Can You Sign the Card Right Across the Face? An Essay On Proving Your Magic.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TKH, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. Why do they need to sign a card?
    Why do we need another coin in bottle, that is also factory sealed?
    Why does it need to be factory sealed?
    Why must you end clean?
    You are doing magic, if it is entertaining, you should not have to prove the magic. If it is dry then you may need to. The more we try to prove magic the more other magicians have to prove their magic. Magicians nowadays spend too much time looking for effects clean, gimmickless, and the best method possible, and do not concentrate enough on making their effects entertaining.

    Every effect that comes out usually stresses the same things, no dupes, no magnets, can be signed, can be left completely clean at the end. If any of these are broken the effect is deemed in adequate compared to the others. Why? If a spectator selects a card why do you need to have it signed? Even if it can be, you wreck the card, maybe make a souvenir, but you don’t need to. The fact that they picked one of 52 random cards is coincidence enough. There are those effects that do need a signed card or coin, Ambitious card, etc. If we did not stress signing a card to our audience members, they would not think of duplicates, or that the card in your wallet was just another card not theirs. Duplicates worked for a long time, and they still do, but only if you focus the presentation on something else as opposed to that it’s the same card. Instead concentrate on that it’s the same card that they chose, and say something like “ Was this the card you chose?” as opposed to “ Is this the same card?” subtle, but the will answer yes to the first, even though they may think its not the same card. When they say yes, the other people in the audience will assume it’s the exact same card.

    We have a problem. Magic shops have released about 15 Coin in bottles since Ellusionist announced they were making theirs. Every one of them is the same if performed, the spectators don’t care if its factory sealed, or signed. It went through the bottle. They will remember it went through the bottle. Magic is about the memory, if you make that memory entertaining they will remember it. It doesn’t have to be funny, set a goal you would like to achieve when you do all of your tricks. This will form your character. Do you want to be skillful? Funny? Insane (doing crazy stuff)? Maybe just magical? Or would you like to entertain them through storytelling? These are what you should figure out first. Once you have figured that out then look at the effects you buy and focus on your character when you buy. If you are a comedy magician, why would you buy the trilogy? If you like to be skillful, don’t buy a sponge ding dong. Never pay for more then one of the same effect (i.e. card wallet, ring flight) work on the one you chose.
    Once you make your magic entertaining you will find, that your magic is the best magic. You don’t need to buy others; you have found the best magic for you. Now once you have that go and perform.
  2. I stopped reading your post right there. And I'm not trying to offend you or cut you off, but immediately I had a thought.

    If I told you I was capable of disappearing and reappearing in millionths of a second and then said "see?" would you believe I disappeared for that millionth of a second?

    A signed card, coin anything just makes it more impossible, but more real when it works.
    -any clown can open the bottle, throw a coin in there and cover it until he can palm the one the spectator gives you.
    -any clown can have a set of duplicate cards in a deck for an ACR.

    There's a certain beauty to the impossible, and the ability to make it real. It has more of an effect.

    Inevitably, we must constantly evolve and get better. Here's an analogy.

    Diego Maradona was considered a soccer god in his time. If you've every seen even his training videos, you'd understand his ability to totally control the ball with any part of his body.

    But now Ronaldinho can do things Maradona couldn't even imagine doing. Sure he's better, but only because Maradona existed before him to build the foundation.

    So we must properly respect and honor the past, all while welcoming and contributing creatively to the future. That means making what we do even more impossible to prove it is more real.
  3. My favorite quotation along these lines is Simon Aronson's: "There's world of difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done."

    I'm all for multiple layers of proving. The issue comes whether or not something is a tool for further proof or whether it just muddles the efficiency of the trick.

    Most people seem to think that at some point people "accepted" magic performances. Looking at performances in shamanistic cultures, the major portion of the performance was geared towards the shaman proving he was the real thing. And this proof was re-enacted with each performance.

    There was one trick documented with one group where a knife was tossed into the bushes and reappeared int the shaman's hands. Guess what? He had the knife signed (no joke).
  4. #4 AndyAce, Nov 21, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2007
    A very nice article.

    Yes, you are right that the audience would still be entertained even though you did not sign the card in an ambitious card routine.

    But then why do magicians like to have the card signed?

    Is it to prove your magic? Yes, maybe.

    To me, I signed the card not just because I want to prove the magic. But becasue the signing of the card makes the whole trick more entertaining.

    It's all about entertaining your audience.

    And people really like the part when they signed their cards. If I perform for girls, sometimes I would ask them to leave a lipstick mark on the card. People just find the routine more entertaining if you put in the signed card element.

    In general, the more impossible the effect, the more reactions you get.

    Why must you put in the factory sealed or big coin element in CTBs?

    No.1: Like you said, to emphasis that the magic is real

    No.2: To amaze my audience.

    Yes, a coin through empty bottle is entertaining. But a coin through factory sealed bottle will usually make the effect more entertaining. The audience can have fun playing with the seal, they can break the seal etc.

    Of course, the signed card and factory sealed elements don't need to be present. But if you think that it adds more colour to your magic, feel free to do so.
  5. I believe that you stopped reading because I acknowledged the ACR. I have to say I have a friend who was at a magic convention, and a famous magician, can't remember which one I'll ask my friend, showed a group of people his pass. He took a card from the center of the deck stuck it in, and cleanly turned over the top card and it was their card. It was a one-way deck, yet they were floored. He presented it focusing on the move which is why the gimmicked deck went right by them.

    But lets say that clown you mentioned used a folding coin. The classic coin in bottle. THe one that actually use a a coin to big for the bottle and a glass bottle, it is also done in the spectators hands. Now we hae that one, why do we need more? No one questions Michael ammar that it isn't the same coin, its not about proving the same coin went through the bottle. Its the penetration.

  6. The lipstick thing is in the presentation that is fine. Signatures are only for magicians, you don't need them and should not be discouraged from buying or learning an effect because it can not be signed. I am almost 100% sure that at least E's factory sealed you can't let them break the seal.

    ITs not about reactions, its about entertainment. You want them to have a good time. YOur entertainment should give you reactions, but you want to mold what reactions you want.
  7. by default, wouldn't proving the penetration (in the suspended disbelief sense) mean it would have to be the same coin?

    I think it boils down to: why not have 50 differrent CIBs?, ACRs?

    Personally, I hated Bullet. But there was a whole slew of people who thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. I would never perform it, but I'd consider something like Factory Sealed if the angles were better.

    I can't see an arguement against choice.
  8. You don't need to prove its the same coin. You need make the effect magical, and they should assume its the same coin. I have done coin in bottle with a folding coin for a long time. ANd never has anyone questioned it being the same coin. Reasons: they examined the bottle, it was empty, they exami ned the half dollar, the bottle was sealed, the half dollar cannot fit in the bottle. Why not have 50 coin in bottles? When you perform them they are the same effect, people are looking for a holy grail of coin in bottles. One thats signed, gimmickless, impromptu, no slits, factory sealed, in the spectators hands. At the end of the day, you made a coin go through a bottle, so don't get hung up on finding a new method for it.
  9. I think you're missing the point. For someone to believe that the coin went through the bottle, by default they must believe it was the same coin. It's impossible for them to believe that the coin went though, but it's not the same coin that was on the outside.

    True, it's funny that people are looking for a perfect method (and I doubt they'll be satisfied until we actually get a coin through a bottle). But at the same time, I don't see an issue with having more than one way to do something.

    There's obviously different skill levels involved. Some people love, hate or are indifferent to gimmicks. Sure it all looks the same, but only because someone is doing what works for them.
  10. They have to believe it is. But you don't need to prove its the same coin.
  11. true, but proving it forces them to believe it. even the most difficult of people.

    i think this has alot to do with people becoming more skeptical of magic. In the past, people would just believe it. look at tribes that had shamans.

    nowadays, people are more educated and wise to these sorts of routines. As a result, you do almost need to prove them.

    look at it this way. anyone can jump. most people can jump over a short distance. few people can jump a long distance. and even less can jump some rediculous difference.

    I think the signed coin in a sealed bottle that turns in to a butterfly and flies out is just "jumping the rediculous distance". Not many people can do it, and it's obviously more impressive than a regular coin in a bottle that's empty and has a slit under the label.

    If you can't see that, I don't know how else to explain it.
  12. TKH, Phrozunsun, and Aaron Shields have all hit the nail on the head one way or another in this argument.

    To respond to TKH's first post, YES! is true...right now "over-proving" is like an infectious disease that has caught the magic world by storm as of epidemic if you will.

    "There's a certain beauty to the impossible, and the ability to make it real. It has more of an effect."

    This is also true...but we shouldn't use this as the main highlight of the should be used as a subtlety that we actually allow the spectators to observe on their own without us forcing it down their throats...they will make the connection on their own in their head. Yes, we should always strive for a certain level of aesthetic quality and consistancy in our magic. BUT, this can also be done through psychology, misdirection, subtlety...or a wonderful combination of all of the above...that's when you find REALLY hard hitting magic. As of late a lot of effects seem to be completely void of all of these essential forms of deception that are meant to compliment and shroud the bare-bones secret of the effect itself. Where's Mr. Wonder when we need him? :(

    "I'm all for multiple layers of proving. The issue comes whether or not something is a tool for further proof or whether it just muddles the efficiency of the trick."
    - Aaron Shields

    Aaron, this really hits the nail on the head. But to elaborate, I believe that we must work to find the best of both worlds. It's always nice when an effect looks great and is totally practical. But occasionally we find very interesting methods for things that are not practical at all. It is these effects that require so much of our time...they can be smoothed just takes a long time..and lots of brain power...not to mention performance experience.

    To sum things up...I think it really all comes down to the fact that there is no wrong or right way to do long as it looks natural and generates the kind of reaction that you are going for...or that tingley feeling on the back of your spectators' necks. But I believe that this is only possible through finding a winning combination of all of the forms of deception we have in our tool box as magicians. This is the way I look for magic.

    -gC :cool:
  13. The signed card element and factory sealed element is not just there to prove the magic.

    They can help make magic more entertaining.

    Like what you said, it is not needed. The audience will still be entertained.

    The signed card is only one of the many ways to make an effect more entertaining.

    You can use great presentation to make the effect more entertaining too. Just look at David Williamson's ACR routine. His comedy approach to the ACR really makes the whole effect much more entertaining.

    It is up to you what you want the audience to experience.
  14. Why bother...?

    From my point of view, I think it's all down to how you perform it. Some tricks are better than the others, regardless of what the trick is, gimmick or no gimmick, signed or not signed.

    Just like the first 10 theories of magic, regardless of which one or combination of any few that you're doing it still involves you being a good performer to entertain, make sure they are happy and probably make them remember the beauty of the trick.

    I'm sure you guys agree that each and every trick around us has their own power, beauty and meaning depending on the way you bring the trick out. I don't see a point you guys start comparing from trick to trick now.

    Because if you perform 5 minutes of Ambitious Card trick fair and clean, compared to some chop cup by Paul Daniels, both can be well boring but see how Daryl does his Ambitious Card routine (not the one with the gimmick) and see how Paul Daniels does his chop cup?

    Even the slightest Sponge Ball routine, regardless of whether it is gimmicked, it still requires misdirection and sleight of hand. You still need to end clean, most importantly you need to have a build-up, probably climax and a kicker...

    All 10 theories of magic have their stories behind. I believe most of us know one of them more than the others and we perform in our way, gimmicked or no gimmicked, signed or not signed.

    Since we're at Theory11 now, and it brings out the best of the first 10, welcome you're home...

    P/S: Try to levitate without gimmick, or try to run around the stage (you perform) and tell people you're levitating (you convince with what we so call, presentation)... I'd love to see the reaction...
  15. So you mean if I had a friend stick a duplicate card on a window, and I forced a card and threw the cards at the window. And said it went through the window, I wouldn't amaze like a 1,000 viewers?

    I don't believe the more deceptive the effect the more entertaining it is. I have seen people do effects that I don't know how to do, and am not entertained. I see people at my magic club all the time do them. Really nice effect, but boring as h***.

    I understand you can not do any effect that is all presentation. But there are some. KEnton Kneppers Wonder Words has a ton.
  16. one more thing I wanted to add that i realize I didn't explain as well as i thought i did.

    most people will come up with a rationalization of how something was done. "Oh, he had a dupe in the (deck/bottle)" That rationalization may or may not be right. (It usually isn't)

    "Proving it" with a signed/sealed/totally unique item makes their ability to rationalize the trick nearly impossible. Sure they might know it's an illusion, but their inability to figure it out makes it more "real" to them.
  17. I like the essay, but it's not complete. Some effects do need a signed object.
    Take the nesting boxes for example. I make a coin vanish and when the boxes are opened there is a coin inside. Tada. If it looks impossible to get acoin into those nesting boxes, they will likely (not always - but with a little thought) assume that I had a second coin already in there. But when it is signed, their brains can't make any connection to any solution, because the coin has done something impossible.

  18. In my opinion i dont think people nowadays think that magic really exist. If you take card magic for an example. I dont really think that laymen really think that you made the card jump to the top of the deck or that you really made it dissapear. In their minds they think that you are really skilled and you did something that their eye could not detect. Dont get me wrong i would really love for people to really belive in magic again, I do but the faq of the mather is that as time goes by we humans get smarter, atleast some of us.

    Thats why we need singed cards, coins etc. To make it more convinceble. An illusion can only get better if the chances of you cheating is minimal. Thats why i love singed cards and coins. I dont really stress the mather of an card getting destroyed because of an signed card. And I think if thats whats keeping you from singing cards I think that you should take a look over your economy. Becasue decks arent that expensive. The best tricks that i perform are the ones that you really show the spectator that there really is their singed card/coin. It gives it that little extra touch that something might confuse them so much that there really is true magic. And is that not what we all strife for?
    If we can just give them that 1 second of doupt then we have prevailed. That my opinion.
  19. Say you showed it to 1,000

    -about 990 would be amazed, about 10 would be complete *******s
    -of those 990, at least half would think they could figure it out and most would have theories. they would still be amazed, would would concoct their own crazy possible method (be it feasable or not)
    -of those 10, about 8 would go to the internet and look it up on google. 1 wouldn't care enough to, 1 would already know.

    signing a card will eliminate those 10 people, and the other half of the 990 who would think up a "logical" explanation after the fact. getting a signed coin into a factory sealed bottle or a signed card dramatically reduces their ability to find a logical reason because it must be the same card/coin.

    presentation is important. i totally agree here, but assuming your presentation ability for both tricks are equal, a signed/unique item is more dramatic than an easily duplicated item.
  20. I did not meant owrite 1,000 I meant more then that, and I was referring to david blaine's card through window

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