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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Terminology (11 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

adrianrbf
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What is the difference between a gimmick, a prop and a gaff?

And while we're at it: What is the difference between a trick and a routine? It seems to me that a trick is more the principle, while a routine is the whole choreography, so to speak... but is this correct?
HeronsHorse
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I really want Dick Oslund to answer this!! I'll pm him!
Quote of the Month
Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."
- S.H. Sharpe
Wx4usa
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Quote:
On Feb 7, 2019, HeronsHorse wrote:
I really want Dick Oslund to answer this!! I'll pm him!


You're right, Dicks the best. Go to the post and scroll to Dick Oslund's posts on the topics. Https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......forum=41
Dick Oslund
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That thread won't help adrianbf much. Most of the posters treated the thread as a JOKE. Most of those who treated it as a serious question, didn't know what they were talking about.

If I have time, when I'm not getting the radiation treatments, I'll try to write him.

I'm losing interest in posting.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
HeronsHorse
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Those people aren't fit to lick your shoes, Dick.
Who the hell are they to comment on you personally? It's pathetic.
I got sick of muppets like that here, throwing insults back n forth, turning every thread into a contest, within the first week. It is so puerile. Made me reconsider staying but I found people like yourself and decided to stay.
Please don't succumb to their provocation.
They are not worth it.
Best to give your advice, like always, and if any provocateurs start their nonsense just refuse to be drawn. Speak to others in the thread whilst ignoring the existence of the insolent moronic ones.
Works a treat;)
Quote of the Month
Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."
- S.H. Sharpe
Dick Oslund
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Hey Paul! Thanks for your thinking!!

Thinking it over, I've been trying to "smarten up chumps"!

At my age, and with my health concerns, I'm wasting time trying to "convince/convert & explain" the fundamentals to those who can't distinguish between opinions and facts, especially when they haven't done their homework!

I'll PM the Adrian from Switzerland, today!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Wravyn
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I too find Dick's experience and knowledge useful. Thank you.

Dick, I shall keep you in thoughts and prayers with your health concerns.
Wx4usa
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Another way of thinking of all this terminology stuff could be this… a trick or gimmick may be what comes in a package. And magic is what happens when you pull off the performance of the effect after lots of practice by following the instructions to a tee and turning it into a routine by adding your patter, personality, showmanship perhaps stringing several 'tricks or effects' together and making it entertaining. Your performance is flawless, second nature and instinctive. Your choreographed routine is therefore surprising, catches someone totally off guard and causes them to smile and say, ”Wow!” .....That’s magic!

There is an awful lot going on in that scenario. Almost any one of those things that goes awry and it’s not so magical after all. Practice makes perfect. This is why magicians that are really really awesome will tell you they’ve done it thousands of times and can do it blindfolded.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Feb 10, 2019, Wravyn wrote:
I too find Dick's experience and knowledge useful. Thank you.

Dick, I shall keep you in thoughts and prayers with your health concerns.


Thanks for the kind words, and, especially thanks for the thoughts and prayers.

It's very inspirational to know that others whom I've never met, are concerned enough to pray for me.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Hi ALL!

The VA hospital gave me a "parole", 'cuz their cat scan found my tumor "gone". (I'm in remission.) Thank you for all your encouragement and prayers!

I PM'd Adrianbf with definitions of the various terms that we use in magic. I learned these things "eons" ago. It does help if we all understand, and use the "right words". It saves confusion.

I remember a professor who wishing to make the point, in a communications presentation, said that the ATOMIC BOMB was dropped on Hiroshima, because of the misunderstanding of a Japanese diplomatic term. Apparently, the Japanese responded with one word, to the the United States demand for unconditional surrender. The Japanese responded with "MAKASATSU". They apparently meant, "No comment". We interpreted their response as "IGNORED".

I'll return in day or three with a list of definitions,
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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First, you must realize that I'm an old geezer. I broke in the business in a carnival "ten in one" (side show) in the '40s. I was mentored by professional school assembly magicians, all of whom had started before TARBELL!

A principle is a basic method (e.g. "one ahead", "rope & tape", "black art".

So... a gimmick is an unseen device (e.g. a hand dye tube, or a reel) which is needed to make a trick "happen", Carnies couldn't spell gimmick, so, they said gaff.

A feke is a visible device that is seen, but appears to be something else e.g. a ball sh*ll, or the bl*ck inner tube in a sq. circle).

"Apparatus", is an archaic term for "prop".

A trick is a tool which HELPS to produce an "EFFECT". The EFFECT is what the spectator perceives. Fitskee listed nineteen EFFECTS (production, vanish, restoration, penetration, transformation, transposition, animation, levitation, etc.)

A trick only exists while it is being performed.

A routine is several tricks performed in a sequence. E.g.: a series of thimble tricks, such as productions, vanishes, color changes. etc.

Magic only "happens" in the mind of the spectator.

You cannot buy a trick, You can buy a prop, E,g, a "can pan, box, tube, "red velvet bag on a stick", or a gimmick with which you can perform a trick, but you cannot buy an EFFECT!

I hope that this is helpful.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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This ancient quote from the late S. H. Sharpe may help...

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic.

Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
funsway
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Only addition I can think of at the moment is that an EFFECT does not need a TRICK at its heart.

The secret (artifice) may be special knowledge, psychological ploy or even claiming responsibility for natural phenomena.

For me an Effect is also role-playing in one's mind how a presentation will play or a dress rehearsal.
The ability to imagine how an audience will perceive things is an essential part of routine development -
more than practicing sleights or mechanics, but less than live interaction of a performance.
No performance is complete without comparing the imagined effect with the live one and asking
"what did I learn to make me a better performer tomorrow?" That is affect, of course.
"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
Dick Oslund
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I just checked in with one of the old timers (Dariel Fitzkee) whose trilogy published in the mid '40s, also talked about "tricks". He was concerned about those magicians who were obsessed with learning new tricks, rather than learning to PRESENT the tricks that they already knew.

He wrote in "The Trick Brain": "I must insist that tricks are but tools. This eagerness to add new tools to the workshop, at the expense of learning how to use the tools we already possess, definitely results in overcrowded workshops, but unskilled artisans.

If more magicians would keep Sharp's and Fitzkee's thoughts in their minds, they might think twice about pulling out their wallets in the magic shop.

"It aint WHAT ya do, it's HOW ya do it!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
funsway
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What? You mean I can't just copy what some 12 year old does on YouTube?

Just dug out my Boy Scout Book of Magic. Starting over. Smile

( for those who don't know, Dick was connected with Boys Life many decades ago,
The magic presented was to develop presentation skills and overcome stage fright.
I don't remember any specific trick - but remember how every kid in our troup got interested in magic.)
"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
Dick Oslund
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I just noticed that I forgot to mention that an EFFECT is quite simply, WHAT THE SPECTATOR PERCEIVES,

I'm a 75 year "veteran" member of the Boy Scouts of America. For 39 years, I managed summer camps. As an experienced Scouter, I served for 13 years on the staff of the National Camping School of the BSA.

"Boys Life' is the national magazine of the BSA. The publisher of Boys Life wanted to "do" a "trade show" at the 1981 National Jamboree. (about 45,000 Scouts) I was asked to serve on the "staff". We had a "circus tent" of exhibits and live demonstrations of the various features in the magazine, I was the "MC". I used magic to introduce the Scouts and their leaders, to the Boys Life tent. It was a huge success (despite what I did!!!!!). We did it again at the 1985 Jamboree! Jeff Sobel, just retired as a Colonel in the Air Force, was an Eagle Scout on the staff, who brought Bill Severn;s MAGIC column in Boys Life to "life". Jeff is now the organizer of a very successful teen magic club in Florida. We have been friends since the Jamboree.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Jed Maxwell
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Is there a dictionary of magic and mentalism I can buy?

I know nothing at all about card, coin and magic moves and constantly find references to them in mentalism products.
"You're a mentalist!"
Ravenspur
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Jed,

I'm still learning. I've been studying magic since November. I'm finally starting to get an understanding of the basic concepts and effects, even if I can't do them. This is helpful because now know what to look for when it comes to what to practice and buy.

I haven't found any dictionary of magic. The most useful publications in this regard have been somewhat generic magic books. There's a basic list on this forum. Mark Wilson's magic Complete Course in Magic, for example, has a bunch of effects in different genres of magic. For cards, there's plenty of sources online and in books. Doug Dyment (who is on MC) has a website with some information. Some of the older, mid-20th century stuff contains a lot of basic information. Even the Complete Idiot's Guide to Magic Tricks is useful for some terminology. Once you have the branches or genres of magic, there are books that you can figure out.
Jed Maxwell
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Good idea. Back to the basics I shall go. Thank you.
"You're a mentalist!"
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