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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Knots and loops The curse of Fiber Optics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sealegs
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Partrick wrote:
Quote:
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?


No it's not a definitive truth that they don't exist, but it makes sense to doubt the existence of them until one has evidence/proof otherwise.

I look forward and am hopeful that next time I see a Fibre Optics based routine it's turns out to be a Unicorn and not a badly made pantomine horse.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On 2011-09-30 22:53, PatrickGregoire wrote:
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?


I'm not sure that "more effects" = "more magic." My Mongolian Pop-Knot routine lasts seven minutes, and consists of only three effects. I think that the power of any one of those effects is much greater than a long flurry of Sands moves.
Pop Haydn
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In another thread, Tommy quoted this from M & D, and I think it applies here:

Our Magic
The Art in Magic -- The Theory of Magic
by Nevil Maskelyne

CHAPTER XI
SPEED IN PRESENTATION

"IN MAGIC, speed in presentation is a most important point, artistically speaking. There are some performers who, with half a dozen simple tricks, can fill up a two-hour entertainment. Others there are who can rattle off a score of big effects in as many minutes. Each class of performer, no doubt, thinks his own method of presentation the best that can be devised. So it may be-for him. But the question is, which method, if either, is best for the art of magic? Allowing for adaptation to personal characteristics, there must be a certain standard in this respect toward the attainment of which a magical artist's aim should be directed. We want to ascertain the logical basis upon which some such standard may be founded. Hence, in the first place, we must think out the various points bearing upon this subject, and afterward, make up our minds as to the conclusion one may deduce from the facts of the case. Each particular mode of presentation, in point of showmanship, has certain advantages. The rapid method undoubtedly has the advantage of giving the spectators plenty for their money. That is to say, plenty of magic; which presumably is the thing they chiefly expect from a magician. The slow method, on the other hand, gives the performer ample opportunity for getting at home with his spectators and making them thoroughly interested in his work. Herein, again, we are bound to admit the existence of great advantages. In completely interesting and carrying conviction to the minds of his audience, a magician unquestionably fulfils the expectations of the public. From an artistic standpoint, however, each of these methods has its disadvantage. When we consider the final impression produced-and that is the main consideration, so far as art is concerned-we realize that in neither case can there exist the completeness and satisfaction of interest which true art demands. The rapid method imposes so much strain upon the attention of an audience, that complete appreciation of the effect presented can never be gained. The slow method, conversely, does not sufficiently occupy the minds of the spectators in the direction toward which their anticipation has been led. Thus, it is easy to see, both methods are lacking in certain artistic essentials. Each comprises too little of the advantage in which the other excels. Looking at the matter fairly and squarely, one cannot help feeling that any presentation which leaves an impression of either indistinctness or over-elaboration has a very serious defect, from whatever point of view it may be regarded. Even setting aside the question of art, high or low, the fact that a performance lacks one or other of the qualities which the public expects a public entertainment to possess is, in itself, sufficient to condemn the method of presentation adopted. From a magical entertainer, the public expects two things--magic and entertainment. The man who gives the public plenty of magic, but serves it up in such hot haste that his audience has no time to digest it, merely surfeits the spectators with that particular requirement, without satisfying their other expectations. He occupies their attention more than enough, but he does not entertain them as they rightly expect to be entertained. They have too much of one good thing and not enough of another. The magic they wish to enjoy, instead of being served up properly, is thrown at them--take it or leave it--just as the waitresses at cheap restaurants dump down the food before their customers. Some people, no doubt, can put up with such treatment. They get used to it, as eels do to being skinned. But surely the person who cannot enjoy a meal better served must have an exceptional constitution. To most people, good service and time for enjoyment are things to be desired. Satisfaction, and not indigestion, is what normal beings appreciate. On the other hand, the performer who spins out his magical business, by unduly watering it down with patter or other forms of entertainment, displays a fault of another order, but similar in degree. Retaining the simile of the restaurant, one may say the service is far too elaborate and the rations are far too scanty. Or, in the renowned words of a certain governor of North Carolina, we may say, "It's a long time between drinks." The spectators may be greatly entertained by the performance, but when it is all over they feel dissatisfied because they have not obtained what they paid their money to see. In such conditions, the final effect is as incomplete and imperfect as when people have been allowed too little time for appreciation. There seems little doubt, then, as to the kind of standard to be adopted in this respect. The rapid method may suit some performers well, especially those who either lack repose or dispense with patter. The slow method may recommend itself to those whose strong point is either "a gift of gab" or a special ability in "holding an audience." The question of "personality" or, in other words, individual characteristics both natural and acquired, must be allowed considerable weight in such questions. The man who, although a skilled magician, has no special ability as an entertainer--who has not that easy grip of his spectators' attention which disarms criticism of his procedure at the moment--is bound to rely for his ultimate success upon a more or less rapid method of presentation. The man whose skill is that of an entertainer in the ordinary sense, rather than that of a specialist in magic, has to rely upon his general ability more than upon his magical effects. In his case the comparatively slow method of presentation is essential to success. But "there is reason in the roasting of eggs," as the proverb has it. One man may find it best to go ahead, another to go slowly; but every man who professes to give the public good work should remember that, beyond certain limits, in haste and deliberation alike, good work can scarcely exist. No reasonable doubt, we think, can be entertained as to the standard of rapidity in presentation which is most desirable in magical performance. The defects inseparable from the respective extremes simply indicate that the happy medium represents perfection. The audience must have time to understand, to consider, and to appreciate the successive items presented, or the final impression will be confused and imperfect. A magical performance must contain sufficient magic to fulfil the expectations of the audience, or dissatisfaction, more or less acute, is bound to be the after-effect produced. In either case, the ultimate result displays artistic shortcomings, which should be corrected. True art and good policy alike point to the middle course as being best, and to the wisdom of keeping that course so far as circumstances will permit. It is quite possible to give the public plenty of magic without reducing one's performance to the level of a mere "show," devoid of artistic merit. It is also quite possible to give the public real entertainment without stinting the supply of magic. There is no difficulty in the matter, one way or the other. By avoiding redundancy in either direction, the thing is done automatically."
Sealegs
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Thanks to Pop Hayden for that. Smile It was certainly an interesting read.

The quoted piece clearly lays out, in an erudite manner, the possible pit falls of failing to consider how one might best go about constructing a routine that is both magical and entertaining.

However, and I believe I have posted back and forth with Pop Hayden about this in another thread, although Pop Hayden and I both seem to have the same general thoughts about how the material in Fibre Optics is acting as a conduit for some pretty unengaging rope 'magic', I can't get behind, and am uncomfortable with, the notion of any set of prescribed axioms or 'rules' that are put forward as the path that needs to be followed in order to bring success. (see my signature below)

For me they represent nothing more than, at best, a very basic starting point for those looking to find their own way. And, maybe, this is applicable to those performers that I have seen using the material we are discussing here.

But any performance axioms, rules and guidelines, as far as I'm concerned, inevitably become redundant as soon as those brilliant exceptions come along, doing the opposite of what the axioms and rules say should be done, but none the less achieve results that leave everyone else in their wake.

In general terms, David Williamson is a great example of this type of rule braking exception. When he burst into our magic lives he was like a whirlwind who shouted at his audence and helping assisstants, rampaged around the audience puting him out of the eye sight of many of them, he manhandled and berated the spectators, created a cocophony of confusion on stage, looked umkept and ruffled, didn't seem to follow any of the rules regarding on stage conduct... and we loved him for it.

Or to illustrate another way, lets take Maskalyne's simile/analogy of the restaurant; "The magic they wish to enjoy, instead of being served up properly, is thrown at them--take it or leave it--just as the waitresses at cheap restaurants dump down the food before their customers."

Now consider a restaurant chain such as 'Dick's Last Resort' which owes it's success to it's customers going there to be specifically to be insulted by the rude staff. (There are a few fantastic pizza places in Naples Italy that, unlike Dick's Last Resort, do this in naturally without any training... and I often take people there specifically because it is a weirdly enjoyable part of the dining experience)

I'm not suggesting that Williamson's approach nor the business model of 'Dick's Last Resort' are the type of thing that others might want to try and emulate however they are examples that never the less show up the (at least for me) artistically unwelcomed failings of limiting one's thinking to fit in with a prescribed 'right' way of doing things.

For example, (and trying desperately to steer this post back to the topic at hand); if someone was to find a way of presenting, the material in Fibre Optics, one rope move after another; to an obviously ridiculous extreme; such that another quality emerged from it...for example, it became entertaining specifically because of the ludicrousness of the situation that the magician was off in his own little world completely disconnected and oblivious to the audience he is supposed to be directing the magic towards... I could see that this could, thanks to the irony, work as a strongly entertaining and magical piece.

The application of independent, informed, thoughtfulness without restricting oneself to following prescriptions is, from my point of view, a preferred approach to producing entertaining magic.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
magicians
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As a magician, we know the taboo of revealing the "piece", once that is plucked, its a matter of a puzzle "where does the piece go".
Cool acrobatics, George Sands on steroids.
----------
I have ranted about this before. We have given this series of moves too much credit.
-----------
1) Tabary and Sands are the base of the moves.
2) When the rope is cut with the fingers (ala Sands) Sanders improved the illusion by having it look like the rope is cut below the fingers rather than in the hand (original improvement).
3) ends that travel: "Sandslide" and tabary.

Bottom line: there is only one or two original moves is a flurry of movement. Most of this (although well done) is other peoples work without credit, and I just can't get past the intellectual theft. The slide and catch and aerial drop catch moves are the only credit I can give.

---------
I find like-ability and popularity seems to excuse the abuse. The popular bandwagon makes supporters blind to theft. Magicians unaware of the origins of the moves tribute Sanders with the applause due others.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
PatrickGregoire
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I guess that's why my Fiber Optics routine plays so well; I have a nice balance between speed and magic. I don't sacrifice either one. The routine is not quick, but it goes at a pace that they can follow, and I'm speaking to them and engaging the audience as I go through the routine.
magicians
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This post started a year ago Nov 6th. I suggest we close this out on its anniversary. I reviewed my posts and they all have the same comment as what I said a short while ago. I think the real curse of this is, you have to learn from a synopsis of the original pieces. Like a "cliff notes" of rope magic. You get the idea, but not the substance. All you can do is mimic the effect.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Hawkan
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Im not saying that my "version" of Fiber Optics is GREAT, but in all modesty I think it is entertaining (and my audiences). I start by saying that I have a trick to sell, then do the ends-moving-place bit, saying that the price is 100 SEK. After that, the ends come off and so on, and I lower the price after each "problem". For example: "You get an Uzbekian high-quality rope when you buy this, and it will last a life-time..." of course now the ends come off the first time. I give a lower price "...and Ill throw in some extra ends as well, guaranteed hassle-free" and they immediately come apart again. Later, I come to the middle-off sequence "..I have to admit the factory DID have some trouble before, but that was the middle of the rope, not the ends". Lastly I offer them a bottle of superglue with the trick "...made from my on recipe" and do the old spit gag.

Its not the funniest or most original thing out there, but after doing this forever and ever in front of the mirror, never finding a logical way to present it, the idea just popped into my head, and it works quite well and turn all these moves....logical.

:wavey
Hkan
PatrickGregoire
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I like that Hawkan! Work on it, I can see your presentation being hilarious if presented well!
PatrickGregoire
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Quote:
On 2011-10-02 10:03, magicians wrote:
This post started a year ago Nov 6th. I suggest we close this out on its anniversary. I reviewed my posts and they all have the same comment as what I said a short while ago. I think the real curse of this is, you have to learn from a synopsis of the original pieces. Like a "cliff notes" of rope magic. You get the idea, but not the substance. All you can do is mimic the effect.


So we should close this topic because you have nothing new to say? People are still discussing.
silksock
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I've enjoyed reading all of the discussions.
jolyonjenkins
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Quote:
On 2011-10-02 13:08, Hawkan wrote:
Im not saying that my "version" of Fiber Optics is GREAT, but in all modesty I think it is entertaining (and my audiences). I start by saying that I have a trick to sell, then do the ends-moving-place bit, saying that the price is 100 SEK. After that, the ends come off and so on, and I lower the price after each "problem". For example: "You get an Uzbekian high-quality rope when you buy this, and it will last a life-time..." of course now the ends come off the first time. I give a lower price "...and Ill throw in some extra ends as well, guaranteed hassle-free" and they immediately come apart again. Later, I come to the middle-off sequence "..I have to admit the factory DID have some trouble before, but that was the middle of the rope, not the ends". Lastly I offer them a bottle of superglue with the trick "...made from my on recipe" and do the old spit gag.

Its not the funniest or most original thing out there, but after doing this forever and ever in front of the mirror, never finding a logical way to present it, the idea just popped into my head, and it works quite well and turn all these moves....logical.

:wavey
Hkan


I like that very much, thanks. Do you do the PN at any stage?
Jolyon Jenkins
Hawkan
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Rjenkins:No, I dont. For me, that would be a bit too much. But let me know if you come up with something that works.

:wavey:
Hkan
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