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The Burnaby Kid
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
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On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved.


Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's.

I disagree.


Let's hear why.
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Mr Salk
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When is a joke or song or painting or a trick complete? Can they and should they be improved?
This is a death match between art and science.
.


.
Rupert Pupkin
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On Sep 14, 2019, Mr Salk wrote:
When is a joke or song or painting or a trick complete? Can they and should they be improved?
This is a death match between art and science.


Many of our greatest musical artists and songwriters continue to evolve their songs long after they were first recorded. Especially in live performance.

Way back at the very beginning of the thread, I paraphrased Ascanio: "Magic isn't architecture -- it's gardening."
magicfish
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On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Speaking of Whiskey and Burgers,
Have you seen Eugene's shot glass production?
Its another he showed me one on one.
And another I cant see being improved.


Eugene Burger hands over the flat, folded bag to you. You unfold it. You reach inside. You pull out the shotglass full of whiskey yourself. You examine the bag, and there's nothing -- no holes, no spillage, nothing.

Even that's not a perfect trick, but it's better than Eugene Burger's.

I disagree.


Let's hear why.

Same reason I don't think it would improve the cups and balls if the spec moved the cups around and balls jumped around and turned into lemons.
If that was possible the spec would just walk around producing shot glasses from folded bags.
You wouldnt have to write the magician a che k as he wouldnt need to be there.
The Burnaby Kid
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By that logic, any magic that happens in the spectator's hands would not be strong because it would mean they could do whatever they wanted with that power outside the show. Change one card into another in their hands? Weak, because now they can change coffee cards into credit cards whenever they wanted. Change one spongeball into two? Weak, because now they can change $5 into $10 whenever they wanted.

And yet, we know as magicians that magic that happens in the spectator's hands is amongst the strongest there is.

Try again.

What makes the appearing shotglass trick that I described weaker than Eugene Burger's?
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Rupert Pupkin
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Same reason I don't think it would improve the cups and balls if the spec moved the cups around and balls jumped around and turned into lemons.
If that was possible the spec would just walk around producing shot glasses from folded bags.
You wouldnt have to write the magician a che k as he wouldnt need to be there.


Imagine a 19th-century performer balking at the description of a Devano deck's capabilities. After all, the houlette works perfectly fine, and why would you want a card to rise in their own hands? If that were possible, the spectator would just walk around rising cards willy nilly.
Francois Lagrange
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Even if “real magic” existed, there’s no reason to assume that all the tricks would be perfect. After all, we’re only humans and we can’t expect that we would all equally master the art of “real magic”. Some would be good at it, and others awful like in any other field of skill or knowledge. I believe we’ve all heard of the sorcerer's apprentice. Thinking that if "real magic" existed we would suddenly be endowed with perfect power is a common fallacy.
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magicfish
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On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
By that logic, any magic that happens in the spectator's hands would not be strong because it would mean they could do whatever they wanted with that power outside the show. Change one card into another in their hands? Weak, because now they can change coffee cards into credit cards whenever they wanted. Change one spongeball into two? Weak, because now they can change $5 into $10 whenever they wanted.

And yet, we know as magicians that magic that happens in the spectator's hands is amongst the strongest there is.

Try again.

What makes the appearing shotglass trick that I described weaker than Eugene Burger's?

Incorrect.
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Incorrect.


I have a straightforward question for you... When was the last time you performed a trick for somebody, where the magic happened in their hands, and where the spectator was obviously disappointed by the fact that they, rather than the magician, were holding the item?

Quote:
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.


A citation on that one is going to be needed, because it sounds like there's context there which you're omitting. That said, until then, here's a counterpoint: Dai Vernon said that you can close a walk-around performance with Copper/Silver. Why is that? Why that particular trick? If you don't trust Dai, trust Eugene. Have you seen his spongeball routine? Why did he close it that way? Why, when he could have just multiplied the spongeballs in his own hand?

Quote:
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.


We hand spectators mundane things all the time!

Quote:
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers.


So Eugene Burger's trick is stronger because if you did the one I described, it would be proof that real, honest-to-goodness magic powers exist, and that somehow makes it weaker.

Setting aside the monumentally bizarre logic in that idea, look again at something like spongeballs or a changing card. Why do magicians consistently try to make this sort of magic happen in the spectator's hands? By your reasoning process, upon experiencing those effects, spectators should come to the conclusion that they now have magic powers, and there should be no further need for magicians. This is not reflected in reality at all.

Again, I have to ask, what in your performing experience has led you to this sort of conclusion?
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Tortuga
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Guys, once again a topic has jumped the shark. It was stated as a legitimate question, albeit a bit vague for some and now it has morphed into hypothetical bags.

I'll give one last answer to Magicfish who began this journey. I think it was a great question, worthy of pondering and exploring. I understood it as can all published tricks (or effects if you prefer) be improved upon? My answer then as now is no, they cannot. Some should be respected for what they represent if nothing else. There is something noble in paying homage to an author by doing their trick AS WRITTEN.

Some of you may know Harry Monti, past president of S.A.M and a popular performer at the Magic Castle. As a young, aspiring magician I was fortunate to study under his tutelage. Our local I.B.M. Chapter hosted a dinner and show in his honor. Since I was a student I was asked to do a close-up set. Nobody instructed me as to what tricks to do but in my heart there was only one choice. I did a set comprised of tricks Harry had tought me and I did them exactly as taught, which was exactly as written. I did it to honor him.

Harry's wife Recognized exactly what I was doing and she beamed with pride. The set was well-received by all.

So in addition to the fact that some tricks are great just the way they are, others, I believe should be done as designed.

Sometimes variation is good, but other times it weakens the effect. Knowing why is the key. The answer is spread out throughout this thread, amongst the white noise.

Many will see it differently and that's OK. Echo chambers are anathema. But so is arguing for arguments sake.
Rupert Pupkin
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If a trick is intended for performance, than it will never be perfected, because audiences (and performers) change.

So the answer is yes... eventually.
AndrewI
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Tortuga I don’t think anyone here is arguing for arguing’s sake. We’re all genuinely interested and passionate about this.
It’s perfectly normal to be debating specifics of things like the paper bag trick.
In order to disprove a statement of the type “all x’s have property y” (in this case all tricks/effects have the property that they can be improved” it is simply necessary to identify one x which does not have property y. One trick that cannot be improved. So it’s inevitable you’ll end up talking about the specifics of an individual trick/s which the proponent believes cannot be improved.
I think you’re quite right that in your situation, the tricks you performed could not be improved in that context.
All I’m arguing is that there are SOME situations/contexts in which those very same tricks COULD be improved.
If the question is “given a fixed performer/audience/environment, are there tricks which could not be improved?” Then I would agree the answer could be yes.
But even then, we are changing all the time as performers, so that’s not a very helpful question.
I’m passionate to keep debating this because at the heart is a deeper question “should we be striving to always improve our magic?” and the answer to that one is a resounding “Yes” in my opinion.
magicfish
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On Sep 14, 2019, AndrewI wrote:
Tortuga I don’t think anyone here is arguing for arguing’s sake. We’re all genuinely interested and passionate about this.
It’s perfectly normal to be debating specifics of things like the paper bag trick.
In order to disprove a statement of the type “all x’s have property y” (in this case all tricks/effects have the property that they can be improved” it is simply necessary to identify one x which does not have property y. One trick that cannot be improved. So it’s inevitable you’ll end up talking about the specifics of an individual trick/s which the proponent believes cannot be improved.
I think you’re quite right that in your situation, the tricks you performed could not be improved in that context.
All I’m arguing is that there are SOME situations/contexts in which those very same tricks COULD be improved.
If the question is “given a fixed performer/audience/environment, are there tricks which could not be improved?” Then I would agree the answer could be yes.
But even then, we are changing all the time as performers, so that’s not a very helpful question.
I’m passionate to keep debating this because at the heart is a deeper question “should we be striving to always improve our magic?” and the answer to that one is a resounding “Yes” in my opinion.

Should we always be striving to improve our magic? Of course. Can many tricks be improved? Of course. Can every single trick be made better? I say no.
magicfish
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On Sep 14, 2019, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Incorrect.


I have a straightforward question for you... When was the last time you performed a trick for somebody, where the magic happened in their hands, and where the spectator was obviously disappointed by the fact that they, rather than the magician, were holding the item?

Quote:
And remember, like Bannon has written, magic isn't always stronger in the spectators hands.


A citation on that one is going to be needed, because it sounds like there's context there which you're omitting. That said, until then, here's a counterpoint: Dai Vernon said that you can close a walk-around performance with Copper/Silver. Why is that? Why that particular trick? If you don't trust Dai, trust Eugene. Have you seen his spongeball routine? Why did he close it that way? Why, when he could have just multiplied the spongeballs in his own hand?

Quote:
Your trick is weaker than Burger's because handing someone a flattened bag isn't magic.


We hand spectators mundane things all the time!

Quote:
And, if you could hand someone a flattened bag with rubber bands around it, and they could open it up and pull out a glass of whiskey, then there would be no magicians because spectators would have real magic powers.


So Eugene Burger's trick is stronger because if you did the one I described, it would be proof that real, honest-to-goodness magic powers exist, and that somehow makes it weaker.

Setting aside the monumentally bizarre logic in that idea, look again at something like spongeballs or a changing card. Why do magicians consistently try to make this sort of magic happen in the spectator's hands? By your reasoning process, upon experiencing those effects, spectators should come to the conclusion that they now have magic powers, and there should be no further need for magicians. This is not reflected in reality at all.

Again, I have to ask, what in your performing experience has led you to this sort of conclusion?

I don't know how to respond to points individually like you did above but I'll try to without the copy and pasting.

I trust both Dai and Eugene. The inherent quality of the sponge allows for great conviction. Spec thinks a ball is in her hand- feels it. Opens hand and there are 17.
Awesome. See Roth's Fugitive Coin for another great example of conviction in line with Ortiz' essays.

Nobody here said magic in the spectators hands isn't strong.

I would always rather the billiard balls multiply in Cardini's hands than in mine.
I would rather Slydini put the coins through the table.

A card changing in the spectators hand is indeed strong provided she is convinced of its original identity.
If her conviction is weak, "in her hands" is ineffective of course.

Are you familiar with Ortiz' Do as I Did?

P.s. Handing someone a mundane object is fine.
Handing them a flattened bag and flying to nunavut and they open it themselves and find a shot glass doesn't do much for me.
Crappy opener too.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
Are you familiar with Ortiz' Do as I Did?


I'll answer your question when you answer mine: When, in your performing experience, did you come across a spectator who was disappointed that the magic happened in their hands rather than the magician's?
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magicfish
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I try not to do magic that takes place in the spectator's hands.
I mentioned an exception above.
Your turn.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Sep 14, 2019, magicfish wrote:
I try not to do magic that takes place in the spectator's hands.


Out of the times that you HAVE performed magic that takes place in the spectator's hands, when have you sensed their disappointment that it happened in their hands rather than in the magician's?

It's really not a difficult question.
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magicfish
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No it isn't. Not sure why you're being smart alecky about it either.
My answer shouldnt be difficult for you to comprehend either but since you're getting snarky I'll repeat it.
I don't do magic in the spectators hands.
On the few occasions that I do, I cant imagine any spectator ever pulling a magician aside and saying,"that was great but ai wouldve preferred it in your hands."
It just wouldnt happen.
Your question is silly.
Mine however is quite simple.
I'll wait for your answer.
The Burnaby Kid
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I don't do magic in the spectators hands.


Ok. At least now it's easier to see where you're coming from, and why you might think the modified shotglass-in-bag trick would be weaker.

You're missing out, though. There's a whole world of magic out there that you're cutting yourself off from.

Do As I Did? Yes, the trick where the spectator takes the deck into their own hands, cuts it as many times as they like under the table, makes a choice of card that they'd like to insert reversed into the center, and all while the magician doesn't touch anything.

It's a good trick. One can only wonder why.
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magicfish
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Can you improve it?
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