SEPTEMBER 2009: That Feeling of Wonder

Discussion in 'Cerca Trova' started by danwhite, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Hey Guys, its Dan White and I am writing to you all from the great city of Hong Kong.

    This month's Cerca Trova topic is something I am continuously fascinated by - real magic. But I'm not talking about tricks. I'm talking about that feeling of wonder. so here's what I'm asking: aside from any magic trick, what is the most awe-inspiring thing you have ever witnessed? Basically, what has made your jaw drop more than anything else in recent memory? this could have been a youtube video, a life experience, a performance, a movie, a feeling, a song. what was the last thing you saw that made you feel like you were experiencing REAL magic? and how did it feel?

    this second part is optional - but how can we as magicians utilize that same energy and awe to create new effects and revitalize old ones? An example of this would be copperfield taking an old effect like snowstorm in china and pairing it with the real feeling as a child seeing snow for the first time. this inspiration also applies to cardistry - I know guys like Andrei get inspiration from the X-Games, seeing movement and fluidity in motion and then applying that to playing cards. inspiration and execution creates art.

    what's the last thing you saw that inspired you? please, please share it with us. I feel like we are all sometimes guilty of forgetting the idea of what magic really feels like- and we have to truly try to understand that ourselves if we ever hope to communicate it to others.

    Hope to hear your thoughts.

  2. I really really like this one.

    I work as a Lifeguard at a pool/waterpark here in Virginia Beach. Each day, hundreds of kids and parents come through the pool. Many can swim, and many can't (hence me having a job). Swimming is, to me, the most important thing in my life besides magic. It allows me to compete, surf, and save lives. It is the most important skill I think a child can have. It allows freedom like no other experience in the world.

    Well, about 1 month ago, a small 4 year-old girl was running around the pool deck. She hopped into our deep water area, and could not swim. I went in the water, and pulled her out. She told me that her parents did not teach her, nor cared to teach her how to swim, but that it was her goal.

    2 weeks ago, I saw her at the pool again. She was hopping in the shallow water, went under water with one big breath, and swam. I could not believe it, I witnessed the exact moment in her life that she will never ever forget. Her mom realized finally the accomplishment, and had tears in her eyes just watching her daughter's excitment. There was magic in the air that day, the kind of real magic that changes someones life forever. I was simply glad to be a part of it.

    I am a coin magician, surfer, snowboarder, and swimmer. Each and everything I do involves fluidity like no other. I watch a surfer set up for a carve and then blow his tail to the top of the wave in one smooth, quick, powerful motion. As if life moves in slow motion until the action happens. I apply this principal to my coin work as well. My hands will move slowly together, as I throw the coin across. Then, like a surfer blasting a carve, I vanish the coin, or make it dance from hand to hand in one magical moment. One moment, interconnected by a series of fluid, slowly flowing motions. My intent is to mesmerize with the hands, and astonish with the magic.

    All the best,
  3. I did a bending quarter effect. Literally the simplest one, it wasn't even signed and I just did a switch lol, very basic. So she loved it and I went about my day. 2 years later, i am sitting in class and some girl screams 'OH MY GOD!". And I look and she goes "It's you!". I'm freaking out, wondering what the hell i did lol. So she pulls out the quarter and my jaw just dropped. the reason I knew it was her from 2 years ago is because I only performed the bending quarter effect 1 time ever in my life! So the fact that she kept it and didn't forget about me was truly amazing!
  4. I'm a big wrestling fan and I feel that the worlds of magic and wrestling kind of share something in that we are aware the both create an illusion, but there's this suspension of belief when we watch it.

    The greatest thing I ever saw in a wrestling match was Ric Flair's retirement match. After 4 decades of performing, the man finally retired in a retirement match. He lost the match and I remember crying over it feeling so real.

    It's these moments, be it magic, wrestling, any form of fiction really, where we get caught that I think magic occurs. It's in our mind and our perceptions more so that what's actually happening. When our emotions get invested more so than what we see, real magic occurs.
  5. My first sonogram.

    Unless you have been there in your own experience, you have no idea what its like.

  6. This:

    This brings me to tears. The scope of what we stupid little lifeforms took 3.8 billion years to evolve and learn to make something that enables us to see a bunch of galaxies 47 billion light years away. So many galaxies with stars and planets and possibilities of life that we'll never see. This gives me pure a feeling of mystery, wonder and astonishment of how our universe works and how much we've figured out and how much we hunger for more knowledge..

    We are a random chance that has transcended our own randomness to make our own miracles.

    I am a tiny speck on an invisible dot hurling through the universe able to actually see galaxies 47 billion light years away thanks to other tiny specks on this one dot, building on the knowledge and accomplishments from other tiny specks who don't exist anymore. We humans are amazing. The universe, in all it's mystery is glorious.

    Saying "god did it" just cheapens all of that. It's like telling a spectator the secret of a really good magic trick. The wonder, the mystery and accomplishment is just gone and the reason for learning more means nothing.

    This is the true magic: there is none.

    And that is the most amazing, wondrous thing of all.
  7. If this had a "like" button like on facebook, I'd totally like it.

    Anyway, a couple weeks ago I had just gotten off my shift at work. On the convention level of the hotel I work at, there was a 7 year old girl playing on a grand piano that was down there. She was freakin' amazing. So I actually ended up staying an hour after work listening to her play as her mother coached her. I actually wrote an entry about her in my blog about how inspirational it was. You guys can check it out here:

    It's the paragraph after I talk about Bone's 5 minute video from Anaconda. There's a video of her playing as well.
  8. Well seeing other magicians inspires me. I really liked the VCR Change and how it required just 2 cards and no deck. I started playing with that idea and I came up with an ULTRA visual effect where you display 2 cards, one blue one red. You sign the back of the red back and they sign the blue card's face. You then turn the card signed on the back face up in once hand and shake the other card and the backs switch places and both signatures appear on the same card after they just saw their signature on a different card in your other hand.
  9. The first and ONLY time I have every experienced REAL magic, was (bear with me here) my first kiss.

    I'm not even kidding. It sent this rush throughout my whole body. I had NEVER felt anything like it before in my life. It was a state of numbness mixed with the feeling of feathers tickling your whole body. It was really magical indeed.

    Some people might use this wonderous feeling to create a routine or that helps them express that exact feeling.

    It's really a driving factor.
  10. That feeling of wonder is once in a blue moon for me. Last time I had that feeling was when I saw one of the Cirque shows, it was really incredible. It still has an impact on me today. I always told myself that one day, I would be up on stage doing what I love, just like my dad. In a sense, I still get that moment of wonder whenever I envision it.

    -Andrei Jikh
  11. small world

    Over the years I have experienced a good number of personal encounters with situations that are- statistically very hard to explain as simple coincidence.

    The first time I remember feeling it was in the Fall of 2000 when I was beginning my junior year of high school in Granby, Connecticut. I got hired to do magic at this restaurant that was pretty remotely located in the town of Hartland- basically out in the boonies. One night, a few weeks after I had started I approached a couple that was waiting for their dinner when I asked them if they wanted to see magic, they replied with "you look just like this guy we saw doing Magic last spring in Florida"

    I was that guy.

    Months later, nearly 2,000 miles away I happened to run into a couple that I had performed for shortly before I moved. That was the first I can remember something like that happening.

    Perhaps the most direct instance I can recall happened 2 years ago. I had been in touch with a friend on myspace that I hadn't seen in a few years. She lived in North Carolina, but was going to be in LA visiting some friends for a week, and we had planned to at least meet up at some point. The week flew by and on Friday night, I looked at my calendar realizing the week had flown by and I hadn't heard from her. As I was leaving to head out to a friends party, I thought to call and invite her out, but decided that it would be better to get there first and then give her a call.

    Driving en route, last minute my roommate decided to stop into this small little restaurant that his girlfriend was working at. We were going to grab a quick bite and then head off to the party, no reason to think otherwise. Walking in, I spotted 2 empty spots at the counter and sat down and started looking over the menu. After about 30 seconds I looked to my left and remember thinking "that's weird- she looks JUST like my friend Melissa-" and as she caught my glance I noticed the same bizarre reaction in her face.

    It was her.

    Totally unplanned. In a city of millions of people on a busy Friday night we managed to end up at the same restaurant sitting right next to each other at the exact same time.

  12. as with VagueTheory, my first kiss was the most magical moment of my life. more magical than seeing magic for the first time. more magical than executing a perfect classic pass for the first time. nothing can beat the awesome feeling of a first kiss.

  13. Getting married was (definitely) the most amazing moment of my entire life so far. I never felt so strong, vulnerable, hopeful, nostalgic, overwhelmed and grounded at the same time. It was a rush I'll never forget. Think about it. There are over six billion people in the entire world. I found the one woman I was truly meant to be with. Those odds ran through my mind over and over again on my wedding day and astonishes me even now. Promising one person the rest of your life is one of the rawest, most sacred moments I ever experienced. It was more powerful than any magic trick I could ever dream of doing.

    With regards to capturing emotion and wonder in magic, I think it's important that we remind ourselves that people aren't fascinated with the effects we do. A particular trick may be strong and really impressive, but people will eventually forget it without a valid social context. People are fascinated with other people. Every individual has a different story to tell, and it's these stories that others can relate to. I personally believe that's how Copperfield's work is so effective. Think about his repertoire. It consists of vanishes, transpositions, penetrations, levitations, etc. That's nothing new; every magician does the same material, and Copperfield's no exception. But it's how he relates these typical illusions to the audiences with an emotional hook. People remember stories of how his grandfather taught him his first card trick. People remember how he reunited an astranged father and son on a tropical island paradise. It's the story that people genuinely appreciate and care for. I believe that's a worthwhile lesson to be learned. As magicians, we all have our own individual stories and experiences to build from. I firmly believe that if we can portray those stories in our magic, people will respond more positively to what we share.

    For instance, whenever I'm hired for weddings, the signature piece I perform for the bride and groom is a linking ring effect with their new wedding bands. While the illusion is impressive and an obvious conversation-piece among the guests, it's the symbolism behind the effect that the couple truly appreciate. It's very evident, because every time I do this, instead of initially responding to the effect, the couple look at one another and share a moment together. Two individuals linked together. It's pretty touching and it's nicely framed in the context of the routine.

    Two cents,


  14. Rain pouring, the sun setting-Looking into someone's eyes and telling her that she's the most beautiful thing in the world. And actually meant it. That's probably the most magical moment in my life so far.

    All good things must come to an end though. It was better that we parted.
  15. Ive been a witness to that. I could never tell what she must be feeling..but I could definitely see it in her eyes..
  16. I have two.
    Ill post one for now.
    When I first heard Andrea bocelli sing Ave Maria.His was the first(and only) voice that I heard true passion. I was literally immobile throughout.
    I felt God in that song.
    I wept.
  17. The most amazing thing that has happened to me in a long time was when I got to see my mother and sister again after three years. It was the best feeling I have had in a long time it felt almost like real magic seeing them again. The whole trip when I went up there was almost surreal because I missed them so much, and I had finally seen them after so long. It gave me a sense of happiness to be with them and to know that they support my magic completely.

    I want to try to make magic with that feeling again. I meet many people who are like "you do magic? Great, another CrissAngel wannabe". I want to be able to show them something that they will remember for years to come. I want to give them that feeling of amazement and astonishment that we have all felt at least once in our lives. Kindof like when we were kids, when everything was magic to us. Flipping a light switch and it instantly comes on. Having someone pull a coin from your ear for the first time. I want to give them that feeling.

    Thank You,
    Dakota Booth
  18. A real magic feeling for me was a visit to a place. Here in Japan over a period of three years I traveled to all the temples on what is know as the 88 temple pilgrimage. It is a great way to see the Island of Shikoku in Japan where I live. After you have visited all 88 temples you go to the main land of Japan and go to Mt. Koya (Koyasan) in Wakayama Prefecture next to Osaka. This is where the head of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism is located. At the top of the Mountain is a town and it is full of temples and monastaries for training Buddhist priests and monks. After the 88 temples you go here and visit the main temple were Kukai also known as Kobo-Daishi is entombed. I am not a Buddhist but I love to visit ancient old places here in Japan. When going to Kobo-Daishi's main temple you walk through an ancient mountain forest filled with graves of famous people from Japanese history. Visiting this place was magic. It's about a 2000 year old area where the most famous people in Japanese history have come. It felt like it was not real and felt like a magical place. I can't even describe it.

    Now how can this inspire magic. When I think about it there are reasons why I felt this magical feeling when I went there. One was the road to visiting there. That was visiting all 88 temples which took me three years to complete because of my busy schedule, second once I got there the smell of the forest, seeing old buildings and the environment, and touching very old things, as well as my memories of visiting the former 88 temples. All the input into my senses plus my experiences before going there all came together to make it feel like magic. So what I take from this is when performing magic we must create a road of experience, use the 5 senses to start to build the effect, and the final effect takes advantage of these and they all work together to create an almost real magical experience in a persons mind. The difficult thing is how to do this. It is something I try to work on constantly. Once I create something that encloses all of this I will have created my best piece of magic.

    Sorry for the long ramble.
  19. The last time that i had a truly memorable and awe-inspiring moment was at a cirque du soleil show...there is nothing more magical thatn the the art that they produce on that stage.
  20. The last time i can remember getting that feeling was when i was 9 years old. This was the 1st time i went to Las Vegas, and i loved it. The first show i ever saw there was Siegfried & Roy. They got to me. I had always loved magic before then but after seeing them, i dreamed. I still remember that show today, 6 or 7 years later, and every time i think of them I cry.


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