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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » What makes for the "Perfect Trick", and give a example of a "Perfect Trick" besides the presentation (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Eddini_81976
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Okay when purchasing a trick these are my OWN personal rules of thumb I go by for my PERSONAL Performing Style.

I have 6 criterias I go for when buying a trick.

1. You can perform it shirtless
2. You START, and END clean.
3. It is High Impact. One might argue that, that's the Magician's job. Not always so. Look at Hot Rod. Nice trick, but Scotch & Soda is MUCH more powerful....get what I mean?
4. It's not too hard to perform, something of intermediate difficulty.
5. It can be examine AT LEAST at the end.
6. It is LEAST 60% Angle-Proof.

Okay, you may find it surprising that a "Perfect Trick" for me is not a Card or Mentalism Effect but a Coin Trick, yes you read right. While I only do like 3 coin tricks, it is the AWESOME "Scotch & Soda" that I pick, as far as my criteria for the "Perfect Trick". I get TONS of request for this one on the Streets. People are like "Hey Ed / Eddini, show my friend Sara here that coin trick you do. OMG Sara this is insane you'll freak...ect". Well the Effect just TOTALLY MIND BLOWS, it's also one that can be done totally surrounded, is 100% examinable, is VERY EASY, and you don't need sleeves. If I had to do ONE TRICK for the hardest, toughest most skeptical crowd and it HAS to work and fool, I'd pick "Scotch & Soda", though I do mostly Cards and Mentalisn 70% of the time, Ed, (Eddini) ... Oooooowww !!!
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Bill Palmer
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I allow myself the luxury of a suit. Most of my clients prefer that to my being shirtless, but that isn't a bad criterion.

Otherwise, I think your criteria are good.

I like a trick that is
1) High impact.
2) As close to angleproof as is practical
3) Audience participation
4) Impossible to explain by normal, logical thought.
5) Ending clean is more important to me than starting clean.
6) I don't require that the props be examinable, but that would be a plus.

Perfect trick -- my Bill in Lemon routine, Scotch and Soda (no gaff).
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bishthemagish
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What makes a perfect trick and a perfect performance or performer?

The Audience! Or doing it over and over again in front of different audiences at different shows. And making changes when needed.
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Al Angello
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JackScratch
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This is another one of those questions that goes against everything I believe is important in magic. Roughly, other than presentation, a "trick" can't be perfect. The trick has so much less impact on the final result, as to be negligable. The only thing I find to be important criteria for an effect, is that it fit perfectly with the style and theme of the particular performance. As such, for each particular theme, the criteria changes. For the small stage, I require that they be large enough to be seen, and fit the plot. For walk around, I require that they be performable with no flat surface to work with, and fit the plot. For Westerns, I require that the be of semi period material, and fit the plot. Etc. Thus, an effect which might be ideal for one performance, would be useless for another.
George Ledo
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For me, a perfect trick is anything that looks like real magic AND that engages the audience at more than a novelty, "fool their pants off" level.

To me, Honda Gold Wing motorcycles are pretty cool (and I know I'm pigeonholing myself here Smile ), but watching someone pop a wheelie on one is just a novelty, like, yeah, cool. But so what? There's more to a Gold Wing than that. I'd rather someone told me about a nice ride they had, and places they went, than pop a wheelie just to impress me.
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onezero1
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Your bog-standard sponge ball routine (I like to use rolled up paper doilies).
Just your hands, the other guys hands and some little paper balls defying the laws of reality.
This routine is my restaurant killer.
It uses items from the table, which are totally un-dodgy
They can help out making the balls while I gauge the situation(what may fly, are they digging this etc)
The best part of the magic happens in their hands.
And (a bit selfish this one) it gives them the idea that you can do ANYTHING you want with anything you want.
'though it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way...it would seem that we are all negligent.
The One
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Quote:
On 2006-04-15 22:53, Eddini_81976 wrote:

I have 6 criterias I go for when buying a trick.

1. You can perform it shirtless
2. You START, and END clean.
3. It is High Impact. One might argue that, that's the Magician's job. Not always so. Look at Hot Rod. Nice trick, but Scotch & Soda is MUCH more powerful....get what I mean?
4. It's not too hard to perform, something of intermediate difficulty.
5. It can be examine AT LEAST at the end.
6. It is LEAST 60% Angle-Proof.



Basicly all your saying is: "I like tricks where I don't take any risks"

Except for maybe number three, none of your criteria matters to the audience... So how does that make it a "perfect" trick?

I agree with JackScratch, none of that is really important in a performance of magic.

The One
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I came here...
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saxmangeoff
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Quote:
On 2006-04-16 18:55, George Ledo wrote:
For me, a perfect trick is anything that looks like real magic AND that engages the audience at more than a novelty, "fool their pants off" level.


George, I think you have the perfect definition of a perfect trick. Smile

There are certainly pragmatic concerns like angles, whether you need a jacket, etc., but, ultimately, if no one cares....

Geoff
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BarryFernelius
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Once upon a time, at one of the Mystery School gatherings, Charles Reynolds (illusion designer, collector, and good guy) said that a great performance of magic has three characteristics, described by these three questions:

1. What happened?

If, one week after the performance, an audience member is asked to describe the magic effect, he (or she) can do so. This means the effect must be memorable, and the plot straight-forward. Charles says that this question alone eliminates better than 80% of the effects in common use!

2. How else?

Simply put, the audience can not find any reasonable explanation of the modus operandi used for the effect. (This is based on a bit in Carl Ballantine's act. A silk is dancing, and for a moment, it looks magical. Ballantine uses a large pair of scissors to cut in the air above the silk, and the silk stops moving. He says, "How else?!")

3. Who cares?

This one comes from Charles' wife. Even if you have done a deceptive, non-confusing MIRACLE, it doesn't mean anything if you didn't make an emotional connection with your audience. In the end, if your audience shrugs its collective shoulders and says, "Who cares?", the magician has failed.
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Donnie
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Barry, excellent criteria, it reminds me of a vernon quote I'm paraphrasing , produce a ham sandwich and you have a cute little trick, produce a ham sandwich when someone is hungry and you have a miracle. Ed in regards to your question, tricks with a lot of audience interaction are important to me, stuff that resets instantly and soemthing with a clear original plot. A great example of this is Eddie Fechters "that's it" I think we all know it and can all learn from it. Also David Williamsons "torn and restored transpo". Both of those guys are masters of making magic tricks meaningful. They create an interesting context and the trick rises from it. Lemme just toss soemthing out to you Ed, I know you said no presentation stuff but just tell me what you think of this. The pen through anything is a great effect, it looks great, fits in your pocket, has a some built in theatre especially if you jam it through a 50. But it didn't used to play for me. It got some laughs ect but not where I wanted it to be. So this is what I did I stopped doing it though a bill. I bring a kid on stage and I say "Ok little timmy ur gonna help but we gotta loosen you up a little bit...do you know what acupuncture is? (i take out the pen). Its when an a licensed acupuncurist uses stabs someones nerves to release stress. Are you sterssed? Now its important that they have a liscense or tis assault. Now come here. OK you are enrvous I'll tell you what let me show you how it works on your shirt. (the do the pen through the kids shirt)" That kid will be so shocked when you jam a pen through his shirt, I mean its his shirt for christ sake!!! The point is this Ed the pen through anything is great perhaps "perfect" in the abstract on paper, but to make a trick "perfect" in the real world you gotta toss a little humanity into it. Tell me what you think?
Eddini_81976
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I agree, audience participation is VERY IMPORTANT to me too. I do lots of mentalism - you can't get more interactive than reading a person's intermost thoughts. I do the A.C. - Card to wallet where they keep the card. I bend forks and give them to the people, and they remember that for a LONG TIME, I also do Anniversary Waltz which is probably one of the Strongest Effects I do. I should've put that on my criteria I guess. As far as the guy above who wrote

"Basicly all your saying is: "I like tricks where I don't take any risks"

Except for maybe number three, none of your criteria matters to the audience... So how does that make it a "perfect" trick?

I agree with JackScratch, none of that is really important in a performance of magic.

The One"

Well years ago, I did underwater Handcuff dives, which if you read in the newbie posts (Check my posts). Yes it's calculated but it is risky. Thanks, Ed, (Eddini).
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kregg
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The perfect trick is when the audience is going with you, thinks it has it figured out and blown away by the result.
When I was a kid I thought that Gene Anderson's T&R Newspaper was the perfect trick.
Today, the choices are so plentiful that I couldn't name a trick without mentioning the performance in the hands of specific performers.
Eugene Burger's Restored Hindu Thread.
Anderson's news paper.
Doug Henning's first TV special.
Lance Burton's Dove Steals.
McBride's Coin Pail and Hindu Water Bowls.
Tommy Wonder's Cage Vanish.
Paul Gertner's Cups and Balls.
The list goes on...
POOF!
EvanSparts
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The perfect trick to me is the one where I have made the effect mine by pouring myself and my esseance into it, rather an original or not. When it connects with someone on a higher level than just entertainment and a magic trick. When that person has realised that what I am doing is expressing myself in an artisic way, (i know that sounds kind of chessey); but when that happens I believe that is the perfect effect. Because when you connect with somwone on that level they view what you are doing in a different light, they don't question methods, they just enjoy the moment, yes they are entertained but its almost like an after thought.
Chessmann
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Quote:
On 2006-04-17 12:58, The One wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-04-15 22:53, Eddini_81976 wrote:

I have 6 criterias I go for when buying a trick.

1. You can perform it shirtless
2. You START, and END clean.
3. It is High Impact. One might argue that, that's the Magician's job. Not always so. Look at Hot Rod. Nice trick, but Scotch & Soda is MUCH more powerful....get what I mean?
4. It's not too hard to perform, something of intermediate difficulty.
5. It can be examine AT LEAST at the end.
6. It is LEAST 60% Angle-Proof.



Basicly all your saying is: "I like tricks where I don't take any risks"

Except for maybe number three, none of your criteria matters to the audience... So how does that make it a "perfect" trick?

I agree with JackScratch, none of that is really important in a performance of magic.

The One


Wow, that is not *at all* what I read out of Ed's post. *None* of Ed's criteria eliminate risk - reduce, in some cases, but not eliminate. I believe they all matter to the audience, but in different ways - but again, that wasn't Ed's point to begin with. Each point is important in the performance of magic, but then again, he also wasn't talking about the perfomance of magic, but the trick itself.
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Professor Piper
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I'm going to write this KNOWING I'm going to be reemed from one end of the spectrum to the other...

BUT..

I have had TREMENDOUS success with it in walk-arounds, restuarants, and at the shop (Magic, of course)...

The cheap, plastic, available everywhere CRAZY CUBE!!

(For those above crappy magic, it's a prediction/mentalist trick using a Die and two black 'film canisters'...

I've done it hundreds of times and it ALWAYS kills.

I guess some wise man was right: Simple is best.

Prof. Piper
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The One
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The right effect at the right situation... is the perfect trick.
I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end...
I came here...
To tell you how this is going to begin.
Patrick Differ
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Interesting.

1. The Mindbender. This is the one that stops you from breathing. This is the one that costs you sleep. This is the one that gets you to look at life differently.

2. The Effect with Cause. I really dislike conflict-less godlike-nerdy magical performances, especially when they're mine. I'd prefer to be doing door-like presentations that reach a different wavelength. If workings are nearly tasteless, and there is no answer to why on Earth it's to be done anyway ... well ... they really, really belong in my garbage can.

3. Relevant Energy. That's the humanity. Oh, the humanity! It has to matter, or else it just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter! It just doesn't matter!

That's the "Perfect Trick." I guess. Smile
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
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Chessmann
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Funny, hope this isn't a reflection on my abilities, but....

The Magic Coin Box. Was that it? You make a coin vanish. Then you produce a large, matchbox style box, secured with rubber bands. Inside is a standard sized matchbox, also with rubber bands around it. Inside that is a felt bag, with the opening secured by another rubber band. Inside that is their coin. They can open box boxes and the bag.

Never failed to get GREAT reactions. Ever.
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
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