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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How do I re-capture the wonder? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steve Haffner
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Kentucky
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I've been noticing that the more I learn about the methods of magic, the more difficult it is to get that tingly feeling of wonder (or astonishment) I had when I was filled with blissful ignorance.

I suppose this is obvious and unavoidable, but I'm a bit bummed out by it. For example, I recently bought a DVD of some very good card material that most magicians agree is very strong and well-presented. It is good stuff and I do enjoy watching it and learning from the performer's style and technique. But I'm not fooled because the standard moves are obvious to me now, such as I can pretty much tell when he is doing a DL or an Elmsley Count, for example. Certain handlings are done for a reason, so when I see something done a certain way, I can surmise where he is leading me.

I do still enjoy a good presentation, even if I know the method. A good Linking Rings or Miser's Dream routine will bring a smile to my face every time.

Anyway, I guess I just need to not worry about my loss of innocence because I took myself past the point of no return when I decided to become a performer. The only good thing about it is that when asked how a trick is done, I can state with total conviction: "Believe me, you don't want to know."

Have any of the more experienced folks out there felt this loss? If so, did you just shrug it off or do something to change your mindset so it doesn't bother you? Have you managed to turn off the analytic part of their brain when watching magic so you aren't looking to see what the method is?

Thanks.

- Steve
LostSoul
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Dave
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The magic is still there, you just have to find it. Become a spec when watching someone performs an illusion, don’t analyze it. Use your mind to go back to when you were younger and the wonder was still there (easy for me, I never grew up).

I know what you mean, I’ve been there and I still go there (analyzing the magic as it goes on), but I fight it as much as I can.

Good luck,
Dave
edh
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Yes I to have this problem. When I look at someone performing magic I try and look at the performance rather than analyzing the method. You can learn an a lot from watching the performance of a good magician. Subtleties of misdirection, choreography of moves. Look at the performers choreography of his routine. You gain a lot of knowledge by observing how and why a magician moves.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Small-hands Luke
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Yup, I also have this problem. It's a shame really. I can still at least get a sense of being impressed, particularly with a great pass or something else difficult. So I guess it's just switched from wonder to admiration.
Steven Steele
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This is a common problem. I would offer up a the following that will help you out.

First of all, when you perform your own magic, you have to see yourself as really doing magic. When you perform a 'french drop', for example, don't think 'the coin is really in the other hand. Think that the coin is really in your hand. Forget where it really is. And visualize and believe that you are really vanishing a coin. You will start to feel the wonder of the magic.

Once that happens, you can start to watch magic in the same way. You're focusing on the presentation and not on the mechanics. Professionals do this all the time as we have grown and developed to be able to to this.

So it's really how you approach magic. Richard Osterlind's Trilogy spends a lot of time talking about this. By reading these you will not only bring back the wonder in magic, you will improve your own performance.

It's a skill you develop over time. Good luck and enjoy the magic!
Small-hands Luke
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Steve,

That's really good advice. Think I'm going to try that myself.
abc
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Think of being a musician and not a magician. You go to see a band play or a musician perform and even though you can play the exact same piece of music you can still enjoy listening to it. Even if you have heard Beethoven's Fur Elize a million times it is still a beautiful piece of music if the performer plays the whole piece (very important) and does it with the correct emotion. That same piece of music can become a disaster if it is played while you are waiting for someone to answer the phone.
If you see magicians performing think of yourself as a fellow performer but someone who can still appreciate and enjoy the music rather than someone who is waiting on the line.
calexa
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To be honest, I don´t have this problem. Even if I know the method I enjoy the magic. Sorry, but this time I have no advice. For me it is simple to enjoy the magic, because I just don´t think about the method (I know it sounds strange, because I know the method, but I don´t think about it. But maybe someone understands....)

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Steve Haffner
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Kentucky
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. It's good to know the feeling is not unusual, and you gave some great advice for dealing with it. I need to follow Steven's advice of of seeing my own work as magic - sometimes I'm so hung up on making sure I do it exactly right that the technical details take over and to me it's not even close to magic, just a thing I need to do correctly.

I have a show I have been working on for a few months that I am performing for the first time tomorrow for my daughter's birthday party. I'm going to make sure I remember the wonder in it and enjoy it.

Even if it kills me.

:)

- Steve
mouliu
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Magic itself is so enjoyable, I never have this problem. I also learn the showmanship and pick up some useful lines when watching magic. You can always learn something from other magicians.

BTW, different from you, I'm still be fooled very often, and enjoy those moment very much.
A novice't reflection: I like watching my audience's jaws drop, but sadly in reality I'm just too busy to enjoy it. Smile
DomKabala
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I can sympathize and concur with Calexa...I understand. I am the same way and I love being entertained even when I know the method. I have no advice to give except to enjoy the moment!
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toolman22
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I have to agree with most you. Just sit back and enjoy the show and if by chance you pick something up the better you become. Relax and let your mind go.
vanilla192
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Watch criss angel,lol, I never knew I had lost that tingly feeling until I felt it again
SuperMagicMozart
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I actually had that tingly feeling when I watched that Cyril magician. Truly amazing. Also, have you been to a real (that is, not online) magic shop. There's something about seeing even the simplest trick live that is exponentially more thrilling than a better trick online.
Chris Miller
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It is probably easier to say than do, but I think the key to enjoying the magic is just to relax. Don't be looking for something. Don't fight the misdirection -- Don't even think of misdirection. I've found I can leave the analytical aspect behind and keep the wonder. ... Have fun with your show! Great advice above about believing the magic even as you do it.

Chris
Steve Haffner
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Kentucky
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Sunday's show was a success. Lots of great reactions from the kids and even the parents. I didn't lose their attention for the whole 37 minutes, though I had to reel them back in a couple of times.

I really had a lot to think about since I hadn't performed the whole show before in front of an audience, so it was hard for me to get into a mindset of being amazed by my own magic. I will say, though, that hearing the kids react and laugh at the surprises went a long way to helping me remember and feel the wonder of it.

And I really did enjoy it. Watching myself on the video makes me cringe, but I can tell I was having fun.

Thanks again for all the responses.

- Steve
Jaxon
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I made a post not long ago that in some ways fit this conversation. You might want to take a look to see if you understand the connection. The post is titled, "Phases of magic study." Go to this link to check it out:

Click here

The reason I think it's relevant is because some magicians reach the stage where they no longer "feel the magic" and loose interest. I'm sure you've meet people who told you they use to be into magic. Maybe they tell you they learned some from a magician friend in college or something like that. During that time they saw this magician doing these amazing things. Learned a few tricks from them and after a while it became boring. I mean it's not like what some non-magicians think. Our methods are actually pretty simple. At least they are simple to understand. If you think about it our methods can be learned in a matter of seconds. They wouldn't be able to do them right away but they can understand how they work right away (It's in the other hand, two cards are held together as one, a trap door, ect...).

When we loose that feeling we need to find it in other areas of the art. We have to find that feeling from the inside out rather then as an observer. Different people will find it in different ways. I feel mean to say this but I get bored stiff watching some magic shows. I'm not putting anyone down but it's the truth. I go to magic conventions and watch the shows. Half the time I'm watching my watch to see how much longer the show will go on so I can get out of there and spend time doing my favorite part of magic gatherings. My favorite part is to hang out with other magicians. I learn from them, they learn from me and it's during this "hang out" time that I see the best magic performed I've ever seen. Quite often I'll be amazed by the same performer when we hang out that I was bored watching earlier during the big show.

I know that's just my personal feelings on this but the point is you can get that feeling. You just have to find what really works for you. It could be watching other performers, a certain type of performance (I love a good comedy act). The feeling can come from your spectators or when you find a new trick or aspect that works in your own performances. I know I get a thrill when I find a good line or sight gag that fits my act.

Ron Jaxon
Image


After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Steve Haffner
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Ron,

Thanks, your post above and the one you provided the link to were both great reads, and helpful.

I have spent precious little time around other magicians - I need to join the local magic club and get involved. Unfortunately, time is scarce because of "life" getting in the way as you mentioned in the other post (raising two young daughters, my "real" job, etc.). I want to avoid putting magic on the shelf until my kids grow up.

- Steve
John Long
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Maybe this isn't quite what Mercury was thinking, but I liked the post that Ron referred us to

Quote:
New tricks aren't what I crave anymore. New ways to entertain people is what I now look for.


There seems to be a phase when the "magic" isn't in the magic, yet we keep looking for it. I found that there is a tendency to buy the latest trick, gadget.. in an attempt to get the "magic" back - what I've heard some refer to as a magic "fix". So we, certainly myself, tend to buy and accumulate tricks (or read the lastest post on the Café). Even buying something new before working thru the old(or in my case, even opening it!). I've hear Eugene Berger quoted as saying "you have too much magic already". Sad, we only learn this after we have too much. There is of course a reason why magic will not satisfy..

Most of us know that the "magic" is not in the trick, prop, gizzmo.., its in the presentation, and how the audience receives it.

I would like to think that I am just starting to enter this phase, but for the moment, the ratio of the number of purchased effects to the number of people in my audience is in the hundreds(if I count individual effects from books). Even the incremental ratio(just the recent purchases to current audiences) is much greater than one. I suspect that these ratios should be much less than 1.

John
Breathtaking Magic;
Not Breath Taking
rmoraleta
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I still re-capture some of the wonder once in a while. I try to enjoy the effect than trying to find the method.
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