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Eric Evans
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Important comments here. Pizpor's (regardless of that dreadful title) and RiffRaff's are my favorite.

Like many a Master said before, "it's not what we do, but how we do it". The "doing" of it consists of building relationships in our audience; between each other and us.

The tricks are merely an adjunct to the real magic; bringing people closer to one another -- friendly like.
tboehnlein
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"But I've noticed that the guys I know from the magic club are the ones that tend leave early. It kind of makes me feel like they only stopped by to steal or criticize. Maybe if fellow members of the brotherhood of magicians appreciated the theater aspect of a performance by a fellow magician, and the relationship they create with their audience, they'd have more patience."

and maybe magic would not be viewed as some cheese act to be viewed only at kid shows and nerd magicians attacking the oppisite sex
Yellowcustard
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Were I busk it not got the large foot fall were you stop 3 people build and build to 30+ to then start your main routine over a 30-40 minute period. But because the flow is contius and people are kind of on there way it is good to stop 3 start you first trick and build to 10 then build to up ton 15-20 in a 10-15 minute show.

I have 3 effect,
Sponge balls from purse frame- Chatting to crowd and edge building
Egg bag- Fun comday with a cute kid, Hat line while there holding out for the end of this routine along with a promise of begin left open mouthed on the next trick.
Single rope- A stand alone pice which smothly enter my finale hat line at the end.

The point I am trying to make is think of the environment your in as well
. I saw a guy busk by a Burrito stand. He told me he worked out how long it took to eat one. As pepoel hung out he would do a rotine to fit.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
fireperformer911
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Magicman491

It about YOU.

If your naturally funny do comedy magic tricks if your not don't
If your a chick magnet do magic tricks hot women like and the crowd will build if your not don't
If your a young man and parents will like you because you remind them of their children then do magic tricks that families will like if not don't
If your a parent and like kids then do a magic trick that uses a kid volunteer get the kid to like you and your audience will like you if you don't like kids don't
If your mysterious type of guy do mysterious magic tricks if your not don't
If you do beautiful sleight of hand magic do beautiful sleight of hand magic if your not don't
If your magic sucks swallow a sword.

You can't lie to your audience and try to convince them with magic tricks that your something your not. The audience will see right through to the lie and then your a fake and audiences don't like and tip fakes.
Paddy
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Yes but remember that you have a character when performing and that character's personality is the one you present to the public, not your personality. i.e. Kozmo character is outgoing fun loving and funny. Personally he is one of the most gifted (intellectually) people I have ever met. A genius. Bobby Maverick character is loud & brash, but clean (not like Gazzo) personally he is an world class executive chef on a par with Bobby Flay and a great friend. Emmet Kelley world famous clown. in reality he hated kids and was a heavy drinker
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fireperformer911
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Your character has to be a lot of yourself just amped up unless your a acomplished actor which most of us ARE NOT. Gazzo is funny all day will make you laugh harder at lunch than on the pitch. Pee wee herman never played James Bond and Sean Connery never played a nerd. The audience will type cast you so don't try to be someone your not.
ROBERT BLAKE
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Don't care what magicians think or do during your show. all they want is seeing tricks. they are not interested in you and how you build your show. most of the time they are the worst audience possible. telling loudly how the trick works. discussing your show among lay audiences. bad tippers and leave early. no respect.

think of what counts the people who enjoy your show and tip you.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2013-03-23 13:26, Dick Oslund wrote:
And,it took even longer to realize that: MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING.



YOU ARE WRONG. Magic is inherently entertaining..... but only to magicians. Smile

Magic moments are short lived.
Magic tricks are not very entertaining except to magicians.
Magic Patter is awful. Admit it.

It's the entertainer that brings it all to life.

You can recognize a person that hasn't learned this yet:
1. they disagree
2. they keep switching in and out new tricks trying to find a trick to do the entertaining for them
3. they post "what are the top 5 ... " threads on the Café in hopes of the holy grail.

The ones that do realize it.. you can spot them too:
1. they don't buy much magic. same tricks, year after year
2. they are focued on comedy, theater, bits, callbacks, running gags, etc.
3. they are looking for the spots in their act that aren't getting laughs and big reactions and filling those holes with more stuff over time.
4. they own a notebook full of ideas and thoughts on improving their act

The stuff you add naturally over the years is always the best stuff.
Those with the insight to figure that out and the patience let an act develop over a period of years will always end up with a
great and entertaining show.

Or you can keep switching in and out your tricks, spending gobs of money and always seeming like a beginner, out on the pitch.
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Dick Oslund
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Sorry, Frank. I stand by my statement. And, I'll repeat it right here and right now. I LEARNED THIS MANY MANY YEARS AGO. I've been performing for money since October 24, 1945. --When I was 13 and made $26 for my 35 minute show in the local Junior High School for about 500 students.

So: MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. A good magician/performer can make it entertaining. If he doesn't, he'll be out of work fairly quickly. Either no agent will book him, or he wont be able to book himself.

Your next point is correct. MAGIC MOMENTS ARE SHORT LIVED. Magic moments are just that: THEY ARE MOMENTARY. --And, those magic moments only happen in one place. Not on stage, not in the magician's hands. They happen only in the minds of the audience.

If the magic tricks that I perform were not entertaining, I would never have been booked for years by the top School Assembly Bureaus in the country. Bureau managers regularly sent me out to 'square the beef' when a talent did not measure up to what the high school expected.

I was a member of the auditions committee for 2 major assembly bureaus for probably more years than you've been a magician. My program consistently ranked in the top 3%. I've even topped the talent lists. On my first tour for North Dakota State University Division of Independent Study, my program received a the highest rating of any magic program they had previously booked. (Loring Campbell, C. Thomas Magrum, Marv Merrilat. Neil Foster et al.)

SOME magician's patter is awful. Absolutely right. Some is worse than awful. You wont hear me saying: "Lo and behold" I'm not a 'dese, dem and dose' speaker. I know how to write a clear, concise sentence--and how to speak it. You won't hear a lot of "cool" and 'like uh' 'awesome' and similar word wax and clichés when I talk. I have never 'disappeared' something. I know the difference between a transitive and an intransitive verb. As a matter of fact, I long ago learned to write and speak 'lines'. I think "patter" is not a good term. Check out the definition.

Yes, to bring it all to 'life' requires a real entertainer.

I have learned a lot of things years ago.

I reserve the right to disagree with anyone, but I try not to be disagreeable in doing so.

I do not constantly switch tricks in an out hoping to find one that will do MY job (entertaining) Over my 68 years as an entertainer, my show has slowly evolved. (check out the definition of evolution)In 1992, I added the mutilated parasol to the show. That's the most recent addition to the repertoire. If you like, ask me, and I'll tell you within a year or so, when an effect was put in the show. (EXAMPLES: Ovette's Repeat Knots--1946, Serpentine silk-1947,Pom pom stick-1985, card shuffles and flourishes-1946,Misers Dream-1946,Color change silk-1947,golf ball routine-1947,20thC silks-1948, ETC. I do think that the presentation of said material has improved as I gained experience. 20+thousand shows will "do" that.

I just joined this café in December. I'm not completely sure that I know what the "top 5" is/are. I can make an intelligent guess.

I think I match your next four points. The philosophy is: "One can only coast in one direction". -or- "When you stop getting better, you start getting worse." But we differ on a definition. One can't buy "magic". (Remember, it only exists in the audience's minds.) One can buy props, and secrets, which are the 'tools' of an artist/performer. (A trick like music, only exists while it's being performed.

Laughs! big reactions! I've done the same basic routines for so many years, that I don't need to 'think' about the trick being performed. Instead, I'm listening to the audience responses,--and adjusting the performance to the immediate situation, if necessary. Tempo, timing and time are all critical to the success of the show. -And, I know the definition of all three terms.

The contents of my overstuffed notebooks have all been, or are being transferred to this infernal electrisch peckenclacker to make them more accessible.

Jay Marshall and I shared the same thinking in developing and producing an act. The key point of our thinking is/was EDITING. Once the act is
set, the way to improve it is to edit.

I sincerely hope that I've cleared the 'air'.

BTW>>>An experienced associate (a professional of proven experience and talent)has informed me that the OP of this thread is a 14 year old. Apparently, he posts questions and requests for help in many forums (for a!) also apparently he is on facebook,with the same posts. I wrote a post in the 'busking forum' a month ago. He has yet to respond. I do think that I've wasted my time trying to be helpful.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TheAmbitiousCard
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Just so you know...

I was basically agreeing with you when I wrote...


YOU ARE WRONG. Magic is inherently entertaining..... but only to magicians.
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ShirtlessKirk
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If magic is not inherently entertaining what value is it? If one doesn't think magic has inherent value to entertain why use it as a vehicle when there are many other art forms one could use?

If you really believe this notion that magic has no entertainment value aren't you just wasting your time using magic to entertain as opposed to something people WOULD find to be inherently entertaining?

Honestly if I ever came to the conclusion that magic was ONLY appealing to other magicians I would quit for good without hesitation.
Floyd Collins
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Smile
I think the relational that many seasoned magi have found about magic in itself, is that magic in its self is not entertaining enough, and I say enough to be an emotional response to sustain the idea that the audience is fully entertained. Magic is a vessel to create an emotion, however the trick itself does not do that, the performer does. Magicians however look for the plot, the mis-direction and the skills whereas the layman does not, by looking for those things a magician is more entertained in just watching a trick because they are invested in looking for those things, thus creating entertainment for the magician.

I think the point that is trying to be made here is that magic in itself is a service to the magician that the lay audience needs more than just the trick. So yes magic has no entertainment value on its own, the emotion alone is too short lived to be classified as entertainment. Not saying that it is not an emotional response to what the person is seeing but that is not classified as entertainment. Much like watching a bid, take flight for the first time is awesome and remarkable but it is too short lived to be considered entertainment.
That’s my thoughts on it anyways.
--Floyd
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

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ShirtlessKirk
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My point really is if magic is lacking in essential elements necessary to entertain why use magic? Seems to me magic would be the wrong vehicle for someone who thinks this way. Just do comedy or drama or whatever suits your fancy.Why force something you consider to be lacking on an audience?

I'm not suggesting one should not make an effort to make your magic entertaining but this notion that magic lacks inherent entertainment value I find to be strange. Quoting Darwin Ortiz "This sort of magic results from what I call "Fitzkee's fallacy," the belief that magic has no inherent entertainment value. In Showmanship for Magicians, Dariel Fitzkee's prescription for making magic entertaining is to introduce music, dance, comedy and sex appeal into the magic performance. In his view, magic is some sort of bitter pill that you have to sugar-coat in order to get the audience to swallow."
ShirtlessKirk
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I'll include the rest of the quote.

"I don't want you to think that there is anything wrong with employing such elements to add to the appeal of a magic performance. But thinking that this is all there is to making magic entertaining overlooks the most obvious, and most important, way you can make magic more entertaining: by making the magic itself more entertaining.

If you don't believe that magic itself can be entertaiing, if you don't believe that experiencing apparent impossibilities can be strong, unique and memborable entertainment for an audience, I wont argue the point with you. I'll only suggest that you give up magic. If you really think that magic is of no value except as a peg on which to hang music, dance, comedy and sex appeal, you should become a musician, dancer, comedian or stripper and forget about the magic. "
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On 2013-04-16 02:05, Frank Starsini wrote:
Just so you know...

I was basically agreeing with you when I wrote...


YOU ARE WRONG. Magic is inherently entertaining..... but only to magicians.



OK Frank!, It is possible that I misunderstood your statement. If that is so, I'll apologize!

But, I stand by my point that MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENERTAINING!

I posted recently in another forum a few more pertinent points. I shall repeat them here.

A few years ago, I witnessed a substantial part of the audience at an evening show of one of the BIG national societies' conventions, get up and walk out (I mean public, not magicians. The line formed so quickly that a line actually formed at the exit!

I witnessed the same thing at a regional convention in a large Midwestern city. The first half had a local amateur, who had to stop his act and "restart" a trick. The second performer was a NYC magician, who totally lost the audience. The third magician (another NYC professional wore a black suit, black shirt, and black hat (the stage was hung in black, also). He performed the MALINI EGG BAG, which uses a black bag. He finished with a t/r cigarette paper --all this before an audience of about 1500. The fourth act was a local juggler who got into a fight with gravity--and gravity won.

The audience numbered about a thousand, of which about 700 were public. At intermission, the public formed a line at the box office to demand their money back.

These people did not find magic entertaining!.

I served a number of years on the audition committee for the School Assembly Service of Chicago and the National School Assemblies of Hollywood, CA. Every year, a number of young magician 'wannabees would audition. If we were lucky, we might be able to select one that we would be able to book. I remember one young man who showed up back stage with a cardboard carton, with a shipping label from Abbotts. It was still sealed. Backstage, the young man opened the carton, read the instructions, placed the props on his table, and when introduced, fumbled through a half dozen "catalog tricks".

Another was so bad that the bureau manager cut him off in the middle of his first trick.

MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. A talented magician, who has done his 'homework' can make it entertaining.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Floyd Collins
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ShirtlessKirk

I don’t think it is about giving up magic, at all. It to me is about finding the real entertainment in what we do, that being you not the trick. If you feel the trick alone is entertaining, then show me the trick that performs without the magician having anything to do with making it entertaining and we might have something to go with here.

It was not until my 20s (Now 45) when I started doing some stand-up that I realized that entertainment was not from the magic trick it was from how I presented it that makes it entertaining. Up till that point I did trick after trick to the smatter of polite applause. Once I realized that the magic trick was not what made them want to see more it was my performance and how I presented the trick, is when I became aware of what I was truly doing with my skills and craft as a magician. I don’t think it is a matter of magic not having any value, it is a matter of how you perceive what it is you’re doing as a magician that makes the difference.

For many years I have performed mentilisam, and still do. Entertainment from my mentalist show has little to do with tricks, and more to do with the magic that is performed inside the audiences mind.. The roller-coaster ride I take them on, happens because of my talent not any trick. Is it still magic, you bet, but the trick is not what makes it entertaining it is the performer.

But you are correct there are many ways to entertain without magic, there are some comedy magicians who don’t perform a real trick and entertain in comedy clubs. However I don’t feel it is a matter of what instrument you play, or how well you dance; if you’re going to be a magician then your love for magic as a craft is why you perform it. Again I say you perform it, you setup the tension, you release the tension the trick only aids in doing so.

Just a thought--
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thecenterstage

http://www.collinscomedymagic.com
ShirtlessKirk
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Quote:
On 2013-05-04 21:42, Dick Oslund wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-04-16 02:05, Frank Starsini wrote:
Just so you know...

I was basically agreeing with you when I wrote...


YOU ARE WRONG. Magic is inherently entertaining..... but only to magicians.



OK Frank!, It is possible that I misunderstood your statement. If that is so, I'll apologize!

But, I stand by my point that MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENERTAINING!

I posted recently in another forum a few more pertinent points. I shall repeat them here.

A few years ago, I witnessed a substantial part of the audience at an evening show of one of the BIG national societies' conventions, get up and walk out (I mean public, not magicians. The line formed so quickly that a line actually formed at the exit!

I witnessed the same thing at a regional convention in a large Midwestern city. The first half had a local amateur, who had to stop his act and "restart" a trick. The second performer was a NYC magician, who totally lost the audience. The third magician (another NYC professional wore a black suit, black shirt, and black hat (the stage was hung in black, also). He performed the MALINI EGG BAG, which uses a black bag. He finished with a t/r cigarette paper --all this before an audience of about 1500. The fourth act was a local juggler who got into a fight with gravity--and gravity won.

The audience numbered about a thousand, of which about 700 were public. At intermission, the public formed a line at the box office to demand their money back.

These people did not find magic entertaining!.

I served a number of years on the audition committee for the School Assembly Service of Chicago and the National School Assemblies of Hollywood, CA. Every year, a number of young magician 'wannabees would audition. If we were lucky, we might be able to select one that we would be able to book. I remember one young man who showed up back stage with a cardboard carton, with a shipping label from Abbotts. It was still sealed. Backstage, the young man opened the carton, read the instructions, placed the props on his table, and when introduced, fumbled through a half dozen "catalog tricks".

Another was so bad that the bureau manager cut him off in the middle of his first trick.

MAGIC IS NOT INHERENTLY ENTERTAINING. A talented magician, who has done his 'homework' can make it entertaining.





The examples given indicate a level of incompetence on part of the performers. Magic performed incompetently is not magic and won't appear as such to an audiance. Those examples in no way show that audiences find magic unentertaining just bad performances/performers.

If? magic has no inherent value to entertain it is a poor art.

It has been my perception (maybe wrong) that often magicians who think that magic has not inherent entertainment value often also believe that people don't like to be fooled. While I disagree with both notions I just can't understand why one would choose to be a magician while holding these beliefs.

Presenting the impossible has value. If you don't think so why not do something else?
RiffRaff
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The word "magic" has several meanings.
I think this analysis requires that we separate the trick from the presentation.
While everyone seems to agree that presentations can be either boring or entertaining, I would argue that the trick itself can be both as well.
The public found Blaine to be very entertaining even though his presentation was sparse. A large part of the entertainment clearly had to come from the trick. His trick selections all had simple plots. (Evidenly biting a piece of a quarter and spitting it back is highly entertaining.)
What lay audiences do not appreciate is long, complicated tricks that require an explanation by the performer. ie. "please select three cards and remember them... now I will remove the four jacks which represent detectives. I will shuffle the four jacks into the deck which is the city that we live in, and ... tada! in between each of the four jacks is your selection!!!! (I can just see that spectator telling his friends of the marvel that he has just witnessed - "I selected three cards and the magician found them in between four other cards!")
Sorry, I got off target. Some tricks are inherently entertaining. Others are not. So everybody's right. Magic IS inherently entertaining, and magic is NOT inherently entertaining.
All we can do is select from the many entertaining tricks and learn to perform them in an entertaining manner.
Dick Oslund
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Well Mr. Shirtless Kirk, you are certainly entitled to your OPINIONS.

OPINIONS, however, are just that.

At the risk of this becoming an 'ad hominem argument', I will simply say this:
When you have had some real experience performing as a magician, you may have learned something.

(Sophocles said thousands of years ago: "One learns by DOING THE THING."

Although, it's not necessary to be a full time performing professional magician to be an entertaining magician, it is necessary to at least understand the basic philosophy of a magician. It is further necessary to be able to define the terms used in the performance of magic.

I am not going to accuse you of intellectual dishonesty. I am not going to accuse you of invincible ignorance. But, you do appear to have 'earned' both of those 'descriptions'.

Considering your attitude, and your creed, I really have sympathy for any audience that you perform for, --or any young, impressionable magicians whose performing experience that you affect.

in MY OPINION, you will probably continue to express your beliefs, and also, in my OPINION, the world of magic will be the poorer for it.

This is my final word on this topic, I do not hide behind a pseudonym. I am not afraid to affix my 'signature' to anything I write.

Dick Oslund
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ShirtlessKirk
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Why do magic if you don't think it has no entertainment value?

Why Mr Dick Oslund choose to be a magician if you don't feel it is entertaining to an audience? Why not do comedy or acting or music or whatever else people find entertaining?

People DO find magic entertaining. This is fact, were it not true magic would have died out long ago. Yes theatrical elements,comedy, the personality of the performer all contribute to the success of a presentation but that does not mean magic is not inherently entertaining.
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