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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » Magicians Syndrom- The loss of magic.- Rant and Discussion topic. (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Head Case
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Id like to preface this post by saying that all the magicians that I mention, all the routines, all the magic. I believe. In my own honest opinion, is great magic. Great performers, performances, and routines. Everything I am about to bring up has NOTHING to do with what magicians think about the "magical effectiveness" of the routines I am talking about. All I care about is what non-magicians are believing. Or how the magic comes off to lay audiences. I am not trying to say one is better than the other, and I am not trying to credit or discredit anything or anyone. I am simply trying to get advice to overcome a mental block, or "setting" in my own head, that I want to change, so it can stop holding me back from performing and progressing due to "being boring" (which will make since as you read below.

I am having an issue with (and I'm sure there is a different term for this) "magicians syndrome" Where we start to believe that the routines we have been doing for years, arnt magical anymore.

I have been working hard on trying to come up with this routine where you cleanly show both hands empty, produce coins, do a shadow coins routine, then a 3 fly, Oxyclean style routine, then make each coin vanish one by one (flip/shell) method... its all structured out with drawing the coins in the air with a sharpie. Kinda imagine how Eric Jones does his Smoke routine with the "rolled cigarette" trick.. *cough* 420. Anyway.. So to me.. this is a very "magical routine" to ME, because of how CLEAN I am trying to make it, how I can show my hands and the coins as clean and clear as possible through the entire routine.

Then the other day, I stumbled across this old video of myself, back when I was like 13 years old (that was 14 years ago) And I was practicing for my Jr's Audition for the castle.

I was doing David Roths "Wild Coin" copper silver routine, Dean Dills "No Extras", And "Gat-about?" coins (2 in the hand, 1 in the pocket?) And then a few card effects... So all of these tricks, I thought were just the most amazing, magical effects....14 years ago. And during my tryout, I remember it so clear, I still consider it the best day of my life. I was so nervous, and I got up in the parlor room, walked up, and I NAILED my routine. I got a standing ovation, people were whistling, and hollering, and afterwards, the older magicians were putting their arm around me, saying this is my new little buddy. You did an amazing job. etc.. I am positive that I had the biggest reaction from the audience then any of the other magicians. And that was the greatest, most triumphant, amazing day. That was the single most best day of my entire life. (And just in case two specific people see this post. Thank you Steve Rockwell and Steve Silverman, for being my mentors and helping me with my routine, and introducing me to magic, and the castle. So that I could experience that amazing day in my life.)

But that was YEARS AGO...Now today. I feel like they are very basic, beginner routines. But I hear people talking about how they are great routines, I mean "pros" talking about these routines. and I'm sitting here like.. really? I was doing these at 13.. These are nothing..

Now 14 years ago, I didn't know about shells, or flippers, I hadn't seen Eric Jones Oxyclean coin routine, or Lattas material, or Harbottle, I never heard of Ponta the smith etc...(sorry to the other great coin workers I didn't mention)

So its hard for me to put it into words, but ill try and sum it up here. I honestly cant determine. If in the AUDIENCES (NON-MAGICIANS) eyes. If doing a "standard" routine like I was doing years ago, is any less, or more magical, then the more complicated, gaffed, "new school" material.

And this mindset has literally put me into a rut. because I have stopped doing and practicing the stuff I use to do cus its old and boring, and I don't think its that magical. But at the same time, Im trying to "over-create?" an extremely magical routine. Well its been a very very LONG time, and I still working on this new routine, and its NEVER done. In fact. Im always changing it, so Iv never been able to run though the entire routine start to finish... Its like this circle of hell I'm in. I can go back to basics.. perform what I know, do it well. and do what I ultimately like doing. which is PERFORMING.. I'm not a creator, Im not innovative, Im not original, Im not a magicians magician. I just like to perform for people. Plain and simple. No matter whos material it is that I'm doing.

I simply want to get a routine togehter, and get back into the castle museum room, doing little shows every other weekend just for fun. I want to impress the non-magicians. I could care less about performing for magicians. Well.. performing in the museum room at the castle is gong to be for tons of magicians.. so I should rephrase that to, I don't care what magicians think is magical or not, cus we all know what everyone is doing anyway.. I'm not there to fool the other magicians, Just their non-magician friends.

Its late, and I'm half asleep, so I hope in all this I made my point / question clear. Please feel free to provide your input or ask any questions. Id like to really discuss this topic in detail, because it has been holding me back for years now. And I'm sick of it.

I wanted to add.. I just re-watched david roths wild coin routine. and to ME. its boring, and absolutely un-magical. I want that feeling of MAGIC back. But I know that its a great routine, done by a great performer. Im just having that, what I call.. "Magicians Syndrome". HELP ME MAKE IT GO AWAY! Im pretty sure that I'm not the only one that has had this problem haunting them. There has to be some tips to get over this issue.

Thanks for taking the time again, to read another one of my long posts. (as my signature shows)

All discussion is welcome, even if you wanna flame me.

Thanks again.

-Derek
fonda57
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If you are bored with all that, maybe coming up with new presentations would help. If you can do the Oxyclean routine and not make it look like a lot of work, go for it. It's fun to do new stuff.

When I do Wild coin--I tell a story about how I went to England and forgot to change my American currency, but a young lady at a shop helped, magically..
Watchmaker
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Mr. Castillo,

It's not just magic it's everything, I don't mean that in a bad way. You, and people on this site have a very keen interest in this subject, so we are sensitive to how it has evolved. A good magician can, and does, entertain people with tricks that are older than the hills. I love it when people take something from a book or magazine 50 years ago and blow you away with it. Actually updating those tricks seems pretty fun to me. Plus so many people are looking at the 'latest and greatest" that it is those tricks which sometimes can become boring to me. Everyone is doing them.

Before I get off the subject I wanted to pass along an anecdote that may be relevant. Someone was talking to a 10 year old who had just seen the movie Star Wars. The kid was so excited because the movie was so cool and the music was great etc... The guy thought it was a good movie but was old and everyone already has seen it. But realized that from the perspective of that kid it was new and he was blown away the exact same way that the guy was when he first saw it. The 35 years didn't matter. Of course movies have changed and the kid has different things to compare it to, but good movies and good magic tricks endure. If people stopped doing tricks once they thought they were old in their eyes they would have stopped doing the linking rings 20 centuries ago. I guarantee you there are people doing them now that blows their audiences away.

You could also add that if it's boring to you then it is to them because your enthusiasm will effect your performance and therefore their enjoyment. That might be a separate issue.

OK, now that I have said that, I'll add something from my grumpy-old-man side. People, especially kids, are much more jaded now and it makes it hard to entertain them. It's all about them and their experiences. I have never seen so many people who will spoil things for others as much as now just to make themselves look smart or get the attention on themselves for even just a second. They don't care.

Bottom line. For the people who want to see magic and be entertained give them the best you can offer, even if it's old to you. It opens doors for them that they might not have ever known and makes their experiences richer.

It is a very interesting subject. I'd love to hear what other people have to say.

Respectfully,

Phil
nicolasmtg
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Hello my friend this is an awesome post and I hope in the future to see more post like this Smile

well as for the post I think that you are bored cuz you think that you cant learn more . well I dunn want to offend you mi friend bit I think that you are missing a lot of things.
magic is an ART and as it it is an infinite ocean of knolwdge you jist need to explore deepest watters.
for example when I realized that MISSDIRECTION is a hole new world I got exited again trying to put that new knowledge into mi old routines and into new ones....

as for more deepest waters when I realized that the eyes are sooo important in comunication an direction I opens a hole new world... then I found the melodY of SILENCE ... then the power of the words ..and every time I found a new world I get soo exited that I get than new same felling of the fist magic routines Smile

I recently post here on Café 2 effects that gatther all the knowledge I have found in this worlds try to see them to see in action the worlds I have found till now Smile and I'm sure that I will doscover whole new worlds in future because I love to travel Smile that is the key TRAVEL MI FRIEND Smile (metafore)

So as for the examples

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=3&50

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=201&28
--------Magician and director at NONTRICKS.COM--------
Mobius303
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For me and this subject I have been there my friend.
What I did was take a look at material from many artisits and their takes on those old tricks and how they changed them.
EMC has many cool tricks done by magicians which have different takes on older ones.
Josh Jay did a lecture with the 6 card repeat whcih to me is a boring trick but he made it really entertaining by changing the story.
I think what you are looking for is out there but you just have not found it yet.

For a different take on Wild Coin try to take a look at UWC by Lassen.
For a magical coins across take a look at Coin One but look at it through the eyes of a laymen. The two routines on that disk have huge story potential and are very magical and not all that easy either.

Perhaps it is how you are looking at it that has become boring or unfufilling to you? I do not know and only you can find the answers to your problem.
I wish you luck in your journey as it is always interesting when you dicover those gems that get you back into it.
Darwin Ortiz also has several articles and essays on this subject that are well worth reading.
PM me if you want to discuss anything in more detail.
I have been at this crazy magic thing for 39yrs...and it has always had it's ups and downs.
Mike
Head Case
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Hi, Thanks for the posts as of now. I just jumped on to type out a couple more questions, sorta pertaining to this posting. 2 quick things.

When putting an act together. (Or a coin sequence) Kinda like the one I was describing above. (the coin routine with the sharpie etc...) - Whats the best way to go about doing that, Should I learn each individual routine and do each persons routine just like they do for a while, then modify over time. Or try and take snipit moves from each routine and mesh them together, and just keep "trial and error-ing" it?

#2. Does anyone have any tips, Ideas, full out explanations, links to a dvd, or lecture, maybe even a thread, discussing the exact process of how to create a routine? (Not an entire show, Just the coin sequence. beginning to end)or any routine / sequence of moves period.

Thanks.

I really need to try and go to bed now.. at almost 8am. lol
Michael Rubinstein
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Roth said it best - its hard to forget what you know. You have been doing these tricks for so long, they don't seem like anything special. But they have become part of you. And people seeing them for the first time will have the same wide eyed look of amazement as you did when you were thirteen and these were the greatest things ever. its not about the difficulty, its about the magic. There is a reason things are called classics.
NEW MANUSCRIPT - TWILIGHT ZONE WILD COIN. All New!! As seen on Penn and Teller Fool Us! PM for details!
Rattle purse 2.0 now available! PM me for details!
New FOUR hour Penguin Live lecture TWO with 23 NEW routines, available for download at: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7338
Penguin Live lecture One is THREE hours long, and contains 18 coin effects! Available as a dvd or download from Penguin at http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5960
New York Coin Magic Seminar dvd series available for download at: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/magic-dvds/new-york-coin-magic-seminar-downloads/
NEW!! At The Table 2 hour lecture download OR DVD containing 11 routines, including THREE never taught before! Download and dvd avaliable at http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S22380 or http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S22833
Head Case
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Well said Michael.Well said. er.. Well "Quoted". heh. You know what,maybe ill try and recreate my act I did when I was 13, and just do all my old-school effects ONLY, and go do a couple shows and maybe just seeing the reactions will get me "buzzin" again. That's all it comes down to for me. An audiences reaction is like a drug to me, I crave it.

I think the wanting to create these elaborate routines is maybe cus everyone is constantly saying.. don't copy so and so, and people get so butt hurt if they see someone doing their effect... wouldn't you take that as a complement? Id be more upset if I did an effect, (Marketed or not) and no one wanted anything to do with it. cus obviously it sucks. haha.) There is one trick in particular that I saw, it made me feel amazing, and I wanted so bad to do it, I even emailed the magicians and one said no, cus he owns the right to the image of a card folded under a wine glass or changing under a wine glass... or something like that, I don't remember exactly what was said.. But I developed my own method to do the same effect. Because they didn't market their effect obviously, I dunno if its the same way they did it. So, I dunno.. Its something I was excited about but just don't do it. Kinda sucks. It strips the joy out of it a bit. (not trying to open up a can of worms on this, its a dead issue now)

Im also probably playing a balancing act between looking at magic as an Art, vs looking at it as performing for pure entertainment. Im not sure if I said that correctly, but I'm sure you all catch my drift. Sometimes I just wanna make something as close to real magic as possible, and other times, I don't care if it looks like magic, just as long as the crowd is having a great time and being entertained.
Watchmaker
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Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers (Dover Magic Books) by Henning Nelms.

Whether it's a whole show or a routine, the same principles apply.

P.
Mobius303
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Can you re-create the combination of moves you know in different way s to create different tricks that you can create stuff on the fly?
Gary Kurtz first introduced this concept to me back in the early 90's and it is fun to perform this way when you are comfortable with the moves you know. It is also quite challenging.
Dougini
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Quote:
On 2013-09-22 06:48, Derek Castillo wrote:
...during my tryout, I remember it so clear, I still consider it the best day of my life...I NAILED my routine. I got a standing ovation, people were whistling, and hollering, and afterwards, the older magicians were putting their arm around me, saying this is my new little buddy. You did an amazing job. etc.. I am positive that I had the biggest reaction from the audience then any of the other magicians. And that was the greatest, most triumphant, amazing day. That was the single most best day of my entire life...


That, then, is the routine I would be doing! Talk to Whit "Pop" Haydn about routining. He will tell you WHY you should stick to one routine and NAIL it every time! However, I understand...

When I first became a member of the Café, I was bored with coins. I had every gaff, and nothing was clicking. I got bored with it! Then, some guy named Mickey Silver offered to send me a VHS tape of him performing. For free! Couldn't turn that down. When I saw that tape, my life CHANGED!

Mickey Silver is the reason I know about Michael Rubinstein. Then, I got the Encyclopedia Of Coin Sleights, and that started me on Coin Magic anew. Smile

Doug
J-Mac
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Quote:
On 2013-09-22 10:43, Derek Castillo wrote:

When putting an act together. (Or a coin sequence) Kinda like the one I was describing above. (the coin routine with the sharpie etc...) - Whats the best way to go about doing that, Should I learn each individual routine and do each persons routine just like they do for a while, then modify over time. Or try and take snipit moves from each routine and mesh them together, and just keep "trial and error-ing" it?


Please go and read Pop Haydn's essay "Against Originality in Magic", which is reproduced here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=117

He makes a very compelling argument as to why you should perform the routines of good magicians exactly, and not try to be "original" until well after you have become completely proficient in your magic. Excellent essay and it addresses your question above perfectly!

Jim
cafeinst
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Also watch the youtube video of Penn and Teller visiting China. You can learn a lot from the outlook of Chinese magicians toward originality in magic.

I think every Western magician should watch it.
Head Case
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@ the last two posters. Ill read and watch both. Thanks Smile
Poof-Daddy
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For me, when I get to where I am tired of an effect, I just replace it for a while with something else that fits my routine and go with that for a bit till I want to go back to the original routine. People often ask me how many card tricks I know. I simply answer with a smile "I know 8,472 card tricks(or you could say coin tricks or even magic tricks--cards just happens to be my bulk), but I wont do 4 of em cause they are really boring". This started out as just a funny answer to give but soon became a great part of my audience management skills. when you get "that guy" who constantly wants to see a certain effect over and over again, I tell him sorry, I cant... that's one of the four.

And I agree with many other posts on this thread - the classics are classics for a reason. I certainly don't think Chicago Opener is ever going to go out of my set, but I try to remember who I have done it for before (I sometimes just ask and if 1 at the table has I wink and tell them lets keep it our secret and see how they do...)

another idea I am working on recently (after seeing nicolasmtg's approach and hearing his thoughts on patter) I am going over some effects I find a little dry and adding NEW patter to OLD ticks. - This project is becoming very enjoyable Smile
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nicolasmtg
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Smile I'm really happy I inspired you in such good way Smile

yeah its really enjoyable cuz you start to think on you own thoughts and on your own life and how you can say all taht with your magic and not just in sleights Smile
--------Magician and director at NONTRICKS.COM--------
Pop Haydn
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Classic magic, performed well, is still entertaining and remarkable to people. It doesn't get any older or simpler than this:

puggo
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2018, Pop Haydn wrote:
Classic magic, performed well, is still entertaining and remarkable to people. It doesn't get any older or simpler than this:


Brilliant reactions - simple, direct, amazing and easy to describe. Classic Pop Haydn.
Michael Rubinstein
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New isn't always better. "Improvements" are sometimes discarded handlings of the originator. Harder does not make something better. Longer does not make something better. Faster does not make something better. Scripting is better than winging it. Patter is important. Trends can lead you down the wrong path. Don't jump on the bandwagon when something new comes out. In two months you will be looking again. Learn from the masters. Books are better for the most past than dvds.
NEW MANUSCRIPT - TWILIGHT ZONE WILD COIN. All New!! As seen on Penn and Teller Fool Us! PM for details!
Rattle purse 2.0 now available! PM me for details!
New FOUR hour Penguin Live lecture TWO with 23 NEW routines, available for download at: http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7338
Penguin Live lecture One is THREE hours long, and contains 18 coin effects! Available as a dvd or download from Penguin at http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/5960
New York Coin Magic Seminar dvd series available for download at: https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic/magic-dvds/new-york-coin-magic-seminar-downloads/
NEW!! At The Table 2 hour lecture download OR DVD containing 11 routines, including THREE never taught before! Download and dvd avaliable at http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S22380 or http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/S22833
Dick Oslund
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Shalom, Michael!

We are totally, in agreement! Thanks for writing that.
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