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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Do gambling demonstrations diminish the impact of a magic show? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JackScratch
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I think your audience will percieve the performance the way you show the to percieve it. If you do a gambling routine in the middle of a performance where the theme doesn't fit, the concern will be far more for the lack of congruency. Your abilities come from where ever you lead your audience to believe they come from. Assuming, of course, that you do the job well. I see no reason that your abilities can not come from a variety of sources (ie magic/skill/a mystic hat pin/ specialy developed pineal gland) so long as your story is a good one.
Bill Palmer
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I always preferred Peter Hurkos' method of gaining psychic abilities. He claimed he fell off a ladder and landed on his head.
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NJJ
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I don't have any answers but a story, one that has happened in various forms throughout my performing career.

I just finished performing my shell and pea routine for a very drunk young woman and her table. It was PURE gambling. I introduced myself as a con artist, I used con man patter and there was not a hint of magic. When I was done she said...."but was it REAL magic?"
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-05-02 00:24, Bill Palmer wrote:
I always preferred Peter Hurkos' method of gaining psychic abilities. He claimed he fell off a ladder and landed on his head.



That is a nice one.

I just don't realy think that the source of our abilities actualy matters to our audience unless we make it matter. For good, or for bad.
tommy
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I see magic in the shell game: The pea magically travells from one shell to another, but I see no magic in showing them you dealing seconds, centers, and bottoms.
The latter is just exposing moves and even if it works for you it does not help other magicians who want to use them moves secretly. I used to think it was good but I changed my mind when someone asked. "Where is the magic in that?" I think that is good question to ask yourself before doing anything but if you don't know what magic is you will have no answer.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Some magicians do not see the magic in card magic. Some magicians don't see the magic in an ambitious card routine. Some magicians see card magic as a pick a card - here it is, kind of magic.

That is fine with me.

I do hypnosis and I open the show with magic. When doing fairs and festivals I would do illusions first because it helps to look big on the stage and draw a crowd.

Many magicians have told me that magic is fake and hypnosis is real and if you mix the two they will think hypnosis is fake. My job in doing shows is entertainment. Not to prove magic or hypnosis is real. Just entertainment.

Some magicians do not like poker deals and things like three card monte in a magic routine. But I find that things that are entertaining like the poker routines and the swindles help break apart the mystery magic parts of the show and give the show texture and a change of pace.

If they do not think it is magic and are entertained and think I am skilled and what they see is a rare skill. That is OK with me!
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Bill Palmer
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I don't see most card "magic" as "magical." The only time I see anything "magical" about a card trick is when something happens that transcends the idea of sleight of hand.

For example, the ACR with a signed card does not appear to be magical to me. But if you do Solid Deception with a signed card, the spectator experiences a sense of totally having the props kicked out from under him. And the routine is basically the same.
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RickyD
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For the most part, I avoid gambling routines, simply because I want to be seen as a magician, not a skilled card handler. (Same reason I'm not into fancy card flourishes, though the gambling side of it also includes an element of cheating.) When someone sees me perform, I don't want them to say, "I don't ever want to play cards with you," or even, "How long did it take you to master those moves?" but "Dang, that was cool!"

The only Poker routine I ever perform is a variation of Hugard's "Magician vs. Gambler", and I don't do that in my standard show, only in very specific situations. It's not even Poker really, just a gambler challenging a magician to cut to 4-of-a-kind, with a magical ending.

Same is true for monte-type tricks. I own a couple (gaffed) monte effects, but other than showing them to family or friends, I've never performed them. Just doesn't quite seem to fit. And I've never done a "shell game" style trick at all (well, not since that magic set I got when I was 12 ...) I've even developed a card routine around the game of Canasta (a favorite game in my wife's family), but I haven't shown it to them yet, and don't know that I ever will. Why? Because it has a sense of, "Here's how I could cheat and win, if I wanted to," and that's not the image I want to project.

But that's just me ...
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-- Philippians 4:23
JackScratch
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Interesting RickD, and I don't mean to be contrary, but often those are exactly some of the reactions I like to recieve.
RickyD
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Quote:
On 2006-05-02 15:42, JackScratch wrote:
Interesting RickD, and I don't mean to be contrary, but often those are exactly some of the reactions I like to recieve.


I don't mind contrary opinions. (Wouldn't this be a boring discussion board if everyone agreed with everyone else? Smile)

I personally can't pull off the "Look how skilled I am" bit without coming across as arrogant, and that's basically what I think of when I hear "How long did it take you to learn that?" or "You're really good with cards," or whatever. (But again, that's just me.)

However, I also don't want people to think I've actually tapped into some unknown forces and truly have mystical powers or something. What I want to go for is "suspension of disbelief". Juggling is a skill that can be appreciated. Singing or playing a musical instrument is a talent that can be appreciated. Magic I see as an entirely different animal -- watch, be amazed, and enjoy.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."
-- Philippians 4:23
tommy
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I think some skills can look so good that they appear magical. I am thinking of guys like Cardini who seem to have above human skill.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Patrick Differ
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I believe that gambling demonstrations can deminish the impact of a magic show when the two get confused.

I've muddled this far. It gets down to the character and what his or her model of magic is going to be. A magic show is an invitation into the world of magic, a gambling demonstration is an invitation into the world of gambling.

Do these sets intersect? Aren't these two different characters? Aren't these two different objectives? In most cases, yes, but not always! In rare cases, such as Whit Haydn's, his character is developed around the con man...as he's said, "the wink and the lie." (That's the way I'm perceiving your character, WH, please help me if I've missed it. If I've nailed it, pat yourself on the back! Smile) By him developing his con man persona, he's enabled himself to do all the work, without limiting himself to either magicness or gamblingness. All done with a wink and a lie... anything is possible for him... and it all flies. His is a rare case, one that deserves carefull consideration and study, and one of the best examples of an exception to this rule.

Otherwise I share RickyD's ideas. I know A LOT of gambling demonstrations that I never mix with magic demonstrations anymore. I don't dare. In my experience trying to do them both, I've only met with less than mediocre responses. Something was definitely missing. Something like continuity. Like pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of routining, these two types of demonstrations just don't really seem to fit together correctly for me. I suppose I could get a hammer out and pound them together until they fit right... but I'd rather use a feather.
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,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-05-02 16:27, Patrick Differ wrote:
I believe that gambling demonstrations can deminish the impact of a magic show when the two get confused.

I find a gambling demonstration not good in a magic show and do only card sharp demonstrations. There is nothing about gambling because a card sharp doesn't gamble they cheat. Showing cheating techniques in an entertaining way and using one technique to cover or shade another for the UNEXPEDED climax can be quite entertaining. Giving the audience a chance to step into the world of the card cheat a world known only to most of them in fiction.

Show structure, show structure, show structure could be the key words.

Perhaps try - First part Magic. Then something like the shells or the chain of chance, then the card sharp demonstration, followed by 3 card monte. Then end the show with a stunner like the cups and balls with the loads.
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Jaz
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My opinion is that gambling demos don't belong in a magic act but some magic can appear in gambling acts.

I've very slowly been working on both.

Gambling is the theme of one.
The effects I'm considering are not all demos but relate to the theme.

"Hot Slots" (slots patter).
"Lorayne’s Poker Deal" and "Fab Four Revisited" (as card controls).
"3 Shell Game" or "Cups & Balls".
A dice routine by Bob King.
Allerton's "Bamboozle" (bills).

These were chosen because I feel they are fun, magical and get the theme across.
I'm looking at others as well.
Dannydoyle
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Is there a difference to the AUDIENCE between a gambling demo and a card sharp demo?

Well I have asked about 50 people since this was brought up. THEY don't seem to think so. It is a distinction WE make. And it is a pointless one.

By the way anyone, the world of the "card cheat" is only known to MOST MAGICIANS from fiction. How many have actually stepped into the world of gambling other than to learn moves we "think" are being used? Very few indeed.
Danny Doyle
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Bill Palmer
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Irv Weiner used to be a gambler. He told me that he quit when he discovered exactly how large the hole in the end of the barrel of a revolver looked when you were holding out an ace.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Patrick Differ
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Lol... nothing worse than looking at the dangerous end! Where was he holding the ace? (Not that it matters... but I bet the card was ruined 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,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Lee Darrow
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"The largest thing in the world is the muzzle of the gun that's pointed at your forehead." - Me - 1972

"The second loudest sound in the world is the sound of the "Safety" clicking "Off."" - Robery Lynn Asprin, 1968.

"And the scariest thing in the world is to experience both of those things at the same time." - Me, today.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
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Dannydoyle
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Try the sound of the bullet cutting your flesh, and breaking your collerbone.

All those other sounds and sights PALE in comparison believe me.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Palmer
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"Did you live?"

Arsenio Hall to David Copperfield after hearing the description of the Escape from Alcatraz illusion on the upcoming David Copperfield special.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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