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Topic: Al Schneider's cups and balls
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Sep 10, 2012 07:38PM)
Get ready to be taken in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T4xbc-FOx0&feature=plcp

No matter what routine you perform, I think it wise to study Al Schneider's thinking on the cups and balls. It can only enhance what you already do.
Message: Posted by: rasmus (Sep 10, 2012 07:51PM)
Woooooow

awesome presentation al.
Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Sep 10, 2012 08:43PM)
Yup, didn't see it coming. Verrrry cool, thanks for posting that!
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Sep 10, 2012 10:08PM)
It looks like Al sell a pdf teaching it:

http://www.omenquest.com/wmcsales/aaau.htm

Has anyone learned this that can comment?
Message: Posted by: rasmus (Sep 12, 2012 08:53PM)
Not yet

but would be great to buy a teaching dvd on his version. perhaps he will
shoot it one day?

looking forward on this beautiful routine
Message: Posted by: dunlop (Sep 13, 2012 02:15PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-12 21:53, rasmus wrote:
Not yet

but would be great to buy a teaching dvd on his version. perhaps he will
shoot it one day?

looking forward on this beautiful routine
[/quote]
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S4632

It's not the sameexact routine, but some moves are in this dvd
Nico.
Message: Posted by: FrenchDrop (Sep 13, 2012 02:32PM)
The video in the OP would be great for illustrating the concept of being one step (or two or three steps) ahead of the audience. :D
Message: Posted by: J-Mac (Sep 27, 2012 11:17PM)
Al's Cups and Balls routine is explained in great detail in his book, "Al Schneider Magic", along with several dozen photos. Great routine! And his loading moves are so different from most I have read. Good stuff, as always.

Thanks!

Jim
Message: Posted by: FatHatter (Sep 28, 2012 10:31AM)
[quote]


No matter what routine you perform, I think it wise to study Al Schneider's thinking on the cups and balls. It can only enhance what you already do.
[/quote]
:applause:
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Sep 28, 2012 12:16PM)
It's also in his BIG BOOK: Al Schneider Magic by L&L - which I heartily endorse!
Message: Posted by: Nutz4Tutz (Sep 28, 2012 12:27PM)
Al's routine with Donnie's cups...sounds like a winner to me! :P Fantastic routine Al!
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Sep 30, 2012 12:03PM)
I met Al a year ago here at the Houdini Club Convention in Green Bay, bought his book and spent some time with Al.

Al's a trip!
Message: Posted by: LLPublishing (Oct 2, 2012 04:27PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-12 21:53, rasmus wrote:
Not yet

but would be great to buy a teaching dvd on his version. perhaps he will
shoot it one day?

looking forward on this beautiful routine
[/quote]
And he has!

[url]http://www.llpub.com/2012/10/al-schneider-cups-balls/[/url]

We're pleased to announce two new DVDs from Al Schneider. His innovative work on The Cups & Balls and the other DVD with some amazing new moves with The Linking Rings:

[url]http://www.llpub.com/2012/10/al-schneider-the-linking-rings/[/url]
Message: Posted by: magicians (Oct 2, 2012 05:54PM)
[quote]
On 2012-09-10 21:43, Jimeh wrote:
Yup, didn't see it coming. Verrrry cool, thanks for posting that!
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 3, 2012 09:39AM)
I'm a huge fan of Albert's magic and his philosophy of it. This is precisely the reason why I have a problem with his approach to climaxes in almost all of his most brilliant effects.
My favorite ones are his Crossed Card :applause: and his slow and peaceful version of Chink a Chink :jump:
Al is not only brilliant in his effects, he also is a very consistent thinker. Hence my interrogations: he must have some reason behind his approach to weak climaxes but never (to my knowledge) explained it. Why would a strong climax be prevented from being "truly" magical without letting the effect slide into "theatrical" magic?
Message: Posted by: Denis Bastible (Oct 4, 2012 09:37PM)
I don't want to speak for Al, but I believe I recall his book talking about wanting to be able to carry the whole effect in a compact bag- I know there were other reasons. I agree that the ending does not hit you between the eyes.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 4, 2012 03:17PM)
About strong climaxes.
There are many things I would like to say about this.
unfortunately I have been hit on this forum with a lot of people that just want to tear me down.
That causes me to go into defend mode. So, communicating becomes difficult.
I will just throw some things out.

Many classics of magic do not, historicaly, have climaxes.
Linking rings, Misers dream. Some magicians have attempted to add climaxes to them.

Also I did not read it in any rules of how to perform magic that says there should be a climax.

And who would be briliant enough to write such a book. In other words, who sez so?

Then look at the principles involved with virtual magic. The point here is that solid virtual magic hammers the audience. But they are so stunned, they can't speak. Theater magic gets them to react verbally but they can pass off the event and say, "He is quick with his hands." That is, often the climax marks the end of a trick but is not as strong as the first phase of the routine. Most coin across routines suffer from this. My goal is to start strong and end stronger.

Take Matrix for example. When I perform it the audience sits there in disbeilief. It would be a crime to cheat them out of that moment.

When I perform Cross Cards, the audience responds as if hearing a wonderful piece of music or watching a beautiful ballet.

It just doesn't make sense to dump a big coin on the table and have them say, "Boy, I didn't see that mud on the birthday cake comming."

I admit I operate on a different level. Some of this stuff is not for table hopping or bar work. But then, that situation requires a different style.

Here is anotehr thought. I attempt to make routines that set up for a perfect finish. Cone and Coin is a good example. Two coins change places. It happens four times. The first three are a bit dirty. But the fourth happens without doing anything. The idea here is that during the first three the audience is being educated on what the trick is. By the fourth they know what is going to happen and bring heat on every move. But there is no move as the first three events set up for the last. Thus, the audience increases the heat on the last and sees nothng but magic occur. Isn't that a good finish? Perfect magic happens. Then some out there want to dump a big coin onto the table.


Well, that is some of my thoughts.

My intention is to do magic for people. Really good magic. I am not interested in following some rules others seem to have written. I guess that's what makes me different. To be clear, if I thought some kind of big finish would enhance the effect, I would certinly work in that direction. With cups and balls, I have taken that direction. And by the way, I think standard big ball reveals are in error. But that is another story.

While we are talking about it all, I would like to point out that I think the oriental bowl routine in the latest DVD is spectacular. I think my performance there is not as it could be. But the concept is powerful. The plan was to make a cup and ball routine in the style of Japenes tea cermonies. The goal was not to create stunning magic but capture something of a distant culture. All of this has great meaning to me becasue the powerful Samuri studied the sword and things like the tea ceremony. My goal was to create something more like a dance than a magic performance. I think doing it right would take a lifetime. In that routine, the finish with a burst of silks is very appropriate and pleasing to the flow of the routine. I do not think it generates a shock at the end but a welling up of emotion of something that is beautiful.

Well, all the best.
Sorry about the errors here.
Kinda in a rush.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: ekins (Dec 4, 2012 03:25PM)
Hi Al,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I very much appreciate your thoughts.

-Brian
Message: Posted by: Mark Ross (Dec 4, 2012 06:28PM)
I purchased Al's latest DVD to see his explanations of the LA cups, as I have his e-book on that routine. The pleasant surprise on that DVD is the oriental bowl routine. It is well worth watching and I plan some work in that direction.

Mark
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 4, 2012 08:18PM)
Al's a great thinker.
Message: Posted by: Magic-Scott (Dec 4, 2012 08:28PM)
Beautiful routine Al
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Dec 4, 2012 08:56PM)
Great to see you on the forum Al!

Your new book could be under the tree this year. If I'm good. OK I better just buy the book.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 4, 2012 10:52PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-04 16:17, Al Schneider wrote:
My intention is to do magic for people. Really good magic. I am not interested in following some rules others seem to have written. I guess that's what makes me different.
[/quote]
Al, we have benefited from your thinking and offerings to our community!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 5, 2012 05:41AM)
Al, Thank you for the reply. Please take some time to comment on the thinking that follows.

There are no doubts in my mind about your intent and this is not a personal attack. It's just a theoretical attempt to make routines that set up for a perfect finish.

I don't think that Cone and Coin is a good example. I love the trick (even though the cone doesn't relate to anything familiar). The reason why I think that ti's a good "general" example is that it follows the same pattern as René Lavand Three Breadcrumbs. As you say it's the repetition and the friendly pause that build the tension.

There is no problem for me to agree with you (on the contrary) about a strong initial attention level, then as the premises of the effect are developped, the tension in the audience attention is getting down. Then, as you say yourself, the trick has to finish with a higher attention level than at the start.

I'm not advocating to get this with an alumiinum Jumbo coin or any magical prop which seem actually counter climatic for they (as you state)

So, in order to avoid a semantic debate, what is a "climax" and what are its "rules" (which are different from their means)

First what you call the "rules"
These are not derived from magic itself but from scripts (silent, musical or verbal). In any trick, admittedly or not, there is a protagonist, an antagonist and a told or untold story. The good magician presents an interesting protagonist (your high attention entry point) the protagonist is either the tole played by the magician and the theme of the trick (like your monk in your chink a chink). Then the antagonist is introduced, it's the obstacle to overcome like the two cards without anything under them in "Crossed Cards". Then the suspense (tension) is created by suggesting or (weaker) telling the impossible aim. Finally, the protagonist surpasses the antagonist against all odds.
All of this to say that what counts (the "rules") results from the dramatic structure of any silent script. If you feel the need for the effect to end up stronger than it started, you feel the need for a climax.

Now what can be an appropriate climax. The two general perceptions of climax are "bigger" or "more" (quantitatively) with a notion of unexpected impossible surprise. For example the fruits at the end of the C&Bs are "bigger" than the small balls and but also of a different nature to create the surprise. Still as another type of example, the Dr Jacks ending with many small sponges coming out of the cup (more than the cup could possibly contain) is an illustration of the "more". In both cases the spectators are induced to think that the final loads could only have been there from the start but that it is impossible because they have been able to seen the inside of the cups at several stages of the routine and sometimes because the cups have been stzacked or nested and that the loads would have prevented such a stackig.
II agree that after a proper climax we get more of a silent "jaw falling on the floor" than applause and that it creates what Ramsay was calling a blind spot (allowing for example the loading of a fourth large load).
This fourth large load (or second one in Don Alan Chop Cup) plays an important part in what I call a "follow through" The "follow through" in golf terms is the continuation of the movement after the ball has been hit. It serves to direct what you, Al Schneider, call the rewinding in an erroneoous direction. The notion is subtle for it could be counter climatic if misunderstood but is a reputation maker if properly used. Let's use Don Alan's chop cup as an example. After producing the second large loads as a climax, Don Alan would put the small ball in the cup, then the first load, then teh second one and tap with his palm as for putting them back in the cup and pack away. This is a "packing away silent script that underline after the effect (follow through) the impossibility for the loads to have been there all along (which the spectator have to suspect). The follow through not only confirms the impossibility but focus the audience rewinding into an impossible potential solution (which exclude the search of other solutions): the total content cannot fit the container and the audience is convinced that theey would have seen the loading of such large objects if they had been brought in during the routine.

There is more to say, naturally. Suffice to say that a climax supplies surprises and irreversible impossibility together marking the end of a routine by giving the feeling that nothing more could be done. This should discard either the large balls at the end of the C&Bs: not strong enough in surprisse terms because lacking thee change in nature like thee salt in Alex Elsmley's or Horace Bennett's routine or the stack of small coins or the small diamonds that could not have been kept inside by skill. It somehow tells the audience "you can rrewind all you want there are no possible explanation to this punch line (infering that there is no explanation to any earlier part of the routine.)

This notion of climax should also IMHO discard any climax involving something that spectators could associate with "magician props" for these don't supply an impossibility but, on the contrary supply an irrational explanation switching the effect from real magic to theatrical magic (in your theory). A jumbo coin is a magical prop so it tells the audience that all of this was just skill and juggling because the large coins don't exist in real life.
Thus are we taling of the same thing when we are talking of the necessity of a climax. For me, your beautiful effect where a knot in a wool thread unties, doesn't displace the rewinding with a climax that misdirect the rewinding, potentially leaving the audience with the search of a technical solution instead of getting into what Whit Haydn describes as "perceptive dissonance": "I know by common knowledge and personal experience that this can't be done, but it was just been proven to me 'live' under impossible conditions to yet be possible by 'magic' (undefined concept to define incredible phenomena just established).

Yes there is more to say but this is already a lot: sorry for not having been able to make it shorter

I'd love your comments on this.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 6, 2012 01:41AM)
[b]Two great posts,from two great thinkers.[/b]
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 6, 2012 07:48AM)
Before I begin I would like to make a few points. First, I have never taken any classes in philosophy or debating. Second, I am not trained in theatrics. Third, your style of prose leaves me behind and I have trouble with what you are saying. I have great trouble understanding the words you use and how your verbiage is structured. I offer this to point out that I may misunderstand your intent or purpose and might come at all of this in the wrong way.

In essence, I cannot respond to your comments as you establish a series of givens from which you pose your concepts. You also throw out things you say I said. For the first, I do not agree with your givens. For example you say, “In any trick, admittedly or not, there is a protagonist, an antagonist and a told or untold story.” I do not admit to that and you give me no choice but to accept the statement. I do not get it. I am just trying to do a trick. The point is that I cannot comment on your thoughts because I do not accept your givens. For the latter, I don’t think I said those things.

I have read your comments several times over. The only conclusion I can draw is that you say I am wrong. However, I can’t criticize that as you say you are not attacking me but seeking a perfect finish. This loses me. I would be a boob in attempting to criticize such a lofty goal. You have boxed me into a corner within the first few sentences.

This causes me to question your intent.

I am attempting to take your questions seriously. So, I will respond by expressing my attitude toward how to finish a routine. I will not address a perfect finish. I do not know what that implies.

I do not think in terms of a great climax. Rather, I think of the overall structure of a routine as a whole. I can think of several structures. One would be, Bam, Bam, BAM, BAMPOW. The idea here is to start off strong and each step gets stronger. Many magicians on the side would see the final BAMPOW as a climax to the routine. I do not see it that way. Rather, the entire routine is to take the audience higher and higher each step until the final blast.

A point here is that each of these four steps need not be different from each other. They may be the same effect for the audience but using different magic technology that convinces the audience what they have seen is not possible. This suggests that some things in magic are more impossible than others, even though the effect is the same.

Another structure would be: UP, down, UP, down, Up, down, POW. Again many magicians on the side would see POW as a climax to the routine. I do not. I see it as an extension of what went before. What occurred before lends power to the final POW.

A common structure (I guess you call this a script.) is BANG, BANG, BANG. Matrix follows this pattern as well as Cross Cards and Cone and Coin. The same thing happens several times in sequence. In my mind, the sequence is a demonstration of the same effect. The effect is about a coin jumping from one location to another. In essence, the sequence is to convince that that is what happened. The first is a demonstration that the audience could perceive as a coincidence. The second time establishes a pattern. The third time is proof that the event occurred. The goal is to demonstrate that a coin can travel from one location to anther without explanation.

Note, I am not selling magic here. I am selling the idea that a coin can travel from location to location without a logical explanation. You see, I wish to respect the audience’s intelligence and not suggest they believe in magic. I want them to understand there is a logical explanation for it. However, I also want them to know they do not know what that explanation is.

With all of this, I do not think Matrix needs a climax.

There is an elephant in the room that most do not want to discuss. That is that many magicians present many tricks, including Matrix, poorly. This is why I bring up the subject of dumping a big coin on the table. These performers need such a device to give the trick legs. When I perform Matrix for real people, the expression on their faces and the gasps of air after seeing the final transposition tells me that any other action would only detract from the effect.

Cups and balls has this problem in spades. The manipulation of the little balls losses almost everyone. The production of the big balls at the end of the trick must be presented to give many performances legs.

I apply this to my performance of cups and balls as well. The routine I developed long ago and have done most of my life fell under my gaze of scrutiny. I think the routine only had legs because of the final loads. I have spent many years overcoming these problems. The result is the stuff I put on the L&L DVD’s on Vessels and Orbs.

Now this subject may be seen as a deviation from the main subject here. It is pertinent for I think the use of climaxes is often used to cover the inadequacy of the main part of the trick.

How many people can perform a cup and ball routine and get a good response without the final loads. How many people can do Matrix and kill the audience. I mean really decimate them. How many people can repeat Matrix several times and kill with each performance. If any reader objects to this, try it on your audiences and see what happens. Is a climax with a big coin just a crutch?

I would like to throw out an example that might make my thoughts more real. I have seen several people use the idea of changing the cards to blanks at the end of some card sequence. Maybe they do an ambitious card routine. Then the performer spreads the cards on the table and they are all blank. This should be a shocking effect. However, it is not. I have done this kind of sequence and I have seen others do it. It does get a reaction but not as much as one would think it should get with all the trouble of swinging in a blank deck.

I propose an alternate way of using the finish. The routine would consist of making cards blank. First the audience must somehow be convinced the cards are normal. Then a card is selected and made blank. A second card is freely selected and made blank. Finally, the same magic wave of the hand is done and all the cards are blank. I think that would shock the audience. It goes bang, bang, and BANG.

The purpose of the preceding magic is to introduce the final effect.

Anyway, I hope all has been entertained by this.

By the by, are you a professor at some university. You talk just like my wife’s college English professor.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: FatHatter (Dec 6, 2012 09:49AM)
Major fan of Schneider thinking.

"Note, I am not selling magic here. I am selling the idea that a coin can travel from location to location without a logical explanation. You see, I wish to respect the audience’s intelligence and not suggest they believe in magic. I want them to understand there is a logical explanation for it. However, I also want them to know they do not know what that explanation is."

Dessert isn't necessary to sit down and enjoy a fine meal.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Dec 6, 2012 09:52AM)
AL:

I've been studying your Cups and Balls Routine since we met at last year's Houdini Club and you autographed your book to me and we spent some time together.

Guys,

Al's brain works differently.

He analyzes carefully, then works out practical, out-of-the box solutions.

In my opinion, Al's book, Al Schneider Magic is worth the purchase price just for reading Al's philosophy regarding performing magic.
Message: Posted by: Magic-Daniel (Dec 6, 2012 02:34PM)
I really don't think you get a much better overall "thinker" on close-up magic today than Al.

I really hope Al keeps coming back and shares his thoughts here. Some absolutely gems in his posts.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 6, 2012 10:21PM)
Hi Al

First I wish to apologize if you felt pushed in a corner: such was not my intent
Second, sorry for the verbiage for I'm French and didn't learn English at school but only as an adult working in the Shipping industry (at the time).
Third I must have misexpressed myself for I do acknowledge that you didn't tell anything about a protagonist and an antagonist. I was referring to rules or their absence and trying simply to underline, that when you say that an impossibility (virtual magic) has an end that must be higher in emotional terms than its start, your statement implies that there is some form of a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. The fact that we present, live, some impossibilities also infers that whatever or whoever prevents the dream to get through in real life is somehow an antagonist. The fact that we do a shwo on a small close up stage or (not me) large stages means, IMHO, that we expect the people to project in the character played by the magician (even if the character is himself)

Dear Al, I have not just read your theory on magic or just watched it pedagogically deonstrated in your DVDs, I found it so brilliant that I studied it and took notes and confronted it to my knowledge of magic to.... try and enrich it to progress from the shoulder of someone that I consider a giant. Thus there is no way that I could have tried to push you in a corner. Yet when something seems inconsistent, instead of believing that I'm right and blaming, I'am asking for a reconciliation with the harmony that I seek. Naturally, I'm trying to spare you to have to get through the core of your theory that I share, and try to let you appreciate that my questions are not the basic usual ones. This is possibly what gave you the feeling that I'm trying to corner you, but please believe me I don't. I just want to complete a consistency that SEEM to be marginally lacking, and I don't judge you or your theory, I'm searching precise answers to what my questions are and why.

Let's try and think together because I have no problem to accept that I may have missed something but maybe (without the slightest arrogance) some marginal topics in the expression of your theory may miss some points... but I'm not sure.

Just be certain that my point is not to agress you or your writings or your DVD splendid demonstrations. I just hope to understand why it could not be pushed a shade further. So you can safely unplug the defense mode and get proactively into exchanges or explanations.

...and to answer your last question, I'm just a poetic intellectual, with some anarchic tendancies, that got lucky into various big businesses by being at the right places at the right moments.

With respect and expectations

Etienne
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 6, 2012 11:48PM)
Thank you for pointing out that you are a French speaking person.
To me that explains a great deal.
I will attempt to be kinder with my communicaton.
Right now I can only suggest that when discussing complex thougths that we do so one step at a time.
I am essentially a simple person.
I do not multi-task well.
The subject we are discussing is very complex.
I have read many of your posts in the past and find your insights valuable.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 6, 2012 11:59PM)
[b]Al and Etienne... I would love to see the two of you spend some time together. I know both of you and know you both approach magic far more intently and intellectually than anyone else.[/b]
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 7, 2012 07:46AM)
Hello Al,
Thank you for your kind post.
We are different in the sense that, if I'm trying to be as rigorous in my thinking as you are, I approach complex problems like a kind of mental juggler and enjoy dealing with complex problems without leaving, as you do yourself, any aspect aside.
This difference in personality is not, IMHO, a drawback for both of us do have to deal with each of the balls one at a time anyways. By nature or education, my personal slope is to reconsider everything that I believe in, time and again.
Actually each time that an analytical study unveils one point, I feel the urge to reconsider how that new ball will harmoniously play with all the balls that I have in the air.
Allow me to quote in its entirety a comment in Linked-in by a former business collegue.
"Etienne is an exceptionally creative person, who has the capacity to see what is hidden to everyone else. He has demonstrated in his life and while we were working together his ability to shake the commonly accepted picture. He generates constructively creative chaos, where those who work with him feel occasionally at a loss because they have never taken the time nor are willing to look into another direction. But if you are willing to listen to something different, Etienne is a real asset. He also has a high level of friendship and knows how to stand up for his causes. He is not afraid to fight. He takes the word friendship to a very high level."
So I'm a complex mind (and I say this with modesty... really!) but attempting to keep a rigorous and detailed approach. I do accept that this back and forth progression between analytical and synthetical thoughts can seem confusing or chaotic to the persons whose thoughts have an impact on mine... and your thoughts had a great impact on mine both on my analytic and synthetic work
So as magic is a very complex and subtle art with intricate concepts, your idea of discussing each topic one step at a time within its context appears to me as really wise.
We started with climaxes so, if this is agreeable to you, before getting deeper, we should possibly exchange first some thoughts on the combined rythms of spectattors' attention to moves, effects and shows, along the images that you describe very conveniently (at least for me) in ways like "Bam, Bam, BAM, BAMPOW" or "UP, down, UP, down, Up, down, POW", etc. This will probably help when we will look at the question of climax.
Actually I wrote down notes on this but I'm embarrased to propose sending them as they are part of about 250 pages of practical exemples resulting from applications of your theory of magic (with some nuances) and would contradict going into each complex topic one at a time.

Respectfully
Etienne
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 7, 2012 11:05AM)
Are you aware of Meyers-Briggs. It is a system of personality assesment.
The traits you describe are refered to, in that method of assesment, are INTJ.
I suspect you are an INTJ. I am one. About 1% of society falls into this category.
INTJ's tend to have a hard life. However, one characteristic they have is an ability to survive in any society quite well. They are emotionally very sensitive but have a drivng personality that allows nothing to stop them. In general, they are the inventors of the world that creates the basis for world wide technological development. We are a proud but often ignored few that live in a world of principle.

I absolutly need complex things to process in my miniute to minute life. I am always writing two or three books at a time. I am presently working on two science books, entropy and the meaning of calculas. My biggest joy in life is the study of Quantum Physics. I have a book out on the subject titled, New Age Quantum Physics. It is available from amazon.com.

You mention a study of soemting that generated 250 pages of notes. A long time ago I ran into a man named Ali Bongo. He asked be about my interest in the study of magic theory. He said, and I am attempting to quote him accurately, "I say, do you think that is necessary?" Well, my notes on that thought generated the book, "The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception" about 600 pages long and available on amazon.com.

My guess is that we are the same kind of person. Yet we are different becasue we base our lives on principle, not some common social pleasantry.

Your comment about keeping several balls in the air is very accurate. However, in communication, I think it wise to focus on one issue. This can be very difficult as most things in life depend on other things in life. If one focuses on one subject intently, some in between material is lost. I view this as the cost of doing business. However, I believe if a single thing is well understood; power is developed to get the in between filler. I find that many people are concerned witht he in between filler and, as a result, loose the big picture.

I hope I am not boring.
And I hope I am not challenging your use of English.

Just my thoughts.

If you really want to talk about climaxes, could we start of with what we want to acheve?

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 7, 2012 11:30AM)
That explains a lot. I'm an ISTP like about 5% of the population. Now I know why I like studying your work so much.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 7, 2012 03:34PM)
Dave
This stuff is incredable. I have studied Meyers-Briggs a lot.

With those four letters and the fact you are into computers and magic: I feel I have known you half my life.

Many people are concerned that it is just another psych mumbo-jumbo. Initially it was not part of the psych community. They were forced to embrace it because it was so powerful. One of the things it does is tell you the kind of woman you would be compatable with. After I got the tech down on it, I would read dating columns and pick out the right one using this stuff or when I met someone I would consider their type. It worked great.

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 7, 2012 04:22PM)
I'm aware of the Meyers-Briggs test because I had to pass it when I was an executive at Fairchild and when we sold our aerospace fastners activity to Alcoa, I had to do it. Now I don't remember how they classified me but, within two months, they fired me with a huge golden shake hand.... ;)

Let's go topic by topic as you suggest. As it's an approach you favor, it's an approach that makes sense for me as well.

Since climax is part of a rhytmic, may we start with the rhytm?

On the rhythm, even though I was a pupil with Tony Slydini, I tend to approach it, not like Tony from the performer's stand point (which cannot be ignored) but from the spectators' point of view.
Any rhythm is characterized by a sine wave with an amplitude and a frequency (if my English is correct on this).
In magic the spectators' attention will focus on (at least) three surimposed sine-waves: the attention to the performers moves (small amplitude high frequency), the attention to the effect (its inner logic or story whether told or silent: High amplitude smaller frequency), and the attention to the act (High amplitude -if the act is good- and slow frequency)
These three sine-waves of attention are combined in a strange apparently erratic curve that we can analyze (since you are a physicist) with a sort of intuitive Fourrier Transform. This is not very easy because that complex curve is first altered by the high amplitude point we, as performer, generate with an erect and frozen move or on the contrary with fluent explanatory moves. In short the smart performers like you plays (consciously or intuitively) with these three amplitude and frequency in the spectator's mind. Some magicians like René Lavand become the masters in the art of pauses to play with a simultaneous amplitude of attention in the three curves by bringing temporarily their three frequencies to zero.
Further to this what is virtually impossible to totally control is the tweeking of theese curves by our own personal style. Not unlike you, I have a fairly slow and deliberate style to let the logic of whatever is alleged as important to sink in the spectators mind. Gary Kurtz is talented but with a delivery that is much faster than yours or mine. Our challenge is that energy is an important entertainment tool and we need to compensate our quietly secure performances with some subtle energy (chest leaning forward, intense gazing at the audience without breaking the charm of the smile...)

This explains what I was trying to communicate initially: first we have to catch the audience attention. There the amplitude of attention we seek is fairly high. In your terms it would probably be a BOOM. Then the logic of the routine starts unfolding and the attention shifts on a down sine wave of the effect and a higher attention to the move (smaller amplitude and higher frequency on the down slope of the attention to the effect). Some coins are placed in line on to the table: a few small bam, bam bam. Then comes the obstacle or antagonist (the coins have to travel under two face down crossed cards.) This should raise the audience attention level as it constitutes the impossibility. Clearly a BOOM. Then one of the coin vanishes, and the first card is deliberately and quietly turned over: booom, boom. Then the last card is quieltly turned over [b]BOOOM[/b]
In the sinewave of the routine, the last passing possibly will end as [b]BADABOOM[/b] for the last passing to end up with a higher amplitude of attention than the initial BOOM.

I'm not describing rhythm as a "must", it's just a statistical observation and it seems to me that performers who claim to make a constant crescendo are seeking an impossible up going straight line and are just observing what they wish to produce (psychological projection instead of factual attention curve).
Now our acting and misdirection technique need to influence the subconscious rhythm of spectators' attention. If a ball is (false) transferred in the hand TO BE ABLE TO pick up the wand (low amplitude and high frequency of attention to the moves for such In Transit actions as Ascanio was calling them), then the magic moment is somehow creating an expectation (higer amplitude and low frequency) and the wand is tapped into the left palm: BAM. This is sufficient to allow fooling not only the eye but the brain. It was permitting Tommy Wonder to steal a pompom in full view because as Ramsay was stating "if you want the spectators to look at something look at it yourself, if you want them to look at you, look at them".

So the design of a routine at the rhythm level cannot end up being a straight line (IMHO) even if the amplitude of attention at the end will (normally) exceed the initial amplitude of attention.

What is your approach on this? Do you feel something comparable? Are there things to add or nuances to be brought?
[quote]
On 2012-12-07 00:59, Pete Biro wrote:
[b]Al and Etienne... I would love to see the two of you spend some time together. I know both of you and know you both approach magic far more intently and intellectually than anyone else.[/b]
[/quote]
Thank you Pete but it needs to be stressed that I learned a lot from you, Whit Haydn, and Bill Palmer as well: each and every one being a great thinker with a huge experience
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 8, 2012 08:24PM)
This post will focus on the concept of the attention of the audience represented as a sine wave. As I have trouble with this, I cannot get to the remaining material.

I have not seen this oscillation representation of audience attention. I kind of have a gut level of what this means. However, I have several problems with it.

I assume you mean the plot you are talking about has time on the horizontal axis and the vertical axis represents attention from the audience. I was taught in school to always label the axes in your problem. We have no units for the vertical so I am not sure what to do with that.

The first thing my mind encounters with this concept is that sine waves have a constant wavelength. This suggests that the tempo of the presentation will be fixed through out the presentation. I have trouble with that. The second thing I see is that this description requires that the curve be continuous, or more accurately, continuously differentialable. (sorry guys, that’s calculus lingo for meaning smooth) My perception is that the attention of the audience is non-continuous or not continuously differentialable.

The next thing I notice is that there are three waves. In my understanding of how the mind works, it can only do one thing at a time. I understand that you superimpose all the waves together to get some odd shaped wave. Of course, Fourier Series Analysis can break out what you see as three distinct basic sine waves. That is, the implication is that the complex wave represents three things the human is doing. There is a mathematical flaw here in that our present academic society believes that math represents the reality of the real world. In my recent studies I have found that this is not true. Math is a measure of the real world. It is not a description of the real world. In quantum mechanics I have found that we cannot understand quantum mechanics because we cannot understand the math that describes it. I explain this in New Age Quantum Physics. That is complex. But let me give you a smaller example. We are all familiar with the word infinity. Well, that is a mathematical term and is used in mathematics. There is nothing in the real world that is infinite. Again, this is discussed in New Age Quantum Physics. A corollary to this is that zero is also a mathematical term that does not exist in the real world. For example, I can have a piece of wood one foot long. Or I can have a piece of wood ¼ inch long. However, I cannot see a piece of wood that is zero inches long. Anyway, using math to represent attention seems to be difficult.

Isn’t this fun.

We can go on with other things.

The assumption that the audience’s attention is following everything is a cognitive physiological theory which I do not ascribe to. Recently Scott Miller, a noted psychologist has been reading my book, The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception. I was worried he would not like some of the material in it for it goes against much academic psychological thinking. It responded to that with a comment that the cognitive guys would rebel. However, he thinks it is great.

Why is interesting? The point is that humans are not continuously cognitive. Most of the time they operate in what I call automatic mode. That is, the human inputs data without the “I” looking at it. Occasionally, the I turns on and processes it. Thus there are two inputs to the human. One is the I consciously or cognitively processing data. The other is data slipping into the mind and being processed automatically. This represents sever breaks in the sine wave concept.

Now we come to another situation. The human can only input data in one thread. The human cannot do two things at the same time. Now there will be a cry in the back of the room that sez, “Hey, I do it all the time.” Well, I will challenge you on that. The human mind works somewhat like a computer. It appears a computer does many things at the same time. But, we know, a computer only has one processor. It works because the computer multi-tasks. It works on one thing a bit and works on something else a bit. There have been laboratory studies to demonstrate this. In fact, someone got a bunch of high class students from Stanford University that claimed there were power mult-taskers. The students were tested to determine their ability at multi-tasking. Across the board the test revealed that high power multi-taskers achieve less that those that used a single thread to handle most tasks. The test showed that much time was wasted switching from task to task. Sure, they were good at it, but it cost time.

The point is that the audience is not watching several things at once. They are switching from subject to subject. I think that is why we can deceive them. We can control what they are thinking about at any given time.

Let’s move on. The human mind cannot focus on one thing for long. It is somewhat like the focus of the human eye. We cannot stare at a specific point for a significant period of time. Try it. Stare at a single point. You can feel your attention move away from that point. You feel yourself constantly pulling yourself back to the point. I believe that is true with attention as well. And I believe the attention is random. My guess it does not follow a sine wave.

Next on the list is the concept of pausing. I understand the concept of dramatic pausing. Some might think that is what I am doing when I pause. Not true. I believe that when people observe magic, they must rewind and review what transpired in some magic presentation. Thus I am pausing to give the audience a chance to do that. In a sense this alters the up and down sine wave to a curve that is going back in forth in time. The data coming into a spectator’s mind is moving to the right on the horizontal axis. When a magic effect occurs, the spectator’s mind goes back in time to review what happened. During that moment, there is no data entering the mind for the I to process. The sine wave is broken. That is it is not continuously differentiable.

Now I do not know what to do. I suspect the sine concept comes from those with a background that views the universe as an analog place. I have a computer background that views the universe as a bunch of discrete bits smeared in a 3D place. Nothing is smooth. Everything consists of jumps in reality. This is the essence of Quantum Mechanics.



Well, I hope this has entertained a few.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 11:01AM)
It certainly entertained me and lead me to think.

Allow me to post my comments on your well supported points.

On the sinewave: you state yourself several interesting points as contradicting the model when they seem to me to confirm it. Let's backtrack a bit first.
You state in your own words that the human mind is binary like a sort of series of 0 and 1 in a computer and, if I understand you well, that the human mind cannot do two things at once but two things in a very quick sequence.
Lets not discuss both axis as, there, you got me perfectly right. Starting from the real world, I tried to model conscious perception or awareness into several 0 and 1 defined as High amplitude of attention as the 1 and absence of attention as the 0 with all kind of intermediary figures with naturally the low figures being low amplitude of attention.
However perception is not just awareness as the Gestalt Theory has more than demonstrated, as I'm sure you know. Our spectators, given few elements, complete themselves the concepts obwerved according to various learned patterns. Thus, staying along the example of the C&Bs, they don't "see" the ball magically travelling under the cup. When we see something disappearing from a place and something similar reappearing at another place, our mind assumes that the object has travelled from one place to the other (actually, it is the principle of the cinema: our mind fills up the gaps between the 24 images per second to create a smoth movement). In fact, this is the main underlying principle behind the cups and balls and magicians like Kent Gunn further "prove it" by letting balls of different colors to travel, dispelling any suspicion of substitution. So attention to the ball, it seems to me, has an high amplitude as the ball is made to vanish, gets to a 0 amplitude (your piece of wood with no measurement) before getting to an even higher amplitude of attention (a series of 1) as the substituted ball "re"appears.
As you see, like yourself, the initial point of my thinking is reality.

Now let's touch on the human mind ability to do or not do several things at the same time. My first basic observation would be that we have five senses and it's definitely common to associate several of them, present or not: you "see" a beautiful woman with a sensuous perfume that arouses us sexually... First we can smell and see at the same time (somuch for the validity of the Stanford test which must have analyzed only linear tasks of a similar nature: as you know any test only demonstrates positively or negatively -again the space between 0s and 1s- the answer to the initial question).
Now the question, in my example, is -aside from her scent- "what is a beautiful woman?" She has lively eyes? a great smile? a large or small breast (according to our positive or negative motherly reference)? long legs? ...So when we perceive this charming lady, doesn't our mind, treat several subjective criteria at once? And, without malice, if you "view the universe as a bunch of discrete bits smeared in a 3D place" (which I tend to accept myself), isn't our mind compelled to incorporate AT THE SAME TIME, at least two or three dimensions?... and this is without her sensual (yet another psychological dimension) scent (... another psychological dimension). It seems to me that the Stanford test was probably covering the performance of linear actions to be validated. But we were discussing of perception of actions by spectators. USC professor of Neurology (d'Amazio) has in his Descartes Error demonstrated that the human brain isn't following a logical linear path but before any action, makes a decision combining multidimensional (emotional) data before the most simple action. Now I would like to question further the validity of the Standford test you mention since people like the British De Bono have established that if the linear (sequential) thinking is commonly used, there are exceptions to this process where outer elements are brought into the line of thinking (lateral thinking) and the two mentionned are humor and creativity (where outside elements are brought into the "line of thinking" rather than following that line logically). Isn't that a multi dimensional approach to your liking?

I'd like to keep exploring what makes me believe into the sine wave of perception and awareness, but, as you suggested yourself, let's proceed in our exchanges one step at a time.

What are your open minded views on the above?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 9, 2012 11:08AM)
You guys are way over my head. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 11:14AM)
PS: the "zero measurement piece of wood" is defined by the Gestalt as following the Law of Continuation where a straight line that is interrupted before being resumed is not a zero in PERCEPTION even if it is a zero in vision and the lines are mentally connected as just One straight line with a visual interruption rrather than two lines in sequence. Similarly, according to the "law of continuation" the non visible ball that just vanished has "travelled" if it reappears under the cup. Naturally this is nto limited ot geometry or C&Bs and would also apply in our art to the Coins Across etc...
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 9, 2012 11:22AM)
Wow, I actually followed that! Not that I have much to add, but both sides had valid points. I eagerly await the continuation of this discussion.

Posted: Dec 9, 2012 12:34pm
I too was bothered by the "sine wave" description. I got that the "Y" axis was attention span, but although there is a natural rhythm to performances, it doesn't necessarily follow a continuous sine wave, which I suppose why Etienne tried to describe it as a complex waveform of multiple sine waves. Mr Schneider's definition of constant wavelength of a sine wave is of course correct, which is why I sort of followed both sides, still not exactly sure how to put it into words. It is definitely a complex waveform, and there may be an underlying low frequency wave that defines the basic rhythm of the performance, but it isn't a constant wave. Instead, it takes frequent breaks (possibly another defined rhythm I don't yet understand) and then resumes its original pattern. These breaks would relate to Al's "catch up" phases and without them the spectator's eyes would likely just glaze over and they'd lose track of the emotional aspect and consequently, not enjoy the magical experience we're trying to construct for them.

I'm not a multi-tasker by any means, so I'm only concerning myself at the moment with the low frequency wave of the overall performance. I await Etienne's elaboration on the other waveforms, hoping to better follow how he incorporates those into the overall "equation."
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 11:47AM)
I may add (about the ability to do two things at the same time) that since Ramsay we are aware of the "if you want them to look at something look at it, and if you want them to look at you, look at them". Doesn't this means that we can make a gesture AND look at them or at the action (two things at the same time). Doesn't our hand opens as our forearm extends and our chest leans forward.... (several actions). So how do the Stanford Study delineate actions? Don't they do as we do in magic: twist the premises to positively prove their prejudice (an inductive process rather than a deductive one)?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 9, 2012 12:16PM)
Oh, we can definitely do two things at the same time, but the audience only really focuses their attention (high Y)on the one act perceived to be more important at that moment, and subconsciously (low Y) processes the other act.

I explained it once to someone with the example of picking up a number of pennies, (not in the context of a trick, but just cleaning off your table.) Once you take one and place it in your hand, your eye look to the next coin you're about to pick up, as the less important act of emptying your right hand in preparation of reaching for the next coin isn't really important.

I.e. you never really follow the one coin with your eyes all the way to your left hand. You don't need to. It's not that important. What [i]is[/i] important is looking for the next coin you're about to pick up.

In my avatar, you can see me looking at the ball in the air. That's the important thing [i]at that moment[/i]

Compare it to this photo of the moment of the ball transfer and you'll see what I mean.

[img]http://www.davevmagic.com/forumpix/misdirection.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 12:16PM)
... and since you touched at the concept of "infinite", don't religions try to deal with our perception of two or three infinites (our finite nature couldn't actually encompass infinites. The infinite of time (no initial nor known final point: time itself is an arguable notion), the space (only its relation to time, since Einstein, is measurable, but not the infinite itself), and more than anything the infinite organization of the Universe (scientists "discover" -lift the cover from over something pre-existing- or "invent" -from the latin "in venire" to come into-). We may be originally assembling things or concepts but we don't "create".
Does the fact that nature hates vacuum means that vacuum doesn't exist? What is the scientific definition of vacuum? Could such a definition be argued upon taking into consideration the recent discovery not of the the Higgs Boson — not yet, anyway — but revealed a never before- "discovered" particle comprised of three quarks? Quarks, as you know, form a group of six particles that differ in their masses and charges. The two lightest quarks, the so-called "up" and "down" quarks, form the two atomic components, protons and neutrons. All baryons that are composed of the three lightest quarks ("up," "down" and "strange" quarks) are known. Only very few baryons with heavy quarks have been observed to date. Since the Boson have not been observed yet but are conceptually accepted to get through every form of known matter, does it means that vacuum doesn't exist? Does matter exist if, according to one hypothesis of quantum pysics, if we could cut and observe it ad infinitum, we would end uup not with smaller particles but force fields or quantum loops?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 9, 2012 12:19PM)
Okay, you just lost me...
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 12:23PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-09 13:16, Dave V wrote:
Oh, we can definitely do two things at the same time, but the audience only really focuses their attention (high Y)on the one act perceived to be more important at that moment, and subconsciously (low Y) processes the other act.

I explained it once to someone with the example of picking up a number of pennies, (not in the context of a trick, but just cleaning off your table.) Once you take one and place it in your hand, your eye look to the next coin you're about to pick up, as the less important act of emptying your right hand in preparation of reaching for the next coin isn't really important.

I.e. you never really follow the one coin with your eyes all the way to your left hand. You don't need to. It's not that important. What [i]is[/i] important is looking for the next coin you're about to pick up.

In my avatar, you can see me looking at the ball in the air. That's the important thing [i]at that moment[/i]

Compare it to this photo of the moment of the ball transfer and you'll see what I mean.

[img]http://www.davevmagic.com/forumpix/misdirection.jpg[/img]
[/quote]

What you describe is exactly what Ascanio modelled as In Transit Actions
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 12:37PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-09 13:19, Dave V wrote:
Okay, you just lost me...
[/quote]
If you refuse to get scared by the unusual scientific jargon, you can understand it.
What it says is that it's not because we can't observe something that it doesn't exist (quantic loops, vacuum) and it's not because we "perceive" things (matter in my example) that they exist.

Just read it again without fear of not knowing enough.

Now it doesn't mean that I'm right in my discusssion with Al. It just presents interrogations to him who has explored things in a slightly different way and attempts to get one step further in our understanding of what makes magic good or bad... Since we look at concepts from two different angles we need to synthetize our perception and our analysis that converge. Such analysis may sound exceedingly deep (to remain nuanced: heaven or hell is in the details), but the aim or focal point remains the same: are there practical rules about HOW to make great magic a shade better.

Posted: Dec 9, 2012 1:56pm
@ Dave V

In your avatar, definitely, what's important on the surface is the small ball that you show. Now isn't communication even more important (in art) than the object (and the pause that Al was rightfully suggesting for the important steps to sink in)? So should you look at the small ball or just glance at it, and freezing your hand in its position, look up at the audience to get confirmation that they noticed what you want them to notice?

Now on Ascanio's In Transit Actions, you are unarguably right: as Slydini used to explain, the larger move covers the smaller one

Similarly with your coins from the table: yes the eyes don't follow the one coin all the way to our left hand. We don't need to. It's not that important. What is important in magic is glancing for the next coin we're about to pick up before looking at the audience.

Ramsay's rules were, IMHO, incomplete: "looking at the audience", in magic, "is the eyes rest position" (and a gentle peronalized smile -in Al Schneider's style- doesn't hurt)
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 9, 2012 01:05PM)
What my avatar doesn't show is the whole picture. My wife did a great job of freezing that moment in time, but that was the second half of that "phrase" starting with (taking lessons learned from Gazzo's videos) tipping the ball into my left hand, tossing it lightly and freezing to show it to the left side of the audience, then tossing it into my right to freeze once again to show it to the right side of the audience(snap photo), then (noticing that I need to pick up the wand, conveniently placed on the right side of the table) or another ball, I naturally needed to empty my hand so I could reach for the ball or wand to continue the routine. It wasn't a "transfer" in the mind of the audience, it was simply necessary to do so.

The transfer could flash like crazy(I didn't), but nobody would notice anyway as they were directed to the next thing I was looking to do.
Message: Posted by: leaycraft (Dec 9, 2012 01:35PM)
I am truly enjoying this thread- at the moment the project on hand is to refinish and prepare my version of Master Paynes. Schrodengers Bottles. As a teacher this thread interests me greatly especially as I tech Biology and Chemistry to the learning impaired. If yu have not seen Master Paynes bottles and you understand Quantum theory, I suspect like me yo will see wonderful possibilities to use magic to teach concepts that are challenging. I will next be looking at ways of introducing string theory as well.

Concept gives rise to explanation of concept which in turn forces one to consider the "rules" that regulate the explanation. Perception may negate reality, but reality is perception. We try to control what is perceived in a reality we can control and manipulate. This assures that the audience experiences a chosen reality (ours) created by their perception of the event. Heisenberg's paradox and Schrodinger's cat paradigm work for more than multiplying bottles.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 9, 2012 01:56PM)
I am truly amazed that when something is not understood, everyone can tell you what it is all about. A statement in all books (except one) will say that understanding quantum mechanics is impossible. Yet, everyone seems to know what it means. Especially religious people that rely on pure faith to understand the world and despise science yet use it to prove what they have faith in.

One of Lawrence O's previous posts is about quantum mechanics, a subject near and dear to my heart. I began studying it when I was eleven years old. I acquired a B. S. in Physics degree from Wayne State University in 1969. The ‘S’ in that title is due to the fact my studies in physics included quantum mechanics. If that were not so, the ‘S’ would be an ‘A’ meaning art. I have studied quantum physics all of my life. In 2002 using my knowledge of Theoretical Mechanics and knowledge of software; created a mathematical universe that supported Einstein Mechanics of Special Relativity. That opened a door that explained the structure of the universe and what quantum mechanics is. This has been recorded in a book titled, New Age Quantum Physics available on amazon dot com. The book meticulously begins with early recorded history (roughly 15 BC) and plots the development of quantum mechanics concepts up to the present day. The primary tenants of quantum mechanics were established by Greek philosophers. The experiments used to develop quantum mechanics over the years are presented so the reader can interpret the results for themselves. Unfortunately, results of many experiments have been interpreted for us that we use for later thinking leading many to wrong conclusions. My book attempts to set these conclusions straight. Halfway thought he book, different conclusions of the experiments are presented and the meaning of quantum mechanics is clearly defined. The results are staggering. The book is intended for people with a tenth grade level of mathematics capability.

And by the by, I have a friend, a magician, that is a top physicist working with super colliders searching for the Higgs Boson. I asked him if it had been found. He replied that they may have found it. He says they have found something but are not sure. He claims that a couple years of analysis are required to see if the properties of what they found match what the Higgs Boson need to be. You might find it interesting to know that if the Higgs Boson is not found the entire understanding of what physics is today will crumble. Quarks, charm, spin, up , down and all of it will fall to the wayside. This is a comment made by Dr. Michio Kaku, a leading theoretical physicist.

OK, that is the sales pitch. To this point in this discussion I have been attempting to play the game from Lawrence O's perspective. In each discussion, many points are made that are difficult to respond to. He presents so many, it is overwhelming. I attempted to do this in turn, but the message did not get through but generated a bigger shower of details. It began with a comment of something I said that I do not believe I said. Now, I would like to attempt to simplify the approach by asking a single question. At the end of a routine, just before the climax is presented; what is the spectator thinking of? Here are some possible answers.

Nothing
Something just disappeared and I wonder where it went.
I saw him roll a small ball under a cup.
He just made a ball appear under a cup.

Now, I would hope you could add to this list. If we do this enough, we can start categorizing the answers and generalize what might be on the spectator’s mind at this point.

As I think of it, here are some generalizations.

The spectator thinks nothing.
The spectator is so shocked by something he just saw; he is not watching the show.
The spectator is looking around everywhere because he just saw a flurry of magic events and wonders where the next will come from.
The spectator’s attention is focused on a specific point because he expects something specific to happen.

I maintain that if you generate such a list, your style of doing magic will change drastically. When you have data that indicates what is in the mind of the spectator, and see what is actually going on, the knowledge will motivate a confident known direction.

Here is the motivation in the LA Street Cups routine. During the routine the cups have been demonstrated to be empty other than the small balls being used. At the end of the routine the small balls are placed on the bottoms of the mouth down cups. The first ball is caused to disappear and appears under the first cup. This happens with the second cup. The third ball is caused to disappear but when the third cup is lifted, there is a large ball.

The philosophy is this. During the main part of the routine, events occurred in threes. At the end of the routine the balls disappear and appear under the cups one at a time. Due to these events, the spectators will watch the third cup like a dog on a squirrel. In their mind they believe there is already a small ball under the cup. In fact, I will hear murmurs from the audience, “There’s a ball under that cup.” I believe that in the mind’s of the audience there is an image of a small ball under the third cup. As the cup is raised, I believe they put an image of a small ball there. However, it is very big.

The point is this. Due to the preceding action, the audience attention is at its highest on a single point on the table and the audience has a preconceived idea of what is about to happen. When that cup is lifted, the small ball in their mind suddenly explodes to a large ball.

A similar thing is done in the Oriental Bowl routine. Near the end of the routine red balls are rolled under three bowls. The bowls are lifted to show green balls. Next the green balls are held in a closed fist. A magic gesture is made from the hand to the three mouth, down bowls. The hand is then shown empty. What is the audience to expect? Perhaps the green balls may appear under the bowls. Maybe they will appear red when the bowls are lifted. Then, each is lifed and each bursts overflowing with a number of red, yellow and green silks.

The point here is that the spectators are focused intently on those bowls during this series of events and what they hold in their mind is abruptly altered.

I must point out that magician's will not observe this phenomena. Magicians will say, "He produced a big ball at the end." or "He just produced a bunch of silks." Magicians will not see the imagne in the layman's mind of a ball exploding into something else.

And now, after all of this is said, I feel as if I violated my own process. I have presented a plethora of details. So, let me suggest this.

Make a list of why a unique climax is needed?

Then:

Make a list of where you got the idea a unique climax is needed.

By unique, I mean something that is bigger, different, or louder that deviates from the path established by a given routine.

If several people did such a thing and posted them here, this would be a truly valuable thread.

My assumption is that several of you will come up with observations that are worth pursuing rather than listening to mind babble of some wizards of smart.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 9, 2012 06:22PM)
It's because I knew that Al is very knowledgeable in quantum mechanics (more than me, even if I may not be totally ignorant about where it stands having exchanged approaches to magic with Georges Charpak against candles in the dark of quantum physics), that I chose to take my examples in the field. My idea was to try and convince Al of the binary aspect of human attention and of the consequences of this in delivering a strong climax. That's the only reason why I tried to take examples in a scientific domain he knows well.

Considering somebody who has a slightly diverging aproach without exploring it, isn't very scientific however. Now is it interesting to resort to dismay and switch to name calling rather than presenting why, supplying evidences, one has doubts as to the importance of rhythm to the building up of climaxes, or counter arguments about the binary nature of the rhythm of awareness and perception.

So, to remain topical, let's make a list of why a unique climax is needed? What does "unique" mean (the bottom of all three cups could be pulled back at once as recommended by Dai Vernon); would the appartion of three large balls at once be considered as a unique climax?

"In their mind they believe there is already a small ball under the cup. In fact, I will hear murmurs from the audience, “There’s a ball under that cup.” I believe that in the mind’s of the audience there is an image of a small ball under the third cup. As the cup is raised, I believe they put an image of a small ball... in their mind suddenly explodes to a large ball"

Do spectators imagine that the small ball suspected to be there "explodes" to a large ball... I doubt it. I can accept the intensity of the surprise but "exploding" isn't something that I think gets to the audience perception as fast as in the performer's imagination.

Where do we get the idea that a unique climax is needed?

A unique climax is needed to indicate without doubt to the audience that the routine is over.

Also spectators wouldn't like to have been fooled repeatedly without something special and surprising that is so impossible that they shouldn't feel gullible or inferior for having been fooled.

A unique climax is needed because, for entertainment purposes, the dramatic structure calls for "going higher and higher until the final blast"

A unique climax is needed because people don't want to have been taken for a ride by watching cheap stuff.

A unique climax is needed because an increased interrupted crescendo leaves the audience wanting more

A unique climax is needed for it's a reputation builder for the performer and a potential for other gigs or more profitable ones

A unique climax is needed because magical performers never found any reason not to follow the dramatic structure of every other art (litterature, film, computer games, finals in sports, sexual intercourse...)

Would the word "climax" exist if there was no need for it?

"latest mind babble of a wizard of smart" :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 9, 2012 07:05PM)
Well.
Thank you for telling me that.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 9, 2012 11:50PM)
This is one of the more interesting threads I've read on the Café in a long long time. Al, always great to hear your thoughts on magic.
Message: Posted by: FatHatter (Dec 10, 2012 10:39AM)
My need for a unique climax involves hatting a group of people.
I need something that WoWs them and also lets them know that the show is over, I have done well, and deserve reciprocation.


I got this idea from watching other performers.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 10, 2012 02:03PM)
I'm not sure there's great disagreement here. Seems to me a matter of interpretation and articulation, largely.
Through line, continuity, integrity, interest. ?
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 10, 2012 02:25PM)
I read this as 2 big egos showing off and from time to time a little interesting point about magic, I will read some other posts, this discussion bored me to death.
This is just my simple opinion with no degree on quantum, phisycs, calculus, super colliders, personality test, Einstein, Jung and others.
Message: Posted by: Artie Fufkin (Dec 10, 2012 06:58PM)
Finally, somebody has the "cups and balls" to speak the truth.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 10, 2012 07:26PM)
Well I supposed there was some (?) of that in it, too, but I do my best to give the benefit of the doubt, you see.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 10, 2012 08:54PM)
I dropped out of High School and I LOVED Al and Etienne's discussion and it got me looking up much of what they were talking about. Thank you Gentlemen!!!
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 10, 2012 09:46PM)
Pabloinus
I agree with you totally.
I refered to the two big egos, as you put it, as the wizards of smart.
Others should voice their opinion as well.
I would really enjoy what you might have to say about the value of a unique climax.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 11, 2012 07:03AM)
Al my comment was a little bit tongue in cheek, but just a little bit, 2/3 of the whole discussion is about friends concern with particles to be found (or not), Jung based personality tests, selling companies and executive careers, axis and waves, my opinion was that it was a little bit over the top.

But you are correct about adding to the conversation, so my opinion, which is based as being a spectator, is that the climax or not climax is not as relevant as it is discussed here, rather if either one brings magic to the table, the moment of astonishment that Paul Harris mentioned in his book. Or does not not. Generalization is not an answer in a performing art that is so subjective. I like it you don't like it.
What I mean with that is, separating the acting from the effect for my opinion, C&B in general has a climax, big loads, and I am amazed by it, I am also amazed by your routine as well.
Matrix, as per your comment does not have a climax, and I am amazed by your routine, but Boston Massacre by M. Powers is a matrix/reverse matrix with a boston box, that do have a climax, the box is empty at the end, and I am also amazed, so 2 similar tricks with or without climax create the same moment of astonishment in me. Both ideas works.

In another words, in my view the main discussion is what makes a trick irrelevant or bored or nake you lose the audience. I think that in the analysis of what is important another aspects that get into play make the trick work or not, length, charater of the performance, attitude and all the artisitic elements of a magic performance.

Anyway, I am going now to call my friend so I can sell to him my company while he is working in squaring the circle and the missing link, and he thinks he found both... or not :)
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 11, 2012 07:41AM)
Pabloinus
Yours is a very good post. I agree with almost everything you say. I apoligize a bit for my drift off to other areas. Some people seem to get analogies from some other universe that to me simply do not make sense. I fire back to show I know all that stuff also. In my mind I think I am shooting back what they are shooting at me. In general I think they are just talking out of one end to simply overwhelm the reader so everyone sees the person as a wiseman. They use statements like, "With all due respect," or "Now I'm just sayin," or offer ten references that have nothing to do with anything. A thresd starts off good then one of these yahoos take it off into the weeds. At that point, it doesn't matter anymore because the thread is dead. In my mind your post accuratly sums up over half the posts in this thread.

You have expressed your opinion very well.

This thread would be very good if others would expand on your opinion.

Thanks

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 11, 2012 09:06AM)
Al, actually I think the thread has a value and should not be dead, rather focus back to the original post "Wow great routine by Al" or
What is your process to develop your routine in the way you had? or as a third topic: When you develop a routine do you do it for your own intellectual gratification (use of a given sleight, or use of an old method on a new scenario, or no climaxes) or with an audience impact in mind? I am puzzle on the last one because professional magician lost I think the "audience view", maybe they have a little bit, but in general they look at tricks with different eyes that I look at them, therefore climaxes or not climaxes are irrelevant concepts to me if they do not entertain.
The use of a shell or sleight of hands in 3 fly type of trick is irrelevant if I show the trick to my daughter, she will be amazed either way, however the effort to do one or the other from my perfromance point of view is totally different.

Hope you stay on
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 11, 2012 12:46PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-11 08:41, Al Schneider wrote:
Pabloinus
Yours is a very good post. I agree with almost everything you say. I apoligize a bit for my drift off to other areas. Some people seem to get analogies from some other universe that to me simply do not make sense. I fire back to show I know all that stuff also. In my mind I think I am shooting back what they are shooting at me. In general I think they are just talking out of one end to simply overwhelm the reader so everyone sees the person as a wiseman. They use statements like, "With all due respect," or "Now I'm just sayin," or offer ten references that have nothing to do with anything. A thresd starts off good then one of these yahoos take it off into the weeds. At that point, it doesn't matter anymore because the thread is dead. In my mind your post accuratly sums up over half the posts in this thread.

You have expressed your opinion very well.

This thread would be very good if others would expand on your opinion.

Thanks

Al Schneider
[/quote]
I think this is relevant to any discussion, perhaps could be distributed more widely here at the Magic Café:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=491112&forum=32&post=7772846

I think there've been relevant points made here, and dismissing fellows as yahoos is counterproductive. Tolerance and a willingness to consider information will only benefit everyone here.

The discussion regarding climax I think made evident that it is what it is, regardless of what you'd prefer to call it. There's a matter of degree, and subtlety doesn't negate the fact that a climax is a climax, does it? Maybe we need a definition here. Maybe it's not a climax, but a conclusion- but somehow conclusion seems understating and overstating at the same time- or not, perhaps it's "a" conclusion, not necessarily "the" conclusion. Or is it? As you said earlier, Al, at sometimes you just know you wouldn't want to follow it with anything else. I'm thinking out loud here, but perhaps "the" conclusion is accurate. In all likelihood, it's more than one thing. Interesting thread. Hope we can continue discussion this time. Seems difficult to do, often. There's room for change in that here at the Magic Café, and everywhere, indeed.
[quote]
On 2012-12-06 08:48, Al Schneider wrote:
Another structure would be: UP, down, UP, down, Up, down, POW. Again many magicians on the side would see POW as a climax to the routine. I do not. [i][b]I see it as an extension of what went before. What occurred before lends power to the final POW.[/i][/b]
[/quote]
It was the above point you made earlier, Al, that largely inspired my point on page 2 of:
[quote]
On 2012-12-10 15:03, magicalaurie wrote:

...Through line, continuity, integrity, interest. ?
[/quote]
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 3:16pm
For those without a theatre background, a note I'd like to make- dramatic structure in theatre does not end with the climax. There seems to be a wanting or a statement that a magic routine does indeed end with a climax. But perhaps, even though it's considered the end, it ain't over yet. Perhaps it ends with the other characters involved, the audience. Maybe, in that case, the structure is not so different, afterall. The difference might be more in a magician's perspective than anywhere else. For what it's worth:
http://narrativestructures.wisc.edu/aristotle
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 11, 2012 05:56PM)
Pabloinus
You got cups and balls. What do you think of this?
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 11, 2012 06:23PM)
When I last checked, magic was more art than science. Certainly, it's not an exact science in which slavish obedience to immutable precepts and principles is a sine qua non to a magical performance worthy of the name. So......all this absolutist insistence on the need for a "climax" is, to my mind, misconceived. Why not just go with the artistic flow, the creative impulse and see where it leads you......rather than feeling that you are somehow breaking one of "God's holy ordinances" ( as the Church of England was wont to say back in the day) if you do not conform to some pre-ordained dramatic structure or rhythm ( "this little piggie went to market, this little piggy stayed home but this little piggie.... this little piggie......went we-we-we-we all the way home!")

Why do you have to adhere to that conventionality....and who sez?

Literature and Art were mentioned by way of analogy. Well, the world would never have heard of Joyce or Faulkner with their "stream of consciousness" anti-novels if they had felt bound by the "absolutely -must-build-to-a-climax" doctrine. Beckett, too, would never have flowered. Ditto Borges (my favourite writer of them all). And what about Picasso or Magritte or Dali or Jackson Pollock or....you get the point.

It may make our magic more easily digestible and more readily acceptable if we were to harness all our routines to the boom-boom -KABOOM! step-by-step building to a crescendo approach but there's absolutely no reason why it NEEDS to conform to that sort of progression or rhythm or dramatic structure. The creative impulse was never meant to be enslaved by rigid, dogmatic, positions or by overarching rules and regulations.

Fortasse

PS. Al: to my mind you are the deepest and clearest thinker in all of contemporary magic. And you're certainly the best instructor if your books and videos ( virtually all of which I own and repeatedly read or view) are anything to go by. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 11, 2012 07:54PM)
Fortasse,

I'm certainly not saying anyone has to structure a routine in a certain way. That's not my style at all. I am suggesting, though, that just saying you're not using a climax or following a dramatic structure- because you don't like the idea of conforming- doesn't necessarily mean your routine isn't doing just that.
Ali Bongo's point is valid and pertinent perhaps to what you've said, fortasse- a lot of performers do this work organically, intuitively, and though they may not take pains to set the process in writing, they certainly understand and are proficient in what they're doing.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 11, 2012 08:05PM)
Magiclaurie- my comments weren't directed at you. In fact, I agree with much of what you've said. I was actually taking issue with some things that Lawrence O had said.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 11, 2012 08:17PM)
Thankyou, fortasse. I didn't think your comments were necessarily directed my way, I wanted to clarify my position just in case, though. Also, I'd been thinking about the Ali Bongo line a bit and your comments provided opportunity to insert my thoughts on that. :)
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 13, 2012 06:40AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-11 21:05, fortasse wrote:
Magiclaurie- my comments weren't directed at you. In fact, I agree with much of what you've said. I was actually taking issue with some things that Lawrence O had said.
[/quote]

Piccasso's father was Don José Ruiz-Blasco, a teacher of painting at the local school of Arts. His first painting, the only one that he would never take part of, the Yellow Piccador, is very classical. He then went to the Barclona school fo fine arts, he then went ot his father's art school in Ljota beforee joining the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid before moving to Paris. His "blue period" and "pink period" pre date his discoveries of cubism and follow the path of very academic studies with a genius personality but after going through classical studies.
Magritte did learn art at school at a very young age and then at the Académie royale des beaux-arts de Bruxelles and was 30, when in 1919 et 1920 Pierre-Louis Flouquet teaches him cubism and futurism. It's only in 1924 that he saw a reproduction of the Giorgio De Chirico's Love Song and got a kind of revelation that would trigger his off the beaten path from classic painting
Dali at a very young age followed the painting course with Juan Núñez at the city school of engraving. His early painting until at least 1919 is very impressionist and he wrote in a monthly review called Studium presenting articles on painters like Goya, Velázquez and Léonard de Vinci. He then went at the Royal Académy of Fine Arts in San Fernando...
etc.

I'm sure that you're geetting my point about the fact that most celebrated geniuses have started with very serious academic studies before getting aside from it in one way or the other.

Similarly Al Schneider has gone through a very analytical route (that he refers to in this thread) in a brilliant but very classical and almost scientific way over 700 pages (I'm quoting him). Now, even if I'm not Picasso, Magritte or Dali, there are some points in his "theory" that I wanted to question without attempting to dismantle his theory that I find deeply proper in almost every instances.

However I'd like to reproduce Lloyd E Jones in his Review of Magical Litterature in Tops on Dr Jacob Daley when Jinx published published Daley's Cups and Balls in 1938: "Item bound to be most popular is Dr. Jacob Daley's Cups and Ball routine whose definition of a magician is a dandy "the worst type of egocentric exhibitionist, who despises those who can do things better than he, tolerates those who can do things equally as well, and simply adores those who are inferiors". Put that in your pipe and it will put your pipe out."

Now for Al's comments on my initial post, I'd like to remember that I was reporting rhythm observed statistically and not as a "must". My posts were points raised as a topical questions and Al rather than answering topically felt personally attacked and replied shooting at me instead of remaining topical.

Am I the one that tried to "cast" the other person with a Meyer Squibb personality test and project its results from personal prejudice without reading the other person's answers to the question in the test. Didn't I expressed respect for Al's magic and his Theory of Magic (when he states in the same thread that he doesn't believe in "rules") Was I trying to establish a Theory of Magic or just discuss certain observations that I have a problem fitting into Al's theory that I do like a lot and find profound with the exception of the climax topic?
So who is egotistic? Who wants to impose a "Theory of Magic" without accepting even the principle of any question about it? Who is narcissistic? Where is, Pabloinus, the conflict of egos.? I only asked questions and was only replied with self proclaimed (and even expressely accepted) superiority which doesn't mean total stpidity of the questioner. Who tried to be back on topical issues? Who reverted constantly to personal casting as if he was under attack? Al did attack me personally, and I tried to get back to topics with question....

Then the topical points aren't covered from an anlytical point: I'd like to underline some statements by Al that, without explanation on his part, seem inconsistent.
Al first reports that "The human can only input data in one thread". In other words no one can DO two things at once and Al supports his claim with a study by Stanford. I dared to submit -with a logical demonstration- arguments against his conclusion derived from that study: we have 5 senses that do work at once and the Stanford study was apparently covering linear actions. We can watch a magic show in music and perceive both the music and the magic at once. Robert Houdin was putting ether in the room for its smell to be perceived as people were watching the levitation of his son... And YOU wrote "When I perform Cross Cards, the audience responds as if hearing a wonderful piece of music or watching a beautiful ballet"... and since someone in the thread mentioned Allan Edgar Poe's vitally momentous considerations his questions touch whether "a perfect consistency can be nothing but an absolute truth"

Then Based on this Al, again making personal statements rather than remaining topical and exposes that I would be putting together three curves of perceptions in one linear model. This is not what had been said. The point that I have [b]observed[/b] is that a seemingly erratic curve of spectator's attention to our magic shows, is in fact composite of an attention to the moves, to the effect and to the show. This is not especially what I would be "trying to do", it's just what I observed and since our art is about playing with audience perception, I was attempting to see how such an observation could fit with Al's theory of magic. Al's reply was that in Physics Sine wave have a constant wave length (which means the same tempo in rhythm) and that he has a problem with that approach. My point was exactly to suggest that a climax is reached by playing with the rythm. Actually Juan Tamariz who is not too stupid in theoretical and performance terms has done a lecture (second lecture DVD with International Magic) to demonstrate how it is possible just with the creation of tension and release of tension to make spectators laugh without saying any gag. What he exposes is just playing with the wave lengths of attention increasing the amplitude but tightening further and further the proximity of each high point ... before making it drop dramatically. Hence we can play with the wave length and geniuses like Juan do.
Then, after refusing to consider that attention goes through ups and downs, Al states "The human mind cannot focus on one thing for long. It is somewhat like the focus of the human eye. We cannot stare at a specific point for a significant period of time. Try it. Stare at a single point. You can feel your attention move away from that point." This is a clear admission that attention goes through Ups and Downs. Since I wanted to share some consequences of this into the need (or its absence) for a climax and the way to link rhythm and climax. It was necessary to cover rigorously the rhythm topic.

Al's position is not clear to me since he is talking (at least for the C&Bs) of a Unique Climax and refuses to state if his theory means only one large load appearing or only one action for the climax. If it is one action, we can pull back at once the bottoms of thee three cups and reveal the three large loads. If his point is only one large load I need to stress my doubt about the spectators thinking that the little ball "exploded" into a large one (quote from Al) but more than this it doesn't kill one question in the audience mind "What's under the other two cups"? Now we may want to leave them with that question but if a PHYSICAL question (not a magical one) remains in the spectators' minds, the effect stays unfinished and it didn't reach a climax.
After stating " I did not read it in any rules of how to perform magic that says there should be a climax", Al preseents his point on the "unique climax". This means that he pretends to be open for discussions... but seems to need lecturing further buy not reflecting on the points that do not fundamentally confirm his hypothesis (an inductive approach that could demonstrate anything). It seems to me that before reaching a personal conclusion pros and cons should be covered not just the points confirming an initial emotional prejudice.

Still on the rhythm, Al claims "My goal is to start strong and end stronger". This obviously refers to the effect and is fair enough. Now this also means that the attention should somehow increase progressively all the way to the end of an effect. In music this is called a crescendo. Or does it means that the effect should start strong (to catch the attention) but willingly or not needs to (according to some observations shared by Al and me) go down for it cannot remained entirely focused for ever on one point and then go back up to "finish stronger". Then can we and then how do we control the audience's rhythm of attention for creating a dramatic effect. Al gives a hint with his approach to pauses. The premises and each milestone in the routine must be clear and sink in the audience perception. Some other express it by saying "how do they know that an orange changed into an apple if they didn't realize that it was an orange in the first place". Again fair enough. Now does it means that pauses should be used EXCLUSIVELY for the milestones to sink in and not for dramatic and rhythm purposes? I've leared from René Lavand that such is not the case and that dramatization (that some of us call presentation) participates in the creation of what Al calls "virtual magic".
I definitely share Al's point when he says "It just doesn't make sense to dump a big coin on the table and have them say, 'Boy, I didn't see that mud on the birthday cake comming.' I admit I operate on a different level. Some of this stuff is not for table hopping or bar work. But then, that situation requires a different style."

This means that there is more than just surprise in a climax (a point stressed by John Bannon in the introduction of "Impossibilia"). It doesn't mean that surprise should be excluded from climax (unique or not and whatver "unique climax" actually means)

This is exactly wat I was hoping and tried to be able to exchange thinking about with Al to be able to progress in my own thinking without having to adhere a theory but sharing analysis with someone whose analytical mind I respect but who's personality, I just discovered is very defensive against personal attacks that only exist in his imagicnation. So we'll neveer know here because Al seems to be only interested to have us adhering 100% to his theory (not 98% like me) and without questioning any point of it otherwise than to receive negative statements with dismay from a position of superiority.

So soryy guys, as long as this is the spirit of this thread, I'll remain out of it.

Al the field is yours: I don't need recognition, only getting further into the non mathematical knowledge of the infinite that we, finished mortals will never reach. It's like objectivity: should the fact that we'll never reach it, prevent us from progressing in a direction that seem to be it?

One hand alone cannot clap. I'm not satisfied with pre recorded applause. Even if you actually deserve a standing ovation for what you brought, your insights are not any more final than mine.

But king Midas has donkey's ears
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 13, 2012 12:17PM)
Thankyou for that response, Etienne. Sincere questions are not attacks, they are questions that would appreciate consideration. I've been attacked for having the audacity to ask questions myself, told they were rhetorical at best, the implication being they were most definitely unwelcome. How come? Open dialogue here at the Café would be so refreshing. I've noted this, too:
[quote]
On 2012-12-13 07:40, Lawrence O wrote:
...dramatization (that some of us call presentation) participates in the creation of what Al calls "virtual magic"...
[/quote]
I've tried to point out that "virtual magic" very well might be "a rose by another name". I haven't yet seen it being different from what many of the very proficient close-up magicians and other performing artists have been accomplishing for years. Is it? I've previously used this demonstration by Marcel Marceau, for example, to illustrate the question:

http://youtu.be/qXmfSUIi9p4
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 13, 2012 01:17PM)
I still believe too big egos are the cause of the dead of this thread, to start a reply with an explanation of the live of some painters is showing off, a little bit over the top in my view.
And if you add to the egos a little intention to stir the pot, then you have a fatidic combination. No thread could stand that.
This thread was about how nice is Schneider's c&b routine, so far so good, until the question about "why his weak loads", not about why your loads are your loads, we are all grown ups here, what would you expect Schneider, who also has a short fuse, will say to a comment like that.

Which is true is that you both made me go back to read (I thank you for that) about personality tests, carl Jungs, super colliders, selling of companies, small particles to be discovered and the life of some painters, and of course Laurie (she is not part of my egos comment :) ) that brought the theatre background explanation that was very interesting, I knew nothing about it.

It is a pity, the subject could it be great...
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 13, 2012 04:10PM)
Must the thread be dead, pablo? A trip through the Not Very Magical, Still... might be in order. This thread ain't got nothin' on what goes on in there. :)
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 13, 2012 04:29PM)
Laurie, fron the point of view of the subject/s dicussed it should not 1) Schneider routine 2) Climax, no climax, routining.
But I think it has too much noise around at this moment to re-focus it.

Saying that if you want to try I think we can re-start with your point on climax/ no climax or conclusion and maybe adding enterntaining value to the mix, I have spectator eyes more than magician eyes.
I mean, if I have a climax but entertain nobody or I don't have a climax and I entertain a lot, then the notion of a climax or no climax is more an internal view of the magician because the guy watching does not care about either rather how entertain he is with what he sees.
Then your point on theatre if I got it correctly, is very valid, the climax or not climax does not mean a conclusion rather one more part of the trick/drama, and the need is for a conclusion rather than a climax to close out the spectator experience?

Hope it makes sense
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 13, 2012 04:37PM)
To illustrate my point I will use the example I used before, Schneider's matrix does not have a climax (as per his opinion) and has closing all 4 coins got together under a card. Boston Massacre by Mike Powers in my view it has a climax, at the end the coins vanish from the boston box and the closing is the coins came back under the cards.
Both routines entertain me one with climax and one without, and both have a closing.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 13, 2012 06:28PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-13 17:37, pabloinus wrote:
To illustrate my point I will use the example I used before, Schneider's matrix does not have a climax (as per his opinion) and has closing all 4 coins got together under a card. Boston Massacre by Mike Powers in my view it has a climax, at the end the coins vanish from the boston box and the closing is the coins came back under the cards.
Both routines entertain me one with climax and one without, and both have a closing.
[/quote]
Pablo,

I understand your point, even if don't share it. First if Al undoubtedly not only coined the name "matrix" and did raise enthusiasm for this effect as no one else had before him. He is neither the inventor of the effect itself nor the inventor of the pick up move argued upon between the late Derek Dingle and himself since the principle of stealing a covered coin when picking up the card that covers it is printed in French in the mammoth work of Dr Dhotel before both of them were even born.

I feel mildly insulted by your comment about a fight of egos for, if you reread my post I constantly placed Al above my self and presented, out of respect, my opinions (which are rarely lightly reached) as question? If you ever saw me in an intellectual fight, you would immediately recognize that it's much more vindicative and can be plain agressive.
I just like Al and his magic and wished to question him on the topics raised. A fight of egos? Think again!

Now as far as your opinion on climax/no climax is concerned, you rightfully recall Al's honest statement about his success in popularizing Matrix without a climax. But then I have a question for both of you. If there was no psychological need by the spectator for a climax in Matrix, what makes it that so many magicians felt the urge to create some instant reversde Matrix or, as Al mentions himself, a need to create a climax with some form of magical conclusion with the cards themselves... Another question would be, and actually was, what makes a great magician like Al, even in his splendid C&Bs put breaks on climaxes by tentatively reducing the traditional three large loads to one. He is even, seemingly, using an ambiguity by talking of a "unique" climax without explaining what "unique" exactly means in his mind. To me it seems that it's a reduced climax... and why not? But I'd like to understand the rationale before making up an opinion as to whether I share his opinion or not and why. I think that Al is a real genius and I'd like to worm out from him what is truly behind his line of thought on this climax point. Not a doctoral statement of the kind "because I say so" but an explanation of his trend of thought on the subject.

One further thought: if you call "conclusion" or "ending", what others call "climax", is this a real deepening on the topic?

You can replace in every line that I wrote "climax" with "conclusion" or "ending", I don't fight for semantics. As you perfectly understood, I was attempting to let a creative and progressive discussion to develop.

Since you seem to like gaining knowledge when the opportunity presents itself and since Al like psychology. You may want to recheck the psychology of perception that drives our little miracles. As you and several here know it's call the Gestalt theory and has been deepened since its inception. Here is a Wikipedia link and basic bibliography to get to its principle easily recognized in our art
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology

Now maybe it's impossible to progess here and now... We'll take it up at some other occasion.
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 13, 2012 07:11PM)
Etienne, don't feel insulted, this is just internet, where my opinion is as valid as yours and Al's, even so I don't have the minimum experience to discuss the subject with either of you.
I am not trying to follow yours and Al's discussion with my cooment, I believe the previous discussion is doomed.

I tried to start a new topic using Laurie's comment above, where she brought the subject on climaxes and closing and Theatre, she has an education on the subject so I thought we could gain some knowledge, hopefully Laurie will join us.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 13, 2012 07:25PM)
Fine with me. No harm done

Actually, your idea to start a new "not doomed" thread may be a good one to unlock the exchange or ideas.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 13, 2012 08:37PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-13 19:28, Lawrence O wrote:

One further thought: if you call "conclusion" or "ending", what others call "climax", is this a real deepening on the topic?

You can replace in every line that I wrote "climax" with "conclusion" or "ending", I don't fight for semantics. [/quote]
My question here, Etienne, is: is that what magicians are doing? Are they interchangeable? In some cases I think they can be one and the same, depending on the magician's perspective of when the routine is over. But in the cases that it would be more accurate to make a distinction, then using the terms interchangeably is, in my opinion, a mistake and perpetuates confusion.

I think this thread can survive quite easily if members will allow it to.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 13, 2012 09:55PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-13 07:40, Lawrence O wrote:
King Midas has donkey's ears
[/quote]
A bit off topic, but that is a GREAT name for a band or song.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 13, 2012 11:50PM)
[b]Off subject but I just thought of it. What say you show four aces and used these aces for the matrix cards, and at the end of the routine you turn them over and they are now four KINGS. ???? Also, Johnny Paul's c&b routine, with 3 cups only had ONE final load.[/b]
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 14, 2012 01:35AM)
Pete, glad you showed up.
A young man on this forum had the same idea and performed a clip for us all to see. It was posted someplace on the forum. He did Matrix with business cards. At the end of the routine, the business cards were shown to be different. He did an admirable job. Not pro but admirable. But the wizards of smart on this forum that claim to be intereted in helping: flamed this kid. It was very unfair. The kid performed slowly and clearly. So this community has already flamed that idea. Then about Johnny Paul only using a one ball finish. There have been many one ball finishes for cups and balls. I cannot remember them but they have been discussed on other threads. They are some really great names. In fact there are many cup and ball routines out there that have no large finish at all. Consider the Rub a Dub Dub penetration routine. It is a classic.

Another factor is that the wizards of smart here accuse me of not finishing cups and balls right. I only use one ball. Well, the routine is but one routine on the DVD from L&L. In another routine the finish consists of three bursts of silk explosions. Another routine consists of tipping back the cups and two are filled with shards of ice. Another consist of a standard production of three large load balls. The difference here is that the load sequence is so strong, it can be repeated immediately for the same audience and the shock will be the same. My point is that these people are ripping me for only producing one ball in one routine. These other routnes are inovative and far beyond their capability at creativity. Yet, they persist at blasting me for producing only one ball.

Let's look at that routine. The entire routine fits into three cups. When I performed at a coffee shop, I just let the cups sit on the table. I picked them up, did the routine, and put the cups back on the table. They were always ready to go. The routine is self resetting. There are no body steals. I never go to my pockets. I don't use my lap. The routine can be done standing or sitting. It can be done surrounded. It can be done in your birthday suit. It can be done immediately and it will still fool the crowd. One of the owner's friends hung around the coffee shop and has seen the routine dozens of times. He confesses he has no idea where the large load at the end comes from. Yet the wizards of smart here rip me a new hole two feet wide becasue I don't adhere to their way of doing things. Then, they declare they are fair. This routine has been designed over a forty year period to be done in very hardened enviroments. It works well. It sells well. I admit it has some flaws. I ain't perfect but I try real hard.

People ask me questions and want to share to develop something. Hey, I just put half my life into a DVD of significant material and you want talk about developing something new. That offends me. Then you offer ideas and want feedback. I offer feedback and the feedback is either ignored or claimed it is wrong. You ask for it, then you blast it. Is that fair? Of course, you know better than me so of course I am wrong. Of course I am going to get ****ed. Then, you take my words and twist them and tell me I am not cooperating. Then you guys go on for post after post telling the world I am a bad guy. Of course you can tell me I am rotten but I can't tell you that you are
rotten. Laurie, when I saw your first post on this thread. I said to myself: this thread is dead.

Pete. I miss you. I wish I lived in LA so we could get together and chat. You were the person that gave me one of the most valuable moves of my life. At a convention long ago you showed me a move to do expansion of texture. I have used that move all of my life since then. When someone invites me out to go bar hopping, I take that trick along with me. It is the second trick I teach my students. When I perform it the person helping me freezes in shock. It is featured in my big theory book. I asked where you got it long ago and you told me you knew nothing about it. I remember you showing it to me at a convention near Duke Stern's booth. We were talking near his table. Then you showed me a coin throgh the table move one could do without sitting. You used Duke's table to show me the move. Duke came over and told us to beat it. We both know him and consider him a friend but he had vision trouble and did not recognize us. Those were the days. Conventions are not the same.

Anyway, I wanted to remind you of the move you taught me and forgot about.

And while I am talking about old times, rainboguy: the time we spent at the Houdini club talking was not enough. I thought about moving to Madison but Angie doesn't want to. The University of Wisconson has a decent physics program I was interested in.

And for anyone that cares about me personally, my biggest joy in life is sitting around talking to magicians. If you see me at any event: please walk up and say hi. All I ask is that you buy me a Mudslide.

Ya, I have a big ego. And I have a short fuse. If you dump on me, I'm gonna dump on you. But if you don't yank my chain, I'm a chubby fuzz ball. I mean real chubby. And old.

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 14, 2012 07:36AM)
Al,

Let's consider that we both started on the wrong foot and let's take up, if possible, the discussion in a positive spirit.
"The wizards of smart" here (congratulations for this creative name calling which doesn't offend me) didn't accuse you of "not finishing cups and balls right".

I just wanted to understand your rationale. You explainned it when you say that you want to express that the small ball "explodes into a large one. Fair enough. I doubt that it flies as such but, thinking it over, this effect could get through if the script is subtle enough to delineate that this is the effect. As you rightfully explain in your Theory of Magic that, again I adhere to for 99% of it (some interrogations on the management of the audience attention rhythm), what hte effect is must be very clearly understood by the audience.

This I think is a major point.
For example, in the Multiplication Pass, there are two possible effects: the balls can "come back" from the pockets as in Dai vernon's routine and in fact most of the performers nowadays; or the cups "keep on producing balls" that are pocketted as in Laurie L Ireland routine. The visual is the same but not the effect.

So, please, I'm not accusing you of anything, I just would liike to understand the rationale behind what you do when your theory of magic doesn't cover the topic. Please accept my apologies if my questions did go through as an accusation.
And yes there are several C&Bs by celebrated performers that either finish with only one large load like Ken Brooke and, in some instances Patrick Page or with no large load at all like Sam Leo Horowitz (another genius that will hopefully one day gain proper recognition for his numerous insights).

This being said, your explanation still leaves me with interrogations. After the one ball climax, and because the appearance of a large load is so surprising, the audience will question what is under the other cups. Now this could be dealt with when packing up (as a "follow through") using Pete Biro's Karate move to let the other two cups to be packed as empty.

Now this point has been teasing me so much over so many years that I raised it because of the feeling that the audience has about the other two cups. Ken Brooke solved that dilemma differently by stacking the cups before revealing the one large load under the bottom one: in their stacked condition, there was no question left open as to whether a similar large load could be in the other cups. Gazzo also produces a single real large load climax by producing a water melon from his hat (not the first magician to conclude the C&Bs with a single large load from the hat, Robert Houdin was producing several canon balls from a hat), but the cups had already produced larger loads than the small balls.
Thus, without feeling accused of anything, can you tell us more what you feeel about this and what your trend of thought is in this respect.

Now an additional point that I have no problem to credit you either, is your search for large load without getting to the pockets. and for me it's related to the question of the number of large loads.

Scott York in his X-rated cups and balls, came with the very bright idea of placing his stacked cups mouth down in their bag and to wedge a large load into the lower cup but from the outside. Then as he would take the cups out, that large load could be secretly lapped. Now from discussion I had with Tommy Wonder on this topic and his 'rule of three, I came with the idea to use Scott's principle for tabling the load under the bag and drag it aside to the left of the table near the table'es inner edge. From there on, instead of getting to the pockets but using Tommy's misdirection technique with the pompom and the bag, the large load could be stolen, from under the bag and loaded into the cup. This works beautifully but I had this "one large load only problem" linked to "what about the other two cups". With Tommy I also worked on using the pendulum (that he used to vanish things) to deliver a load but the leaning forward that C&Bs require was making the solution unpractical (even with a safety pin break in the jacket (or we didn't find the prooper solution.)
I then got an idea from Tom Stone who uses a smart (but too complex for me) doctor's bag delivering a magnetic ball under the sole of his shoe, and bringing the foot up for a steal. taking up the idea, I did use a clip for holding the pants tight when bicycling. I stuck a magnet to the clip and shimmed a large load that I put against the magnet under the pants at ankle level. It's great when performing sitting especially if using Slydini's Imp-Pass to ring it in. It feels uncomfortable when standing but bringing the foot up is not more detectable than stealing a load from the table with proper audience focusing.
The solution for the third load came to me from David Berglas who simply uses his sleeve to deliver the load. I just made a clip that releases the load when tugging the sleeve, to avoid loosing liberty of movement during the routine itself.
All of this to say that I went a long way to find solution to what, for me, is an audience psychological problem with the one large load ending.
Thus you can understand that I was really not accusing you of anything but, because I respect very much your theory of magic, because I'm after virtual magic rather than theatrical one, because I see you performing what you preach, I just (and still do) wanted to get your point on this. As you say yourself, your fuse seem to be short or you've been burned before and it still hurts, but believe it I'm not asking for justification, I'm asking for explanations and thinking since I noticed that many of your effects seem to be tamed on the climax or ending. After I understand what the rationale behind this observation is, I may agree or disagree, but right now I have no judgement (and therefore no accusation) as I simply don't understand what's behind this observation and I have developped an inclination to follow your line of thougth.

If we can succeed resuming or initiating a topical dialogue then I may kindly ask you to exchange ideas and their rationale on the playing with rhythm in a performance for reinforcing virtual magic.

With hopes for positive and exploring discussions

The Wizard of Smart (even if it wasn't said in a very nice way, I like this better than Houdini'ss title of "Handcuffs King" of or Pop Krieger's title "King of C&Bs" :) )
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 14, 2012 09:18AM)
I have three things to say.
First off, I suspect there is a problem of going from English to French. When I used the term Wizards of Smart, my implication was that you and I are Wizards of Smart. My implication was that you and I were going on and on about tech stuff that was boring to other people. I certainly do not want to do that. I want other people to be a part of all this. And eventually someone said that the discussion was run by huge egos crashing against each other. I am not pleased to say that was true. And, I was attempting to avoid it. Normally on this forum, when such a thing occurs, the other Wizard of Smart grabs it and won't let it go and becomes their battle cry for the next century. You, fortunately, have pulled back from that and I can speak with more freedom. I guess that is the second thing I had to say. You are changing your stance and sacrificing some ego to enable us all to move foreward. Then the third and final point. In the routine, the audience does not wonder what is under the other two cups because they are lying on their side and the audience can see into them. With that said, here is a discussion.

I understand that in comedy there is a three rule. Repeat something three times and it sells well. The first is perhaps an accident. The second is a pattern. The third is proof. That sequence is established in the second phase of the routine. Then in comedy, as I understand it, the three is repeated with a twist. The fist is accident. The second establishes a pattern. Then on the third, the audience expects the proof but gets the twist. With that said, the three events in the third phase are the small balls disappearing from the hand and appearing under the cups. The audience is to get the idea that will happen three times. However, on the third that is to be proof, a big ball suddenly appears instead of a little one.

Normally in cups and ball routines, the big ball appears when the performer lifts the cup and says, "Oh, here is a big one." Now, to use your device of using a line to represent audience attention, the line is not high just before the large load is produced. When the final loads are produced, the line jumps up. My philosophy here is that becasue the audience is looking for the third ball under the cup, the line is high. When the large ball is seen instead, the line jumps even higher. My intention is to use audience expectation to drive that line up.

Now here is a word on the vanishes. Begin with the cups mouth down and the balls on the bottom of the cups. Most sequences of this sort cause the three balls to disappear and then the cups are lifted. In such a sequence, the audience is witnessing three vanishes in sequence. As they are false passes, I do not believe the vanishes have a lot of power. The audience knows they go somewhere. So, the magician is being clever with his hands and hiding them somewhere. Thus the audience's mind is tied up wondering where the balls are hidden. In my version, a ball is caused to disappear and appear under its respective cup. A great deal of energy has been devoted to getting the audience to see an image of the ball in my hand and suddenly see the ball under the cup. The time between the vanish and appearance is to be as short as possible. The goal of this is to create the idea in the mind of the audience that the ball jumps instantly from the hand to under the cup. There are a couple of thoughts here. First, the vanish move has not been used up to this point in the routine. So, the first vanish is the first time in the routine the audience sees a ball vanish from the hand. It should be a shock. In most routines, the vanish has been used several times. Then, the audience will be accustomed to the motion. Here it is the first time. Secondly, the ball is seen to vanish from the hand and has made an appearance under the cup. The effect is complete. The audience need not worry where the ball is if it just vanished. They know where it is. They see it lying on the table in front of a mouth up cup. It is a complete sequence. Note that they can also see the other balls used in the routine. The other two are on the other cups. The point here is that the audience has seen a complete effect. A ball jumped from the hand to the cup. The effect is over. Their mind is free to move on. They also know exactly what to expect next. Then, that is exactly what happens. They see a ball disappear and go under the next cup almost instantly. Again, the effect is complete. But people are not stupid. They now know what is going to happen. Note also that in the first two cup manipulations, the cups were raised from the table a bit kind of demonstrating there was nothing under them. The third cup is not raised from the table and I am about to do the ball thing a third time. Clearly I have a small ball under the cup already. That could be their point of view. Then the ball vanishes, the cup is lifted. If they expect to see a small ball, it apparently has grown. Hopefully, this is an application of the third time but a comedian's twist.

A suggestion has been made that the cups could be stacked to produce the final load. I feel that would alter the expectation that there is a small ball under the cup. I want that bang, Bang, BANG. I want that to look like your smooth sine wave but each wave is higher than the previous. If the tempo is broken by stacking the cups, the sine wave is discontinoius. That is it is not continiously differentiable. (trying to be funny)

Now, I am not sure this is better than a production of three balls. At one time I took a survey of what my acquantiences thought of three balls vs. a single ball production. The consensus was that the three ball production was more impressive. But my observation is that the single ball production gets more of a suprise or shock. I do not know which is better.

And please understand that I do not appreciate suggestions to change the routine. The things I am relating here have required some years to develop and implement. While I don't mind discussing them, a suggestion that I change anything brings a kind of mental pain. To implemnt anything, even minor, means months of practice and trying out something in the real world to see if it flies. And any suggestion that what I am doing is wrong simply throws me into a rage.

As with Matrix that has over forty years of demonstrable success, for someone to say it is dramitically incorrect simply does not fly. Matrix and this routine consistantly get kick in the teeth strong response. Well, I hope you understand how insulting that can be.

I am not saying that all of this is the right way to do it. I am saying that many years of performeance have proven that, if not perfect, it works really well.

Well, I do not know what to say about all this right now.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 14, 2012 11:26AM)
Great posts from both of you, thank you, I am back to read this thread. Laurie was right the thread did not deserved to be dead.
I am wondering if you could address Laurie's point on Climax and conclusions, or if the Climax should be the conclusion or viceversa, or who cares and again depends on the entertainment value of the end to end trick
Example here with C&B, assuming 3 loads, for me the climax is when the 3 loads show up,normally people will applaude at that point or gasp or smile, but in most of the routine a 4th identical load appears under the central cup at the end, for me this is the conclusion of the routine, not the climax, people were already astonished.
However in John Mendoza's routine that I liked a lot, his routine has 3 loads, the previous climax, however after that John makes hundreds of pennies show up under the center cup, so in this case this is the climax, and the conclusion.

Pablo
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 14, 2012 11:58AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-14 02:35, Al Schneider wrote:
...In fact there are many cup and ball routines out there that have no large finish at all. Consider the Rub a Dub Dub penetration routine. It is a classic....
[/quote]
Al, I'd appreciate it if you'd reconsider whatever it is you seem to have against me. My first post on this thread was intended for the benefit of all. I'm actually in agreement with you on subtlety in C&Bs. And I highly prefer to stay away from the pockets. Large loads seem copycat-ish to me. Rub a Dub Dub C&bs is one of my favorites. If you will, I'd appreciate if you'd take a look at what I've been performing with the C&Bs. I don't consider the final load a large load- it's not. I think it is a surprise load, but my reason for using it is (and those who know a bit about me will doubly know this :) ), it makes sense. My mention of through-line, continuity, integrity, interest was meant to emphasize that I think they are important in determining the last action(s) in a routine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvpK9_PX-AA&feature=share&list=UUDsLp9AK4JCxWRGe-hUiiDQ

Laurie
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 14, 2012 01:09PM)
You are asking a very embarassing quesiton.
I take it very seriously.
However, an answer is difficult. I will contemplate this and see what unfolds.
Now, I would like to comment on the video of the two cup routine you displayed.
It is interesting. I would like to share with you what I first saw.
As you perform it, I percieve you are about two inches in front of your solar plexus.
That is a nerve complex in about the center of your body as I am sure you are aware.
I think it is a major chakra. My guess is that there is something tied up there.
I'm not really into that sort of stuff.
This is just my observation.
This observation wants me to suggest to you to be in your audience.
That concept must be in your theater training somewhere.
The performance suggests you have not done it for many people.
I also feel that your desire to avoid copycatness is inhibiting the way your heart wants to go.
The routine is OK and a bit novel.
You are making some errors in body language that my eye can pick up.
I think a normal observer will not pick them up but will unconciously be aware of them.
Thus, the magic suffers.
Your handling of the wand lacks confidence. That could be corrected by repitition of the action.
You could easily correct the body language problems with honest self analysis.
The filming is a bit awkward. I did not realize what the final element was until the very end.


As an aside. I feel odd in writing this. I do not normally speak in this manner.
You see, I have a personality quirk. I reflect the attitude of those that are talking to me.
Perhaps this is my problem. Many people speak in platitudes but have a subtext of viciousness.
My tone then becomes vicious. It gets me in trouble all of the time.
I feel very uncomfotable talking to you.

Your tone now is very polite and that enables me to speak openly.

Don't know what else to say now.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 14, 2012 01:24PM)
Laurie,

I too could not see what your final load was until your closing shot displaying the props.

Gazzo has a way to reveal two balls so they're always side by side. He moves the cup forward, then back so they square up against the front edge of the cup before he shows them.

This could possibly work for your third load as well so it's presented broadside to the camera (audience).
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 14, 2012 01:30PM)
The routine is a work in progress and this was filmed 8 months ago. I have performed it just a few times this summer for an audience, you are correct in that, Al. This video was made prior to that, for assessment of where performance was at and where it needed to go. The video is not as clear as I'd like and ends abruptly (and knowing it lacked clarity, I added the closing still photo) but it allowed me to see what needed improvement. I'm not sure I like the timing and that may be due to the influence of keeping time with the music.

I'd like the reveals to be a little more punctuated, I think. Part of my problem, I think, is I sit too close to the table, or the table is a slightly awkward height for me, maybe, or both. I know where my heart is and where it wants to go, however, so I don't agree that it's inhibited, except perhaps by fear that others frown at it.

The performance I did for audiences were done without the music and timing was in those cases informed by their responses. Audiences were a few people at a time standing directly in front of the table and so visibility for them was high and they recognized the cow immediately.

Thanks very much for taking a look, Al. I appreciate your comments.

Thanks for the tip, Dave. I might incorporate that. I believe, though, that I can also consistently direct the orientation of the cow with direct handling. It's certainly a key point I've been working at.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 14, 2012 03:44PM)
Al,

Thank you for having taken the trouble to come back into the thread.
For future reference, please understand that I've not been and will not try and suggest any change in any of your routines.
There aree several reasons to this.
First, like you, the routines that I work are polished over the years and express my personality, so a change even smart, has to fit into that.

Second, I have been working very thoroughly on every part of the script and acting or body language for the effects not only to be very clear but also for the misdirection to come in progressively. It's bit like what you say about getting the audience to get used to the way to hold the cup for the routine in your DVDs. My misdirection structure is not on the spot but is pre-built and made to grow until the time it's used.
Third, following a Bill Palmer's advice I get the audience, and only the auddience, filmed to check the amplitude of reactions and their frequency. Thus any change has not only to be integrated with a shoe horn but also its impact has to be compared with what it replaces. My personal slope is to have the audience sharing a moment of magic, supplying themselves an imaginary work that naturally they will not try to challenge. Thus, for example, if spectators applaude during a routine, I'll change either the amplitude of movements or the text or the voice or the script, because applauses during a performance -for me- express that the audience is not in the magi moment and have externalized themselves from their moment of virtual magic. I'm therefore well aware of the fact that suggesting any technical change would be ... let's say touchy and alter more than meets the eye. So my report on large loads, was more to express that my search had also driven me away from the pockets. Thus I was understanding your quest on that: that's all. I only referred to my large load approaches, not to suggest you to replace what you do with any of what I'm doing and, please, for future reference, see what is common rather than what is different. If I have a point where I may disagree with you, I would say it honestly and tell you why so that you can express where you think I missed your point and where I should reconsider my perception (for me it's easy because I don't believe in any truth but I believe in tested attempts)

The third reason is that, for pure selfish reason, if I ever was founding a substantial improvement to one of your routine, I'd use it for myself. It would tke years before I woudl mention it to you (lol)

Now I'd love to hear about your analysis on my perception of timing because, it seems to me that you only got part of it. Allow me to describe it a little more before you make some judgement on it.

First there is an attention to our complete act. I have a character (an intellectual historian who studies what's concealed in official history). Each trick in my acts (I have a cards one, close up one, and a cups and balls one) is implicitely revealing some values or facets of this chatacter (caring, happy, mildly anarchist, poetic, knowledgeable in several fields like mythologies, religions or economy...)
So I manage the attention to the show, for each of the traits of the character to have briefly a high amplitude of attention. Naturally this is based on what you underline yourself, no one can remain focus on one point for very long and I have to make sure that the spectator with the worse attention deficit disorder can get these messages because it's what the shows are about.
Thus I have a curve of attention to the show and I made an empirical scale to evaluate attention gained on such charater's values/facets on the videos made of the audience. And one of my own personality traits is that I'm not complacent.
Naturally, your understand that the frequency of such a line is wide but I manage that the initial amplitude is fairly high for the character to be kindly accepted as sharing concerns with the audience, and naturally, I want the climax of the show (which has to match the climax of the last effect) to have a higher amplitude of attention and surprise than the initial introduction.
The act itself has the character as protagonist and obstacles as antagonists. Each of the act in the effect before last are creating the stress that the character and the audience will be defeated (kind of like the "magician in trouble" approach but with the audience involved) This is used to build up the last effect chosen with a strong climax: the audience wins (not against the magician, against the really impossible defenses of a new antagonism)
That's the first curve and it's not "told" but expressed.

The second curve is the one you understood perfectly (I see it from your comments) and the attention to each effect has to be strong enough at the beginning and stronger at the end, BUT STILL not as strong as the climax of the last effect. Otherwise the show would loose, in my own logic, its dramatic structure. So you can infer from this, that I need a climax for each trait of the character to be valued but not a climax that would be so strong that what comes after looses attraction. In each of such effects, the curve of attention cannot be kept at the maximum and fluctuates. Generally when the theme and the atmosphere are introduced and the cooperation of the audience is requested to create the illusion the atteention is fairly high. As an example, I'm using a purse frame in the close up act and I'm asking the audience to imagine that it's a purse with a chameleon skin. Since the theme has been introduced as a way to safely go through financial crisis with magic: the level of attention is very high. Then as I describe the addvantages of such a purse and show how it would work if it existed, the attention level progressively goes down (it doesn't crash but slightly weakens over time). Thus I manage the curve of attention to each effect itself. Naturally, I'm playing with the amplitude of attention at certain moments and also, in order for both the effect and the show not to be boring, there are changes of rhythm alongside: the frequency isn't equally paced (if I may describe it like this)
and, naturally, this curve of attention to the effect has to be incorporated into the curve of attention to the show, designing a bizarre and seemingly irregular curve.

The third curve of attention is the audience attention to the movement. There, like most of us, I'm using the Ascanio In Transit actions, the Slydini principles of breathing in and out, the larger movements covering the smaller ones, the chest leading the hands, the Ramsay principle about where to look when and why, the use of questions to reduce the awareness to movements ... and some footwork that I adapted from reading simple Body Language and acting books. All of this to say that the audience perception of our movements follows a sort of binary sine wave with a frequent series of high and low. We can easily play with the pace and the amplitude to keep the entertainment and the attention where we want it.
This third curve is also blended into the previous already erratic one making the final curve seemingly very erratic but, as underlined in a previous post a sort of intuitive Fourrier Transform helps keeping the show where needed even with spedctators unclled for interruptions.

Hence I'm not advocating for any ideal (complex or not) sine wave, I'm offering that this approach for any performer and any character in any routine can be a help for reaching whateever goal the performer has taking into consideration hsi own personality.

The only thing that I make a claim for is that it's impossible to keep any spectator focused on something for more than a brief time and that switching from attention to the act and the character to the attention to the effect and to attention to the move improves the entertainment value of any performance. Being aware of these three levels (and I know of other dimennsions) in designing a routine seems a potential help and doesn't preclude any personality transfer. Now progressivity in the management these three curves to get to a strong climax in the last effect, for the show to have some form of apotheose, is definitely something that I would recommand. It's a reputaton maker whatever methods on uses to do it.

So I can agree with you on the fact that math will never encompass the infinity of the human mind and imagination, but I can't help to try and understand it further. Symbolically, I'm eating the apple (some form of knowledge) that the snake (intelligence) gave to Eve (magic) being careful not to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden (entertainment)

;)

The second Wizard of Smart
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 14, 2012 06:28PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-14 14:09, Al Schneider wrote:
You are asking a very embarassing quesiton.
I take it very seriously.
However, an answer is difficult. I will contemplate this and see what unfolds.
Now, I would like to comment on the video of the two cup routine you displayed.
It is interesting. I would like to share with you what I first saw.
As you perform it, I percieve you are about two inches in front of your solar plexus.
That is a nerve complex in about the center of your body as I am sure you are aware.
I think it is a major chakra. My guess is that there is something tied up there.
I'm not really into that sort of stuff.
This is just my observation.
This observation wants me to suggest to you to be in your audience.
That concept must be in your theater training somewhere.
The performance suggests you have not done it for many people.
I also feel that your desire to avoid copycatness is inhibiting the way your heart wants to go.
The routine is OK and a bit novel.
You are making some errors in body language that my eye can pick up.
I think a normal observer will not pick them up but will unconciously be aware of them.
Thus, the magic suffers.
Your handling of the wand lacks confidence. That could be corrected by repitition of the action.
You could easily correct the body language problems with honest self analysis.
The filming is a bit awkward. I did not realize what the final element was until the very end.

As an aside. I feel odd in writing this. I do not normally speak in this manner.
You see, I have a personality quirk. I reflect the attitude of those that are talking to me.
Perhaps this is my problem. Many people speak in platitudes but have a subtext of viciousness.
My tone then becomes vicious. It gets me in trouble all of the time.
I feel very uncomfotable talking to you.

Your tone now is very polite and that enables me to speak openly.

Don't know what else to say now.

Al Schneider
[/quote]
WHO ARE YOU???

Al, just when I think I know you, I get blown away by you writing about Chakra's.

I know I'd never have the guts to film myself performing like laurie did ( thanks Laurie ). I'm going to use what you wrote her to help with my own magic.

Al, you help far more people than you think!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 14, 2012 08:56PM)
Lauri: Is there any chance you could do another video with an audience?
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 14, 2012 09:00PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-14 12:58, magicalaurie wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-14 02:35, Al Schneider wrote:
...In fact there are many cup and ball routines out there that have no large finish at all. Consider the Rub a Dub Dub penetration routine. It is a classic....
[/quote]
Al, I'd appreciate it if you'd reconsider whatever it is you seem to have against me. My first post on this thread was intended for the benefit of all. I'm actually in agreement with you on subtlety in C&Bs. And I highly prefer to stay away from the pockets. Large loads seem copycat-ish to me. Rub a Dub Dub C&bs is one of my favorites. If you will, I'd appreciate if you'd take a look at what I've been performing with the C&Bs. I don't consider the final load a large load- it's not. I think it is a surprise load, but my reason for using it is (and those who know a bit about me will doubly know this :) ), it makes sense. My mention of through-line, continuity, integrity, interest was meant to emphasize that I think they are important in determining the last action(s) in a routine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvpK9_PX-AA&feature=share&list=UUDsLp9AK4JCxWRGe-hUiiDQ

Laurie
[/quote]Laurie,

I see nothing that suggests Al has anything against you. It seems to me you have misinterpreted his thoughts in some way.
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (Dec 14, 2012 09:11PM)
Water under the bridge, motown, & Al knows what I was talking about, but for the record, here you go:
[quote]
On 2012-12-14 02:35, Al Schneider wrote:
...Laurie, when I saw your first post on this thread. I said to myself: this thread is dead....
[/quote]
Pete, I have a photo from performance this summer- best I can do at the moment. I'll try to get some performance video of this routine for you, though.
For now, here's a pic:

[img]http://i1181.photobucket.com/albums/x436/magicalaurie/P8100359-1.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 15, 2012 12:00AM)
Lawrence O I can't follow that.
Zombie, I don't know if I should take you serious or not.
All I can say is that I have spent my life studying life.
Laurie, I think that most of your thoughts are Arguments from Authority.
My perception is that you judge with your opinion but refer to it as some other authority.
You write to hallow your ego without being aware of it. That is my opinion.
Everyone has an ego. Those that recognize it can see the world with reality.
And I wish I could take pictures like Pete.
From my perspective I am just a fat mouse in the corner that squeeks loud now and then.
I think the most valuable thing that could occur now is for Dave V to discuss his philosophy of doing the cups.
Right now, I just want to hide in the corner and watch.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 15, 2012 12:33AM)
Is that sarcasm? It's hard for me to tell with the way this thread has progressed.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 15, 2012 12:50AM)
:: Strikes match::

I think the Cups and Balls is an antiquated and boring magic trick used by people that can't perform large stage illusions with tigers!

::Tosses match on the gas can and RUUUUUUUNS::

(Dave V... now THAT was sarcasm!) :)

-LK
Message: Posted by: Artie Fufkin (Dec 15, 2012 01:11AM)
With a small parade of folks eager to sound "smarter" than whomever posted before them, this thread actually has nothing to do with ego, and is a pure and epic example of unbridled hubris.

The crap is piled so high on these couple of pages, it nearly blocks out the sun.

Anybody wondering [i]"what's wrong with magic today"[/i] just needs to take a painful 10 minutes and read this thread.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 15, 2012 01:48AM)
Dave V
Yes, I am serious. I suspect you have put a lot of serious thought into what you do and you apparently really do it.
Hearing from a person that is really on the street is valuable. I am curiuos what you experience.

Unlike Artie Fufkin who simply wants to sound smarter than the rest of us by calling us fools.
I am amazed at how well people describe themseleves when they do something like that.

Yes Dave V, I want to hear your opinions on what you do.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 15, 2012 02:03AM)
Thank you for the complement, but I'm not really on the streets enough to qualify as "street". More theoretical than practical at the moment. I'd love to share my observations and ideas, but I fear I'd be labeled as a "wannabe" by those who do it on a more than occasional basis.
Message: Posted by: Granger (Dec 15, 2012 03:57AM)
Thanks. I have learned a lot from this thread : )
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 15, 2012 08:54AM)
It is a pity, this thread had its chances but died of pseudo-intelectual boredom.
Time to move on to a different thread.

But to end my portion in a positive note, I looked at Laurie's routine, and I liked very much the 2nd load and the lapping of the balls and showing the 2 cups empty.
I don't like the wand on the front, it makes the hands to move too much back ond forth I would prefer the wand position on the side. I will look into Dave V's comment as well sounds interesting.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 15, 2012 11:25AM)
I don't deserve as much credit as some might think. I just study things and distill them down to their logical (to me) conclusion. The wand placement is one of the things Gazzo emphasizes heavily in his workshops and videos. 45 degrees, on the right side (if you're right handed) extending off the edge of the table.

It only makes sense that you have to unconsciously break stride to free your dominant hand so you can pick up the wand. It's also visually secondary to the scene so no importance is placed on it, unlike Laurie's early video where it's prominent in the shot and has to make people wonder "why?"

The minor break in tempo for the transfer(Etienne's sine wave analogy) is mentally dismissed. It's like a "grace note" in music. The half step to empty your hand to grab the wand is timed to lead to the more important motion of the wand grab so it synchronizes with the desired rhythm of the piece. Etienne called it an "In Transit" motion and to me, it's the difference between a routine that flows cleanly and one that doesn't.

One, Two, Three, and ... FOUR

Any guess where I time my transfer? When the vanish is revealed? Why they're anticipating the reveal and missing the "move?"

I wouldn't say do this all the time. If the "heat" is in the wrong place, it's like shouting "Look over there!" People will know you're distracting them for a reason. They need to NOT KNOW that their attention is being manipulated or it doesn't work.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 15, 2012 12:22PM)
Laurie: Nice photo, thanks.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 15, 2012 02:23PM)
Laurie -

I liked the way you executed the final load. I thought the misdirection was great.

one suggestion for the camcorder : as the final load is visually quite small, why not move the camera forward so that it captures the main movements at closer range. Just a thought you might want to experiment with?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 15, 2012 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-15 01:00, Al Schneider wrote:

Zombie, I don't know if I should take you serious or not.
[/quote]
Al, if you saw me perform, then no, you wouldn't take me serious.

Throughout the Café, I have posts talking about my admiration for your talent. That you can take serious.

Plus I think you'd be a hoot to go drinking with.
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 15, 2012 10:54PM)
Anybody from Detroit is a hoot to Drink with.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 16, 2012 01:43AM)
I was just in Detroit... a drink was necessary :-p
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 16, 2012 10:09AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-15 12:25, Dave V wrote:
...
The minor break in tempo for the transfer(Etienne's sine wave analogy) is mentally dismissed. It's like a "grace note" in music. The half step to empty your hand to grab the wand is timed to lead to the more important motion of the wand grab so it synchronizes with the desired rhythm of the piece. Etienne called it an "In Transit" motion and to me, it's the difference between a routine that flows cleanly and one that doesn't.

One, Two, Three, and ... FOUR
...
[/quote]
Thank you for relating what you do to this but the credit for "In Transit Actions" shouldn't come to me for it's an Arturo Ascanio fundamental teaching in terms of misdirection. He also has an interesting theory about the cancellation of a sleight which could be probably translated from Spanish as an "Obliteration Parenthesis" (I know that his theory appeared in the first book in English about his magic and it's really full on very profound insights as well, maybe not as synthetic as Al's theory but still very precious on several accounts)
It somehow deals with time misdirection. When you first glance at the wand and then do a false transfer TO BE ABLE TO take the wand, the last action becomes the picking of the wand and it cancels, in terms of misdirection, the previous action (false transfer)
Thus for example, Laurie could pick up the wand for her vanishes but she could as well tug a sleeve, push forward the cup where the action is going to happen...
Actually in Al's Theory there is something that makes me think of this which has to do with "how far back do people rewind"... and Al's analysis, if my memory serves me well is "to the last action". Now with Al I'm not totally sure whether he means to the last "move" (like picking up the wand) or to the last "effect".

Now we ciouold also relate this to Slydini's theory on misdirection where "the large move covers the small move". Actually the large move (picking the wand) covers the smaller move (transferring the small ball to be able to pick up the wand)

It seems however to me that the Ascanio analysis is more profound and more detailed:
1) Glance briefly at the object that will become the main movement (in your example, glance at the wand): this is a fundamental aspect that gets often overlooked.
2) Transfer the object that prevents accessing freely to the "main" object (transfer the ball to access the wand in your example): a smaller move than the mainn action to come
3) Carry the main action (pick up the wand and use it to cause the magic)

We see that carried one step further in operation with Juan Tamariz in his crossing the gaze (Five Points in Magic): glance at the wrong place, bring the hand at the wrong place to palm something, glance at the right place, pantomime passing the object in full view into the hand that just palmed something, do the main move to take out the wand (in Juan's example a pendulum). Thus the action of looking for something is getting diluted in a much larger "main action".

Now you are definitely right to underline the positioning of objects that Gazzo was concerned with. The Professor was calling this the Management of Magic and speaks about it in Revelations as one of the most important things in magic and misdirection Fred Kaps C&Bs routine is almost a continuous tuitiion in this art
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 16, 2012 11:12AM)
Good morning Etienne,
I credited you as you were the one who informed me of the name of the concept. Not having read Ascanio's theory I didn't feel right quoting him until I knew more about it.

I'm glad to see you're still in this conversation. I hope that Al rejoins us soon. This isn't some lofty throwing around of theories to try to outdo each other. This is really where the "magic" originates.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 16, 2012 12:32PM)
Two points here.
First, the larger motion does not always cover the smaller motion. That is my opinion. It often works, however, I think I give more credit to the layman than most. There are places the larger motion will tell the audience something is going on with the smaller motion.

Second, in discussing the point to where the audience rewinds to: it is not some previous motion. It is a point decided upon by the performer and depends on his skill at focusing the attention of the observers. In a vanish for example, the audience should not rewind over the vanish move but after the vanish move. Here is an example of this.

Karrell Hovland and I worked together on magic. He got a job at a local magic shop. We were working at the time on a ball and vase routine. It began by causing the ball to disappear and appear back in the vase. Well, one day while working at the shop, two teenage girls came in to browse. If you have done much magic, you will know this is the toughest kind of audience. They wanted to see some magic. So, Karrell got out the vase, lifted the lid, and rolled the ball into his right hand. Then he tossed the ball into his left hand, did a crumbling motion with his fingers and opened his hand to show the ball gone. The girls exploded. One grabbed his left hand and slid her hand up his sleeve to see if the ball was there. The other knocked over the vase and yanked the pad up to see if it was there. Then the other jumped up an on to the counter to look behind it to see if it fell there. Karrell's right hand remained resting on the top of the counter totally ignored.

There are several issues here. First, immediately after the vanish move, the fingers wiggle a bit as if to adjust the object just received. Second, some subtle action is performed in the receiving hand to suggest magic is being done. This creates the rewind point to which the spectator will rewind to when reconstructing the effect in their head. Third, the transmitting hand does not stop moving after the transfer. It falls quickly, stops a bit just before hitting the table, and sort of crumbles to a rest position. However, bear in mind, it does not stop moving. To do so may attract undue attention. The transmitting hand may fidget a bit as would be normal for performing for a couple of teenage girls with big fangs. Fourth, there was nothing done to cover the transfer other than to do it naturally. This is a strong advantage of the Schenider Vanish. It is not flashy, it does not appear as if the coin, "Is really put into the hand." The fourth point here is that there is no attempt to cover the transfer. There need not be any logic to reach for some other object to give a reason or motivation to do something. Now, logic and motivatin fit in many places but here, it just doesn't matter.

Perhaps here is an issue that wrankles so many out there. Many things I have been told, heard, and read are simply not the case in my 52 years of playing with magic. It is not necessarilly what I beieve to be true. It is the reaction of real people to the concepts I am talking about.

Perhaps I can do a sales pitch here. These concepts are covered in detail in my book "The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception," on sale through amazon dot com. Go to books and search with "Al Schneider Magic." This book was inspired by Ali Bongo when he asked me, "I say, do you thing that is really necessary?"

What is the bottom line of this? The two cute chicks walked out of the store and Karrell did not get a date nor did he sell anything.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Woland (Dec 16, 2012 01:31PM)
[quote]Fourth, there was nothing done to cover the transfer other than to do it naturally.[/quote]
Love it.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 16, 2012 03:22PM)
So, here is a question.
Gazo is successful. He feels very strongly about what he says and he has been doing it for a long time. What is the difference between the two. There is a reason. Find the reason and we all will grow.

djkuttdecks you look like you need a drink.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 16, 2012 05:08PM)
I hope and wish that my discussions with Al are not misleading the ones who read them. Al's book "The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception," is one of the most intelligent book that I read on magic, even before Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz, Leading with your Head by Gary Kurz. If I was sentenced to prison for 5 years with the right to take only one book on magic, this is the book I would take with me.
... and since Al mentioned his Vanish, years of practice with it lead me to initially show the coin on the extended fingers and flip it in the palm by curling the right fingers to display the other side of the coin (in exact Classic Palm position to avoid having to make any adjustment in the right palm)... If you don't know the move, buy Al Schneider on Coins as well.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 16, 2012 07:18PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-16 16:22, Al Schneider wrote:

djkuttdecks you look like you need a drink.

Al Schneider
[/quote]
Next time I am in MN or you are in Los Angeles let's get drinks!

Then we will take napkins and and cups and figure out this cups and balls nonsense at the bar once and for all! :-p
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 16, 2012 09:46PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-16 02:43, djkuttdecks wrote:
I was just in Detroit... a drink was necessary :-p
[/quote]Spare me, I'm really tired of idiots like you insulting my city.

Oh, have a nice day.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 16, 2012 09:50PM)
Hey Motown... my parents are from Detroit... you're not the only person in the city. But consider yourself "spared". Lighten up man.
LK
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Dec 18, 2012 12:02AM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 18, 2012 01:28AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-18 01:02, Donnie Buckley wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM
[/quote]
Donnie that was freaking hilarious! I need to give you a call and catch up man!
-LK
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 18, 2012 11:26AM)
No offense to Detroit. But find the images comparing 50 year progress from Atom bomb effect on Nagasaki, Japan and Detroit. Nagasaki was totally destroyed, but now is a fantastic thriving, modern city, and Detroit is much the same as when they rioted there.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 18, 2012 11:39AM)
A more positive and hopeful comparison would be Chiccago when, in the late 60s the slaughterhouse that were a major activity for the city were closed. It seemed that the city was doomed to become a ghost town... Now it's a fantastic city full of life, hopes and potential.

I don't know Detroit well but one is only defeated when he accepted his defeat.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Dec 18, 2012 02:34PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-16 22:46, motown wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-12-16 02:43, djkuttdecks wrote:
I was just in Detroit... a drink was necessary :-p
[/quote]Spare me, I'm really tired of idiots like you insulting my city.

Oh, have a nice day.
[/quote]
Ouch...Lee is one of the nicer guys around here.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 18, 2012 03:58PM)
How many billions of U.S.dollars (trillions upon trillions of dollars in today's money) went into the re-building of Nagasaki and Hiroshima following the nuclear devastation in 1945?

How much money was invested in the re-building of Detroit following the riots?

Not sure you've made a fair comparison, Pete.
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Dec 18, 2012 04:21PM)
And how is this talk about detroit on topic?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 18, 2012 04:35PM)
Just part of the social banter, I guess. I've never been one to understand such things, but I hear some people like to do it.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 18, 2012 04:38PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-18 17:21, cirrus wrote:
And how is this talk about detroit on topic?
[/quote]
It's not at all. Funny how a harmless joke and do that. Back on topic... cups and balls!
-LK
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 18, 2012 05:50PM)
I'm for that!
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 18, 2012 06:21PM)
Al, I have to say this about your routine! There is often a debate on how long a routine should be, and the "shorter is better" is often the answer given. However, in the attempt to make a multi phased routine that is under a few minutes, people (myself included) struggle with constant rushing... you have captured a short, multiple phase routine, with perfect pacing and no rushing... this alone makes the routine worth studying closely! Thank you for making this video!

-LK
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 18, 2012 07:55PM)
Djkuttdecks
Thanks

And per your request, back to Cups and Balls

In an earlier post I suggested that we analyze Gasso's cup and ball routine to see what is different from my suggestions on the vanish move in particular.

Before I start, I must mention that he is on the little screen and I am not. I just play with coins, cups, balls, etc while sitting in the middle of a corn field in Wisconsin. So, you may take these thoughts with a two pound grain of salt.

The biggest issue I addressed was the use of a wand to make the ball disappear.

Well, I watched a video of his routine for the Penn and Teller thing on youtube. Here is want I saw.

First there is the issue of justifying transfering the ball from hand to hand. That is to be the reason for the wand. Strangely, he does not use the wand for that purpose. He dumps the ball into one hand then he tosses the ball into the other hand. He does this without any justification. Very curious. This is before the vanish move. He is chatting to the audience.

The next thing I would like to point out is that during the actual vanish motion, HE IS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT HIS HANDS. This is not natural. I have spoken on this specific subject at many magic lectures at many magic conventions. I have had hundreds of people at these lectures. I have presented the following experiment at many of these events. I ask everyone to get a coin out of their pocket and hold it above their head with their left hand. Many comply. Then, I say I made a mistake and say they are supposed to use their right hand. Then, those that comply, put the coin in their right hand and hold it above their head. Then I ask the question, "Who looked at their hands when transfering the coin?" While presenting this drill for over ten years, no one has said they looked at their hands during transfer. My point is that people do not look at their hands when an ojbect is transfered from hand to hand. And my point of the drill is that this is not my opinion. Experiment has born this out again and again.

To double the power of your vanish move, glance at the audience when you make the transfer in a vanish move. The best way to do this is to look at the coin immediately before the transfer, do the transfer with a quick glance at the audience, then look back at the hand that is to recevie the coin. Make a movie clip of yourself doing both techniques. You will be amazed at the difference.

Point number three. When normal people transfer an object from hand to hand, the transmitting hand does not enter the receiving hand. When Gazzo put the ball into the receiving hand the fingers of the righ thand entered the left hand. His handling is better than 80% of the magicians out there, however, because he did not cup the left fingers around the tips of the right fingers as most magicians do. The vanish is quite good. It is simple without finger flinging. A better way to execute the move is to keep the transmitting fingers outside the reveiving hand when the fingers receive and close around the object. In essence, the object transfered normaly flies through the air as the object is moved from hand to hand. Many magicians, because they fear the audience will not see the ball midair, cover the space between the hands by inserting the fingers of one hand into the other hand cupped to recieve the object and hide anything about the transfer.

Point number four. He does not seem to have a rewind point. THe magic happens when he smacks the wand against his hand. If the audience rewinds, they rewind all the way back to when they could se a ball.

Point nubmer five. He does not talk during the sequence where he causes the ball to disappear. With chatter you can focus the mind of the audience where you want it to be, I am amazed that this device was not used. Especially with someone that is known for chatter ignores its use.

Many of you will say I am to picky. I do not know what to say to that. Yea, he is on TV and I am not.

So, as I pluck away at my keyboard in the middle of my corn field, I will continue the discussion.

All this leads to the thought that he needs some strong stuff to hide the move he just did.

About vanishes in general. I teach my students that a transfer vanish should never be done alone. The item vanished should go somewhere. That is the ball should go under a cup. Otherwise, other moves such as pulls, lapping, magnets, trap doors, black art, real magic, etc. should be employed to successfully make a ball or coin disappear. You can fool laymen totally with a transfer vanish. But once they see there is nothing in the receving hand, they will assume it is in the other hand. It does not matter how good the vanish move is.

In the homing sequence, which Gazzo is perforing, the three balls are vanished one after antoher. In the process, the cups are lifted, balls are dumped and the transfering hand is shown MT rather quickly. Gazzo is performing this sequence. But he stops after the first ball vanish and talks. Thus, his opening magic sequence with the cups and balls is a singer ball vanish. To handle this he is relying on the wand to help. My contention is that the wand is not necessary if all the other devices available were used. As he relies very heavily on the wand to achieve his ends, his handling of it has become very strong.

It sort of works the first time. However, he apparently realizes it won't work again as the following two vanishes are covered with a lot of byplay and theater.

Well, I don't know where this is going. Maybe you enjoyed reading it. It is to long.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 18, 2012 11:45PM)
Al,
I like your analysis and will have to read it a few times for it to sink in. Gazzo's P&T performance wasn't one of his best. He really does better in the middle of a crowd where he can interact with(and harass) his audience.

According to your analysis of the vanish, I'm one of the 80%ers who cups his hands exactly how you described. I don't have years of history working against me so changing shouldn't be too difficult.

Although most of my routine follows Gazzo rather closely (except for the verbal component) I justify my transfers with the two phase "showing" to each side of the group. I think Gazzo does this too... when he has an audience around him.

Again, TV isn't his primary audience, and if you haven't already, you need to see some of his other performances. My favorite is the School for Scoundrels VHS rendition of his street act in (I believe) Boston. It's the one with Cellini and Maryanne in the background of the shot and Danny Hustle and a few others in the crowd. I think it was a shared pitch with them filming each other throughout the day.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Dec 19, 2012 06:26AM)
Al,
I discovered your video clip promoting your Cups & balls DVD and immediately bought it. I love the Cups & Balls and would never even consider not performing them because they are a fantastic closer and I have always loved doing the double big load at the end, just when they think it's over there is another set of final loads...
About the only major set of cups I don't have would be a set of Sherwoods...
Looking forward to watching and learning from your cups & balls DVD.

Thanks
Bill
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 19, 2012 11:00AM)
Gazzo on TV was totally out of his element. He should have had a group of people around him. If you see Dani d'Ortiz work his close up set, he brings about a dozen spectators up, even seating them almost behind him.

Al: I look at my receiving hand when doing a transfer BECAUSE I WANT THE SPECTATOR TO LOOK THERE. I do a retention, that many magicians are fooled by.

Have a look at my c&b routine at http://www.petebiro.com click on Pete on TV. The camera work was lousy, but I had no input on that.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 19, 2012 11:45AM)
Unlike Pete, I [i]don't[/i] look at my receiving hand as my focus at that point is to reach for my wand.

Neither method is "wrong" just different techniques for different purposes.
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Dec 19, 2012 01:09PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-18 20:55, Al Schneider wrote:
To double the power of your vanish move, glance at the audience when you make the transfer in a vanish move. The best way to do this is to look at the coin immediately before the transfer, do the transfer with a quick glance at the audience, then look back at the hand that is to recevie the coin. Make a movie clip of yourself doing both techniques. You will be amazed at the difference.
[/quote]
Question for Al et al. from the back row.

In the benson bowl vanish, I start with the wand under my left arm, the ball in my right hand, and my left hand is open to receive the transfer. I used to just look at the ball as it travels from the right hand to left, and then I look for the wand to tap my closed left hand.

In that situation what is the best practice? To glance at the audience during the transfer, or maybe just look for the wand during the transfer? I will try this out on video, but I'm also interested in what people think.

Thanks in advance.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 19, 2012 01:15PM)
I think it is different based on individual styles. Ramsay said where you look they look. If it works for you fine.

A lot of it has to do with how you interact with the spectators.

With Gazzo, it is 99% bits, lines, talk... I think he would kill with any handling of the cups. He can break all the rules.

Posted: Dec 19, 2012 2:30pm
I just went back to YouTube and watched Dai Vernon do his routine. He looks at the balls as he picks them up and places them into his other hand for a vanish. I think he uses the Ramsay theory of looking where he wants the spectators to look. This seems like a very natural way to work to me. As I said before, I want the spectators looking at my hand when I place the ball into it, because I do a retention vanish. If they weren't looking at the ball going into my hand they would not think it was actually there. One thing I cannot stand is when I see magicians do an oddball looking back-and-forth action with their palms as if they were placing the ball in a into their hand.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 19, 2012 02:54PM)
Here's Tommy wonder doing the cups and balls.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ6qT8JvaMY

I would LOVE to hear Al's opinion because Tommy's routine was so different that the traditional Vernon routine.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 19, 2012 03:47PM)
Just as importantly, I'd like to hear other opinions as well.
Message: Posted by: motown (Dec 19, 2012 06:14PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-16 22:50, djkuttdecks wrote:
Hey Motown... my parents are from Detroit... you're not the only person in the city. But consider yourself "spared". Lighten up man.
LK
[/quote]That's great that your parents are from Detroit, show a little more respect and stop the cheap shots. And while you're at it, do a little more research to see what's going on.
Message: Posted by: tomsk192 (Dec 19, 2012 07:18PM)
Sorry to get away from the Detroit thread, but:

Analysing Gazzo based on his P&T performance is an odd choice; if it was a choice informed by having seen other Gazzo performances, then it was a [i]very[/i] odd choice to choose for a critique. I don't own Gazzo's DVD, but the performance section is there on YouTube, in several parts. It is a street performance, and is a work of art, as such. The entertainment through interaction and cheekiness define this routine. Nobody in those audiences notice the tells, or the loads, because they are caught up in a comedy routine.

Mr. Schneider, I admire you, but I cannot tell where you are looking when you do a transfer vanish, because your video is shot from the neck down. My eyes were often drawn to your left hand, but I don't know why that should be. The three transfer vanishes[?] leading to the final load were all identically effortless, or effortlessly identical, and drew my mind towards the process. That is an honest response from someone who has a great deal of respect for your thinking on magic.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 19, 2012 07:54PM)
Tomsk192
I have watched several other videos of Gazzo and I have even attended a lecture by him. His hand motions are the same whether he is talking or not. Interestngly, he does not seem to talk when he does the magic. I need to watch more of his videos to veryify this. Yes, you cannot see my eyes in the video. Howver, I use a slight body motion to suggest what my eyes are doing. In essence I am getting ripped here becasue the questions asked requrie sophisticated answers. We are talking about the eyes here. That is only one aspect of what is being done. What I find fascinating is that everyone seems to worship Tony Slydini (as I do) but noone seems to notice that his principles are being violated. He suggests leaning back when a move is executed. Both Gazzo and Pete lean forward when they execute the move. Not saying this is bad, just noticing. Another point is that when a hand transfers a ball there should be motivation for it. Pete tips the ball into one hand, then throws it into the other hand (without motivation) then passes it to the other hand using the wand as motivation. What gives? I am just observing here. To me, he supports what I believe. The details for the transfer vanish are complicated. Essentially, I am being asked to write a book to answer these questions. I did, but you guys are not buying it. You want it for free here. Yes Ramsy said the audience looks where you look. But when he read a descripton of what he did he said to the author, "Hey, you did't tell the reader when to look at the audience." Apparently he thought that critical. About Pete's vanish. I think the move you use is as good as it can be. It is simmple and not a lot of attention is drawn to it. In general, it seems few people understand the concepts I am aware of. They are not detrimental to the performanc of magic. The goal is to apply them to immporve on the magic effect. OK, so you don't look at the audience.It doesn't kill the move. But if you do, it gets a lot better. Anyway, I am trying to compose something about all of this. Kind of hard to earn a living and do this as well. What do you really want?

I agree with Pete when he says, "With Gazzo, it is 99% bits, lines, talk... I think he would kill with any handling of the cups. He can break all the rules." I got a youtube video to watch his moves, In the 20 min video, he didn't do any magic. But it was fun.

I really don't want to write 5 pages of babble to defend a point of view. That is just another Wizard of Smart.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 19, 2012 09:17PM)
After reading and posting this morning, I went to Dean Dills and talked with him about this kind of information. I did some experimenting with the Vernon move where you have a ball resting on the bottom of a mouth down cop and he tips it over into his hand he then takes the ball with the other hand then places it back in the original hand picks up the wand taps the hand and the ball is gone.

[b]What I suddenly thought, why do we go through all at work when what we should do is just kept the ball off the cup into the hand leave it there pick up the wand The hand open hand on the ball is gone?[/b]

This is actually real easy to do. You tip the ball into the hand lean back resting that hand, containing the ball, on the rear edge of the table, and as you reach forward to pick up the wand the ball is dropped in your lap ala Slydini.

I am not sure how this would fit into the routine that it is a way to do a vanish by eliminating a move.

Any thoughts on this?
Message: Posted by: Woland (Dec 20, 2012 06:49AM)
Hi Mr. Schneider,

Just ordered your book. (Already have the L&L compendium.)
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Dec 20, 2012 07:38AM)
I have John Mendoza's C&B routine (vernon's) and he said that he does not like the back and forth of the ball from hand to hand therefore he uses a different methodology to vanish the ball without that move. I like it better. I also noticed that John looks into the hand where the ball is supposed to be. Personally I like the way he performs C&B with regular and combo cups so I could be bias in my appreciation.
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Dec 20, 2012 07:47AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-19 22:17, Pete Biro wrote:
After reading and posting this morning, I went to Dean Dills and talked with him about this kind of information. I did some experimenting with the Vernon move where you have a ball resting on the bottom of a mouth down cop and he tips it over into his hand he then takes the ball with the other hand then places it back in the original hand picks up the wand taps the hand and the ball is gone.

[b]What I suddenly thought, why do we go through all at work when what we should do is just kept the ball off the cup into the hand leave it there pick up the wand The hand open hand on the ball is gone?[/b]

This is actually real easy to do. You tip the ball into the hand lean back resting that hand, containing the ball, on the rear edge of the table, and as you reach forward to pick up the wand the ball is dropped in your lap ala Slydini.

I am not sure how this would fit into the routine that it is a way to do a vanish by eliminating a move.

Any thoughts on this?
[/quote]

In Rafael Benetar's routine and Master Payne's routine, they both use the same loading technique. It eliminates the back and forth movement. You tip over the cup and drop the ball in your wand hand, transfer it to the other hand, pick up the wand, tap the hand and it is gone. I'm not going to tip the technique, but this is what the audience sees.
Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Dec 20, 2012 10:50AM)
I have been favorably influenced by Al's books and the few times I have met him and admire his work. I don't even pretend to understand quantum physics, but I do have an advanced degree in political philosophy. I also have been a professional magician for many years.

F.A. Hayek in his work suggests that most knowledge in any field in not theoretical knowledge but what he calls tacit knowledge, the character of which is that it can only be known by the doer. This fact makes socialism unworkable and is the classic flaw of scientific management (e.g Frederick Taylor).

The connection of this to magic should be obvious but I will give one example. A climax may add to an effect of detract from an effect. There is no abstract way of knowing when it does or does not; the answer is in the doing,

Gil Scott
Message: Posted by: FatHatter (Dec 20, 2012 11:33AM)
Yes yes the doing. That's the step most often skipped. Too much hemming and hawing about what might be instead of finding out for yourself. I think the reason why is because the only thing at risk is the magician's feelings. How many times have we seen, "Will this work? "Is this appropriate?" "How long should _______ be?" "Climax or no?" etc.?

Of the theory I have taken in Al's has had the best application for me. Not sure if it has simply met my circumstances or if he is on to something for everyone.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Dec 20, 2012 11:39AM)
One of my teachers used to say, "you don't have to assume anything you can prove."
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 20, 2012 12:26PM)
Here is a shot at what I am saying. The human gaze does not stay at one point. It moves from point to point. To get someone to look at a specific point, get them to look at one point and then get them to look at what you want them to see. To apply this to the transfer move, look at them and then look at the hands that are going to do the move. I think there is an error there to be looking at your hands and then look at the hand. Not strong enough.

To repeat, just before you do the move look at them. This is done with enough time to get their awareness there. THen look at the hands that are going to do the move. They will look there and for that moment they are totally there. Just looking at your hands is not as strong as getting them to look elsewhere and then at your hands. Just my opinion.

The next step is to use a glance. When they are totally focused on your hands and the move, glance at them. This is fairly short. You do not want them to move their eyes up to your eyes. You glance at them and glance back to your hands the moment the move is complete. Here is the logic of doing this. They are recording all that is happening. They are not cogniting on it. They will when they rewind to review it. Normal people do not look at their hands when transfering something from hand to hand. At least during simple transfers. If you look at your hands constantly, it looks odd and forces the observer to do so cognitivly. That is, they think about it. When you glance up, it looks normal and puts kind of a stamp on the action that says, "This is normal." The hope here is that the glance causes the transfer to be labeled as not important so when the observer rewinds, they will not consider the transfer move worth thinking about. Hence, the transfer is not part of what they rewind to see. Hence, the transfer motion is not considered part of the vanish sequence.

A point here is that when you glance, they are aware of that with their peripheral vision which as most know is sensitive to motion not detail.

Then you supply something for them to cognite on. Some motion done after the transfer move they can focus on when they rewind. As that point is after the transfer move, they start their thought process when they belive the object is in the hand and is not.

Again, there are many parts to all this. This is just the beginning.

Thanks to some of the nice things people are saying.

If I get time I will discuss some other things I think are important.

And please, we need more from others here.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Dec 20, 2012 01:50PM)
Al,

I bought Al Schneider on Coins about thirty or forty years ago. Between that and the little white book you put out, I managed to start doing some passable hand-to-hand transfers. I purposefully look at my hands as the transfer occurs. I don't really know why or think it's all that important.

Thanks.

There's one hand-to-hand in this cups routine. It's all Al Schneider. I won't tell you when it occurs, it may not be necessary in the routine at all. I do it because I can.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEYmGnK4K9g

Following your own muse, creating your own magic is just one path. I'm sure glad Al created his stuff. I do NOT like to analyze the magic routines of others. From Desiderata:

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

I watch Al's stuff on youtube. It often fools and entertains me. That's good enough for me. How I choose to do magic is an amalgam of stuff I've read. I'm still plowing through the big purple book. I still work on my own stuff.

Thanks again Al,

Kent
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Dec 20, 2012 02:25PM)
I stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before me. I may not know all of their names, but their influence is visible in my own work. I learned from Tommy Wonder, Dai Vernon, Al Schneider,... everybody from whom I bought a dvd or two (and books, I read books too).
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 20, 2012 06:55PM)
I think the statement, "We stand on the shoulders that came before..." wss popularized by Issaic Newton. He was addressing a contemporary named Hook. However, Newton's implicaiton was that he, Newton, was a giant and Hook was a little man standing on Newton's (a giant) shoulders. It has been recorded that Hook stole much of Newton's stuff or was reputed for saying Newton stole if from Hook. This was popularized when Newton was the head of a high mucky mucky science organization in England. He used his power to ridicule Hook. Sometime after Newton's death a number of papers were found that suggested Hook was the man behind some math in Newton's three laws of motion. Specifically the force between masses. Newton was astute enough to realize the force worked far out in space and applied the math to the moon and celistial bodies. Hook is the guy that came up with Hook's Law, tht appears in almost all basic physics books in the world. Really a famous guy.

Ho Hum.

I am planning to do a video to demonstrate some of the things I talk about. Taking some time.

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 20, 2012 07:22PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-20 19:55, Al Schneider wrote:
I am planning to do a video to demonstrate some of the things I talk about.
[/quote]
That would be a BIG treat for us that are fans of your work.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 22, 2012 07:55AM)
Yes, it will be very interesting
Message: Posted by: mtgoldstein (Dec 25, 2012 12:59PM)
Is the "LA Street C&B" routine covered in either Al Schneider's recent book " Al Schneider Magic" or the L&L DVD "Al Schneider Cups and Balls"? Thanks
Message: Posted by: Octopus Sun (Dec 25, 2012 01:14PM)
@ mtgoldstein - LA Street Cups Balls is in Al's book "Magic" ch.38 pg.688
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Dec 25, 2012 05:54PM)
All this Yakking where did the Magic go?

Al, love the awesome magic you do! I hope one day I get the opportunity to meet you and see you perform incredible Magic.

Merry Christmas to Al and everyone else.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Dec 28, 2012 06:15AM)
[quote] Essentially, I am being asked to write a book to answer these questions. I did, but you guys are not buying it. You want it for free here.[/quote]

I bought the book, it arrived last week. Studying it. Just finished Chapter 5. [i]Virtual[/i] magic is definitely what interests me, so I think this book is just the thing.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 29, 2012 09:00PM)
Well, I finally got the books I was working on done and on amazon dot com. One is a book on card forces, Magic Forces and the other is a book titled, Classic Card Magic. So I sat down and made the following clip. It is not quite what I wanted. I had loaded it with all kinds of fancy stuff but it all got to complex and I just used vanishes. Didn't even use an extra ball. Only lapped once and that was with Dr. Rubensteins twist move. I rehersed it about 100 times on and off over since I talked about it. Just can't get all the timing down right. Shot about 15 clips of it. This seems to be the best. Hope you like it. It has no air time on it so I don't know how it will fly.

http://youtu.be/xvE0gTouogg

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 29, 2012 09:15PM)
I'm at a loss. I have no idea what Al did.

It feels good to an absolute laymen.

BRAVO!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 30, 2012 04:15AM)
Love it!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 30, 2012 05:17AM)
Givens the short attention span of many today, this is an effect whose time has come!

I will do it with a coffee cup and creamers -- great approach
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Dec 30, 2012 07:25AM)
Brilliant and sneaky! Al this is a sweet little routine, direct, short, and full of magic. I like it very much!
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 30, 2012 07:53AM)
Well, I guess it worked out fairly well.
Bear in mind the goal of this little venture was to demonstrate the power of glancing at the audience at the time of false transfer. I hope it got that point across.

This is very much like a routine on the new L&L cup and ball DVD called, OMG. That is a one cup routine done standing by the table with a no steal final load unlike this one that requries a steal to load the large ball.

Having gone through this process, I am inspired to do a book explaining the details of transfer vanishes accompanied with drills. It would be in four parts. One is using FP in the vanish, another part is using classic in the vanish, the third is doing a ball vanish, and the fourth part would be a detailed explanatin of the routine just presented.

I don't think there is a big audience for this but the truely dedicated would be interested.

A purpose of this little cup and ball routine was to demonstrate some of my principles and to stimulate a conversation of what is involved.

I think there are ways this routine can be enhanced. I haven't done it for real people to figure out how to get more bang for the buck.

Thank you all.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Dec 30, 2012 08:12AM)
Fooled the c*$p out of me. Great stuff.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Dec 30, 2012 08:56AM)
Excellent! And astonishing. Distills the essence.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 30, 2012 10:14AM)
For those who haven't ordered it yet, I would highly recommend Al's new Cups and Balls DVD. Great routines to choose from including L A Cups and Balls and the OMG routine. Everything superbly explained, as always. For C&B aficionados, this is one of the best investments you'll ever make.

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 30, 2012 10:19AM)
Al:

Have you ever developed a cups and balls routine using a solid cup?
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 30, 2012 10:27AM)
I have not thought of developing a solid cup routine.
And I would not.
Personally, I do not see the solid cup as being a big finish for a routine.
It does not seem like magic to me.
For all I know, it might kill the audience.
I just don't see it.
And the sacrifices to the routine itself that must be made seem counterproductive to me.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Dec 30, 2012 11:57AM)
Al, if you write that book, you're guaranteed at least one sale!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Dec 30, 2012 06:36PM)
You can count me in too!
Message: Posted by: howlinhobbit (Dec 30, 2012 07:25PM)
Goodness, that was lovely!

I watched it like 5 times in a row, using my rather rusty magician's eye skills, before I "figured it out."

of course, the reason I put figured it out in scare quotes is because of that vast gulf between knowing [i]how[/i] it was done and being [i]able to do it[/i] so seamlessly myself.

but now I'm [i]really[/i] antsy for the set of C&B I ordered to arrive.

thanks so much for sharing this Mr. Schneider!
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Dec 30, 2012 09:11PM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-30 08:53, Al Schneider wrote:
Well, I guess it worked out fairly well.
Bear in mind the goal of this little venture was to demonstrate the power of glancing at the audience at the time of false transfer. I hope it got that point across.

[/quote]

The point got across. Boy, did it ever get across!!!
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Dec 31, 2012 12:13AM)
If you don't mind a little discussion of some of the things going on in this routine, here goes.
There is a reason the balls are rolled out of the cup in the beginning. At the same time that happens, the other hand goes to a rest positon on the edge of the table. That is the exact postion of the steal of the final load. It is done here to get the audience accustomed to the hand being in that posiiton. Also, both hands move at precisely at the same time. The audience is consiciously aware of the little balls being rolled onto the table. They are not conciously aware of the other hand going to the edge of the table. However, it is registered in memory as being a normal action. Therefore, when done later, it will not be noticed.

Also notice that, during the "explanation" of what I am going to do, I am putting the balls into a hand and closing the hand around the balls. This gets the audience accoustomed to that motion. Most of the time magicians use this position when doing a false transfer. Then, it draws suspisicion. I do it several times early on without a move so that when it is used later, it is not labeled as a move.

I think that if these two moves went by you on first pass, that is why. I find it fascinating that when many magicians lap, that is the first time in the routine the hand goes to the edge of the table. It then looks funny.

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Suzanne (Jan 1, 2013 12:43AM)
I love this routine. And it's perfection in Al's hands.

Happy New Year Al!!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 1, 2013 05:11AM)
It is simply perfect in its perfect simplicity
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 1, 2013 08:12AM)
Al, You are basically underlining some major points:

1) The goal of this little venture was to demonstrate the power of glancing at the audience at the time of false transfer.

2) As the balls are rolled out of the cup in the beginning, the other hand goes to a rest positon on the edge of the table. That is the exact postion of the steal of the final load. It is done here to get the audience accustomed to the hand being in that position.

3) Both hands move at precisely at the same time.

4) The audience is consciously aware of the little balls being rolled onto the table. They are not conciously aware of the other hand going to the edge of the table. However, it is registered in memory as being a normal action. Therefore, when done later, it will not be noticed.

I got confirmation, watching you perform this routine, of several other points that you clearly put in play but sofar didn't underline:

1) the mouth of the cup arrives flat on to the table and not at an angle (a Ramsay recommandation as well) even though you are using the forward momentum for the loading. This is true even with the large load (consistency of gestures)

2) You justify the tilting of the bottom of the cup towards the audience by pushing forward, with the hand holding the cup, the little ball that just appeared under the cup.

3) Even though you state that the hands should start at the same time, you are denying the Slydini principle according to which both hands should start at the same time AND finish moving at the same time. Attention stays with the last moving part on the table.

4) You do a follow through after the climax (the apparition of the large load) by tapping the cup mouth towards the audience (not an effect but a statement -the tap-, replying to a potential question: the cup isn't tricked and it is empty) and you lift the large load and let it fall on the table (another statement -the noise- replying to a non formulated question: the ball is solid)

5) You conclude the routine with the same move (first finger pointing up) than you started it. Initially it's is used to gain attention and at the end it serves to punctuate the routine. A nice touch.

There are several other points that could be underlined, but it's your show and it would be nice if you would expand on the finesses that you have placed in there. Maybe like how you keep the large load to be able to steal it from that position and how you would get it position in real life (even if I understand that this is not the points you had a purpose to underline in this short routine.)

... and I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 1, 2013 01:31PM)
I intend to respond to your points. But right now I would like to comment on what I think is the most important aspect of the demonstration. I will blab a bit before making that one point. There are a plethora of issues associatd with this presentation. I am half way done with the new book mentioned above. You may wonder why I can do something so fast. I have set up a machine to produce books for amazon dot com. I wrote a small word processor dedicated to this task. Once I take pictures, I can get a book done very quickly. The problem is getting ready to take pics. When the pics are taken, I comment them and then add chit chat around them. I feed that text into my little program and out comes a pdf suitable to send to amazon dot com. It works pretty slick. Right now I am preparing to take pics for the book. But I an working on several others at the same time.

I hope some are wondering why the little cup and ball routine looks so good. After all, the entire routine is based on false transfers. The single point I have to make here is why they look so good. I have argued this point with many and I apparently loose this argument with many. I think that arguing this point is fruitless. The proof is what you see in that little clip.

Here it is. ->During the false transfer the receiving hand closes under the transmitting hand.<- Normally, magicians insert the transmitting hand into the curled fingers of the receiving hand. I believe this is done to prevent the audience from seeing that nothing falls from hand to hand. In my method, there is a small space exposed during the critical time. There is nothing there. However, due to the naturalness of the motions, the audience mind will insert something there. That is why this is so powerful. I repeat this single main point for your discussion. (I mean everyone.) During the false transfer the receiving hand closes under the transmitting hand.

I cannot stress how important this is. Yes, there are many details that surround all of this. But that one factor rules over all.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 1, 2013 01:41PM)
Pearls. You are giving us pearls.
Message: Posted by: Suzanne (Jan 1, 2013 07:24PM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-01 14:31, Al Schneider wrote:
I cannot stress how important this is. Yes, there are many details that surround all of this. But that one factor rules over all.

[/quote]

When the false transfer is done correctly (like Al describes) the watcher's brain fills in the missing parts and it actually looks like the ball is going into the hand. I've seen Al "throw" the ball from inches away and because of the way his left hand snaps shut while "catching" the ball, you actually SEE the ball fly through the air and you actually SEE the left hand catch it. Amazing!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 1, 2013 08:55PM)
That's much like the Goshman toss vanish. Next time you hit town, ask me to demo it. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 1, 2013 11:27PM)
I talked with Goshman at some lenght about this.
We agreed on the concept.
Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 2, 2013 06:11AM)
I am reminded of watching the late Clarence Brown performing a song in which he imitated with his guitar, the sounds made by a man and a woman arguing with each other, while he mouthed the words silently. If you shut your eyes, all you heard was guitar playing, but if you watched his face, you actually heard the words being pronounced. He was creating this inside your mind. I think that a convincing false transfer does a very similar thing
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jan 2, 2013 06:24AM)
This made me review Al's "Theory and Magic" DVD -- it's all there.

It is grounded in the Assumptions we make when viewing things. Worth a read for everyone.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 2, 2013 08:40AM)
The material in the L&L DVD’s Al Schneider Technique Vol 1, is the beginning of the discussion. The thread of that material began in 1960. It led to the L&L DVD’s in about 2004. The thread has continued to develop and the most recent level was reached in 2011. It has the form of “The Theory and Practice of Magic Deception.” It is for sale on amazon dot com. A block of them was purchased for use by a university for a psychology class. This book goes into more detail about how humans observe the real world and how, we as magicians, create reality for our audiences.

Now, I really do not want to just throw out a reference as so many others do here and leave you hanging. So here is a brief view of what it is about.

In essence, it says that people have a data bank of visions in their head. When we observe, we use bits of information from the outside world to trigger those visions. The example of the singer mouthing the words is an excellent example of this. The singer’s visual suggestions trigger sounds in the audience’s head that are already there in these visions.

We as magician’s can utilize this device to produce a kind of reality and, thus, magic deception. We essentially do the reverse of the above. We put deceptive actions in our visions. Then during performance we trigger these visions which cause our bodies to send trigger images to the audience which in turn trigger the visions in our audience.

To put this another way. We bury something in our own subconscious. When we trigger it, our subconscious sends a message to someone else’s subconscious that cause them to believe something happened that did not. Essentially, the book describes what the subconscious is.

To put it another way: if we consciously do something to deceive someone, it will be viewed as a puzzle. For example, it will be seen that the hand is quicker than the eye. If you can perform some deception with your subconscious, the observer will see it as reality. Thus, virtual magic can occur.

This concept was developed after the L&L DVD’s.

I once presented this at a get together with Dr. Rubenstein and the New York coin guys. There was a trial lawyer there and he said that this concept explained a lot about people relating incidents in the courtroom. He had wondered why people see things the way they do. He claimed that this concept explained the confusion he observed and that this information changed the way he did his job.

I guess I got carried away here. I kind of feel bad to get so theoretically deep here. All we want to do is find somebody’s card and bring a moment of amusement into someone’s life for a few seconds. Ali Bongo’s words ring in my head, “I say, do you think that is necessary?”

All the best.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 4, 2013 11:39AM)
[quote]
On 2012-12-09 12:14, Lawrence O wrote:
...The "zero measurement piece of wood" is defined by the Gestalt Theory as following the "Law of Continuation" where a straight line that is interrupted before being resumed is not a zero in PERCEPTION even if it is a zero in vision and the lines are mentally connected as just One straight line with a visual interruption rather than two lines in sequence. Similarly, according to the "Law of Continuation" the non visible ball that just vanished has "travelled" if it reappears under a cup. Naturally this is not limited to geometry or C&Bs and would also apply in our art to the Coins Across etc...
[/quote]

The vanish described by Al is a clear application of the Gestalt "Law of Continuation": the visual gap between the release by the right hand above the left and the catching by the left hand is "filled" by the direction of the line of movements. Actually Sylvester the Jester demonstrates very nicely that we are never aware of even a larger gap than the one referred to by Al. In the Sylvester Pitch, an object (even large) is visibly tossed from one hand to the other as another one is secretly tossed from the receiving hand to the visibly tossing one. The distance is way larger than the one Al is referring to. Yet Sylvester has noticed that spectators are only aware of the expressed tossing move when they could technically physically "see" the secret simultaneous tossing back move. We are aware only of the openly offered starting place and of the receiving place. Awareness does follow the Law of Continuation, as Al expresses it, by tapping in our mental data bank.

Another Gestalt law is also at work here which is the "Law of Grouping": the ball is associated psychologically with a holding hand. The holding hand and the ball thus form a "group" which is psychologiically associated. What is transferred psychologically is actually not the ball but the group (hand holding a ball). Thus the visual gap is easily filled up by the shift from a starting group and the destination group (following the Law of Continuation. The "Law of Grouping" is also in play betwen the hand and the cup. As it is established as a destination entity, the cup and the balls (irrespective of their number) form a group: the receiving group. Either the group has to be dissociated the ball is tabled separated from the cup (or from the hand), or it has to be shifter to a destination group. Not only is there no awareness of what happens in between but our mind fills the blank. We "see" the ball go from one hand to the other.

Along the same line John Ramsay would let us "see" an object tossed up vanish in thin air by simply erasing the perception of a receiving group. This is also commonly performed with the "Hanging coins". Naturally the object doesn't vanish in thin air, the receiving group is sugggested as naught and, as Al expressed earlier in this thread, there is no "zero measurement piece of wood"...
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 4, 2013 01:57PM)
I am glad to see that Sylvester came up with this. The gap in Goshman's toss vanish is about 6 to 8 inches. Ask Pete Biro, one of my favorite people, about this. In a routine I call "Dances with Coins," the length is about 25 inches.

The following is a step in the development of the routine. I think it demonstrates what I am talking about.

http://youtu.be/8um1W1-cGLs


With all this, I am amused that magicians will destroy a vanish by curling their fingers and cupping their hands to cover a space of 1/4" of an inch. Comments please.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 4, 2013 02:01PM)
I just watched it again. It does not exactly address what I am talking about. But tht routine was changed to apparently toss the coin through space a long distance. It was done several times. I don't know where "Dances with Coins" went to. Need to find it. I think I did it at a lecture in England a couple of years ago.

Sorry about that.

Al Schneider.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 4, 2013 03:39PM)
The "xerox" part seemed particularly excellent to me. I think the video illustrates quite a few of the concepts you've presented here, and in your books. (I am reading "Deception" chapter by chapter - studying "Misdirection" now. The recently-re-released coin book arrived yesterday, and the concepts you describe there are also shown in this video.)

Side point - someone mentioned here or in another discussion at TMC, a recent "New Yorker" article about the stage pickpocket Apollo Robbins. In the article was mentioned a scientific paper published online, [url=http://www.frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2011.00133/abstract]here,[/url] entitled "Stronger misdirection in curved than in straight motion," in which it is claimed:

[quote]Here we show that curved motion, as employed by the magician in a classic sleight of hand trick, generates stronger misdirection than rectilinear motion, and that this difference can be explained by the differential engagement of the smooth pursuit and the saccadic oculomotor systems. This research exemplifies how the magician’s intuitive understanding of the spectator’s mindset can surpass that of the cognitive scientist in specific instances, and that observation-based behavioral insights developed by magicians are worthy of quantitative investigation in the neuroscience laboratory.[/quote]

Robbins executed a French drop with either curved or linear motion. "The spectators’gaze stayed on the right hand more often after the curved motion, whereas it jumped back to the left hand after the straight motion."

Thought you might be interested.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 4, 2013 04:18PM)
I have read that discussion. I also read someplace else that the observation is not true. I do not know where I read that. In essence, I don't care. I understand there is another observation which I do believe. That is when the eye moves its focus from one point to another, it stops gathering data. If the eye follows a object as it moves from point A to point B it continues to gather data. I find it interesting but I do not see an application to magic. However, that said, it could explain the previous observaton. When someone moves their hand in an arc, I assume the audience moves their eyes from the beginning point to the end point of the arc. Thus, according to the second principle, they would be blind during the transition. In rectilinear (fancy word for straight) the person might tend to follow the hand. Thus, the eye would not be blind.

Again, I do not know how I would use this. I think it was just good fodder for an article in a mag. I would be worried about the motion in an arc drawing undue attention and switching the spectator from subconcious observation to concious observation.

By the by, here is something I have noticed. Sitting in a car waiting, I noticed a blue light in a truck at my neighbors house. It was nightime. If I looked just to the side a bit, I could clearly see the light. If I looked directly at the light, it disappeared. I assumed it was parallex in action. Then, I didn't think the distance my eye shifted would be enough for the parallax action. I surmized that the light was blikning and probable shifting a bit. My reasoning was this. Peripheral vision is sensitive to change more than direct vision. Here is my analysis. If the lilght is dim, it cannot be pickied up by my cetner vision. If the light is blinking and moving back and forth slightly, my peripheral vision can sense it. Thus, looking to the side, I could see it. Looking directly at it, I could not. Here is another factor about this. I know this being a programmer and programming insturments. When LED's are used in insturments, they are not on constantly. To do so would use a lot of battery energy and generate a lot of heat. So, the microcontroller chip turns LED's on and off quickly. As a guess, turn on for 10 milliseconds then turn off for 50 milliseconds. Can't remember exactly what the values are. The human eye sees the LED on continuosly. And the batter last longer. That is why you move a calculator past you face, you see a bunch of dashes and dot hanging in space. That is something that has be capitalized on with a variety of toys.

Anyway, don't ask me what this has to do with cups and balls. Got carried away again.

My nest task it to comment on the numbered points Mr. O made a bit ago. Still working on the book I mentioned a bit ago. It will be titled, The Theory and Practice of False Transfers. It will detail the little cup routine I put up for view.

Thanks all.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 4, 2013 04:31PM)
Thanks, Mr. Schneider.

[quote]I would be worried about the motion in an arc drawing undue attention and switching the spectator from subconcious observation to concious observation. [/quote]

That's a good point. If you look at the videos that accompany the paper, the arc move is clearly unnatural, but it does take attention away from the other hand. I think in a performance, you would make the arc move seem to be The Move.

Before reading the paper, I was wondering if a natural curved motion would have the same effect as a "stagey" curved motion. I don't think you can tell from the experiment that was done.

Looking forward to that next book.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 4, 2013 05:56PM)
I don't know if this answer Woland's question but In the Gestalt Theory, according to the Law of Continuation (a discontinued perfectly aligned straight line is perceived as continuous) an arc followed by a blank followed by an arc along the same circumference, is perceived as a continuous circle. Actually most people don't know that the Tourniquet lost a lot when its name became French Drop because it's generally performed laterally. The name Tourniquet in French comes from "turning" (which means rotating as much as turning). Thus an object would be held with the thumb underneath as opposed to the Spellbound position. The thand then supinates (rotates the hand palm up at the wrist) as it moves down and in front of the performer in an arc. The extending fingers of the left hand start moving at the very time as the right hand started to move down in an arc. Both hands meet in the center (when the drop is made and the left hand continues the arc towards the left. Then the left fingers close into a fist with a quick pronation and supination move as the fist closed, to give life to the object in the left hand. Then time misdirection is built by an extra action of the right hand (what Ascanio was calling an "Obliteration parenthesis) like tugging the sleeve, taking up the wnad, lifting up a cup... Then the vanish is revealed directing the lefft hand move towards the alleged destination where the object is supposed to reappear.

All of this to say that The Law Of Continuation works for moves done in an arc. Now it doesn't supply evidence that arched movements are more deceptive. What the brain however has more difficulty in analyzing are turnover or symetrical moves. This is true wether the turning over is horizontal or vertical. Pavel had a trick only based on this: his cups where numbered with large digits but two of the cups were marked with a large 1 digit in the front and a big 3 digit in the back. The cups were on a tray with colored balls unde each. The blue one was under the cup showing a 1 digit, the white one under the cup marked 2 and the red one under the cup showing a 3 digits. The tray was brought to the audience to allow a spectator to check that the balls were actually under the cup claimed and easily remembered owing to the visible digit. When getting back to his table Pavel would turn towards it, therefore turning the tray with no other move than his body turning back towards thetable and place the tray on to the table by the front before going back empty handed beneath his table. he would thenn cause the magic and lift up cup number 1 where the red ball would appear, then cup 2 still with the right ball, then cup 3 with the blue ball appearing beneath it. A similar principle is in play in the Dai Vernon turning a card over through the fist and in the turnover move of one column of cards in Out of this World. There are many opportunities offered to magicians by this brain discrepancy in analysing. Very few people realize that the image we see in a mirror is a symetric image of the body and that the moving right hand is seen moving to the left side of the body we look at). Little research has been made in this direction and therefore it opens a large avenue for new moves. Try spreading a Svengali deck face down before letting the ribbon turn face up and then try to directly spread the cards face up.

Whether a pronation/supination move (as performed in the brilliant Al Schneider Coin Vanish) seems sufficient to be analyzed by the brain as a turning over move and, as such, as a full move and, as such, as an Obliteration Parenthesis, isn't obvious.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 4, 2013 09:46PM)
The French Drop has some very powerful features. Actually, I wish the name would not have been translated from Tourniquet. It may be more powerful than my beloved Schneider Vanish. Consider this. It is one of the few moves in which a coin or small ball can be picked up from the table ready to do the sleight move. In most other false transfer moves, the object picked up must be shifted to another position to do some move. It has a natural and strong visual retention quality to it. And, if the transmitting hand pauses a bit, the audience can see into the hand and see an MT palm.

It is different in that it is a take move rather than a put move. I cannot see where one is better than the other.

It is also great to do with a magic wand. The object is taken from one hand. That hand is seen MT. That hand turns palm down and without any extra motion can pick up a wand to wave over the other hand. During all of this, the hand is seen MT. It really can appear as perfect magic.

Just an observation.

Al Schneider
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 4, 2013 10:16PM)
An added advantage of the Tourniquet is that the ball initially taken up between the thumb and first finger can be brought up for a larger audience to be able to see it. When the ball is in Spellbound position or on the extended fingers of a palm up hand, it is by nature lower, and the front spectators' row then screens the vision of the ball for the spectators in the back rows.
Naturally if the French drop is used for a smaller audience the right hand should be not be raised as high, and the elbow remain closer to the chest, as it should for a larger audience: this prevents making the move overly demonstrative.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 5, 2013 09:04AM)
Thank you, gentlemen, for continuing this discussion. I'm also reminded of what Merrill said, in his knife book, about the greater deceptiveness of a lateral move, since apparently the eyes follow that sort of movement less effectively.

When I first learned the color-changing knives, at Tannen's, as a young boy, the demonstrator showed me how to hold the knives vertically, and spin them around while twisting at the wrist. That's a very unnatural move. Merrill's move is much better. (Currently, however, I am mostly using Pop Haydn's move, showing the knife to myself as I look to check it and verify its color, which is a smaller move than Merrill's, but I think even more convincing.)

The information about the tourniquet is very helpful. Didn't you once indicate, M. O, that you had a manuscript almost ready for publication on that subject?
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Jan 5, 2013 09:06AM)
Just placed an order for Al Schneider Magic book, the most expensive magic book I have ever paid for, and since this is a book written by Al Schneider I am confidant that it will be worth every penny.

I am legally deaf and was force into buying a book rather than buying a DVD because of no Closed-Captioning or subtitling. It is SHAMEFUL that this still goes on today after so many years of complaints. What can I do about this? I know I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting for what is RIGHT!

I do believe that producers of Magic DVD's should have a "WARNING" label on their websites stating that they "DO NOT SUPPORT" Subtitling/Closed-Captioning. Yeah, I am angry about this and rightfully so.

Anyway, I am a big fan of Al Schneider and can't wait for his book to arrive.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 5, 2013 10:34AM)
[quote]
On 2013-01-05 10:04, Woland wrote:
... Didn't you once indicate, M. O, that you had a manuscript almost ready for publication on that subject?
[/quote]

I do but it's not made in a commercial form and is sent upon request to friends. Friends like Curtis Kam, Tim Feher and Kent Gunn who studied it, seemed to find value in it, and there are photographs in the notes on my facebook page to complete the text. But, again, if it's very deep on the sleight, its built in misdirection and the finesses or subtleties which can be attached, it's not a document in achieved commercial form. So if you want a copy just send me a PM with your email address.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Jan 5, 2013 01:58PM)
Lawrence O
Here is a response to your comments.


Al, You are basically underlining some major points:

1) The goal of this little venture was to demonstrate the power of glancing at the audience at the time of false transfer.
>YES

2) As the balls are rolled out of the cup in the beginning, the other hand goes to a rest positon on the edge of the table. That is the exact postion of the steal of the final load. It is done here to get the audience accustomed to the hand being in that position.
>YES

3) Both hands move at precisely at the same time.
>YES

4) The audience is consciously aware of the little balls being rolled onto the table. They are not conciously aware of the other hand going to the edge of the table. However, it is registered in memory as being a normal action. Therefore, when done later, it will not be noticed.
>YES

I got confirmation, watching you perform this routine, of several other points that you clearly put in play but sofar didn't underline:

1) the mouth of the cup arrives flat on to the table and not at an angle (a Ramsay recommandation as well) even though you are using the forward momentum for the loading. This is true even with the large load (consistency of gestures)
>The forward momentum of the cup during the small loads was not used. The balls at that point are clamped against the inside of the cup. They cannot move. I did not intend to do that with little and big loads. I have never done that motion with the big load before. I do not need that motion to load the ball. I normally keep the cup mouth down and use the table to complete the load. I did the flip motion to match the motion of the right hand when it picked up the three balls at the same time. It just felt better.

2) You justify the tilting of the bottom of the cup towards the audience by pushing forward, with the hand holding the cup, the little ball that just appeared under the cup.
>Actually I didn't need to tip the cup forward here. The little ball, as mentioned, is clamped against the inside of the cup with my little finger. It can't move. I had to move the visible balls because they are black and while watching the camera, I could not see if there was one or two. So I moved one of the balls. I just used the top of the cup to do that. In a final routine I do not know what I would do. In the clip I should have used a different color to clarify where the balls were. The little balls were not released until the cup was almost at rest on the table.


3) Even though you state that the hands should start at the same time, you are denying the Slydini principle according to which both hands should start at the same time AND finish moving at the same time. Attention stays with the last moving part on the table.
>Sorry, I never heard of that. I base my movements on the idea that all humans universally start and stop both hands at the same time. Humans cannot behave any other way unless highly trained. This is even true when one hand appears to stop when the other continues moving. If one hand stops moving before the other, the other will change direction or pause when the other stops. As I understand, the hands are locked together in continuous motion.

4) You do a follow through after the climax (the apparition of the large load) by tapping the cup mouth towards the audience (not an effect but a statement -the tap-, replying to a potential question: the cup isn't tricked and it is empty) and you lift the large load and let it fall on the table (another statement -the noise- replying to a non formulated question: the ball is solid)
>Dropping the cup like that was a nervous twitch. I am not comfortable doing this routine. Only did it a few times and each time was different. Normally I would not drop the cup. I dropped the ball because I saw on the monitor it appeared as a large black dot. It did not appear like a ball. I picked it up and dropped it to show it was a ball. Again, my selection of color should be changed.

5) You conclude the routine with the same move (first finger pointing up) than you started it. Initially it's is used to gain attention and at the end it serves to punctuate the routine. A nice touch.
>Once again this is just a nervous twitch. I am bad at patter and presentation. I don't know what I should do here. I did the finger thing both times out of nervousness.

There are several other points that could be underlined, but it's your show and it would be nice if you would expand on the finesses that you have placed in there. Maybe like how you keep the large load to be able to steal it from that position and how you would get it position in real life (even if I understand that this is not the points you had a purpose to underline in this short routine.)
>The large steal will be in the book explaining all details of this. The steal was for this demo only. I just wanted to put together a complete presentation. The transition of the little balls to the cup was what I wanted to show. The disappearance of the three at one time and the production was just to finish the thing so it would be acceptable to put on youtube.

Thanks for you comments.

Al Schneider.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jan 5, 2013 02:39PM)
It's wonderful to read the blow-by-blow discussion of the routine.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 5, 2013 09:11PM)
Al Thank you for these detailed comments.

I'll wait for the book and you can be ensured of a faithful student, even if my positive criticism seems, unfortuantely, to keep making you uncomfortable. I admit that analyzing things is an embarrassing sickness (but I thought from reading you that you were similarly "infected" (or should I say "affected")).

I may see "different" things that the ones you want to put in there and I thank you for correcting me on your intent. Now when you express that your intent is conscious or subconscious (the exact word is pre conscious, I know) it seems irrelevant and naturally doesn't require justification. We all have our nervous twitches and some of us think that they express as much as our conscious intents. Some want to dig in that, some don't. Both approaches have virtues. Naturally I confess that I'm sufficiently anxious to be wanting to dig as deep as I can and get feedback on what I thought I perceived

So thank you for having taken the trouble of a detailed reply. Even on points were I feel that I could present counter arguments, I think that I owe you to integrate first the ones were I cannot but agree and only then start reconsidering the ones where I may disagree.

The quality of your performance is a fact and facts have a tendency to be stubborn (in real life).

Thanks again.

The second wizard of smart. ;)
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Jan 30, 2013 01:55PM)
Nice article:

http://news.yahoo.com/brain-retroactively-edits-conscious-experience-182358947.html

The Brain Retroactively Edits Conscious Experience

Up to a half-second after an object disappears from view, the brain can "edit" the experience to retain that object, a new study from France shows.
Message: Posted by: L Trunk (Feb 12, 2013 12:05PM)
Another article:
http://www.insidescience.org/content/ancient-magical-illusion-even-more-effective-magicians-may-realize/935
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Feb 12, 2013 12:26PM)
[quote]
On 2013-02-12 13:05, L Trunk wrote:
Another article:
http://www.insidescience.org/content/ancient-magical-illusion-even-more-effective-magicians-may-realize/935
[/quote]

after reading the article and watching the video... My theory is more supported. I think we as magicians don't use our gazes and such... we don't misdirect... we abuse the cognitive schemata of people...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_%28psychology%29

as an example:

when we do a fake transfer... we abuse their schema of puttinga ball in the other hand. When we fake load a cup we abuse the schema of loading a cup...
Message: Posted by: funsway (Feb 12, 2013 03:56PM)
And we can create new schema by way of demonstration -- using a "Pattern of Performance" to establish "normal" actions that we can later abuse.
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Feb 13, 2013 10:47AM)
I think the experimenters are making a mistake.

First off, they are not magicians.

The thing I object to is the statement that facial expression and eye motion have nothing to do with a move.

My point here is that the move is powerful in and of itself. My point is that the use of facial expression and and use of the eyes AID in the deception. It is not the deception. I make movies of moves without my face in the shot. Works fine. Here is another statemet that appeared in the article. Someone said, "It looks just like ..." The point is that, while they were taken in, they did not see reality that a magician can create. Many magicians hang their hat on, "It looks exactly like you put a coin in the other hand." This falls short of, "The coin disapeared from his hand and I have no idea of whre it went?

In addition, the articles are somewhat troubling in treating the audience like some fixed thing. I get the feeling they are saying, "If you make it look like this they will see you did that." Why is it then, if you do a vanish move for anybody on the street and show the coin gone, they will immediately say, "It is in the other hand." The experiment did not seem to show knowledge that various people react in differnt ways. As magicians, we must prepare for many odd situations some people doing an experiment will not do. You know, something like spilling their Grashopper on your closeup pad or grabbing your cigarette thru coin that was lapped. (seen it happen)

On the other hand, I think the articles are right on in when they talk about the built in machinery in the mind that process the data after real world events are observed. That is how I interpret what they said.

Just my thoughts.

Al Schneider