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volto
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603 Posts

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Since this place is all about opinions and hot air - what do you like, what don't you like, and why?

I like visual magic, with obvious vanishes, productions, transpositions and penetrations. I like mysterious objects (but I don't like hokey stories about them, preferring to let the object's magical properties speak for themselves). I like very high quality - even luxurious - props, like hardwood wands, heavy silk pocket squares, fancy cups, silver coins and so on. The props should call to mind the Victorian golden age of magic (even though there never really was one). I like magic to be presented as magic, rather than skill, so I'm not keen on gambling presentations, bets and similar - unless the point of this is for the magician to show that they're cheating with magic. I like magic with effects that are so obvious, a child, a drunk, or a distracted adult can immediately appreciate it. I like effects that are beautiful.

I don't like many card effects. I don't like much mentalism. I don't like cr*ppy props - almost anything plastic is bad. Most magic with everyday objects is mundane, grubby and bad (exception for money). Coin in a sugar packet? Ugh. Rubber band magic is generally in this category, but some effects can be presented with, e.g. silk cords or metal chains, which raise the status a little. CMH with bracelet-sized thin silver chains is good, for instance. Ring and string is excellent, but done with a silk or velvet cord rather than a shoelace (e.g. Greg Wilson "Ring Leader"). I don't like rubber billiard balls, because billiard balls aren't rubber. Sponge balls/bunnies are tricky. They're a tacky magician's prop, but on the other hand, the reactions are great and the routines are always fun to watch. I don't like too much repetition. I don't like it when the volunteer is made the subject of a joke, especially when the volunteer is a kid. I don't like gore, or effects involving mutilation (this rules out a lot of illusions). I don't like effects involving pain, simulated pain, or the threat of pain. I'm not totally against these things - I just prefer to keep it all light, happy and beautiful. There's a place for dark, scary, painful and bloody - but it's not my preference. There's too much of that in the world, why simulate it? I don't like exposure as a presentation. It's normally either an obvious lie, which is bad theatre, or it's true, which is bad for magic.

Three favorite magical performances: The entire Paul Daniels show. Pop Haydn's teaching act. Derren Brown's shows, especially "ENIGMA".
Honorable mentions: Ricky Jay And His 52 Assistants. Simon Drake's Secret Cabaret. Dynamo: Magician Impossible.
Three effects I most enjoy performing: Ring and string. Miser's dream. Cups and balls.

Yes, I know this is inconsistent (no cards vs. Ricky Jay, no mentalism vs. Derren Brown, no gore vs. Simon Drake). They're so good, they get a pass. Smile

So, what do you like?
Erdnase27
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Profile of Erdnase27
I like Card magic. I know , I know, magicians don't like them that much, but when I was a layman, I only wanted to see card tricks!
I like sleight of hand close up magic in general and mentalism (espescially a good cold reading performance).

I don't like illusionism. Never have liked it.. Im sorry Smile
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
BCS
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I pretty much like all close-up magic; especially the Cups and Balls. Card and coin work with a purpose is good, but I get lost when things get drawn out with too many moves... Then things become more about sleight of hand than magic.

I have been collecting used parlor tricks (things I used to have in my younger days) to repaint and remodel for my youngest to be interested in and make a magical display for my magic room when it is completed.

I enjoy the stories behind props if they make sense... those that are presenting curiosities.

Mentalism when it is so drawn out just to reveal a name or number losses me... maybe the older I get, the shorter my attention span has become.

The large stage productions have become too much for me... with all the dancing, theatrics and goofy hand gestures they have become a bad magic parody for me... the magic is gone.

Bruce
Dr. JK
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Sandusky, OH
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As far as my own material, I think I'm the opposite of Volto in my tastes: I prefer down-to-earth, everyday magic and props. I also don't bill myself as a magician (since I perform only as an amateur for friends), so nothing Victorian works for me. And, I don't ever attempt to convince others that things are "magic." I'm just looking for high entertainment value and a sense of wonder.

So with that said, I like cards, coins, rubber bands, sugar packets, etc., but that's only because it fits who I am and what I do. If I introduced a beautiful wooden Okito Box to my friends, they'd look at me like I had three heads.

I enjoy watching just about any kind of magic. I have to agree with some of the others that I'm sometimes annoyed by jokes which make fun of spectators (depending on the personality and the reason for the humor). I'm not a huge fan of prop-type magic, but again, I enjoy almost any magic. I'm especially fond of beautiful [visual] coin magic.
- Jeff Kowalk, The Psychic CPA
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Andy Gemini
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England
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I love card magic because of the amazing number of tricks you can do with them. Does anybody know how many tricks you can do with just 4 cards for example? Neither do i! But I know there are many!

I recently started learning some sponge msgic too, and I am really enjoying it. I know a lot of people don't like sponge balls but they possibly lack imagination as there are plenty of things to be done with them.

As for watching magic, Paul Daniels was the UKs best when I was younger,his tv shows were terrific. Derren Brown is excellent at what he does but watching Bill Malone with a deck of cards on my latest DVD I'm learning from is just incredible and he is so natural,its easy for the audience to like him.
Riku_Pajari
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Mikkeli, Finland
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I love classical magic bits like cups and balls, linking rings, card manipulation... I also like card cheating techniques (I think this does not count but I add it to the list anyway) and some beautiful close-up magic.

For the shows or acts that I have seen, the most memorable has been,

-Jeff McBride with his mask's and card manipulation
-An Ha Lim's card manipulation
-Levent's comedy magic
-Miika Pelkonen and his card stuff
-Aldo Colombini's one-liners
-Dani DaOrtiz's magic
-Dai Vernon's linking rings and cups and balls
-Bill Malone and his wonderfull personality when he performs


...etc etc...
bowers
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Oakboro N.C.
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I like coin money cups and balls magic.
rope silk liquid magic.comedy magic.
as far as props I can perform all day
witha tt dyetube tuc and some rope.
todd
smileymcsmiley
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I have to agree with Dr JK on the down to earth side of magic. I like it to be with everyday props. To me it is more amazing to use a pack of borrowed cards or coins to entertain. I still like illusion if it is performed well. To be honest anything that draws me in and keeps me rivetted gets a pass. Whatever the magic.

I agree that real exposure is a problem as a way of showing a trick. I saw one recently where the magician shows a group of people how the pass works!! That really annoyed me. Mind you if you are telling them something that isn't really exposure I don't see it as lying. At the most basic level magic involves deception but it is for entertainment. Otherwise you couldn't do the tricks. Imagine showing triumph. "Now half the cards are up one way and half are the other way up... but I don't really mix them together though you think I do." Not much magic in that. I wouldn't call it a lie as otherwise actors are all liars.
If it involves stooges or camera tricks I don't class that as magic. Anyone can do that if they have enough cash.

Even if the tricks are basic and I know how they are done it should be fun and enjoyable. I don't like gore in tricks either I completely agree that there is enough of that to see in films, games and on the news all I want is to be entertained. Smile
metaljohn
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Montreal, QC
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I love close up magic and card magic. I could do an entire act with just cards as long as I change it up. If ever I do another act for the same audience, I follow the same idea, but different tricks. For example, I'll do an aces trick, trick where a card changes, a mind reading, etc. Not a big fan of gimmicks when it comes to cards.

As for close up, I really enjoy this, but the props I use depend on the tricks. For example, for cups and balls, I want the cups to be elegant looking. However, I like using stuff that looks very normal for other tricks such as a pen through bill trick.

Lastly, I've never seen the big deal with magic with everyday objects until I read The Magic Book by Harry Lorayne. I found some really interesting tricks you can do at the dinner table. Some of them were tricks that I normally would have done with coins or sponge balls, yet he was doing them with crumpled napkins, sugar cubes, etc. This opened my eyes to a whole "new" form of magic to me that if I had nothing on me and someone asked me to show them a trick or two, I' can perform one right there on the spot. That is something that is important in my opinion because it shows that when you do magic, you don't need special props so there is a lot less suspicion when you are using special props.
Foxlute
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UK
148 Posts

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It's cards all the way for me at the moment. I'm not so keen on gaffed and gimmicked card tricks but I do use some. (Invisible Deck and Fade Out mainly.)

I like coins too but I need to do more work with them before I risk trying them on anybody.

I love Harry Lorayne's style with cards and have all his Best Ever... DVDs. I find his teaching very clear.
DWRackley
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Chattanooga, TN
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Understanding that any similarities between what you like and what your audience likes is purely coincidental, I have to give two answers.

For me personally, I’d rather have a deck of cards in my hands 24/7. I enjoy the flourishes, the sleights, even the math.

But my audience enjoys having their world shaken, and straight Mentalism is what fills that bill. I never mix in Magic, because it waters down the Mentalism. I’m working now to eliminate all cards from the show, just because it could reflect back as a “card trick”, which is not what they’re paying me for.

But sometimes, late at night, I can still be caught doing over or under bridges, double one-handed cuts, and ribbon spread turnovers up my forearm. It’s a sickness!
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Ed_Millis
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Yuma, AZ
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I'm torn between two worlds.

I love goofy, silly routines full of stupid jokes and nonsensical props: a mechanical chicken, a plastic box and a ball, chattering teeth and a hard hat and huge sunglasses. I love watching the kids laugh and scream and tell me what I'm doing wrong. And the look on their faces when the silk vanishes in the TT and the coloring book pictures disappear.

I also enjoy mental magic: card packets like Twisted Sister, Fearsons Aces, and a few others; Telekinetic Timber; Sankey's Omnilope and Slyder; a spoon bend.

Ed
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