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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2005 entrée: Al Schneider » » Creative Process » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ithomson
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Al

You have created and released a number of innovative and influential moves and routines over the years (not to mention your theories).

What did/does your creative process consist of? Do you follow a set of guidelines or procedures to get you to your goals, or is your process more ad hoc?

Finally, do you have any hints and tips to help those of us who are attempting to develop our own ideas within our own styles?

Many thanks.

Ian
Al Schneider
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Here are some general guidlines I use for creativity.
Note that I do not follow them all of the time.

First, undestand what is already there.
If you wish to be creative you best have read the entire Tarbell Course and Bobo's

Second, watch other magicians. Often I see something quite creative in their hands. However, it is not developed to its fullest. Often a new effect is someone eles's effect done without errors. Matrix is Sympathic Coins from Bobo's. (Not to say it had errors) It was just "Improved".

Third, do stuff for real people. If they don't like it, quit doing it.

Fourth, All knowledge begins with random action. Just try stuff. Try 10, 20 or 40 ideas. Pick the best and look for variations on them. Pick the best of them and work on them.

Fifth, Take something good and try and make it better. You don't need to make it real great, just better. Once you do that, do it again. If you do that 10 or 20 times you will have something new. I actually work on new ways to vanish a coin. A result was the TT Coin Manipulation on the clips on my web site. When I watch it, it fools my eyes. I think the technology there is way ahead of the stuff I have done before.

Sixth, Just play. The Matrix pick up move was developed by just laying cards on the my bed and picking them up. I was studying how my hands moved when I picked up the cards. I noticed that when I picked a card up a certain way a coin could be picked up at the same time. This is not brilliance. It is just doing something many ways and observing the possibilities.

Seventh, Take a stage effect and make a close-up effect out of it.

Eight, Take a close up effect and make a stage effect out of it.

Ninth, Take any trick and solve the mechanical problems.

Finally, we stand on the shoulders of those that have gone before us. Just keep standing on them.

I was a programmer during most of my life. I made my living by going into small companies that were in trouble and had to get a product out. I had to solve problems. These were very severe problems. I had no one else to turn to. Often when I would solve a problem I would come up with outlandish solutions. I would attempt to come up with ten or more of them.

Here is one of my mind sets. Come up with a solution no matter how outlandish, just come up with a solution. For example, one solution that always works is to build a look up table that contains every possible solution for some kind of input. This would work with multiplication. If you want to multiply two numbers together, join the two numbers together and use that as an index into the table to get your answer. Now this is very impracticle. The memory required to multiply any two numbers would require a very large memory. However, it is a solution. Don't you see this. It is a solution. Just a bad one. But it is a solution. You can work on improving this. For example, you could study your data and relaize the set of numbers you need to multiply are very small. So a simple look up could be very fast and practicle.

The point is that if you have a solution, no matter how outlandish, you do have a solution. You just need to get a better one or improve that one.

On one contract where several people had to access data at a common location in a plastic injection plant I offered an outlandish solution. Understand I know about file sharing, multiple access, client server cooperation, and all that. What this company wanted would not be satisfied with even the present technology of today.

I came up with a solution. When I presented it to the Director of Engineering he told me it wouldn't work. I told him that he simply had no choice. Also we had one month to ship the product. He told me to go ahead and do it. Then he told me not to bother him again and he slammed his office door.

I got to work and applied this ridiclous method. I had two other people working with me all night long. In a week it was working. When the director saw it working he took the paper out of my hand and said, "That will be all, we don't need you anymore." That system lived within that company for many years and was sold to several of their customers.

Oops, I guess I beat this to death.

I hope you enjoyed it.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
ithomson
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Quote:
On 2005-11-24 12:08, Al Schneider wrote:
Oops, I guess I beat this to death.

I hope you enjoyed it.
Al Schneider



Most certainly. Thank you.

Ian
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