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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Confidence (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bambulko
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I'm pretty new to magic. While I like magic for a very long time, I just recently started to learn some tricks and performed them for family and friends.
However, I ran into a really silly problem, and I'm not sure how to solve this. I noticed that for many tricks, I lose confidence to perform them, the more I practice them. It should be the opposite, but when I know it really well, it looks so obvious to me that I think everybody will see what's going on. One good example is the invisible deck. I have the feeling that everyone will directly see what's going on if I take the deck out of the package.
Drylid
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My suggestion would be to get out of your head. You understand the trick. The magician's curse is that it starts to become harder and harder to enjoy magic as we see how some things are done even when we try to enjoy it. To the spectator, it's a normal deck of cards.
Dick Oslund
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Magic is 5% sleight of hand technique, 5% Sensory illusion, 5% esoteric principles of science, and 85% psychology.

S. H. Sharpe said it very well, when he wrote, years ago: "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
Drylid
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Draining lifeblood is my favorite thing! Its why I play blue black in magic the gathering XD
Wravyn
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On Aug 8, 2019, Drylid wrote:
Draining lifeblood is my favorite thing! Its why I play blue black in magic the gathering XD

Darn counter spells, TIm’s, Merfolk, & Drudge Skeletons!
Wravyn
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To the OP. It sounds like you are attempting to present the tricks as a puzzle.. Focus more on the entertainment possibilities of the tricks.
Drylid
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On Aug 8, 2019, Wravyn wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 8, 2019, Drylid wrote:
Draining lifeblood is my favorite thing! Its why I play blue black in magic the gathering XD

Darn counter spells, TIm’s, Merfolk, & Drudge Skeletons!

HA YES!
bobinsdakota
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Great advice that I'll be using as well!
Laughing
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Bambulko, you are kinda right, I use a gamblers cop all the time, and when I first started using it I was always amazed that the spectators couldn't see what I was doing. If you perform and put the anxiety aside for a few performances you will start to get comfortable with the effects you are performing.

I watched a video of a self-working card trick a couple of weeks ago, I think it was called something like - The fairest trick in the world - Anywhoo I watched the performance through and did not believe it was possible. Once I knew the secret (took me about 4 re-runs of the video) you then start to ask yourself, how did I not see that????

It's a magicians curse, we stop thinking like laymen and start thinking like magicians. I do an effect with a double faced card, not a single person has called me on the effect because laymen don't consider double faced cards, just like they don't consider you know the bottom card, or the top card, or you can false cut the cards or you can control a card etc.

Just perfomr and enjoy, the anxiety will wear thin after a while.
danaruns
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To this day I sometimes marvel that audiences don't see certain things that I'm doing right in front of them. I think, "How in the world am I getting away with this!?" But rather than be nervous about it, you have to learn to celebrate it. Enjoy the fact that you are killing them with something so obvious. Make a little party in your head over it. You're allowed to have fun fooling them.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
TomB
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Only magicians know invisible deck. I would not worry at all about pulling it out. Unless you using it to propose to girls....

https://youtu.be/mRA3qXuwjjI
funsway
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On Aug 8, 2019, Drylid wrote:
The magician's curse is that it starts to become harder and harder to enjoy magic as we see how some things are done even when we try to enjoy it.


Sad advice, and certainly not universal. With 64 years of performing, studying, enhancing, creating magic tricks, gimmicks, sleights and effects behind me,
I have NEVER found it hard to enjoy magic. Appreciate tricks and cheap ripoffs, yes. Magic happens in the mind of the observer, not in the prop or trick
or limited view of the performer. Try exploring how to leave an audience saying, "Must be magic," rather than limiting your potential by putting down tricks.

Notice that on many threads I am supportive of your entrance into the Café' community. Methinks you are trying too hard to get 50 posts.
Slow down - and don't make universal statements about what others think and do.

Yes, some magicians become jaded when observing the performance of others. Neurobiologist suggest that some folks lack a gene that allows them to simply appreciate
surprise or awe&wonder without a desire to seek a cause/method. You may lack that gene. Learning magic from a video's restrictive view may indeed corrupt any sense of what performance magic is. But ENJOYMENT of magic. Never.
"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
TomB
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Funsway, it us easy to think the knowledge you have is common sense and everyone must have it too. I have a hard time reminding myself that most adults cannot do easy math like fractions, not to mention simple calculus. For engineers, it is common sense. And at work, where everyone is an engineer it is common place. Likewise, if you only talk magic with magicians, you extrapolate that to the public. We have to remind ourselves, they do not know all the secrets. But they do know some!

A magic trick that has been done a zillion times should mean everyone knows. You would think that everyone knows by now how a woman is saw in half. I would never perform this trick as Selbit did for the fact everyone knows how its done. But then we see the Pendragon version, and our common sense is fooled, and it's a good trick again.

I would argue Fitzkee in some ways is saying these ubiquitous magic tricks that people know the answer ruin magic. Performing tricks that do not cause awe hurts magic. Afterall, this is the major reason magicians protect the secret. This is one reason many hate the Masked Magician. Few complain about his poor performance or attack on the audience being duped. As magicians, we need to know what is still a secret and what still mystifies the general public. I would also argue most people already forgot the secret of most of the masked magician episodes.

I think when we all see a brand new spanking trick and do not know how it's done is the moment magic happens. When Blaney brought his levitation and hoop out, it fooled accomplished magicians. When Blaney showed Copperfield the secret, Dave was still confused. It was different than the common sense levitation approach. After you could buy his trick, the secret was out, it clearly lost its appeal to many magicians. I have not seen it done on television for years.

So yes, even if you know how a trick is done, you can sit back and watch the performance. Even when Penn and Teller saw Gazzo perform the oldest trick in the book, Cups and Balls, they had to give respect. You can judge the performance on how clean it was, even knowing the sleights.

And this is key. Magicians can judge on how clean it was performed. But a layperson will point out how it was done and consider the trick dumb if they know the answer. The brain has to be fooled.

Going back to Fitzkee, I believe this is what he wanted. Not to show a magic trick to a layperson until magicians can appreciate your performance. But also, to reevaluate if it is worth even doing.

Note, David Blaine has the magical charm and personality of a brown paper bag, and performed many well known, common sense magic tricks and is now rich and famous. For that reason alone, I think it is safe to say, the general public does not know most of the secrets. Watch Carbonaro, everyday people are fooled with a great performance.
Drylid
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Quote:
On Aug 11, 2019, funsway wrote:
Quote:
On Aug 8, 2019, Drylid wrote:
The magician's curse is that it starts to become harder and harder to enjoy magic as we see how some things are done even when we try to enjoy it.


Sad advice, and certainly not universal. With 64 years of performing, studying, enhancing, creating magic tricks, gimmicks, sleights and effects behind me,
I have NEVER found it hard to enjoy magic. Appreciate tricks and cheap ripoffs, yes. Magic happens in the mind of the observer, not in the prop or trick
or limited view of the performer. Try exploring how to leave an audience saying, "Must be magic," rather than limiting your potential by putting down tricks.

Notice that on many threads I am supportive of your entrance into the Café' community. Methinks you are trying too hard to get 50 posts.
Slow down - and don't make universal statements about what others think and do.

Yes, some magicians become jaded when observing the performance of others. Neurobiologist suggest that some folks lack a gene that allows them to simply appreciate
surprise or awe&wonder without a desire to seek a cause/method. You may lack that gene. Learning magic from a video's restrictive view may indeed corrupt any sense of what performance magic is. But ENJOYMENT of magic. Never.


You are making this about me. I am autistic. I get paid to invent new things. Its my day to day life. So yes as I learn more and more I watch magic and appreciate the technical ins and outs. Performances are nice too. But literally we were talking about the invisible deck. The main reason we don't reveal secrets is usually because it results in a face palm followed by wow that's obvious reaction. I was simply telling him he is seeing his own effect from a magicians perspective knowing the deck is rigged. Don't quote only part of what I said to talk to your agenda please. Use it all or not at all. Perhaps the word enjoy was the wrong word to use I just meant we see through a lot more and can usually figure something out.thats not bad. It means we problem solve better. How an artist may appreciate brushstroke on canvas from a technical way, identifying what brush was used and what direction the brush moved where as the non artist sees the piece in whole and enjoys it differently.
Bob G
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Bambulko, I've had the same experience that you're having, and Dana's advice is going to help me -- hopefully it will help you too. Somewhere, maybe one of Henry Hay's books, I read that one of the main obstacles for beginning magicians is the feeling that the secret is so obvious that no one will be fooled. Sure it's obvious when you know the secret -- but my guess is that the trick floored you before you knew the secret.


Recently I showed my wife a trick in which she unwittingly chose four aces (there's a name for this kind of trick, but I don't know it). Anyway, I kept mistakenly flashing face-up cards (part of the trick's set-up) and she didn't see it! This amazed me because she's the most observant person I know. So at that point I figured, heck, I'll just go with it.



Drylid, Good for you for mentioning that you're autistic. Every time someone has the guts to mention having a mental difficulty, or at least difference -- depression, bipolar, autism, etc. -- the closer we are to an acceptance of such differences as a society.


I also like what you said about artists and brushstrokes. It reminds me of John Keats' response to Rene Descartes and Isaac Newton, who developed the first scientific theory of the rainbow. In a poem, Keats called what they had done "unweaving the rainbow." I take a different view: someone who knows the math and physics of the rainbow, and loves the elegance of the rainbow theory, can still enjoy the wonder of being alive in on a planet that accommodates beautiful things like rainbows. It's a kind of double vision, like that of the painter whose ultimate goal is to produce something worth looking at, but who is also fascinated by her medium.


Bob
Kanawati
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Ken, As a magician I'm not going to experience "surprise or awe&wonder without a desire to seek a cause/method" if I already know the method. If I don't know the method, then maybe, hopefully:) But if experiencing "awe&wonder" is the same as experiencing "magic" then quite simply put, I'm not going to enjoy the magic if I know the method/secret (irrespective of whether I consider myself a magician or not). Sure I'll enjoy the performance, I'll enjoy seeing magic done well, etc. But Drylid and the op where not talking about that...what was being discussed was how obvious a secret would be to an audience.

Drylid, I think you were 100% spot on with your advice and comments to the OP. John
Jonmaddgician
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Quote:
On Aug 8, 2019, Bambulko wrote:
I'm pretty new to magic. While I like magic for a very long time, I just recently started to learn some tricks and performed them for family and friends.
However, I ran into a really silly problem, and I'm not sure how to solve this. I noticed that for many tricks, I lose confidence to perform them, the more I practice them. It should be the opposite, but when I know it really well, it looks so obvious to me that I think everybody will see what's going on. One good example is the invisible deck. I have the feeling that everyone will directly see what's going on if I take the deck out of the package.


Hey just to get a bit of context, how long have you been performing for your friends & family?

I could be wrong, but I get the impression you're still a bit young, & that you haven't performed for many people aside from friends & family? I hope you haven't been trying to fool the same audience repeatedly over time with the same tricks! If this is the reason why you feel you're losing confidence with each performance, then it is completely understandable, as your audience is going to be wiser every time a trick is repeated, especially if you're using gimmicks and not handling them naturally.

The best way to build real confidence is to put yourself out there and try out stuff with new audiences, rather than try new tricks. The more you get away with tricking strangers, the more confident you'll get! Even if you just start out with simple key card location tricks with next to no sleight of hand techniques or self working tricks, success breeds success. I remember the first time I tried a 2 card monte with random strangers, I couldn't believe I actually got away with it! & then I did it again, & then again, & then I got caught out, & then I did it again, & again, & again, & probably got caught out again, but over time it's become to second nature, & sometimes I forget how brazen the "move" is...

On a side note, try not to use the Invisible Deck as a stand alone trick. What I mean is, don't start performing straight away with the Invisible Deck. Don't perform just one trick randomly to people if it's just the Invisible Deck. That puts a lot of heat on the deck itself. The Invisible Deck is a VERY powerful tool if used properly, & with great power comes great responsibility. =P If you have a regular deck of cards, & you've already performed a bunch of tricks, & you're just about ready to wrap up your performance, & you've more or less already won your audience over, & you wanna end with a bang, then just casually put your regular deck away & start your Invisible performance. (It REALLY helps if your tuck boxes match, not just in design, but also in the physical condition of the deck boxes) That way, people have already seen you work with a regular deck of cards, & not many people will suspect that you're carrying more than one deck, & there is no suspicion on the Invisible Deck itself. Smile When you're done, put it all away, take a bow, & WALK AWAY. That's how you should use the Invisible Deck.
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