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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Magic - Magician = Problem solved (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jaxon
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I don't know if that title really describes this thought but it's as close as I could come to what I'm thinking.

Just about every problem I've heard of about magic. From magicians or spectators. involve the magician himself. "I got caught, I caught you, it's up your sleeve, I didn't care for his personality, that trick was stupid, magic is for kids. Blah, blah, blah." Just think of anything negative you've ever heard about magic.

Now image doing magic to people but they have no idea you're doing it. To somehow set up or control a situation where people experience "magic" yet they have no idea a magician did it. They just experience the moment.

Here are a few examples I thought of:

-Someone puts something down on a table such as a dollar bill (maybe a tip at a restaurant) and the bill starts to float away.

-I've seen groups of people playing cards in bars before. Imagine what they would think if they picked up the deck for the next round of play and there where now all blank.

-Someone puts something away in there pocket or purse and it travels somewhere else (back on table for example).

-They are holding an object and it turns into something else.

I know these ideas are kind of out there but keep in mind that they would have no idea that a magician is doing anything. They won't even know a magician is around. These magic things just happen to them.

It would be hard to keep these things from becoming practical jokes or gags. Sometimes it might seem like a haunted house stunt. Some might say this is theater but that's not quite how I have it in mind. I want to explore the possibility.

Magic without the magician.

Ron Jaxon
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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.
Josh the Superfluous
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I don't know what the reaction would be. I think I'd think it was some sort of prank. Picking pockets and switching decks on an active game, both seem kind of risky.

I think a levitation would be hard. Wouldn't people try to find the source without a magician standing guard? Maybe if the bill rose up to a shelf above the table, and sat there ungimmicked like Burger's haunted deck.


I'm really trying to come up with a positive scenario. Sorry if I'm dwelling on the negative. I'd like to come up with some effects to try in this conceptual genre.

I thought of a variation. How about magic that you don't want others to see? Sitting alone you look left and right to make sure no one is looking. Then you make things levitate, animate and appear as needed. Or while reading a book, you forget to conceal your powers, you make the salt shaker rise to your hand. You salt your food not even looking at the shaker.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Professor Piper
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Quote:
Or while reading a book, you forget to conceal your powers, you make the salt shaker rise to your hand. You salt your food not even looking at the shaker.


THIS is a great train of thought!

Brillant Josh!

:applause:

The minute I read your last sentence, the possiblities of Jaxon's concept (sans Magician) broke open...It could be a great new take on 'Street Magic'...

Got some thinking to do now!

Prof. Piper
"Nemo has been found! He was on an Admiral's Platter at Red Lobster!"
longhaired1
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I can't really speak to the "problem solved" part of the equation, but I do see something intriguing about the idea of magic happening to the magician, or around the magician, or the magician not really being able to control or understand the magic. There is a lot there that can be developed.

In the second scene of the act I'm currently writing, a good 20% of the effects are not happening as a result of what the character is doing. In fact, they are more happening "to" the character, and in spite of him in some cases.

Steve
Craig Peterson
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Josh, this sounds to me like a simple case of good showmanship. You are simply playing the part of the magician who uses magic to accomplish everyday tasks. That is immensely powerful even in a non-impromptu situation because there is good reason for what you are doing. It isn't just something to impress the audience. The audience is therefore more inclined to suspend reality and come into your world.

In an impromptu situation, it could be a great lead-in to a more performance-like series of effects. The spectators would already be in a credible mood because of a lead-in that didn't involve them. It is as though they were just walking in on a miracle.

Jaxon's original thought, however, also has some potential. The main problem is that if spectators don't know they are being entertained by someone, they won't realize they are supposed to be entertained. The more immediate response will be simple puzzlement. A magic show that is staged in some way to let the spectators know it is for amusement without giving a clue as to who is doing it would be interesting.

For example, a group is playing cards and one card appears flipped over in the middle of the deck with a message on it: "Let the Magic begin!" Or some other perhaps more creative lead-in. Then the magician can perform without their knowing his identity (perhaps and advantage).

Just some thoughts.

Craig
Jaz
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There were several times I was at a receptions as a guest and did similar things that Josh mentions.
What I would do is have things happen to me.
"Metalogic" as wedding receptions when striking the glass for the couple to kiss; "The Obedient Bill" at the bar; Coins found under things; animations such a cigarette rise; Cig. Pull; using IT to move things; Vernet "Levitator" and use of Flash Paper and Slush Powder.

One item that if often overlooked is a Plate Lifter.
A friend of mine freaked me out by using two of these on an ashtray and glass.
His wife was assisting.

However, I also like what Jaxon suggests.
That being that no one knows you're a magician but eerie things are happening around or to them.
I think that in order for these things to appear as more than just a gag you would have to act as if you haven't seen anything happen or act just as surprised as everyone else.
Some of Jaxon's ideas seem a little too much but who knows, he's a clever guy.
oldmanxxvi
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This sounds a lot like T.H.E.M. (Totally Hidden Extreme Magic). I personally enjoyed watching the show. I know that quite a few of you dislike magic on tv, but it did "appear" that the spectators had no idea that they were magicians. This made the "magic" more powerful, in my opinion.

I think it is a great idea. If I really had the ability to do "magic," I would definetly use it in everyday situations, whether people were watching or not.

Another Josh
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I wear a l--p around my wrist. There's always interesting things to do in public with one of these.

*I just took it off and lost it.
Josh Riel
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I wonder what the value would be.
So we are doing a show, We are doing magic, the wand has special powers, the cups have invisible holes, whatever.
We are, either trying to astonish, entertain, confuse, cheat, again,.... whatever.

Now we are not there. things are happening that shouldn't. Maybe they are innocuous. perhaps not, how can you tell what a spectator may feel?

Imagine playing cards with the guys and the cards are all blank, all of the sudden. Hope your not playing for money especially if they don't know who did it. I would really like to see a video though.


Your at a restaurant and stuff keeps happening. Why? What are we accomplishing? Are we trying to create belief in the spirit world? Are we just trying to tick them off? Get a laugh? You aren't leaving them any room to disbelieve. Lot's of people need that.

I think it would be interesting to see the methods to create these kinds of effects where you are not present (So to speak). I don't really see how it would fit into what a magician usually wants.



Also how do you ask for the tip?
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Michael Baker
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With the traditional performance of magic, the magician is the catalyst. The audience knows he is the root source of ther magic, regardless of what other implied sources there may be... wand, amulet, magic words, etc. The implication is that magic will happen because of the fact (or sometimes, in spite of the fact) that he is present. The framework is shown to the audience, and then the magic happens within it. With a willing suspension of disbelief, the audience is able to experience a feeling that magic happens.

With a show like T.H.E.M, the only thing different is that there are two distinctly different audiences, and they are handled differently. At home, we are watching the magic on TV. We are aware ahead of time that the magic will happen. We are experiencing the magic through the tradition formula... we have already been shown the framework.

The audience that is the focus of the drama, as unfolded before us, is allowed a different point of view of the entire scenario. The point at which this other audience is shown the framework is after the magic has happened. The experience of magic is very strong, but the revelation of the framework reduces the power of the magic to a clever trick, or worse yet, a practical joke along the lines of Candid Camera.

Is Jaxon's proposed scenario to create an audience that is never shown the framework? If so, the results would be interesting, although not likely to ever happen. Can you imagine a magician not wanting to take a bow and accept credit at the end of the performance?
~michael baker
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Josh the Superfluous
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I kinda think the magician is the frame of reference for magic. With out the magician: A levitation would have to be a weird air current or a spider web. An appearance would be something I didn't notice at first. A transformation would be something I didn't see right the first time (like a sign that I thought said one thing, but when I looked again I saw what it really said).

As a magician it is my job to make sure everyone sees the apple, before I turn it into an orange. It is my job to prove that there is nothing there before something appears. It is my job to show there are no strings attached to the floating object. Poor magicians sometimes do the effect without supplying enough proof. With less proof it becomes substantially less magical. Eliminating the proof altogether seems to leave science and ghosts.

I want to see this idea fleshed out. And I'm confident in Ron's ability to do so. I'm just wondering if there has to be something to take the place of the magician. If a can of cat food poured itself into the bowl of a waiting cat, that would possibly be magic, with the cat acting as the magician. I think magic needs a magician.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Jaxon
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I think Michael Baker hit it pretty good when he said, "Is Jaxon's proposed scenario to create an audience that is never shown the framework?".

I have no idea how I, or anyone, will be able to pull this off without it seeming like a joke or haunted house type thing. It's just a thought I want to explore. I think what I'll do is just look for situations where I might be able to try things out. I have no idea what I'll do yet. I'll just let the moment present itself and see what happens.

The hardest part will be finding a way to see if it actually got any results. I'm talking about causing magic moments to happen and I apparently have nothing to do with it. In other words I might not even be present when they experience the moment. An ideal situation would be for me to be there as an observer. Maybe in a bar and I'm on the other side of the room or something.

The closest I've come to this so far and it's not quite what I'm talking about but close. At the Abbott's get together Tom Kracker and I where casually performing for some friends of mine from my home town who came to see me perform. . Tom kept forcing a card on this girl. She picked the 4 of spade about 5 or 6 times. Her purse was sitting on a chair near me so I pulled a 4 of spades out of my deck and dropped it in her purse. Who knows when she'll find it. Maybe she found it on her way home that night or the next day. Maybe she still hasn't found it. But I wonder what her reaction will be when she does. I know this isn't exactly what this discussion is about because the "framework" was built when we where performing for her. But we won't be present when that last effect happens.

Maybe a better equation would be:
Magic - Magician = "Something else".

We'll just have to figure out what that something else is.

Ron Jaxon
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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.
Josh the Superfluous
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How about this:

From a walking waiter, order the same drink that someone at the bar is drinking and set it aside. Wait until they're just about done. Approach the bar next to the patron and order a second drink from the bar tender. When the bar tender goes to get it, cause a distraction across the room (maybe with IT or a confederate). When the patron is distracted, replace his drink with the full one. Walk away with the second drink and the empty one concealed. Watch as the two of them try to figure out what happened.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Jaxon
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That might be a good one because it doesn't break some of the rules I kind of put on this idea. That is to not make it seem like a cheap prank and not harm or insult anyone. In your idea no one will loose anything. The guy who ordered the drink got his drink.

It could also be good to just put the drink down next to the guy. So the bartender gives him his drink and sees he's already got one. "Where did that come from? Did I already give you one? What's going on?". No ones harmed because all drinks where paid for and the guy now has two drinks. Smile

Still thinking.

Ron Jaxon
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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.
TomKMagic
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Hey Ron, good to hear from you. I hope to see that girl next year and see if she remembers me and then asks how the heck I got the 4 of spades in her purse, especially since I was sitting across the table from her.

I do like the line of thinking you have here. I have even assisted a magician friend with a card through window where I was on the other side of a glass divider at a restaraunt and placed a card up there while he was performing. Then he did an impromptu card-through-window routine and totally blew them away. They had no idea I was involved. I turned around and acted just as surprised when I saw the card sitting there.

It is great to cool to think about magic happening even when no one knows there is a magician near by. Even more cool to just show something as a "demonstration" then do the magic, instead of just saying watch me do something magical...
You must be smarter than the tools you are using...

Tom Kracker
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Jonathan Townsend
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If pigs had wings

And wishes were free

And you always got what you desired

There would be no magic
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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For the magician not to be there when the magic happens is like playing a magic practical joke on someone, which might be entertaining. I have seen it done on TV shows many times, which are very amusing. The magicians who do this have a an edge that other magicians don’t have i.e. The spectator/victims don’t know they are watching a magicians work and so are not looking out for trickery as they might when they go to see a magician.

Many of the best magicians have acted as if they were not the catalyst of the magic: Cardini for example would seem just as surprised as the audience by the magical happenings that took place in his hands. Of course this was acting and the audience were aware that Cardini was in fact the catalyst. None the less this act made the magic appear more like real magic. The reason for that seems clear: If you did see something magical occur, that was not caused to happen by you, then you would indeed be surprised. I think it better to show them what magic can do rather than than you can do magic. The more the magician is seen to be the cause of the effect the more the magical effect is proportionately lessened in my opinion. It’s make believe, and they know it, but if they don’t know it, then it’s a stunt, like candid camera.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Whit Haydn
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The magician takes the little shell you found on the beach, crushes it between his hands, and as you watch, the dust of the shell in his hands congeals visibly into a large diamond. What part is lessened by the magician being there?
tommy
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Well it's not lessened by the magician being there but compare that to a magician asking the spetator to pick up a small shell and in the spetators hands it congeals visibly into a large diamond. The Magician here does less but the effect would be stronger.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Well...

WILL

Whose will?

Because?

Are you being the cause? Even if only to humor them?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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