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Black Magic
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After reading and replying to the thread on the religious conflict and all the black magic talk I think it would be interest in seeing how we present our magic.

As I said in my response, I present my magic as a matter of skill. I feel it is important to have people comfortable around you and also have them feeling like they always want to be around you whether you are doing magic or not. With that in mind, I refuse to present my magic as "magic". I am in touch with reality and I am mature enough to distinguish the difference between being talented and being gifted. Many magicians may not like the fact that I'm a big show-off but that's the reason we perform to begin with, to show off what took you forever to master. I like to see laughter and smiles. I want people to feel like a kid again when they see my routine. And they can't feel that way if they think I have supernatural powers. And any magician that does try to scare their audience, I think you need to grow up! Gregory Wilson is my favorite magician, that is, second to myself, and he has never scared anybody but gets his point across as a seasoned magician and if you haven't noticed, he's a show-off also. So, how do you present your's?
Samuel
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Kind of a combination, as both skill and magic.

The reason for magic, is to leave the spectators wondering *how in Gods name is that possible???*, and the reason for skill, is so that most people can fall back to the ol' *hand is faster than the eye*. It also functions as a safety-net, in case I get caught, i'ts still just skill Smile

Do you really think of yourself as your favourite magician? That seems very cocky...
Samuel

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Black Magic
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Of course. I think everyone should think of themselves as their favorite magician. Be a man, have some dignity. Take a picture of yourself, autograph it and hang it up next to your Houdini poster. Better yet, take a picture with David Copperfield, sign it, and send it to him. It's all about you. I will if I get the chance.
Samuel
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IMO, your more of a man if you acknowledge that others is better than you - because there is people better than you. It's all about beeing realistic.

If you were to do that picture thing, you'd just come off as offensive. Very few likes to be sent garbage without asking for it Smile
Samuel

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Black Magic
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I never said I am better than anyone. I simply said I am my favorite magician. I enjoy watching others and I alwayz learn things from other magician. You seem like you don't have confidence in yourself. Say guy, it's all about you! Okay, I probably wouldn't send David Copperfield my autographed picture of me and him but I would hang it next my autographed picture that's next to my Houdini poster. In fact, any picture like that I will sign and hang it up. Be a man! Sign your own autograph!
Samuel
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My confidence is very good, thank you very much Smile But there is a big difference in confidence and cockyness. Magic isn't about me, it's about the spectator. It's the spectators reactions who get me going. If they hit me and scream because of a effect, I'll show them another better effect. If they laugh and say "Ok, you are good", that's all right. If they don't want to be shown any more, I walk.

Oh, by the way - I get the spectator to sign the cards, I don't do it myself Smile
Samuel

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Black Magic
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Right, signed cards? Picture? They have nothing to do with one another. But if you see a connection, you get the wink and the gun. All I'm saying dude is put yourself first. I admire others but I'm first on MY list. And if you don't put yourself first, that's you. Happy magic to you and those that watch you.
Samuel
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Likewise, Black Magic Smile Everyone's different, you know Smile

Btw, the 'sign'-thing was a joke, nothing more Smile
Samuel

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Great Domino
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This was a great question until somebody took it personally.

I work for a lottery corporation and I enjoy using the random odds/ coincidence theme. This engages the spectator and empowers them.

Dominic
scorch
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Quote:
On 2005-08-26 22:03, Black Magic wrote:
All I'm saying dude is put yourself first. I admire others but I'm first on MY list. And if you don't put yourself first, that's you....


I dare you to name five famous card magicians who share this self-aggrandizing attitude with you. It is one thing to be a self promoter, it is quite another to believe your own marketing rhetoric.

I know of no truly successful person, magician or otherwise, who would hold this attitude. To the contrary. The greatest magicians tend to be quite humble and fully acknowledge other masters. If you think it's all about you, maybe there's a reason you are not famous. Because you don't understand a fundamental truth about art. It truly isn't about you, it IS about your audience. Putting THEM first will create far more success for you than a lifetime of puffing yourself up.

What's more, truly confident people don't feel a need to put themselves first, or to exort others to "be a man" and do likewise.
LiquidSn
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I for one like to do magic that isn't "scripted". I don't do magic as a job. I feel that doing it as a job limits what you can do with the spectator. for one.. you can't **** them off. which is something inherrent with magic. either they love it or it frustrated them to hell. I not saying go around and **** people off, but I find it interesting that something as trivial as magic can break any mental barrier. physics, psychology, religion, and many others. It strikes at their logic, and either they go crazy and enjoy it or they get angry or shut off. To me, magic is about showing people that life isn't about a simple line to the end. contradictions happen. but I never say there is real magic, and I don't go tell people that they should live meaningful lives or be a guru. anyone who thinks there is real magic is stupid.

I guess what I am saying is that magic should be random events that happen. why do people 3 years down the road come up to you all of a sudden on a chance meeting still remember a double lift trick? its not becuase it "moved" them or anything like that. It was just a moment in their life that they can't explain. (unless they went and figured it out) Your mind has a funny way of needing to solve everything.

I feel that magic is like laughter. laughter is a very strange sound. But it is usually our only escape from reality.

anyways, this probelly doesn't make sense so game on.

Tony C.
Blog about magic. by me.

Http://www.doublefacers.com
scorch
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Quote:
On 2005-08-26 20:50, Black Magic wrote:
Many magicians may not like the fact that I'm a big show-off but that's the reason we perform to begin with, to show off what took you forever to master.


That certainly isn't the reason I perform. Just because it took me a long time to learn something is not enough reason to perform it. And certainly the audience doesn't care about how much I practiced something (other than to assume I don't have a life if a try to impress them with a bunch of hotshot cuts and long distance spinners). I perform because I love the sense of wonder and amazement that only truly strong and artistic magic can provide. And I love the sense of theater and self-expression that can be carried around in your pocket for a few bucks. I love that a deck of cards is so symbolic and reflective of the human experience. For me, the sense of amazement is what I'm after. That's so much more powerful than merely being "impressive."

When I was a kid I used to be more impressed with flourishes and shows of dexterity. But nowadays I think a lot of flourishes ruins the effect of magic. When I do an ace production, it amazes people and they can't for the life of them figure out how I do it. When a flourisher does an ace production, it just looks like just another flourish. Yawn.

On the other end of the spectrum, I don't like all of the goofy hocus-pocus and cliched "magical" gestures and such of the magicians who like to present it as real magic, like they had magical powers or something. I think that's old school, and a little embarassing. I prefer to have the spectator come to the conclusion that it has to be magical, based on the strength of the effect.
tommy
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I think I like card guys to say look at these cards they are magic. That is hardest magic to find and the best. Look at me I am a magician is easier. I think it is much easier still to say look at how skilled I am. The latter is not not magic at all I don't think.

An example of the best is “The Excusive Coterie” -Erdnase-
An example of the worst is “Dealing all the Reds” -Me-

In “The Excusive Coterie” the magician appears to do nothing but tell the story and the cards seem to do all the magic themselves.

When I Deal all the Reds, the cards do nothing and I just show off. There is no magic in that. Even if I could in fact deal all the reds from a shuffled deck it would still only be a demo of skill.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cain
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My own persona -- my "character", if you will -- is that of a fumbling (sometimes mumbling) dude who happens to either have a pack of cards on him or is drawn to one in use. My "act" is usually prefaced with the warning: "I'm not very good." It's all an expectations game! During a transposition I attempt to experience the magic with the spectator. "This feels very weird...." I'll often ask aloud what the spec is thinking, "how did that happen?"

The thing is they know it's all an act by the second or third trick, when I again admonish them: "Well, I probably won't be able to pull this one off because it's really difficult and I'm not very good...." "Oh, you said that last time!" *puckish grin*

My second trick is usually, if I'm using my own deck, Red Hot Mama, so in the second phase, where their new pick is supposed to turn red, I play it out like I really messed up. Then as I'm nervously looking around in embarrasment the red card previously cast aside catches my eye and I say, "no". "No" as if I don't want it to happen, and incoherently mutter "that's impossible." Sometimes I'll look at the card myself, sigh, and then slowly turn it over.

Now, as a diehard supporter of the James Randi Educational Foundation I can say that I never want to leave the impression that I am acutally doing "real" magic (a contradiction in terms). Kids have said, "He's a wizard", asked me outright if I'm witch, and one young woman memorably remarked, "you're the devil." Thankfully she was joking, but I think it's a matter of responsibility to quickly dispel the myths. Unfortunately, you'd leave a much, much stronger impression if people left guessing, wondering whether or not it's real. But in my opinion this is wrong. Just leave them mulling over the method, which is actually the case with most people. Not too many people (in my experience) are superstitious enough to believe that I have actually sold my soul to the devil.

Nevertheless, on your initial approach you should make it seem magical. Don't say, "yuk, yuk, yuk, I'll bet you I can read your mind." Reading someone's mind is serious business; it's invasive. So you have to ask in a very serious manner, "Is it alright if I try to read your mind?" soulfully gazing into the spectator's eyes (preferably a woman).
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
prospero
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I pass it off as something mysterious. I lead them into a state where they repeatedly tell themselves that it's only sleight of hand, but cannot believe what they're witnessing, so they convince themselves that there must be a supernatural explanation.
scorch
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Quote:
On 2005-08-27 00:40, Cain wrote:
Unfortunately, you'd leave a much, much stronger impression if people left guessing, wondering whether or not it's real. But in my opinion this is wrong.


That opinion seems like a very odd sentiment for a card magician. It certainly is self-defeating, to have to pull your punches and back away from having a strong and memorable effect on an audience. Why do you think it's wrong? Just because it's factually incorrect? Do you go around and tell lots of little kids there's no Santa Claus just because there isn't?

Quote:
On 2005-08-27 00:40, Cain wrote:
Not too many people (in my experience) are superstitious enough to believe that I have actually sold my soul to the devil.


Yes, well, I don't think that it's our responsibility as magicians to weaken the effect of our magic and make it seem less astonishing just so that stupid people can maintain their superstitions.
funny_gecko
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Black magic seems to be saying that he has self confidence.. I will say it in a differen way.
I look in the mirror in the morning.. I don't think I am ugly... I Know there are "better" looking people out there ( due to the medias eye of beauty ) but still I don't have to feel ugly just cause they are better looking. idf he said he was better than all other magicians then he would be cocky but simply he is saying have confidence in yourself and don't give yourself limits...
Black Magic
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Gecko, maybe I jus don't have a way of saying things. Thanx guy!
funny_gecko
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Hey I can hear you out I understand yha.... just sometimes its hard to understand when your reading cause you cant recieve the emotion they said it in.
Cain
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On 2005-08-27 11:37, scorch wrote:
Quote:
That opinion seems like a very odd sentiment for a card magician. It certainly is self-defeating, to have to pull your punches and back away from having a strong and memorable effect on an audience. Why do you think it's wrong? Just because it's factually incorrect? Do you go around and tell lots of little kids there's no Santa Claus just because there isn't?


No, I do not inform children about the nature of Santa Claus. Do you know why? Because I'm confident they'll learn and accept the truth eventually. If children grew into adults without outgrowing this fanciful myth, then yes, I would tell them.

Quote:
Yes, well, I don't think that it's our responsibility as magicians to weaken the effect of our magic and make it seem less astonishing just so that stupid people can maintain their superstitions.


I do not view it as part of my responsibility as a magician. Rather, it's my responsibility as a person. Sometimes people need assurances that it is not real. I feel obligated to tell the truth. See for instance the thread on Criss Angel's levitation in the Secret Sessions forum.
Ellusionst discussing the Arcane Playing cards: "Michaelangelo took four years to create the Sistine Chapel masterpiece... these took five."

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes: "You know Einstein got bad grades as a kid? Well, mine are even worse!"
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