Tonight I Failed Magic

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Toby, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Ah, I think we're talking about the same thing here, but in different language!

    I'd like to make a distinction between two ways of presenting a challenge. Firstly, there is the challenge with your persona. This is akin to Houdini's escape act, where your whole character is one who "can't be beaten" by the audience. This kind of challenge has to be handled very carefully, and could definitely alienate an audience. The other kind is verbally challenging your audience (a la Greg Wilson, Dai Vernon, Daryl and others), where you make a point of saying things like, "You've got two more chances to catch me!" etc. This kind of challenge is the one I was talking about in my previous post, and I believe that just because you say those kind of things, it doesn't make the audience feel stupid, or even genuinely challenged. In the same way, just because Derren Brown says jokingly in his haunted deck effect, "If the spirits are with us...", the audience don't think that he's really suggesting that the cards are moving under some phantom hand. It's all about the character and the non-verbals, and, as we all know, the actual words coming out of your mouth are almost insignificant in communication.

    So, what I mean by this, is that you can tell an audience you want them to catch you out, tell them you're psychic, or even tell them you hate them, but without necessarily communicating those messages.
  2. Just going to chime in here. But you can adopt an aggressive, challenging persona and still have a terrific rapport with your audience. What is that guy's name who did the DVD "Fancy a Pot of Jam"? He is one person that comes to mind who has a very aggressive style and often times does the same effect twice while directly challenging using indirect speech to catch him in the act. Like the card to pocket he does, or entire deck under the card box.

    Y'all are right in thinking that if you present yourself as a stone cold, seriously, magical guy when you flub a trick, you will get called out on it. That is why you have to actually be good at what you do and why I feel many magicians/mentalists have strayed away from that's bloody hard! But if you take a lighter tone in your sona's personality, you can always walk it off with a joke or a simple, "Oops you caught me, Bet you can't catch me again," Said in a friendly way.

    If I were to ever go professional with my magic, I'd never want my client to hire me just to perform magic. I'd rather them be hiring my character, that just so happens to perform magic, so the crowd I am put in front is prepared for the certain sona that I have. The client could be hiring a challenging sona, psychotic masochist sona, etc. But never just hiring some guy to be a trained monkey and entertain someone with an origami illusion...or the hippty fricking hoppity bunnies!

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