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The Mystical Arts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Apropos of nothing, today is Harry Houdini's 137th birthday.

    I did a fairly big favor for a friend of mine once, and to thank me he invited me to dinner at The Magic Castle. I am jaded and cynical and not easily impressed by anything, but this place is like walking into Hogwarts with Alcohol.

    It's a gigantic mansion that's been converted into a gigantic club for magicians. You can't go as a member of the public, you have to be a member or the guest of a member. There are something like 7 bars with different themes throughout the place. What's amazing is that there are all these twisty little passages throughout the place that look like they're off-limits, and then you go in and you find yourself in some crazy bar or some quiet little antechamber with a guy doing close-up magic. There's a big room for Vegas-style shows, a bunch of medium-sized rooms for more intimate, detailed work, and then a bunch of small rooms for "gather round and check this out" close-up magic. Some magicians are hired to play for the week, and a bunch of them are just hanging out working on their skills or new acts or whatever.

    I saw many incredible feats that night. Best one was in a medium-sized room, and a guy was doing a series of elaborate pick-a-card routines. The last one, he gets the card wrong twice, which happens sometimes as most of these guys are just practicing. He then tells a short story about how his mentor always told him to have an "out" when this happens. In fact, his mentor's portrait was on the wall along with many other famous magicians (there were indeed paintings of magicians on the wall). He points at his mentor's picture, and he's painted holding a card. It's the lady's card. Fucking epic.

    Later, at my friend's urging, we went exploring around to the back parts of the mansion which not too many people were finding. We go into a room and there's an older dude in there with a little case of magical apparatus, including cards and such. He was working up a close-up routine, as he'd gotten out of practice. Did a trick where two decks of cards - one red, one blue, were seemingly chaotically combined. Then, two shuffles later, out pops two completely separate decks of red and blue. I later learned that this (and several of the other tricks he did) were based on a magical and mathematical discovery called the Gilbreath principle. The magician's name? Norman Gilbreath.

    FOCUS: What's the best magic trick you've ever seen? Alternatively, who puts on the best magical performances? Did David Copperfield's vanishing Statue of Liberty (with Lee Iacocca's help, natch) wow you in the 80s? Or do you like something a little more modern?
     
  2. Noland

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    David Copperfield convincing Claudia Shiffer to marry him.
     
  3. Frebis

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    Did you get to meet Tony Wonder? I am insanely jealous.
     
  4. thabucmaster

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    This guy blew my mind with this card trick.

     
    #4 thabucmaster, Mar 24, 2011
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  5. Disgustipated

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    A few years back I was at a Christmas buffet with the family, sitting next to my brother. The restaurant had a magician wandering around, doing up close tricks at each table.

    He wandered over to ours and started doing a trick where he was making coins appear in an overturned glass or something similar. It was impressive, but what I saw next blew my mind. He'd been getting my brother to help, but had his hands on top of the table in front of all of us the whole time. When he'd finished the trick, he turned to my brother and thanked him for his help. He then said, "oh, and here's your watch back." The magician had managed to lift it from my brother's wrist in front of everyone and none of us had had any clue.

    The truly amazing thing about it was that my brother's watch had a continuous metal band that had to be slipped over his hand to remove.
     
  6. Guy Fawkes

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    I met a magician at an art gallery opening a few years ago. He wasn't there as paid help but rather friends with one of the owners and was doing some quickie tricks at the bar to keep people entertained as they waited for drinks. Just a normal looking guy with a resemblance to Rivers Cuomo.

    It was cool because you could watch the trick from a bunch of angles and get up as close as you wanted because it was a packed area around the bar.

    One trick in particular I asked him to do three times as I waited for the bartender. It was a "simple" trick where it appeared the card went around his middle finger but changed to a card I'd selected a moment earlier. He didn't have baggy sleeves, he didn't move his hand other than his fingers to walk the card, he kept his other hand away from the card... I couldn't figure it out.

    Later on in the evening as things were winding down I approached him and asked to see the trick again. He was really friendly about it and did it a few more times but I couldn't catch on. He excused himself to pull quarters from attractive women's ears or whatever the fuck trick he used to pick up chicks.
     
  7. lust4life

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    OJ's acquittal.
     
  8. hamshackler

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    They're not tricks Frylock, they're ILLUSIONS.
     
  9. silway

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    Penn and Teller do a cup and balls routine where they make balls go from cup to cup etc etc. They then take it a step further. They redo the same trick with clear cups, narrating what they're doing as they go, and are *still* fast enough and good enough that you miss it. It's amazing.
     
  10. Danger Boy

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    That would have to be last night, when I made my penis disappear!!!

    AYOOO!!!

    I hate to even bring up Criss Angel's stupid non-shirt-wearing ass on here, but some of the things I've seen him do are pretty impressive.


    Same goes for David Blaine.
     
    #10 Danger Boy, Mar 24, 2011
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  11. Nettdata

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    This. Mind blowing, to say the least.

     
    #11 Nettdata, Mar 24, 2011
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  12. Rush-O-Matic

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    My favorite was when Gob broke out of prison, into the hospital.
     
  13. DrFrylock

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    Criss Angel is talented, but he is pretty well-known to "cheat" on TV (i.e., all his audience members are accomplices and the "magic" is accomplished by stitching together two cuts in an editing room). There's a trick where he covers a plate glass window with a piece of butcher paper, crawls through it, takes off the paper and the window is whole afterward. How is this accomplished? He cut away, replaced the glass with glass with a hole in it, crawled through, cut away, and then replaced the glass again. He had his "audience" stand really still so the cuts wouldn't be casually obvious.
     
  14. lostalldoubt86

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    #14 lostalldoubt86, Mar 24, 2011
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  15. cynismus

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    Carlos Mencia getting his own TV show was a pretty damn good one.
     
  16. Arctic_Scrap

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    I can make a beer disappear in about 4 seconds. That's always been my favorite magic trick.
     
  17. scotchcrotch

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    That's not entirely true. The masked magician showed how you could accomplish this with two panes of sliding glass.

    So there was no cut away.