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ed rhodes
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I don't have a lot of it.

Notice, I don't say I'm NOT creative. I did re-work Mark Wilson's Cups and Balls to overcome a problem I perceived. And I arranged several cut and restored rope tricks into one routine that I think is pretty good. But;

I'm going through old issues of Magic Magazine. (One of these days, I'm gonna resubscribe.) And I come across an article by Eberhard Riese called "ideas from where?" It's basically how to jump start your creativity. Without going into detail, this was the list he provided;

1. old magic books, magazines, catalogues
2. decorating supply houses
3. store & mail-order catalogues
4. toyshops
5. photos, pictures, graphics
6. music
7. movies
8. comics, music clips, commercials
9. modern art exhibitions
10. myths, fairy tales, legends, literature

As I read this article and the details Mr. Riese gives, I thought of a line from 1978's "Superman" when Miss Tesmacher reads Lois Lane's article on Superman and all she gets out of it is; "He's six foot six, has blue eyes, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink and tells the truth." Luthor looks at her for a second and responds; "Miss Tesmacher, some people can read "War and Peace" and come away thinking it's just an adventure story while others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe."

Not everyone can look at that list of sources and say; "Wow! I can come up with a dozen different magic presentations now that I've read this article!" I do remember reading a kid's show trick in "Kid Stuff" that used Sugar Pops Pete (who?) and thinking, "I could redress this with Batman!" But I lost the book. If I get a new copy, maybe I'll put that together some day.

But creativity to me is a little trickle that I have to coax and weedle out of a rock of mediocrity. It doesn't shout at me from every source the way it does for Mr Reise.

Another thing I got from this issue. There's an article on Lance Burton's 10th Anniversary show in Vegas. There's a shot of an illusion called "The Magic Zone." I've read this issue many times (I re-read all my magic magazines constantly) but suddenly the penny dropped and I thought; "OMG! A striped booth, a girl, a clown, a cop..." this is that routine you've looked at a dozen times in your Tarbell book!"

Lance either IS creative or knows how to hire it. (Actually, probably a little bit of both!)

It's not a big thing. I just wanted to get that off my chest.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Michael Baker
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That list really gives you points for potential inspiration, but it is almost essential that you first fully understand the process for creating a magic trick that does what a magic trick is supposed to do (in its barest form). Read (or re-read) The Trick Brain. It details the methods by which (probably) all magic effects are achieved. By the time you get to the end of the book, it will give you lists, which are to used as an exercise to construct basic effects. In a nutshell, you pick a basic effect, and object, and a potential method for accomplishing the effect with the chosen object.

Once you become proficient at doing this, it almost becomes second nature to "see" magic effects in almost anything you see lying around, or can imagine in your mind.

Sometimes you are lucky enough to be there when the apple falls from the tree, but it is always a good plan to learn how to climb the tree to go after the apples.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Payne
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Creativity can't be taught. It can be learned. But there isn't a magic 12 Step program one can follow which, after finishing, one can say 'Viola, I'm now creative!" there are tools and procedures one can employ to help unlock one's creative potential. But you have to find the ones that work for you.

I have my own creativity matrix that works quite well for me. but there's no guarantee that it will work for anyone else. But it is outlined and demonstrated in my book Sometimes the Jokes Are Just For Me

A few years ago one of the magazines ran a series of columns by Guy Hollingsworth in which he described his creative process. While interesting to read, I got nothing out of it as his method was totally opposite of how I worked. But then he approached the issue from the perspective of an engineer, focusing more on form and function. At least that was my interpretation of it.

My method is to question everything and not rely on the status quo. Also to ask ones self as to why you are performing the effect and why you have to use the various props one is employing in the routine.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
MobilityBundle
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About the original post, I sometimes feel the same way about my own creativity (or lack thereof). To be sure, I'm not and have never been a professional magician, so there's not much pressure to be creative. At least, not on demand.

But then every so often, people tell me that I came up with something creative. Maybe it's patter or presentation, occasionally it's a little move or modification. I don't think those things as creative, but sometimes other people do.

That's all to say: maybe you're more creative than you think. Artists are never satisfied with their work, even if the rest of the world is.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:07, Payne wrote:
Creativity can't be taught. It can be learned.


Do tell. Seems to me that if it can be learned it can be taught.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Payne
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:35, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:07, Payne wrote:
Creativity can't be taught. It can be learned.


Do tell. Seems to me that if it can be learned it can be taught.


As I explained in my post you have to find what works for you. The process that one person uses to unlock their creative potential might not work for another. Thus you have to explore and expose yourself to others creative processes and take away whichever bits appeal to your thought processes. Creativity is not an exact science.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:47, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:35, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 11:07, Payne wrote:
Creativity can't be taught. It can be learned.


Do tell. Seems to me that if it can be learned it can be taught.


As I explained in my post you have to find what works for you. The process that one person uses to unlock their creative potential might not work for another. Thus you have to explore and expose yourself to others creative processes and take away whichever bits appeal to your thought processes. Creativity is not an exact science.


But this misses the point of teaching and learning in general. Can math and music be taught? Sure, but that doesn't mean that the learner doesn't have to do the work. Teaching is not a matter of planting fully-formed ideas, skills and dispositions into students' heads. It is much more a matter of creating the conditions under which the student can internalize, develop understanding, and improve technique.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Al Angello
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You may be able to teach creativity but not everyone is perceptive enough to know what you are talking about. I know lots of people who can't multitask, and haven't the slightest idea what multitasking is. We are not all created equal.

Take Payne for example when I see one of his routines I just scratch my head and say "how the hell does he come up with that stuff?"
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 12:11, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Teaching . . . is much more a matter of creating the conditions under which the student can internalize, develop understanding, and improve technique.

I saw what you did there.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 12:45, Al Angello wrote:
You may be able to teach creativity but not everyone is perceptive enough to know what you are talking about.

Same goes for calculus.
Al Angello
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Please don't make me name the names of people at this forum who don't understand arithmetic.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
mastermindreader
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Excellent approaches in the OP. I've always thought, though, that Fitzkee's "Trick Brain" is far too mechanical and forced, although no doubt others have found it useful.Personally, I think that his approach has been responsible for a LOT of bad magic.

In my own work, "The Schattenjaeger" (shadow hunter) I describe my own creative process. Basically it involved viewing anything you see (in an Office Max or craft store, for example) as an old effect for which you've lost the instructions.

http://www.lybrary.com/schattenjaeger-sh......rs_id=41
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 13:19, Al Angello wrote:
Please don't make me name the names of people at this forum who don't understand arithmetic.

Initials should be sufficient.
mastermindreader
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Here's the relevant excerpt from "The Schattenjaeger":


Quote:
The Schattenjaeger’s Workshop

One of his secrets is the knowledge that everyday objects are really effects whose instructions have been lost. A glass object on a supermarket shelf might look like a jelly jar, for example, but is that what it really is? He looks at the fluted glass sides that distort the appearance of the contents and realizes that it is a cleverly disguised secret device. He asks himself, “How does it work?”

At the checkout counter, while he is waiting to purchase his new discovery, he carefully peruses the mini-magazines that purport to reveal the secrets of numerology and how to harness your psychic powers. Are they simply pieces of bait to hook the gullible, or do they have another purpose?

He looks behind their tacky facade and sees what they are really for.

His own appearance is equally deceptive. Most people assume he’s dangerously psychotic.

They are wrong.

He is the Schattenjaeger. His workshop is everywhere.
acesover
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Creativity of course can be taught. So can pool, or baseball or bowling, or calculus for that matter.

However teaching only goes so far and unless one is gifted from the outset one can and won't achieve world class in any of these. As an example when I was shooting pool at my best level I could walk into any room in the country and know I could beat 98% of the shooters there or at least hold my own against them. However there was the 2% of gifted shooters that I could not even touch. I could never be taught nor practice enough to be as good as they were. They just had it. Just like creativity. It can be taught to a certain point then it ends and you must just have it to really stand out. Teach a person how to paint, teach them about color and lighting and depth etc. and they will probably be adequate. Give them oils and a canvas and a subject, while giving oils and the same subject to REMBRANDT and see what each creates.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
Al Angello
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Acesover
If you really want a lesson in humility go to a juggling convention, and see the 12 year old boys that can do 5 clubs all day long, while they giggle, chew gum, dance to the music, and chat with their friends. I love it when they see me struggling and ask me if they can help?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 13:44, mastermindreader wrote:
Here's the relevant excerpt from "The Schattenjaeger":


Quote:
The Schattenjaeger’s Workshop

One of his secrets is the knowledge that everyday objects are really effects whose instructions have been lost. A glass object on a supermarket shelf might look like a jelly jar, for example, but is that what it really is? He looks at the fluted glass sides that distort the appearance of the contents and realizes that it is a cleverly disguised secret device. He asks himself, “How does it work?”

At the checkout counter, while he is waiting to purchase his new discovery, he carefully peruses the mini-magazines that purport to reveal the secrets of numerology and how to harness your psychic powers. Are they simply pieces of bait to hook the gullible, or do they have another purpose?

He looks behind their tacky facade and sees what they are really for.

His own appearance is equally deceptive. Most people assume he’s dangerously psychotic.

They are wrong.

He is the Schattenjaeger. His workshop is everywhere.



Lovely. Wordsworth would have approved.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 13:36, mastermindreader wrote:
Excellent approaches in the OP. I've always thought, though, that Fitzkee's "Trick Brain" is far too mechanical and forced, although no doubt others have found it useful.Personally, I think that his approach has been responsible for a LOT of bad magic.



The point of my mentioning that is to state that you have to know WHAT to do with a bit of inspiration. Otherwise it tends to be forgotten before it can truly be recognized as a spark of creativity.

If it is true that Fitzkee's approach is responsible for lots of bad magic, which it very well may be, that fault would better be placed upon the lack of aesthetics and non-artistic renderings of the elements at hand. Of course the concept of some magic effects done which any number of specific objects, can result in pure stupidity. But, I don't think Fitzkee's point was to create any effect with any object, knowing that a suitable method can be found. I think his point was made in hopes that the "creator" is not an idiot.

There is surely a bell curve in place here. I've heard some incredibly insane ideas brought up as possible magic effects that eventually make it to market. I have also heard some incredibly brilliant ones that never get realized. Most are somewhere between those extremes. Knowing how to realize them is going to have an affect on the person as far as their opinion of their own "creativity".

The more shapes you know, the more shapes you might see in clouds.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 14:15, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:


Lovely. Wordsworth would have approved.


Thanks, John. At least I got my word's worth. Smile
acesover
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 14:08, Al Angello wrote:
Acesover
If you really want a lesson in humility go to a juggling convention, and see the 12 year old boys that can do 5 clubs all day long, while they giggle, chew gum, dance to the music, and chat with their friends. I love it when they see me struggling and ask me if they can help?


I hate to tell you how many times I tried to juggle. I just can't get it started. I cannot imagine how anyone could do it with 5 clubs. That is my point. You could probably teach me how to juggle somewhat but I would just never be good much less great. Every time I see a juggler I think they are fooling us and not really doing what it looks like they are doing. lol. However I do know better. They are just skillful.
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
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