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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » This is a magic moment. This is not a magic moment. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jaxon
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It's easy to get the method confused with the moment the magic happens because most often the method is accomplished before the magic moment occurs. Knowing what parts moment to focus on and how to treat those moment is very important in magic. Let me share some examples.

This is a magic moment.
When you open your hand and the coin has vanished or turned into a different coin or object.
This is not a magic moment.
When you perform a pass (apparently place the coin in your other hand).

This is a magic moment.
When the selected card appears in your pocket, reversed in the deck or found in some other magical manner.
This is not a magic moment.
When the card is selected and lost in the deck.

This is a magic moment.
When the broken, torn or destroyed object is magically restored.
This is not a magic moment.
When the object is broken, torn or destroyed.

This isn't just a beginners mistake and I know I'm guilty of making it from tiem to time. It try to catch myself though. WE work so hard to master the methods that in some ways we want some kind of feedback when we execute them. understanding the difference will make a huge difference and you'll find that many of the moves you do will become easier to get away with because you'll be able to treat it as what it is. Forcing a card in such a way that no one cares if it's a fair selection will make forcing easier. Doing a move for the cut and restored rope will be easier because no one cares how you cut it. As long as they see that it was cut before it's restored is all that matters.

So try not to confuse the method with the magic and life will get a lot easier and I'm sure you're performances will also improve.

Feel free to add your:

This is a magic moment
This is not a magic moment

Examples.

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.
Father Photius
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Another excellent and very insightful post, Ron. Keep them comming.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
DanielCoyne
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Very helpful.

I think, if one wants to be recognized and lauded for method, flourishy stuff might be an answer. Even including split fans, productions etc. Even if the audience more or less knows what is going on, the obvious skill is riveting.

-Daniel
tyrael07
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Jaxon , I could really relate to your post.

Just last saturday, I got the courage to incorporate classic pass to my ambitious card routine, I was so eager for the spectator to watch my hand when I did the move. but to my dissapointment, he's busy listening to my patter, that he didn't observe my hands.

reminded me of more time should be spent on misdirection than techniques. as a good misdirection is worth more in the presentation. Technique will help you in the worst case scenario when someone's burning you like crazy. =)
The impossible things are often the untried.

Magic is not what you see.
It's about what you make others see.
Jaxon
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Yea that example is one way this might effect a trick. I remember when I first learn to vanish a coin (retention vanish) I watched a video of me performing for some people. I remember thinking, "Why did I wait for them to look before I did the move?" as I was watching. There's no reason they'd need to see me do the move. The only thing they needed to see was one hand closed around the coin and the other hand looking like it's empty. In other words all they needed to believe was that the coin was in my closed hand.

Here's another kind of popular one. I'm sure I've done this too. Let's say someone is going to do a torn and restored card. They give the card a magical gesture then tear the card up. What's that all about? Why would you do a magical gesture before you tear it? That's not a magical moment. The gesture would fit better when the card is restored. That makes about as much sense to me as giving myself a magical gesture before I use the men's room (I think I've done that.. LOL).

Stage manipulation can be a little different because action might be timed to music and attention brought to the object. For example the magician might wave the silk around to the music before pocking it into their fist. But a natural action such as tearing an object or having a card selected should be presented as nothing special. It's just the process that they need to go through to get to the magic moment.

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.
Jaz
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Quote:
On 2006-03-28 20:38, Jaxon wrote:
Yea that example is one way this might effect a trick. I remember when I first learn to vanish a coin (retention vanish) I watched a video of me performing for some people. I remember thinking, "Why did I wait for them to look before I did the move?" as I was watching. There's no reason they'd need to see me do the move. The only thing they needed to see was one hand closed around the coin and the other hand looking like it's empty. In other words all they needed to believe was that the coin was in my closed hand.

Here's another kind of popular one. I'm sure I've done this too. Let's say someone is going to do a torn and restored card. They give the card a magical gesture then tear the card up. What's that all about? Why would you do a magical gesture before you tear it? That's not a magical moment. The gesture would fit better when the card is restored. That makes about as much sense to me as giving myself a magical gesture before I use the men's room (I think I've done that.. LOL).
Ron Jaxon


The phrase in italics is interesting.
You say:
Quote:
There's no reason they'd need to see me do the move.

They shouldn't see the move!
Then you say:
Quote:
The only thing they needed to see was one hand closed around the coin and the other hand looking like it's empty. In other words all they needed to believe was that the coin was in my closed hand.


Isn't this a contradiction to your first post?

In some circumstances a display is the convincer.
The silent script. "The coin is going into the hand." or "I'm tearing this card."

Certainly, these are not things someone would do naturally nor is it a magical moment.
These are displays to convince.

Are they necessary? The are many coin sleights that don't involve ROV.
Are displays like this a part of showmanship?
I don't know. What do you think?
Jaxon
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Maybe I did word that wrong. What I was trying to point out is that I waited to do the move. Like I wanted them to see me do it. I had the moment they needed to see mixed up with the method. In other words I wanted them to see that the coin vanished when my hand opened and that was the moment I should make sure they witness.

That might not be the best example because in this case (the ROV vanish) the move looks like a natural action so they should see me do that. They just see me putting the coin in my hand. So I should have picked a better example.

Here's one. The card under glass. I have a very good method of misdirection to load the card under the glass. But it would be wrong for me to make sure they are watching as I do the misdirection move to load it. If they happen to be distracted for a moment I should load it then. The mistake would be to wait until they are looking again then do my misdirection bit to load it. In other words I already had the misdirection.

I hope I worded that better and it's a better example.

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.
jolyonjenkins
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I was watching the old clip of David Roth on the Letterman show recently. He does a coins across, but at the start, Letterman isn't really paying attention, he's looking at the audience. Roth keeps going anyway, and does a shuttle pass. Now, to some extent it's a good thing that Letterman isn't really watching while Roth does the dirty work. After all, the trick hasn't really "started" yet. But on the other, it does mean that Roth hasn't really "proved" to Letterman that the allegedly empty hand is actually empty (which it isn't).

In this case, Roth does the same sleight four times in a row as each coin goes across, so there is plenty of opportunity to fry Letterman. In fact Letterman isn't really impressed until the third coin goes across, because by now he's really looking. But it does make me wonder about how much you need to make sure the spectators are paying attention during sleights.
Jolyon Jenkins
Jaz
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Thanks for the clarification Jaxon.

Each routine has it's method moments, display moments and magic moment(s).
Card under Glass (as I do it) and Cups and Balls use similar ploys.
Often both hands are working but the attention is directed to where you want it.

rj,
I think that there are times when you want them to watch as you do a move.
This don't always mean that you have think, "Look. Watch closely, I'm putting the coin in my hand right now." as you slowly and openly do a coin ROV or something else.
It can and often should be more casual than that. Shuttle Pass. "Watch." Done on onto the next.

If the audience is to follow the routine they need to be able to follow it.
jolyonjenkins
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Yes that sounds good. "Watch" just AFTER the move.
Jolyon Jenkins
Jaz
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Is it being said here that everyone should avert their eyes away during a move such as a false coin pass??
Because I would want them to see me apparently dumping a coin into my other hand or at least be aware that that's what I'm doing.

I'm beginning to think I'm not following this post at all. DOH!
Kent Wong
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Vernon Wand Spin:

The spin itself is not the magical moment. To the spectator's it's simply a pretty flourish. But many magicians are so proud of the fact that they actually accomplished "the move" that they treat it as the magical moment (and often give away the method in the process). I often see the spin with an immediate opening of the hand. In my opinion, this creates too direct a tie between the spin and the vanish.

In order to create the magic moment, a little time misdirection is needed. This can be as simple as a slight wave and tap of the wand before the fist is opened to reveal the ball has vanished. Now the magic moment becomes the slight wave and tap as opposed to the spin.

Don't know if that makes any sense.

Kent
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bigchuck
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I think the vernon wand spin is PART of the magical moment -- the wand is causing the magic to happen; I agree that you should wait a second, (I suppose to give time for the magic 'to finish') I usually handle it similar to Gazzo's style (banging on my watch to make an audible magical cue as well, but I disagree that it is just a pretty flourish.

A magician is waving his magic wand and causing magic to happen -- it doesn't get much more natural (for a magician to do) in my opinion.
"The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact
mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa"
Jaxon
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I found an example on a video that demonstrates part of what I was trying to say. Let me add that the trick on this video is an awesome trick. I've had it for years and it's very visual (was recently released again). I also want to say that the performance on this demo video is great. There's only one moment in it that demonstrates my point about Magic moment/non-magic moment. So please don't think I'm knocking this product or performance. I just happened to notice this one part that demonstrates my point.

If you want the video demo of this product:
http://woodencigars.com/bth.html

You'll see a magical gesture the moment the cigarette is bent before it's torn. This is the kind of gesture I feel isn't needed. The bending of the cigarette isn't a magic moment so why accent it as if it's magic.

I hope I don't upset anyone because the trick and the rest of the demo video is great. I especially like the look of the flash restoration. I just happened to notice this is a good example of the kind of thing I'm trying to talk about here. I know I've done things like this too but I try to catch myself. There's no better tool for that then to watch myself perform on video.

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.
Neil Marriott
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Some good points.

When I perform, I like to do a lot on the off-beat so that your always one step ahead and the spectator realises just after what appears to be happening. Then again the danger of this, is if you're too quick a lot of the magic can just be bewildering and the audience doesn't really know what's going on. I, and many others, have seen this happen in a lot of coin routines in particular. Three coins across for example... there's a topic (or part of) discussing the accidental rushing of this routine in the coins section of the board.

It's down to a bit of both personal preference I guess as well as careful balancing.

Do you milk every moment but then risk the danger of coming across as a bit too "showy"? Or, do you go for a more dynamic, street magic style but then run the risk of being maybe too quick? A lot of these factors depends on the sort of act your going for as well as the audience you're performing for.

This is why I like viewing my performance in the mirror and getting feedback as well as viewing others perform the routines (DVDs etc). That way you can see what part of the effect will "kill" best, mostly this is obvious but sometimes you can stretch and compress routines to your advantage and your style. I was watching one of Sankey's DVDs (Greatest Hits) and he's always pointing out areas which are good for milking and others to skim other. Because, as it's been said, not EVERY part of the effect has it's magic moment Smile

Again, it depends what works for you and the spectator you're performing for. Thinking on your feet and all that Smile

Cheers,
Neil.
airship
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I think sometimes it's hard to remember that people are watching you perform because they want to be entertained. Most of them don't want to catch you making a move - they want to be amazed that you found their card or the coin disappeared. You might be doing something absolutely amazing to ensure that the magic occurs, but the audience doesn't want to know about it.
When they go 'Ooooh!' and 'Aaaaah!' is when something magic has happened, not when you actually perform the mechanics that make the trick work.
Like the Wizard said, 'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.' Fortunately for us, most people don't want to know he's there.
'The central secret of conjuring is a manipulation of interest.' - Henry Hay
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