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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #1 
Normally there is a trend towards judging the quality of a magical effect by the way spectators react. However this is not always an effective way to judge how good a magical effect is.
What do you think?

Along my beginnings I thought that a bad reaction implied a poor trick or a poor performance. Nevertheless, as I was getting certain experience, I noticed that the personality of the spectators themselves made it not a very effective way to judge neither a magical effect not a performance or presentation:

On a certain occasion I perform Marlo's "Devilish Miracle" with almost no reaction; people just smiled and said "nice." So, I thought that my presentation or performance was poor. I felt disappointed with myself. However I disagreed with that reaction! I didn't understand how was it possible a trick like that along with my passional presentaion to be so null in reactions. So, days later I tried exactly the same trick and presentation for another people... and the reaction was great! They were really astonished.

So, I noticed that we can't judge the quality of a magic effect just by the reaction of some spectators. Instead of that it would be necessary to try it several times before judge a trick or a performance.

"The customer is always right" but there are many customers!

How do you feel when you perform a good magic trick and there is almost no reaction?

Do you think there is something wrong with the trick, with your performance or with the spectators...?



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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #2 
I’ll answer that as a spectator. Over in the Session Room I watched an amazing presentation of a paradox effect by Michael b. I should say he wasn’t really intending to perform, but was seeking technical advice. So maybe a true performance would have been different. But he did do the trick. And I just totally didn’t get it. It was beautifully done; I watched it over and over. Absolutely no fault of the performer. I just flat out didn’t get it. So no, a bad or missing or confused reaction does not necessarily mean a bad trick.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #3 
Stanley, maybe the trick just didn't fit your personality.

I mean that maybe it wasn't the kind of trick that you would select for your personal repertoire.

This point of you encourages me to analyse and list the different reasons why a spectator wouldn't react to a great trick and performance (your personal case would fit the fourth one):

1- Shyness: the spectator is really amazed, but he/she may feel kind of embarrassed if expressing it too eagerly. 

2- The spectator is a calm person by nature, so he/she don't react strongly to "anything."

3- The spectator is used to seeing YOUR great magic, so he/she just omit the reaction part.

4- The effect is very good and feel amazed, but don't delight him/her just because don't like particulary or don't quite understand it. For instance, a great Poker demonstration for spectator that are not interested in Poker or even don't know anything about Poker.

5- The spectator hates feel fooled, so don't react even he/she is astonished. 

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
Paco, as you point out, different people have different reactions.  Sometimes pure astonishment is very quiet.  The person might look very confused, like their mind is in high gear but their expression is benign.  So it is hard to judge sometimes by outward appearances.

What bugs me is the videos you see where the people are yelling, screaming and carrying on.  You know they are hamming it up for the camera.  And I guess that's OK, just not very realistic.  I'm not saying that magic "in the real world" cannot generate the same reactions, but a lot of what I see in the advertising is over the top.
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TheAmazingStanley

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paco Nagata
Stanley, maybe the trick just didn't fit your personality.

I mean that maybe it wasn't the kind of trick that you would select for your personal repertoire.

This point of you encourages me to analyse and list the different reasons why a spectator wouldn't react to a great trick and performance (your personal case would fit the fourth one):

1- Shyness: the spectator is really amazed, but he/she may feel kind of embarrassed if expressing it too eagerly. 

2- The spectator is a calm person by nature, so he/she don't react strongly to "anything."

3- The spectator is used to seeing YOUR great magic, so he/she just omit the reaction part.

4- The effect is very good and feel amazed, but don't delight him/her just because don't like particulary or don't quite understand it. For instance, a great Poker demonstration for spectator that are not interested in Poker or even don't know anything about Poker.

5- The spectator hates feel fooled, so don't react even he/she is astonished. 


Interesting analysis and question whether my personality does not mesh with this trick. I will say that I like paradoxes. So I started thinking about other paradoxes such as those that popped up in set theory in the early 20th century. And what is relevant here is that mathematicians did not go mad. Rather, they found an out. They created axioms to avoid these paradoxes.

So, knowing little about them, I would think “paradox effects” have impact because there is no out. Is that right? Even allowing for real magic, it’s impossible yet there it is. So in this particular trick, perhaps part of the reason it didn’t send my brain into warp speed is that it’s like the set theory paradoxes: there’s an out. In this case, a transposition. My brain cannot conceive under any circumstances that my card was between the jacks the whole time. Even given supernatural powers, there’s no way. But there it is. So I have two choices: go mad or find an out. And there is an out: my card magically changed places with the mystery card.

So I’m not trapped.

But here I am am still talking about it so it must have had some effect. It was really well presented too, even if he was only asking for palming advice.

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