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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » What movement do you do when the magic happens? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

alekz
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Munich, Germany
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Hehe.. here's another one I've been thinking about for a while now:

Take for example the Ambitious Card Routine. What are you doing when the card rises up to the top?
Blow at the deck?
Snap your fingers?
Let the spectator snap?
Wave your hand over the deck?
Shake the deck?
Ruffle the cards?
Nothing? Smile

I think I like "softer" movements more.. soft, like waving the hand over the deck, or blowing at it, instead of snapping or something like that.

Then, it's more like the card SLOWLY rises up, instead of *snap* *boom* here it is.

Don't know why, but I prefer the soft ones more Smile
However, maybe that'll change at a later point.
kerpa
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Michael Miller
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I suggest you check out Daryl on his Ambitious Card DVD. I have found literally every gesture of his is there for a reason, even if he did not plan out ahead of time each gesture (as I have been told he does not). I have done well by copying a lot of his gestures.
kerpa
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Michael Miller
(Michael Merlin: original family --and stage-- name)
Joshua Lozoff
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Actually, I think Daryl's presentation is a case study in what to avoid. Remember when he makes a mistake by doing a double instead of a triple? To cover it, all of the sudden, he moves real fast and says "no, perhaps it didn't hear me. Now I"ll give it a click and and a tap and a shake and now it's at the top" (or something like that). I thought it was pretty lame.
Joshua Lozoff

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alekz
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Hmm that brings up another point. You just turned over the wrong card, your heart beat rate jumps up to 180, and you have to improvise in less than three seconds. What would you do? Smile
That happened to me once when I was doing the two card monte, and I just said, I forgot to put the other ace on top, then switched the second and third card, being the Queens. Maybe not the best way out, but it worked.. more or less.
kerpa
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Michael Miller
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I don't recall Daryl's permitting a mistake to come out on his DVD. I think the move was intentional. Anyway, his style is not for everyone, but he didn't get where he is for nothing. I still think his presentation is great.
Perhaps even more, I like Mark Jenest - he is absolutely hysterical in Magic While U Wait video, in which he does a kind of ambitious effect. Josh, what do you think of Jenest?
kerpa
a/k/a Mike Miller
Chicago area
Michael Miller
(Michael Merlin: original family --and stage-- name)
Joshua Lozoff
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Hi Mike,

I'm not familiar with Mark Jenest. I've actually never heard of him. I will check his work out when I have a chance.
Joshua Lozoff

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Stuart Hooper
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Unless you are just starting out, should not be "copying" anyone's moves.

Find your own presentation.
rcad
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We must all agree that "mistakes" should be avoided at all costs so we don't have to come up with clever "outs". Covering up a mistake is not easy and although one should be prepared, it should remain an unfortunate exception.

But I want to comment, even if it is a bit off topic, on kerpa's statement when he says that Daryl didn't get where he is now for nothing... My question is, where DID he get? Now before I get flamed by Daryl's fan, let me add that I have nothing against him and will even get his DVD series on card manipulation since I heard so many good things about it. I would have asked the same question had any other magician been named.

Compared to music, dance, theater, etc, magic is still perceived as a second rate performing art. Most audiences and several magicians don't even consider magic an art form. My point is, magic could be much, much more than what it is today. Can you imagine a world where people, before deciding on going out, have to decide among themselves whether they will go see a music concert, a movie, a play or a magic performance and that those choices have to be made on a regular basis? We are still very far from that.

Magic is still an obscure form of entertainment for audiences. So whoever you consider the best magician is still an unknown name in the general public. My point is, in magic history, a few have managed to make a name for themselves in the minds of the public but no one has been able to bring magic where it should belong.

That being said and coming back to the topic at hand, although we should try to learn everything we can from more experienced or past magic performers, we should always remain extremely critical and have the courage to experiment things that have not been done. Since many of us must still struggle away from the shadow of past carnival sideshows, whatever the answer is to make magic perceived as a legetimate art form, no one has yet found it.

The present script I am working on involves no "magical moves" at all. I remember a movie from my childhood, "The golden voyage of Sinbad" where the evil magician just stares and mutters unintelligible, foreign magic words... I always loved those scenes and thought they made him look so powerful. I decided to use the same kind of presentation. The context is appropriate since my act involves "black magic" and some ritualistic additions.

Another act I have is a comedic card magic one and involves the Jokers as my main characters. I don't have anything to do with the magic that happens, they do all the work. My goal as a magician is to be able to tame and understand them. of course, they do whatever they please sometimes and I am just a MC trying to compensate for my unreliable and diva like performers. In such an act, do you see that any "magic moves" on my part would be inapropriate? I talk to them, knock on the deck as if it were a door, etc...

In another instance, I presented a mental act where audience members develop their own ESP perceptions. My "moves" consist of holding their hand on top of the deck of cards for example to guide them while their eyes are closed in the invisible world of magic...

When one sits down to be creative, he or she should even reconsider the point of what he or she is doing. So ask yourself, why should you have a magical move, what is your character really doing, how does your magic works, what are its rules? You'll be surprised by the answers you come up with and your moves will come out very naturaly.

Hope this helps... Smile

Richard
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
Joshua Lozoff
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Quote:
On 2004-04-03 21:50, mithrandir wrote:
Unless you are just starting out, should not be "copying" anyone's moves.

Find your own presentation.


Depends upon what you mean by "just starting out." In cultures with a stronger tradition of artistic training than ours, students are expected and often required to copy their masters/teachers for quite awhile.

While I agree that here in our relatively young western culture, individuality and originality is stressed quite early in many arts, I don't think it's appropriate for everyone to fit into that model. Some with a martial arts background, or someone whose magic teacher is Eastern, for examply might have the magic student copy moves for quite sometime, and they might still turn into a wonderful and unique magician.
Joshua Lozoff

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MagicalArtist
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Quote:
On 2004-04-04 12:08, rcad wrote:
Compared to music, dance, theater, etc, magic is still perceived as a second-rate performing art. Most audiences and several magicians don't even consider magic an art form. My point is, magic could be much, much more than what it is today. Can you imagine a world where people, before deciding on going out, have to decide among themselves whether they will go see a music concert, a movie, a play or a magic performance and that those choices have to be made on a regular basis? We are still very far from that.

Magic is still an obscure form of entertainment for audiences. So whoever you consider the best magician is still an unknown name in the general public. My point is, in magic history, a few have managed to make a name for themselves in the minds of the public but no one has been able to bring magic where it should belong.


Wow, what a great point, rcad! This is exactly right; magic is perceived by the general public as a second-rate performing art, at best. Either that, or it is seen as a form of entertainment strictly "for the children." What a different world it would be if magicians were viewed with the same excitement and interest as the typical rock band. (On a side note, it seems odd how all musicians are referred to as "Artists" these days, regardless of how good they actually are. At one time, the word "artist" was reserved for those who achieved a high level of perfection in what they do. Now all anyone has to do is crank out a CD of songs and they are instantly labeled an "artist".)

I don't think magic has always been regarded in such a low light. I was reading "Our Magic" by Neville Maskelyne and David Devant (1911) and I was particularly struck by this passage:

"It is bad enough to find a performer suggesting his own familiarity with the pawn-shop, or his chronic inability to produce a shilling. But when such jests are made at the expense of the audience, the fault is ten thousand times more reprehensible... What must they suggest to (say) the man who has attended a performance in the hope of finding relief from the memory of financial troubles? Even the careless youth who has pawned his watch in order to get money for giving his best girl a treat, cannot feel very happy when topics of this kind are brought up."

What struck me was that line about the young man taking his girl to a magic show, and pawning his watch so that he could afford to do so! Can you possibly envision today any teenager who is not a magician himself taking his girlfriend to see a magic act (with the possible, and sole exception of a show by David Copperfield?) Yet this passage from Our Magic suggests that it was a commonplace occurrence at one time. My, how times have changed in the last century!
Daniel Faith
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I agree with your thoughts, but the question should be WHY is our art regarded as a second-rate preforming art.

I suggest it's because magic has become too accessible to anyone. There are too many individuals calling themselves magicians going around doing lousy magic at best with no presentation or thought of art. Perhaps they are clones, victims to the flood of media that so many magicians eagerly produce and sell to anyone willing to buy.

I think we will all agree that just doing "magic tricks" does not make you a magician. However, the public in general don't make that distinction. They only see a guy doing lousy tricks, and it effects all of us in a bad way.

Any thoughts?

Hmmm
Daniel Faith
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I think Jamy Ian Swiss hit the nail on the head in his article "Why magic sucks". The reason why Magic has not reach the status of an art in most people's minds is that most people do not like being fooled. That's it, plain and simple. Most people do not like being fooled, and, to put it simply, magic fools people.

Many people equate being fooled with "being made a fool of". A good magician will try to get around this, but the fact remains that the art of magic is the art of deception.

Swiss addresses the argument that magic gets a bad rap by the presence of "so many bad magicians out there". He says this is nonsense, because all the bad musicians out there do not keep music from being considered art, all the bad actors do not keep drama from being considered an art, and all the bad dancers do not keep dance from being considered an art.

Why was magic considered more of a theatrical art in the past? I think in the early 20th century and prior, audiences were less educated and sophisticated than they are today. Many of them held in the back of their mind that the magician really might be consorting with unknown forces and magicians played up this belief: witness the large number of posters of the old-time magicians, Thurston, Keller, Carter the great, that pictured devils perching on the magician's shoulder and consorting with each other in the background.

Since audiences believed at some level that the magician might really have supernatural powers, magic was not as much a threat to their egos as it is today. In other words, General Magic was at the same stage that mental magic is today: many members of the audience thought it was indeed possible for the magician to be truly doing the things he claimed.

You can read Swiss' article on why magic sucks at his website, and also order his interesting book, "Shattering illusions".

http://www.jamyianswiss.com/fm/works/whymagicsucks.html
Jonathan Townsend
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In answer to the original question, each magical event has its own cause and look. The magic is attributed to something and accounted for in action.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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