How did you do/know that?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bliff, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. "As magic stands, the question of 'how' is an embarrassment to the performer."
    Deren Brown from the book "Absolute magic"
    "Wondering how is weak mystery - for children. Wondering if is profound mystery for adults."
    Richard Busch from the book "The Destiny rsponse"
    I believe, if the answer 'how' isn't taken seriously and given a lot of thought, the performance will be boring and just about the performer's 'ablity' (this creates unhealthy relationship between the performer and an audience by creating a challenge like the audience vs the performer), not the mystery of the performance. I am not implying that we tell our methods but aren't we suppose to amaze and mystify not puzzle and confuse? Does that mean when someone asks us "how did you do/know that?", we have failed?
    Ocelotl likes this.
  2. Not necessarily.

    Let’s say you’re waiting in line for a some food and you decide to kill a little time by showing a magic trick to the ones in front of you. In this case, if your trick was good, you might get a “how did you do that?”, and that wouldn’t be an insult in the slightest.
    With complete strangers, it’s just for fun, basically. No one is going to wonder if it’s real.

    On stage? Well, it depends. If you are a magician for kids, your magic would probably be more fast paced and fun, rather than realistic. Then the goal is not leaving the audience completely baffled, but to be fun and to entertain. Not only with kids, but if you are generally that sort of magician.

    If you are a mentalist or something of the sort, indeed, it would be an insult.
    Your routines and shows would have the purpose of convincing your audience that it’s real. That’s the whole point. Yeah, being fun and entertaining is a big plus, but people won’t hire a mentalist because they want to laugh.

    So yeah, some forms of magic is more like comedy of a sort, in this case “how did you do it” is fine. If you are the heavier type, you need to make the audience doubt whether magic is real.
    OmnipresentCoins likes this.
  3. In my opinion it all depends on what type of magician are you. When I do a mentalist routine I say that I read their body language and when I perform it correct they really believe that. However when I do a different kind of trick I don’t try to pretend like I have magical powers. From my experience when someone asks how did u do that no one really is expecting a response. To finish this like I started it all depends on what performance style fits you.
    Ocelotl likes this.
  4. I don't think that means you failed... It certainly means you baffled them. Sometimes it is an indication you have presented your art as if it were a puzzle for them to figure out. But for others, no matter who the performer, they are just going to ask this. It is how they are wired. It is how I was before I started, and why I started. Let them appreciate your magic on their terms and don't sweat it.
  5. Speak for yourself.

    Dang. Guess Jon Archer's out of a job.

    There's a big difference between "How did you do that?" and "How did you do that!"

    The second one is just a reactionary statement, not expecting a response. The first one is saying, "That's just a trick".

    Depending on what your goal is, you may or may not have failed. If my audiences are asking me, genuinely, how I did things - I've failed. It means I haven't made my premise clear and convincing, and for my style that's important. There are styles of performance that do not require it, though.
    NinoIng likes this.
  6. No, you can't prsent our art as a puzzle. I believe puzzles stand for everything that magic is not. Puzzles are the opposite of magic. If you prsent your magic as puzzle then you have definitely failed as magician.
  7. Yes, that is what I was saying. You may have failed ando given them the idea (through flawed presentation) that it is a puzzle for them to figure out. Other times, that's not the reason why.

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