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Markus_M
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Greetings magical community,
I figure it’s time I introduce myself to you.

I am Markus Mayer from Germany. Soon I will have my 39th birthday and a few weeks back I got heavily bitten by the magic bug. Again!

But let me start at the well…, beginning.

The first time I really saw magic performed, was at a local festival. I was in elementary school about 9 or 10 years old. Of course there where no such thing as the internet and this exposure to the performance of this man was as magical as it could be, only for the first time. Turned out, that this man, “incidently”, had the props that made these wonders work for sale. Of course I begged my father that he would buy me these mysterious things. He did and so I came into possession of my first magic props. It was a Svengali Deck and a set of the “Dynamic Coins”. Needless to say, that the next few weeks where devoted to obsessively performing my miracles. Everybody, everywhere had to watch me wizzarding my way around. Nowadays I truly believe, that I wasn’t any good. But you know how it is. Nobody will tell that a youngster. Except for my father.
Don’t get me wrong! He wasn’t mean and told me I was bad. He even got me everything related to magic that I saw ( and was available) in our area. Unfortunately this availability of magical material was limited to magic sets in the toy stores. So for him, I was just playing.

It also was the time when the great David Copperfield specials where aired in Germany, or maybe this was a little later. Memory is quite dusty on that. I recorded every one of them on VHS ( oh my, dark ancient times of tech) and watch every one of them for so many times I think one has to invent new numbers. One special bit caught my eye by far the most. The pen through bill bit. It was so baffling, that this man who where famous for vanishing things, I for the most part haven’t even seen, would perform miracles with things I could find at home. Sure enough I sat in front of our TV with a pencil and a bill and tried to figure out the method. Guess what? One day I found a way. I went through my Dad’s workshop for a good knive and carved a little ( crudely jagged) slit into the pencil. Watch from the front it was exactly what you could see from the big DC. When I showed it to my father he of course was certain that THAT wasn’t the method. Guess how delighted I was when I (much) later purchased "Misled".

Time went on and I grew up, well I physically got bigger my mind didn’t change that much necessarily, and “things” got in my way. You know, school, girls…
It was later in my mid twenties when I was in the service and after that picked up training as a chef when I became interested in bar bets and little card tricks. And there it was. THE INTERNET!
Suddenly I was able to buy “real” magic material. I was blown away by the presentation and promises of a particular site. Ellusionist. I ordered Crash Course and was introduced into a whole new world. Sleight-of-Hand Close-Up magic. MAN! What a journey. The first time I truly had the feeling to be part of the “thing” that magic is and I was amazed by the reactions I got out of it. I worked in kitchens around the country at day and at night I would patrol the bars to bamboozle people with my stuff. Unfortunately I also started a devious affair with that other thing you come inevitably across in such environments. The magic of bottled spirits. And that is a song as old as the times, sung as often as there are stars in the sky. Here’s the refrain:

Lost girlfriend, lost work, was broke ( the wallet same as the man)… You know the drill…

So I decided to move back home where family and friends are and to start all over. More work less liquid, was the premise. It worked! For a while at least. In my home area work in restaurants is a mess. A lot of selfmade, untrained people that think they are good and are always concerned by the costs of their business. So I worked for 5 years, 6 days a week, at least 12 hours a day. I loved my job and I am still an enthusiastic cook, but in that environment all creativity dies and it drains the very last drop of life out of you and naturally leaves no space for magic. So I quit.

Now I do freelance work in CG, only when I want to. I met a lovely woman who I married three years ago and we live together with our dog in a nice little house with garden amongst our friends and families. The last two years I dabbled a bit in music and discovered my love and passion for performing and entertaining. Well the group split up and I miss it really.

Now to the present:
A few weeks ago while browsing Youtube I stumbled across Jay Sankey ( not a stranger to me) and he had a video about a ring vanish. More out of boredom I decided to watch the video and try to catch the method. Guess what? The vanish was beautiful. I was convinced he lapped the ring, which he did. What caught my eye was, that his hands weren’t anywhere near the table edge. I watched the performance part a few times to “catch him” and finally saw the little finger move ( which did). “Oh , so he’s ‘throwing’ the ring over the edge. Clever and sneaky as always, Mr. Sankey”, I thought. But he didn’t. Watch the video and his explanation and see for yourself what he did, if you don’t already have.

And there it was again! That feeling, this beauty. This state of mind where the world skips a little to the left ( or sometimes right) and you see properties of things that weren’t apparent to you before. My mind began to race and there was this spark. Creativity came to live once again as it was so long missed. Naturally and instantly there was it. That desire to couple my love for magic with the joy I experienced when being on stage making music. I’m going to perform magic again. Not as casual as I did. I want to do it the right way this time. Thoughtful, with a goal, together with others.

I know it is a long way I am about to go but I believe, it’s worth the effort.

Now if you come this far you know why I am here and you can sense my hopes that sharing my thoughts with you will bring me to my goal and maybe I can be of assistance to others too.

In the hope we all will reach our goals, together,
thanks for your time,

Markus_M
Mary Mowder
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Welcome Markus_M,

Sounds like The Café is just what you need.

I love the feeling of wonder that comes when I have no idea how something was done. I like it even better when the performance makes the method the least important aspect of the entertainment.

Remember how interest in Magic may ebb and flow and next time it ebbs, don't sell your props and books.

Have fun.

-Mary Mowder
Markus_M
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Thank you Mary for the welcoming words.
In my opinion the method shouldn't be part of the entertainment at all. It's just a tool to transport the effect to the spectator. I am a bit critical about such routines, that talk about method like those gambling routines that show how hard a pass is and accomplish something by other means.

Sincerely,
Markus
Dick Oslund
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Ja Markus! Du hast recht!

My "rule" for years, has been: "KIS MIF" (an acronym for: Keep It Simple Make It Fun)

The methods are only the "mechanics" which make the trick "work".

Magic is NOT inherently entertaining! Magic is "5% sleight of hand, 5% perceptual illusion, 5% esoteric science principles, and 85% PSYCHOLOGY!"

It's the performer's PRESENTATION, using sleights, illusions, and, science principles, PLUS PSYCHOLOGY, which creates the EFFECT, which makes magic entertaining! (A TRICK, is not an EFFECT. A TRICK, somewhat like music, exists only while it is being performed! An EFFECT is simply what the spectator perceives!

Mein Deutsch is not good enough to write the above. But, reading your OP, I think you have more than enough English to understand!

See my friend, Mary's comment above! ("I like it even better when the performance makes the method the least important aspect of the entertainment.")

She expresses my thoughts very well!

Welcome to our "motley crew"!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Your "title" "Another one, pursuing his magical voyage." reminds me of an old "sea story" from my Navy days, more than 60 years ago!

A ship had just left port, and was now at sea. A young sailor, on his first voyage, and, an old sailor, veteran of many voyages, were standing at the ship's rail. The young lad, exclaimed, "There's a lot of water out there!" The old man replied, "What you see, is just the top of it!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Markus_M
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Thanks Mr. Oslund,
for your kind words about my English. It's nice to hear my effort in not violating your language is recognized. Just as it is friendly of you to respond with a few words in German. A nice touch and certainly a sign of class.

I can see how important it is to you to make the distinction between "Trick", "Method" and "Effect", since you mention this a lot. And I absolutely agree with you ( both). It reminds me of the simple yet fundamental principle in physics of "Cause and Effect". Since nobody can change these laws we magicians should comply and use words accordingly. So it's nice to see we are on the same page with this and you can be sure your words won't be wasted. Both of yours!

Thank you also for that anecdote of the two sailors. I can see me using this in a patter one day. Along the lines:
"When I was starting out in magic Mr. Oslund, the famous american magician, told me a story about two sailormen....". A plot that I hear so often in patter. But it's good. And now I don't even have to lie about it Smile The last line will be great to accompany a great and surprising reveal. And would be a phenomenal last sentence on stage. ( You know, always leave them wanting more Smile)

It's those kind of stories which use only so few words but are so rich and deep in meaning that are perfect examples for sophisticated patter. And what a nice metaphor for the vast and deep craft that magic is when you seriously delve into it.

The only downside is that we only have this dry let's say "sterile" medium of the internet. Well, otherwise I maybe never have had the chance to meet with you.

Thanks for your time and all the best,
Markus
Dick Oslund
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Bitte Schoene Markus!

I am delighted that we understand each other!

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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