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Reno

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Reply with quote  #1 
I come upon the phrase "magical gesture" very often in books on magic. However, except for the ubiquitous, "I simply cast a shadow over the cards with my hand" remark, examples are never given. What is your favorite magical gesture?
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Jack Bear

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Reply with quote  #2 
I like to wriggle my fingers as I wave my hands over the cards, or into someone's eyes.  It always gets a laugh.

Jack.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Oh, snap your fingers, wiggle your fingers, tap the back of your hand... It's all mumbo-jumbo, so have fun with it and pick something that suits your personality. As for me, I often "...snap my fingers and say the magic words...", which are usually a fairly well-known movie quote, or a snippet of lyrics from a song.

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DJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
You can lift and lower the deck while holding it in mechanics grip (think tapping the bottom of a table with your index finger). Another option is to grab the deck in overhand end grip and create air in between the cards then release.  Another is to riffle the ends of the cards.
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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #5 
To add to Reno's question....do spectators want the magical gesture?  Is it a bit of let down without it?

-Buffalo
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MagicTK

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Reply with quote  #6 
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley
To add to Reno's question....do spectators want the magical gesture?  Is it a bit of let down without it?

-Buffalo


Buffalo, I don't know if there is a "let down" but certainly some audiences have come to expect the "moment of magic" signaled by a word or phrase.  

The hackneyed "Abracadabra!" or "Voila!" come to mind.  The "magic moment" can also be the snapping of fingers, casting a shadow, clapping your hands (helps if they are empty!) or even musical instruments such as a drum roll and cymbal crash.  

Don't underestimate the power the "magic moment" provides.  It puts the focus where you want it, the audience's attention peaks at that very instant.  

For kid shows, magic phrases can be interactive.  You say the first part, they say the second.  Like you say "Hocus" and they shout "Pocus".  This gets them all into it and the sound drives the adults nuts.  Just kidding, mostly.

Some magicians choose to blow on the hand and perhaps make a whistling sound at the same time.  Some go to the pocket for the ubiquitous "woofle dust".  The magic dust obviously carries with it the chance to go south with something or to retrieve something in the act of creating the "magic moment".  

So don't sell it short.  When something is used for centuries it is generally because it is useful and effective.
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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #8 
Awesome.

Thanks, Ray!
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #9 

Great info from RayJ.  I would add that, for kidshows, the “magical gesture” can be enhanced to create even more audience interaction.  For example, for my themed educational programs I always taught the kids the “magic words” at the beginning of the show (for example, “Reading is Magic”).  

Then, in performance, when I reached the climax of a trick, they were encouraged to raise their hands, wiggle their fingers and yell the magic words.  Right on cue, my music changed from an appropriate background track to take on a more active role, with a mystical musical effect enhancing the visual magical moment.  This combination of audience interaction with music never failed to generate oohs and aahs of wonderment from children and adults alike.  Even the lowly Coloring Book took on a whole new life with this approach!

For close-up magic, I don’t always use a magical gesture.  But when appropriate, some of my routines do include a snap of the fingers or a mystical wave over the cards or coins.  Incidentally, I have at times incorporated music in one or two of my close-up routines, and I can vouch for the fact that, if used correctly, it will enhance the astonishment.

 


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MagicTK

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Reply with quote  #10 
Finger wiggle seems to work.  Or I tell them to snap their fingers over the cards/coins/whatever.  That way they made the magic happen.

Tell them to say a magic word like "acabrapocus"  or ""hocuscadabra".  It's different than the typical magical words they might have heard before.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #11 
Words from the Harry Potter films get a good reaction, too.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead
Words from the Harry Potter films get a good reaction, too.


and for alert audiences, you can have fun with these ...

"Winegardium Omarosa"

"Aloha Dora" or "Aloha Quora"

"Expecto Applausum"

etc.
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