How would you PRESENT this? A great exercise!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Morgan B, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. #1 Morgan B, Oct 9, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2008
    Hello Magicians

    After reading so many new magicians talk about their “patter” and seeing things typed like: “I put this here... it happens because I wave it...the cards are detectives” – I wanted to blow my brains out, because I don’t believe this kind of rational is congruent to enjoyable magic performances at ANY level, I thought we could do something as a group to try to progress.

    I have always had a difficult time in telling magicians how they can present magic better, without seeing what they do and hearing what they say – however, this exercise may allow for consistency, growth and understanding by new magicians – as we will all be looking at and discussing the same effect.

    So, I propose we take an effect I know we ALL are familiar with – as I hear so many of you talk about your ACR routine. Let’s take the AMBITIOUS CARD – ONE PHASE – and really sell that idea...why does the card come to the top? If we can sell this one phase, than all the multi-phase effects become easier to present – so again – the focus in A SELECTED SIGNED CARD GOES INTO THE MIDDLE AND ARRIVES ON TOP OF THE DECK – WHY? How would you present this and sell it if a gig depended on it?

    We will evaluate as a group the logic of all ideas, so don’t take it as trashing and please no trashing – as this is a safe thread to help learn how we can improve other routines by dissecting this one.

    Let’s get creative!
  2. Cool idea, Morg.

    But, I have to say... I don't really think we can disect it to so much of an extent we're telling people how to present their magic... after all, isn't it theirs anyway? Everyone has their own way of presenting magic.

    You say:

    "I put this here... it happens because I wave it...the cards are detectives” – I wanted to blow my brains out, because I don’t believe this kind of rational is congruent to enjoyable magic"

    But then you ask:

    "why does the card come to the top? If we can sell this one phase, than all the multi-phase effects become easier to present – so again – the focus in A SELECTED SIGNED CARD GOES INTO THE MIDDLE AND ARRIVES ON TOP OF THE DECK – WHY?"

    Well I think, that the waving or the detectives is their reasoning for their magic. I think it's important for everyone to have their own way of communicating the magic moment, otherwise we'll all just become magic clones - and that's certainly not a good thing; be unique... just like everyone else.

    For example, Michael Ammar in his C(k)annibal Cards routine uses allegory to communicate why the magic is happening, rather than the effect just happening because it can. Guy Hollingworth on the other hand can't stand allegory in magic, but in his Cannibal Cards routine he (begrudgingly I imagine) uses it to convey the magic and it's reasoning. Perhaps it is necessary for certain effects to have allegory such as cannibal kings? Otherwise the magic just happens because it can...

    ... Of course, then we get into the discussion of plots and how much sense they make on their own. Of course no plot makes sense, we have to give it sense through our presentation... Sandwiches don't make sense, why use two cards to find one? -- because the magician is taking a break and lets the cards do the magic? Because he can't find the card and uses his Jack-ups? Y'know? It's up to us to give reason.

    Some spectators like allegory, cheesy as it may be these days I admit, but some do. Some don't of course and we must cater for these spectators too.

    Personally, I quite like allegory and magical movements such as waving the hands, I think it adds a bit of fun to the magic; but also to the mystery... the spectator will of course think "No... he/she can't have done anything", but then there's the magic that kicks their brain and says "Pssst, but what if it did ;)"... therein lies the breakdown of their logical thinking, and they are confused for a moment and not quite sure what to think. Here is where I think a lot of magic is going wrong these days, we leave it at the confusion, why?...

    ... Because we love to see people fooled... too much I'd argue. Don't get me wrong though, I enjoy fooling people, but I love entertaining people. I think it important that after the magical moment of confusion where they're not sure what to think, that we comfort them with some kind of statement so as to move forward and just let their mind accept it, thus making further magic to be accepted easier and thusly more enjoyable. I think Tommy Wonder does this fabulously in his ambitious card routine... in particular the line "You know why I got into magic? To find out how I do this!".

    Am I making sense, or just rambling nonsense? I often do that >_>

    - Sean

    P.S. Sorry for kinda side-tracking the thread so soon... just what I felt like saying. :)
  3. Pretty cool thread Morgan. Well I will say that I personally do not have an ACR. When I do, it won't just go to the top. It will to to the bottom, top, my pocket, a spectator's sleeve, and whatever other wacky ideas I can think of. :) That's just what I have now.

    However, with something like the ACR, I think I'll just make it fun. Now I know people are tired of hearing bizarre patter like "Push the button" when everyone knows there is no button. However, I sometimes do this stuff when just having fun with with a spectator. Its not like I will seriously say "Push the button." I usually say it in a kidding around voice. I'm laughing, they are laughing, we are all having fun with some magic thrown in. :) That's how I plan on having my ACR work. I'm not going to have any particular patter, but this is my main idea for now. What I do plan on doing is to explain how sometimes cards like to jump around to make my life harder. I'll have the card jump to the top 2 or 3 times and then I will in a very boring voice for the 4th time say "Ok.... and the card comes to the... huh?" I'll act confused as the card is not on top, but this time actually on bottom. I'll probably explain at this point that now that I want the card to go to the top, it decided to go to the bottom. I'll say all of this in a joking around voice and the whole routine will just be fun.


    PS: Morgan, don't think I forgot about what you sent me. ;) I've just been busy for the past week... I'm reading it this weekend and I'll get back to you probably Monday.:p
  4. Nice idea, jajaja < I usually use a storyline about love, like the selected card is the boy friend, he goes to his house (middle) and will only come to the spectator if the spectator ask it lovely enough, like hey, why dont you call your boyfriend??? "george! come here" awww not lovely enough, try it again"george, my sweet pie! come here would ya? OOO look george has come to you...

    HAhaha that sounds like a dog, anyway, all the moves in my routine are linked to the storyline, I have dedicated a lot of time trying to get the moves and the story flowing toguether, so there are not single move forced, all the moves are justified...

    Also I decided to use that story because it kinda fits the style of guy I am,(your friendly neighbor spiderman!) so I usually get nice reactions, and because they think in the story and things Im telling them, I have lots of misdirection, so I dont have trouble performing the sleights...

    So I dont mean to brag, and maybe Im going to get some negative responses to the way I perform, but It works for me, I have gotten some great reactions and it also gives them a nice routine they will remember...

    That's my story . Cheers! (great thread!)
  5. I use a dejavu patter which seems like the most reasonable patter out tehre . (cyrils idea)
  6. sound like the happiest man on the planet...

    BUT! What works for you, works for you and what works for you, doesn't work for others which is why this whole ACR thing is slightly confusing. Everyone has their own route to go by, some have stories, some don't. Some have the card jump to the top, others have the card just to their pocket, out of their shoe, wallet...whatever.

    I think the Ambitious card has always been dependent on the performer's creativity and imagination. Only this makes the trick good, otherwise its just "Card goes into centre and comes to top again, and again, and again..." and the audience gets tired of it. It works because of the magician.

  7. In fact, Im emo.
  8. 'Sleights are basically performing moves under someones eyes without them if I place this card in the middle, its you job to follow the card...where do you think the card is?"
  9. The ACR is a trick where the card comes to the top over and over again. The ending could be different but really, that is what its based on. You really couldn't change the concept unless it has a different name.
  10. It's the type of trick that doesn't need anything other than "I put it in the middle, (magical gesture) and now it's on top." Sorry for the double post.
  11. ACR? What does it stands for? Ambitous card routine right? So , If I changed the story into making the card houdini, it would then be HCR? It doesnt matter really,I think you are taking it a little bit literal.

    As the magicians that we are, Is not only our responsability to practice the tricks, Its also our responsability to entertain people, So If a slightly change or a radical change its needed to make the presentation and the whole trick better, I think its a good Idea if we take that little change...

    Take Angle Zero for an example, It is a great trick, but the way that D+M Presents it its not my style, so I changed it to the way I usually perform and it works wonders for me.

    Cheers and keep this thread busy guys!:D
  12. Then don't call it Angle Zero unless it's close enough, that's all I'm saying. ACR = card ending up on the top over and over. I assure you that if you said to someone with some experience in magic "here is my ACR." If the card didn't end up at the top each time they'd think it's not the ACR. That is what it IS!
  13. As long as the mechanics of a trick is the same, I does not matter what patter is used. So if the whole point of an ACR was to make one card rise to the top and move around without your spectators knowledge, then regardless of what patter is used, it would still be ACR.
  14. touche.

    (word count)
  15. Maybe the card weighs less than the other cards? It could be a restart. You put the card in the middle and say wait, let's start over. The way I see it is that it is the type of trick that makes the spectator make up their own story. If you just say this is an ambitious card... And then go into your routine they will be more willing to associate it with themselves on a personal level than if you spoon feed them.

  16. How would you sell just one ambitious raise to the top as a stand alone trick?

    Personally I wouldn't do this ever.
    Cuz the impossibility is in how you build it up over time. They can see the conditions you add.

    But if i wanted to do it just once. I would use a DL, have them insert the card and place it into the middle of the deck, push it in flush as slowly as possible, and have them turn it over.

    The only problem is if you do this and only this they are more likely to turn the card over cuz you haven't established credibility.

    Patter wise:

    I'd tell a funny story about a previous time I did the trick. (true but slightly exaggerated)

    I'm a ninja.

    Or maybe I'd just do Hand to Mouth...
  17. Wow – so much to deal with – a guy goes out to see a movie...comes back to kaos.

    Sean Raf – as much as your on the ball – not here not now man. I am not asking everyone to be clones – however, there are some universal do’s and don’ts that exist in magic – just like in all performance arts. I think if people are going to not think past what they do, and try to create something different to discuss, then it is a chance to challenge what they are doing and say – why? Why this way – and don’t just say, “it gets reactions” as it’s a cop out on thinking. Actually, I wanted us to dissect ideas of much as there is no solid rules, and people can say, “it works for me” – saying cards are detectives doesn’t work for got to be a special cat to get away with that imaginary land...the kind of guy that can also say...OH YOU JUST MISSED POKAROO!

    What I am looking for is to talk less about what we use...and think differently, I have already seen some common things that lack theatrics or reason – just MOUTH NOISE. However, Sean, I get your point – but there is something to be learned here...regardless, when things run dry, we will talk more about your points.

    Let’s start with RDChopper – as he posted after you – first, without getting defensive, why do you think this works for you? Please don’t use the phrase, “it gets reactions” as it will force me to post another essay about the overvalue we put on “the reaction” as the justifying feedback. I am not attacking your concept, but this is the kind of thing I want to talk about – do you think personifying the card is a good idea – many people don’t like it – as it is a bit childish in nature. Where are you from, maybe it’s a social context thing? One person can get away with something in France that wouldn’t fly in the USA – like not showering, kidding. -

    Sleight of Hand – okay, Deja Vu patter – Kurtz uses that in a routine, as do many others – I always liked that plot, the concept of Deja Vu is a very familiar and person thing with people.

    Dima – I ask you to re-read the exercise – I am not asking for personal plots –but for us to critique common ideas and maybe by accident create something different....even if it’s not useable...if it’s not..why...if it is..why? You obviously didn’t read my first post, or you didn’t comprehend it – F!

    DLeerium – do you think that posing a question creates a situation where there is a challenge? Do you worry that asking them – where is it – makes the audience feel like it’s a question they can’t get right, so they feel stupid and shy answering? Also, how do you feel about reminding them it’s just sleight of hand? Do you think that contributes to the feeling of magic?

    It took Sir Fans Alot awhile to make a solid contribution post, but what do you guys think about the idea of a start over – like, oh wait, I wasn’t ready yet? I think it could play. I also don’t mind the concept of lightest card...but why? Is it a plausible explanation...not really, so perhaps not the best presentation...oh wait, now I am doing what YOU guys are supposed to be doing.

    GUYS – THIS IS AN EXERCISE – FOCUS – DON’T THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO DO ONE PHASE..but if I opened it up, people would talk about to the pocket, to the shoe, to the card ACR – and I just want to focus on the concept of the card coming to the top – so SHUT IT! If I was a teacher, and this was my classroom, many of you missed the point of the assignment...let’s try harder – and if you can’t help progress the thread – go write something in coin magic! Seriously.

    That being said, many of you were close – but let’s be critical of what we are doing and positive about what has been done – many of you also posted, kindly, their own presentations and that takes guts. Some interesting ideas, what else do we have...and what are these missing?

  18. okay:D.....

    So as I have stated before, yes its the routine I use the most and that's because the routine itself has a nice flow, I feel confortable with it, And every move in there is justified... Also the routine is structurated so it has a nice opener, a flowing sequence in the middle and a strong closer ( in fact I created A thread a bit ago asking for advice on a nice closer)...

    It just depends on the person, I am kind of a nice social guy, so I try that the laymen enjoy and have a good time with my performances, In their minds, they listen to the story and they see the moves flowing with the story... It makes sense for them...

    Also, I have find that making a plot for the routine gets their attention more, for example, the other day I putted into practice this theory by going to the mall to perform, what I got was this...

    I came up to a couple of girls that were obviuosly doing nothing, So I came to them and I asked If I could show them something... And I started ACR without a plot, And by this I mean, I just told them, "Look your card goes to the top", and every time I did it more impossible and impossible and so on....

    What happened? Yep, I got nice reactions,BUT( and I think this is important) I usually got troubles with their attention along the routine, because they were looking everywere, where I wanted them to look they weren't looking... things like that...

    Then I came up to another group of people (like 5) and I started to perform,(but this time using the storyline I usually use...

    They laughed, they liked it, and the more important thing, I DIDNT LOSE THEIR ATTENTION AT ANYTIME AT THE PERFORMANCE I had their attention where it needed to be, and everything worked wonderfully.

    So if you want to be Brian Tudor and perform "Hypnotic" super fast, yes sure, it takes a great ammount of skill and maybe you will impress your fellows magicians..

    But we have to remember that before us there is the Laymen...

    So it works for me, Maybe it doesnt works for everyone, but there you go my reasons and thoughts people :D
  19. I completely forgot, another reason of why this works( at least for me) Its because it involves the spectator in your plot, so you can make a personnal conection with them and it kinda gains you their confidence.

    Im not saying this because I just think it is, it is ground tested guys.:p

    (So I guess that meanwhile we can comment on the pros and cons of using a storyline, that would be interesting...)

    And morgician, nice point, Ill make myself more clear next time :p
  20. Awesome RDChopper, thanks for doing that - I like that you tested it, and I think if I did the same I would get similar results - so good for you.

    I also liked how you said, reactions are important but not the only thing that matters - NOTE THIS NUBES! Good job.

    Now, do you think you can tell a different story and get even better reactions. Because, although you have their attention in the you feel there is an emotional hook...are they involved? People don't recall things they see...they recall things they are part of.

    Darren Brown has an example.

    You HEAR a story about a car that crashes into a lake.
    You SAW a car crash into the lake.
    You are IN a car that carshes into the lake.

    Which one(s) of these would you feel most connected to? Which one(s) allow you to feel the most emotion and experience something unique?

    EDIT - you just posted over me as I wrote this - so I will add - which category do you feel your presentation falls under...remember, NOT METHOD...NOT PUTTING IT IN THEIR HAND - with what you say?

    That being said - what are some of the weaknesses you see in your presentation?

    So what I am saying is - awesome job - you have told me why it works better than doing nothing, but is there anything we can do to make it work EVEN better. I know we think, if it's not broke...don't fix it - but I am more along the lines of progression - for example...if you get a job at McDonald's...some people are happy working at the fry station for the rest of their want to be the Manager...then the Owner...then the President!

    Anyhow, I really apprecaite you sharing - I hope you continue to endulge this me in this we are NOW on the right path!


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