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Buffalo McKinley

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Reply with quote  #1 
When you see other close-up magicians perform, is there anything they do that you wish they wouldn't?

On a positive note, besides amazing skills, what else impresses you when you see close-up magicians perform?

Thanks,

Buffalo
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #2 
I like to see a close up worker with a pleasant manner about them. No cornball jokes or talking too much, but engaging with the audience so everyone has a good time.
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Bmat

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Reply with quote  #3 
"Okay now I am going to put the card in the deck.  Now I am going to shuffle the cards.  So lets recap, you chose a card and I put it in the deck then I shuffled it so It is impossible to know where the card is right?  And it is impossible for me to know what the card is right?  It is not the top card see?  Also it is not the bottom card see?  So it has to be in the middle of the deck right?"...

And I have already forgotten the card and settling into my nap.

On the other side I want the magician to be engaging, funny, relaxed and be there for my enjoyment, not his magical masturbation.  Can I say that?

Also the skill should be in presentation.  I don't care about his skill, if he is performing correctly skill should never enter the picture. Skill should be invisible.  If I am thinking..."oh he did that invisible pass beautifully"  Then the magic is already lost.  The magician should make me not care in the least as to the method. 

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chris w

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm impressed when I see magicians for whom the mechanics have become second nature, and all attention in performance can go to engaging with the audience, the creative control and release of tension, and reinforcing the psychological elements. Dani DaOrtiz and Pop Haydn are masterly in this regard.

I wish magicians wouldn't use hack lines or identical presentations, or all somehow adopt the same personality when it comes time to perform. People (and performers) are more interesting when they quit hiding.
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #5 

I really cannot stand cornball or goofy magicians, regardless of their fame or ability.  David Williamson, for example, has a great reputation, but I personally find watching him perform (or lecture) a cringe-worthy experience.  

Same thing with Juan Tamariz.  He’s a deep thinker and remarkable magician, but for me his presentations are just too abrasive and frantic.

Potty-mouthed performers or magicians who make off-color innuendos also turn me off … (and there are quite a few of them)!

On the other hand, Tommy Wonder was someone whose brilliant, elegant magic and humorous, engaging personality really appealed to me.


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Mind Phantom

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Reply with quote  #6 
I love to see the ease in which a performer does his thing. Someone taking a hard routine and making it look easy, is something I am into like Ortiz, Ackerman & Carpenter and others. I get motivated to do the same thing.

It's like they have the "magic touch" or something, but I know it's just tons of practice time.

As for magicians that tell dirty jokes and such, there is a time and place for everything, I think the Amazing Johnathan is very funny.
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Dustin White

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Reply with quote  #7 
Personally, I'm not a fan of pointing out how "fair" something is in a non-comedic presentation. Some that say it with a wink and a smile make it work.

Something that impresses me is the ability to incorporate a spectator into the act or "jazz" with them and not lose the flow of the performance. This, too me, is a much more complex skill than just being engaging with a volunteer.
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Ratso58

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Reply with quote  #8 
On the POSITIVE side: I enjoy when the performer is BEING THEMSELVES, that is - a natural personality meets performer type of thing. Perhaps harder to describe here. Just watch the audience - they relate, relax and enjoy.

On the NEGATIVE side - STOP ALL THE DARN FIDGETING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Drives me nuts. You do not need to cut the deck 500 times or riffle non-stop to cover up how insecure you are about your patter?

R
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm with Ratso on fidgeting and tics that clutter things up and detract from the experience. I have to look out for this in my own work, too. The clearer the picture that can be created, the better. No part of it should be mindless or only done out of nervous habit.
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Ratso58

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Reply with quote  #10 
Well said Chris
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MagicTK

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Reply with quote  #11 
Yeah, what you guys said about lines, and movement and stuff.

About the fidgeting, I used to record my practices and even a few performances.  Upon watching them later, I noticed I would sway side to side on my feet.  I said, "do I really do that...?"  Yup, I sure did.  I've worked hard to not do that if on stage or in close up.  I also noticed other hand gestures (like the way I move or point, etc) that I later think looked awkward, so I worked on reducing them and changing how I move, but some of them are just part of me.  I definitely don't do flourishy cuts and shuffles and such because I don't want to "show" that I have skill.

Bmat said it well about when a performer states every step they are going to do.  That's one thing that I don't like to see a performer do.
Also when they use the same cliché lines that every magician uses.

I do like when they are entertaining, natural (whether smooth or clumsy), just perform and engage/empower not embarrass the spectators.

Tom
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Ratso58

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Reply with quote  #12 
MagicTK
Great discipline to record yourself. We all do things subconsciously, but don’t see it in our mind’s eye. In my job the most valuable training I’ve had was presentation skills- in front of a camera, with a critique to follow. You learn a LOT. Also humbling!
R
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #13 
Using way too many words and also saying things that are not thought out which leads to babbling - "What I want you to do is I want you to ....." Certainly the second "I want you to.." is superfluous. How about "Please pick a card" instead of "What I want you to do is I want you to pick a card.."

Mike
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Jason Ladanye

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Reply with quote  #14 
Looks like I'm late to the party. I made a list of 7 things here: https://www.cardmagicbyjason.com/seven-bad-habits-to-avoid-as-a-magician/



(edited to turn the link into a clickable one)
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Fortunato Luchresi

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Reply with quote  #15 
Lol! ... Mike Power's comment is right on the nail.  'What I want you to do is I want you to'  or 'Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to' ... lol ... These superfluous statements have been a pet hate of mine for a long time. Extravagant and fancy false cuts are also a waste of time in my opinion. Who the hell do they think they're fooling?.. . lol

Fortunato.
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Fortunato Luchresi

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Reply with quote  #16 
Paul Daniels used to annoy me back in the day when he had his own TV magic show.  With Paul, everything was 'perfectly ordinary' ... lol.

Fortunato.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #17 
I don't like magicians saying/asking "Is that fair?" "That's fair, right?"

It just launches me into thinking that there's no way this is fair.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #18 
As with Bmat, the narrative patter or those that think it looks smooth to make it up as they go along. 
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Chi Han

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
I don't like magicians saying/asking "Is that fair?" "That's fair, right?"

It just launches me into thinking that there's no way this is fair.


That's fair. It's fair right? Are you sure? Do you want to change your mind? You can change your mind. I mean there's no way I could know. Tell you what, just in case you think I'm influencing you I want you to change your mind again...and again. Perfect. Now there's no way I could know what you're thinking right? That's fair right?
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Intensely Magic

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Reply with quote  #20 
"All the cards are different, aren't they"?

Trying to cover a lame trick with a lame story.

OMR (Old Man Rant) - I know "perfect" seems to be the word of choice for younger people, but I hate it.

"Please cut the cards" "Perfect"
"Please deal 5 cards" "Perfect"
"Please take the cards out of the box" "Perfect"
etc. etc.



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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #21 
I think it is because people growing up in the last couple of decades have been told from birth that they are exceptional, that they can do anything, that the world exists to admire them.  The result is that they are the most fragile, self-obsessed (and selfie-obsessed) generation in history.  They need to be told that everything they do is perfect.

... there's my OMR !
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #22 
I don't think that we as magicians place enough emphasis on the importance of narration. It's all moves and effects. But narration, story, scripting, and rehearsal are every bit as important. It is not natural to speak aloud in an empty room while working through tricks and routines, but it is necessary. Otherwise delivery is a mess and entertainment value is diminished. Yeah, we could rant as old men, but wouldn't the community at large be better served if we taught and mentored instead? 

Av
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #23 
Oh surely there is room for a bit of both [smile]

But to follow AV's line of thought, perhaps we as wise elders of the tribe do have some responsibility to pass along our hard-won insights to the next generation - to be teachers and guides.

I have a 35-year career as a university professor.  Teaching has been my life's work - I love it and I'm good at it.  With all due modesty, I can report that students often say I am the best teacher they have ever had.  But my (admittedly rare) attempts to mentor students of magic have been exercises in frustration.

Perhaps this would be a good forum to discuss how to be a good magic teacher?
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Kingman

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Reply with quote  #24 
stole my line with this one:
Quote:
STOP ALL THE DARN FIDGETING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Drives me nuts. You do not need to cut the deck 500 times or riffle non-stop to cover up how insecure you are about your patter?


Drives me crazy and I am glad to know I am not the only one.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #25 
Hi Robin,

Teaching is truly a noble profession. That was my "straight gig" for 33 years. As far as mentoring/teaching magic, check out Eugene Burger's last book, "Teaching Magic." Lots of good stuff there.

Also, I agree re: fragile young folk. 

Mike
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #26 
Sometimes i see a close up magician do a trick that fools me, and that bothers me
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
Sometimes i see a close up magician do a trick that fools me, and that bothers me


[rofl]
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #28 
[smile]
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Barry Allen

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Reply with quote  #29 
When magicians spend half their time at a table doing fancy shuffles; or indeed, just generally over-shuffling.

GET ON WITH IT!

Actually, if you want to really convince an audience, plus save time, GIVE THEM the cards to shuffle. It's one hell of a lot more convincing. Moreover, even if you have a few cards stacked for an effect, the way that a lay person shuffles should not generally cause too many problems in quickly resetting what you need to do.

Cards aside, the other things that wind me up. Unconvincing sponge ball/coin vanishes; the inability to handle a thumb tip naturally; the over-use, indeed misuse, of the word 'excellent'.

Finally (although I could go on!) The complete disregard by 'magicians' to use 'Misdirection' correctly.
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