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Topic: On Blaine's "Real or Magic?"
Message: Posted by: cap casino (Nov 20, 2013 01:03AM)
Really nice job by David tonight.

Various celebrities and millions at home were baffled yet again.

Some thoughts-

What his critics (“ugh David Plain had more personality inside that block of ice than out!” etc. etc.) can’t seem to understand even after all these years is the mind of most laypeople.

The logic is really simple and goes something like this I think-

Magic isn’t real
Magicians are artists who use a concealed natural method
Sleight of hand is a natural method
Gadgets are a natural method
Misdirection is a natural method
Sleeves are a natural method
Etc. etc. is a natural method

Doing magic in natural settings like the street or a real home is a deeper mystery. It is not just a ‘branding’ thing, though surely it is also that. “I am modern / hip / daring” etc. But more importantly it is a deeper mystery. You are in an environment with apparently less opportunities for deception. This core deeper mystery is then enhanced by excellent effect selection by David. I have closely tracked his career and been really impressed by how almost all the effects on his shows seem to occur in the spectator’s own hands. This is absolutely one of the strongest hot buttons to a layperson. (There are about 10 or so other core hot buttons that I have been exploring for almost 20 years now.)

(If you caught the recent Ricky Jay film Deceptive Practice, some of these points and themes were powerfully made there.)

Now most educated 21st century people deep down know it is an art form and not literally real but they appreciate the fantasy and sensation or rush of awesome even unlimited freedom and power a master magician artist creates for them. It is an interesting game isn’t it? They know you are about to deceive them and yet they still crave and expect you to utterly baffle them. It is not like a con man or pickpocket on the metro where you do NOT know that a deception is upcoming.

“I am an illusionist”. And yet still be deeply baffled and experience true astonishment. Real actual astonishment. Be tricked so hard you scream “no way” and freak out. Can you imagine if a pickpocket announced he was going to try to steal your wallet upfront and then still got away with it?! Absolutely sublimely outrageous dramatic premise / challenge / game. Yet that is what master magicians do. We are not pickpockets…o yes we are.

Anyways, as I said I have my own list of ‘hot buttons’ to squeeze and shred laypeople. But I am interested in what you all think and feel about this.

Also if you have any favorite effects that seem to go beyond what any sleight of hand or gadgetry should be able to do please mention them so the community can benefit.

Again what Blaine or Dynamo achieve is a depth of conceptual mystery. Humans have eyes AND reason. Inner conceptual reason. Always remember that. Depending on your method, card through airplane window while it is in flight might not be harder for you than card through car window but it will surely trigger an awesome response from most laypeople if done smoothly. There simply seems to be a vastly greater challenge for the illusionist artist in the former scenario. (The airplane)

When I was a young man my father sent me to the best (in his mind, i.e. private) schools in northern VA. Latin, French, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Ballroom dancing, etc. …exhaustively for years on and on like this…even at 5th or 6th grade level we were trained like boot camp to be renaissance men and masters of the universe. After spending about 100k on all this over multiple years I told him one day I wanted to be a close-up magician. He flew into a rage and kept stuttering in total confusion “cards?” “A $2 pack of cards?” “How can you ever make a living with an art or science that can only be conveyed to a couple people at a time?” (“But pops that is exactly what makes it such an intriguing / moving / sublime / exciting thing for me, the anywhere anytime intimacy even communion you can manifest with others) He further explaining to my mom frantically (now his ex wife) that I ‘scribbled in my notebook and shuffled cards incoherently all day long…’ and must surely have OCD / ADHD / Asperger’s etc. etc. if only we could get me on the right pills I could be fixed and become a proper lawyer like him.


Folks, love him or hate him, my heart smiled wide tonight knowing millions coast to coast were tonight by Mr. David Blaine transported quite literally Out of this World.

And with just a $2 pack of cards.

Message: Posted by: korttihai_82 (Nov 20, 2013 01:51AM)
I actually thought it was rather entertaining as well. Little too many fakir stunts for my taste but there was also lots of good magic in there and not nearly as much "tv stuff" as one might expect. I bet especially those two things with bills with get some focus in forums since many will suspect that they were tv magic and more knowledgeable magicians actually know their sources and that they could be done like in tv. Also there was stuff from Paul Harris, Michael Weber, Juan Tamariz and Garret Thomas performed to name a few.

Yes, editing is still rather heavy but people forget that it pretty much has to be for modern MTV audience. You really cant do heavy sleight of hand pieces and hope people wont start to post em on youtube and rewind em all over the place. Misdirection doesn't work really on camera so in many cases you just do the moves out of frame.

Also I kinda understand what Blaine tries to do or at least in my mind he just leaves out all the building up from the routines and goes straight to climax on camera, since that is what people in real world remember anyway. They don't remember how the card was selected or thought off... They just remember the revelation. The selection procedure is just dead time on tv.

Also lots of people on facebook seemed to whine that there is no drama or build up or longer routines. Its sad but try put someone like Armando Lucero or Paul Vigil on tv for american audiences... Even though they kill live their material woudnt work on tv I belive. You just cant send their intensity thru the 2 dimensional tv screen. It is just how the tv works. In recent history only Fool us has shown magic in real uncut format in tv. Fool us was decent success but still not big enough to get renewed for second season. Magicians loved it, small group of laymen found it entertaining as well but it wasnt liked in same sense as masses like Angel, Blaine or Dynamo... Sad but true... I actually wonder if normal magic show without any tv stuff could even work in tv anymore...

Message: Posted by: landmark (Nov 20, 2013 06:58AM)
Anyone who watched that last night will be talking about it today. That can only be good.
The Anti-Cris puts himself out there as an ordinary guy that does extraordinary things.
The final moments were brilliant. His enigmatic smile as Ricky Gervais begged, "Is that Real or Magic?" His just saying nothing, and the camera lingering on his enigmatic smile. One of the best uses of silence since the ending of Chaplin's City Lights.
And I think his biting the 20 dollar bill was a nice little nod, wink, and gift to his magician fans and friends--he knew that we knew he was repeating his bitten coin with a bill. The crease was very (I think intentionally) noticeable.
Very, very good. We could all learn a lot from him.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 11:37AM)
What ever happened to 'a good magician never does a trick twice'? Especially when you've got so much access to camera cuts and pre-show,or, at least, pre-segment, work.

Also, it was really obvious to me that the magic with 'iffy' outcomes, such as psychological forces, and other unreliable methods, were usually done for the anonymous spectators, and the things that were less dependent on percentages were done with the famous guests. With anonymous spectators, if you miss, you just gather a different set of spectators and start again. Wow.

These TV shows are being aimed at the unwashed masses, and, quite frankly, have nothing to do with the art that is presented by those of us who perform live, for a living. Real-time.

It's almost ridiculous to even be talking about this show here, because it has nothing to do with what the art of performing real-time magic is about. Why aren't we talking about Harry Potter more often like this?

There was a time when doing the needle through arm trick was amazing, because you knew that it wasn't real. And fire eating was real, but not common. With the prevalence of sideshow, geek, self mutilation and fetish, these are becoming passé. Magic, no. Interesting? Barely.

There are a lot of fresh effects and premises out there to be abused and manipulated by camera cuts and slick production. Why in the hell do we have to see Blaine put money in his mouth over and over and over? How many times did he do it? 3? 4? If I can't remember, that's a problem. For me, at least.

All in all, I really like the person that David Blaine is. I have absolutely NO problem with him getting out of the way of the magic being performed. And the lack of ego is so refreshing. But, the repeated performances of PK Touches with time-selective editing (I know, Jamie Foxx's nose thing wasn't)just add to the mountain of erosion of the public trust that is going on.

The public's trust and mine.

There was a glaring difference between when Blaine was doing real-time stunts(less cuts) and 'replay sensitive' magic(more cuts). Argh. I'd rather leave something vulnerable to rewatched material than the abuse of the medium. At some point, the YouTube exposers will just disect the segments the way that a couple of us magicians do at home while it's going.

Sooner or later, the intelligent people will realize that they're only seeing part of the show. And I don't think that they'll continue to gather when they realize that the things that they're seeing can't be done live.

I'm ready for the apologists for 'televised magic' need the safety of pre-show and post-production. Heard it before, seen it before.

I'm ready to stop watching TV magic altogether. I gave Blaine another chance to do something special, but he just did a special.

I'm tuning out. When will the general public follow suit?

Oh, and here's a little challenge. If we put creators, geniuses and original artists like Raymond Crowe in the public eye, then we'll encourage more creativity in our up and coming, young magicians. If we put ego driven, god complex filled work on the screen, we'll continue to get shameless self promoters like Criss Angel.

Someone mentioned Paul Vigil, and how he wouldn't work on TV. That is the problem with all of the Harry Potters doing the contrived crap on TV. I don't believe that Paul would sell out in that way. The Harry Potters and their "magic for TV" mentality has deprived this generation of the superstars of magic that graced the couch of Johnny Carson and the stage of Ed Sullivan in a better time for the art. Paul has done the real work. And he has to sit on the sidelines while this junk is crammed onto the airwaves.

What would you rather see? I know what I would rather see.

But, I'm sure that all of this is falling on mostly deaf ears. If you are in disagreement with this, fine, but you're not the person that I'm looking for to have a deep discussion on the art. I'm looking for like minded souls who get what I'm saying, and who are interested in furthering the quality of the performance art, not the quantity of anything.

Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 11:53AM)
In othherwords, you are looking for those that agree with you.

That won't be me. It was a great show from beginning to end, the first time I've been excited by a magic show in probably 5 years. The effects were great. I loved the Vernon tribute. My girlfriend who watched it with me absolutely was floored.

What effect did he do that couldn't be done live in your opinion?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Nov 20, 2013 11:54AM)
I respectfully disagree. While though those of us who are familiar with method know that there was selective editing, I don't feel it was cheating at all. It gave the layperson's view of what happened. I think most magicians when performing live, strive to have the spec remember the effects in that same way. If you were to perform PK touches competently live, you would not have someone complain that they saw it done differently on TV. Their impression would be that you did the same thing that was done on television.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 11:58AM)
I liked the Vernon touch, too. And, I should clarify, it can't be done live as it appeared in the show. I would rather see PK Touches done with the magician at least taking advantage of the camera angles, and not whether the red light was on or off.

Yes, there are so many people using 'radical acceptance' of what we're being shoveled, that I have to only pursue deep discussions with people who agree on a basic, simple few basic guidelines of what is art, and what is popular with middle America. Is that so bad, that I'm discerning about what I want to be around?

I don't expect many here to agree with me, trust me. But, every now and then, I discover someone who REALLY gets it, like a Jared Kopf, for example. And people like that really make it worth it all.

Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 12:00PM)
I just don't believe that editing out the dirty work is the answer. To me, it's the problem. Because it encourages and furthers that behavior in those who would abuse that concept. Blaine abuses it less than most, but, in my eyes, it's still abuse.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 12:07PM)
"and what is popular with middle America. "

Clearly Blaine is popular with middle America.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 12:09PM)
On 2013-11-20 13:07, Slide wrote:
"and what is popular with middle America. "

Clearly Blaine is popular with middle America.

So is Nascar, Jerry Spranger and rasslin'
Message: Posted by: BenJammin69 (Nov 20, 2013 12:43PM)
Personally, I loved it!

Sure there were some edits that were a bit cheesy, but nothing like the levitation edit from his first show. (That one opened up the floodgates for the ****** with the ego to put out far too many shows full of stooges and camera tricks)
I don't doubt that Blaine could do each and every one of the effects from the show in front of a live audience (and do them well).
Of course, I would prefer to see the entire routine without editing out some of the dirty work. Doing out of this world after dropping the deck on the floor? Show me a good deck switch! Got an interesting reveal for guessing what color the spectator guesses? Show me the force! I do, however, understand that the show is aimed at the lay audience - not magicians.

I loved the material he selected and yet again - David Blaine has me excited about Magic!
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 12:55PM)
Give me Fool Us or a rarely seen great magician on AGT... Of course, I'm biased, but, even Wizard Wars with Bizarro, Kyle Marlett, Rick Lax and that other guy. (on YouTube) . Just keeping it real.

The fact that it's aimed at the lay audience should make it even MORE viable to use real-time effects, not less.

It doesn't take much to entertain and mystify the lay audience. So, why go so far out of our way to hide so much from them?

How about handing the handheld camera to one of the uninformed, untrained spectators, and letting THEM film it?

Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 12:58PM)
So is Nascar, Jerry Spranger and rasslin' "

You do know that magic is an entertainment medium, right? It isn't "ART". It's entertainment. As the old saying goes, You can't argue with success. So, what did Blaine expose to the audience: some of the history of the craft, a nice tribute to Vernon for the insiders, some fantastic effects: both new and classic, served up in a very entertaining way.

Honestly, while you are certainly entitled to your opinion, it is incredibly hard for me to understand how anyone who loves magic could not have loved that show. BTW Jimmy, do you have any videos of yourself performing that you'd like to share?
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 01:00PM)
"How about handing the handheld camera to one of the uninformed, untrained spectators, and letting THEM film it? "

Again....you do know it is entertainment right? It is supposed to entertain.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:23PM)
I don't understand why entertainment and great, well conceived, simple magic have to be mutually exclusive.

There's plenty of video of me out there, not hard to find. But, this isn't about me. I can bring it, but not if you're a fan of Blaine/Angel/etc. But, yes, it's sometimes hard to watch my stuff when you're used to the stuff that is put out in the mainstream. But, plenty entertaining if the production group puts more into finding audiences and not into cuts and post production.

The sad thing is that my live performances are fine, but sometimes you get a review from a layman who is used to the spoon fed 'entertainment' that you speak of. What is happening is that there is no distinction anymore between CA and Harry Potter. I don't consider that very entertaining from a 'magic' standpoint. Sorry.

If the producers were to find someone in an audience who was good with a camera (YouTube seems to find it more often than you would expect), then we might have some very interesting situations arise. I'd rather experience jazz than hear a dj...
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:33PM)
I'm simply into possibility, the kind that arises with artistic constraints and not attempts to appeal to the usual adherence to mainstream demands. Sorry if that doesn't sound interesting to some of the readers here.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 01:34PM)
You mean your stuff is only entertaining if the producers can find the right audience? ? !

I guess you must perform for other magicians.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 01:35PM)
"I don't understand why entertainment and great, well conceived, simple magic have to be mutually exclusive. "

Which is exactly what the Blaine special accomplished in my opinion
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:37PM)
I see your point, I see your side. I just disagree with the current trend to obtain the objectives, you agree with the current trends if you liked this show that much.

It's okay for us to disagree.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:40PM)
On 2013-11-20 14:34, Slide wrote:
You mean your stuff is only entertaining if the producers can find the right audience? ? !

I guess you must perform for other magicians.

I think that I need more intelligent audiences that aren't susceptible to woo-woo. People who know that it's entertainment, and then they're blown away when the effects look impossible and real, without needing to believe in the supernatural to enjoy it.

My stuff needs to feel down and dirty, but on a stage, still. Gritty rat pack, Vegas lounge stuff that requires a certain group to appreciate it. Discuss.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 01:42PM)
Listen, I just looked at the clips on your site. I thought the magic you performed was well done, well crafted. But it was no different than a thousand other performers doing the same material. I must have seen the hand smash the cups with knives routine performed at least a dozen times. But with Blaines version, I was actually on the edge of my seat, and then to continue with the theme and actually run the needle through his hand....well, that was brilliant. It took the effect to a completely different level, which is what magic, and the progression of magic is all about. It is the reason I never go see magic anymore: the performers perform the same old tricks the same old way. Blaine brought something new and startling to the mix and I would think that anyone who loves the "art" of magic would see that.
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Nov 20, 2013 01:49PM)
[Repeat of my post in the Workers section.]

I met David Blaine briefly back in 2010 at MagicCon in San Diego. He's an interesting guy, and he had started work on the TV special that aired last night. He said it might be his last TV special. (But who knows, right?)

There are three things that I admire about David Blaine and his magic:

1. Taking advantage of his medium - magicians are always saying, "David cheats! He cuts away when the trickery is done. It's not fair!" David doesn't play by Mark Wilson's rules for presenting magic on TV. Mark's rules were important; there might not have been any magic shows on TV back in those days without them. We owe Mark Wilson a debt of gratitude. But let's face it; things have changed, and those rules are gone forever. (In many ways, TV audiences are less sophisticated now than they were back then.) David and his team are masters of editing a performance down to its essence. They remove everything that isn't necessary. In doing so, the TV audience fools itself--by assuming things that were never established as true. I smiled many times during last night's performances. I kept thinking to myself, "If you were to see the whole trick rather than this excerpt, it wouldn't have been as impressive." (And I wonder how many hours of video were shot to be used for this show. It would be interesting to find out.) David uses the power of his medium to increase the impact of his magic.

2. Multicultural audience - if you watched magic on TV before David Blaine, the audiences were predominantly white. They were well-dressed and well-behaved. They offered polite applause after the magician performed his wonders. Last night, just as in his previous specials, David performed for celebrities, but he also performed for folks on the street. The people who experience David's magic look more like the America where I live. It's a multicultural mix, people of all kinds of different backgrounds. It's a racially diverse audience. And the diversity of the audience creates a diversity in the kinds of reactions that David gets. I think that this has changed magic for the better.

3. Audience experience - David's magic isn't about David at all; instead the focus is on how the [i]experience[/i] of magic makes the audience [i]feel.[/i] That's one of the reasons that actors and celebrities are good audiences for TV magic. David and his team were smart to pick the celebrities that they picked. They are experts at communicating feelings. The TV audience is entertained on at least two levels. First, they see magic effects that fool them. (And they're edited so that the methods aren't immediately obvious.) But second, the audience is flabbergasted at what happens to people (both celebrities and ordinary folks) who have a live experience of magic. Because the focus is on the audience experience, David can (and did) perform the same effect in several different contexts. This is the bottom line: the audience reactions are the show.

P.S. Juan Tamariz performed at MagicCon 2010. David was completely floored by him. Juan's performance of Mnemonicosis really impressed him. Based on what I saw, David took some of that knowledge and used it well. Mnemonicosis is powerful, but Mnemonicosis + Video Editing = Miracle.

P.P.S. David Blaine's TV specials create an opportunity for you. TV audiences are impressed, but the next day they'll wonder if some sort of video trickery is used. They might even suspect that some of the audience members could have been shills. When they experience your live performance of magic, you have the opportunity to create a strong experience for them. Live magic is intrinsically stronger than magic on TV, and you have a chance to make your audiences experience miracles. It's all up to you.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:51PM)
Some of the top magicians the world disagree about my Slamdown. Simply because the decisions are direct, clear, and made by the audience members. I can go on and say that Jeff McBride uses it and features it in his lecture, but if you liked the one on Blaine's show better, then, that's okay, too. Mine has no cuts like Blaine's. If Blaine's fooled you, then that's fine, but there were a LOT of cuts and a LOT of confusion used to give the impressive outcome. Mine is ungimmicked, bulletproof, but, hey, the difference only matters to a few. A few people who I hold in high regard.

Not everything popular or famous or more expensive is better. But, hey, I digress.

Oh, most of my stuff is signature original work, but I know that none of that counts for anything in the mainstream world.

I just think that the Blaine special would have been just as good without the cuts and without editing out the dirty work. People are too lazy to rewind and rewatch. Not worth it with the amount of information that's out there. And I simply don't think that their attention span is that large. And, honestly, if they DID rewind and see the touches, then, hey, I think that they'll appreciate it more and become bigger fans than they were before.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 01:56PM)
Go look at Wizard Wars... No cutting for the effects. There were flashes EVERYWHERE in that, and it took nothing away from the comments and the overwhelming huge positive response that it received.


Let me know what you think...

Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 01:57PM)
"Some of the top magicians the world disagree about my Slamdown."

For me the only thing that matters is the reaction of the audience.

Not everything popular or famous or more expensive is better. "

and not everything unpopular, not famous, and cheap, is better.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 02:02PM)
The live audience's reaction to Slamdown is nothing less than the home audience's reaction to Blaine's smash and stab. So, that is why I'm proposing doing the organic, edit free version.
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 02:03PM)
Thanks Jimmy, I took a look. Personally I didn't find the combination of magic and reality show every entertaining. I had trouble getting through it.
Message: Posted by: magic4545 (Nov 20, 2013 02:07PM)
Yeah, we're definitely on different wavelengths, then... but, I appreciate you taking a look. That's much more entertaining for me than the mainstream specials, but, I'm too close to it in some ways, I'm sure.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Nov 20, 2013 02:33PM)
I really loved watching "Real or Magic". I thought, not only with the Vernon tribute but other things like his version of Out of this World, that he was tipping his hat to the magic community overall. The close up stuff dominated ... better than some other of his specials. When he did the $100 bill switch and gsve it away to the young men in the 'hood ... that was just plain sweet. Fun to watch. Lynn
Message: Posted by: Slide (Nov 20, 2013 02:46PM)
Got it Jimmy. If you found your reality show concept more entertaining than the Blaine special, we are definitely on different wavelengths. We'll leave it there.
Message: Posted by: Newb2 (Nov 20, 2013 03:36PM)
7.6 million viewers and a 2.5 Nielsen rating (very solid). Looks like Mr. Blaine is doing something right!

Message: Posted by: cap casino (Nov 20, 2013 05:49PM)
Dear Kort,
Very interesting points you bring up.

Many in the fast company community that is us have been concerned about the presentation of magic on TV. Instantly video allows a cornucopia of editing / compositing / FX etc. etc. ruses. What makes the art of magic special from other arts is that it can be done live. It is more than a story. It is an event. At least this is what I believed for years. Actually I still believe this mostly. I am wondering really hard at this time of my life how magic should be defined. Are ideas magic? Does real magic exist? Is any form of influence a kind of real magic on some level? A mysterious intangible form of influence. Is all art magic? Or a path to magic. But back to the here and now and more pragmatic and less metaphysical. I think most will agree there is this art- magic. Which again is special because it can be done live. Wondrous fantastical events really can occur live. Blaine is controversial with many magicians for a couple reasons. I touched already on his odd dry personality. I respect that this just does not 'click' for everybody. But I totally forgot the editing / video concern. Thanks for reminding me of this. The editing of the Balducci levitation from the first show was outrageous. Yet I must say very effective and especially as the climax to the show. Actually the claim that there was this guy in NYC that could levitate anywhere anytime without a theatre probably more than anything built Blaine into an icon and celebrity initially. I remember laypeople everywhere buzzing about this. I am still trying to come to grips with the whole thing. It was unethical in a sense yet emotionally satisfying somehow in the context of the show for the show escalated to that effect. Which was logical since it is hard to imagine an effect that could top such an awesome idea.

Really important point in all this- misdirection is partially harder to do on video. The camera is a dead machine. It doesn't blink AND has no REASON and no EMOTIONS. How much right does a magician have to edit to his advantage or in addition plan with his crew to pan or tilt at key times to his advantage? Clearly this is the digital age and now with YouTube etc. online video may soon trump TV. The introduction of cameras into the world and into our art is an extremely interesting issue of much import. I will reflect on this deeply. I have really no answers about this at time being. What do you all think?

One thing I'll point out is that Blaine's focus on spectator's reactions was not just more entertaining but CRITICAL. Perhaps. Its not just o wow great reactions...which would be a 'bonus' to good reactions say for a comedian or singer etc. But the reactions conveyed the magic through the screen. Hey yo home audience if you were here live you would feel like these people. Hey yo all notice how amazed these people are by this coin or card trick. Yeah you are looking at a dead screen but they are here live and really amazed.

People don't go to the movies and scream and yell no matter how virtuoso the CGI and compositing is say in the recent Transformers- Dark of Moon or Dark Knight Rises. It is pleasing and a hell of a thrill ride but there is really no shock and awe bafflement because the SCREEN is there. There is no totality mystery. In a sense great magic our magic our art is NOT about "illusion" but DECEPTION. Illusion is ONE of the tools of our deceptions. The term Illusionist is used to say hey I'm not a trickster I'm a real artist amongst other great arts I am an illusionist ARTIST not a CON man. Yet really we are TRICKSTERS. We are CONNING people. Because without that deception there would be no real full actual deep lasting mystery. No strong false experience- of an impossible event. I mean an optical illusion say at a toy shop is cool but not an impossible event. Illusion is a nature method really. This is why as I said no matter how smooth and effective and brilliant the frames per second phenom that drives our culture today through computing and TV screens gets no matter how many frames per second you go up to or how high resolution it will still be a great ILLUSION to get lost in yes but not a NO WAY event because the way is clearly present- the screen or masterful tech / tools. If you had a stage show that used realistic screens and HID the existence of the screens now you would become a magician and put 'illusionist' on your billboard, but 'concealer' might be more appropriate. I am just riffing here.

What do you guys think?

About illusion vs. deception.

And about trying to convey magic through video. A huge issue with all the glut / labyrinth of 'magic' (magic???) content now unleashed on YouTube.


Message: Posted by: cap casino (Nov 20, 2013 05:57PM)
Thanks newb!

I was looking for the ratings score last night but I don't think it had been posted yet then.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Nov 20, 2013 09:27PM)
Jimmy, here is what I think the difference is and quite honestly WHY I along with the America IS enjoying Blaine.

David Blaine makes the magic about the spectator. The reaction. The experience. Too many magicians, specifically a certain one on TV, makes the magic, the TV show, the experience about themselves.

I'll say this as cleanly as I can. There is too much magic self satisfaction. If you focus on the audience, EVERYTHING else will take care of itself.

Message: Posted by: cap casino (Nov 20, 2013 09:34PM)
Kevin- so true.


In the word 'heart' is 'hear' and 'art'.

Together, hearing (not just talking) mixed with skillful art can achieve max rapport and satisfaction for everyone involved.
Message: Posted by: KellyCurtis (Nov 21, 2013 09:57AM)
On 2013-11-20 22:27, Kevin Ridgeway wrote:
Jimmy, here is what I think the difference is and quite honestly WHY I along with the America IS enjoying Blaine.

David Blaine makes the magic about the spectator. The reaction. The experience. Too many magicians, specifically a certain one on TV, makes the magic, the TV show, the experience about themselves.

I'll say this as cleanly as I can. There is too much magic self satisfaction. If you focus on the audience, EVERYTHING else will take care of itself.


Message: Posted by: DavidKenney (Nov 23, 2013 07:13AM)
I loved how David took the effects we first saw him do on magic man - with the ash on his arm - and then show us that SAME effect, but in a new way both with the ink on the back of the card or the graffiti on the wall.

If you missed it - or want to watch it again - it's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXAFP6kSiT4

I also loved how he took very old tricks like Card in the Orange, PK Touch and Out of this World and showed us that it always comes back to presentation - don't be so quick to discard those classics of magic - you can get high over the top reactions from anything if you do it well enough.
Message: Posted by: Gaston Quieto (Nov 28, 2013 05:52AM)
David has done it again! Reactions are real, One of the best Magic specials till now... It has a meaning, people are still talking... We'll done DB we'll done!!!
Message: Posted by: bonesly (Nov 29, 2013 12:08AM)
How anyway didn't enjoy that special baffles me. It was the most refreshing TV magic show I have seen for a longtime. Blaine has made audiences excited about magic again, and he has inspired me :)
Message: Posted by: rynku (Dec 3, 2013 03:37AM)
I've spent my entire evening blowing cards to the ceiling. no regrets
Message: Posted by: BigDC (Dec 3, 2013 10:20PM)
Whether this was real or magic on Blaine's part, it is very irrelevant, because it was ALL very well done. I applaud David Blaine for this.
Message: Posted by: WazMeister (Jan 1, 2014 05:28PM)
Can we list the tricks he did and Thier names for learning and further understanding purposes please
Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Jan 4, 2014 04:53PM)
I haven’t seen this show yet but I just read a review of it from one of our broadsheet newspapers. The review’s introduction was what most caught my attention. The reviewer expresses what seems to be a common feeling among non magicians who review magic shows. Even when they like a show they can’t shake off the feeling that there's something unpalatable about the nature or intention of it.

‘Oddly, there’s something about master illusionists that gets up the nostrils. It’s the narcissism and the megalomania which grates, the perverse messianic desire to engender awe and inspire wonder. It would be intriguing to know what underpins the pathology, beyond the basic bloat of male pride (women don’t tend to bother with this stuff). But just as they never explain their tricks, magicians never reveal what makes them tick.’

I’ll reserve my opinion until after I’ve watched the show but thought the general point made by this reviewer was interesting in, for me at least, a vaguely annoying sort of way.

The full review can be read [url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/10545033/David-Blaine-Real-or-Magic-Channel-4-review.html]here[/url]
Message: Posted by: Raj Suman (Jan 5, 2014 06:56AM)
Blaine went back to basic here. A great return to form.