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mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 14:19, Michael Baker wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 13:36, mastermindreader wrote:
Excellent approaches in the OP. I've always thought, though, that Fitzkee's "Trick Brain" is far too mechanical and forced, although no doubt others have found it useful.Personally, I think that his approach has been responsible for a LOT of bad magic.



The point of my mentioning that is to state that you have to know WHAT to do with a bit of inspiration. Otherwise it tends to be forgotten before it can truly be recognized as a spark of creativity.

If it is true that Fitzkee's approach is responsible for lots of bad magic, which it very well may be, that fault would better be placed upon the lack of aesthetics and non-artistic renderings of the elements at hand. Of course the concept of some magic effects done which any number of specific objects, can result in pure stupidity. But, I don't think Fitzkee's point was to create any effect with any object, knowing that a suitable method can be found. I think his point was made in hopes that the "creator" is not an idiot.

There is surely a bell curve in place here. I've heard some incredibly insane ideas brought up as possible magic effects that eventually make it to market. I have also heard some incredibly brilliant ones that never get realized. Most are somewhere between those extremes. Knowing how to realize them is going to have an affect on the person as far as their opinion of their own "creativity".

The more shapes you know, the more shapes you might see in clouds.


I certainly agree with that. The problem with Fitzkee, though, is that his entire approach is more like paint by numbers than actual creativity. (For analysis of methods I greatly prefer the writings of S. Sharpe, even though I have numerous theoretical disagreements with him.)
Al Angello
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If you can walk and talk you can learn to juggle. It is merely a matter of having the right teacher. Believe it or not I know two professional one arm jugglers. No foolen these guys only have one arm each and juggle professionally full time.
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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 12:45, Al Angello wrote:
You may be able to teach creativity but not everyone is perceptive enough to know what you are talking about. I know lots of people who can't multitask, and haven't the slightest idea what multitasking is. We are not all created equal.

Take Payne for example when I see one of his routines I just scratch my head and say "how the hell does he come up with that stuff?"


I find myself saying that with most of you!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
ShirtlessKirk
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This reminded me a of TED talk I had seen.

http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_ho......nce.html
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2013-08-08 14:36, mastermindreader wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 14:19, Michael Baker wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-08 13:36, mastermindreader wrote:
Excellent approaches in the OP. I've always thought, though, that Fitzkee's "Trick Brain" is far too mechanical and forced, although no doubt others have found it useful.Personally, I think that his approach has been responsible for a LOT of bad magic.



The point of my mentioning that is to state that you have to know WHAT to do with a bit of inspiration. Otherwise it tends to be forgotten before it can truly be recognized as a spark of creativity.

If it is true that Fitzkee's approach is responsible for lots of bad magic, which it very well may be, that fault would better be placed upon the lack of aesthetics and non-artistic renderings of the elements at hand. Of course the concept of some magic effects done which any number of specific objects, can result in pure stupidity. But, I don't think Fitzkee's point was to create any effect with any object, knowing that a suitable method can be found. I think his point was made in hopes that the "creator" is not an idiot.

There is surely a bell curve in place here. I've heard some incredibly insane ideas brought up as possible magic effects that eventually make it to market. I have also heard some incredibly brilliant ones that never get realized. Most are somewhere between those extremes. Knowing how to realize them is going to have an affect on the person as far as their opinion of their own "creativity".

The more shapes you know, the more shapes you might see in clouds.


I certainly agree with that. The problem with Fitzkee, though, is that his entire approach is more like paint by numbers than actual creativity. (For analysis of methods I greatly prefer the writings of S. Sharpe, even though I have numerous theoretical disagreements with him.)


I believe then we also we agree that tools are just tools, and it is up to the artist to do something with them. But without proper tools, the artist has limitations.
~michael baker
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mastermindreader
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Michael-

I agree completely.

Best-

Bob
George Ledo
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I run into the issue of being creative (or not) all the time when people see my work, and, after years of it, I keep coming back to the same response: we are all born creative, but we learn -- or are taught -- in various ways, to think that we're not because creativity is not relevant to the real world. "It's only for artists and those who don't know what they want to be when they grow up."

One of the creativity-killers I see all the time is over-analyzing. Trying to find a formula for being creative. There is no formula.

Many years ago, I was dating a very successful insurance agent, who swore from here to Andromeda and back that she had absolutely no creativity. She was totally convinced of it. One day we went to the local home-improvement center, and she took me to the garden section. So we were standing there, looking at shelf upon shelf of bulbs - bags of brown thingies which all looked the same to me. And she proceeded to point at this bag and say she wanted to plant some of these in front, and at another bag and say these would go in back, and so forth. She was standing there painting this picture of a gorgeous garden, just looking at bags of brown balls. I asked how she came up with her choices, and she explained, in totally clear terms, how she wanted to balance the colors and shapes and so on.

I tried -- man, how I tried -- to explain to her that what she had done showed amazing creativity, but she would not believe it. She would not accept it. So I had to drop it.

To this day, I will swear that she was just following her instincts - what she was born with, what we are all born with - and not thinking it was creativity because she had been conditioned to believe that creativity is only for oddballs.

I would love to teach a class on creativity someday. It wouldn't be about formulas or techniques or padded academic BS. It would be about just letting go and letting your brain do what it was born being able to do, and enjoying the journey. A bunch of years ago I taught an evening adult class on freehand drawing, and my approach was to get the students to forget that "they couldn't draw" and just let it go and listen and enjoy feeling free of a misconception. And it worked: the stuff they were doing, even after the first class, was amazing. I learned a heck of a lot doing that class.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2013-08-08 23:55, George Ledo wrote:

I would love to teach a class on creativity someday. It wouldn't be about formulas or techniques or padded academic BS. It would be about just letting go and letting your brain do what it was born being able to do, and enjoying the journey. A bunch of years ago I taught an evening adult class on freehand drawing, and my approach was to get the students to forget that "they couldn't draw" and just let it go and listen and enjoy feeling free of a misconception. And it worked: the stuff they were doing, even after the first class, was amazing. I learned a heck of a lot doing that class.


A couple of years ago I was in a music store just browsing and I got talking to one of the staff. I'll sometimes pick up a book of guitar exercises or some general music work just to get me to think about and develop my technique in a new and fresh way. After a bit of talk, the sales guy sizes me up and leads me to a book called Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. I think you'd like it George.

Werner takes you through a series of reflections and meditations (and there are three meditation tracks on the attached CD) to help you, as an artist, to stop worrying about being good, but to just perform in the moment using what you already know. The language is New Agey in a way that I normally dislike, but the message is strong, and I found that the book and cd really work for my music and my magic.

As I said, I've had the book for a couple of years, but now whenever I feel that my art is getting stuck, I return to the meditations and remind myself how to free up my creativity and enjoy my art for what it is, not for what my ego wants to get out of it.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
magicalaurie
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On 2013-08-08 14:19, Michael Baker wrote:
I think his point was made in hopes that the "creator" is not an idiot.


! I bought Fitzkee's book recently and having not yet had a chance to read it, I was disappointed to see Bob's remarks above. I think Fitzkee's "Magic by Misdirection" is one of the best out there, but I was seriously disappointed in his "Showmanship for Magicians". So, I hope I find "The Trick Brain" to be in keeping with your statement, Michael. Smile This topic might be aptly placed in the "Food for Thought" section of the Café, I think.
mastermindreader
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Hi Laurie-

Don't be discouraged by my comments about "The Trick Brain." It's worth reading because Fitzkee does give a useful analysis of effects and methods. My disagreement arises out of the fact that a literal application of his "system" is more like following a rote formula rather than an exercise in creativity. In other words, those who will get the most out of his work are the ones who already ARE creative. (Like you, for example Smile )

Good thoughts,

Bob
Michael Baker
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On 2013-08-09 15:50, mastermindreader wrote:
Hi Laurie-

Don't be discouraged by my comments about "The Trick Brain." It's worth reading because Fitzkee does give a useful analysis of effects and methods. My disagreement arises out of the fact that a literal application of his "system" is more like following a rote formula rather than an exercise in creativity. In other words, those who will get the most out of his work are the ones who already ARE creative. (Like you, for example Smile )

Good thoughts,

Bob


Precisely.

Regarding Laurie's comments on "Showmanship for Magicians", this book requires more reading between the lines than any of them. The book on Misdirection is pretty cut and dried, and the information will likely not change much, except for more precise means and applications, such as the very in depth studies by guys like Tommy Wonder.

On the other hand, "Showmanship" is full of outdated information, regarding specific things that are to be considered useful in a magic act. Lists of "audience appeals" is probably at the top of that list. Things that audiences found entertaining back then, are of course different today. The book is still very useful for the broad elements that it exemplifies with obsolete examples. There is still a need to present one's self in an immaculate manner that is consistent with the character portrayed. There is still the need to spark interest. There is still the need to structure an act for best dramatic build, etc... Thus the need to read between the lines and glean the true gold within.

Anyone who has been in magic for any length of time, especially with the rapid communication available these days, has likely encountered some if not much of the basic information already out there. The more you know, the less new information you are likely to find in some of the older books. Quite often, so called new information in more recent books (DVDs, lectures, etc.) is nothing more than a retelling of what was in these earlier books. You can make an old cupcake look great if you put new frosting on it.

The exercises in The Trick Brain are meant to be just that. They are merely for the student to understand the processes of constructing an effect through practical application. But this is like teaching someone to apply paint to a canvas with a brush. You have to know how it is done in order to stand a chance of rendering any artistic and creative result. But, when the process is done by rote, it is no different than giving paint and a brush to a monkey. He can be taught how to put it on the canvas, but the results are not necessarily going to be inspired or pretty.

Never turn down the chance to read any book. But, read them all with the ability to look beneath the surface. The term "face value" is fairly telling.
~michael baker
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George Ledo
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[quote]On 2013-08-09 09:11, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
A couple of years ago I was in a music store just browsing and I got talking to one of the staff. I'll sometimes pick up a book of guitar exercises or some general music work just to get me to think about and develop my technique in a new and fresh way. After a bit of talk, the sales guy sizes me up and leads me to a book called Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner. I think you'd like it George.

Thanks, John. I'll keep an eye out for it.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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ClintonMagus
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Several years back, I bought a couple of boxes of plans and ideas that once belonged to a well-known illusion designer and builder. There were things from Abbott, Owen, Thayer, Osborne, and others, but in addition to the plans, there were lots of catalogs from cool hardware stores, samples of various materials, etc. that seemed like a good starting place for ideas and routines.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
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Being creative and actually creating are two different things.

A lot of of people have great creative ideas within their sphere of knowledge.

But most don't do anything about them.

For me passion is first, the creativity will come naturally from just doing what you love to do long enough that you see many different possibilities in what you're doing.

And passion gets things done, that's why it's called passion.

If you don't do anything about it, it ain't passion, it's just a strong interest imho... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
ClintonMagus
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On 2013-08-21 06:13, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Being creative and actually creating are two different things.

A lot of of people have great creative ideas within their sphere of knowledge.

But most don't do anything about them.



That's creativity in a nutshell! I have lots of STUFF - magic, woodworking, toy trains, etc. I have a lot of ideas for magic routines, I have started a woodworking project to build a bass marimba, I have everything that I need in storage to build an amazing train layout. However, the past 21 years of my life have been occupied with my family, so "doing something" with my ideas and my stuff has been on hold. Now that the children are both in college, I will need to fill the void with something, so maybe I can get back to creating.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
ed rhodes
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I believe then we also we agree that tools are just tools, and it is up to the artist to do something with them. But without proper tools, the artist has limitations.


And with the best tools in the world, a non-artist isn't going to do a very good job.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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I have always enjoyed the process of learning a trick by doing it over and over in front of live audiences and coming up with my own presentation based on trial and error. If I can't give a trick my own signature it just isn't any fun to do.
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Slide
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I've always been a creative person and recently wrote an article on the "visions" I've gotten over the years. I'm not sure creativity can be taught or learned. At least not the way creativity happens with me. For as long as I can remember, I get "visions" (which is the best way I know how to describe it) where I get fully formed ideas that pop fully formed in my head.

These things don't happen often, perhaps once every 3 or 4 years but when I they happen I treat them seriously. My last 3 business were created this way: I just "saw it".

They usually happen when I'm thinking or doing something else: sitting on the porch, driving my car.. I had a recent vision this summer and it gave me the idea of what I want to devote the rest of my life to. It was about microentrepreneurship which I talked about in a different thread.

I don't how you bring these things about. They just happen to me. I can't force them, I just have to be patient and let them come at the time they decide to come.
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Quote:
On 2013-08-21 08:15, ClintonMagus wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-08-21 06:13, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Being creative and actually creating are two different things.

A lot of of people have great creative ideas within their sphere of knowledge.

But most don't do anything about them.



That's creativity in a nutshell! I have lots of STUFF - magic, woodworking, toy trains, etc. I have a lot of ideas for magic routines, I have started a woodworking project to build a bass marimba, I have everything that I need in storage to build an amazing train layout. However, the past 21 years of my life have been occupied with my family, so "doing something" with my ideas and my stuff has been on hold. Now that the children are both in college, I will need to fill the void with something, so maybe I can get back to creating.


All the best! Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Magnus Eisengrim
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Ideas are the easy part. It's the discipline to see them through that is hard to come by.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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