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Matt Adams
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Reading Steinmeyer's "Technique and Understanding" and am thrilled to see him record the same sentiments I've been feeling for years now!

Steinmeyer says basically -

Many people say "It doesn't matter what you do, just how you do it" - in other words, the tricks don't matter at all, but it's about the presentation and personality of the performer.

He then says: "I think this is a terrible attitude. ... The problem was that the audience thought of them as magicians and were usually disappointed to see them wasting time by joking around with a terrible card trick rather than actually performing marvels. ... Good tricks. That's your job."

LOVE IT! OBVIOUSLY the other stuff matters too...but it's frustrating to see guys try to pull off a good show while starting out handicapped by poor tricks.
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MagicalMotivator
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There is a very old theatrical "biblical" expression...

"In the beginning there was nothing, and the lord said LET THERE BE LIGHT. And there was still nothing. But at least you could see it now."

Perception - understanding - and appreciation - are in the eyes of the beholder. And they are your PAYING audience's eyes. How you sell yourself and what you deliver is totally up to YOU. Miracle worker - trickster - entertainer; or a combination of such. It's all up to YOU.

My humble opinion.

Rick
Rick Rossini The Magical Motivator
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JoshLondonMagic
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I'm re-reading Conjuring Anthology and Jim's thinking is just astounding. He is truly a great thinker and writer and makes me better.
Josh
Matt Adams
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Quote:
On 2013-02-18 21:52, MagicalMotivator wrote:
There is a very old theatrical "biblical" expression...

"In the beginning there was nothing, and the lord said LET THERE BE LIGHT. And there was still nothing. But at least you could see it now."



Lol! Never heard that. Love that too. Smile

You're right in that it's in the eye of the audience - and I think that since MOST people never watch more than 10 hours of magic in their ENTIRE LIVES then we need to make sure we present some strong material! The only "little" bit of magic that people have seen typically comes from TV - So that means Criss Angel and David Blaine for American audiences. These guys do "street styled" magic and very in your face. Their effects are typically very strong and played up even more because of the TV nature of things. So people are definitely expecting strong magic. When you pull out a silk and make it change colors, I think you can make a decent presentation if you work...but I think you will lose a good portion of the younger crowd the minute you whip out a silk in the first place. They will see that as "old" magic (we call it "classic"). I can speak personally to this as I developed what I considered to be a very good classic silk routine as an opener for my show and used it with variations for TWO YEARS. I finally woke up and realized it just wasn't good. It wasn't all me (though some surely must have been), but the tricks themselves are just more "kiddie" in nature no matter how you cut it. I was doing dancing hanks and these sorts of things but people just "tolerated" it at best (yes, of course the kids went crazy over it and it was some of their fav. magic in the whole show...but I'm not a children's performer - I want to entertain EVERYONE during the show and there is so much more magic the kids can hold to than this one piece).

So I finally cut it. Some of my rationale in using it was as follows -

1) LOTS of fast-paced magic back to back to give lots of "eye candy" up front
2) Teaches the audience to clap after each section of the routine
3) Shows manipulation and skill

The problem was that it just wasn't STRONG magic. People just didn't care that I could make a silk change color, or change into a 50 foot streamer, or dance around, or disappear and reappear, or change into a huge canister of balls (silk cylinder). It didn't matter. I hadn't established a character and it was the first thing I came out and did (and to music). Sure, it was cute and kids liked it...but definitely not teens. Ouch.

One honest comment I got was "You started your show and I thought...oh brother...here we go. But the rest of the show was awesome!"

We don't typically get honest reviews. People aren't going to walk up and say, "Dude, you suck. I hate this and this and this." That's just rude and they typically won't do it no matter how bad we are. BUT I'm so grateful for this guy who gave an honest review of the start (I asked for it).

Anyway, I think the point is that we can often deceive ourselves into thinking certain magic is STILL strong and it's just not always the case. But a lot is very debatable, granted. Take the linking rings...been around forever...most people have a clue of how it works, I'd think. BUT if you do your routine well, you can fool anyone. My favorite comment I got for my routine was from a magician. He walked up after the show as I was talking about the rings with another person and said, "I'm a magician...and I still have NO clue how you did that!" Of course he knew the secret, but he appreciated the "art" behind it. So I'd think in the right circumstance someone could do a good silk routine...I just haven't figured out what that should look like. So I moved on until then! Sometimes letting magic "simmer" in your mind is a good thing! Maybe I'll come up with something totally new and modern and make people love silks again. Smile
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