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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2006 entrée: John Carney » » The Book of Secrets » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

the who dini
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I really like the layout of the book of secrets. Having home work at the end of each effect, and the legends sections. The book really makes you informed and think. That’s a good thing.
I wish all magic books had this formula. What gave you this idea?

I must also say you and Tommy Wonder are my favorites. You both strive for quality and perfection. What are your thoughts on Tommy Wonder?

Thank You! Warren
John Carney
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Thanks, I put a lot of thought into the presentation of that book. In the intro I mention that if I had a student in front of me, this book would cover a lot of the things that would needed to be covered. History, to learn from and build on; Technique for refinement; Challenges; Homework; Novelty to keep interest; setting a curriculum for oneself; ......and all the rest. I wanted it to be good enough for the advanced boys, but if a beginner were to pick it up, it would not be totally overwhelming and perhaps set them on the right course for the future.

I've mentioned Tommy Wonder many times this week. A great, creative talent. He sets an ideal and sees it through. It might take him years of constantly tweaking things to create a more perfect illusion.

One of the greatest assets a magician can have, is picturing an effect in it ideal state, without moves, without gimmicks, without misdirection. Now figure out how to do the trick while you de-emphasize, and if possible negate their existence.

Setting an ideal is fundamental. You need something to live up to. Don't make it just a magic hero, make the ideal the magician you want to be. Know and understand that your success is in direct proportion to how much time and thought you invest in it. Perfunctory interest = perfunctory magic.

Its not enough to say, " my ideal is to blow their minds!"......... Your first job is to entertain and connect, not cause brain damage. Something charming and simple can be more effective than some contrived stunt.

You have to be your own most objective critic and most encouraging friend. Call yourself on your own BS. Good enough? "You're flashing like crazy, but you don't know because you blink whenever you do it!" ......Ouch !....that stings! .......But it's the only way you will advance. But be careful of the language you use. Instead of, "I suck and I will never be able to do this,", say, "I can do better than that. It will just take more thought and work".

When Dai Vernon would criticize my work, he would often say something like, "Johnny, I'm surprised at you, doing it that way. You're a very clever fellow. Think harder!" He challenged me to live up to an full potential.

Vernon once told me that people don't want to hear how much an outstanding people (musician, artist, mathematician) practice and slave over their work. They prefer to think you are a gifted prodigy and because you are blessed, it just "happens" for you. This gives them the out........."well of course, HE"S a genius.......but I'm not capable of that, so why try?" They like to think it is bestowed on the lucky. They are excused for being mediocre. They don’t have “the gift.”

After seeing Jim Steinmeyer do three different talks, on theree different subjects, in a very short stretch of time, I was amazed that he gave these one-off talks, without any notes.....none. After talking with friends, they all said, "Oh yeah, Jim's a genius. He must have a photographic memory. He's just gifted, a freak of nature." Well, when I mentioned this to Jim, he said that he had worked his keester off, writing and shaping those talks, memorizing and rehearsing them for best effect. Even as one who appreciates his hard work, I never dreamed how much.

Maybe Jim is a genius...........but what could the rest of us accomplish if we put that much time and thought into our writing, technique, rehearsal and such? If you don't invest, you don't get the pay off.

Peace out.....
Robert M
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Well... that's about the best thing I've ever read on the Magic Café.

Thanks, John.

the who dini
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I like the way you Talk!
You have worked hard physically and mentally, you deserve
the applause and admiration you receive.

Thank You! Again
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