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othelo68
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Just some questions I've been wondering about in regards to magic as it is today. I've read a lot of post of people saying magic isn't what it use to be or is a childish art. maybe some of these would help get some thinking on the right track. I'm far from a credible source but ideas are ideas from anywhere.

What is respect as it pertains to magic? what allows some magicians to be respected as a legitimate artist and others as simply kids with tricks?
there are several forms of respect, the best I can tell in regards to respect as it pertains to magician is expert respect. meaning that if you are viewed as a expert magician you are respected by the people you entertain. Is this anywhere close to being on base? thus said in order to impress practice is important. What is the merit of self working tricks? should these be demonstrated to appear harder then they actually are?

what is with the comercial magicians and the music? is bad techno a prerequisite? What happen to patter?

Why are a lot of street magician dressing like homeless people or emo kids or white rappers? not that there is anything wrong with these people but does the costume help with the persona? or just make you an turd?

what makes you think its ok to claim you can detect bombs better then a military working dog? I like magic but come on theres no way that's even remotely believable?

are self working tricks and gaffs best to learn first for the practice at presentation. or should attention be garnered at sleight of hand and the come back to the presentation?

what are common objects these days? does anyone carry around matches anymore? or even coins for that matter? I had not even seen a half dollar in years until I started to try to learn coin magic.

if you made it to the end of this post I appreciate the patience and would love to read your ideas.
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Respect for you as a magician must start with respecting you as a person. This starts with respecting yourself and your art and your audience. So, you must ask yourself why you are involved with magic, why you feel compelled to perform for a particular person or audience, whether you are prepared to do the best job possible under the circumstances -- and afterwards, whether you learn anything from the experience.

Can you do this all the time? Probably not, but recognize that "less than best" in any area will risk losing respect. The only difference between a professional and an amateur is the number of effects they do well. If you do only one effect you should be professional about the way you do it. Your choice of trick is less than 10% of the impact on the audience. Making it an effect with considerations of setting, audience, patter, style, dress, etc. adds another 40% or so. That still leave 50% up for grabs as to just who the audience perceives you to be, and that is all internal stuff you have to work through. Here are some rules that mught help:

1) be willing to make commitments and make sure all parties involved understand what that means,
2) always meet your commitments,
3) always be on time, i.e. arrive 10 minutes early, ground yourself and walk in 5 minutes before the appointment. If Sh*t happens -- call well ahead of time.
4) never present an effect until you are ready. No one has the right to demand that you do a certain trick,
5) start a journal. Write down your perceptions before a performance and then your perceptions afterwards. After a day's rest, write about any chnages in perceptions. There is no right and wriong here -- only addressing the change.
6) practice saying "I am a Magician" while emphasising each word separately, and practice saying it until you are proud to say it.

enough for now ...

you have a lifetime
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



eBooks at Lybrary.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
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Othelo-

First, I have learned to listen to funsway- his posts are thoughtful and worth considering.

Second, your post has so many facets as to be hard to answer. So, I will take a lash at a few:

Respect- The good ones get it because of many hours of practice. They simply do not get caught. The timing, misdirection, sleights etc. are so well practiced that they are not discernible. I KNOW what to look for, and I can NOT see the good ones do anything out of the ordinary. Practice.

Music- Some effects (Sands of the Desert) need NO patter. And, as the above skills improve, the need for patter lessens. A magician with ultimate skill probably needs no words at all. Slydini comes to mind.

Dress- Casual may work, but remember what you are seeing is usually a SHOW. What Blaine and Angel do is TV, not really street magic. I would be careful trying this on the street. Not to mention, did you ever see them ask for a cash donation?

Self Working- I think one goes thru phases. At one time, I loved self-working stuff. Then I realized it was beneath me, and disdained it. Then I got better and realized "whatever works". I have seen the BEST coin guys use gaffs. I think John Bannon is totally underrated because a lot of his stuff is "self working" but, it is also genius!

I have used "self-working" as a way to do some good magic while I developed my "chops". But the interesting thing is, once I got there, I liked the self-working stuff even more! Use it- it works!!!

Hope this helps a little...

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
mkmager
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Quote:
On 2009-10-02 20:01, mandarin wrote:

I have used "self-working" as a way to do some good magic while I developed my "chops". But the interesting thing is, once I got there, I liked the self-working stuff even more! Use it- it works!!!



^^I completely agree with this! I would add that the presentation is what will make or break your performance, not method. Learn all you can and focus on presentation.
slyhand
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What you said about half dollars hits a cord with me. I love doing coins across and other tricks with coins. I can't palm quarters well and silver dollars/Eisenhowers are too large.
Whenever I start a routine with the halves I always ask if they have seen these before and know what they are. 75% of the time they have no idea or a wrong idea.

I tell them what they are and the reason you don't see them is for some reason, when you get them in change, most people put them in a drawer/box/baggy at home and never spend them. Hence they are rarely seen in cash transactions. Anyway, it works for me to introduce them.

As for your other stuff I'm going to have reread it and get back to ya.
I am getting so tired of slitting the throats of people who say that I am a violent psychopath.

Alec
Stanyon
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Quote:
On 2009-10-02 18:01, othelo68 wrote:

What is respect as it pertains to magic? what allows some magicians to be respected as a legitimate artist and others as simply kids with tricks?


(Knowing when to be ON and when to turn it OFF.)

[/quote]
what is with the comercial magicians and the music? is bad techno a prerequisite? What happen to patter?
[/quote]

(Speaking has become an art form unto itself.)

[/quote]
Why are a lot of street magician dressing like homeless people or emo kids or white rappers? not that there is anything wrong with these people but does the costume help with the persona? or just make you an turd?
[/quote]

(Just a fad. Except for that Angel guy, when the gigs don't come they will start to look inward.)

[/quote]
what makes you think its ok to claim you can detect bombs better then a military working dog?
[/quote]

(It's that Angel guy again.)

[/quote]
Are self working tricks and gaffs best to learn first for the practice at presentation or should attention be garnered at sleight of hand and then come back to the presentation?
[/quote]

(Whatever floats your boat.)
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
othelo68
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North dakota
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Thanks for the replies. I really do appreciate the help. I didn't mean to load that post with such a array of stuff sometimes things just come out in chunks.

What a good way to introduce half dollars? hand them out for inspection? do a few non gaffed tricks before introducing something that uses a gaff?
funsway
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For many years I have passed out a basket containing various small object, then have a spectator hand me what I need. If I ask for a silver coin and they hand me a quarter I might say, "That will be hard to see -- anything larger?" Followed by, "Oh, a half dollar or English Penny -- perfect." Since they handled it there is never a question of examination. I then switch in a gaff as necessary.

Naturally, I am prepared to do an effect with whatever object is selected, mixing random selection with directed ones. There is a risk of having things stolen so I wouldn't include silver dollars, so I use pocker chips instead.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



eBooks at Lybrary.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Well, a couple of thoughts on the coins... just from things that have worked for me:

1. The need to allow the spec to handle the coin stems from your guilt. If you can't make your mind believe you are about to do magic, you have strikes against you.

2. The more normally you handle the half, the better. Would you ask the clerk to examine the coin if you were buying a candy bar?

3. If you invite the spec to examine the coin, you give them tacit permission to examine other things.

That being said...

4. Develop a great shuttle pass. It's easy and very effective in those cases where you want to let the spec examine the coin and then be able to switch it.

5. It is best if ANY proving, or eliminating possibilities in the minds of the specs, is done as late as possible in the routine. Don't allow them to eliminate any of the ways they think you are doing what you do any earlier than necessary. Example- With "Spellbound" I can eliminate the possibility of a gaff at the very beginning, but I do not because I want that possibility to occupy the specs minds until the very end, at which time I disprove that possibility and leave them with no answer but magic.

Hope this makes some sense to others than me...

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
JamesTong
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It takes a lot of hard work to be good in everything we do including magic. And respect must be earned too. That too is hard work. It is the price we have to pay for success (however we define it).
mkmager
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Quote:
On 2009-10-03 13:34, JamesTong wrote:
It takes a lot of hard work to be good in everything we do including magic. And respect must be earned too. That too is hard work. It is the price we have to pay for success (however we define it).


2nd^^
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
On 2009-10-03 11:16, mandarin wrote:
1. The need to allow the spec to handle the coin stems from your guilt. If you can't make your mind believe you are about to do magic, you have strikes against you.


I needed to hear this one again! I find myself concentrating so very hard on trying to hide the secret that my attentin can give it away. And I am neither relaxed nor having fun. So then I'm not magic - I'm just a guy with trick stuff.

Ed
rjthomp
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I personally like to let the spectators look at my coins before I do any tricks with them. I generally use walking liberty half dollars, and every one wants to look them over--they don't have any suspicions, but want to see them because they are inherently something "interesting". I mainly use sleight of hand as a way to ring in a gaff--the shuttle pass mentioned above is one good option for that.

I always like to start a coin trick with spectators believing that (A) they've checked out all my props, and (B) that they've seen my hands completely empty before I start.

This approach has issues if you later do a trick with a prop that can't be examined, but even then you can usually routine it so that it's not a problem. There's also an issue with the "dead time" taken with people examining props, but if you've planned ahead and have a few patter lines to cover that time, along with the fact that the props really are interesting to many people there shouldn't be a problem.

If you don't want to let the spectators handle the coins, I'd use quarters instead of half's--they are generally perceived as everyday, "boring" objects... For some tricks this can be an advantage, though for me personally I like to use objects with inherent interest like the walking liberties...

-Rob
Jaz
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Quote:
On 2009-10-03 08:24, othelo68 wrote:
What a good way to introduce half dollars?
hand them out for inspection?
do a few non gaffed tricks before introducing something that uses a gaff?


I like producing the halves from a purse frame aka bagless purse.

If I'm using Walking Liberties I let them be handled if asked.
Otherwise I prefer to avoid it.

Doing ungaffed routines first can't hurt.
There are only a couple of routines I do where a gaff is used.
Mr. Woolery
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Respect. I respect people who do their thing well. In the case of magic, we need to remember that our "thing" isn't sleights or illusions. Our "thing" is performance. Anybody can memorize a few lines and recite them. What makes Denzel Washington a great actor? Anyone can learn to do a basic card trick. What makes (insert your favorite card guy here) a great magician? The answer, for both of these, is the effect the performance has on the audience. As a rule, I think we all respect the performers who take a trick and turn out a really powerful effect. We may not always like the person doing it, but we respect the performer. We don't have much respect for the jerk who can do a trick and then acts like we ought to kiss his feet for it.

I'm not sure whether the TV shows have helped or hurt magic as an artform. On the one hand, more people are exposed to the idea of performing magic, which is good. On the other hand, a TV program does not remind you that there is a camera crew, sound man, big mike, and multiple takes to get the shot that is meant to look like you are getting a candid view of a guy walking up and randomly amazing a stranger. The whole "street magic" thing kind of bugs me. And you are right that there seems to be a uniform that is hard to tell from clothes rummaged from a dumpster...

Self working tricks or really hard sleights should look equally easy to the audience. In other words, no matter the method, apparently impossible things should be happening in your hands without you apparently having to work for them to happen. If I have a card selected and shuffle it into the deck, I should be able to make it look like a total impossibility to simply cut to it and produce it. And then I should be able to do it like it is easy for me. The methods and trappings can be simple or ridiculously complex, but it should look like magic, no matter whether I use a gimmicked deck or spend 5 years learning some esoteric sleight. Self-workers are not cheating at all. The whole key is your presentation.

Magic does not have to be done with everyday objects. I love spongeballs. Who, other than a magician, carries those? Yet, people still enjoy the magic that happens in their hands. If you like match magic, go for it. Or rubber bands, who carries those normally? But if you can do a great trick with them, it doesn't matter whether these are normally something people carry or not. Large coins, if someone asks about the half dollars, just say that you used to use dimes and people complained about not being able to see what's going on. This subject has been discussed in the past, relating to such things as thimbles. Is thimble manipulation no longer a valid form of magic just because so few people use them anymore? Nah, the point is that the little thingie on your finger is doing impossible things, regardless of whether people know what it is or not.

No matter what props you use, whether self-working or not, whether common or not, the point is how well you can command the attention of the audience and lead them to that place of wonder and amazement. That's the real magic.

-Patrick
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