The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Do We Lose the Ability to Perform Sleights as We Grow Older? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4 [Next]
gerard1973
View Profile
Special user
Michigan, U.S.A.
688 Posts

Profile of gerard1973
I heard something the other day that really troubled me and it sounded ridiculous to me when I first heard it but I‘ve never heard anything like this before and I’m not sure whether this is true or not. Perhaps you’ve heard something about this or could tell us more about it. Please keep in mind that we’re not talking about losing the ability to perform sleights due to disease or injury.

Do we lose the ability to perform sleights, as we grow older?
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
This surely varies from person to person, and I would assume that there must be some cause beyond just getting older, be it disease, injury, or simply getting rusty by not doing them as much.

From my own perspective, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome have done a number on me. Some days I can do things better than other days. I have also noticed that as I get older (I just turned 50), my hands are dryer than they used to be. This creates issues with some sleights.

I began to notice this trend a few years ago, and have taken steps to reinvent my career in magic. Some of the gigs I used to make my living from are no longer fun or even practical to do.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Alan Munro
View Profile
Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5732 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
As we grow older, we become more efficient. We have more demands on our time. We also lose the tendency to want to show off in front of others using coins, cards or other small objects. Our egos are healthier, for the most part.

I do see a problem in some magicians not learning basic sleights, that they haven't learned yet and really need to. Too often, they believe that they just can't learn it and are prisoners to that belief.
Reis O'Brien
View Profile
Inner circle
Seattle, WA
2467 Posts

Profile of Reis O'Brien
I imagine that losing a certain amount of dexterity, like hair, is just one of those things that comes with age. I mean, have you watched your grandparents trying to open a bottle of aspirin?
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

http://www.myspace.com/liar_4_hire
gerard1973
View Profile
Special user
Michigan, U.S.A.
688 Posts

Profile of gerard1973
Yes, I can see how we lose our memory, dexterity, speed, eyesight, strength, etc. as we age and how this certainly does affect our ability to perform sleights.

But do you think that we will actually lose the ability to perform any sleights? In other words, as we grow older will we eventually lose our ability to perform Magic altogether? I don’t know, but I can’t believe that we will because that’s like saying, once a Magician reaches a certain age, they will not able to perform Magic anymore. Didn’t all of the old Magicians in the past perform right up until they died?
"Confusion is not magic."
Dai Vernon
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
To think that you lose certain abilities once you reach a certain age is being naive. While some causes can manifest changes abruptly, many age-related changes are gradual by comparison. Even if magicians did perform up until they died, that does not necessarily mean they performed the same tricks and sleights that they did when they were younger, or with the same efficiency as they once could if they did.

Your original post is rather limiting when you say,

Quote:
Please keep in mind that we’re not talking about losing the ability to perform sleights due to disease or injury.


Many changes that happen to a person when they get older (such as everything on your list) can be attributed to some definable ailment. That is simple cause and effect. Age-related degenerations are not huge biological mysteries.

What Alan said in regard to not doing certain sleights as often is another cause, but it is only a problem if the magician intends to use certain sleights, but does not constantly practice them. I am sure I am not alone when I say that certain sleights and tricks have ceased to be as important as I once thought they were. I don't spend my time practicing them. Therefore, those things become harder, if not impossible to do.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Alan Munro
View Profile
Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5732 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I should probably clarify something. I think that many sleights are pushed to the wayside, not because we merely used them less, but there was a reason we did them less. They weren't worth the effort and/or they weren't the best method available. Quite often, with age, comes wisdom.
Jaz
View Profile
Inner circle
NJ, U.S.
6112 Posts

Profile of Jaz
I agree with both of Michael's post .
I'm a little older than him and combat dry hands, have lost some dexterity, memory is not as good, etc.
I'll continue as long as I can.
Hey! That's life bro!
Merenkov
View Profile
Elite user
405 Posts

Profile of Merenkov
I was a teenager at the time, but I remember seeing Dai Vernon lecture at a TAOM convention in the late seventies (which would mean that he was in his eighties). He demonstrated the wand spin vanish, but using a billiard ball, not just a little ball from a cups and balls routine. The crowd made him do it over and over again, because they just couldn't believe how perfectly he was doing it. I think the Professor would think we were a bunch of panty-waists for worrying about this...
airship
View Profile
Inner circle
In my day, I have driven
1594 Posts

Profile of airship
While it's true that some people will retain their skills into old age, like Vernon, the majority of us will suffer some losses as we age.

But, IMHO, it's not fair to exclude 'disease' from the list of concerns of aging, because the truth is that most of us will suffer from some degenerative disease as we age. 1/3 of Americans will suffer Type II diabetes (like me) and may experience damage to the nerves in their hands as a result. Many of us will come down with Alzheimer's. Arthritis will certainly take its toll on many more. And minor irritations - like Jaz's mention of dry hands - will also contribute to a reduced ability to perform certain sleights.

But magic is about the presentation, not the effect. As long as you are coherent enough to be entertaining, there's no need to give up magic. Many of the best magicians on the Café suffer from one 'disability' or another, but that hasn't stopped them from performing. Ron Jaxon has shared in several posts how deafness has affected the way he performs. I have heard from many others who have arthritis, or failing vision, or other supposed limitations, including one who is wheelchair-bound and and another who has lost an arm!

Yes, with age you will probably have to change the way you perform. But you can still perform. And, like Alan says above, hopefully with age you will also acquire the wisdom that will enable you to make the transition gracefully.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Vandy Grift
View Profile
Inner circle
Milwaukee
3504 Posts

Profile of Vandy Grift
Quote:
On 2006-05-30 12:06, airship wrote:
While it's true that some people will retain their skills into old age, like Vernon, the majority of us will suffer some losses as we age.



If you watch the Revelations series, you will note that there are several moves that Vernon states that he can no longer perform. Of course, the Professor was in his late eighties at that point. So he was still doing pretty good. And many of the moves that he could still do, he did beautifully.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Alan Munro
View Profile
Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5732 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I remember sitting down with Milt Kort, a couple years before he died. His arthritis hindered him in doing his sleights, but for magicians he would give it a try to illustrate an effect. He may have needed a test run, and then would stop abruptly to avoided exposing the move, before he knew that his hands would cooperate. But, when his hands did cooperate, the effect was well worth witnessing! He had skill that most of us merely dream of having.
Ray Haining
View Profile
Inner circle
Hot Springs, AR
1822 Posts

Profile of Ray Haining
Hey, eventually we die folks.

Of course, things break down as we get older.
airship
View Profile
Inner circle
In my day, I have driven
1594 Posts

Profile of airship
The good news is that Science Marches On. In earlier times, I would have been dead by 30, but here I am at 54 still going strong. And every year they come up with more great stuff. I've heard some science wonks claim that we are right at the borderline of extending the human life span one year every year. In other words, if you manage to live just a little bit longer, you'll live forever. I'm not sure about that (and I'm not sure I'd even want to live forever), but I do know science is doing some incredible things.

One exciting development just this week is that they are field-testing a new drug that slows down - maybe even stops or reverses - the degenerative nerve damage caused by diabetes. This may mean that I will not have to suffer any more damage to my hands, which is good news for my magic.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
Christian Illusionist
View Profile
Special user
Ohio (currently located in Missouri)
503 Posts

Profile of Christian Illusionist
I think I agree with the general opinion that some will lose dexterity and ability due to age, disease, ect.

However, I think there are more than enough effects out there to compensate and replace the ones you can no longer perform.

Johnny Thompsons still does wonderful magic, but I'd say (although I don't know for sure) that there have been effects that he's had to revise or change to compensate for the aging process.
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Marvello
View Profile
Inner circle
It's amazing how little I can say in
1490 Posts

Profile of Marvello
At Michigan Magic Day I was lucky enough to sit for awhile with June Horowitz, and at 93 years old she was still fooling us with card tricks. I think as long as you have the desire you can do magic.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
martysh
View Profile
Elite user
Greenville,SC
460 Posts

Profile of martysh
I am catching this thread a bit late...
I am going to be 55 in a few days..

getting older makes your hands drier..
I was pleased to see the references to Dai Vernon.. I saw him too in 1976 and he did an awful lot of wonderful things in his eighties.. .but he often went that night to his bottle of "special lotion" to moisten his hands.

I would say we keep our dexterity even as we get older.. we might need to compensate a bit as he did ....but we keep our skill

Marty
DomKabala
View Profile
Inner circle
I've grown old after diggin' holes for
2826 Posts

Profile of DomKabala
I'm 53 and I suffer from degenerative arthritis in both hands (due to work and play accidents). My skin is also drier than when I was younger. There are sleights that I no longer can do, mainly flourishes, and my pass suffers also (I'm a card fanatic). But there are alternatives to the pass thank God. When I was younger I participated in one on one sports such as wrestling, boxing and martial arts that required the use of the hands as tools or weapons. The years of pounding the heavy bag and work related accidents have taken a toll on my hands. I don't perform magic publicly because I'm too self conscious of the deformity of some of the fingers on both of my hands. But that doesn't deter me from using SOH as a form of therapy for my hands. Sometimes when I watch videos of the younger set, I say to myself " Wow, I used to be able to do that". I do perform for family and friends who know me. All I can say to the younger ones who read this, "take good care of your hands and your health in general".

<<<KRaZy4KaRdZ>>>
We don't stop playing when we grow old...we grow old when we stop playing.

God is enough, let go, let God. Gal 2:20

"Anything of value is not easily attained and those things which are easily attained are not of lasting value."



Smile Smile Smile Smile
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27082 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2006-05-27 11:54, gerard1973 wrote:...Do we lose the ability to perform sleights, as we grow older?


Sol Stone is over 80 and doing fine.

Dai Vernon was almost 80 when we met in 87 and was doing fine.

Slydini was well over 60 when we met and was doing fine.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
mghia
View Profile
Veteran user
Kymystical
387 Posts

Profile of mghia
JT- I saw Vernon on tape and he could not perform smoothly anymore. It think it was around that age. I think part of it is is based on the USE IT OR LOOSE IT.
The other part will depend on how what aging might do to ones mind, hands or nerves.

To the OP- EVERYONE ONE WILL BE DIFFERENT.


Then one would have to decided if they are going to try to fight it or just let nature take its course.

SO this is a less to the younger folk to take care of your body so that in your older age you have less problems.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Do We Lose the Ability to Perform Sleights as We Grow Older? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.12 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL