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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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saxmangeoff
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Arsenio Hall, here's your sign..... Smile

Geoff
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Bill Palmer
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Oh, no. The audience roared! It deflated Copperfield completely.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Come to think if it, a good poker deal demo is probably a great way to get into something like the "Open Travellers" effect, where you show the aces in other poker hands and "palm them out" invisibly to make your own hand.
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kregg
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Knowing the advantage of the "letting them in on a secret" ruse is but another round in my chamber.
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Lee Darrow
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Danny, by the point you describe, you're beyond scared. You're into complete panic - or well on your way to dead.

Different mental state. Smile

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George Ledo
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Going back to the original question... Smile

For me, it all depends on how you position the show, i.e., how you sell it to the audience. If you sell it as a magic or illusion show, and I come to see that, and you do a gambling or card sharp routine, then I'd say, gee, where did that come from?

If you sell it as, for instance, "An Evening with Joe Schmoe," and I know Joe is a magician, then I'm going to accept whatever Joe does as part of the evening's entertainment.

A couple of years ago I caught Steve Wyrick's show in Vegas. It was mostly big illusions themed around an old airplane hangar. And it fit together. Then he brought out this small "setting" of a sort-of-Victorian back wall and a card table, and proceeded to do a close-up routine with cards. To me, it wasn't a change of pace, not the way it came out of left field; it was just incongruous.
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tommy
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I think the first thing a magician should do is invent a character for himself and should avoid things that are incongruous to it. Otherwise he can not build an image and he becomes just another magician.
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Dave V
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I've seen equally incongruous acts in Las Vegas as well. Melinda has (had) an "old tyme" saloon set where she climbed into a white (?) cannon (where did that come from???) and "shot" herself into a sparkling chrome and plexiglass box.

I had that puzzled look on my face not unlike the one my dog gives me when I try to talk to her about anything other than "food" (the only real word she understands)

Now, other than the cannon thing, if she had fired herself into an old time safe, at least that would have made some sense.

Whit Haydn has built a great character for himself this past year. As far as I'm concerned he's the only one I've seen who can successfully pull off a gambling (card sharp) demo/show along with his normal magic show. The "con man/swindler" character he's adopted fits perfectly as a bridge for both types of show. You know he's going to try and cheat you. In fact he even says so: "Don't take your eyes off me, I'll cheat you in a second!"
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Bill Palmer
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Now we are getting to the point that I have been hoping someone would really develop. That is how to integrate the act properly.

I made a big mistake early in my career at the Renaissance Festival. I have always played Merlin out there. The second year, I introduced the Gene Anderson Newspaper Tear into the show. It got way too good a response to take it out. I tried the third year to "purify" the show by leaving it out, and I got too many customer complaints. So I put it back in. But I justified it.

It was a stretch, I'll admit. But it worked, and nobody questioned it again. It was very simple. If you have read T.H. White's The Once and Future King, you know that Merlin (in that book) is supposed to be living backwards in time. This became part of the premise.

My introduction went as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Texas Renaissance Festival proudly presents, the craftiest conjurer in all the realm, the personal advisor to King Arthur, and the man who lives backwards in time -- Merlin the Magician!"

They bought it.

Interestingly, when I played Hocus Pocus at Cavalier Dayes, I did not do the Newspaper Tear, and nobody missed it, because the character had never done it before.
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John Cass
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If the idea of magic is having supernormal powers, then a hypnosis demonstration during a magic show would be likely to decrease the audience's belief in those powers.

A gambling demonstration would probably do the same thing.
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