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mpizzey
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I am only new to magic being a novice or amateur at home.

I see referenced in a number of places online "commercial magic".
I was wondering how do you define commercial magic? What makes it "Commercial?

Please excuse my ignorance and thanks to all that reply.

Malcolm
funsway
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I have heard/seen this term used in several ways over the decades.

Most common, methinks, is in reference to short, easy reset type effects suitable for bar gigs, table hopping, but not busking or big Vegas sows

I think Johnny Thompson was the first to use it as a them for a VHS or DVD. Basically, effects for which one could make a living
without selling tickets to a large performance. Like "Professional" the term is open to interpretation.

There is also magic performed along with product sales at conventions, fairs, etc.

It is sort of an oxymoron, though, so I understand your bafflement. Magic occurs within the mind of the spectator and cannot be bought or sold.
Tricks, gaffs, gimmicks and Books/DVD's can be sold "commercially" but those are not magic.

Dick Oslund is famous for magic a career from magic, but don't think he would consider what he did on the school circuit as "commercial magic."

So, there is nothing that makes an effect or trick or routine "commercial." It is the willingness to market yourself to perform magic that makes it so.

I hope some of those doing such things can add more insight.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Wizard of Oz
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Funsway is correct and I always loving hearing his insights. I would also like to hear what Mr. Oslund has to say about this term.

I remember first hearing the reference and also being confused by it, as we hear "commercial," and immediately associate the term with main stream, mass produced, and widely accepted. I believe, and may be completely wrong, that in this case the word indicates effects or routines that are able to be performed for a large and diverse audience with broad interests, verses a specific niche crowd. For instance, not all people like card tricks, or cups and balls routines...but many enjoy effects involving money, or emotions, or mind reading...these are more personal and visceral experiences involving intimate notions or familiar items that we interact with everyday...and desire (moola). So for me, "commercial" means resonance, i.e. can I show this trick or effect to a large, diverse group of people and have them all walk away feeling rewarded and enriched.
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Cub Sines
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I have always thought that commercial magic is tricks you do with commercial products i.e bottles/cans, tic-tac boxes etc. Like the magic trick is the commercial for the product Smile
funsway
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Thanks Wiz for that perspective. I now wonder if my view should shift to tricks that seem to provoke a great response, even if that response is not magic.
Thus, if you want immediate and loud response you mostly perform what Al Schneider termed Crown and Theater magic. You hold back Virtual effects
until you have a filtered crowd of attentive observers expecting magic to happen.

A commercial cleaning product implies one that comes in a larger, cheaper packaging, does the job quickly, but may not be safe for children.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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danaruns
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I always thought commercial magic was a trick purchased from a magic shop or dealer and performed as-marketed, as opposed to magic that is created by the performer using typical props not specific to the particular trick.. For instance, NFW is commercial magic, whereas cups and balls is not. Is that not right? Smile
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A commercial trick, as I understand it, is a trick that is easy to make money with. ie: It's portable, so you can take it to any gig. It works for a wide range of audiences. It uses props that last a long time or are easy to acquire. It is easy to set up for (or requires no set up) and is easy to reset.

I also agree with Eugene Burger, as quoted by Jamy Ian Swiss, "There are no commercial tricks, only commercial presentations."
Christopher
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Wizard of Oz
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2018, funsway wrote:
Thanks Wiz for that perspective. I now wonder if my view should shift to tricks that seem to provoke a great response, even if that response is not magic.
Thus, if you want immediate and loud response you mostly perform what Al Schneider termed Crown and Theater magic. You hold back Virtual effects
until you have a filtered crowd of attentive observers expecting magic to happen.

A commercial cleaning product implies one that comes in a larger, cheaper packaging, does the job quickly, but may not be safe for children.


Just giving my honest, and I thought innocent input on a very broad and vague term open to a lot of interpretation. Not sure how to gauge your response which seems a bit sarcastic and patronizing.
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Anatole
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One definition of "Commercial Magic" is "magic that gets a good reaction from paying lay audiences."

And then there's this definition from
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commercial
"viewed with regard to profit"

Keep in mind, too, that part of what makes any trick commercially effective is presentation. An off-the-magic-shop-shelf trick that one magician dismisses as "lousy" can become a showstopper in the hands of a magician who comes up with a great presentation. Even the venerable Magic Coloring Book can be a showstopper if presented well.

---- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
funsway
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On Mar 16, 2018, Anatole wrote:
One definition of "Commercial Magic" is "magic that gets a good reaction from paying lay audiences."


I would suggest that this should read, "tricks that get a good reaction ..."

I fail to see where most of these have any "magic." Another definition, of course, one that can't be defined for another person,
but getting applause only means the observers were entertained, or are releasing emotion.

One of my mentors 60 years ago said, "Maybe they are applauding because you are finally done!"

and Al Schneider offered that we can only work to create astonishment. Whether or not is it seen as magic is up to the observer.

Psychologist now speak of "entertainment addiction" where a growing number of a paying audience does not care what the performer does as long as they get a chemical endorphin rush.

...

not putting down those who seek to entertain for a living. If I were taking that route today as a career, I would also find out what people are paying to see and follow -- but would not call it magic. Tying balloon animals will pay better than C&B any day.

do green ones on St Paddy's day - it will get a bigger tip. Smile

actually, I admire/envy those who can make a living that way -- anyone who can turn a passion or hobby into making a living --
Those like Brad Bert who can perform and be a dealer as well as the buskers and table hoppers. I might try that again when I am 80 and can get away with silly things because folks will think I am senile. Yet, I will still look for the few in the audience who do not clap loudly, but nod and smile because they enjoyed the magic I engendered within themselves.

I have often said that I made a decision at 17 not to "go pro" as a magician. I now realize I meant "not go commercial."
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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