The Magician Online

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What is card magic?

Honestly, when you think about card magic, what do you think about? Do you think sleight of hand? Do you think epic changes? Do you think about impractical controls? They are neat, right? They are fun to watch, arnt they? But are they magic? NO. Neat changes and cool controls are nothing more than flourishing. Im here not to tell you that card magic is dead, but that it never existed.

When magicians today think about card magic, they think about the moves used to achieve the effect. The effect IS IN THE MINDS OF THE SPECTATOR. You cant simply show your audiene a bunch of moves and expect them to call it magic. You have to give them reason to call it magic. How? Giving a meaningful presentation behind your effect works some of the time. Some of the time, its letting them do the magic. Remember, the magic is in the minds of the spectators, not in the cards.

Think about the first trick that really fooled you. Were you fooled by method, or were you entertained by magic? Your goal as a magician is to awaken the magic in the spectators mind. When you were born, you didnt know what a doctor was, you didnt know what a light was, you didnt know anything other than ignorance, and even then, you didnt know what that was called. Astonishment soon followed. You were fasinated by everything around you, everything around you was so new and amazing. You quickly started learning how things and people worked, until by the age of about sixteen, you thought you had learned everything. This is where our jobs come in. We are the peter pan, if you will, into neverland, where everything is magic. Taking them to this state of mind is very difficult, and will take much time. If you show them real, actual magic, they will remember this forever.

Creating magic in the specatators mind is not obtained by the greatest, newest looking effect out there. It is obtained by gaining their trust and sprinkling it with deception. Making them believe something is not there, but it is. The first step to magic in the mind of the spectators mind is gaining trust. Proving to them that what they see is truth, If they dont, they WILL **** with you, and they will not give you they're trust. A few different ways to handle this are:

1. Just say no.

2. Better Audience management.

3. Having the cards shuffled/handled throughout the performance.


Lets Handle number one first:

Just saying no, to me, rarely looks good in the eyes of the spectator. Basically it cancels out the whole "magic" thing. You want them to believe their card is lost in the deck, or that the aces are lost in the deck, etc. And when they cant shuffle, they can and will believe that you where their card is and you dont want to lose its position. This is why I usually never say no when they ask to shuffle the cards. Worst case scenario, they ask to shuffle, you glimspe the card real quick, take back the deck, cull the card, talk for a minute, and bam, your right back on track. But in order to do that, you have to have good number two. No, not that number two, i ment audience management.


Number two:

Good Audience management is key to a good performance with a pain in the ass spectator. The strategy behind audience management is to control them so they DONT ask to shuffle the cards, look in the packet, etc. And, in my opinion, the best way for this to be done, is great technique. Your double lift should look like your single lift so they dont get suspicious and think you are cheating. If they really feel their card is lost in the deck, they wont ask to shuffle the cards. Another way to control the audience is to show things how they are once in a while, provide convincers if you will. When you say you are losing their card in the deck, so them that that is in fact their card. When you place the aces on the table, show them the aces! So later on, when that selection isnt the selection, or those aces arnt really aces, they wont ask, simply because you proved that what you say is truthful, so that they dont have to check it themselves. When they ask to shuffle, its alot like a lady looking through her house to make sure everythings their after a strange person they cantquitetrustbutwontsayanything leaves the house. Shuffling the cards to them ensures that everything is what it is. Another great convincer is in fact, number three.


Number three:

Having them shuffle when its not nessecary. To you. No, to them shuffling the cards makes all the difference in the world. It proves everything is fair and just how it needs to be. Of course your just giving them the packet that doesnt really have the card(s) in it, or you are in between effects, or youve already loaded the card where it needs to go. You are already ahead of the game, shuffled deck or not. This convincer is fantastic when you want to prove everything is as its should be. Also, let the cards that are about to be in question handled before they cant be handled. To them, they stay the same throughout the entire performance, when in reality, you let them handle the normal card, and then switched it for the not so normal gaff. Letting them shuffle and letting them handle the cards are two of the best, controlling convincers available, but you have to be able to combine this, and other convincers to gain the entire trust of the audience.

And that truly is what you are trying to obtain: The trust of the audience. When they dont trust you, they start asking to see the packet in question, the deck, etc. Only when you have the entire trust of the audience can the magic begin.

The next step is selling your magic. In order to sell a product, it must be a great product, or it must SEEM like a great product to them. The steps to a great product(effect in the eyes of the audience):

1. Solid effect. The effect you are trying to sell to them must make since and it MUST pretain to their everyday lives. A color changing routine by itself is NOT a solid effect. It is just a series of moves.

2. Solid method. They should NOT be able to spot any part of your method. What you explain as your effect SHOULD ACTUALLY BE what the spectators see.

3. Solid presentation. This is where you give your method life. This is where the magic comes in. As stated, you must give a presentation related to the everyday situations of spectators. This makes things much easier to believe and understand.

Many magicians say you dont have to have the best technique possible in order to perform magic. This is not so. Your technique must NOT be flawed. You dont want your spectators to notice a double lift or a break. It automatically breaks the trust, which in turn breaks the thought of magic from ever crossing the spectators mind. You will just be another guy who is smooth with the pasteboards. Just like someone who flourishes. If you are a move monkey, you are a flourisher, because you are not performing magic, you are just performing moves. But in that same breath, you must know your moves well in order to create magic in the minds of the spectator, because although it may be illusion in reality, its not in their minds. The only way to have solid moves and a solid presentation, PRACTICE IS NESSECARY. If you dont practice, you will be nothing but a crummy, piece of **** magician.

Style is also bery important in the performance of magic. You cant perform as a loudmouthed carney for one routine and a smoothtalking gambler for another. You must be you. What is the best way to do this, you ask? Well. it is actually simple. Do not study Dvds for anything other then pure move method. If you study Dvds for effect presentation, even subconciously you will copy them, which is no good. Spectators will feel that you are not being your self, and they will not trust that. They simply wont. In order to create your own style, you must study books, and you must perform as often as possible. This is the only way for you to gain your own style.

Many think that to be a card magician, you have to create your own material. This, also, is not true. In most cases, your material is not worth performing. This is not to say dont work it on, but you should make what you are creating worth watching. If its not, why bother? You must also decide if what you read or learn is even worth learning. It may not have what you need or fit your style. THAT IS OK!! What is popular is not always right for you.


Card magic is dead, but cards and magic arn't.

bossglass
 
Jul 13, 2009
424
0
Edmonton, Canada
"When magicians today think about card magic, they think about the moves used to achieve the effect."

This is very well said, for the spectator, their card is lost in the deck and that's whether you control them to the top by cutting the deck or by doing a pass.
 
Sep 1, 2007
662
2
Card magic is entertainment - if your audience is entertained, you have succeeded. Tis that simple!
 
Sep 1, 2007
662
2
Entertainment is a "magical experience". Sure, they're amazed, sometimes even shocked or freaked out - but they have a good time getting there and that's what counts. Let's not get too up ourselves shall we eh?

David.
 
Feb 16, 2010
120
0
Andy, you bring up a valid point about "What is card magic". However, I completely disagree with your statements on what you believe spectators see in their eyes. Your CHARACTER should determine whether you are using magic or sleight of hand to achieve your tricks. This is where we would define magic based presentations and skill based presentations.

However, everything you are bringing up is situational. In regard to the spectator wanting to see a trick again, you never give them what they want. You are in control. Tell them that you want to show them a better trick.

To gain trust and respect, I open up with a trick that I do under 10 seconds to catch their attention to let them know that I actually know what I am fondling with here.

To them shuffling the cards, who cares? Let them shuffle. Base your routines around these situations because if this does ever come up, you will be prepared for it. I always have my deck in Stebbins when performing so that even if they DO shuffle, I will still have a nice chunk of cards to liquefy their brain matter.


In regard to creativity, I do not set out to be a magic creator. I study what is already out there and try to improve upon it to the point where it works well for me. When I study a trick, I do not just learn it. I make adjustments, I batter it to its core so that I am able to achieve the same effect in any given location, situation, time... FASDIU.. etc. Take Sam the Bellhop for example. Who's trick is this originally? It is not Malone's trick. If it isn't his, then why do people (magicians and laypeople alike) associate Bill with STB? It is because he OWNS that effect. He may not have legal or moral rights to it. It is because he owns it. He can do it in any given situation from a shuffled deck in use.

Think about this stuff. Studying the conjuring arts, especially card magic is not just a hobby. It is a life time study. You are its lifelong students.
 
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Angel_magic

Elite Member
Jul 11, 2010
15
0
These are great tips, but they dont prove your "Card magic is dead" theory. Which, in all honesty, I think you just threw in there to sound cool. I dont think you actually believe that card magic is dead. How can you even say that? It's like saying that salsa dancing is dead because most of the salsa dancing you've seen doesn't fit your creative standards. Besides, if even ONE person (such as yourself, which I'm sure you do) performs magic in the way that you invision it, then it is not dead. Magic is interperative.

"when you think about card magic, what do you think about? Do you think sleight of hand? Do you think epic changes? Do you think about impractical controls? They are neat, right? They are fun to watch, arnt they? But are they magic? NO."
Who are you to define magic? Why cant it be something that's fun to watch aswell? I totally agree with you when you explain the puropse and goal of magic, but thats not ALL THERE IS to magic.

As for "are you a magician or entertainer?" Face it, no one truly believes in magic. I mean, they may see something that they cant explain, but just because they cant explain it doesnt make it magic. Magic is entertainment, and that entertainment can come from two sources: the sense of awe at something that completely baffles the audiance, as well as the performance and demenstrating the level of skill and hard work involved in creating that sense of awe.

This is a little bit more off topic but it goes along with your "move junky" statement. I think there is magic for laymen and magic for magicians. Everyone always disses magic for magicians. But why? We go out and work hard to give people this invaluable childlike sense of awe and entertainment, but in the mean time, how we get this ourselves, when we know how all of it works? and alsoo, it's a skill and like any skill it is best admired by people who have the same skill, and can understand all the time and effort it took to learn. There is nothing wrong with being a move junky and trying to impress fellow magicians. I say this mostly based on my inner flourisher, but still, we want that sense of awe too, and we can only get it from magicians that try to impress other magicians


It's a good post, all the tips are great and your points are obviously well thought out. But they're still wrong ;P
 
Feb 16, 2010
120
0
As for "are you a magician or entertainer?" Face it, no one truly believes in magic. I mean, they may see something that they cant explain, but just because they cant explain it doesnt make it magic. Magic is entertainment, and that entertainment can come from two sources: the sense of awe at something that completely baffles the audiance, as well as the performance and demenstrating the level of skill and hard work involved in creating that sense of awe.




It's a good post, all the tips are great and your points are obviously well thought out. But they're still wrong ;P


In regards to the "MAGICIAN OR ENTERTAINER" discussion, this actually dependson your character, as stated previously. I never introduce myself as a magician. First of all, when you state you are a magician, in the eyes of the audience, it gives them to expect certain things out of your performances. If you hate getting asked if you can levitate or can you make my wife disappear, then I would highly suggest studying before having a discussion.

Angel, you stated the words were well thought out. How so?

You also state that they are wrong and invalid. Please explain yourself.
 
Jan 10, 2008
294
2
I'll put in my two cents on this. My opinion you will be tempted to write of as biased, simply because my forte is cards. However, I am very well rounded in my study of all magic and have been a serious student for what is going on 9 years now.

My philosophy is simple. ALL MAGIC IS DEAD, IN THE WRONG HANDS.

You could take any branch of magic, coins, cards, rope, big stage illusions, whatever; and in the hands of a novice it will look horrible. In the hands of an amateur, it will look decent. In the hands of an expert, it will captivate audiences.

It all comes down to study and experience. Plain and simple. Magic is not easy and can't be summed up in a few paragraphs.

Just my two cents.
 
Oct 29, 2009
971
0
Just around
I agree with Angel that no one will believe it's true magic, but I think there is more to it than that.

I think it comes down to two things in the spectators mind when watching magic:

1. With a good magician who does "flourishy" magic, and makes it look more like skill (dan and dave style), the audience will think "That guy is amazing with cards, he can do anything with them".

2. With a good magician who does magic, but makes ALL the sleights IMPERCEPTIBLE to the audience, so they have NO idea ANYTHING happened the entire time, and it appears to them you did very minimal handling of the cards and everything was as fair as possible, and magic happens......then they have nothing to turn to. Obviously it can't be "real" magic, but it sure as heck didn't look like sleight of hand. They have no where to turn to, and get that feeling of "What the heck did I just see? There is no way that just happened."


It comes down to style. Dan and Dave enjoy just entertaining people, not pretending they are "magic".
Criss Angel pretends he does do real magic.

I personally never say I'm doing real magic. I just want to entertain people and have a fun time. I also sometimes don't want them to think I was just doing "sleight of hand" but just want them to in amazement with no where to turn to for an answer. It just depends.


Cheers
 
Feb 16, 2010
120
0
I agree with Angel that no one will believe it's true magic, but I think there is more to it than that.

I think it comes down to two things in the spectators mind when watching magic:

1. With a good magician who does "flourishy" magic, and makes it look more like skill (dan and dave style), the audience will think "That guy is amazing with cards, he can do anything with them".

2. With a good magician who does magic, but makes ALL the sleights IMPERCEPTIBLE to the audience, so they have NO idea ANYTHING happened the entire time, and it appears to them you did very minimal handling of the cards and everything was as fair as possible, and magic happens......then they have nothing to turn to. Obviously it can't be "real" magic, but it sure as heck didn't look like sleight of hand. They have no where to turn to, and get that feeling of "What the heck did I just see? There is no way that just happened."


It comes down to style. Dan and Dave enjoy just entertaining people, not pretending they are "magic".
Criss Angel pretends he does do real magic.

I personally never say I'm doing real magic. I just want to entertain people and have a fun time. I also sometimes don't want them to think I was just doing "sleight of hand" but just want them to in amazement with no where to turn to for an answer. It just depends.


Cheers


1 - You are correct, but that fits into a skill based performance character.

2- this leaves them with no open doors for a method




On another note, most people are idiots and have no idea what character is. YOU NEED CHARACTER... People that state that their character is 'them-self', they are either lying or they have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Your character is an extension of yourself. People will not pay to see you. However, they will pay to see your character.
 
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