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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Is magic just a lie? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kardistic
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Hey guys,

didn't know where to post this since I am new.

I was talking with a stranger the other day and wanted to show him a magic trick, but he just said "no" to me, because magic is just lies.

After that I gave it thought and I realized that I had to lie quite often especially they are trying to guess how I did it and their guess is right.
magicfish
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Grab a copy of the Klutz Book of magic, take the magician's oath on page one, then read the first lesson. (Hint, the first lesson is about lying).
funsway
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"magic" as a concept is as real as a person's capacity for awe&wonder. The world is filled with inexplicable phenomena and "magic" is the term applied by many.
Thus, magic exists because human brains have the capacity to embrace possible solution other than dogma and "proved science." As a concept, magic is not lie,
though each individual's definition may be different.

As magicians we pretend at magic. We announce that we will demonstrate something considered impossible and then do exactly that.
We are the most truthful performers of any art or theater or entertainment or communication venue. We have no need to lie.

We readily admit to using psychology, guile, skill, trickery and more to create an illusion from which an observer might say, "must be magic"
Magic occurs in the mind of the observer, so if there is nay "lie" it is in the mind of the observer.

...

It seems this person is confusing false information with a lie.
Yes, to tell a fanciful story or claim a ball is some where it is not can be considered false information. But, when you announce in the beginning that it will be false it can't be a lie.

If you claim to have special powers for pay it is a lie and called charlatanry and is illegal in most States and Countries.

So, be clear as to what you are about and be confident that you tell only the silliest of truths and plausible falsehoods for entertainment.

You should have thanked this person, however, for not wasting your time. Astonishment and magic and only occur if the observer desires and expects it.
It does not matter if their perspective is false or even a lie, they are not wroth your effort to entertain or change.

...

Of greater importance (for me) is your statement, "They are trying to guess how and their guess is right."

If that is their reaction then you are not doing something right. Your task is to eliminate every option other than "must be magic."
There should be no "guess" or game of 20 questions. And even if they do offer/claim an explanation, you have not need to answer.

You never have to lie about what you did, or justify it either. Performance magic is not about puzzles or ego challenges or skill demonstration.

Enjoy your journey. If nothing else, it will make you more aware of the lies all around you from politicians, marketers, preachers, employees and friends.
"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
George Ledo
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Going strictly by your post since that's all I know...

One, this was a stranger. Maybe he or she just doesn't like magic or has been "ruined" by bad performances. Not everyone likes magic.

Two, always a possibility that he/she felt you came on too strong. Again, might be based on prior experiences.

Three, as funsway said, if they're trying to guess, and telling you about it, then you're doing something wrong. We can't suggest a solution without watching you perform.

Four, if you "lie" about how it's done, you might he coming across as confrontational, or it's obvious that you're lying.

Five, if that happens, the magic is gone. Now it's just "I know and you don't."

The only suggestion I can offer at this point is to watch a whole bunch of magic performances in your own genre and see how the performers come across -- both the good ones and the bad ones. You can do that on YouTube.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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HeronsHorse
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I'm reading The magic Way by Juan Tamariz just now.
I think you should have a read of this. It helps to understand the spectator and their thoughts on your trick and performance and how you can counter this kind of attack!
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Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."
- S.H. Sharpe
danaruns
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Yep, magic is a lie. But your audience gives you permission to lie to them, and they are complicit in it. One of the prerequisites to a magic performance is that your audience knows you're going to lie to them, and can't wait to see it. Sounds like your guy didn't want to play, and that's okay.

I agree that if your audience is trying to guess how you did it (whether or not they are right), then you did something wrong. But that's super common with new magicians. When I was new, people tried to guess or mess me up all the time. But at some point that changed, and now I cannot remember the last time someone did that. You'll get there as you get better.

Also, I never do a magic trick for someone. I perform magic. Totally different thing. Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Dec 28, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Yep, magic is a lie. But your audience gives you permission to lie to them, and they are complicit in it. One of the prerequisites to a magic performance is that your audience knows you're going to lie to them, and can't wait to see it. Sounds like your guy didn't want to play, and that's okay.

Also, I never do a magic trick for someone. I perform magic. Totally different thing. Smile


Yea this, and then the last sentence as well. It really sums up the point.

Complicit in it? Simply by knowing what they are in for does indeed make them complicit. It never actually occurred to me but it is true.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
kardistic
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Well sometimes I do have to lie...

Spectator says his random guess that the card is probably on top and I say ...no its not and do a DL.. but in reality it is.

Or for example ACR... during the performance I am saying that their card goes to the middle of the deck, but in reality it doesn't.

So imo, doing magic involves lying to the spectators.

Ofc that the stranger didn't like magic at all, but it made me realize that I do have to lie and he isn't wrong... and since then I feel bit uncomfortable when I have to lie to someone.
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Dec 28, 2018, danaruns wrote:
I agree that if your audience is trying to guess how you did it (whether or not they are right), then you did something wrong.

Not necessarily.

I've met many people who believe that they have to figure out how every effect is accomplished. Your performance could be flawless and they'll still shout out stupid possible modi operandi. You cannot overcome the nature of some people.
Uli Weigel
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Actually, it's the natural state of mind of most human beings to be sceptical and trying to come up with solutions to things they don't understand. Otherwise we wouldn't be here. To don't do that vocally during and after the performance of magic tricks/shows is a cultural convention based on centuries of cultural evolution und experience, an unsigned contract between the audience and the performer to the benefit of both parties. It takes a certain amount of maturity and self-confidence on the part of the audience to be able to enjoy the magic without ruining the experience for themselves by convulsive "debunking" efforts. It helps, if the magician is actually good - magic wise and communication wise. Bad magicians tend to encourage the puzzle solving impulses of the audience.
Tom Cutts
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If you do not give them something of value in return for following your lies, then you are wasting their time.
danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 28, 2018, S2000magician wrote:

Not necessarily.

I've met many people who believe that they have to figure out how every effect is accomplished. Your performance could be flawless and they'll still shout out stupid possible modi operandi. You cannot overcome the nature of some people.


I suppose that's true. I haven't any deep thoughts on this subject.

I was just looking at it from the practical standpoint of the newbie. When I was a newbie, people were constantly trying to bust me and guess the methods. At some point, as I got better, that stopped. And now I cannot even remember the last time I had such an experience. I chalk it up to (1) being far better at my craft, and (2) "performing" rather than "doing magic tricks." Even if I just do a couple impromptu tricks for people at a gathering, I put on a performance. And no one EVER audibly tries to guess methods. Yes, afterward someone will occasionally breathlessly ask, "How did you DO that!?" but no one ever tries to question me, blurt out methods or mess me up.

I chalk it up to being a good magician, relative to where I was as a newbie. If you are good enough at the techniques and entertaining enough to engage them, they tend to be sucked into the experience rather than look at it as a contest.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Senor Fabuloso
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When wanting to pass on biblical reference through some gospel magic, I made a mistake in my presentation of the "Ticket to Heaven" trick which had a 10 year old girl say to me at the end. "so you don't have a ticket to heaven?" "then your just a lair." I stopped performing, for a year after that. To get back to magic I had to realize that the lies I tell are not the kind of lies in the bible. They are more a creative license, we take as performers inherent to magic. Acting takes similar license. The issue did come up for me again when considering mentalism and how I would approach it? I decided to come from a scientific perspective, instead of esoteric. For me, it's just a better fit.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
danaruns
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Everyone lies. If you say you don't, you're lying. And magic is just pretend, it's not a lie.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Senor Fabuloso
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You say "pretend" I say "creative license". I think we agree?
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Dannydoyle
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Isn't "magic" as we are talking of it just a theatrical construct anyhow? I for one do not go out trying to scam people into thinking X so that I can get them to give me money to make it rain, or start a church.

So if we agree that it is a "theatrical construct" does the word "lie" even apply? I mean it is story telling. You guys might not believe this but Willy Loman doesn't really die at the end of every performance. Yes sorry to tell you the actor is not actually killing himself. The world created in the story is a theatrical construct into which the audience projects itself. So the idea that somehow it is a lie that he is not really killing himself is silly.

In a similar way magic is the same thing as the term is commonly used by performers. (If one is doing something using "magic" to do other nefarious things I am not addressing those ideas.) We create our own world and people can easily participate in it or not simply by buying a ticket or not. OR they can simply refuse to let someone foist a trick on them when they don't want to see one. In this particular case we have almost no context with the exception of he was talking to a stranger. It is possible, heck probable that the remark was just an off hand way to blow off the situation. I don't put too much meaning into the interaction itself.

But as for a "lie" I really don't think the word applies. It is theater. If magic is a lie so is most if not all of theater. It is a world they willingly step into and can step out of any time they wish. Magic is a performance.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dougini
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Quote:
On Dec 27, 2018, kardistic wrote:
...I was talking with a stranger the other day and wanted to show him a magic trick, but he just said "no" to me, because magic is just lies.


My sister said the same thing. In essence she said she dislikes:

Magic
Clowns
Stand-Up Comedians
Circus acts
Stunt shows
Escape artists

She cannot stand show-offs. Yet she is a fun person! She told me to leave my magic at home...

Doug
Wravyn
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Dougini, what she does not realize is you are the Magic... The props you use are just tools to show the Magic.
Gerald Deutsch
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Magicians often claim they do the impossible when they perform and when a layman discovers how it was done he may think the magician "lied".

I have written much about "Perverse Magic" where what happens fools the magician as well as the spectators. Hence - no lie!

After all, magic is to entertain!
Dannydoyle
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OK did Johnny Cash lie when he was never in Folsom Prison? How many examples do I need to give where this happens? I think the point is made.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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