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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » What is Lame, Out of Date Magic? Does it exist? (30 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mad Jake
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Anything that uses Humans . They should not be used for entertainment or shoved in confined spaces.

Another is all these instant downloads. You know perform instantly only to find out it takes a year to perfect the moves. I still do effects from when my Dad was a teenager and kill people with them.
If you really go back Glenn, say 30-40 years ago, there weren't many lame tricks out there. Those were more of the best years in my opinion. Take a look at today and I can probably put 8 pages of
lame **** that is on the market and is current.
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glennmagi
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It is humbling to think that a magician of today is more likely to be doing lame magic than 30-40 years ago. But thinking about it, I feel it is true.

When I worked as a manager in a fine jewelry store in a mall I looked at profit margin a lot. I quickly realized that that fashion, even junk jewelry had a much, much higher profit margin than fine jewelry. If this applies to magic (and I think it does) that means the junkier end of it all is what the magician is likely to be seeing pushed online, in stores or in magazines.
magicfish
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No, it does not exist.
Tim Cavendish
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Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, magicfish wrote:
No, it does not exist.

Thanks for supporting your assertion with reasons.
danaruns
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My feeling is that what is lame and out of date are the routines, not the props. Someone mentioned linking rings. Yeah, the typical linking ring routine is completely lame and out of date, no matter how skillfully performed, simply by virtue of the fact that it has lost any novelty through overuse. Someone also mentioned Pop Haydn's four ring routine, and that is a FANTASTIC ring routine, because it is completely fresh in approach. Rather than being the tired old, "look at these rings link and unlink, so amazing" (not!), Pop uses the props for a hilarious comedy routine with a volunteer.

I think that's a great example of WHY some tricks seem to be lame and out of date. It's the performance, not the prop, that is the problem.

While magicians may love the classic ring routines, most muggles who have seen it a thousand times will be underwhelmed by any traditional ring routine. Certain props -- rings, sword boxes, etc. -- have become so cliché over time, that they lose their magical edge and effect.

I use rings as an example because it was brought up here. But the same principle applies to any prop or routine that has been around for a very long time. Props are never "lame and out of date," but routines and presentations absolutely can be. Just like the stereotype magician in top hat and tails has become an eye-rolling image, so too have a few of the more tread-worn "classics." As magicians' wardrobes have changed, so too should their routines.
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glennmagi
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Thanks danaruns,
What you say certainly wise and true. I had mentioned Comedy 4 Ring Routine by Whit Haydn and you mentioned Pop Haydn, amazing they have the same last name. Taking us into the Twilight Zone area, not only do they have the same last name but their DVD on linking rings is called the same thing! I don't have Pop's linking ring dvd, I have one of his other ones though and everything he does is first class.
danaruns
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Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, glennmagi wrote:
Thanks danaruns,
What you say certainly wise and true. I had mentioned Comedy 4 Ring Routine by Whit Haydn and you mentioned Pop Haydn, amazing they have the same last name. Taking us into the Twilight Zone area, not only do they have the same last name but their DVD on linking rings is called the same thing! I don't have Pop's linking ring dvd, I have one of his other ones though and everything he does is first class.


Assuming you're not pulling my leg and tongue-in-cheek, I have to tell you that Whit and Pop are the same person. His name is Whit Haydn, but for the last several years he has gone by Pop, which is a character he invented. As Whit he was your typical corporate magician. As Pop he is a time-displaced magician/con artist/gambler from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who has found himself in the 21st century and is not completely displeased about it.

Here is Whit/Pop performing that very ring routine at my house last July.

Image
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
glennmagi
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Wow, I didn't know that! I feel like Clark Kent has just told me he's Superman. Ok, so then I have the older dvd, is there any difference with what I have and his newer version dvd on linking rings?
magicfish
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Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, Tim Cavendish wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 3, 2017, magicfish wrote:
No, it does not exist.

Thanks for supporting your assertion with reasons.

Assertion? No.
Dannydoyle
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It was said earlier but it is true. Props are not out of date and neither are tricks.

Magicians presentations in many if not most cases are. My lord if I see one more 20 something use the phrase "red hot mamma" I'm going to cry.

Update presentation. The props are inanimate. How can they be at fault?

How many musicians complain the piano is out of date?

I still say it is a poor craftsman who blames the tools.

To quote The Who again "it's the singer not the song, that makes the music move along ".
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
J-Mac
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I personally cannot take one more 21-card trick! (3 rows, which one is your card in?....)

Jim
MeetMagicMike
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I think there is a distinction between:

1) Tricks that are anachronistic - Thimbles, Cigarettes, Newspaper

2) Tricks that are over done - Linking Rings: 21 card trick,

3) Tricks that someone just doesn't like: Silk Magic,

4) Tricks that are objectionable: Animal Acts, Geek Acts, Dangerous Acts

Tricks that are anachronistic can still be performed with proper framing.

Tricks that are overdone should be avoided but I think the problem is exaggerated in the minds of some magicians. Most people don't see many magicians over time and are quite impressed by standards done well.

Tricks that some magicians just don't like is a category that is so subjective it is almost useless as a criterion. I personally don't like "The 20th century bra" but it kills for many performers. I also don't appreciate silk magic and dove acts.

Tricks that are objectionable is also very subjective. I use a finger chopper in every kids birthday party.
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longhaired1
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On Sep 4, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
Tricks that are overdone should be avoided but I think the problem is exaggerated in the minds of some magicians. Most people don't see many magicians over time and are quite impressed by standards done well.


Yes! My sense of things with my audiences is that many of them have heard of the Linking Rings, far fewer have ever seen them performed.
danaruns
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Quote:
On Sep 4, 2017, longhaired1 wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 4, 2017, MeetMagicMike wrote:
Tricks that are overdone should be avoided but I think the problem is exaggerated in the minds of some magicians. Most people don't see many magicians over time and are quite impressed by standards done well.


Yes! My sense of things with my audiences is that many of them have heard of the Linking Rings, far fewer have ever seen them performed.


And yet, almost no one is astounded, baffled or fooled by the impossibility of them. They have become staid, trivial and cliché.

In my personal opinion, the way most ring routines are done (i.e. the traditional "look how these rings link and unlink, so amazing!") is not good magic in the 21st century the way, say, reaching your hand through a glass fish tank and retrieving a signed card would be (to give the first example that comes to mind). Again, I'll cite Pop/Whit Haydn's four-ring routine as one that is excellent and entertaining in today's world, and hold it up against the traditional routine, which IMHO should be relegated to the history books. Some things are simply past their "use by" date, and the traditional linking rings routine is one such example.

IMHO, all magicians should learn a traditional ring routine and be able to perform it, and then should not perform it. It's like ragtime music. Every good pianist learns to play it, but doesn't perform it, because ragtime has passed its prime. Sure there are a handful of people who enjoy it. But don't equate them with the gazillions of Beyonce fans, and don't equate ragtime music with rock and roll or hip hop. Perhaps a better example is silent films. Some still love them as a nostalgic throwback, and that's where traditional ring routines lie. But the movie industry has moved on. So should magicians. Pop has taken the silent film rings, and turned them into a hilarious "talkie." So should everyone else evolve their ring presentations.

All this is, of course, just MHO.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
MeetMagicMike
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I too chose to perform Whit Haydn's Four ring routine. It's not because the props or even the routines are out dated though. I NEVER liked most stage ring routines especially those done to music where the rings are never handed out (The "pretty" routines). I would have chosen any routine where the rings are handled by the audience no matter what era I was working in.
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longhaired1
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Quote:
On Sep 4, 2017, danaruns wrote:
And yet, almost no one is astounded, baffled or fooled by the impossibility of them. They have become staid, trivial and cliché.

My experience of the rings is that the reaction of my audience of 150 wealthy, educated adults last Friday evening was all of the above. However I appreciate your drawing the distinction between props / effect and presentation.

That being said, I'm in the process of revamping my rings routine because, in my opinion, it's not quite there yet. Still, I'm glad that after 15 years of not performing them I decided to once again add them to my act.

I play banjo as well. One could certainly argue that Dueling Banjos is the Linking Rings of banjo music. But I still like playing it Smile
longhaired1
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On Sep 4, 2017, danaruns wrote:
In my personal opinion, the way most ring routines are done...

It just occurred to me that I am supremely unqualified to discuss the matter from that standpoint as I am not a frequent consumer of magic. If the discussion is about the state of magic, or the hundreds of magicians I've seen and what they need to change about their acts.... well I am definitely not the guy to be weighing in. I can only speak from my personal experience as a performer, not as a witness to dozens of others' acts during a typical year.

I have a running gag that is only triggered when an individual audience member lets out a discernible (and repeatable) exclamation of astonishment. I get to use the gag fairly often during the rings, and it happened twice the last time I performed it. In all honesty though, I don't consider my ring routine to be "there yet", but I am currently working on the "special sauce" that I believe will elevate it further.
Dannydoyle
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I do not do a ring routine. Simply put they are not for "me".

I have watched too many guys pull them out and it is just incongruent and throws me off while watching. I think this is always the first hurdle in performance.

The next often being some babble about traveling through China. And the worst part is the magician being more amazed than the spectator.

Getting past these things is always possible. Not easy, but possible to say the least. I watched Bob Sheets do a great routine with the rings. I've enjoyed Jay Marshall doing the rings, as well as many others.

One link I saw that was interesting was a guy who threw it up with some backspin and it hit the stage, bounced up and back to him and he linked it as it came back. Hope he got the ring to bounce that high was a mystery to me.

So no props and tricks are not dated. Again it is the execution.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
glennmagi
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This is really educational for me. The real bottom line is I want to make sure my magic is never stale so I keep my eyes open on ways to improve it. I think one of the saddest thing a fellow magician can see (and I've seen it) is a magician doing his magic the same way he has for the past 20 years because he knows it and likes it, yet the audience reaction is weak. MagicMike offers some important distinctions that are valid. Everyone's input here is important and helpful.
tommy
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All magic is lame until cured using bosh.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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