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adrianrbf
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I like the idea that magic can be a form of empowerment. Far too often, one can watch magicians making their audience feel stupid and their volunteers on stage look silly. I would much prefer effects that make the audience and the volunteers on stage feel great. Take stage hypnosis, as an obvious example: It is often used to make the hypnitist look great, while hypnosis, as every hypno*therapist* will tell you, is all about the empowerment of the hypnotee.

In magic, some tricks can be presented in a way that they are empowering: I like to perform OotW in a way that underlines the spectator's excellent choices. Then I know some effects that have empowerment as their main theme. Chris Philpott has some of those, like "Anxious Monkey" (on "Pantheon") or "All tied up".

I am looking for more empowerment effects. There must be some out there - any advice?
WitchDocChris
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Empowerment is in the presentation - so take any effect you like and change the presentation. A quick example I can think of is taking PK Touch and make it about the volunteers' ability to connect with each other.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
The_Mediocre_Gatsby
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Andy did a whole issue of "tricks..designed to have some sort of positive psychological effect on your spectator" in the JAMM12. You can check it out here: http://www.thejerx.com/the-jamm
adrianrbf
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Quote:
On Feb 26, 2019, The_Mediocre_Gatsby wrote:
Andy did a whole issue of "tricks..designed to have some sort of positive psychological effect on your spectator" in the JAMM1

I KNEW the collective wisdom of the Magic Café was better than Google!

(Who's Andy? Sorry, I'm a newbie...)
The_Mediocre_Gatsby
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It’s the pseudonym of the person who runs thejerx.com and who is responsible for all of the excellent related products associated with that blog
funsway
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I have always preferred effects that make either the Volunteer Assistant or magic the hero rather than me. It works!
The VA is also a witness for those in the back seats.

In business consulting it is important to develop trust and put he business owner at ease. So, the concept of "M-powerment" applies there too.

P = presence, being here and now for them
O = organize, being prepared for any situation so as to act incisively and confidently
W - willingness to do the work to make them important and open
E= enthusiasm about what they want and need
R= respect, for yourself, magic, art, the VA and the audience.

the "M" comes from "magic" in the sense of challenging what they consider to be impossible.
In my 40+ years of active consulting I included a magic trick in my presentation/appraisal more that 40,000 times. (not for entertainment, just allegory)

Thus, ANY magic effect can be presented with M-Powerment.

I guess it may be what you wish every spectator to remember about your performance - "must be magic" or "what a jerk."

....

the "for entertainment" effect that I received the most notable affect from is "Falcon Eye" in which one VA reads the mind of another with me far away.
I don't do it as mentalism - just as a reward for VA's who have shared my stage and helped M-Power my audience.
The idea is that "pretending at magic" has elevated their awareness and empathy. Note my sig-line

I would also add that I always have a special mastered effect in my pouch for the rare occasion that a VA is "more than willing" to help.
You know it will be astounding because of the M-Powerment of the VA freely gifted back to you.

Just opinions, but I have the advantage of people talking to me 2-30 years after a performance and telling of the experience.

a magician came to our school
so many years ago,
and did wondrous skits with balls and rings
that our teacher said were tricks;
and that we must be wary of strangers
who promise impossible things.

But I recall some magic yet,
for he called me to the stage
and transformed me for a moment
into someone bold and brave –
for his eyes were kind and flecked with gold,
and treated me with respect,
though I was only nine.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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Harry Houdini was the most empowering magician ever.

“No prison can hold me; no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. No ropes or chains can keep me from my freedom.”

- Harry Houdini

The way it works is they associate with the hero: in their heads, it is they who are escaping not Harry.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
The Urban Entity
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Quote:
On Feb 26, 2019, adrianrbf wrote:
I like the idea that magic can be a form of empowerment. Far too often, one can watch magicians making their audience feel stupid and their volunteers on stage look silly. I would much prefer effects that make the audience and the volunteers on stage feel great. Take stage hypnosis, as an obvious example: It is often used to make the hypnitist look great, while hypnosis, as every hypno*therapist* will tell you, is all about the empowerment of the hypnotee.

In magic, some tricks can be presented in a way that they are empowering: I like to perform OotW in a way that underlines the spectator's excellent choices. Then I know some effects that have empowerment as their main theme. Chris Philpott has some of those, like "Anxious Monkey" (on "Pantheon") or "All tied up".

I am looking for more empowerment effects. There must be some out there - any advice?



Watch every TV magician. They all seem like the read the same book. As awesome as they look on screen, they seem to give the power to the participants. They find a way to make it all about the person. I don't like that. I want it to be about me displaying a power. Call it what you will. However, you can always switch the presentation up to be what you want it to be. I recently did Wayne Houchin's French Kiss with business cards and framed it as Thanos snapping his finger making things happen to bend reality. Now that trick has nothing to do with that, but that's where I took it.
WATCH AWESOME HYPNOSIS VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/user/taylormade85/example?sub_confirmation=1

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Pop Haydn
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I often find spectator "empowerment" presentations to be condescending and presumptuous. It isn't easy to convince a spectator that they are the actual cause of an impossible event, and if they know you are just "pretending" that they are, well, then it seems kind of lame to me.
The Urban Entity
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Quote:
On Mar 15, 2019, Pop Haydn wrote:
I often find spectator "empowerment" presentations to be condescending and presumptuous. It isn't easy to convince a spectator that they are the actual cause of an impossible event, and if they know you are just "pretending" that they are, well, then it seems kind of lame to me.


I agree. BUT....I think that is the magician trying to:

A) Stay Humble and not make it all about themselves
B) Jumping through hoops trying to not take credit for having or claiming supernatural powers

I have never claimed Supernatural powers, but by nature when we do magic, we are therefore doing something supernatural. At the end of the day, I want to take credit for what happened. That's not everyone. I get it. But I want that credit.
WATCH AWESOME HYPNOSIS VIDEOS: https://www.youtube.com/user/taylormade85/example?sub_confirmation=1

"Pushing The Boundaries of What is Possible With Hypnosis"
WitchDocChris
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I agree, Pop. It's easy for this type of presentation to go wrong. The scripting must be delicate, and must take into account the audience's intelligence and common sense.

It's not easy. But if it were, anyone could do it.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
funsway
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Empowering someone does not require that they be the "cause" of what happens.

Nor does the performer have to "be the cause" in order to take credit for orchestrating the event.

I would stress again the importance of having any Volunteer Assistant be a witness for those spectators far away for the action.
This requires trust and making the individual important and cooperative. Having them be involved in astonishment as well as the action - a form of empowerment.

I certainly think that the assistants in Pop's classic rings routine are empowered and even told they are special and unique.
Yet, no one thinks the magic could occur without Pop being there. He gets the credit while the Assistant and magic are the heroes.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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The good usually lies in between and so on that basis it would be good to share our magic with our audience. One cannot perform magic without an audience, so it follows the audience play their part. As Pop explained it is akin to playing tug with a poppy, give and take and all that.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
adrianrbf
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My concern is not that the spectator should get credit for the magic. Not at all.

To illustrate what I am looking for, let us compare two of Chris Philpott's tricks with the "100th monkey" method:

First, the classical 100th monkey trick: A spectator joins you on stage, you take a sheet of paper with some words on it and show it to the audience. You ask if they can read it, they affirm that they can. Then, you show it to the volunteer on stage, and he/she cannot read it. While this is a great comedy effect when performed well, it is certainly not an empowerment effect: You take away the volunteer's ability to read and make him/her look a bit silly.

On the other hand, consider the "Anxious Monkey" trick from "Pantheon": Again, a spectator joins you on stage, this time, you show the sheet of paper to the audience and they can clearly read some words that express negative feelings. The volunteer holds it so that the audience can see it, while you tell a story that includes positive feelings. You talk about how the mind can overcome negativity and perceive the positive energy and so on. You finally ask the volunteer to look at the card and read what it says, and now he/she will read positive words, not the negative ones that the audience saw.

The latter is clearly an empowerment effect: The volunteer makes the experience that he/she can perceive something differently, in a more positive way.
tommy
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One would rather be amused than empowered.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
funsway
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Quote:
On Mar 17, 2019, tommy wrote:
One would rather be amused than empowered.


by "one" I assume you mean yourself Smile

most folks I know are mostly often amused by the foibles of others (the demonstrated lack of empowerment), but never to their face or at their expense.
Is staying at the same level of competence while others decline a form of empowerment? (see Billy Joel) Regardless, they do not choose "amusement" as a preference.

Methinks others in an audience may enjoy seeing either the performer or volunteer seemingly more empowered since they can share such in imagination,
but "amused?" If they are amused by the plight of a volunteer the performer has possibly failed in his/her task - if on purpose it is bullying, if accidental it is inept.

Surely, the universal popularity of 'pretending at magic' is based on empowerment or the yearning for it.

I love Pop's performances where everyone laughs WITH the antics, but never AT the volunteer.

When the volunteer succeeds everyone cheers, for they also feel empowered.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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tommy
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When a magician starts talking about the power of positive thinking, then his audience will start to smile and receive the proposition with absolute incredulity and be rather amused than empowered. Whether I "prefer" to be amused or empowered is "rather" irrelevant.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
magicianbrady
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I think the objective of magic should be entertainment and create wonder. Even laymen realize it's a trick so I don't think the trick can really be empowering. However your patter can definitely inspire.
funsway
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Quote:
On Mar 17, 2019, tommy wrote:
When a magician starts talking about the power of positive thinking.


I fully agree! Which is why I would never do such a thing as a way of empowering folks.

Maybe it is just enough to focus on not diminishing any sense of pride or presence or joy a volunteer may have when they come up.

For me, both the volunteer and audience should feel better about the experience.
With society constantly dragging people down, perhaps the greatest affect of magic is pulling them up.
That may not be empowerment to you, but it is to me and all of my volunteers over the last 60 years.

Thanks for the divergent angle, though - I will rewrite a couple of chapters in a pending book to cover any possible confusion over volunteer selection and management.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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funsway
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Quote:
On Mar 17, 2019, magicianbrady wrote:
Even laymen realize it's a trick so I don't think the trick can really be empowering. However your patter can definitely inspire.


Tricks, no. Magic effects, yes. What the observer perceives, feels, remembers and tells others about can all lead to empowerment.

Is 'inspiration' empowerment or just part? Words and be important, certainly, as well as how they are said and a balance with silence.

The very concept of awe & wonder being kindled has the potential for empowerment of self, a volunteer and a distant spectator.

I was mentored many decades ago that the magician's last thoughts for the day should be,

*What did I learn from today's performance that will help be better create astonishment tomorrow?"

and ...

"What did I learn today that will make of me a better person tomorrow?"

ideas to entertain.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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