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 Post subject: "What is the best.....(fill in the blank)?"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:22 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 10 Jun 2005
Posts: 59
Location: LA, CA
“What is the best……” That starts every question in every magic forum.

Just so you know “best” is an opinion. What you may deem as the “best” effect and what others might think – are not always the same.

That is exactly why some people prefer King Rising to the Balducci – it’s what you “prefer.”

Finding the “best” effects and the “best books and props” is going to chiefly rely upon only one person….you.

1. Read a lot of effects on the www (their descriptions)
2. Subscribe to some free magic newsletters
3. Become a member of several forums (and read them, don’t just ask ask ask)
4. Read customer reviews
5. …and THEN make your purchases still on the effects that sound good TO YOU. Don’t buy something just because everyone says it is awesome. I know lots of people who like D’Lite, (I don’t) I know lots of magicians who like coin tricks (I don’t.) Don’t buy tricks on the HOT LIST because they are hot, in your hands they may be stone cold.

And as a magician who has been around a while (20 years), I have bought a lot of crap magic. Effects that I did not like, and effects that just didn’t work for me. I have wasted hundreds of dollars.

WARNING: You will experience “buyer’s remorse.” I think initially you think that the NEXT trick really will be “diabolical.” But, when you learn how an effect is done, you almost always go, “Oh, that’s how it is done?” And a small amount of disappointment always sets in.

The point is getting past that and beginning to work with various effects to find what ends up working best for you.

1. Gimmicks
2. Ordinary props
3. Coins
4. Cards
5. Or strictly impromptu
6. Or some combinations….

Like any other art form, this kind of thing takes time. Maybe the best question is not “what is best” but more so, find out “what WORKS best for you” or “what are a few of your favorites?” (so you have more that one option) Or better yet, find out what magicians DO NOT like, that way you have BOTH sides of the argument to make a better choice when buying magic.

Because if it says, “No strings” that means it is magnets. And if it says, no magnets – then it uses invisible thread. If it says no sleight of hand, it means that it looks cheap, and if it says “packs flat and plays big” that means it takes hours of practice.

Stop worrying about what other people think is “best.” And discover YOU in the art of magic. Mozart wrote original music as an elementary student. He didn’t ask which songs were “HOT.” Mozart defined HOT. Magic, like any other art form takes YEARS of practice to perfect. Some magis spend their whole lives living in the shadows of great men and women.

Advice is great, don’t get me wrong, I ask for advice all of the time. That is how we grow and learn. But craft your questions into something “real” and “honest” and that reflects who you are as an artisan. Don’t just stand in line with the other drones and ask…

What is the best card trick?
What is the best coin trick?
What are your three best tricks?

Ultimately you need to decide what you want to say with your magic, don’t rob yourself of that discovery.

Good luck,

David Kenney Magic
Davidkenneymagic@aol.com
http://dkmagic.blogspot.com/ - New effects posted every week!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:55 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 4064
Location: London, England
Wow. What a great thread. My head isn't physically able to nod enough to show how much I agree with you.

I only stumbled accross this whole Essay forum today, but I can see now that this is where there people who put thought into their posts post them. I completely agree that there is no "best" trick because "best" is an opinion. I myself have done just what you said - buy, buy, buy until you discover who you are and what magic you like.

I think that one of the most "What the best"-ed type of trick is the pen thru dollar trick. Is B-2 better than stealth? The way I found out was that I originally bought "Sharpie thru anything". Then I got "Perfect PENatration" which is basically Stealth Pen. Then I got the B-2 as a free promotion. I have three pen-thru tricks and so I can decide for myself which is best. The Sharpie is good because I can use it in a routine if a spectator has already used it to sign a card. The Stealth and B-2 are good because the method they use is cleaner. The good thing is that not only do I know which is better, but I own both so I can use the one that fits best in the situation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:47 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 4064
Location: London, England
On reflection I can see why people ask which trick is "good" or "better". It can be because the product description and reviews of the products did not mention something to which the asker wants to know the answer. However, most of the time it is because the asker is too lazy to do their own work. They haven't filled their monthly magic quota yet, desperately need to purchase something, have spotted a couple of tricks and just quckly want to ask if they should buy it. If you ask those kind of questions and are in the former group, then ask away, but if you belong to the latter group, then you are most surely not yet suited to performing magic, and I suggest that for the time being, you get out of our profession.

There are two common problems when people ask these types of questions: the first is, as mentioned above, we can't say what's better. We can give pros and cons of tricks but the weighing up is down to you, and this all comes down to how you weigh certain factors against others.

The second problem is that the person asking rarely gives enough information to allow for a good response. This ties in with SuperMagicMozart's "Vague Topics" thread. I see a lot of threads asking, "Should I get X?", "Is X good?" or "Which of these [two completely different effects] is better/should I get?" and no more than that. There is no real answer to those questions, except, "If you want to.", "Good for what?" or "Which ever one you want". But that's not what the asker wants.

Here are some important points to consider when asking for advice about which tricks to get:
  1. Don't use the words "good", "better" or "best" in your question, as those words are too poorly defined. Instead, use phrases like, "Which do you think would suit me better? or "What do you think I should get?"
  2. Give us all the information you can. On top of things like skill level and genres of magic you prefer, also add things like:
    • Tricks you own that are related to the one you are asking about (like if they're in the same genre) and what you like/dislike about them
    • Why you are unsure about which of two/three tricks to get and what factors about these tricks you like
    • Alternative tricks you have looked at and why you disregarded them for the one/two you're asking about
    • Who your audience is: if they are schoolchildren, restaurant customers, pedestrians or people viewing you on stage
    • Where you live - some items like rubber cement are not available in come countries, so any advice saying that you should pick some up from your local store is useless; Coins and notes/bills differ between countries so if a trick requires currency from a particular country, and you don't live in that country, people can advise you against buying that trick.

With things like that, you will give anyone who tries to assist you in your decision a big helping hand, and at the same time show everyone both that you are serious about your question and that you put some effort in, rather than rejecting to use the forum search feature, not doing any pre-research and expecting answers to merely fall into your lap if you ask the same sort of question that has been posted hundreds of times before, often with poor grammar due to typing so fast.

If you've got all the way through this post then congratulations, and here is your prize - the ability to get good advice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:42 am 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Jun 2006
Posts: 166
Location: over...there
The fault lies in both the "askers" and the "responders". To have a better community, the askers must always be specific to their needs and the responders must always explain "why" but the askers must do their part for this to be possible. The askers must definately use the search button!We ultimately must take away the junk of all the repeated posts about the "best" and organize them into individual topics specifically to particular needs. With these, everyone can profit. There are some very important things here but too bad the people doing this won't come across these points.


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