August 2009 :: Where Are We Going?

Discussion in 'Cerca Trova' started by jonraiker, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Since the beginning, it's been the mantra of this site to work towards the advancement of the art of magic and cardistry. To that end, and thanks entirely to you guys, we've been active. We push hard, we try to innovate, we listen, and we always try to maintain a flurry of activity - from contests, to videos, to discussions such as this one.

    But to achieve any goal, one must first have one. So that's the topic of this month's Cerca Trova - where are we going? What is your goal, your vision, your ideal image for the potential this artform? Where would you like to see this art positioned in the next decade? What must we all do as an industry to get it there? What are we as an industry doing right, and what are we doing wrong? What is the future of magic?

    Looking forward to your responses.
     
  2. I see magic in general being taken to a diffrent level of creativity that goes far beyond the imagination. As technology grows, so does magic, new doors and oppurtunities shall be unearthed and magic in a way will be re-shaped and re-invisioned. While sticking to our roots and focusing on those fundamentals to create new astonishments. I believe that the internet has grown immensley along side magic, and I think its gonna be the mainstay for magic dealers. Yet I will still want local magic shops, clubs, conventions etc because it allows a 1 on 1 expirence and to handle props and shake hands with the greats.
     
  3. Well, I see it like this. There will be more and more magicians as time goes by, because of the internet, and TV exposure (no, not exposure of tricks). There will be more magicians on reality shows, and that will grow magic population even more.
    Next, there will be a lot more material that can be accessed. If you look at how many material there was 100 years ago, and how many is there now, you will get the picture.
    There will also be a lot more connection between magicians all over the world. Aaron Fisher already started that. You can have a private 45 minutes session with him (for money of course), and as time progresses, there will be more magicians that will do that kind of teachings. It will be genuinely 1on1 sessions, person to person, even thou they are on different continents.
    And, because of all these reasons, there will be more skilled magicians, better magicians than there ever was. Of course, because of the balance in the universe, there will be worst magicians than ever. But you get the picture.
    Next, Illusions will be so simplified (because of the technology), that you can do any kind of levitation, penetration, vanish, etc. by pulling a secret cord, or a button, or something even more easy. So the accent will be on presentation.

    So, it's like this:

    -More magicians
    -More material to access
    -Private sessions and lessons with greatest magicians, from your bedroom
    -More skillful magicians
    -Greater Illusions than ever
    -Simplified Illusions "anyone" can do
     
  4. My personal goal for my own magic has always been pretty simple: to keep it grounded when I study and perform. In today's magic community, it's so easy to get caught up in the modern hype of magic celebrities, new products, websites, etc. Although some of the hype may be deserved for certain celebrities or distinguished products, it's often easy to be influenced by these things in the wrong way. All too often, people see a new trick demo premiere on the internet and immediately want to buy it and perform it. Just because big names are using the effect and saying it's creative and original, inexperienced guys believe they'll be creative and original performers themselves, if they learn and use the same material. Unfortunately, that's not the case-- in fact, it only mass produces clones and copycats.

    When I say I want to keep magic grounded, I mean I want it to stay true to myself. The performer should define his magic; the magic shouldn't define the performer. In my opinion, the only way to add something new to magic is by adding an actual identity to it. The 100s of custom decks, new DVDs, crazy flourishes, new moves, online communities, etc are all great tools and learning resources, but I don't think they significantly add anything to magic at all. When it all comes down to it, laypeople don't remember specific tricks, props, or material, they simply remember performers. Think about it; lay audiences don't say they're going to a show where a guy will saw lady cut in half; they say they're going to see David Copperfield or Lance Burton, etc. That name carries more meaning than any of the tricks in the show they're about to see.

    In terms of where magic is going, I hope to see the overall community spawn more original thinkers and actual performers in the craft. I hope to see more of an emphasis on the performance of magic rather than the methods used to achieve it. I would love to see new magicians make television specials. In the industry, it would be nice to see someone release a performance-only DVD or make a full documentary about a magician's views of magic and their endeavors in it. I remember watching Nate Staniforth's performance DVDs and loving them. I was not only entertained by them, but I believe I learned a lot more about the importance of self identity in magic. Those independent DVDs were released quite a while ago, but I think they made more of an impact on magic than any commercial release this year. That's what the industry is doing wrong-- emphasizing the trivial aspects of magic. There's no need for a new deck; there's no need for another instructional trick DVD; there IS a need for more originality though. There is a need for instruction and demonstration in performance and presentation and self-awareness.

    Just my opinion.

    RS.

     
  5. Ah. Where ARE we going? That is the question.

    The answer is not a clear one at all. As we all know, the community is being filled with "bad" magicians. The art form is being exposed (in a bad way) in places where it shouldn't be. If this continues, magic will soon lose it's effect on the world. People will begin to know "how it is done."

    Besides magic, the cardistry community has grown REALLY fast in the past few years. At this rate, flourishers will outnumber magicians very soon. This isn't a bad thing, nor a good thing. I see this as a shift in a movement.

    My goal for these art forms is to push to make sure they are done right. I want people to help out with the new comers more. It's not an easy task, but this can help tremendously. By helping, I mean more constructive criticism. People need to know what they are doing wrong.With help from people with experience, learning these art forms can be much easier and fun than just taking it solo.

    As much as I hate to say it, I don't want these art forms (especially magic) to grow and expand in popularity. If more people get into it, then it lessens our will to practice and such. Magic should be kept on the down low to preserve its effect on the world. As for cardistry, keeping it down low will help maintain its effect as well: The less people know how to do it, the more powerful it will be on them when they see you do it.

    I think the industry should show more criticism. People need to know what their wrongs are in order to improve. Instead of just putting out effect after effect, or DVD after DVD, there should be more constructive criticism aimed towards novices and amateurs whether it's in a post or an announcement type of thing. This can brighten up the future of magic by helping people see their mistakes. "Bad" magicians are the ones ruining our art form. I think it's time to let them know what they're really doing.
     
  6. So aside from Romeo, no one really knows. We know what we want our destination to be like, just not what or where it is.
     
  7. Coin magic, and general magic. I think we're focused too much on card magic, especially with the recent dawn of cardistry. But it's like eighties metal - it's timelessly cool, but can get boring.

    I just picked up Bobo's book through my library's inter-library program, and I want to see more coin magic now. I'm a card guy, though, and love them to death. However, there are less than ten coin tricks on this site, and good luck finding them on artists' personal sites like the Bucks.

    And general magic. We don't always have cards on us. And they're overrated. Who wants to spend $150 on a deck of Jerry's to never be used in performance when you can spend $1 - a buck! - for a box of rubber bands for linking band tricks.

    That's my two cents. Or three dimes.

    Ian
     
  8. Amen to that, man.

    On a side note, I feel it is the belief of many that the future of magic is the youth. With that in mind, what can you guys do to move magic in the direction you'd like to see it go - as you progress? What is your ideal map?

    No pressure. ;)
     
  9. For me magic as an art form, what does the individual magician want to achieve? For me as mentioned in this thread presentation, well scripted show, character development and many more concepts like this. I find many people don't try to work on the presentation and character development. Like other performing arts we must find the purpose of why we perform and express that to our audience. I would love to see a lot of development of character and presentation rather than people just doing a series of magic tricks. That is my hope and it how I would like to see the art develop in the next 10 years.
     
  10. First off, I may only be one of a handful, but I completely disagree with the idea that the future of magic is the youth. I don't think age has anything to do with magic's future at all. In fact, it's unfortunate, but I think that the industry has attached a peculiarly young image to what 'quality magic' should be. I've had the pleasure of seeing people get into magic well into their 60s+ and proceed to develop (both creatively and technically) ten times better than a lot of the younger magicelebs newer guys seem to idolize these days. The future of magic does not (and never will) depend on age but rather straight ambition. Period. Although I agree T11 has an online community with diverse artists stepping in the right direction, I believe that sometimes it contributes to the problem of selling an particular street-fad image that doesn't fully represent or widely encompass 'good' magic at all.

    But that's a totally different topic...

    What can I do to take magic where I want it to go? Like I said in my previous post, I want to keep magic grounded and simple. When I perform, I always want it to feel raw. Today, the magic industry harps on DVDs, secret techniques and creative devices. It constantly harps on 'the next big thing.' It's easy to get caught up in that hype, but I feel that hype takes away from the art in magic. The art of reaching out to people and connecting with them on an original, interactive level. It's that connection that makes magic feel organic and edgy.

    I currently have a documentary and website in development. Without giving too much away, I want the film to explore magic through the spectators' eyes. As magicians, our view of what we do is very skewed. Sometimes it's naive. Sometimes it's jaded. As magicians, I don't think we fully appreciate the spectators' experience as much as we should. The film will feature various audiences in diverse settings describing the experience of magic in their own words. I plan to interview them prior to and after spontaneous performances to explore their preconceived notions and change their understanding of magic. In theory, the film will lend more respect and appreciation to the spectator rather than the magician. I hope this will adequately emphasize the art I see in magic. If the final product works, I hope to submit it to various film festivals across the country and have it distributed through the magic community as well.

    My ideal path in magic is relatively simple. I aim to be spectator-oriented and want to focus on the relationship I have with people. So with that, in the very least, I would like my magic to spawn lasting friendships with at least ten people every year I perform. In addition to that, I want to ensure the magic I perform legitimately affects others' lives for the better. By the time I either die or fall out of magic, I hope my performances will raise at least $1,000,000 for various charities and causes. I hope to tour around the world and reach out to third-world countries using magic. If possible, I would love to sign up for USO tours to perform and raise the morale of troops overseas. I hope to share the positive effects of magic with the world through a trilogy of independent films. I would also like to produce magic-themed televised documentaries to recapture the art I see in the craft. I understand some of these goals may be somewhat lofty and overzealous, but they're (ideal) attainable goals I would like to accomplish in my lifetime.

    RS.

     
  11. Because they can't think of anything better to say.
     
  12. Amen Romeo. Very nicely said.

    I do understand how you feel about the "youth" image of magic. I agree that many of these younger magicians just aren't up to par with the older and more "classic" type of magicians. There are a handful, however, that produces magic just as nice as their predecessors.

    I think that we can help steer magic in a better path by exposing the youth to more of the "old-school" type of magic instead of the "cool" stuff that you see Daniel Madison and the Bucks release. I am not, by any means, bashing on d+m or the Bucks. I'm just saying that if we can put that image of classic magic into their minds, they might start actually produce better quality magic. Classic magic, to me, has more finesse and elegant handlings than the new simple, inyourface, cool magic. I think if they can incorporate that finesse into their new style as well, magic can be more appreciated by spectators and magicians as well.
     
  13. I do agree with the fact that their needs to be an encouragement to study the older magi. If it was not for these masters contributions to our art. There would probably be fewer if not any of our generation of magi.

    I have an immense respect for Lee Asher for putting up videos of the old masters on his website. It's not only an incredible resource but also very inspirational.

    As far as this thread topic is concerned, I really don't know where my magical journey will take me. If it will only remain a hobby for me or ever try and make a buck with it; i'll just let time tell that tale. One thing that will remain constant for me though is to always try and inspire mystery and wonder for whomever I perform for.

    Sincerely,
    David
     
  14. When I learned magic I was lucky as I had a magic instructor my mentor. He taught me everything from sleights, how to routine a show, the business of booking magic and much much more. I think it is important to have mentor to teach you. I feel very lucky to have studied magic that way. One point is for those experienced performers to be willing on take on apprentices. Here in Japan where I live most art is taught that way and traditionally magic has been taught that way. I guess I would like to see more of that system. That would help the art immensely.
    What do you think?
     
  15. I could not agree more! This the main problem of magic today. To many worry about the "how" but thats not what matter's cause the spec doesnt know if you used a crazy new technic or a simple double lift.

    I hope this fad of so called street magic and putting out the same image will stop and will go back to what magic about, and thats creating a magic moment for the person or persons watching you.

    I actually could go on for hours on this subject but will leave it a this.
     
  16. Since I can't tell where magic as a whole is going, I'd like to speak about where I would like it to go.

    As with any capitalistic system, the focus in magic (at least in Internet communities geared towards teens) seems to be on new products, events, and the like. Which is fine; all that stuff keeps it new and exciting for us. But it's important to remember that the point of the whole escapade is to give people a gift, whether it's a few moments' entertainment or one really awesome moment that deeply impacts them. To that end, I think the most helpful thing a site like this one can do is to offer advice.

    There's a video for beginners on here I found immensely helpful. It's kind of hard to find, but I highly recommend watching it if you haven't already. The Theory Eleven artists talk about the "real" side of magic, the practical things you have to work out to actually engage an audience well. I could use a lot more of that kind of advice. I'd love to be able to just chat with some of the artists on here; I know that would help me more than anything else. I'd pay money for that or help the site in some way so I could become a part of this thing instead of just a beneficiary or a customer.

    I think it'd be cool to see groups of magicians band together around a certain type of magic, a brand name if you will. They could make up a really cool sounding word and brand a certain type of magic act with it. Then in advertising they would emphasize that there's a "------ show" and their name would be just a subtitle. Right now there's only two brands that people see: the stuff on stage from old guys and the stuff on TV from Criss Angel and David Blaine. Let's make a new product.
     
  17. I find that quite good. I also like muinto magician and handlings, do not know them to myself muinta thing. Because here in Brazil, we have not muintos magicians.
    Sera q might you to teach me any magicians?
     
  18. Nice work--thank you for sharing-
    Thanks so much for this. I appreciate the effort. It really helps a lot.
    Glad to hear you're using this: I plan to keep it much more aggressively up-to-date than has been the case in the past, but don't hesitate to let me know if you find errors or need clarifications.
     
  19. you know what? i think magic is growing ...not at a rapid pace but its growing....i pray to God, that magic doesn't get like rap and R and B, it was hot at the turn of the century, now everyone sounds like a rip off of Roger Troutman (from the Roger and Zapp group) its not working....i hate it....rappers sound like singers, singers sound like rappers.....

    however on to magic, Magic has a poison and its called "cardistry"... i hope "cardistry" seperates itself from actual magic, spectators are taking for Granted that if you know how to flourish really good, you are a top magician, that in fact is the "voice enhancement device" of magic.....seriously, i know i may step on a few toes but thats the truth.....every rapper/singer that tries to sound like Roger or T-Pain isn't that good. Likewise with "cardistry" ....to me, that a HUGE concern...a HUGE concern...thats something all magicians should keep an eye out for......as well as spectators......

    while this is no way talking down on Card Magicians, but guys this is a serious concern every performer should have in the back of their mind....
     
  20. I think people are going to start getting sick of card magic and flourishing, (although it will still be performed alot) i think we are headed more into the mentalism area as far as new creations go...
     

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