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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
We are in a very fortunate position. As magicians we have the skills to conjure with reality. We can take the everyday and create wonder. A single coin can gleam, and spin and sparkle... where moments before it was only a small metal token of exchange, it can now be animated and alter your perception of reality. For a moment your logical thought process is transcended, as the coin melts from one hand to another, your mind takes a quantum leap - things are no longer as they ordinarily seem.

With little more than a deck of cards I have travelled far and wide. People have taken me into their homes, I have been offered upgrades, free drinks, meals and gigs. Being a magician is a gift, and we are extremely fortunate to be practitioners of such magic.

So do the tricks themselves matter? I am not sure they do. If you perform with passion you can overcome any obstacles. Remember people connect with people, the tricks therefore are perhaps nothing more than a means to an end - well at least for me...

In fact many folk can be considered magical without performing a single trick - their words alone are enchanting enough. Like many of you here, I love tricks, but for me true magic is the art of communication, our words hold great power:

"Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power" - Sigmund Freud

Perhaps this is why we deem our presentations and the words we choose to be of the utmost importance.

Yes our magic is a gift to be shared, and as Eugene Burger once said "The Magic is You"
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #2 
Another very encouraging reflection on our art. Our community is well served in a time when the headlines seem to constantly feed negativity.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
From the original post.

"So do the tricks themselves matter? I am not sure they do. If you perform with passion you can overcome any obstacles."

I wholeheartedly agree.  Sometimes the 'spur of the moment' trick is the strongest.  

Two examples come to mind.  The first was when I was dating my now wife of 35 years.  We were at a swanky restaurant, a rare treat back then for sure, and the server delivered a basket of various bread rolls.  I reached for one, showed it to her and commented on how beautiful it was.  Perfect bake, golden brown and wonderfully formed.  I broke it in half and showed her a gleaming silver half dollar inside.  Her eyes lit up.  She was stunned.  This from my girlfriend who at the time was also my assistant for my stage routine.  She knew most all of the 'inner workings' of my effects.  But this simple, unexpected effect blew her away.  To this day she says it is the most magical thing I've done.

The second was when I met a friend and their child at a shopping mall unexpectedly.  We ran into each other and began catching up on what was going on in our lives, etc., when the friend told her son that I was a magician.  She didn't says that I DID magic, but that I was a magician.  I could tell the child was interested in seeing something so I asked the mother if she had two quarters in her purse.  She handed me the two coins and I proceeded to do a short routine, causing the coins to continually come together even though they were in separate hands.  He was amazed.  I have to believe it was strong because it was unexpected and the coins were borrowed.  The same trick in a different setting might not garner the same reaction.  And to Socrates point, an even better trick might not achieve as strong a reaction in the middle of a show.  Time and place matter.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #4 
Excellent Socrates!

Nate Staniforth often talks about how the simple vanish and reproduction of a coin can have a huge effect on a spectator or a group of spectators. Part of that effect has to do with the magician's demeanor. It's not just that the coin vanished, it's also who vanished the coin.

Mike
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #5 
i watched a video of Fred Kaps performing and one thing stood out--he smiled all the time. It wasnt a "got ya kind of thing. His smile  made him look as though he was enjoying the wonder of it all like everyone else.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #6 

I also agree that the tricks don’t matter.  It’s more a matter of a unique presentation, your personality, and your intent. 

In the past, I’ve inspired gasps of awe and wonder utilizing something as simple as a thumbtip or a dollar bill or a borrowed finger ring.  Also, the impromptu production of a rainbow streamer or mouth coil from a torn napkin in a restaurant or sidewalk cafe has helped to secure me several birthday party or library show bookings!

Under the right circumstances, such a simple act can even induce deeply felt emotions from a spectator & bystanders. 


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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #7 

I’d like to add that in my educational school show programs, I subscribed to the same theory (i.e. that the tricks don’t matter).  I developed original routines around whichever props worked best to emphasize a certain subject, or to get a specific message across.  

So a stiff rope formed the basis for a story about a pompous wizard and a clever little mouse, to relay a message about self esteem.  And a skeleton in the closet became the shrunken remains of an archeologist who invoked a curse when entering an ancient Egyptian tomb.  And the needle through balloon props served to illustrate that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  And so on.

In all these cases, the emphasis was on the message, not necessarily the tricks and/or props.  My aim was always to have a positive effect on the students.  The combination of my onstage personality, the storylines, the magic tricks, colorful props, humor, and (in my case) custom original musical scores, all served to convey educational messages in such a way that students retained the essence of what I was saying and demonstrating.

 


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
[QUOTE=arthur stead]

I’d like to add that in my educational school show programs, I subscribed to the same theory (i.e. that the tricks don’t matter).  I developed original routines around whichever props worked best to emphasize a certain subject, or to get a specific message across.  

So a stiff rope formed the basis for a story about a pompous wizard and a clever little mouse, to relay a message about self esteem.  And a skeleton in the closet became the shrunken remains of an archeologist who invoked a curse when entering an ancient Egyptian tomb.  And the needle through balloon props served to illustrate that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  And so on.

In all these cases, the emphasis was on the message, not necessarily the tricks and/or props.  My aim was always to have a positive effect on the students.  The combination of my onstage personality, the storylines, the magic tricks, colorful props, humor, and (in my case) custom original musical scores, all served to convey educational messages in such a way that students retained the essence of what I was saying and demonstrating.

 

[/QUOTE

Awesome stuff Arthur. You are a credit to the art.
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