Once again to everyone, sorry for the lack of updates. For the last 2 weeks I had to take on a 2nd job. It is very demanding. Take a look.
Now on to a real topic that always bothered me. Sleight of hand vs Gimmicks. Magic has an inherent problem when it comes to effect/method. If the trick is done well the method should not be obvious to the laymen. So it begs to ask the question, does that mean that you can do ANYTHING as long as the effect stays the same?
Case and point. You can’t palm cards worth shit because you don’t practice. Is it okay for you to put double stick tape onto your palm and perform the effect as long as the effect looks the same?
Where is the line between putting effort into the art and short cuts. Now I guess calling Gimmicks a “short cut” is very negative but sometimes I really do feel that way.
A long time ago I was arguing with a magician about this subject. He told me that since the audience never knows the method, you can use as much gimmicks as you want because it will make it easier on you as a performer. Now that bothered me. I said back to him that even though the laymen never knows your method, it is still upon you to put some fucking effort into your craft and hone the skills.
He told me that doing that is masturbatory and just impressing yourself as a move monkey.
That hit me pretty hard. What he said was true. If they never know the method and the EFFECT is the same weither you do only sleight of hand or use only gimmicks, then does it make a difference what you do in your method?
I thought about it for a while and then it hit me a week later. This sounds really fucked up, but some how child labor came into mind. Think about buying a pair of jeans. Lets say that you get the same product if you had Americans working in a shop making minimum wage and also the same thing by giving it to some kid in India making only 1 dollar a day. Now, the END product is the same but the METHOD is different. The only difference here is that the clothing company can go public and tell everyone that they are legit like American Apparel. In magic, we can’t. The secret can’t be given away. So to me it’s more of a ethics question. Which is quite ironic since in magic we are lying through our teeth.
What really bothers me is the way that coin magic is becoming today. It seems when I started out, using an extra coin was all you needed in a coins across. Now it seems you can only do coin magic if you have a Triple Threat as a starting point. When did we start getting so lazy?
I’m sure there will be many people that will argue that gimmicks only come into the picture when we can’t go any further with sleight of hand. The reason we use shells is because it gives a better illusion that no sleight of hand could. I will agree with that. Granted I think the line is 80% sleight of hand 20% gimmicks.
I guess the picture I’m trying to paint here is put effort into your magic. It pisses me off when people say you should concentrate more on the presentation than the method. I would think you should consider both equally. Usually people who tell me this bullshit are shitty magicians to begin with. I have talked to someone who says the above and then tried to argue that the slip force, which he does horribly, is better than the classic force… I would say that his opinion isn’t so high on my list. Maybe it was because he did MagicK, not magic…
So my final thoughts. Work on your craft. Don’t be a pussy and use gimmicks all the time.
Next posting will be a video of me teaching you guys the opener that I use all the time. Thanks for keeping this stupid blog alive.
Comments: 10 Comments.