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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Can every trick be improved on? (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicfish
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"...and the question is put to you as to what you would do if you could REALLY do magic, and you dismiss it outright."

No. I didn't. This is false. Not only did I not dismiss it outright, I gave you an honest direct answer. I will cut and paste since, again giving you the benefit of the doubt, you genuinely missed it.
"If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. 
magicfish
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2019, JBSmith1978 wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?


Define your terms.

Do you mean improving method, plot, impact, wonder? In general I would say yes. Regarding a specific performer? I would say yes. Both performer and audience is a moving target.

If you want to limit the extent one can improve something by let's say overgeneralizing terms, then no.

All terms I suppose J.B., nothing hard and fast here, just an open discussion among magic friends.
magicfish
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Quote:
On Mar 11, 2019, Daegs wrote:
Every unique magician's perfect version is different from the rest.

Every trick can be improved for you, though not necessarily for everyone else. A lot of the classics are such because they are adaptable to many unique personalities.

This is a good point Daegs
The Burnaby Kid
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Dude, you said "I doubt there would be card plots" and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out, you said you'd float toothbrushes or whatever, and asked to get BACK to card tricks. In the most generous and polite estimation, what you wrote was a dismissal of a point.
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The Burnaby Kid
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Ugh. Never mind. Do what you like.
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magicfish
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Quote:
On Mar 11, 2019, fonda57 wrote:
I mentioned a specific trick Smile

Card Warp is an interesting example, Fonda, as there have been many good interpretations, handlings, etc. Are you familiar with Eugene Burger's or Bruce Cervon's?
magicfish
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"...and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out..."

Again, if I could do real magic, these would not be meaningful scenarios, for me.
ekgdoc
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Can every trick be improved on? The answer is no, and I would cite the Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Daley as a trick that cannot be improved upon. (I perform a minor variation of the Bill Malone handling.) Q.E.D.

David M.
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
"...and when a series of meaningful scenarios involving cards were pointed out..."

Again, if I could do real magic, these would not be meaningful scenarios, for me.


I have to agree with this.

I think I would only get to the stage of magic-ing myself a good poker hand if: A) I had already solved a lot of the world's more pressing problems and B) found myself REALLY bored.

Real magic would become banal after some time. It would be much more fun to learn to cheat at poker than magic some good hands - if you got busted you could just magic the problems away Smile
The Burnaby Kid
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Alright, I apologize for yesterday's irritability and if anybody feels I slighted them in any way. I'll take full responsibility if the point I was trying to make was unclear.

The aim in the "What if I could do real magic?" isn't to explore what would happen if you suddenly had supernatural powers. One COULD go in that direction for the purposes of developing a repertoire, as has folks like Derren Brown, in order to pick the best effects possible that would fit your powers (including the limitations of your powers), but that's a different avenue.

Rather, the point of it, as outlined by guys like Tommy Wonder, is to figure out what could be done if one didn't have to rely on some non-magical method like a sleight or a prearrangement or what-have-you. You figure out how it would look if for some admittedly cuckoo-for-coco-puffs crazy reason it's something you wanted to do and could do by real magic, and you then design the method around that.

If you don't want to take my word for it, and I don't blame anybody if they don't want to given the absence of charm exhibited yesterday, then take Wonder's word for it. He approached his tricks all the time from this standpoint, and his magic was all the more sublime because of it. It's an exercise worth engaging in for the express purpose of identifying what the illusion of real magic would look like in the instance of that trick, rather than pondering on what the illusion of a real magician would look like within the context of overall performance.
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Pop Haydn
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Quote:
On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. I doubt there would be card plots.


Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic? Do you want people to know it, or keep it hidden? What reason have you for performing magic tricks for others? Perhaps you are hiding the fact that you can do real magic because...

Charlie X did card tricks for the crew of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek. It was real magic, though the crew didn't know it at the time.

I think it is a good question how it would look if it were real, but most magicians quit right there with the question as if there were no answer, before they come up with real justification for what they do...

"I knew when I was three or four that I was different. I could make things appear and disappear or change colors just with my mind. But I quickly learned that others didn't like that and were scared by it. So I kept it a secret. It only worked with little stuff, anyway. When I first learned that there were others like me, called magicians, I was excited. When I found out they were really just using trickery, I became fascinated. I learned card tricks and got really good at it. I was very proud of my achievement, while considering "real magic" an unimportant little "knack." So I love to perform magic, I only used "real" magic when I got in trouble or lost the break or something...and then I would keep it secret because in my mind, using real magic in a card trick was cheating."

There are thousands of different stories like that out there. Pop Haydn is based on "what if a 19th Century conman and medicine show performer were to suddenly be thrust into the 21st Century?" How would he make a living? What would he consider trickery, and what real magic? Can you imagine the Wizard of Oz doing magic tricks for the Munchkins in order to impress them?

Pop thinks most of his magic is trickery--standard performance magic. But he believes the Teleportation Device, Tesla Coil, and magnetized water are all "science" and "true."

The magic story is the backstory of who you are, why you can do real magic, and why you are here demonstrating magic to these people...
The Burnaby Kid
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Yes! Yes! To Pop Haydn you listen!

[here endeth the Yoda voice]
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Pop Haydn
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There are two magic stories. One is the story the spectators will tell of having met the magician. It begins when he enters, and ends when he leaves. The second story, the one the spectators may have to guess at, is the backstory--who is this person, why are they here, what do they want, where will they be going next? The magician knows this story, and everything he does is in perfect co-ordination with this story. The spectators sense the story is there, even if they don't exactly know what it is.

How is the story of meeting the magician different from the story of having met a "real" magician?

magicfish
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Quote:
On Mar 13, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 12, 2019, magicfish wrote:
If I was capable of real magic, things would basically just appear and disappear, transform, transport, levitate, combust, animate, etc. I doubt there would be card plots.


Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic? Do you want people to know it, or keep it hidden? What reason have you for performing magic tricks for others? Perhaps you are hiding the fact that you can do real magic because...

Charlie X did card tricks for the crew of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek. It was real magic, though the crew didn't know it at the time.

I think it is a good question how it would look if it were real, but most magicians quit right there with the question as if there were no answer, before they come up with real justification for what they do...

"I knew when I was three or four that I was different. I could make things appear and disappear or change colors just with my mind. But I quickly learned that others didn't like that and were scared by it. So I kept it a secret. It only worked with little stuff, anyway. When I first learned that there were others like me, called magicians, I was excited. When I found out they were really just using trickery, I became fascinated. I learned card tricks and got really good at it. I was very proud of my achievement, while considering "real magic" an unimportant little "knack." So I love to perform magic, I only used "real" magic when I got in trouble or lost the break or something...and then I would keep it secret because in my mind, using real magic in a card trick was cheating."

There are thousands of different stories like that out there. Pop Haydn is based on "what if a 19th Century conman and medicine show performer were to suddenly be thrust into the 21st Century?" How would he make a living? What would he consider trickery, and what real magic? Can you imagine the Wizard of Oz doing magic tricks for the Munchkins in order to impress them?

Pop thinks most of his magic is trickery--standard performance magic. But he believes the Teleportation Device, Tesla Coil, and magnetized water are all "science" and "true."

The magic story is the backstory of who you are, why you can do real magic, and why you are here demonstrating magic to these people...

I want people to know it. I should have said OVERT levitating, transporting, combusting, transforming, appearing, and disappearing, etc.
I wouldn't deal myself a royal flush, or beat hands by one, or make good cards appear in my hand, or make bad cards disappear from my hand. Or do Further than .or triumph. Or dunbury delusion. Or Daleys, you get the idea.
magicfish
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Q: "Really? How did you become capable of doing real magic?"

A: Andrew infused it into my blood cells during a "can every card trick be improved" thread.
Pop Haydn
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Smile Well, then those are your character choices. My character if he were real would be doing exactly the magic he is doing here in the 21st Century in front of any audience I work for, both close up or stage--linking rings, card tricks, sponge balls--whatever.
magicfish
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And wonderful stuff it is Pop.
magicfish
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Tally so far:
Can Every Card Trick Ever Devised be Improved?
No- 4
Yes-6
Not Sure/Maybe- 3
magicfish
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"We will assume that the Kings have been segregated from the deck. Use them in a short
but good trick such as Vernon’s Twisting the Aces or Dr. Daley’s Last Trick. May I suggest
you look up either of the original handlings and do it exactly as written up, don’t use any of
the so-called «improved» versions. (He, who says to have improved Vernon or Daley, is like
saying he improved Beethoven or Mozart – he’s either a fool or a liar.)"

- Roberto Giobbi

New tally: no=5
Yes=6
Not sure/maybe=3
Tortuga
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Magicfish, I think you asked a great question and unfortunately as it often goes, the points got sidetracked by unnecessary rancor. So I will offer my views and hopefully there will be some nice discussion.

Can Every Card Trick Ever Devised be Improved?

No. That is my answer. I believe there are some card tricks that are perfect just as they are. To alter them weakens them and removes the impact of the original. We went through a phase in magic where every trick seemed to morph into a "packet trick" where things had to turn over (even if it made no sense) or backs had to change color (even if there were no motivation) or cards had to end up in impossible locations (just because).

Tricks can be changed for many reasons. Some tricks are altered because the way it was devised used a difficult sleight unattainable by many. That might make it better for the performer, but rarely better for the audience.
An added surprise is often added to a routine to so-called improve it. The result can be debatable. If the added effect detracts from the original routine, it weakens the entire construction.

Al Schneider was said to be very upset when magicians began producing jumbo coins following his Matrix. Multiple coins, Chinese coins, etc. all have been added to Matrix as "improvements", or variations. Al feels they detract from the beauty and wonder of the original routine.

I'm sure Vernon wasn't keen on the 1001 variations of Twisting The Aces either. You can twist them, change their color and then turn them into a royal flush. Oh, and for good measure cause them to transport magically to your pockets, front, back, side, breast.....heck, cram them into the wallet too while you are at it.

I'll bet some people feel these things are indeed improvements. I tend to fall on the side of keeping things simple, effects clear and not adding so many climaxes onto a trick that at the end the audience cannot even remember what the point was in the first place.

So to sum up, yes, some tricks can be improved upon but certainly not all of them.
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