Wednesday 24 June 2015

The Magic of the Trick is the Magic
The Trick to the Magic is the Trick
Part 3

"He must of used marked cards..."

Now that reaction may happen before, during and after a show you must plan for it.
There is also no problem with someone having this reaction. It is understandable for a magician to be defensive to this. The worst thing for me is when someone thinks that I did something that I didn't and I want to correct them so they are not misinformed but they will not believe me unless I reveal how it is really done. To me when I see magic even before I started doing it myself it wasn't important how they did it. What was important is what they did, or at least what it looked like they did. When I could see through a trick it annoyed me. I did not want to see a trick, I wanted to see magic. Don't get me wrong I knew it was a trick but when I watch a movie I don't like things that reminds me it is just a film and it all actors.

If I am when performing doing real magic, I would start off as a normal trick slinging magician. People, normal people do not believe in magic. The shock of magic really happening would be a truly big reaction. You should not hit too hard at the beginning of a show (it’s called the big finale for a reason). It is good to warm up. I see a show like a story. There should be highs and lows. Things should build and you want people invested.

Another game I like to play while doing magic is to break exceptations. Also I like to give people what they want and expect so later I can break it.  In the past before TV etc most people would not have seen magic. It is hard enough to see my favourite bands as I might not even know they are on tour, they may not come to my city and I might have something I am doing at the time that I can't cancel. People are at least aware of magic. When I ask them to choose a card, I do not even need to say don’t show me. When they put the card back in the deck and it get shuffled and I ask them what their card is, they give me a puzzled look and ask "but I am not supposed to tell you". I would like to say there is not rule book that states that the audience should hide the identity of their card with all their might. But people see it that way as that is the way magic normally goes.
That one question I ask for 2 reasons (as I am a two birds one stone kind of guy). The first makes them think that I can not do the trick without knowing what their card is. In turn it means I really don't know what their card is (just so you know I really don't). Second is to break magical norms in a benign way. To make them think is it really that important to tell me the card when right after I found it in one second? That not all tricks work the same way.
It means when I really do something out of the ordinary they are prepared for it.

Here is the other paradox that is not really.
I want people not to think about how it is done and just enjoy the show for what it is a show. But I want them to think for a split second, just for a moment "is this really just magic?” So I want them to think but not think? Hell Yeah I do.
To let go and just take the show in and not analysis everything is one of the steps for someone to see it as magic. Once you let your logical side rest the emotional side will play. Another way to do it is to break down expectations. Which yes is something I aim to do but not in the same way. To break down someone’s logical expectations until they are open to believe in magic is not something I want to do. It would it could end up breaking people beliefs in how the world really works, SCIENCE DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE is not something I want. Common sense is one of our most valuable tools, for example. Don't eat something you haven't seen before, look weird etc. It might kill you at worst.  I also want them to question, I want them in fighting form to question too so not beating up their reason. Do not get me wrong a magic show can’t do crazy ass brain washing, but just because it can't doesn’t make it right to use the principles.

I on the other hand want them to let their logical side rest. I do it by breaking in small ways what they expect, building up. Because they don't know if I will do what they expect or won’t they hopefully stop trying to figure it out and just go with the flow. That’s the hope.

Basically I want to emulate what you get from a good TV show, movie or book. The characters are real and you care while the book is open, while the movie plays. Once it is over you come back to the real world and you not sitting their questioning if the evil villain will come back and enslave your family. The difference is I want people to say "what if it was magic" afterwards not "shit dude I think that was real magic". I want the discussion not belief, simply put.

 I want that either way if I was doing real magic or tricks.

The Magic of the Trick is the Magic
The Trick to the Magic is the Trick
Part 2

To walk out and claim to do magic might be antagonistic to the audience. For one you might look like a fool who believes in something that doesn't exist. You might come across as patronising expecting the audience to believe you or play along.  Looking the fool or treating the audience as a fool if not a good start. It doesn’t mean you can not do it but be aware of that fact if you do.

Now one thing I don’t believe in (this is my personal choice, I don’t think there is a right and wrong in this debate) is to claim to do magic. That I have powers. For one I don’t want people to see me as special. This is a thing that took years of practice that anything could do if they put in the time. You can draw? I mess with cards.
Also don’t believe selling beliefs while performing. In the same way I would not be a band to sell the word of God or a political stance. Don't get me wrong I do sell ideas. That’s all there going to be something to think about. Like a show idea about how much the media can manipulate you, the people around you and yourself. It is not anti media but to show people how their minds can work and show something they might not be aware of. Manipulation has such a bad rap, seen as such a bad thing but that’s for another blog post. 

That’s the main points. I think you could find some more but for me.
  1. I want to show respect and treat my audience as an equal
  2. I want to be taken seriously
  3. I am fine getting people to think and challenge their beliefs but I do not wish to sell a belief, prove a point or act like I can be 100% right in a show.

The Magic of the Trick is the Magic
The Trick to the Magic is the Trick
Part 1

My goal with magic is to seem to do magic.

That’s it end of blog post.

Thats all that needs to be said.

...Ok what I mean by this is that I put everything through a filter of 'if this is really magic'. How would it look if I was really doing magic? What kind of things would I do if I could really do magic?

Well if I could do magic I would do it in a way that there would never be 100% proof that what I did was arcane. I wouldn’t be throwing fireballs and teleporting people across the world. I would start off quite mundane. Making something disappear and appear somewhere else is something someone could do with slight-of-hand or make it seem that way if you have 2 objects that looks the same. So I would do my magic like I was doing sleight of hand.

Wait a minute.... I am saying I would do sleight of hand like I can do real magic and I would do magic like I am doing sleight of hand?
Put simply, yes.

Isn't that a paradox? Nah not really it will all make sense if you read these parts.

Right, my nature is to play games. Games become boring if you always win or always loose. The most fun games always have space for me to loose and to be challenging for me to win. For me anything can be a game. People will try to think how my magic works. Human nature. People will ask. They will walk off saying "but there had to be a trick to it though, right?” It is a quite normal reaction. By being able to do magic of the highest nature there is no way I can lose. But what if I can do the craziest magic, things too unbelievable to be anything else but the work of a mage. What if I did this and they are still not sure and people still discuss at the end of the show after me invoking world changing effects "but it could of just been a trick, and that person he sent to the moon was deffo an actor." What if I could convince people that real works of magic are just a trick?

How does this work the other way around. Well the other way around. I will do tricks trying to get as close to what real magic would look like. Making it seemingly impossible things happen until people just really can’t conceive how it could happen. "There is no way he could have known that unless he could really read minds...”

Here is how both really doing magic and doing a trick is similar though. I do not want to claim anything. I am here to perform and entertain. Show you guys something I think you will like. Things that took many years to be able to do. I do not want to claim to do tricks, nor magic, nor read minds. I want the audience to decided and discuss. I want them to be unsure. If I am just doing tricks then I win if they are not sure that I did tricks and visa versa.

...But How Did You Do It?

It is the biggest problem I have with my magic. How do I answer that?

I do not want to say it is a trick nor magic. I want to say something but I do not know what. Ha just writing that sentence I have an answer to this question that has been bothering me for ages. What do you know?
It is to ask a question back.
"How do you think I did it?"
It causes what I want to happen in the first place. Discussion, but this time with me instead of their friend.
Now the thing is it can be dangerous for me to pose that question to the audience at the wrong time. So even though I found an answer I see now that I still have the same problem. I would like to put down the ground work before I give this response.
Now some of my shows have premises. I might be mixing voodoo potions of varying effects. While I am in character I know what I would say, voodoo innt? But once off stage, after the show what do I say then? Do I come clean as I can without ruining the trick for them or breaking the one magician rule? Tell them I can not say (I hate having to do that). Tell them I will only tell someone who wishes to become magician like myself? The problem goes deeper than this. If I can not define what it is I am doing up on stage then people will fill in the blanks for me. If I was going up on stage claiming to do magic then what are the rules to the magic. Not that I will ever have to explain to anyone but myself, but it makes my performances consistent.

Yeah still not sure.
Hopefully I minimise the questions of how I do it in show when I don't want them to ask until I figure it out.

Normally someone will decided how they are doing what they are doing. A mind reader might do a show about psychological influence, another might do the same thing but it is about reading people. One tells the person what they will pick and the other figures out what they have. The end result is the same. I will tell you what you thought of.
The thing is when I am on stage I might do a show about being a scientist showing the public the results of his test. The premise can be different show to show. I am like an actor with the card tricks being my special effects. Now not all the time I will be taking on a role in my shows but the point I am making is the fact my premise is that I have none.

In other words the voodoo guy says his tricks in voodoo. The mind reader will could say his tricks is hypnosis. The point I made last would mean I do my tricks but there is no explainable process in how I get it done.
It was a problem, I spend years experimenting with my process, premise. Never found one I liked. So in between trying out a new one I would have none. But there has to be one. That’s the funny thing. People will come to their own conclusions. I have had people saying "but it is just a trick" also "you scaring me, please stop reading my mind, I don't want you seeing my secrets". Nothing can ever be nothing. If you don’t give yourself a premise then people will.

The thing is I do have a premise these days, but it puts me in a similar position.

I do my tricks by looking like someone who can do magic trying to sell it off as tricks.
So what does a person like that say when it is magic? Well you say nothing at first. Once you start getting really impossible that’s when you say "don’t forget it’s just a trick". Once they are about believe that I can bend the rules of the universe I take them down to earth saying “don’t be thinking that it’s really magic though".
Derren Brown is a good example of this. He claims he can not read minds but there are people who think he can and could take over the UK if he wanted and people who just think it is all set up and he has no skill at all. He has always said it was just a trick but some of the things he does looks more than just a trick.

The thing is you might think me crazy for doing magic inception, but I do have a premise. Problem is it is not one that can be explained without hurting it premise.

I really hope I can get to the point where my tricks look like more than a trick. Where people question just for a second.