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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » The tricks to teach layman? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr. Mystoffelees
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I haven't changed anyone's opinion in
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Most people don't want to be "encouraged" and those that do will seek out. It is easy to confuse natural curiosity and wanting to be "in the know" with genuine interest. What P&T did was wrong then, and wrong now. "Teaching" someone who doesn't bug you for at least three days is exposure, only exposure...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
jove
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I normally don't teach a trick, but if it is for kids, it will usually be something simple like 21 card trick, etc.
RLFrame
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My dad taught me how to rub a coin into my arm. No magician worth his salt would ever really do it for paid gigs and there are really no sleights to speak of to expose. Yet it requires some practice to master. If a person wants to really master it, it is well withing their reach, but they do need to work at it. If a person is interested in magic and catches 'the bug' they will work at it. If they don't work at it, they will learn no more from me.
Cyberqat
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I find this often comes up with kids. Nieces and nephews, friends kids, etc.

I 100% agree on the French Drop. Its also the first thing I learned to do. Its conceptually simple but illustrates all the primary issues... naturalness, watching your angles, etc.

I show it to them and help to mold their hands into the right shapes, and then tell them to practice in front of a mirror. If they actually practice and learn to do it convincingly, I know its a real interest that can be grown Smile

If they get beyond that, I point them to (or buy them) the first volume of Bill Tarr's "Now you see it, now you don't."
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
aechecop
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Magic is so readily available this days (magic shops in most shopping centers), ebay, youtube (both demos and exposed tricks), magic tricks and sets in $1 stores, etc, that avoiding teaching something, even some basic but valuable lesson in ethics within magic I think is a must. Of course the level of the trick been taught has to go in direct proportion to the demonstrated interest of the student.
Cyberqat
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I agree, although I don't think magic is any MORE available now then before. You could always find the cheap Adams stuff in joke, costume and toy shops. Most toy shops also sold magic sets.

It tends to go in waves, along with the interest by laymen which ALSO goes in waves. Common availability means interest is on a waxing point, which is good for the business. Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
eywi
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Maybe teach them something that criss angel use to teach on his tv show, like that tooth pick vanish
insight
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Eywi, good point.

Regards,
Mike
MagicJuggler
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I have a trick that's completely self-working, that they don't even need to know how it works, just that it does. It's purely mathmatical, and so long as you're using exactly 52 cards it always works.
I unfortunately don't know the name of the trick as I learned it myself through a strange source. I learned it from a crazy old man on an airplane. I was coming back from a trip to Vegas, and I was talking to the person next to me about magic, and after a while this elderly gentleman in the seat in front of me turns around and says,"I know a trick that no one can explain, scientists have studied it and don't know how it works." the man proceeded to explain how to do this completely self working trick. After back tracking the routine I was able to figure out how and why it works in about five minutes or so, but when I suggested I knew why it works the man wouldn't believe me. He persisted that it was impossible (his words) to understand, and that no amount of study could ever reveal how it was done. I found this quite incredible that he was so stuck on the idea that no one could understand how it works that I asked how he learned the trick.
It turns out that he learned the trick while taking a cruise from the magician that was working on that cruise line. The performer had explained that this card trick was a mystery that was impossible to explain, and this guy had bought so far into the patter line that for him it was gospel and he wouldn't accept the idea that someone might know how this trick was done.
I have no idea who the magician was, and the old man couldn't remember his name, but who ever it was it provided me with a lesson on how a well thought out patter line can cement a trick into a person's mind, a trick that if not presented well would be totally forgetful.
And now when I teach the trick to laymen I tell the story of this fascinating trick that I learned from a crazy old man on an airplaine.
Matthew Olsen






I heard from a friend that anecdotal evidence is actually quite reliable.
insight
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The issue with teaching self working tricks is that often they are the most powerful. So there is exposure on powerful magic.
ropeadope
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Teach `em a simple trick and point `em to the library like you learned.

John
Nothing is better than more.
daffydoug
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Ahhh ! Yes! Sweet childhood memories there! I can never forget as a little boy going to the library and finding the best book on magic that I could. And I'd take it home and learn the tricks and put on shows for my little friends.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
VynnCredible
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I have incorporated my business card into a simple 2 card monte trick that I do, then teach and give away. This way, who ever they do the trick for, they are always advertising for me. More often than not, I found that people would talk about a cool trick they saw someone do, but can't remember who it was and now they will have my card as part of a trick to advertise for me!

Good Luck!

Sincerely,
Vynn Credible
http://vynncredible.com
MT
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I would only teach some if I think that they have the potential of becoming a magician, at least a hobbyist. Not point teaching someone who isn't that in to it.
Pat Perry
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I don't like to teach as a part of the show. But in a workshop it works well. There you have more time to go into details. It's not just telling how it works, but giving an insight into magic. This way you have the possibility to create an understanding and estimation for our craft.
goatears
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I have one trick always on hand ready to teach.
The black 7 and black 4 go into the deck I snap and they come to the top (actually their pairs come to the top)
If they're older or more mature or more serious I teach them the same trick with the 7 and 4's pair loaded on the top and bottom of the deck and I toss the deck to my other hand retaining the top and bottom card.

I feel better about being prepared with a good trick like this to teach for a few reasons.
1. It is a trick that they can fool their friends with
2. It doesn't blatantly expose any principles that I use in my usual repertoire i.e. double lift, key card, one ahead
3. There are no sleights. They can do it immediately after I teach them.
4. Keeping it down to one trick and being prepared with two levels I'm never tempted to reveal any other simple powerful effects.
Lynchini
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My initial thought would be to teach them how to palm an object in order to vanish it, emphasizing the importance of how to hold your hand naturally, magical ethics, etc; then ultimately state to them: " And as you progress in magic, you can get soooo good at it, that you can magically make the 'object' vanish completely!" This is where you would use an 'unknown' means to actually 'vanish' the object or point of interest. Sorta like a 'sucker effect' played mildly. There are many effects like that out there. In conclusion to my reply, I feel a performer should never 'under rate' themselves! Just keep the magic flowing!
Regards, Lynchini
bertietonks
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I have a particular slant that I love to use when 'teaching' a group of people a trick. I teach them in part and enough to get them emotionally and actively involved, but do not give them the 'happy ending' that we all love. I find it really quite powerful especially at the end of a set in parlour/party type situation where people are sat around you.

Pop Haydins silk to egg is an amazing example of this, the magi dissapears the silk and egg appears, you then procede to show them how its done is slow motion and the finale is not at all what they expected. I do another similar one with torn and restored tissue where you hook the audience in believing you are showing them the real method, they are in fact learning a simple palm as they follow carefully your every move, only for you to finish with yet another surprise.

I have found that this helps to illustrate to the spectators the oppenness that technique and skill is involved, but their is always more than can be layered on to heighten further, that magical moment and impact.

I wonder if there are many other effects such as these?
mindexplorer
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It would depend on the level of interest from the spectator. Are they just wanting something to show around, or do they have a genuine desire to learn. Things like the world's fastest card trick have been shown as teach-ins on TV specials before. A reference to a magic shop might be the best answer for the serious. If someone just wants something to impress, I like a puzzle-like item like the paperclip link with bill. The rubber band catching the linked clips keeps things from getting away.

Put your number on a card or bill and you can keep in contact because they will forget exactly how to place the paperclips on the dollar bill.
Damian
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If someone wants me to teach them a trick, I have a few "go-tos" I have had success with. The two corks trick, linking paper clips and jumping rubber band are at the top of the list.

I choose these, because, as mentioned above, they are very, very simple. Basically, nothing that requires any practice, because in my experience, it's a waste of time, unless you plan to review the tricks with them on another day. This, therefore, excludes the French Drop and Palming, as mentioned above. Both require practice. The casual students don't master it.

If they get excited, and request another trick, as mentioned above, I tell them not until they've "mastered" what I've shown them. I explain they need to practice in front of a mirror to make it perfect and to add a dramatic presentation.

This little program has worked well for me, and provides much more entertainment than I would have thought, had I not tried it.
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