Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Mind Phantom

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,492
Reply with quote  #1 
So, you have tried out your latest trick on friends and family members. And they loved it!

When do you know if your ready to add it to your set?

I'll give you a case in point for example, when I joined TMF I was doing free shows getting experience doing a Crooked Gambling Show which was outlined in the book Gambling Scams by Darwin Ortiz. I used his book as a outline for the show.

I came to the part where he talked about Riffle Stacking, I was working on a five and ten handed deal both by Jack Carpenter from his Gambling Routines video. Well, for the first five performances..I got mixed reviews, one lady came up to me after the show and told me, " I saw how you did that.." while others talked to me saying  that must have taken years of practice to learn ( which was true ) and made a positive impression.

I haven't performed in a while now. What would you do? Leave the Riffle Stacking routines in the show or find something else? So, that begs a bigger question...

So, how do you know that you have a really killer effect that makes you want to take it to the next level?

I would love to read your comments.

Rick,

__________________
Self Concept Is Destiny...
0
Magic Harry

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 409
Reply with quote  #2 
The way you know is from audience reaction. If it gets a good response keep it in.
Magic Harry

__________________
Harry Damareck
0
Mind Phantom

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,492
Reply with quote  #3 
Maybe a better question is...

What are some of the elements that makes a great show ? Other than seeing people smile.

Rick,

__________________
Self Concept Is Destiny...
0
Paco Nagata

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 394
Reply with quote  #4 
"Mistery"
A magic trick in which the concept of mistery is quite related may assure a great trick, specially if you finish it with a really unexpected outcome.

Just one of the elements, in my opinion.

__________________
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician" https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado" https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 16/06/2020
0
Buffalo McKinley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #5 
I don't know if this story from my stand-up days will help, but I had a new bit that I performed about ten times, and it didn't do very well, so I dropped it.

A year or two later, I was getting bored doing the same act, so I went through a notebook and found that joke.  I tried it that night and it killed.

As far as I know, I didn't do anything different.

The next time I performed...it killed.

The time after that?  You guessed it...it killed.

It became one of my strongest jokes, and when I took a break from stand-up another comedian asked if he could have the joke.

So, how do you know if you have a great trick (or joke)?

I have absolutely no idea!  ;-)

-Buffalo
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 4,001
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley
I don't know if this story from my stand-up days will help, but I had a new bit that I performed about ten times, and it didn't do very well, so I dropped it.

A year or two later, I was getting bored doing the same act, so I went through a notebook and found that joke.  I tried it that night and it killed.

As far as I know, I didn't do anything different.

The next time I performed...it killed.

The time after that?  You guessed it...it killed.

It became one of my strongest jokes, and when I took a break from stand-up another comedian asked if he could have the joke.

So, how do you know if you have a great trick (or joke)?

I have absolutely no idea!  ;-)

-Buffalo


Sounds like some comedians have more ethics than some magicians.

If the joke or your delivery didn't change, maybe the audience did? Maybe the joke struck a chord due to current events, etc.?
0
TheAmazingStanley

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 239
Reply with quote  #7 
Test your material on tough audiences. My wife is so observant she sees everything and is not even a magician. She watched Richard Turner on Fool Us, and he said he did 13 methods and controls, and she said she only caught 12. She must have been tired that night. I haven’t fooled her yet, but if she is at least impressed I know it’s a good one. She’s brutally honest too. She won’t hesitate to say that’s stupid. For which I sincerely thank her. I really consider this person who doesn’t even like magic that much to be as valuable a resource as any book or video.
__________________
When you come to a fork in the road, take it!
0
arthur stead

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,047
Reply with quote  #8 

I agree with you, Stanley.  My wife is my worst (and best) critic.  She’ll speak her mind, and even though her honesty sometimes really bugs me (especially after I’ve put hours of work into something new), I really appreciate that.

Other than her opinions, I also agree with Magic Harry that audience reaction is a good litmus test.


__________________
http://www.arthurstead.com
0
Chi Han

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,084
Reply with quote  #9 
I don't know.

I will say this though, a good audience reaction, even if it's consistent is in my opinion only a necessary condition for a great trick, it does not mean itself that the trick is great.

I have seen a lot of people do mediocre effects with no presentation, and get great reactions.  Magic is one of those things that is inherently powerful, even if not done well.  I've seen audiences go nuts over the 21 card trick done to a basic narrative of someone explaining what they were doing as they were doing it.  I think we all have, yet somehow magicians think they're immune to this.  In my opinion, based on a lot of the magic I've seen (I love magic by the way), most magic is terrible, but our audiences don't know that.

In one sense, I think that means that the magic is good.  I mean, it does what it's meant to do.  But I feel like ending the discussion there does yourself and magic as a whole a great disservice.  The fact of the matter is, we all should strive to be as good as we can be.  Saying that a trick is good or great because you get good reactions means almost nothing to me.  We've all gotten standing ovations from tricks we put very little effort or time into, but we could be so much better.  Video tape your performances and be honest with yourself, is that the best you could be?  Is the reaction you got the most powerful it could have been?  There are far bigger reactions than a standing ovation.  What do you want to convey with your performance?  Is it a laugh?  Is it a deep burn that leaves the audience mystified for the rest of their lives?

What do the audience remember?  Juan Tamariz (and many others) espouse something I really agree with.  The magic is what happened in the spectators mind, not what actually happened.  Your trick is only a part of the theatre you create.  Sure, maybe it's the most important part, but what about every other element?  How much time have you put into that?  Be honest.  Really look at the people you admire.  Whenever I do I see a gap.  There's something missing.  I'm always trying to close it.

Anyone can make great magic, but not everyone can.  At the same time we should all try.

In short:  I think great magic comes from a magician doing the best they can to do the best version of what they consider good magic.  Trying your best is no guarantee of success, but I think most people fall short of even that, being very content to sit on what they do.  There's nothing inherently wrong with that, I myself fall into that category at the moment.  But I wouldn't delude myself into thinking my magic is great.
0
arthur stead

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,047
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi Han

What do the audience remember?  Juan Tamariz (and many others) espouse something I really agree with.  The magic is what happened in the spectators mind, not what actually happened. 


I can relate, with this personal experience:  While visiting my brother in South Africa, one day he took me to lunch at a restaurant to meet some of his friends and business associates.  I was asked to do some tricks and since I had a deck of cards on me, I did.  One of the tricks I had done was Chicago Surprise, where a selected card, the Five of Hearts, is found and put aside, and then later inexplicably changes into a second selected card (The Queen of Spades).  During my performance of this trick I noticed some the waiters lurking around, very interested in what I was doing. 

A few days later, my brother and his wife took me to a local breakfast diner.  One of the waiters who had been at the first restaurant was also eating there, and recognized us.  My brother asked this fellow to describe what he had seen me doing.  His reply was quite surprising!  In essence, he said I put a card on the table, it was a five.  Then it changed into a Queen.  And then it changed again, into a completely different card!

So his recollection of the routine was even more miraculous than what had really happened!


__________________
http://www.arthurstead.com
0
Daniel Young

Member
Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #11 
A couple of thoughts...

With the person who said that they saw how you did it. Did you enquire what she saw, or thought she saw? That is always important. Sometimes these laypeople imagine things that didn't happen, and they think they know the trick. If you're doing a riffle stacking demonstration, and she caught the fact that you were rifling off some cards from the left, and then some from the right etc. Then that's ok. That IS what you claimed to be doing.

If, on the other hand, she caught some sneaky stuff she wasn't really meant to. Then you have to figure out if that was your fault, did you screw something up? Did you just have an off day? Was she sitting at a bad angle for something? Do you need more practise? You can only improve by listening to your critics and fix what isn't working.

As for knowing when it's ready? I don't think you can... other than knowing that you can perform it competently. Do some runs in front of family and friends. And when you DO go out and do it, you will probably have to do it a bunch before it actually plays the way you want. If you are doing free shows, or performing somewhere in public, have a friend with you, that will not only be brutally honest about the material and your performance (and magician's are terrible at this, because they assume that they saw something only "because they are a magician". Everyone has eyes.) but more importantly have your friend linger around afterwards, and listen to what people are saying. This is super helpful, because now the magician is gone, so they don't have to be polite anymore.

and finally I guess you have to evaluate if the material actually is any good... Most material can be MADE good, but dealing 10 hands of poker isn't necessarily interesting to laypeople. It might be interesting to other magicians, or to actual poker players, but for most laypeople I don't think they care whether its 5, 7 or 10. Unless you make them care.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.