For the lack of a better word.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Zapper, May 9, 2010.

  1. Hello, dear reader.

    Decided to pop in the forums after a long time. I see that the community got more mature in these months, seeing that threads about Angel and Blaine are being replaced by more intelligent and engaging subjects puts a (really beautiful) smile on my face.

    So dear reader, take 5 minutes off your valuable time, put some music on, start reading and think. It's what people should do more.

    There is something that is bothering me more and more in the Art of magic. And I am sure I am not the only one. I think it's the primary reason for the lack of respect that it gets (even though it gets treated more and more as an art form) from the lay public.

    What is this problem, you sexy thing ask me? The wording we use.

    What do you label your magic as? How do you ask people (if you ask them) to participate in your performances? What do you see your magic as?

    "Do you want to see a trick?"

    It's primarily because of this poorly used word (which is the means, but not the ends of the performance. Tricks are simply our technique that gets us to the goal. Poets have words, Musicians have notes, Women have breasts. And we have tricks) that we get the sceptical heckler-type spectators that just cannot engage in our magic and look at our feats as mere puzzles.

    But how do you label the magic so it gets viewed as a piece of theater (or ritual, however you view it) that needs the suspension of belief for full enjoyment?

    "Do you want to see some magic?"
    "Let me show you something interesting"
    "Let's try an experiment"

    I hate calling my magic feats experiments, as it inclines laboratory science stuff. It inclines something boring, something educating. The word was created for something else. And it's used there. It's a shame that in all these years, a perfect word hasn't been created for us as well.
    "Something interesting" is way too broad. What do you mean? Comedy is interesting. Dogs are interesting. Let's rather watch those, as I've seen them before.
    "Some" magic? What do you mean by "some" magic? Is it like some joke or something? Too broad and doesn't tell you anything.

    As a Slovenian (and I do apologize for my grammar), I face an even bigger problem. We use different language and our wording for "Magic", "Magical feat" and "Trick" is even poorer. The definitions are scrambled. And I bet my left toe that we aren't the only ones with the problem.

    So I thought about it.

    How about creating a new word? Creating a new word, that will be perfect, that will explain "magic effect", that will incline what we want to incline. An universal word for a "magical feat".

    Is it possible to create something like that? And is it possible by meme-ing it forward (using it, forwarding it, informating the public about it) that it gets world-recognized and used on a daily basis?

    It sure would be helpful.

  2. Well. I suppose making a new word would be pretty cool but when we say "Want to see some magic?" They know what we are going to do but if I say "Want to see a Supercalafragilisticexpialladouschous thing?" They do not know what we will do.
  3. A pretty difficult task, but I'm not sure about its necessity. Why do we need a better word than Magic? What is wrong with MAGIC?

    You said "a universal word for a magical feat"...what better word than "magic"? The word magic is already used in your wanted definition, so why not use a word that is already used on a daily basis by many? Why not use a word that is already recognized as containing mystery and the unbelievable, to create another word that will just serve to confuse the audience until the time when it becomes universal, when at that time others will come out, just like you, to declare your made-up word "too broad"?
    I think the focus should be more on truly bringing back the meaning of "magic", rather than producing a new word; a word IS just a word in and of itself, no matter how you spell it or pronounce it. What us, as magi, have to do is to bring out the true meaning of "magic", and to SHOW the audience the definition of "magic". Why don't we just make "magic" a verb?

    Magic (verb) -- the process of showing extra-ordinary abilities beyond the human mind, often beyond possibility, usually without plausible explanation

    Just my humble opinions.
  4. Sebastian,

    Very interesting post, very thought provoking. My immediately thought was that this depends entirely on the performer's specific persona. Reading your post, it does make sense to avoid words like "trick" and such if your character and persona echoes or parallels that of David Blaine; a mysterious stranger that apparently does real magic. Using the word "trick" would not make sense in that context, as if you could really perform miracles, you wouldn't call them "tricks." You would treat them as demonstrations of superhuman ability. You would take your performance and presentation very seriously.

    However, on the flip side, the reverse is true. For someone with a persona like Justin Kredible - whose act is largely playful, funny, and thinner (in a good way) - the word "trick" doesn't hurt at all. Justin has an incredible brand image and style of presentation. He appeals largely to a younger demographic that knows he is a trickster, and watches in amazement at the tricks - tricks - he performs. Justin would never claim that his magic is real. His persona is not that of a mysterious stranger. His persona is that of a fun, funny, energetic, charismatic performer that is there to entertain and to humor, and nothing else. It works very well for him.

    In summary, it depends on your character. What is your character? What do you want your spectators to think of you? Is your magic real, or is it just a trick?
  5. I agreed with j.bayme. It all depends on the character and the character that you want to present. If you ask me the question, I always say, "Hi, my name is (insert name) and I was wondering if I can show you something". It alway gets my audience interested and curious at the same time.
  6. Agreed. No new word. Magic is good enough.

    Ladys and Gentlemen! The one! The only! DarkWitness!

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