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michaelmystic2003
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Seems like a simple enough question, but really, CAN you effectively answer it? Here is my personal interpretation of "magic":

"What is magic?"

The art of entertaining with the seemingly impossible, the impossible for which the only logical explanation in the minds of audiences is that they are witnessing what they would call "magic". Of course it is rare that a person believes it is real, but just to witness magic-like miracles is enough to make our art one of the most entertaining to witness.


Let's hear it! What is magic?
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Jonathan Townsend
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From what others have written here I'd say most want to believe it's a dessert topping used by performers as a floorwax and applied with wand.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
McAllisterMagic
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Quote:
On 2007-10-22 18:37, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
From what others have written here I'd say most want to believe it's a dessert topping used by performers as a floorwax and applied with wand.


Darn I was going to say that...
Dannydoyle
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Better question I think is "who decides"?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Al Angello
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Yes Jonnathan is right magic is both a floor wax, and a desert topping, but at the same time.

Danny
Jonnathan and have decided.
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Josh Riel
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Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Father Photius
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Magic is a suspension of belief in reality.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Tony Brent
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Real magic is:

Overeating during the weekend only to find on Monday you have lost three pounds.

Letters in the mail saying your premimums on your health insurance and car insurance has been lowered.

Pull up the cushion on the couch and find not only loose change but a wad of folded twenty dollar bills.

Tony Brent
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Tony Brent
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My point in the post above is; "magic" can be "magical" eye candy without being "important". It only becomes important when it impacts your audience in some way. It becomes important when your audience "cares" about what they are seeing. If they do not care about what they are seeing then all the hours spent in front of the mirror practicing are pointless. A silk vanish doesn't mean much but if the silk belonged to your dear absent-minded Grandmother....

Tony Brent
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tommy
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Josh

Having fairies in your garden is magic....so I am told. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
JackScratch
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One word, many definitions. Not the only word with a lot of definitions either. Need a whole lot more context to answer this seemingly simple question.
Alan Wheeler
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A solid definition of magic (conjuring) must include at least four elements:

1. a description of the effect
There is a demontration of the impossible or a bending of the laws of nature. However, this element is not enough because the special effects in movies and certain events in fairy tales also contain impossible effects.
Would the definition need to specify that the impossible effects are illusory?

2. a suggestion of the mystery
There is something hidden and unexplainable, a dark secret. Of course this element is not enough on its own because even Colonel Sanders has a secret recipe.

3. a mention of the performance or entertainment element involved in magic--since we are traditonally grouped with clowns, comedians, acrobats, jugglers, fire-eaters, and freak shows. (Sorry)

4. an acknowledgement of the artistic element of magic. Tommy Wonder focused on this element when he defined magic (at the end of his last interview in Genii) as "beauty."

I've got a definition that includes these elements in nine words--including articles!--and I can get it down to five or six words if I don't have to mention that the effects are illusory and not real.

I know that books could be (and have been) written on each of these elements, but for me, so far in my journey, these boil magic down to its lowest common denominator.
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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JackScratch
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Why in the world would you want to do that? What do we constantly seek to put boundaries on things which should not be bound?
Alex Linian
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A conclusion about an astonishing experience by someone who has been lied to.
BrianMillerMagic
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My personal definition that I perform by is:

Magic is the process by which a person can genuinly believe in something that they know isn't true, even if only for a moment.
tommy
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Why do you want to know?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
karbonkid
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Jackscratch said it best. I don't know why this is even a question. It's like, to quote Bill Palmer, "It's like trying to nail jelly to a tree."
tommy
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Its not like trying to nail jelly to a tree it is doing it.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Skip Way
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I like Paul Harris' definition: (To paraphrase) Magic occurs in that brief moment of astonishment...when our inner child says "Whoa! No Way!" and before our adult ego can say "Oh, it's just a trick."
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Bill Hallahan
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The word "magic" has many definitions.

The earliest definitions referred to supernatural event.

Both the early definition, and the modern definition, are in the book Our Magic by Maskelyne and Devant. The modern definition is:
Quote:
Magic consists in creating, by misdirection of the senses, the mental impression of supernatural agency at work.

That, and that only, is what modern magic really is, and that meaning alone is now assignable to the term.

Then there is enchantment, i.e. "they were in love and it was magic."

Those are the definitions commonly used. Those, and other definitions are at the definition of the word "magic" in "T......tionary".


Here, we're usually referring to "simulating a supernatural event", although to the audience it can appear to be an actual "supernatural event." It can sometimes appear that way to the magician too.

The distinctions between simulated magic and actual magic sometimes gets mixed up in conversations, and some people then argue with each other when they actually agree.

The topic Definition of "Magic" already explores this in detail, and just such an argument ensues, along with arguing about minutia. Someone else starts referring to magic as enchantment.

The idea that magicians have to "believe" what they do is real also has caused some confusion too, because, while it is critical that a magician internally accepts his or her role, lest they aren't natural, clearly the word, believe doesn't completely describe the cognitive state of an actor with respect to his or her role. There are different types of belief. Because of that, some magicians switch definitions of magic mid-stream in their arguments.

I've also seen someone post that what magicians do isn't real, and their meaning is obvious to me, although another person will react with, "of course it's real, because it's what we do!" This can lead to the same type of confusion.

Discussing magic can easily result in miscommunication if there is no consensus on definitions. Read the topic at the link above and see what I mean.

There is great content there, but much miscommunication.

Whit Haydn has had a great idea that all simulated magic is the result a logical argument with a false premise. I do think all magic fits that mold. At first, this seems like a simple obvious idea, but then so was the idea of gravity, but it took thousands of years for someone to have that idea. Perhaps in the future, someone will extend that idea.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
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