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Michael Kamen
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 22:24, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Michael, I want to stay reasonably close to Robert-Houdin and also stay away from the things that Scot wanted to save us from.

I hold that the notions of imps, the north wind... wizards, leprechauns etc are all storybook and am extending that idea to "whatever sort of willful aspect we impose upon the world as we perceive it AND any artifacts they may have enchanted or left behind during their visits".

Fine Jonathan, you do that.
Michael Kamen
Jonathan Townsend
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Okay... what do you suggest?
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Michael Kamen
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I think a nice lie down followed by a cup of tea will do you a lot of good.
Michael Kamen
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 22:56, Michael Kamen wrote:
I think a nice lie down followed by a cup of tea will do you a lot of good.


It is sad when one confuses their mental model of a person with the real person with whom they are having a discussion.

The mental model is is useful for stories one imagines. The real person can offer feedback from their living perspective.

So, what's the story today? Smile
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erlandish
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Jonathan,

Quick question about the willful action part of your definition. Am I incorrect in thinking that this would be inconsistent with a performer doing the plagued-by-magic plot? For instance, Fred Kaps's performance of the Homing Card.
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Jonathan Townsend
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IMHO That 'plague' is not only willful but very specifically motivated. It does not turn his cards into sand or his tie into a snake... it simply wants him to have that court card in his hands. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it's his personal imp? But I feel there is some room there for a payoff in that most people act from good intentions. Finding out WHY that card wants to be there would be a fun discovery for the audience.
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erlandish
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Ah... ok. So the willful action is not necessarily on the part of the performer?

Just wanted to be clear.
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michaelmystic2003
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Astonishment, Mr. Townsend, being a general statement. Magic is one of the many forms that are part of the art of astonishment.
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Patrick Differ
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Magic is the direct result of the magician's will.
A magician is one skilled in the use of magic.

The magic in Kap's Homing Card is a direct result of his will. He says it a couple of three times. "This is the first time I have done this trick." He explains why it keeps going wrong and therefore keeps it within the boundaries of his (geez, who knows how I'll do with this one tonight?...it is my first time.) will.

On that note, Cardini was a little tipsy after a night on the town and had forgotten "to turn it off." It was a direct result of his will albeit a little under the influence.

I like this distinction made between magic being the result of natural events and it being the result of the magician's will, Jon. It sure works for me, man. It is nice to know what a boat looks like before trying to build one.
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.
Jonathan Townsend
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That's like defining a great cup of coffee as "something wet".

What distinguishes the intended internal effect (affect) we'd like to elicit in the audience when performing a trick from all other affects?
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michaelmystic2003
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Interesting point. you always get me thinking, Mr. Townsend!
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tommy
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Is the intended internal affect the same in all tricks? Because if its not then what distinguishes it from other affects might well alter.

All piantings do not have the same intented effect so why should our mysteries?
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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Quote:
On 2007-10-26 21:41, tommy wrote:
Is the intended internal affect the same in all tricks?...


I posit that at least one of the distinct affects desired is shared.

Let's start to whittle down the list by removing all the stuff that stories, movies, plays can elicit and see what's left.
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landmark
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If we could define it, would we need to do it?


Jack Shalom
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2007-10-26 23:38, landmark wrote:
If we could define it, would we need to do it?


What we know does not interfere with what the audience enjoys. They SHOULD not know about out gimmicks, sleights etc so IMHO this would be just more stuff that we call "secrets".
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landmark
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Jon,

my question was addressed to the internal state of the audience that people in this thread are attempting to define. My comment was meant to mean that it could well be undefineable in words--that is why we do it. What is the internal state of the audience listening to Rhapsody in Blue? If we could say . . .

My prior post concerning sending the audience home with the experience of cognitive dissonance was not obviously, a request to patch it up. It was asking, if magic is about creating a specific kind of cognitive dissonance, why do we think this is worth doing. George posited that it was entertaining. Okay fine. Do we want to go Further Than That?

Jack Shalom
Jonathan Townsend
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Ah, thanks for clarifying.

I notice that when I feel "magic", not long after I become more aware of options I had not considered ... as if the world opened up a little somehow.

Seems a nice thing to offer and for them to enjoy later on IMHO.
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Michael Kamen
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Quote:
On 2007-10-27 00:01, landmark wrote:
Jon,

my question was addressed to the internal state of the audience that people in this thread are attempting to define. My comment was meant to mean that it could well be undefineable in words--that is why we do it. What is the internal state of the audience listening to Rhapsody in Blue? If we could say . . .

My prior post concerning sending the audience home with the experience of cognitive dissonance was not obviously, a request to patch it up. It was asking, if magic is about creating a specific kind of cognitive dissonance, why do we think this is worth doing. George posited that it was entertaining. Okay fine. Do we want to go Further Than That?

Jack Shalom


If the state of mind that some are attempting to further define does not amount to something approximating either a religious experience or the mood that often follows sexual intercourse, then many of those folks would possibly not be interested in performing it. It becomes very important thus to come up with such a satisfying "definition."

My personal view is that this begs the question of what magic is and why it can be entertaining. Note, it is not always entertaining even when performed well. To some people, it is irritating and annoying even when performed well.

What it is I think has already been stated clearly without the need for any claptrap. Why it is entertaining is also fairly clear insofar as it is related to the engaging personality of the performer, and a choice of premise that resonates for the particular audience, or the performer is able to sell to the audience.
Michael Kamen
tommy
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A descriptive definition can be shown to be right or wrong by comparison to usage. while a stipulative definition cannot. So I just read but since I don’t get it: What is a descriptive definition of magic and where is the usage that can show it to be right or wrong.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Brad Burt
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Perhaps the easiest way to define 'magic' is to define it like pornography: I don't know 'how' to define it, but I know it when I see it.

Something is ONLY magic if it is perceived by the audience AS magical. Tilted to one side a 'trick' becomes just a joke or an engaging puzzle. Framed carefully to the other direction you have a perception that the Laws of Nature that we hope in the Future will be exactly as they were in the Past have been contravened. The power of that contravention IS what we call Magic. Best,
Brad Burt
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