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Profile of Magicjg
Back in February I attended my first magic convention in Columbus Ohio name Magi Fest. Friday night I met up with about 12 guys sitting around Daniel Garcia. This Jam Session began around 10 at night and didnít end until 7 in the morning with me, Daniel and another guy eating breakfast together. around 5:30, as the crowd dwindled down to 7 of the loyal Garcia fans ( who by surprise were all teenagers that love street magic) a 13 year old boy wonders into the lobby and sits down. The boy quickly pulls out a notebook and begins working on a few soduko puzzles. His father who happened to be the restaurant manager wonders out and informs us how his son is a brilliant child and he woke up extra early today just to see some magic. His father leaves and a few moments pass. Each of us take turns trying to impress this kid with me leading the back. I begin with a appearance of a coin followed boy a routine similar to the one found on David Stones restaurant magic. Finally I finish with a jumbo coin. To my dismay, this boy quickly brushes me off and looks back at his puzzle. The next victim steps up and proceeds to try and dazzle this brilliant mind with a card trick. No reaction. This continues with another kid until basically the kid is ignoring any life form within a five foot radius. We decide to leave him alone and continue on with our jam session. Garcia starts talking to us about what we did wrong. It has been a while but I remember it something like this. " You didnít connect with that kid. Your coin routine looked amazing, but he could care less. He wasnít interested in it at all. Same with your card tricks. I bet you if you walked over there right now and performed the square magic trick ( I donít remember what it is called but basically you draw a square and start writing numbers and they all equal the same, or something similar to the idea) he would be amazed. He is interested in that. Its just like his soduko." So whatís the point of this post you ask?
Tonight I was working on the Luke Jermay poker deal routine. Towards the end he makes a comment how "Iím sure everyone has heard someone say, I would never play poker with this guy." I put my cards away and jumped in the shower. As I stood there it dawned upon me. The late night Jam session I had with Daniel Garcia and a few other guys came to mind. I have been performing magic for the past 10 years just to perform. The same trick for everyone I see, same patter with little changes here and there. I have not tried to find someone's connection with a certain type of trick and used it to my advantage. I'm probably still not getting my point across. For instance. Your standing at a bar, performing your best ambitious card routine when a woman looks you right in the face and says " I would never play cards with this guy". Obviously this woman has some sort of connection to poker or any other card game out there. What do you do, you proceed to make a paper ball float and dance and turn into a real rose. Wonderful effect, it gathers great response, but not an emotional connection. Jump on the moment. Insure her that you are ok to play cards with and then show her your best poker dealing expo. Something that has to do with the topic, anything!!!
I have decided after thinking about this long and hard that Iím going to try and categorize my effects. Might not make sense to some of you, but to me it does. Maybe not so much my effects but my spectators. There that is better. For instance when Iím working a restaurant and I walk up to a table and ask a gentleman what he does for a living and he responds accountant, I will proceed to pull some effect from my long term memory that has to do with math. Anything. Or another example. Many females have the tattoo of a butterfly somewhere that is sure to flash. Why not perform life also by Garcia? Isnít that more of an emotional connection that pulling silver dollars from her ear? I just feel sometimes that magic is taken as a kids toy. Something that the kids sure would love if they were here right now. To really hit someone hard with an effect I think it has to be the right effect to suite that person? Maybe Iím over thinking this but to me I would rather be taken as a artist than a kids toy.

Sometimes I get random thoughts that come to my head and I have record them somewhere, some place, show how. If some of my post donít make sense, I apologize, its a stream of thought that I must express until I feel I have expressed enough. Spelling doesnít matter to me during these streams of though or grammatical error.
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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You have stumbled upon one of the oldest keys to entertainment, connecting with your audience. Once you do , they are yours to lead where you will. The key is to connect with them first. Good post.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
DP the Great
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CC, Texas
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Very well said! Connection is key to all your magic. It is sooooo important. A very good book written about the art of magic is Beyond Secrets by Jay Sankey. Every time I need inspiration before I perfom, this is the book I turn to, and it stressed magic as an art, not as something just to go through the motions. Great stuff. -DP
D. P. the Great
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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Observation is a big key to connecting to someone. If someone had done even something like a Matrix routine for this kid and couched it in a presentation about finding the "key numbers" in a Sudoku, he would have had that kid's undivided attention.

May I ask a question of my own, based on my observation of your description of what happened?

That question is - did anyone ask the kid what kind of magic HE was interested in seeing?

Sometimes, the hook at the top of the question mark is what is used to "hook" someone's interest...

People are interested in themselves first, their passions, the people they care about and then their more passive interests... if you ask them about what THEY are interested in, you may be better able to relate to them through your magic as well...

Just a few random thoughts...


Lee Darrow, C.H.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Adam Milestone
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You must perform magic that is meaningful to your audience or else you'll be little more than a distraction in their world. I believe that one should have proper patter previously memorized for each performance yes, but I also believe that a magician does ones self a service to have several different performances of each effect in his/her repertoire so that there is more flexibility in presentation. I also have for a very long time followed Paul Harris' performing in the moment, however this is not mastered over night, but through constant imaginative practice of each effect beyond just the technical side, but into the reason it resonates with a given person. Learning to read your specs quickly and accurately upon meeting them and choosing an effect and performance that "suits" their style whilst not losing your own can be a daunting task! The more performing situations you find yourself in, the better you'll become at performing for "anyone at all". Talk to your specs before showing them anything and ask them lots of questions about their favorite music, movies, books, people, and finally what in this world interests them the most! The conditions under which you perform demand that you tailor your performance, and so, to be as complete of a magi as we can be, we should always try in every way to make our magic mean something to our audience; to involve them on an emotional level as well as a visual and mental one. By utilizing this tool we can transcend a typical performance into an unforgettable memory! We can create a lasting memory instead of just a passing amusement. Now, I know a lot of you will say, "yeah, but I perform in a strolling or table hopping atmosphere"! And I say, "get to know your audience"! Make your trick mean something to them and they'll never forget that moment, if not your illusion could be lost in their mental history forever! Learning performance of each effect to the point that one can focus nearly all of one's attention on the audience will help you to achieve the above much quicker and practicing that will in turn make each performance more personalized and more memorable for your audience. Give them what you and they want you to give them!
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On 2007-06-07 00:04, Magicjg wrote:
Spelling doesnít matter to me during these streams of though or grammatical error.

That's kind of sad, because what your saying is pretty insightful, but I had a hard time getting through it because of all the "streaming" and grammatical errors. If what you write is worth saying (and I think it this is) then you should give it the respect it deserves and edit it before posting.

It's no harder to type it into Word and then copy it to the clipboard before posting, and you'll reach a larger audience.
Rupert Bair
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You don't need magic to make a connection.

If you can make a connection by just being you...then you can do anything.

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Profile of Ender_The_Irish
How can I find out when and where Daniel Garcia is lecturing, or what conventions he'll be at?

I'm a huge fan of his.

I'm also 23 (thus killing the whole teen thing).

Anyone know?
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Las Vegas
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Profile of Timm
It is so true about making a connection with your audience. It still baffles me when I hear (strolling) magicians say that they have "sets". They walk up to a group or table and already have in mind what they are going to perform. This, imo, is very bad.

This same argument could be made for some stage magicians who too often perform AT the audience.

When I worked for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care as a clown doctor, one of the things that we became very good at was "feeling" the room. When we entered a room, we would let the room 'speak' as to where our energy should be, where our focus should be, how loud, should we play music, and many,many more things.

Next time you do walk around, approach a group or an individual WITHOUT knowing what you are going to perform. Let the moment be your guide.
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Profile of jonxodus
Well I still think that using routines with different patters for a different kind of audience still works.
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Columbus, Ohio
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Profile of MagiClyde
People are interested in themselves first, their passions, the people they care about and then their more passive interests... if you ask them about what THEY are interested in, you may be better able to relate to them through your magic as well...

An excellent book, even though it has nothing to do with magic, is Dale Carnegie's How To Win Friends and Influence People. It talks about this very subject. Just as a teaser, Howard Thurston's name does come up in one part of the book! Smile
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
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Profile of interro1
People are a variable. A quarter will never be bigger or smaller when you pull it out of your pocket, a card will always obey your well practiced command. (ok..not always, but you get the point.) A person is a person is a person, even Darren Brown totally strikes out sometimes (I direct your attention to the bus-stop episode of his show. You can watch it on youtube)

So what does that mean.

1) If you are performing for a specific person, a one-man audience. (no offense here) Be not so self absorbed that you do not get to know and understand the person first. You don't have to know their life history or anything, but you certainly need to get a rough idea of who they are. Then adjust your routine for them accordingly.

2) Patter is there to support the effect, to enhance the magic by incorporating more of the spectator's mind. At least, that's my opinion. I personally feel that if you do an effect without any sound at all, at it has no effect on the spectator, it is weaker than the one that does. Then adding patter makes it a barn burner for the spectator.

3) When you are in a crowd, once you get a few involved, you will have most if not all of the audience. This is the group mentality of human nature. You could literally have a conference of pacifists, and incite them to outright rage, and have them rioting in the streets. (This is the extreme, you want to entertain not destroy

In summary, people will always be a variable that we must consider whenever we are performing. They should actually be the main focus. If you have to think about the trick you are performing, then you are already 1 step behind. If you have practiced your routine so much that you need not even think about it, and that leaves you enough mental room to consider your audience, then you are 100 steps ahead!!!
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Profile of acchessor
Very good message! I've been reading Pure Effect by Derren Brown, and he also makes this point across. I'll have to try and do this more often.
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Profile of Tone
I've "failed" while performing a few Derren Brown mentalism effects.

Some actually require real mind reading.

But when they work (much more often than not), they AMAZE.
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Profile of kosmoshiva
If the audience groans when you pull out the deck of cards, TOSS 'EM.
Don't forget to breathe.
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