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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
Whilst traveling for the last year I took a break from magic. This was certainly not planned, and the closest I came to the subject was a discussion with a budding student in a buddhist monastery. He told me of his desire to learn the art so I pointed him in the right direction.

Earlier this week I opened a brand new deck and started getting back into the flow. I'm a little out of practice, however the psychological understanding of magic is just as strong, if not more so, and I have a deeper appreciation for the power of simplicity from thinkers such as Scarne, Annemann, and Fulves

It's good to be back!
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hey, Al, and welcome back! It's good to hear from you. As always your insights are worthy of consideration. I, too, have developed an appreciation for simplicity. Not after being away from magic, but rather from being overwhelmed by it. To wit, after seeing the thousands of variations on ideas decades and even centuries old, I slowly drifted toward my current philosophy of magic which is, it's all about the spectator. And as the Dans on this board - the Evil One and Waterman - have convinced me, most spectators are happy with simple effects presented with enthusiasm and personality. I just hate that it took me so long to realize this, but that's life, eh?

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
Amen.  I agree with both of the posts above.  I have taken many hiatuses over the years but I'm always sucked back in.  It is deep in my soul.  As far as AVs post, there is no doubt that what you say is true.  Compelling presentations of relatively simple effects will blow away the intricate, over-handled stuff that most of us magicians drool over.  The real world just wants to be entertained.

I was reminded of this when I went to the public library to see a magician during summer break.  I took my two youngest kids at the request of their mother who desperately wanted to air them out.  So we arrived at the library and a young, enthusiastic magician soon appeared and began his show.  He was a superb actor and connected with the kids right away.  He did basic stuff, sponge balls, color changing silk, cut-and-restored rope, etc.  and the kids ate it up.  I think he did 5 routines in an hour and with all of the interaction and byplay he probably had 5 minutes of actual "work" involved.  I learned a lot just from that.
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Jed

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
, it's all about the spectator. And as the Dans on this board - the Evil One and Waterman - have convinced me, most spectators are happy with simple effects presented with enthusiasm and personality. I just hate that it took me so long to realize this, but that's life, eh?

Av 

You remind me of one of my favorite quotations in magic:
'the amateur is about what is performed, but the pro is about what the spectator sees'
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Blathermist

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jed

You remind me of one of my favorite quotations in magic:
'the amateur is about what is performed, but the pro is about what the spectator sees'


Interesting. On the other hand, as I’ve noted in various places, the best the magician can do is hope that the spectator sees what the magician wants him to see.

Thing is we never know. And there’s always the question of what does the spectator think he sees. And is what he thinks he sees what the spectator sitting next to him thinks he sees.

And is this what the magician thinks they think they see. 

 

Meanwhile I heartily agree. Simplicity rules.
[smile]

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist


Interesting. On the other hand, as I’ve noted in various places, the best the magician can do is hope that the spectator sees what the magician wants him to see.

Thing is we never know. And there’s always the question of what does the spectator think he sees. And is what he thinks he sees what the spectator sitting next to him thinks he sees.

And is this what the magician thinks they think they see. 

 

Meanwhile I heartily agree. Simplicity rules.
[smile]



Yes, we can never transport ourselves into the mind of a spectator.  And no two spectators are exactly alike.  What we can do is tape a performance and observe the spectator reactions and compare/contrast them.  
     
Don't be surprised if you find that your sponge bunnies kill while the color-changing roll over aces puts them to sleep.
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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #7 
Great discussion. I also find it really important to LISTEN to the spectators and to what they say. At times it is even useful to plant a friend to surreptitiously collect spectator comments. 
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #8 
Welcome back, Socrates!! I hope that you had a wonderful adventure.

Rudy

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Nathan_himself

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Reply with quote  #9 

I find it truly magical that both you and I would return to this forum around the same time, Soc. 

Like you, I took a hiatus form the community and performance in order to develop myself further as a young man. This involved a lot of meditation, a few whisky drinks, and a whole lot of nights listening to Warren Zevon. I'm just now returning to the community and working on finding more opportunities to resume performing. I truly believe that I am in a much more productive place in my life to both think about and talk about the art. 

 

Anthony, I too have only recently came to that conclusion. I'm still trying to tear down the arrogance of my youth and find what I really think about the art. I'd love to hear more about how your philosophy has changed. 

 

and Soc, I'd love to hear more about your travels. I always love hearing about journeys people embark on!  


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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan_himself

I find it truly magical that both you and I would return to this forum around the same time, Soc. 

Like you, I took a hiatus form the community and performance in order to develop myself further as a young man. This involved a lot of meditation, a few whisky drinks, and a whole lot of nights listening to Warren Zevon. I'm just now returning to the community and working on finding more opportunities to resume performing. I truly believe that I am in a much more productive place in my life to both think about and talk about the art. 

 

Anthony, I too have only recently came to that conclusion. I'm still trying to tear down the arrogance of my youth and find what I really think about the art. I'd love to hear more about how your philosophy has changed. 

 

and Soc, I'd love to hear more about your travels. I always love hearing about journeys people embark on!  



I’m so glad that you’re back, Nathan!!

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan_himself
Anthony, I too have only recently came to that conclusion. I'm still trying to tear down the arrogance of my youth and find what I really think about the art. I'd love to hear more about how your philosophy has changed.  


Nathan, good to have you back. Been wondering where you'd wandered off to. Now, if Rick, AKA Mind Phantom, reemerges this week we'll be looking at the trifecta! 

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