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Jed

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Reply with quote  #1 
Is it worth that one minute of happiness that we give by performing, if it fades away very quickly?
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not so sure it fades away. The moment of magic fades away, but the memory remains. Later, as people tell their friends what they saw, they recreate the moment. Sometimes they even make it better than what actually happened. 

Some magic moments remain in their memories for life. Someone tells them about a magician they saw and the person then recounts the experience they had with you - even years later.

Don't underestimate the power of the experience of magic.

Mike
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
What Mike said.

The entirety of our lives are compendiums of experiences gained one minute at a time. Retrospectively, those minutes make memories, and while some are joyous and others sorrowful, the sum total over time is generally that of contentment. So instead of lamenting the briefness of the experience, consider instead the exhilaration of proactively making memories. And while we're at it, we might as well make them positive, right?!

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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #4 
Sunsets are over in seconds.  Hugs, ditto.   Yes the memories fade.  But the lift of the spirit persists.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #5 
My thought, probably borrowed from something I read somewhere at some point:

In the grand scheme of things, everything fades away pretty quickly. All we can do is make better moments in the time we're here. The peculiar gift of magic is in its ability rattle us from our sleepwalk and reconnect us (and our audience) with the moment we're in... where, if we're doing our job right, something especially notable and extraordinary might seem to be happening.

But there are notable, extraordinary things happening in most moments, if you attend to them. Ideally, that understanding is part of what we offer people.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #6 

I think that a great trick that is done by someone with an engaging personality (who sees people as more than victims/spectators) has a greater impact than they might think.
I just posted the video below on Youtube and Instagram (that was taken by the staff of a little bistro in Mexico) of me performing "Torn and Restored Transpo" by David Williamson. 

The next day, we had breakfast their again. David (the waiter who had taken the video and only spoke broken English) said that he told his family all about what I'd done and said that he will never forget me.

I was reminded of the power that magic has to enable us to make a connection with people that transcends barriers.

Rudy

 


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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #7 
If happiness is light and everything else is darkness, then consider this; "All the darkness in the world cannot hide the light of even the tiniest candle."

My wife is a teacher for at risk kids. These are kids that come from broken homes and some of what they go through on a daily basis is horrible and sad. She tries to give them experiences that they could look back on and smile about, because some of these kids have none.

So one short experience is better than none. Sometimes it's the only hook you have to hang your sanity on.


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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #8 

While I was going to college I wanted to be a part time salesman in a department store and be able to work with people. At that time I was already doing magic. I also smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.

 

The manager told me after I was hired and accepted the job that they needed a stock boy and that was the job I had to fill.

 

I was bored down there, alone in the basement stocking merchandise and smoking. Then the manager caught me.

 

“Hey – Stock boy – Smoking is not allowed. Make that cigarette disappear! Now!”

 

I took the cigarette out of my mouth with my right hand, transferred it to my left, waved my right fingers over my left and – and – the cigarette was gone!

 

“Hey – come up here.”

 

I was no longer a stock boy.

 



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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #9 
Great story Gerald!

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Hal

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Reply with quote  #10 
The reason I do magic is it is fun. The real magic is making someone's day brighter and turning their frown upside down. Remember the smiles you create and that drives you to do more.... 

Maybe it fades because we don't remember. 
Perhaps, journal and write about the cool interactions you have with people. Blog about them. Post on FB about them.  Tell us on TMF about them.

I remember when we worked at a children's home and we had a house full of kids from horrible backgrounds. Many endured unimaginable hardships and I brought a smile to their face with some silly magic. That makes it all worth it. The memories need not fade away.

These great memories drive me to continue.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #11 

Once, while out to dinner with my wife, the family sitting next to us had a young daughter with a bald head (who it turns out had terminal cancer).  They were very sad and the mother was near to tears.  Since I had a rainbow mouth coil on me, I was able to inject a small moment of happiness into the girl’s life by letting her “cause the magic to happen” when we said the most magical words in the world … her name.

Another time when we were eating at a diner, a boy who was known to the proprietor was acting out, being rude to his mother.  I did the same trick, but we used the magic words “please and thank you”.  The owner of the diner told me afterwards that it was a wonderful thing I had done.

By the way, I never produce the coil from my mouth.  I use a totally different technique, letting the colorful strands appear from a torn table napkin.

Doing magic can sometimes profoundly affect people’s lives; especially young children.  Once when I was setting up to perform for a birthday party held in a local children’s museum, a young boy came running up to me, calling out my name and yelling “I Love to Read!”  His grandmother, who was accompanying him, exclaimed, “So THAT’S where he heard that!”  It turns out this kid had seen my reading program at a library six months before, and ever since then had taken a real interest in reading, often hugging his books.

Another time, a mother I ran into at the Post Office thanked me for influencing her two little girls when they had attended one of my daycare literacy programs.  She shared with me that they believed that “Reading is Magic”, because I had told them, and proved it to them, in my show.


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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hey Arthur, 

I think your Magic has lasted for more than a minute! That's great! Loved your stories...

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
If happiness is light and everything else is darkness, then consider this; "All the darkness in the world cannot hide the light of even the tiniest candle."

My wife is a teacher for at risk kids. These are kids that come from broken homes and some of what they go through on a daily basis is horrible and sad. She tries to give them experiences that they could look back on and smile about, because some of these kids have none.

So one short experience is better than none. Sometimes it's the only hook you have to hang your sanity on.




Dan, you post is great and struck a chord with me.  My oldest daughter is a kindergarten teacher in a somewhat impoverished area and there is a lot of terrible stuff going on in the neighborhoods such as meth manufacturing, etc.  She has kids that come in wearing the same clothes several days in a row.  

I told her that when she is having a bad day or feeling down to remember that she is perhaps the only one in those children's lives that is kind to them and is interested in their health and happiness.  She says it helps.

I used to coach both boys and girls soccer.  I attended a great clinic where a national level coach came to speak with us.  One of the biggest takeaways was when he said, "You may not know it, but the hour to two hours these kids spend with you might just be the best in their entire week.  So don't let them down.  Be kind, don't yell, don't call them out, but nurture them."  Wow, you talk about an impact.  I never forgot it.

Thanks for reminding me.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #14 
OK, so on the magic front, here are some thoughts.  I can still remember clearly a friend of my mother's, a professional magician some of you may remember named Ernie Heldman, performing for a group of family friends in our basement.
I was probably 8 years old or so.  Mr. Heldman sat at a coffee table and proceeded to blow all of us away.  I remember he did the Don Alan bowl routine, Polaroid Money with a Himber Wallet, numerous card tricks, rope tricks, etc.   One that really was entertaining was a routine he did about going to a store and receiving his change and every time he counted it, the total amount changed.  It was so smooth and hilarious.  If I remember correctly, he said he told the cashier they gave him too much back so he put one bill on the table but when he counted again he had the same total as before.  He did that multiple times.  We've all seen it with cards, but to me the impact with dollar bills was amazing.

So those magic moments are what caused this formerly 8 year old boy to want to learn to be a magician.

Many years later, Ernie moved to New Orleans and among other things ran a magic shop.  I accompanied him on a birthday party performance.  It was a child's birthday and he did Fraidy Cat Rabbit and all of the typical kids stuff that popular at the time.  He got more mileage out of a pocketful of silks than I'd ever seen.  It was a great learning experience for me.

I copied this off of Magicpedia.  I think Mr. Heldman deserves some notice as he was one of the pioneers in performing magic on TV.  One of his published works was a book called "Cards that mean business".  Still a good read.

Ernie Heldman

 
 
Ernie Heldman
BornErnest Heldman
January 27, 1916
St. Louis, Missiouri
DiedNovember 8, 1977 (age 61) 
New Orleans

Ernie Heldman (1916-1977) was one of St. Louis' outstanding magicians from early 1947 until 1962.

Biography

Prior to World War II, Heldman worked as a part time magician until he was drafted into the army. After the war, he took a sales job, continuing with magic as a hobby.

In September 1947, an advertising-agency executive saw him perform and suggested that he do TV commercial (television was very new at the time). He did a one minute ad for Sunrise Meats in which he produced a string hot dogs out of a newspaper while he talked about Sunrise Meats. This was so successful that it led to a six-month contract doing live one-minute spots doing a different magic trick each time.

Heldman eventually quit his job to perform magic professionally full time. By 1949, the one minute spots had become a live 15-minute magic show called "Parade of Magic", sponsored by Pepsi Cola. It ran until 1962.

In 1961, Ernie opened a night club called Psycho House in St. Louis' Gaslight Square which lasted only a few years.

Heldman wrote Linking Ring articles (Television Trickery) about working on early television [1]

He served as President of IBM Ring One in St. Louis and later IBM Ring 27 in New Orleans. He was also one of the founders of the St. Louis Midwest Magic Jubilee.[2][3]

Awards

  • In 1995, Heldman was awarded the St. Louis Magical Heritage Award posthumously.
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Jed

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Reply with quote  #15 
These are such amazing stories guys, waiting for more to come...

But, does anyone understand why watching something magical can make someone's day / week / whatever?
All they watched was something they don't know how was done, why does that have such a big impact on their mood or as we read on this thread - impact on their life sometimes?

I don't understand those answers that we make people realize that there's something beyond the reality we see, after all, they know it's just trickery, and they laugh and have a good time, not cry and start talking about how life is meaningful...
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #16 
Jed, I think there can be moments in a magic performance where people can be moved to tears.  Certainly not when a magician produces a billiard ball!  But how about when Daniel Cros used to make a cardboard butterfly actually fly?  I'm sure that there were some folks that got caught up in the moment and it moved them profoundly.  The presentation was key.

I'll share one with you where I teared up.  It wasn't even a trick, but a story told by a magician, Simon Lovell.  He told the story about a young forlorn little boy that had endured the horrors of WW II in a concentration camp.  This boy never spoke nor smiled.  I can only imagine.  Well, after the camp where he was being held was liberated, he was sitting in a rail car being transported away from the prison when a soldier noticed him.  The soldier noticed that the boy didn't interact normally and kept to himself.  The soldier took a coin from his pocket, got the boy's attention and proceeded to vanish it.  It was a simple false transfer, but to the little boy it must have looked like magic!  The little boy smiled in wonder and actually spoke!

To hear Simon tell the story was itself magic.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #17 

In the Air National Guard

 

I was appointed an “Element Leader” during Basic Training with the Air National Guard and was in charge of a group of recruits from all over the country.

 

There was one fellow JB – something from some small town. I don’t think he ever wore a pair of shoes before joining the Air National Guard. He was a nice fellow but a bit difficult to get under control.

 

One day we were all out in the woods on some sort of “exercise’ and we had to build a fire. I assigned various tasks to the guys and I asked JB to get some logs.

 

“I don’t have to listen to you, Deutsch,” he said.

 

I just wasn’t in the mood.

 

I picked up a rock with my right hand, transferred it to my left hand and while JB looked on, I gestured with my right hand over my left hand as I counted, “1-2-3”. At the count of “3” I opened my left hand and the rock was-----gone!

 

I then raised my right hand and gestured over JB counting, “1 -2----“

 

I never finished. As I said “2” JB raised both hands and yelled “No! No!”

 

I never again had any problems with JB.

 

 

 




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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #18 
Everything (EVERYTHING) is impermanent.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #19 
Right on Bill. In a few billion years our sun will become a red giant and expand past the earth, taking the entire planet inside it. Of course, we may have gone elsewhere to avoid the END. 

But then there's the time when the entire universe contracts into a black hole crushing everything into a point. It's true that a new universe could re-emerges in another big bang. But in the new big bang, the laws of physics don't have to be the same as there are in this universe. Life, as we know it, may not be possible in the new universe...

If, there's not a contraction into a black hole, everything will be spreading out as all useful energy goes to zero - a vast, lukewarm, dead universe...

ergo - EVERYTHING is impermanent. 

So CARPE DIEM - spread the magic while you can!

Mike
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed
These are such amazing stories guys, waiting for more to come...

But, does anyone understand why watching something magical can make someone's day / week / whatever?
All they watched was something they don't know how was done, why does that have such a big impact on their mood or as we read on this thread - impact on their life sometimes?

I don't understand those answers that we make people realize that there's something beyond the reality we see, after all, they know it's just trickery, and they laugh and have a good time, not cry and start talking about how life is meaningful...


Maybe it's because a stranger cared enough to show them this magic trick.
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MagicTK

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Reply with quote  #21 
In mid 2018, I was on a business trip in China, and after work, we had gone out to a nice restaurant.  We had lots of food and lots of alcohol and good conversation.  At one point, someone mentioned something about magic.  None of them knew that I know magic.  So, I pulled out a deck of cards.  They were so amazed, I could literally have stopped there even before performing magic.  However, I proceeded to perform a few routines.  Probably only 5 or 6 minutes of a few short routines.  During one of the routines, I had someone slide out two cards, then I picked them up and did a Miser's Miracle and a coin appeared from between the cards.  I think I stopped there or shortly after that.

They still talk about that night, almost a year later.  I figured, they bought dinner and drinks, the least I could do was to repay by performing some memorable magical moments.

Other times, I've gone up to random people and performed just one quick routine (something like Bill to Matches), said thank you and went on my way.  I have no idea if they remember that moment, but it was fun to do.

I think it's worth it.

Tom

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