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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Did that fool anyone? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Will-Ace
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Newark NJ
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There's been many occasions when I watched someone on TV or in person and thought to myself, "he is not fooling anyone with that." I feel like magicians understimate audiences many times. I feel that audiences are being entertained but not mystified, which reduces in great deal the impact of the show. That's not what I call magic.

Am I the only one who feels like that? Smile
r4bid
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I would have to disagree. I assume that you are a magician? Once you have studied something you start to pick up on things that you would have missed as a layperson. I know that when I was younger and watched magic specials on tv I had no idea how they did most of it and what ideas I did have were wrong. Now when I watch it is easy to pick up on all the sleights and misdirection because I myself have used several of the same techniques.

If there is any lesson to learn from this it is not that magicians are not fooling people it is that magicians are fooling themselves into believing that an effect is week because a magician can spot it.


If you could provide examples I think it would be easier to show you what I am trying to get accross.
irossall
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It is my opinion that the best Magic is when the performer both fools and entertains the audience. With that said, it also is my personal opinion that I would rather be entertained than mystified. I have seen more than one Magician that totally entertained me while I was not fooled in the least. On the other hand I have watched a Magician that bored me to tears even though I had no clue how the effect was done.
I put entertainment ahead of just fooling an audience.
Just my .02 cents worth.
Iven Smile
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Chad C.
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R4bid makes a good point. While you should strive always to entertain your audience, you will not be able to mystify many magicians. It's something that all who practice magic go through-once you learn more and more of the secrets it becomes easier and easier to figure things out. You can still be entertained by magicians (and sometimes still mystified) but you will know how some things are done if you stay in magic long enough.

When I joined my local IBM ring I had to audition and, while I didn't mystify any of the magicians, I did entertain them and they all smiled, laughed, and enjoyed themselves. But remember, it's the lay audience who you both entertain and mystify-so enjoy it.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Entertainment value is what seems to get me repeat and referrals.

I have tried also to add some strong magic.
Admitedly I usually share my finger flinging with the boys at the club.(i.e. muscle pass a coin with a nickle, Doing spellbound routines with 6 coins rather than 1) Hours and months spent with an improvisation troupe have meant more than time on my still somewhat -visible - invisible pass.)

Last summer a new magic friend came with me to one of my nearly normal shows. The crowd and the booker told me it was a great time.

After I asked my new friend what she thought. She responded that she was surprised that there was not as much magic as she had expected. I asked if she thought the crowd was entertained. She said yes.

For a 50 year old my program is heavy with physical comedy, puppets and fun magic.

The real magic is in a connection with my audience.

At my magical wifes suggestion I have slowly added some of the heavier work (with my nearly normal twist) to my working routines.

Just my two liberty halves worth.


Have a safe and nearly normal HOYC.(Holiday of Your Choice.)

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
what
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Exactly.
Will-Ace is right in that we may not always mystify the audience as much as we think/hope that we do.
I recall seeing the Cups & Balls for the first time and how much I enjoyed it (I was not a magician at the time). I also recall that I saw how portions of the effects were made to happen (Not everything, only portions ). I didn't care. The magician was absolutely fantastic and his presentation made it all the more mysterious even though I could explain away portions of the effect. The magician was Jim Cellini.
I think that admitting that I might not mystify as much as I wish I did gives me more reason to work on the entertainment value of my routines and show.
Magic is fun!!!
espalding
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I agree with the responses thus far, and just to add my $0.02 worth....

I just told my wife recently that certain tricks don't impress me very much (like Dr. Daley's last trcik from ETMCM Vol 2) because the method seems so obvious to me, but they get great reactions from layman. She said it's because the things that are obvious to me, laymen haven't even heard of (like a double lift, for example).

Similarly, a magician never goes into his/her pocket for no reason, yet sponge ball routines are still very entertaining and mystifying to most people.

Like the others have said, the best impact is not garnered from the "strongest magic", it's from the best entertainment.

Go see Mac King's show in Las Vegas sometime. It's a perfect example of this.

Eric.
kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2003-12-09 14:52, irossall wrote:
It is my opinion that the best Magic is when the performer both fools and entertains the audience. With that said, it also is my personal opinion that I would rather be entertained than mystified. I have seen more than one Magician that totally entertained me while I was not fooled in the least. On the other hand I have watched a Magician that bored me to tears even though I had no clue how the effect was done.
I put entertainment ahead of just fooling an audience.


I agree. I feel it is important to fool and entertain your audience at the same time. It does you no good to be fantastic with your material if no one wants to watch because you can't keep them entertained.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
G. LaBarre
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Be proficient and whether you fool them or not, they will be more likely to come and see you again.

I've heard that your personality alone should be enough to hold an audience's attention, even without a magic prop to hide behind.

If they like your stage presence, they'll probably like your magic act. Would they want to know you if you weren't doing Magic?

Combine this with a killer effect and you've got a good formula for success. Only then will you be truly entertaining.
Glen Alan - "The HOW in your Magic should be Secondary to the WOW in your Magic."
Erik Anderson
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Quote:
On 2003-12-09 14:32, Will-Ace wrote:
There's been many occasions when I watched someone on TV or in person and thought to myself, "he is not fooling anyone with that."


I feel the same way whenever I watch politicians. But they seem to keep getting elected.

The truth is, we forget (and I'm bad about this too) that the rest of the world has not been "trained" to see things as we do. Do a magic trick for a layman in a private situation. Tell them it's something new you're working on (it's no more of a deception than anything else we do) and then ask them what they thought of it. You'll be surprised at what you get back. Occasionally, it's a good idea to reality check what we do.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
Traylen
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Entertainment is what magic is about. You don't want people thinking "I've been fooled." You want them thinking "Oh man that was fun!" or cool or whatever. No one wants to be fooled, but rather, entertained. So there is already a minor flaw in your view. If you go out to "fool" people you've got a bad view on your magic. People will enjoy magic more if you sit back, relax, and just have fun. You're reactions will be better, and you yourself will have more fun.

Now that was somewhat irrelevant to what you said. Although I just wanted to get the "your not fooling anyone part out."

I do understand where you're coming from though. When I watch magic, and I try to put myself in spectator mode. That way, I have a lot more fun watching the magic and enjoying it for what it is, rather than being critical of what he is doing, and trying to figure it all out. I enjoy magic that much more for being a "layman" sometimes.
What the eye sees, the ear hears, the mind believes.
-Harry Houdini
Erik Anderson
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Traylen,
I agree that the emphasis needs to be on entertainment. More accurately, the emphasis needs to be on the audience, not you as the performer. But even though my PRIMARY purpose is not to fool them, that is not an excuse for poor technique of a less strong effect. I do want them going home thinking "that was fun," but I want 'em scratching their heads all night too. Smile

I've had a lot of people come up to me after a show and shake my hand saying, "You know, I really don't like magic...but I liked your show!"

My guess is the magic shows they've seen were more about the performer's ego than the audience's needs.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
Will-Ace
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I love magic and I have a great respect for it. I believe that performace magic should be something UNEXPLAINABLE. That in itself is entertaining. Whether you do it by sleight of hand or by the aid of apparatus or whatever technique you want to use. I get anoyed when I hear that entertainment is more important than the effect itself. I think that's wrong.

Getting and maintaining the attention of your audience (and also choosing the right tricks for certain audiences) is a whole other issue than what I mean by presenting an effect, but the effect should be the most important aspect. Otherwise is not magic.
I understand that entertainment is very important, but I think there is a misunderstanding between amazement and entertainment and there should be BOTH in a magic act (or trick)for your audience to have a great experience and come back for more.
bigchuck
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Quote:
On 2003-12-11 21:12, Traylen wrote:
You don't want people thinking "I've been fooled." You want them thinking "Oh man that was fun!"


I want them to be fooled AND entertain them, in equal parts.

You can just have fun by playing some music or by cracking jokes, but magic is about fooling people too. No?
"The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact
mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa"
rcad
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Quote:
On 2003-12-14 20:07, bigchuck wrote:

You can just have fun by playing some music or by cracking jokes, but magic is about fooling people too. No?


I personally feel that, first of all, if the audience is laughing, scared or whatever the emotional impact of your act should have, it will in itself help you to better "fool" them.

The "fooling" point of view is the magician's point of view. You assume audiences want to be "fooled". I disagree. Audiences want, for a short moment, to believe in magic and see the world as they did when they were very, very young. Have them laugh, give them shivers, do whatever you can to touch them. This is the path to "creating magic" rather than "fooling them"... Smile

Richard
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
Erik Anderson
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Richard,
Very well put. If you do no more than fool someone, you run the very great risk of it becoming tired quickly like some sort of practical joke. Rather, in the moment that I have created the "magic," instead of MERELY fooling them, I want to give them a larger-than-life experience that surprises, delights, entertains, and most importantly, satisfies them. Fooling them then becomes a very inadequate term to describe that very wonderful moment.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
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