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deanr201
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Not sure if this was the correct section.

Just interested to see if any one else falls in to this trap of over proving an effect and how to know when enough is enough.

For example when I first started doing Roger Curzon's Card to envelope, I have been asked. if it was in the envelope the whole time why they couldn't open it and why was the envelope already open.

I questioned my self tried various things trying to think of a way to bring this to life.

But then I made a simple change to my approach with the effect. I altered my story for why I had the envelope. From then people never cared about the envelope it was purely there to hold a card, the card is what was important. Of course I did let them take an envelope home with their signed card so when they tell friends they have the envelope their card came from!

Just curious if there any other effects where you felt a need to make it better but had the reverse effect and what you did to overcome this?
funsway
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Just an "old timer's" opinion. The concept of "prove" implies that the observer is drawn to challenge or seek an explanation,
or what so to "figure it out." This view seems popular today but is only a theory, with many performers presenting effects as
"fooled you," "gotcha" "my skill is profound," etc. This makes the "level of proof" relative and always open to subjective need for "more."

If instead, the performer seeks to create at atmosphere in which the incredible can happen and make it OK for the observer to just enjoy the experience
with no need or desire to "figure it out" or run home to search FaceBook, then "astonishment" and "joyful memory" are all the proof required.

So, I would ask from where your to prove or over prove comes from? Form any need of the observer, or from some internal disquietude?

Many famous magicians have made statements along the line of "if they know the secret the magic is gone." Why fuel that by focusing on the props
being where the secret lies? To even say (or demonstrate or imply" "this is just an ordinary envelope" you are already buying into the idea that an envelope can be gimmicked (plant the seed).

Yes, I continuously look for ways to make an effect seem more magic to the point of overkill - but not from any desire to "prove" any object is un-gimmicked.
To the extent that you may be correct that today's audience is looking for proof, my efforts may be futile in a "too good" sense.

Many decades ago a mentor suggested that in along show one trick should be "easy to figure out" or even taught. That would make me seem "more human" and eliminate fear and anxiety in the audience. the result would be that the audience could then sit back and just appreciate the magic.

I would also suggest that doing a card "trick" already puts you behind the curve Since every observer knows a card trick or two, or has a favorite with which to compare you effort, the need to "prove" is already instilled. The fact that your observer is asking such questions suggests that something is missing on the "astonishment" or "must be magic" side. If you do tricks, then tricks is what they will see.

As an example, consider linking two metal rings together. If they are solid and can be examined it might be "too good" and invoke suspicions of the wrong sort.
If instead you use split key rings the impact is different. Everyone knows it is possible to link the rings -- just very difficult, with broken fingernails as proof. The observer now can just enjoy the magic or the skill as "impossible," the false solution masks the real one -- that you have switched in a gimmicked ring. If you now link this "handled ring" with their finger ring or soda can tab ...

Of course, if one feels that performance magic is just about "entertain them," why worry about their figuring it out?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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deanr201
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Rather than over prove should maybe it should be over think.

By prove I didn't mean out right convince the spectator it was ungimmicked.

I would never present the envelope to the spectator as a "perfectly normal envelope"

What I meant was in the back of my mind while performing if I was a spectator I would be asking "why was the envelope already open" or "why couldn't I have removed the card"
Is that just my inner magician/performer questioning things that a spectator would never question in the first purely because I know the method?

I ended up having several envelopes posted back to me from various parts of the world and I use these to tell the story of my travels and this forms the base of my routine, the envelope is open because I opened when I first received it and I have kept the card in there so I could tell the story.

I hope that makes more sense. I wasn't looking for advise on presenting the envelope to the specator. I was just wondering what people have found when they went in to "overkill mode" the reason why and how you got past it.

But thank you for your thoughts so far Smile
funsway
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Ok - thanks for the clarification.

In my 60+ years of performing magic effects I have always gotten in trouble trying to guess what a spectator is thinking.
I have been very successful in telling them what to think, and reducing their choices to conclusion I desire.

It has been suggested by a neuroscientist that performing magicians lack a cretin gene that allows them to enjoy astonishment without rationalization.

So, your drive to over think is a disability Smile.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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deanr201
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Thank you very much Funwasy for the response.

I think you hit the nail on the head, with little thought you can direct them to think a certain way which in turn removes the doubt

Plus I think sometimes we strive for perfection when believable (or should that be unbelievable!) and astonishment is what is more important.
Mary Mowder
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One reason not to over-prove is that the parts of the brain that cover tacit acceptance are SO much stronger than the ones that require proof.

So, if you can casually prove or just imply tacitly that something is copacetic it has much more power than explicitly proving.

-Mary Mowder
Dick Oslund
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The ancient Romans, said it very well: "QUI NIMIS PROBAT, NIHIL PROBAT! (He who proves too much, proves nothing!)

I agree with Mary.
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magicianbrady
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Quote:
On May 24, 2018, Mary Mowder wrote:
One reason not to over-prove is that the parts of the brain that cover tacit acceptance are SO much stronger than the ones that require proof.

So, if you can casually prove or just imply tacitly that something is copacetic it has much more power than explicitly proving.

-Mary Mowder


I completely agree with this. I perform in a manner which feels fair and I don't waste too much time on showing that everything is fair, because I think it dilutes the entertainment.
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