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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Real Magic vs. Uncle Jed (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Burt Yaroch
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Plagiarizing Gonz:



How do you present your material in order to introduce the idea of "real" magic?



How do you eliminate the "just a trick" boundry? Smile
Yakworld.
Jeb Sherrill
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Yak,
I hope you don't mind me answering this one, as I know you meant it for Tom, but he isn't saying anything, so I’m going to throw in my 2 cents.

As far as making magic look like "magic", I am very big on this. Ironically, for that very reason I shared Tom's view on the "sucker-kicker" post until reading several other posts and taking a different view. From what I've read though, my general take on the performance of magic seems similar to Tom's, so I hope this all pertains.

Anyway. Magic for me has evolved quite a bit over the years. I always wanted my magic to look like real magic, but frankly the “magic” got in the way. After training, as it were, in the fine art of prestidigitation for so long, I wanted to show off my stuff. I loved playing on my speed and dexterity. I wanted to show everyone that my hands were quicker than their eyes. I was a purist in the "purest" since, and believed in doing nothing that could be with sleight of hand with anything but sleight of hand. And let me tell you, I was intense about it.

It took the heavy influence of one of Dallas' greatest sleight of hand artists to turn me around. His name was Johnny Brown and he used to fool me with moves I already knew (though he'd yell if I called them moves) and had already abandoned for much flashier, faster and more difficult sleights. He fooled me because he never tried to fool me. He put a ball in his hand to do something else (he always had a reason) and that blasted ball just wouldn't be in his hand anymore. He moved slowly and deliberately (he had no choice, the man was in his sixties).

In the entire time I knew him, he only showed me one card trick and that was just to show me a move I asked him about. He did his whole act with nothing but coins, balls, rope and the like.

I learned a lot from him, and very little of it was sleight of hand. I learned attitude and ways of thinking. I learned subtleties and misdirection. He never liked my stage name either (though I kept it). He asked me if Johnny Brown sounded like a magical name. I said it did. He looked at me with those old eyes and said, "Johnny Brown means magic, because I made it mean magic".

Well it's been a long time since those days, and I've taken my work in many other directions, but he is still one of my biggest influences.

I don't show five card tricks anymore, I show one. I don't do ten tricks anymore, I do three. I build them up. I do them slowly. I talk slowly too, not like a used car dealer. I just hold the deck in my hand and let the miracles happen. I don't do my triple cuts (except at the club meetings). I don't show people how I can move cards from the bottom to the top and back with a flick of my thumb, so they would think I did everything like that, but too fast for them to see and I don’t care how I do a trick (sleights or no) so long as the effect works and they like it.

I can't say I do this all the time. I wish I could. Often I'm tired or nervous and I shift back into my old ways. But whenever possible I do my best. I just want that little twinge in their brains where for even a moment they think it must be real magic. I don't pretend to think it stays for long and I don't want a cult following me around, but I do want them to think that for a moment that something miraculous really did happen. I finally figured out that when people talk about the magician they saw many years ago they always talk about that "one trick". Not two or three, but one. I want to show them that “one trick”. I want to do real magic.

Sable
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
semianimus wrote:
...when people talk about the magician...they always talk about that "one trick". Not two or three, but one. I want to show them that “one trick”.


Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

While a topic dear to my heart, I didn't pick up on the "directed" toward me facet. I must be slipping. Smile

To continue the anecdote:

The kicker/sucker ending was hashed out in person and a stronger finish was discovered that encorporated the ring, no explaination of how, and then led to a unique ending.

The routine now has a bit more closure, and a lot more drama. Quinn and I just have to get the chops down for the new stuff. Smile

Right now I am quite busy and though the answer to the question resides in almost every detail of the magazine AM/PM, I will return here in a few days to post a distilled, hopefully concise answer.

I warn you in advance, it may sound cryptic. The specifics are many and far reaching.
Stephen Long
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"If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it has ever been pushed before, push it into the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of real magic"
-Tom Robbins

Found this kind of inspiring.
Thought I'd share it.


Gonz
:carrot: Smile
Hello.
Tom Cutts
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Through proper framing of a presentation one gives the event of magic meaning beyond a trick.
Jeb Sherrill
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Quote:
While a topic dear to my heart, I didn't pick up on the "directed" toward me facet. I must be slipping.


Sorry Tom, I should have specified. I was referring to the last post on the "kickers" thread. I look forward to your take on the subject!

Sable
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
I don't believe in reincarnation, but I may have in another life.
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