The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Advice on "rhythm" of a trick/performance (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Hi guys, I wondered if you could help me with something.

I've been practising coin magic for almost a year now and recently started showing friends some tricks/effects which have actually got very positive feedback and reactions. I've been doing what I'm sure are incredibly basic things so far: One coin routines I've put together from vanishes learned in Bobo's, Roth's Hanging Coins, Winged Silver and various coins across as well as trying to be inventive with the way I display various vanishes and changes. I often hear magicians in DVD's talk about the "offbeat" which I am assuming is the "lull in the action" moments in-between the actual vanishes, productions, transformations etc. Whilst I try to keep my magic fairly fluid and graceful in terms of how I move and use my hands to misdirect the audience I'm not sure whether I'm pacing my tricks correctly and utilising the "offbeat" and "on-beat" moments as effectively as I could, and often feel like I may be rushing through s performance thus losing some of the impact of an effect.

Is there any advice you could give me with regards to how to utilise the time in a performance more effectively to give the audience a better experience and add more "weight" to the impact of my effects? Whilst I'm obviously not a professional and don't plan to be, the performer/audience relationship is something I'm familiar with as a career musician and I'd feel like I was cheating both myself and them if I'm under-performing something that (from my experiences with friends)can provide both parties with both entertainment and excitement.

Regards

Rob
JasperLee
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of JasperLee
Hey Rob! I think it's great that you're working with the classics. And from how you write, I think you're heading in the right direction to provide an "entertaining" performance that will give your audience "a better experience".

One of the best advice I always kept in mind was from Paul Gertner. He mentions that he'd always keep a small card under the table during his formal performances.

It had four words on it.

"Smile & Slow Down"

I notice that the more senior performers tend to slow things down a lot. Not to the extend that every part of it is in slow motion, but they seem to have a better grip of which part of the routine they need to isolate and put attention to. Shoot Ogawa recently released a 3 part DVD on coins, and if you have a chance to watch that, you'd notice that his routines has developed a different style than when he first filmed his other coin dvds.

I think ultimately to improve on your timing, pacing or routining, it'd all come to more experimenting in the real world. Perform as much as you can, and be conscious about your motions. Did you slow down at the right time? Should the audience focus on this part of the routine? David Stone talks about the timing you need to have for performing a coin vanish very briefly in his Basic Coin Magic Vol. 1. You should definately go take a look if you're a fan of coin magic. With a background in philosophy studies his sharing is always priceless.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Jasper Lee
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Hi Jasper

That's fantastic advice thank you. I had actually been considering which DVD to get next (I currently have a couple of Roth's, Sankey's Revolutionary Coin Magic, Ammar's Easy to Master Money Miracles 1 and Liwag CoinONE alongside a few books)so I'll take a look at David Stone's and Shoot Ogawa's Smile. I had also noticed that a lot of the magicians who really blow me away seem to approach their effects in a very slow, smooth way. Slydini's one coin routine (well in fact anything by Slydini) astounds me with the sheer grace and ease he delivers it. Whilst I love Jay Sankey as a performer and find him incredibly entertaining it's people like Mr Slydini and David Roth who really resonate with myself - often when watching Sankey's DVD I find myself struggling to learn with the pace/way he approaches the teaching. I think I may have been worrying that if I slow down too much I might expose the effect which obviously I don't want to do as it'd ruin both mine and the audience's enjoyment. I'm going to try and relax more and develop my patter to slow my effects/routines down a little and see what reactions I get when I next have the opportunity to perform for friends.

Again, thank you for the advice Smile

Rob
Atom3339
View Profile
Inner circle
Spokane, WA
3242 Posts

Profile of Atom3339
Rob, Slydini used a metronome and taught his students to do so. 76 per beat.

Also, use the off beat for secret moves / sleights.

From a Fellow Musician
TH

Occupy Your Dream
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Atom, that is a fantastic piece of insight, thank you VERY much! I'd never even thought about practising to metronome but it makes perfect sense now that I think of the way he performs. If only there was a trick to his gracefulness, I consider myself fairly dexterous as a multi-instrumentalist of 26 years but that man astounds me sometimes (one of my main "focuses" when I practise is to make my hand movements as fluid/elegant as possible as that's teh type of magic I most enjoy myself.)

Again, I thank you wholeheartedly Smile

Rob
avik_d
View Profile
Veteran user
Targetting a Zillion, till now just
304 Posts

Profile of avik_d
DiamondDobb,

If you get a chance, watch Tim Trono interviewing Ponta the Smith. It's there on YouTube. Though you won't find anything specific to rhythm discussed there, I'm sure you'll find something related.
Best,



-Avik
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Avik_d, Thanks for the tip I'll check it out now Smile

Rob
funsway
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8906 Posts

Profile of funsway
Rhythm can also be part of establishing a Pattern of Performance and the building of Anticipation. For example, the exploitation of the Inattention of Vision principle and Predictive Vision function essential to the Goshman Pitch and Schneider Basic Vanish require the trained expectation of a series of moves leaded to a demonstrated, predictable result. A congruence of rhythm in these moves is essential for the spectator to "see" an object that is not there. This also applies to ROV type false transfers in that the movements of the Passing Hand must be practiced along with those of the Receiving hand. The illusion is broken if the Rhythm of movements of one hand is incongrueous with the natural movements of actaully transfering a coin.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
avik_d
View Profile
Veteran user
Targetting a Zillion, till now just
304 Posts

Profile of avik_d
Quote:
On Aug 27, 2014, funsway wrote:
The illusion is broken if the Rhythm of movements of one hand is incongrueous with the natural movements of actaully transfering a coin.


I'd like to know the opinions of the Café members regarding a specific thing which funsway mentioned.

Suppose your actual transfer is called A, and your false transfer is called B. Everybody will agree that A and B should be similar to create the desired illusion. However, there's school of magicians who propose that both should be as close as possible to A. On the other hand, another school believes that both should be same as B.

In other words, the first view states that you should make your false transfer look as similar as possible to the actual transfer. While the second view is that you should master your false transfer first, then mold your actual transfer just like your false one.

We have big names in support of either view. What I think is : Do whatever you're most comfortable with, without reducing the magic it generates.

Comments ?
Best,



-Avik
funsway
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8906 Posts

Profile of funsway
I tend to agree with you. Your confidence in what you are doing is part of the presentation. We may chose to practice one of the schools or the other to the point of automaticity -- then do what is right for the current audience. One might consider that for "A" the audience can be trained as to what is natural so there should be no difference between the two schools. "Natural" can be relative to the framing and theater of your overall performance rather than some standard set by someone else. Because of my crippled hands I have finger positions not natural for most people, but completely natural fro me. I have developed effects for magicians with only one hand that cannot ever be performed by a person with two hands -- because there is no way the moves will ever be natural if you fake it.

It has also been suggested that none of the ways in which a magician handles a coin is natural or normal for a lay person -- so the choice above may be mute. For example, in tests a lay person is more likely to take a coin from the right fingers than to put a coin into the left hand. If valid, all POV type transfers are unnatural. Naturally, if the flow of the effect and the resulting magic powerful enough the audience is not likely to care or remember. What must be avoided is any movement that will break the flow -- whatever that is.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Hi guys

Again I thank you all for the information which I find incredibly informative and helpful. I would like to ask what the "Schneider Basic Vanish" is? It is a vanish I could learn from Bobo's or is this another string to my bow I should to acquire from elsewhere? I definitely understand the need to keep the rhythm of ROV vanishes which take up a lot of my practise time in front of the mirror (I have in fact noticed that even when using a French Drop that if I time my vanish so that the light catches the coin immediately before I perform the move that a similar ROV effect occurs to my eyes, this flash of shininess is something I continuously try to exploit wherever possible.) I also find that with non-ROV vanishes that often a quick feint lends a lot of weight to even a simple Classic Palm vanish.

Also could somebody please clarify the point of doing sleights/hidden moves in the offbeat for me? Currently if I need to readjust a coin position in my dirty hand I tend to do so when the attention is still on the other hand which I try to use to misdirect any attention from the movement I'm performing with the coin, is that what this means?

Sorry if I sound a bit daft, I've been learning almost entirely from books and dvd's so far with only one friend who also does magic (who has generously shown me a couple of nice vanishes I didn't already know from books) so I'm not super clued-up as to a lot of terminology.

Rob.
Dave V
View Profile
Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

Profile of Dave V
The Schneider Basic Vanish is his style of a ROV vanish and is more convincing than anything else I've seen out there. It would pay you to get your hands on his work and study, and I mean STUDY it thoroughly.

Off beat is just like the music off beat. 1,2,3,and 4, 5,6,7,and 8, 9,10 All numbers have the same spacing and emphasis. The "ands" happen in the background so to speak and works only if you don't call attention to it by way of an unnatural movement. I don't like feints, as they usually telegraph "something fishy" even if they don't see exactly what you've done.

Michael Ammar has an excellent essay from the 80's called "The Natural Lay of the Hand" and I think he makes it available as an individual download. His opinion is basically the "A" answer above. Study what the hand should look like naturally, then strive to make your "dirty" hand match that look.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Hi Dave

Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely take it and look into getting Schneider's work Smile. I feel like kicking myself for not applying the music theory I've studied for nearly 3 decades and applying it to magic, I'll definitely keep that in mind when practising from now on. I'll also look into getting the Ammar essay as I feel it'd be another great learning tool. Thanks for the great advice, I appreciate it. Smile
Dave V
View Profile
Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

Profile of Dave V
We focus too much on the "act" of a sleight. We need to so we can get the actions down, but after that it should be a "non" action.

For example, my wife and are are both into target archery. One of the hardest things to learn is a clean release of the string. The basic drawing arm actions are: draw, anchor, release, follow through (with some interim steps like aiming along the way)

If the "release" is an action unto itself, you risk muscle tension, possible flinching, letting down arm/shoulder/back tension at the wrong time, etc...

Once learned, the good archer will take "release" out of the equation. It is just to be thought of as a natural thing that happens between "anchor" and "follow through" and not something you actively do.

Get the idea? THAT's what I would call "off the beat"

In cups and balls, there is a segment where you display the ball and then make it vanish ( I DON'T "VANISH" it, I cause it to vanish)
I'm right handed, and I have a wand on the table to my right, at a 45 degree angle (important!). A ball is sitting on top of one of the cups.

What the audience "sees" is this:
I show the ball to everyone
I pick up the wand
I tap my hand
The ball is gone

What REALLY happens is this:
I lift the cup with my right hand (subtly showing there's nothing under the cup) and tip the cup, rolling the ball into my left hand. Right and left is important as I'm right handed it's natural to do it in this order.
I display the ball to my audience on my left, at the fingertips, palm out. (again, subtle display of an otherwise empty hand)
I transfer the ball to my right hand and mirror my actions, displaying the ball to my right (again, open hand display for those who might be wondering)
I look down to the wand (directing their attention there, but not overtly bringing their attention to it) and want to pick it up with my right hand. Remembering that I have a ball in that hand, it's impossible, so I (false transfer) the ball into my left hand with exactly the same motions I just did twice before, then reach down and pick up the wand with the ball in little finger clip in my right hand. The 45 degree angle of the wand on the table covers any possible flashing of the ball.
I do whatever tapping motion I feel is appropriate, tap my left hand and open it to show the ball is now gone.

Is there a lot going on in the "off moment"? YES

Does the audience perceive any of this? NO
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Dave V
View Profile
Inner circle
Las Vegas, NV
4825 Posts

Profile of Dave V
My wife caught the "moment" during my routine in Copenhagen. What you're seeing is the split second before I reach for the wand, the false transfer is happening NOW. I pay ABSOLUTELY NO ATTENTION to what's going on in my hands. To the audience, it's simply NOT IMPORTANT. Again... on the "off beat"

(I just noticed what avatar pic I'm using. It shows the moment just before moving the ball to my left hand to reach for the want)

Image
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
Hi Dave

Thanks for taking the time to write that excellent explanation. It's a massive help when broken down so comprehensively and I appreciate it.

Rob
David Fillary
View Profile
Special user
658 Posts

Profile of David Fillary
Wow, Dave V, that's a brilliant photo and matches with your words.
Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz has a section on misdirection, as does the Books of Wonder and many other books. It's well worth adding some theory books to back up the "trick" books.

They often write of tension/relaxation which has to do with how much they are concentrating. There's no concentration on the transfer because it is a relaxed move. Then the magician can focus all the "magic" when using the wand. This is when the magic happens in the spectator's eyes and stops them rewinding as far.
If you build up tension and release it, this gives you an extra moment of relaxation. Greg Wilson sometimes does this using a feint of a vanish and makes it look slightly dodgy. He says how it will disappear and builds the anticipation. He'll then open his hand and say "don't worry, it's still in there", laugh, pick it up and then do a false transfer as everyone relaxes. Then he builds up the tension again before it vanishes.


What you describe with doing a sleight with the offhand is a different form of misdirection, but also extremely valid! This falls more with the category of misdirecting their eyes eg. loading a final load in the cups and balls with the misdirection of revealing another ball.

With the on/off beat, it's more about relaxing their mind so it happens in plain view but the spectators are not focusing all their attention on it.
Watch how Slydini leans forward and back in his routines. When he leans forward magic is happening, when he leans back he is relaxing. Often while relaxing he is retrieving a coin but to the audience the moment is over. In his paper balls over the head, the throw is on an off beat as he says come closer etc.

Of course I'm relatively new to this all too compared to the likes of Dave above and I was asking similar questions as you on here about two years ago. This is what the Café is for and you're using it well. I advise you to read anything written by Lawrence O on these forums. He has some great analysis on misdirection and started a thread going into what makes a false transfer credible. I think its about 14 pages long! But its well worth the read to see some of the best magicians discussing this stuff with different opinions.
RobDougherty
View Profile
New user
89 Posts

Profile of RobDougherty
David, thank you very much for your post, I can honestly say in my naivety I never considered a more underlying "magical theory" book was something I could pick up, I'd just assumed that was part and parcel of the various dvd's and books for the respective magic "genres." I've had a look around and I've ordered Strong Magic which seems to be a solid work by consensus and is mentioned in many of these such discussions. I also thank you for the tip on Lawrence O's posts I shall be looking those up later. Again, thanks very much, I'm starting to feel foolish about waiting so long to sign up to the Café, I feel like I've wasted a long time as lurker, oh well!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Advice on "rhythm" of a trick/performance (3 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL