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Ask Me About Magic - Page 11

post #151 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magician View Post
I've thought about it, but who really needs a wand bigger then 8 inches anyway?

Your momma.

Sorry, could not resist.
post #152 of 279
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Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
the stuff where david blaine balances on a 100 foot pole for a couple of days, or is underwater for a few days or living in a box for a month,

that is not illusory tricks anywhere, just plain old him bearing it out and doing it? these are not just magic tricks but just endurance tests , no?

what i dont get is if these are actual endurance tests, he should be breaking some world records or setting them, but they dont go in to guiness world records, so that implies to me there is some trickery involved. no?

On Penn's old radio show he talked about he always assumed that magic was involved in some way to help Blane do his stunts.

Penn said to a newspaper or something that he probably had a way to eat and drink via magic when he was in a glass box for a few days. He recalled in his radio show, after this hit the press, Blane saw Penn at some event, took him aside and said very seriously that it was "all real."
post #153 of 279
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Originally Posted by Magician View Post
I would say right now I'm doing about %70 original material and %30 other peoples. MY goal is more like %90 mine %10 others. It is quite difficult to create original, strong magic but it is also much more rewarding to perform.

Do magicians share their secrets with each other or are they secretive as well? Do magicians ever try to find out how someone else's trick is done? Like if Magician A comes up with an amazing trick, do other magicians try to spy on him or kidnap him and torture him until he gives up the secret?
post #154 of 279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTionS View Post
Do magicians share their secrets with each other or are they secretive as well? Do magicians ever try to find out how someone else's trick is done? Like if Magician A comes up with an amazing trick, do other magicians try to spy on him or kidnap him and torture him until he gives up the secret?

It really depends. At the high end stuff is largely proprietary but even just below the top rung, a lot of magicians share secrets, teach classes, publish books, videos etc. There is generally not much of a fuss about stealing and performing secrets but more stealing someone else's lines and scripts.

Also a lot of magicians get very upset when other magicians publish a secret they think is theirs - not because the secret is out - but because they did not get credit.
post #155 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magician View Post
ITT: Ask a magician about magic!

Inspired by RJMan's question from the Magic Castle thread. Any questions you guys have feel free to post.

(Yes I am really a magician. No I do not do kid's birthday parties or have a bunny.)
What are your views on (Mutational) Alchemy? (Thanks for the past answers, btw- they were quite good if not too informative, maybe my questions were a bit difficult.) What do you think of the Yi Ching in comparison to the Tai Hsuan Ching, then?
post #156 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magician View Post
I like the ES Andrews theory. I'm partial to anagrams. Were you in to sleight of hand stuff like that? Gambling and stuff?


Nah, I was way too uncoordinated for much in the way of sleights. I mostly did the stuff that was profitable in my area--traditional stage/parlor with an emphasis on kids stuff. I had a lot of old-school Mak props, silk and rope effects, and usually 2-3 "illusionettes" (like the French Arm Chopper) to wrap up my little 45 minute thing.

Eventually I had one or two chances to try my hand at grand illusion (which was always my passion). I'd love to really work on some of the better sleights and flourishes, though. God knows I've got enough McBride, Ammar, and L&L videos.
post #157 of 279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome View Post
What are your views on (Mutational) Alchemy? (Thanks for the past answers, btw- they were quite good if not too informative, maybe my questions were a bit difficult.) What do you think of the Yi Ching in comparison to the Tai Hsuan Ching, then?

I don't want to be snarky because I love mysticism, especially that of eastern culture - I just happen not to believe in any of it. I find it a rich vein for performers such as myself - and a valuable source of history and cultural context.

I especially like the Yi Ching - I'm working on quite a creepy liitle marvel for my close-up performances involving them.

While I work very hard at my magic - I use solely sleight of hand, misdirection, psychology and hypnosis to accomplish everything you see. I study and perfect things for literally years to make it look exactly like real magic - but none of it is.
post #158 of 279
Are you familiar with Tommy Cooper? Search you tube for clips. If people are having to add comedy to their acts he's well worth watching, though is style is unrepeatable.

Living in the UK I'm familiar with Derren Brown who you've mentioned as an influence. I really wonder at the ethics of what he does - he clearly has a powerful affect on people, but I can see hardly any positive applications. I believe he has a somewhat shady past too. Also, if you've seen any of his tv shows, am I right in thinking the insights he gives into how he achieves his results are either only a very small part of the story or a complete bluff?

I remember one 'trick' where he commissioned 2 pretty obnoxious 'creative' advertising executives to come up with a graphic design for a bogus firm of his. He stunned them by having guided them both to the same image, claiming on the tv to have achieved this through a staged car journey taking in certain influential sights. I could see how this could work to some degree, but felt if the stunt was real there was a lot more going on.

The problem with magic on tv is we expect to be deceived.
post #159 of 279
Thread Starter 
^ Tommy Cooper was a great performer. Really hilarious in that eccentric British way. Derren Brown has written at length about the ethics of his work and I find it very enlightening especially as I move more towards this arena of performance. He explicitly states at the beginning of each performance that everything is done by misdirection and psychology. I find his performances meet a high ethical standard, and he has done a lot of positive work regarding rationalist and skeptical thought (especially with his System television special). I do not quite see how "expecting to be deceived is a problem" with magic on television. Much of it has to do with context - we must view this sort of thing as solely entertainment. Some performers definitely do engage in unfortunate ethics, including, unfortunately, some pretty well regarded ones here in the states.
post #160 of 279
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post #161 of 279
Whatever happened to that masked magician douchebag that had those specials on FOX ten years ago? I remember hearing all kinds of rumors of his identity. I will say that it definitely brought magic back to the public forefront.
post #162 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magician View Post
Essentially yes. This is a really interesting and complex area. Strong hypnosis definitely requires the participant being willing and wanting it to work. You can hypnotize a skeptic because many skeptics enjoy magic and hypnosis and allow it to happen - but if you have someone staunchly not wanting it to work it probably won't. I use a gentler technique, a sort of applied hypnosis, that many magicians refer to as "Suggestion." I also generally use young females as my participants (it doesn't work better on women, but they tend to be much more responsive when it does work.) This, in tandem with my devilish grin and charming persona ensures I rarely fail.
I volunteered for a hypnotist's show recently and didn't go under at all. Though I had, I think, a normal level of skepticism, the other part of me was open-minded to the point that I had some concern about the embarrassing things he might end up making me do. Anyway, I think the guy was simply not very good, because he initially brought about 20 of us on stage, taking us through various exercises, and eventually ended up dismissing about 18 of us whom he apparently couldn't get to go under.
post #163 of 279
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini View Post
Whatever happened to that masked magician douchebag that had those specials on FOX ten years ago? I remember hearing all kinds of rumors of his identity.

I will say that it definitely brought magic back to the public forefront.

oh man i TOTALLY just remembered that now. wth was that show called?
i wanna youtube it.

didnt he explain how tricks were done, and tried making the show real dingy and creepy?

ANSWERS
post #164 of 279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by merkur View Post
I want to become a (non-professional) mentalist. Please point me in the right direction.
I pmed you. Once again I do recommend taking a trip to your nearest magic shop .
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodini View Post
Whatever happened to that masked magician douchebag that had those specials on FOX ten years ago? I remember hearing all kinds of rumors of his identity. I will say that it definitely brought magic back to the public forefront.
Yeah. He wasn't a great performer but I think the show was overall good for magic. I kind of like how he riled up the status quo.
post #165 of 279
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirk View Post
I volunteered for a hypnotist's show recently and didn't go under at all. Though I had, I think, a normal level of skepticism, the other part of me was open-minded to the point that I had some concern about the embarrassing things he might end up making me do. Anyway, I think the guy was simply not very good, because he initially brought about 20 of us on stage, taking us through various exercises, and eventually ended up dismissing about 18 of us whom he apparently couldn't get to go under.
It sounds like he isn't really that good. There are much cleverer ways of finding out whether or not people are susceptible then simply calling them up and dismissing them when it doesn't work, also 2 out of 20 is a really low hit rate. I personally do a softer form of hypnosis and I don't do anything that would embarrass the volunteer ever, so I probably have a higher hit rate then your traditional stage hypnosis act. I don't know why embarrassing people has become such a staple of magic and the allied arts. There are a few true artists who can get away with this (Harry Anderson, amazing Johnathon) but it's usually quite awful. I want to give my audience an entertaining, memorable and thought provoking evening. I don't see how humiliating them will help with that.
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