The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Eric Meade/Johnny Thompson/Fool Us (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

thecromulent
View Profile
Regular user
Brooklyn, NY
170 Posts

Profile of thecromulent
On this week's episode of "Penn and Teller Fool Us," Eric Mead talked a bit about a Johnny Thompson idea about magic for magicians. The idea is basically that a layman might be fooled by 90% of an effect, and will say that she was not fooled because of the 10% that she caught, while a magician will follow 90% of what happened, but say she is fooled because of the 10% that she didn't catch. This strikes me as one of the most brilliant things that I've ever heard. I've recently returned to amateur magic after a hiatus of about 20 years, and I've been giving a lot of thought to what it means to perform magic, and how magic for magicians differs from magic for humans. Does anybody have any context on this idea? Where it came from, and if there were any more details that followed? I'd love to read the essay that it was pulled from, if such a thing exists.

Evan
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26985 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
There was a guy named John Ramsay...

His only known student has written on the topic.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
thecromulent
View Profile
Regular user
Brooklyn, NY
170 Posts

Profile of thecromulent
You're going to have to connect a few more dots for me...

Evan
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26985 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Keyword search: "ramsay andrew galloway"
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Darwin Ortiz
View Profile
V.I.P.
471 Posts

Profile of Darwin Ortiz
Quote:
On Sep 23, 2017, thecromulent wrote:
...The idea is basically that a layman might be fooled by 90% of an effect, and will say that she was not fooled because of the 10% that she caught, while a magician will follow 90% of what happened, but say she is fooled because of the 10% that she didn't catch. This strikes me as one of the most brilliant things that I've ever heard...

This observation comes from my book Strong Magic.

Sincerely,
Darwin Ortiz
Doc Willie
View Profile
Regular user
152 Posts

Profile of Doc Willie
I wonder if the difference is that a magician viewer is more aware of the many other aspects of a magic performance aside from "the secret", i.e. presentation, performance skill, personality of the performer, etc. A layperson may be affected by these other things, but only focusses on the gimmickry.
thecromulent
View Profile
Regular user
Brooklyn, NY
170 Posts

Profile of thecromulent
Darwin: Thanks for weighing in. I've heard wonderful things about the book--I'll have to check it out.

Doc: Here's how I interpreted the idea:

Imagine a card routine that relies on a DL, a false shuffle, and a killer magician-fooling move that took you weeks to master. And let's say that your DL isn't that great, technically, and isn't covered well by the structure of the routine. The layman catches the DL, and thinks, "oh, I saw that part--that explains the method." The magician, on the other hand, catches the DL but thinks "but that still doesn't explain how the effect as a whole happened--there is something that I'm not accounting for, so I'm fooled." As laymen don't have the technical/theoretical knowledge to understand exactly _how_ things work, they just assume that any fishiness they perceive must explain the method, which may or may not be true. I'm reminded here of my wife, who sometimes says things like "well, I just assume you put that card there" (even in cases where I did not put the card there!). She sees me practicing sleights, and she knows that I have put a lot of time and thought into this stuff, so she imagines that I can just make anything happen, secretly, at any time. In some senses, that's a fair assumption for a layman to make. But the converse to "you can do anything secretly" is "the thing I saw can explain anything." The magician's reaction is much more analytical: "A move explains B, C principle explains D, but how did the egg get inside the lemon?!?! You fooled the heck out of me"
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26985 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
The layman catches the DL, and thinks, ...
John Cornelius had something like that in his lecture long ago. A cute card trick that likely still catches both layman and magicians.

Did you find the references to the guy who spent half a century fooling magicians? Also the basic humor of asking with reference to the Cylinder trick? Smile

Untested theory is difficult to distinguish from intentional misdirection.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
The Hermit
View Profile
Loyal user
295 Posts

Profile of The Hermit
Let me sort it out. Magic performed for magicians is designed differently than magic for laypeople to either: sell something or to show off and later sell something. As to the quote, most laypeople don't follow a trick well enough to know how much they have seen. Only a magician would understand that. Both react accordingly.
thecromulent
View Profile
Regular user
Brooklyn, NY
170 Posts

Profile of thecromulent
I think it also has to do with expectations. The magician expects that they will catch most of what's happening, so if there is a big gap in understanding, they are (pleasantly) surprised and fooled. The layman expects that she will catch nothing, so any gap in the chain leads her to believe that she has caught the entire method.
WitchDocChris
View Profile
Inner circle
York, PA
2317 Posts

Profile of WitchDocChris
I like that.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
pmarzionna
View Profile
New user
Washington, DC
81 Posts

Profile of pmarzionna
Evan, if I might recommend, take a look at "Magic in Mind". It's a free book, which is a collection of essays by great names in Magic, including some excerpts from Strong Magic, by Mr. Ortiz. It's an amazing book, which will definitely make you think a lot about what it means to perform magic, among other interesting questions. The only "problem" is that you'll probably want to buy a lot of books after reading this...
Here is the link: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-......in-mind/
thecromulent
View Profile
Regular user
Brooklyn, NY
170 Posts

Profile of thecromulent
Thanks so much, p! This looks wonderful. And you are following Joshua Jay's request:

"One small favor, if you please. In the sharing spirit this book is offered, please help me spread the word. If you know a young (or old) magician who would benefit from this collection, please send them to us so they can download it as well. Your tweets and comments will enable Magic in Mind to do what it is intended to do: improve the quality of magic in our industry."
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Eric Meade/Johnny Thompson/Fool Us (2 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.12 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL