The Magic Way?!

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by DavidL11229, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. I just got "The Magic Way" by Juan Tamariz. on page 37 he actually suggests that you "hold your left hand somewhat cramped" with "the arm striking an odd pose" to mislead the spectator.

    I do not agree with this. I believe that this breaks any implied (or agreed upon as per Harris) suspension of disbelief the spectator has and invites the spectator on a cat and mouse chase. I know he says to make it very subtle, but the point remains the same. It just reminds the spectator that they are watching a trick. We should be able to get the spectator to a state where they are watching magic and not just watching a magic trick. This is achieved through good effect design an proper execution.

    I completely disagree with the philosophy in the book and strive for smooth natural execution at all times. Should I even read the rest of the book?? (I'm reading Ortiz now too and Ascanio is on my list).

    Suggestions on theory books that more fit my philosophy?
    Reasons why I'm wrong?
    How you couldn't agree with me more?

    What do you think?
  2. Afraid I don't have much insight to offer, but Tamariz has always struck me as having a very unique performance style that not everyone could pull off. It's no surprise that some ideas he has written won't fit with everyone's groove.
    DavidL11229 likes this.
  3. I don't have the book so I can't see in what context this is in. I will say though that occasionally using a "sucker move" can be very entertaining to a lay audience. Dai Vernon does this with his ambitious card routine a couple of times, by doing a sloppy (purposefully) top change or some sort of pass to make the audience think they're catching him, when really he is leading them down a garden path.

    These moves can make a routine very comedic but done with the wrong style can come off as patronizing.
    DavidL11229 likes this.
  4. I agree with what you are saying. I think that anything that hints that there is a method ruins the illusion of magic.

    Tamariz' theory is based on his belief that many spectators will look for a method and that by providing a possible method and disproving that method you astonish those spectators. I'm not sure that results in unicorns and rainbows (reference for those that have the book).

    However, don't discard and idea until you are certain you have nothing to learn from it. Bannon has some great garden path type effects. Why do these effects work? I think they work because the audience has a belief and that belief is disproven. Good magic leads the audience where we want them to go.

    For some effects, either through significant time misdirection (doing something well before the audience expects the effect has begun) or based on a self-working method, it appears that the magic I perform just happens. The reaction I get isn't "I didn't SEE you do anything" but "You didn't do anything." I play on this because the audience expects that nothing has happened where the effect actually has happened. Same principle as Tamariz - lead audience where you want them and then surprise them - different application.

    In other effects, the audience figures out what the climax of the routine is the moment before they see it. In that moment, they realize what they expect to happen, realize that it is impossible and they want to see it happen because it is impossible. Lead them where you want them to be and then surprise them.

    The joy and beauty of reading any book on theory is thinking about the validity of what the author writes. Sometimes a theory resonates with you. Sometimes a theory makes you uncomfortable and you have to think about it to figure out why. Sometimes a theory makes sense until you read a different approach.

    If you read enough theory, you get a good sense that theory is situational. A good example is David Kaye's book Seriously Silly. It is an explanation of what works for David (AKA Silly Billy) in entertaining kids. I don't like that style but I perform for older kids and use different methods to keep their attention. For me, his methods are one way of keeping attention and they don't preclude the use of other methods.

    With any book on theory, you need to understand, evaluate and decide how it fits into your view of magic.

    Read on and keep thinking about Tamariz's theories.
  5. Not much to add other than -

    Darwin Ortiz has a section of Strong Magic on cueing the audience to create certain situations. If you do it well, it can enhance the impossibility and create a moment of "planned improv". By something seeming to be on the spur of the moment, it can make it seem much more impossible, despite the fact that you've actually set it up to get that moment every time.

    As RealityOne said, theories are not universal. Digest them and learn what you can from them. Revisit later and see how your thoughts and opinions have changed.
    DavidL11229 likes this.
  6. Thanks everyone. I was fired up when I read that in the book and it was nice to have somewhere to come.

    I'm almost done with Ortiz's "Designing Miracles". I've enjoyed it very much. "Strong Magic" is next.
    RealityOne likes this.
  7. Thanks, I will. I'll cut him some slack for Mnemonica, such a good system. I haven't finished 5 points yet, but so far so good there too. And I'm sure I can learn from his analytic approach even if I don't agree with his argument, but I don't feel bad that something got spilled on the book!

    To them I say "Method? There is no method Mr. and Ms. Spectator, there is only magic."
    Antonio Diavolo and RealityOne like this.
  8. Juan Tamariz's way strikes me as what Sankey did on Fool Us. And Penn's response to it was really on-point.
    And that same draw-back is there in Juan Tamariz's method.
    There's a sleight used to vanish a coin that involves having the hand held in a particular position DELIBERATELY just to a second later say something like,
    "So the coin vanished and...(*audience looks at the hand 'obviously' holding back the coin and performer notices that the audnce notices*) no, it reallt has vanished, am serious (*performer shows that hand empty to, audience loses their minds*)"
    So it is the concept of leading them up a beaten path only to show you never went that way.
    This style of performance is not for everybody, right?
  9. Married women will feel offended. You should not discriminate people on the basis of their martial status.

    :D :D :D

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