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
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
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,
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