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 Post subject: Personification in magic
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Hey guys. This is my 4th essay I believe I have posted here since I joined. I have really been playing with this and thinking about it a lot lately. It is about personification it magic, And for those of you who don't know what personification is, It is when you give non human items human traits. For example, "This coin is trained!"

So why am I writing this?, You may ask. Because in my mind, Personification is the cheesiest kind of magic you can do. In some cases whether or not it is a card trick, coin trick, dollar bill trick etc. It just kills the effect. I saw someone a while back say, "Here I have a trained coin here". And that got me thinking. Why do this? Does it add humor to a routine, Does it add fun to the routine, Does it just make the spectators sit there and go "[edited] is he talking about!". Which is exactly why I am writing this.

There is absolutely no point in telling the spectators a pile of lies. They know it is not trained and to them, It juts flies right by them. Nobody ever reacts to it. I once did a trick a few years ago, where I told the spectators that my coin with hop on the invisible plane and go to my other hand. Do you know what they said? "No its not, you did some kind of secret move or something". Then maybe a year before that, I was watching some people do magic (This was before I got interested in magic) and everytime somebody said that, I just naturally ignored that. We often ignore stupid crap that has no relevance to anything. When you are doing a word problem on your homework and they say "Jose is setting up chairs in the auditorium for the cheer meeting", Do you ever remember that, or even think about it? No.

So Its been about 10 minutes of reading already (or at least 30 minutes of typing and I'm exhausted and simply estimating the time) How are some ways you can have that kind of personification in your magic, And still have the same meaning? You are probably by now thinking this is contradicting and that I'm simply trying to tell you this is bad, But I actually want to give you ways for you to eliminate this crap from a trick and still get through what you want to say.

1- You have all probably seen a coins across where almost EVERYONE says, "The coin TRAVELS". Have you ever thought of this? Its something where as magicians, it often does not go over our heads, which of course means that it wont go over the spectators head. You are saying that it will PHYSICALLY travel instead of getting on that plane and traveling.

2- Use a gag. Dont get all perverted on me now, But have a gag in your routine. You will be surprised at how simple a jumbo coin or a jumbo cigar or a novelty fire extinguisher or even a novelty lighter, Can play soooo big in your magic. One of the reasons why I like Gary Norsigian's cigar routine, Is because he non-verbally tells the audience that the lighter is twisted. He tells them that it was magically twisted in some way. it is nothing but a gag! Then to sell it, He does something with that gag! So lets say you are doing a coin routine where you make the coin turn into a jumbo, You just jumbo sized it, and now you say "The coin might want to be a little bit bigger".

3-For those of you who don't like the line I offered above, You can say "Water the coin and it grows", "Have you ever wished you were bigger? I know I have! Me being 6' 7", I wish I was BIGGER" (The audience will almost always get that joke), and in that point in the show, you jumbo size the coin and tell them that coin magic wishes that it is sometimes a little bit bigger.

So as you can tell, You can always eliminate those little "over their heads" lines and make it a much better trick or even add a joke or gag or something of that nature. But the one place I will tell you it is ok to use personification in your magic, Is in kids settings. Kids love it when you tell them things about your rabbit, or sponge ball, or earplug etc. And that is the only time I EVER use personification in my magic. Thank you


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:23 pm 
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Emperor Penguin

Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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Location: Canada
While I despise personification, I have watched a lot of magicians perform for children and the children do seem to respond better when the magician adds human characteristics to material objects.

Disney has a monopoly on that. Talking mice, parrots, lobsters, tea-cups, candle-sticks, door-knobs, maic carpets, etc, etc.

8)


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2008 8:49 am 
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Team Penguin

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Thats what I said in the closing paragraph. Personification just sells the effect in a childrens trick. What doesent talk in disney :wink:


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