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Socrates

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"A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician" - Jean Robert-Houdin

This is much quoted but I wonder if it is useful? Does anyone here follow this? I often wonder which magician it is that the actor choses to play, or portray?

My approach is to be myself and do some card tricks in order to involve people in an interesting and unusual situation. Normal clothes, normal deck of cards, normal everyday life - nothing special really!

What about you guys, any thoughts?
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
"A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician" - Jean Robert-Houdin

This is much quoted but I wonder if it is useful? Does anyone here follow this? I often wonder which magician it is that the actor choses to play, or portray? My approach is to be myself and do some card tricks in order to involve people in an interesting and unusual situation. Normal clothes, normal deck of cards, normal everyday life - nothing special really!

What about you guys, any thoughts?


Back when I did my stage act, I definitely became someone different.  Call that acting or whatever you want, but yes, my persona, demeanor and everything was unique to that role.

Maybe by different I really mean "amplified".  I tried to be more precise with my movements, more intentional.  Since I performed to music, I relied on facial expressions and body language to communicate.  

Close-up was different, yet I still was different from my "normal" self.  I didn't do a character, as we often associate with acting, but anyone who knew me would know immediately that I was acting different.  Acting.

I think most performers put on some sort of "face" when they perform.  Some, obviously don't, but I'll be even the ones that think they don't, probably still do.
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marv long

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We all have a premise when we perform - a point of view. It may be as simple as these weird things just happen to me (serendipity) I'm an ordinary guy that can do some cool stuff (buddy with mystery skills). Usually we perform with stories and that requires acting. Magician in trouble requires acting. And on and on...

We work at delivery of performance to be entertaining. Failure to at least include some elements of presentation (read acting) result in a performance that says "look at the cool thing I bought at the magic store yesterday". In other words, not magic but a puzzle.

I'm sure if you analyze your performance you will find that you indeed are an actor playing the part of a magician - the magician just happens to be you.

Acting does not mean you have to be someone you are not. But it does mean you have to demonstrate you can do something you can't. Real magic.


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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #4 
Sounds like you're just fine.

You're not being yourself when you perform any more than you are being yourself when you show up for work or go to a dinner party.

Yes, you can stay close to your at home personality, but it's still a distilled version of yourself....which is what you want.

If you just got into an argument with your wife before you perform are you going to be yourself?

"Now, choose an f-ing card.  CHOOSE IT!!!"

Staying close to who you are is an effective way of creating a natural performance, and it's my approach, as well.

The more performers depart from who they are, the more they have to work to make the character appear natural and believable.

We've all seen the phony, over-the-top magician.  Burt Wonderstone types.  The character is so out there that it's really challenging to make it seem real.

What's inspiring is many magicians have found that seeming like a regular guy/woman is a character that works with audiences....kind of like when rock stars got away from the ridiculous costumes.

-Buffalo
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think that whatever sort of character/persona you become/are when you perform, the audience must feel that it's authentic. Many magicians feel unauthentic to me when they perform. They might have snappy lines and jokes and gags. But the "acting" shows and spoils the moment for me. 

A competent magician may clearly be playing a character. I just saw Xavier Mortimer on Masters of Illusion. It's clear that he's playing a character. But there's an air of authenticity about him. When that "air of authenticity" doesn't shine through, the character falls flat. Some of the other magicians on Masters of Illusion seem really bogus to me. They either seem totally unrehearsed or inauthentic. Strangely, they made the cut and were put on the show. Magic is one of the few arts where this happens. You never see that with musicians, mimes, jugglers, dancers etc. When they're on television they are generally very good at their craft. 

Mike


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StevePR104

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Reply with quote  #6 
It's an actor's responsibility to communicate; the part he (or she) plays, the motivation of the part, etc.  If all we do as magicians is mechanical, we entertain and communicate with nobody.  Thus, we have not succeeded in our objective.   When I perform, I work to communicate with the people for whom I'm performing.  Ergo, I'm acting...perhaps just an expanded version of who I am.  Ergo, I am an actor, portraying the role of a magician.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
"A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician" - Jean Robert-Houdin

This is much quoted but I wonder if it is useful?

It is, but only for magicians, not for lay-people; if the obviousness of that sentence reaches a lay-person's ears and leaves a mark too strong, he or she will never enjoy a magical illusion. So, it is useless for lay-people. So that, I think that we (magicians) should avoid to tell it, openly.

It is useful for magicians because it helps us to understand something extremely important:

The art of magic is not to persuade people to believe that magic is a real thing and we do real magic. No. The art of magic is TO DO IT and let them draw freely their own conclusions about what they have just seen. You just give your opinion: "it was magic," but you should not try to persuade them to believe that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
My approach is to be myself and do some card tricks in order to involve people in an interesting and unusual situation. Normal clothes, normal deck of cards, normal everyday life - nothing special really!

You said that!
What would you reckon about the following sentence?:

"Socrates is a human being playing the part of Socrates."

Well, it is such an obviousness that nobody "usually" think about that and just enjoy what Socrates, the magician, does for them.

The blessed words of The Professor "Be Yourself" drives us to think that "we play the part of ourselves."

Personally I would recommend not to change our personality too much:
If your are a "silly" hilarious magician (Tamariz, Malone...), be always like so.
If you are a serene magician (Ammar, Ortiz, Slydini...), be always like so.
If you are a talkative magician (Lorayne, DaOrtiz...), be always like so.
.
.
.
So, if you play the part of yourself you'll be consider just a magician; not someone that have just bought something in the magic shop.

If you changed (too much) your personality for a magic show, you certainly may run the risk of precisely looking like an actor playing the role of a magician.

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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #8 
I find this a hard one to think through. I presume that many magicians adopt a performing persona that sits comfortably with a long-term identity, whether it’s no different from their everyday life, or someone you wouldn’t recognise in their ‘civies’. This is a luxury most professional actors don’t have (unless you’re Chuck Norris😏). For example, there’s a far cry between Anthony Hopkins playing Hannibal Lector and C.S.Lewis. It’s interesting that Paco was able to, I think quite accurately, identify the performing personas of a bunch of magicians we are familiar with. I imagine our Harry L would be in the ‘Chuck Norris’ column: what you see is what you get, anywhere. Perhaps when we say “a magician is an actor...”, it would be helpful to qualify ‘what kind of actor are we talking about?’’
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Zero

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Reply with quote  #9 

Magic is a performance that emulates what magic would look like if it were to actually exist.

Talking about the type of character you specifically portray is missing the point of this quote, it's not directly about the character.

Portrayal of that character is part of that - for sure, your ability to convey convincing emotions and reactions as yourself or as that character and to use the story of that character to properly direct attention, to raise tension and to tell a story, isn't the only concern of the term acting because you must also (while using the previous things in such a way that follows also) act as if you're not doing things, you must simulate actions and dissimulate holding things, you must create convincing ruses and contrive situations ahead of time that hides things and they must be acted in a convincing way/

From this, I feel it's less to do with character specifically and more to do with overall utilisation of your ability to convincingly portray with that character and other means of deception - the appearance and accurate emulation of a magical occurrence.

"Acting" encompasses so many aspects to do with story, character, deception, language. it is a very useful term that describes exactly what we're doing. we're putting thought into all of these things down to the very fine details of how we turn over cards in order to act as if two is one, where we face when we do a palm, the angle of the cards, the right hand not moving, all in order to act as if something isn't. "A Magician is a category of performer who acts as if their character is able to interact magically within the world that they portray" is the wordier version of the quote.

 

At least that is as it makes sense to me.

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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #10 
I do agree with you, Zero. My mind just took a few turns off the beaten track.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero

Magic is a performance that emulates what magic would look like if it were to actually exist.

Talking about the type of character you specifically portray is missing the point of this quote, it's not directly about the character.

Portrayal of that character is part of that - for sure, your ability to convey convincing emotions and reactions as yourself or as that character and to use the story of that character to properly direct attention, to raise tension and to tell a story, isn't the only concern of the term acting because you must also (while using the previous things in such a way that follows also) act as if you're not doing things, you must simulate actions and dissimulate holding things, you must create convincing ruses and contrive situations ahead of time that hides things and they must be acted in a convincing way/

From this, I feel it's less to do with character specifically and more to do with overall utilisation of your ability to convincingly portray with that character and other means of deception - the appearance and accurate emulation of a magical occurrence.

"Acting" encompasses so many aspects to do with story, character, deception, language. it is a very useful term that describes exactly what we're doing. we're putting thought into all of these things down to the very fine details of how we turn over cards in order to act as if two is one, where we face when we do a palm, the angle of the cards, the right hand not moving, all in order to act as if something isn't. "A Magician is a category of performer who acts as if their character is able to interact magically within the world that they portray" is the wordier version of the quote.

 

At least that is as it makes sense to me.



A lot of food for thought in this post.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

After chewing on it awhile, here's one take. 

If we truly are actors playing the role of a magician, then we should seem "different".  That difference itself may differ depending upon our personality or the personality we intend to project, but there should probably be something tangibly different about us.

Call it an "air of mystery" or whatever you want.  I don't tend to do magic for friends much anymore, but sometimes when I'm at a party and one of my longtime friends introduces me to a guest they say, "This is Ray, he's a magician".  They usually smile and react to that introduction.  Differently than when they meet others.  It is like I went up a notch somehow.  Hard to explain, but it happens.  And no, they don't usually ask to see a trick either.

So while I can understand some have the desire to "be just an ordinary person", I guess I don't mind having people thing there is something unique about me.  Something which separates me from being "typical".  

Having an aura of mystery about you isn't a bad thing in my book.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
Two quotes from Harry Anderson: 

Somebody saw me on 'Cheers' and thought that I was an actor playing a part as opposed to a guy just doing what he knew. And they gave me 'Night Court.' And by the time they realized I wasn't an actor, I had already signed a five-year contract.

Harry Anderson


If you do sleight of hand without trying to cheat someone, that's what magic is.

Harry Anderson

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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
If you do sleight of hand without trying to cheat someone, that's what magic is.

Harry Anderson


This one is really good! :-)
Thanks for sharing this quote!

By the way, both "Cheers" and "Night Court" were very famous and popular in Spain.

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Alan

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #15 
There are many interesting responses here. The definition of a magician not a solid one as there are many different types of magic. I wonder if the quote is more relevant to stage magic and less so to those of us who do close-up card tricks.
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marv long

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A conjurer is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician; an artist whose fingers have more need to move with deftness than with speed. I may even add that where sleight-of-hand is involved, the quieter the movement of the performer, the more readily will the spectators be deceived.
-- Robert Houdin, Secrets of Conjuring and Magic, 1868

This is the actual quote.


When you perform an effect you do something against the laws of science. There are only three outcomes.

1.It's a puzzle.
2.It's skill (Houdin's juggler).
3.It's magic.

The first we should avoid at all costs. The second is fine - Gambling Demos -Cardistry. I prefer the third. No the audience doesn't believe in real magic and yet there is no other explanation.

We can't really do magic so we are pretending. Pretending=Acting. Houdin was correct.


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
There are many interesting responses here. The definition of a magician not a solid one as there are many different types of magic. I wonder if the quote is more relevant to stage magic and less so to those of us who do close-up card tricks.


I think it can definitely be argued that here are degrees of acting involved. Perhaps it is levels of theatrical performance. Most equate theater with stage, but it needn't be confined there.

I agree that if you ask your audience to believe that magic is real then no matter your persona you are acting.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marv long
A conjurer is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician; an artist whose fingers have more need to move with deftness than with speed. I may even add that where sleight-of-hand is involved, the quieter the movement of the performer, the more readily will the spectators be deceived.
-- Robert Houdin, Secrets of Conjuring and Magic, 1868

This is the actual quote.


When you perform an effect you do something against the laws of science. There are only three outcomes.

1.It's a puzzle.
2.It's skill (Houdin's juggler).
3.It's magic.

The first we should avoid at all costs. The second is fine - Gambling Demos -Cardistry. I prefer the third. No the audience doesn't believe in real magic and yet there is no other explanation.

We can't really do magic so we are pretending. Pretending=Acting. Houdin was correct.




Marv, thanks for including the entire quote. It helps to see everything in context. I also like the statements after the acting quote.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #19 
Many years ago now a friend of mine said "You're not a magician, you just do cool stuff with cards"... it was meant as a compliment and I took it as one.

Chan Canasta is one of my main influences and in more recent years I have come to admire Apollo Robbins. I am not sure either of these guys were/are considered magicians in the eyes of the general public.
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marv long

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hi - The quote states "a magician". So we are discussing someone who says he is a magician.
I would argue that although both Chan Canasta and Apollo Robbins call themselves something else they are indeed acting (and doing it very well) but as they do not bill themselves as "magicians" they would not be part of the the definition.

If you feel that you are not acting when you perform - that is fine by me.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #21 
Yes I agree, and as Shakespeare himself once said " The whole world is a stage...." of course we act differently in different scenarios, and I wonder about the specifics of acting the part of a magician - what kind of magician do we consider when we hear the phrase?
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #22 

    Interesting thread.  I personally never thought of trying to "develop" a character.  I'm usually just me, on or off stage.
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marv long

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Reply with quote  #23 
I think I get where you are coming from. I think you are thinking " I am acting - I am the great wonder worker". 

I am thinking - "the card vanished from the deck and re-appeared in my wallet" That is, of course, a lie. But we pretend it is true. We are acting like it happened.  If you don't do a good job then the element of wonder is lessened and the audience doesn't get the same feeling.
I want my audience to experience "real magic" if only for a moment and I believe that for them to feel it I have to feel it. For me, anything else becomes a puzzle and that is not what I have spent all these years trying to achieve.

In the end it's all good. We analyze this stuff to better understand our own unique approach in an effort to entertain better. And that can only be good for magic.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #24 
It is important to consider your own approach to magic. When I began this thread I was curious to know how people understood the quote. As I said I just wear regular clothes and do card tricks, and during those tricks I act as though I am doing exactly what I say I am doing... Harry Lorayne is of course another of my inspirations as is Juan Tamariz...

Harry is himself on and off stage, and I often think you only need exaggerate your natural character when performing card magic in the settings most folk here find themselves.

Marv you make a great point about the acting required to create the illusion of magic. Attention to detail in all our acts, and being mindful of our words and actions during the tricks - yes this is most important.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #25 
I refer to is as "believing the lie." 
If I'm taking a coin from my left hand into my right - (but not really) - I believe that I'm actually taking a coin from my left hand into my right. 
You just have to believe you're doing it. You have to believe the lie. 

If you don't, then that gap gets filled in with magician's guilt which leads to "tells." 
Just like animals can "smell" fear, people can tell when you're lying. 
You just have to be a good liar. 

This was the first book I bought as a kid. It was in a cut-out bin for cheap. 

[_SX383_BO1,204,203,200_]

 

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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #26 
When I started performing card magic at school, my friends used to react saying things like:

- "That's just a trick."
- "You can't be a magician."
- "Magicians are only on TV or Circus."
- "Come on, explain it."

So, according to those statements, "TV or Circus magicians" were REAL magicians, wereas I was just playing the part of a magician!

So, I thought that I would never be considered seriously a magician if I didn't become somehow popular.

However, the real problem wasn't not to be popular, since you can be very popular within your own family.
The real problem was that my friends and relatives couldn't stop thinking that I was just playing the part of a magician everytime I did card magic, so, I wasn't a "real" magician.

Fortunately, as I grew up I was creating a kind of "magic character" in my personality. So, my people were becoming used to considering me as just a magician, instead an actor.

I came to the conclusion that it's convenient to have a solid and unalterable magic personality to get rid of the concept of an "actor playing the part of a magician."
At least, it worked for me.
(With the exception of playing a particular role for some story or comic performance).

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Reply with quote  #27 
It is always partially and misquoted

Quote:
"A conjurer is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician; an artist whose fingers have more need to move with deftness than with speed. I may even add that where sleight-of-hand is involved, the quieter the movement of the performer, the more readily will the spectators be deceived."-- Robert Houdin

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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #28 
I wish I could remember where I read this, but "playing the part of a magician" is not a singular thing. If you talked about an actor playing the part of a detective, that could mean many things. You would get a very different detective if the actors were Martin Clune or Clint Eastwood.

My most useful insights into this come from the sociologist Erving Goffman in his work "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life." He uses the analogy of a stage performance for our everyday interactions with other people. Some people may be allowed a look partially behind the curtains, and others not. Some are collaborators in our play and others are purely audience. However, the common thread is that there are some things we put on the stage and others that are hidden backstage. This is obviously true with our tricks, but I think it is also true with my personality. My conception of the magician I am playing the part of does not include my insecurities, irritations, and so forth. These things can remain backstage during a performance. Other aspects of myself I choose to trot out into the spotlights. But, for me it is never as simple as saying "I am going to act natural." There are always dramatic choices being made. What about me do I want to let you see and what would I prefer to keep hidden in this context? I highly reccomend Goffman's book
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Guinee
I wish I could remember where I read this, but "playing the part of a magician" is not a singular thing. If you talked about an actor playing the part of a detective, that could mean many things. You would get a very different detective if the actors were Martin Clune or Clint Eastwood.

My most useful insights into this come from the sociologist Erving Goffman in his work "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life." He uses the analogy of a stage performance for our everyday interactions with other people. Some people may be allowed a look partially behind the curtains, and others not. Some are collaborators in our play and others are purely audience. However, the common thread is that there are some things we put on the stage and others that are hidden backstage. This is obviously true with our tricks, but I think it is also true with my personality. My conception of the magician I am playing the part of does not include my insecurities, irritations, and so forth. These things can remain backstage during a performance. Other aspects of myself I choose to trot out into the spotlights. But, for me it is never as simple as saying "I am going to act natural." There are always dramatic choices being made. What about me do I want to let you see and what would I prefer to keep hidden in this context? I highly reccomend Goffman's book


Bill, I agree and believe that we all project personas that vary depending on the situation. Call it a facade or what you will, but we all have "faces" that we choose to display. Or not.

When I perform magic I definitely have a different personality. I described that already, one for stage and another for close-up.

Comedians sometimes let folks into their "real" identity. Routines where they share a struggle they are having, something bad that happened that day, whatever. In times like that the audience probably feels a greater connection than normal. Perhaps Buffalo can confirm as he has experience doing stand-up comedy.

I think a connection can also be made when you are wearing a facade, you just have to develop the skill.
That is more like pure acting I think.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #30 

In relation to this topic, here’s an article I wrote for a magic magazine some years ago:

SHOWMANSHIP

by Arthur Stead

In the golden age of television and movies, female performers were called actresses.  Female screen icons like Betty Davis and Lucille Ball were proud to list their profession as "actress."  The same thing applied to stage legends such as Ethel Barrymore.  But that was then, and this is now.  In modern times, female performers prefer to be known as "actors."  So for the purposes of this article, the term "actors" will refer to both male and female performers.

When I was born, my parents already had years of experience as actors.  They took part in amateur theater productions until I was almost in my teens.  During my childhood I also participated in several plays, and my exposure to the theater world (as an audience member as well as onstage and backstage) was a wonderful learning experience.  I also benefited greatly from accompanying my Mom to many excellent professional theater plays; from classic Shakespeare to contemporary dramas and comedies.

I'm sure many of us are familiar with the quote, "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician."  This saying was coined by Robert-Houdin (1805-1871) who became known as the father of modern conjuring.  But how many of us bother to really think about what Robert-Houdin meant by what he said?

A theater background, or at least knowledge of theater techniques, can be extremely beneficial for magicians.  In fact, I will go as far as saying that if you don't have any theater experience, your shows probably are not as good as they could be.  Showmanship is defined as: "The skill of performing in such a manner that will appeal to an audience, or aid in conveying the performance's essential theme or message."  Now think about what we, as magicians, are trying to achieve.  Isn't that exactly summed up in this statement about showmanship?  But unfortunately, most of us would rather learn a new card trick than work on presentation.

Dariel Fitzkee wrote in his extraordinary book, Showmanship for Magicians: "Magic, as exhibited by the majority, is the indulgence in a hobby that rarely instructs, seldom amuses and almost never entertains."  That's a strong statement - and that was written in 1943!  Mr. Fitzkee goes on to suggest that of the thousands of magicians who perform throughout the world, only a small percentage has given any thought to presentation.  And he further states that the damage done by such inferior performers hurts all magicians.

Again, I have to agree.  Our local magic clubs are full of magic enthusiasts.  But how many of our peers really know anything about creating a stage personality; projecting; holding an audience's interest; routining; pacing; timing; how music adds dimension?

If you sincerely want to enhance your stage presence, I urge you to find a local community theater.  If you're uncomfortable volunteering to act in a play or a musical, there are many other ways to get involved.  For example, you can work backstage.  Help with the sets; do the lighting or sound; become an understudy.  The knowledge and experience you gain will be priceless.  You'll observe how to put a show together; how to speak clearly; how to convey different emotions. 

Even if you don't participate, but just absorb the process, you will learn about memorization, rehearsals, blocking.  In short, all the things you need to enhance your own stage presence.  But I highly recommend becoming an actor in a play.  For one thing, the extensive rehearsals prior to a "live" performance will prepare you, and greatly improve your confidence and showmanship.  (And just in case you missed it, the key word in that last sentence was rehearsals.  Too many of our fellow magicians ignore the importance of practice, practice, practice).

I'll never forget when I was Musical Director and pianist for the South African production of Godspell (1973-74).  First, I adapted the original musical score to fit a South African theme.  This meant modifying and rearranging sections of the instrumental parts and vocal harmonies.  Then came the rehearsals, during which my job was to train all the actor/singers and musicians.  This involved months of daily rehearsals, both individually and in group settings.  Meanwhile, the show's director worked with the entire troupe on stagecraft, how to say their lines, define their characters, blocking, timing, etc.  When the musical finally opened, I played piano and organ for the live performances.  The show was a huge success and newspapers all over Africa reported on how effective my musical arrangements were. 

But more important than that was the impact of the play.  When the character playing Jesus was saying goodbye to his disciples (just before the crucifixion), it brought entire audiences to tears.  In fact, when the playwright John Michael Tebelak flew out from the USA, he wept with emotion when he attended two of our performances.

Would we have achieved such a soul-stirring performance without extensive rehearsals?  Without proper preparation?  Without attention to staging, blocking, scripting, timing, character development, stage presence, showmanship?  Of course not.  If our attempts had been inferior, no one in the audience would have reacted in that way.

To summarize: Do you want your performances to be self-assured, believable, able to hold an audience's attention?  Then showmanship is an essential ingredient.  A knowledge of theater techniques will teach you this important quality.  Actual participation in theatrical productions will give you confidence and help you develop a real stage presence.  I hope I've inspired you to get some theater experience.  It really will enhance what you do onstage.  And ultimately, becoming a better performer will greatly improve your chances of creating true astonishment and reaching people's hearts with your magic.


 

 


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #31 
Great essay Arthur!
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #32 
Thanks a lot for sharing it, Arthur!

It was very intereting!

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X

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Reply with quote  #33 
As I have written about, I have lots of problems with manufactured performances that leave out space for naturalness and what some may call "improvisational" but more listening and adapting and being free to explore outside of pre-packaged fully scripted performance


one of many problems I have with "an actor playing the part of a magician" and as you can see that quote is misquoted and partially quoted, is that an actor playing the part of the magician usually means portraying what we think people believe to be a magician, and accenting these visual and "scripts" and "lines" that we believe will us more believable and what we think an audience needs to "see" and "hear" to take us as Magicians/Mentalists Performers etc


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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #34 
I dont know if this counts, but I saw the 2nd performance of Caleb Wiles on Penn and Teller Fool Us and he did not in any way seem like the Caleb Wiles that was on before.   And I have been familiar with him for a long timeunderlined. He didnt look or talk the same. Playing a character?

I also dont know why this all is all underlined
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #35 
Hi Michael,

That was pretty much the Caleb I know but with a new look. He has hair and now a beard. But his presentation seemed to pretty much Caleb, rather than a character. I think his presentation was scripted, which might make it seem less spontaneous. He made sure that the instructions were very clear, which is always a good idea.

Also, the idea for the trick is great. Too bad that the writing on the backs of the kings being predicted was "too perfect" and led them immediately to the solution. 

Very creative trick idea.

Mike
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #36 
Yea,was a great trick.
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by X
It is always partially and misquoted


This is very true.  The quote has taken on a life of its own, and typically interpreted to mean more than what the original author intended.

Even so, I do think that the point about `acting' being a key element of performing magic is a very helpful one.  It's one reason that many top magicians recommend taking classes in theater or the performing arts as a way to improve your magic.

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #38 
"Magicians are notoriously poor actors and my opinion is that it's because they are used to playing TO the audience rather than FOR it." ~ Theodore Annemann
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