theory11 — Magic Tricks & the World's Finest Playing Cards
New York, New York
Los Angeles, California
Our team is composed of the best of the best minds in the magic industry - from performers to creators and consultants.
From mind-blowing illusions to the world's finest playing cards, theory11 values quality over quantity.
theory11 artists are the foremost experts in the conjuring arts - from new upcoming talent to magic's greatest historians.
We produce world-class shows and live-events. Learn more about The Magician at The NoMad and what we can do for you!
Our team has consulted on countless projects relating to magic on stage and on screen around the world.
Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Luis Vega, Jul 31, 2020.
No such thing as outdated magic.....
Just outdated presentations......
I don´t think so... there are outdated magic.. maybe not outdated concepts...but definitely out of time props...
CD manipulation never seemed that great to me. I agree.
I don't love Professor's nightmare, though it is a great beginning routine. The method used in Professor's Nightmare is overused. It is often over used in a single routine.
There are other good rope tricks out there.
Not sure if his jokes aged all that well but I do like this routine in David's hands. I have seen others use this method poorly.
This is one of the most magical things I have ever seen:
This is one of my favorite children's routines:
Also, the bottle production with a silk doesn't bother me. I think silks work just fine, especially for the stage magician.
I could probably agree with you here.
Maybe. I would never do this but I have seen many adults fall for the sucker gag.
The dancing is awful. I've seen it performed well twice. Richard Hatch and Derren Brown.
I also like Losander's vanishing version.
This goes for all levitations. Levitations in my mind should be subtle, small, and unassuming.
I LOVE slates. Its presence in the act should be well motivated.
Disagree. I love the 15 of hearts card.
I hate the sponge d**g, but (and this may trigger a few people) I watched Jibrizy Taylor perform this trick for a bachelorette party on the Las Vegas strip and I have to say it was the perfect trick for that performer, that audience, and that location. I don't know if it was ever or will ever be appropriate again ever.
A note on slates - they are far more visible for many environments than white boards.
White boards are shiny - under stage lights they glare horribly. Slates are useful because in any lighting situation they are still fairly visible.
An alternative is comic book 'boards'. The white cardboard they put into the plastic sleeves that protect comic books. They have a shiny side and a matte side. The matte side is great because it doesn't reflect light and takes marker ink very well. Down side is the size restriction and one-time use limitation. But they can usually be recycled.
I love my slates!
I feel like some of these are out of date:
The Human Osterich
The Card Fanning Machine
Then this is Cutting Through a Horses neck while drinking
This one is Lighting your cigarette with ice. Sounds like an every day carry:
It would be such a shame to see that be lost, since it's such a classic part of magic. It can have real potential to amaze in today's era just as much as it always has.
I'll never forget seeing Greg Frewin's amazing dove act performed live at his theater in Niagara Falls - outstanding. He combines it with sound and lights so it still has a modern feel.
The context in which they are used and the presentation is often what determines the effectiveness of a particular prop. Cell phones are something almost everyone carries and can relate to. I love doing a presentation of the invisible deck where you ask a spectator to call someone they know and to name any card. It's a miracle when the only card in a deck you had someone hold before the trick began proves to contain one face-down card that matches the card named by a random person called on the phone. And, although it involves use of a technological device, there is no way that this effect can be written off as technology. It comes off as pure magic.
Another example of how the context and presentation can make the difference is with silks. There was a time when many people carried silk handkerchiefs, or wore them as a clothing accessory, like in the pocket of a man's suit jacket. You do see that once in a while these days, but not so much. Unlike cell phones, silk handkerchiefs are pretty much outmoded. But let's say, for example, your script was about your grandfather, who was, unfortunately, poor. In those days, silk handkerchiefs were quite fashionable. However, he was able to afford only one silk handkerchief for his jacket pocket, a plain white one. But, because he was a magician, then depending on the occasion, he was able to change it into different colors, and so people thought he was quite fashionable.
I agree that only if you set the style of the show you could introduce outdated props... as there are some awesome magic with old props... however... it´s difficult to connect with people in the way that those props are very unfamiliar by todays standards...
You think “pick a card” routines should be eliminated? My goodness! I find (within card magic) some of the best reactions come from pick a card.
As for the “I found the wrong card” gag, that’s fair
I think the plot of picking a card and then losing it/finding it or naming the card are hackneyed. If you add other elements (e.g. a Triumph type routine or having the card appear in an impossible location) then that has the possibility to become a good effect. I also think that if all you magic starts with "pick a card" you need some more variety.
I think the problem lies not so much in the plot of having a spectator select a card and then the magician revealing the card. The reveal of a selected card can be very strong, provided it is surprising and magical. The problem is more in the choice of words, "Pick a Card" or similar directive. Chances are the spectator has seen their uncle Harold or others do boring meaningless tricks that began with that line, and which amounted to nothing more than a game of hide and seek with a card that has no emotional hook for the spectator(s). If we start by spreading or fanning the deck and ask them to "pick a card," then in many cases they will be turned off from the get-go, thinking to themselves "I've seen that one," or even saying it aloud (It's happened to me).
What works really well for me is to say to someone, "Just think of any card in the deck." After confirming they have done so, I hand them the deck and ask them to remove the card they are thinking of, but not to allow me to see it. When they take it out, I take the deck back from them and ask them to concentrate for a moment on the card. Then i have them replace it and control it to top or bottom. (There are many good controls you can use). This changes up the orientation from a "pick a card trick" to the revelation of a card they freely thought of, out of 52 possibilities, which I re-emphasize before the reveal. Puts it more in the realm of mind-reading and produces a more magical impact on the spectator, not to mention that it makes them much more open and receptive to the trick at the beginning.
How about any card trick that starts with, "I will reveal a completely thought-of card!" and proceeds with, "now take the value of your card and multiply it x 2 and add 3 if it's a spade, 4 if it's a club, etc.. and count down in the deck until we find your new card!"
I have been thinking about this for a while... and didn't exactly know how to word it (English is not my first language)
I don't know if there is "outdated magic" certainly outdated presentations... but I think if we framed it as "relevant" is magic relevant to "now" and are we adapting, and do we need to adapt...
Is a 15-minute full-deck oil-and-water routine relevant to an audience who is used to fast visuals? maybe in some situations, yes, maybe in the correct atmosphere and "setting" it would be relevant, but in the time of the internet where visuals are flashy and quick. what is the attention span, and do they just want to see the "magic"
what is the situation? who is the audience? what is the 'tempo' of the room/space you are performing in?
Couldnt agree more with number 7, phone tricks just make me cringe. Even if a spectator cant figure it out, when a phone is involved they will always assume the phone did the magic. Most of the time they are right and if they are not they will still not be amazed.
And this is why I'm always looking forward to your posts. Somehow I only got it the third time I skimmed this thread, but I believe this is really good advice. It plays with what Ken Weber, and many others, talk about: Stand apart from the masses! You don't have to be different in any huge way, but these little things add up. Following Al's advice above changes the whole feel of a trick, and apart from showing everybody that you are not their Uncle Harold, it allows you to bring some variety into your show. Even if you're just performing for your friends at school and all you have is three pick-a-card tricks, make one of them into a think-of-a-card trick and see what they say (man, I can't wait to try this!).
On the topic of phone magic, I've seen some pretty impressive "fusion magic", combing phones and other objects. For example, the magician pulls a chosen card out of a phone. What do you guys think about that?
@Scodischarge, thank you for your kind words. Glad i can contribute something useful from time to time...
I know a few props that can very easily lend themselves to the sort of schlock routines we know of. My knowledge of these props are pretty sparse.
David is right in that respect for the audience is paramount. That said, some of the props seem to be more difficult to present in a way where respect can be maintained.
The ONLY magic prop that I'd consider using that might fall under this is sponge ding dong. But as a "do as I do" standard multiplying sponge ball routine I'd do with someone else. Balls multiple, you know the score. Except, with the finale, the spectator makes a big sponge ball, and I end up making...the other thing.
Not sure if this would constitute as appropriate, I know sponge ding dong is a polarizing prop. That's honestly the only application I can think of using it outside of the aforementioned Jibrizy bachelorette party.
If I'm off base in any of this, let me know.
Everything said. When I first started, I didn't think too highly of linking rings. Turns out, there's a lot of different linking rings and a lot you can do with them.
Objects that are outdated like CDs have SOME use in magic, but the presentation seems like it'd be a lot more narrow as you'd have to explain said relic to your audience and whatever you do has to revolve around that.
In the next 30 years, this topic will be brought up and people will go, "yeah, cell phone magic WAS big, no one uses those anymore now--how did they survive?! I can't imagine NOT being able to do nanobot magic for my audience."
I'm not too big on cell phone magic. I can agree with using the phone AS A PROP for whatever you're going to do (like silk through phone). But when it comes to app magic, I'm a lot more hesitant. Maybe I'm just not there yet.
I have another one.. it has NEVER make sense to me, because is a prop that most people are not even familiar with.. so there is no case on doing magic with it because a lot of people just don´t recognize it...