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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » You Oughta Be In Pictures » » The Seed of Imagination (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

michaelmystic2003
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This is a video of an effect I'm working on, based on an idea I developed for competition... right now it is unrefined but I wanted to see what you guys thoughts of it and if you had any ideas or suggestions. Thank you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrxim9_Asws

Michael Kras
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MickeyPainless
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I LIKE it!!!

Honestly Michael I was waiting for something silly and I must admit that I remained entertained from beginning to end! I didn't miss Lulu at all! Smile

I have nothing to offer as advice other than continue to IMAGINE and GROW!

Nice work young man,

Mick
landmark
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Michael,
I admire your strong work ethic and willingness to share and take criticism. I've liked quite a bit of your magic.

That said, here's what I think of your latest:
Right now you've got lots of story, but only a little effect.
Somehow you need to turn that into much less story, much more effect.
The premise is good; it doesn't need more than a few sentences though.
michaelmystic2003
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Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions, my friend... the point you've made seems to be nearly unanimous. I'll have to work on it... either shorten my scripting or add a few more magical moments in there to hold attention. What those moments might be, I'm clueless of... but nothing a little brainstorm can't fix!
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rockthemike
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Quote:
On 2010-11-21 12:42, landmark wrote:
Michael,
I admire your strong work ethic and willingness to share and take criticism. I've liked quite a bit of your magic.

That said, here's what I think of your latest:
Right now you've got lots of story, but only a little effect.
Somehow you need to turn that into much less story, much more effect.
The premise is good; it doesn't need more than a few sentences though.


Agreed. Michael you're a great budding magician and you're only getting better which is very good but your story telling is getting in the way of your magic... sometimes. For example I LOVED your bottle and coin effect. This presentation for this effect however was very lengthy. I myself got really bored hearing you talk about seeds. But then again that might just be me. I think it was a lot of talk for the effect that it was.

Your imagination and skills will take you far. I look forward to seeing more from you.
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funsway
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The blending of story and magic is difficult in some settings, and natural in others, and magciains cannot be the best jusge of how this will play with an audience. At a lunchion of the Garden Club it would be a hit, but not work during half-time at a football game.

Your innovation will provide a basketfull of effects -- but with that comes the question of relevance. Keep on creating and sharing no matter what others think.

I would ask -- what effect do you do next after this presentaions? How do you segue into it?

I would avoid the use of the word "trick" -- otherwise the script is fine.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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saysold1
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Big points for creativity... What happens if the spec starts digging in the dirt?

I liked the story!
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Danny Diamond
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I have some constructive criticism for you...

From 2:04 until 2:30, your left hand is glued to your side, completely motionless, while your right hand is highly animated and waves around a lot in telling the story of a tree growing. This draws a LOT of suspicion to that left hand.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



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michaelmystic2003
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That's true... my left hand only moves near the end... I could definitely work in some more movement! Thank you for your thoughts.
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landmark
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Robert-Houdin's orange tree might be a source of further inspiration . . .
Lawrence O
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I concur with Ken on not using the word "trick". As you express yourself the magic seed grows in the people's imagination. A trick is something you do on to some victims that you wish to fool.

Also when you ask them to sign the card you may refer to the spectator's "family tree" and ask him to write in his personal hand writing the type of tree he has in mind ("oak", "poplar", "birch", "ash", "beech"...) This makes the card unique as well but inn a more subtle and it doesn't tell where you're going.

I like the fact that you call the cards "seeds" but I regret that you don't keep the principle all along. You may wish to call the folded card at the end a "leaf from your magic tree" or a "fruit from your family tree"

You may also want to plant several seeds by tearing his card off and planting the pieces in the dirt so that you have not only a transposition effect but also a restoration effect which works well for offspring and members of a family tree

Finally, speaking about "dirt" is interesting for treating the content of the pot with mild dismay (not fixing the mind on the content of the pot) but the effect (and therefore the performer) would gain more respect if you would refer to it metaphorically as "mother earth" and for the glass's content as "fertilizer". It would be no longer associated with burying and death but with fecundation and life, preparing better for the imaginary growing of the tree and the plucking of one of its leaves.

This brings us back to the smart origin of your story: it is nice to drift from the seed of the tree to the seed of an idea but you may want to shift from the seeds of trees to the origins of a the spectator's family tree. Cards were actually created to represent society with the kings, the queens etc... therefore, it makes sense for the spectator to pick the seed of his family tree within society (the deck of cards), to mark the type of tree he sees for his family and then to let the tree grow in his imagination until you prove that he is the latest offspring of that family tree...

These advice are done to suggest that going back and forth between imagination and reality is very difficult for one denies the other. The trick is just a visual support of a very emotional story (where do we come from, what are our real origins...)

Now for the story to become dramatic, you may want to introduce a conflict between elements of the trick creating the doubt that whatever you are attempting is not sure to happen. Create a bit of suspense, not just a linear narrative.

At any rate, you came, as you can see, with something that can trigger imaginary worlds and especially for this please receive my respect (for whatever it's worth)
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Uli Weigel
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Quite frankly, I don't like this presentation at all. It's creative but to me this is a case of misguided creativity. Cards are cards for god's sakes. When I hear patter like "these cards represent..." I almost immediately loose interest (there are rare exceptions). In most cases such scripts are simply embarrassing and they reinforce the preconception of many laypeople, that card magic is nothing to be taken seriously. And I believe intelligent audiences feel the same. Usually they don't say so, they suffer silently.
But even if you want to stick to that presentation, the handling doesn't make much sense. If at all a reverse "Diminishing Cards" sequence would make much more sense: the audience actually gets to see how the card grows.
Lawrence O
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Even if Ulli doesn't like the plot, he gave you a good idea: bring the cards to a "seed" condition. Diminishing cards is a great tip: better than my suggestion of tearing the card into pieces before planting it.

Now, Ulli, I thought that your comment was kind of "shot from the hip" of personal preference for one of the things I particularly liked about the routine is precisely that Michaelmystic2003 didn't fall into the trap of "these cards represent..."
He has a flower pot in front of him, he starts speaking of seeds and then mental seeds and then of the seed of the cards... Now admittedly, he shouldn't be handling the cards in his hands initially and only bring them in play later in his presentation after introducing the notion of seed and seed for thoughts.

However as you know for being a very knowledgeable cardman, we don't exactly know what cards were created for and if they come from a sort of Egyptian sort of chess game put on cardboard. There is still a doubt if they were initially invented for fortune telling or for games. It seems in fact that their use as "playing cards" only came later in France during the XVII century.

So possibly your "Cards are cards for god's sakes" may lack ground. Furthermore the presentation offered doesn't imply or suggest in any way that "card magic is nothing to be taken seriously".

Now naturally, your preferences are your exclusive privilege and should be respected but allow me to consider myself as "intelligent audience" enough, and I don't feel the same as you do. Naturally there is some more work to properly permit the story to grow into the people's imagination but let's help rather than block.

I think that the constantly repeated "pick a card ... Would you be surprised if this was your card" (followed by a more or less spectacular revelation) is doing much more damages to the card magic that we both love, than this search in its admittedly "unrefined" initial steps.
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michaelmystic2003
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Thank you Lawrence for your phenomenally helpful response!!!! All of your points are EXTREMELY helpful, so I thank you.

People keep referring to "trick"... I'm unaware of what you are referring to. Did I accidentally say trick somewhere?
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Danny Diamond
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Quote:
On 2010-11-23 13:39, Michaelmystic2003 wrote:
People keep referring to "trick"... I'm unaware of what you are referring to. Did I accidentally say trick somewhere?


1:09
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



- Edwin Louis Cole
Uli Weigel
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Quote:
On 2010-11-23 13:31, Lawrence O wrote:
one of the things I particularly liked about the routine is precisely that Michaelmystic2003 didn't fall into the trap of "these cards represent..."


Well, Michael used a workaround with a similar result: after a little lecture about seeds, he finally says to the spectator: "Here, take a seed".
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