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 Post subject: A comment made to me by Daniel Garcia...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:04 pm 
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Back in February I attended my first magic convention in Columbus Ohio name Magi Fest. Friday night I met up with about 12 guys sitting around Daniel Garcia. This Jam Session began around 10 at night and didn’t end until 7 in the morning with me, Daniel and another guy eating breakfast together. around 5:30, as the crowd dwindled down to 7 of the loyal Garcia fans ( who by surprise were all teenagers that love street magic) a 13 year old boy wonders into the lobby and sits down. The boy quickly pulls out a notebook and begins working on a few soduko puzzles.

His father who happened to be the restaurant manager wonders out and informs us how his son is a brilliant child and he woke up extra early today just to see some magic. His father leaves and a few moments pass. Each of us take turns trying to impress this kid with me leading the back. I begin with a appearance of a coin followed boy a routine similar to the one found on David Stones restaurant magic. Finally I finish with a jumbo coin. To my dismay, this boy quickly brushes me off and looks back at his puzzle.

The next victim steps up and proceeds to try and dazzle this brilliant mind with a card trick. No reaction. This continues with another kid until basically the kid is ignoring any life form within a five foot radius. We decide to leave him alone and continue on with our jam session.

Garcia starts talking to us about what we did wrong. It has been a while but I remember it something like this. " You didn’t connect with that kid. Your coin routine looked amazing, but he could care less. He wasn’t interested in it at all. Same with your card tricks. I bet you if you walked over there right now and performed the square magic trick ( I don’t remember what it is called but basically you draw a square and start writing numbers and they all equal the same, or something similar to the idea) he would be amazed. He is interested in that. Its just like his soduko." So what’s the point of this post you ask?

Tonight I was working on the Luke Jermay poker deal routine. Towards the end he makes a comment how "I’m sure everyone has heard someone say, I would never play poker with this guy." I put my cards away and jumped in the shower. As I stood there it dawned upon me. The late night Jam session I had with Daniel Garcia and a few other guys came to mind. I have been performing magic for the past 10 years just to perform. The same trick for everyone I see, same patter with little changes here and there. I have not tried to find someone's connection with a certain type of trick and used it to my advantage.

I'm probably still not getting my point across. For instance: Your standing at a bar, performing your best ambitious card routine when a woman looks you right in the face and says " I would never play cards with this guy". Obviously this woman has some sort of connection to poker or any other card game out there. What do you do, you proceed to make a paper ball float and dance and turn into a real rose. Wonderful effect, it gathers great response, but not an emotional connection. Jump on the moment. Insure her that you are ok to play cards with and then show her your best poker dealing expo. Something that has to do with the topic, anything!!!

I have decided after thinking about this long and hard that I’m going to try and categorize my effects. Might not make sense to some of you, but to me it does. Maybe not so much my effects but my spectators. For instance, when I’m working a restaurant and I walk up to a table and ask a gentleman what he does for a living, and he responds accountant, I will proceed to pull some effect from my long term memory that has to do with math. Anything. Or another example. Many females have the tattoo of a butterfly somewhere that is sure to flash. Why not perform life also by Garcia? Isn’t that more of an emotional connection that pulling silver dollars from her ear? I just feel sometimes that magic is taken as a kids toy. Something that the kids sure would love if they were here right now. To really hit someone hard with an effect I think it has to be the right effect to suite that person? Maybe I’m over thinking this but to me I would rather be taken as a artist than a kids toy.





Sometimes I get random thoughts that come to my head and I have record them somewhere, some place, somehow. If some of my post don’t make sense, I apologize, its a stream of thought that I must express until I feel I have expressed enough. Spelling doesn’t matter to me during these streams of though or grammatical error.



Edited by B Magic, because it really is an interesting topic but needed editing in order to be more readable, and easy on the eyes. I hope you don't mind, I really was interested in this and wanted more people to read it without judging it first.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:35 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 17 May 2005
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Location: Burleson , Texas , stop buying every new trick and Read some bloody books
that is very intresting, its a better post than "what should I buy?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:37 am 
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A very interesting idea, and I really enjoyed reading it (I did some minor editing, just to break it up a little and make it easier on the eyes to read, so people will actually read it).

I agree with you to a point, but also I feel that you can't always know what will connect to someone based on their outward appearance, or what they say. For example, you said someone could say they are an accountant at the restaurant, and so you do money or math tricks. However, they could absolutely hate their job, or its just a job that pays the bills. So doing a money or math trick might not necessarily "connect" to that person...in fact, it could do the opposite. They could be tired of money and math, seeing it so much at work, and not consider those effects "amazing." I've seen this happen a bunch of times.

A lot of times, the mathy/science-y type of person is not the person to do the mathy type tricks with. They are often analytical-minded people, so instead I'll try to hit them with my hardest hitting, most amazing, most simple, and most heckler-proof effects. They are often the types of people that, if you hit them with something simple, they won't think "oh there was a bunch of steps that made that work" or something like that. And if its something very impactful, something contrary to their analytical nature, they will be the most amazed. Oftentimes, hitting them with something they are used too will result in them thinking "oh that's cool...they're has to be a logical reason for that." You don't want them to at all think "there must be a way," you got to hit them hard and hit them again. Get them with something amazing, simple, and completely out of the box, and they will almost always freak!

I am saying the same thing as you are, in a way...that you should always try to tailor your performances based on the audience you are performing for. I will never just do "blah blah common trick" on anyone I meet. I'll try to get clues about who they are, study their responses and mannerisms, and hit them with something that I feel might get the biggest reactions from them. But as I said, that is not always necessarily something they say, or noticing a butterfly tatoo on a girl's ankle (though, that is a great idea to notice and capitalize on that for the "Life" effect). The real trick is to really notice who people are...study people types...and honestly a lot of trial and error and learning from past mistakes. There really is no "right" answer to it, that's the beauty (and sometimes, the bane) of living in a world where everyone is an individual.

Keep in mind though, that the accountant by day is often the impressionistic artist by night...and that art might be their real joy and passion in life. Think about yourself, what people know of you besides your magic, and then think about that despite all those other things, you are a magician. Is every part of your life a "tell" that you are a magic performer, or do a lot of people know you for other things, like another job you might have, or a hobby, or a sport? Even Oz Pearlman, magician as he is, has a deeply strong passion for long-distance running. Very different from what many people know about him.


I really do like your topic though, and think that it should be edited further and added to the magic essays section. It's good stuff to think about, and should be shared with the community for real. I tip my hat to you, we don't get enough real, thoughtful advise here on the forums.


Last edited by B_Magic on Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:39 am 
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This guy had his "a-ha!" moment and learned something that some of us have tried to pound into people's heads for ages.

He's now learned one of the true secrets of magic that will stick with him a lot longer than the latest Instant Download or gimmick of the week.

Congratulations! Welcome to the Club!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:51 am 
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DaveV wrote:
This guy had his "a-ha!" moment and learned something that some of us have tried to pound into people's heads for ages.

He's now learned one of the true secrets of magic that will stick with him a lot longer than the latest Instant Download or gimmick of the week.

Congratulations! Welcome to the Club!




Was thinking the same thing Dave...


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:54 am 
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Thanks for the reply. I know my topic needed much editing, but that was the point. Whenever I get a topic in mind I use a writing technique I learned years ago. Just sit down and write, never let the pen leave the paper, write, don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just write. But that's besides the point.
I have to be honest with you, before I read your response, I sat down and worked out a few ideas from my last post that I would like to change or add upon. I agree with you in many different ways. For instance. I was trying to categorize a few tricks and with whom I thought they would appeal to. One of the twenty I tried to work this technique out with was the coin bend. For clarity I will give a short explanation of my presentation. Someone hands a coin over, penny, quarter whatever. I place it in there hand and slowly they feel it begin to bend. They open there hand and its bent. Easy routine. So at first I thought wow if I saw a strong man, athletic type this would be the routine for them. Then I began to think. I myself was recently a Division 1 college athlete and still to this day body build. Would this be something that would amaze me? No!!! Everyday of my life I'm use to hearing how athletic I am, how strong and all that stuff. So why would this amaze me? Instead a person who isn’t use to that or is self continues would feel an emotional connection to this routine. Someone who may not have athletic ability or who has some sort of physical disability. The feeling of accomplishment really makes individuals feel connected in some way or another.
This is just an idea and a short example. So here is my question to you B_magic and everyone else that takes the time to read my post. How do we find that connection? How do we realize that this is the right way to communicate with this person. How do we know that this accountant really hates his job and doesn’t want to see a stupid trick using a square and numbers? I guess if I had to answer this question I would say communicate before you pull your freshly bought raven out of your sleeve. Talk to the individual and don’t mention you do magic. I read in a business article about performing magic for a living that this is the best way to get a job. Talk to people and wait for them to ask for a trick. This would probably be the best way to really involve someone instead of forcing them into caring why your shoelace is untied. I have a thousand different tricks and routines memorized and ready to perform, but figuring out the right time to do so is going to be hard.



O and DaveV it only took me ten years of performing to really understand that its not the tricks that make the magician.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:19 am 
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Very nice post. The connection is vital. It is the difference between an amazing illusion with no connection, and the simplest trick that has a huge connection.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:19 am 
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To answer your question Green, there really is no right answer to that. All we can do is to take our magic seriously, more than just the effects, but in all aspects of performance and make our decisions from that. It's all situation dependant, honestly. Maybe you do have time to try to get to know someone a little more before you hit them with the magic. In that case, if you are looking for maximum reaction, that might be the way to go. In other cases, you might not have that kind of time, like if you are a restaurant worker. Then, you have to use your instincts as a performer, your common sense, and your knowledge that you've developed as a magician and make an informed decision.

However, to gain that knowledge and make informed decisions I think the magician has to take their magic seriously, and seriously study the performance side of magic. I majored in Communications and Business in college, as well as took all the sociology, and psychology electives I could, just so that it would help me in my performances. Now that may be an extreme example (if you're in college, not too extreme, as you have to take extra elective fluff classes anway...so you might as well make them count toward something useful), but the point is to really take a hard look at performing, and try to expand your horizons and really study why people act, say, and do the things they do. And capitalize on those things in performance.

Study might be as simple as jotting down notes about reactions of people, your performance style, etc while at your restaurant gig or private party (or right after your show). Keeping a magic journal can really give insights into your performance style, and help you to develop it further. Even simpler is just really taking notice of people as you perform, or even when not performing (like when your just talking to a group of people or whatever). REALLY taking notice means your being conscious of yourself and others, and that will help you to develop.

As far as in performance tips, sometimes even just bringing up the conversation in performance can help you get tells from people. Asking the spectator, "hey, what do you do for a living." If he/she tells you they are an accountant, you could theoretically ask them how they feel about it: "Oh really, accountant...math for a living...may god have mercy on your soul!" (Of course said jokingly). Then take note of their reaction to your statement, and base your performance around that. You could even say "Really...accounting...wow I'm impressed. How on earth do you survive?!?!" A statement like that is for sure going to give you the tells you're looking for.


Also, keep in mind, that as much as you're right about really making that connection with your audience, don't go to that other extreme and think that's all there is to it. In my experience, especially these days, the selling of yourself is vital to your magic and the reactions to the magic. What I mean is that, in some way, you have to figure out how to get buy-in from the people you are performing for. You have to tailor not only the effect, but the delivery and also yourself to obtain maximum reaction. You can find that connection with your spectator and tailor the effect for them perfectly, but if they think your an idiot, a nerd, condescending, weak, intimidating, unfriendly, bashful or whatever...you're still not going to achieve maximum impact. Basically, if your taking your magic seriously, there really is a lot to think about and work on to get your magic to that level you seek.

Just my two and a half cents worth.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:47 am 
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born to perform.

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I think you should have 2 or 3 threads like this before getting "born to perform"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:45 am 
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This thread is definitely going into my favorites list.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:22 pm 
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akirafist wrote:
This thread is definitely going into my favorites list.


Agreed.

Wonderful. Really made me feel... warm. Interested. Amazed.

Congratulations.

10/10

~Z

P.S. You should post this in the Essays section!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:22 pm 
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Moving it to essays...


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 Post subject: cool
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:09 pm 
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Well thanks everyone. I appreciate that you guys like my middle of the night rants.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Location: Well I was thinking about it but, I like your moms house
I like it alot


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:54 pm 
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nice


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