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francis farrell
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Profile of francis farrell
I perform magic for friends and colleagues. Typically we will be at a party or a dinner. Now, whereas a professional will complete their act and be on their way, by the nature of things I tend to remain with my audience.

Often I am drawn into a discussion of how you learn, what you have to be good at etc. Part of me enjoys the opportunity to promote magic, but part of me feels as if it weakens the effect, because we end up talking about magic books and shops etc.

Do any other magicians out there have any ideas on how to deal with this situation?
Peter Marucci
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Francis, I see nothing wrong with talking about magic books and magic shops to lay people.

I don’t believe it actually weakens what you have done before; after all, these people know that you had to have learned this somewhere and I would take it as a compliment that you were good enough that they wanted to know more.

Peter Marucci
Tom Cutts
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Profile of Tom Cutts
I have found that you can tell from their question how much they "believe". I never offer more of the truth than the question sheds light on. If they ask about shops, I tell them. If they ask about books, I tell them. If they just ask a general question I reveal none of that.

All responses, though, end with my progression to the level where real magic is possible through study with the masters from all corners of the globe. I talk about going to FISM, the conventions in the US, doing magic in Tahiti, and my own explorations in the field. I talk about the amazing people I have met; some long time idols, some veritable unknown brilliant performers.

I personalize the experience of becomming a magician, which is what they really wanted to know. Just like most good presentations I give them the lines and let them color in the spaces.

Happy New Year!


Tom Cutts

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Profile of martinkaplan

I often find myself in a similar situation. Usually it happens when friends or colleagues come over to my house and I am asked if I will do something. The quality of the effects stand on their own. Either I have chosen well and have amazed my guests or I have chosen poorly and have gotten a polite reaction. Sometimes discussion follows my little show, but I do not feel that it diminishes the strength of the magic that has preceded the discussion. I think that sometimes follow-up questions are a form of courtesy and sometimes your colleagues are surprised to discover you do magic and want to know how you got into it.

Jeb Sherrill
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Profile of Jeb Sherrill
It happens all the time. I wouldn't worry about it. Be as vague as necessary and encourage them to go out and find books and go to magic shops. It supports the local magic shops and it weeds out the ones that aren't really that interested. 9 out of 10 won't ever walk in a magic shop or go to the library for a book. I'm with Peter on the weakening of the effect too. Just take it as a compliment.


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I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
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Profile of trilam
As a very small child, I used to watch the weekly tv show starring Magic Tom Auburn in Montreal. At the end of each show, they would announce the names of viewers who were chosen to be on the next week's show. My mother had sent in my name and I was chosen. I must have been about 7 years old.
12 years later, I was fortunate enough to share the stage for a benefit show at a local veteran's hospital with Magic Tom.
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Profile of Alewishus
I remember my father performing a trick where he cut a string and restored it with his teeth....33 years later I thought I should learn how he did it, that was about 7 years ago. Funny thing is that I found out that my father hates magic!
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Profile of Dr. TORA
Hi Francis,
I happen to have the same question so often.
Moreover, I want to answer it by heart, if only I could. On the other hand I don't know either!!! I am performing tricks from the times I can remember, no matter how simple they were... I can only tell about how did I get on the stage which is I believe, not that interesting. You do some tricks well and ask for a job, somebody says O.K. and you begin. This is the theme of the story. Of course you can put fancy stories for the ornamentation, but not as interesting I guess. (depending on the quality of your story telling.)
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Profile of Telemus
I tell the truth, "It is a time honored tradition, handed down from Teacher to student" If someone keeps pressuring me, and wants to learn magic, I tell them to go to the library, get a book on magic and learn a trick all the way through, perform it for me and then I will invite them to the next ring meeting. Very quickly I learn if they are serious about learning and keeping an illusion in confidence. Smile
Mr Amazing
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While I don't really see any problem with discussing the magic (assuming that what you do is the regular "fun tricks" type of magic - as opposed to e.g bizarre or mentalism). I do however recommend that you practice some jokes etc to prevent yourself from having to discuss with everyone who says they enjoyed your performance. After all, often a question such as "How do you do that" or "How did you get started" is more an expression of appreciation than actually wanting an answer.

If you're interested in some replys to "How did you do that" etc, e-mail me privately, Francis.


Peter Marucci
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Good point, Matias.
"How did you do that?" and similar comments are not unlike "How are you?"
More a social convention than a serious inquiry.
Of course, if someone says "How are you?" and you really want to tick them off, you could tell them. At great length!
Same with: "How did you do that?"
(Which is where people who hate magic come from!) Smile
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Jerrine
I tell them that it is learned in same way as any any other art. I compare it to Music. Practicing notes doesn't make a Musician any more than practicing moves makes a Magician. It's better to have a natural talent to build on. Tone deaf and rhythmically challenged people can learn music, but its better to have a sense of time and an ear. Takes years of dedication to perfect. Gives you a not so obvious pat on the back for having a skill and developing it. Should elevate your persona amongst the lay people, and give you a mental foot up. That people think something technically hard is happening makes the painfully easy stuff so astounding.
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Profile of calexa
I talk about my friends quite frankly and open about my experiences. I never reveal the method, but I don't think there is anything wrong with talking about shops or books.

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