The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8..15..21..27..33..39..40~41~42 [Next]
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Quote:
On 2006-04-26 20:55, JackScratch wrote:
Bill, I realy hate it when someone else says what I want to say better than I could say it.

I had help. Dick Oslund really knows his stuff. But thanks, anyway!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Patrick Differ
View Profile
Inner circle
1540 Posts

Profile of Patrick Differ
Bill Palmer writes:

Quote:
At that point, my whole perspective changed.


I really must ask if it would it be right to say that he changed your model of magic. Maybe not the entire model, but a large chunk of it?

Jonathan Townsend writes:
Quote:
How is this for now: The craft of eliciting the experience of wonder and awe as regards how will can affect the world.


Your use of the word "will" has me thinking again about cause and effect. Neat stuff.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Good post, Whit. I'll buy it.

I think the part that jumps out at me is the difference between "I can fly in the context of the story" and "I can fly right here and now." One is theater and the other one is... well... magic.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Quote:
On 2006-04-26 22:14, Patrick Differ wrote:
Bill Palmer writes:

Quote:
At that point, my whole perspective changed.


I really must ask if it would it be right to say that he changed your model of magic. Maybe not the entire model, but a large chunk of it?



Actually, it changed the focus of my performances. I began to think more in terms of making that magical experience occur in the mind of the audience than doing a trick for them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16262 Posts

Profile of tommy
Magic:

It’s an imaginary force that does not in fact exist. People are led to believe that the magical force exists by magicians who show the people things that are supposedly the effects of the magical force. No one ever sees the magic only it’s effects or so they are led to think. They or the magician can never see, touch, taste or smell magic. “Magic” well it’s only make believe. Magic is nothing at all really.

Take for example a card colour change: What do you see? The card changed colour! That was the effect. However you did not see what caused it to change. That which you did not see was the magic force.

Of course both the magician who shows it’s effects and the people who witness them both know the magical force is imaginary. It is fun and entertaining and many other things to see the effects of magic but magic itself in reality and in fact is nothing but a creation of the imagination.

Because it is nothing you can’t really describe it. You could show some one your empty hand and say: “Behold this in the palm of my hand is magic! You can't see it but I will show you what it can do.”
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
On the Subject od David Copperfield Flying compared to Superman flying, there is one difference that I find to be exceptionaly important. That is the unspoken pact we have with our audience. The agreement that, unlike a movie, with special effects. They could see what we do, live and in the flesh. This is why I have some serious problems with the use of editing to create magic effects. It breaks that assumed agreement.
kregg
View Profile
Inner circle
1958 Posts

Profile of kregg
This topic has kicked into thoughtful overdrive, wonderful posts.

I love the Doug Henning quote (paraphrasing); "The art of a magician is to create wonder, if we live with a sense of wonder. Our lives will be filled with joy."

Create - Wonder - Joy

That's magic. Like the first time I saw cups and balls, matrix, Asrah or a dove from silk (done right).
POOF!
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27157 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 09:07, tommy wrote:
Magic:

It’s an imaginary force that does not in fact exist. ...


Kindly specify the frame of reference for each of the deletions in the above.

It: as observed or measured by whom?)
an: just one?)
imaginary: in the mind of who?

keep going.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
AnneTGravity
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of AnneTGravity
I define magic this way...
Magic: The ability to do things that other can not.

Not merely pull it off, but to do it so well that it looks as if it were being done with no effort on your part. Apply this to every thing and any thing -- painting, dancing, music, computer programing, juggling, puppeteering, surgery, acting, sports...any and all accepted artforms and then every other job out there that you yourself can not perform or perform with ease. That's magic.

You guys are limiting it to only what society has defined, limited, and accepted as "magic." Look around you, there's "magic" every where.

But if you want a dictionary definition...
Magic:
1.The art that purports to produce supernatural effects, as with charms, spells, etc.
2.Any mysterious or overpowering quality that leads to enchantment

I like my definition better.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27157 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 09:57, AnneTGravity wrote:
I define magic this way...
Magic: The ability to do things that other [sic] can not. ...


This looks pretty good in that it covers the aspect of applying will to accomplish a result, though it lacks some aspects which distinguish magic from other means of accomplishing tasks. For example, I can't walk into a car dealer's today and buy a Rolls Royce, but those who can don't use magic to do so. Just because it's impossible for me does not mean it's impossible for all people.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
AnneTGravity
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of AnneTGravity
We all know that magic does not exsist in the conventional sense of the word. None of us actually use magic to accomplish any of the feats that we do. We don't find a card by summoning it, we use the techniques and skills that we have learned and practiced over years to make it look effortless. So, that when viewed, by one who can not perform such a feat, it appears to have been accomplished by magic.

The example of the buying a car, set forth by Johnathan Townsend...sure those who can just walk into a dealership and, without a moment's hesistation, buy a car, do so without the use of magic (they use a Black American Express Card). I know that and you know that. But, to those who do not have the means to do so, it "appears" to have been done by magic.

The appearance of magic is all about perspective. Magicians know that magic doesn't exist. We know this because of the years of study and practice we put into it. We know that it is skill. We know the gaff. We've seen "the man behind the curtain." But, to those not in the field, when they see "51 to pocket" it looks like magic -- whether or not they believe in magic is another story. But, as long as they can not explain how it was done then, magic has been accomplished. The appearance of it has been achieved.

What Jim Henson did with Kermit. That was magic. Or was it?
What Michael Moschean does with acrylic balls. Now, That's magic. No it's not.
What Jeff Sheridan does with rope. Magic?
What John Cassidy does with Balloons?
What James Cameron does?
What Fred Astair did?
What Charlie Chaplin did?
What Pixar does?
A rainbow?
A sunrise?
The change of seasons?
An eclipse?
Pregnancy/Childbirth?


At one time, the four bottom examples on my list were believed to have been accomplished by magic. But, science has taught us otherwise. Magic is all about perspective, innocence vs. knowledge, skill, means, and the ability to let yourself go. These things preserve the existence of it.

The term "MAGIC" is all too commonly used as a term to describe the improbable and the inexplicable. Whether this is done out of habit or done because by calling something "magic" you are removing the power from the individual. You are saying that it was accomplished by some "invisible force" rather than the skill of the person performing the feat. Don't get me wrong, I get kick out of it when someone exclaims "Whoa! That was magic." Even though I know better, it makes me feel like I am doing my job.

You can't ask a magician to define magic because we don't believe in it. Ask a child to define it, you'll get a honest answer (As long as their parents and society haven't robbed them of their innocence).
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
Whit Haydn
View Profile
V.I.P.
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 09:25, kregg wrote:
This topic has kicked into thoughtful overdrive, wonderful posts.

I love the Doug Henning quote (paraphrasing); "The art of a magician is to create wonder, if we live with a sense of wonder. Our lives will be filled with joy."

Create - Wonder - Joy

That's magic. Like the first time I saw cups and balls, matrix, Asrah or a dove from silk (done right).


What is wonder? I hear that so many times, but what is it that people are doing when they wonder? Is wonder pleasant? Why is wonder beneficial? Why is living with a sense of wonder good?

I think many people throw words like wonder around without really stopping to think what it means. There is a tendency by some that use words like "magic" and "wonder"--both of which have many different meanings--as if any of the meanings could be applied without regard to context. Sunshine is "magic," there is "wonder" in a sunset. None of this is helpful in a discussion of magic theory, which is a technical discussion about a particular branch of theater known as "Magic."

Without defining the terms you are using with regard to the subject, everything gets squishy, meaningless, and unhelpful.

I think that wonder is simply the description of the mental reverie that is engendered by the attempt to solve the dilemma "There is no such thing as magic/There is no other explanation." These are all creative rather than deductive processes--a series of "what ifs."

In trying to solve the first horn of the dilemma, the spectator is forced into fantasy--could magic be real? What would it mean if it is? What are the limits of its power? Is it something I could learn? What could I do if I could do magic?

In trying to solve the second horn, the spectator is forced to think creatively and inventively--he can not solve the problem deductively because the needed information was selectively deleted from the argument, and he has agreed to an argument with false premises. No one can solve the problem deductively. The only way out of the box is to invent the trick: "How would I go about making someone think that I could do this magic effect?"

Since the spectator does not have the technology of magic at his disposal to create the effect, the chances of him coming up with an actual, possible solution to the problem is slim. What they do is invent impractical but highly creative solutions--"The rings have magnets." "There must be powerful electro-magnets suspended above and below the stage to make her float."

This reverie of "wonder" is simply the mind's attempt to relieve the uncomfortable feeling of "cognitive dissonance" that is brought on by the magician's deft insertion into the mind of the dilemma. The dilemma becomes a kind of mental burr under the saddle of the brain. Whenever the subject magic comes up, this little irritating grain in the mind is called up, and the process may begin again--the experience of magic and of wonder is kicked into being again, and the brain, like an oyster, tries to solve the dilemma to keep it from being irritated again.

Most people think deductively rather than creatively. For some, being forced to think creatively is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. For others, the need for control and firm categories--boxes--in the brain is important. They will feel the knockdown of these simple concepts by the dilemma that can not be resolved and categorized to be threatening and invasive.

The magician needs to frame his magic so that the spectator feels less threatened by it, and so that the spectator is put into a receptive mood that enables him to enjoy the experience of "wonder" that the magician is about to give him.

For this, we use theater as the cape that distracts and engages the bull. The sword we are about to use is kept hidden.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
If you don't believe in it, why do you do it?

If you don't believe in it, why call yourself a magician?

The definition of magic as being the ability to do something that nobody else can do falls apart under close scrutiny. Too many people can do the physical things that are given as examples.

Personally, I have never seen a card color change that looked like magic to me. Very little card "magic" is really "magical" in its nature. I think most educated laypeople feel the same way. In the grand scheme of things, most card magic is trivial.

Historically speaking, the plot of the overwhelming majority of card tricks has been spectator takes a card, puts it back in the deck, something is done to the cards, magician reveals it in a clever way.

What's magical about that? The premise is seriously flawed. The spectator probably doesn't even want a card in the first place. So he has it. Then he puts it back. Now he is rid of it. Now the cards are shuffled, messed with, etc. Then the magician finds it. Big deal! Any six year old can do something roughly like that. Even the best performer, unless he is able somehow to create the feeling of magic in the spectator's mind, will simply be credited with "sleight of hand," and the trick will be dismissed as inconsequential.

Flying is a different thing. If you could fly, you would be free of the bounds of the earth.

Really reading minds is in the same category.

So is the ability to predict.

Think on these things as you practice your double lift.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
bishthemagish
View Profile
Inner circle
6036 Posts

Profile of bishthemagish
Pick a card write your name on it. The card is placed in the center of the deck. Suddenly it is on top and the deck did not move and no one knows how it got there. The card is placed in the center and the deck is just turned face up (no moves seen) and it is on the bottom.

Then it is placed face down on the table. A wallet is removed. The face down card is placed in the center of the deck again. It vanished from the deck and ends up in the wallet and inside a sealed envelope.

Done right - That is magic.

Done fare - it is moves - or the science of manipulation.

Done wrong - The audience will say I know how it is done.

In my opinion it IS magic when the audience can't explain what happened by no other reason other than it is unexplainable except by calling what they experienced as magic - "how did you do that"?

To me magic is the effect and we can get the effect with the science of manipulation and the enhancement of theater and the ability to sell a great story!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
lylaster
View Profile
Regular user
Atlanta
197 Posts

Profile of lylaster
Magic is when an effect is done so beautifully, the audience can't come up with any plausible explanation. At that point, it's easier for them to believe than to try to find logic in the event.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
I disagree completely about a signed ambitious card. Even done perfectly, it's a "so what" trick. Who cares whether you can make a card come to the top of the deck? Big deal! It's trivial. The only problem it solves is that it puts food on the performer's table. But in the big scheme of things, it's as insignificant as Katie Couric going to CBS.

A playing card has basically no value whatsoever to an audience member. It's a piece of cardboard.

The intelligent audience looks at things like this as nice demonstrations of juggling. "It's sleight of hand" suffices as an explanation. The actual knowledge of the method is of no importance to them whatsoever.

Think about this: the idea that people from nearly every country in the world can communicate almost instantly in a forum like this is much more mysterious than the ambitious card.

You want to see magic? Solve the 1500 year old conflict in the Middle East.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
AnneTGravity
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of AnneTGravity
Whit Haydn,
Your last post was fantastic.

Bill Palmer,
I never said that I don't believe in magic. What you "know" and what you "believe in" are two different things.

Other people have called me a magician and I'm honored when they do. But, I don't call myself that -- I haven't earned that title. Being able to find a card, make an object vanish or appear, or link some rings does NOT a magician make. These are only actions. A magician, to me, is one who can make you (I'm not limiting this to laypeople) believe that what you know to be impossible and improbable is possible, if only for a moment. I can't do that. Not yet.

There are people who I've seen, who are so amazing that magic should exist only for them (for all I know it does). People like Jim Henson and John Cassidy(to name a magician). These are people who have this winsome quality...a sense of wonder...curiousity...Such a love for what they do, that they breathe life into it. They take the mundane and make it exceptional. Being around them/their work, I feel like a kid again.

Barring some physical/mental disability, we all have the ability to do anything we put our minds to. But, having the ability to do something and DOING IT are two different things. Then, there's doing it and doing it WELL. Then, there's doing it well and being EXTRAORDINARY at it.

Everyone who is extraordinary(to perform whatever given task in that given field) has the ability. But, everyone who has the ability is not extraordinary. That's why there are thousands of painters, hundreds artists, and one Vincent VanGogh. Thousands of people who play instruments, hundreds musicians, and one Mozart. Tons of people who do tricks and a handful true magicians.

Magic relies on both the personality & skill of the individual performing it and the personality of the individual receiving it.

For the performer: they must believe that what they are doing is out of their hands. Because if they don't believe, then it really doesn't matter how well they perform a trick, the audience won't believe. Also, they must give a portion of themselves to the audience. Open themselves up -- let your guard down.

For the spectator: It's about letting go...letting go of what they know. Letting their guard down. Opening their minds to the impossible. But, people don't like doing this because it makes them vulnerable. And in being vulnerable, they open themselves up to being "fooled."

Barnum said that people want to be fooled. But, if you ask, people will say reply to the contrary. And that, I believe, is because of the negative conotation "fooled" carries with it. To be made the fool. To play the fool. To be foolish. All of these expressions carry with them imagery of stupidity. People don't want to be thought of as stupid.

This is why, I believe, the performer and the spectator must work together in order to create magic. The performer must have a personality such that the spectator feels comfortable in opening themselves up to them. There is a huge amount of trust involved. The spectator must believe that you are not going to go back stage, at the end of your piece, and laugh about how you "got one over" on them.

I'm going into a whole new sticky topic now.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
JackScratch
View Profile
Inner circle
2151 Posts

Profile of JackScratch
@AnneTGravity - Your problem is that you are using one of the many profoundly flawed definitions of magic that are so popular these days. Something to the order of "anything that is impossible" or some such sillyness. Magic is very real, it just isn't what you've decided it is. For the record, everything on your list fits one of the several acceptable defenitions of magic.

Perception is realtiy.

Going by that, if you realy don't want to believe in magic, then be assured, for you there shall be none.
bishthemagish
View Profile
Inner circle
6036 Posts

Profile of bishthemagish
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 15:46, Bill Palmer wrote:
I disagree completely about a signed ambitious card. Even done perfectly, it's a "so what" trick. Who cares whether you can make a card come to the top of the deck? Big deal! It's trivial. The only problem it solves is that it puts food on the performer's table. But in the big scheme of things, it's as insignificant as Katie Couric going to CBS.

A playing card has basically no value whatsoever to an audience member. It's a piece of cardboard.

The intelligent audience looks at things like this as nice demonstrations of juggling. "It's sleight of hand" suffices as an explanation. The actual knowledge of the method is of no importance to them whatsoever.

Or games, tricks or jokes. The above could be said about magic tricks from the cups and balls to the what’s next spot card. The audience or people are interested in what the magician is doing or they are not.

Some people may not be interested because they saw another magician and they did not like him or what he did. There was somebody I knew that I don't remember said that when a magician walks out on the stage - from the audience point of view in the first 3 seconds - "Your only as good as the last magician they saw".

A point of view that the magician on stage has a few minutes to grab them and hold them. Lots of points of view as to what is magic. We may not part the red sea but we can up-lift people with magic!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
AnneTGravity
View Profile
New user
18 Posts

Profile of AnneTGravity
Jack Scratch,

It is nice to read that you think of items on my list as "magic." As I do, especially the people. There are those out there that would disagree.

To reiterate: I never said "I don't believe in magic," you mistakenly assumed that.

Magic lies within the performer. That is why we all basically, do the same tricks. How many times have you seen Three Cards Across? Zombie? Linking Rings? Cups and Balls? etc... I believe we all keep doing the same tricks because no matter how good we've seen someone else do them, we secretly believe that it is still "missing something," that we can "do it better" - it can still be improved upon. But, when someone performs any trick/illusion with such skill and flair that it makes the audience (magician and layman alike) stand up and go "Whoa! That was magic." that is the day that the trick will be retired. Not because people are afraid of not being able to do it better, but because the perfect performance of it has been achieved -- magic has been realized.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Definition of "Magic" (9 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8..15..21..27..33..39..40~41~42 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.27 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL