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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Do you prefer to watch silent acts or talking acts? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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George Ledo
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Just for fun...

Strictly as a spectator, not judging the performer or "thinking like a magician," just for entertainment, and in general terms, do you prefer to watch "silent" magic acts or "talking" magic acts? Whether they use music is not an issue here: only whether the performer talks or not. Just looking for your own personal preference.

I wish we could do polls here, where the responses would be "a" or "b," but we can't, so here goes.
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funsway
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Talking. I am very much into weaving a story into the presentation rather rather just 'patter'. I also use verbal reprise and summarization in multi-phase routines.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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George Ledo
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Ok, but as far as watching other acts, do you prefer silent or talking?
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Dannydoyle
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I hate to say I go back and forth lol.
Lately my choice is talking.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
funsway
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Quote:
On Dec 17, 2021, George Ledo wrote:
Ok, but as far as watching other acts, do you prefer silent or talking?



Sorry, I am so used to putting myself in the perspective of a spectator ....

Mixed. If the performer has voice control and uses verbal skills to engage the audience, I prefer talking communication as part of an effect.

I enjoy the artistry possible with a silent act which can include magical performance of quick change, sand painting, etc.

Life isn't a multiple choice quiz. Glad you didn't reduce to (a) or (b) as I would not have responded. There is usually another right answer.

But thanks for getting me thinking of talking as part of the orchestration, and silent possibly best while actually doing the demonstration of impossible.

a b b a bab abbaccadaba Smile
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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George Ledo
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Quote:
On Dec 17, 2021, funsway wrote:
Life isn't a multiple choice quiz. Glad you didn't reduce to (a) or (b) as I would not have responded. There is usually another right answer.

No, it isn't a quiz, but if someone were to ask me whether, when going to the movies, I preferred (a) romcoms or (b) horror movies, I'd just say horror movies. Smile
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funsway
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Hardly a valid analogy. Try "Do you prefer to wear mismatched socks to work or to school?" or "Do you spank your kids before or after dinner?"

You are welcome to delete my posts is you wish.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Dannydoyle
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Ken you’re making way more of this than there actually is. It was a simple question that didn’t involve you putting yourself in the shoes of anyone. You are attempting to create nuance with a simple question and needlessly complicating it. Do you order X or Y? That was it. Not a have to stopped beating your wife question at all.
Danny Doyle
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Fedora
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Although my favorite act (by someone else) is Lance Burtons dove act,
Which is silent, I prefer talking acts in general.
tommy
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I think the best performance of magic that I ever saw was one where the patter was mimed rather the spoken. However, I have no real preference.
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landmark
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Assuming both are of good quality:

I look at a silent act.

I engage with a talking act.
George Ledo
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Okay, my turn, I guess. I prefer silent acts done to carefully-done music. Part of it is because I see magic as visual, where impossible stuff just happens. I can see it; no need to explain it. The other part is just because I've seen so many acts where the talking is totally superfluous, or where "comedy" has been poured over the magic like (I think it was Pop Haydn who said it) ketchup.
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Dannydoyle
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Not only comedy but also pointless blathering.
Danny Doyle
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wwhokie1
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I like variety. My general preference is talking; I find it more engaging. But I do like an occasional silent routine, as long as it is not too long. I find that silent acts are more difficult to pull off for a longer period of time. Most people don't have the talent to do long silent acts, and I am not just talking about magic skills. Entertaining in silence even with strong magic is not easy. Words give us extra tools to use to entertain. Harder to entertain with fewer words. Having said that, some have the talent to entertain for long periods of time without words. There are always exceptions. In general I would say I prefer words. But it really depends on the performance. Some people I wish would just shut up, others I am so amazed I don't even notice the silence. Real talent to entertain is always the exception, and always welcomed in any form.
Ray Pierce
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The best performers I know do both in the course of our time together as each one gives us different insight into them as a personality. In many cases a silent act creates a character, a talk act creates a personality. Lance Burton is a perfect example. He did a FLAWLESS silent act, there are few who didn’t admire and respect that. Once he created a “show” he started talking and that is what allowed people to fall in love with him. As a musician and dancer I love doing silent routines to music as it can sometimes give us more of an emotional connection to the audience due to their memories of the song. I also typically get more insight into their personality during a talk routine and it also gives them more of an ability to implant false memories that make it impossible to recreate the effect later. Which one is better? Why must there be one? For me, each fills a different need for my connection to an audience in the course of a show.
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pulpscrypt
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If I don't know the language, I think silent acts can convey more magic. In fact, there is a train of thought in motion pictures that less talk and more action leads to higher profits, especially on an international level.

Myself, I prefer a good story or comedy magic act. I think, as someone noted above, talking acts tend to engage me more as a spectator, and, the "magic" happens in my head.

:)
DragonLore
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Quote:
On Dec 16, 2021, George Ledo asked:
Strictly as a spectator, not judging the performer or "thinking like a magician," just for entertainment, and in general terms, do you prefer to watch "silent" magic acts or "talking" magic acts? Whether they use music is not an issue here: only whether the performer talks or not. Just looking for your own personal preference.


I have enjoyed skillful performances of both kind, but upon reflection, prefer the talking acts —those that add something to the effect, either humor or stories or ….
tommy
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I cannot imagine somebody doing a talking dove act, unless he used parrots.

I think it’s one them Apples and Oranges things.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
George Ledo
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We all have our own preferences. Personally, I find it superfluous when a magic performer does something and tells me what he's doing like I can't see it for myself, or when he spreads comedy over it like he doesn't think the magic is strong enough on its own. That's my own preference.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2022, George Ledo wrote:
Personally, I find it superfluous when a magic performer does something and tells me what he's doing like I can't see it for myself, or when he spreads comedy over it like he doesn't think the magic is strong enough on its own.


I couldn’t agree more, then again… you’re selecting from the VERY weakest performers that resort to those crutches. I could just as easily say that I dislike silent acts as they just do a series of run on effects with no engagement or thought to the journey we are sharing together. That might be true for the worst of the class, but certainly not the best. We must be master storytellers whether using verbal dialogue or not. Would you complain that Eugene Burger should work silent? There are any masters who took us on a more profound journey with language. Likewise, there are many whose speaking is a distraction from their stunning visual magic. I don’t care whether they speak or work silent, I just want to see the exceptional artists who engage and transform me with their work.
Ray Pierce
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