Are you a good magician?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MattSmithies, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. It is a sad but known fact that the number of good magicians in the world has always been a very small percentage. In your opinion why is this?

    I have watched countless performances, live or otherwise, that are as fun as slamming your head against a brick wall. The amount of creativity I have seen in the majority of presentations has always been very low.

    I would like you to think and tell everyone what do you do that sets you apart from the rest of the flock. How do you look at and nurture your own unique blend of magic?
  2. Nothing. Not a thing.

    That's what I'm trying to change. I'll be the first to admit it: I'm a crap magician
  3. Honestly, I don't like to admit, but I'm with what Tumbleweed said. I have done nothing to change me from the rest of the flock. I agree 100% on what your saying, and thankyou for making this thred. I hope the many magicians that are doing the same as us read this.
  4. I mostly create my own material, as there are not many magic opportunities or stores etc. in Australia.
    I am still finding my character, though I'd like to think I am unique.
    Without sounding too conceited, but rather confident, I reckon I am pretty original, though that's just my opinion.
  5. im an able magician. i can hold my own and do a show. what i do believe i am quite good at is being a performer. i would rather be a great performer and a alright magician than a terrific magican and a crappy performer.
    but its nice to have a happy medium
  6. I have been doing magic for 10 years. I always practice the moves first. The most must be second nature. Once they are second nature then I can focus on presentation. I try to come up with origional presentations. I must admit my moves are pretty good, my presentations are great in some stuff and ok in other stuff. I am always adjusting from performance to performance until I get it right. But, Lay people love me. They always say I am better then people they have seen at restrants and TV. SO I don't know. I always see stuff that I could change an be better at.
  7. The problem is that this should be seen as standard for any magician, rather than something that sets you apart from the crowd.

    In response to the OP, I'm really not. I'm having real difficulty finding my character and my presentation seems to have gone downhill massively. It's starting to drive me slightly insane. Er.
  8. My response is in blue, what I address is in Red.
  9. And what is a good magician?
  10. Im horrible now, but the first step to getting better admitting it
  11. In my opinion, a good magician is one who can perform seemingly unexplainable magic whilst still making it entertaining to an audience, leaving them with a lifelong memory. Watch Derren Brown or Tommy Wonder. They have to be my two most inspirational magicians, due to filling the above criteria.
  12. I'm with Chris, I don't think I am one of the best around my area but I am definitely able to hold my own and am probably above average. I constantly get called for gigs and am starting to grow.

    As far as being original....that is my biggest weakeness. A lot of my effects use the patter that come with them and only about 1/4 have I put my own touch on. I hope to improve this as well.
  13. I change my mind then :p
    Because I have done that. Many times.
  14. I know I'm a good magician because people stay and watch my show. I know I'm a good magician because I'm able to draw a crowd, keep a crowd, perform for a crowd, and get paid by a crowd.

    People don't give you money if you suck...and if they do, then I have made a LOT of pity money
  15. Well what would you define as a good magician then? :)
  16. I would say one who can incite a reaction of astonishment with each performance. That's it, I guess.
  17. Firest we have to define "magician". Do we mean who can do a pass really well? Has a proficient double lift? Or are we talking about a person who can take professor's nightmare or some other common prop and entertaina room full of people and still fool them?

    If it's the latter, you are an entertainer. A magician can fool you, but not necessarily get you to enjoy it.
  18. Well, I will say that I have a long way to go to meet my own standards of what I would consider being good. I've been doing magic for a little over four years now, I have very good skill on a technical level but am by no means at all a "technician". I desperately need to work on interacting with my audience more than I do. I also need to work on my presentational skills. I also need to smile more when performing. :D I have a little longer to go before I think about becoming a good restaurant worker.

    Great thread by the way man, a little self-analysis never hurt anybody.

    Keep it real,
  19. jigsaw

    Thank you for all your responces, they have been most insightful. I know at writing this thread has basically died so I would like to quickly mention how I as an individual look at my own magic.

    There is a quote by Aaron Fisher that I always think about which basically says that our job as magicians is to provide pictures throughout the trick that the audience will remember and think about after.

    I must say that I agree with this statement as almost everything I personally partcipate in outside of magic I have pictures of the memory. Anyway when I attempt to construct presentations and methods for my magic I try to imagine a jigsaw. The pieces of the jigsaw are the slights I use, the structure of the pieces together make up the overall method for the trick, the colour of the jigsaw is my presentation and the final image is the different pictures which I hope my audience will remember. I realise that this sound vague but I try to break everything down to individual elements to try to find the most efficient and entertaining way.

    Everyone can do a trick but this to me is a very black and white picture. This is the main reason why I feel that there is a lack of creativity in the performance area of magic. I like to keep things as simple, slight and concept, as possible I don’t want to distract the attention of the audience with my hands near the deck.

    I’ll run through the loose presentation of my favourite trick that I perform, the classic chicago opener. I use a blank backed duplicate to fit in with the presentation...

    'have you ever heard of the old saying as white as a sheet?'


    'you know when someone is scared their skin turns white, as white as a sheet'

    'here take/pick one i'll show you what I mean'

    I offer the cards to the audience to be remembered and replaced

    ‘now your going to scare your card, scream at the deck’

    Normally the audience member screams but not that loud, if I am working for a group I say this.

    ‘in fact lets get everyone to scream at the cards’

    This eases the tension that the first spectator is feeling allowing everyone to let go and interact with the trick that is happening. Even though no cards are being handled.

    ‘lets see if that worked’

    I spread though the deck finding the blank backed duplicate, I won’t go in to the whole method as I realise that the majority of magicians here know how the trick works.
    Before I turn over their first selection I ask for the selection to be named. This is for the main reason that the audience member to think about the card so there is misdirection to perform a spread center double lift, which is similar to the paintbrush change. I have opted for this style of double as traditionally in this effect the cards above the blank duplicate are cut to the bottom. If this approach is taken I have found that you would have no room for error for your double as all the audience attention is drawn on the deck, significantly increasing the chances of being caught out.

    When the audience are reacting I turn the double over.

    ‘that was quite good, here hold this’

    I put the blank card on the spectators hand asking them to place their thumb on top. I force the duplicate in to another member of the audience handing them the deck. Normally I would step backwards a pace. Everything is in the spectators hands I am clean to build up the effect.

    ‘lets scare another card making it white again, scream as loud as you can’

    I go through the screaming procedure again and I let the audience members spread through the deck. During this period if they are taking a long time to spread I ask what their card was to relive the tension and natural build up.

    After the card has been named I pause or say ‘sorry what was that again?’

    I point to the blanked backed duplicate an ask for it to be turned over.​

    I have posted a video of this presentation on the Go Out Perform thread although some of the patter at the beginning has been missed out.

    I realise that everyone looks at their magic differently, I guess this is just my small unique blend. I hope that all of you have enjoyed reading this.

    Until next time

  20. I noticed a couple of posts mentioning building character and relevant presentations, Check out my "Knowledge" articles at Papercrane's Blog, they could be really useful.



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