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Gerald Deutsch

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Perverse Magic  - Some History

In some postings that I’ve made on this forum, I’ve mentioned “Perverse Magic” and that I've been posting my thoughts on this topic on a "Perverse Magic" thread on the Genii forum (every month since December 2002).

I think I first became interested in Perverse Magic when I saw Roy Benson producing white billiard balls and when a red ball appeared he looked confused and looked in a book to try to understand what happened. 

I first learned the term “Perverse Magic” when reading Dariel Fitzkee’s “Showmanship For Magicians” where he says:

“Charles Waller devotes a section in his ‘Up His Sleeve’ to what he calls ‘Perverse Magic’. This is simply loss of control of the objects with which he is working to the extent the objects do what they please regardless of the performer.”

and

“Many angles from which to present a magic act may be found if a little thought is given to the subject. Charles Waller suggested a field that has been untouched as far as I know. This is a type of magic referred to before in this work, which he calls ‘Perverse Magic’. In this type of presentation the tricks seem to take charge of affairs themselves doing quite the reverse of  what the performer wishes.”

And in the Charles Waller book, “Up His Sleeve” he says:

“In the usual form of magical entertainment the most extraordinary things happen, professedly because the performer wills that it should be so. He utters a command, waves his wand, or fires a pistol and every natural law is apparently set at naught. In what I choose to call perverse magic, surprising things happen, despite the influence of the magician, and sometimes without his knowledge. 

“This is a mode of presentation that I have, for years, applied to certain tricks, and found productive of the most delightful results. Not only does this departure from the stereotyped style provide a pleasant change; but its discreet use helps to create a very desirable magical atmosphere. The spectators cannot help but feel that they are living in a world of wonders when inanimate objects, taking the audience into their confidence, so to speak, execute droll and astounding actions behind the magician’s back. Let me give a few examples.”

Perverse Magic is not magic that goes wrong but magic that happens by itself against what the magician wants or expects to happen.

I tried to break Perverse Magic into six categories as follows: (1) something happens without the performer’s knowledge, (2) the performer says one thing will happen but something else does, (3) the performer says he’s going to do something but it happens by itself, (4) the performer is caught, he admits it but then he and the audience are surprised, (5) the performer and the audience are on different planes and (6) the performer explains something that will happen but he doesn’t understand why it happens.

I’ve found that an entire act need not be Perverse Magic but, as Roy Benson showed, one incident can make a huge impression.

In some of my writings I’ve tried to show how Perverse Magic can be used in familiar effects to enhance their entertainment value. Here are a few examples:

1 Ambitious Card

I have a card selected and say it will come to the top and it's not there - another card (say 4C) is there. I bury the 4C and try again but again the 4C is there. I spell the selected card but at the end it's the 4C. Finally I say I'll do the trick with the 4C and say it will go to my pocket but when I reach into my pocket it's the selected card. I'm surprised and frustrated.

2 Multiple Card Selection

I have a card selected and try to find it but find instead the same value card but a different color. I try again and find the mate of the selected card and finally the third of that value. In disgust I throw the deck at the ceiling and the selected card sticks. I am confused.

3 Coin through the table

At the conclusion of a coins through the table routine I say I'll do it one more time. I place a regular quarter in my left hand and I bring my right hand under the table. I bang my left hand on the table and bring out my right hand with half a coin and then, confused, I lift my left and show the other half.

"Darn it - only part of it went!"

4 Partial Coin Vanish

I borrow a quarter and say I will cause it to vanish.

I  put the quarter in my left hand and I snap my fingers of my right hand and when I open my left hand half a coin is still there.

"Darn - I need more practice!"

The most important thing in magic is to entertain and Perverse Magic puts the magician on the same side as the audience and not above them as so often is the case.

 

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Evan S.

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have been following your thread on the Genii forum since 2002 (seriously!). Surprised you didn't publish it all as a book by now. It is, hands down, the best thread/topic on any of the forums. The content is flat out brilliant!

So glad that you continue to update it. Thank you, sir!!
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm so glad that you're sharing some of your Perverse Magic here. Great stuff!
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Gerald Deutsch

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David Levitan is a professional magician who performs for various groups including adults, teen-agers etc. He and I belong to a club that has 10 magicians and we meet once a month.

 

During a recent club meeting I performed an effect using Perverse Magic.

 

David then told me that some 30 years ago he recalls that he was performing at a Bar Mitzvah and he performed a Linking Ring routine where the youngster was able to link the rings but not David the magician and he became frustrated.

 

I was in the audience and at the conclusion I went up to him and told him,  “Hey I liked your Perverse Ring routine.”  I didn’t know it then but David now told me that he thought I was insulting him. “At the time I was confused and concerned by your comment. I have known since I joined this club that you meant it as a compliment.”

 

I have recently seen some videos of David performing and I see that he does use Perverse Magic as part of his act and his audience loves it.

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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #5 

Aldo Columbini – Harry Lorayne – Perverse Magic

 

After Aldo Columbini passed away some of my magician friends and I took it upon ourselves to review some of the published Columbini effects and I found many published by Harry Lorayne in Apocalypse and Best of Friends III.

 

Among those published in Apocalypse is “Heat” which appears on page 2840 of the September 1997 issue and I see that a Perverse Magic presentation is appropriate for this effect.

 

The effect is that two spectators each select a card and sign the front and back of their cards. One card is reversed in the center of the deck and the other is dealt face down to the table. The magician says he will make the cards change places.

 

 When he now spreads the deck the other card is now face up which is removed from the deck but when the magician turns over the card face down on the table it is – a double back card! Confused, the magician turns over the face up card and it is a double faced card. The signatures of both spectators are on both cards.

 

The magician is confused – good Perverse Magic – and Harry Lorayne suggests saying , “Oh, oh – I need some more practice.”

 

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Deckster

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Reply with quote  #6 
I may not have this right as I can't remember the source right now, but it was that there to be four different kinds of magic:

Magic where the magician has great magical powers and makes things happen.
Magic where the spectator makes the magic happen.
Magic that happens to the magician, where the magician is surprised by what happens and doesn't seem to be in control of it. That would be the perverse magic with all the components described by Gerald Deutsch.

I can't remember the fourth, perhaps that it is scientific, like an experiment the magician conducts with the spectators.

As I recall part of the idea was that the magician plays one of the roles and to mix those roles doesn't work as well within a singular performance. I'm not sure I agree with that and Gerald says, "I’ve found that an entire act need not be Perverse Magic but, as Roy Benson showed, one incident can make a huge impression."

I think, as usual, it's about the routining and how mixing the types would build to climax. A scenario could be where it starts with an experiment, then an experiment goes differently than expected, then the magician uses his power to fix it, then the spectator triumphantly pulls the whole thing together in the finale.

It is worth considering how the different roles define a performance and whether they are in conflict with another.  I can see how presenting one "persona" defines a performer. Mentalism could be an example. Clowning may lend itself well to perverse magic.

And for a final comment it seems to me that perverse magic is humble and the near opposite of sucker magic.

Thank you for the great post Gerald, it certainly is thought provoking.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #7 
My wife and I were having lunch today with some old friends that we hadn't seen for a while when one of them wanted to "see a trick".

This called for something quick.

I asked for a quarter and when he gave it to me I told him I just learned to change a quarter to a half dollar.

I tossed the quarter from my right hand to my left, snapped my right fingers over my left and opened my left hand and there was - there was - a rock!

A rock! I looked confused and shook my head. Then I reached into my right pocket with my right hand, took out a handful of change, gave him a quarter, put the change back into my pocket and shook my head.

"I really have to read that again."

There was no need to do anything more.
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Stevie Ray Christian

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Reply with quote  #8 
Perversity! Be careful what you wish for--because it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.[smile][smile][smile]

Fantasia-disneyscreencaps.com-2582.jpg 

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #9 
Nice to see some humor and levity, Frederick. [biggrin]

And Gerald, thanks for sharing. I like the the surprise and incongruity of turning a borrowed quarter into a rock and then cleaning up by reaching into your pocket for some change apparently to reimburse the original borrowed quarter which has "transformed" into the rock. I think I am at least beginning to understand the psychology and showmanship angles behind perverse magic.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #10 
I think I'm beginning to like perverse magic. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.
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Danzs

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Reply with quote  #11 
So if I understand the definition correctly, Tommy Wonder's whole act (at least the vast majority of what he published it) would have qualified. Is this correct?
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #12 
I love Perverse Magic.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #13 
I've noted above that  I've been posting my thoughts on this topic on a "Perverse Magic" thread on the Genii forum (every month since December 2002). As you will see,I've applied this to many standard effects and some of my own effects.
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #14 
I love it Gerald and I really appreciate you sharing it here.
I love the faux motivation and attitudes.
Very, very devious and the result is very strong magic.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #15 
Color Changing Hanky
Show a silk and ask people what color it is. (Depends on what color you have.)
Tell them you're going to magically change the color.
Have people shout out the color they want it to change to and, since majority rules, the color with the most shout outs will be the color it changes to.
At some point signal the crowd to be quiet.
Let's see what was the winning color.
Open hand, hanky vanished.

Perverse?
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Ferry Gerats

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Reply with quote  #16 
Gerald, thanks very very much for sharing your thoughts on perverse magic.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Color Changing Hanky
Show a silk and ask people what color it is. (Depends on what color you have.)
Tell them you're going to magically change the color.
Have people shout out the color they want it to change to and, since majority rules, the color with the most shout outs will be the color it changes to.
At some point signal the crowd to be quiet.
Let's see what was the winning color.
Open hand, hanky vanished.

Perverse?


Yes but a bit more---

Open hand, hanky vanished.  You look around confused - then give up.
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Ferry Gerats

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Reply with quote  #18 
For those interested it may be of interest to know that George Blake describes in his book Comedy Magic three perverse magic routines.
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Gerald Deutsch

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One of the three perverse magic routines in George Blake's Comedy Magic is his Perverse Egg Bag (page 11). I posted a Perverse Egg Bag routine on the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on March 9, 2003. Here it is:

The Perverse Egg Bag Routine

This was one of the first effects I've used to express "Perverse Magic". It is a strong routine for audiences of children.

The only preparation is having a "blown egg" - which is an egg that has the insides "blown out". I make a hole in each end with a pin, shake up the egg and then blow out the contents. I let water run into the hole, shake the egg again, blow out the water and allow the shell to dry.

The blown egg is put into my left pants pocket. I put a small horn or "kazoo" in my right pants pocket and I use a standard egg bag and a hard boiled egg.

Here's the routine:

1 I show the egg, put it into the bag with my right hand (the pocket) and make a suspicious move as I put my closed right hand into my right trouser pocket.

2 "I know you think the egg went into my pocket - nope." And I reach in and take out the horn and blow it. "The egg is back in the bag." I let the egg fall from the pocket and back into the bag and produce it.

(Note that this sequence is not perverse - that's OK - it comes now.)

3 "Let me show you how it's done." I say this as I again take the egg and put it into the bag (the pocket)

"What I do is pretend to put the egg in the bag but I really keep it in my hand and put it under my arm."

I pretend to put the egg - which is in the pocket of the bag - under my left arm.

"I can then show the bag inside out showing the egg has vanished and whenever I want the egg I just reach under my arm----"

I put my right hand under my left arm, lift my left arm expecting the egg to drop into my right hand and when nothing falls I look confused. I then consult a book on my table.

(Note that it's me that's surprised - I don't make any spectator a sucker.)

 

(I got the idea of looking in a book from Roy Benson - who was my hero when I was starting out in magic.)

I then start looking for the egg and find it (the blown egg) in my left pants pocket. I scratch my head - very confused.

4 "Well, I'll show you one of the best possible tricks with the egg and the bag. I'm going to put the egg back into my pocket, make it vanish from my pocket and appear back in the bag."

I put the blown egg back into my left pants pocket and hold the egg bag in my right hand with the right hand extended to the right.

"At the count of 3 - 1 - 2- 3---" and at the count of 3 I smash the blown egg against my leg with my left hand and immediately have a look of horror on my face. I look down at my leg - I shake my leg - and then I start pulling pieces of the shell out of my pocket as I shake my head.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch
One of the three perverse magic routines in George Blake's Comedy Magic is his Perverse Egg Bag (page 11). I posted a Perverse Egg Bag routine on the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on March 9, 2003. Here it is:

The Perverse Egg Bag Routine

This was one of the first effects I've used to express "Perverse Magic". It is a strong routine for audiences of children.

The only preparation is having a "blown egg" - which is an egg that has the insides "blown out". I make a hole in each end with a pin, shake up the egg and then blow out the contents. I let water run into the hole, shake the egg again, blow out the water and allow the shell to dry.

The blown egg is put into my left pants pocket. I put a small horn or "kazoo" in my right pants pocket and I use a standard egg bag and a hard boiled egg.

Here's the routine:

1 I show the egg, put it into the bag with my right hand (the pocket) and make a suspicious move as I put my closed right hand into my right trouser pocket.

2 "I know you think the egg went into my pocket - nope." And I reach in and take out the horn and blow it. "The egg is back in the bag." I let the egg fall from the pocket and back into the bag and produce it.

(Note that this sequence is not perverse - that's OK - it comes now.)

3 "Let me show you how it's done." I say this as I again take the egg and put it into the bag (the pocket)

"What I do is pretend to put the egg in the bag but I really keep it in my hand and put it under my arm."

I pretend to put the egg - which is in the pocket of the bag - under my left arm.

"I can then show the bag inside out showing the egg has vanished and whenever I want the egg I just reach under my arm----"

I put my right hand under my left arm, lift my left arm expecting the egg to drop into my right hand and when nothing falls I look confused. I then consult a book on my table.

(Note that it's me that's surprised - I don't make any spectator a sucker.)

 

(I got the idea of looking in a book from Roy Benson - who was my hero when I was starting out in magic.)

I then start looking for the egg and find it (the blown egg) in my left pants pocket. I scratch my head - very confused.

4 "Well, I'll show you one of the best possible tricks with the egg and the bag. I'm going to put the egg back into my pocket, make it vanish from my pocket and appear back in the bag."

I put the blown egg back into my left pants pocket and hold the egg bag in my right hand with the right hand extended to the right.

"At the count of 3 - 1 - 2- 3---" and at the count of 3 I smash the blown egg against my leg with my left hand and immediately have a look of horror on my face. I look down at my leg - I shake my leg - and then I start pulling pieces of the shell out of my pocket as I shake my head.



Jerry, I've never learned an egg bag routine, but this sure sounds fun!

Thanks for sharing this with us [smile]

Rudy

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #21 
RUDY WROTE: Jerry, I've never learned an egg bag routine, but this sure sounds fun!"

Rudy, I have never regretted buying my Malini egg bag and putting together a routine. It was after I saw a Danny Tong lecture in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida circa 1994. It creates far more laughter and fun, and receives far more of a reaction (especially from ADULTS) than I ever dreamed it would!  People love it. Talk about packing small and playing big - and it's not a card trick.  Don't get me wrong, I love cards as much as the next guy, but Lord knows most of us have more than enough of them.  Great for close-up or stand-up, and great visibility because of the striking contrast between the black bag and white egg.

You can really milk it for audience 
participation (I often use two spectator volunteer "assistants," but at least one). My routine is substantially longer than George Blake's/Gerald's, with a lot of light hearted interplay with the audience.  Unlike Gerry, I do not break the blown egg (intentionally, anyway), as they take some time and patience to make. I use a rubber syringe (available at any drug store) to suck the insides out after making a good size pin hole in one end. Amazingly, I still have two blown eggs that I made almost 20 years ago!

Before each vanish, the assistant can confirm that they feel the egg in the bag. After each vanish, the assistant can reach into the bag to prove it's "empty," and then "do the magic" to reproduce the egg by finding it themselves in what was the "empty" bag.

During the routine, I do a gag where I slam my hand against the trouser pocket where I apparently snuck the egg, and then pull a gag rubber fried egg out, sunny side up, looking, worried and, as Gerry might say, "confused."  My final load is a rubber chicken, my "secret assistant" who was "working behind the scenes" inside the bag the whole time, as I quip that I am still not sure what the answer is to the age-old question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I love the egg bag, and I could go on and on about it - but alas, I have already gone on more than long enough...
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Deckster

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Reply with quote  #22 

Here's a really good example Gerald Deutsch, posted by Bruce Sinclair on the Academy page today.

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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #23 
This is Fred Kaps at his best.

I posted this Homing Card effect on the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on January 1, 2006.
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #24 

Perverse Magic lets you do just one trick.

 

One of the benefits of performing Perverse magic is that you can control how long you perform. Sometimes just one effect is enough. You’re not performing magic – something just happens but you don’t understand why.

 

I did this tonight at dinner with some friends.

 

The waitress took our order and then I performed “Oh You Have One Of These Pens!” (which is posted in the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on November 1, 2014).

 

I had a quarter Classic Palmed in my right hand and I took her pen. I pulled off the cap and held it in my right hand and shook it and let the quarter fall to the table and I gave her back her pen.

 

It was enough. There was no need to do more. Everyone was entertained. And I wasn’t the big shot as I didn’t understand how it happened. I just left the quarter on the table.

 

Later, after the meal the waitress gave us the check and she saw the quarter and quipped, “Oh, there’s the quarter that came out of my pen.

 

“Oh, that’s right,” I said as I took the quarter in my left hand and took her pen in my right.

 

I performed Slydini’s Revolve Vanish as I pushed the pen into my left hand, opened my hand to show no more quarter and gave her the pen. Again, it wasn’t me doing magic I just didn’t really understand how the quarter comes out of and goes into the pen.

 

Again, there was no reason to have to do more. It was just enough. So many magicians don’t know when to stop but doing just a bit of Perverse Magic always leaves them wanting more and not forgetting what you’ve done.

 

 

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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #25 

Perverse Salt and Pepper

 

Several weeks ago, in The Session Room of this forum I published Salt and Pepper where salt sprinkled on a quarter makes it vanish and pepper makes in reappear.

 

This can be an interesting candidate for an entertaining presentation of Perverse Magic.

 

1          “ I learned a new trick today,” the young man says to his date. “But I really don’t understand it.”

 

2          She smiles at him. “Show me.”

 

3          ” Okay, I’ll try. Do you have– I mean – Can I borrow a quarter?”

 

4          She smiles, reaches into her purse, takes out a quarter and gives it to him.

 

5          He takes the quarter and sprinkle salt on it and –it vanishes.

 

6          “Wow! I guess it works with salt. “Do you want an invisible quarter? Or should I try to make it visible?”

 

7          Smiling, she says, “Make it visible.”

 

8          “Okay – I don’t understand this but I’ll try. I’m supposed to sprinkle pepper on it –.” He does and the quarter reappears. “Wow! It does work. Here’s your quarter back. I wish I could understand how this happens.”

 

9          Smiling, she puts the quarter back into her purse.

 

Perverse Magic can take various forms and in the Perverse Magic thread on the Genii

 Forum I listed six categories’ of Perverse Magic (December 1, 2005)  , the sixth being

 “Performer explains something that will happen but he doesn’t understand why it

 happens.”

 

That’s what’s described above. Instead of the magician saying “look how good I am” he

 is saying, “ I learned a new trick today but I really don’t understand it.”

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Magic-Aly

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Reply with quote  #26 
@ Gerald Deutsch: "Again, there was no reason to have to do more. It was just enough. So many magicians don’t know when to stop but doing just a bit of Perverse Magic always leaves them wanting more and not forgetting what you’ve done...Instead of the magician saying 'look how good I am' he is saying,  'I learned a new trick today but I really don’t understand it.'”

I have learned a lot from you Gerald, thank you very much!
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JustChico

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch

Perverse Salt and Pepper

 

Several weeks ago, in The Session Room of this forum I published Salt and Pepper where salt sprinkled on a quarter makes it vanish and pepper makes in reappear.

 



Good stuff. Right up my alley. I gotta get in to that session room!


On a different note, it seems like a lot of Charlie Frye's stuff could possibly be classified as Perverse Magic, as well...or at least adapted to it.

I actually Googled Perverse Magic before discovering this thread because the name is not very descriptive. That's when I got a "right up my alley" vibe. I do a lot of performances for kids, so, I'll be sure to keep an eye out and throw in some PM in the future. I may have already done it but just didn't know at the time that I was doing it.

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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #28 

As you know I've noted that I had been posting about Perverse Magic on the Genii Forum for a number of years and now those postings have been put into a book which is being sold by Lulu - if anyone one is interested.

 

 http://www.lulu.com/shop/gerald-deutsch/gerald-deutschs-perverse-magic-the-first-sixteen-years/hardcover/product-23935173.html

Edited to add live link.  Av

 




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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #29 
Romain, The Monarch of Manipulation was a student of slydini and cardini.  He did a fantastic manip act as a drunk and all this stuff would happen around him and his reactions were brilliant.  I'm thinking that would be an example of  'perverse magic'
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmat
Romain, The Monarch of Manipulation was a student of slydini and cardini.  He did a fantastic manip act as a drunk and all this stuff would happen around him and his reactions were brilliant.  I'm thinking that would be an example of  'perverse magic'


This certainly is Perverse Magic! As a matter of face, Cardini's act, where fans of cards and cigarettes appeared in his hands surprising him is a great example of Perverse Magic.

I had been a student of Slydini for a number of years and fooled him with Perverse Magic.

As I explain on page 278 of the new book:


Perverse Sugar 3  

 

 

What I would like to do when I visited Slydini would be to show him “something” and treasure his comments or suggestions. When I did this effect for Slydini, presented as Perverse magic, he laughed. I knew I had fooled him – and more important – entertained him (which we should all remember is the purpose of magic.)

 

Effect

 

The magician drops a sugar packet into an ashtray and announces the he’s going to make the sugar vanish.

 

He covers the ashtray and the sugar packet with both hands and says, “Watch!”

 

When he removes his hands – the sugar packet is still there – but the ashtray had vanished. “Damn! I did something wrong!”

 




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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #31 
Mr. Deutsch, I'm so pleased that I will now be able to have all of your perverse contributions in one book. I've been hoping for this for quite a while. I will be purchasing this. Your effects are amongst my favorites I've ever encountered.
Thankyou sir.
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #32 
As an old guy that considers it a moral crime to pay full retail for anything, I did find a Lulu coupon for free shipping readily available. My copy should be here Monday. I'm looking forward to it.

On another matter - I've been following Jerry's stuff on Genii since the beginning. I've always wondered if his stuff wasn't ignored or trivialized by the choice of "Perverse". I think darn few people actually could correctly define the word and a fair number confuse it with "perverted". His material - his choice. Maybe he could comment.

In any case, it's good stuff and worth a spot on your bookshelf.

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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #33 
As noted in the April 1, 2015 posting to the column and the book, it was Charles Waller that used the term Perverse Magic in his book Up His Sleeve and I learned this by reading Dariel Fitzkee's book Showmanship For Magicians.
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Reply with quote  #34 
GD-

I ordered your book and the more I hear about it the more I am just itching to dig in.

Your approach is really different both as a performer and a teacher!  I love it!

I have always envisioned my "persona" as a crotchety old man who is so absorbed with the declared effect that he can't see the miracles in front of his eyes.  My "signature" effect is called "pie jacked" where the magi declares he will make a rabbit appear out of his hat... In effect a pie scissor jacks out of the hat and nails the magi in the face. The gag is the rabbit is on strike and wants equal pay.  I am about half way there on a working proto-type.  LOL

-misj-
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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #35 
I just learned that MUM has reviewed "Gerald Deutsch's Perverse Magic: The First Sixteen Years".

MUM should be in the mail to SAM members.
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #36 
I am constantly going back to this book.
It truly is one of the best books on close-up magic.
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MagicTK

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch

Perverse Magic lets you do just one trick.

 

One of the benefits of performing Perverse magic is that you can control how long you perform. Sometimes just one effect is enough. You’re not performing magic – something just happens but you don’t understand why.

The waitress took our order and then I performed “Oh You Have One Of These Pens!” (which is posted in the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on November 1, 2014).

I had a quarter Classic Palmed in my right hand and I took her pen. I pulled off the cap and held it in my right hand and shook it and let the quarter fall to the table and I gave her back her pen.

It was enough. There was no need to do more. Everyone was entertained.



I love doing this with a pen like you described, or I borrow a bill or have someone hand me one of the small bar napkins (they can pick which one).  Then I fold the bill or napkin not knowing what will happen next, then suddenly a silver dollar falls out.  I act like I have no idea how it happened (because I was going to show something about folding).  I also like doing this with short sleeves to strengthen the mystery.  It's just enough to give them a magical moment.  Totally unexpected.  I never mention magic or say "let me show you a quick magic routine".  It just happens and no one knows how or why.

Tom
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Steven Youell

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Deutsch
“Charles Waller devotes a section in his ‘Up His Sleeve’ to what he calls ‘Perverse Magic’. This is simply loss of control of the objects with which he is working to the extent the objects do what they please regardless of the performer.”

Perverse Magic is not magic that goes wrong but magic that happens by itself against what the magician wants or expects to happen.



This sounds sort of like Cardini's famous stage act.


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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #39 
As you guys can tell by now, I love Mr. Deutsch's Perverse Magic contributions, and now that they are in a hardbound book, I have them all at my disposal whenever I want (yes, books are best).
I recently saw the value of Spectator Cuts to Three's- (01-Sept.- 2009) for performing spectator cuts the aces for a child. I cut to the four aces from a shuffled pack and however the child reacts , I say, would you like to try? The child cuts the pack into 4 piles and turns up the top card of one to find a three- she seems a tad disappointed, but turning up the others reveals the rest of the threes. A four of a kind! Well done!
The reaction was that of a sort of Sorcerers Apprentice- she performed real magic for the first time and she said to me that maybe she just needed to work on her finger snap a bit more. And there was no disappointment that she didnt get the aces. On the contrary, she was delighted with her threes.
Now this isnt Perverse magic, but the routine inspired me to create something new.
I love this book more and more every day.
Thankyou Mr. Deutsch.
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #40 
This is unquestionably one of my favourite books on closeup magic ever. And I doubt there is a book with more high quality close up in a single volume. 
Martin Gardners Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic may be the exception- maybe not. 
Working through this book is like an education in closeup magic in that so many of the author's creations are perverse handlings and presentations of many of the most revered plots and routines in history with full credit to the originators. The author also has much of his own original material in these pages as well. 
The more I work through this book , the more I see its value. The closer it stays to me. 
If you want a large volume with endless, quality, closeup magic effects with everyday objects, many of them impromptu, all of them magical, that you will really use in everyday scenarios, get this book
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicfish
This is unquestionably one of my favourite books on closeup magic ever. And I doubt there is a book with more high quality close up in a single volume. 
Martin Gardners Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic may be the exception- maybe not. 
Working through this book is like an education in closeup magic in that so many of the author's creations are perverse handlings and presentations of many of the most revered plots and routines in history with full credit to the originators. The author also has much of his own original material in these pages as well. 
The more I work through this book , the more I see its value. The closer it stays to me. 
If you want a large volume with endless, quality, closeup magic effects with everyday objects, many of them impromptu, all of them magical, that you will really use in everyday scenarios, get this book


I had the opportunity to talk with Jerry this afternoon. He is a good man. The fact that he agreed to publish this book and donate all the profit to charity demonstrates a humility and generosity that is rarely seen.

I'm glad to hear that his book is getting such great reviews. He deserves it.

Thanks for sharing your appreciation of his work, magicfish!

Rudy

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DJ

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Reply with quote  #42 
For the material in the book that does not involve playing cards, can someone with no experience outside of card magic be able to learn/perform it?
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Youell


This sounds sort of like Cardini's famous stage act.


Steven, you are right.  Cardini's act consisted of his character walking onstage in a jaunty manner, probably slightly inebriated and then "things just happened to him".  In fact, when cigarettes keep appearing he is dumbfounded and then annoyed.  Same with cards, billiard balls, etc.  It was a wonderful character and theme.  One of his billiard ball steals was set up to occur when his monocle falls out of his eye as he expresses surprise.  The ribbon to which the monocle was attached was the perfect length to end right at the bottom of his vest.  He would reach down, grab the eyeglass and then retrieve a ball.  Of course he reached down without looking.  Looking would focus attention on the action whereas if his focus was on the other hand, the audience looked there also.  Beautiful construction.

On a related note, my mother's doctor, now passed on, said he say Cardini live back in the 1940's.  He said it was the most magical performance he had ever seen.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
For the material in the book that does not involve playing cards, can someone with no experience outside of card magic be able to learn/perform it?


DJ, I take your question to mean are there complicated sleights, etc. that perhaps you haven't attained yet that involve coins, balls or other objects.  

I'm sure there is a load of material that will be accessible to you with little effort.  Besides, it helps to know some non-card magic for the occasions where you want to do something but there are no cards handy.

So take this as my encouragement to try!
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #45 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


I take your question to mean are there complicated sleights, etc. that perhaps you haven't attained yet that involve coins, balls or other objects.  



You are right RayJ.  My only knowledge with magic so far is with playing cards but I think it would be cool to learn to use everyday items.  The book sounds interesting but I am not sure what kind of skill would be necessary to pull off the non-card items. 

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ


You are right RayJ.  My only knowledge with magic so far is with playing cards but I think it would be cool to learn to use everyday items.  The book sounds interesting but I am not sure what kind of skill would be necessary to pull off the non-card items. 


The good thing is you have a bunch of folks here willing to help and Gerry himself in the forum!  No reason to not give it a shot.  Good luck!
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misjief

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Reply with quote  #47 
I owe RUDY one for recommending it and JERRY two or three for writing it....

I have not been able to dig into as much as I would like to with the new job and all but it strikes me as a easy read that will continually teach you something each time you pick it up it.

I bought it to help a charity and found it to be one of my all time favorites!

Thanks!

-misj-

PS Congrats on the rave reviews, Jerry! You deserve it!
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magicfish

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Reply with quote  #48 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ


You are right RayJ.  My only knowledge with magic so far is with playing cards but I think it would be cool to learn to use everyday items.  The book sounds interesting but I am not sure what kind of skill would be necessary to pull off the non-card items. 

The non card items require knowledge of closeup sleight of hand .
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #49 
Thank you magicfish
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