe, however, rents time using the builder by the month. I am considering that avenue. My next step is to go to a bookstore and see if I can buy a book to bring me up to speed with the builder. I do not want to use Word to build the book initially. That is a very difficult way to manipulate pictures. My hope is that the builder has some kind of tool that I can manage the structure with a C++ program. I would perfer a tool like a second generation Word Perfect. Latex has a good environemnt to do this and it is free. However, the pdf files it produces have some bugs which are incompatible with older version of the Adobe display facility.

The search goes on.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Wells
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Al -

The theory DVD is great. I have watched it several times. It should be a requirement for anyone interested in doing close up magic. However, I somehow missed out on getting your theory book...probably because I moved out of the main flow of things for a few years. I certainly hope you republish it in some form and please put me on the list to buy one when you do!

I have always enjoyed reading and seeing your thought process regarding magic. I would have guessed a science background before I knew you were a Physicist. Being a Biologist, I must have sensed a kindered spirit.

Keep it up!!

Bill
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