Why do you want to see magic?

Feb 27, 2008
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Grand prairie TX
Notice that those films also had a message that audience could relate to. Jaws for example was the story of one man's rite of passage into manhood. The shark was his trial in which the boy had to die so that the man could live. This was a message that audiences could relate to on some level or another, especially the young men in the audience who found Richard Dreyfus's character spoke to them and their feelings as they grew into adults.

Get it?

Spot on.

Also,when we say our audiences seek substance in our magic,that doesnt mean that our presentations have to be serious or terribly profound.
Art is subtle.We dont have to shove it down their throats.There has to be a balance of artistic sensibilty and high entertainment.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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So here it is. Rather than having you sit back and watch me do something like you are watching a movie. I will make you apart that movie. That movie will connect with you.

An answer that I could get from virtually any magician. Why should I pick you over them?

I don't know you from Adam. Why on earth should I book you over every other magician making the exact same claims? If you don't have an answer yet, admit to it. There is no shame in that. Admission of ignorance opens the way to self-improvement.

But if you want to give me these stock lines and insist that answer is good enough, then don't talk to me. And don't make excuses like, "That question can't be answered on a messageboard." If you can't play with the big leaguers, get out of the game.
 
Jan 18, 2009
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Hard to really see it through a laymen's POV when it was so long ago, perhaps it was from the excitement that I saw others enjoy and I wanted it to. A sense of jealousy or envy that was always there, why should only they get to enjoy it.

Putting that answer out there has my mind racing right now and the next thing that came to mind that seemed as a suitable solution was a sense of mystery that lied underneath it all. Wondering to myself how something so simple could be so impossible to my eyes, my brain complicating the matter and yet it satisfies me to not know, to not be in control.

I could be off the right track but it's hard for me to put myself in someones shoes that I haven't been in a few years.
 
Sep 1, 2007
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OK, fine I do not the right answer at this point in time.

Good. Now take some time and consider what you have and want to offer. Consider what strength you have that can separate you from every John Doe magician out there that would appeal to a target audience. Ask yourself what they're going to get out of it.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,241
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Back in Time
Well that's the thing. It's not something you can easily answer in text. I could say an experience of a life time. But then that sounds like the ad copy of a Summer movie. Plus many other people could say that. I could say a memory, and many others could say that too. This really isn't something I could answer with a few simple sentences, it's better off being shown to them. Actions speak louder than words.


If I were to think about it, I would probably say that they would get a experience that would most likely have a lasting impact on their lives. Emotionally.
 
Jun 10, 2008
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You little stalker!
Yes, i use this quote a lot to describe substansive meaning. While i have written this little essay about 10 times already, i'll write it again.

Have you ever performed for someone and a person says "Hey, can you make my wife disappear?" or if you're at a restaurant: "Can you make my check disappear?"

Often times these are said as a joke. But these quotes have a deeper meaning. What the spectator is really saying is "If you can do magic, why don't you do something useful with it?".

Is see many people on these forums leaning over their computers trying to come up with the next version of Tivo 2.0. So i'll use this trick as my first example. I've done this trick once and only once. It was to a group of friends who usually responds very well to my tricks. But when i did this trick, their response was "So what?"

The reason why this trick failed to get a reaction was because it meant nothing to the spectator. It didn't have anything to do with them. They can't relate to the trick.

Now let me give you an example of good substantive meaning. Extreme Burn has always been one of my favorite tricks and my main reputation maker. What makes this effect so.... effective is that fact that it's got to do with money. People like money, they care about money, they have wars over money. Being able to manipulate money is probably one of the best powers you can have is you were really able to do magic. When people see you can change a 5 dollars into 500 dollars, then they become emotionally hooked. Simply because they care about money.

Now money's not the only thing that can have substantive meaning. Gambling demonstrations also can have an emotional hook because everyone loves winning at gambling games. Also, personal stuff like mentalism and mind-reading can have an emotional hook cuz you're manipulating the mind, which is supposed to be the most private place in the world.

Now i can go on all day naming a describing all the topics with substansive meaning but i think you get my point. Next time you do an effect just ask yourself "If i do this trick, would they really care?"

I'll leave you with one last thought: If you really had magical powers what would you be doing all day? Making cards switch places, or turning one's into hundreds?
 
Aug 18, 2008
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this is a very good question. I am honestly stumped. But at least I can be honest about it and not come up with some bull****. The reason I get hired is because around here I have created a good reputation with the gigs I have already done. That will not help me forever though...
 
Mar 21, 2009
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I think magic appeals to people on a primal level to seek that which is deemed impossible. If that's not the answer the I'm a friggin moron
 
May 8, 2008
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England
I think magic appeals to people on a primal level to seek that which is deemed impossible.

I'm sorry to say that I don't think people are seeking the 'moment of astonishment' or a 'memory to keep forever'. It's just one interesting thing that's presented to them. A way of being entertained for one period of time.
I'm knackered, probably made no sense. Two cents :p
 
Sep 1, 2007
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Well that's the thing. It's not something you can easily answer in text. I could say an experience of a life time. But then that sounds like the ad copy of a Summer movie. Plus many other people could say that. I could say a memory, and many others could say that too. This really isn't something I could answer with a few simple sentences, it's better off being shown to them. Actions speak louder than words.

You say that because you don't have the answer. That's why you keep giving me these thoroughly unoriginal responses.

My answer? The ouvre of my work harkens to the collective unconscious. More and more, my magic is slowly assimilating and expressing shared experience, reflections of the shadow self, and the Power of Myth. People want to see my magic because I provide them an experience that speaks to them on a deep, unconscious level while at the same time teaching them a little about themselves if they're willing to accept it.

To further this, I've been studying Jungian psychology, the works of Joseph Campbell, urban legends, and semiotics. I devour any subject that I think will help me enhance my ability to make an artistic statement that people will seek out because they can truly relate to it.
 
Oct 2, 2008
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Jinai.deviantart.com
I was performing magic at a park normally filled with goth, punk, skater dudes today. Now i dont really hang around these people much, but because the last few times i performed there with my friend, we made a good reputation as welcomed strangers.

So i was taking a nice sunday stroll downtown with no intention of performing magic there at all, suddenly this dude on a skateboard started calling my name, we stopped to talk and he asked me if i can show his friends some magic. I couldnt see why not. When i got there, i noticed a big group of friends split into two groups, boys and gurls. 40% of them wanted to see the magic, the rest was like "Uhh...magic tricks? No thanks.". The dude who invited me responded "No he doesnt do magic tricks! Come over man!" After a few attempts, finally everyone joined in. So it hit me there when i saw this question.

Im not quite sure, but for the spectators who experience good quality magic, maybe like us, they have this hope for our dying art. As if they are on our side, doing what they can.

I remember i got into magic because i couldnt understand why something so small could expand boundlessly on different planes. It was for knowledge that i sought magic. After some time, we became one. Sympathy for it's cries maybe? I used to think magic was like Jazz or slow harmonica blues. Only for the right people does it hit home. Its different now. So much to play around with.

Is it because they want to escape from all this ruckus? Well that depends. Lay people dont know about the "moment of astonishment", nor do they see magic as something to keep/last forever. Maybe its because they dont know what it is, that attracts them towards it.

Or that their mind's eye has seen past the gate of ellusionary scent which most have halted and disgusted at. I have been reading, and Steerpike really has been trying to get this point across to you all. Of course, they dont know what it is, but you hook them, you allow a cordinal glimpse. Just a flash. Then you leave em hangin. Not a lot of people get that opportunity, with these kids going on a frenzy raid, damaging our land.
 
Oct 11, 2008
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To answer the main topic, and this little side discussion;

The reason I feel that people would want to see my magic? I put serious time and effort into my scripting, all of it is original and from me. Whenever I'm doing an act I have a gambling routine I go through.
I start with a small back story, it is somewhat histroically accurate, but mostly made-up. I ask my spectators about their knowledge of American history, and go into a brief talk about the progressive movement and wealth becoming available to the common man. With this new wealth, people began gambling and hustling in America (I will also go into earlier exmaples and talk about cards in ancient times). I tell a story about a ficticous gambler who was so good he was able to determine the exact poker hand of his opponent based on his body language. I say that although he may not really have been able to do it, it is possible to determine a single card. I force a card on them and go into a long made-up explanation, step-by-step on what they're doing, what their tells are, and subtle things I'm doing to test them.
I have several other card routines that I continue to relate back to gambling, such as a 3 card monte I've come up with, occasionaly I'll do false shuffles and deal a poker hand, all the while telling the "history" of these cons. I feel that this can really touch my spectator becuase a lot people gamble, and wouldn't it be great to be able to know what cards anyone had? Or be able to deal perfect poker hands at will? I also test them, and ask them if they play cards often, if they do not I go into the physiological a bit more, explaning that I can will someone to deal a poker hand, choose a number, etc..
Every effect I do is very specific to me and my routine. On occasion I'll do stigmata, using the story that by being touched, the card will actually reveal itself on my skin. I feel that this is very strong however, and will not do it in my walk around. There are a few times when I make exceptions from my character, and do a few tricks that are a stretch to relate to gambling, but that is generally for people who do not respond well to cards and children, who cannot follow the routine as easily. I'll do some rubber band tricks, saying that a poker cheats hands need to be quick not to get caught, although I generally do not like to do those effects--they just do not work out as well.

Now, I believe steerpike was asking what I would say to a client, or in other words what my pitch would be. That's a difficult question, however, I would say that I have been doing what I do for 11 years now, am fairly experienced, and that my routine is original and tested to entertain. Now that I think about it, I could probably come up with something better, fourtunatly for me there aren't many other magicians in my area. Then again, there aren't many other people near-by. :(

To answer the question why I enjoy magic, I would say that it is because it is something I do, and watching anyone else perform improves my own magic. It's the same way of watching anything else for me, I'm a pretty competitive person and whenver I get the chance to watch Federer play, I watch, becuase it improves my tennis game.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,241
3
Back in Time
You say that because you don't have the answer. That's why you keep giving me these thoroughly unoriginal responses.

My answer? The ouvre of my work harkens to the collective unconscious. More and more, my magic is slowly assimilating and expressing shared experience, reflections of the shadow self, and the Power of Myth. People want to see my magic because I provide them an experience that speaks to them on a deep, unconscious level while at the same time teaching them a little about themselves if they're willing to accept it.

To further this, I've been studying Jungian psychology, the works of Joseph Campbell, urban legends, and semiotics. I devour any subject that I think will help me enhance my ability to make an artistic statement that people will seek out because they can truly relate to it.

Yeah I have been thinking about that too.
 
The reason I watch magic or laymen watch magic is because, we like to be fooled. We love the unexpected, our magic when presented right is like a good horror movie. There is build up and then Boo. Or maybe it is the thought that there is real magic and certain people have powers to bend physics and natural laws, so they want to see something rare. Maybe it is the story behind our effects such as the different mother goosery and fair tails with morals that have been instilled in us.
This is just a free flow of thought.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
Now, I believe steerpike was asking what I would say to a client, or in other words what my pitch would be. That's a difficult question, however, I would say that I have been doing what I do for 11 years now, am fairly experienced, and that my routine is original and tested to entertain. Now that I think about it, I could probably come up with something better, fourtunatly for me there aren't many other magicians in my area. Then again, there aren't many other people near-by. :(

Actually, I think you have the answer. You're just looking too close to see it.

What I would do, were I you, is go to Google, the libraries, and Amazon. Do real research into the history of gambling cheats and con men. Make yourself a local expert on the subject. Do study the moves (Sal Piacente has great material for this). Do card tricks, cons, betchas, memory demonstrations...

And when you want to break out the stuff like Stigmata, that's where the apocryphal legends and your own fictional stories of gambling and cheating come in. Hell, you could make a special Halloween season entertainment package all about the ghosts of cheaters who got caught.

History loves to romanticize it's villains, scoundrels, and ne'er-do-wells. Present yourself as an expert in the history of gambling and cons. What you offer people is an insight into a fascinating history, which has an educational angle. On top of that, you could optionally sweeten the deal by incorporating into your show incidental advice on how to keep from getting cheated yourself.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,241
3
Back in Time
The reason I watch magic or laymen watch magic is because, we like to be fooled. We love the unexpected, our magic when presented right is like a good horror movie. There is build up and then Boo. Or maybe it is the thought that there is real magic and certain people have powers to bend physics and natural laws, so they want to see something rare. Maybe it is the story behind our effects such as the different mother goosery and fair tails with morals that have been instilled in us.
This is just a free flow of thought.

I don't think they like to be fooled. Otherwise they wouldn't try to figure everything out.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,786
15
We love the unexpected, our magic when presented right is like a good horror movie. There is build up and then Boo.

Not to split hairs, but I'm of the school of thought that the appeal of horror movies is in catharsis for that which we repress. The analogy doesn't scan for me on anything more than a superficial level is what I'm saying.

Also, for me a really good horror movie has comparatively few Boo moments and instead focuses on dread.
 
Feb 27, 2008
2,342
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Grand prairie TX
Another point that my friend and I came up with is that people love to see that there is more to life than this materialistic world we see on T.V.
That life is full of suprises and not as solid as it may seem.
People love to hear about supermen,spirits,mind over matter. And these things inspire them to live their lives with a more open mind.To wonder and be amazed at everything and to accumulate knowledge.
 
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