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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » When You're Not Equipped and someone asks you "Float This!" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bigchuck
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DBZ -- I think he was just kidding about the IT thing. You really should try to limit yourself to really learning just a few effects, (like focus on 3 in a routine, and no more!) not just for the handlings, but think about how they work physically and what makes them work psychologically, this helps to perform them properly.

I have a routine I can do with just a couple (or even just 1) borrowed quarters if need be. I wouldn't do requests like floating, in fact I rarely do trick requests, or you will reveal your methods without meaning to. It should be you in control of when, where, and which trick to perform, not the spectators.
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Close.Up.Dave
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I think saying I forgot my invisible thread is a good idea. Spectators will think you are joking around because obviously, nothing can be invisible (except air, I forgot about air.) Usually when someone suggests this they say it in sort of a smart way, as if trying to disprove your magic. So they'll say something like, "Hey why don't you float this!" and I'll simply say, "Hey, no." It works for me, but if they insist on my floating a card I'll just boomerang it and say that's the best I can do at the moment in a joking manner.

If it's a regular object I'll make it vanish and reproduce it in a way as if I lost track of it. When I finally find it I say, well it's odd that I can make it vanish but I can't make it float.

If all else fails throw it up in the air and act as though it floats for a split second. When they boo you run like hell.
Reis O'Brien
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I agree on the idea of saying you forgot your invisible thread. When I was first getting into magic, a pro magician said something to me about floating a card with invisible thread. I thought he was being sarcastic. Then I bought UFO and felt stupid.

But the truth is Adam, the biggest thing that will help your performances right now is not performing.

Quote:
On 2003-12-17 16:24, Dbzkid999 wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-12-17 00:20, Dave Egleston wrote:
Tell them you forgot your invisible thread. Works every time.

Dave

Why would I want to say that? I don't want to give them the secret.

Good grief. If I live to be a thousand years old I will never understand how you could have taken that statement so literally yet you have unflinchingly disregarded any other sound advice that has been patiently given to you in regards to your numerous public mistakes. Priorities, my friend... and listen to these guys, they really are honestly trying to help you.
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Dbzkid999
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But I was thinking,

If I would have said that, then they'll probably say "Oh! Your not a real magician"

Or something else…
stephenbanning
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Hi Dbzkid999,

You have a very good question. One method is to have a second method set up to perform. You can read more about this in Kirk Charles' book on strolling magic. The second method is to so destroy each of the audience's potential questions in the routine that they are left without plausible hypotheses. Whit Hadyn's routines are very good for this. If you are doing magic for your peers rather than a paying audience, you may have a tough crowd. There is always the bully who wants to wreck a performance. Determine if the person asking the question really loves your magic and wants to see more or is a heckler. Do not engage a heckler or accept a challenge in that kind of situation. These are the same kind of people who would go to the ballet and trip the ballet dancers. In a paid show you must deal with hecklers, but in other situations it is YOU who are offering a free gift. If you do it well and it is not respected it is not your fault. Do make sure you are doing it right though. Despite the concept that all audiences are great, the truth is sometimes they aren't. Part of learning to be a professional is going on in spite of less then perfect audiences.

Cheers and good luck,

Stephen

Oh, and one other thing. An example of a good logical routine with the floating bill that destroys many questions and provides some outs for not repeating it can be found it Michael Ammar's presentation of the floating bill in his "Classic Renditions" series.
Bill Palmer
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Dbzkid999:

You are looking for an excuse not to do the trick. If you can't handle telling an audience, "No," then don't go out without your IT.

If you are performing for your friends at school, then you can always find an excuse -- "Not now, I have to meet a friend in the library." There's always something.

And don't give so much away. Start charging for your performances. NEVER INFLICT MAGIC ON PEOPLE.
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Dougini
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Bill,

I think you hit it RIGHT ON. In fact, I wish there had been a forum like this when I was first starting out, and I would NEVER had made the mistakes I made. Case in point? I quote you:

Quote:
NEVER INFLICT MAGIC ON PEOPLE.

That killed magic for me for a LONG time. I can't remember the number of times someone would say (sarcastically), "...hey Doug, gonna FLOAT something for us tonight, or didn't you bring your 'stuff'?"

Oh, I'd be hooked up, all right, and (naive as I was) I would "assume the stance" (I must have looked ridiculous) and begin...

I can still hear the groans ("Oh, no... here we go, AGAIN!"), but I was oblivious. I thought I was bulletproof, I could do MAGIC and they couldn't! Little did I realize, in fact, I still catch myself at times wanting to "start off", but I check myself (you ought to see the rope burns!).

A lot of times, I will say, "...later, I promise..." when asked to "do something." I size up the situation with much more scrutiny today. I mean, I ALWAYS carry SOMETHING on me, but will only perform if I feel I'm not going to look like a fool in the process. (I can do that easily enough WITHOUT performing magic!)

I wish I had the Café back when I was 18, as this is the best place to get great tips and points, and may have prevented me from making most of the mistakes I made (mostly not paying attention to reactions around me.)

...And may I point out, Bill, you appear to be the reincarnation of Merlin! Have you videotaped your act? If that's how you appear in your act, in my opinion, it's the PERFECT "look." Love to see that sometime.

And, Dbzkid999, thanks for bringing up this topic. There are things here I NEEDED to see. I have already applied them, and am grateful!

Happy Holidays!

Doug
Jaxon
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More great points. I'd just like to go a little deeper into what I, and others, have already said. Be sure that you can do a show without IT. If you can't do an entire show and get a good reaction without IT, then you might not be ready to have IT in your act yet. I'm not saying this to anyone particular here, but I feel the point is important enough to be stressed, especially to those fairly new to magic.

It's so easy to feel that making something float is the strongest thing you can do and gets the best reaction but it really isn't. It's one of the strongest but not always THE strongest. So if you're a heavy IT work, like I am, I have a little piece of advice. Try to go out and do some performing and leave the IT at home every once in a while. Be sure you remember that the simplest tricks can also be there favorites and get a strong reaction. If you're like me it might even feel a little odd at first but I think it teaches some important lessons.

Just my two cents.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Dave Egleston
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There are some very valid points and real life stories on this particular thread.

I'm afraid our young friend is an unfortunate victim of the dreaded David Bland Syndrome. As much good Bland did for magic in general, there is also a tremendous amount of damage inflicted to the art we love and practice. In a few other threads, I've begged Adam to suspend performing and spend some more time practicing, and showing a few confidants his progress. Join a magic club and maybe find a mentor … to no avail I'm afraid

The problem I see is the Bland specials created a myth, and that myth is: everybody in the world wants to see a card trick anytime the magician feels like showing them one! Wrong. I wish they would show some outtakes from these specials -- MAYBE one in five people Bland approached were mildly interested - and MAYBE one in ten of those people reacted with any sort of enthusiasm upon the completion of the trick. What we see is non-stop cooperation from the public. It is never a good idea to run up to some one and ask if they want to see some magic.

True street magicians are rather stationary and let the audience come to them. This way both the magician and the spectators are more in control of their surroundings

Wasted breath and time on this young man I suspect. I would like to meet this young man some day. There are few people I know with his enthusiasm and his single-mindedness.

Dave
Xia
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I think one of the problems when people ask you to do "a trick" is that they have already seen it once.
This means that that if you agree to do the same effect again they will be burning your hands big time. I think there are two ways around this, the first is in the framing of the effect the first time they see it. Someone earlier posted a thread (no pun intended) about making your effect miraculous. That way it's hard for you to replicate at the drop of a hat. (I’d recommend Derren Brown’s “Absolute Magic” for notes on performance.) BUT, what if people are unrelenting and start pounding your head into the floor until you show them how to float a note… then you reach for your loops. Also I'm guessing you didn’t use loops before and so those guys burning your performance will probably be looking in the wrong place. Remember there are a hundred and one ways to perform the same effect. If you utilize a few methods, you'll be able to repeat the effect. Also with the loops, you're always ready to perform. Smile
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daffydoug
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What Dave said about one in ten people wanting to see a magic trick reminds me of a scene in the first special where he approached a couple of older ladies sitting on a bench and asked them to see a card trick, and they said, “No.” Well, he finally talked them into it. The guy has a lot of testosterone, cause I would never force a trick on someone who expressed no interest. Also in another scene, he asked a passerby if they wanted to see some magic, and they ran away like he was Freddy Krueger or something. It's ashamed that some people live their lives like little timid mice, or like Chicken Little, afraid of the slightest breeze that blows on their skin. Just a thought from Daff. Smile
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GaryW
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A hidden gem from download magic is something called (going from memory) "Magicians levitation".

It's so simple it hurts but in a few words you levitate a card from your hand using a TT.

You do have a TT? Don’t you? Smile
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JEFFC
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My patter often includes how I (or another more powerful magician) put a "spell of levitation" on the item. I can then create a story saying that the spell can only be used once, is difficult to transfer, it's not quite enough to put the spell on another item, etc. This also allows one to take the quarter offered and say that it obviously has a "disappearing spell" already on it.

Much of the advice here not to do a request appears sound, and while I may naturally find a way out (probably just because I'm not prepared)of doing it, I don't think that I have the experience to have offered that advice without seeing it first. That's something that I like about this forum. This idea will probably allow me to be more prepared to say no in an appropriate manner in the future.

If you really want to do the effect with another item, and correct me if I'm wrong either in theory or my abbreviation (I lack much experience), but how about MW? If I understand the situation, would this not transfer quickly to a credit card or license?

Finally (was that applause?), I have what I believe is a related question. Please guide me if I should have posted another reply or some thing else, this forum stuff is new to me. Question: Is there a gimmick, video or book that I could purchase on flotation that would allow, um... "closer inspection" I suppose is the phrase that I'm looking for. I did the levitating card for my high school class, and one of the students new the secret (he saw the IT when a classmate did the effect a few years ago). He asked if he could come up and pass HIS hand over the card. I talked my way out of it(see "spells" above) fairly well I think for the rest of the class, but I would like to know if there is something that would help this student "believe" in levitation again. He usually enjoys my other, rather limited, magic.

Thanx.
twistedace
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Probably the best thing to do is only let something free float for about a second or so. That's Ammar's personal thinking on it and it's worked great for me as well. I usually animate the bill a bit, then have it dangle from my stretched out index finger through static electricity. Take the finger away for a second passing my hands over it before it falls back down into the hands. I hand the bill out and I'm done. None of this making the bill fly around the world business.
Dave Egleston
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Though I've said my piece about Adam and his constant dilemmas - Since he is such a devotee of Bland - You could do the Bozo the Clown/David Bland self levitation - Do it for less then 2 seconds and walk away - The problem is: Adam's history.

Dave
twistedace
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I hear Adam's dilemmas myself BUT I'm keeping in mind that I too was a beginner once. I knocked him once or twice myself saying that he should definitely seek help. He has, he has found us and is asking us, the more experienced magicians for help. SAM and IBM groups aren't available everywhere, eventhough they do try to be. Some people just can't make it there because of certain restraints ie: too young to drive or parent's don't want to take them or the people can't make it due to physical disability. Adam, I understand what you're going through and wish you the best of luck because I too was a beginner at one time and remember the excitement of learning more about magic and interactions with people.
JEFFC
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Thanks Twistedace - I am fairly new however and am not familiar with some of the terms or routines that you mentioned. Which video or book would be best for free float and animate. Also static electricity, I know what it is of course, but is there a book or video that shows how to produce it and use it? thanx again.
Liam Jones
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Just explain you will show them something more impressive and do another trick even if it has to be on the spot and you haven't got anything set up like stick your finger through it
Eirik
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Building up to a floating routine using ITR will fool those curious and sceptic spectators.
If they want to wawe their hand over the floating object - let them (under spectator management though)..

-e-
...As long as i`m not a world-champion at anything, the great reactions of doin` magic will do just fine.....
radiantentertainment
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Once is magic, twice is education. You should not only learn an out for when someone requests this effect again but for any effect. Do not repeat the same effect for the same audience. You are the entertainer and you must control the audience. Whatever reason you use for not doing the effect will have to come from you so that it suits your performing persona. A couple questions: Where do your magic powers come from? What makes the card float? This is where your excuse will probably come from.

If your friends make some snide comment about you leaving your props at home they are just trying to razz you into performing the effect because they really want to see it. Take this as a compliment and possibly show them something different.

If you are showing your friends your magic it should be seldom and far between in my opinion. I remember when I was just starting in magic. I was in college and I did magic non stop. Before and after every class, during lunch, at every social gathering Smile and so on. This weakens your magic and prevents it from being special. My friends now feel as if it's a special occasion if they get to see me perform an effect. This makes it much stronger!

I have an outlet though. I perform on a regular basis for strangers. You could do this by performing for nursing homes, children's hospitals, and the such. Before you do this ask a established professional to evaluate your routines and see which ones you should use and which ones you need work on. He or she will rejest some routines but this is "show Biz" after all. There is plenty of rejection!
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