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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
Magic is a show and tell... we show, they tell... how do we create the best stories with our work?

In the past I've used John Scarne's exploits to introduce a four ace trick. I sometimes talk about the history of magic, how con artists operate, the twisted logic of the mind and how magic allows us to see clearly... all sorts of odds and ends.

I like to discover the stories of the volunteers and audiences watching and participating in the experience too. Many times I have learned a great new story, or concept or two from asking questions.

People often ask questions about how we got into magic, can we, or have we ever cheated at cards etc? So I like to interact with them and have stories/anecdotes to share alongside the tricks.

What about you guys?
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
One thing to keep in mind is that the stories don't have to be true - just engaging. Remember, we're in the deception business. 

M


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Rick Franceschini

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Reply with quote  #3 
So, I ran an experiment that basically falls in line with what you are positing, if I take your meaning right.  I wanted performances to be meaningful interactions between me and the audiences.  This is Close-Up I'm referring to.  Items and presentations were chosen so that they could be presented conversationally and so that they can lead to a follow up conversation. I did this in both formal and informal situations.  Much of this was driven from the teachings of Paul Harris, Eugene Burger and the Spanish School.  

From the year long experiment I can make two generalizations (there were exceptions to be sure):

1) In informal settings, yes, conversations were generated, but as in all good conversations, the topic would drift away.  Think about anytime you are part of a good group discussion and have something cogent and meaningful to add, but someone else takes the conversation to another tangent and you are left holding the thought to yourself.  Well in the case of doing tricks that way, that can happen.  You were doing tricks, and now the conversation went onto something else. and bringing them back to what you were doing simply feels...wrong.

2) In formal settings, there seems to be a strong limit to how much talking you can do before eyes glaze over.  In formal settings they want to see tricks and often regard such presentational approaches as playing for time to misdirect them.  You are a magician after all and must be doing all that talking to trick them.

Again, these are generalizations and were not always my experience, however, it happened enough that I understood I had to strike a balance.  I decided that it is really important to let audiences feel that you are present and so are they.  Cogent interaction is great, but as the performer, be in charge.  At that moment you are the conversation and center of attention. I learned that if I couldn't manage to make people feel included and rel event to the experience without commanding it, then I didn't belong there.  

Did I hit what you were getting at?


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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #4 


    Interested in a couple of good examples of storytelling?  See if you can find the videos of  me performing my routines Magician Vs. Gambler, Card Sharp & The Four Gamblers, Lorayne's Poker Deal.   There are more but these just came to mind.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
One thing to keep in mind is that the stories don't have to be true - just engaging. Remember, we're in the deception business. 

M



Absolutely!
Think about "A Strange Story" by Alex Elsmley...
Nobody will believe that story, but everbody will be totally engaged!

I've usually used the patter "my grandfather... (showed me once a magic trick... or told me an old story about such and such...)," or any other misterious ficticional story that look like real, like "The Poor Man Monte" by Richard Vollmer.

In addition, any tale may work well to engage children's attention.

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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Lorayne


    Interested in a couple of good examples of storytelling?  See if you can find the videos of  me performing my routines Magician Vs. Gambler, Card Sharp & The Four Gamblers, Lorayne's Poker Deal.   There are more but these just came to mind.


Magician and Gambler is an all time favorite of mine. When I started in magic I had never heard of Harry Lorayne (sorry 🤭). So I was browsing through YouTube and I came across this really funny guy telling this story about magicians and gamblers. My first reaction was, “that old guy is funny.” He had my attention before I even realized how good he was with a deck. That was a lesson right there.

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Jack Deschain

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Reply with quote  #7 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
One thing to keep in mind is that the stories don't have to be true - just engaging. Remember, we're in the deception business. 

M




I agree completely. This is a good example. Completely absurd patter but entertaining.

 

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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #8 
Rick hit the nail on the head. That's what I'm talking about. Conversational magic and performances crafted for the occasion. Creating themes and choosing effects in the moment, ones that are specific to the audience you're performing for.
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