Bel Air, Maryland
Posted: Feb 12, 2007 9:21pm
Several months ago Lindy and I had the awesome privilege of attending the (Rev.) Ice Mcdonald's (No B.S.) lecture you hosted in your Baltimore studio, it was phenomenal!
We could literally feel Ice’s passion (the love) for the magic he delivers (a true showman), his insights were priceless.
One of the statments he stressed to the attendees was “Never think you have arrived. When you think you have arrived, you better check yourself”…, Denny, Ice was extremely intense regarding the “belief” some “magicians” may acquire that they have arrived.
What can Lindy and I do as “magicians” as we are achieving the next levels of our success to keep ourselves in check so we do not think “we have arrived” and become arrogant?
How to we stay humble and likable?
Posted: Feb 13, 2007 9:28am
Hey David.... what makes you think you're likable now?...
hehe... just kidding... REALLY, I'M JUST KIDDING!...
but I couldn't resist a straight line like that!
You and Lindy are really sweet people... I don't think you ever have to worry about becoming arrogant, but, yeah, I have seen some people who think they're "da bomb", and their arrogance and self-importance just seems to come out through their pores... and it shows in their performances. This makes them "not likeable" (I know that's bad grammar) and will have a deleterious effect on the audience's perception of them as a performer. Audiences want to be impressed, but I like to believe that they want you to do well. If you act like you are better than them, and you are looking down on them, then they aren't going to like you, no matter how amazing your magic is.
Maybe Denny can give us some tips on how to "up" the likeability factor...
I'm here to tell ya, and I don't mind tellin' ya, but I ain't sayin' nothin', if ya know what I'm sayin'...
Posted: Feb 13, 2007 11:58am
Staying humble and likeable....
You know, "nobody likes a smartass" It's really just that simple. We've heard this expression all of our lives.
Now this may sound strange BUT I have found that the better you REALLY are, the more humble you are.
The opposite of that is the better you THINK you are, the more arrogant or egotistic you are.
Some of the most difficult stars in show business that I have worked with seem to be the ones with the weakest acts. INSECURITY can sometimes cause arrogance and difficulty.
If you are HONESTLY confident and secure with what you are doing, then you have no need to prove anything to anyone.
The nicest stars I have worked with are the ones who are confident and secure with their act or show AND they really do have the best acts.
How good an act really is begins from the time you are introduced and ends with your final bows. That says it ALL! There is no need to tell someone how good you were last night or how good you are going to be next week when you get that new trick.
Now, don't ever confuse confidence with egotism. They are two different things.
There are certain acts that just exude confidence and I have heard others say that they are egotistic. We must be careful not to take it the wrong way.
Your time onstage is YOURS. Your time offstage can be better spent talking about someone other than yourself.
In all honesty, I can't at this time think of any REALLY GOOD MAGIC ACTS that have an arrogant attitude. Confidence, yes.
I remember a magician coming into the shop a few years back and telling me how arrogant David Copperfield is. I said, "Why do you say that?" He said he tried to get backstage and talk to him and he said that he sent one of his guys out to say, David isn't allowing backstage visitors at this time. He couldn't understand this. After all, this magic is a brotherhood.
You know, I went to an Eric Clapton concert years ago. I used to play a little guitar. Imagine the arrogance of Clapton when he wouldn't allow me backstage to talk with him. What a stuck up snob!!
Do you see the point??
We are very fortunate in our business to able to associate with our own "stars" in the magic industry. Look at guys like Mac King, Teller, Jeff Hobson, Michael Finney, Jeff McBride, Lance Burton, Mark Kalin & Ginger, and so on. You can actually run into these people at magic conventions, say hello, and actually have a short conversation with them. They are all confident in what they do and are actually very giving of their time (when they really DO have time). Sometimes, they have other agendas, meetings, things that they are running off to. Let them go. In all probability, they don't care to talk about tricks anyway. This is the only part of show business I know where the "stars" can mingle with the "amateurs." We are very fortunate.
I sort of got off the track there for a bit but....
Here are some "mistakes" that I see quite often that can make some magicians sound like a pompous ass:
1-Accepting Compliments-When a layman compliments you on your performance, accept the compliment WITH ENTHUSIASM. Look them in the eye and say Thank You. You may know inside that you did not do your best that day BUT if you tell them "Oh I wasn't really on tonight," you will be throwing their compliment in their face as if to say they don't know what their talking about.
2-Answering questions about David Blaine and Cris Angel-Let's face it, these guys are all over the place and people want to know if you can do what they do, do you know how they do it, etc. The worst thing you can do is to tell them, "Oh, that's only camera TV tricks" or "I can do that same stuff." You will then come across a being jealous. A simple answer like, "Aren't they unusual??" or "They have really put a different slant on magic today" will suffice and get you out of it. Let's face it, this is NOT a competition.
3-Never donwplay another magician. It only makes you look like a jealous inferior to that magician.
Now when we get together at magic conventions or meetings, we can discuss things a bit differently and we can voice our opinions. But NOT in public.
As Ice MacDonald said, don't ever think you "have arrived."
Learning magic and performing magic is a constant journey through life. We never stop traveling. When they finally close the lid, then we can say we have arrived!!
Posted: Feb 13, 2007 9:08pm
When I'm asked if I can do such and such a trick that Angel or Blaine did on TV I say, "Those tricks are their invention and no one else is allowed to do them, but let me show you one of my creations...."
STAY TOONED... @ www.petebiro.com
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