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Topic: Blaine - LG Shine
Message: Posted by: chriscox (Feb 15, 2007 08:13AM)
Hi All,

I was at the launch in London last week for the LG Shine that David did. Sadly the trick to me in the audience, was really rather see-through... but it's come out quite well on this which LG have given me.


Message: Posted by: cardone (Feb 15, 2007 09:51PM)
That was painful to watch .... It was like watching a high school talent show .... boring monotone patter.. pacing back and forth back and forth ..... so sad ......
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Feb 17, 2007 07:16PM)
It was a bit painful to watch but heck, the audience liked it. I liked the ending.
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Mar 17, 2007 02:26AM)
What the hell is with the PACING??????

Message: Posted by: Mystification (Mar 17, 2007 05:57AM)
That's just his style. It drove me crazy, but......, I showed this clip to my family and they loved it. My wife didn't even pay much attention to the pacing. Somehow he manages to connect!
Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Mar 17, 2007 01:16PM)
I just don't understand that!

It drove me NUTS!!!
Message: Posted by: cardone (Mar 18, 2007 10:40AM)
Its not style ....its lack of stage experience.....
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Mar 18, 2007 02:46PM)
Great Presentation. I liked it.

Message: Posted by: magicmanfrank (Mar 18, 2007 04:39PM)
On 2007-03-18 15:46, Will-Ace wrote:
Great Presentation. I liked it.


Are you serious or just being funny???

Message: Posted by: SOHA (Mar 18, 2007 06:45PM)
It's Cool
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Mar 18, 2007 07:02PM)
Not Really,

I like his style. It works for his intended audience.

I understand that for magicians (the mayority of whom I've talked to) who have a general concept of what is supposed to be entertaining, His style is not entertaining.

However, that is not the case for whom he is performing for. It's a different style with different impact of the "traditional".

Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Mar 18, 2007 07:20PM)
They're watching David Blaine live! What can be more entertaining than that?
Message: Posted by: cardone (Mar 19, 2007 11:55PM)
Go to a junior high school talent show......
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Mar 20, 2007 08:00AM)
Why...To Watch Your Show

Message: Posted by: cardone (Mar 20, 2007 08:14PM)
Nice one junior ..... Please feel free to visit my web site and have a look at where I do my shows .......Or call one of my 5 agents and ask if I'm available to perform at your birthday party.... .... no style is not a style in my book .....Magic is not an introvert ... non performance art .... unfortunately many introvert types are attracted to magic as a hobby ..... It is a performance art ...
What about his presentation did you like .... Pacing back and forth, mumbling though a long and involved self working card trick that reminded me of one that my uncle used to perform for the family ......
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Mar 20, 2007 09:28PM)

Whoa! I missed it. What happened?
Message: Posted by: Brian S. Tanner (Mar 31, 2007 08:22PM)
Well that's 5:28 seconds of my life that I won't get back.
Message: Posted by: Mystification (Apr 2, 2007 05:33AM)
It cracks me up how some people rip David Blaine (the Millionaire David Blaine) that has had many nationally syndicated t.v. shows and travels all over the world. He is a household name for crying out loud. Yet, somebody always thinks they are better.
Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 11, 2007 12:06AM)
What about Britney Spears ... she's a household name ...sells lots of records...has lots of money ... is she a great singer ?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Apr 11, 2007 09:45PM)
Pacing: slow because he wants to make sure the audience members get the directions absolutely correct, or else he's sc**wed.

The nice idea here is that he's got all these packs floating out there, so everyone in the audience presumably is near someone, experiencing the magic that happens in their hands. It's a nice communal moment when everyone's card is revealed at the same time.

Yeah, to us it's a silly trick, but I think there's an important lesson in what he did--one on one, that trick is nothing--but he's multiplied the effect by many times the way he duplicated it through out the audience. Maybe that's an idea that can be used by more performers.

The presentation: yeah, pretty lame. But sometimes less is more. But he sure could have sold that telephone call a lot better. Acting 101 would be helpful.

But he gets the money. It might be worth analyzing why.

Jack Shalom
Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 11, 2007 10:19PM)
In the hands of a True Showman a simple trick can be a miracle ..... this is not showmanship or less being more.......when they dig up Houdini he will be face down from rolling over so many times....
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Apr 12, 2007 03:52PM)
Why are you trying to impose a style that is not for everyone? There is not only on type audience.
What you beleive to be entertatining is not true for the next person.

Would You deny his appeal to his intended audience?
Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 13, 2007 07:14AM)
What is his style ? What is his audience....If his style is subtle without a lot of talk ...that means more detail must be addressed ..If you study pantomime and any non verbal style of performing you will see a lot of work going on.....below the surface .Have you ever extensively studied theatre? ..For me it seems his intended audience is the type that change there musical tastes quickly and will be onto the next thing .
I have worked for every type of performing situation ....2 people to thousands.Tv to theatre...I also used to tour in a rock band for 6 years that did 2 world tours... I learned so much about the entertainment biz during those years......I always look at the group and adjust and modify... If I am performing at a Tattoo convention or a l Ball Park for thousands ...they will be very different in "style"..... What is your definition of style?

.....to play a song with one note ain't easy
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Apr 13, 2007 11:38AM)
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Apr 13, 2007 07:56PM)
When you are able to separate yourself from the image of a typical magician that is in the general public mind.
And, and you are able to create the feeling in the spectators mind that what they are experiencing is real magic.

There is a blur between a trick and reality.

Tha's a Style.

Because many magicians disagree with this Style of performing, is what brought so much criticism.
Others, just can't see passed the handling of a trick as opposed to the performace of an EFFECT on an audience.

Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 14, 2007 07:18AM)
Yeah ... they thought that "card trick" was real magic ...... oh boy..... I'm outa here......I got to go make some dough.......
Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (Apr 14, 2007 11:32AM)
Exactly...Even a card trick had that feeling....

Go right ahead...make sure to be entertaining...:bg:
Message: Posted by: Doug McKenzie (Apr 19, 2007 02:04AM)
I was there ... people loved it. that's all that counts.

Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Apr 27, 2007 08:14AM)
Well said, Doug. Audience. Not other magicians. End.
Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 28, 2007 08:06AM)
If it was all up to the audience we wouldn't have things like Opera ,Theatre or Classical music anymore ..... Miss Spears and J Lo , would reign Supreme.....
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Apr 28, 2007 03:25PM)
Cardone I suggest you just give it up... there's nothing you can proove. The audience in the video enjoyed it and you're not gonna convince any them (if you can even get them to listen to you) that David Blaine is a bad magician, because if he was he wouldn't be up there.

Remember that the best magician is the one who can convince the world that he is the best magician.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Apr 28, 2007 04:10PM)
It's true...audiences love David Blaine
See for yourself...
Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 29, 2007 02:02AM)
To debate and discuss is fun my friends ... it is how we learn ..... I know people like his stuff ... lots of people like crappy shallow things . Just turn on the TV or Radio ...Oh if they are on TV they must be good ...Most people don't like to debate religion or politics ... I like to debate art, theatre and film . ...It is a way for me to find new ways to conceptualize new ideas art and theatre.... It seems that a lot of you guys do not have discriminating tastes ..thats ok ..... we are all allowed to like what we want ....
If people are fed peanuts they will like them ......
Message: Posted by: Doug McKenzie (Apr 30, 2007 03:56AM)
Cardone is right ... not everyone has to love DB and his performances. The controversy is one of the things that makes him so successful.

People must have been hungry for peanuts at the LG show though if you categorize the 400 "taste-maker" guests that were invited as being shallow with no taste.

Message: Posted by: cardone (Apr 30, 2007 06:28AM)
Hello Doug long time no see...... I was the opening act for Miss Hong Kongs Stage pop show in Dec .... 900 + Banquet seating in attendance .. I had to do 10 mins ...My son could have walked out and performed a svengalli deck and amazed them ... I got my first standing O .... well I was a partial standing O the front half stood ... Jeff Sheridan always told me that we must be careful as artists and magicians because magic is a miracle and a rarity and even a poorly presented one will still get a good reaction ......
Message: Posted by: Doug McKenzie (May 1, 2007 02:27PM)
I have seen plenty of magicians bomb even though they were performing miracles. I am sure you will agree. While there is always room for improvement, the audience still loved the show.
Message: Posted by: cardone (May 1, 2007 04:36PM)
Yes..... tis true ...
Message: Posted by: Doug McKenzie (May 1, 2007 09:04PM)
Finally ... We all agree. Joy to the world
Message: Posted by: Illucifer (May 8, 2007 12:12PM)
I'm surprised nobody has even mentioned the very cool "Transported Man" effect at the end, utilizing the new sophisticated Pepper's Ghost technology that's being implemented in a lot of theatrical and music performances, as well as business conventions.
Clearly, this was inspired by The Prestige, with David tossing his phone to himself in lieu of a top hat.
I dug it. People enjoy him and he and Paul have created a character that's managed to stick in the public's mind.

Let's not be narrow and dogmatic about what performance is. There are standards, to be sure, but it's nice when anyone comes along and breaks the mold, or at least reshapes it a little.

I'd venture to say we have David to thank for much of the current interest and awareness of magic. Much more than Criss Angel, but that's just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Doug McKenzie (May 10, 2007 05:29AM)
The transported man effect was cool. The lighting guy missed a cue at the end which would have made the effect stand out a lot better.

David has definitely changed magic for good.
Message: Posted by: seanalexander (May 15, 2007 09:35AM)
I was just about to same the same thing regarding peppers ghost!

Someone said about seeing him live - meauxfeaux is correct, it's a new version of peppers ghost up until he reapeared at the end!! This technology looks great! Richard Branson has also done a sales talk using this where they "beamed" him down onto stage just like star trek. They also used this technology for MTV where the gorrilas cartoon characters appeared to be playing live on stage!

Very cool - been thinking about similar ideas for a while!

Message: Posted by: tyler_rabbit (May 15, 2007 07:30PM)
On 2007-04-13 20:56, Will-Ace wrote:
When you are able to separate yourself from the image of a typical magician that is in the general public mind...

Tha's a Style.

Exactly. The card effect was of course pretty simple, and maybe a bit convoluted for an audience of that size, but what's interesting is that they seemed to go more crazy for it than the finale where he throws the phone, vanishes, reappears, then catches it. Pretty cool use of blatant open mass misdirection.

Overall I like Blaine because I think it's great for audiences to see a more laid-back and serious style of presentation rather than the glitzy melodrama or bad comedy often associated with modern perfromers. I think his tone, (which I can understand how some may consider lifeless) gives the audience an uneasy anticipatory feeling. His quiet demeanor keeps them fixated on both him and the effect. To me his lack of overt "Style" is a stlye in itself.

Is he my favorite magician to watch? I'd rather watch Dean Dill any day. But what's been said here is true: lay audiences really seem to connect with the guy. So more power to him.

Message: Posted by: tyler_rabbit (May 15, 2007 07:36PM)
On 2007-05-10 06:29, Doug McKenzie wrote:
The transported man effect was cool. The lighting guy missed a cue at the end which would have made the effect stand out a lot better.

Ah that's probably why the audience didn't freak out as much as they should have. Initially I thought is was sort of the same problem as expressed in the Prestige regarding the "too perfect" theory.
Message: Posted by: Matt Pulsar (May 21, 2007 03:37AM)
David Blaine has a style he keeps to, yes. Is it entertaining? On television during his first special? Yes. After that it all looses something. Think about how many times people have said things to you like, "what do you think of David Blaine? Is that Magic? He is just in a box (or water etc...)" They look to us for clarity because they want to understand, but alas, they don't get it. The public is lost on what he is doing. I would love to help them but I don't get it all the time either. I have read countless articals that basically state that they think his work is junk. I don't think it is junk, but I am not sure where he is trying to take his work. If he is trying to push himself phisically and endure, then why is he mixing that with card tricks? If he is magical then why did he fail to hold his breath for his set time? The limits of human endurance were very well displayed as art by the Performance artist Chris Burden years ago, check him out.
There are allot of similarities to Burden's work in what Mr. Blaine has been doing. I like that Blaine is trying to push the limits of what magic can be, and to make it feel real.
This stage performance however does not do that. I would love to see him perform a forty five or even ninety minute show, but based on this he is not ready. If he did not have the established name he would have been toast on that stage. He seems to be lost to the cult of cool. I despise cool. Issues of what is cool are issues of taste. Taste is the enemy of art. I don't understand his voice anymore. The public seems at a loss as well.
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jun 10, 2007 09:19AM)
On 2007-04-28 09:06, cardone wrote:
If it was all up to the audience we wouldn't have things like Opera ,Theatre or Classical music anymore ..... Miss Spears and J Lo , would reign Supreme.....

It's been a while, but I gotta disagree with this statement. I love the above-mentioned art-forms, and contend that there is a VERY healthy audience for all 3 of them. Spears and J.Lo are more popular, but there are flourishing alternatives. Off to book tickets for West End shows...
Message: Posted by: Matt Pulsar (Jun 12, 2007 04:53AM)
Yes, Ricky Jay has a healthy audience as well. But how many people who love Blaine know who Ricky Jay is? What do you think a Ricky Jay audience would think of Blaine's live performance?
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jun 12, 2007 06:46AM)
Plenty of people know who they both are; they each feature/have featured heavily in the media for several years. A Ricky Jay audience would, for the most part, enjoy watching Blaine's magic, I'm pretty sure. Many of RJ's audience would be magic enthusiasts, hobbyists, and generally those who enjoy watching magic. I think the 'fan bases' are neither enemies nor mutually exclusive. Plenty of people turn out to see DB at his big stunts as well, so I don't know if it's correct to say that he's 'lost on the public'.
Message: Posted by: Matt Pulsar (Jun 12, 2007 05:52PM)
"The public is lost on what he is doing.... I don't understand his voice anymore. The public seems at a loss as well." Please, if you are going to quote me, use a quote I have written.

You, ChristopherM, implied that what I wrote was that he was 'lost on the public,' this can mean a few things. Either it means that he doesn't understand people very well, which I think one could argue, but I am not sure that it is the case. or it could mean that the public doesn't want to see him. Which I know is not the case.

What I was saying is that the public, while interested and in attendance seem still lost as to what they saw, what it is, and what to make of it. Some, because of this, then become angry and decide that it is not magic, or worth their time, or entertaining. Many then decide it is not worth caring. And often I am asked what to make of him, basically because I work in this buisness. People want answers and they want to know what we think. I want to give them something but I'm not sure either. So my answer is usually along the lines of telling them that there is allot of great close up magic in his show, but the endurance stunts are something different. They seem to be about pushing the limits of man.

Now, these things don't make a hell of allot on sense when together. If you can perform miricles, like reviving a bird, and you can make someones teeth come out and reappear, or read someones mind, why shouldn't you be able to stand inside a block of ice, or in a bubble, whats more amazing about that? And if the close up magic is just tricks, then why shouldn't they think the stunt is a trick as well? Perhaps if the conditioning was what made him able to perform magic? I don't know.

In comparison there are allot more people who know David Blaine by name than Ricky Jay. For the most part the core audience is very different, and I am talking about here in the United States. I have not been to the UK so, if this is not the case there, then we can applaud the British for having better appreciation for our art, but I would have assumed that anyhow. By the same token we could add Derren Brown to this mix, because here in the states if you know who he is, you must either be a magician, have spent some time over seas or watch allot of magic on youtube.

The other thing about that comparison that is problematic is that Ricky Jay is one of the best stage magicians in the world with many well directed and worked out acts. His fan base goes outise of the magic world in that the theatre world Public radio audience history buffs and bibliophiles knows him well. I would say he is the most popular and known magician for afluent, intelligent crowds and theatre crowds, and that is, here in New York. Blaine is a TV magician. He may be the first almost exclusively TV magician. Until this LG shine bit, I have never seen him do a stage act. I do know he will do close up from time to time, but that's very different from stage magic. And based on this video, the LG video of his performance, he is not very accomplished at working a stage. I would not be surprised if Ricky Jay was insulted by being compared to David Blaine.

So bottom line. My question was; "What do you think a Ricky Jay audience would think of Blaine's LIVE performance?" and this was in refrence to the LG video of him on STAGE.
My assumption would be that those familiar with Ricky Jay would not like David Blaine's STAGE performance, because it is based on being cool, he paces across the stage, and it is a long self working card trick. Its boring. Where as they will happily sit through a long card act of Ricky Jay because he is entertaining on STAGE. Furthermore, if something said has the ability to be correct or incorrect then it must be based on a fact. To say you believe someones act is confusing or loosing the public, or even "lost on the public,' is a matter of opinion. Obviously you dissagree with me. Great. But don't tell me my opinion is not correct.
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jun 14, 2007 09:50AM)
Thanks, Stuart. I do apologise for that imputation, it was rather careless on my part. Very sorry. Yes I see exactly what you mean. The comparison is rather strained, since they do target different audiences, by and large. I suppose the greatest overlap (perhaps the only one?) is those who really do enjoy watching magic in all its forms.

Yes, the LG stage bit seems to be not DB's forte, nor his preferred working conditions. I think the context is important to remember in this case; the aim not ostensibly being to wow the crowd with magical magic, but rather, product placement and audience interaction - slipping in that crucial slogan, etc. I liked the transported man effect, though as Doug mentions, the lighting appeared not to be too perfect. All in all, I suppose it was simply the attraction of "particpate with David Blaine - a big 'name' - live" that would've carried the audience's attention. I'm sure he probably hung around to do close-up at that reception afterward ;)

RJ is definitely a perfect entertainer for theatre-goers - much like a lot of Derren's audiences here, I suppose, especially for his West End shows. Indeed Derren won the Olivier award for Best Entertainment last year for 'Something Wicked'; it was very good theatre. I think you're probably right, RJ probably wouldn't appreciate the comparison at all. Their fields are markedly different.

The reception DB got for his Above the Below over here was quite mixed; several hardcore fans, yet simultaneously, quite a few pranksters and attention seekers trying to jeer and spoil the show. Surreal events surrounded that stunt, for sure. Certainly, some people don't really know what to make of him. I guess this is part of his publicity tactic - he can't really be categorised, so it makes a lot of people watch him intently, to see what this mysterious man does next. The media coverage he gets is very extensive because of it, and his image is very unique. He revels in comparisons with Houdini, of course, and likes to fuel such discussion himself, I'm sure. After all, which magician wouldn't want to be heard in the same sentence as Houdini?!

Interesting thought about UK audiences, and whether as many people here know Ricky Jay as they do David Blaine. I'm really not sure, myself; I think a lot of Brits know RJ from his TV and, primarily, film work. They probably see him as first and foremost an actor.

As far as British being more appreciative of the art - wow, thanks! Very flattering!


Chris :)
Message: Posted by: Matt Pulsar (Jun 15, 2007 01:00AM)
By the same token ChistopherM I didn't give you much of a chance, I jumped in with the Ricky Jay Comparison without the clarification that I was strictly thinking in terms of stage. So sorry to set it off in the wrong direction.

"He revels in comparisons with Houdini, of course, and likes to fuel such discussion himself, I'm sure. After all, which magician wouldn't want to be heard in the same sentence as Houdini?! "-ChristopherM

Now, I am going into another topical direction here, so I apologise before hand.
It's funny that you say this because I have had this thought many times. I believe it is bad form to talk trash about other performers in our art to the public, it only makes you look bad, no matter how valid the statement it makes one seem bitter unless they have as much publicity as the one they are speaking of. But I have always been in complete wonder about the Houdini enigma. All that I have read and heard about Houdini, including his own letters, have spelled him out to be a bitter self promoter with an overdeveloped ego who would quickly shut other performers down when provided the opportunity. He is a guy who wrote a book to downplay the man he named himself after! As far as I can tell Houdini's best skill was self promotion. The next Star in that line might be Warhol. I have never heard of a Houdini stunt or trick that I was truly baffled by, and the descriptions of his act are such that it is a wonder he didn't bore the audience to death. But, then again, times were different then. What is it that makes Houdini so timeless and able to live forever? Is it the fact that he offered the idea that one could escape from anything? Is that enough? Or is it simply because everyone knew who he was? That can't be it, can it?
Well I am facinated enough that I have read two of his biographys as well as other material. But in the end, the more I learn about him the less I like the guy. I live in walking distance from his grave. I have been there many times. It is plesent and I like to go there and practice or just sit on a bench and enjoy the day. When he talked, he must have been a hell of a showman. I wonder if there will ever again exist the forum for the appreciation he recieved for just being that.

"As far as British being more appreciative of the art - wow, thanks! Very flattering! " -ChristopherM

No problem. All the british crowds I have performed for were great. Because I have never been to the UK I only know this from experiences with people on holiday in NY. Or in the other parts of Europe I have been to. I have got to get myself to your neck of the woods some day. But it is my impression that in Europe the appreciation for theatre of any form, or art of any form is much larger. The audience also understands better what happens when you go to a show, how to be an audience. The culture of the United States just doesn't have a built in appreciation for art at all. Only in certain cities, such as New York, do you find more of this. Here there is a hierarchy in theatre, and the joke goes that the only thing lower than a magician is a mime.
I could also call that bit, "why I'm a mentalist." but of course there is more to it than that.

Cheers! Stuart