What do you think?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Morgan B, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. There is a wizard who cloaks his mysteries in a pseudo-shroud of impenetrable darkness. He is the Merlin who nudges the occult in his performances, who wishes his audiences to believe, if ever so little, that he possesses powers not granted to the rest of the world - he is one of the pseudo-mentalists, soothsayers and pryers-into-the-future. Convincingly done, this sort of thing is an art in itself and, as in the case of the humorous magician, it is an art in which no instruction can be given. If you possess the personal magnetism which would enable you to sell racoon coats in Death Valley, you may be such a magician. This type of presentation does not readily lend itself to general magic of the type under discussion, and it is even more difficult to present card magic in this métier. (Few alive) can say “Take a card!” and still convince his spectators that fairies and goblins perch on his shoulder.
  2. Um.. sorry, I really don't understand what this thread is about. Can you please enlighten me?
  3. Read it - comment on the value of the post. Do you think it's accurate?
  4. We're getting into heavy territory. Magic as theater.

    If you're interested, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of bright young talents whom I completely made up named Daniel Creed and Drake Masters.
  5. I am interested to see what people say first - but yes - soon, after a few more responses to the original post.

    Nobody has posted if they agree or disagree with the concepts - or how it makes them feel.

    Is this a viable performance approach or not? Many youth are using this exact "Goth" - "David Blaine inspired" - approach to their magic - but with cards and what not - are they pulling it off?

    Don't answer these questions yet - but think about them while you read the passage.
  6. As I said, we're getting into pretty heavy territory with this one. Most of the people here have probably never thought about this.

    Sure, most of us have asked "If I could make the cards switch places, what would it really look like?" But that's a bit like making Kraft dinner compared to being the challenger on Iron Chef.

    Consider the idea of actually crafting a mythos and bringing that across in your performances. It's challenging, but also very rewarding.
  7. Clarify viable.

    Can it be pulled off? Yes.

    As such, though, this is a very limited and polarizing presentation. You'll alienate many, and draw in very little. Those that you do affect, however, will magnetize even more to you. You'll be hated by most, yet be worshipped by loyals. You'll be a god or a demon, a saint and a sinner. It's what you're trying to sell, aren't you?

    The persona can be brought to life.

    Who's willing to do it?
  8. Alright, it's 2:38 AM, and i'm currently intrigued. I believe this goes far behond meer thoughts of Deception and Illusion. (I also believe I may quote part of that for my signature.)
  9. Interestingly, limiting one's audience can actually yield greater success in business. But you have to be larger than life, a unique figure that cannot be had anywhere else.

    Please don't remind me what time it is. Insomnia really sucks.

    That said, what we have here is a veritable exalt of the weird.
  10. I believe you can convince people that you magically switched out the cards and some will actually believe it as well. One effect that does this is Seductive Switch 2. Now I don't know if anybody has presented that has a "Magical" version, but those who have the style and actual presence to pull off something like that, should be able to convince you of literally anything.
  11. Agreed. You'll be very limited as a performer though. No daily strolls wearing jeans and a t-shirt to do card tricks at your local bar.

    The best thing about the Bucks' vision in magic is it's accessibility and non-threatening format. It's kept as a distant nonchalance of skillfulness, something that can be done ANYWHERE at ANYTIME. IMPROMPTU.

    Hah. Streamlines, not just a brand of playing cards.

    I'm very intrigued by the presented persona. I'll be sure to play around with it in the future. For now though, I think I'd like to be more amicable and joyous. Alienating people is something I do in my personal life, not professional.

    Cheers though. If you can't sleep, a good comedy might cheer you up. Unless of course, you're preparing for the dark brooding outcast character.
  12. #12 William Draven, Mar 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
    One: I don't really understand what it is you are trying to say here. The onlything that I can take from how you word things is that you don't approve of or like this style of performance. Pitty.

    Two: Playing cards are not the be-all end-all of magic. Contrary to popular belief among the younger magi these days. I highly doubt anyone who performs this kind of character would be relient on card tricks anyways. Unless they fit the theme and character of course. I could see a deck of Tarrot cards being used or something equally like themed.

    Three: I personally don't see anything wrong with this kind of character for performances. After all it is about entertainment, not about magic. Think long and hard about that before you flame me in response. I'm right. Magic is the tool, entertainment is the result. I've performed a simular style character the past year and It's worked well for me. Got me on national TV a few times.

    I personally would rather perform something that is unique, edgy, or away from the cookie cutter "street" magician image that all the younger magis are flocking to. Why? Because I stand out compaired to the rest of the custom deck wielding, jeans and t-shirt wearing, assult innocent people walkind down the street with card tricks, david blaine/criss angel wish you weres

    The performance style isn't as limiting as one might think. You sure as hell won't be doning many kids birthday parties... but there isn't a lot of money in doing those anyways. I think it takes a special kind of magician to do those for a living, and I know I'm not one of them.

    You're going to be performing for a lot of adult venues. Night shows, clubs, TV spots, burlesque, fairs, festivals, so forth and so on. The public isn't as damning to that kind of style either.

    Sure you don't out right proclaim "I'm an illusionist, and I'm going to fool you with stuff you may think is real. But really its not." Personally to throw in such a disclaimer before your show I find to be quite arrogant.

    If you perform such a act outlined by the thread starter, sure you are going to illude if you don't right out say that your effects are accomplished by some other method than slight of hand. Here's what you are failing to get a grip on.

    People don't care! They want to be entertianed! No one in their right mind is going to buy that load of horse hocky. You can tell them that you can bend metal with your mind but no one really buys that. In their minds, hearts, and souls they know it's just an effect.

    IF someone honestly does think there is a slight chance that you may possess some supernatural power, thats when you politely tell them it's just an act. You don't broad cast it to everyone, just inform those that need to know. (for their own sake of peace of mind.)

    Honestly, I think I've ever only had a handful of times where someone honestly questioned me. After I told them it was just "part of the act" they were like 'Oh. Okay.' and were quite content to move on with their life.

    That might have a bit too much of an edge to it... I may edit it later once I re-read it. But for 12:20am I'm pretty sure it will do.
  13. ... Little harsh maybe? :eek: What the hell's wrong with Jeans & T-Shirts? Also, CA sucks & db Has one good performance video imo. (I'm also using a pack of studs right now :p.)

    I'll probably laugh at this tomarrow but i'm so damn tired right now, I hardly care :p.
  14. My point was about conformity, and avoiding a "cookie cutter" image when performing.

    California sucking or not is purely opinionated. I personally love it compaired to the corn field of a town in the midwest that I grew up in.

    David Blaine does have a good performance character. I'm not saying he doesn't. My problem is with the multitudes of teenagers and young adults who try to carbon copy his style, image, or performance technique without first trying to create their own unique image.
  15. Imitation is not the problem.

    It's the jumping point, and where all human beings start. We copy what we see around us. First from our parents, how to walk, talk, crawl, run, smile, laugh, perhaps cry; then from our teachers how to read, write, act, sit, think; our peers, how to have fun, how to break rules, how to do bad things without getting caught; and then from those we admire we learn how to live, how to be, how to do, how to change.

    All who begin on a journey first follow the footsteps of those before them. We start by copying our favorite dancer, singer, writer, actor, magician, lawyer, judge, orator. We look at their techniques, read their books, delve into their heads and try to understand the who what when where how and why. Once we have a solid grounding and a stable foundation, then we begin to move freely and independently.

    It is a waste of energy to point fingers and throw tantrums. Instead we need to, as the more educated and seasoned students, point in the right direction and throw starters a bone. Push them where they need to be pushed, let them know what they are doing wrong AND more importantly why, let them show you why they believed it to be right, and come together and join in understanding. Bickering is not helpful. Late night or not. No excuses.
  16. I understand that completely, I was just raggin on ya because i'm a jeans and t-shirt guy ;).

    No fare screwing with me like that when it's almost four AM and my cardini's are becoming top shots.

    You're right, I am. That's why I said he only has one good performance video. I've never been a big fan of the way he performs. That's not to say he's not a nice guy or not though. I wouldn't completely know, i've never spent any time around him. I 100% agree with you though. Far to many people copy db & CA instead of focusing on originality. It's the magical verison of a child running around with a toy gun and cheap cowboy hat because he likes cowboys. But if that's not enough, it's the damn Ego that seems to follow these people. Barely practiced sleights and they think they're gods gift to magic.
  17. Seriously? That's what you take away from this? Jesus...

    Don't be too sure of that.
  18. #18 MattSmithies, Mar 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
    here I go

    I remember this discussion from expert at the card table, a mystic. I feel that this side of presentation is all about significantly preparing a spectator a long time before a trick arrises, they would have to build up beliefs in their own mind overtime eg psychic abilities, the occult, witchcraft etc.

    I have never claimed to have supernatural powers but I have found myself in situations where talking about psychic/supernatural phenomena on a one on one kind of basis has become part of the atmosphere. In the past we have talked for an hour or so and then proceeded to do a very simple card trick that illiustrates their psychic ability even though I did card trick I have received the best reactions down to the conversation I feel that kind of thing really builds up a bond/trust between spectator and magician/mentalist and therefore makes it even more devistating. In other words it switches from a trick to a miracle in my opinion because of the bond developed.

  19. And Derren Brown is one of them

    Anyway i am not against presenting magic that way. Whatever works for the performer i am not here to judge personal preference because in the end that's what its all about - If that certain style works for that certain magician and he enjoys performing this way then he should definitely stick with it. Though there are many card effects (two card transpos, effects like Angle Zero,Invisible Deal/invisible deal force,etc) that if performed properly and with a convincing patter can indeed make some ( few maybe?) spectators believe you can really read minds, cause miracles to happen.

    Though i really cant enjoy a performance like that. I prefer presenting myself as a simple man with humor who came to entertain and amaze (but not in no case fool) them . Performing this way also elevates your effects ( or at least it works for me) .
    Just my thoughts

  20. I sort of disagree, but only in a qualified way.

    This persona is not much in evidence, to be fair, but there is another barrier to entry that 1) makes it tough to pull off, and 2) more powerful when it does: knowledge.

    Frankly, I think personal magnetism and charisma are no more decisive for this character than for any other. What distinguishes this fellow from the rest is that he can talk casually about a Square of Saturn and explain how it is useful. He knows the hidden meanings of the Nine of Diamonds, and what happened to the rest of the cards. Cornelius Agrippa is not an unfamiliar name to him, and referring to something as "alchemy" is not a simile for some unscientific process. He has a good story about why there's no church in the Campo de' Fiori in Rome, and why the statue in the center faces east.

    In order to pull off this persona well, one would have to have a fundus of knowledge--and yes, here I am talking about book knowledge, not practical experience--that most people would never have or want.

    But might this person do Distortion? Sure. Definitely. Except he might couch it in the numerological significance of changing a Four into a Six. TiVo? Sure--but it might be in the context of demonstrating the effectiveness of a Seal of Mercury. (But no way would he flourish. No way. ;) )

    So could the styles of magic seen here at T11 and from these artists fit with this sort of persona? Absolutely. I think the barrier is in a different place: this is just too damn hard to pull off.

    Besides, most Tarot decks are drawn to a different dimension, and printed straight on cardboard stock with no coatings. Until U.S. Games cuts some sort of deal with U.S. Playing Cards and allows some of its decks to be printed with playing card stock and finishes, they're just impractical for most card magic.

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