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RayJ

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We've had a few topics which have touched on technology and magic.  There have been interesting developments recently as smart phones have become ubiquitous.  

So I got to thinking about technology and magic and how it influences what is possible.

On the one hand, it is clear that electronics have the potential for enhancing magic but has it really?  How many effects do you currently do that require electricity?  How many have you at least seen?   Marvyn Roy had his famous Mr. Electric act of course, but in general did electricity really add much to magic?  

Projectors have been used effectively to create wonderful illusions.  Multimedia effects can enhance performances and help to create "moods".  But has the existing technology really enhanced modern performances?  I guess you have to include TV monitors that allow close-up effects to be seen by theater audiences as part of the impact of technology.

Now we come to the current crop of smart phone illusions.  They range from prediction effects to transforming photos into 3-D objects and more.  Some really cool effects are possible.

If you are so inclined you can print your own gaffed cards at home.  There is a magician offering a free program to assist you in the design process.  This has led to numerous new ideas for gaffs heretofore unseen.

So technology has led to innovation.  The next question to me is will it begin to fade?

My daughter showed me an app a few years ago where you take a photo such as a selfie and you manipulate it by changing the shape of the face or faces and create "fun house mirror" images.  Or you can add bunny ears, dog faces, etc. to the photo and create a person/animal hybrid.  Fun to play around with.  In fact it is almost magical.  

That is when I began to wonder if there is a point to be reached where the magic apps will be somewhat passe' because it is understood that they are just technology and that technology can create any number of outcomes or effects.  Perhaps effects that marry standard technique with technology stand a better chance?  Blending familiar effects with technology to enhance the illusion and maximize entertainment value.

I also don't want to forget that technology has led to the wonderful opportunity that we all have to share out thoughts on magic on this forum.  We can also interact in the Saturday Sessions thanks to technology.  We can video routines and upload them to Vimeo or Youtube as well.  Or we can just record ourselves and use it to critique our performances.

Certainly all of the above have impacted magic.

Where do you see it all heading?  Will smart phone tricks continue to grow?  Will they fizzle out?  Will anyone be amazed when there are so many amazing things they can do anyway?




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Mike Powers

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Here's a quick related story: I performed the Kenner rising card trick using an iPhone. It's from Dan and Dave. Great app BTW.

Someone told me their favorite card. I handed them the phone for them to launch the app. A deck appears in a hand on the screen They shake the phone back and forth and the card they named rises out of the deck. Very cool!

She says, "Oh - the phone heard me name the card." 

Interestingly, that's not the method. That's much more difficult than the actual method. But, the trick died right there.

Now I either peek or use a mem deck etc to gain the knowledge of their card. So far no one has said, "You coded the name of the card somehow..."

People can now ascribe a high tech method to explain what they're seeing. When DC did his flying thing, I heard someone explain it as "magnets." Any engineer or scientist would know that that couldn't be the method. But for this guy, he had explained the trick.

In the new Spider-Man movie a coordinated group of drones use holograms to create a completely fake image of what's going on. When will that become a viable explanation for certain magic effects?

But when you say, "You named a card. You named a number. Now count down to that number...." magic will still be happening.

Mike
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RayJ

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Mike, thanks for sharing that story.  Very interesting.  So even though she was wrong, the bubble was burst for her.  In the old days folks would just assume there were mirrors or trap doors involved.

So sounds like you agree that blending methods and using technology to enhance the magic rather than BE the magic is probably the best way forward?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers


But when you say, "You named a card. You named a number. Now count down to that number...." magic will still be happening.

Mike


Amen to that...

Maybe I'm jaded on the Smart Phone stuff because I've been writing software since 1967, but I'm just not interested.

I think it's safe to say that any developer that sees a magician pull out a smart phone to do *something* in the course of a trick will immediately assume the phone had something to do with the 'magic'.



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RayJ

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Good feedback Dave.  Do you rely on ANY technology in your performances?  Even simple electricity?  A battery-operated device?
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Buffalo McKinley

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I've worked in technology for over 20 years.

I have no idea where technology and magic are going, but what I love about sleight-of-hand and playing the acoustic guitar is there is no technology.

We need to find a balance in our lives.  The all day, every day, mobile phone obsession can't be good.

I think there will be a technology counter-revolution, followed by a healthy balance between technology and living un-plugged.

I still find many technological advances simply magical.  I doubt I'll ever take GPS for granted.

But, sleight-of-hand is like jeans and a t-shirt.  It will always be cool (like The Fonz) and is never going out of style.

Excuse me while I get back to churning my butter.

-Buffalo

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Dave Campbell

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Good one, Buffalo -- cracked up at the 'churning my butter' line!
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Dave Campbell

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ
Good feedback Dave.  Do you rely on ANY technology in your performances?  Even simple electricity?  A battery-operated device?


I've rewritten this a couple times -- tried to REALLY answer.

Ray..

I see the extrapolation of your question... will the use of smart phones in magic become as common as, say, battery operated devices...

Considering that the phone that a person has in their pocket has more power and capability than the PC I was producing shrink-wrapped software on let's say 15 years ago, I don't know.

With all the crazy apps that are out there, and all the people using all of them, they're getting pretty used to VR and things like real-time text or voice translation. Even 'the man on the street' knows about all that, so I'd think the average smart phone user would think someone like me could do most anything with an app.

Or maybe it's just me, KNOWING that someone could do most anything with an app.

That "The Stranger" effect -- I've had a thorough explanation of the how and why of that by the author -- the spectator actually can call on their own phone -- it's not strictly an app -- but then it IS using a phone, and maybe some of the smart boys will come up with more things like that.

If someone pulls a smart phone out and hands it to me to do *something* in the course of doing a magic trick --- the entire lock screen, what shows up next, all the way through could all be an app that is running. I had one of the first Windows computers in the company 'back in the day' … and I was writing Windows software. I had people screwing around with it while I was away from my desk, so I wrote an app that looked like my screen, but when touched, would put up a message saying I wasn't around, when I may be back, and let them leave me a message... and that was with much less technology than you have on your smart phone.

I found out really fast that showing a magic trick to someone at an Engineering office was a bad idea -- very few viewed it as something 'magical' -- the majority viewed it as a puzzle to be solved. And if that puzzle included a cell phone -- I'm sure their antenna would be up.

My guess is it'll become a niche market -- we have lots of those in magic-dom, but I think for a large segment of this technology-aware society, pulling a folded card with their signature on it out of an unexpected location, for example,  is going to trump the technology. AND - they can take that card as a souvenir.

Or maybe I'm just too jaded by technology and have drifted down into old fartery.

Oh look... it's time for my morning nap!


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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #9 
I can't imagine when someone whips out a phone and does magic, a spectator isn't thinking app.  I was with a friend one time and a magic buddy showed him phone magic, my friend did the ohh's and ahh's and when my magic buddy left, the first thing he asked is what app it was. 
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Intensely Magic

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I found out really fast that showing a magic trick to someone at an Engineering office was a bad idea -- very few viewed it as something 'magical' -- the majority viewed it as a puzzle to be solved. And if that puzzle included a cell phone -- I'm sure their antenna would be up.

My guess is it'll become a niche market -- we have lots of those in magic-dom, but I think for a large segment of this technology-aware society, pulling a folded card with their signature on it out of an unexpected location, for example,  is going to trump the technology. AND - they can take that card as a souvenir.

Or maybe I'm just too jaded by technology and have drifted down into old fartery.

Oh look... it's time for my morning nap!



Engineers make the absolutely worst audience. The best you can do is a good puzzle like Bannon’s “View To A Skill”

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #11 
There are some cool phone tricks that use the spectator's phone. Inject is such an item. Very cool method. 

Shawn Farquhar had a great idea for an old calculator trick where you take a spec's iphone that's locked and say that you can figure out the code. You fail at that but when the spec unlocks the phone you have her do some random multiplying and dividing etc on the calculator. The answer ends up being a predicted number or a phone number that leads to something cool etc. 

When it's their phone, the thought of "APP" should evAPorate. 


Mike
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers


When it's their phone, the thought of "APP" should evAPorate. 


Mike


I agree with that one

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Axel

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Reply with quote  #13 
Great discussion here my friends, thank you Ray for bringing this up!

Ran Pink has a fantastic approach, he takes out his cell phone mentions a cool new App, asks them some questions, he apparently types in the answers and then he reads their minds, telling them a name from their past etc... as a kicker he shows that he has no App and he has not even a cell phone, it is just the case/wallet of a cell phone...I really like this!

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Nate Smith

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It seems like technology has always aided magic and Magic has been a major source of innovation in technology. But the technology that works best in magic is the technology that the audience never sees. So if a smartphone is involved, and we all know just how much a smartphone can do, then the audience will probably just conclude, “oh it’s just an app that does that.”

So I think the key to moving forward with magic and technology is to keep the technology hidden, or in the case of a smartphone have the magic do something we all know can’t be done (i.e. have a physical object pop out of the screen).
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel
Great discussion here my friends, thank you Ray for bringing this up!

Ran Pink has a fantastic approach, he takes out his cell phone mentions a cool new App, asks them some questions, he apparently types in the answers and then he reads their minds, telling them a name from their past etc... as a kicker he shows that he has no App and he has not even a cell phone, it is just the case/wallet of a cell phone...I really like this!

Axel


Now that is an intriguing presentation.  I'll have to mull that one over a while but it really made me stop and think.  Thanks for sharing.
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RayJ

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I didn't mean for this to become narrowly focused on smart phones and associated apps.  Feel free to broaden the technology discussion to include anything else that you feel fits the description of technology.

Also, I've already had two takeaways.  Mike Powers's comments about weaving technology (my words) into your magic rather than having the technology be the focus.  The second is the Nate Smith admonition about hiding the technology.  I think that certainly is worthy of more thought.  

Good discussion!
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DJ

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Reply with quote  #17 
Here is a performance I posted in another thread that combined magic and technology.  This might be something we see more of down the road...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=G4hmELQSr70

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Nate Smith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
Here is a performance I posted in another thread that combined magic and technology.  This might be something we see more of down the road...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=G4hmELQSr70


Wow. So uh...can you get that in a magic shop or...?
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DJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Smith


Wow. So uh...can you get that in a magic shop or...?

Imagine that demo

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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
Here is a performance I posted in another thread that combined magic and technology.  This might be something we see more of down the road...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=G4hmELQSr70


DJ, thanks for sharing that. It says it was from 2016 and I had never heard of him so I guess I've been under a rock. I don't watch those types of shows typically.

I have a bunch of reactions to the act but will keep them to myself for the most part. Sort of reminded me of the black art experimentation in magic. Some of the manipulation, cards especially, was obscured by the darkness and images. Maybe live was better?

That was certainly a weaving of technology and standard tricks. Technology being video/visual effects that weren't easily accomplished years ago.

Nice contribution to the discussion.
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intensely Magic

I found out really fast that showing a magic trick to someone at an Engineering office was a bad idea -- very few viewed it as something 'magical' -- the majority viewed it as a puzzle to be solved. And if that puzzle included a cell phone -- I'm sure their antenna would be up.

My guess is it'll become a niche market -- we have lots of those in magic-dom, but I think for a large segment of this technology-aware society, pulling a folded card with their signature on it out of an unexpected location, for example,  is going to trump the technology. AND - they can take that card as a souvenir.

Or maybe I'm just too jaded by technology and have drifted down into old fartery.

Oh look... it's time for my morning nap!



Engineers make the absolutely worst audience. The best you can do is a good puzzle like Bannon’s “View To A Skill”

I agree about engineers. I have interaction with structural engineers on a regular basis. Many I would describe as not good subjects for magic.

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Nate Smith

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Engineers make the absolutely worst audience. The best you can do is a good puzzle like Bannon’s “View To A Skill”


I agree about engineers. I have interaction with structural engineers on a regular basis. Many I would describe as not good subjects for magic.



I’m going to ask a naive question because I’m still very new to magic and don’t yet perform it for real audiences. But as a comedian, I have always been compelled to win over any type of audience and have even relished the challenge of that tough to crack audience type.

So with magic, is there a way to serve the engineers in the audience? For instance, engineers love good structure and how things work. Is there a way to give them a glimpse of the beautifully simple structure of some effects so that they can appreciate the architecture of the trick?

OR...can they be convinced/manipulated/browbeaten into taking off their engineering cap for a moment so that they can enjoy the magic?


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #23 
Great question Nate. I admire you not wanting to leave anyone out. The engineers I've known closely are an interesting breed. They aren't the life of the party. Don't get me wrong, I like them but they are pretty dry for the most part. There are exceptions. Part of the issue might be their unwillingness to accept being fooled. They think they should be able to figure anything out.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffalo McKinley
I've worked in technology for over 20 years.

I have no idea where technology and magic are going, but what I love about sleight-of-hand and playing the acoustic guitar is there is no technology.

We need to find a balance in our lives.  The all day, every day, mobile phone obsession can't be good.

I think there will be a technology counter-revolution, followed by a healthy balance between technology and living un-plugged.

I still find many technological advances simply magical.  I doubt I'll ever take GPS for granted.

But, sleight-of-hand is like jeans and a t-shirt.  It will always be cool (like The Fonz) and is never going out of style.

Excuse me while I get back to churning my butter.

-Buffalo



Buffalo, thanks for the laugh!  But you are actually on to something.  There is a movement, whether large or small to go back to more traditional ways.  For example, I have been wet shaving for several years now.  Many have not heard the term wet shaving, so let me explain.  This has nothing to do with magic, but it does have to do with technology, so I digress.  As a young man, I was taught to go out and buy a disposable razor and a can of shaving cream and to go for it.  My father wasn't an authority on shaving and I don't remember him ever telling me anything specific.  The man had almost no facial hair!  It was remarkable how little his beard grew.  So I learned on my own.  I hated shaving most of my life.  It was just a necessary chore.  I have to shave daily to be presentable, unlike my dad.

I was in my 50's before I found out there are alternatives.  Sure I had seen old movies with guys mixing soap in a mug but I figured that was obsolete.  I was used to seeing two choices in the store, gel and cream, in a can.

I happened to stumble upon a website where they discussed wet shaving.  The practitioners were absolutely passionate about it.  The process is that you shower to soften your beard then shave with soap that is made specifically for shaving.  The lather from the soap is made by using a shaving brush.  The brush can be Badger bristles, boar bristles or even horse hair.  If you don't like animal products or want the convenience for travel, then there is also a synthetic brush available.  Seems there are hot debates about which type of brush is best.  Anyways, you mix the soap either directly onto your face or in a bowl or mug.  The soaps create a rich lather and smell wonderful.  Most companies offer a dozen or more scents.  Literally something for everyone.

The razors I use are "old-fashioned" DE blade razors and tend to come in two, or three pieces and are made to last.  they can be cheap or very expensive but if cared for will last a lifetime. The only thing you replace are the double-edged blades, which are quite cheap compared to cartridges.

So why am I explaining this?  Because if you go into your local Target or Walmart you will find that there is a resurgence of wet shaving going on.  And because due to the change in razors and soaps I actually enjoy shaving now.

You will find soaps and mugs and razors and blades.  This was not the case just a few years ago.  You will also find hard soaps, creamy soaps and soaps in a tube.  Not just the gels and creams in a can that they used to sell.

There are companies that specialize in wet shaving and carry much better soaps than you'll buy at Target, and they have nearly limitless scents to choose from.

So there is a movement back to the way things were done in my fathers and grandfathers day.  Straight razors are also experiencing a resurgence.  I don't have the nerve to buy a cut throat razor, but my DE razors, once you get used to them, perform as good or better than cartridge razors.

So far, the big shaving companies, Schick and Gillette, are not jumping on the bandwagon for obvious reasons.  They make a fortune on cartridges at around $4 to $5 a pop so why
promote DE blades at $1.25 for a 5-pack?  Gillette does make DE blades, but you typically don't see them in department stores.

Anyways, your "churning butter" comment is on the money.  While I doubt Bed Bath & Beyond will be featuring butter churns in their catalogs anytime soon, there is definitely a harkening back to the past in some quarters.  I might even write a letter later this week!


Butter Churner - Vermont Country Store

P.S.  If anyone wants to know more about wet shaving and some of the products that I have good experience with, hit me up with a PM.  I've prattled on about it long enough.


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Bill Guinee

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Reply with quote  #25 
The main problem with using visible advanced technology in a trick is that the audience has already accepted a couple of ideas. First, they have accepted the reality that they don't understand how this device works and that it can do a lot of stuff they aren't aware of. Secondly, they have accepted that the explanations for what it can do are entirely mundane even if complicated. So even if I don't understand exactly how electricity works, I am not astonished when I flip the switch and the light turns on. And if I go into someone else's house with them and they say "On" and the lights turn on, I am not amazed. I might think it is cool, but I am not amazed. And if I go into someone else's house and the lights just turn on, I am not amazed - I just assume that, in addition to electricity, there is another principle, some kind of movement detector (which I also don't understand but accept as mundane) happening. For the same reason, someone disappearing in a film does not amaze me. I have the words "trick photography" instead of "electricity" to call into play. So, the problem is not that I understand, but that with technology, I have already accepted my lack of understanding with an assumption that the phenomena are totally mundane, and I have given it an easy label such as magnetism, electricity, or app - none of which I really understand but none of which produces delight or amazement.
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Nate Smith

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Guinee
The main problem with using visible advanced technology in a trick is that the audience has already accepted a couple of ideas. First, they have accepted the reality that they don't understand how this device works and that it can do a lot of stuff they aren't aware of. Secondly, they have accepted that the explanations for what it can do are entirely mundane even if complicated. So even if I don't understand exactly how electricity works, I am not astonished when I flip the switch and the light turns on. And if I go into someone else's house with them and they say "On" and the lights turn on, I am not amazed. I might think it is cool, but I am not amazed. And if I go into someone else's house and the lights just turn on, I am not amazed - I just assume that, in addition to electricity, there is another principle, some kind of movement detector (which I also don't understand but accept as mundane) happening. For the same reason, someone disappearing in a film does not amaze me. I have the words "trick photography" instead of "electricity" to call into play. So, the problem is not that I understand, but that with technology, I have already accepted my lack of understanding with an assumption that the phenomena are totally mundane, and I have given it an easy label such as magnetism, electricity, or app - none of which I really understand but none of which produces delight or amazement.


Great points Bill.  Seems to be another vote for "hidden technology".  I'll continue to mull that concept over.
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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Guinee
The main problem with using visible advanced technology in a trick is that the audience has already accepted a couple of ideas. First, they have accepted the reality that they don't understand how this device works and that it can do a lot of stuff they aren't aware of. Secondly, they have accepted that the explanations for what it can do are entirely mundane even if complicated...


Bill -- I should have had you write my post -- much better explanation than my blather!

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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hey don't throw all us Engineers in the same pool 😉

I have a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering -- have worked around Engineers my entire career. I don't know why I can be 'amazed' and not HAVE to know how something is done, but the majority do -- it's part of our analytical training -- solving problems, following the clues to an end, etc. Maybe it has to do with how you were raised - my family has always been blue-collar and I've worked lots of those jobs myself. Interesting to discuss, but no answers.

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Dave Campbell

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Buffalo, thanks for the laugh!  But you are actually on to something.  There is a movement, whether large or small to go back to more traditional ways.  For example, I have been wet shaving for several years now.  ...




Ray ---

I also wet shave. I have a mug and brush... I find I get a MUCH better shave with that than anything else I've tried... and no... I do NOT use a straight razor … can't get myself to try that.

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
Hey don't throw all us Engineers in the same pool 😉

I have a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering -- have worked around Engineers my entire career. I don't know why I can be 'amazed' and not HAVE to know how something is done, but the majority do -- it's part of our analytical training -- solving problems, following the clues to an end, etc. Maybe it has to do with how you were raised - my family has always been blue-collar and I've worked lots of those jobs myself. Interesting to discuss, but no answers.


Please don't take offense!  But you seem to agree that "in general" engineers of certain stripes have similar tendencies.  That is likely what draws them into the field in the first place.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell


Ray ---

I also wet shave. I have a mug and brush... I find I get a MUCH better shave with that than anything else I've tried... and no... I do NOT use a straight razor … can't get myself to try that.


A safety razor is just that, much safer.  I like my Edwin Jagger for daily use and my Maggard's travel razor for when I'm on the move.

Glad to know there is another wet-shaving fan on the forum.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #33 

Magicians have used - even innovated the use of - technology since the beginning. Think Oracle at Delphi, for instance. Pepper’s Ghost, Robert-Houdin’s use of electro-magnetism… Problem is, the technology eventually becomes common knowledge or mainstream, all but negating it’s use in magic.

I remember hanging out with Joe Gaddis in the late 80s/early 90s when he was fiddling around with the new tech marvel, heat-sensitive paint. He’d print a symbol in the middle of a handkerchief, mumbo-jumbo around for a few minutes while it rested in a spectator’s hands, and hey presto, it disappeared. From this nascent idea, a couple of others in the shop put their heads together and came up with Mark of the Pirate. Who recalls that number one with a bullet on the magic shop hit parade? Sold lots of units, but the success was short-lived when the technology was applied to popular clothing.

Or what about Doug Henning’s method for The Sand of Egypt? Great stuff, till it was sold as a toy.

As has already been alluded by several, keeping the tech hidden, and keeping it to a minimum, are both crucial to its successful use in magic. Beyond that? The sky’s the limit.  

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Nate Smith

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Campbell
Hey don't throw all us Engineers in the same pool 😉

I have a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering -- have worked around Engineers my entire career. I don't know why I can be 'amazed' and not HAVE to know how something is done, but the majority do -- it's part of our analytical training -- solving problems, following the clues to an end, etc. Maybe it has to do with how you were raised - my family has always been blue-collar and I've worked lots of those jobs myself. Interesting to discuss, but no answers.



On the topic audiences that are of the “puzzle solving” mindset, I wrote this opening monologue for my show to address the issue of “being fooled” during a magic show. My goal was to set the tone for the show so that the magicians would have less of that “you can’t fool me” mentality to battle against. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

It’s just the first 1:44 of this video


For context, this show is “A Night of Curiosities”, a monthly show I’m hosting and producing in Portland, OR.
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Dave Campbell

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Please don't take offense!  But you seem to agree that "in general" engineers of certain stripes have similar tendencies.  That is likely what draws them into the field in the first place.


Absolutely agree.

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On the topic audiences that are of the “puzzle solving” mindset, I wrote this opening monologue for my show to address the issue of “being fooled” during a magic show. My goal was to set the tone for the show so that the magicians would have less of that “you can’t fool me” mentality to battle against. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

It’s just the first 1:44 of this video


For context, this show is “A Night of Curiosities”, a monthly show I’m hosting and producing in Portland, OR.


Nate, first of all I liked the MC bit with the signs.  Very funny!  Then you showed them blank and the audience response was great.  Good job.  A possible patter line might be something like, "If you don't agree with my approach, then just forget everything I said" as you flip the pages.  But I like the way you did it, just an idea.

Don't have time to watch the entire show but will tonight.  Thanks so much for sharing the entire thing!

Regarding the monologue, I think it was spot-on.  I do a lot of presentations to architects and engineers and I always do my own "monologue" at the beginning to set the tone.  I tell them what the talk is going to be and what it is not going to be.  I always get strong feedback that it helps to frame the discussion.

So I wold keep including it.  Kudos to you for what you are attempting.  I hope that it continues to grow and interest is sustained!


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Originally Posted by RayJ


Nate, first of all I liked the MC bit with the signs.  Very funny!  Then you showed them blank and the audience response was great.  Good job.  A possible patter line might be something like, "If you don't agree with my approach, then just forget everything I said" as you flip the pages.  But I like the way you did it, just an idea.

Don't have time to watch the entire show but will tonight.  Thanks so much for sharing the entire thing!

Regarding the monologue, I think it was spot-on.  I do a lot of presentations to architects and engineers and I always do my own "monologue" at the beginning to set the tone.  I tell them what the talk is going to be and what it is not going to be.  I always get strong feedback that it helps to frame the discussion.

So I wold keep including it.  Kudos to you for what you are attempting.  I hope that it continues to grow and interest is sustained!




I love “just forget everything I said” so much better than “it’s ok if we fool you.”

I’m not sure if I’m going to do the same monologue before each show simply because there will be some repeat audience and I don’t want the opening to become stale for them. But I do want to come up with a way to convey the same message.

Thanks for your feedback!
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You are welcome!  And you are correct, it might/will get stale.  
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RayJ

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Found a nice article on the topic of technology in magic.  Definitely worth a read.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/5391382

One quote I really liked:

Kirkland (Kieron) agrees: 'For magic to exist, it has to exist in someone's mind, and so the question really is how do you get it into their head, how do you make them believe that it could be possible? And the way you do that is by using things they are familiar with and places they are familiar with. That's why we used to do magic with packs of cards, because everyone had them in their house. Today people are doing magic with iPhones, iPads or office equipment, because that's where people live their lives at the moment. So it's really about technology being a site for magic to happen as much as anything else.'
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Intensely Magic

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Great question Nate. I admire you not wanting to leave anyone out. The engineers I've known closely are an interesting breed. They aren't the life of the party. Don't get me wrong, I like them but they are pretty dry for the most part. There are exceptions. Part of the issue might be their unwillingness to accept being fooled. They think they should be able to figure anything out.


I work with a lot of engineers. I think the biggest problem is they are observers, not participants and that makes them very difficult to misdirect. They also tend to be very capable at reconstruction.

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I work with a lot of engineers. I think the biggest problem is they are observers, not participants and that makes them very difficult to misdirect. They also tend to be very capable at reconstruction.


So I guess my question is: is there a way, knowing their personality type, to construct an effect or show to play to that type of observer mentality? Can we make magic fun for them how they are, rather than trying to make them adapt to be better audiences.

One thought is doing the same trick multiple times with different methods, inviting them to reconstruct the effect and watch for the method. But each time the method is different so it’s almost like a mental shell game.
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I work with a lot of engineers. I think the biggest problem is they are observers, not participants and that makes them very difficult to misdirect. They also tend to be very capable at reconstruction.


Definitely true.  They have skill sets which make them tough cookies.
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RayJ

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So I guess my question is: is there a way, knowing their personality type, to construct an effect or show to play to that type of observer mentality? Can we make magic fun for them how they are, rather than trying to make them adapt to be better audiences.

One thought is doing the same trick multiple times with different methods, inviting them to reconstruct the effect and watch for the method. But each time the method is different so it’s almost like a mental shell game.


You are actually onto something there.  The way to fool them would be to construct a routine in such a way that they think they follow what is going on and then pull the rug out from under them.  Use a red herring strategy.
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DJ

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Originally Posted by Nate Smith

One thought is doing the same trick multiple times with different methods, inviting them to reconstruct the effect and watch for the method. But each time the method is different so it’s almost like a mental shell game.


First thing that came to mind was the 21 card trick from Malone Meets Marlo DVDs.  It has multiple phases and most people know basically how the 21 card trick works.  You could begin with the regular 21 card trick and then continue with the Malone phases.

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