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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workers » » Can every trick be improved on? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicfish
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As above.
A prediction matches a selection.
That's it.
And it is a long routine.
And it is a $#@!@$ miracle.
FlightRisk
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My opinion is that not all effects can be improved upon, they are either perfect in their simplicity or in their method, but the PERFORMANCE can be improved. We can have an effect like S&S or coin in a bottle that has been around forever, but then someone creates a better way of generating a response to it with an audience. Sometimes that performance suits our style and we incorporate it with few changes, and other times we make more adjustments to ensure that it fits our character. The most successful performers I have ever seen, do something to "make it their own". Just look how often you see comments here like, "I do Pop's version of 'The Chicago Opener'" ("Chicago Surprise") or "I do Roth's version of 'Coins Across'" (Shell Coins Across). The magicians we will remember generations from now added their little something to an effect that long predated them and yet it becomes as much identified with them as George Burns' cigar.
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Apr 18, 2019, FlightRisk wrote:
My opinion is that not all effects can be improved upon, they are either perfect in their simplicity or in their method, but the PERFORMANCE can be improved. We can have an effect like S&S or coin in a bottle that has been around forever, but then someone creates a better way of generating a response to it with an audience. Sometimes that performance suits our style and we incorporate it with few changes, and other times we make more adjustments to ensure that it fits our character. The most successful performers I have ever seen, do something to "make it their own". Just look how often you see comments here like, "I do Pop's version of 'The Chicago Opener'" ("Chicago Surprise") or "I do Roth's version of 'Coins Across'" (Shell Coins Across). The magicians we will remember generations from now added their little something to an effect that long predated them and yet it becomes as much identified with them as George Burns' cigar.


FlightRisk, you make a good point about making an effect your own. We should always strive to do that. Copying can be debated ad nauseam, but personally I think it is bad form to not try to add "something" to an effect in an attempt to personalize it. Even if it is simply presentation. Obviously there are limits and there are routines that really can't be modified much, but when possible, attempts should be made.

Chris Kenner developed his version of Three Fly for a specific reason. He did several versions of Coins Across, but found that in the environment he was performing in that the audience couldn't really see what was happening. So he worked on a version that brought the coins up higher, more toward his face. He had inspiration from Johathan Townsend, but took the work to another level. Look at all of the versions of Three Fly there are now. Folks took the premise and created "backfire" versions, changed coins from silver to copper, etc., etc. I would argue that many of the variants were really not improvements however. Many complicated what was a simple effect, three coins travel invisibly and magically from one hand to the other.
Pop Haydn
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[quote]On Apr 19, 2019, Tortuga wrote:

FlightRisk, you make a good point about making an effect your own. We should always strive to do that. Copying can be debated ad nauseam, but personally I think it is bad form to not try to add "something" to an effect in an attempt to personalize it. Even if it is simply presentation. Obviously there are limits and there are routines that really can't be modified much, but when possible, attempts should be made.
/quote]

You make an effect your own with your personality. Why change a line or move in a solid routine? Just to be different? You make it your own by getting inside the routine and understanding it inside out. Figuring out why the lines work and what they are for. When you can do the moves and lines effortlessly and without thinking, they become your own.

In my opinion, most routines shouldn't be monkeyed without a solid reason or need to change.
j100taylor
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Pop Hayden is proof that any classic can be made better.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?
There was a guy who started his card routine by demonstrating the entire pack would do whatever he wished. That was the opener. He then improved upon that effect by demonstrating some other things using cards, such as having someone think of a card and making that card appear where they wished it to be. He improved upon that by having four of a kind appear in whichever packet a volunteer would select. He went on from there. That was around 1860. It's 2019 and folks are still exploring what can be done with card effects.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicfish
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?
There was a guy who started his card routine by demonstrating the entire pack would do whatever he wished. That was the opener. He then improved upon that effect by demonstrating some other things using cards, such as having someone think of a card and making that card appear where they wished it to be. He improved upon that by having four of a kind appear in whichever packet a volunteer would select. He went on from there. That was around 1860. It's 2019 and folks are still exploring what can be done with card effects.

Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Mar 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?


Getting this discussion back on track. If this thought has been covered already in this thread I apologize but I don't have time to review all of the pages just now.

One thing that occurred to me is as time has marched on, new and exciting sleights have been originated that have opened the door to new effects. But those same sleights can often be used to go back and perhaps "improve" existing effects.

It wasn't that long ago that the preferred method of controlling a card was the classic pass. Now we have multitudes of methods of doing the same.

Maybe some of those methods "fit" better into existing routines and can enhance the outcome. Either by streamlining the methodology or adding to the impact of the effect.

Thoughts?
magicfish
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Great point Tortuga
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it.


Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion.
AndrewI
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it.


Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion.

To be fair, the initial question is so broad and open that it could be seen as reasonable to answer "yes - by evolving it into a different effect"...
But if that's off the table (the effect needs to remain the same) then that leaves things such as performance, method etc. which I certainly think can be improved for a given audience for most any effect. And my measurement of how good an effect is I am measuring mostly on audience reaction, weighted a little bit for ease of method.
To be more specific, if I am performing an effect for kids, the "ideal" way to perform and deliver the effect will differ from a room of attentive adults, different again from a noisy drunken bar crowd, different again from a handful of fellow magicians, etc. And it will be different if I am fresh and well practiced, to if I am rusty and tired (in which case an easier method might "improve" the effect).
If I were to say the effect, as succinctly described and performed, cannot be improved, which one am I describing? Context is everything.
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that?
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that?
I hope so.

Hofzinser started his performance with some spectacular some flourishes. He presented card tricks driven by ideas and mental imagery more than clever manipulation. For example the plot Everywhere and Nowhere is about a card being where a volunteer wishes it to be. He also used a gaffed deck for some flourishes so it appears he was not done exploring what can be done with apparent skill demonstrations. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pop Haydn
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I am certain that the writing in Hamlet can be improved. But who wants to bell that cat?
AndrewI
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
I am certain that the writing in Hamlet can be improved. But who wants to bell that cat?

Agreed, but the writing is just one part of the play Hamlet. There’s also the directing, the acting, the staging, etc.
Has the “perfect” Hamlet ever been delivered? And isn’t “perfect” context-related in any case?
Rupert Pupkin
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What Andrew said. No trick exists in a vacuum. It's a useless question in both theory and practice.
Tortuga
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 12, 2019, Tortuga wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 10, 2019, magicfish wrote:
...Unfortunately, you've clearly missed the point of my OP.
What did I miss? They guy was evolving his methods, effects and presentations as he went along back then - sometimes selling his extras or old props to friends. He felt his tricks could be improved and kept at it.


Not speaking for Magicfish, but you discussed one thing, control of the whole pack morphing into a different effect, morphing into another effect and so on. Not what he is talking about in my opinion.

To be fair, the initial question is so broad and open that it could be seen as reasonable to answer "yes - by evolving it into a different effect"...
But if that's off the table (the effect needs to remain the same) then that leaves things such as performance, method etc. which I certainly think can be improved for a given audience for most any effect. And my measurement of how good an effect is I am measuring mostly on audience reaction, weighted a little bit for ease of method.
To be more specific, if I am performing an effect for kids, the "ideal" way to perform and deliver the effect will differ from a room of attentive adults, different again from a noisy drunken bar crowd, different again from a handful of fellow magicians, etc. And it will be different if I am fresh and well practiced, to if I am rusty and tired (in which case an easier method might "improve" the effect).
If I were to say the effect, as succinctly described and performed, cannot be improved, which one am I describing? Context is everything.
Every time I perform, I am constantly thinking "how can I improve this effect in order to get the best result from this situation?". Are we not all doing that?


You make some good comments but the OP said trick, not effect. They can be different. I'm not splitting hairs for the sake of it, the distinction is important. By trick I believe he was meaning Triumph or Rollover Aces, etc. Those are effects, yes, but so is saying you will cut to four aces. You can then come up with a gazillion ways to do that. I took the intent as a little more narrowly focused. So for example can Triumph be improved? Obviously there are hundreds of variations including color changes, blank cards, two selections, etc., but are they really still Triumph? Or did they morph into effects in a different category?
AndrewI
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Quote:
On Mar 11, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Hey folks.
Here is a question for discussion.
Can every card effect ever devised be improved on?

Actually the OP said effect. I was reading his original post (above).
Tortuga
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The title says trick. Then within the post it says effect. I took his intent to be confined to a specific trick. Otherwise the sky is the limit and the discussion too unwieldy IMHO. But it is Magicfish's thread, let him weigh in.
Francois Lagrange
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Quote:
On Sep 11, 2019, Rupert Pupkin wrote:
What Andrew said. No trick exists in a vacuum. It's a useless question in both theory and practice.

I agree. It’s a theoretical question to which the answer is simply “yes”. Why? Because perfection doesn’t exist, therefore in theory every trick is improvable.

Asked this way, the question is a dead end.
Protect me from my friends, I'll take care of my enemies.
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