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Luis Sirgado

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Any opinions on this quote?  


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
Sometimes a new move will suggest an application i.e. method first, effect second.

I think this methodology is not the norm, but it happens. In fact you can help it along by thinking "what can this move be used for....." Sometimes an idea for an effect will come to mind.

Mike
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viamagus

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Reply with quote  #3 
This is a very interesting quote, I remember a good friend of mine telling me something similar a long time ago. He said "the effect is 80% of a trick, the other 20% is the method. But that 20% must be at a 100%" however I feel that some of the other comments are a little bit off the topic, I think both Kaps and my friend meant that the most important part of a trick (for the spectator) is the effect itself and not how you do it, I think it has to do less with creating a effects and more with the fact that the method comes second when it comes to the spectator. It makes total sense that the method is less important than the effect because that's what the spectator sees or feels.

now, when we are talking about creating magic you can go both ways, sometimes you have a very clever method you can use it to create an effect you've never thought of before, or sometimes you have an effect and then work on it until you develop the method for it, however always keep in mind that no matter how clever the method magic is the breaking of the natural laws of the universe, every effect is a conceptual impossibility in itself, for example if you're walking down the street and suddenly see a dog chasing a cat and the cat flies away from the dog into the sky, your first reaction will be the impression (or the moment of astonishment as Paul Harris calls it)  of the effect, and after that's happened you ask yourself "how did the cat fly away?" so the effect has come first and after you understood that something impossible happened you thought about the method.
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luigimar

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Reply with quote  #4 
Throughout my life I have seen this: You have 2 magicians performing. One of them uses sleight of hand to do his effects and the other uses trick boxes/special cards/etc. to also do magic. For laymen both are good magicians and both did extraordinary things. The effect is the same on the spectators: wonder. The methods are different. Which one has more merit?

Are the trick things we use to do magic a way to get away with sleight of hand/ability?

Should we use sleight of hand only? Or should we use a mixture of both sleight of hand and trickery?

Some food for thought...

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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #5 
My answer only applies to Sleight of Hand, not Stage Magic.

Both need equal attention. My working definition of Magic is Entertaining through Deception.
Both are necessary for a successful performance of magic. Damage one and you damage the other.

If something increases deception and doesn't hurt the effect, I'll probably use it.
If something increases the power of the effect and doesn't weaken the deception, I'll probably use it.
If something diminishes either, I'll never use it.

IMO, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to think one of these is more important than the other.

I hope that's coherent. I've had some beers tonight. [biggrin]

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ianmcrawford

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Reply with quote  #6 
I had the great good fortune to take a few magic lessons from Michael Close (whom Penn Jillette calls the greatest living close up magician). One of the exercises he had me do was to take three methods or moves and create a new effect. Then we would break the effect down and see if it could be accomplished with alternative methods. It was a enlightening exercise that forced me to analyze alternative methods for achieving the same effect.

One can create an effect using methods, and some methods produce effects.  But at the end of the day - effect is what we're trying to achieve (even if we really love working on methods!).  I wouldn't argue with Fred Kaps.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #7 
Card Trick #1 - you have a person freely select a card. It's returned to the deck. You execute a flawless pass and bring it to the top of the deck. While gesturing to the audience member that you're going to find their card, you catch a glimpse. You give the deck a quick cut and have the person shuffle the cards. You take the deck back, look through it and place one card on the table. You ask the person for the name of the card they picked. They name it. You point to the card on the table. They turn it over. It's their selected card.

Card Trick #2 - you force a card on a person. Have it returned to the deck and give the deck to the person to shuffle. You take the deck back. You look through it and place one card on the table. You ask the person for the name of the card they picked. They name it. You point to the card on the table. They turn it over. It's their selected card.

Two different methods.
Same effect: I selected a card. It was put back in the deck. I even shuffled it and the magician found my card.

THOUGHTS: Sometimes we make things more difficult than they need to be, just because we have the chops and we can.
For laymen with no card sleight knowledge, it doesn't matter how we get from A to B, the effect is the same.
When performing for fellow magicians, that's when it seems the alternative methods come into play. Otherwise, it becomes a snooze fest. (Been there, seen that.)
And that might be because a lot of times we concentrate on the bare bones of the effect. For example, our presentation is a descriptive display. "Here, pick a card. Look at it. Put it back in the deck. Etc." And there is no unique presentation to overshadow bare technique.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell


... My working definition of Magic is Entertaining through Deception. ...



I like that a lot!

I think all of art is actually a form of deception.  The landscape painter makes us see trees and mountains that don't exist, the singer tells a story that isn't true, the violinist creates the illusion of order and harmony in the universe.  Each work of art resonates with us to the degree that its presentation matches our subconscious vision of how we wish the world could be different.  Every work of art, to be called such, must connect with its audience in a way that relates to what it means to be human, and to me the essence of being human is to wish that the world were a better place.

So the old saying "It's fun to be fooled" has nothing at all to do with why magic is an entertaining art.  I think that entertaining through deception is an art because it touches the collective dream that the world would be better if magic were real.

Just my opinion, of course.

Thank you, Steven.  Your post led me to articulate some things that have been bubbling around in my head for years (if not decades).  I'm going to have to write a lot more about this ... but I promise I won't post it all here [smile]

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #9 
It's easy to say that lay people "see" the same effect, somehow independent of method. I think this is completely wrong. Steve put his finger on a very important issue which could be called "the level of conviction."

The effect in Evildan's scenario is "you chose a card. It was lost in the deck. Then I found it."

IMO spectators know the difference between a) You spread for a selection then do "something." They shuffle and you look through the deck and find their card. and b) The spectator shuffles then spreads the deck on the table. You turn around as they peek at a card. They square up and shuffle again. You find it.

They won't feel the same about these two methods. One has the highest possible level of conviction that you can't manipulate or peek. The other has lesser levels of conviction depending on how well you execute moves invisibly i.e. they have no concept that "something" happened.

I think method a) can be met with "Oh my uncle John does that one i.e. finds my card." Method b) should be met with "Damn! That's impossible."

The level of conviction is intimately related to method. Just because lay people will describe an effect using the same words doesn't mean that they feel the same way about each method.

Just some thoughts.

Mike
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #10 
I also agree with Mike Powers.

The example I tried to give was two similar looking effects. If the actions look the same, the effect is the same.

However, in Mike's example, I see those as two entirely different effects. Granted the base is the same. But the framing is way different.
In one, the magician had me pick a card. I put it back in the deck. He then gave it to me to shuffle and found my card.
In the other. The deck was spread on the table. The magician turned around. I then picked a card, looked at it, put it back in the deck and shuffled it and he still found my card.

It's that sense of impossibility that I look for in what I add to my set. One of my favorites is a double reversed card that I learned from Eugene Burger.
The deck is cut in half. You look for a card and I'll look for a card. You put your card in my half. I'll put my card in your half. Both halves are tabled and that's it as far as handling until the reveal of two cards reversed in the deck. It floored me the first time I saw it. Where were the moves?
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Claudio

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Reply with quote  #11 
I fully agree with Fred Kaps. No doubt he applied this to his own work, and look where it got him [crazy]

I think he meant that one should strive to  obtain the maximum effect possible, and that the method should be at the service of the effect, not the other way around. Basically use whatever method will produce the best effect.
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
I also agree with Mike Powers.

The example I tried to give was two similar looking effects. If the actions look the same, the effect is the same.

However, in Mike's example, I see those as two entirely different effects. Granted the base is the same. But the framing is way different.
In one, the magician had me pick a card. I put it back in the deck. He then gave it to me to shuffle and found my card.
In the other. The deck was spread on the table. The magician turned around. I then picked a card, looked at it, put it back in the deck and shuffled it and he still found my card.

It's that sense of impossibility that I look for in what I add to my set. One of my favorites is a double reversed card that I learned from Eugene Burger.
The deck is cut in half. You look for a card and I'll look for a card. You put your card in my half. I'll put my card in your half. Both halves are tabled and that's it as far as handling until the reveal of two cards reversed in the deck. It floored me the first time I saw it. Where were the moves?


I also agree with Mike Powers, and EvilDan.
If the handling or the outward reality is the same, the effect can be the same, but as has been implied here, and as Darwin Ortiz has written, one cannot change the handling without changing the effect.
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Stevie Ray

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Reply with quote  #13 
John Bannon's brilliant new book, Mentalissimo, begins with a quote from Alex Elmsley:

"What I like in a good trick is where there's some sort of meld between the effect and the method, so that the effect simplifies the method, and the method simplifies the effect...

And they work together somehow."

Synergy before hierarchy in the service of simplicity... it makes sense to me. As Steven Youell reminds, entertainment should be the ultimate goal. Creating astonishment, laughter, shock, delight and lasting memories of those moments, goes well beyond any method or effect.

Consider the pianist who performs a blistering live rendition of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." The audience will understand that they are in the presence of a virtuoso and the musicians in that crowd will admire the commitment and understanding required to perform that piece. They will also respect the revolutionary nature of the composition. Of course, It can be an exhilarating experience for all. Then, the pianist plays a ballad with a much simpler harmonic structure, Mercer and Van Heusen's "I Thought About You," for example . The listeners are delivered to a different emotional state. Musicians might consciously admire the gorgeous chord voicings and syncopation chosen by the pianist. Those same sounds will conjure unfettered feelings of romance, nostalgia or yearning amongst the lay audience.

This is not to say that the musicians in the crowd are not moved, they simply have a different experience inhabited by their understanding. The fundamental--and perhaps richer--reaction of the laity is a thing the well-practiced artist must forsake.

Entertainment, by whatever means necessary... that motto works for me. From those four words, astonishment, shock, laughter and lasting memories will materialize. Practice and repeated performance will tame difficult moves, method and effect will meld, simplicity will take on a finer meaning to the performer... and those facets will "work together somehow."
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #14 
Having done some research, it appears that the quote by Kaps, "Effects should come first, methods second," was contained in lecture notes he prepared with the help of Pete Biro circa 1972 or 1973, entitled, "FRED KAPS LECTURE NOTES - KEN BROOKE."  In fact, said notes are being sold by Stevens Magic Emporium for $22.50.  https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/fred-kaps-lecture-notes-ken-brooke/

In those same notes, the following quote is also attributed to Kaps:
 
"Fool your audience any way you like, but FOOL them. 

Remember - Method comes second!"

To me, this provides a telling clue to what Kaps meant in the quote being discussed on this thread.  To wit, the method one uses to perform an effect is not important so long as it achieves the desired effect.  In other words, HOW you fool them doesn't matter as long as you succeed in fooling them.

We are all different and unique.  It might be more natural or more gratifying for some magicians to use sleight of hand, while others may feel more comfortable using a gaff or a subtlety or what have you to achieve the same magical effect.  The choice is ours.  

When most people see a spectacular special effect in a movie, they are blown away by the effect itself and are moved on an emotional level, and are not hung up on, "Gosh, how exactly did they do that?"  Of course, you will always encounter your "analytical types" who are primarily concerned with figuring out how you did it.  But that's just how some people are wired, but the very fact that they want to figure it out is evidence that you did in fact FOOL them.
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Deckster

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Reply with quote  #15 
I believe it has has been written so many times in the forum, the performance is the magic. Methods matter and this discussion is beautiful because it is a magician's discussion. I think what ever is written is all food for thought. It's helpful to see the different points of view. I think we all pursue the audience reaction that it's "impossible". If a spectator thinks you did something, then I don't suppose they think it's impossible. Mostly spectators know a magician is going to do something, if they think something happened, so be it and if they are entertained, success.

I'd like to share that in movies and books and other arts, tension is created by what happens is not what the viewer wants to happen, thereby making the spectator want to see what happens and hope it will happen the way they want it to.  Just about any story will have that and I'm sorry I don't see it more in magic.

Thank you for this discussion and I wish I had something relevant to add about it, but isn't effect the basis for story and the performance? If you know the ending of the story is it as compelling?

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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Sometimes a new move will suggest an application i.e. method first, effect second.

I think this methodology is not the norm, but it happens. In fact you can help it along by thinking "what can this move be used for....." Sometimes an idea for an effect will come to mind.
 

This is why I don't 100% agree (although I do to an extent) with the idea, often stated by Mr. Lorayne, that you should only learn a slight if it is needed for a specific trick.

I believe there is a significant usefulness to learning a slight in isolation, especially for those who want to create their own effects and not just do someone else's, as a new slight can lead to a new effect or a new, possibly better way of producing an effect.
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Aly
To me, this provides a telling clue to what Kaps meant in the quote being discussed on this thread.  To wit, the method one uses to perform an effect is not important so long as it achieves the desired effect.  In other words, HOW you fool them doesn't matter as long as you succeed in fooling them.

Now THAT makes perfect sense and fits into what I know about Fred Kaps. I've known Pete for decades and he is one great guy. He told me story after story about Mr. Kaps.

And this goes to show you that NO WISDOM IS EVER CONTAINED IN A MEME!  I HATE THOSE THINGS.



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Stevie Ray

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Reply with quote  #18 
Jeremy,

I believe Mike's recognition of slight-driven methodology and Harry's admonition can exist in the same universe. 

Bruce Lee is supposed to have said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." Harry and Bruce Lee are like-minded in this regard. Why learn more sleights than are necessary to meet your performance goals? Hone the essential moves, make them second nature. Focus on the "good stuff."

At the same time, Harry encourages exploration and the study of good books. While one may not choose to learn every routine in a given book and therefore every sleight, a particular move might stand out. Take Best of Friends III for example, Passtitution by Bob Farmer is an example of a beautiful replacement. Yet it accomplishes the same result as a tilt, bluff or cover pass. Let's say the reader is likely already very comfortable with their tilt and bluff pass, so why bother to learn it? Well... it's artful, it's devious and it is simple--in the best sense of the word. It's the kind of sleight that gets the creative juices flowing and an idea springs forth...

How would this Passtitution move look if the deck were face up? It could set up a nice color change... and now the reader is headed down the path Mike Powers suggests and the means begin to justify the end. To bring it full circle, the move must now be well-practiced in order to serve the effect.
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Salow
This is why I don't 100% agree (although I do to an extent) with the idea, often stated by Mr. Lorayne, that you should only learn a slight if it is needed for a specific trick.

Harry's advice should be followed religiously by every beginner in Card Magic. It's very much the same way that RRTCM uses. When I teach, I'll teach someone a Sleight. When they've got it almost perfected, I'll give them an effect to use it in. This keeps them focused and able to use the move ASAP. This keeps them enthusiastic and rewards the diligent practice.

Close Up Card Magic is the epitome of this approach. IMO the approach this book takes is the next best thing to having a mentor. Learn a Sleight and then learn how to use it in an effect. The value of a Sleight is only apparent when you see it's application. Learning the way Harry suggests reinforces that-- but I've seen very few authors who could pull it off. Harry can though. And to me that's damn near genius.

There is nothing worse than a beginner who is easily distracted by every new shiny Sleight they see. They fool around with it, tire of it because they don't know how to use it and then forget about it. Like a puppy going through the forest sniffing all of the trees, yet never actually lifting his leg. (Whoops! My Redneck came out.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Salow
I believe there is a significant usefulness to learning a slight in isolation, especially for those who want to create their own effects and not just do someone elses, as a new slight can lead to a new effect or a new, possibly better way of producing an effect.

I hope I don't offend you but that's a horrible idea. You seem to be saying that you first start with the method and then develop an effect for the method. Or that you first learn a Sleight and then find an effect for it. I don't have the words to describe how much I disagree.

Youell's Rules, Number 43:  Start with what you want your audience to see and then work backwards. Start by designing the building first because only then will you know what the requirements are for the foundation.

One of my mentors told me: I'll learn ANY Sleight-- if the effect it allows me to do is strong enough.

In regards to studying sleights in isolation (as opposed to learning them), there is merit to that. Not so that you can come up with an effect using it, but for the ancillary lessons contained therein. This is a great idea, but only with Sleights that have a large value in utility. I did this with passes and shifts and the lessons I learned were carried over to other aspects of my work. A caveat: this is only a valuable idea for the experienced, not beginners.

But as a friend used to say: this is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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Vlad_77

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Reply with quote  #20 
Theo Annemann also stated quite firmly that "effect is everything, method be d**ned. Method is important insofar as it maximizes the effect." The second sentence is crucial and one that beginners should heed. Terry Lagerould talks about Belief States and Actual States in his book Pasteboard Presentations. Many beginners make the mistake of thinking that only complicated methods are worth using and such thinking is so very wrong.In fact Vernon held that he always tried eliminate as many sleights as possible when creating a routine - and remember, Vernon is considered one of the greatest sleight of hand magicians ever.

I also strongly agree with Steven that learning a sleight without having a routine is a bad idea. Certainly a sleight can and often does spark an idea but it's been my experience that creators think of an effect and then work to create a method that maximizes the magic. Sleight of hand is a means, it is not necessarily the ultimate "end."

Stewart James is recognized as a master of method contributing to maximizing the impact - Belief State - of your audience. James noted in a letter to Francis Haxton that he would do more sleight of hand if there were more useful sleights. I hastily concede that we could debate Stewart James' assertion and have a topic that would run so long it would break the Internet. [wink]

In conclusion, it seems to me the a creator should ask, "What do I want to as far as effect and what methods - sleight of hand or otherwise - can I use to achieve maximum impact (to borrow a phrase) in effect."
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viamagus

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blathermist

Considering there are only two comments prior to yours, I deduce that you are referring to those; two of which are mine. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how you came to that conclusion.



I apologize if for some reason what I wrote came across the wrong way (English is not my first language), all I meant was that it seemed to me that the comments were steering the thread in the direction of creating magic (using the magician point of view) when it makes a lot more sense to understand it as what's most important for the spectator (using the spectator point of view)

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viamagus

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic-Aly
Having done some research, it appears that the quote by Kaps, "Effects should come first, methods second," was contained in lecture notes he prepared with the help of Pete Biro circa 1972 or 1973, entitled, "FRED KAPS LECTURE NOTES - KEN BROOKE."  In fact, said notes are being sold by Stevens Magic Emporium for $22.50.  https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/fred-kaps-lecture-notes-ken-brooke/

In those same notes, the following quote is also attributed to Kaps:
 
"Fool your audience any way you like, but FOOL them. 

Remember - Method comes second!"



it makes total sense that Kaps felt that way about the importance of the effect
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Claudio

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Reply with quote  #23 

Another way to approach this question is to state that:

In its purest form an effect would be real magic and therefore no method would be necessary. As magic does not exist, the method is simply the necessary evil to bring the effect to fruition.

That the effect must be magical (amazing, fooling etc. ) and entertaining is a given – otherwise, what’s the point?

If we accept those premises, it’s obvious that any method will be detrimental to the sought-after effect as it will only be an approximation of “real magic”.

This is why, in my opinion, there are so many methods around to tackle very few similar plots/ effects.  No method is perfect (by definition) and therefore each one tends to highlight a different part of the effect and be detrimental to some other part.

Just a few thoughts.

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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmcrawford
I had the great good fortune to take a few magic lessons from Michael Close

If I understand you, that surprises me.

I've had the good fortune of being friends with Mike Close and have known him for more than 20 years. We haven't spoken for a while because of my illness, but I still consider him a friend and know how he thinks. I'm going out on a limb and say that he believes that although effect leads method, sometimes you can be inspired by a Sleight/Method to build a good effect. I'm sure he believes that changing the method could change the effect in strength, clarity and other factors.

But it sounds like your interpretation is different than that? Perhaps you could clarify? Or maybe he told you something that disagrees with my interpretation? It could be wrong.

I cannot imagine that The Frog Princess (may have forgotten the name) started out with a method or a Sleight, but I've never discussed that particular trick with him.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #25 
I think it's likely that Frog Princess started out with " What can I use this Origami frog for in a trick." Then the idea: "Got it! The selection will be the folded up card at the end." Rather than: "I'm going to learn to make an origami object from a playing card and then have a selection be the origami object." Either scenario is possible, but I'll bet on the first.

Moves in magic are like scales for a musician. They are tools to be practiced and perfected. Then, in the case of magic, methods are made from the moves. In the case of music, solos and musical interludes are made from the scales and arpeggios. A magical effect is like a song. It's not made from moves, that's the method. The effect is an idea just like a melody is a musical idea.

A small toolkit i.e. knowledge of a small but important group of moves can be sufficient to create a method for an effect. But a large toolkit i.e. knowledge and facility with a large number of moves opens more doors for methods. And, not all methods that achieve a particular effect are created equal. 

If you receive the Linking Ring, check out J. K. Hartman's method for achieving a Jack Carpenter effect. Jack's effect is "JC Aces from Aug. 2011." Jerry's "JK Aitches" is from Oct. 2011. The effect is the same in Jerry's handling. But Jerry's method is far superior. He chose a different set of moves to get the job done. Compare and contrast if you have access to TLR.

Hopefully these thoughts are germane to the discussion at hand.

Mike
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #26 
Not sure I agree with you Mike, but I'll have to think about it.
I wouldn't disagree with the likes of you without some serious consideration-- you think too well!

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #27 
What a great discussion!  

Claudio Wrote: "In its purest form an effect would be real magic and therefore no method would be necessary. As magic does not exist, the method is simply the necessary evil to bring the effect to fruition...any method...will only be an approximation of 'real magic.'"

That is an insightful point.  If our goal is to achieve the closest approximation possible to real magic in performing an effect (and I am pretty sure most would agree that is the goal), it only seems logical that if there are a variety of methods available to achieve the desired effect, we should choose the one that will result in the effect looking as close as possible to real magic.  This is, of course, provided that such method is within our technical reach.

In the creation of a truly magical effect, there is the physical part of the method, but then there is the psychological part, which can be as important, or more so, in creating the illusion of magic for the spectators. It is a thing of beauty when the physical and psychological "handling," as it were, are synchronized together in a way that will create maximum magical impact. The particular physical method or handling we choose can greatly influence the psychological impression we end up creating on the spectator, and thus influence how close we have come to achieving real magic in the spectators' view.  

One method for achieving an effect might very well instill the conviction of impossibility in the minds of the spectators more so than an alternative method for achieving the effect, so that when the denouement occurs it seems like (or at least closer to) real magic.

One example among many would be the handling I have recently worked out for Poker Player's Picnic, which I learned many years ago from The Royal Road to Card Magic.  The effect of the trick, for those not familiar with it, is that a spectator cuts a deck into 4 piles, deals 3 cards from the top of the first pile to the bottom of that pile, and then deals one card from that pile onto the top of the 3 other piles.  This exact procedure is repeated with the 3 remaining piles.  The top card of each pile is then turned face up to reveal that it is an ace. It's a very good trick.  However, one day I set out to make it even stronger - if I could.

The way I performed the trick for many years was to undetectably get the aces on top of the deck, do a jog and/or riffle shuffle and a f - - - -  cut, retaining the 4-card stack on top. Then I would hand the deck to the spectator and instruct him to cut the deck into 4 piles and how to deal the cards.  The method I used created the "effect" that the four aces appeared on top.  But was the effect as MAGICAL as it could be? My feeling was that it was not.  So I thought about whether I could change the method to heighten the magicality of the effect.

This is already a long post, so I will try to summarize, as briefly as possible, how I changed it.  After getting the 4 aces to the top during a previous trick or in the course of casual conversation, I p - - -  off the aces.  This is easy to do if you haven't conveyed the impression that a trick has "officially started." (i.e., they are not "chasing" you at this point). My hand drops casually to my side as I hand the deck to spectator with the other hand, asking him/her to shuffle thoroughly.

When they are finished I take back the deck for a very brief time, looking the spectator who shuffled in the eye, and asking, "Are you satisfied that the cards are well shuffled?" (They always say yes).  In this moment, I do a re - - - - - ment of the aces on top, hand them the deck, and proceed to direct them in the cutting and dealing procedure. When the time ultimately comes for the revelation of the four aces, I wave my hand mystically above the 4 piles and ask THEM to turn over the top card of each.  In their mind (and I definitely remind them) I have never touched the cards - they shuffled, they dealt, and they turned over the cards.  Because of time misdirection, they forget all about that one brief moment when I took the deck back from them in the very beginning (if indeed that even registered on their radar screen in the first place).

Long story short: The reactions I now get for this trick are far far stronger than when I used the prior method.  I mean believe me, I'm not looking to add unnecessary sleights/moves to a routine, but this an example where adding a sleight made a huge difference.  When I used to do the shuffling they could attribute the effect to that fact or that I otherwise somehow arranged the cards.  But when they not only do all the shuffling, but the cutting and dealing, the mind-blowing factor of the trick is heightened exponentially.  Changing the method truly changed the moment.
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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell

 You seem to be saying that you first start with the method and then develop an effect for the method. Or that you first learn a Sleight and then find an effect for it. I don't have the words to describe how much I disagree.



I agree that ideally the effect should come first. But, as has been stated before, method cannot be removed from effect, just as effects can not be removed from method. It goes both directions, both affect the other. Some methods have unique aspects that may lead someone toward an effect that otherwise would not have been thought of in isolation, or a new (hopefully better) take on an effects.

So yes, I agree that in general the best option is the method should come first, but the possibility of a specific slight leading one towards a good effect should not be completely discounted.

For example, I posted in the Sleights subsection of the Card section about a great force I rediscovered from Royal Road. In the one day since I rediscovered it, the specifics of the force have inspired in me a couple ideas for effects which I think would be very good that I did not have otherwise. Would it have been great if I had those ideas and then found or invented the sleight that worked for it? Absolutely. But I'm so happy in this instance that I found it, because the sleight itself inspired me.
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Jeremy Salow

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad_77


In conclusion, it seems to me the a creator should ask, "What do I want to as far as effect and what methods - sleight of hand or otherwise - can I use to achieve maximum impact (to borrow a phrase) in effect."


And how could you possibly develop that without an previous knowledge in various methods and sleights? Sure you can research at that point, but to even know where and what the look for requires pre-knowledge.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #30 

I don't think there is a right or wrong way to approach creativity. It's how YOUR brain ticks that's going to decide the direction you go. Some take a method/sleight and see what can be done with it. Other's take an idea and then explore ways to achieve the desired effect.

Magicians have books in their name describing effects that they devised.

I also have a collection of Marlo pamphlets on one sleight and effects that can be done with it.


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #31 
I suspect that effect creation follows the "Idea for effect first. Method second" model. But sometimes a move brings to mind an effect.

The Kosky Switch is a good example. It's a quirky thing with a FD card sandwiched between two FU cards. The whole shebang is on top of the deck in a rather "cozy" configuration.

When I first encountered this switch I thought it was pretty cool, albeit a bit cozy. Because of the configuration viz. a FD card between two FU cards, effects that could use this may come to mind.

This is an example of how a move can generate an idea for an effect.

Mike 
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Bulla

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Reply with quote  #32 
The way I interpret this quote is that the method serves the effect and not the other way around.  We should be careful that we don't become so infatuated with a particular method or a new sleight that we create an effect for the sole purpose of being able to use that move.  I agree that sleights on their own can be inspirational, but after we create the effect we should then reexamine our method.  Is that method really the best fit for that effect or might there be something better?
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Claudio

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Reply with quote  #33 

I don’t think that Effect first, Method second is a temporal, chronological concept, but a ranking/prioritisation one.

It does not matter whether the idea for an effect is first triggered by a method as long as the driving force is to create an effect that in itself is magical and worth performing. A quality control feedback loop would be very useful to ensure that a sleight/method in search of an effect does not produce a monstrosity.

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #34 
An interesting topic of conversation.

The audience see the effect, not the method - but the method can suggest the effect and vice versa.  However in order for the audience to be entertained and enjoy the experience of magic we also need a presentation.

Effect, Method and Presentation are all equally important to my way of thinking... if you forget one of them, or choose the wrong kind of method, effect, or presentation then the magic will be lacking.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #35 
      I blush - over some of the remarks above.  And - I'm forced to repeat what I've written many times - that in the preface of my book, THE MAGIC BOOK, which I wrote for the public - that is, beginners in magic, I said that I wanted to, would, save them the forty years (at that writing) that I wasted learning sleights that I never used! There are, of course and as usual, always exceptions. But basically that's my feeling - and I'll stick with it!
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
...

If you receive the Linking Ring, check out J. K. Hartman's method for achieving a Jack Carpenter effect. Jack's effect is "JC Aces from Aug. 2011." Jerry's "JK Aitches" is from Oct. 2011. The effect is the same in Jerry's handling. But Jerry's method is far superior. He chose a different set of moves to get the job done. Compare and contrast if you have access to TLR.

...



Mike, your command of what has appeared in TLR is AWESOME!  


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #37 
It wasn't that difficult Robin. I write the Card Corner column!

I'm just happy that my memory extended back to 2011. It seems to be getting worse these days. I take a lot of notes. Now I just have to remember where the notes are!

I may be a candidate for Harry's memory book. I'll jot that down right now!

Mike
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #38 
I took time to read this entire thread and was so amazed by the depth of thought that went into many of these posts. It's obvious to me that each one of you cares deeply about the art of magic and how it's perceived by (and experienced) by your audience.

What a thought provoking and enjoyable read. Thanks!

Rudy

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