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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The August 2012 entrée: Shawn Farquhar » » When you get stuck » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

bcookmagic
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Hey there Shawn,
When you are working on a new effect what do you do when you get stuck? I know we have all been there when you have a very creative idea but at some point you cant move forward until you solve a problem. Can you explain what you do to solve it and have you shelved projects for long periods of time or even permanently because a viable solution has been found?
Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Shawn Farquhar
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Hey Brian,

First... thanks for putting on such an AWESOME magic convention this year for the PCAM. It was so cool to be there and see the Grand Prix awarded for the first time in 12 years! Oh, Happy Birthday too!

OK, onto the question. I often have to stop working on an idea because I get stuck. I sometimes jam with others to see if I have missed a solution. This is the first step as many times I can be too close to the problem and just can't see the easy solution. Other times I know I have no where to go until technology advances or I find someone capable of solving it for me. With my recent move to "Chateau Farquhar" I have discovered my next door neighbour is a super talented man with a keen head for problem solving. Even better he is a master craftsman in metal and has a fully equipped shop. Just the other day a problem I had been struggling with was solved in minutes when Greg rushed off to his shop and bent a piece of metal in such a way that I could do what need to be done. He's my new "go to guy".

I have shelved many effects for many years. I have one in particular that I started working on in the early 90's. It has been re-dressed and re-worked dozens of times. Sometime the changes are improvements and other times it has hurt the overall effect. I think you might even have seen it once at the PCAM in Monterey when Ryan Pilling helped me and things did not go as planned. Ryan did his best but the props new modification won over and it didn't really end as planned. Oh well ... "only one thing to do". Sean Bogunia has helped me with this particular project and rushed me a cool device to try out when I was working it in Greece. At that time Chris Randal was my secret assistant and we successfully did the routine for about 20 shows. The effect is still not where I want it to be so I just keep trying new ways to make it better.

I have mentioned it elsewhere in this week. My secret to success can be summed up in one word: Tenacity

Let me close by saying it is awesome to have people like you in my circle of magicians that I can go to without fear and ask for help and support.

-shawn
bcookmagic
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Hey there Shawn,
Great answers and thank you for the Bday wish. I do remember PCAM in Monterey as I was the back stage manager for those shows and remembered the routine you mentioned. I know for one its hard to overcome a problem sometimes and putting it away for a while is sometimes the best thing as fresh eyes will see it differently. I know I have many many projects in the works and it can be a challenge without having a good core group of thinkers to help. I am happy to be in your inner circle!
Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Ba Ba Booey
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"Inner Circle!" I hear the song, "Bad Boys, bad boys..." in my head. Great answers, Shawn, and happy birthday, Brian!
Ray Bertrand
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Good luck with your project Shawn. Happy Birthday Brian.

Ray
EnterTRAINment at its best. Keeping the Magic Alive in Northern BC
Aractus
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Quote:
On 2012-08-23 14:06, Shawn Farquhar wrote:
OK, onto the question. I often have to stop working on an idea because I get stuck. I sometimes jam with others to see if I have missed a solution. This is the first step as many times I can be too close to the problem and just can't see the easy solution. Other times I know I have no where to go until technology advances or I find someone capable of solving it for me. With my recent move to "Chateau Farquhar" I have discovered my next door neighbour is a super talented man with a keen head for problem solving. Even better he is a master craftsman in metal and has a fully equipped shop. Just the other day a problem I had been struggling with was solved in minutes when Greg rushed off to his shop and bent a piece of metal in such a way that I could do what need to be done. He's my new "go to guy".

I'm sorry that is the wrong answer. The answer we were after was "Google It". I would also have accepted "Look it up on Wikipedia" or "Blame it on the wife/girlfriend/parent/child, and yell at them until they solve it".
bcookmagic
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Thanks for the Bday wishes guys!!!
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
bcookmagic
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OK, Here is something else for you Shawn, How long do you go down a certain path on a effect or routine when you realize its the wrong direction. Do soemtimes thing you are hitting a homerun but your audiance says otherwise...?
Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Shawn Farquhar
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Awesome follow up question Brian!

Many times I have gone way too far on an idea in the wrong direction. It's not such a bad thing though.
Jim Steinmeyer, a true magic genius, said he went way past the point he ended on when creating the Origami.
It made me feel much better that someone as great could over think something, so what so bad if I do too?
Every once in awhile I think I have a winner and the audience is quick to tell me just how wrong I was ... lol
The opposite is true too. I put an effect in the act to fill some time and felt bad in the rehearsal doing a stock trick done standardly ...
The reaction from the audience was huge ... just bizarre ...

-shawn
bcookmagic
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Thanks again for the answer Shawn. I know it is bizarre sometimes seeing what the audience that day wants. How many times will you try the effect or routine before putting it away? I know sometimes a audience may not react and you quickly question if the routine should stay in but then another audience that same day will love it.
Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Shawn Farquhar
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Brian,

I will usually re-examine the effect if it initially gets a bad reaction before doing it again. If my reasoning seems sound, I'll do it several more times. If it gets the same reaction it goes in the big pile in the garage... lol. Mixed reactions usually end up getting tweaked a few more times. You know me, I'm not one to give up easily.

-shawn
bcookmagic
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Thanks for the answers.....your Café marathon is almost over!!!!
Brian
If your not having fun doing what your doing....dont do it!
WWW.BRIANCOOKMAGIC.COM
Shawn Farquhar
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Brian,

Marathon is an excellent description.
To be honest I did not anticipate the amount of time and energy it would entail.
I haven't even begun to pack for Camp and I have a TV appearance on Monday in Toronto ...
Lori's says I've missed an entire week of "honey do" stuff, which I'll have to thank Steve Brooks for ;-) sweet.

-shawn
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