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TheAmazingStanley

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Do you ever get a sense of power when you perform magic? That feeling makes me really uncomfortable.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley
Do you ever get a sense of power when you perform magic? That feeling makes me really uncomfortable.


Stanley, please expand on your thought.  I'm not sure I quite understand.  I can understand feeling satisfaction, pleasure in entertaining others, etc., but not sure what "power" means to you.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #3 
Taking the question at its most basic: No. I don't get any sense of power. 

I get a feeling of pleasure, enhanced when I see positive spectator response.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #4 
If you meant the power of entertainment it brings, then that doesn’t bother me at all. But maybe I’m not quite understanding you, Stanley. Is there something particular that made you bring it up?
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #5 
I don’t know, sometimes when I do magic for spectators, which isn’t often, I have this strange feeling I can only describe as feeling like I have power over the spectator. Not like turning them into toads, but wielding some degree of psychological power. I of course exaggerate my influence!

Penn and Teller did a gag with a magnet in a box so two strong men couldn’t lift it. Penn said that was ok for them to do because the participants had given their consent to have magic performed on them. I took that as this same idea (maybe it’s where I got it from) that magic is not to be taken lightly, even coming from a comedy duo.

It may have to do with the fact that some people are highly suggestible. I did a hand sandwich transposition once for a spectator using a blank, and I said I was going to suck the ink off his card while it was in his hands. When he had it between his hands I asked did you feel that? He said yes. That kind of freaked me out. What else could I convince him of or get him to do?

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #6 
I wouldn't put too much stock in someone saying they "felt something". Perhaps he was going along with the gag or just playing with you. Or he was highly suggestible, but that would be rare.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
I wouldn't put too much stock in someone saying they "felt something". Perhaps he was going along with the gag or just playing with you. Or he was highly suggestible, but that would be rare.


Yes perhaps he was the one doing the influencing. You use the word “rare.” Is such a condition unusual? (By highly suggestible I mean it is easy to make them believe what you want them to believe.)

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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley


Yes perhaps he was the one doing the influencing. You use the word “rare.” Is such a condition unusual? (By highly suggestible I mean it is easy to make them believe what you want them to believe.)


Nelms talks about this his book on Magic and Showmanship. People will go to a play, which is obviously artificial, and still feel real emotions if it is a good play and well acted. During the performance they simply refuse to disbelieve that struggles of the protagonists are not actually happening. Once they leave the play, they quite understand that it was only a play and not a real event. Humans like to be involved in stories. If you presenting yourself as a worker of wonder and using magic to tell a story, I would say let them enjoy participating the story you are telling. Once its over, they will once again believe magic is not real. 

At least that's my opinion.
Sam



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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #9 
I feel happy when i do something for someone and they react well and smile or laugh. They had a good time and so did I and all is right with the world for those moments.
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley


Yes perhaps he was the one doing the influencing. You use the word “rare.” Is such a condition unusual? (By highly suggestible I mean it is easy to make them believe what you want them to believe.)


Some people love to "play along" and ham it up even.  Perhaps he was one of those.  You ask "did you feel that" and he shows a surprised look and says "Yes!", along with a wink.

I'm a major skeptic about certain things and while I understand the concept of hypnosis and suggestion--how that might come into play, I just think that situations like this tend to just be a little play acting.  Feel free to disagree!
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
I feel happy when i do something for someone and they react well and smile or laugh. They had a good time and so did I and all is right with the world for those moments.


Amen brother!
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Hendu71

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Reply with quote  #12 
I get a giggly feeling.  Like, I'm pulling a prank. That's what it feels like to me.  It's hard not to smile before performing an effect.  I think if I were a professional I'd have to be a comic magician, cause I could never pull off serious.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #13 
Maybe just my dark nature coming through. Did anyone else see P&T’s magnetic box trick when he said that about securing consent? I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of securing consent before performing magic. I don’t think he was joking. Is this common, or just one of their quirks? This particular trick could be somewhat disorienting, that may play into it too. They probably don’t secure permission before saying pick a card.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #14 
Over the years I have had many different reactions to my magic. Studying the psychology of magic has given me a greater understanding of how malleable the human mind is - it doesn't take too much to create conviction in folk and lead them to new beliefs about the world they live in. I often study the media, looking at advertising campaigns and listening to the way people utilise ambiguity in responding to questions, there are many parallels between the politician and the magician... except the magician is much more honest and open in their deceptions 😉

If we have studied the psychology of magic, and understand its principles then we do hold a great deal of powerful knowledge and deceptive skills, and in the wrong hands those skills could easily be used to unethical ends.

In the past have had people believe that I can read their mind, even though I was clear that it was just a theatrical performance 🤪 so for a number of years now I've just done straight tricks, no mind-reading, just a few demonstrations of skill with a deck of cards and a little memory work.

But to answer your original question, I have never felt a sense of power, magic is just another form of communicating with people... the only thing I did do was stop performing for a while because I got fed up with the adulation - even now I prefer to just communicate without utilising the art of magic.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley
Do you ever get a sense of power when you perform magic? That feeling makes me really uncomfortable.

Stanley, add to your shows a little bit of "perverse magic" and you will never feel again that sense of power ^_^

Like everybody have pointed out in this thread, a "magician" is an entertainer, not a "superior" guy.

It is something like jugglers; they are not superior for doing that, but just entertainers.

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rpggal33

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Reply with quote  #16 
I feel nervous whenever I first perform a trick.
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EndersGame

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAmazingStanley
Do you ever get a sense of power when you perform magic? That feeling makes me really uncomfortable.

I think I know what you mean, and it can be a temptation for performers.

I often teach kids and teenagers card magic, and one of the things I do is run through some golden rules, which I wrote up here:

Golden Rules for Magic that Every Beginner Should Know

One of them is this, and I think it's worth bearing in mind when performing:

5. Don’t pretend you have actual super-powers
There is no such thing as a person who can do real magic. We all know that, so don't do magic in a way that suggests that you actually want people to think you can do impossible things. Why are people amazed when they watch your magic? Because they know that no human actually possesses the powers you have demonstrated. That's why they ask: "How did you do that?!" You don't want them going away thinking you can actually bend spoons or make coins vanish and appear at will. You want them to be astonished at the illusion you created. It has well been said that a magician is only an actor pretending to be a magician!


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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndersGame

I think I know what you mean, and it can be a temptation for performers.

I often teach kids and teenagers card magic, and one of the things I do is run through some golden rules, which I wrote up here:

Golden Rules for Magic that Every Beginner Should Know

One of them is this, and I think it's worth bearing in mind when performing:

5. Don’t pretend you have actual super-powers
There is no such thing as a person who can do real magic. We all know that, so don't do magic in a way that suggests that you actually want people to think you can do impossible things. Why are people amazed when they watch your magic? Because they know that no human actually possesses the powers you have demonstrated. That's why they ask: "How did you do that?!" You don't want them going away thinking you can actually bend spoons or make coins vanish and appear at will. You want them to be astonished at the illusion you created. It has well been said that a magician is only an actor pretending to be a magician!



Agree totally. Superpowers are actually a boring explanation for a magic illusion. It means he can do it like you or I can cross the street. So for him, if he really has these powers, it’s not much of an accomplishment. If he doesn’t have superpowers, then how does he do it? Leaving them with no explanation is better even than the explanation of superpowers.

Having said that the power I feel is more a psychological one, a power over a person. It is compounded by the fact the people tend to trust me, which I hate. I could really exploit people. Maybe that’s what’s ultimately bothering me.

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