(Close Window)
Topic: Skill or entertainment?
Message: Posted by: Bato William (Sep 7, 2009 03:33AM)
Is it more important to be able to do sleight-of-hand, or to have an expansive personality and entertain the crowd?

Assuming one had to choose between the two.

Bato William
Message: Posted by: bodybyfood (Sep 7, 2009 08:32PM)
I think it depends on why you do magic. If you do it to entertain, then definitely the second option. If you do magic for yourself, then probably the first one.

For me personally I would prefer to have the expansive personality and to entertain the crowd. I think that would go much farther than great sleight-of-hand.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Sep 8, 2009 08:16AM)
There are plenty of tricks that require little or no sleight of hand.
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Sep 8, 2009 03:00PM)
Yes, it's all about entertaining the audience first. That's why they still call most magicians entertainers as well as magicians. And for the average audience, even if you are using something gaffed to the teeth, a self working card trick, the average audience doesn't have a clue if you are using sleights or not, they still believe the hand is quicker than the eye.....and all they want is to be entertained and amazed and it's easy to do both.
Message: Posted by: Bato William (Sep 9, 2009 09:30PM)
Thank you, all. I agree.

Bato William
Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Sep 14, 2009 03:04PM)
I also agree, but the reason I got into magic in the first place was to entertain. I'm really suprised that more people haven't responded to this post...
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Sep 15, 2009 03:34PM)
It takes skill to entertain.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Sep 15, 2009 05:27PM)
Skills are means. Entertainment is a goal.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Sting (Sep 15, 2009 10:57PM)
Entertainment is the goal and more important. Since the audience don't know the methods, they shouldn't know how much skill a particular effect takes, so the consideration is not relevant when performing for an audience of laymen.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Sep 16, 2009 09:06AM)
Even if quantity of Skill is relevant, quality of Skill is relevant.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: tomboston (Sep 24, 2009 11:54AM)
I agree that entertaining the crowd is the more important, if I had to choose
Message: Posted by: SilvaAce (Oct 13, 2009 05:24PM)
Entertainment because you can touch people of any age.
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Oct 13, 2009 06:36PM)
Of course it's more about being entertaining, and seeing as the majority of us probably don't practice as much as we would like, using gaffed or gimmicked items (which the ordinary laymen don't have a clue that any of that stuff exists) it easier (Hmmm) to be entertaining when we don't have to worry that much about the actual workings of the effect.......if that makes sense.
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Oct 14, 2009 10:01AM)
Skill is entertainment. Jan
Message: Posted by: bik0z (Oct 15, 2009 03:13AM)
If you are performing for "someone" else than your mirror, you HAVE TO entertain.

Think of XCM: such things are simply... boring.
Message: Posted by: ottphd (Oct 16, 2009 11:38AM)
Strive for both. Can not go wrong. Skill is important its hard to get by on looks alone. Personality is a must, you need something to back it up with!
Message: Posted by: DN777 (Oct 19, 2009 03:27PM)
The audience generally has no idea what is difficult and what is easy unless you tell them!
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Oct 23, 2009 08:11AM)
I have done one of the worlds easiest card effects (card appearing on arm in ashes)and have presented it in an entertaining way and the crowd was amazed, held them literally in the palm of my hand.....so we can take something easy, present it in an entertaining way, and we become entertainers and entertaining.
Message: Posted by: haroldross (Oct 23, 2009 02:29PM)
I think that skill and sleight-of-hand are being spoken of as being the same. I think they are very different. My goal is to entertain and to do that it takes skill and practice. When doing any effect, I need to be able to do it very well so my personality can do the entertaining.
Message: Posted by: obsidian52 (Oct 23, 2009 02:56PM)
I agree...skill and sleight of hand are often thought of as the same thing. I do avoid some of the real knuckle busting sleights (even after long practice) but I do practice my non sleight of hand effects, to do them skillfully, so my personality and brain can be spent better on entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Oct 24, 2009 02:59PM)
While we often over emphasize practicing to be sleight of hand artists we should strive to be performers.
Message: Posted by: Logan Five (Oct 25, 2009 10:43PM)
If they like you..then they'll like your act.
Message: Posted by: John Pilotzi (Nov 8, 2009 12:49AM)
Entertainment is so important. I've seen some great technicians who are as boring as ****! JP
Message: Posted by: Demonbrn (Nov 8, 2009 01:52AM)
Would entertainment be part of the equation when you do it to entertain yourself?
Message: Posted by: MagicRocks (Nov 9, 2009 03:05AM)
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Nov 16, 2009 06:39AM)
No matter if you are a sever move monkey or use all self working effects it is most important to be entertaining. I think everyone here agrees on that. A good example of a performer who uses rather easy magic effects but gets the most entertainment value out of them in my opinion is Aldo Columbini. I for years wasn't very impressed by what I read of his and shame on me for that. I went to his lecture this past Saturday evening and was a convert. Aldo is very good. Prime example of it's not the methods you use but the way you perform the effects.
Message: Posted by: lebowski (Nov 16, 2009 10:26AM)
Bad question. Both are important. Having chops brings an inner coinfidence that can help you entertain.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Nov 16, 2009 11:14AM)
On 2009-11-16 11:26, lebowski wrote:
Bad question. Both are important. Having chops brings an inner coinfidence that can help you entertain.

How is that a bad question? I'm sorry but having chops has nothing to do with being entertaining. Nor does having chops give you the confidence either. What does give you confidence is going out and performing in front of people.

There are plenty of magicians with Chops that couldn't even entertain a group of blind monkeys let alone a group of humans.
Message: Posted by: cairo (Nov 16, 2009 11:58AM)
And there are plently of magicians who think they are entertaining because they get a laugh or two but they can't fool an infant. If you are going to ask a question like this in the "All in the Cards" section it is assumed we are talking about card magic. How many great card entertainers can you name that have no sleight-of-hand skill?
Message: Posted by: mumford (Nov 16, 2009 12:05PM)
Maybe two or three. But nothing like the list of entertaining AND skillful peformers with cards. David Williamson, John Carney, Ricky Jay, Jon Armstrong, Aaron Fisher, Darwin Ortiz, Daryl, Michael Ammar, Paul Harris, Daniel Garcia, Bill Malone, Doc Eason, Bob Sheets, Jamy Ian Swiss, and on and on and on...
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Nov 16, 2009 12:13PM)
Doing a lot of shows is the way to get good, but there are a few very entertaining card guys who are entertaining without doing that. Like Paul Harris. And there are also guys that perform mostly for magicians that are entertainig, like Daryl. To me the aforementioned Aaron Fisher and Jon Armstrong are two of the most entertaning with a deck o cards. Aside from engaging personalities, they all have something in common - a high degree of skill, that skill might be invisible to the layman but I think they perceive it.
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Nov 16, 2009 12:24PM)
Being entertaining has nothing to do with secret methods, so asking if one should be skillful OR entertaining makes no sense. Yes, everyone wants to be entertaining whether they have skill or not. No one wants to bore their audience to death. It is not a question of skill OR entertainment. A seasoned professional is both.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Nov 16, 2009 12:30PM)
Obviously entertainment is our goal as magicians, not even a question there. Skill is a method of creating entertainment with cards. I prefer skill to gaffs and gimmicks.
Message: Posted by: cairo (Nov 16, 2009 12:36PM)
No magician on the face of the Earth would ever say DO NOT BE ENTERTAINING so I agree with everyone who says that's a given and not even a valid question. The method to get there can be anything that works.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 17, 2009 07:21AM)
Never trade entertainment value for the narcissistic needs to show skill. The skill should be a "given" but never be the main thing. Serve only one master at a time. The audience is the best choice. Nobody else pays you!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: truesoldier (Nov 17, 2009 07:52PM)
I would say that it is crucial to be entertaining, that goes without saying. But if I am to understand your question correctly, are you asking do you have to be a technical wizard in order to be entertaining and good at the art of magic. If so, the answer is no (IMO) I would however say that you need some degree of skill and should definitely know the basics of card handling along with some fundamental sleights, this way you can even make self workers more powerful.

I would suggest that it in order to become entertaining you need to get real world experience be it for friends, family or when you are out in a social situation. (eventually moving up the ranks and getting your own gigs, perhaps charity events to start with before taking on paid jobs)

I would recommend finding six or so effect that you really like, learn the sleights required and build a good presentation around the effect as that is where the skill of being entertaining lies.

Hope This Helps.
Message: Posted by: Ross W (Nov 19, 2009 12:35PM)
the crowd was amazed, held them literally in the palm of my hand.....

literally? That's a BIG hand (or a tiny crowd...!)