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 Post subject: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:38 pm 
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Okay so I just got the "Groove Electric Switch" download and really fell in love with this move. It just really "feels good" to practice. That said, I really don't have a lot of use for it in my repertoire right now. I'm sure over time I will slowly start adding it in here and there but, for the moment, I'm enjoying the pure mechanics of this move. So this all just reminded me that for a long time now I have freely admitted to being a "Move Monkey." Earnest Earick's "Apologia" in "By Forces Unseen" really spoke to me on a gut level. I love the mechanics of sleight of hand card magic!

Now I realize that to many people the term "Move Monkey" is somewhat of a pejorative term. I assume their reasoning is that people who spend too much time practicing moves never devote enough of themselves to learning the performance and theatrical aspects of the magical arts. I guess I just never saw the two on a continuum, but rather, two separate aspects of the same craft. Thus, there is the study of the mechanical side of magic, the sleight of hand and magical gimmicks you use to create the illusion, and the study of the theatrical side of magic, the character, scripting, and timing used to create entertainment out of the sleights and props you use. A magician can be poor at both, or good at one and not the other, but he/she could also be good at both. So when I hear magicians say things like, "You should spend more time studying theater and less time worrying about the sleights," I cringe a bit and think...."Why shouldn't a magician do both?"

So how many other "out of the closet Move Monkey's" are there? Furthermore, do any of you feel that your performance suffers from the time you spend studying the moves?


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:04 pm 
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I will admit that I too am a move monkey. I agree with you 100% that both are important. Now in my opinion though, to have a good theatrical performance, you need to spend a lot of time just working on moves--reason being that if you want to have a good performance every move in your show should be down so perfect that you don't have to think about it. When you are focusing on a move rather than your audience and entertaining them, i think the trick suffers a little...just my thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:04 pm 
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I am NOT a move monkey, but I don't think that there's anything wrong with it. I think it just depends on your philosophy of magic. The way I think about it is this: when you have just the moves, it is just magic (or trickery), nothing theatrical. But when you have just the theatrics, it's not magical, but it's still entertaining. So I think that a "move monkey" is mainly focused on creating magic, while the other is focused on entertaining. This creates the difference between a "magician's magician" and a layman's magician. From my perspective (as a non-move monkey), there should be a balance of the two, if not more on the theatrics side (again, my bias). But that's a big problem because to be good at both, it takes a lot of time. So this is a reason why you should focus on developing few tricks at a time (Many magicians develop a trick for years before they perform it. And the development of a trick should never stop.).
I'm sorry if I was rambling, but I was just saying my point of view on move monkeys.
Drew


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:55 pm 
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I'm definitely not a move monkey just because I've never gotten much satisfaction out of it. I'm glad that there are guys who like that sort of thing, though, because I think a lot of creative ideas can come out of it; however, I'm just not like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:39 pm 
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I learn alot of sleights, but there is only specific ones I tend to use to fascilitate the effects correctly. I am far more focused on theatrics and making my movements seem "honest" and in some cases, like my DL, flashy (Not the bad flash).

I think it was already summed up quite well. Who are you performing for? That will dictate what you will want/need to learn.

-ArchAngel_G


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:08 am 
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I know many moves and sleights to control cards and what not. But when it comes to performance, I just do a simple double undercut to control it. So not so much that I do both, but one mostly for my intrest and for magicians, and then performing for the audience and focusing more on them.


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Another thing to consider is how you want to audience to see you as far as your handling. Do you want to be flourish heavy and make it seem like you deffinately know your way around a deck of cards, or do you want to seem like a putz who handels a deck like any other person would? Perhaps somewhere in the middle?


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:59 pm 
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I think there could be a negative connotation to being a Move Monkey. I see it used to describe someone who concentrates on the moves rather than the scripting and presentation. And I know magicians that fit the mold. They can rattle off dozens of tricks using a huge variety of moves - yet their routines lack any scripting and they are in need of much refinement. And they bore the heck of people yet have no self awareness that they are boring (just my observation and you don't have to agree.)

I think the other definition of move monkey is simply someone who enjoys learning a lot of moves. I probably fall into this category. As someone alluded to, I think the advantage of being a move monkey is in the creation and refinement of effects. How can you make a routine better? Having a large arsenal of moves is much better to draw from. However, some move monkeys seem to opt for the complicated move for the sake of challenge or ego. I think the best substitutions are the ones that simply the handling and not complicate them (ie, Nick Trost).


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 Post subject: Re: Move Monkey as a Pejorative?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:01 am 
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I definitely throw in with Twendt. As to his move monkey description in his first paragraph......not a good thing! But as to his alternate description he offers in his second paragraph....very good thing. Being a move monkey under that definition has really opened up my ability to cut excessive card handling out of my routines.

The most basic example is a guy who knows a control that brings the card to the top of the pack and he knows a double undercut. This guy does an effect that requires a card to get to the bottom of the deck. So there is one move that needs to be covered to get the card from the middle of the pack to the top, plus another move needed to get the card from top to bottom. This magician is at a distinct disadvantage from the magician who knows a top card control and a bottom card control.

Expanding on this idea is knowing several controls that cover themselves in Different ways. Sometimes the card is inserted directly into the squared pack, sometimes into a spread. Sometimes a dribble action is used, sometimes the move is covered with the off hand. If you know a lot of varieties of moves you can structure routines that look more normal. Ie. You are doing a two card routine that needs a card on the top and one on the bottom. Doing a dribble pass followed by a convincing control just breaks up the "flow" of the effect. But if you combine a convincing control with a losing control...effectively it looks as if you are burying the card in the pack in the exact same way. Thus you have a more consistent routine.

So, provided you don't short change the presentation, i'd say that knowing a lot of moves gives the magician the freedom to create more consistent routines.

BTW...all good thoughts so far!


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