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Topic: Maximum Entertainment
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 9, 2011 09:33PM)
I saw an ad for this book in MAGIC Magazine. It looks quite wonderful...I really like the way Ken Weber thinks. When I started looking into buying it, I found reviews here from a number of years ago. Positive ones.

For those of you who have read it: is it as good as they say...and is it relevant today?

Also: I am a big fan of ebooks for "green planet" reasons. Is this available as an ebook somewhere?

Thank you!

David
Message: Posted by: WDavis (Jun 9, 2011 09:36PM)
David,
I own it, use it, and marked it all up. It is a great buy.

Don't think it's an ebook.

Don't shy away it's as relevant today as yesterday and still will be tomorrow.

my best,
Walter
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 9, 2011 09:43PM)
Thanks greatly and muchly, Walter.

David
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 9, 2011 09:44PM)
David-

You write as if this book is ancient! It's not that old at all. It remains one of the best books of its kind I've ever read.

As many of you know, Ken Weber was one of the first to give direction to my act several decades ago. The man knows what he is talking about.

Best-

Bob
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 9, 2011 10:09PM)
Just finished reading it for the first time yesterday. I'm already making adjustments and taking action. I can tell that it's a good investment. It's only a few years old (and do stage techniques really change over time???). I tried to find a Kindle version but I had to go back to paper for this one.
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Jun 9, 2011 10:19PM)
Amazing book. It's worth every penny.
Message: Posted by: Tony Razzano (Jun 9, 2011 10:45PM)
To me, it is a must have for mentalist and magician.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 9, 2011 11:56PM)
It is one if not the best book in my library of over one hundred books. It's every bit as good as the rave reviews say and then some. Each time your reread it you pickup and gain more than before. It's truly the book that keeps on giving. It will more than likely change your act and the way you view your act. Simply put, get it!
Message: Posted by: Doughlas (Jun 10, 2011 12:17AM)
I highly recommend this book to anyone that's serious about becoming a good performer. Great book!
Message: Posted by: Anthony Jacquin (Jun 10, 2011 12:25AM)
I also recently got this book and read it after years of professional's I respect recommending it. Now I understand why. It provides a brilliant way of examining your act and tuning it for Maxiumum Entertainment. Get it. It will prompt some pain prior to your revelation and adjustment. I am running a 'Director's Chair' day with all the performers I work with at Head Hacking next week based based on the ideas in this book examinging and refining our top three effects.

Best regards,

Anthony
Message: Posted by: Blindside785 (Jun 10, 2011 12:27AM)
A book that I don't own, what a shame!
Message: Posted by: voh002 (Jun 10, 2011 12:50AM)
Probably the best book I have :)
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (Jun 10, 2011 01:11AM)
What a bargain. This book challenges and encourages me every time I read it. I plan to revisit it at least every two years. Out of maybe 150 titles, Maximum Entertainment is still in my top three.
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Jun 10, 2011 01:44AM)
I'm a ventriloquist but I got a LOT from this book. It's a great study on how to perform and entertain as a true professional magician and mentalist (or in my case, ventriloquist). It will surely become a classic!
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Jun 10, 2011 02:19AM)
Old book ? what's old for you?
The book was release in 2003...
You say you like the ways think Ken Weber , ok, which book have you read from him ?
Btw, you post is quite strange and funny,lol
Message: Posted by: Looch (Jun 10, 2011 02:48AM)
One of the most important books I've read. I have it in my bag today actually, in prep for traveling down to London for a gig.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 10, 2011 08:25AM)
Okay...okay.

I post and go to bed and wake up to see all these responses. It's ordered. Thank you all for your responses. I appreciate your time.

David
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Jun 10, 2011 08:39AM)
David,

You will not be disappointed. If you are looking for the book to tell you exactly what to do, then you might not like it.

However, the book provides the framework for you to add your personal style with his suggestions to improve your show.

As you read the book, also think of yourself as a brand. Who are you? What are you selling? What makes you unique? What is your message? What is the theme of your show?

Think about these questions as you work through the book, and you will be light years ahead of where you are now and those out there who are basically doing dealer demo shows (been there, done that, bought not only the T-shirt, but the hoodie, too).

Best wishes,

Bobby
Message: Posted by: JanForster (Jun 10, 2011 08:44AM)
Nothing to add, just to confirm (David!) that this is one of the best books I've ever read. I read it at least twice. Don't hesitate to get it! Jan
Message: Posted by: brehaut (Jun 10, 2011 09:20AM)
I am curious how it compares to other books on presentation like Strong Magic by Ortiz or Ablsolute Magic by Brown
Message: Posted by: Lost in Thought (Jun 10, 2011 10:14AM)
Okay...

Absolute Magic is a well written book by a good close-up magician, about why he performs (performed) the way he does (did).

Strong Magic is one of the best books on magic theory, and attempts to identify and label key elements in the performance of magic, especially focused on the design of character and the different kinds of meaning and conviction. It's primarily a book on what makes something into good magic.

Magic and Showmanship (You didn't mention it, but you possibly should have) is a book on theatrical theory, where it applies to magic. It contains wonderfully practical staging and blocking advice, especially on working with an assistant. Henning Nelms was a director, and his book is principally of value in those terms. (It's also the cheapest by far)

Maximum Entertainment is a wonderful look at what "entertainment" actually is - something which is severely lacking in a lot of performances. It's a book very much focused on the practicalities of performing, and therefore is the only one of the above to actually talk about such basic and vital issues as microphone usage. It's less of a book on theory than the above.

I own, reference and have benefited from all of the above in my work. They each cover different ground, and I certainly don't agree completely with any of them. By far the least useful of the bunch is Absolute Magic, despite being a good read.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 10, 2011 10:16AM)
One of it's greatest appeals is that it is NOT a book about magic. It's a book about being an entertainer, a performer. than can be applied to any time of live entertainment performance.

I know many entertainers than have nothing to do with magic that have used this book to achieve amazing results with their performance.
Message: Posted by: KiKi (Jun 10, 2011 01:35PM)
I also can recommend the book. Just amazing! One of the best books i´ve read!
kiki
Message: Posted by: landmark (Jun 10, 2011 01:51PM)
You may not agree with his answers, but he sure is asking the right questions.
Message: Posted by: magic maniac (Jun 10, 2011 02:20PM)
I respectively disagree with Bobby. This book tells you EXACTLY what to do step by step. That's why I love this book, it's so practical. Also pick-up 'Win the Crowd' by Steve Cohen, these 2 books go hand in hand together.
Message: Posted by: Rafael The Master Hypnotist (Jun 10, 2011 11:37PM)
It is like a New Testament for me! along with Paul Brooks "Alcemical Tools"

...
Message: Posted by: whiteoakcanyon (Jun 11, 2011 03:51AM)
I read Maximum Entertainment a few months ago and loved it. It is an easy read filled with great ideas. Very Highly Recommended!
Message: Posted by: robwar0100 (Jun 11, 2011 10:10AM)
Magic Maniac,

Not sure we disagree; it might be I did not explain myself very well.

The author offers a lot of suggestions about how to improve the performance without necessarily saying "this is the absolute way for you if you want to be good." He leaves latitude for your personality.

Bobby
Message: Posted by: mrmysticmike (Jun 11, 2011 10:54AM)
Another vote for "Maximum Entertainment".

There is something for every level of performer.
Message: Posted by: david12345 (Jun 11, 2011 09:43PM)
Late to the party but here is another big vote for Maximum Entertainment, in fact I am about to read it again on my upcoming 8 hour flight since I have had so much new experience this past year. Certainly a must have!
Message: Posted by: mental4u (Jun 15, 2011 05:09PM)
It is the book I carry with me on the airplane. I can re-read it several times a year, it is that type of book. Lots of practical information, -0- tricks. Highly recommended.

Gregg Lancaster
Mental Masterpieces
College Station, Texas
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 15, 2011 06:18PM)
It was ordered several days ago from L&L. I am looking forward to it!

David
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 15, 2011 08:01PM)
I have tried to like this book but cannot quite manage it. And I have no idea why I don't like it. So I cannot put up a very good argument against it. I think it is more of a gut feeling than anything else.

What the author seems to say I cannot really fault. I just don't know what my problem is. I wish someone could tell me. Perhaps there is something in the author's tone of smug self satisfaction and obvious love of himself that bothers me. I wish I knew what turns me off the book even though the information seems sound.

One thing I really do take exception to is the naming of eminent people in magic and openly criticising them without their permission. That should never be done in a magic book. It is terribly disrespectful and Mr Weber would not like it if it happened to him. I am not a fan myself of some of the people he criticises but this is something for private conversation. Putting something like that in a book leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 15, 2011 09:25PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-15 21:01, Mark Lewis wrote:
I have tried to like this book but cannot quite manage it. And I have no idea why I don't like it. So I cannot put up a very good argument against it. I think it is more of a gut feeling than anything else.

What the author seems to say I cannot really fault. I just don't know what my problem is. I wish someone could tell me. Perhaps there is something in the author's tone of smug self satisfaction and obvious love of himself that bothers me. I wish I knew what turns me off the book even though the information seems sound.

One thing I really do take exception to is the naming of eminent people in magic and openly criticising them without their permission. That should never be done in a magic book. It is terribly disrespectful and Mr Weber would not like it if it happened to him. I am not a fan myself of some of the people he criticises but this is something for private conversation. Putting something like that in a book leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
[/quote]

So it's okay to criticize people on the Magic Café but not in a magic book. Shouldn't both be considered "disrespectful"? Or what about having a private conversation when one has a dispute such as yours with Richard Kaufman? I'm really confused by this post of yours Mr. Lewis as this is something that your posts at the Café are riddled with. Seems a tad hypocritical don't you think?

SPM
Message: Posted by: Mike Ince (Jun 15, 2011 10:51PM)
If I were someone Mr. Weber critiqued in his book, I'd pay attention to what he said.

Magic "superstars" are open to public criticism, their products open to harsh reviews, and their performances are certainly open to critique. I found it refreshing to hear an honest voice holding performing pros to a higher standard. As John Carney said, "Good enough" is the mantra of the mediocre.

Read some of the mean-spirited comments on this site and compare them to Ken Weber's criticisms (which I felt were constructive) from Maximum Entertainment. Weber is a gentleman even when he's being blunt. After dealing with trolls here, I welcome honest and constructive (if not a little harsh) criticism. But Ken Weber wasn't harsh. Only my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Jun 15, 2011 11:26PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-15 21:01, Mark Lewis wrote:

One thing I really do take exception to is the naming of eminent people in magic and openly criticising them without their permission.
[/quote]

You mean we always need to ask permission from people before we express our opinion/criticism on them in a publication?
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 16, 2011 12:10AM)
Yes. You do. Criticising someone on a magic forum has a lot less permanancy that it does in a book. And a lot more importance is attached to it. Furthermore criticisms on a magic forum are usually in a setting where the other person can defend himself. And the criticism is often in a scenario where an argument is in operation. In fact I am quite consistent here. I have already expressed my disapproval of a video put up by a young man who does not know any better criticising a fellow performer for his own entertainment. The performer did not ask for the criticism and I did not approve of it.

There is utterly no need to name names in a permanent record such as a book. It is disrespectul and shows the enormous ego of the author and it taints the book. By all means describe the person but do not use his name. I am not a particular fan of Max Maven but I thought it was quite disgraceful for Mr Weber to berate him publicly in his book with a little measure of faint praise to justify it.

It is unethical and mean spirited to do it and the criticism isn't necessarily correct. It is obvious that I love myself very much indeed but you will find no trace of it in my books. Mr Weber also loves himself and isn't tongue in cheek about it. There is a constant strain of smugness throughout his work which affects his message. He keeps yapping about showing his humanity to an audience yet he insists on exhibiting his lack of humanity to his readers by criticising perfomers by name and without their consent. I consider that to be the epitome of rudeness.

I understand Mr Weber is no longer a professional magician. Perhaps that is why he feels free to criticise those who still are. I have been told that he isn't much good himself from someone who saw him work. However, I will take that with a pinch of salt and even if it is true I will put it down to the fact that he is probably a bit rusty from being away from the stage too long.

Now if someone is performing in a specific venue criticism in a review situation is perfectly permissible. But NOT in a non-performing situation in a hard backed cover book.

I am sorry. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth and no doubt has tainted the book for me so that I can hardly bear reading it. Besides I suspect a lot of what he says is wrong anyway. I can't say for sure because I cannot read the book without wincing at the self love which runs throughout.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 16, 2011 12:24AM)
Mark-

I'm afraid you've got Ken Weber all wrong. He was never a professional magician. He was a professional hypnotist and received many awards for the high quality programs he presented for colleges and corporate events. Additionally, he was the first performer to be named "Entertainer of the Year" by the Playboy Club.

He was, and is, very very good at what he does. I have no idea what you mean by the "self love" that you say permeates the book, nor do I see anything in it that is derogatory in any way. Ken is a great gentleman and has done the art a great favor by writing MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT. As I noted in an earlier post, Ken was the first "director" I ever had and the advice he gave me way back in the late 70's was critical in my own development as an entertainer. I will always be grateful for that.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 16, 2011 12:53AM)
Fine Bob. I respect your opinion. I was merely giving mine. And I did mean to say "hypnotist and mentalist" rather than "magician". Mea Culpa.
Message: Posted by: Looch (Jun 16, 2011 05:14AM)
Ken Weber is one of the friendliest and grounded people Ive met. He was asked, IIRC to openly critique members of the PEA's shows and performances at one of the infamous MOM's... This I believe is where the inspiration for the book came.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 16, 2011 05:24AM)
Actually, Looch, Ken's critiques at the PEA's annual MOTM were a regular feature for many years. They were, for many, one of the highlights of the event.

But the "Meetings of the Minds" were never actually "infamous". Where'd you get that idea? (Well, excerpt for some of Andruzzi's exploits and the time Dennis Marks and I ... never mind)
Message: Posted by: Looch (Jun 16, 2011 06:36AM)
Thanks for adding more detail to my mental picture Bob....I never knew it was a regular feature!

As for "Infamous" its just a little something ive heard from people ;-) nothing negative, souds like theres been some good times at those meetings :)
Message: Posted by: mikesmithmagic (Jun 16, 2011 06:57AM)
I love this book. As previous posted by other members, it is the best book of it's kind for me. I have learnt so much from the pages of this valuable guide. My performance ability has improved a great deal since reading it. Ken is absolutely spot on.
Message: Posted by: KWEBER (Jun 16, 2011 04:58PM)
A friend suggested I come on over here to see this thread. It made for fun reading … until I got to Mr. Lewis.

Oh well. Thousands of copies of the book have been sold (basically all through word-of-mouth), so if I managed to please 99%, that remaining 1% will mean there are dozens of dissenters like Mr. Lewis!

First, a big THANK YOU for all the amazingly kind words that were said, in this thread and in many other places on the Café going back to 2003.

Next, against my better judgment, I will attempt to respond, briefly, to Mr. Lewis. My job in writing the book was to provide the best information possible to the reader, not to make friends. Perhaps my New York brashness rubbed some the wrong way, but I am passionate about our craft and I do what I can to make it better.

Yes, I could have written in generalities, but I quickly realized that by being intensely specific I could make my points in a far more targeted and effective manner. And in fact, from the very first reviews and comments, it was clear that I made the correct decision.

As for whether I am a good performer or not – that’s irrelevant to the information provided. It’s either useful on its own, or it isn’t. The kind comments posted on this thread, and many hundreds more elsewhere, indicate that the two years I spent writing the book were not in vain. (And if you must know, I was very successful as a performer.)

Now, getting back to the positive comments for a moment…

When I wrote the book I was virtually unknown in the magic community (that’s true of many full-time pros – they don’t have time to go to conventions or do lectures). Now, as a direct result of the book, I have friends around the world! And the wonderful comments posted here in the past few days, from a few of those new friends (and a couple of OLD friends – I’m looking at you, Cassidy), mean more to me than you can imagine.

Thanks again, guys.
Ken
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Jun 16, 2011 05:31PM)
I was very happy during the recent Ted Karmilovich lecture at Tannens to tell Ken Weber in person what I thought of his book. It is not only the best book of its kind but has done more for my perfomances than any other magic or mentalism book that I have ever read in my 50 years of performing. Would love for him to write a few more.

Steve
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 16, 2011 06:18PM)
Ken-

I'm not THAT old!

:eek:

Bob
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 16, 2011 06:46PM)
I am a REAL psychic and got a vibe that Mr Weber would be here to defend himself. I see that I am correct as usual. Yes. New Yorkers are indeed brash or perhaps another more realistic word is rude. I have just been arguing with the rudest of them all on another thread. But then I am brash, rude and blunt myself so I suppose that makes us even. I do, however, think it is important for the credibility of someone who advises on how to present maximum entertainment to be somewhat expert in the matter himself. And Mr Weber agrees with this too and explains that this is why he devoted several pages at the beginning of the book explaining how wonderful he was. Presumably if the contents were "useful on their own" this wouldn't be necessary. And in fact he actually mentions this in the book.

But that is but a minor point. I shall take his word that he used to be quite good since I have seen no evidence that he wasn't. Mind you I have seen no evidence that he was either. Still, I am not one to quibble.

Still, after Bob said I was mistaken I thought I better have another look at it and try to be objective about it. AFter all Bob seems to like my work too so I suppose I have to be fair. I do think that the amount of sales of a book is of no relevance whatsoever. The Bible is the best selling book of all time but I still find it a load of tosh. Don't tell the gospel section I said so though.

Anyway I took the book with me this morning and tried to put my biases aside difficult as it was. After all one doesn't have to like the author in order to like the information. When I give of my great wisdom as I often do I also rile up lots of people and in fact I guarantee far more people than Mr Weber is able to do, yet my information is still valuable.

I read the book for hours this morning and although I keep trying very hard to like it I still can't manage it and I don't really know why. It is interestingly written and not mired in heavy language like that even more horrendous monstrosity that everyone goes head over heels over. I refer to that horrible book by Henning Nelms which I think should be publicly burned.

I have already expressed my reservations about the naming of people without their consent. I bet Kenneth himself would be irritated if someone criticised him in public and he wasn't able to answer back like he can here. In fact I know he would. I can tell a fellow egomaniac when I see one. I am quite sure he is the sort that can give it out but cannot take it himself.

Still, this is a personal quirk and has no real bearing on the information itself. It may influence the reception of the information since people tend not to learn from teachers they don't like but a good student can steel himself to live with that.

So what about the information? I agree with much of it and am deeply suspicious of much of it. I don't know why I am suspicious and that is what bothers me. It must be a gut feeling, intuition kind of thing. I am psychic after all. Perhaps it is because some of the people he claims are wonderful I find are quite awful and are as interesting as watching paint dry. Perhaps that is what is making me so cynical-I just don't know. Since I am far more tactful than Mr Weber I won't name these people as he does.

In my renewed study of the book this morning I also found a few things I violently disagreed with. Overall, the book makes me uncomfortable perhaps because of my own cynicism borne of decades of being a miserable ***. But Ken's digs at other performers don't help. And I don't even like some of the performers he mentions. But that is not the point. Being discourteous to other performers is. For example, I see absolutely no reason why the same descriptions could not be given and you simply say, "A noted performer" or something like that. No need to name them. I would be quite interested to hear what the reactions were of these people. Were they defensive or were they appreciative? Mentalists are known for their gigantic egos as well as their ability to chatter interminably so I bet the mentalists mentioned showed more irritation than the magicians.

Still, I shall give the book 6 out of 10. Perhaps Mr Weber can somehow induce me to raise my score. I can assure him that an endorsement from me would be far more significant than many, many, many endorsements from other people. That, of course is because I am MARK LEWIS and they aren't.

To be nice I will still try to like the book even though I cannot yet manage it. When that momentous moment comes you will no doubt hear all about it.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 17, 2011 12:46AM)
So you can't criticize someone in a magic book (that only a select few will read) but you can flame them without any regard whatsoever on the internet and that's completely fine?! I'm sorry but this kind of logic that just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Mark Lewis has once again graced us all with his flawless logic!

This is truly a great book with many many wonderful insights for improving your performing skills.

SPM
Message: Posted by: Biovf (Jun 17, 2011 03:32AM)
Not wanting to hijack this thread, I would only like to ask Mr. Lewis what books he recommends (if any at all) about this subjects? (Entertainment, showmanship, etc)
I'm not a native english speaker and funny enough yesterday I finished reading Nelms book and found it quite good, easy to read and in my humble opinion, if even half the magicians/mentalists performing out there would read and study only that book about presentations during their entire careers, I think we would see much better performances all over the world.

By the way I don't own Maximum Entertainment yet, it should be arriving monday/tuesday :)
Message: Posted by: Looch (Jun 17, 2011 04:07AM)
They see me trollin...they hatin.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 06:03AM)
Yes. I do agree with Biovf. It is indeed a very good idea to discuss other books. I do want to be constructive in these matters. Let me deal with the Nelms book first. I have a personal hatred for this book since at one time I used to believe every word it said. I was young and impressionable at the time. I found the book drove me nuts for about 6 months talking about "silent scripts" and other nonsense. I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to implement the stupidity in the book. Then one day I discovered that the author had never done a magic show in his life.

I lent the book to Harry Stanley the famed magic dealer who had a lot of experience in showbusiness. He was very attracted by the title saying, "It is about time somebody wrote about this subject" However, when he returned the book he was far less enthusiastic saying "It is all padding". I will admit there is no padding in the Weber book and no words are wasted. Except where he is being rude about other performers without their consent of course.

I really have a detestation of acting and theatrical types chattering about magic. As soon as I find out that a magician has had theatrical training I know they are bloody useless. They are usually overloud and artificial. They think they are reciting Hamlet instead of doing the cut and restored rope. They insist on using the awful word "scripting" when it should be PATTER as it has been from time immemorial. As soon as they use that awful word "blocking" I want to puke. The trouble with them is that they try to be perfect and that is imperfection in itself. I far prefer a performer to be human rather than perfect.

I cannot get excited about the Fitzkee book on showmanship either. I do like the foreword where it mentions that just because you are busy working it doesn't mean that you are actually any good. I had that in mind when reading Ken's little biography at the beginning of his book. But there are a couple of pages in the Fitzkee book which are indeed absolutely marvellous and should be embedded in the heart of any entertainer. Pages 47 and 48. The rest of the book -I can take it or leave it.

As for books I like I do find Our Magic quite brilliant at times. Heavy reading but worth it. There is also a small and little known book from the past called Showmanship and Presentation by Edward Maurice which is quite useful.

With regard to close up magic I do find Darwin Ortiz's Strong Magic to be quite excellent although he falls into the same trap as Mr Weber by disrespecfully naming other performers. I consider this bad manners but I will forgive Mr Ortiz anything after seeing him complain that Kaufman hadn't paid him for his authorship. He posted it on the Genii forum and it was deleted within 60 seconds. In fact I think I was the only one that saw it. Richard always blasts this book which is one of his own publications and I could never understand why until I saw Darwin's post on the Genii Forum.

The only thing I disagree with in the Ortiz book is his advice on hecklers. I think there are cleverer ways to go about it in a close up situation and I think I talked about them on my guest of honour week. And regrettably I saw Ortiz perform and realised, quite sadly if I may say so, that he wasn't much good himself.

I do swear by the advice given on presentation in the back section of Expert Card Technique particularly the first few pages which are sheer gold.

Where kid shows are concerned the first chapter of Open Sesame is priceless.

If you enjoyed the Nelms book you will certainly enjoy the Weber book since it is far more practical. You will not be bothered by the tone of the book as I am. Alas I pick up psychic vibes from books and that has biased me against Ken's book. I wish it hadn't.

Those of you who are not as psychic as I am will no doubt enjoy it.
Message: Posted by: Steve Suss (Jun 17, 2011 08:23AM)
After reading Mark Lewis posts I think Ken Weber should change the title of his book to Maximum Entertainment for the rest of us.LOL
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 09:26AM)
Steve. You have sussed it. I am glad that my posts are giving you maximum entertainment anyway. Mind you I would like to know what Kreskin, Copperfield, Blaine, Ammar, Maven, Malone, Allen, and others had to say about being criticised in the book without permission. Perhaps they were all for it, perhaps they weren't. Perhaps they agreed with the criticism, perhaps they didn't. I am overcome with curiousity over the matter. I think I did hear somewhere that Max Maven was a trifle peeved over it.

Let me tell you one by one where I agreed and where I did not agree.

Kreskin. No. I did not agree with the Weber criticism.
Copperfield. Yes. I did.
Blaine. No. I didn't
Maven. No
Malone Yes
Ammar. Part yes. Part no.
Allen. Probably yes but it isn't as big a deal as Ken makes out

Last but not least I see he also takes a dig at long dead Milbourne Christopher or rather he quotes Joe Turner who did. And the answer would be from me-No. I don't agree.

So there. I only agree with half of what Ken says. That bothers me. I should be agreeing with the other half too. But I am not. So that means something is not quite right.

Alas his word is not gospel. I know mine always is so that means I have just made up my mind. I shall put Ken's book away and rely on my own counsel. Since I am right 100% of the time and Ken is only right 50% of the time I shall stay with my own thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Lost in Thought (Jun 17, 2011 11:34AM)
If I agree 100% with a book on theory, on any subject, then I know I haven't understood it properly. In my mind, any work on theory is principally an invitation to debate. You need to be able to disagree, and understand why you disagree.

Take the ideas on microphone use. I've worked with and used a large number of different setups for microphones on stage. Ken Weber prefers a handheld, wireless mic, and explains his logic. In some situations I entirely agree, in others I differ.

I respect Mark's opinion (especially about the Henning Nelms book - even though I do believe there are some useful ideas in there), although I'm not always comfortable about the way he expresses it. I agree that the passages criticising performers made me double-take. People absolutely need honest and open criticism of their work, but I'm not sure I felt happy with reading someone else's dirty laundry, so to speak.
Message: Posted by: Lior (Jun 17, 2011 11:45AM)
Hi Ken
Good to see you here.
Have fun

Lior
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 12:38PM)
Another thing I am uncomfortable with is this nonsense of asking a spectator's name on stage. I usually do but hate doing it. I don't want to know their name and I am quite sure they don't want me to know theirs. And despite what Ken writes I am quite sure the audience doesn't give a tinker's cuss.

Quite frankly if someone asks me my name on stage I consider it an impertinent breach of privacy and am quite tempted to tell them to mind their own business. In the old days magicians would address the people on stage as "Sir" or "Madam" and that was quite sufficient. The trouble is that nowadays the women look like men and the men look like women so it is hard to tell the difference.

And I do remember reading an old book that said "Asking a woman's name on stage is quite unpardonable"

I am sure the author would be quite horrified by the Weber book. Quite right too.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 17, 2011 12:58PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-17 13:38, Mark Lewis wrote:
The trouble is that nowadays the women look like men and the men look like women so it is hard to tell the difference.

And I do remember reading an old book that said "Asking a woman's name on stage is quite unpardonable"

[/quote]

Mark-

I know that I am getting old, but your comment about not being able to tell the difference nowadays between men and women was a popular line back in the sixties. That's about the same time that women's liberation made your other point moot.

:eek:

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 01:11PM)
No Bob. I am not referring to a time thing. I don't know anything about women's liberation. I am referring to a geography thing. I have found since moving to this ungodly part of the world that in Canada the women are more like men and the men are more like women and it has little to do with appearance. I suspect that in America it is more or less the same. Quite frankly women should be in the kitchen and at home looking after the children not wandering on to public stages to help magicians pretend that they can read minds.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 17, 2011 01:15PM)
I should have seen that coming!

:)

Best-

Bob
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 17, 2011 01:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-17 14:11, Mark Lewis wrote:
I have found since moving to this ungodly part of the world that in Canada the women are more like men and the men are more like women and it has little to do with appearance. I suspect that in America it is more or less the same.
[/quote]

Seriously?

SERIOUSLY?

I think you're just pulling on chains now.

Maybe you should try a little more fiber in your diet.

David
Message: Posted by: EricDraven (Jun 17, 2011 01:43PM)
Don't feed the troll...
:D

back on topic: wonderful book!!
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 17, 2011 02:55PM)
Okay, Eric. Agreed.

Yup. It's gonna be a wonderful book.

David
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 17, 2011 03:25PM)
Sounds like it's time to move on. Bad Food, Women, what's there to stay for? Oh Canada!
Message: Posted by: Jim-Callahan (Jun 17, 2011 03:44PM)
Mark,

I like the Nelms, book and found it very usefull.

Also the Tarbell, books.

Have found the knowledge of acting skills and theatrical production to
be of great value.


Jim
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 04:05PM)
All power to you, Jim.
I bet you wouldn't like the Weber book though. He says therein that Criss Angel is a wonderful fellow.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 17, 2011 04:21PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-17 17:05, Mark Lewis wrote:
All power to you, Jim.
I bet you wouldn't like the Weber book though. He says therein that Criss Angel is a wonderful fellow.
[/quote]

Keep in mind that Ken's book was written eight years ago.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 04:26PM)
Was Criss a nice chap then? No doubt this revelation will make Jim want to re-evaluate his opinion and invite Criss round for tea.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 17, 2011 07:44PM)
I continue to find Maximum Entertainment a most useful resource and if a dinosaur pans it then I know I'm on the right track. How can one not see the benefit in theatrical training as being helpful to anyone in the performing arts? I would also recommend Steve Cohen's book How to win a crowd. As for the word patter I'm with Eugene b
Burger who observes "...the word patter makes my skin crawl.". It's a script and it requires blocking and theatrical insight.

SPM

Ps. I can't understand why Mr. Lewis doesn't like my posts. Is it because he doesn't want his genius arguments to have any scrutiny? Continue to make outrageous comments, insult whomever you like but please expect someone to stand up to you and say what you are. I have no idea why Steve Brooks wants a person such as yourself insulting everyone in sight. His call. My call to say that you come across as a mean spirited mysoginist.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 17, 2011 10:28PM)
And you, my boy come across as a pimply faced youth who should be put to bed at 7pm without any supper and not allowed to wander the streets at night and certainly should not be allowed on a computer. You are a smelly, horrible rat who has crawled out of a sewer. I could say worse things but I wouldn't want to give the impression of being impolite. Your plan of following me on every thread to annoy and irritate me is about to come to an end. You are NOT standing up to me since you don't have the intellectual capacity to do so.

Mr Burger may feel that his skin crawls to use the term "Patter". Well my skin crawls when I see him touching spectators and watching them look uncomfortable in the doing of it. He actually ADVOCATES touching people and I think this is quite disgraceful. UGH! Even Ken Weber is bright enough to advise against this in his so-so book. Furthermore Eugene Burger, sterling fellow though he is is one of those dreadful American magicians who over-present. I have always said that you can over present as well as under present. And Eugene Burger is a chief sinner in this regard. Having said that I think he is one of the best of the present bad crop of close up workers that are around nowadays. However, when he does mentalism orientated stuff it is quite horrendous and goes on for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and even his lovely voice doesn't save him.

However Sock Puppet Monkey or whatever his dreadful name is is being highly economical with the truth. He does NOT own Maximum Entertainment and has certainly NOT studied it in the depth that I have over the last couple of days. And I shall prove it here and now. I see that he is online right now. I presume he is at home and presume further that he has the book within reach. That being the case I challenge him to tell us all the first line on page 164 of the book. He should be able to do it straight away since he follows me like a perverted stalker wherever I go on this site. He really should take control over his hormones in a more productive manner.

Still, I shall give him 3 hours to come up with the line. Long enough for him to get the book off his alleged bookshelf and short enough for him to be restricted in any research. If he does not come up with the line I think that is sufficient evidence that he has no idea what is in the book and in fact doesn't even own it. Please bear in mind that if anyone cheats by sending him a private message I will know about it and the challenge will be invalid. I am psychic and can get vibes of cheating very quickly.

It is very difficult for me to be constructive in these threads (as I am trying to be) if I am being continually attacked by a drippy nosed child who should be out shoplifting like other kids his age instead of wasting time on a computer.

He says he knows he is on the right track. He certainly is not. If he were he would be tied down and run over by a train by now. When that wonderful event takes place then I WILL agree that he is on the right track. Until then in my capacity as a psychic reverend and holy man of the cloth I shall quote to him from the Bible.

"Go Forth and Multiply"
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 18, 2011 12:03AM)
At nearly 50 years of age I doubt that I shall start answering to Mark Lewis and following his instructions as to my integrity whether I own a book or not. Such a difficult timeline he offers and specific page numbers. How very serious he is about all of this.

Still, here's some proof for the rest of the people just to show you what a turd Mr. Lewis is...

page 6 "At age fifteen I first saw my name in print; TV Guide
page 7 Everyone know--certainly I knew--that you must suffer
page 10 msitakes, and let me feel that I've contributed

Page 14 talks about the "Science" of Entertainment?
Page 17 The Search for Entertainment
page 18 Looking for Entertainment in all the wrong places

Can Mr. Lewis find Case Study # 3 A beginner learns a classic and teaches a lesson?
How about A Personal Entertainment Highlight: _ _ _ Ray at the card table
chapter 7 dress for success (your bow tie is a bit dated)

As for discussing the book in the context of Mr. Lewis and his argument. I think p. 211 speaks pretty clearly about asking your spectators their name. It doesn't make them feel uncomfortable but rather it lets them know very clearly that you're interested enough to ask.Perhaps Mr. Lewis should reread Chapter 10 How to be Funny (couldn't hurt). Dale Carnegie thought it important enough to remember and use someone's name as often as possible.

I could go on and on but really do I need to come to this section and defend myself against some dithering fool to prove that I even own the book and then be ridiculously challenged. I could go on and on but I'm off to study my Steve Cohen book before Headcase er master Lewis calls a pop quiz on that one to.

Other books beside my bed include Mnemonica, Foundations, Max Maven's Prism, Sleights of Mind, Get your Act together by Joanie Spina, Eugene Burgers DVD on Magical Presentation, This is not a book by Robert Neale, Secret Agenda by Giobbi, Sleights of Mind, Beyond Deception by Tobias Beckwith, Simply Simon in case he's interested.

SPM


ps. Gosh I hope that I submitted this in time and he doesn't take marks off.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 18, 2011 03:16AM)
I am sorry, young chap. You have offered utterly no evidence whatsoever that you are nearly 50. You are 20 years old. I am psychic and know these things. Secondly, I happen to know you have received a private message informing you of all that detail. I am therefore not going to accept it. I have evidence of the matter and I can prove it. Besides you were past the time limit. Furthermore all the books you have beside your bed have been published after 1954 and are therefore of no interest to me whatsoever. I have not found a single book published after this date which is of any use to me whatsoever.

As for asking their name I am NOT interested enough to ask. Besides it is a breach of privacy. And the audience don't give a stuff anyway. Mr Weber says that if you don't do this it shows that you don't care about your guests. He is right. I bloody don't. And neither does Mr Weber when he indulges in it. So why bother in the first place? He also says that you consider yourself more important than them. He is right. I certainly do. And he does too as evidenced by his chatter elsewhere about how privileged and superior you are to normal human beings by dint of the fact that you are an entertainer. I already know that I am superior so there is utterly no point asking people their names.

If somebody asks me my name I am always reluctant to give it to them. Grafter's instinct you know. Besides it is none of their business anyway. And since a volunteer has no doubt been dragged up without their permission it behooves them not to be subjected to further invasions of privacy by being interrogated about their names. A simple, "sir" or "madam: should suffice.

And I need no lectures about Dale Carnegie. I know all about the chap and his "Win Friends and Influence People" philosophy. The chap ended up divorced so that was one friend he didn't influence anyway.

I far prefer the philosophy of losing friends and alienating people. Far more fun.

Now I have received a private message advising me on a new tactic to deal with this horrible 20 year old cretin who thinks he is 50 and I shall try it out from this point on. We shall see if it works.
Message: Posted by: edwardsausagefingers (Jun 18, 2011 05:12AM)
Mark even though I'm informed you are a vicious little bald-headed scrote of a man, I must say I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts.
If only to see words like 'behooves'.

It behooves them.


Behooves.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 18, 2011 08:42AM)
I learned the word from the Reverend Ian Paisley from Northern Ireland and have used it ever since. A gentle mild-mannered fellow reverend of some repute whom many of you who follow Irish politics will have heard of. Furthermore another phrase I learned from him is "The Devil's Buttermilk" which is another word for alcohol.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jun 18, 2011 09:08AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-18 01:03, Sock Puppet Monkey wrote:

I could go on and on but really do I need to come to this section and defend myself...

[/quote]

Apparently you feel this need quite strongly, in addition to the need to follow ML around the Café!
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 18, 2011 12:33PM)
Chess Ann,

Are you like mark's little evil lab assistant? Seriously, at least he tries to be funny and that entertains the herd. You on the other hand are just stunningly boring with your comments.

Mark,

If I don't look in the mirror I feel 20. I can't argue with someone who apparently has the ability to read PMs that don't exist. I suspect that there's quite a bit of tin foil lining your home. I can tell you I'm married with kids and so your psychic skills are obviously waning faster than your apparent magical prowess. I understand that a person of your advanced age that your choice of the Svengali deck is something that will serve you well. I'm thinking that tour card work might be somewhat lacking and hence your great and lengthy diatribes with ACAAN and your friend Richard Kaufman.

SPM

I was thinking of attending a magic event up in Canada. The CAM I think it's called. I'm sure that given your high status in the Canadian magic community that you'll be headlining. We could meet for high tea at one of those poofy British places. How fun would that be. I'll bring along my 12 year old daughter and you could teach her your Svengali pitch. What a happy magic Café story ending that would be. Or should you prefer you name the scotch and I'll bring it along with some Cuban cigars. Heck I'm in such a good mood (wife is getting a message and my turn is next) that I'll even let you sign p. 164 of my Maximum Entertainment book. Byour not going to get a better deal than that. Also, don't bring your little minion chess Ann as I'm quite allergic to cats.
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Jun 18, 2011 12:37PM)
I like Mr Lewis. He seems to be someone we can all learn a great deal from. I'd like to learn from your copy of maximum entertainment if I may, to see if a agree with your point of view on the subject and, if it truly is as bad as you say, I Will endeavour to return it to you. I'll pm you my address and even cover your postage costs as, surely,relieving you of such an encumbersome tombe should only bring you joy.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 18, 2011 01:08PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-18 13:37, Withnail wrote:
I like Mr Lewis. He seems to be someone we can all learn a great deal from. I'd like to learn from your copy of maximum entertainment if I may, to see if a agree with your point of view on the subject and, if it truly is as bad as you say, I Will endeavour to return it to you. I'll pm you my address and even cover your postage costs as, surely,relieving you of such an encumbersome tombe should only bring you joy.
[/quote]

We could probably learn quite a bit from Mr. Lewis if he wasn't such a brilliant donkey with people. Given his dislike for the book I'm sure that he'd happily take you up on your offer to buy his book. Very kind of you to suggest this. I'll even make him a deal myself....here it is. I'll buy his copy of the book at full retail including shipping (with page 164 autographed "To my good friend Sock Puppet Monkey your friend Mark Lewis" and should he do so I'll even buy one of his dreadful Lives of a Showman books. If he was a real psychic grafter he'll be sending me a PM very soon. Don't worry Mark this offer isn't limited to 3 hours. You can PM anytime and I'll do the deal as agreed above.

SPM
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 18, 2011 01:23PM)
Withnail. You may as well buy the book from a dealer. I didn't say it was a bad book. I merely said it was an uncomfortable book. Uncomfortable because it is condescending and smug. Uncomfortable because it is disrespectful to specific performers. Uncomfortable because of the author's apparent adoration of himself.
And uncomfortable because it is uncertain that all the author's points are correct. I know the standard wisdom that this kind of thing makes you think. I don't agree. I haven't got time to think. I want to believe every word the author says and in this case I don't.

Half of the information seems valuable. I haven't got time to wonder about the other half.

I did meet a renowned mentalist about 6 months ago who quite liked the Maximum Entertainment book. He further informed me that Ken Weber was a friend of his. I asked him if Ken was any good and he said "Yes".
I also asked him if Ken loved himself as much as the book suggested he did. He hesitated and then a big smile came over his face and he admitted, "Yes, that is true. He does indeed love himself a lot"
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jun 18, 2011 02:42PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-18 13:33, Sock Puppet Monkey wrote:
Chess Ann,

Are you like mark's little evil lab assistant? Seriously, at least he tries to be funny and that entertains the herd. You on the other hand are just stunningly boring with your comments.
[/quote]

Wow. You still don't get it - this is not about Mark Lewis, it is about you, yourself. In reading the above comment, all I can say is that if you really are nearly 50 and operate at this level, that is so sad.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 18, 2011 03:44PM)
I find it fascinating that Chessmann can see no wrong in anything but what I post. I find it fascinating that in all of his posts that he too sadly follows along making his inane comments. This is apparently a place were people come to argue, joke, cajole about all things magical. Sometimes, the jokes/humour don't translate online. Still, I find Mark's schtick a bit much and so when I give some back to him we find him unable to take it and his yes men appear. Why can Mark give it out and not take it? Note Mark's new strategy of ignoring my comments hoping I might go away. I will until he returns with more of his nonsense such as what he posted in the Gospel section about being a Reverend and being led by Satan. Now deleted by the way. Why also can Mark do everything in this post that he finds so abhorrent in Mr. Weber? The rudeness, the intolerance, the ego on and on without end. Quite a double standard for certain. What's sad about someone posting here and sharing their thoughts and ideas? Oh I know it's sad because you don't agree or like them. Some people prefer to say things like "Don't feed the troll." so that the conversation isn't further fuelled by more of the same. I take issue with being called a liar from someone who claims to have "evidence" that I received private messages so I could comment on this book. Isn't that really more sad that someone would say such nonsense that he knows to be patently false. I'd love to see this "evidence" that Mr. Lewis doesn't have. The monkey isn't waiting but it appears that the snake has slithered back off into his hole.

Meanwhile back to the book...a book is an exchange of ideas between the author and the reader. I think Mr. Weber's book is bang on even though it does pose difficult or uncomfortable opinions. I don't agree with his assessment of some of the performers such as Max Maven but respect his right to hold them. They make sense to him and he provides a logical argument to support each of his premises. Too much in magic is the same old same old. What magic needs in my opinion is more difficult questions being asked about what/why/how we perform the way we do. This is what elevates our art. It changes canned grafter "patter" into scripts with a theatrical foundation. Our movements are blocked and our motivations aren't stupid or childish. I should think that following excerpt from the book (I apparently don't own/read/or study) is from the very Introduction where it reads "The tradition in most performing arts says that we always stroke a performer after a show, and save our true feelings for ourselves--or we share them with others and leave the performer no wiser." I've grown weary of that mindset. I love my craft too much. My recent experiences have been in a musical theatre setting where my magical talents form part of the greater show or production. There's nothing like the level of preparation, rehearsal, creative input that is sadly lacking from many magic acts/performers. There is nothing like the experience of hearing from your choreographer "Well, that wasn't hideous." That's what magic needs more of. More theatre, more entertainment and more thinking. Not more of the same old same old from people who simply don't know any better.

SPM
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jun 18, 2011 04:24PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-18 16:44, Sock Puppet Monkey wrote:
I find it fascinating that Chessmann can see no wrong in anything but what I post.
[/quote]

That's not true, of course. I, in turn, was fascinated by the powerful drive within you that kept you following ML all over the Café, straining to be as insulting as you could.

[quote]
This is apparently a place were people come to argue, joke, cajole about all things magical. Sometimes, the jokes/humour don't translate online. Still, I find Mark's schtick a bit much and so when I give some back to him we find him unable to take it and his yes men appear. Why can Mark give it out and not take it? Note Mark's new strategy of ignoring my comments hoping I might go away. I will until he returns with more of his nonsense such as what he posted in the Gospel section about being a Reverend and being led by Satan. Now deleted by the way. Why also can Mark do everything in this post that he finds so abhorrent in Mr. Weber? The rudeness, the intolerance, the ego on and on without end. Quite a double standard for certain. What's sad about someone posting here and sharing their thoughts and ideas? Oh I know it's sad because you don't agree or like them. Some people prefer to say things like "Don't feed the troll." so that the conversation isn't further fuelled by more of the same. I take issue with being called a liar from someone who claims to have "evidence" that I received private messages so I could comment on this book. Isn't that really more sad that someone would say such nonsense that he knows to be patently false. I'd love to see this "evidence" that Mr. Lewis doesn't have. The monkey isn't waiting but it appears that the snake has slithered back off into his hole.
[/quote]

The light is beginning to come through...
Message: Posted by: Lior (Jun 19, 2011 06:01AM)
Back to the original post

The book is very good. you will find there a lot of important advices
no matter if you just began to do magic and mentalism or even if you do it for some years.
A lot food for toughts.
if you don't like something in the book, you can skip it, there is a lot of good stuff.

this is what I do here in the Café. I skip some of the names that are here just for the noise.


Lior
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 06:37AM)
Well, of course you would say that, old chap, wouldn't you? After all he has given you great praise and glory in the book. It has not gone unnoticed by me that he only says good things about PEA members and bad things about everybody else. I bet if he said a few negative things about you, you would get highly irritated and not love the book quite so much. Furthermore I have seen many of the PEA members he claims are so wonderful and without exception they have been bad to mediocre. It does tend to colour my opinion of his opinions you know.
Message: Posted by: Lior (Jun 19, 2011 07:10AM)
I always ask people that see my show to tell me what was wrong and what I need to improve.
I am happy when they say good things and I listen when they say other things.

I got my first critick from Ken Weber in the PEA meeting 15 years ago. ( he said I was very good ;-) )
And it was the first tim I meat Ken.

the subject here is not Mark Lewis or Lior manor,or anyone else. It is about a book.
and it is a very good book.

I am sure that Ken Weber can help you Mark to be a better performer, even you are so good , there are always
somethings to improve

Lior
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 07:32AM)
Don't be silly, Lior. I am MARK LEWIS and by dint of such have no need to improve. I learned a long time ago that perfection is in itself a lack of perfection. And I have no desire to improve anyway since I am nearly dead and it isn't worth the effort.

And you may well be able to listen to criticism. I wasn't arguing about that. I am merely saying that if he criticised you openly in a book rather than in person you wouldn't like it. I would still like to see Ken perform but of course he is clever enough to make sure there is no video footage of him anywhere and neither are there any old reviews of his work. Still, I shall take his word for it that he was once absolutely marvellous. After all it says so in his book so it must be true.

Incidentally I have now seen you work on You Tube.
Message: Posted by: Lior (Jun 19, 2011 07:45AM)
Don't be silly Mark
I want to learn from everyone all the time.
It's fun to learn .
I can also learn from you. (I just clean some of the remarks and I can find sometime something)

I saw that you say bad things about many people on the web. I think it is much worth then writing it in a book as you say.
The internet is forever... books are vanshing...

I saw Ken in action. He was very good ( I also told him what to improve ) :)

Have fun here in the Café Mark. I see you are a VIP so you can talk the way you talk.

Lior
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 08:06AM)
Lior. In addition to being a VIP I am also the most banned person in the history of the magic Café. It is only because Steve Brooks finally recognised my genius that I am allowed to run amok among you. And it should be noted that I never attack anyone unless they attack me first.
Furthermore books will never vanish so you will be immortalised for all time in the Ken Weber book as being wonderful. But then Max Maven won't be because no doubt he is not a member of the PEA. Still he is being criticised in the book whether he likes it or not.

And the internet is a very temporary thing. Posts disappear and everyone forgets about them a few hours later. That is why I am still alive. And of course people can always come and defend themselves in the same way they cannot do so in a book.

I merely made a mild remark that I tried to like the book but couldn't quite manage it yet. Then a firestorm erupted. I am still looking at the book to see if I have missed something but I still haven't managed to like it yet. Don't worry, I will keep trying.

I'll tell you what. I know a very fine mentalist named Paul Pacific. He is much nicer and more objective than me and tends to say things are marvellous when he knows perfectly well they aren't. I know he hasn't read the book. I will lend it to him and get his opinion on the matter. He can then post his own thoughts about it which will of course be quite untrue but don't worry, I will tell you what he really thinks.

Paul, where are you?
Message: Posted by: Lior (Jun 19, 2011 08:13AM)
I admire Max Maven.
I wish I had his brain.
Max is a member of the PEA

Lior
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 08:38AM)
I am surprised to hear that Max is a member of the PEA. I had always understood that he wasn't. Mind you I bet he wasn't when that book was written.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 19, 2011 09:44AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-19 09:06, Mark Lewis wrote:
I'll tell you what. I know a very fine mentalist named Paul Pacific. He is much nicer and more objective than me and tends to say things are marvellous when he knows perfectly well they aren't. I know he hasn't read the book. I will lend it to him and get his opinion on the matter. He can then post his own thoughts about it which will of course be quite untrue but don't worry, I will tell you what he really thinks.

Paul, where are you?
[/quote]

I'm here but not sure anybody cares what I have to say about the matter.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 11:13AM)
You are right, Paul. I am sure nobody cares. You can go back to bed now. Still, I know that you haven't read the book so I am curious to hear what your take is on it since, as you know, I am just a crabby old man who only likes books written before 1954. Do you wish to borrow the book? I know you ploughed through John Booth's great book "Forging Ahead in Magic" and didn't like it but you were quite enthusiastic over the Darwin Ortiz book which I quite like too.

And of course you met Ken Weber in person and according to you, had some kind of argument with him over PEA membership or something I know not what. You claimed he said you were very good which of course is another reason I am cynical about his book. Still since the book is mentalism orientated (although would apply to everybody) and you are a mentalist of some charm and distinction perhaps you may like to look at it and give your opinion which I will translate if necessary. For example if you say the book is "Fabulous!" I will know you are being insincere and haven't read a word of it. If you say, "It gets the job done" I will know you mean it is absolute crap and should never have been published. If you say, "It is very good indeed" I will know that you really mean "It is not very good at all". I have been in this awful country so long that I am able to translate what the natives really mean. Canadians will never say anything is crap and they will give standing ovations up here for sneezing.

Anyway, who wants to hear what Paul has to say about the book? You will, at least, get a more optimistic view of the work than you will from me. Mind you, he won't like that bit where Ken criticises that common thing where you throw a paper ball into the audience to select a spectator. Oddly enough I take Ken's side on this and coincidentally argued with Paul concerning the matter quite recently somewhere or other.

But let us find out if anyone wishes to hear what Paul has to say. Does anyone wish to hear his opinion? He hopes you will say "no" because he is too lazy and having to review a book would distract him from admiring his own feet. The only reason he liked Corinda's book is because it has the word "steps" in the title.

But I shall ask anyway. Does anyone wish to hear his opinion about Maximum Entertainment?
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 19, 2011 11:18AM)
~Crickets chirp~......
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Jun 19, 2011 03:33PM)
I'm raising my hand.
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 19, 2011 04:23PM)
I'm confused about one of your comments Mark Lewis. Throughout the thread you indicate that it's in very bad form to ask an audience member their name. The strange thing is that in the following video (that was posted on another thread) we see (a very competent performer who strangely enough looks quite a bit like you) do just that. Could you clarify your position on this point so that we might be enlightened by your awesomeness?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlN3dR_al7Q&feature=related

SPM

ps. My daughter made me a very lovely sock puppet monkey for Father's day and I've named him after you!
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 19, 2011 04:46PM)
Mark already answered that in an earlier post on this thread:

"Another thing I am uncomfortable with is this nonsense of asking a spectator's name on stage. I usually do but hate doing it."

Best-

Bob
Message: Posted by: Sock Puppet Monkey (Jun 19, 2011 04:58PM)
Thanks for sharing that Bob. I wonder why he would do something he hates or doesn't agree with. Seem a bit odd doesn't it? I should think that I have some reason/motivation for everything I do on stage. I will be interested to hear what further thoughts he has on this.

SPM

ps. we needed to change the sock puppet's name as we found "Mark" wasn't cuddly enough. Besides isn't a "mark" someone a grafter/grifter targets?
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 19, 2011 06:38PM)
It seems that Paul has one vote. Anybody else want to hear what Paul has to say? Do not underestimate him just because he likes to talk about his feet all the time and spends all his days in the sun doing nothing in particular. You would have to go a long way to find a mentalist with as much showmanship as he has.

I shall see him tomorrow and lend him the book. If he can plough through the Ortiz book he can plough through this one which is far faster to read. Then we will get his verdict on the matter. He will probably be too lazy to type out his response here but he may tell me and I shall tell you.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 19, 2011 06:56PM)
I'm interested in Paul's opinion too. The more the merrier.

David
Message: Posted by: Dr. Eamon (Jun 20, 2011 09:03AM)
Any reviews?
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 20, 2011 10:02AM)
It is only 11.am in Toronto. Paul will not be out of bed yet.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 20, 2011 09:23PM)
I regret to say that I was supposed to meet with Mark this evening at a local magic Ring meeting but I was not able to attend.

:(


Next time I see him, I will read the book and post my review here for what it's worth.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 20, 2011 10:25PM)
Paul. Joan Caesar was asking for you. She was there. A few of us were amusing ourselves viewing your barefoot aces video. Here it is. I hope Ken Weber will critique it and if he does I will know for sure that you will give his book a negative review. Paul has one thing in common with me. Neither of us want the slightest criticism. We only require unadulterated praise and glory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Mh2XoMX7Rs
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Jun 21, 2011 12:25AM)
Well done Paul !
I liked the next video too 'Fun and Magic with Mark Lewis' ...next video on that link.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 21, 2011 12:59AM)
Thanks, Godzilla! :)
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 25, 2011 09:40AM)
I shall see Paul on Monday and lend him the book. Whether he actually reads it or not is another matter. Still he exerted himself to read the other two books I gave him so he might exert himself to read this one too. I bet he says after reading it, "Oh it's very good but I know all these things anyway" That is what he said when he saw Bob Fitch lecture on similar matters.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 26, 2011 12:56AM)
What's happening on Monday again?
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 26, 2011 07:59AM)
Fine mentalist you are. According to Pinsky you have consented to dine with us.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 26, 2011 10:39AM)
Ah, yes... I remember now.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 26, 2011 12:07PM)
Paul. If you would stop thinking of onions all day and cease admiring your own feet for hours on end you might remember things. I must say that it is very offputting seeing your foot in my face every time I look at your avatar. I really wish you would have it amputated as a service to humanity.

I look forward to getting your verdict on the book. While we are here what were you arguing with Ken Weber about a couple of years ago? I have quite forgotten. And since you rarely get into arguments I am now curious about the matter.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 26, 2011 02:14PM)
Well, I was in his company 8 months ago but we didn't speak.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 26, 2011 06:51PM)
Are you saying you made the whole bloody story up? I should have bloody known............
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jun 27, 2011 01:27PM)
No, I did not make anything up!
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jun 27, 2011 02:59PM)
Then tell us the full story! You told me that you had a loud argument with Ken Weber at some convention or other. He started off by saying how good you were but according to you it degenerated into a big argument concerning the PEA of which you are not a member. You expressed concerns about certain members and I am not sure of why or the details and according to you it gather a crowd of mammoth proportions.

NOrmally you stir up an argument between me and others and then slink quietly into the background having done your mischief. It seems that since I wasn't present at this occasion you had to bear the brunt of the argument on your own and couldn't slink away quietly.

No wonder he didn't speak to you 8 months ago! Anyway, we all want to know what happened! This is the magic Café where they all love gossip. So tell us all about it!

We all want to know, don't we?

Incidentally with regard to the other thread about the Lazy Man's Card Trick it has just dawned upon me who REALLY invented it. I think I am talking to him.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 13, 2011 08:47PM)
I forgot to lend Paul this book after all. I shall do so on Sunday if I remember. I am still wondering what he will think of it. The only trouble is that it is Summer and Paul refuses to make any effort whatsoever in any month which has the letter "r" in it so he may not read the book until the winter. I shall nag him to do so nevertheless.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jul 15, 2011 08:16PM)
Okay...so I started this thread a loooong time ago with a simple question about Maximum Entertainment. At that point I read the opinions of many people who talked about it in the very most glowing terms...and some like Mark Lewis who didn't. I ordered it and it came a few days ago (Thank you Canada Post for going on strike...:))

As with many things that interest me, I've now read it twice. It is thoroughly marked up, highlighted and dog-eared as all great reference books SHOULD be.

And I can say with the utmost honesty that I have never read a more precise series of outstanding thoughts on the art of entertaining. Not ever. There's bare knuckles advice here, delivered with the same passion I recall some of the directors I've worked under over the years. Great thoughts, outstanding material crystal clear examples.

There are notions here that challenge and many that make me uncomfortable because they hit close to home -- that comfortable place that I often find myself in...and Weber intends to kick me out of. I have read, admired and only started to absorb the wisdom here.

It is, in fact, the finest book I have ever read on the art of entertaining. Timeless and brilliant, passionate and thorough and always, always real.

I don't write these things to draw Mr. Lewis out from under his bridge -- because he too is entitled to his opinion. Mine is that this book -- and the impact it has already had on me as a performer -- was easily worth ten...no TWENTY times...it's tiny price tag. Do I agree with EVERYTHING? Nope. But I feel I've sat down with a brilliant director and listened to him give me the kind of advice that will make me better. Much, much better.


David
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 16, 2011 06:59PM)
Well, we'll see what Paul has to say. I still want to know why he only praises members of the PEA in his book and nobody else. And those people I consider to be bloody awful. It does make me wonder about his judgement. Still, we shall see what master mentalist Paul has to say. I hate the fact that it is Summer though. It will be a devil of a job to get him to read it while the sun is shining.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 17, 2011 07:23PM)
Paul now has the book. He turned to one page and said, "Oh, yes, I agree with this so far" but then he turned to another page which said something or other about it not being possible to control an audience properly without a microphone and he got most indignant saying, "Well, perhaps Ken Weber can't but I can"

We shall see what else he has to say.
Message: Posted by: JohnWells (Jul 17, 2011 07:30PM)
It was good. Worth the read, and I'll read it again. I'm now interested in what Paul thinks. Sort of. What book are we talking abo... Yeah, it was ok. Paul?
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 17, 2011 07:41PM)
I will bring the book with me as I lay in the sun to read it. A review may be forthcoming.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 17, 2011 10:06PM)
I predict you will get irritated within 10 pages. You will think he is talking about you and take it personally. On the other hand he chatters about what a great thing acting lessons are and I know you believe in that sort of thing, so he might be in with a chance. Of course you know that I think anyone that takes acting lessons is usually utterly useless. They try to be perfect instead of trying to be human.
Still, we shall see what you ultimately have to say.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Jul 21, 2011 10:47AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-17 20:41, PaulPacific wrote:
I will bring the book with me as I lay in the sun to read it. A review may be forthcoming.
[/quote]

I'll be laying in the sun waiting...
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 21, 2011 12:34PM)
Knowing Paul I expect we will all be waiting a long time. I expect I shall be reading his review posthumously from the spirit world.

Which reminds me. Steve Brooks was supposed to be reviewing my "Lives of a Showman" on the magic Café. I suspect he has gone into partnership with Paul Pacific instead.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 22, 2011 04:31PM)
Paul informs me that he has now read the book which I consider a mite astonishing since I only gave it to him about 3 days ago. I await with baited breath what he actually has to say and try and stifle my suspicion that he hasn't even read it.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 22, 2011 06:41PM)
Mark, it ain't exactly "War & Peace"!
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 22, 2011 09:52PM)
Well, you took ages to read the other books I gave you. I think you read them thoroughly. So much for the twaddle one often reads that books force you to think. I am afraid you have thunk rather quickly.

Anyway, I shall sceptically take your word that you have read it. What did you think of it? I shall now translate Paul's responses for those of you who do not know him"

FABULOUS!!! That means he hasn't read it.
IT'S NOT WHAT I WOULD DO! That means he is thinking about how wonderful HE is instead of concentrating on the book. It also means he thinks the book is absolute crap.
IT GETS THE JOB DONE. That means he thinks the book is utter bilge.
IT IS VERY GOOD BUT I KNOW ALL THIS STUFF ALREADY. That means he read the book very quickly and ignored the contents completely. This, I think will be the likeliest scenario. It also means that he is thinking of himself rather than concentraing on the book. See also ITS NOT WHAT I WOULD DO!

There. I wonder which of the above his response will be.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 22, 2011 11:28PM)
Well, here's the deal..

I'm not quite sure what Mark's motivation is in asking me to write up this review. Perhaps he's hoping I'll stick my bare foot in my mouth and say something to rub someone the wrong way. Perhaps he really DOES want me to share my thoughts on this book which, in fairness, I have not read properly in the past. I have thumbed thru it here and there... but not this time. I did, in fact, read it from cover to cover.

First of all, I don't quite understand why Ken decides to mention specific names SOMETIMES and sometimes he doesn't. It seems there's no real rhyme or reason to his choices but somehow it rubs me the wrong way. Instinctively, it seems to me that no specific names should have been mentioned but I suppose his thinking is that he wanted to give examples to illustrate his points and express his opinions..

Ohhh and Ken is very opinionated!

Indeed, so am I. But these are his thoughts based on many years of performances for audiences all over the world. He has decided to write about these thoughts and share them with the rest of us to help us improve our ability to entertain with our performances. One thing I really liked with regards to Ken's ideas is his "Please Take Note" paragraphs on page 13. Ken acknowledges that he is rather opinionated and we are free to disagree with his thoughts and ideas provided we have put some thought into WHY we disagree.

To me, that's more than fair.

Sometimes, when he makes a point, I think it would've been nice if he decided to give us a possible "solution" to the problem. Consider the following: Early on, Ken mentions a performer (by name incidentally) whom he admittedly respects (as do I). This performer was on a dvd performing The Floating Lifesaver effect and his patter was, shall we say, less than dynamic. On this, I would have to agree.. but I feel it would have been valuable to see exactly how the author would have re-scripted the patter to raise the trick to miracle status. Sure, we must create our OWN patter but give us an idea how the words could've been changed to bring about a stronger result.

The Six Pillars Of Entertainment Success was my favourite chapter in the book! Enchanting advice which SHOULD be common knowledge to performers but tends to be lacking by some so it was good to read it.

Ken mentions a number of times that we must be like Superman! Aware and controlling the situation at all times. Conducting and orchestrating the best possible entertainment every step of the way... The challenge about being Superman is to not come across as a pompous twit. Indeed the results of being perceived as a diva will be devastating to any performer.

You know, I had made up my mind that I was not going to write a huge review for two primary reasons. First and foremost I believe that nobody gives a rat's ass what Paul Pacific thinks about the book (including Paul Pacific btw)! And secondly, I don't have the strength. If I wanted to write for endless hours on end, I would have written a book myself.

Basically, peppered throughout the book are tons of snippets of great advice-everything from major issues like memorization and routining to minor things like wiping your brow and cleaning your shoes.. all of these details and countless others mentioned in the book all add up to making a performer a real Superman, in control of every moment and aware of what the audience sees at all times. Much of the good advice in this book is not written in other places (like how to conduct yourself at the venue both on and OFF the stage, saying please and thank you, dismissing helpers, etc..) And while the advice is GREAT to read.. these are things which common sense should dictate and a performer who's worth his salt should already be aware of these things. Perhaps some people simply need to see it in print in order to be consciously aware of these things.

There are many things in the book that I disagree with completely (like some of the thoughts on microphones, stepping out into the audience, mentioning specific performers..etc) and while the advice MAY work for SOME performers they are not cast in tablets of stone.

...this brings me to something about the book which I can't quite put my toe on.. There is no fluff at all in these pages but...Because the ideas expressed in the book are written with such "passion", shall we say.. that when I find myself disagreeing with a point made, it tends to elicit the same passion from within ME! It's as if I need to get defensive to fight for why I think my thinking is better! Perhaps this is exactly what the author wished to produce in the reader. There is no question the book gets you thinking and that can only help to make a smart performer even better. At the very least a wise reader will be more aware of the details that help to bring about Maximum Entertainment.

Bottom line: I agree with MOST of the ideas presented in the book but I did find the writing style to be a little bit "Superman" at times.

Happy now, Mark? :)

Now, I am going to take a well-deserved shower and prepare for a day of amusing myself in the summer sun tomorrow.

Happy Thoughts,
Paul Pacific
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jul 23, 2011 08:06AM)
Great thoughts, Paul. I agree that Ken's very opinionated...but he has many great opinions.

Oddly enough -- the only off-putting statement he made was giving me permission to disagree with him. That's already understood isn't it? I don't need permission. It's sort of like the person who takes your order at McDonald's telling you to drive forward to the next window. Like I'd sit there?

But having said that, the tone of the book is of a mentor talking to a student -- and that kind of tone works perfectly on that level.

I also don't agree with his mic advice...but that could just be the magician in me. After all these years of using headsets, I don't know if I could use a handheld anyway.

Much of the "way too basic" stuff is material that beginners really need to know about. He could not have left it out.

Still -- in my mind -- Maximum Entertainment ranks as one of the top books on performing I've read...if not THE top book. If a novice performer asked me to recommend a book on stagecraft and the gritty info he needs on performing I'd tell him to get a copy of Maximum Entertainment.

David
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 23, 2011 08:07AM)
Paul. What will you give it out of ten? I gave it six. What do you think?

And remind me of his microphone advice. I also think a handheld one is the best route.I hate headsets and I have no desire to resemble Britney Spears. On the other hand I suppose I don't anyway. But if you are going to use a handheld microphone you need to use some sort of holder for it round the neck. Ken seems not to mention this for some odd reason and tells you to plan your tricks so that you can have your hands free at certain times and plan your tricks around the microphone. That is actually bloody stupid advice and isn't worth the hassle. I wonder if Ken has been out of showbusiness so long that he doesn't realise that you can purchase all sorts of neck holders that were not available in his day.

Paul doesn't like microphones of any sort and he has to be dragged fighting and screaming to wear one. I remember a massive room he worked with a ton of people there and there was a microphone available for him to use. He didn't want to use it but reluctantly gave in when I berated him and told him that I had doubts concerning his sanity.

The trouble is with not using one is that there is a tendency to shout or as some acting types prefer to term it "Project" and it is very unpleasant for people in the front seats to have to listen to it. Oddly enough not using a microphone can sometimes result in you being too loud!
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 23, 2011 11:29AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-23 09:06, David Thiel wrote:

Oddly enough -- the only off-putting statement he made was giving me permission to disagree with him. That's already understood isn't it? I don't need permission. It's sort of like the person who takes your order at McDonald's telling you to drive forward to the next window. Like I'd sit there?

David
[/quote]

LMAO!! :D
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 23, 2011 04:27PM)
Paul. You haven't answered my question. What will you give the book out of ten?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Jul 23, 2011 04:29PM)
A synopsis of this thread can be found here at http://www.floggingadeadhorseforyourownamusement.com
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 23, 2011 04:52PM)
All I can say is that if it wasn't for Ken Weber and the insightful direction he gave to me on and off many years ago, I don't think I would have gotten very far as an [i]entertainer[/i]. Of course there will be disagreement, even among professional peers, as to particular details of performance technique. But that's not the point. Most newcomers, and, disturbingly, many others who ought to know better, rarely even think about the the critical performance details that must be addressed to achieve what Ken has called "maximum entertainment".

Don't like his writing style? Don't like his "New York" attitude? Fine. But if you don't give serious consideration to what he has to say, you do so at your own peril.

How do you rate a book like this? It's difficult. How do you rate a "mentalist" who chooses to ignore the serious performance issues that the book raises and analyzes? That's easy - I can tell they don't know what they're doing within thirty seconds after they've taken the stage.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 23, 2011 05:04PM)
Well, I thought Paul gave a fairly balanced and sensible review. Not too much on one side or the other. People here will have no idea what a sacrifice he made to exert himself in this matter. It IS summer after all. Paul is a great believer in the maxim that you should never exert yourself or do any work in any month that does not have the letter "R" in it.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 23, 2011 05:22PM)
I, too, believe in that wise maxim. That's why I won't be performing again until September.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Jul 24, 2011 12:39PM)
Paul:
Thanks for the review.
Could you provide us with more details regarding the areas in which you disagree with the book?
In other words, what specific points do you feel are erroneous, and why?
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 24, 2011 01:22PM)
I wanted him to do that too. Alas I am sure he is out in the Sun again and won't look at this thread ever again. However, I shall inform him personally of Riff Raff's interest and I know he will respond. He always does if people take him seriously.

This will give him a chance to argue the points where he thinks he is right and Ken is wrong. However, unlike me, he hates to offend anybody but I think it will be good for him to take the chance.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 25, 2011 10:28PM)
I did inform Paul that his presence was requested. Alas, I do not think we will see him until the Winter.
Paul. I want my bloody book back!
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Jul 25, 2011 11:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-25 23:28, Mark Lewis wrote:
I want my bloody book back!


The best endorsement for M E on this thread yet ! :)
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 25, 2011 11:14PM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-24 13:39, RiffRaff wrote:
Paul:
Thanks for the review.
Could you provide us with more details regarding the areas in which you disagree with the book?
In other words, what specific points do you feel are erroneous, and why?
[/quote]

RiffRaff, as much as I love my foot, I have no desire to shove it any further into my mouth.
Message: Posted by: mrmetropolis (Jul 26, 2011 04:17AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-23 09:06, David Thiel wrote:
But having said that, the tone of the book is of a mentor talking to a student -- and that kind of tone works perfectly on that level.

David
[/quote]

I read the first 2 pages of this thread then had to skip over the rest... Now that the jib jab is over, This is a must have book and it is going to the top of my list. Thanks Guys.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 26, 2011 07:24AM)
Come on, Paul. Be brave and stop acting like a polite Canadian. If you wrote a book (which you should do, by the way) Ken Weber would not be shy in openly disagreeing with you. Just focus on ONE area where you and he are in disagreement. It is about time you let people know what a talented and knowledgable mentalist you are.

And just in case you are wondering, Riff Raff is not trying to set a trap for you or trying to bait you into an argument. He knows exactly who you are, having seen you on the busker's forum and other places and I do believe he respects and values your opinion. So be brave.

But let me check. Is there anyone else out there who would like Paul to expand on the matter? Unlike me, he hates to be forthright.
Message: Posted by: PaulPacific (Jul 26, 2011 10:25AM)
I'm really not interested in saying more. Even Metropolis hasn't read what I wrote.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 26, 2011 02:47PM)
If he didn't read what you said that is his loss and you shouldn't let that upset you. I have always said you need a thicker skin. Besides it wasn't him that asked for your opinion. It was Riff Raff who has known about you for years.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Jul 27, 2011 08:01AM)
The good Reverend is correct on all counts.
I am aware of who you are, Paul, I do respect your work, and I do value your opinion.
I remember writing my own 'review' of M.E. in T.B.C.
Briefly, although I agree with much of the writing, I found it to be less rigorous than Strong Magic.
In any event, I find healthy debate to be very educational. Hopefully the author would not be emotionally scarred from having someone disagree with one of his points; just like the people he chose to 'evaluate' should not feel slighted.
Message: Posted by: *Mark Lewis* (Jul 27, 2011 04:25PM)
Paul. Just talk about one thing. That shouldn't get you into too much trouble. I know you disagree with Weber about microphones for example. Why not prattle a bit about your point of view regarding that.
Message: Posted by: EndersGame (Mar 9, 2018 07:16PM)
What I love about [b]Maximum Entertainment[/b] is how Ken Weber really makes you think about [i]every[/i] aspect of a performance, and it is by giving attention to all the small details that he comments on, that you really can raise your level. Many consider it to be a top book about entertainment and showmanship and how to raise the level of your magic performance, and I have to agree. There's a wealth of material, tips, and advice, that comes from a man who has solid experience with magic as a craft, and who sincerely wants to help his colleagues improve and grow. Especially if you are a working pro, this book is an absolute must read, and it deserves to be re-read many times. But almost every magician will find ideas here that will help them polish their performance, and increase the entertainment value of what they do.

I just read the book for the first time this year (actually, I listened to the [url=https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/mentalism-downloads/maximum-entertainment-audiobook-download/]audio book[/url]), and despite first appearing more than a decade ago, it still feels current. Throughout the book Ken makes extensive reference to popular magical acts and magicians like David Copperfield, David Blaine, Mac King, Kreskin, Michael Ammar, Criss Angel, Siegfried and Roy, and others, giving helpful real life examples of specific effects and performances, and most of us today have probably seen these guys perform on TV or online. So the book still has a fairly up-to-date feel, even though a couple of his comments on recording and audio equipment are slightly dated. Overall this is a work that still speaks strongly to the current generation of magicians.

It's worth mentioning that Maximum Entertainment is now also available as an audio book, via a digital download from Vanishing Inc Magic ([url=https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/magic-downloads/mentalism-downloads/maximum-entertainment-audiobook-download/]here[/url]) for half the price of the book. The reader is Kent Axell, who is a working magician himself, and does a fantastic job with the reading. As an extra bonus, the audio book includes an hour long interview that Kent has with the author Ken Weber, which was recorded in 2017. In this interview Ken makes further comments on the material and content of the book, clarifying and expanding on numerous points, and this was very helpful and worthwhile listening to as well.

Highly, highly recommended! For more thoughts, see the detailed review about the book and audio book that I posted elsewhere on The Magic Café here:

[b]Ender's Review: Maximum Entertainment (Ken Weber)[/b] - [i]An essential book about getting maximum entertainment from every aspect of magic[/i]

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=661266

[img]https://i.imgur.com/x4gg1bP.jpg[/img]