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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Concerning Psychology (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mjc
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So I have been reading an watching a lot of magic content online and there is one thing I have noticed that is happening in magic and this is psychology. I feel a lot of magic is owed to psychology. Are there any common known articles and books that get into talking about this that the community is aware of. I have not seen to much out there besides in Robert Giobbi's books. I really feel if I have a good grasp on psychology, then I have the basis to be a excellent sleight of hand magician.
Dick Oslund
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"Magic" is 5% sleight of hand skills, 5% esoteric science principles, 5% perceptual illusion, and 85% PSYCHOLOGY. Perhaps, those percentages are a trifle exaggerated, but, they will give you an idea.

There are some, here, who will differ with me, about the percentages. They are welcome to argue/discuss. After 70 years of performing (20 as a part time professional, and 50 as a full time professional, working coast to coast and, border to border, I've learned a few "things".

I don't see how psychology has any direct relationship to sleight of hand skills, though.

Magic only "happens" in the mind(s) of the spectator(s).

Despite what Dr. A.M. Wilson said, eons ago, MAGIC IS N O T INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. It's the performer's PRESENTATION, using psychology, that can make a magic show entertaining. My mentors, back in the '40s, said "it" very simply: "It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it."

If you want to add a TRICK, to your repertoire, three things are necessary:

1. Learn how the trick is DONE.

2. Learn how to DO it.

3. LEARN HOW TO DO IT, SO THAT IT E N T E R T A I N S someone, (THAT'S where the psychology "comes in".)

"Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice." In what corner of this beautiful state, is your abode? I'm a Yooper.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Consider "Principles of Deception" (Buckley), "Beyond Secrets" (Sankey) and especially "magic in Mind" ( Jay).

I can send a copy of "Magic Awareness" if you request from ken@eversway.com
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jun 23, 2018, mjc wrote:
...I feel a lot of magic is owed to psychology. ...

There are at least four distinct directions to take that question.
Magicians pattering about psychology in their performances.
Magicians incorporating findings from psychology into their methods.
Scientists making use of magic literature in their work.
Scientists studying perception, cognition and belief.
Where would you like to go?

You might like these folks: https://www.amazon.com/Sleights-Mind-Neu......05092811
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Al Schneider
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Mjc
Try "The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception," on Amazon dot com.
It describes how to do magic people want to see.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Doug Arden
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Great book. Jason Randal, "The Psychology Of Deception." (Why Magic Works)
Dick Oslund
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All books mentioned above are well worth your time to READ & STUDY.

If you are "hung up" on sleights, science principles, and, perceptual illusions, and, haven't studied (and understand) the principles of psychology, you are just a guy who does tricks.

See my post, above!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Al Schneider
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Dick
You have no clue what my book is about.
Please don't give advice on something you know nothing about.
Al
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Dick Oslund
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Al:

Your book is on AMAZON.

I have an IQ, that is "relatively" high. I do read books that don't have pictures! I've seen YOU at Abbott's GTG.

I know a bit more about psychology, than you may think.

I have mentored more young guys, who are now successful professionals, than you know.

I have lectured, successfully, all over the USA, for rings, assemblies, dealers, regional, and national conventions (and, have been rebooked more than once.)

I made a **** good living, performing, for more years than you've been alive.

Kindly do not lecture me about giving advice.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Al Schneider
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My point is that you have not read my book.
So, how do you know you know more than me.
You always babble about psychology being so important.
But you never express what that is.
As far as I can tell, to you using psychology is telling jokes.
Can you give me an example of how you use psychology.
I also have lectured at major conventions and meetings around the country and in Europe.
I ran a magic school in Minneapolis for six years. How many magicians do you think that produced.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Al Schneider
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Oh, by the way, how are your book sales.
How much money did you make after having the book edited, printed, running around the country with signings, paying for travel,food, etc.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Dannydoyle
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Speaking of psychology we could probably use a therapist here right now.

You're both pretty OK?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Al Schneider
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Danny
How did you get almost 20000 posts? Who are you to voice your opinion so much? Well, I did some research.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Danny Doyle has got chops. He is not a goldfish that has been around the glob a few times.
Mr. Doyle is someone Mr. Oslund should know because Mr. Oslund seems to know all the biggies.

Mr. Doyle, should we ever occupy the same space and time, I would enjoy talking about life over a beer.
My favorite pastime is talking to magicians about things.

Sincerely,

Al
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Al Schneider
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Ladies and gentlemen, I feel bad about being negative on someone else’s thread. This is supposed to be about mjc’s question about psychology. So, I thought I would share one of my thoughts about the subject. I think this is one of the more important issues in performing magic. I have spoke elsewhere on this forum about this subject so to old time members it is nothing new.

The subject is about being interested or interesting. An interesting performer strives for attention. He strives for response. He strives to fool the audience. This produces a performer that tends to drive the audience away. They are not seeing the magic they came to see. The interested performer is opposite. He desires that the audience sees what they came to see. He takes their interest to heart. He communicates well and attempts to be clear in what he is doing. As I speak of this the names Karrell Fox and Jay Marshall come to mind. In my mind I can see Mr. Fox making a four inch piece of silk disappear while standing on a full stage. I can see Mr. Marshall rolling a cane into a piece of newspaper. When they did this it was precise, clear and I saw magic. They were not doing it to impress me. They were doing it so I could see magic.

Perhaps this is not about magic but it is about magic.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Dannydoyle
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It was an attempt to take the heat out of your very personal problem with Mr. Oslund that you so kindly brought to a public thread. Please take a step back before lashing out at me pointlessly.

I mean no harm, only hope that you can keep personal issues in a PM.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dick Oslund
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Thanks, Danny!

I've learned that the best thing to do, is to ignore him. Intelligence is one thing. Wisdom is another.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Jonathan Townsend
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Sleight of hand is one possible method to explain a magic performance. A method to accomplish an effect.
For example effect folks here have seen card fan productions performed. Consider the inside or backstage view of the hand doing that sleight of hand. And admire the skill. Keep that view and admiration of skill in mind for a moment. In my opinion such awareness shifts a performance into the realm of juggling. What Micheal Moschen called "contact juggling" to be specific. We call it "manipulation". The rest of the world knows it as juggling. It's a recognized art.

Magic is a different art. Magic is what you'd feel if you were backstage watching those card productions and could see an empty hand ... till the cards appear... then more... and still more cards appeared... but you knew it's also a trick - those cards have to be somewhere, right? Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jonathan Townsend
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I lost focus reading the original post, missing the subject statement.
Quote:
On Jun 23, 2018, mjc wrote:
...I feel a lot of magic is owed to psychology. Are there any... known ... books that get into talking about this...
where "this" = psychology useful in performing magic.

Al wrote a book on that topic.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Al Schneider
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Dick Oslund
Do you have either?
Of course you cannot respond because you ignore me.
He He.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Brad Burt
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I have always contended that magic IS in fact Inherently Entertaining/Interesting. In fact in a recent post I noted that again. I've just changed my mind. That is, I reframed 'how I think magic is seen/experienced by spectators'.

Here's the thing I suddenly realized as I reviewed a bunch of magic I have witnessed over the years: Most magic tricks/routines are pretty interesting. (I contend that generally the longer and more complicated the routine the less magical it "tends" to be. That's a related issue.) The problem is almost always that there are folks who do/perform magic that are simply dreadfully boring. And, it's them, themselves. They don't want to be boring. No one 'wants' to bore folks. I have seen lectures by big time exponents of various subjects the material of which was really compelling, but the presentation of which had me wanting to jump off a tall building. It wasn't the material. It was the presenter.

This is something that is simply not talked about. It's ignored, because no one wants to tell another that their performance could put a Meth Head to sleep. Can this situation be "cured"? Maybe.

The fact is that there are folks who can do a trick/routine perfectly. The moves, the patter, etc. And, still there is something lacking. If you could find a pill for it or a fruit that grows in an isolated valley in the Amazon...you could make a lot of money.

What's the 'take away'? It's all connected. IF a person really, REALLY wants to improve their performance it would behove them to find one, possibly two pros that they trust and believe in to rib what they do apart and offer advice on how to make it better. That would include a discussion with video of HOW the performer looking to improve looks while they perform. It's humbling and hurts like the dickens.

Final note: Just because you are paying someone to help you improve is not to say that you cannot argue for something one way or another. It's the interaction and willingness to learn from the process that will make the improvements over time.
Brad Burt
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