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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Defining a "Good" Magician.... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ednigma
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Hello My Fellow Conjurers!!!

In my short (but very "fruitful") length of time in the magical arts, I have been pondering a question which answer to us magicians is as important as "where do babies come from?" is to a child's mind.....that questions is, "What is a good Magician (or shall I ask what makes a magician good)?

Now, I pose this question to you all, ignoring the obvious, such as good technique, mastery of sleights,etc.

Many argue that David Blaine is a bad one....why? I mean to say, what are those key elements that define excellence in our art from mediocrity?

Why do you think XXX is a superb magician, as opposed to YYY?

I personally don't believe that, as magicians, we cannot become the best that we can be at this without defining these lines.
Kaylan
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A good magician can connect with people, is entertaining, and can make the impossible seem possible without insulting anyone.

Kaylan
DanielSteep
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A good Magician is someone that knows how to do what they are doing.. well and they are good with new people and are charming and respectful
Face
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Good magician is the one who takes the audience with him, so they can step out for theyr everyday life at least during the time of the show...good magician will be remembered. Smile
Jeremy L.
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Quote:
On 2006-01-20 15:35, Kaylan wrote:
A good magician can connect with people, is entertaining, and can make the impossible seem possible without insulting anyone.

Kaylan

I agree with you. Also, they make the difficult look easy and the easy look beautiful.
Jeremy L.
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johnwolfe
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A good magician is a performer who keeps in mind that his primary object is to entertain an audience. A good magician is one who could keep an audience amused and entertained even if they knew the secret to every one of the tricks performed because the magician presented them in a way that entertained.

Doug Henning was a great magician because of his presentation. Many of the tricks which he used were old "classics" which had been collecting dust for years in the dealer catalogues. He pulled them out, dusted them off, and built routines around them that made them seem brand new.

A great magician remembers that his goal is not to fool the audience, but to make them feel the magic.
Cory Gallupe
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A good magician makes people laugh, entertains them, and amazes them. David Blaine only amazes them. There is no entertainment, and not much laughter. Although, he does connect with his audience quite a bit. Sometimes he will perform a trick, then run off, but sometimes the audience believes what they see and they think he has supernatural powers. David Blaine, is not a good example of a magician you would want to be. But in retrospect, he isn't all that bad. I think he could just "up" the entertainment value with his effects.
snarfer
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One that can make magic happen!!
Paolo Venturini
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Quote:
On 2006-01-20 22:28, johnwolfe wrote:
A good magician is a performer who keeps in mind that his primary object is to entertain an audience.

A great magician remembers that his goal is not to fool the audience, but to make them feel the magic.


I agree with John.

Ednigma, this is a good question, but only if you ask it to a magi, not if you're ask it to a regular person: people have a bent to see a magician perform and say that he's the best, because they can't have a comparation as we can do. Often people tell me that they've never seen somebody as good as me, not even in "The Magic Castle"... So I ask them: " Wow, thank you. When do you was there, when it was closed for restoration?".

Paolo Venturini
rhinomax
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This is a question with many answers. To a Close up magician often it is technical skill that makes a good magi. To card men control , and a good pass.the Kid Show performer a sense of childish wonder. To the dove worker timing is key.

But the one thing thay all must posess first and foremost is an actors ability to engadge an audience.

The most inportant skill for any magician is to make the audience believe you are a magician, not magic but a magician.
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
JackScratch
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A magician's job is to entertain his audience useing conjouring. A good magician is one who does his job well.

Many say DB isn't one because (correct or not) they believe that he is failing the second requirement (ergo he is using special effects, rather than conjuring).
Ednigma
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These are all VERY insightful answers. What I DO find in all of your answers is ONE re-occuring theme: That it is the MAGICIAN (i.e., his/her ability to be ENTERTAINING and relate to the audience) that "marks" a good magician...Am I correct in my interpretation of these answers?

Derren Brown, in his book "Pure Effect", stated that we should ALWAYS look at our magic through the eyes of our spectators...In other words, How an effect will cause reaction in the spectator should far supercede how technical it would be to perform the effect.
Brad Burt
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Consider the following: The magicians job is to 'entertain' the audience. That's not exactly true..or, rather it is true for the magician as entertainer definition of what a magician is supposed to be. But, consider that to a certain point that is an arbitrary definition. What if your definition is that a magician is, "A person that displays extraordinary powers and does amazing things?" Then you could say that a person like that if they could produce amazement is entertaining to 'you' or he's not. But, if he produced amazement he'd succeed within the definition. I know hundreds of lay people that think David Blaine is the most entertaining magician they have ever seen. Why? Because he amazed them! Notice that the character that he plays on his specials, the quiet, almost diffident man with something extraordinary to show folks is brilliant in that it focuses the attention upon the magic itself and not the performer. The amazement that ensues is then reflected back upon Blaine in such a manner that he gains positively thereby.

Part of the problem is that magic when it is done well even by the dullest of performers is inherently entertaining, because it is amazing. Thus even a boring performer can be 'tricked' if you will into thinking that he or she is entertaining in and of themselves when in fact it is the medium that supplies what the performer lacks. All best,
Brad Burt
JackScratch
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Sorry Brad, I completely disagree. DB appeals to a certain market in the community using his personality (real or created). His persona is almost as responsable for his popularity as his magic is. I personaly find that a sad statement about our society, but it is good magic. The problem a lot of magicians have is not with his persona, rather with his use of special effects and editing. To many, good magic requires conjuring, not editing. If editing could make good magic, the Speilberg would be the greatest magician ever, which may be arguably true, but you wouldn't be on real solid ground. Magic pureists require you be able to perform your magic, consistently, in front of a live audience, and achieve the same reaction as the ones you may depict on the small screen. If not, then you and Speilber are in the same catagory. If we don't keep editing separate from magic, then where does one stop and the other begin?
Fazie
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I think good magician is the man how can entertain audience, no matter what he do...
Its not important what trick you show, the most important thing is who you are?
I mean you must have charisma and this "thing"... look for the best magicians sometimes they do very simple tricks, and this is more exciting then next car dissapearing...

David Blaine do very simple tricks, but he do this so well so exciting...

Look at Lance Burton the man have big charisma... I looked his shows and sometimes I see tricks that I was watching many times but when he do this I'm looking and I'm shocked... yes I now the secret I now the routine I excaly now what guy is doing BUT he do this so well so great...
that's what I think about good magicians...

ps. sorry for my poor english Smile
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Chrystal
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Hi,

My definition of a "good" magician would also be one that can entertain the audience regardless of their persona or the type of magic they do. Whether they do classic magic or comedy, they entertain by making me laugh or gasp in astonishment. If they are a card magician, their technique and skill impresses me but what keeps me entertained at the same time is the patter they choose and how they engage the audience. The patter, if engaging draws me in and reflects the mood they are trying to achieve and it can be comedic or very mysterious.

Overall, I think the majority of us here have agreed that just doing the effects isn't what makes a good magician memorable but that they entertain their audiences as well.

Chrystal
Lee Darrow
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A good magician amazes. A good magician creates interest in magic whereever he or she goes. A good magician is always good to his or her audiences.

In this, Blaine is a good magician for one big reason - he has stirred up more interest IN magic as a performing art than anyone since Doug Henning. And maybe even before him.

Some folks may not like him in the business. Some folks may not like his personality - in the business. Some folks may not like his chops - in the business.

But the public is still talking about his first TV special.

How many of US can say that? How many fof US can say that we've even had a major-market TV special? How many of us can say that we have had the impact on magic in the eyes of the public that DB has had?

Answer: - none of us.

Quod Erat Demonstratum.

You may not like him. You, as a magician, may not appreciate him. But each and every one of us has gained from his notoriety.

And that's a Good Magician - because what he's done is Good for Magic. He's elevated magic above the "it's only for kids" or "it's c*#@ entertainment for carneys and schlock sideshow stuff" and into the "this stuff is cool" category in the minds of the public.

If that's not what being a Good Magician is all about, then something is very seriously wrong with the industry - or the attitudes of the people in it.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
JackScratch
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I guess that settles it then. I vote we elect Speilberg as president of both IBM and SAM as he is clearly the greatest magician in all of history. That would be using your definition, of course. By the way Lee, I would have to say that the Masked Guy hod a bigger impact on public opinion of magic than DB, was he a great magician? Your perspective on this is realy simplistic. I don't feel like it does any justice to our industry. Not to mention the Machiavelian nature of it. Do the ends realy justify the means? Not to me they don't. If one of the rest of you elevates yourself to the status of Godhood, but magic is reduced to one effect for years, that doesn't help me any at all.
DomKabala
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A good magician understands that his art depends upon skill, presentation & showmanship. He understands that his success will depend upon his ability to make the auduience like him because if they do, they will like his magic. A good magician understands that there is no substitute for skill and the greater it is, the greater will be the impression he makes upon his audience. He also will resort to any method that will enable him to do his magic better, efficient and entertaining.
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JackScratch
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Sorry KRZ4kardz That's actualy my definition of a terrible magician. There has to be a purity to magic. The rules we perform by are the reason people are astounded. No holds barred would cause people to lose interest in magic. It is impossible to keep all of magics secrets, we should try but it can't be done. This means, if you use special effects, people will find out. If they find out, they will feel betrayed. What do you supposed a betrayed fan of magic does when he finds out your editor did the magic and not you? He rats you out. He tells everyone. The ends DO NOT justify the means. We must hold ourselves to a code.
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