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 Post subject: Practical vs Impractical (essay by sirbrad)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:49 am 
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I always find it humorous when magicians complain about how a trick is not practical. To tell you the truth, I honestly believe that most of the time they substitute the word 'practical' for 'too much work' The trick I hear most ppl talk about in this respect is healed and sealed. They would rather find every reason in the book not to do this effect, than reasons to do it, or formulate it to fit into their performance style, or environment. It is much easier to just do something a little easier, than go through the painstaking set up process of effects requiring elaborate preparation.

Personally, if more magicians lived in my area with this mindset I would have a field day. Granted that tricks based upon 'practical' methods give added confidence, and make things a heck of alot more convenient. However you can obtain just as amazing, and even more amazing results with tricks that many label as 'impractical.' The truth is, the more practical an effect is, the more ppl are probably doing it. Thus it is out on the market alot more so to speak, and subject to exposure, and repetition etc. This influences me to work even harder on those impractical effects that other magicians have turned away from.

Nothing is too impractical if one puts their magic mind to using an effect to their fullest potential. However alot of magicians would rather take the easy route, so to speak, and do effects that require little or no preparation. I would rather do effects that others have not seen many other times, just because all they require is a deck of cards, and some sleight of hand. I have even heard ppl say things related to this such as, "A few magicians made a red rubber ball appear in my hand....They made my card keep coming to the top of the deck.....The magician pulled a rabbit out of the hat" "Funny thing is, I never seen a magician restore soda like that!" "I never seen a magician cut a coin out of his arm before!"

I don't mind taking the extra time to make the 'impractical' practical. I guess the conclusion is that the only things that really are practical, are the ones that we put the required time, and dedication into in order to make them fit any given situation. True some items, or effects may seem out of place in specific environments, or may conflict with your style totally. However if one has interest in any effect enough, and enjoys doing it, he will find a way to fit it into his routine, regardless of his situation. I have no problem with magicians who only do what they consider practical, as I will continue to do all the impractical, and practical effects without a second thought.

Now I do believe that any given effect should fit into one's routine, and environment accordingly, and I am not condoning just doing the so called impractical effects out of spite, or just because they are difficult to pull off. I am just saying that the items/effects we get are only the tools, and it is up to us to use those tools to build strong effects for entertaining shows. For me to disregard any effect because others say it is impractical, would be impractical in itself.

I used healed and sealed as an example, because of all the problems that seem to go along with its preparation, and performance. Just because it does not work for someone else, does not make it impractical, or unworking for everyone. Once again we come down to personal preference. One may be able to do to healed and sealed flawlessly, while another has no success with it.

However there is probably other effects that the other magi does great, but the one who does H&S cannot do as well as he does. Personal preference, and practicality are two different entities. I would go through the effect many times before labeling in impractical. If you truly have a desire to make it work, you will find a way. But hey if not, it simply just may not be for you. Just be sure to give it your best before you give up on it.


Good things in life usually do not come easy, however not taking short cuts will usually pay dividends in the end. I am sure this is the most you have ever heard the words impractical, and practical used in a few paragraphs, but hey I am hoping some of you practically enjoyed it. :)


Last edited by sirbrad on Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:55 am 
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I practically enjoyed it :D .

Another comment is this, though somewhat unrelated and related at the same time...

I find that people tend to ask what tricks get the best reactions from this book or that video... why? Chances are, you'll end up doing the same routines everyone and their mother is doing, and only because everyone and their mother is doing them...

Like Sirbrad said, find things that fit YOUR style. For instance, I don't perform many of the famed AOA effects like Reset and Las Vegas Leaper because others are doing them(OK, I admit it, I do LVL, but it's just too good!)... if I do perform an effect from those books, or any books, its because the effect fits me and my style. Just because an effect gets reactions for one magician doesn't mean it will get them for you.

Great post sirbrad.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:07 am 
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thanks Richard, i enjoy your posts alot also. that was pretty much the point i was trying to convey. i for one love doing the extra work necessary that others may wish not to do. pulling a coin out of someone's ear is as practical as it gets, but does the practicality of the effect make it astonishing? the other point i tried to get across was that the more ppl do the same effects, or seek out what everyone else thinks is "cool," the more widely known they become, hence your AOA example. there is nothing wrong with tricks that seem more practical than others, however i would not limit myself to them solely. i guess it all comes down to personal preference in the end.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:51 am 
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i made few modifications. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:51 pm 
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Right on Brad! 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:25 pm 
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Brad, thanks for posting this 'anti-conventional wisdom' essay. I hope it opens a few eyes here and gets people to 'think outside the box'. It is very tempting to get the latest and greatest effect, book or DVD or what have you. While this may good for the support you can get from everyone else getting the latest and greatest. It is very satisfying to stumble across something out of the ordinary and dazzling a spec with it as well.

I also like to find obscure off the wall effects that not many other Magicians do, or have even heard of for that matter.

and to toss out my opinion, I 'practically' enjoyed your essay very much.

8


Last edited by laughingman30 on Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:52 pm 
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Man......Brad that almost brought a tear to my eye.. :cry:
I pretty much agree with what you said.
I've tested this myself with a much hated trick....... "BLINK" almost ever post I've seen on it ppl say it sucks, the gimmick is poor, and it’s just too darn impractical. Well after seeing Mark mason perform it (on video) I though how bad could it be. So I bought it, and at first I was like this trick does suck, but then I decided to use my magic muscle for something besides coming up with ways to gross out my audience. I started messing around with trick..... put in ACR.... worked ok.... stand alone worked ok.... then I used on a magician that had said that this very trick would never be worth the 12 or so bucks I paid for it...... well he has seen me perform ACR a million times and at the end he was shocked..... It was like he was laymen again he kept asking me how I did the last part yad yad. I didn't tell him. I still don't think he has realized that I used it...... :twisted:


anyway great post buddy................


Last edited by magic_cat on Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:10 pm 
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That us just like surgical reveal, if you put the time in then you have an effect tha looks incredible.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:29 pm 
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To me, Healed and Sealed doesn't take too much work.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:14 pm 
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weirdmagic48708 wrote:
That us just like surgical reveal, if you put the time in then you have an effect tha looks incredible.

unless everything is stuck together! uggghh!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:15 pm 
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you could fix it by just getting some surgical cloths that are the same color and cut out the rectangle and there yougo.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:17 pm 
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weirdmagic48708 wrote:
you could fix it by just getting some surgical cloths that are the same color and cut out the rectangle and there yougo.

no im just upset it spilled over like everything......ps. sirbrad nice essay and i agree


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:55 am 
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magic_cat wrote:
Man......Brad that almost brought a tear to my eye.. :cry:
I pretty much agree with what you said.
I've tested this myself with a much hated trick....... "BLINK" almost ever post I've seen on it ppl say it sucks, the gimmick is poor, and it’s just too darn impractical. Well after seeing Mark mason perform it (on video) I though how bad could it be. So I bought it, and at first I was like this trick does suck, but then I decided to use my magic muscle for something besides coming up with ways to gross out my audience. I started messing around with trick..... put in ACR.... worked ok.... stand alone worked ok.... then I used on a magician that had said that this very trick would never be worth the 12 or so bucks I paid for it...... well he has seen me perform ACR a million times and at the end he was shocked..... It was like he was laymen again he kept asking me how I did the last part yad yad. I didn't tell him. I still don't think he has realized that I used it...... :twisted:


anyway great post buddy................


thanks, been meaning to put something up like this for quite soemtime now, just never got around to it. i think too many ppl dont buy stufff because of what others say about certain effects, and they seem to take these 'opinions' as gospel. with a little bit of work, and some magic ingenuity, you just never know. i have also fooled magicians with simple moves that they did not ever expect. they look for advanced shifts, passes, or whatever, and all i do is a simple glide. :) not all have the required comittment to excel at this art as much as they could, if only that had a little more postive mentality.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:11 am 
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Wow that inspired me to work harder at those tougher sleights/tricks ive been working on.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 2:27 am 
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laughingman30 wrote:
Brad, thanks for posting this 'anti-conventional wisdom' essay. I hope it opens a few eyes here and gets people to 'think outside the box'. It is very tempting to get the latest and greatest effect, book or DVD or what have you. While this may good for the support you can get from everyone else getting the latest and greatest. It is very satisfying to stumble across something out of the ordinary and dazzling a spec with it as well.

I also like to find obscure off the wall effects that not many other Magicians do, or have even heard of for that matter.

and to toss out my opinion, I 'practically' enjoyed your essay very much.

8


nice to see some of the more experienced magicians here know what i am talking about. :) both the practical, and the impractical have their pros and cons. it is up to us decide which ones we can make work, and if we can adapt them to our personal styles.


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