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cap casino
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Really nice job by David tonight.

Various celebrities and millions at home were baffled yet again.

Some thoughts-

What his critics (“ugh David Plain had more personality inside that block of ice than out!” etc. etc.) can’t seem to understand even after all these years is the mind of most laypeople.

The logic is really simple and goes something like this I think-

Magic isn’t real
Magicians are artists who use a concealed natural method
Sleight of hand is a natural method
Gadgets are a natural method
Misdirection is a natural method
Sleeves are a natural method
Etc. etc. is a natural method

Doing magic in natural settings like the street or a real home is a deeper mystery. It is not just a ‘branding’ thing, though surely it is also that. “I am modern / hip / daring” etc. But more importantly it is a deeper mystery. You are in an environment with apparently less opportunities for deception. This core deeper mystery is then enhanced by excellent effect selection by David. I have closely tracked his career and been really impressed by how almost all the effects on his shows seem to occur in the spectator’s own hands. This is absolutely one of the strongest hot buttons to a layperson. (There are about 10 or so other core hot buttons that I have been exploring for almost 20 years now.)

(If you caught the recent Ricky Jay film Deceptive Practice, some of these points and themes were powerfully made there.)

Now most educated 21st century people deep down know it is an art form and not literally real but they appreciate the fantasy and sensation or rush of awesome even unlimited freedom and power a master magician artist creates for them. It is an interesting game isn’t it? They know you are about to deceive them and yet they still crave and expect you to utterly baffle them. It is not like a con man or pickpocket on the metro where you do NOT know that a deception is upcoming.

“I am an illusionist”. And yet still be deeply baffled and experience true astonishment. Real actual astonishment. Be tricked so hard you scream “no way” and freak out. Can you imagine if a pickpocket announced he was going to try to steal your wallet upfront and then still got away with it?! Absolutely sublimely outrageous dramatic premise / challenge / game. Yet that is what master magicians do. We are not pickpockets…o yes we are.


Anyways, as I said I have my own list of ‘hot buttons’ to squeeze and shred laypeople. But I am interested in what you all think and feel about this.

Also if you have any favorite effects that seem to go beyond what any sleight of hand or gadgetry should be able to do please mention them so the community can benefit.

Again what Blaine or Dynamo achieve is a depth of conceptual mystery. Humans have eyes AND reason. Inner conceptual reason. Always remember that. Depending on your method, card through airplane window while it is in flight might not be harder for you than card through car window but it will surely trigger an awesome response from most laypeople if done smoothly. There simply seems to be a vastly greater challenge for the illusionist artist in the former scenario. (The airplane)

When I was a young man my father sent me to the best (in his mind, i.e. private) schools in northern VA. Latin, French, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Ballroom dancing, etc. …exhaustively for years on and on like this…even at 5th or 6th grade level we were trained like boot camp to be renaissance men and masters of the universe. After spending about 100k on all this over multiple years I told him one day I wanted to be a close-up magician. He flew into a rage and kept stuttering in total confusion “cards?” “A $2 pack of cards?” “How can you ever make a living with an art or science that can only be conveyed to a couple people at a time?” (“But pops that is exactly what makes it such an intriguing / moving / sublime / exciting thing for me, the anywhere anytime intimacy even communion you can manifest with others) He further explaining to my mom frantically (now his ex wife) that I ‘scribbled in my notebook and shuffled cards incoherently all day long…’ and must surely have OCD / ADHD / Asperger’s etc. etc. if only we could get me on the right pills I could be fixed and become a proper lawyer like him.

Sigh.

Folks, love him or hate him, my heart smiled wide tonight knowing millions coast to coast were tonight by Mr. David Blaine transported quite literally Out of this World.
;)

And with just a $2 pack of cards.


Best,
Cap
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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pepka
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$2 pack of cards???? Evidently you aren't cool and using the newest, freshest, flashiest, gothic cards with skull and cross bones, zombies, gold foil stamped box, limited edition, signed by the guy who designed them.

I watched about 40 minutes of the special. Was not impressed.
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Some context-

When I was a teen I would spend basically all of my weekends at Al's magic shop in downtown DC.

Countless magicians or um hobbyists would come in.

Usually the response to Blaine was lukewarm.

His patter is so dry or non-existent.

He does stock stuff like Ultra Mental Deck or Folding coin (and doesn't even make the effort to put it into a bottle!)

Many top magicians within the magic community have been hard on him (and me btw)

But I am trying to make a simple and important point about magic. Magic doesn't exist but the experience of magic can exist inside the minds of laypeople.

Your Sistine Chapel is your spectator's head.

This is the art within the art if you will.

Imagine a magic castle.
;)

Then there is the basement and in that basement in the very back behind a bookshelf is a little chest and inside it is the REAL ACTUAL FULL secrets of magic.

I am trying to make this point out of love and concern for all magicians.

I am actually a really playful regular guy and not trying to be too over the top or heavy here, and I 'get it' that there is diversity in aesthetic sensibilities
But in a real sense I say to you that too often in our community 'the blind are leading the blind' and everybody is falling into a ditch.


Very top guys in the world of magic conventions and magic magazines were harsh on Blaine.

But try to see how awesome it is to a layperson that they THINK of any card and it reveals itself in some odd way IN THEIR OWN HANDS.
(As done on the Korean singer, and Will Smith's son, etc. etc.)

To laypeople it seems there was no chance for preparations, forces, or sleight of hand.

Whenever I interview laypeople about Blaine they are absolutely mind boggled and in extreme awe.

Usually when I chat with magicians about him. I have been doing this for about 10 years at this point. It is this lukewarm thing. I even had copies of his first show that I would burn copies of and hand out to magician friends if they hadn't seen the show so we could chat about it.


People who perform a lot for laypeople understand that they (laypeople) will sometimes misdirect themselves. Say or do something amusing. Great moment for a palm or a pass right? Bam. Strike. Done.

Usually after you do something amazing they will react a bit and relax and laugh and say something to you or to each other.

Bam set up for your piece's next phase.

The entire moment or beat literally doesn't even register in their memories.

These kinds of flexible real world scenarios can't ever be fully taught or understood only by consuming 'official' magic books or videos.

Perhaps card on forehead is the ultimate example of all this.

Sometimes you do this and the bulk of viewers are shocked and baffled. A few people in the crowd saw you put it there and are like Huhhh? Total laughable non-event.
It is the same crowd. A mixed crowd of some in awe and some bored but you are one person who did one event and THUS the lesson is that when it worked or 'clicked'
The MIND of the spectator was deceived. Their sight lines and memories and focus and interest and beliefs etc. etc.


Hope this will strike a chord with some of you out there.


Best,

Cap
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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sohaib
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It was entertaining

But it was all about the reactions, mainly of celebrities;
It was not about Magic for the TV audience

I liked his previous special a lot more - "What Is Magic"

At least there'll be no frenzy to purchase every new trick from a new TV special,
like there was last time; which is a good thing
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After a few minutes I decided to quit thinking like a magician, and sit back and actually enjoy the "magic" and let myself be amazed/fooled. It's actually fun to feel like a layman without worrying too much about the method or presentation. I actually found that I enjoyed the special quite a bit.
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Although I agree with pepka, he does not impress me and really never has. (I have never seen Dynamo but imagine he is very similar?) What I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about David Blain (from his very first special til now) is the fact that he makes most close up magicians look "better, or good enough for tv" by himself going on tv and doing many "simple or beginner to intermediate effects". I have had many people tell me how I should run off to Vegas and get my own show at a big casino simply because I did a couple effects similar to what they saw him do on a tv special once.

Now, I am not talking about the camera trickery stuff like the levitation on his earlier special, but bite out quarter, simple card transposition in spectators hand, sponge balls (he used rolled up leaves in some 3rd world country). Laypeople believe if you can do the same trick they saw on tv... then you are good enough to be there too. I personally agree, but most of us don't have the contacts to make it happen.

I have always had a good amount of respect for David Blain as he makes my job easier and as far as his personality (or severe lack of) while performing, I use to my advantage. I will do something that he did, especially when a spec asks if I can do stuff like David Blain does. I will do the effect and then say "wasnt that better without all the creepy staring and mumbled watch..watch...watch...? Yes, I did it with personality and a smile... just for you" and I usually get a good laugh and start a very pleasant rapport with them since I have done what they asked and didn't "attack the compotition like a jealous teenager"

All in all, I was happy to see a magic show on TV again. Would hate to see them every week as it woud be overkill but every few months or twice ato three times a year would be sufficient to keep magic "alive" so to speak.
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Yeah it was all about reactions...which are triggered by great magic.
That is what I am trying to say.
Great magic potentially being defined as your and the effects ability to trigger a great reaction.
Back to the card on forehead. Not everybody will react strongly because not everybody had a magic experience inside their minds / perceptions / memories.
A magic experience. An experience, with no basis in reality. For literal classical "magic" is myth. The magician, his props, patter, and moves should 'soup' and 'bake' INSIDE the MIND of the audience into a 'no way' experience which
should then trigger a strong reaction for as a "no way" event or an effect without a cause is very very very rare / special / exciting to most people.
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Hey Poof Daddy,

Similar to some of what you said. Things I like about a close-up guy 'blowing up' as a mainstream celebrity is it helps the lay masses understand that the art of magic is more complex than the usual stereotypes.

There is "close-up" and "grand illusion". Laypeople might not know these exact terms but I think these kinds of specials help clarify the basic concept. Also let us say "adult worthwhile" magic is out there. Some people still think magic is only appropriate for kids as mostly that is the only style of magic they have seen locally. Magic yolked to comedy...for kids. Totally awesome legit form of the art just not the only form.
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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In my original post I am hinting at some of the themes masterfully explored more in depth by authors such as Tommy Wonder, Darwin Ortiz, or Roberto Giobbi.
All of which just went deeper with what all master magicians have always known. Even laypeople 'get it' the gist of it and label all psychological ploys by magicians "misdirection".
Heheh. Magic is to laypeople basically sleight of hand and / or sleeves and / or tricks cards and / or "MISDIRECTION". When I was younger I used to perform so many card tricks on my siblings even before I would begin an effect they would squeal "double lift!"
They actually came to know a bit of magic because I would practice all the time on them (immaturely) and was an upstart and sloppy then but madly rawly in love with the art. Hey I was going to do linking rings..."double lift! double lift!" heh.
Anyways "MISDIRECTION" is kind of like that for laypeople. A vague catch all blanketing statement to convey 'distraction' or 'psychological manipulation'. In business if you talk to a marketing professional they will go on and on about 'branding'. The brand you and branding this and that and hundreds of variations on branding. It is kind of hilarious. But anyways there is some truth to what they mean. I did read some of those books and found them interesting. As a magician how can you not love psychology right? So your 'brand' lives ultimately inside the minds of your prospects and clients. Inside the MINDS. Your media pieces such as business card / brochure / website / clothing / etc. etc. are just tools to try to get inside their minds in whatever way you want. To be associated with something memorable and worthwhile inside their minds and err emotional minds "hearts"? Magic is JUST like this by the way. This is what I am trying to say. It is a subtle point and you have to maybe re-watch all Blaine's shows to see the bits of psychological finesse he does that turn a solid trick into a "no way" miracle event / sensation / spectacle. Actually when I first started studying this issue I missed almost all of them. Only after years of going deeper on this and reflecting have I 'transcended the matrix' if you will. Heheh.


Best,

Cap
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

see capcasino.com
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I quit doing childrens magic a while back. I find mysef much more suited to "Adult Shows" and work mostly in bars or strolling at primarily adult venues. I really like card magic and kids just don't seem to get it. (More and more we are going to see a generation that has never seen or touched a real playing card before due to all the computerized poker and other card games. You can even play Uno on your phone)

I also do walkaround in restaurants so I keep a few kids effects, but I am mostly there for the grown ups. One thing I have always tried to do (fir 20 years now) is educate my audience as to what magic is and the differences in the types ie - illusionist, mentalist, close-up and through my time, I have always found time to have conversations going into even more detail such as an effect vs a manipuation or flourish, cardistry, gambling demos vs card tricks and so on. People are suprisingly interested and like it when we sit around over a beer and "talk a bit about it" (try saying that over a couppe beers Smile )

I think that is an important part of my job (for me personally) to educate people on the finer aspects of the art, without overstepping into exposure.
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Quote:
On 2013-11-20 00:07, cap casino wrote:
Really nice job by David tonight.




Agreed. You don't feel embarrassed watching him.
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Dear Poof,

Really interesting point about how all info is becoming digital. I have been wondering that exactly thing for many years. Will there be playing cards in a century?

Thousands of awesome techniques have been invented for playing cards. Is that all going to be lost.

Interestingly there are still physical playing cards in Las Vegas even though the digital revolution has been going strong for decades. There is something really logical and efficient about playing cards. The size is just right for the human hand. Cheap and portable. And the 'math' of them works so wonderfully for so many different games or tricks.

It is like will cash and coins vanish? I think in Bill Gate's book The Road Ahead he was saying they would and everybody would be able to pay for everything wirelessly with a few clicks from a PDA type device which seems to have become the smartphone everybody is into now.

Yet there we go again. The digital revolution has been here full force and still cash has not at all vanished completely. There is still something nice about having a real thing that fits your hand and is really portable and can be interacted with 'off the grid' in full freedom.
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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cap casino
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Dear Zombie,

What some magi view as 'dull' is 'sane' to most laypeople. I.e. magicians routinely make the mistake of doing too much showmanship or a very raw over the top form of it that is actually distracting. You feel like they are acting a character that is not them but the problem is they are not skilled actors. The whole thing becomes a mess. Maybe this is in part because they are nervous about brazenly lying to people as is required by this art. Or getting the physical moves to work and flow, which can be quite technical in some cases. I know back in the day I went through all these phases and felt all these non ideal things myself. Very vividly remember that feeling of nervousness and talking TOO LOUD. Sometimes magicians are basically screaming. Even into the mic (if there is a mic) without understanding how they are really coming across. (You do NOT have to yell into a mic folks. The mic will pick you up. Heheh.) Again we all make these mistakes. C'est la vie. The idea is to get real mature learn grow.

Blaine comes across like a real person chatting with a friend. Usually when you chat with a friend or family member or peer at school or work you are not POSING and SCREAMING and cracking mediocre jokes every moment but chatting naturally. Listen to your audience. Often they are really smart and clever. They might add a lot to your show.
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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So what were your guys favorite or least favorite effects in the show?
" Hands of invisible spirits touch the strings
Of that mysterious instrument, the soul,
And play the prelude of our fate."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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DTJK
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The one where he punctured his hand with a ice pick or whatever that was kept me at the edge of my seat..
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I posted last night in another section on Blaine. Basically no my cup of tea, but I appreciate him doing his thing...weird as it may be. Would I ,or could I do his act...no. But I hope folks may have watch his show have seen me perform and hopefully it helps them remember me. That's all I can really ask for.......of course they remember me entertaining them and not having to use an ice pick , but still it was an art form presented for their pleasure. We should use this to our advantage as folks will ask about his tricks and you can discuss them while you are secretly preparing your next "Live and in Person " affect. Bottom line his special helps our art form and your performance too...hopefully..........Trois
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
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People ask me about him biting the coin and restoring it, and cards changing places in a spectator's hand. He's doing something right.
I j
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I think David has a very idiosyncratic style, but the first post hit the nail on the head: he does magic in the hands of the spectator and blows them out of the water. He is also willing to do this on the street. So he is giving that "WOW!" moment which, as far as I am concerned is what magic is all about, to all kinds of people who aren't expecting it at all. So I have huge respect for him. Sorry I missed almost the entire show last night (had a class.
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I met David Blaine briefly back in 2010 at MagicCon in San Diego. He's an interesting guy, and he had started work on the TV special that aired last night. He said it might be his last TV special. (But who knows, right?)

There are three things that I admire about David Blaine and his magic:

1. Taking advantage of his medium - magicians are always saying, "David cheats! He cuts away when the trickery is done. It's not fair!" David doesn't play by Mark Wilson's rules for presenting magic on TV. Mark's rules were important; there might not have been any magic shows on TV back in those days without them. We owe Mark Wilson a debt of gratitude. But let's face it; things have changed, and those rules are gone forever. (In many ways, TV audiences are less sophisticated now than they were back then.) David and his team are masters of editing a performance down to its essence. They remove everything that isn't necessary. In doing so, the TV audience fools itself--by assuming things that were never established as true. I smiled many times during last night's performances. I kept thinking to myself, "If you were to see the whole trick rather than this excerpt, it wouldn't have been as impressive." (And I wonder how many hours of video were shot to be used for this show. It would be interesting to find out.) David uses the power of his medium to increase the impact of his magic.

2. Multicultural audience - if you watched magic on TV before David Blaine, the audiences were predominantly white. They were well-dressed and well-behaved. They offered polite applause after the magician performed his wonders. Last night, just as in his previous specials, David performed for celebrities, but he also performed for folks on the street. The people who experience David's magic look more like the America where I live. It's a multicultural mix, people of all kinds of different backgrounds. It's a racially diverse audience. And the diversity of the audience creates a diversity in the kinds of reactions that David gets. I think that this has changed magic for the better.

3. Audience experience - David's magic isn't about David at all; instead the focus is on how the experience of magic makes the audience feel. That's one of the reasons that actors and celebrities are good audiences for TV magic. David and his team were smart to pick the celebrities that they picked. They are experts at communicating feelings. The TV audience is entertained on at least two levels. First, they see magic effects that fool them. (And they're edited so that the methods aren't immediately obvious.) But second, the audience is flabbergasted at what happens to people (both celebrities and ordinary folks) who have a live experience of magic. Because the focus is on the audience experience, David can (and did) perform the same effect in several different contexts. This is the bottom line: the audience reactions are the show.

P.S. Juan Tamariz performed at MagicCon 2010. David was completely floored by him. Juan's performance of Mnemonicosis really impressed him. Based on what I saw, David took some of that knowledge and used it well. Mnemonicosis is powerful, but Mnemonicosis + Video Editing = Miracle.

P.P.S. David Blaine's TV specials create an opportunity for you. TV audiences are impressed, but the next day they'll wonder if some sort of video trickery is used. They might even suspect that some of the audience members could have been shills. When they experience your live performance of magic, you have the opportunity to create a strong experience for them. Live magic is intrinsically stronger than magic on TV, and you have a chance to make your audiences experience miracles. It's all up to you.
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

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I really don't want to 'bring this up', but...

Regurgitation, don't really care for it.

A.
Sack subs, ok Ross?
We miss you asper.
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