The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » From eye candy to Magic (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
Anatole
View Profile
Inner circle
1769 Posts

Profile of Anatole
The key to making any magic act or routine entertaining is dependent more on showmanship than skill and props. The late great Denny Haney started out doing a classic manipulation/dove act. But his act evolved from a standard manipulation act into a highly entertaining, funny act that got great reactions from lay audiences. If you ever get a chance to see the DVD that he used to sell at his shop of his performance at the Wells Theater in Norfolk, Virginia, it's a lesson in showmanship as he presents classics like the Egg Bag and card manipulation.

Another great act that lifts manipulation out of the world of eye candy into great entertainment is Charlie Frye's Card Manipulation act:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaOX-GMwhqs

And one more great non-eye candy manipulationact is Levent's Multiplying Billiard Balls routine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPFonlVeXYc

Cardini's act--perhaps the most perfect act in the history of magic--also lifted manipulation out of the "eye candy" category. The very premise of an inebriated magician was great theater!

Fred Kaps's magic, too, went beyond mere eye candy into great entertainment and mystery!

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
tecumilic
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of tecumilic
Funsway I got the idea that laymen think of magic with common sense from darwins book.

When a non magician is trying to figure out how a magic trick was accomplished they use common sense and logic.

When you make a coin change color the audience will assume there is a second coin in play. It is your job to be a magician and prove them wrong to create the feeling of magic and wonder. I don't know how you believe spectators think when trying to figure methods but to me my assumption is perfectly logical.

Anatole I agree that the key to making any magic act entertaining is showmanship. But showmanship cant make a poorly designed piece of magic deciding.

You can have all the showmanship in the world but still fail to create the feeling of magic.


Some magicians say that there are no bad tricks only bad magicians. This thinking hurts magic as a performance art. We as a community need to neglect this madness.


If a piano player is given a broken piano he wouldn’t say “ There are no broken pianos only broken pianists”

We have to notice the psychological clockwork in magic in order to improve as magicians.
ROBERT BLAKE
View Profile
Inner circle
1467 Posts

Profile of ROBERT BLAKE
Linking rings:

Audience THINKS they know how it works.

Magician KNOWS how it works.

As an excersize I learned a 3 ring routine.
Never somebody suggested the real method. Why? Because during my routine I proved over and over it is not what an audience thinks.
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
21786 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Here is an example of Paul Danials Billiard Ball routine using solid wood balls. He does it with patter, and you should note how he disproves many of what the audience may be thinking at every phase of the routine. Enjoy!


Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8171 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Karrell Fox gave me his three ring routine in the mid '70s, I've used it since. It's loaded with laughs. and applause at the finish! --and, it fools 'em!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mr. Woolery
View Profile
Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
1647 Posts

Profile of Mr. Woolery
There are people who absolutely frustrate me as an amateur performer. These are the people who would rather try to figure out the method than to just enjoy the illusion. They are out there. A heck of a lot of engineers are like this.

So, as I understand it, what you are looking to do is to create a greater impact with your magic. There are a couple of routes you can go. You can go the route you are looking at, which is all about proving that you are doing the impossible. This isn't a bad approach, but there is a very real risk of destroying the momentum of the performance. For the multiplying balls, you could, for example, have someone hold the ball until called upon to hand it to you. This person needs to be more than just a prop. You can say something like "people used to tell me all the time that if they could get a closer look at what I'm doing, they are sure they could figure out how I do it. So now I have a member of the audience come up here and get a really good look at what I'm doing. Would you please be the audience representative, sir?" And ask him to hand you the ball on the table. You never asked him to examine it, but he has handled it. Tommy Wonder did something sort of like this with his cups and balls routine. He'd have someone sitting right next to his table, which allowed for one of the moves later on, but also increased the apparent impossibility of what he did because of the assumption that any tricky stuff would be caught out by the eyes up close.

Another route is to essentially make the method less interesting than the presentation. Tell a story with magic. It doesn't have to be a fairy tale or anything like that, but it can be. Mike Finney's rendition of the Professor's Nightmare is just a fairly descriptive explanation of what you are seeing, framed as the time he put one over on his math teacher. Walt Anthony has a couple of presentations for the same trick that are pure story. The moment of magic really just works to illustrate a moment of magic in the story. When Bill Malone does the Rub A Dub cups and balls, the poem tells a story of 3 old men with 3 leaky boats. By giving the audience one more thing to process, there is less brain space to devote to trying to decipher the workings of the trick. And a fun or funny story is going to be entertaining enough (if told well) that the mechanics of a trick are less relevant.

Another way to approach it is with the "pure skill" approach. Jeff McBride's DVDs demonstrate this approach well. He's got the music going, he's doing stuff with ropes, rings, silks, flowers, whatever. No story, no patter, but he makes it beautiful. Juggling is fun to watch, up to a point, and the pure skill approach (like manipulation done to music) is akin to juggling.

On the subject of juggling, have you ever watched a full performance by the Flying Karamazov Brothers? They are jugglers. They can fill 90 minutes with juggling. And it is fun, memorable, exciting, and entertaining. Because they know how to frame it. When I saw their live act, one (Ivan) had a broken arm. And they used that to great comedic advantage. The lights came up, there were 3 guys juggling 3 clubs each. And one guy tossing a single club up in the air and catching it. There were repeated jokes about the arm, too. When there were two guys passing clubs and one guy doing 4, Ivan would be standing on the opposite side of the stage from the guy doing 4. That guy would drop a club. After looking at the audience and making a huge elaborate wink to let everyone know he was doing this on purpose. "Oh, Ivan! Could you pick that up for me?" And Ivan would walk right through where the other two were passing their clubs back and forth. Pick up the dropped club, toss it to the single juggler, who would get it right back into the mix of what he's doing. Ivan then walked back through the passing clubs, picked up his one sad little club and started tossing it, while the guy on the other side makes this huge wink at the audience and drops his club again. "Oh, Ivan..." I saw that performance live over 27 years ago. I still remember it as one of the best performances I've ever seen. An hour and a half just wasn't long enough to watch those guys juggle.

However, there's one more element here that hasn't really been discussed, though it has been alluded to. Audience connection.

How can you make the audience CARE about what they are watching?

If it is funny, they care. If they care about the story, the magic is there to illustrate it and they care. If you have stated an implied challenge (people used to say that if they could see closer...) and you address it by bringing up a member of the audience, they care. If you can take some unique element that you bring to the performance, one that no other performer could bring, and make it a focal point of the show, they care. A broken arm would sideline a lot of jugglers, but Ivan made it the central element of that performance I mentioned above.

One last bit. Don't take offense at Dick and Bill. They've been doing this and answering similar questions for so long that sometimes their answers come across in text as abrupt. It isn't meant that way. They answer because they love magic and want magicians to succeed. I suspect if you sat down in person with either of them, the tone of voice would make it totally clear that they are just trying to get to the important elements of what makes a good performance. In text alone, their answers sometimes irritate people because they are rather blunt and abrupt. Both of these men have experience and knowledge that is well worth paying attention to.

-Patrick
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8171 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Thank you, Patrick! You have much more patience than I!

At 87, I just don't have the patience to spend an hour typing a response.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8171 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
I bought a set of Laurie a set oef Laurie Ireland's GOLF balls back in '47. I didn't want to use droppers! I had John Booth's "Marvels Of Mystery". All of the balls were "reproduced" from pockets! It was PRACTICAL! However, it was too much a "display" of SKILL! At 16, I was trying to be "swayve & deboner". I wasn't!!! The audience applauded at the finish, BUT, the routine was not entertaining!

When I enlisted in the Navy, a "vest pocket" agent, said: "If you can make 'em laugh, I'll get you lots of work!" I had been doing Percy Abbott's "Perpetual Balls", and, Bill Williston's visible ball penetration of a silk, plus a bit of contact juggling, and much later, Karrell Fox's "Ball o Matic".

I started "working" for LAUGHS! I got 'em! The entire routine is on my dvd. The presentation gets 'em!

NO BALLS are produced from a sh*l. I get four balls, simultaneously at the finish. I've NEVER had ANYONE, yell, "I know how you do that!" It's "eye candy", but, it fools 'em while they are LAUGHING! --And, they APPLAUD at the finish. There is NO SET UP!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mr. Woolery
View Profile
Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
1647 Posts

Profile of Mr. Woolery
Perfect example of what I mean. If you are making folks laugh, they care.

Patrick
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8171 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
The elementary youngsters especially appreciate the PERPETUAL BALLS (Percy Abbott--1950) and, the high school teens, too. The routine really meets my criteria: KIS MIF!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » From eye candy to Magic (9 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.25 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL