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Topic: Sleight vs. self working
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 23, 2003 11:23PM)
Would you prefer a magician to be professional if he is ONLY excellent at self-working? :hmm:
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Sep 24, 2003 02:11AM)
It's down to entertainment factor, but I think a professional magician should have skill as he acts as a role model for younger magicians—portraying "self working" magic to beginners often urges them to waste a lot of money.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Sep 24, 2003 05:41AM)
I completely agree.
Message: Posted by: djvirtualreality (Sep 24, 2003 06:55AM)
I think a professional can use anything they want. I consider a professional as someone who suceeds in entertaining and making people happy.
Message: Posted by: Carron (Sep 25, 2003 12:33PM)
I believe it is all comes down to whether you are entertained but often sleights are more entertaining as there are no gimmicks etc. :)
Message: Posted by: Luis Sirgado (Sep 25, 2003 01:44PM)
For me a professional is the one that can do effects with sleight and also effects that are self-working.

This is the real magician.

Message: Posted by: boltt223 (Sep 28, 2003 12:30AM)
I agree with Luis. If you can mix both together well, you can really be astounding. :smiles:
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Sep 28, 2003 10:06AM)
However, if the effect can be done by sleight of hand, I think it is better to invest the time needed and learn it that way than to just rely on gimmicks all the time.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Sep 28, 2003 12:04PM)
I'm with Zombieboy here, what would [b]you[/b] (as a magician) prefer to watch—a magician pulling cards out of the air with card catchers on each hand, or by pure sleight of hand?

I'm sure most will agree with the latter of the two!

Message: Posted by: boltt223 (Sep 28, 2003 04:48PM)
I don't disagree that sleight of hand is much more beautiful to see. I just think that if you combine the two it could keep people really guessing. :smiles:
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Sep 29, 2003 12:15AM)
There are some very powerful self-working effects available. I was performing once and I observed one person in the audience who was rolling a half dollar across his knuckles. He was quiet and standing in the back. After a couple of sleight of hand effects I noticed that he was telling everybody around him how everything was being done.

Without saying a word I immediately shifted to self-working effects. After two or three, he had no clue what was going on. (A good self-working trick will do that to you.) When I went back to sleight of hand, his friends were watching the magic and not paying any attention to him at all. Both types have their place and I encourage everybody to have an ample arsenal whenever you perform.

Message: Posted by: maylor (Sep 30, 2003 01:21PM)
As long as the effect to the audience is that they are seeing something magical, and that it entertains them - then I don't see a problem with self working stuff.

Of course, a magicians magician would prefer the sleight of hand. But I'm more into performing for normal people. :)
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Sep 30, 2003 05:43PM)
Well said, but still, you don't get the sense of satisfaction of mastering a convincing sleight if you use a gimmick.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 30, 2003 07:33PM)
After putting most of your comments together, it comes downs to this: It all depends on how good the magician is with other things also. For example, his character, personality, showmanship, timing, etc. Even though the magician is excellent at self-working tricks, he won't be professional if he is not good with the preceding.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 6, 2003 10:19AM)
A radio DJ friend of mine does comedy magic. He cannot use stuff that requires "skill" or "sleights". He has no experience as a performing magician.

That said, he's the most entertaining, funny, and audience-endearing performer I've seen in a long time...in fact gets standing ovations at the end of most performances.

Every trick is self-working. "Kid's stuff". But watch him on the Comedy Club stage, watch his audience and turn green with envy! He's a natural.

With all my "knowledge" of sleights, and experience with the "classics", I could never get an audience reaction like his... :cry: ...

Some people are natural performers. Sleights are not always necessary, and people love Brian's style just the way it is. I've heard comments afterward about how he blows away "professional" magicians...and that makes me a little sad. He reminds me of Cardidi, in that things just "happen" to him, much to his bewilderment...my only complaint being the "blue" element involved, but that's the nature of Comedy Clubs today.

Sleights vs. self-working...hmmm, I guess it really DOES depend on the performer... :D

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 6, 2003 11:59AM)
My belief is that self-working or slieghts are just tools in the magician's tool box. He or she must learn to use which ever tool gets him or her the best results. The bottom line is that you must be entertaining to your audiences. If your audiences come away entertained, happy and have had a fun time with your performance, then you have done your job well.
Message: Posted by: maylor (Oct 6, 2003 02:33PM)
Absolutely. I get more satidfaction out of putting an entertaining routine togetther than I do from mastering difficult sleights.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 7, 2003 01:00PM)
On the other hand...

The thing I like about knowing sleights, is you can perform at a moment's notice, with someone else's deck of cards. You don't have to be carrying anything with you, and never have to apologize for not.

Per the video "On The Spot", it's a great idea to have a small number of mastered, generic sleights with coins and cards, "just in case".

A fellow magi here locally, says he uses no gimmickry. He shuns double-backs, shell coins, IT, and such. You'll be blown away by his skill with cards and coins! In fact, I just learned a great new force just last night!

Long live Sleight of Hand! :bg:

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 7, 2003 02:20PM)
All the sleights in the world do not count for anything if you can't entertain with them. Just something to think about.

Message: Posted by: maylor (Oct 7, 2003 02:43PM)
Yep. Just coming back from a magic convention it was clear to me that some of the most skillful and clever sleight magic outthere can be some of the most boring - as the performer lets the skill take over from the entertainment. If it bored me, then it's sure gonna bore a lay person.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 8, 2003 08:24AM)
That is a good point. I think sometimes we magicians forget that we are performers and our number one goal should be the entertainment value our show gives to an audience.

I think we sometimes spend so much time trying to fool other magicians with the newest slieghts or trying to simply impress ourselves with the newest double lift or pass.

To be real honest, the audience could care less if you did a double lift or a pass or any sleight for that matter. They simply want to be entertained by you. Use the slieghts to achieve that results but make them invisible to your overall performance.

I would much rather have an audience coming out of my show saying that was a lot of fun and I had a great time, then saying oh that must have been hard and his skill was incredible.

To me, the skill and technique should just simply enhance the magic and the story being told. The skill should not be the essence of the entire act. Good skill and technique just help the magician to create the best magical experience they can. They are tools in the tool box of which helps create a sense of magical wonder.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 10, 2003 02:11AM)
But how about magician's contest. What do the judges look for the most, how well we entertain or our sleight skills?
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Oct 10, 2003 09:50AM)
Competitions are usually marked in a number of categories, including, skill, presentation (which includes yourself - are you wearing a nicely pressed suit etc.), entertainment to name a few.

I think judges would prefer to see a nicely polished routine using a gimmick, than a badly performed sleight of hand routine.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 10, 2003 01:00PM)
It really does depend on what contest your entering. each magic contest has a different set of criteria and each vary from one to the next.

The best rule of thumb is to ask for a set of contest rules before you ever think about netering a contest. Only in this manner, do you know what the judges will be scoring you on and you can have your act relate better to this new cristeria.

The best contests are the ones that judge you based on a few select categories. These categories can range from:

- Technical Skill
- Charisma
- Presentation
- Entertainment Value
- Dress and Appearance

These are just a sample to name a few. Each category is then weighted with a numbering system. The panel of judges judge individually and the points are added up.

Keep in mind that the best reason to enter any contest is to get feedback. If the judges are not willing to give you the judges sheets or to talk to you afterwards, then your really not giving yourself as much chance to learn as you can.

Hope this helps.