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Jaxon
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I'm sure this could be viewed as opinion or theory. But I believe it to be a fact.

Imagine someone who had the ability to turn certain knowledge on and off in their brain. A person who can watch a trick being performed and have no knowledge of the methods being used to accomplish that trick. So they can see the trick being performed with the eyes and mind of a real spectator. Then later he turns that magic knowledge on and he'll know it's a good trick and worthy of performing. Because he knows the impact that trick has on an audience.

What an ability that would be. It would be so useful in selecting and polishing our material. After you gain some knowledge in magic it's easy to focus on the method more then the trick itself. We see top changes, trap doors and a mirror when a spectator sees magic.

If we can't see things like a non-magician then we'll have a hard time showing our audiences anything they'd want to see. So work on turning that knowledge off when you're checking things out. Think about what non-magician would experience instead of what a magician would see and think.

I'm sure this has happened to you. You watch a trick being performed. Now days it's likely you saw a demo video on line. You watch it and you might think (That's too obvious). Well in some cases you might be right but most often a non-magician won't see it that way. If it's a card trick they won't see a double lift. They'll see a card change into another card. If it's a levitation they might think wires but there's aren't any (you can use things like this. For example if they would think wire then you've got to show there aren't any in your presentation).

So try to turn that magic mind off when selecting your material. See it through the eyes of your spetator. It's your best weapon to give them something they'll enjoy.

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.
JamesTong
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I certainly agree with you, Ron Jaxon. Having the ability to turn our mind of from the mechanics of how an effect is done and watching the performance from the audience point of view is indeed a very powerful ability.

A magic performance is essentially meant for the audience alone but the sad thing is that magicians would view it from their perspective.

Whenever possible I would always remind myself that every performance (whether it is my own or others) or development of an effect, routine or act should be done from the spectators view.

Thanks for the reminder and I believe that all magicians should read your post.
Sk8erBoi9305
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I completly agree, but I can't seem to turn off my magic mind as you put it. When I see a magic trick, it doesn't amuse me because I know how it's done. unless I don't know how it's done, then I search and search to figure out how it's done.
Jaxon
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It's not an easy thing to do and if you're new to magic I hate to tell you this but it'll get even harder after you've learned more and have more experience.

Let me share a personal example. I hold a jumbo coin and moved my hands in such a way that makes it look like it's made out of rubber. I just pretend to bend it back and forth between my hands a few times as I say something like, "I just had it folded up and hidden in my hand. See, it's made out of rubber". I didn't expect this to fool anyone. I just planned on doing it to get a little giggle at the end of my coin routine.

You won't believe how many people come up to me and say something like, "Show me that big rubber coin". I'd make a normal size coin turn into the jumbo coin. Then make it look rubber. People have spent up to five minutes trying to figure that trick out. They'll try to bend it with muscle power. They give up on that then start looking for some other solution. Sometimes I play on this. I'll take the coin back, pretend to find a spot on the coin and pretend to push a button. I act like I don't want them to know I was looking for a button but I purposely let them see me look for it then push it. Make it look like it's rubber then pretend to push the button again right before I give it back to them. It never fails. They start looking for a button on the coin.

This is a great example because I only thought of this as a joke. I thought like that because I was using my magician brain at the time. If I wasn't thinking like a magician I might have realized that after they see the coin grow to that large size not much is impossible in their minds.

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.
jimhlou
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Ron:

You advice, as usual, is right on the money. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to view magic from a layman's perspective. However, about a year and a half ago, I saw Tim Ellis do the restored Coke can trick. I had no idea how it worked. I was entertained, amazed, and my head was swimming with possible explanations for the can re-filling itself.

Now that I perform this effect myself, it's hard to remember the exact wonderment I felt. The "gimmick" is so simple it doesn't seem like magic anymore. It's just hard not to think like a magician.

Jim
Andy the cardician
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A street named after my dad
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Right on spot Ron - but unfortunately that is easier said than done. There are several thread about this in the Café and some interesting suggestions how to do it.

For me, it works best if I watch a performance "cold". Meaning that I just finished doing something else - not related to magic - and then hit myself with a magical performance.

As my mind was just occupied by this something else, it is easier for me to keep the "magical thinking" out for some time.
Cards never lie
mark1991
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Hi there,

I fully agree with your views Ron! However, I would say that a magician never really turns off his magical mind - always thinking of the secret - but I believe that you can also have the mind of a non-magician and try not to consciously look for secrets.

Thanks for posting your thoughts!

God bless!

Magical Mark Watson
(mark1991)
http://magicnewstelevision.com/mn/magicalmark



Magical Mark Watson - Christian magician, juggler, puppeteer, all-round entertainer and lover of Christ!
antonio2030
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That just happened to me a while ago with "Disjointed", well, kinda... I saw it, and it kinda surprised me on the preview video, then I purchased it and thought it was too obvious on the performance, but for the average espectator it wasn´t, I think we should give it a try to magic effects that might seem obvious to us, but they are not to people in general.
Robert Apodaca
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I absolutely agree.

I think Ortiz points out similar arguments in Strong Magic.

Many magicians confuse method with effect.
Joker63
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It was only a couple of years ago I went to a magic store and saw Dynamic Coins demonstrated. Great effect, took a while to be convinced it was easy to do. I bought the trick but I have never shown the trick to anyone else - it seems too obvious. Perhaps I should.
I think it demonstrates the 'real' secret of magic - presentation. The magic store I usually buy from demo'd Crystal Cleaver for my son. The presentation included Shrek, topical at the time and really made an impact on my son. He now does the trick with pretty much the same presentation (he's young so will develop his own style later if he keeps going). Another great demonstration of presentation being the essence of great magic - assuming the performer has the technical skills to complete the trick.

I have a few packet tricks and am only now comforable doing them, having spent a lot of time and effort on Giobbi's books I can now do some of the fundamental sleights, with this comes the confidence to perform and now the confidence to use 'obvious' tricks.

I am lucky that I can still watch professional magicians demonstrate routines, and miss the moves/sleights even though I know what is happening. So I still have the fortune to be amazed by magic.
Swifty34
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This is a great point Ron. unfortunately not enough people can seem to harnass what could be a considerable advantage for the magical thinker.
mitchb2
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This is a great topic because I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
Basically, once I know and practice something, I think "This is too easy, too obvious. Nobody is ever going to fall for this." And that thinking makes me nervous and self-conscious.

For example, until a few months ago, I never knew a TT existed.
Now I know about all the great things you can do with it, but I keep thinking "How can anyone NOT see right through this."

I try out everything on my wife first. Usually before it's ready, and I flub it. But that's okay, because from then on she watches and critiques. When she says it's good, I believe her.

The other day I did Invisible Deck. She was absolutely floored. It was real magic to her. I haven't revealed it because she's too amazed. But I keep thinking "How did this actually fool someone?"

So I need to gain confidence and I need to try and remember that I was baffled by the Invisible Deck before I bought it and learned the secret.

Even my 9-year-old son does a great bare-handed coin matrix with dimes.
He does it very well, and nobody suspects the secret...it's just not what they are looking for.
tnscot
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Personally, I love watching magic with a magician's eye. I cant pull off too many tricks very effectively at theis point. I'm still soaking wet behind the ears. But I have done a lot of studying, and I can usually tell how a trick is done. Just this weekend, I watched a teenager showing his friends some card magic. His handling was so-so, but his tricks were solid, and he had the spectators floored. I knew all of the tricks he was performing, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching someobdy do them, and I was able to really appreciate his talent in pulling them off convincingly.
I think I've used this analogy before, but: I know how to play guitar, But I truly enjoy listening to a real pro do it, and appreciate the level of talent they have to be able to do it as well as they do. Same applies for magic.
It's true that (already) I cant watch magic with a layman's eye....but that doesn't bother me at all.
As Always,
Scot Legdermain
mitchb2
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I feel the same way. As a lifelong musician, I'm well aware that just buying a piece of sheet music doesn't mean you can play it. But I used to think that with magic, the secret was everything. Once you knew the secret, ANYONE can do it.

Of course now I understand just how much skill, talent, and practice goes into it.

I don't do any card magic yet, but I have some books so I know the sleights.
So it makes me appreciate it that much more when I see a pro pull them off effortlessly, such as Ambitious Card.

And I know (and am practicing)all the mechanics of Hanging Coins, but to watch David Roth do the whole routine is like music.
ChristopherM
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Far too many magicians dismiss routines based on what they see, and not what the audience perceives. Both parties lose out; the magician is not seen to be doing material that's as strong as the next guy, and the audience don't get to see said strong magic. The magician hurts himself and his audience unknowingly. That's why the skill Ron alludes to is so important to the improvement of magic.
Jaxon
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I know it's almost impossible to completely turn the magic knowledge off. But try your best to not focus on it. I know it's an almost impossible task but give it a try as you watch. If you're really having a hard time then watch the spectators if it's a live performance and there are non-magicians there.

As I read a lot of your responses to this topic (and there have been some great ones). A few things came to mind.

I've made some other posts on the Café that are very much connected to this topic. Take a few minutes and check them out. See if you can see the connection.

When you meet other magicians
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=113

Did they really catch you?
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

A no sleight/no gimmick vanish (many lessons to learn from it)
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

Phases of Magic Study
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

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.
spycrapper
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Sometimes I got frustated when I'm watching magic, because my mind keep saying things like "hmm DL, then top change, then elsmley, then..". In the end I can't enjoy the magic. I wish I could turn off the knowledge
Magic is life

Ario A.
visit my blog:
http://amagicblog.wordpress.com
Joker63
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Ron,

thanks for your posts, and the links to all the other threads. I can relate to the phases you mention in one of the posts, not experienced all of them yet, but can see the pattern forming.

Your thoughts and posts are certainly the extra dimension that makes magic magic.
DocEdward
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Ron, you make some great points. I agree with many that it's difficult to turn off the magic mind when watching a trick. But it is worth trying. For a while I missed out on performing several tricks because I assumed that nobody would be fooled or impressed because they were obviously so easy. But then I'd see another magician perform them somewhere and the audience was in awe. Sure I could see right through the trick, but I found that that only impressed me more. Now I have added these tricks and they go over well. While we may not be able to 'turn it off' completely. We need to try. At the very least, I enjoy watching others perform something that I know the secret of just to see their art and skill. And it helps me to see how the audience sees the trick as well.
Jaxon
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Oops. I just realized one of the link in my last post goes to the wrong discussion.

When you meet other magicians should go to this URL:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=41

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.
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