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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Can we call them 'tricks?' -or- Is that the spectators word? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MattWayne
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Whenever we tell people we are magicians- most people hound us to do tricks, right? They always say, "Do a trick!"- ugh happens to me all the time. Football games, theatre shows, and at diners when I'm trying to enjoy my meal- and don't wish to perform. But it's our calling to usually perform whenever the 'oppurtunity' arises, right? Should we refuse to perform- when we aren't getting paid to?

I know some magicians with this viewpoint- and I wonder how else could they sell their business?

Anyways- I kinda got off the prompt. Do you think the word, 'trick' should be refined? Almost sounds, 'old style?' Any thoughts? But what else could we call the common, 'trick?' Can we start calling tricks- illusions? -OR- could we call them; "Mere misconceptions of the eye?" I always considered the term 'trick'- so Magic Set ish. Understand? Any comments?

But then again- the spectators have grown up with the notion of calling them foolers, or tricks. So should we correct them and say, "Oh that's not a trick- that's an illusion."

BUT- when you say, "Oh it's an illusion." Then your saying that your fooling them and that it's really a trick of the mind and misconception and alteration of their state of mind.

Wow- those were just some ramblings.

Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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silent shadow
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Tomasko

I see it the other way round , I percieve the word illusion to be a much more magical word , but seem's I'm most likely to use
.... ~Card Magic~ ....
Magic or just an illusion? it's a free choice .... isn't it?
amshake
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HEHE, tomasko, those are all great questions, and something we all deal with. I, personally, stay away from the word trick. However I don't "correct" a potential audience. I will however just refer to what I am doing as an "effect" or "a bit of magic" and then do the effect.
In terms of weither or not you are obligated to perform when someone asks, the best answer is NO!!
You should only perform when you are A) able and B) prepared to and C) wish to
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Ollie1235
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I prefer to call tricks , "a little something ive been trying" because that way they don't expect to much and when they get entertainment than they thought they would get and wont be dissapointed
Jordan Piper
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I don't like to say tricks. The word "trick" implies that you will make a fool out of your audience. You know something that they don't and wave it in their face. This is not the objective of performing magic. The goal is primarily to entertain. Instead I say, "Would you like to see some magic?"

"Silly rabbit. Tricks are for kids."
MattWayne
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JORDAN: Wow I totally liked your last quote pertaining to the cereal- "Silly rabbit. Tricks are for kids." I would've never thought that. I agree- the word trick is like something from a Brodien Magic Set almost.

I also find it interesting that when a spectator says, "Let me see a trick." They know they will be fooled or wish to be fooled- since they use that word, 'trick.' I also find the word, 'fooled' to be something that you would obtain from a novelty item. Baffled, or amazed fits with magic.

I suppose though that spectators wont/don't change from decade to decade- they will always say, "Show me a trick!"- some things may never change.
Matt Wayne
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Reis O'Brien
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I personally don't like the word "trick". It seems a little demeaning and belittling. But I also think the word "illusion" is a bit snooty and oh-look-at-me. If I have to call them somthing, I like "effects". But lately, I've been using "oddity" or "anomoly".
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MattWayne
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Hmmm "anomoly" is good. Reminds me of the word, 'enigma.' 'Oddity' is good too. 'Eh, but when I think of oddity it's reminds me David Blaine doing his arm twisting bit. There are soo many words to choose from- and each seems to have it's good points and downside conotations, but oh well. It's whatever the spectator wants to think. I guess there isn't a better word for, 'trick'- except 'magic'- which sums it all up into one huge category. Sounds good to me:)

Keep the minds rolling,

Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2004-03-18 21:03, Firedice27 wrote:
If I have to call them somthing, I like "effects". But lately, I've been using "oddity" or "anomoly".

Both “oddity” and “anomaly” are excellent choices; I also like “effect” because I hope to effect someone in a positive way.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
Blackwood
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Among magicians, the most used term seems to be "effect." It's certainly not as dumb sounding as "trick." The word "trick" also sets up the performer versus spectator situation that most contemporary conjurers seek to avoid-- "look, I'm smarter than you, I tricked you."

It challenges audiences to try and figure out the mechanics rather than relax and enjoy the "effect."

That said, it seems like more and more performers are opting to avoid the issue by just saying something like: "Want to see something interesting?" or as David Blaine says: "Look."

:bikes:
Darren Roberts
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If you do your trick/effect/illusion/etc. well enough, it doesn't really matter what you call it! The "magic" of the moment is what's important.
Payne
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Since I am smarter than most of the people I meet I have no difficulty in using the word trick.
In fact my business card reads Payne, Purveyor of Japes, Cheap Tricks and Minor Amazements.
If my audiences calls them tricks then I have no problem in coming down to their level and calling them tricks as well.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Reis O'Brien
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Payne, I see your point (and you are so humble, too!). If someone says to me, "Let me see a trick!", I don't correct them or anything. I know what they mean, and I take no offense in their terminology. I just don't like to use "trick" if I'm the one approaching.

And Blackwood, I'm afraid you have misquoted David Blaine. What he says is, "Look. Watch. Watch. Look. No, Look. Watch."
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JJDrew
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Working in a magic store, people don't always ask politely or even nicely. Regularly people walk in and demand to see a trick. (Imagine a drill sargeant saying, "Show me a trick" and you'll have a good idea of their tone of voice).

My coworker responds "Wash my car!" in the same tone of voice.

Spectator: Why would I wash you car?

My Coworker: Why would I show you a trick?

This phrase has served him well from my observations.

My own response, to all but the rudest, is to say, "I don't do tricks...I perform astonishing enthralling illusions of the highest caliber!" The first part is said deadpan, the second in a super-enthusiastic tone of voice like the announcer in a movie trailer.

It gets a laugh and gets the point across at the same time. Then if I perform they value it as something out of the ordinary and a priviledge to watch.

Nobody likes to feel like a trained monkey (nothing against monkeys Firedice, I know you like them).
~Raven~
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Many people like to say "tricks" but I find that to incorrect. I think the best word in this situation is "effect"
"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary.

For those who do not, none will suffice."

Joe Dunninger
Dawai
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Your right I don't like using the word."trick" Depending on the trick I am doing. I would use the word illusion or entertain you with.
JesterJ
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I've known a couple of magicians who really resent the word "trick", mostly because they think it demeans their work. I think that they also want to distance the effect that they'll produce from the idea of a trick to be figured out.

I'm fairly comfortable with calling it a trick. I tend to take a more laid back stage persona when I perform, so I tend to talk more about my magic as an interesting phenomenon or odd little anomoly. At the same time, I'll occasionally point out that what I'm doing is just a trick. That's part of how I drop the pretentiousness level a bit.

JesterJ - not a mysterioso
MattWayne
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I think it's interesting as to how we all have our different opinion on this topic.

To me when I hear a magician imply the word 'trick'- my mind get's geared up and ready to be fooled. However when he doesn't say anything at all- and just does something out of the blue- that's magic. Just doing something randomly for someone- now that's the amazement. You could just be sitting there in a crowded room- just do one vanish. Don't make a big deal about it- someone is bound to notice! It happens all the time. Then this baffled person- will make a scene, wanting you to do another. You simply refuse- when all the attention is drawn back to what the other people were doing- you perform yet another card flourish, vanish, or color change. Yet again- someone is bound to notice the magic that you just performed. That is the true magic- luring in people, and not bringing any attention to your skill. That is also a good way for me to attract business.

Making the moment magic is also essential. When you do perform these occasional 'spectator' baffling miracles- perform them well. As Vernon would say, "Make them effortless!"- or something to that nature.

Keep in touch! Keep thinking:)

Tomasko
Matt Wayne
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7th_Son
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Don't perform tricks.

Perform miracles.
"Here's to our wives and girlfriends...may they never meet!" - Groucho Marx
nathanallen
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Quote:
On 2004-03-18 20:12, Jordan Piper wrote:
"Silly rabbit. Tricks are for kids."



No, tricks are for hookers. Keep on doing that MAGIC!
Nathan Allen, The Maniac of Magic
www.maniacofmagic.com

To buy a prop is nothing.
To write a good routine is something.
To really entertain an audience is everything.
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