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Nikodemus
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I was wondering how much thought experienced/professional performers give to "logical consistency" BETWEEN effects (rather than within a given effect).

Take CHICAGO OPENER for example. According to the plot, one card changes colour, then changes its identity. Obviously this is an illusion. But according to the plot there should be a total of 52 cards at the end, including the stranger card. Without revealing details of the method, I hope I can mention here that the method creates a discrepancy.

Suppose you remove the stranger card, and then go on to perform other effects with the same deck. Are you concerned by the fact that the internal logic of the plot says you now only have 51 cards? Are you concerned about what an audience will surmise if/when they happen to spot cards that according to the previous effect should no longer be present?

Would you try to tie up the loose ends? (Chicago Opener does not have a final phase that restores the original cards)
Would you do a non-card effect to break the audience's memory connections?
Or would you just assume people probably won't notice or care?

I would love to hear how people view this from a theoretical and practical standpoint.
Thanks
funsway
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There are many books on the importance of creating a "routine" as opposed to doing tricks or framing an effect.
You mention "theatrical" and "practical." How about magic? What is your objective in using mystical arts to communicate with an audience?

Perhaps your thought of "between effects" should be "across effects" or "around effects" or 'beyond effects" as well

Just to entertain? A skill Demonstration? or to create an experience of magic that will last decades in memory and story?

The latter objective may not be possible with a single effects. So, a combination of effects with varying impact and 'awe&wonder' can create the story to be told.
Continuity of theme, tension and release, logical disconnects/acquitments, sustaining interest, etc. are all important elements.

The online presentation by Ray Pierce is worth watching. Look to what you are trying to accomplish and work backwards to choice of effect and even trick.

but your line "Or would you just assume people probably won't notice or care? " may be critical.

You are talking about todays audiences, of course - as opposed to the mind set of audiences decades ago when most of the fine books were written.

For "must be magic" to occur or sustain in memory several factors must be in place. (Furst Principles)

Lack of focused attention, respect of the performer, and expectation of magic to occur are often missing today.
Additionally, many are addicted to entertainment with short-circuiting of their orbital cortex. Read up on it.

they do not "care" about anything beyond getting an endorphin reward and little information ever get to the "rational thinking."

So, audience selection may be a large factor in your consideration.

At a kids party any thought of 'routine' may be unnecessary. Likewise in a bar setting. Table hopping is another world.
At a commercial gig you may want to market a product or theme.

The, you get a chance to perform a one hour show for 300 folks at a 20 year class reunion where a magician was requested in a poll.
You plan on doing some research, yes? You plan on designing your show around the expectations of this audience, right?
You want to be asked back for the 50th reunion too. You need a routine and "magic" must be the bonding element. Not 'you" - magic.
"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
mlippo
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Pop Haydn, in his Chicago Surprise has a very good and logical solution.

Buy his booklet and see what you think of it

Mark
Nikodemus
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Hi guys,
Thanks for your responses.

Mlippo - Actually I already bought Chicago Surprise, and that's what got me thinking about this.

Funsway - wow, a lot to think about! Not sure I entirely agree with the stereotype of modern audiences. I think people will spot discrepancies, and it's important to think about the big picture. (A bit like the internal consistency we expect within a Sci-Fi movie).

The reason I raised this is because there are so may demo videos that just show ONE effect.

I was thinking about another more extreme example today. Suppose you did some sort of signed card effect, and the method involves a duplicate card. At the end of the effect, you give the delighted spectator the signed card to keep as a souvenir. Then you perform another pick a card effect with the same deck - and the next spectator happens to pick the same card. You have allowed the first effect to be destroyed.

I guess it was a pretty silly question - I would never want to leave such a possibility.
Nikodemus
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I just checked my copy of Michael Ammar's ETMCM. There is no mention whatsoever of resolving that issue. I think that's what was nagging at me subconsciously - I just bought Pop Haydn's Chicago Surprise. The fact that he produces the card from his pocket really got my attention. Funny really, there is so much great stuff in his teaching, but that detail stood out.

Anyway... Michael Ammar makes no reference to the slight anomaly at the end of CO. The way the DVD is edited makes it impossible to know what he does in a real performance. You see the performance, then the explanation (with 8 card Brainwave). Then they cut to the start of the next trick (Acrobatic Aces).
okiya
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Quote:
On Jul 2, 2020, Nikodemus wrote:
I was wondering how much thought experienced/professional performers give to "logical consistency" BETWEEN effects (rather than within a given effect).

Take CHICAGO OPENER for example. According to the plot, one card changes colour, then changes its identity. Obviously this is an illusion. But according to the plot there should be a total of 52 cards at the end, including the stranger card. Without revealing details of the method, I hope I can mention here that the method creates a discrepancy.

Suppose you remove the stranger card, and then go on to perform other effects with the same deck. Are you concerned by the fact that the internal logic of the plot says you now only have 51 cards? Are you concerned about what an audience will surmise if/when they happen to spot cards that according to the previous effect should no longer be present?

Would you try to tie up the loose ends? (Chicago Opener does not have a final phase that restores the original cards)
Would you do a non-card effect to break the audience's memory connections?
Or would you just assume people probably won't notice or care?

I would love to hear how people view this from a theoretical and practical standpoint.
Thanks


I do a variation on the Chicago Opener where there really is only 52 cards (including the miscoloured card), so I don't have that problem at all ! Smile
TomB
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Eugene Burger had some thoughts on that trick. The answer is yes, everything needs to be thought about.

If you have access, you may want to read this old post
https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......c=328424
davidpaul$
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Performing in restaurants for many years, people really don't pay all that much attention to details in certain areas. They are too busy paying attention to each other or other things. Details about how many cards should be left in the deck after a particular effect is too much traffic for their minds.
They just want to have a good time. I also will go in a different direction after a card effect like (Chicago Surprise) to a non- card effect.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Nikodemus
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Thanks for the responses.

Okiya - I don't think that really solves the problem I wasn't really talking about the number of cards in the deck. I meant which cards are in the deck.
Suppose the spectator chooses Ace of Spades (from a red deck) in the first phase, and the back magically changes from red to blue.
Then they get the Queen of Hearts in the second phase. And the blue card magically changes from AS to QH. According to the plot there is only one QH in the deck and its back is now blue.
At the end of the effect that blue card is removed. So there should be no QH in the deck at all.
If you do another effect with the same deck for the same group someone may spot that QH. They could even select it when you do another pick-a-card effect
Nikodemus
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I guess this video of ED OSCHMANN at the Magic Castle answers my question -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJEou9RmC_w

Ed performs YOURS TRULY, his version of Chicago Opener. At the end, he puts the red-backed AH in his pocket.
According to the plot, cards have changed their back and/or value, but no new card has magically appeared from nowhere. So logically the deck should no longer have an AH.

He then performs two more effects. Both require cards to be selected by spectators. These are taken from the middle of the deck. Whereas the AH is (I believe) safely near the top.

Then he performs COIN MATRIX. This is about 12 minutes after Yours Truly, with a couple of other effects in the meantime. One of the four cards happens to be the AH. This was exactly the kind of situation I was thinking about. But nobody seems to notice or care. They have already forgotten. But I think it would have been strange if the AH got selected for the very next trick.
tltq
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Try this. Change the color of the back of the card.

Let's say the odd-backed is the jack of clubs and it is a red back. After you force the second selection, control it to the bottom of the deck. After the face of the odd-backed card is shown to match the second selection, leave it face up on the table. Place the deck face up on top of it. Say, "I want to do some more tricks but I need to get the deck back to the original condition. I got an idea."

Pick up the deck. Switch the odd-backed card for the card above it by way of the Glide. Place the blue-backed card face-up on the table.

With the deck facing you, look through the deck to find two mates - like the red queens. You will need to push the bottom two or three cards over as a block the hide the back of the jack. Show the mates then place them face down on the table.

Rub the back of the jack on the backs of the mates. At the same time, thumb off the odd-backed card into a pocket. Show that the back of the jack is blue again.
Bob G
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Lots of good ideas here. Here's a relative beginner's perspective, Nikodemus. I fretted about these issues In Chicago opener too. Someday when I'm advanced enough I may learn Chicago Surprise. But in the meantime, here's my take. Magic is a game of "Let's Pretend." From that point of view, the reappearance of the first selection, but with its original back-color, would have happened by magic. It was simply one component of the magic that changed the face of the stranger card.


Not all spectators will buy into "Let's Pretend" or suspension of disbelief; they're more interested in figuring out how the trick is done. If that's the way they want to enjoy (I hope) magic, fine with me.


As I write, I'm realizing what I think is the central question here: is our goal to minimize the chance that spectators will figure out how the trick was done? That is surely one goal, but we have to weigh its importance against that of creating a sense of wonder. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but I'm guessing that Pop Hadyn would say that making it hard to figure out how the trick is done is *part* of how we create a sense of wonder. But he's assuming, I think, a very sophisticated audience. So, echoing Funsway, it depends on who you're performing for.


By the way, Bill Malone has a nice solution. The original selection ends up in his wallet, which has been in his pocket the whole time. If you're interested, you can find his performance and explanation on L&L's compilation DVD, World's Greatest Magic: Chicago Opener.


I'm inclined to think that the trick as it stands, without any frills, is great as it stands. Why gild the lily? I haven't performed it yet -- my DL needs work -- so this is partly my personal reaction from watching various versions, and partly my having read the testimony of many people on the Café, who say they've been doing the original for many years and have found that audiences enjoy it.


Finally -- Funswway -- can you recommend some good books on routining?

Fwiw,

Bob
Nikodemus
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Hi Bob,
Chicago Surprise is available as a PDF plus video download for about $20. It is well worth it.
Pop's philosophy (as I understand it) is that you do NOT want the audience to suspend disbelief. You want to engage their critical faculties and then apparently eliminate all possible explanations. This leaves them with the sense that something impossible has occurred.

My own opinion is you should not assume spectators are dumb. What you call a "sophisticated" audience is probably a cross-section of normal people with reasonable level of intelligence and curiosity.
If you want to win at chess, you need to think of the best move your opponent could make - not assume they will walk blindly into your traps. I believe designing magic is the same.
Ed Oschmann
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It's an important question. I've always held the opinion that you try to fool the smartest guy in the room. The rest just come along for the ride. So yes, you should take care in eliminating discrepancies that can weaken a subsequent effect. Not discrepancies within an effect, those are fun.
Take the case of a torn and restored card. If that card is signed, destroyed and finally restored, it wouldn't be good if that card showed up later. So care must be made to make sure it doesn't show up again. In the case of the Chicago Opener Pop pulls the card out of his pocket after tabling the odd backed card suggesting a duplicate. This mitigates a potential problem further up the road.
As to the example where the ace of hearts shows up later in a matrix effect is no big sin. The focus is on the coins and enough time has passed to make this fact immaterial.
So it's difficult to forsee every potential eventuality. Placing your effects in the framework of a routine will definitely pay dividends. Or you learn like me. A lot of trial and error. A LOT of trial and error.
Smile
Bob G
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Hi Nikodemus and Ed,

Very interesting thoughts, here.


Nikodemus, I already have Pop's booklet and video on Chicago Surprise. I'm not far enough along in my learning for his effect, so for now I'll be happy if I can learn the traditional Chicago Opener! About Pop's philosophy of magic: the thinking he's put into that is amazing. I'm out of my depth here, but but it seems to me that in the end, even if his clever strategms (sp?) have made his methods utterly inscrutable, no reasonable spectator will believe that they've witnessed real magic. So I'm inclined to think that the audience still has to bring a "Let's Pretend" attitude to Pop's performances if they're to fully enjoy the effects. Maybe.


Ed, "Try to fool the smartest guy in the room" -- sounds like excellent advice. I'm curious: why do you distinguish between discrepancies within an effect and between effects. I'm missing something...


I'm with you, by the way, on trial and error. Smile That's pretty much the way I do everything. A lot of work, but fun (mostly) work, and in the end you find that you've created something beautiful.


Bob
Nikodemus
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Ed - thanks for contributing! It's great to have the answer from the horse's mouth. A signed card is a GREAT example.
I have a really clear idea now about what matters and what doesn't - which is why I started the thread.


Bob G - forgive me, butI think your logic is not quite right. It's a false argument I have noticed is quite common.
Roughly speaking this argument says totally fooling a spectator is the same thing as making them believe in real magic.
They will never believe in real magic.
Therefore I don't need to worry about totally fooling them.

And worse -
Spectators don't believe in real magic.
Therefore they must "suspend belief" when they watch a magic show.
Therefore if there is a weakness in my effect it doesn't matter - they will be fooled anyway, because they wan to be.

People often compare magic to suspending belief when we go to the movies or a play. There is a massive difference.
I can thoroughly enjoy a movie like Superman, Star Wars etc etc, knowing it is all make-believe. I certainly don't believe Darth Vader is real. But there is always an internal logic within a story. Especially in Sci Fi there ate "rules" about the laws of the fictional universe. Spiderman & Darth Vader have different, specific powers.
When people watch magicians perform they do NOT suspend belief. They know it is a trick - but they STILL don't know how it is done! That is what makes it an enjoyable "magical" experience. This is why it's important to eliminate both the actual method used AND other possible methods not used. You want to leave them with no possible explanation, But that is not the same thing as convincing them you have real magical powers!

If you are interested in this theoretical side of things I recommend two books by Darwin Ortiz -
Strong Magic
Designing Miracles.

I have been working on Chicago Opener/Surprise for a couple of months. I think I am just about ready to perform now. Funny, it seemed really daunting at first, but gradually it has taken shape,
Ed Oschmann
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It’s funny, I have never actually looked up the word discrepant. Intuitively I know what it means, but never actually taken the time to look the word up. So, based on my extensive research (Google) a discrepancy is simply a disagreement. And yes, it’s more nuanced than that, but for the sake of argument… So you don’t want some thing that happens in one effect negatively affect what happens in the next. Like the example of a destroyed card showing up later. It dilutes both effects. So when I talk about discrepancies in a particular effect an Elmsley count is probably a very basic example. You are showing four face up cards and yet the ace of diamonds shows up twice yet it’s
never noticed. It’s not noticed because you may be asking a spectator to focus on the card turning face down as in twisting the aces. Inconsistency may be a better word for what we’re talking about. Although, at the moment I’m not really in the mood to expound on this. Smile
I can only speak for myself in addressing the “suspension of belief“ idea. The spectator is always the X factor here. 95% of the spectators know what I’m doing is !@#$%^&*. And yet, they don’t care because I am amazing them, while making them laugh at the same time. They are getting a swell night out. And yes, once in a while someone finds what I do to be quite profound. So, my point is… Actually I don’t have a point. I’m going to pour myself some more coffee.

No, wait! I do have a point: buy this- it’s great!

https://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7993
Bob G
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Nikodemus, you may be right. I dunno, the more I think about it the more I don't understand! One thing I can tell you: I certainly wasn't advocating sloppy handling or thoughtless construction; I'm actually a perfectionist about this sort of thing. Maybe what I said comes out of being intimidated by Haydn's high-level thinking. As a relative beginner, I don't think I can even begin to apply his methods. Of course, he builds the methods into his tricks, and eventually, with more experience, I hope I can learn some of them.


You mentioned internal consistency in sci fi. Have you seen Tolkien's interesting essay, On Fairy Tales, that addresses the same issue?


Glad the Chicago tricks are going well for you.


Ed, I see what you mean about the Elmsley count, though at the moment, with not much performance experience, I'd be calmer doing face-down EC's. Your lecture does indeed look great -- and recommended by such a highly respected reviewer! Smile I think you have another Penguin DVD where you talk about your version of Chicago Opener?


Thanks to both of you for your DVD and book recommendations. I've resolved (for the thousandth time) to spend no more on magic, and this time it looks like I'm going to stay on the wagon. But I'll keep these ideas in mind for some indefinite future time when Darth, and his boss the Emperor, permit me to spend again.


Bob
Bob G
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Oops! Just realized, Ed: the disk you mentioned *is* the one with your Chicago Opener! So that makes the disk *two* disks for the price of one, no?
Ed Oschmann
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No discs, just a digital download from penguin.
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