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Mindpro
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As many new or beginners are attracted to this forum, and for those of us that have been in the entertainment business long enough know, the magic market has changed in recent years due in part to technology, the information age, accessible medias, and new generations (along with their new habits and preferences) discover magic.

So it brings me to the question of why are you doing magic? Not how you discovered it as there are many threads here cover that, but what is your intent, purpose or interest?

Is it just as an interesting and fun hobby or casual interest? Is it because you may feel you are a loner or perhaps an outcast and magic was an outlet, is a way for self-fulfillment or enjoyment or confidence-building on some level? Is it to perform for family and friends? Is it to perform part-time or full-time for an income opportunity? Is it for a career interest? Or is it something else completely for you?

I think it can help others here when responding to posts and offering information to better know interests and intent, not to mention just to share with the community your thoughts and to possibly notice others with similar interests and purposes and the diverse members we have here.
Drylid
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Magic is life. I perform it for everyone, paid and free. One main reason is I remember how much it helped me when I was younger as a coping mechanism. And as an adult I love seeing even the toughest biker dude ever go back to a place of childlike astonishment and wonder even if its just for a few min.
Bob G
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Excellent question, Mindpro. I've been interested in magic since I was 13 or so, maybe because I was fascinated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (the books -- it would be decades until the movies came out, and the movies, in my opinion, don't capture the beauty and mystery of the books). But my interest lay dormant for most of those years. I got seriously interested about three and a half years ago, when I was sixty. I don't have any desire to give paid performances, but hope eventually -- probably after retirement -- to entertain family, friends, and acquaintances.



Honestly, I don't know why magic fascinates me. The author G. K. Chesterton liked to remind his readers that life is inherently magical and full of wonder -- that we often fail to see it because we get used to it. The very fact that we humans exist is magical, as are the chamber works of Paul Hindemith, the sight of sunshine slanting across mountains or even just a back yard... and on and on.



It's more than a little surprising that a person like me who has a magical sense of life would be interested in magic, which is, after all, just pretend magic. Why not go into the woods for the real thing? So I don't have an answer to your question. I'd love to hear what others say.



There is one definite thing I can offer. I used to play chess -- and one of the many wonderful things about that game is that it has all the drama of warfare without any of the bloodshed (unless you consider the bruised ego of the loser). Similarly, magic has the secrecy and deception of espionage, but without any of the moral dilemmas.


So, that's my two cents.


Bob
Kong
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I rediscovered magic in the last year or two after decades away from the hobby. When I was a kid growing up in rural Wales, "proper magic" was hard to come by and as I grew out of the tricks I had learned, and got stung by a couple of very poor mail-order tricks which didn't live up to the advertising hype, I unfortunately moved away from magic.

Fast-forward to a couple of years ago, for some reason my interest was rekindled and I had an urge to study card sleights - namely the classic pass - purely out of a fascination of the craft. This coincided with a period where I began caring for a family member with a serious illness so practice was a valuable time-killer during frequent evening nap times.

Since then, my interest has grown to include other card sleights and more recently coin sleights, and I've also developed an interest and appreciation of the performance/psychology side of things - something I initially wasn't at all interested in.

So, in a nutshell, I'm an amateur hobbyist and recovering "move monkey" who is quietly moving towards a performance mindset.
WitchDocChris
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Performance is how I express myself. It allows me to combine several fields of interest of mine into one entertaining package. Also the skills I use for my performances have practical applications to my daily life.

I practice the sleight of hand stuff as more of a fidget response than anything. It satisfies my enjoyment of learning fine motor skills. But I almost never use those skills on stage these days.

Currently a part time professional performer - working on building the business skills and client list to be able to go full time eventually, but I don't know if I will ever be able to make that shift (for a variety of reasons).
Christopher
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Dick Oslund
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At about 7 years of age, I saw my first magician, the late Stanley Susan, at school. I decided THEN, that I would be a magician!

Library books ('The Magic Show" by Alexander the Magician, and "Fun With Magic" by Joseph Leeming) helped. At 13, I did a "club date" for my dad's lodge, and, shortly after a church men's club. That fall, almost 14, I had the chutzpah to book the local Jr. High School, on percentage. I made $24.00 in 40 minutes, on October 24, 1945. (I became a "part time professional" that day!

Throughout high school, I was making $$$ doing local meetings and schools. My buddies were getting $.50/hour, mowing lawns, and I was getting $10 to $20 for my little show. At about 16, I got a job in a carnival side show. I was "with it", doing magic, and fire eating.

In the NAVY at 19, an agent kept me busy with club dates, and, for 3 1//2 years, I didn't cash my Navy paychecks. I deposited that $ in the bank. In college, I booked club dates, in my spare time.

I auditioned for a school assembly bureau, and was booked for a season. From then on, managers would call ME. For the next 50 + years, I was never at liberty.

My purpose for performing magic, is/was to make a living doing what I loved to do! I did! When I retired, I wrote a book about my life, and wrote up my show with patter and presentations for the tricks and routines. Jon Racherbaumer titled it, "Dick Oslund - Road Scholar". I never dreamed, at age 16, that I would someday write a book that would sell, all over the world!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
funsway
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At an early age I became fascinated by seeming inconsistencies and apparent anomalies in the world around me: weird science, magic tricks, optical illusions, hypocrisy, Psychic phenomena, etc.
At eleven, my interest was less in "how it works" than "why people are fascinated." When my dad gifted my his 1920's Gilbert Magic Set in perfect condition, I was more interested in where he had kept it hidden for decades, and why he didn't now perform magic, than in learning the tricks. Thus, the demonstration of "pretending at magic" was just part of a greater theme of exploring and demonstrating things that people might find diverting or unusual. Yes, in second grade I performed some magic tricks at he teacher's request. In 4th grade I demonstrated some scientific "tricks" with no mention of magic. Today, I can demonstrate a slide rule with the same impact on a young audience. The key is studying how people mangle reason and emotion to arrive at a conclusion - and further weird explanations to justify their decisions. My later education, including two Master's degrees, was a continuation exploring the human decision-making processes and the folly attendant thereto.

I got more involved in performance magic along the way, making props and performing shows. Later I joined a Magic Circle, whet o conventions and had some incredible mentoring. I was apparently good enough that some suggested I "go pro" - but I decide that the life-style was not for me - and it would require a single focus that I rejected. So, I quit performing for any fee, and mostly not for entertainment at all. Instead I used what I new of "magic methods" to blend with new skills of communication, empathic listening, psychological ploys and 'fear based' decision-making in the business world. The impact of the "Azevedo Experiment" (check Café' archives) was profound, as is my use of these techniques to challenge concepts of the impossible in tens of thousands of business consulting meetings. So what, ye be asking?

Along the way I had the opportunity to develop, test and refine sleights and ploys without risk, i.e. it was not know I was a magician ro any expectation of of something unusual about to occur. Many of these are adaptable to performance magic as sleights, moves or stratagems. Since 2000 I have documented many in eBooks and made them available to magicians and mentalists world wide. Some of my motivation is the thrill of creativity. Another is regret oven no longer being able to perform 80% of what I ustacould due to various physical disabilities. another is renewed fascination in the changing expectations of folks today, with superstition on the rise and reasoned discourse almost non-existent.

If I choose, I can put on a kids show with 40-50's props. I could put on a parlor show for selected guest with magic effects they have never seen before and leave them with the "must be magic" experience. I might prepare for some impromptu silliness during breaks in my wife's music gigs. I could train my current Service Dogs to do magic tricks and mentalism feats. I am drawn to demonstrate innate abilities that some are claiming to be mentalism. Not sure it is worth the effort for folks with no appreciation of awe and wonder at all.

So, for the moment, I will continue my love of magic and the unusual by documenting old techniques and creating new ones. I cannot watch any magic performance without immediately considering enhancements of alternative sleights or acquitments or story. It is a flaw perhaps.

I have 64 years of experience with performing magic effects. I have hundreds of unknown/unpublished techniques and sleights looking for performers actually interested in doing more than what "came in the box" or was on the companion DVD. But, I have no desire to meet any cryl of "entertain me" by adults with 3rd grade education and a cell phone glued to their heads.

Maybe this means I am not a magician at all. As to the OP question. I cannot "do magic" and neither can anyone else.
But I can assist many in pretending at it in exciting ways. Why? My sig line explains it.

The more I pretend at magic, the more awe and wonder I find in life. Is that a "purpose?" More of a calling, I guess.

My purpose on the Café' is to help other magicians - often by challenging opinions offered universal truths and mangled definitions. I will continue to gift away eBooks and ideas to those who can convince me they are serious and prepared. My "hidden purpose" is to assist them to have a life more than "what came in the box" of dogma, restricted choice and superstition. When that happens it might be considered magic by some, I guess.
"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
Bob G
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Funsway,


I enjoyed your meditation.



One of your comments suggested to me that If you haven't already, you might enjoy reading the periodical, "The Skeptical Inquirer," which specializes (specialized?) in doing serious scientific studies of ESP, "more crimes occur during full moon," astrology, etc.



Another of your remarks leads me to recommend the poems and short stories of Jorge Luis Borges (Argentinian; co-won the Nobel Prize for Literature with Samuel Becket in year 19xx). Borges was a very original extender of the "Life is a Dream" theme popular in Spanish-speaking literature. He was extremely well-read, including literature, math, science... He saw paradoxes ("This sentence is false"; there are many, many others) as chinks in the edifice of life - evidence of a sort that life is a dream. His best-known story, "The Aleph," ingeniously intertwines a story of unrequited love with the mathematical discovery that there are different sizes of infinity. Deeply moving.


Bob
Bob G
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Dick,


You're a lucky man. How many people get to earn their livings doing what they love? Thanks for the interesting mini-memoir.



Bob
Bob G
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I want to clarify one of the statements I made in my response to MindPro's question. When I said, "go into the woods," it was implicit that love of nature is a big part of what I consider to be magical.


Bob
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Oct 2, 2019, Bob G wrote:
Dick,


You're a lucky man. How many people get to earn their livings doing what they love? Thanks for the interesting mini-memoir.



Bob


Thanks for your kind words! As it says on Karrell Fox's tombstone: "IT WAS FUN!"

At 87 (soon to be 88) I wish that I could do it all, OVER again!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Bob G
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That's great! I hope you're still doing magic, and other things you enjoy, even though you're retired. I'm a mere 64, and will retire in 2 years. Then I get to do magic full throttle.



Does it really say that on Fox's tombstone? What a great summing-up to be able to make. Although I certainly have my share of fun, I tend to take life a bit too seriously. You guys are an inspiration.
danaruns
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...why are you doing magic? Not how you discovered it as there are many threads here cover that, but what is your intent, purpose or interest?


It's funny. Lots of interesting answers (and non-answers) here, but mine is a little different. It's not ego. It's certainly not the money. It's not the hours of practice, or the long travel to gigs, or the loading in and out, or hotels and bad food. What it is, is super simple:

I live for "that" reaction.

You know the one. It comes in different forms: stunned silence, a gasp, a shriek, a huge burst of applause, the jaw drop, even people covering their eyes. It comes in many forms, but like porn, you know it when you see it. That reaction is like crack, for me. It's like a hole in one in golf, or hitting a jackpot on the slot machine. It's the moment that keeps me coming back for more. And if I don't get it in the place where I know I should, I become grumpy and feel like I've done a terrible job or have a bad audience (bad audiences do exist).

I'm not deep enough to figure out why that moment gets me so much, why I chase that high over and over. But that's it. I do it for the precisely five such moments I expect to have in each show. I totally soak in the volunteer's reaction or the gasp from the audience. It's always different, never the same twice, but when you get it just right it's almost orgasmic.

I said almost, sickos. Get your heads out of the gutter. LOL! Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
funsway
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Danaruns, I applaud your insight and honesty. I hope you have found that this can occur in real life, away from stage and pretended stuff.
"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
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Oct 3, 2019, Bob G wrote:
That's great! I hope you're still doing magic, and other things you enjoy, even though you're retired. I'm a mere 64, and will retire in 2 years. Then I get to do magic full throttle.



Does it really say that on Fox's tombstone? What a great summing-up to be able to make. Although I certainly have my share of fun, I tend to take life a bit too seriously. You guys are an inspiration.


Yup! It really says that!

All of us, members of "The Secret Six" (Dick Jarrow, Jay Marshall, Jack Chanin, Duke Stern, Doc Mossey, Duke Stern, and Karrell Fox. were the first "six". I was invited to join by Jay Marshall, a bit later.) "We" decided that we would keep the name of the group, at six, Abb Dickson also joined later. Only two of us are still living (Dr, Mossey, who is now 94, and, I. I'll be 88 in two months. Dick and Doc were the two non professionals. All of us had FUN!

I'll probably be the last surviving member!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Bob G
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Dick: May you live to 101!

Bob
Dick Oslund
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Egad! 101 candles on a cupcake!
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ceafin
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Quote:
On Sep 30, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
why are you doing magic? what is your intent, purpose or interest?


When I was little I loved watching magic performed, as I got older I found hacking much like magic. (Doing things with other things making unanticipated results.)

And now I do InfoSec for a living, so I wanted to learn more about magic and how to do that too. More of a personal improvement effort than one of monetary professional gain.
Anatole
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Here are some of the reasons why I do magic:
1) It stimulates the sense of wonder that people had when they believed that magic was real.
2) It entertains people of all ages and all cultures.
3) In the words of Irving Berlin: "Nowhere can you get that happy feeling when you are stealing that extra bow!"

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Russo
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At 7 was the last time I saw my Dad. Mom,Sis,Self- became a State Aid family-as Mom couldn't work taking care of us (1944) -at 14 started doing puppets-magic-ventriloquism -from a book titled "fun For Boys"- did a puppet show for the Womens' Club Christmas Party(1951), received $10. State aid only gave us $150. a month for everything - took the $10. put a little add in the paper and started doing Birthday partys', I think for 5. and transportation -I was only 14. If interested in more, go to 'search', put in 'russo' - been on & off line for 11 months. Many'Posts' in 'Magic Café' for several years - your a great group. Thank You All. Ralph (russo)Rousseau
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