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Peter Marucci
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The (apparently too) subtle point was that, just because people talk about you, doesn't mean that you are any good.
In defence of one performer or another, people may say: "Well, he's on TV!" or "He's got his own television special!"
So?
The Masked Magician is on TV and had his own specials; what does that prove?
Just because people may talk about a magician, or even rave about him, means absolutely nothing.
Look hard enough and you'll find people who will rave about Brad Pitt's acting or Britney Spears' singing! <G>
As P.T. Barnum said: "Nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the public."
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Peter Marucci
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Dennis Michael
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Of all the topics listed on this site, this is one of the best. Why did you do that?

Why does a magician use a magic wand?
To get rid of something, however, if the magic wand is a breakaway comedy wand, the transition of getting rid of something for a need to enhance the presentation. Well, that is sound motivation, with no need to explain why.

What is wiffle dust?
Quick and thoughless motivation but it works.

Since video taping is been around for the past 20 years now one can ask why did he (you) do that? Is it a normal natural move?

After reading the beginning of this section I was ready to ask, what are they talking about? Then Thomas Wayne said it so well. I love it when a plan come together...What a rush!

Personality is a science which is probably the single greatest thing I learned. Why people say and do the things they do. Nothing changed my life more profoundly that that knowledge. Now, what does this have to do with motivation?

If we understand ourselves, and how we fit into society and conservations, and why we like and dislike others (All related to personality.) We can begin to understand the right motivation for ourselves. For instance, think of Cooperfield as a Mentalist, or Doug Henning as Conformist, Burton trying to The Amazing Johnathan stuff. Their personaliites do not match the style of magic they do.

Motiviation for doing something and one's personality go hand-in-hand. If Sable, Peter, Joe, Tom and I all did the Pofessor's Nightmare rope trick all the same way and all had the exact same script. It would look and work well for some and others, one would say, it's just not you!

Motivation must fit one's personality. Now let each of the above do the same trick, but allow each to change the script based on one's personality and the presentation would work for all.

This is what I liked about Doug Henning. He took a familiar, over used trick, say the Zombie, changed it into an Eagle instead of flowers as the climax. It was him!
Dennis Michael
Stephen Long
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Quote:
On 2002-02-11 13:01, Peter Marucci wrote:
The (apparently too) subtle point...

Ouch, Peter.
Quote:
...was that, just because people talk about you, doesn't mean that you are any good.
In defence of one performer or another, people may say: "Well, he's on TV!" or "He's got his own television special!"
So?

So that means that the said performer has done SOMETHING that has captured public interest.
True, that doesn't make them "good", but it means that they had to have been doing something different in order to make them marketable.
Quote:
The Masked Magician is on TV and had his own specials; what does that prove?

It proves that he had an idea that was appealing to enough people to make it a success.
Quote:
Just because people may talk about a magician, or even rave about him, means absolutely nothing.

Au contraire, it means quite a lot.
It means that said magician has done something that has given him "ravability", otherwise, why would people be raving about him?
Quote:
Look hard enough and you'll find people who will rave about Brad Pitt's acting or Britney Spears' singing! <G>

And this only serves to prove my point.
They are not the most talented in their fields, yet they are still appreciated by enough people to still be around.
Does that necessarily make them "good"?
Probably not.
Does that necessarily mean they are talented?
Absolutely not.
But they are still around because enough people enjoy what they do.
Quote:
As P.T. Barnum said: "Nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the public."

I agree.

I apologise for all this.
It was all in order to try and argue a very small point:
Motivation is not always necessary in order for an effect to be effective or memorable.
Blaine bit a quater in two and spat it back together again.
Where was his motivation?
There was none.
But this effect was visual enough in order to be effective without any motivation.

What I'm saying here is whatever works, works.

People often question of life: "why are we here?" because there is no apparent reason for us to be here.
Well, as has been said, magic is an art.
And if art is to hold a mirror up to life then why need everything in magic have a purpose when there is plenty of purposelessness in the existance it is mirroring?

Please don't misunderstand me.
I am not saying "down with presentation."
I just believe that there are plenty of effects where the magician's motivation for all his preceeding actions are explained with the end result.
All my effects have motivations.
Motivations which are found, I believe, simply in the way in which one presents oneself and one's magic.

My thoughts,
Gonz
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spfranz
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My point about people talking about the Blaine special centered around comparing it to other magic specials. Yes, people are talking about Bin Laden, they are talking about how much they hate him. That was not the case with Blaine. People talked about how incredible it was. My point being this - we, as magicians, have always said that motivation for an effect is important. Blaine comes on, does a TV special with no motivation to any of his presentations, and the public eats it up. Maybe our thinking is wrong. Maybe we should reconsider our motivation for motivation Smile

Peter makes a good point about Brad Pitt's acting or Britney Spears singing. I agree with him on both points (I don't think Brad's a good actor, and I don't think Britney is a good singer). However, many in the public don't see it that way. What if all of those same people like Blaine's particular style of magic? "Don't tell me your silly little story, just show me the trick." If we are trying to entertain the audience, and the majority of that audience would rather just "see something cool", why not give it to them?

Bob Dylan was technically probably one of the worst singers ever. Yet, his songs are some of the best selling and most covered. Maybe people don't care if you're a good singer or not if your style/music/lyrics appeal to them, what difference does it make?

Dennis also makes some good points. However, his first points about using a wand (etc.) are not what I'm questioning. As I said before, I fully understand the need for motivation when it comes to moves. Motivation and presentation are very tightly tied together and I agree with his point in that area. But what if your presentation is that there is no motivation? That you are doing it just because it's really cool and you want to share it with people. Then you have presentation without motivation, right?

OK, now I'm rambling and I'll sign off.

Scott
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Stephen Long
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Quote:
On 2002-02-11 18:09, spfranz wrote:
But what if your presentation is that there is no motivation? That you are doing it just because it's really cool and you want to share it with people. Then you have presentation without motivation, right?


Thank you, Scott.
You just said in a paragraph what I took an entire (somewhat lengthy) post trying to explain.

Gonz
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Scott F. Guinn
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David Roth is fond of saying, "If you could REALLY do magic, your patter would consist of two words: 'Watch this!'"
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jeb Sherrill
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I think we need to define our terms of what we mean by motivation. If I bite the top of a quarter off, I do have motivation. As we all know, we are not really biting the top of the quarter off, so the motivation is "I'm biting the top off this quarter". Motivation doesn't have to mean a story. It just means that I'm acting on the effect and not the method. Blain does do this in a way, and yes it does appeal to a great many people. I can't stand Blaine myself, but that's another issue, and it's not really his presentation I hate so much. Magic can be presented in that kind of way if done well. It's not classy, it's not suave or well acted, or well staged etc, etc. But America is on a reality kick right now and therefore his style does appeal to them. Times will change as always and fads will shift.

I realize I'm rambling at this point, but at the center of all this is, what do WE mean when WE say motivation. Should we perhaps say "good motivation" or "positive motivation"? Or are we really asking if magic tricks must have a little story? There's not much more that I can say until that's defined. (So to shut me up, you just don't have to define it). Smile

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Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2002-02-11 22:39, greatscott wrote:
David Roth is fond of saying, "If you could REALLY do magic, your patter would consist of two words: 'Watch this!'"


After doing that for a year you will eventually only garner the reaction "So what."

Then you will decide that you need to do something meaningful. To do that you need motivation. The motivation to be meaningful.

Yes, I disagree with the Rice Krispy Theory.
Scott F. Guinn
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I'm not saying David is necessarily right. I just thought I'd throw that in there.

I'm a BIG fan of presentation. I think it is what "makes" a trick. I think the presentation is what provides the motivation. However, I also think, as I've stated before, that doing magic tricks is inherantly illogical.

Perhaps the only place where it isn't is those rare occasions when you can actually do something on the spot when it is asked or implied. For example, Vernon stated that it was a good trick to magically produce a ham sandwich out of thin air, but it's a MIRACLE if someone says, "I'm hungry" and you then produce that same sandwich!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jeb Sherrill
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Scott,
Now THAT'S motivation.
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile

Sable
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Peter Marucci
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Producing a ham sandwich is skill (I assume.)

Producing a ham sandwich when someone says "I'm hungry", is motivation (I know!)

In other words, trickery, skill, or call it what you will, is focussed on the performer.

Add motivation and you focus it on the spectator (and it goes from a trick to a miracle).

cheers,
Peter Marucci
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Thomas Wayne
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We seem to be discussing two different types of motivation here. One type of motivation reflects the reason we are presenting a particular trick or routine in the first place.

The second type of motivation - the type I addressed some time ago - reflects the reasons we do small individual actions WITHIN a trick or routine.

The two types of motivation are very different. The first is dependent upon your performing character, and can be as simple as "Hey, watch this..." (Blaine) or as complex as "When I was a child my grandfather showed me a card trick..." (Copperfield). This motivation doesn't have to be clever or subtle or even logical, it just has to fit your character.

The second type of motivation - the one which is of greater interest to me - MUST be clever, subtle and logical. It does involve your character, in that it must be something your character would believably do (in other words, you shouldn't break character just to accomplish a secret move), but it's not the same as "why" you're performing this particular trick.

The reason I am more interested in the second type of motivation is because I already know who my performing character is, and I choose my effects to fit that character. In fact, I will often work on a routine for many months and NEVER perform it, until I find my "voice" for that particular routine. Sometimes that breakthrough never comes and I shelve the routine instead. This is not uncommon; the better magicians are experienced enough to know when a routine is right for them.

It is the second type of motivation that eludes many would-be magicians. For example, they need to go to their pocket for some secret reason, but the only motivation they can come up with is that they "need some woofle dust". Now that's okay if using woofle dust works for your character (it doesn't for mine), but otherwise you need to work past the instruction sheet that came with your latest magic shop miracle, and find ways to make your actions fit your character - in other words, MOTIVATED.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
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spfranz
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Quote:
On 2002-02-12 17:01, Thomas Wayne wrote:

The two types of motivation are very different. The first is dependent upon your performing character, and can be as simple as "Hey, watch this..." (Blaine) or as complex as "When I was a child my grandfather showed me a card trick..." (Copperfield). This motivation doesn't have to be clever or subtle or even logical, it just has to fit your character.



And I think with that statement of wisdom, you finally gave me the answer I was looking for. For some people (ala Blaine) the "watch" presentation/motivation works. It's basically what I consider no motivation.

On your second point, I couldn't agree more. Having motivation to back a move is essential. Otherwise, it's a move.

Scott
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Jeb Sherrill
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Good discussion guys. I think we've pinned this down quite well. Scott, I'm glad you got your answer, I know I got a few answers myself.

Sable
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These are kind'a cool.
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Stephen Long
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There's no arguing with the "motivation for a move" argument.
I think Thomas has just brought things nicely to a close.
And I thank him.

Gonz

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