Gimmick or No Gimmick?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by byu, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Gimmicks

    Iam slowly getting the impression some of you view Sleight Of Hand as the most imported part of the effect, & not as an invisible tool used to perform a magical effect. I perform Close-up card magic & i like as much spectator participation as possible, meaning the spectator can shuffle the cards, Handel the cards etc. & not once has any of my spectators said you've used a spacial deck, which they are right i have not used a spacial deck but i have used Sleight Of Hand & one gaff card to be able to perform that effect. Sleight Of Hand can only accomplish so much, so to say you would never use a gaff card or a gimmick sorry but i feel sorry for your spectators but this is only my opinion.
  2. i agree, the person that you are performing to isn't going to go tell there friends - " that magician performed an amazing card trick using sleight of hand!", they are going to say-" that magician just did an amazing card trick!".

    yes, sleight of hand is good to know, many things can be acomplished using it. sleight of hand is also good when someone hands you a deck of cards and asks you to performed a trick on the spot. But, but gimmicks ca result in a crazy trick, like distortion. you don't want to get to caught up with gimmicks and start buying every one that comes out, or else you will lose your sleight of hand. heres some tricks you can try to figure out-
  3. I feel that the idea is to entertain the audience, not to show everyone how awesome you are. That's why I don't get the attitude against magicians who use stooges or even camera tricks. The idea is to get the people to watch and enjoy.

    To me, the limit is trying to convince people to believe that a magician have "supernatural powers" after the "stage lights are off", so to speak.

    I've never understood why using gimmicks and even stooges and camera tricks frowned upon?
  4. Spoken like a true card elitist. Houdini wasn't any better than Vernon, they just excelled at diffrent aspects of magic. I'd like to see Vernon get out of a strait jacket sometime. You can't just go making a statement like that. There is no way to compare the two of them.

    I suppose if you honestly DID need to draw a comparison there is one way, though even it is subject to interpretation. Arguably if the measure of greatness is how well known an individual is to the laymen then Houdini surpassed Vernon in every aspect. Vernon is only known among magician circles, Houdini is known world wide, and to people of all generations.

    Before you even attempt to rebuttle me on this, I challenge you to go up to 10 random strangers on the street. Ask them who Houdini was. Offer them candy if need be. Now try this with Vernon. I'd be willing to bet on the results.

    And I'm sure you can't see the Forrest through all the trees either. You missed the point completely. Good Job. It isn't about what you do, it's about how you do it. In short, entertainment over method. Get it, or am I just wasting my time on you?

    People also please realize that people want to be entertained. The key word here is Entertained. That's the word of the day, "entertained." I'll say it again since you missed it in my last post: ENTERTAINED. People don't give a flying rats tail if you did a double super helix reversal magnetic trip flip or a Hindu shuffle. So long as you are engaging, and entertaining then they are happy. Will you get the 1 jerk in the crowed that will always look for how it is done regardless of what you say and do? Yes. But trust me, they are in the minority.
  5. #25 Ineski, Jul 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2009

    What did Houdini contribute to magic? He became famous after his death and is nowadays a legend yes, there's no arguing that. Quoting Vernon: "Houdini didn't do any magic, he did escapes". Vernon's impact on modern magic is undeniable. Nearly all classics of today have Vernon's fingerprints on them.

    If the measure of greatness is how well known an individual is to the laymen then Criss Angel is pretty much the greatest magician of our time.

    Why wouldn't it matter what you do? The thing where magic differs from other art forms is that it can provide a feeling of astonishment and wonder. Now you are not likely to give that feeling to anyone with a poorly constructed puzzle type effect. No matter how well or entertainingly you present it. If the laughs is all you want then why not just being a stand-up comic and leave the magic to those who care for the amazement?

    Ever thought about trying to make your magic so good that even that one jerk is satisfied and won over? Or is mediocrity the way you prefer it?

    Of course magic should be entertaining, there's no denying that. But there's so much more that magic can offer than just simple entertainment. You know, drag shows are also entertainment.
  6. it doesnt matter in the end.
  7. Oh Ineski-chan I can see we're going to go roundy on this thread for quite some time. I'll warn you in advance that my patience for long drawn out debates over performance theory is about as long as it is for debates over theological beliefs. In short, no one has all the right answers and I often want to shoot the fools that show up on my doorstep at oh god hundred hour on Sunday morning claiming they do. However, if you're willing to do this with me, then I'll try to give it my all for as long as I can stand it.

    Apples and oranges my friend. The only fact that I can stand on here, and will mind you, is that again: Vernon is only known among magicians. Houdini, is known by every generation. I should point out here and now that I have about as much respect for other magicians as a whole as I do for organized religion (again, as a whole.)

    Ignoring the outrageous attitude and ego the man has picked up in the recent years, and focusing only upon his career, accomplishments, things he's brought to the table, and the influence he's had on future generations of magicians Criss Angel IS one of the greatest magicians of our generation.

    Don't go changing the subject on me here. We are not discussing the construction of an effect. We are discussing "how" the effect is done. My argument is that the method of the effect isn't as important as the entertainment value of the act. The method is not mutually exclusive to the quality of the effects construction.

    How dare you Sir generalize what I care and don't care about so freely without having known my act, my persona, my character, or my beliefs. This is your only warning shot I'll offer. You tread on hallowed ground. Chose your response to this particular quote wisely. And might I suggest that you'd do well for yourself to not even reply to this quote at all.

    One jerk in an audience of a hundred is hardly settling for mediocrity. It is however accepting the things that you can't change. Also, it's a numbers game. I don't care if you spell your name g.o.d you're still going to get that one jerk that doesn't care. The important thing is that you blew the doors off the other 99 in the audience.

    Then at last there is something we both can agree upon.
  8. Houdini wasn't a magician, he was an escape artist. He made his living escaping things. He might have had one or two.

    He was big due to his publicity stunts. I doubt Vernon would have been able to get that much press. This is why Criss is so big, because of his stunts (thus his ego has exploded to the size of a Dwarf star.)

    That statement is kind of stupid. Why should you care about one person not liking the show? There is an old saying my Grand father would say "You can't win em all." which is true. Now it doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It just means that you should focus on the people who are enjoying the show and let the ones who aren't, do their own thing.
  9. Why would you care about 20 people not liking the show? Why would you care anybody liking the show if you can still get gigs and clients that pay you?

    I guarantee you, if you make a show so good that even the jerk is won over, then you will have an even better experience for the rest of the audience.

    I didn't change the subject. You said that it didn't matter what you did, but just how you did. Honestly I don't undestand why people still keep saying this because I know everybody puts a lot of thought into what effects they're performing and keep buying new tricks. So it is about what you do, too.

    You made it sound like entertainment is the most important thing in your act. At least that is what I get from this:
    For me, the most important thing is the feeling of wonder and amazement. Yes, making it entertaining at the same time makes it more enjoyable to watch (as with anything), but that is not the most important thing. I care for the experience. A singer or a dancer can also provide entertainment. An acrobat can provide entertainment. A movie can provide entertainment. But they can't provide the same kind of astonishment that we can with magic.

    The things that I write are how I think and what others have thaught me. It is ok to disagree and criticize, it is healty. I see that we have different perspectives for the subject and one of the reasons could be that William Draven is a stage magician and I'm a close-up magician. They are two very different types of venues.
  10. I stand behind Inseki...

    And im not changing my opinion.


    PS: Inseki, i am still thinking of that thing you did with the jokers. I still think of that sometimes and i just cant think of a method. Nice ;), hope to see you in Võru!
  11. I think this is one of the main problems with magic today, you're approaching magic with the wrong attitude. Magic is for your spectators, not to give yourself an ego boost because you can do difficult sleights. It's about their experiences, not how many hours you sat in your bedroom to do the trick. I'm not bothered if people want to use purely sleight of hand for conveniece, I often do. However, to say that you shouldn't use gimmicks because it's less of a challenge is stupid and completely missing the point of magic.

    Here's one for you to try and do with sleight of hand, Solid Deception by Paul Harris.
  12. Houdini don't do Magic?

    Yes Houdini did do Magic & escapology & Houdini was know specifically for his escapology. Some illusions most associated with Houdini are Metamorphosis which has stood the test of time. Another of his most famous illusions was the Chinese Water Torture Cell. He was performing on stage Card manipulation etc & other magic until he died aged 52, You'll know one of his colour changes. The Houdini Colour Change, This colour change is an invention of the legendary escape artist Harry Houdini, although it has often been mistakenly attributed to S. W. Erdnase, due to his fuller and more visible description of the sleight in The Expert at the Card Table. To say Houdini gave nothing to magic is BS, his got books out Houdini On Magic edited by Walter B. Gibson & Morris N. Young etc. So Harry Houdini's fame is secure as the greatest magician of modern times. This is just an example of his work.
  13. Impromptu doesn't always mean better. I'll be back with a list of effects. For starters, ph vanishing deck and any effect I do with a swami gimmick- predictions basically.
  14. Who cares if a gimmick is used or not?

    The aim of magic is to fool and entertain the audience, and the easiest, strongest and most reliable way of doing that is -always- the best way of doing it.

    Sure you want to know sleights, but for most walk around magicians at paying gigs, they can carry around props and gimmicks. It's rare in my experience that a spectator hands you a deck and says, 'do it with that.'

    The problem with this linking of XCM etc. and magic is that a bunch of people now want to sit there and demonstrate their 1337 card handling skillllllz despite the fact they can't perform worth a damn, and forgetting that if you present a gimmick well there are no stronger effects in magic.

    Look at effects like 5 speed etc. Sure you can replicate it to an extent without a gimmick, but its never going to be that clean.....ever. Same with Panic same with.....well way too many effects to mention, lol. Easy money, (yeah do that without a gimmick, lol) memento, any number of effects using the advocate etc.

    Magic is not about making you feel good so you can say how 1337 you are as a magician. Magic is about entertaining spectators and giving them a magic moment, and if you're an 'artist' perhaps making a statement of some kind. It is absolutely -not- about doing ridiculous sleight of hand all the time. Sure sleights and fundamental card handling are important and I'm not advocating an only gimmicked act, but what I'm saying is that the effect is more important than the method and all that a discussion regarding a gimmick or no gimmick indicates is that people think the method is more important than the effect.....which is just flat wrong.

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