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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » HOW DO YOU DO IT (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

J.G. the magnificent
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We often get asked how we do it. Or can you teach me, many magicians frown apon this. Yet I think if we take the time to teach a trick when asked occationally we can inspire if done correctly. Let me explain, a couple reasons why we have excuses for not exposing tricks. We will continue to be seen as frauds and or stuck up if we don't. The nay sayers will continue to nay say if we don't show them magic as an art. We can do this by teaching a very good effect and teaching it correctly in our approach. Also if we don't teach when we have a chance we may pass up an opportunity to inspire and correct. They may like to do magic but go about it wrong. Probably through learning and or practicicing wrong. We can correct that if we just think no for whatever reason they will continue learning and or practicing wrong.

When approached with the question I think we could ask if they know any already. Stir up a conversation showing interest. If they don't know any they are probably a hot head that just wants the secret to blab fake. So show them one but make it one with great interaction a real miracle. Something inspiring and this can be said for whoever you are teaching nay sayer or not. A great effect could also help them be insired to really practice. If they know a trick though ask to see it. This shows you their skill and commitment. If it is sloppy depending on the effect they are either laisy in practice or just ignorant. You can then know what to show them. When that time comes I think you should show them the routine before the methode. This way before anything else is said or done you can tell them to remember despite the fakeness the mirracle it appeared to be. The reaction they felt and showed. That that is the true magic. In doing so they will not just remember a lame secret to be done so poorly and have more inspiration to practice.

We should never say go to the library. Besides they might lose their motive and inspiration in the time it takes anyway.

Any thoughts?
Jeremy Gates
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2010-12-20 16:31, J.G. the magnificent wrote:
We often get asked how we do it. Or can you teach me, many magicians frown apon this. Yet I think if we take the time to teach a trick when asked occationally we can inspire if done correctly. Any thoughts?


Whether or not to "teach a trick" depends entirely on the person asking, the situation and a host of other factors not the least of which is whether the person asking is "merely curious" (probably the most common situation). a "collector or secrets" (the second most common) or someone sincerely interested in learning about magic (the least common). In the case of the first two, my answer is unequivocally "no." In the third case "maybe."

The bottom line: magic is not meant to be an evangelical endeavor.
Dick Christian
J.G. the magnificent
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P.S. this post was inspired by this discussion. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41 thanks guys.
Jeremy Gates
Cyberqat
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As I said in that thread, JG, I agree with you.

I think playing "oooh I've got a secret" is a sign of a weak ego and ultimately serves neither the art nor the individual.

I don't believe you should run around exposing techniques, but not because Im afraid it will do soem horrible damage to magic. Rather, because its unfair to the lay audience who come to be mystified, not to be told how they were tricked (whether they realize it or not.)

When I meet a kid, or adult, who is inspired by my magic to want to learn their own, I generally teach them the French Drop. And that doesn't mean just reveal it. I take the time to show it to them from multiple angles, have them perform it for me, and even shape their hands if needed. Then I explain the importance of naturalness and how the carry away is as important as the actual move, and that they need to practice in front of a mirror til it fools them and then it will fool other people. I also explain this it helps to do the actions WITHOUT the move in the mirror, watch what you are doing, and then try to look the same while doing the move.

If next time I see them, they can do a good french drop, I know they practiced and they are a magician in training and Im happy to teach them more. if not, well, there was no harm done and in my book its worth it to encourage those who WILL be the future of our art.
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Jonathan Townsend
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So many ways to handle the matter. Would you like to do some of the tricks? Which ones? Who would you do them for? Do you do any tricks already? Here's my card, send me an email and we can see about meeting to discuss learning tricks.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
gaddy
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"Most people ask me WHY I do it..."

People don't really want to know how- it's just a natural reaction to a mystery or puzzle.

Personally, I don't care if other people learn magic or not. I don't really believe in the current magical fashion of "magic evangelism", and it doesn't directly benefit me if they do or do not. Either way is good.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
J.G. the magnificent
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Quote:
On 2010-12-20 20:05, Cyberqat wrote:
As I said in that thread, JG, I agree with you.

I think playing "oooh I've got a secret" is a sign of a weak ego and ultimately serves neither the art nor the individual.

I don't believe you should run around exposing techniques, but not because Im afraid it will do soem horrible damage to magic. Rather, because its unfair to the lay audience who come to be mystified, not to be told how they were tricked (whether they realize it or not.)

When I meet a kid, or adult, who is inspired by my magic to want to learn their own, I generally teach them the French Drop. And that doesn't mean just reveal it. I take the time to show it to them from multiple angles, have them perform it for me, and even shape their hands if needed. Then I explain the importance of naturalness and how the carry away is as important as the actual move, and that they need to practice in front of a mirror til it fools them and then it will fool other people. I also explain this it helps to do the actions WITHOUT the move in the mirror, watch what you are doing, and then try to look the same while doing the move.

If next time I see them, they can do a good french drop, I know they practiced and they are a magician in training and Im happy to teach them more. if not, well, there was no harm done and in my book its worth it to encourage those who WILL be the future of our art.

Yes teach them well.
Jeremy Gates
DWRackley
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Quote:
We should never say go to the library. Besides they might lose their motive and inspiration in the time it takes anyway.


Then they weren’t very motivated in the first place.

I’ve said elsewhere on the Café that WE all got in, so how hard could it be? Dick Christian’s bottom line is the correct one; magic is not meant to be an evangelical endeavor.

On the subject of ego, that could cut both ways. While protecting Magic also protects the audience’s sense of wonder, showing how something’s done could just as easily be an egotistical sense of “let me be your teacher”.

I don’t think we need to have pass-codes on all the Magic shops, but a little discretion is called for as to the real value of what it is we offer.

Are we selling the sense of wonder or just cheap puzzles? (Can't wait for Vick to ring in on this one!) Smile
...what if I could read your mind?

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Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2010-12-21 02:24, DWRackley wrote:
Dick Christian’s bottom line is the correct one; magic is not meant to be an evangelical endeavor.


Just to elaborate briefly on my comment that DWRackley quoted above. I am not opposed to teaching magic to those who have a sincere desire to learn. As others have said, that's how we all got started. The point is that those who have a real desire to learn will seek out the opportunity to do so. It is not up to us to seek them out -- they'll find us.
Dick Christian
Wes65
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Quote:
On 2010-12-20 16:31, J.G. the magnificent wrote:
We should never say go to the library. Besides they might lose their motive and inspiration in the time it takes anyway.

If they have the bug nothing will stop them from learning.....I say point them in the right direction (bookstore, library, magic shop) and tell the what to look for and warn them what to look out for and maybe show them something simple.

However, I find most people are just looking for secrets....what we do is not normal.
Wes
kal
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I don't think it's a gray area at all. People may ask this question ten thousand times but you can easily spot who is genuinely interested/a magician in waiting and who is just baffled.
As such I don't see an issue here to really be discussed. If someone is asking for the sake of knowing/amazement/etc then you should construct a wity response or pseudo-explanation. After all you'll hear it often enough.
Someone who is really interested in magic and learning more will generally, in my experience, not ask this question and will be more clear in their intentions, either by having some skill, knowledge, experience or desire to research and learn on their own or even to arrange another time to talk about things.

The question is then a personal choice on whether or not you wish to consider yourself a mentor to this new magician or not.
I'm always honest about when I'm lying. And I'm always lying...
Andrew Zuber
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I got into it when I first visited the Magic Castle. I immediately sought out the closest magic shop, booked time with a teacher, and learned like crazy. If your performance has inspired them so much that they choose to go learn more about it, then that says a lot about you!

I'm with Wes - point them in the right direction. The rest is up to fate. Or rush hour traffic if you're in L.A.

As for the answer to "How did you do that?" I've always liked the line, "Very well I thought."
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Wes65
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Quote:
As for the answer to "How did you do that?" I've always liked the line, "Very well I thought."


I like that.
Wes
Sean Giles
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Quote:
On 2011-02-21 21:31, Wes65 wrote:
Quote:
As for the answer to "How did you do that?" I've always liked the line, "Very well I thought."


I like that.


I always think that sounds big headed. I prefer to laugh and say 'I have no idea'! Smile
J.G. the magnificent
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Giving me ideas and perhaps you could say very well because even I don't know.
Jeremy Gates
mastermindreader
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My usual answer is- "Actually, the more important question is 'WHY do I do it?'"

:eek:

Good thoughts,

Bob
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