Tag: close-up

Beyond Snake Oil – Magicians and Physicians

Image of Magician Performing a TrickClose-up Magician and Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law, Daniel Sokol’s article “Medicine as Performance: What Can Magicians Teach Doctors?” got us thinking — a rare experience for us during these quarantine days.

We normally read the prestigious Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine for the pictures but the title of this article from 2008 stood out.

Our brain is hardwired to immediately focus on certain key words, such a “Magic,” “Magician(s),” “Card Tricks,” and “Magic Magicians doing Card Tricks.”  We know there are surgeries and/or medical therapies that would release us from this focus anomaly but we have found it a pleasant enough brain defect and so we choose to live with it.  We are very thankful that those are the words to which we are immediately attracted and not something more untoward or socially unacceptable.

We have a friend who focuses like a laser on the word “______,” and the phrase “_____ on ______, _____.”  Our friend’s life is not relaxing and pleasant like ours and reading just about anything posted on the worldwide web becomes a struggle for attention.  We haven’t identified the actual words or phrase here in an effort to retain our family-friendly certification.  But a good cryptographer — good meaning “talented in his or her field of cryptology” and not in a moral sense — could decipher the blank lines above to figure it out.

But back to the Royal Society of Medicine’s article’s point, magicians can and do intentionally distract their audience to accomplish what appears to be magic.

The article references Darwin Ortiz advice on the best practices for magicians, “Always say the same thing at the same point in each trick you do.”  So when advising patients on diagnosis and treatment, there would likely be different non-verbal signs given by the physician.

The article is fascinating and well worth your review.

You can read Mr. Sokol’s article here: Sokol D. K. (2008). Medicine as performance: what can magicians teach doctors? Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 101(9), 443–446. https://doi.org/10.1258/jrsm.2008.080133

Gimmicked Coins Can Enhance Even the Best Sleights

The Secret is Skill and TechnologyThis is revised (we made it English) and republished from the January 25, 2006 edition of Inside Magic.

There are two arguments one must avoid when one attends a magic convention

Both will destroy relationships, hurt feelings, cause resentment, ulcers, and emotional distress

They are the elephant-sized subjects we all pretend are not there

One of those two arguments is “should a great coin magician ever use gimmicked coins?”

Please understand our position from the outset. We have no pride — at all. But that is a family trait

Uncle, Billy “Bats-n-Balls” Hardy worked as a juggler during vaudeville’s heaving death-throws

In an unfortunate and inexplicable juggling accident, Billy sliced off his right ear

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Thorsten Strotmann Live this Week

Thorsten-StrotmannWe received email word that German Magician Thorsten Strotmann will be live on SWR television this Tuesday from 7:25 to 7:45 pm (European Time).

Curiously, Mr. Strotmann writes that viewers of the show should “pay attention to the onion!”

We think we translated that correctly.

Mr. Strotmann is well-known for his close-up work as well as his Strotmann Magic Lounge in Baden-Württemberg (Southern Germany, near Stuttgart).

Check out Mr. Strotmann’s web site to learn more about this close-up magic showcase and his upcoming run of shows scheduled for October, 2009.

You can get a taste of his excellent work by checking out a couple of the videos posted on his site here.

You may recall Mr. Strotmann received great coverage for his blindfold drive along a precarious mountain road in Austria.

We reported in advance of the stunt.  The fact that he is going to be on television this week tells us that he was successful.

You can check out Thorsten’s very cool website. It has also been put into the Inside Magic Links of Fame.

Pure Magic Comes to New York

Eric DeCamps, in collaboration with Bob Fitch, brings his new show, Pure Magic – A Performance in Contemporary Conjuring to The Metropolitan Room every Sunday at 4pm beginning November 9th. The eight week holiday engagement runs through December 28th.

Broadway World reports:

“Mr. DeCamps was voted Magician of the Year by The Society of American Magicians, and is known for his ability to put a contemporary spin on close-up conjuring.  He will do that in spades in this intimate chamber magic show that evokes the ambiance of a 1940’s jazz club.”

Mr. DeCamps promises “conjuring at breathtakingly close quarters” featuring “several  rarely-seen sleight-of-hand effects.”

Mr. DeCamps’ show will pay tribute to René Levand the legendary Argentinean magician.  He also intends to perform The Spirit Box utilizing “an invention of Ira and William Davenport, the 19th century pioneers of Spiritualism, as its point of departure.”

Mr. DeCamps tribute to the great one-armed magician Mr. Levand performs the elder’s classic, Bread Crumbs.
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