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Gerald Deutsch

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Magic And Bullying        

                     

Premise

 

It is tragic when a youngest is bullied especially now with the computer and E mail, Facebook etc. The bullied youngster is alone and feels worthless and has nowhere to turn and suicide is often the result. It is tragic.

 

If that youngster was taught magic – how to entertain with effects that others couldn’t do perhaps that would instill some pride and a feeling of worth.

 

And perhaps that might lead to friendship with another – or others that would be interested in magic.

 

And practicing some sleights might keep them away from Facebook.

 

Problems and Questions

 

1          How do we reach bullied children?

 

2          How many bullied children would be interested in learning magic?

 

3          Who would teach them?

 

4          What would be the magic to be taught?

 

What would be the magic to be taught?

 

 

I tentatively came up with 4 sessions as follows:

Session One

 

Entertainment and Presentation

 

Misdirection and Timing

           

Anti gravity pencil sticking to fingers (self working)

 

Red and black  (self working)

 

Key card  (self working)

           

           

Overhand shuffle (sleight of hand)

           

Session Two

 

Rubber band jumps from fingers to fingers  (self working)

Do as I do – 2 decks

 

Hindu shuffle (sleight of hand)

 

Card That Counts (sleight of hand)

Poker Player Picnic (sleight of hand)

Topsy Turvy Cards (sleight of hand)

 

Coin transpo under hands (sleight of hand)

 

 

Session Three

 

21 Card trick  (self working)

 

Break and double cut (sleight of hand)

Automatic jog (sleight of hand)

 

Mated (sleight of hand)   Perverse Magic

Cutting The Aces (sleight of hand)   Perverse Magic

 

Coin vanish in pants (sleight of hand)

 

 

Session Four

 

Review all

 

Electric toothpick

 

Tipsy Trick (sleight of hand)

 

Coins   French Drop, Finger Palm Ramsey Subtlety (sleight of hand)

 

Coin vanish on leg (sleight of hand)

 

To be continued and modified etc

 

 

Any other thoughts?

 

 

 

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MikeIkirt

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Reply with quote  #2 
That's not a bad progression.  I've often thought about sitting down with my kids and working through the Tarbell course with them.  Minus the stage illusions, of course.  The progression you have came up with is actually a little better, even more so than books like Card College.  I've found that putting too many sleights and moves down at once tends to turn my kids off.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #3 
     You might also try my THE MAGIC BOOK, guys.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #4 
What a wonderful topic to try and help children deal with a very serious problem.

My wife and I had to dealt with this problem when my son faced some very persistent bullying in middle school.

Of course, solving the problem requires more than just teaching a kid how to do tricks, but I really do believe that you're on to something by giving kids a sense of pride, confidence and worth. That would benefit both victims of bullying and maybe even the bully him/herself.

I love the sessions as you've laid them out above.  

Maybe you could add a simple (sucker) torn and restored paper routine or some other impromptu routine that could be done at a cafeteria table with items that are already there in front of them.

I've been given the opportunity to do something like this at a local elementary school during the summer months. Maybe I'll have to take them up on the offer.

Thanks for starting this topic!

Rudy

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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #5 
As a public educator, I have witnessed first hand as the bullying dilemma reaches epidemic proportions. Now with Cyber-bullying becoming an easier way to antagonize the poor victims, it becomes more difficult to reach solutions to this horrible social problem.

Countless programs and interventions have been introduced to schools in an attempt to thwart the bully's agenda, and in some cases there seems to be success. However, recent home schooling reports indicate that bullying is becoming one of the major reasons why parents decide to home school.

I think that many feel that the victims of bully's are meek and defenseless with no sense of self worth or self esteem. This is not always the case. More likely, it is the bully who has the lack of self confidence.

Anyway...tp keep this Magicians Forum appropriate...I'm for any program that helps kids with ANY issue they may be having!
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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
However, recent home schooling reports indicate that bullying is becoming one of the major reasons why parents decide to home school.

I think that many feel that the victims of bully's are meek and defenseless with no sense of self worth or self esteem. This is not always the case. More likely, it is the bully who has the lack of self confidence.


I agree that a bullies mind is filled with paranoia and fear but to see bullying as an outlet for their insecurities means they have a narcissistic lack of empathy for others. The only cure for a bullies lack of self worth is to reach outside themselves and do charity work of some kind. Teaching them magic would be a waste. A bully would only use it as a way of feeling superior to their audience/peers. I don't think we need more of those performers in magic
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #7 
My thought was to teach the bullied child magic - not the bully.
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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch
My thought was to teach the bullied child magic - not the bully.


I know Gerald andthink that's a fine use of magic, didn't mean to derail. Apologies. I was just adding my two cents to watermans comment. didn't mean to derail the thread.

I wasn't bullied as a child, except for the normal back and fourth that happens to most all of us at some time.

As far as the outreach, Mentoring young magicians locally or through video conferencing, perhaps through the I.B.M or SAM youth groups. Teach a few kids and then have them reach out to other kids who aren't involved in those groups.  Having a good group of experienced magicians behind the scenes to guide them. 

I think is getting someone close to their age involved, Someone they can relate too is pretty important.




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Waterman

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Reply with quote  #9 
Ignore the bully and you ignore the problem...a bully will always find victims...when I first started teaching I formed an after school magic club. The kids who joined the club never had issues with bullying,but soon became targets...so much fun for the bully to interrupt an impromptu performance during lunch in order to steal the attention that the young magician was getting. I asked one of the more obnoxious bullies to join our club. The members were mortified. A couple said they would quit if the bully joined. Long story short, the bully ended up feeling like he was actually being invited to do something positive for a change instead of being punished. He had fun at our magic club and although it didn't turn him into a perfect angel, the kids who did card tricks at lunch could finally rest easy as they could  get through a full performance of their ambitious card routines...

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Charlie

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Reply with quote  #10 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterman
Ignore the bully and you ignore the problem...a bully will always find victims...when I first started teaching I formed an after school magic club. The kids who joined the club never had issues with bullying,but soon became targets...so much fun for the bully to interrupt an impromptu performance during lunch in order to steal the attention that the young magician was getting. I asked one of the more obnoxious bullies to join our club. The members were mortified. A couple said they would quit if the bully joined. Long story short, the bully ended up feeling like he was actually being invited to do something positive for a change instead of being punished. He had fun at our magic club and although it didn't turn him into a perfect angel, the kids who did card tricks at lunch could finally rest easy as they could  get through a full performance of their ambitious card routines...



I agree, you can't ignore the problem. I was looking at it from the perspective of the bullied child. Bullied kids tend to turn inward and shy from attention. Magic can be a powerful tool for a young person and how their peers relate to them and He/she can benefit through becoming center stage.

A bully in my experiences tends to crave the spotlight in a negative fashion. My thoughts on dealing with a troubled person who lashes out in an aggressive fashion is to encourage them to look outside themselves and to help others because it takes you outside of your own head and helps you see through the eyes of others. I feel like many would take the newly learned skill and use it as a weapon but that was a blanket assumption on my part.  Magic can be a helpful tool to take someone out of their own head and maybe the positive attention from an audience could change how they feel in a positive fashion. I guess like with sports, the team will reflect the attitude of the coach.



 


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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #11 

Last week the New York City newspapers reported that a 13-year-old schoolboy hanged himself because he had been bullied. The youngster left a note saying “The teachers –they didn’t do anything.” And “I gave up.”

I’ve noted above that If that a youngster was taught magic – how to entertain with effects that others couldn’t do perhaps that would instill some pride and a feeling of worth and perhaps that might lead to friendship with another – or others that would be interested in magic.

As you can see, I focused on teaching magic to  the bullied child not the bully but I note what Waterman and Charlie said above. And more thinking is called for:

 

1        If we teach both the bully and the bullied should they be taught together or separately?

2        How do you reach them?

(Note that in this case it was clear that this young boy was being bullied.)

3        How do we as magicians that would volunteer for this get into that position?

I have done some of this in a Middle School and in a public library but it’s difficult for a school (or public library) to allow a non-faculty member to have access to children.

I believe that as magicians we do have the ability to help solve the bullying problem but I see many questions remain. Yet the tragedy of the 13 year old youngster makes me want to try somehow. 

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch

Last week the New York City newspapers reported that a 13-year-old schoolboy hanged himself because he had been bullied. The youngster left a note saying “The teachers –they didn’t do anything.” And “I gave up.”

I’ve noted above that If that a youngster was taught magic – how to entertain with effects that others couldn’t do perhaps that would instill some pride and a feeling of worth and perhaps that might lead to friendship with another – or others that would be interested in magic.

As you can see, I focused on teaching magic to  the bullied child not the bully but I note what Waterman and Charlie said above. And more thinking is called for:

 

1        If we teach both the bully and the bullied should they be taught together or separately?

2        How do you reach them?

(Note that in this case it was clear that this young boy was being bullied.)

3        How do we as magicians that would volunteer for this get into that position?

I have done some of this in a Middle School and in a public library but it’s difficult for a school (or public library) to allow a non-faculty member to have access to children.

I believe that as magicians we do have the ability to help solve the bullying problem but I see many questions remain. Yet the tragedy of the 13 year old youngster makes me want to try somehow. 



You have a good heart, Jerry.

What a terrible tragedy that this little boy took his life because of bullying.
My son experienced bullying to the degree that we removed him from school. Some teachers plainly ignored the issue and the administration did nothing about it when we confronted them about it.

There is no easy answer to this growing problem, but I'm glad that we have people like you in the world who care enough to try and do something about it.

Rudy

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7ofSpades

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Reply with quote  #13 
I am 14 and into magic, I have facebook but not many other social medias. and I do magic! one of the things I like about magic is the power it gave me, and no I am not talking about receiving actual magic powers but in a way I did, when I started learning magic I was delighted by the reactions, well most of them... of course it took some courage to actually perform magic for someone I did not know. but when I did I started to notice that allot of people enjoyed the magic I did, of course there was some younger kids who insist that I am a crazy person trying to trick them. I had really bad social anxiety and depression due to family issues and would hardly talk to others. but thanks to Magic my social skills and feelings of self worth have gone way up and even when I leave a deck of cards at home I feel much better than before I started! real magic in my eyes!
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #14 
   I was about 11 years old when magic started to change (better) my life. I talk about that in my "rememoire" BEFORE I FORGET.
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Magic-Aly

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7ofSpades
I am 14 and into magic, I have facebook but not many other social medias. and I do magic! one of the things I like about magic is the power it gave me, and no I am not talking about receiving actual magic powers but in a way I did, when I started learning magic I was delighted by the reactions, well most of them... of course it took some courage to actually perform magic for someone I did not know. but when I did I started to notice that a lot of people enjoyed the magic I did, of course there was some younger kids who insist that I am a crazy person trying to trick them. I had really bad social anxiety and depression due to family issues and would hardly talk to others. but thanks to Magic my social skills and feelings of self worth have gone way up and even when I leave a deck of cards at home I feel much better than before I started! real magic in my eyes!


7 of Spades, that is awesome that magic has instilled in you a heightened sense of self worth! I encourage you (as I am sure other members do) to keep it up. I am sure most members have also confronted their own unique and significant challenges in their own lives, and that magic has helped greatly to overcome those challenges.  And surely the pursuit of magic and the improvement that inevitably occurs as a result of practice and PERFORMANCE builds confidence that carries over into every aspect one's life.

After 20 + years as a professional close up magician, one of the most valuable "secrets" I have learned (if not thee most valuable) has nothing at all to do with the secret behind any particular magic trick.  Rather, it has to do with changing the way you present yourself from a "magician" who is going to baffle the spectator(s) to an "entertainer," who makes it clear he is using magic as a vehicle for everyone to have fun and be entertained.

As for anyone (younger kids or otherwise) who challenges you as a crazy person who is trying to trick them, that is completely natural for a lot of young (and immature) kids at a certain stage of their development where it is important to them to try to prove how "smart" they are.  Just tell them that you know they are far too smart for you to be able to fool them, and that your goal is not to "fool" them, but to entertain and bring some enjoyment to them using a few interesting "experiments," or something along those lines. And instead of resisting their snide remarks, you can say something funny about the secret being out about you being a crazy person, and say something like "guilty as charged."  Using self-deprecating humor is one key way get them on your side.  

The key is to break down their defensiveness and their need to challenge you and to sit back and enjoy the fun.  Magician John Mendoza has a line he sometimes uses before a trick, where he says: "This is not a trick; it's not going to fool you." This is a disarming comment that tends to bring a smile to people's faces and to induce them to relax.

In the end it has hugely to do with the patter and presentation, wrapping your tricks in interesting and amusing stories.  Magician Juan Tamariz, one of the most successful magical entertainers of our day, says, "It's how you dress up the trick."  It is showmanship people love - not being fooled.  It puts the audience at ease and reduces their need to be super-analytical.

The pursuit of magic is also the pursuit of self discovery - finding the character you truly and naturally are (i.e. not imitating anyone else).  Get on and stay on the right path as a magical ENTERTAINER and eventually you will become great! Enjoy the journey...


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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #16 
As 7ofSpades said: 

"I had really bad social anxiety and depression due to family issues and would hardly talk to others. but thanks to Magic my social skills and feelings of self worth have gone way up."

Isn't this what we want for bullied children? 

1  Practice magic instead of going on Facebook to see what people are saying.

2 Have social skills and feelings of self worth go way up?

The problem remains - how do we reach bullied children and get them interested in learning magic?
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #17 
It did not seem to me like 7 of Spades had been a victim of bullying per se. 

It seemed like he had broadened the discussion to include a situation where depression and lack of self esteem had emanated from sources other than being bullied.  As such, it would seem that magic can be therapeutic and help people overcome their challenges and build confidence and self-esteem, regardless of the source of those challenges.

I have even known people who have consistently "beat themselves up" mentally and emotionally and were their own worst enemy; in that regard people, can even bully themselves...
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7ofSpades

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Reply with quote  #18 
well I didn't mention how to reach kids who were in a similar situation I was in but I will tell you how I became interested. My younger brother is a boy and was moving up to the next level of animal or however they do that. At the time I had been struggling in an online school, and had fallen behind I would stop working due to the stress of that and my dads scolding it did not help that I was not working either (not the same as bullying but it sure does not feel good!). At my brothers graduation there was a magician there who did a show, he was wonderful and his magic went perfectly with his sense of humor and he made me smile and laugh till there was tears in the corner of my eyes (that hasn't happened in a lonnggg time then). after the ceremony I talked to him he was very out going and near the end of our conversation he told me this "The Magic is in the hearts of the audience, not in the show". I wanted to be like him, when I tried magic I felt very upset that I was noooo good at it but after some time I got better and the more I did the more I found it fun and strangely addictive. (I am in a better school now by the way). I like to share what magic did for me while preforming it, and I tend to find out allot about the person and it seems to be helping them too. 

I don't really know how you would do it but this seems to be working for me!

and thank you Magic-Aly! I am so thankful for your feedback and support! 
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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #19 
You are most welcome 7 of Spades!

It is interesting that I too was profoundly influenced by seeing a great magician who made me laugh to the point of tears and inspired me to want to become a professional entertainer.  I saw how much fun he was having and how much enjoyment and astonishment he brought to me and others. 

Yes, it sure is, as you described it, strangely addictive. But what a positive addiction it is, and whether amateur or pro, in my humble opinion it's about the fun and enjoyment, the interaction with people, and learning and progressing as an artist and entertainer.  This is something you are fortunate to understand early on, and it will serve you very well.  "The Magic is in the heart of the audience..."  Wow, that is profound!  Thanks for sharing that and the rest of your story.

I sincerely hope you remain a contributing member of the Forum and wish you the greatest success in magic and in all your endeavors.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #20 
Just read this old thread as I was picking through delicacies from the forum buffet, doing random key word searches. What a lot of wisdom on such an important subject! This is an area that I want to think through, regarding what I can offer once we’re allowed to get back into schools. Our isolation is a great time for us to rethink, recover, reinvent and release new projects.
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #21 
I was bullied in high school buy a big guy, who would push me against a row of lockers. I would point behind him and say, "Mark, look out." He would turn in that direction and i would run the other way. That was my first encounter with misdirection I wish I knew some magic then. I wasnt into it until I was in my 20's.

I think if a guy or gal is bullied and they learn magic and do shows at school and become well known that way, the bully would become bored with him or her. And he might become a magic buddy!
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SamtheNotasBadasIWas

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne
     You might also try my THE MAGIC BOOK, guys.


If you would allow it, I personally think starting a magic course with "The Magic Book" would be a very vaulable thing to put out on social media, especially if they could come to TMF for guidance. They could also come to learn about the good stuff.

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Reply with quote  #23 
Bullying is just one of many, many social problems children and teens can face.  The advice in the initial post gives excellent suggestions for walking alongside a young person dealing with a whole range of problems.

In fact, I wish this thread didn't have a subject line that suggests it's related only to bullying.  The advice given can be a great way to help and support any young person struggling with a variety of issues.

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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #24 
I've been a perfect bullying victicm at school. Unfortunatelly, at that time (early 80'), there wasn't any consciousness-raising about that problem, so I suffered a lot about it.
Honestly, Card Magic didn't help me a all.
When I began to do card magic at school, bullying became worst. "They" used to threat me if I didn't explain those secrets, as well as marginalise me.
Finally I stopped doing card magic at school because I couldn't explain any secret, since I took an oath with my elder brother to not reveal any card secret, and I wanted to (and did) fulfil the oath.
Two things made me refrain from explaining card secrets:
One, my brother's oath.
Two, my big familly. I had (have) many uncles and aunts that provided me a lot of cousins... All they were my faithfull and loyal spectators at meetings and parties.
Probably, if I hadn't had such a big familly I would have had to split my oath and explain card secrets at school to get pride and respect? Who knows? Maybe.


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