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Bill Palmer
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I've seen Zombie performed by people who made it look like real magic. They made it look like true mind over matter.

I've seen (on very rare occasions) performances of the Linking Rings which bore no other explanation than the person was able to make two solid items link and unlink.

I've seen illusions performed to such perfection that they appeared to be magic. Rick Thomas' performance of the levitation is one of these. It moved me.

But there is no reason for anyone to retire a piece of "magic," just because they have achieved a kind of perfection. It makes no sense at all.


Posted: Apr 27, 2006 6:18pm
-------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 16:42, AnneTGravity wrote:
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.

Only to the schizophrenic.

I love it when anonymous equivocaters post to raise their own count.

Use your own name, and I might respect your opinion.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
AnneTGravity
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Are you saying that we should all keep doing the same tricks? Boring ourselves and our audiences. Just because something is good, doesn't mean we should all do it. There are so many tricks out there, yet we all seem to be doing the same ones. Is it out of fear of trying something new, lack of creativity, or just plain laziness?
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 18:06, AnneTGravity wrote:...Magic lies within the performer...


The notion of lies is cooo. How about this this instead:

Magic is a lie that can occur inside the minds the audience.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 18:21, AnneTGravity wrote:
Are you saying that we should all keep doing the same tricks? Boring ourselves and our audiences. Just because something is good, doesn't mean we should all do it. There are so many tricks out there, yet we all seem to be doing the same ones. Is it out of fear of trying something new, lack of creativity, or just plain laziness?


I think what he is saying, and I know I am, is that we should certainly keep doing the same effect because they are good, but it isn't the effects that are good. If they were the same, they wouldn't be good. They are only good when an artist brings his own particular enterpritation to a piece, evoking many of the previously mentioned emotions from his audience. That's the point. Not the effects. They are simplky a vehicle for what we do.

And magic is no more a lie than "Hamlet".
AnneTGravity
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So, then why can't you apply that creativity to something that HASN'T been done to death? I'm all for putting your own spin on a classic. I welcome it with open arms because it shows that you're thinking, that you care about keeping this art form alive. It's when I don't see an artist put some of himself into the trick or when I see that the only reason that he is performing it in the first place is because it is the popular one to do, that is what I am bored with.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
Jaz
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Magic is an enigma wrapped in a mystery that defies the laws of nature and science.
kregg
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Whit,
Have you ever been asked;
"Is magic real?"
"How did you do that?"
"Can you teach me how it's done?"

That's wonder - wonder is marvelous curiosity.
POOF!
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 18:26, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
The notion of lies is cooo. How about this this instead:

Magic is a lie that can occur inside the minds the audience.

Interesting quote about how Robert-Houdin talks about the "Imagination" and the audience and the impression on the memory. My own opinion of this quote and what I got from it was that comedy can get in the way of the mystery of magic while performing. Anyway that was my take on what was written by Robert-Houdin. Puns and laughter.

......
Robert-Houdin The Great Wizard - 1944 published by Carl W. Jones - Translated from the French bu Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie.

Page 138

They are not proper in a performance of sleight of hand. The reason is very simple: not only do puns raise a belief that the artist fancies himself a wit, which may only injurious to him, but, if he succeeds in raising a laugh, it weakens the interest in the experiments.

It is a recognized fact that in those performances where imagination plays a chief part, “astonishment is a hundred fold better than a silly laugh”; for though the mind may remember what has delighted it, laughter leaves no trace on the memory.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 19:00, AnneTGravity wrote:
So, then why can't you apply that creativity to something that HASN'T been done to death? I'm all for putting your own spin on a classic. I welcome it with open arms because it shows that you're thinking, that you care about keeping this art form alive. It's when I don't see an artist put some of himself into the trick or when I see that the only reason that he is performing it in the first place is because it is the popular one to do, that is what I am bored with.


Mostly because there isn't a whole lot that hasn't been done. Agreed, people are constantly looking for new effects, but I think some of that time would be better spent looking for better ways to present ones that already exist. Dispite a widespread belief, magic isn't about being "clever" it's about entertainment. Whatever it takes to entertain the audience and do it well, is what is called for. "Magic" simply provides the vehicle, the particular medium. If you want to come up with all new effects, good on you, go for it, I wish you luck. I see no reason to make it mandatory, or industry standard.
AnneTGravity
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It's good to read that you think that people should look for new ways to present old tricks.

Yes, magic is a form of entertainment. Never say "whatever it takes to entertain the audience..." You say that, and you have sold out. You are at their mercy. You will forever be bending yourself and reinventing yourself to their whims.

You must decide who you are as a performer and then shoot for being at the extreme end of the performance bell curve -- where some people love you and some people hate you. True, you would have a safer time in the middle where you would be upsetting none, but you will be living a life inconsequence, where the most common description of your act will be "eh, he was good." Shoot for greatness and if you upset some people along the way...at least they're talking about you.

Remember, no one talks about the average performer, we talk about the great ones and we talk about the horrible ones. It's human nature. If you don't believe me, just look at this website and see who some people are bashing.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 19:18, kregg wrote:
Whit,
Have you ever been asked;
"Is magic real?"
"How did you do that?"
"Can you teach me how it's done?"

That's wonder - wonder is marvelous curiosity.

I don't think curiosity and wonder are the same thing at all.


Posted: Apr 27, 2006 9:41pm
----------------------------------------------
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.

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.

I think you are wrong about this, Bill. I do the "Ambitious Card" and "Card to Envelope" in every close-up performance. A video of my performance is available here:

scoundrelsphotos.com

I have done this routine for more than thirty years. The reaction is always huge, and I have had many, many people upon running across me again even years later, to comment on that effect and how great it was, or to ask me to do it again for them and their friends.

I have known spectators to keep their signed card and envelope in their purse or wallet for years and they show it to me when they see me again.

I think that you are dead wrong about card tricks as magic. Most of my close-up magic is cards. People do become very engaged, and they remember tricks like Chicago Surprise, Card on Ceiling, Phoenix Aces, Rising Card and Torn and Restored Card for years.

I don't think I am the only one on this forum who has had this experience. Card magic, when presented correctly, can make people wet themselves, or fall off of barstools, or knock over wine glasses.

I have had people who had to leave the room for a while because they were "too shaken" to continue. None of this is bragging--I suspect many competent card guys would have had the same experience.

Just look at the reactions that David Blaine got from spectators with simple card tricks like "Be Honest!"

I think that in this case you may have overstated things about card magic.


Posted: Apr 27, 2006 10:01pm
----------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 21:00, AnneTGravity wrote:
It's good to read that you think that people should look for new ways to present old tricks.

Yes, magic is a form of entertainment. Never say "whatever it takes to entertain the audience..." You say that, and you have sold out. You are at their mercy. You will forever be bending yourself and reinventing yourself to their whims.

You must decide who you are as a performer and then shoot for being at the extreme end of the performance bell curve -- where some people love you and some people hate you. True, you would have a safer time in the middle where you would be upsetting none, but you will be living a life inconsequence, where the most common description of your act will be "eh, he was good." Shoot for greatness and if you upset some people along the way...at least they're talking about you.

Remember, no one talks about the average performer, we talk about the great ones and we talk about the horrible ones. It's human nature. If you don't believe me, just look at this website and see who some people are bashing.


That's good for some, Anne. But I, like many other performers, just want to enjoy making a comfortable living doing what we enjoy doing. I may not have striven for the extreme artistic success you recommend, but I do constantly work at my magic and hone my craft.

I don't see the need to bend yourself to every whim of the marketplace, but I do change to suit my various venues--I would be less loose with sexual innuendoes in certain areas of the country or for certain groups. I would change my act if I found that I was offending even one or two people in my audience on a regular basis. It wouldn't be good business for me. I don't think that is much different than great artists in other fields who have done commission work, or lived under patronage.

I tend to think of myself more as a craftsman than an artist anyway--I am a show person. More Vaudeville than Broadway. I am an entertainer, not a visionary artist.

I don't care particularly whether people are talking about me, and I have no problem living an "inconsequential life" as you call it.

"No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plow down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion..."
--Gerard Manley Hopkins
AnneTGravity
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 21:41, Whit Haydn wrote:
Card magic, when presented correctly, can make people wet themselves, or fall off of barstools, or knock over wine glasses.


Your Ambitious Card was beautiful to watch. The notarized was a nice touch, I haven't seen that done before you.

"51 to pocket" and "Chicago Opener" are two of my favourites. I have yet to see an audience that was not amazed by them. I had a woman almost fall over backwards when she discovered that her card was in her hand all along. That was such an amazing feeling for me.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 21:00, AnneTGravity wrote:
It's good to read that you think that people should look for new ways to present old tricks.

Yes, magic is a form of entertainment. Never say "whatever it takes to entertain the audience..." You say that, and you have sold out. You are at their mercy. You will forever be bending yourself and reinventing yourself to their whims.


OK, that's just crazy. If you convince me that this is as bad as you make it sound, I'm getting out of magic forever. If it isn't for the audience, then it is for the wrong reason. Art serves no purpose other than to be apreciated.

I hope I have sold out. This is my career.
AnneTGravity
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Art is an expression of the creator's soul. It's great when it's appreciated, but think of how many artists go unappreciated during their lifetime.
Before I dive too deeply into this...define appreciated.
Do you mean financially? Emotionally? Artistically?
Are you looking for fame and accolade?
To be lauded by your peers?
Are you happy doing this for your own edification?
If you are happy doing this for yourself, then everything else is just gravy. Whether or not fame and fortune come to you, you'll still be happy and by extension a success.
I still say aim for greatness, but be sure to define for yourself. That way you know when you have it.
Sure, if you want to do it the easy way -Gonzo
kregg
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We've stumbled into a worm hole and have brought "art" into the mix.

Whit,
Wonder is the question that leads to the quest (curiosity).
POOF!
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 21:41, Whit Haydn wrote:
I have known spectators to keep their signed card and envelope in their purse or wallet for years and they show it to me when they see me again.

I think that you are dead wrong about card tricks as magic. Most of my close-up magic is cards. People do become very engaged, and they remember tricks like Chicago Surprise, Card on Ceiling, Phoenix Aces, Rising Card and Torn and Restored Card for years.

I don't think I am the only one on this forum who has had this experience.

Whit, I agree with you on this, definitely. I don't do many card tricks yet.

As a spectator, I was always impressed with cards- until I came here and found out I shouldn't be. Smile For many people "magic" and "card tricks" go hand in hand, I believe. I know I used to feel that way. I don't think the audience is as cynical about cards as magicians are. That's the view from here, anyway. Smile
Jonathan Townsend
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Art?

That comes long after getting through what Freud called the oral and anal stages.

Till one has knowing boundries in place between self and others, will and want, society and its aliens... novel expressions of personal perspective and context will likely be accicental. An artifact of a critic looking to claim discovery of a newfound cashcow.

samo samo. Even when reflected in brick walls or painted in skyscrapers.

There's authenticity in making a living with a plow. One is free to dream of life in the penthouse. Do all roads there really lead to Oz?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicalaurie
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Follow the yellow brick road. Smile


Posted: Apr 28, 2006 9:32am
----------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 22:01, Whit Haydn wrote:
"No wonder of it: sheer plod makes plow down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion..."
--Gerard Manley Hopkins

Hey! John-Boy read that poem to his mother for her birthday. Smile Lovely, Whit. Smile
JackScratch
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 22:27, JackScratch wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-04-27 21:00, AnneTGravity wrote:
It's good to read that you think that people should look for new ways to present old tricks.

Yes, magic is a form of entertainment. Never say "whatever it takes to entertain the audience..." You say that, and you have sold out. You are at their mercy. You will forever be bending yourself and reinventing yourself to their whims.


You are coming at this from the wrong direction. I don't mean my, or anyone elses motive. I'm talking about the intended outcome. I don't buy into that art for art sake. Succesfull art is the whole point to all of them. A painting is ment to evoke an emotion from it's audience. Music is supposed to make the listener feel something. So it is with magic. Financial is a nice expression of success in that field, as is emotional response, and fame, well that's the art of marketing, not magic. If there is no audience, big, small, one person even, then there is no magic. If the audience does not get some variety of entertainment from the magic, then it is bad magic.

OK, that's just crazy. If you convince me that this is as bad as you make it sound, I'm getting out of magic forever. If it isn't for the audience, then it is for the wrong reason. Art serves no purpose other than to be apreciated.

I hope I have sold out. This is my career.
George Ledo
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Quote:
On 2006-04-27 19:28, bishthemagish wrote:
Robert-Houdin The Great Wizard - 1944 published by Carl W. Jones - Translated from the French bu Dr. R. Shelton Mackenzie.

Page 138

They are not proper in a performance of sleight of hand. The reason is very simple: not only do puns raise a belief that the artist fancies himself a wit, which may only injurious to him, but, if he succeeds in raising a laugh, it weakens the interest in the experiments.

It is a recognized fact that in those performances where imagination plays a chief part, “astonishment is a hundred fold better than a silly laugh”; for though the mind may remember what has delighted it, laughter leaves no trace on the memory.

Monsieur Robert-Houdin was 100% correct... a hundred and fifty years ago.

When reading stuff like this, we need to keep it in perspective -- we need to see it in the framework of when it was written and what entertainment was like at the time. As much as I like "Our Magic" and "Showmanship for Magicians," among others, I force myself to read between the lines and pull out what's dated and keep what's still relevant.

How can I tell what's dated? Easy. I just look around to see what today's successful entertainers are doing. In today's world, a little well-placed humor goes a long way; it's a way to say, hey, lookit, I take my work very seriously, but I'm not hung up on myself.

If Robert-Houdin, or Maskelyne & Devant, or Fitzkee, were writing their books today, a lot of the underlying reasoning would be the same but much of the content would be totally different.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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