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 Post subject: The Art of Magic as a Means to Ease Sufferring
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:48 am 
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I am curious, what are some ways to use the art of magic to ease sufferring and build bridges that otherwise would prove impossible to be built?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:29 pm 
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born to perform.

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Entertaintment makes people happy.

If you're looking to have some profound message in your work then that's something you'll have to work on a little at a time. Thinking about what your message is, how to demonstrate it etc and most importantly don't make it a joke while not coming across as preachy.

As for anything else I've show tricks to people when they're down the distraction cheers them up. It's the least I can do for a friend.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Watch some of David Copperfields stuff, some of it is very inspirational and meaningful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:24 am 
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People like to think about magic as a means to gain social status, make money but sometimes neglect it as a use or means to simply ease sufferring. To me, that's where the real magic comes in. How have some of the members of the forum used magic to ease the sufferring of others? We have plenty of members who use the art to make money (and you know, I have used magic to make money as well in the past in my time of performing magic on and off over the years, so I am not trying to be self righteous or judgemental). I think it's good to use magic to make a living but to also remember that it is an art that can be used to ease the sufferring of others and bring a smile to the faces of those people who seem to be going through tough times.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:42 pm 
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born to perform.

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I hear the term “Ease suffering” and I get this whole Christian feel about it which immediately gets me on my atheist toes. As for bringing a smile to someone's face, we all know how to put a smile on a friends face if they need it. If it's a stranger then a magic trick might be a distraction. In terms of inspiring people to better themselves I do have a memory routine built around that.

Basically I talk about the limitations people put on themselves in life. When they see someone do something amazing, like a juggler or an acrobat, they look at them and say “I could never do that.” This is immediately followed by some kind of excuse. I say that I used to watch magicians and think the same thing, I could never do that. However once I decided to stop making excuses and give magic a try I found that if I just applied myself to it I really could do that.
During my University course when preparing to revise for exams I watched a program about memory and mnemonics. On it I saw a man memorise the order of 5 decks of cards in about ten minutes. He new the location of every card in every deck. (This is actually true btw the guy was world champion of memory at the time.) I saw it and thought “I could never do that... but wait I thought I could never do magic and here I am pulling cards out peoples ears. So maybe if I stop thinking I could never do that and start thinking I'm going to do that I can do it after all.
At which point the routine begins. I give a brief description of some mnemonic processes that I've learnt and things I've done to practice. Then I say that over the last few months I've memorised these! At which point a produce half a dozen books. These are thrown out to the audience and what follows is ultimately several different book tests. But rather than just going for a word I go for entire passages. I force a page and a paragraph and run off the jist of it, another I ask for a page, line and how far into the line to get just the word. Etc etc..... (different methods to keep the audience on their toes)
Then I memorise a shuffled deck of cards in a few seconds and rattle them off with my back turned, (explaining 1 is much easier than 5). I also have a card removed riffle through the deck and divine it (standard memory tricks really.)
To finish I perform the open prediction but I riffle the cards towards the spec first and use various spiel to convince them that they have the entire order stored in their unconscious mind and they will now know instinctively where a specific card is.
I finish with a closing speech about how we need to stop being so negative and stop applying limitations to ourselves and start thinking “how am I going to do this” rather than “I could never do that.”

If that helps ease suffering I guess it's the best I got.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Be like David Blaine, give people winning scratch off tickets for about a thousand or two. You can also script your magic to convey an emotional and meaningful message. Like Eugene Burger points out in the documentary "The Art of Magic," the magician is not actually just restoring a cut piece of rope, he is also exhibiting the fact that you can also restore your own life or whatever promlems you have just as he did with the rope etc.


Last edited by sirbrad on Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:14 pm 
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sirbrad wrote:
Be like David Blaine, give people winning scratch off tickets for about a thousand or two. You can also script your magic to convey an emotional and meaningful message. Like Eugene Burger points out in the documentary "The Art of Magic," the magician it not actually just restoring a cut piece of rope, he is also exhibiting the fact that you can also restore your own life or whatever promlems you have just as he did with the rope etc.


Hey, you're back! Yay!

[/sarcasm]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Yes I am back for now, had a nice long vacation from magic and here, felt great. I may chime in on magic related topics occasionally from time to time but not as much as I used to being I am going to be working a lot of gigs and two restaurants in the fall. So may as well talk magic when I got the time...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:52 pm 
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arkham666 wrote:
I hear the term “Ease suffering” and I get this whole Christian feel about it which immediately gets me on my atheist toes. As for bringing a smile to someone's face, we all know how to put a smile on a friends face if they need it. If it's a stranger then a magic trick might be a distraction. In terms of inspiring people to better themselves I do have a memory routine built around that.

Basically I talk about the limitations people put on themselves in life. When they see someone do something amazing, like a juggler or an acrobat, they look at them and say “I could never do that.” This is immediately followed by some kind of excuse. I say that I used to watch magicians and think the same thing, I could never do that. However once I decided to stop making excuses and give magic a try I found that if I just applied myself to it I really could do that.
During my University course when preparing to revise for exams I watched a program about memory and mnemonics. On it I saw a man memorise the order of 5 decks of cards in about ten minutes. He new the location of every card in every deck. (This is actually true btw the guy was world champion of memory at the time.) I saw it and thought “I could never do that... but wait I thought I could never do magic and here I am pulling cards out peoples ears. So maybe if I stop thinking I could never do that and start thinking I'm going to do that I can do it after all.
At which point the routine begins. I give a brief description of some mnemonic processes that I've learnt and things I've done to practice. Then I say that over the last few months I've memorised these! At which point a produce half a dozen books. These are thrown out to the audience and what follows is ultimately several different book tests. But rather than just going for a word I go for entire passages. I force a page and a paragraph and run off the jist of it, another I ask for a page, line and how far into the line to get just the word. Etc etc..... (different methods to keep the audience on their toes)
Then I memorise a shuffled deck of cards in a few seconds and rattle them off with my back turned, (explaining 1 is much easier than 5). I also have a card removed riffle through the deck and divine it (standard memory tricks really.)
To finish I perform the open prediction but I riffle the cards towards the spec first and use various spiel to convince them that they have the entire order stored in their unconscious mind and they will now know instinctively where a specific card is.
I finish with a closing speech about how we need to stop being so negative and stop applying limitations to ourselves and start thinking “how am I going to do this” rather than “I could never do that.”

If that helps ease suffering I guess it's the best I got.


Hmm...I never looked at easing sufferring as a Christian thing nor was it my intent to force religion down somebody's throat. You can be atheist and use magic to ease the sufferring of others.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:53 am 
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born to perform.

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i never said you were trying to do anything of the sort. It's just that phrase... "ease suffering" there's something about it that grates. I dunno I guess it's just one of my isms.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:50 am 
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Magic might also be used to ease pain the performer is feeling. I had an unpleasant day a couple of weeks ago, leading to an emergency visit to the hospital. Performing a couple of tricks in moments I had enough juice left for that did wonders for my own state of mind.

Of course the smile on the face of that kid with the broken leg who happened to wait on the seat next to mine as I was checking out was really nice as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:58 am 
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arkham666 wrote:
i never said you were trying to do anything of the sort. It's just that phrase... "ease suffering" there's something about it that grates. I dunno I guess it's just one of my isms.


I have always looked for some meaning in my magic. I guess if you are not much of a spiritual person and are a die hard materialist then it would perhaps grate at you. I believe we can serve a much larger purpose rather than merely surviving and reproducing. Some people who advocate the view of scientific materialism would find some of my comments grating because it would suggest we can serve other and bigger purposes besides just surviving and reproducing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:29 am 
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VForVendetta43210 wrote:
I believe we can serve a much larger purpose rather than merely surviving and reproducing. Some people who advocate the view of scientific materialism would find some of my comments grating because it would suggest we can serve other and bigger purposes besides just surviving and reproducing.


You are missing a very very critical aspect of the Darwinian mindset. It's not just eating and reproducing. It's eat, reproduce, don't get eaten! That "don't get eaten" part is very important. Don't forget that. You'll regret it if you do. :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:54 am 
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eostresh wrote:
VForVendetta43210 wrote:
I believe we can serve a much larger purpose rather than merely surviving and reproducing. Some people who advocate the view of scientific materialism would find some of my comments grating because it would suggest we can serve other and bigger purposes besides just surviving and reproducing.


You are missing a very very critical aspect of the Darwinian mindset. It's not just eating and reproducing. It's eat, reproduce, don't get eaten! That "don't get eaten" part is very important. Don't forget that. You'll regret it if you do. :wink:


:) Surviving is important, but it's not everything.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Ok I think I should have left my atheist comments out of my post as they seem to have hijacked the thread. I won't rise to anything you say as I'm not in the mood for a serious spiritual debate certainly not over the internet anyway.

Ok so lets talk magic, magic is art (although a certain mentalist did once write that the worst thing a bunch of artists can talk about when they get together is their art.) All art is multifunctunal. It can be simply entertaining or distracting or can serve a deeper meaning. It can inspire, it can educate and ultimately it can reflect life. (The same mentalist implied that the group of artists should in fact talk about life as that is the source of art.) So with regards to easing suffering, helping those who are down or serving to inspire its all very possible. I'm sure many people here have done a charitiy run... put a pound/doller in the bucket for children in need and i'll show you a trick etc. Also presentations that are spectator centerd can make specs think that if they apply themselves they can surpass their own limits etc. So yeah I think that's my point anyway.


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