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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:59 pm 
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bproud wrote:
Great Essay. I really think you've on on a couple key notes here. I read it twice - 100% pure joy.

Ben


Thanks I appreciate that. Twice is quite a feat for 32 paragraphs. :) I probably read it about 10 times before I posted it recently. I am sure many did not have the patience to even get through it once. Basically the whole point is to make one think at a much more deeper level in order to define why one continues to put so much time, and so much money into magic. Not because they love it, but why do they love it? What is the true, and ultimate pay off here? Some may have answers, some may not.

Without having an honest love for the art, I doubt many would continue to do it solely based on the reason that it pleases others. I don't believe for a second those magicians who say they only do magic 'for others,' and not for themselves at all. That is what they want to lead you to believe, why I don't know. If one does not fully enjoy something, they will not continue to keep doing it, and investing so much time and money into it. Especially a "hobby."


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:07 am 
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Well, you really got me thinking. After pondering the question for most of the day, the thing is I don't think there is just one answer for me. The primary reason I continue to pursue magic as a serious hobby is that it's just fun. If I never performed for anyone else again, I would still want to learn new effects for that first practice run in the mirror when my own eyes see me doing what I know is impossible. Some writers say that they write their stories for themselves, and if others happen to enjoy reading them, well then that's fine too. I guess that's my take. I like doing it, and if others enjoy watching, then that's just a bonus. I also like the fact that magic is a kind of science that sometimes appears to prove science wrong. I know that sounds silly, but when I was in school I did poorly in science, and I bear grudges like you wouldn't believe. So when I do something that looks like it's breaking a scientific law or rule, I feel like I'm striking a blow against an old nemesis, although I know that in reality I'm just looking at science from an angle that most people don't get to see.
So those are my thoughts. Thanks for the essay. I'm probably going to be thinking about it for days.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:36 am 
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LlevasP2 wrote:
The primary reason I continue to pursue magic as a serious hobby is that it's just fun.


Sometimes that is the only answer one needs....Glad you enjoyed it, and could get something out of it. One great thing about magic is that you can still have fun doing it, practicing it, and learning it regardless as to whether you have spectators. A live audience just makes it much more fun, and that is what we all strive for in our magic endeavors ultimately, to astound/entertain people. This is our primary goal, but not always necessary in order to excel, and enjoy the art as a whole.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:47 pm 
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If you can remember back to the very first time you were completely fooled by a magic effect, there was a moment, a split-second before your analytical brain took over thinking about how it could have been done, that you were simply caught up in the moment and absolutely astonished. Paul Harris refers to this point as the Moment of Pure Astonishment. He wrote about this moment that his driven him to studying magic for decades. He believes that this moment of astonishment is a very pure moment of existence, where you are dwelling in a fantasy world uninhibited by the constraints imposed by reason and logic. For that split second anything and everything is possible, limited only by your imagination. I believe that most people, whether consciously or not, do magic to try and return to that moment, put a crowbar in it and sustain it for as long as possible. I really see magic as a way of escaping the real world for a brief moment and looking for something more.

On the issue of spending so much time practicing, the most interesting thing that I've found about it is you practice so that no one can see it. Athletes train so the world can see their talent. It's right out there in the open. If you've practiced a pass for long enough or a DL for long enough, you realize that you are spending hours upon hours of work so that no one can tell you've done anything. I used to work part-time at the local magic shop and would see young magicians come in and show me their work on the pass, second deal, DL, etc just so someone could actually know how much work was put in to learning them. Incedently, this is why I believe most hobbyists here spend SO much time talking about their pass. They need to feel like someone knows its being done because if done properly, no layman should ever even suspect it's happening. Occasionally, we need to have someone acknowledge the fact that we are doing something so secretive that no one should be able to see it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:09 pm 
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magic 2 me is all worth it. Why? well 1st of all the will remmeber it for the rest of their life trust me there will come a time months or years after their life theyll remmeber the guy who vanished a LIT CIGG in his hands. Or made himslef float or w.e trick is powerful. They will remmeber and everytime they remmeber it they will smile and remmeber that feeling they had when they felt that. So it make people happy and it makes me happy seeing theyre face smile when i do an awesome ACR or a nice levitation so magic is all worth it


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 1:34 pm 
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SirBrad, once again, you come out and amaze me. I loved the essay! It was so great! I actually have been putting off even reading it for a little while, but was bored, and decided to read it. I'm very glad I did. It made me really ponder why am I really doing what I'm doing? I've spent SO much money on something that could just end up being a memory tomorrow. Something that could end up in a box, for my children to find in 20 years. I have been thinking, and you know, I have decided that the whole reason I do Magic, isn't even so much for the people. Don't get me wrong, I live to see someone have a look of total confusion, and total bliss in the fact that I just did the un-doable. I love the smiles, the surprised faces, the "What the's!" and the "OH MY GOSH's" They are fantastic, and give me motivation to keep on going. However, I think I mainly got into magic to prove to myself that I can do something I never thought I could.

I used to watch the demo vid's of Oz, Jay, & the rest of the crew, and would just stare in awe, at the fact that these guys were so amazing. They were on a plain, a level, that I would never be able to achieve. However, I wanted to try, I wanted to see just how close I could get. I wanted to see, just how good I could make myself. I wanted to see if I could actually do it like the pro's. I've found that with practice, no matter how hopeless things look at first, I can in fact achieve a level of perfection that I have always thought impossible. I am doing something few people can do. (I know there are many, but you get what I mean) I am performing a feat that no other person could ever perform in the eyes of the spectator. And I did it, because I took the time, effort, and practice to accomplish it. When I can look at the hard work I've put into it, and see that it actually worked. That makes it all worth it to me. For the pure fact that I am doing something I never thought I would be doing. The fact that I tend to do it well a lot of times, is what keeps me wanting to master more, and more.

Great article.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:28 pm 
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Glad you finally got a chance to 'digest' it all oversized. :) Yea I have put a lot of thought into all my essays, and hope that they will allow others to evaluate their own magic mentalities at a more introspective, and personal level. I have about 4 others in the making, about 3 others buried here somewhere, and about 6 unpublished in which I have not totally finished yet. I am a current contributor to online-visions.com when I get the time.

Also my own writings even motivate me to look at my magic at a much deeper level, and try to answer all the questions that arise constantly. Some may say that they do magic simply because they love it, or that they love the reactions of people, etc. But you can go even deeper than
that.

Why do you like making people believe that you are doing something by supernatural means? Is the pay off really worth it? Why? Does the pay off exceed the price? Are positive outward reactions always a determining factor to your magic's success? Or is just doing the magic always good enough? Does the lack of any positive feedback discourage your efforts overall? Are you in it for yourself, the spectators, or both?

Is the potential financial burden truly worth "possibly" amazing some now faceless, and unknown spectator in the future? Is it important that you be reimbursed financially for all the money that you have invested into the art? Is the reactions of people an acceptable enough payment? If you do not receive the expected reactions, are you still content regardless?

These questions, and many more will allow one to really try and decipher why they are doing magic day in, and day out. What keeps them coming back for more, and why they need to keep growing, and prospering in the art. That was my ultimate goal, and point of writing the article.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:42 pm 
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sirbrad wrote:
Why do you like making people believe that you are doing something by supernatural means? Is the pay off really worth it? Why? Does the pay off exceed the price? Are positive outward reactions always a determining factor to your magic's success? Or is just doing the magic always good enough? Does the lack of any positive feedback discourage your efforts overall? Are you in it for yourself, the spectators, or both?

Is the potential financial burden truly worth "possibly" amazing some now faceless, and unknown spectator in the future? Is it important that you be reimbursed financially for all the money that you have invested into the art? Is the reactions of people an acceptable enough payment? If you do not receive the expected reactions, are you still content regardless?

These questions, and many more will allow one to really try and decipher why they are doing magic day in, and day out. What keeps them coming back for more, and why they need to keep growing, and prospering in the art. That was my ultimate goal, and point of writing the article.



So has anyone done any brainstorming, or an in depth 'self-analysis' as to what makes magic really worth continuing to do on a daily basis to you? It is quite easy to claim that you continue to do it for the purpose of entertaining people, but does it actually go much deeper than that? Only you know the answers that are hidden deep within your magic conscience.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:45 pm 
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I figured I would bump this latest essay that I wrote awhile back to perhaps encourage some much needed magic discussion in these forums. So what makes magic ultimately worth it you? Is it truly worth all the hassle, money, and time? Are positive reactions all that really matter? If so, how do you handle negative, or no reactions at all? Step up to the mic and speak your peace...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:04 pm 
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There are some excellent comments in this thread, and once again, sirbrad, a very provocative essay.

I guess one could liken it to pursuit of the Martial Arts. You strive for perfection, and that striving is a reward in itself. There must also be a little of the attention-seeker in many magicians and students of magic. There is some satisfaction in "pulling one over" on someone.

And perhaps there is some truth in what Cardshark13 said about trying to capture that moment of astonishment and sustain or repeat it for our own benefit.

Can one achieve nirvana through conjuring? Hmmm....

But I must say that one of my main goals in studying magic is to entertain people.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:40 am 
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AlexSem wrote:
why do you enjoy food?



Because it keeps me alive so that I can continue doing magic. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:57 pm 
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born to perform.

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good job. this helps


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:55 pm 
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Magicians have made the sacrifice of "knowing" so that others may be entertained because of their lack of knowledge.

In a vague way, this can be compared to eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and of evil.

I remember when first starting out in magic, I felt so bad that I was "pulling one over" the heads of some of my closest friends. The "Invisible Deck" was the only trick i would do and i would KILL audiences. after the persistant begging from my closest friends, i was not extremely hesitant to tell them the secret. The biggest shocker to me was having each of the friends i told about the ID approach me individually, telling me that they wished I had never told them how it was done because the feeling of awe and amazement left them when the secret was revealed. They wished that i could erase their memories so that they could have those feelings again.

Out of this unfortunate situation comes a brighter side, however.
showing my closest friends this, once complex, now simple "trick" has made me realize why I love PERFORMING magic. My friends LOVE watching my audience reactions after performing the ID! They love how something so simple can entertain so much. They once again "feel" the feelings they had when they first experienced this illusion; but, now through the eyes, expressions, awe and amazement of other ignorant laymen.

This is why I LOVE performing illusions; to experience the experiences of my audiences through just watching them. It is a rush of a feeling that is impossible to exlain. I have reached the point where I have bent so many forks into various shapes that I almost do not understand WHY it impresses people; but once I see the reaction in their faces, I taste that experience of my first time again. Magic is my Drug. I am addicted to it.
however; unlike drugs, Magic can only do good.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:25 pm 
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born to perform.

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I had the exact same problem then you sinbrad, I live in a small town with like 2000 habitans.

But I truly felt in love with magic when i done my first "close-up show" I was doing it for free for a local charity event, I was doing some trick around in that time and I got noticed by some people that held the event.
When I first began i was a bit nervous because i was not prepared, But when i saw that little girl laugh out loud because the sponge ball that i put in my pocket was back in my hand, and when i got my first ovation... I had a weird feeling of acomplishment and joy, I finished my day with a big smile...

I realised that people was enjoying what i was doing, and they event wanted to give me a tip to encourage me. Never i will do that job for money...

Exelent essay sinbrad, really * claps, claps, claps! *

blizt :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:49 pm 
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Thanks, I am glad some people are still enjoying these essays. This essay has since been updated and revised for the inclusion in my first published book, which I actually finished a few months ago. Writing essays to publish here, online-visions, and various other online venues; motivated me to finally accomplish my lifelong goal of becoming an author. It was a long and painstaking process, yet a very enjoyable one at the same time being I did ALL the work, including copy-editing, proof-reading, cover design, and book layout.

Also the encouragement of others motivated me to finish the book as well. That is basically why I had to take a break from posting my essays online, I was so busy working on the book. The idea at first was to simply create a binded/printed copy of all my essays for personal reference only, but I may release it to the public at some point as well. It would have been very difficult to just sit down and write an entire book, so I am glad I was able to help create this forum for a place to post about magic theory when time permitted; as it made it a lot easier to put it all together in the end.

Here is the revised version which is not too much different, and a few grammatical errors that were fixed.

Is Magic Really Worth It?


I know what you are thinking, of course it is! How on earth could magic not be worth it? Well this is a thought I have pondered for many years, especially while growing up and having little money to buy the “next greatâ€


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