Ennobling Magic

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 12:40 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:starting a show. quick reply:

so if i posted a video of randi lying to an audience would you recant?


Recant what? The context of my remark indicated quite clearly that I was referring to his assiduous avoidance of lies in the lecture. I am weIl aware of his stage career and the traditional kinds of routines he performed.

Again, you miss the point. Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms.

I myself would lighten the burden of suspicion for the sake of myself and my fellow magicians.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 1:11 pm

performer wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:Mark should be pleased. We must be nearing page seven by now.


I am on Chapter seven but I think you are going to catch up soon and may even overtake me. I am not in the mood for writing because I have a bad cold. Interestingly enough I haven't found much advice in the way of telling lies in the Royal Road to Card Magic. The nearest I have come to it is this little paragraph which might give you and Brad some fodder to chew over the matter. They use the term "fairy tale" rather than the awful word "lie" which I think is terribly quaint and very nice indeed.

"It is not so much what you do as what you make the onlookers think you do. The preceding trick affords an example of this fact. Merely to take the cards and go through the motions of apparently reversing them would be a tame affair, a mere curiosity. Asserting that the cards are intelligent, that they can be trained to act by themselves, puts a different complexion on the matter. The onlookers are amused by your fairy tale; they take a greater interest in the performance and sometimes actually persuade themselves that there might be something in it after all"

I took this quite seriously when I first read it 56 years ago. And I still do. Mind you I do have doubts about the statement that some people would be daft enough to persuade themselves there might be something in it after all. But then I have never performed in California.


I have no objection to "fairy tales", Mark Summoning imaginary powers is more in the way of faith than fallacy. No one can blame a performer for TRYING to turn lead into gold. So long as it remains an open question, whether your technique actually achieved it, you are not lying.

Go through the motions and STRIVE to make water into wine by all means. I just wouldn't be so bold as to FALSELY CLAIM that it was water in the first place.

Mysticism is s good alternative to lying, in other words. No need to mention what you are actualy doing,!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2017, 1:27 pm

Ah! I think we are getting somewhere now! I think one of the problems of this discussion is what constitutes a lie and what doesn't. I believe the Royal Road has solved the problem. Permissible untruths should be termed "fairy tales" from now on. These are untruths that aren't really untruths because nobody is daft enough to believe them anyway. "Lies" on the other hand represent untruths that ARE untruths because people ARE daft enough to believe them!

I am not taking any sides in the matter mainly because I don't care that much. However, at least there is clarification now as to what are deemed permissible lies and what are not. If they are permissible all you have to do is use the expression "fairy stories" and we know that everything is OK. If they are unforgiveable fibs they can simply be called "Lies". That should make this discussion easier to follow.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 3rd, 2017, 1:28 pm

Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms.


1) this tells us more about your performance ethos than you realise
2) if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 3rd, 2017, 1:51 pm

performer wrote:Ah! I think we are getting somewhere now! I think one of the problems of this discussion is what constitutes a lie and what doesn't.


That has been a problem from the initial post and why some asked for a clear definition.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 1:52 pm

Tom Moore wrote:
Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms.


1) this tells us more about your performance ethos than you realise
2) if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?


I would never attempt to quantify the degree of disappointment ecperienced by a spectator on the discovery of either verbal lies or false moves.

Regardless of how unfortunate it may be to get caught palming a card, such msnipulations are BASIC and essential to the craft. Lying is not. It is optional.

I don't like it and I don't think I'm alone in that. Some folks apparently take great pride in lying. That strikes me as an unnecesary risk. And the arrogance that liars tend to have, the smugness of having fooled people, can hardly be considered good showmanship.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 3rd, 2017, 1:55 pm

Would you please answer my question - if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 2:08 pm

Tom Moore wrote:Would you please answer my question - if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?


I believe I answered that. I never said one is a greater embarasment than the other. I said one is necesary and one isn't.

We cannot assure our audiences that we do not resort to false moves and mechanisms, but we can assure them that we do not lie. I think that makes them feel better sbout watching.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 3rd, 2017, 2:14 pm

so you believe that audiences inevitably know how your tricks are done, not only on a superficial level but that they understand the fundamental mechanics of the methods chosen to such a degree that they can differentiate between "necessary" lies and un-necessary ones and that finally they make an ethical and emotional judgement about you based on how many un-necessary lies you used?
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 3rd, 2017, 2:18 pm

Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms.


If the magician is a poor performer people will find out almost immediately the moves, mechanisms and lies. If the performer is skilled people may eventually discover a possible solution. That solution may or may not be the method the skilled performer used. (Just look at all the ace assemblies which exist.)

If puzzles are being presented the performer is at best a failed magician. The lay members in the audience are looking for a magical moment. Provide they are treated with respect they won't be that concerned with the method, they will be concerned with the wonder the effect creates for them.

The performer should be striving to create magical moments and not be sharing puzzles. If puzzles are what the majority of people were desiring to watch when they choose to be entertained by a magician there would be cable channels like "The Crossword Channel", "Sudoku T.V." and "Jigsaw Jambery".
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 2:27 pm

Tom Moore wrote:so you believe that audiences inevitably know how your tricks are done, not only on a superficial level but that they understand the fundamental mechanics of the methods chosen to such a degree that they can differentiate between "necessary" lies and un-necessary ones and that finally they make an ethical and emotional judgement about you based on how many un-necessary lies you used?


That is a very poor characterisation of what I said.

No, I am saying that Society gradually catches on to how magicians do their thing (smoke and mirrors, sleeving, etc.) and will naturally realise that they lie as well. As it is unnecessary and unsavoury to lie, this would seem more of a liability than an asset.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 2:36 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:starting a show. quick reply:

so if i posted a video of randi lying to an audience would you recant?


Recant what? The context of my remark indicated quite clearly that I was referring to his assiduous avoidance of lies in the lecture. I am weIl aware of his stage career and the traditional kinds of routines he performed.

Again, you miss the point. Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms..


only if you are incompetent.

is discovering a lie more damning than uncovering a move?

it seems as if you are saying that in all of your performances you inevitably get caught

i'd believe that

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 3rd, 2017, 2:41 pm

That is a very poor characterisation of what I said.

Feel free to provide a better, more succinct one then...

No, I am saying that Society gradually catches on to how magicians do their thing (smoke and mirrors, sleeving, etc.) and will naturally realise that they lie as well. As it is unnecessary and unsavoury to lie, this would seem more of a liability than an asset.


I'd say that the average shelf-life of most magic methods is decades (and I speak as someone who makes a good living utilising 150+ year old methods) so you seem to be suggesting that you're taking this position not for the benefit of those you are performing for now but rather for future historians looking back at archives of your performances and who would make an assessment of your career from a distance?
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 2:42 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:
Lies are a "let down". And people are going to find out about them, just as surely as they are going to eventually discover the moves and the mechanisms.


1) this tells us more about your performance ethos than you realise
2) if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?


I would never attempt to quantify the degree of disappointment ecperienced by a spectator on the discovery of either verbal lies or false moves.

Regardless of how unfortunate it may be to get caught palming a card, such msnipulations are BASIC and essential to the craft. Lying is not. It is optional.

I don't like it and I don't think I'm alone in that. Some folks apparently take great pride in lying. That strikes me as an unnecesary risk. And the arrogance that liars tend to have, the smugness of having fooled people, can hardly be considered good showmanship.


who says lying isn't basic and essential to our craft?

i lie to my audiences and feel no smugness. i lie because it allows me to concey an amazing experience to them. it's not about me. it's about how i can make them feel

when you tell the sick child everything will be ok, that's a lie.

when you tell the dying senior that they are going to a better place, that's a lie

when you tell your constituents that the tax plan that will cost them more money is winning, that's a lie.

but do these people recoil at being lied to. or do they embrace it?

the problem keyes is you are putting your own interests and concerns ahead of your audiences.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 2:44 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:Would you please answer my question - if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?


I believe I answered that. I never said one is a greater embarasment than the other. I said one is necesary and one isn't.

We cannot assure our audiences that we do not resort to false moves and mechanisms, but we can assure them that we do not lie. I think that makes them feel better sbout watching.


how do you assure them you are not lying? by telling them?

how do they know THAT'S not a lie?

and once they see the coin in your hand. so you think they will believe you were honest in your promises of verbal veracity?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 3:10 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:. Recant what? The context of my remark indicated quite clearly that I was referring to his assiduous avoidance of lies in the lecture. I am weIl aware of his stage career and the traditional kinds of routines he performed.


really?

jkeyes1000 wrote:.

Last night, I was reminded of James Randi, and his "Chasing The Chimera" lectures. Although he is iconically known as an "honest liar", he never verbally lied to his audience. That would have been unfair. He would start off by saying "This is sort of a challenge..." and dare a bunch of academics to guess how they were being deceived.


never lied to his audience is different from 'never lied to an audience in a lecture setting.

jkeyes1000 wrote:.
The point is that, regardless of how "weasely" one's speech may be, outright lies are more likely to get you tarred and featheted. Why rusk it?



and isn't it odd that if you are indeed aware of his lies in performance that you would hold him up as an example of, well, anything.

because you are in a catch 22. see, the world still knows the name of geller - the "liar" - yet randi is known by whom? some rabid anti psychic zealots and magicians?

but even if you want to make the case that randi is still successful or relevant, the presence of lies you claim of which to be aware belies the assertion that they do harm.

so once again you claim is proven wrong by observation of reality

apparently greater fame and longevity come to those willing to take that risk.

jkeyes1000 wrote:.
And whether or not YOU get caught, someone else is bound to. Is it not better to distinguish yourself from those "incompetents" by assuring the crowd that, though you may use deceptions, you do not make false statements?


why does someone else getting caught effect me?

and when they get caught are they caught in verbal lies or by glimpses of palmed cards

your entire position assumes magicians know what magicians do, and think the way magicians think.

they don't.

but again, how do you assure them you aren't engaging in verbal deception. by telling them?

because we all know a liar wouldn't lie about lying

and what does this pretended confession serve - only to point them to think about methods in the first place.

why do that?

we want them to NOT think about methods.

saying 'i don't lie' is a bit like saying 'this is an ordinary deck'

you are not allaying suspicion, you are creating it

you aren't a magician, keyes. you are a puzzler. at least anyone who takes this tact is.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2017, 3:29 pm

This seems to be a good moment to draw everyone's attention to a splendid Paul Curry trick called "YOU'RE A LIAR" on page 110 of Bruce Elliott's book "Magic: 100 New Tricks". Curry recommends this for female audiences. I am not sure what the implication is.

As for Randi I quite like the old rogue. I once met him at Toronto's Union Station when I was returning from a psychic fair. He was in a grumpy mood because nobody had come to pick him up from the station. He cheered up considerably when I told him that I was a psychic. He brightened considerably and with a bloody great twinkle in his eye whispered conspiratorially, "Sshhh...... we cannot be seen together!"

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 5:38 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:Would you please answer my question - if audiences are going to inevitably discover the lies of your moves and mechanisms then why do you feel that they will be very upset at catching verbal lies but not upset at catching physical ones?


I believe I answered that. I never said one is a greater embarasment than the other. I said one is necesary and one isn't.

We cannot assure our audiences that we do not resort to false moves and mechanisms, but we can assure them that we do not lie. I think that makes them feel better sbout watching.


how do you assure them you are not lying? by telling them?

And how do they know THAT'S not a lie?

and once they see the coin in your hand. so you think they will believe you were honest in your promises of verbal veracity?


That is actually a good question, Brad. I hope you are genuinely interested because I have a good answer.

No, you don't need to tell them you are not lying. Although you certainly could.

What would assure them that you are not lying is to refrain from any kind of DIRECT STATEMENT that might be suspect. Such as, "We have here an empty box". Instead say something oblique but conversational, such as, "I will open the box so you can see inside. There!"

Your audience may of course doubt their senses and wonder whether it is indeed empty, but they will not question the veracity of your words.

Now I have a good question for you (which I am truly awaiting your response to).

Do you really believe that lying vebally decreases the liklihood of their figuring it out? If you put on your best HONEST FACE and swore up and down that the box is empty, do you think that would content them?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 7:21 pm

as i've already addressed, saying the box is empty is likely equally suspicious regardless of whether or not it is true.

how we lie and when we lie is as important as what we say

claiming the box is empty upon introduction may be foolish. but reminding them about the empty box after they have already come to believe it is empty will go unnoticed.

i would offer the work of tamariz as an example, but as you refuse to accept the authority of picasso and weber i can't see how it would matter.

when tamariz tells you that you shuffled the cards you believe it, even when you never did.

so 1) your position is now no longer that lying is wrong (in spite of your prattle about rudeness) but that 'direct claims' are suspect.

perhaps - but that depends on when they are made and what they are.

2) it seems you don't know how to lie well. which would explain your statement that one's methods would be eventually detected.

if you can't lie well verbally it stands to reason one may find it challenging to lie convincingly non verbally. guilt is guilt after all

3) which brings us back to my earlier point - the audience can't know you are lying unless you are incompetent.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 3rd, 2017, 7:28 pm

and i disagree that not making any direct statements assures them you are not lying.

how would it?

why would they still not think you are lying? and again, why would that stop them from busting you on the mirror in the box?

" Is it not better to distinguish yourself from those "incompetents" by assuring the crowd that, though you may use deceptions, you do not make false statements?"

unless you make it a clearly stated advertising point you are neither distinguishing yourself nor assuring them of anything.

. as i have said REPEATEDLY - the audience cannot know you have lied unless you are incompetent.

in your scenario you seem to expect and audience to walk away from the show proclaiming "yes dear, i know we saw the card in his hand and the mirror in his box, but if you analyze his scripts he never made any direct statements. sure, that gave the entire show an air of wishy washiness and diluted any chance of drama, but can we say we've ever seen a magician do that before? he is a great magician.'

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 3rd, 2017, 8:37 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:and i disagree that not making any direct statements assures them you are not lying.

how would it?

why would they still not think you are lying? and again, why would that stop them from busting you on the mirror in the box?

" Is it not better to distinguish yourself from those "incompetents" by assuring the crowd that, though you may use deceptions, you do not make false statements?"

unless you make it a clearly stated advertising point you are neither distinguishing yourself nor assuring them of anything.

. as i have said REPEATEDLY - the audience cannot know you have lied unless you are incompetent.

in your scenario you seem to expect and audience to walk away from the show proclaiming "yes dear, i know we saw the card in his hand and the mirror in his box, but if you analyze his scripts he never made any direct statements. sure, that gave the entire show an air of wishy washiness and diluted any chance of drama, but can we say we've ever seen a magician do that before? he is a great magician.'



You seem to think that a dearth of lies equals a lack of awesomeness.

That I am suggesting a "just the facts" routine. No, I actually think that the fewer facts, the better. But it is not a good idea to try to pass lies AS FACTS.

Avoid mentioning them entirely, unless you are prepared to verify them.

I don't consider it a "lie" to misdirect the audience with Mumbo Jumbo whilst doing something surreptitiously. That is no more underhanded than working silently. You re just multi-tasking, cooking and talking on the phone at the same time.

No problem with that.

But SAYING that you are doing something you are not WHILE you are doing it is not wise in my opinion.

You can pretend that a wardrobe cabinet is an orgone box, but I would advise against TELLING your audience anything about it that they cannot see for themselves.

In other words: don't try to "con" them. You can fool some of the people some of the time....But the ones that aren't fooled may very well whisper in their ears.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 3rd, 2017, 9:14 pm

As the curtain rose The Great Blandini said, "I can neither confirm nor deny that deception will be used during my performance this evening. Now that we have that out of the way, on with the show...."

The next day when asked if he enjoyed the show, the audience member named Joe replied. "I wasn't entertained in the least, but the important part was that The Great Blandini didn't lie to me."

Joe's friend asked, "How do you know Blandini didn't lie to you."

Joe scratched his head and realized that was a greater mystery than anything presented by The Great Blandini.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2017, 10:03 pm

At this point I rather feel that we need a message from Ireland concerning this matter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtfTWqXHQFc

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 8:04 am

Excellent choice of music, Mark!

Responding to Mr. Jackpot:

The reason I shared the Randi video was to illustrate thatan act can be engaging without resorting to lies. And one may even state that deceptions WILL be used. I think this actually makes it MORE entertaining.

Sort of like me challenging you all to find fault with my argument. It certainly gets attention.

It becomes an active experience rather than a passive one. That Randi evidently resorted to stooges (see vid) may be ultimately unimpressive, but at least he didn't lie about not using one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHN2kngOtk4&sns=em

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 4th, 2017, 10:26 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:In other words: don't try to "con" them. You can fool some of the people some of the time....But the ones that aren't fooled may very well whisper in their ears.


Mr. Henderson has pointed to Geller and Randi a few times before. While Geller was doing his thing Randi didn't just whisper, he yelled and even wrote a book.

The end result was not as many people cared about what Randi had to say. More we're interested in what Geller was doing.

What would have really effected Geller would have been poor performances by Geller.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 10:44 am

Jackpot wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:In other words: don't try to "con" them. You can fool some of the people some of the time....But the ones that aren't fooled may very well whisper in their ears.


Mr. Henderson has pointed to Geller and Randi a few times before. While Geller was doing his thing Randi didn't just whisper, he yelled and even wrote a book.

The end result was not as many people cared about what Randi had to say. More we're interested in what Geller was doing.

What would have really effected Geller would have been poor performances by Geller.


And here is the reason why I never did and never would attempt to "prove" that one method has a greater impact than another.

It all depends on presentation. All I am saying (and I believe I am repeating myself) is that CETERIS PARIBUS, regardless of your charisma, honesty is the best policy. That no matter how enormous your appeal already is, a show of trustworthiness can only help.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 12:06 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
And one may even state that deceptions WILL be used. I think this actually makes it MORE entertaining.

Sort of like me challenging you all to find fault with my argument. It certainly gets attention.

It becomes an active experience rather than a passive one.



it becomes a puzzler who presents puzzles

it isn't magic.

it is anti-magic

and puzzles are only fun if
you figure them out

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 12:08 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Jackpot wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:In other words: don't try to "con" them. You can fool some of the people some of the time....But the ones that aren't fooled may very well whisper in their ears.


Mr. Henderson has pointed to Geller and Randi a few times before. While Geller was doing his thing Randi didn't just whisper, he yelled and even wrote a book.

The end result was not as many people cared about what Randi had to say. More we're interested in what Geller was doing.

What would have really effected Geller would have been poor performances by Geller.


And here is the reason why I never did and never would attempt to "prove" that one method has a greater impact than another.

It all depends on presentation. All I am saying (and I believe I am repeating myself) is that CETERIS PARIBUS, regardless of your charisma, honesty is the best policy. That no matter how enormous your appeal already is, a show of trustworthiness can only help.


except you can't back that statement up with either practical examples or theory.

after all, how do you they know you are lying unless . . .

do i really have to say it again?

and if one approach fails to lead to a greater impact over another then there is zero reason to take that path. if your audience cannot be affected by said choices, they are truly meaningless

like your entire point
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 4th, 2017, 12:09 pm

A show of trustworthyness, yes you're right.

That audiences must trust & believe you on some level is correct - however being honest and trustworthy has absolutely nothing to do with others perceptions of trustworthyness; there are plenty of incredibly honest trustworthy people who (to others) seem dodgy and to be avoided, conversely there's plenty of people who seem very honest & trustworthy yet are deceiving and lying more than any magician could imagine.

The only thing that matters is what the audience /thinks/ you are.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 12:16 pm

keyes says:

"That I am suggesting a "just the facts" routine. No, I actually think that the fewer facts, the better. But it is not a good idea to try to pass lies AS FACTS."



except you admit that in a competant performance the audience can't tell, that you cannot measure the difference in impact between being caught in a non verbal v verbal lie, and that there is no impact between the approach of lying v not lying.

you say it's 'better' but can't say why and go silent in the face of established magicians who advocate
for lying either having stated so (weber) or as example (tamariz).

so you have essentially spent 7 pages saying i have an idea i can't back up, that the audience can't notice, and even if they did wouldn't matter. oh, and far
more successful magicians than i successfully use these techniques i condemn

this is essentially what you were told after you vomited forth your 'insight' on page one. at least you have come to see the flaws in your position.

we accept your surrender

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 1:16 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
keyes says:

"That I am suggesting a "just the facts" routine. No, I actually think that the fewer facts, the better. But it is not a good idea to try to pass lies AS FACTS."



except you admit that in a competant performance the audience can't tell, that you cannot measure the difference in impact between being caught in a non verbal v verbal lie, and that there is no impact between the approach of lying v not lying.

you say it's 'better' but can't say why and go silent in the face of established magicians who advocate
for lying either having stated so (weber) or as example (tamariz).

so you have essentially spent 7 pages saying i have an idea i can't back up, that the audience can't notice, and even if they did wouldn't matter. oh, and far
more successful magicians than i successfully use these techniques i condemn

this is essentially what you were told after you vomited forth your 'insight' on page one. at least you have come to see the flaws in your position.

we accept your surrender


Mr. Henderson, it is you that made the mistake (or perhaps the deliberate Straw Man argument) of putting me up to "proving" the advantages of vebal honesty.

As every performer is different, there is no way of establishing EITHER that lies or truths impress an audience more. But I appeal to common sense and ASK, Would it not be better to gain the trust of the crowd by simply refraining from making outlandish or ultimately impossible claims? Maybe some folks will be perpetually dumbfounded by The Bold Bool Test, but anyone with half a brain ought to be able to infer that you could only have foreknowledge of the page number if you forced it. And come to think on it....the book was in YOUR HANDS when someone said, "Stop!".

I don't want to be insulting, Mr. Hendeson (I really don't) but if you can't accept that YOUR performance might be improved (rendered more respectable than it currently is) by nixing lies, then you are either desperately naive or hopelessly cynical.

There is only one way to "prove" my case, and that is to compare your present sucess to that you may enjoy after trying the veracious approach. In the meantime, please don't pretend that your belief to the contrary has any more merit.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 1:36 pm


. But I appeal to common sense and ASK, Would it not be better to gain the trust of the crowd by simply refraining from making outlandish or ultimately impossible claims?


you're spinning again, drunk monkey.

1) to say that they shuffled the deck of cards when they haven't, or to refer to a previously displayed box as empty is neither outlandish nor impossible. and. as you have finally conceded, can not be shown to be lies unless the performer is incompetent and gets caught.

2) you have said that dramatic claims such as 'i can turn water into wine' are
permissible because somehow they are different than lie of methodology (though you never established why). does the crowd not trust wonder woman because she said she had an invisible plane? did they not hand over their money to geller when he told them he had powers?

3) as tom moore has pointed out, how can telling or not telling lies 'gain' the trust of the audience unless they know how the trick works OR you tell them you aren't telling lies - at which point why would they trust that as, according to you, direct statements of that nature are to be avoided?

you are trying to make a case for something and yet offer no valid
reason to make that case - other than just 'common sense.'

but the history of magic demonstrates that what you think of as common sense apparently is wrong - because lies can be an effective tool for the competent and careful magician.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 1:45 pm


Maybe some folks will be perpetually dumbfounded by The Bold Bool Test, but anyone with half a brain ought to be able to infer that you could only have foreknowledge of the page number if you forced it. And come to think on it....the book was in YOUR HANDS when someone said, "Stop!".


1) as this method is still being successfully used daily by COMPETANT magicians it seems as if your claim is baseless. And it reveals what you have shown to be the problem with your approach to magic as a whole, you even stated it once: the job of the audience is to try and catch the tricks.

if that is your approach, that of a mere puzzler, then yes they might catch on. But a magician ISNT a puzzler.

as i wrote before at least twice, if you give the audience an experience they value more than that if knowledge of the secret, they won't look for the secret. in fact, they will fight to protect the valued experience of wonder

this may seem like nonsense to a puzzler, but it is the truth of the magician

i will confess i don't use the hoy ploy often - maybe only a couple or three hundred times in my career. But i have a ruse that goes along with it that allays suspicion and as no one has ever suggested the method of a miscall it apparently works just fine.

then again, as the piece is about mind reading and not page picking my focus is on things other than the method - specially the big giant lie as to my ability
to read their mind.

to paraphrase a classic magical mantra - the big lie covers the little lie

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 4th, 2017, 1:57 pm



I don't want to be insulting, Mr. Hendeson (I really don't) but if you can't accept that YOUR performance might be improved (rendered more respectable than it currently is) by nixing lies, then you are either desperately naive or hopelessly cynical.


why should i? you have never established that an audience can tell the difference if the performer lies or not unless he gets caught, and if he gets caught the absence of a verbal lie isn't going to lessen the damnation.

you say i am niave but you are the one who believes that an audience cares if the magician lies, and that verbal lies are in some way different from non verbal ones.

and if the audience can't tell if i am lying, how would the absence of lies make my act anything more or less respectable than it may or may not be?

There is only one way to "prove" my case, and that is to compare your present sucess to that you may enjoy after trying the veracious approach. In the meantime, please don't pretend that your belief to the contrary has any more merit.


1) it's not my responsibility to prove YOUR claim - especially one that has been shown to be completely baseless

i asked for a tape of your magic so we could SEE how a trick sans lies would look - and you didn't manage to convince anyone.

i have no interest in taking lies out of my act any more than i have interest in taking gaffed cards, sleight of hand. or gimmicks out of my act - these are just techniques used to create a feelingful response of magic. Methods are the domain of the magician, not the audience. and as you have said, they can't know you are lying unless you get caught, and in which case it doesn't matter if you lied or not.

so you want a performer to change even though 1) there is no mechanism for the audience to detect the change (therefor
it cannot rend a performance more respectable) and 2) there is no evidence that if they did detect it (because of
your incompetance) that it is more or less damning than if you hadn't made the change.

so, why?

if the audience can't tell and if they could it wouldn't matter - why make a change at all?

is this some weird christian thing? that would explain the aversion to lies on principle and the constant framing of magic as puzzles to figure out. (not so much the water to wine bit though)

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 4th, 2017, 4:17 pm

I think it is more of a comfort level thing than a Christian thing.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Bill Mullins » December 4th, 2017, 5:48 pm

Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1973)
“It’s not enough to be able to lie with a straight face; anybody with enough gall to raise on a busted flush can do that. The first way to lie artistically is to tell the truth — but not all of it. The second way involves telling the truth, too, but is harder: Tell the exact truth and maybe all of it…but tell it so unconvincingly that your listener is sure you are lying.”

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 6:24 pm

I am fairly certain that most folks reading this thread at least understand what I mean by now, Mr. Henderson. It is only your constant repetition of the same irrelevant questions that compels me to reiterate.

Forgive me, people.

You suggest there is no difference between an act replete with lies and one that excises them.

I say the difference between "Fetch me that pail of rainwater" (lie) and "DId I see a bucket of rainwater somewhere? That? Oh, good!" is that no one will EVER suspect you of lying. Someome might suppose that there is a "trick" to the miracle (indeed they would be daft as Mark would say, to doubt it) but you need never concern yourself with ad hominem attacks.

You vaunt of such flawless proficiency that you have no fear of being caught. That is your personal evaluatin of the concept, that it is useless to you because a) you don't think you'll get caught, and b) if you do, you'll just shrug and move on. No big deal!

Which clouds your judgement in regatd to other performers. This isn't just about you, Mr. Henderson. It's aboutmagicians in general, including those you call "puzzlers".

I would point out that some of the most successful magicians in the world avoid lies for the most part. They might not be as thorough as I would like, and maybe they are not even doing it consciously, but merely acting upon a sense of honour and integrity.

David Copperfield may not be "lie free" but most of his ilusions are basically mime and choreography. Is he s puzzler?

I will tell you something, I figured this would happen. That most of you (and especially you Mr. H.) would bristle at the notion that we could aIl stand a little improvement once in a while. "Who is this Upstart Crow to tell us about our business?" If that is what this comes down to, then of course you shall win.

And that's the sort of victory that I'll have none of.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Tom Moore » December 4th, 2017, 6:57 pm

David Copperfield may not be "lie free" but most of his ilusions are basically mime and choreography. Is he s puzzler?


You clearly haven’t seen him work in the last 20 years then - the current show (his most successful financially and critically) has massive; explicit outright verbal lies throughout; huge ones that do indeed form a core part of the methods and are completely and totally the sort of lies you claim audiences hate.

It seems to be working just fine for him - why do you think that is?
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jack Shalom » December 4th, 2017, 7:00 pm


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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 7:20 pm

Tom Moore wrote:
David Copperfield may not be "lie free" but most of his ilusions are basically mime and choreography. Is he s puzzler?


You clearly haven’t seen him work in the last 20 years then - the current show (his most successful financially and critically) has massive; explicit outright verbal lies throughout; huge ones that do indeed form a core part of the methods and are completely and totally the sort of lies you claim audiences hate.

It seems to be working just fine for him - why do you think that is?


I have already said that "success" in any kind of show business is about presentation and charisma.

And it is unimportant to me whether the audience hates or tolerates lies. If they were virtues, why would you need to camouflage them?

The next question that ocurrs to me is this: If eschewing lies makes me a "puzxler", then may I presume that lying is the key factor in the making of a true magician? Who wants to argue that lies are indeed necessary?


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