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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Another Tip For Newbies From Slightly More Experienced Newbie (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KenRyan
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I started magic a little more than 9 months ago. And sometimes I experience something that seems to hammer home some basic principle such that I think it would be helpful for anyone in the "newbie" category. Today I have a new tip.

Don't get so excited by your patter that your spectator(s) are more captivated by YOU than they are your hands! This is a subset of the basic concept of - LOOK WHERE YOU WANT THE SPECTATORS TO LOOK. I understand this on an intellectual level. It makes sense. HOWEVER.....

I never thought of it in terms of "over-connecting," emotionally, on some level (the wrong level) with a person such that they keep looking into my eyes. I was in a magic shop this afternoon and a guy roughly my age (50) and his son said they were in their first magic shop ever. I showed them a trick or two after the shop owner did (I had my own coins on me). And they started asking me how I got started, etc. Well I am truly enchanted by magic and couldn't stop myself basically trying to SELL them on taking up magic. It's all still so exciting to me. So I was not in the mindset of "performing." Psychologically, it is very different. And I noticed when I tried to show an example of some coin effect, they weren't looking at my hands. How do I know this? Duh! Because obviously I wasn't either!!!!!

It was a bit frustrating in a way. I felt like saying, "no, look down here." Now I know why so many magicians say "watch" when they're about to do something. Of course the magician ALSO has to watch.

So take a lesson from my stumble - if you want someone to watch your hands, LOOK AT THEM YOURSELF. Yes, you've heard it before. Heck I had heard it dozens of times. I'd just never had a failure yet. Here is one good reason to remember it.

Cheers!

Ken
funsway
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If you can connect at that level and need be concerned over how to break it, you are wll on you way to some incredible magical experiences.

Please do not loose this "enchantment with magic" that affects your presence, vocal delivery, sustainable focuse, etc.

In short, you want the observer to "care" about what you do and have an expectation that whatever you do will be magical.

You advice is sound, but only part of the orchestration. You also want to be able to "command their attention" later in subtle ways.

Eye contact is extremely important AND can be linked to other non-verbal cues that can foreshadow intent and build tension.

Welcome to the journey into some "other secrets of magic." The "trick" is often a minor part of the power of the effect.

You should never have to say "watch" -- just think it and they will! Something to work towards (and you are)
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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KenRyan
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Thanks Ken. Yeah, I have never been a fan of when magician says "watch." Good to know it doesn't have to be necessary. I always feel like saying back "what do you think I'm doing?" As usual, thanks for your guidance!

Other Ken Smile.
Harry Lorayne
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Boy! Have I been wrong! I suggest saying "Watch" or "Look" soooo many times in my books. Please; just ignore. (Of course; I will continue to say those words when and if I feel it's necessary/apropos/important/stresses what I want to stress - but that doesn't mean that YOU have to!)
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KenRyan
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Quote:
On Aug 22, 2015, Harry Lorayne wrote:
Boy! Have I been wrong! I suggest saying "Watch" or "Look" soooo many times in my books. Please; just ignore. (Of course; I will continue to say those words when and if I feel it's necessary/apropos/important/stresses what I want to stress - but that doesn't mean that YOU have to!)


Wow Harry. I know one has to find what works for them, but to say you have been wrong:-P. Certainly that cannot be the case:). I will re-examine my thoughts on this for those times you mention - times when it may be "necessary/apropos/important/stresses what I want to stress." There is no harm in keeping options open.

As always, thanks so much for your advice!

Ken
Harry Lorayne
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There are times when you want to really stress that something very important/magical/amazing is about to happen - that's when the word "Watch!" (as of course you also look at where the "amazing" is going to happen) may serve the same purpose as a rim shot (on a drum) calling specific attention to the upcoming "important" happening.
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Harry Lorayne
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Of course, as usual, what works for me may not necessarily work for others. Up to the individual performer, always. For me, when I'm about to, say, show the extremely magical change of that 4H that the spectator just tabled to the ace of spades - I certainly don't want that to happen without the audience's complete unadulterated attention on that 4H.
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funsway
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Quote:
On Aug 22, 2015, Harry Lorayne wrote:
There are times when you want to really stress that something very important/magical/amazing is about to happen - that's when the word "Watch!" (as of course you also look at where the "amazing" is going to happen) may serve the same purpose as a rim shot (on a drum) calling specific attention to the upcoming "important" happening.


Of course, Harry -- especially with a larger audience or if there are distractions.

Since Ken seems to be going in the direction above of close and "full attention" presentatiosn I wanted to encourage that by mentioning that using the works "verbally" may not be required -- with other methods being avialble to achieve the same result. If you create the conditions (or relaize they exists) in which the observers both expect you to do something amazing and have anticipation that it is about to happen, then the "command" may even destract from the power of the effect.

There is no "right or wrong" beyond having various approaches available depending on the audience and setting. The verbal command may be best in 90% of the situations. I just think that a good magician should be prepared to change an effect from "theatrical" to "virtual" (using Schneider terms) if the situation falls into your lap. If a new student believes they must always use directed, verbal commands in order to direct attention then they may miss out on some incredible opportunites.

If any are confused here, read Harry's books first -- then worry about the "refinements."

PS. -- quit being so sensitive, Harry Smile
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Harry Lorayne
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Nothing to do with "sensitivety," funsway, has to do with trying to give proper advice. You stated "You should NEVER (capitalized for emphasis, not anger) have to say 'watch.'" Sorry; in my opinion that's a) too definite a statement and b)incorrect. So, please, funsway, just an opinion - stop being so sensitive.

If you're going to make such definite statements - like "never" and "always," I'm not DEFINITELY sure, put pretty close - that you'll get slightly negative responses. And never did I say "'always' use directed, verbal commands." There's a time/place for everything - I personally know when, in my work, to use words like "Watch!" and "Look." I'll even sometimes say, "Now pay attention." Hey, what works for me doesn't necessarily work for others, and MOST important, I'll never, ever, say that it does!
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funsway
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What I said was "never HAVE TO say 'watch'" -- the import being the implied "must do" as the problem. I also am against universal type statements and post against them all the time.

I don't believe that statement implies anything universal at ll, but can accept that "never" might be a red flag for many.

I felt that the context of the post and OP made that clear. Anything taken out of context might be wrong, so I will be more careful in guessing what responses I might get Smile

I stand by my suggestion that there is no requirement to use any directive word in order to get an observer to look where you want.

Just as the selection of an appropriate term is guided by setting, routine flow and audience expectations, so is the possibility of "no word at all" -- relying on other methods (non-verbal and psychological)

But, I am glad you brought up this issue since if you misinterpreted my statement, so might others. (I think Ken understood what I was saying).

Hopefully it is now clarified.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Harry Lorayne
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Hopefully.
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Doug Trouten
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Years ago I remember being a little surprised to hear David Blaine saying "Watch, watch, watch" to onlookers during a performance. My thought was that it had to do with the informal nature of his performance circumstances. In a rowdy atmosphere with lots of distractions, perhaps louder and clearer direction of attention is needed than in other settings.

But even in a more serene environment, I can see where the verbal command would trigger a decision process regarding whether and how to follow the command, which would contribute to overloading mental processing in general. It could also serve to focus attention where it will be best rewarded by a visual effect. And maybe it works as a way to imply that something is about to happen, even if it has technically already happened.
It's still magic even if you know how it's done.
Terry Pratchett
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