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Magic and Magicians

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posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 03:31 AM
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Good day, all.

On YouTube, I recently watched all 6 episodes of the British Penn and Teller's "Fool Us". If you don't know about it, do go and check it out. Some hopeful amateur/semi-pro/well-established magicians come on stage and do a trick which P&T must try to solve. The magician(s) must be honest if they reveal correctly because an adjudicator is behind the scenes who can butt in and say whether the magician is lying, but that, of course, is never the case.

If they are able to fool P&T (which did happen on occasion), they get to go to Las Vegas and perform. All jolly nice. I'm particularly interested in how P&T reveal a lot of tricks. This relates to what I will below.

I've a serious (somewhat professional) association with card magic and mentalism. I've studied thousands of pages/hundreds of books, had many paid gigs etc., and various contact with such and such. I don't need to go into it all but I felt a little intro was of requenance so that people don't waste time trying to 'teach me' the 'basics' of magic... so I'm just doing you a favour!


The purpose of this thread is to learn (for personal reasons which may become evident in the future/next year) what the general public feel about the performance of 'magic' and the behaviour and mindset of the performing 'magician'.

If you were asked to name 5 (active) magicians off the top of your head, you would most likely name: David Copperfield, David Blaine, Derren Brown, Uri Geller (at a push), P&T, Chris Angel, Harry Po.... I'm kidding.

*stunt routines are not included in this discussion since they're not magic tricks in the traditional sense*

All of the magicians perform tricks. They know that the audience knows that what they are doing is not 'real' or 'possible', but they go for the entertainment and to be fooled, purposely. This is all acceptable. Agree?

To take it further, a magician will use props, gimmicks, stooges, camera tricks (if possible) and the list is endless. The audience will most likely be aware that something/body is assisting the magician but not know what, where or how. This is the magician's life-line, so to speak, and cannot be discovered.

You will remember The Masked Magician. His purpose was to reveal tricks in order to push (rather abruptly) magicians into thinking of new ways and/or to perform newer tricks because, let's be honest, when we see a blade, a box or a tank of water, we know that someone will be 'cut in half', will 'disappear' or change into another person or will 'escape' without drowning. It's all awfully predicatble and this is the problem/indirect purpose of my thread (and project).

So, some questions from me (an individual of insider knowledge, in some respects, if you will) to you (the either completely lay audience member who would be amazed out of your pants by a simple gimmick trick bought for £/$2.99 from the toy shop, or the member who knows a few tricks, the key-card principle, invisible/magician's thread, etc. but is not well-read or has no to very little performance experience):

1. What kind of trick/performance do you find the most utterly speech-renderingly amazing thing you have ever seen that you can't explain by TV trickery, mirrors or stooge?

2. Are you sick of magicians who behave in that cliché way of cape, OTT clothing, embarassingly awful, clearly scripted and over-used patter, etc? If so, how would your ideal magician perform?

3. Please be honest about this (because I know it's true in my heart): Do you usually see what the magician did or pick up on unatural hand-gestures/movements but say nothing to save embarassing him? How do you feel about this? Isn't it irritating rather than amazing?

4. If you had to write a little essay on Performing Magic, what would the title be; i.e., what do you find most important for a magician to know? What do you think they should change? What would you preach about in this essay?

I do appreciate any responses, videos to discuss, tricks to talk about (without blatant revealing but speaking in 'code' if required)... It's all part of my up-coming project which I started a while back but stopped for various reasons. I can't get it out of my head so I must continue it at some point and input from a variety of individuals such as is present on this site, will be most valuable.

Thanks to all,

DB.
edit on 7-8-2011 by DB340 because: Why don't I proofread before I press send? agh.

edit on 7-8-2011 by DB340 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 04:26 AM
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I think there are more experts on Magick....

... on this forum..



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 04:27 AM
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Thank you, but I'm after non-experts


I'm interested in the views of those not on the inside...



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 05:02 AM
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Originally posted by DB340
1. What kind of trick/performance do you find the most utterly speech-renderingly amazing
2. Are you sick of magicians who behave in that cliché way of cape, OTT clothing, embarassingly awful, clearly scripted and over-used patter,
3. Do you usually see what the magician did or pick up on unatural hand-gestures/movements but say nothing
4. If you had to write a little essay on Performing Magic, what would the title be; i.e., what do you find most important for a magician to know? What do you think they should change? What would you preach about in this essay?



1. Some of the big David Copperfield and the smaller table top card tricks I'm been equally amazed by. I suppose its where one thinks "there is no possible way...", everything was exposed and open.
Whereas a trick with a large amount of props (person dissapearing in a box, rabbit out of hat, woman cut in half) one automatically assumes that there's some trapdoor or secret panel so its not so amazing. Sometimes even card tricks can look like this. "Was it just a trick pack of cards?"
It also why I think watching young child magicians doesnt work for me. They have all the stuff. The cape, the top hat, the magic wand, the scarfs out of a tube, the flowers magically appearing from a sleeve etc.. and so of course everything they do is also assumed to be merely just something else they bought in a shop.

2. Dont have a problem with costumes, it is an entertainment industry after all. I do have a problem with magicians who talk too much. Telling the audience a fake back story, too many minutes getting volunteers from the audience to stand here... "where are you from?" "what is your name? Jake. Everyone please give a welcome to Jake"... please hold this... would you examine this please... now let me tie this rope... etc...
sheesh, just get on with it!
Street performers are particularly prone to this. There have been a number of times when I've watched street performers do their stuff for many minutes but not actually seen any performance at all before I got bored and walked away.


3. "but say nothing"? Except for a few times when I've seen magicians performing simple tricks for young children, I cant say I've ever been near enough to one to comment at the time. And how would I know for sure anyway? What if I'm wrong?

4. An essay?. As i said before, its an entertainment industry. This also allows for a wide range of acts. eg.. the comedy homeless drunk who is shocked to find a bowling ball and chainsaw in his pocket, the indian fakir who can climb a rope, the ... well, everything really. Sometimes the movie industry forgets this and tries to be something its not (too preachy with a 'message', a vehicle for a star to perform, a chance to show new CGI effects) and the result is boredom.
Do whatever you want, as long as the audience leaves thinking "wow, that was great."
A slight suggestion that maybe they really do have magic powers doesnt go badly either.



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 05:15 AM
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reply to post by DB340
 

I find it interesting that Derren Brown at the start of his shows mentions that he uses 'magic' as well as misdirection, psychology etc etc. Wondering if he means 'magick', a bit? Both he and David Blaine now casually mention how they employ the mechanism of the Collective Unconscious in their tricks. If you employ that correctly, you are as near damn it effecting 'magick' as it is called today...or, taking that one step further, it is Quantum mechanics! Todays physicists were the centureis ago medieval magicians. It's a lla science we are still pursuing and struggling to understand..it includes psychology, which is spiritual...check the word 'psyche' in 'psychology'.



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 06:20 AM
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reply to post by DB340
 


Nice thread OP, you might find this one interesting, it's about the link between art and magic.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 07:24 AM
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A few years ago I read a bulletin on myspace about someone who was going to fight in a martial arts competition in vietnam and the way he described his style was ''occult black magic/black belt, original style'' and it happened to be the singer of Abruptum. So I visualized him fighting while bells were chiming and his neck was moving eight feet around like a snake. I really wish I could have seen him scaring everybody. In his brief explanation of his fighting style he just wrote that...''original black belt/occult black magic style that leaves everybody running for their lives''. He also wrote that it was an illegal competition, which in turn interested me more than ever. So I started perfecting my own art of defense. This video is my culmination of a vortex sucking the cymbal into the earth and ejecting it at the upper right hand side. There are secrets within you that are waiting to be discovered just like the game, Mortal Kombat...and I am living proof. Now I just need to learn how to use this magic to land a devastating kick/punch. I just don't like fighting, though...so, my style is Assertive Reaction To Lethal Criteria. I hope to fight someday at this level and I hope to influence a new era of fighting magic.



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 07:36 AM
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Oh.almost forgot my vid. It is here and lasts only 15 seconds. It's 15 seconds worth watching though.
www.disclose.tv...
Enjoy.



posted on Aug, 7 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by DB340

1. What kind of trick/performance do you find the most utterly speech-renderingly amazing thing you have ever seen that you can't explain by TV trickery, mirrors or stooge?


Some of the recent Japanese magic has been good. Putting a hand through the side of an aquarium or coins through a glass table, all with people round the magician..


2. Are you sick of magicians who behave in that cliché way of cape, OTT clothing, embarassingly awful, clearly scripted and over-used patter, etc? If so, how would your ideal magician perform?


If the trick is good I always forgive how they behave or dress. Unless it's Paul Daniels (UK) in which case I've always been sick of him but he turns a good trick and has a smoking hot wife/assistant..


3. Please be honest about this (because I know it's true in my heart): Do you usually see what the magician did or pick up on unatural hand-gestures/movements but say nothing to save embarassing him? How do you feel about this? Isn't it irritating rather than amazing?


I usually "get it" but because I know it's all a trick, why spoil it for those who don't "get it" or him/her who is performing. I just wait and see what else they have up their sleeves...lol


4. If you had to write a little essay on Performing Magic, what would the title be; i.e., what do you find most important for a magician to know? What do you think they should change? What would you preach about in this essay?


I'd call it "A poof in the dark".

Doing the trick always seems like only part of the performance and these days humour, drama and suspense is often part of the show, seems to work most of the time and joke telling must have links to the build ups of many magic tricks.

Oh, and always have an assistant in a molin rouge outfit. They're great.

The greatest magic I have ever seen has been simple and always unrevealed so to be a great magician takes great practice, a strong imagination and sometimes a lot of funding.

Good luck.



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