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PatrickGregoire
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First off, I had no idea most of the Fiber Optics material was not original with Sanders.

That being said, it changes nothing about how great this stuff is.

I started off with Three Ropes and a Baby years ago, and only a few years ago picked up Fiber Optics Extended. I had success with Three Ropes and a Baby, people loved it. When I received Fiber Optics Extended, I added some moves, some jokes, my performance style. It became one of my best routines. This is one of the routines that spectators talk about after the show. It really doesn't matter how other magicians feel about Fiber Optics, I can tell you honestly that it plays really well if you can present it well. I don't do it fast. My routine is around 7.5 minutes. It includes the Hyper Ring moves. There is a beginning and an end. The beginning is the ropes becoming equal. The end is the ropes going back to their previous unequal states. I use the middle-of-the-rope plucking move and it exposes nothing. I would never use any of the moves that expose the "two ends" as being the small piece. I also execute some of the moves differently than taught because I find they look better and more deceptive. It's all about making it work for you. I don't think Fiber Optics was ever meant to be sold as a routine. It's a collection of moves for you to build your own routine and add your own presentation. He added a few example routines just to show how the moves can be incorporated.

I could easily use Fiber Optics as my show closer with tremendous success. What works for me may not work for others though. My routine just fits my style to a "T".
PatrickGregoire
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And by the way, I cut the rope with my fingers twice during my routine, and both times it gets gasps and laughs of amazement. Maybe your character just can't pull it off.
Sealegs
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PatrickGregoire wrote:
Quote:
I don't think Fiber Optics was ever meant to be sold as a routine. It's a collection of moves for you to build your own routine and add your own presentation.


As a collection of moves for one to build a routine it's a fine tool I'm sure. My initial motivation in starting this thread was to draw attention to the point that a series of moves doesn't make a routine. This was a something that seemed to have been missed by those performers that I have seen performing this material.

A series of magical and baffling moves (even if performed well) does not, in and of itself, necessarily produce an entertaining and watchable routine. However it appeared to me that this was the legacy that Fiber Optics has left in it's wake.

I think when more performers start to treat the material in Fiber Optics (as Patrick Gregoire says) not as a routine but as a collection of moves to be used as a tool to help create a routine then the legacy might over time change.

Lets hope so.
Neal Austin

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Pop Haydn
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How would a layman describe a fiber optics routine later to another layman in one sentence? What will he say he saw happen?
PatrickGregoire
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How would a spectator describe a coin flurry?

With all due respect, I don't think it's true that every good effect needs to be describable in only one sentence. Fiber Optics is a phenomenal routine, which I know for a fact, but nobody could describe everything that happens without making it a run-on sentence.
Bjarne
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Pop, that would be a bit of a challenge, but many multi-phase routines where you don't repeat the effect have the same problem. They might say something vague about ropes melting together and cut at will.

For me, I figured that the ending (i.e. the objective of the trick) was the thing I wanted to focus on, rather than the stunts. The solution for my work is to use about three or four of the FO moves and end the routine with a do-as-I-do cut and restored rope where the spectator succeeds.

I don't see it as a curse, no more than Dennis Loomis knots DVD where he shows a multitude of knots that you can use in your rope routines. I actually think the FO material is very good.
I am surprised that Richard Sanders presents it as two separate routines, as they are incredibly immature, and the only reason he gets by calling it routines is that he has a very nice personality. I am surprised that anybody thinks about taking a full FO routine rather that incorporating it into what they already know and do. BTW, I have never heard such a complaint about Dennis' excellent work. Smile

"If you steal material from one performer, you are a thief. If you steal from a thousand performers you are a genius"
brian314
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Hey Whit,

One word, when I incorporated Fiber Optics moves into my rope routine was WOW!
Pop Haydn
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I don't consider coin flurries strong magic.

In my opinion, looking at the spectator's retelling of an effect is the simplest way to approach strong routining.

Something can be enjoyable without being strong magic. Often an interlude of juggling or flourishing or quick little effects that probably wouldn't stand alone can be very helpful in a show.

However, there is no doubt in my mind that the strongest magic is stuff that the spectator can describe in one sentence to someone else and make that other person feel the desire to have seen it.

"He took a real fifty cent piece and slammed it into an empty beer bottle I just finished drinking."

"He cut a rope in two pieces, tied them together, and then made the knot just fall off, and the rope was all back together!"

"I chose a card and signed my name on it, and it ended up in a sealed envelope inside his wallet, and he never even reached into his coat!"

The difference is one of strong magic versus entertaining magic.

The spectators need to be able to explain what they saw and to have a bit of angst that they really can't see ANY possible way for it to be done to be strong magic.

A routine can be full of entertainment, and a real powerful addition to a strong magic show (Denny Haney's Multiplying Bottles) without being much of a fooler, but that doesn't make it strong magic.

A confusing plot does not make strong magic, regardless of how entertaining it might be.

Structuring a Sands type of routine to make it easier for the spectator to follow and understand, and to explain to someone else what he saw--that is how the routining should be designed if we want to make it strong. Too many moves, thrown together without reason, simply creates confusion.

Effects that have to be glossed over quickly in order not to be seen through--that is not strong magic.

To create the "I've got to see that!" feeling in a person who has not seen the magic, the story told has to be simple, convincing, and unbelievable. Any story that doesn't do that, is not a story about strong magic.

"He had a magic rope that did all sorts of stuff that was really amazing," is not likely to make the hearer run to see the magician being described.

"I examined a rope, and he actually cut it into three pieces and showed all three pieces, and then tied them together, and the knots just fell off and the rope was all back together!" --Better, in my opinion.
PatrickGregoire
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I disagree, but that's just my opinion based on my experience. My Fiber Optics routine is entertaining and fools. I think it's better if the spectator who saw your routine can't describe the whole thing to the other guy. That way, there is mystery left for the other guy to want to know exactly what happens. The first guy wouldn't just say "he did a bunch of stuff with ropes", he would name off a few things, such as "he fused two ropes together and then took off the ends and then he threw them back on and some amazing stuff like that." The second guy hears amazing stuff that happened PLUS there is more to see that he hasn't heard about, which will be a nice surprise.

Here's a good question: Do you consider the cups and balls to be strong magic Pop? Smile
brian314
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I agree with whit, people don't like to follow routines that are too complicated. I have seen magicians perform rope routines that I have found to be too confusing and it looses it's impact. I use a few of Fiber Optics moves but keep it simple. I can tell you, I have had more people come up to me and say, " can you do that trick with the three ropes". Even though they do not state the actual effect, they sure do remember the routine with the rope. I have learned over the years that audiences like magic they can follow.
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On 2011-09-30 00:18, PatrickGregoire wrote:
I disagree, but that's just my opinion based on my experience. My Fiber Optics routine is entertaining and fools. I think it's better if the spectator who saw your routine can't describe the whole thing to the other guy. That way, there is mystery left for the other guy to want to know exactly what happens. The first guy wouldn't just say "he did a bunch of stuff with ropes", he would name off a few things, such as "he fused two ropes together and then took off the ends and then he threw them back on and some amazing stuff like that." The second guy hears amazing stuff that happened PLUS there is more to see that he hasn't heard about, which will be a nice surprise.

Here's a good question: Do you consider the cups and balls to be strong magic Pop? Smile


I know it can be, why?

It's strength depends on the clarity of the routine, and how well it is structured.

It is one of the routines most commonly ruined by complications and confusing structure.
Sealegs
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To answer Pop Haydens questions; "How would a layman describe a fiber optics routine later to another layman in one sentence?"

The times I've seen it performed they'd have used a one word sentence. Boring.

What will he say he saw happen? The guy did a load of things with a rope but I'm not really sure what was going on.

It's not that the individual moves aren't capable of being used to create great moments of magic... they can do that without a doubt. But a series of moves strung together presented as a series of moves strung together does not a routine make.

It's apparent from the number of performances I've seen of this material that this is what Fibre Optics has (maybe and hopefully) unwittingly given rise to.

As Pop Hayden suggests without a structured routine that provides clarity of effect the result can be a confusing mess that will lead to an audience switching off and letting it simply wash over them.

The same can be often seen in card and billiard ball manipulation 'routines' where if you follow the action it all makes sense...this vanishes from here, and appears over here, and now it changes colour and now it multipies and now they've all changed colour again... but unless that kind of routine is structured so the audience can actually follow the sequence it just becomes a random bunch of things happening. That's the difference between a clearly structured routine and a series of moves.

I believe the nature of the Fibre Optics DVD has unfortunately given rise to a bunch of magicians who are attracted the both the nature and quantity of the moves and unfortunately those that I've seen fail to apparently see any further than that. I don't see this as being good for the peformers who use this material in this way, their audiences that end up sitting through it, or magic in general.

Of course a thread such as this isn't going to change anything but hopefully those who have looked in on it will at least give their use of this material a critical look.
Neal Austin

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PatrickGregoire
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Quote:
On 2011-09-30 00:59, brian314 wrote:
I agree with whit, people don't like to follow routines that are too complicated.

Obviously, I agree with that. You can have an effect that you cannot describe in one sentence but it's not complicated to follow, such as my Fiber Optics routine.
Quote:
On 2011-09-30 02:13, Pop Haydn wrote:
I know it can be, why?

It's strength depends on the clarity of the routine, and how well it is structured.

It is one of the routines most commonly ruined by complications and confusing structure.

I asked because in a cups and balls routine, there is much going on. It's like Fiber Optics. It's a series of moves sequenced together.

My Fiber Optics routine is easy to follow. Like I said before, it has a nice pace. There is never more than one thing happening at the same time. There are phases. There is no confusion, other than the deceptive nature of the effect. Like I said, I'm basing this on my experience so I don't really see why I should continue arguing this. I guess I just have a good presentation and a performance style that goes well with it.

And Sealegs, I don't think it's the release of Fiber Optics that made magicians perform a boring Fiber Optics routine. I think those who perform a boring Fiber Optics routine are the boring magicians, period. It's not Fiber Optics' fault.
Al Angello
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I agree with Pop, a magic trick must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. If you do Fiber Optics the way Richard Sanders teaches it you will have a beginning, 25 middles, and a vague ending. This may be fun for the magician, but not for his audience.
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PatrickGregoire
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Richard never taught a routine which has 25 middles... His routine examples use maybe 5 moves.

I simply must disagree with you. To be honest, my routine is a mish mash of moves put together, but it`s one of the most enjoyable routines in my show, and my quality control for my effects is pretty high. I would never have thought that Fiber Optics would be one of the stand-out effects, but it is. You can`t argue with the truth. If I had to perform only one thing for 5-7 minutes, this would probably be it, because it is a sure-fire winner, no bad angles and fits in my pockets. I see nothing wrong with going through a flurry of rope moves if you keep it entertaining and don`t go too fast with it, unless that`s your style.
Sealegs
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PatrickGregoire wrote:
Quote:
And Sealegs, I don't think it's the release of Fiber Optics that made magicians perform a boring Fiber Optics routine. I think those who perform a boring Fiber Optics routine are the boring magicians, period. It's not Fiber Optics' fault.


Patrick you might well be right there. The release of this DVD of course hasn't made magicians perform a boring routine.. it has just unfortunately provided the where-with-all, motivation, focus and attraction for the more unthinking, rather disproportionately.

As I said before I think the material is rather excellent but the way I have seen it used is anything but. So regardless of where the blame lies (the person who sells the guns or the person who fires them) the end result is the same.. in this case a magical corpse.

As I've already said, in my opinion that's not good for the performer, the audience, or magic.

By the way please don't think I regard any presentation of this material bad... I'm quite happy to acknowledge that the DVD has a wealth of material from which one can harvest a fruitful routine as you (Patrick) appear to have done. It's good to know that there's another side to the equation it's just I haven't personally seen it yet.
Neal Austin

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PatrickGregoire
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Alright, fair enough. I just don't think it's right to say that Fiber Optics should never have seen the light of day.

By the way, I appreciate being able to have such a civil discussion about this with you all. I feel no hostility even though our opinions differ and I like that.
Pop Haydn
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I look forward to seeing your routine, Patrick. Performance is the final arbitor.

I would say that the whole routine needn't be explained in one sentence. My rope routine is actually three different effects, strung together as a routine. Each phase is easily remembered and explained in one sentence. A routine for the Sands material should be built the same way, with clear phases that are easy to describe in a sentence. How many phases are appropriate to a routine is another discussion. I always prefer just three or four phases for such routines.
Rainboguy
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Good things magical come in "threes".....as Al Angelo explains, a good trick has a beginning, a middle, and an end, as do magic routines.

I have seen many a would-be entertainer lose an audience by not keeping things simple, straightforward, and clear.

Rope tricks and the like are easy for audiences to relate to and digest if the performer keeps the plot SIMPLE.

In my opinion, fiber optics is way, way overdone.
PatrickGregoire
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Like I said before, the truth never lies. If the routine is crystal clear and easy to follow, I think a longer routine with many visual phases is far more desired by audiences than a short routine with less magic. What is the downside of having more magic in a routine and still captivate an audience?

Since it keeps coming up, I'd like to address the issue of "All the performer's I've seen do it badly." with a question: Just because you've never seen a unicorn, is it a definitive truth that they don't exist?
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