What magical gestures do you use?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by StevenLevitt, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. I see a lot of magicians perform magic with no magical gesture, and to me this is a bad performance instantly. - Even if you use a click of the fingers, wave a shadow over something, or make the audience member squeeze something... This instantly gives character and a reason for magic to happen.

    Otherwise if you just make things happen without gesture, it just looks easy, tacky, and lazy.

    So what gestures do you use? - I always go for the audience member holding something or clicking their fingers. So the magic always happen in their hands, and the magic is created with them being there. This can give a much stronger effect to your magic.

    So how do you make the magic happen?
  2. With coins, wave of a wand.
    With cards, slow hand wave.
  3. Well some of these "magik gestures" I perform or stand/sit in include....in sit position leaned backed springing my cards with head tilted slighty an sorta bein mesmerized by the deck fallin within my hands...standing usually I nod my head an do a siegfried wave.
  4. It varies on the type of trick that I do but it mainly includes waving, snapping, air pinching etc...

  5. I don't really like the idea of magical gestures, they feel a bit insulting to me. An intelligent audience may not work out how the card came to the top but they know clicking your fingers had nothing to do with it. I find that a lot of audiences don't like being told to snap their fingers, they usually don't say anything but you can tell by their response that they think it's stupid and you're insulting their intelligence.

    Waving a shadow over something is even worse in my opinion. I know if a magician did that to me I would be extremely irritated, I just know that the action of waving your hand cannot have any effect on anything. Stuff like this always used to put me off magic (before I started doing it myself) along with absurd explanations and stories about why the magic is happening. I just didn't believe any of it and a lot of my spectators won't either, some of them aren't bothered by this sort of thing but it does really alienate some. Maybe with a different personality and presentation it might work but it doesn't for me.

    I do use dribbles, riffles and pirouettes to add 'punctuation' and pacing but I never imply that any of these gestures are making something happen. I let my audience make their own conclusions about what happened when.

    It seems a bit arrogant to claim that my magic is 'easy, tacky, lazy and has no character or reason to happen' because I choose to present it in a different way to you. I've spent a lot of time seeing what works and what doesn't and making adjustments based on experience. You haven't seen me perform, how can you dismiss my style with one post? In my opinion the use of gestures is very tacky but I accept that it works for some people.
  6. I'm slow falling into the Gambling area of cards, my magic is now becoming Sleight of Hand. So sometimes there isn't a need for a "magic move". But obviously say I've just done an "Invisable" pass, I'll still want it to make it look like I've done something, so usually I click my fingers and quickly turn the deck on its side and then back up again, like I've just done a "One handed" pass.

    Cheers, Tom
  7. well i think that it looks better to do the gestures. I do a wave a snap or if im doing something as easy as an eardnase change ill make the change keep the card covered and tell them blow. To me they get more into it because the audience wonders how you did it and on top of that they will want to take the deck and blow on it to see if it will change for them and when it doesnt they ask "how come it didnt work for me?" then ill tell them that its because they dont harnest that "magic" in their hands like i do. So i normally wave, turn the deck, snap, have a spectator blow on it or rub it, or if i wanna make it even better i simply put the object im changing down and act as if im squezzing the heck out of it and they just seem to be in aw afterwards.
  8. I don't use any magical gestures in my performance at all. I think it's cheesy for me to do it. That's not to say it is cheesy in general. If it is your character/your style go for it. I would never judge a magician for doing it, nor do I think its right to say someone is lazy for not doing it. If its for you its for you if its not its not.

    Alternatively, I use the same narration for the magic happening. So people subconsciously connect the language I use to that moment of magic. I believe this to fit my personal style of "conversational magic" and can be just as powerful but not as blatant as a wave of the hand.
  9. #9 bd, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2009
    If I'm using cards and feel the need to gesticulate, I usually throw the deck in the air, drop and do a few pushups, jump up and do a backflip or two, and catch it. That's usually enough distraction for me to execute my double lifts.


    I do use gestures, as I think they are rather important (for the same reason Steven does, for the most part). Hand movements, blowing, body language and snaps are most common for me.
  10. I normally don't use magical gestures. As others have already addressed, they often come across cheesy or demeaning. I have my spec snap to make the card come to the top for my ACR, and every now and then I'll slowly use my hand to cast a shadow over something, but generally I just don't use them.
  11. I think in the right instance, some form of gesture can be GOLD.

    Not necessarily clicking your fingers, but if you frame something right, a simple thing like a 'blow' can send shivers down people's spines.

    I agree that some gestures are very cheesy, but creating a magic moment is what it's all about and these little nuances are what really make it. From my experience anyway.

  12. Sometimes I wave my hand over things, but most of the time I just snap my fingers.
  13. i use double cross arm snap, its like when you cross the arms up and when you bring the back you use a snap, its quick, and actually looks like you did somethig fast enough for the eye not to catch it....

    when em using cards, i rub or blow on them....sometime i use a flick of the cards....

    with my ACR, i blow the cards up...i start like it the middle and move my head up to the top of the cards, to the layman, they think you are moving the card from the middle to the top....
  14. I do gestures quiet alot, especially for ACR where I'll either do a snap or a riffle down the side of the deck. I also do a invisible palm and a flick for tricks like biddle.
  15. Essentially, these gestures serve a purpose. We should never just look through the deck to find the aces...why not incorporate them into a trick as the climax or a production? You'd be missing a chance if you don't bother with that.
    Same with gestures for me. Great misdirection and its a reason for something to happen, a beat that signifies change in the rhythm of the trick. It could be a simple snap or an exaggerated hand-swiveling motion timed to YMCA that fits in with the context. Depends really.
  16. I'm hoping this is still on topic, so I'm just gonna briefly explain why that's a bad thing.

    If your audience sees you do a questionable motion such as the one mentioned above, they will do exactly as you stated, and simply blame it on skill. If you're trying to astonish your spectators (gotta empty those boxes, remember?) then you have to leave them with no outs. Skill is an explanation. Gonna repeat for emphasis: Skill. Is. An. Explanation.
    Sure, they'll still be impressed, but at your quick hands, not at your magic.
  17. But in the end it depends what your after. Skill or Magic....

    Cheers, Tom
  18. True, but is this a Skill forum?
  19. my favorite is if im like doin a card trick I have them either hold the deck or put there hand on top and i smack the top of there hand (not too hard lol) and then i say, "Did you feel that burst of magic?" Than if they say no than ill go on with my routine, but the great part is usually with women they say yes and i say, "Well that wasn't the magic, that was me just taking all my anger out on your hand!" haha it always is a good one.

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