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Vick
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* No one regards the magician today as other than an ordinary man gifted with no extraordinary powers. The spectators come, not to be impressed with awe, but fully aware that his causes and effects are natural. They come rather as a guessing committee, to spy out the methods with which he mystifies. Hundreds of eyes are upon him. Men with more knowledge of the sciences than he come to trip and expose him, and to baffle their scrutiny is the study of his life. Long years of training and exercise alone will not make a magician. … There must be some natural aptitude for the art; it must be born in a man, and can never be acquired by rule. He must be alert both in body and in mind; cool and calculating to the movement of a muscle under all circumstances; a close student of men and human nature. To these qualifications he must add the rather incongruous quality of a mind turning on contradictions. With a scientific cause he must produce a seemingly opposite effect to that warranted by order and system.

I know of no life requiring such a series of opposite qualities as the magician's. And after the exercise of all these qualities I have named, resulting in the production of the most startling and novel results, the magician has not the satisfaction, like other men, of the enjoyment of his own product. He must be prepared to see it copied by others, or after a short time discovered by the public.

* I have not drawn a very rosy picture of the magician. I did not intend to do so. To the novice entering the life and promising himself ease, indolence, and wealth, I should say, "Don't!"

Words worthy of consideration from one of the greatest, You may disagree with some but the underlying truths are evident.

Also more valid reason why our presentation are so important, the audience must moved to care more about us and about the stories/presentations we weave then about "how" we did it.

If your audience only cares about "how" you have failed them and yourself
YOU ARE A SHOWMAN, YOU ARE AN ENTERTAINER

Being a hobbiest, collector or aficionado is fine but if you ever want to be more than the guy who does a few tricks for friends or for your magic club then you must learn theater.

And there are many ways to accomplish this, think of a range from say the Amazing Jonathan to Teller to Burton to Jay to McBride to Carney and many, many more.

YOU CAN'T BE ANY OF THEM! But they can't be you either; only you can.
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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As this is a message for novices I would suggest not to confuse "theater" in the way magicians use it with taking courses from the Theater department at a university or having to perform in plays. Look to courses in the Speech Department where you can learn Public Speaking, Persuasion, Interpretive Reading, Extemp and Impromptu Speaking, Inerpersonal Communications, Group Dynamics and more. You can also join a Toastmasters Club and hone public speaking skills without ever doing a magic trick. If nothing else, volunteer as a reader in a Senior Center and just read books outloud with as much emphasis and emotion as you can muster. The key is to learn how to communicate with people using your voice, gestures and body language. Whne you can capture and hold a spectator's attention with your voice alone -- then worry about the magic you can share. With sustained attention there can be no retention -- a memory of the magic, you and the trick in that order.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Brad Burt
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I have written on this extensively in the past. Consider that any magician wanting to maintain a magical 'aura' is attacked almost universally by the magic community. He's a 'fake', 'charlatan', and on and on. Maybe.

But, once you take away the idea that for "entertainment" purposes a magic performer "might" have some special power......

....... the ONLY thing left is that he's just a skilled technician. That's it.

Right or wrong that's what you have. If the magic community wants to have 'some' aura of mystery beyond the mundane classification of "trickster", then claims must be made that the 'power' involved comes from something greater than mere facility with ones hands. That is, that the magician's hands have a power that is greater than MERELY manipulative in a mechanical sense.

This is the great, GREAT advantage the Bizzarest's have, in that they have latched onto and use classic 'Magical' Archetypal props, etc.

The fact is that a 'magician' can be entertaining without being 'mysterious' and most of us are in that mode of performance. But, it's also true that the more mysterious one is as a magician the more compelling the performance is likely to be.

Best,
Brad Burt
funsway
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I cam agree with your sentiment, Burt, but not with the restrictions. There are other options to "special power" than "skilled technician," "Only" is amighty powerful claim to place on a spectator's capacity for awe and wonder. Some believe in 'magic' as a real force/energy/power that anyone can manipulate with proper training. Others use 'magic' as a convenient mental pigeonhole for anyhting the y do not understand. Others view 'magic' as a function of knowledge -- that which we can conceptualize but not make practical or predictable, etc.

It is enough that a magician knows that each spectator hold some "sense of magic" in their menatl soup that can be prodded, kindled, remembered or inspired. The goal (for me) is to take each one onto the warm fuzzies of previous magical experience in a way that allows no alternative explanation to what is happing in my hands -- so that the new magic expereince reenforces the old. This is not a special power or anything paranormal; but the power of persuasion, the power of empathy, the power of self-confidence that allows the performer to stand before a live audience. Those are all abilities that most people lack, and serve to make one appear powerful in comparison.

but all that only gains the spectator's attention and trust. You must justify that trust by "being entertaining." That sustains their attention. Then, with a balance of Anticipation and Surprise you create a dilemma that can only be resolved 'magic' -- a concept already in their mind and within their ability.

It is enough to start a show by saying, "Each of you knows of magic -- each of you has seen and heard and felt things that defy reason." Point to someone in tha audience. "You have been touched by awe and wonder and mystery -- and never told anyone -- isn't that true?" Watch for the nods, then nod along. "Let me entertain you with events of suprise and mystery that I know as magic -- and you will too."

or something ...
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Vick
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Quote:
On 2010-01-14 19:50, Brad Burt wrote:
I have written on this extensively in the past.

....... the ONLY thing left is that he's just a skilled technician. That's it.



That is NOT THE ONLY THING ANYONE HAS!!!
To think so is to cheat the audience and rob yourself!!!!

We are entertainers, we are performers

We create a very special time and place, an event for our audiences

I am in no way suggesting we profess to have "powers" of the supernatural
We are storytellers, enchanters with our words, actions and deeds

We are the bridge to a wondrous experience, weather we do it with humor, wonder, astonishment, self realization or any path we choose as long as we give our audiences a positive experience


and the audience is and has the power, the best magic happens in their minds, their smiles, the fact we entertain and expand their perceptions. Maybe just a simple smile on a challengeing day or a special shared time at our show with a loved one. We faciliate the magic in the audiences minds

If we are more than just a "skilled technician"


It is a function of art to expand perceptions

We are artists

or at least we should strive to be




funsway as usual has some good advice - May I please suggest you take the time to read his words
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Vick
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It's taken me 10+ years to make
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And often the object we present (in our show/presentation) has the something unusual about it, remarkable to be the focus of the story (basis for part of a presentation), not us

The oddity we found and now are sharing the story of with our audiences

This premise allows our audiences to consider maybe and suspend rational thought if we are good enough story tellers and ACTORS!!!

I started this thread for consideration of presentation, real theatrical presentation. How to start becoming a showman

For beginners it is so important once the mechanics are in place and smooth to consider how to get beyond "wow look at me and what I can do" to become artist and performers



We can always learn from everyone, no matter how much we disagree with them.

p.s. You really don't need to consider what the 96% so called "magic community" thinks.
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Vick
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Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
1120 Posts

Profile of Vick
Quote:
On 2010-01-14 19:50, Brad Burt wrote:
Consider that any magician wanting to maintain a magical 'aura' is attacked almost universally by the magic community. He's a 'fake', 'charlatan', and on and on. Maybe.



Another falsehood

When many professionals enter the venue everyone knows something unique and worthy of their attention is about to happen

Think about when you see Ricky Jay enter the stage, when Lance Burton comes to the stage, when Pop Haydn comes through the curtain. The list could go on and on

They all have aura and it is magical. It's a commanding presence
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
DWRackley
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Man! I love this place! Thank you, Vick, funsway, Brad!

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on something, you guys come and shake things around! I learn so much just from you guys’ “opinions”.

Maybe the question is really when are we “on”? Or is there ever a time when we’re NOT on? For example, Tom Cruise has played a lot of roles, but he doesn’t fly jet planes in real life. On the other hand is he ever not Tom Cruise? Are there distinctions between how he behaves in private? In public? On screen?

I’m not famous (not by a way long shot) but I’m visible to enough people that I get waves from people I don’t know when I’m out shopping or having dinner with my wife. People have come up and just started talking. For this reason alone I’d want to “dress the part” at all times, but where does it become an obsession? And I haven’t even gotten into the Magic “business” yet in any way that matters.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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