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JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2009-11-07 15:32, ldrosenblum wrote:
Great points James-

I will definitely keep these things in mind. Magic is hard. But worth it. ; )

-Larry


But the journey is also sweet along the way Smile
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2009-11-07 13:30, JamesTong wrote:
But when we view the recordings we must see it from 2 perspective -

* from the magician's point of view for self-corrections

* from the audience point of view the intended effect is performed.

I remind myself on this all the time and it is so easy to be swayed into the mechanical and technical mind frame and lose focus on the effect and the entertainment.




Yes, it is so easy to feel one must work on the technical aspects far beyond the point when it should go in front of an audience. We fool the specs long before we feel we are as good with the sleights as we need to be. For anyone fearful of performing, it is a great way to stall off the ordeal- "I need to practice some more first". The reality is, timing is so important, and that is very hard to get without actual performance in front of spectators...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
JamesTong
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A magician will always view an effect differently from a lay person who knows nothing about magic. Most of the time simple sleights can really mystify the audience.

But to make it a magical entertainment one must focus on presentation, scripting, time and pacing, bringing out your personality and most importantly enjoying the performance. And if a person focuses on technicalities (especially sleights that takes years to master) it would be rather difficult to create that magic effect in the mind of the audience in a relatively short time after learning it.

My suggestion is to work on simple sleights and spend more time working on creating the effect that is as close to magic as possible from the mind of the audience.

An example would be ... coin through table with 2 coins

We can use all kinds of retention vanishes techniques to perform that effect. In reality he audience does not know anything about those techniques. The most important thing is ... did the audience see and BELIEVE that the coin penetrated the table MAGICIALLY?

The simple use of the 'French Drop' technique can still create this impossibility (from the mind of the audience). But to do so, one must focus on the performance part (presentation, timing, etc, etc) to create the magic you want the audience to see.

I do not mean that difficult techniques are not good. If you can successfully perform a MIRACLE in the mind of the audience using simple sleights, then you would be able to do it with other more difficult sleights later on. And this gives us the encouraging factor to learn more and work on other things later.

As a starting point I would not advise the learning of difficult sleights. Do so later.

If I can, using simple sleights, make the audiences jaws drop and their eye balls pop out of the sockets ... I would continue using these sleights. It is really rewarding, in my opinion and experiences, watching those eye balls pop out and roll all over the floor because their minds saw REAL MAGIC.

But .... you have to be careful not to step on any of these eye balls Smile
Ed_Millis
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I once saw a clown keep an entire room of 5-year-olds enthralled for about 10 minutes with only one balloon! I had my last crowd all with me using only a silk and TT. On the other hand, I had the experience of watching a man do amazing sleights and flourishes with a deck of cards, but there wasn't an ounce of entertainment flowing - not one thing that made you want to stand there and watch him.

Magic is not in the technique - it's in the experience. Give the audience an experience, and they won't care about your techniques!

Ed
JamesTong
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Well said, Ed.
ldrosenblum
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Guys-

That is terrific advice for newbies. I've been feeling some pressure, possibly self-imposed, to work on sleights that are the most impressive, rather than simply effective. I've been assuming that the most impressive/challenging sleights (e.g., back palm) are necessarily the most effective. And, frankly, I didn't feel comfortable using simple sleights in the service of getting more experience in presentation, timing etc. I've been very worried about devaluing magic as an art by performing the easier sleights.

What you've now written (above) has given me more confidence to try some things without worrying about being impressive. As a newbie, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with all the techniques, and technical talent that's out there. It's easy to lose sight that the audience is there to be entertained, first and foremost. With the added confidence that comes with performing, I can imagine my practicing will be that much more effective.

Thanks for all the insight folks, it's truly appreciated

Larry

PS - My 50th post!
Check out my new book on our 'perceptual superpowers': www.LawrenceRosenblum.com . It discusses new research on the psychology of misdirection and the neuroplasticity behind expert motor skills.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Congratulations! Just watch out for the "for sale" area- it's a black hole... Smile
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
JamesTong
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Congratulations to your 50th post, Larry. You can now participate in the "Secret Sessions" section that will unlock more secrets to you.
ldrosenblum
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Thanks Guys-

Yep, the 'for sale' and secret session areas are terrific. And I couldn't resist purchasing something just hours after I had access. A 'black hole' for sure.

-Larry
Check out my new book on our 'perceptual superpowers': www.LawrenceRosenblum.com . It discusses new research on the psychology of misdirection and the neuroplasticity behind expert motor skills.
JamesTong
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Have fun and enjoy your magic journey, Larry.
base851
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Just to sort of throw on top of what everyone else is saying. I'm still pretty new to magic myself and still struggling to get past the fear of trying things on strangers. Ed hit the nail on the head for me, I've struggled all of my life with fears of failure and rejection. It's a double edged sword though... it drives me to really work hard on something and perfect it, but it also can be extremely crippling.

The other day I managed to try the ring on the rubber band bit for an extremely gorgeous lady who worked at a store I was shopping at. Here's the crazy part, even though I was talking and trying to keep eye contact, so glanced down at my hands while I was doing the setup. I thought for certain that she knew what was up, but I went ahead anyway. As soon as the ring was on the rubber band she looked at me and said "How did you do that?". I couldn't believe it.

My point in all this is sort of twofold. First, you aren't alone in trying to overcome performance fear. Two, even when YOU think you're completely busted, you may not be.

After the rubber band bit she asked me if I did card tricks, so I pulled out a deck and did a much more relaxed 4 aces trick for her.
seneca77
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Larry, you wrote in part: "As a newbie, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with all the techniques, and technical talent that's out there. It's easy to lose sight that the audience is there to be entertained, first and foremost."

I reached that point several years ago. I felt like I was on a treadmill constantly learning and practicing the toughest sleights and I finally realized, "to what aim?"

Not that the tough sleights aren't worth it. But *for me*, I realized I was putting in an inordinate amount of time into them and not enough time into the presentation. And being strictly an amateur with a lot of other non-magic responsibilities and time-killers, I decided that learning the basics and learning them well was good enough. Again, that's what worked well for me. YMMV.

As an example, I re-read Harry Lorayne's "Close Up Card Magic" and re-discovered "Lazy Man's Card Trick". There's not a sleight to be had and it kills! I was able to concentrate on the performance and, as someone here mentioned, actually *rehearse* the effect. The effort was well worth it because, like I said, I often get gasps from the spectators when I perform it.

Cheers!
- Bob
JamesTong
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"Lazy Man's Card Trick" is my favorite. I just need to dramatize my presentation a bit and the audiences freak out so easily.
ldrosenblum
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Yep, you pegged it Bob and James-

It's those spectator gasps and freak outs that really motivate me, and Lazy Man's serves that purpose nearly all the time. (In fact, I just did it tonight and got a "that's amazing" reaction.) And while watching compelling sleights have that effect on me, learning them shouldn't be the goal of the effort.

I'm really chasing Miser's Dream at the moment, and it may take another month -or more- before I feel competent to perform it. But in the meantime, I really need learn to feel satisfied with what I can currently do to entertain and (sometimes) amaze.

Cheers,

Larry

PS - You guys just inspired me to do Lazy Man's in my graduate seminar tomorrow. Of course, they're an (apparently) easy audience since I'm responsible for their grades!
Check out my new book on our 'perceptual superpowers': www.LawrenceRosenblum.com . It discusses new research on the psychology of misdirection and the neuroplasticity behind expert motor skills.
JamesTong
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Freak them out, Larry, and tell us about it.

Larry, I would encourage you to do the simplest misers dream routine you can do comfortably. Then work on the presentation part of it. Only after having performed it live many times that you inject other techniques into it (one at a time).

A routine or act grows and mature after many performances. There will be changes here and there but it will improve over time. Don't rush.
The Futurist
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Quote:
On 2009-11-10 20:55, base851 wrote:
I thought for certain that she knew what was up, but I went ahead anyway. As soon as the ring was on the rubber band she looked at me and said "How did you do that?". I couldn't believe it.


Nice one, dude! I am also finding "How did you do that?" to be a really good compliment. And, also, kind of a rhetorical question: they don't really want any sort of answer, not even a facetious one. I just smile and say absolutely nothing.

Quote:
My point in all this is sort of twofold. First, you aren't alone in trying to overcome performance fear. Two, even when YOU think you're completely busted, you may not be.


Naturally, I went and performed my ID within half an hour of receiving it, for my mum... and flashed the gimmick a bit. She didn't notice, or was nice enough to not say so. But, knowing my mother and her reactions, I think she really didn't notice. (I don't make a habit of immediately rushing out and showing a trick I just got through the mail - the ID is so cool though that I was in "excitable kid" mode...)
DWRackley
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Futurist, you just reminded me of one of my “standout” reactions. I was just playing around one night, having dinner with some friends at a local Taco Bell. I think I’d already pushed a dime through a sheet of rubber, then pulled out the Scotch and Soda coins. When the Centavo “reappeared” under an ashtray, some guys from the next table jumped up and said I must be in league with the Devil. Smile He, he, I hadn’t even noticed them watching, but they were genuinely “impressed”.

I used to do Color Changing Ball to Jumbo Square, pretty much right out of the box. It’s a “sucker” effect, where you deliberately flash a red “something” to get them yelling “It’s in the other hand!” A couple of my audiences were so polite they wouldn’t say anything. I’d have to repeat myself “The ball is in THIS hand”, until they finally objected, and I could finish the trick. I don’t use that any more unless I have a genuine heckler (rare!)

For Larry, base, WazMeister, (and ME) and anyone else who’s uncertain, I guess the real answer is that you can never know exactly what an audience sees. I’ve had people come up to me after a show and compliment me for things that I never did. Their experience is personal, and you just learn to work with that.

Keep practicing, keep it as consistently clean as you can possibly make it, tape it (from multiple angles), learn to use misdirection and timing, and be personable. Having a great rapport is almost (maybe more) important than having great skill.

(I had a bartender magician friend tell me once that after he'd served a couple of drinks the billiard balls didn’t need to multiply. He could just stick them between his fingers, hold up his hand and say “TADA” and folks would fall off their stools.) Smile

And also know that occasionally you’re going flub, and it’s not the end of the world. I remember once seeing Doug Henning perform, and an effect didn’t do exactly what it was supposed to. He hesitated less than a second, made a huge, sweeping flourish, and the audience applauded wildly. Of course, you’re not Doug Henning (yet), but the principle is the same. Act like everything is fine, and it usually is.

(But don’t quit practicing!!!)
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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DWRackley
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Their experience is personal, and you just learn to work with that.


(Quoting myself, because I just remembered something great!)

Tony Slydini does a fantastic example of “personal experience” in this broadcast of the Dick Cavett show from 1978. It’s a half hour broadcast (and well worth watching the full program), but you can fast forward to 25 minutes in and watch as he completely baffles a young man while the audience howls. It’s hilarious, and a great lesson for “us guys” as well!

Click on the video and go to full screen mode

http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/......-part-2/

And you should also read the article. It gives valuable insight for Magicians.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
The Futurist
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Quote:
On 2009-11-12 15:07, DWRackley wrote:
Quote:
Their experience is personal, and you just learn to work with that.


(Quoting myself, because I just remembered something great!)

Tony Slydini does a fantastic example of “personal experience” in this broadcast of the Dick Cavett show from 1978. It’s a half hour broadcast (and well worth watching the full program), but you can fast forward to 25 minutes in and watch as he completely baffles a young man while the audience howls. It’s hilarious, and a great lesson for “us guys” as well!

Click on the video and go to full screen mode

http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/......-part-2/


Thank you, I'm on it now... though I found the video on part 1: http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/......slydini/
base851
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I tried an angle tonight that just came to me on the spur of the moment, but it worked so well for me I figured I'd share. At this stage, anything I do with someone is just an experiment and practice, so I figured, what the hell, I'll just TELL the person I'm approaching that's what I'm doing. I walked up to a bartender and said "Hey, do you have a second? I do magic tricks and I'm working on a couple of new ones, do you mind if I try them on you? All I ask is if you like them, tell me, and if I mess up, tell me what you saw."

The great part of this approach is that if I do well, I get the same effect from the person as if I just walked up David Blaine style. If I mess up, I've already said I might, AND I get feedback from a real person.

It relaxed the heck out of me, because I have no pressure really, and I think it made the bartender more receptive because now I'm on the same level with him, if that makes any sense. I did the ring on the rubber band and crazy man's handcuffs. He noticed something was up on the ring trick, but said the crazy man's handcuffs was very smooth and convincing. I also got a lot of great feedback and now know what to work on more.

Sometimes simple honesty is the best policy. This may not work for everyone, but I think I bumped into an approach that I'll be using a lot more. Smile
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