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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » It's an Attitude not an Action (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jaxon
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Kalamazoo, Mi.
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This is just something that I thought about not long ago during a discussion with some other magicians. I thought I'd share my thoughts on the topic. I'm sure not everyone will agree with everything I say here but here it goes.

Many magicians have different points of view on the matter of the "right and wrong" way to present different types of effects. Some argue that you shouldn't do flourish moves because they are showing off. Some argue that we should mislead people to believe that our magic is real (as in supernatural powers).

Most of the things I've discussed or read have their points but I think it all boils down to this.

It's an Attitude not an Action.

For example I could do a bunch of fancy flourish moves with a deck of cards with the attitude that I'm showing how much better I am then my spectators are. Then this would be rude and what I'd consider "showing off." However, those fancy moves can also be presented in ways that doesn't insult anyone in anyway. It could be a display of skill or just a neat looking display. It's the attitude of the performer that makes the difference.

Now we come to another popular argument among magicians. Is it right to let people believe we really did what they saw us do? Is it okay to let them believe we really did magic? I believe it is okay to let them think that. We can even try to get them to believe that. But it would be wrong in my opinion to take advantage of that belief. To use that to make them laugh or feel amazed is something I feel we all hope to give people. To give them a little taste of their childhood when Santa existed and magic was real. I don't feel this is wrong. Do we want them to believe that object really did defy gravity or do we want them to know we used some trick to make it look like we did? Do we want them to believe it really appeared or disappeared from thin air or do we want them to know that we used sleight of hand? Of course we want to them to believe it's real.

The only time this is a problem is if the performer has an "attitude" about it and uses it to either make them believe we can make them do things against their will or to use it to take something from them (physical object or otherwise).

So I think most of these "Do's and Don'ts" are a matter of the attitude of the performer over the actual actions.

Any thoughts?

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
Jerrine
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Busking is work.
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My Attitude is that the spectator will/has witnessed the 100% real deal Magic in all it's wonderfulness. As many of my Actions as possible I commit to that service.
I don't do the flourish stuff so really have no input there, other than I don't do it because generally I want to have as little attention on the deck as possible. I think people watch closer when they think that you could do something. Flashing cards all over the place is not a bad thing, it's just not my thing.
Jeremy L.
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It's not what you do, it's how you do it.
Jeremy L.
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Shane Wiker
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I agree 100%. Great post Jaxon.

Shane Wiker
R.T.
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Great post....don't we all do Magic to make people feel that wonder again. To see the looks on people's faces is a spectacular feeling!!!!
Jaxon
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Exactly, and yet we have so many of us arguing that we shouldn't try to make it seem real. Like it's a bad thing to do to people. I'm against those who try to pull it off similar to Uri Geller with a corny story of getting their "powers" from some distant planet. But to make them believe something truly magical happened isn't a bad thing in my opinion. It's the attitude is done with that can make it bad or take advantage of people.

Here's how I see it. If someone actually thought I did what I did with true magical powers and no one was hurt or offended by it all. Then how is that a bad thing? To me it seems like a good thing. To let them feel that magic is out there and it doesn't have to be a bad thing. At the same time I don't feel one should come out and say "This is real magic." It's kind of complicated but there's a difference between them believing it's real and me claiming it's real.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
funny_gecko
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Also I would suggest doing a few simple card tricks from time to time. PEople whp have watched Blaine have now thought of him as a god like figure... after seeing fly ressurection.
Joe Stone
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Wood Green, London, UK
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I think the ultimate aim must be to make people believe what they are seeing at the moment the magic happens. If they go away and analyse it for hour to come to the conclusion that it was a trick, then that's really no loss.

I totally agree that no harm can come from someone believing magic actually happened - perhaps the most likely reaction to seeing something inexplicable is to question your reality a little; and that's got to be healthy.
SOHA
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NJ
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The danger with doing flourishes is that it shows that you have skill in manipulating objects. consequently, giving the spectator an explanation to what happened. (the card did not end up on top by misterious means, but in their eyes now, the performer somehow took it out when they weren't looking and put it there)It's not a bad thing if that's how you want to present yourself. I rather don't give the spectators a possible explanation to what happened, it makes the effect much more different. Personally, I save flourishes and skill type tricks for other magicians who apreciate and relate to how difficult a flourish is supposed to be.
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