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Topic: Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Nov 30, 2018 09:32AM)
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Nov 30, 2018 12:06PM)
I think it's because of bad performers with no social skills.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Nov 30, 2018 11:16PM)
You've been to a Magic Club, right?

-Mary Mowder (Magic Club Member)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 1, 2018 05:51AM)
The question is why one would wish to associate with folks who make fun of others for any reason.

or, why do people feel a need to make fun of tother people (or their profession) at all? Insecurity? Guilt? Basic evil? Bigotry training?

Perhaps "make fun of" is just a form of bullying and magic has nothing to do with it.

Glad you posted this question, though. Caused me to think of several people to scratch off my "worth my time" list.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 1, 2018 07:42AM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, Mary Mowder wrote:
You've been to a Magic Club, right?

-Mary Mowder (Magic Club Member) [/quote]


LOl! Made me spit up my Cap 'N Crucnh!
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 1, 2018 11:32AM)
'making fun of' can also be thought of as a 'roast'. It's not necessarily meant in a mean way. There are jokes about almost all professions. "What's the difference between a pizza and a musician?.... A pizza can feed a family of four." If however it's in a mean way, that may just be a sign of jealousy. Lynn
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Dec 1, 2018 04:23PM)
Mean or not it behooves Magicians to examine ourselves to see if we are the cause.

I've done a few cringe worthy performances and it is necessary to address it to fix it.

When any group of performers becomes a laughing stock it effects the business as a whole, not just the poorest performers.

There are certainly genius Mimes but because there are so many poor Mimes I'm betting it is hard for even the most gifted to make a living or to be taken seriously.

Whether we associate with the ones making fun of Magicians or not makes no difference. If Magic becomes the object of distain for enough people it will suffer. Both the business and in Magic's ability to attract the most apt to it.

I know some people are just mean and make themselves feel better but poking fun at others but who is more aware than we are that Magic is suffering from poor Magicians?

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 1, 2018 05:55PM)
Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeH6r9QTxng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWfqiCpscOE

[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote] As buffoon? As student of "what is not"? As unintended comedy or inept con game?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 1, 2018 10:21PM)
[quote]On Dec 1, 2018, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeH6r9QTxng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWfqiCpscOE

[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote] As buffoon? As student of "what is not"? As unintended comedy or inept con game? [/quote]

Just a note on your video links:

I LOVE that Patton Oswalt routine. I hear it's a true story. And I strongly suspect it refers to my friend Phil Van Tee (El Ropo), as they were both doing that same circuit and played that same club at the same time.

On the Carl Ballantine video, I always loved him. He had such a glorious comedic spirit. And I know his daughter, Sara, who is the nicest person you could ever meet, extremely sweet, but not funny. So, so sweet though, as was her father.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Dec 2, 2018 12:01PM)
As someone who only worked for a Comedy Club for two, 2 week engagements, and was cheated out of half my wages the second time ( by the same Comedy club as I'd worked for the first time) I gotta say I really found the Magician's answer to the problem hilarious. Cheating Comedians was a major trend at one time and may still be.
It isn't always $5.

Sorry to go off topic.

- Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 3, 2018 12:02AM)
IMHO, people, being only human, don't make fun of magic and magicians per se. They (the ones we're talking about) make fun of what they've seen and what they "therefore" assume all magic and magicians must be.

If you've only seen one (or two) lousy singer or guitarist, and are predisposed to make assumptions, you're going to assume that all singers or guitarists must therefore be lousy. In logic class in high school, we learned this is known as a hasty generalization.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 3, 2018 02:52AM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, George Ledo wrote:
IMHO, people, being only human, don't make fun of magic and magicians per se. They (the ones we're talking about) make fun of what they've seen and what they "therefore" assume all magic and magicians must be.

If you've only seen one (or two) lousy singer or guitarist, and are predisposed to make assumptions, you're going to assume that all singers or guitarists must therefore be lousy. In logic class in high school, we learned this is known as a hasty generalization. [/quote]


Yup! Sfunny! Youse musta had the same logic professor that I had! heehee
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 3, 2018 12:44PM)
Very good point, George. Simon Cowell remarked in judgement to Cristal Bowersox (now a successful singer/guitarist) that he'd seen lots of musicians just like her in the subways, at which she replied that in fact she may have in fact been one of them. ie Making a "hasty generalization". Lynn
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 3, 2018 04:11PM)
I think the problem is, when it comes to magicians, the hasty generalizations and assumptions are so often true.

I ask a lot of people what they think when I say the word "magician" - I try to do this when I first meet them, just to sort of test the waters, before they realize how involved with magic I am. The responses are almost never positive. Most are more or less neutral, quite a few are actively negative. Even my former roommate, who absolutely LOVES watching magic, thinks magicians tend to be socially awkward and weird. This is a woman who will be actively angry if you expose a trick to her, because she enjoys having no idea how it works so much.

Regardless of the fact that there are many people who are magicians who are perfectly pleasant socially, regardless of the fact that making fun of others is lame - I do agree with the others that it's important to understand what the general public thinks of "magician". If most people think magicians are awkward nerds - then that's the perception we have to understand is present.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 3, 2018 05:03PM)
I agree and think about it even further. In this day and age, where there seems to only be three "types" of magicians to most lay people, it should be something that is quite concerning to magicians as well as the art and industry. Look at the current attitudes towards clowns and the major hit that art has taken. Magicians are not far behind.

Many people think of magicians as either a creepy older man (really bad in this current age and times), a young "trying to be hip" magician (under 30, ala Blaine - and don't even get me started on 40-60+ guys trying pull of hip and contemporary), and of course the big flashy guys, usually established illusionists with fancy costumes and production. Sure WE know there are decent corporate professionals and dedicated pro kids performers, but again that is not the same perception as most lay people or the general public.

As a talent broker and agency owner, we are faced with this almost every day, more so around this (Sept-Dec) heavy booking time of the year.

Chris is right, we need to understand this and respond accordingly.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 3, 2018 05:26PM)
It's not just in magic. People form assumptions in other fields too.

I've been a theatrical set designer for 30+ years. I've worked for theme parks, opera, television, and numerous live productions. Yet the first thing that very often - too often - comes out of someone's mouth when I respond to their question of what I do is something to the effect of, "Oh, yeah, that's fun. I used to do that in high school."

One lady asked me, and when I responded she immediately asked where I taught. I said I didn't teach, I just designed, and it took her a few more questions to catch on. Apparently she thought all set designers taught in high school and was having a hard time accepting otherwise.

So what's the answer? I don't have a clue, except maybe for a double dose of patience and a heckuva sense of humor.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 3, 2018 09:35PM)
Our Magic is nonsense that that apparently makes sense and so by nature it is ludicrous. Not as ludicrous though as magicians who take it seriously and wonder why people make fun of magic and magicians.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 4, 2018 08:33AM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, tommy wrote:
Our Magic is nonsense [/quote]

Speak for yourself.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 4, 2018 09:39AM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, tommy wrote:
Our Magic is nonsense that that apparently makes sense and so by nature it is ludicrous. Not as ludicrous though as magicians who take it seriously and wonder why people make fun of magic and magicians. [/quote]

Perhaps your magic is nonsense and ludicrous. Mine is not. And perhaps that's a reason people make fun of magic and magicians, all the ludicrous nonsense magicians.

Yes, some of us do take our art seriously. For some of us, our magic is art. For others, their magic is mere nonsense. And some of us think the reason people make fun of magic and magicians is because of all the ludicrous magicians with their nonsense magic.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 4, 2018 10:16AM)
I must run in different social circles. Most people I meet think it's cool.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 4, 2018 10:46AM)
If you don't believe that people make fun of magic and magicians you are simply not paying attention.

The pop culture representation of a magician is almost always a socially awkard weirdo. Or a birthday clown. Or a socially awkward, weird, birthday clown.

Burt Wonderstone. The SNL skit about dating magicians. Howard Wallowitz. GOB. South park had parodies of Blaine, Angel, and Copperfield. There's a whole YouTube series making fun of Blaine. I don't even pay that much attention to magic references in pop culture and I can think of these off the top of my head.

Just because the echo chamber of your friends are nice, doesn't mean the general populace doesn't have a low opinion of magicians.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 4, 2018 11:04AM)
[quote]On Dec 4, 2018, critter wrote:
I must run in different social circles. Most people I meet think it's cool. [/quote]


#1 People will not tell this to your face or to the face of a magician, and #2 I wasn't speaking of socially.

This, of course, is part of the problem, is magicians don't see it, they don't get it. This is the root of its perpetuation.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 4, 2018 12:56PM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
I think it's because of bad performers with no social skills. [/quote]

I do see the basic point, but think it's a bit more nuanced. There are good performers with no social skills that can also be the butt of jokes. Superstars are sometimes made fun of because of themselves alone. Enjoying this topic, as it behooves us to improve our acts and the art itself. Lynn
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 4, 2018 01:15PM)
I think we might be falling into the old trap of lumping all "magicians" into the same can.

Copperfield is a magician. Penn and Teller are magicians. Joe Schmoe, who does four packet tricks and hangs out here in the Café... well... no he's not regardless of calling himself one. We can argue about this until the rabbits come home, but the general public sees far more Joe Schmoes than DCs and P&Ts. And yes, unfortunately, a lot of the Joe Schmoes do tend to come across as having no social skills, especially when they insist on showing you one more trick.

People respond to what they see and hear, not to what anyone wants them to respond to.

I'been saying for years that there's nothing wrong with being an amateur magician, but a lot of them don't seem to see the difference.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 4, 2018 01:24PM)
I've always said that magicians, especially amateur and hobbyists do not really understand there are different levels of status. I say this not as any type of ego thing, most of us are here without our egos, but rather as a reference point to perception and understanding.

This type of level also carries over into the pubic's belief and perceptions as well. They very much distinguish between a cheesy kids party magician and David Copperfield. The problem is they often don't see the many levels in between.

Magicians have to realize all are not equal. Professionals see, think, act and operate from an entirely different level than hobbyists and amateurs. Full-time workers think, act, and operate much differently than part-time workers or enthusiasts. Major differences in almost every aspect of it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 4, 2018 01:53PM)
My experience is not people making fun of magicians. But if we are using comics as a benchmark for who gets made fun of then mother in laws, people from the South, lawyers, doctors, podiatrists, dentists, presidents, CEO's, Disney, wives, husbands, dogs, cats, Uber drivers, pizza delivery people, strippers, mimes, jugglers, servers, bartenders, Kareoke singers, politicians, foreigners, and a WHOLE LOT of others are "made fun of" as groups.

It is my experience that people tend to "make fun of" hacks of all types. Those who "wanna be" are often targets of derision because they fall so pathetically short of the mark and it is amusing when they do. It tends to be memorable when they fail. Also consider that which is being put forth by any magician. You want to "fool" someone almost by definition. When you end up looking "foolish" it is just a bit of poetic justice if nothing else.

Also it is not my experience that people make fun of magic or magicians anyhow. Now the difference is simply that I am paid to perform. I do not perform unless I am paid to do so. I do not foist magic on an unsuspecting public. I do shows, people pay to see them and that is the extent of my performance. So in those specific circumstance why would one who shows up to pay to see a performance then go on to make fun of that performance? (Unless of course I have done something to warrant such behavior. In this case it seems that it is my fault.)

If your experience is that people make fun of magic and magicians I will not dispute that. It is perfectly valid. My experience differs from that.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 5, 2018 04:15AM)
Our Magic derives its humour from the absurdity of nonsense apparently making sense. The art of it is in balancing one against the other to create the dilemma. The world of magic defies rational explanation but beware of dismissing it all as nonsense: beware the rag doll with a stiletto stuck through its face.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 5, 2018 10:20AM)
Well, I say "most." There is definitely a "creepy magician" stereotype that exists and I've heard talk after watching a really bad magic act where the individual had apparently never heard of angles and another where the fellow was a trick collector who had no business touching a deck of cards- nice Losander table though.

However, when I see people exposed to good magic they tend to forget those stereotypes. The most common reaction I hear to good magic is "wait... what?" And then how cool it was.

Now if it's the person being made fun of... so what? Weirdos still sell tickets.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 5, 2018 11:08AM)
Very good point. It usually depends on the experience they have.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 6, 2018 02:49AM)
[quote]On Dec 4, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
I've always said that magicians, especially amateur and hobbyists do not really understand there are different levels of status. I say this not as any type of ego thing, most of us are here without our egos, but rather as a reference point to perception and understanding.

This type of level also carries over into the pubic's belief and perceptions as well. They very much distinguish between a cheesy kids party magician and David Copperfield. The problem is they often don't see the many levels in between.

Magicians have to realize all are not equal. Professionals see, think, act and operate from an entirely different level than hobbyists and amateurs. Full-time workers think, act, and operate much differently than part-time workers or enthusiasts. Major differences in almost every aspect of it. [/quote]

YUP!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 6, 2018 02:52AM)
[quote]On Dec 4, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
My experience is not people making fun of magicians. But if we are using comics as a benchmark for who gets made fun of then mother in laws, people from the South, lawyers, doctors, podiatrists, dentists, presidents, CEO's, Disney, wives, husbands, dogs, cats, Uber drivers, pizza delivery people, strippers, mimes, jugglers, servers, bartenders, Kareoke singers, politicians, foreigners, and a WHOLE LOT of others are "made fun of" as groups.

It is my experience that people tend to "make fun of" hacks of all types. Those who "wanna be" are often targets of derision because they fall so pathetically short of the mark and it is amusing when they do. It tends to be memorable when they fail. Also consider that which is being put forth by any magician. You want to "fool" someone almost by definition. When you end up looking "foolish" it is just a bit of poetic justice if nothing else.

Also it is not my experience that people make fun of magic or magicians anyhow. Now the difference is simply that I am paid to perform. I do not perform unless I am paid to do so. I do not foist magic on an unsuspecting public. I do shows, people pay to see them and that is the extent of my performance. So in those specific circumstance why would one who shows up to pay to see a performance then go on to make fun of that performance? (Unless of course I have done something to warrant such behavior. In this case it seems that it is my fault.)

If your experience is that people make fun of magic and magicians I will not dispute that. It is perfectly valid. My experience differs from that. [/quote]

I agree, pretty much with Danny.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 6, 2018 09:29AM)
The charlatans are the ones who offer magic seriously and it is usually them and their magic that gets mocked and exposed.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 6, 2018 05:26PM)
[quote]On Dec 6, 2018, tommy wrote:
The charlatans are the ones who offer magic seriously and it is usually them and their magic that gets mocked and exposed. [/quote]

Really? You mean like David Copperfield, Shimada, Max Maven, Shin Lim, et al.?

I'm not sure you're right about that.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 6, 2018 11:15PM)
David Copperfield or any other legitimate magician around the world is not going to ask us to seriously believe that he really does make the Statue of Liberty disappear. However, in doing so he can seriously remind us all how precious liberty is and how easily it can be lost. Our magic is fiction and because it is fiction the audience go along with the patter for their amusement and when the magic apparently shoes it true it creates a dilemma because they know it is not. The charlatan asks us to seriously believe his magic is real or might be. Some supercilious magicians cross that line and are rightly made fun of.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 7, 2018 09:15PM)
Oh, so by "doing magic seriously" you mean magicians who try to pass off their magic as real. Okay. Interesting way of putting it. So you think the reason people make fun of magic and magicians is because of magicians who try to convince their audiences that they are doing real magic.

Other than mentalists, who kind of do that as a staple of their trade, I can't think of anyone who has done that since Uri Geller.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Dec 8, 2018 01:27AM)
Envy, insecurity, and especially the fear of the unknown have destroyed civilizations... Magic offers all of that to each spectator.

People have made fun of jesters for a loooooong time, even now when few know what a jester was.

I've seen a few TV shows making fun of jugglers. Comedians are always mocked, anyone on TV or any other platform has the haters.

Even the president of the United States of America, whoever that dumbass is when you're reading this (it doesn't matter) gets made fun of.


So magicians get made fun of? Cool! Those impotent jerks who can't even make milk spill out of their empty hand mock us? We must be people too.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Dec 8, 2018 01:35AM)
This is just between you and I: I heard someone making fun of Taylor Swift because her music was garbage and just the most bland and self important garbage any teenager could possibly write.
For example a song about calling a person "babe": It was an ENTIRE SONG! And to make matters worse, she sold it to a band that bought it for money. They paid money to sing "Babe". They even made money off this insipid garbage.

Yes, I heard someone say ALL OF THAT!

At least no one says that about magicians... oh, right...

We can try to be different
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 8, 2018 03:01AM)
It seems to me, people do not make fun of legitimate magicians who are playfully making fun of the idea of real magic themselves. When one sees a parody of magic or a magician, one sees the overstressed noticeable feature, the thing they are making fun of, is the seriousness with which the magic is treated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYVEvQKfcpM
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 8, 2018 09:10AM)
Performers who take themselves to seriously, are asking to be made fun of. It's entertainment and not meant to be serious, although serious interpretations of classics do have there place, in the entertainment industry.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 8, 2018 05:34PM)
No one does magic more seriously than Shin Lim. Is his Dream Act asking to be made fun of?

https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA

[youtube]https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA[/youtube]
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 8, 2018 10:01PM)
After the performer fails to connect with the audience ... it's a way for the audience to get comfortable with the performer. How to relate to something they notice which is incongruent. Maybe the pacing is too slow, using thrash metal music in a kids show, being both overdressed for the occasion and out of style by a decade... guys using hand model product showcasing gestures out of context... etc.

Kinda what would happen if a performer really meant to say "respect the chip on my shoulder!".
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 9, 2018 08:53AM)
I agree with Jon. So many performers go on and totally ignore the audience, except possibly at the end. It's like they're up there in their own world, doing their own thing and implying "lookit what I can do." So yeah, people who are inclined to look down on those who are "different" can find some ammunition there. Not much different than in the school yard.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 9, 2018 10:56AM)
Hallelujah Jon and George!

Over 60 years, I've seen "them"" come and go, presenting "look how clever I am" acts. They never seem to realize that audiences need/want to be involved.

Communications means talking WITH, NOT talking AT or TO!)
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 9, 2018 01:33PM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2018, danaruns wrote:
No one does magic more seriously than Shin Lim. Is his Dream Act asking to be made fun of?

https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA

[youtube]https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA[/youtube] [/quote]

I must say Dana that this performance by Shin Lim nearly made me cry it was so beautiful. As Penn said, many card tricks are "silly", but this was "serious". The audience didn't just applaud, they gasped. Somehow I remember this routine better than his AGT routine, which was much more recent. If anyone wished to make fun, they can make fun of my near tearful response. Shin Lim makes me fall in love with magic, anew. Lynn
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 9, 2018 01:35PM)
No one does nonsense more seriously than Monty Python but nobody takes them seriously. One can only appreciate something as art when one knows it’s an act, a lie: all art is a lie. Shin Lim’s act is just that.

A “dream act” is a good description of our magic because magic is of the world of dreams - does not exist in reality: thus magic is literally nonsense because that which does not exist in reality cannot be perceived by the five senses. A sixth sense is required.

Why do you think scientists make fun of the belief in the existence of magic, the Loch Ness Monster, not to mention the soul?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 9, 2018 01:56PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2018, lynnef wrote:
[quote]On Dec 8, 2018, danaruns wrote:
No one does magic more seriously than Shin Lim. Is his Dream Act asking to be made fun of?

https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA

[youtube]https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA[/youtube] [/quote]

I must say Dana that this performance by Shin Lim nearly made me cry it was so beautiful. As Penn said, many card tricks are "silly", but this was "serious". The audience didn't just applaud, they gasped. Somehow I remember this routine better than his AGT routine, which was much more recent. If anyone wished to make fun, they can make fun of my near tearful response. Shin Lim makes me fall in love with magic, anew. Lynn [/quote]

The audience was primed and not a normal audience.

Oddly enough I showed this to some people to see how moved they might be and indeed they made fun of it. Not tearful in the least, just poking fun at what they thought bordered on a parody because he took himself so seriously.

I have to say I am in the middle somewhere. I find that sort of magic boring, but respect his artful interpretation of things. I respect what he is trying to do even if he doesn't hit me with the routines. I personally would not make fun of him in the least, which is what shocked me when some did.

I don't know what brings that out of people. It is interesting.
Message: Posted by: longhaired1 (Dec 9, 2018 02:07PM)
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote]

I'm a magician and banjo player. Imagine how that feels.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 9, 2018 02:15PM)
:)
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 9, 2018 02:24PM)
Lol, hilarious.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 9, 2018 03:10PM)
I think maybe it's more important to not give power to the teasing. Eugene Burger and Doug Henning both exhibited a sense of wonder about magic. They appear as amazed as the audience, which I think invites the audience to join them on the amazing little voyage they're about to take.
By making it a partnership it's silly to make fun of them. Not that people won't, but they'll look petty and that doesn't diminish the performers. Henning's positivity probably didn't hurt either.
Then there's Cardini, who appeared confused by the magic happening to him, he's in on the joke so it has no power.

So maybe a question that might be just as helpful is "why do so many of us have such fragile egos?" Taking constructive criticism is one thing, but that doesn't mean we have to indulge insecure people who are just being jerks to try and "steal the show."
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 9, 2018 04:06PM)
Well said.

Henning's involvement with the charlatan Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, however, was tragic.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 9, 2018 08:26PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2018, longhaired1 wrote:
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote]

I'm a magician and banjo player. Imagine how that feels. [/quote]


And playing at the House of Blues? Love it. Lynn
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 9, 2018 10:32PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2018, longhaired1 wrote:
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote]

I'm a magician and banjo player. Imagine how that feels. [/quote]

Bill Palmer is a banjo player. Good company to be in.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 9, 2018 10:35PM)
Agreed about Henning's unfortunate choice regarding TM and treatment. Would have been awesome to see what else he could have accomplished with a bit more time.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 10, 2018 05:42PM)
[quote]On Dec 8, 2018, danaruns wrote:
No one does magic more seriously than Shin Lim. Is his Dream Act asking to be made fun of?

https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA

[youtube]https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA[/youtube] [/quote]

Hi Dana, I didn't want to get into a back and forth with DannyDoyle; but thought you'd like to know I wrote Michael Close re. the Fool Us audience being "primed". He said no such thing, and that the audience reacts as they wish. Lynn
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 10, 2018 09:21PM)
I thought discussion of different experiences was what this board was all about? If all we are supposed to do is agree with everyone else and support others experience then I am sorry.

But let me define "primed" as I am using the word. They are "showing up" knowing what they are seeing. A TV taping of a magic show that is very popular. This is NOT an average audience that an average magician is EVER going to run into.

I in no way meant to imply that they have an applause sign or some such thing. I am saying that they are absolutely ready to see different magic acts and in this way nobody in their right mind would deny they are indeed "primed" to see and excited to see the stuff.

Mind you I do not say this is a bad thing in the least. It is just a thing. It is not a thing many in the real world run into on a nightly basis.

To belabor the point when people came into Schulien's quite often I would have referred to them as "primed" to see close up magic after the meal. The quite often came in WITH that intent. More often than not this was the case. Working at many other places doing close up magic the guests are not "primed" to see magic and in many cases you have to even let people know it is available. At Schulien's it was a thing and it was a big deal so the reception received when you are anticipated vs. when you are introducing yourself is night and day. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but saying that any audience that has walked into the room in order to see a particular thing will be very receptive to seeing that thing.

I wish you would write Mike back and explain the way the word was being used and see if he agrees. Because it is undeniable. In addition to being undeniable, it is not a bad thing.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 10, 2018 10:11PM)
[quote]On Dec 10, 2018, lynnef wrote:

Hi Dana, I didn't want to get into a back and forth with DannyDoyle; but thought you'd like to know I wrote Michael Close re. the Fool Us audience being "primed". He said no such thing, and that the audience reacts as they wish. Lynn [/quote]

Yeah, I've been there, I know the audience isn't primed. I just ignored it. The audience is filled with people vacationing in Vegas, looking for something to do.

As for Danny's version of "primed," he has now dumbed that down to be almost meaningless. I suppose under his definition all movie audiences are "primed," as are all concert audiences, Broadway show audiences, TV show audiences, and just about every audience in the world. My audiences are "primed," as well, as I don't perform for people who aren't expecting to see magic.

But originally, he said they were "primed and [b]not a normal audience.[/b] The Fool Us audience is as "normal" an audience as you can get (unless Danny wants to define normal differently, now). It's a pretty typical magic audience, imho. Perhaps Danny's "normal" audience is not expecting magic, if he does a lot of guerilla magic.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 10, 2018 11:19PM)
I agree it is a magic audience. There's regularly many magicians in any audience, as you can see in the audience shots and pans. To me this alone makes it primed to some extent and not what I would consider a typical audience though.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 11, 2018 12:09AM)
[quote]On Dec 10, 2018, danaruns wrote:
[quote]On Dec 10, 2018, lynnef wrote:

Hi Dana, I didn't want to get into a back and forth with DannyDoyle; but thought you'd like to know I wrote Michael Close re. the Fool Us audience being "primed". He said no such thing, and that the audience reacts as they wish. Lynn [/quote]

Yeah, I've been there, I know the audience isn't primed. I just ignored it. The audience is filled with people vacationing in Vegas, looking for something to do.

As for Danny's version of "primed," he has now dumbed that down to be almost meaningless. I suppose under his definition all movie audiences are "primed," as are all concert audiences, Broadway show audiences, TV show audiences, and just about every audience in the world. My audiences are "primed," as well, as I don't perform for people who aren't expecting to see magic.

But originally, he said they were "primed and [b]not a normal audience.[/b] The Fool Us audience is as "normal" an audience as you can get (unless Danny wants to define normal differently, now). It's a pretty typical magic audience, imho. Perhaps Danny's "normal" audience is not expecting magic, if he does a lot of guerilla magic. [/quote]
Where do you regularly perform?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 11, 2018 10:14AM)
The audience is primed to see if the performer can fool Pen and Teller. The clue is in the name of the show “Fool Us”. This fooling concept, in my view, gives the public the wrong impression of the art. The art of magic lies in the presentation, as opposed to the magic which is science in effect. That is not to say that the performers in it do no present their magic well and on the whole, the show is a benefit.
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Dec 11, 2018 01:15PM)
Dana and Danny, I'll write Mike back to correct any misconceptions. Like I said, didn't want it to be back and forth, off topic. I wasn't sure, myself, what kind of audience it was; and that's why I wrote Mike. I actually did imagine applause lights, etc, but at the same time thought there were very real unprompted responses. One of these days, I'd like to be in the audience. Fool Us seems to have something for just about everyone from the stage effects to really nice close up. As an aside, I've noticed that sometimes the performers know very well that they will not fool the duo... they're just there for the exposure. That can possibly be made fun of. Lynn
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 11, 2018 01:23PM)
I have a different view of the show. I do not actually think the idea in the end is to fool them at all. I think the show is a wonderful celebration of magic. Sure it would be great to fool them, but can Gazo fool them with Cups and Balls? Obviously not but it certainly is wonderful to expose the public to such an amazing version of a very old effect.

It also gives Penn a vehicle to be so good for magic. Show not only their love of their own show and knowledge, but celebrate the art.

I think it is just such a great concept for a variety magic show. It is a fantastic format for such a thing.

Which incidentally is why I was not being critical at all. I think it has been some of the best TV magic has experienced in quite a few years.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 11, 2018 01:28PM)
Good post Danny as the only thing that really matters is what the show does for the art. However I think like many reality shows that are in fact scripted and choreographed it's a bit dishonest. But what isn't, in the entertainment industry?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 11, 2018 01:47PM)
I don't believe it to be dishonest at all.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 11, 2018 01:52PM)
[quote]On Dec 11, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
I don't believe it to be dishonest at all. [/quote]

No problem. That's why you are you and I am me. Lets see if you can let that stand?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 11, 2018 03:43PM)
I would say that as much as it can be, the show is completely honest. What you see on stage is what the audience experiences. This is what I've heard from people who were actually on the show.

I've also heard, I believe from Penn himself, that the only reason they have the "Fool us" aspect of it is because the TV producers wouldn't just let them have a show full of up and coming magicians. So as far as I can tell 100% of the purpose of that show, as far as P&T are concerned, is to use their huge influence to help other magicians get exposure and have more chance to succeed.

That being said, I agree with Danny. It's not a typical magic audience, because it's not really a typical magic show. The audience is in a TV studio, in front of cameras. That alone is enough to change normal behaviors. On top of that, the audience feels a bit of competition so they're going to cheer on the people on stage to 'win'. Add in the size of the audience and you even have the contagion factor - one group of people reacting well will encourage others to do the same. Considering all those factors, the audience at P&T Fool Us are really psychologically inclined to react well - thus, they are 'primed'.

The same applies to a certain degree to any performer with a good reputation. If someone has made plans ahead of time to see a particular performer, they are more likely to react well to that performer. They're probably spending at least some of that time thinking about what they'll see and experience and imagining how wonderful they think it will be. They've probably already decided it will be good - so all the performer has to do is not suck and they'll get good reactions.

Compare that to someone who, say, sees an ad for a magic show while drinking their morning coffee and decides to go that night to see the show without knowing the performer. They're going in blind and will have to decide on the spot whether the entertainment is any good.

This is of course veering wildly away from the original topic.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 11, 2018 04:20PM)
Chris exactly my point thank you.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 11, 2018 05:05PM)
Excellent post, Chris, and if this was what Danny was trying to say, then I agree with him and with you. I did not get that from reading Danny, so thank you for saying it in a way I can grok.

One observation about the actual Fool Us taping experience, which is just that it's not taped in a studio, it is taped in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio Casino and Hotel in Vegas, where they do their regular nightly shows. And during the taping there isn't really a "competition" feel to it at all, not between the performer and P&T or between performers. P&T have a much longer discussion with each performer than actually airs, and it is very friendly and collegial, like magicians just talking to each other about magic. I didn't get the feeling that the audience is "rooting" for performers to "fool" P&T. Each magician is presented as his/her own vignette, and the audience does not get to see the video packages that air for each performer. It's all magicians, nothing else. Oh, one exception to that, too. The host does tape a number of interludes between performers, only one of which is used on air. And not every performer who tapes makes it onto the aired show. Unlike other TV shows, there are no applause signs, no warm-up act, and no production assistant whipping the audience up into artificial responses during performances. The one thing that is unlike a live show is that for volunteers, they are chosen and then taping stops while they mic up the volunteer. Then the cameras start rolling again, and it is cut-in as if there was no pause. Otherwise, it's a magic show.
Message: Posted by: foolsnobody (Dec 11, 2018 09:38PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2018, longhaired1 wrote:
[quote]On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? [/quote]

I'm a magician and banjo player. Imagine how that feels. [/quote]

You and Steve Martin.
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Dec 13, 2018 05:16AM)
I think people make fun of magic and magicians because they want to feel smart. If a magician tries to fool them, they have to save face and either learn the secret or degrade the performer. As magic has been used for centuries to confuse people, many feel the need to be in control and not a step behind. This can lead to people giving those trying to fool them a hard time.

Also, there are some terrible magicians out there.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 13, 2018 09:42AM)
It seems to me, the problem with that is with magicians thinking the audience is only there to be fooled. The audience is essentially there for their amusement. The audience cannot get into the spirit of the thing except through proper patter. Proper patter is fiction, which allows the willing suspensions of disbelief. That side of our magic does not fool the audience but allows them to fool themselves by letting them believe true that which they know isn’t true. In short, that’s is the fun of it, when they “play” along. Getting the audience into the spirit of the thing is half the battle.
Message: Posted by: Charles Gaff (Dec 15, 2018 04:13PM)
[quote]On Dec 9, 2018, critter wrote:
I think maybe it's more important to not give power to the teasing. Eugene Burger and Doug Henning both exhibited a sense of wonder about magic. They appear as amazed as the audience, which I think invites the audience to join them on the amazing little voyage they're about to take.
By making it a partnership it's silly to make fun of them. Not that people won't, but they'll look petty and that doesn't diminish the performers. Henning's positivity probably didn't hurt either.
Then there's Cardini, who appeared confused by the magic happening to him, he's in on the joke so it has no power.

So maybe a question that might be just as helpful is "why do so many of us have such fragile egos?" Taking constructive criticism is one thing, but that doesn't mean we have to indulge insecure people who are just being jerks to try and "steal the show." [/quote]


I like the idea of conveying wonder. I want to work on this more.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 16, 2018 05:15AM)
In the late 1950's, I was mentored by Arnold Furst and Burt Easley as to the importance of the "Limelight Principle."
That many people enjoy being in the limelight (center of public attention) and will do unusual things as long as they can blame someone else.
That is why stage hypnotism works, and volunteer assistants can be coached sub-vocally and some put lamp shades on their heads at the company party.
A performer can use this in several ways, and the skill of VA selection is worth developing. Easy for a performer with a reputation - harder for a novice or impromptu.

Today the mix of spectator experience and expectations are different. Of magic, of performers and of entertainment itself.
Some carry an iphone for an external audience and are performing for them. Entertainment and peer adulation are addictions, both psychologically and chemically.
Some feel life is a video game with no consequences. They attempt to "seize the moment" in a self-generated limelight.

Sad, but something a performer must deal with (accept) and I must deal with in the grocery store and the highway.

So, the answer to the OP may be "because they can," while no one holds them accountable and their circle of friends cheer.
Bullying of all sorts seems to be on the rise and "the milk of human kindness" has gone sour.

I have always felt empowered by the knowledge that at least one person in any audience appreciates awe&wonder, supports my efforts at creating illusion,
and recognizes a glimmer of art beyond "just entertainment. That is enough. I know this to be true from people coming to me after 20 and 30 years
and commenting on what they saw me do. So, laugh at me all you wish -- just remember the time where together we created a moment where magic could happen.

Yup, I feel that even the hecklers and ego masterb*ters will someday look back and remember, suppressing their weird actions in favor of "being part of something special."
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 16, 2018 08:12AM)
The profit Brock Pierce sees life as a video game and has said: “The universe is constantly throwing more coins and power-ups at you, and if you keep collecting them, you get more points and you go up in levels.”
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 16, 2018 09:32AM)
[quote]On Dec 16, 2018, funsway wrote:
Yup, I feel that even the hecklers and ego masterb*ters will someday look back and remember, suppressing their weird actions in favor of "being part of something special." [/quote]

In my experiences, with the personality type your describing, is that they would see no benefit in what I think you describing as "retroactive introspection".

The "bullies" motivation for the antisocial behavior is POWER and in the case of heckling, power over the situation they have no control over. To combat such behavior the performer imo need take control of the situation antiaggressively (as the bully knows how to handle aggression very well) by bringing them into the performance and making them look good. (Which is what they want in the first place)

I these situations I believe giving the bully credit for the effect, is a good strategy in dealing with them. Out of this world or something of the sort, could be helpful in these situations. And to your point allows the bully to experience the wonder, while getting credit for it themselves.

My 2 cents for what it's worth.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 17, 2018 06:58AM)
Good thoughts, Senor, I did not mean to imply any conscious introspection on their part.
Just that someday, when some maturity sets in, they will look at the world in a more practical way and some will adopt a different worldview.
The lingering memory of having been part of a unique experience may remain, even if their bullying actions are suppressed. Such is the power of the 'awonder' experience.

More importantly, the fact that I (or any performer) can trust in this potential affect makes it possible to "flick the fleas from my sleeve."

One might view that these folks are like a monkey with their hand in a trap - afraid to let go of an imagined prize.
Someday they will let go to claim a bigger prize or need to survive. What will the recall of the time spent with their hand in the trap?
Any events of the "warm fuzzies" might well remain, while the cold facts melt away.

Yes, making them part of the event might make a difference. It certainly will be part of the memory of other spectators who see how you handle the bully.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 17, 2018 06:20PM)
[quote]On Dec 16, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:

The "bullies" motivation for the antisocial behavior is POWER and in the case of heckling, power over the situation they have no control over. To combat such behavior the performer imo need take control of the situation antiaggressively (as the bully knows how to handle aggression very well) by bringing them into the performance and making them look good. (Which is what they want in the first place)
[/quote]

Yeah, that works sometimes. Other times it's an utter disaster.

I have various ways of dealing with bullies, and none of them involve giving them further ability to disrupt my act. I sometimes deal with bullies by going out into the audience and having him pick a card. Then I tell him to sit on the card and I will get back to him shortly. Then I just leave him there and finish my show. If he asks about it, I tell him to be patient. At the end, I simply ask for the card back, and it gets a laugh. Everyone knows the bully has been played, and I've been able to finish my act. That's just one technique, but I never, ever put them in a position to cause mischief.

Pop Haydn has a video where he involves what I suppose you'd call a bully, and he handles the guy very effectively and humorously. I'm not Pop Haydn.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 17, 2018 06:59PM)
I don't run into the problem much.

I have found that the audience takes care of most of the problems that arise if you let them.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 17, 2018 11:41PM)
Magic does have an odd reputation in the entertainment industry. The general consensus was always ... "Can't sing? Can't Dance? Can't Act? Try magic!" How many beauty pageant contestants have we seen that opted for some magic tricks as a last resort? We need to face these realities if we are to transcend the stereotype. Yes, magic has a marginally better reputation in the industry in the past decade but only because it has shown a level of financial success.

We need to be realistic and admit that many (if not most) of us who were attracted to magic in our youth had some level of social dysfunction. Magic allowed us to psychologically dominate others as we knew the (typically purchased) "secret". Is it any wonder that others in the entertainment fields such as dance, who spent a lifetime mastering their craft, didn't respect our sometimes purchased act? Yes, I know there are so many examples of those with real talent... I know, I know. There will always be those in each field who transcend the ordinary... but the field is sometimes defined by the largest part of the bell curve which are the "average" performers.

Interestingly, David Copperfield wasn't really taken seriously in the larger entertainment community for many years, even after so many specials. He was the punch line of many jokes... nothing really mean but he became his own trope. Many just considered it a "fabricated character" and implied that he couldn't appear without a wind machine in the footlights. Eventually he was accepted when he became more personality oriented and somewhat self-deprecating which let others know that he "got it".

If you call yourself a musician, that carries a certain set of expectations. If you call yourself a dancer, there are certain assumptions on your experience. Yet anyone that bought (or stole on youtube) a magic effect from anywhere can call themselves a magician. It certainly waters down the standard.

We have to accept the fact that bad (or mediocre) magic is rife for parody. Our goal is to transcend the mediocre, to rise above the average and create art which earns respect from not just our peers, but society as a whole.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Dec 18, 2018 08:10AM)
Thank you, Ray.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 08:56AM)
Calling yourself a magician doesn't make you one. anymore than calling yourself Napoleon makes you a military leader. Doing tricks doesn't make you magician. It makes you a trickster. Our responsibility is to show our art, artistically to show the differences.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 18, 2018 09:12AM)
Doesn't matter what the magic community thinks in this regard. Public perception is not really tied to our opinions of a performer. Those people, the ones who just know a couple tricks or the ones who act like Gob, are the driving force of public opinion.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 09:23AM)
We will change public opinion with great and entertaining performances beyond that of the mere trickster. The public is OFTEN wrong in their perceptions. We can and should for artistic clarity, put them right.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 18, 2018 09:57AM)
We definitely should be striving for the best performance possible.

Tell me, though - what odds do you give for the idea that the majority of people who are interested in magic putting the effort into creating really good shows?

And is the public wrong? Or do you just wish they would go by your definition instead of their own? If the majority of people calling themselves magicians/doing magic tricks are joke-fodder, then I think laymen thinking magicians are a joke is an accurate read on the situation.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 11:17AM)
The only reason some of the public has no respect for magicians and magic is because of uncle Harry being able to pull a coin, out of little Jony's ear. They don't know the difference between tricks and performance. It's our job to educate them. This is one of the reasons why magicians should NEVER perform on demand like a trained monkey. A doctor would find it extremely offensive to be asked medical questions, outside his office and so to, should we be offended when expected to perform on demand. Someone wants to see you do a trick, tell them where they can get tickets, to your show then blow them away with a performance. Don't have a show? Get one, cause if your not performing, your not a magician. You might be a creator of tricks or a practitioner of magic but magic is a performance art.

Respect is something that needs to be earned.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 18, 2018 11:44AM)
I think it's quite unfair to say that anyone who doesn't have ticketed shows isn't a magician. There are some amazing performers who do only strolling or restaurants, for example. Or long-time magicians who have no interest in doing an official show and only perform on a casual basis. Many of the greats in our art have been amateurs or semi-professionals.

Furthermore, having a show in no way guarantees the person is actually a good performer. It just means they can book a venue. I've seen some truly awful shows.

Bad performances are also in no way limited to Uncle Harry's coin trick. It's the sleazy stage magicians groping volunteers, the scummy dudes trying to be pickup artists using card tricks to get phone numbers, it's the socially awkward tweens who stare at the cards and mumble their way through tricks, it's the "Comedy magician" who recites canned scripts full of tired old one liners like they're comedy geniuses, the guys making *** or rape jokes at college campuses, the birthday clown 'magician' that doesn't practice and all the tricks are obvious, the list goes on and on. This is why I don't use the word "magic" in my advertising - I don't want to associate with that stereotype.

The only thing we can do is our individual best, and lead by example. We can offer advise to new performers and hope they work at producing a quality show - but as anyone who's spent any time on magic forums can attest, advice that doesn't just confirm what the person asking wants to hear is often ignored or derided even if it comes from a place of vastly superior experience.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 12:13PM)
Referring to a ticketed show was a reference to my own show. I agree, that performer of magic come in all shapes and sizes. I also agree, that just because one has a show doesn't make him a GOOD magician but ours is a performance art so they ARE a magician. The key word being performance. No performance no magician. Still it's our job to educate the public both on performance and possibly bad performance? I'm not sure about the latter, as it's in bad taste for performers, to critique other performers. We should ALWAYS try being supportive and encouraging to other performers, helping them get better. Not put them down publicly or other wise.

As to online posters, there is no way of knowing for sure (unless you have seen the person perform) what kind of experiences the so called performer has. Anyone can be anybody online, so there is no telling who is giving you advice. (I've been fooled by some women before getting married) So I put very little credence on what's posted but if it makes sense, I'll give it a go.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 18, 2018 12:53PM)
Our only job or obligation is to create the promised experience for the audience.

Here's the problem with the way forums tend to work out. Person A asks a question. Person B gives an answer from years of experience, which doesn't line up with what the armchair magicians or Person A want to hear. So Persons C-F argue against Person B, and eventually Person B just doesn't bother any more because why should they? Then, later down the road, Person Q needs to ask the same question, and they find the thread where all those other people convinced Person A they were right.

And that's how utterly stupid ideas are perpetuated for years on end - because they "sound right" and appeal to people who don't know any better.

This is why folks who know what they are talking about often don't spend much time on forums. It's annoying to have armchair magicians argue against real world experience.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 18, 2018 01:17PM)
Let's look at what the public has created and accepted as magician stereotypes:

*The tired image of the dud in tails pulling a rabbit from a top hat.

[img]https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/1/magician-pulling-rabbit-out-of-hat-h-armstrong-robertsclassicstock.jpg[/img]

*The socially awkward man using magic tricks as an awkward and ineffective way to hit on women.
*The huge ego performer.
*The super-serious, over-the-top performer (often mentalists).
*And lately, some hipster ambushing people on the street with magic tricks.

What else?

Let's take a look at what the public does NOT accept as a magician stereotype:

*A performer blowing people away with amazing illusions.
*An uproariously funny performer doing outrageous magic.
*A master performing artist.

We all know that good magicians do those last three things, but those are not the stereotype. Why not? Is there simply not enough of it, or not enough people see it? Have magicians made a caricature of magic over the years? Does the continued performance of "classics" of magic have anything to do with public perception of magicians as cliche? If we asked lay people to imagine a typical magician, would it be someone who rocks their world, or someone who is cliche and laughable?

There are horrible musicians out there working. Garage bands, cover bands, club bands, bands that play nothing but other people's songs, badly. So many of them are truly horrible. Yet we don't see them as the stereotype for musicians and music. There are bad actors, bad dancers, bad comics, everywhere, yet that is not the stereotype. Why do magicians and magic get such a bad rep? What is it about us that is so different from the other performing arts?
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 01:31PM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
Our only job or obligation is to create the promised experience for the audience.

Here's the problem with the way forums tend to work out. Person A asks a question. Person B gives an answer from years of experience [/quote]

Nope if in fact people know that the persons posting is reverenced (at least in my case) they will take advice. Your promise is flawed because, it doesn't take into account those who lie about who they are online.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 01:37PM)
The answer Dana is what has already been said because uncle Harry does magic so there is no value in it. We MUST educate the public through good performances and a rejection of the trickster, as a magician. If uncle Harry was a musician but was really bad, the public wouldn't accept him as a musician. We have to demand our respect through our professionalism.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 01:40PM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
Our only job or obligation is to create the promised experience for the audience.

Here's the problem with the way forums tend to work out. Person A asks a question. Person B gives an answer from years of experience [/quote]

Nope if in fact people know that the persons posting is reverenced (at least in my case) they will take advice. Your promise is flawed because, it doesn't take into account those who lie about who they are online. [/quote]

experienced not reverenced and it's premise not promise.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 18, 2018 01:43PM)
A Twilight Zone Story:

A couple sits down in a nightclub and order drinks. The emcee announces the next act, a magician. Just as the magician walks onto the dance floor, Rod Serling walks out. "Ladies and gentleman, for your consideration, a young couple enjoying a night out at a magic show. Little did they know this would not be like any other magic show they have ever seen..."

Every magician needs to write that, or a similar story. The idea that most magicians are fake, cheezy and not interesting becomes the background for why this is so different and important. The story we write for the audience begins when the magician enters and ends when he leaves. How does the audience make sense of that experience? What does it mean?

Whenever we meet their expectations and appear to be the losers they have stereotyped us in their minds, we lower our art.

The magician needs to take charge of the audience's expectations from the getgo, or they will assign him the stereotype of the tricky guy trying to impress them. We need to know why we are in front of these people, what we are trying to accomplish and what we intend to give them.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 02:02PM)
Thank you Mr. Haydn for that wisdom. (an example of advice I'd listen to) This is why I think it so important to understand foundational premise in our performances. It's also why things like,

Character development
motivation
presentation style
covariance (what we want to get across to our audience)
introspection (to find common experiences we can use to help our audiences identify with our performance)
Triggers (to elitist desired responses)
solidification (what you want the audience to leave your show with)

And plethora of other performance skills and objectives we can emply in our acts. Not to mention timing, movement, purpose, story etc etc.

Paying attention to every detail of our performances, is what will show the public the difference between the tricksters and Magicians.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 18, 2018 05:37PM)
A bit confused, Senor. Your list of functional premises are fine, but your sig line says, "I LIVE FOR APPLAUSE."

Which is true? The uneducated audiences to which you refer may applaud anything - even the relief that you are finished.

If you desire to re-educate the populous as to what is good magic, how can the amount of applause be the guide?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 18, 2018 05:54PM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, danaruns wrote:

There are horrible musicians out there working. Garage bands, cover bands, club bands, bands that play nothing but other people's songs, badly. So many of them are truly horrible. Yet we don't see them as the stereotype for musicians and music. There are bad actors, bad dancers, bad comics, everywhere, yet that is not the stereotype. Why do magicians and magic get such a bad rep? What is it about us that is so different from the other performing arts? [/quote]

I can't tell if this is a rhetorical question, you are being facetious, or this is a legitimate question?

If legitimate you are right and I have a perspective. As an entertainment broker, we see all types of performers of all levels, including everyone that you mentioned above and probably about 30 other types of performers as well. Over the course of a year, I literally see hundreds of videos, demos, and promotional materials by magicians submitting to my agencies, or considered by some of our self-booking direct clients. They are unlike any other type of performers. I would say 85% of them, probably higher now that I think about it, and they all include one thing that makes them look ridiculous - they all say something along the lines of "I have been performing magic since I was 5" or even worse I will read the promo materials from someone that says "they've been doing magic for over 15 years"...and they are only 20 years old!

They are truly delusional! They somehow think that because they got their first magic trick or magic set when they were 5 that they've been in magic ever since then. Perhaps they first became familiar with or were introduced to magic at 5, but to claim they've "been in magic" is crazy. No other type of performer says or thinks like this.

There are DJs that have been playing records since they were 3 or 4 years old yet they do not in any way claim that or think that they've been "spinning tunes" or "DJing" since they were that age. There are kids that had a Fisher-Price piano for their third birthday but these guys and girls don't claim that they've been playing piano since they were three. There are guys that told knock-knock jokes when they were 4 that in no way consider themselves comedians or that "they been doing comedy since they were 4 years old." There are boys and girls that rode the race car or horse outside of K-mart when they were 4, but they in no way think, pretend or believe they were "racecar drivers or jockeys since they were 4 years old."

Only in magic!

The sad thing is they truly believe this! They also believe it is somehow impressive, not seeing how poor, bad, or unprofessional it truly appears. Or really how ridiculous it appears or sounds.

The problem and most hear will have a problem with this and get their undies in a bunch, but it is the truth, is unlike all of these other artists and professionals, magicians do not need any talent or skills to claim they are magicians. They can just buy a self-working trick or prop and instantly claim "I am a magician!" No, they're not, let's be real. Not even close. But this delusion begins here and simply continues.

This combined with the fact that there is no gatekeeper to being a magician. You do not need to learn an instrument, skillset or level of achievement or proficiency to be considered a magician, unlike other specific art forms. Magic doesn't require this. There are definite lines between the kid with the Fisher-Price piano and a real musician. The difference is easily identifiable and truly laughable. It would be absurd to make such a claim or expect to be taken seriously - but not with magic. It is the norm rather than the exception.

Since there is no gatekeeper, barrier or level of proficiency required in order to be, become or call yourself a magician, anyone can make the claim whenever or however they want. Magic allows this to happen. Other art forms do not.

This is what leads to both the stereotypes and the crazy beliefs and perceptions in online communities as we regularly see here. True delusion that is hard to be taken seriously.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 18, 2018 06:49PM)
Magic is the only art that sells this delusion to people just starting. Again the fact that there is no caste system in magic is really a problem. We see it right here where guys think they can produce full theater shows because the can do a DL own an ID and have business cards with a web page.

There are entire courses built on selling the delusion to anyone who has the money.

It ends up hurting the performer more than helping. I'm sure the flaming will start but Max Maven said practically the same thing.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 08:34PM)
The delusion is OUR accepting the self label of magician, by tricksters. Would we do the same for a people saying they are Napoleon? We are the ones at fault, for not correcting the populous. well maybe you? I always correct them.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 18, 2018 08:47PM)
Funsway my signature reference is to Lady GaGa.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Dec 18, 2018 09:09PM)
The question/problem is NOT whether or not there are "bad" magicians/entertainers out there. The question is whether the "remain" that way. You gotta start somewhere and as nice as it would be to "start" at the "top", that's really not the way the vast majority of entertainers of any type start.

The problem with magic is not the folks attempting and interested in becoming professional performers of one level or another, but the amateur that doesn't really care whether they become pro like. That's not to say that there have not been "pros" in the field that were never really good enough to move the craft forward, it's just that magic has always had a huge base of non pros to dilute the overall picture of what it means to be a magician.
Message: Posted by: Kanawati (Dec 18, 2018 09:32PM)
Maybe the stereotype is slowly changing? I'm not a professional. I only do the odd performance here and there. But just this week I performed at my Grandmother's nursing home. When I arrived I learnt that she and other residents had regularly been watching highlights from shows like AGT. She had seen how the residents were positively reacting to those really impressive acts and was actually worried for me! Turns out there was no need to worry...everyone had a good time:) But unlike musical and singing acts, I think the general public very rarely sees live magic acts. Could the strong performances on variety shows like AGT and other shows like Fool Us be changing negative perceptions of magicians that might be out there?

I also want to thank the OP for asking the question. At first I didn't quite get it as I can't recall encountering anyone with a negative or low view of magicians. The only negative message I was really aware of came from the old Seinfeld joke about magicians. I have seen my fair share of really bad performers though and I guess if I was not interested in magic and my rare experience of a live magical performance was not great then I may develop a certain perception... Anyway, the Food for Thought section of the café has in this instance been very aptly named. The answers and comments provided by a number of people here has really given me food for thought in terms of how I want an audience to view me and what I want the audience to experience. Many thanks for taking the time to post!
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 18, 2018 09:44PM)
I have opened for Jerry Seinfeld several times. He always followed my act with this joke. He liked my show because he felt my act was not that way. Nor did the audience seem to think the joke was at my expense. It is good for magicians to understand some of the critiques and stereotypes of magic that are out there, and be sure that you create an act that deliberately smashes these negative concepts of magic.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 18, 2018 10:21PM)
My experience has been that if they have fairly low expectations then they have fun anyhow. It has never hurt me what people think of other entertainers.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 19, 2018 10:20AM)
On seriousness- I was just reflecting on the evolution of a local theme park and its Halloween event. Years ago I remember the magic being somewhat embarrassing. It was the standard big box stuff but with the design being completely obvious at the angle I was sitting. It was more like show-and-tell for the designer's collection than an actual show designed to entertain and mystify. And they claimed a pretty big name as a consultant so this show kind of tarnished him in my eyes, perhaps unfairly.

Years later this same park had a magician perform a more bizarre themed show for their Halloween event. It featured a demonic narrator who was perfect and gorgeous period themed clothing to set up the ghost bits. Even the standard spirit cabinet was entertaining in the context of the show. The old magician in danger trope was presented in a way that felt refreshing without really needing much of anything new.

The magic in this show was presented in earnest, the announcer added irreverent humor. Whatever it was, it worked. Even my mother-in-law enjoyed it so that's impressive!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Dec 20, 2018 02:05AM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
My experience has been that if they have fairly low expectations then they have fun anyhow. It has never hurt me what people think of other entertainers. [/quote]

Agreed. I've just always wanted to have realistic expectations of people's perception of magicians in order to transcend those thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 20, 2018 10:15AM)
By the time anyone who is in the audience sees my show they have made an investment. While they don't believe in magic, they believe in having fun.

It is not about what anyone thinks of other performers in general. It is about how they think of me and my show.

That has been my experience. Other's mileage may vary.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 21, 2018 06:32AM)
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Funsway my signature reference is to Lady GaGa. [/quote]

So, you either have a sig line you do not subscribe too, or
do subscribe to it but feel a need to blame someone else.

Why should anyone have to know Lady Gaga even exists (or care) to understand you?

Methinks you have just answered the OP question.
I will now quit taking your posts seriously and just poke fun ...
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 21, 2018 07:52AM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2018, funsway wrote:
[quote]On Dec 18, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Funsway my signature reference is to Lady GaGa. [/quote]

So, you either have a sig line you do not subscribe too, or
do subscribe to it but feel a need to blame someone else.

Why should anyone have to know Lady Gaga even exists (or care) to understand you?

Methinks you have just answered the OP question.
I will now quit taking your posts seriously and just poke fun ... [/quote]

Why does my admiration for Lady GaGa bother you, that you would infer so much, from something so simple? I think you must be rocking, some new meds. Feel better soon.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Dec 21, 2018 08:23AM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2018, Ray Pierce wrote:
Agreed. I've just always wanted to have realistic expectations of people's perception of magicians in order to transcend those thoughts. [/quote]

I don't think there's any other way to effectively create a good show. You have to understand what people think in general or you won't be properly prepared. One cannot blow away expectations if one doesn't know what they are.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Dec 21, 2018 09:00AM)
Absolutely so true
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 21, 2018 08:17PM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2018, Senor Fabuloso wrote:

Why does my admiration for Lady GaGa bother you, that you would infer so much, from something so simple? I think you must be rocking, some new meds. Feel better soon. [/quote]

I am only bothered by your lack of quotation marks or reference so that one does not feel your sig line is your own thought.

If you truly admire her you would be more than ready to give her credit.

My "inference" comes from the apparent contradiction of thoughts you offer. Still do.
I notice you have not addressed this apparent contradiction. So have others I am sure.

Instead you project - from personal experience perhaps. Easily solved. Just explain the contradiction.
Message: Posted by: Gerald Deutsch (Dec 21, 2018 08:31PM)
As I said in my first posting to the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum:

"With Perverse Magic the magician does not appear to be 'better than everyone' (as is the case with so many performers).

Appearing to being "better than everyone" is what causes so many not to have respect for magicians.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 21, 2018 11:44PM)
The art of magic it seems to me originated from people making fun of magic and magicians who were all charlatans at the time.

fun (n.)
"diversion, amusement, mirthful sport," 1727, earlier "a cheat, trick" (c. 1700), from verb fun (1680s) "to cheat, hoax," which is of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Middle English fonnen "befool" (c. 1400; see fond).

When a magician jokingly says, “We magicians use silver coins because silver is believed to have magical properties.” then what is the magician doing if not making fun of the nonsense we call magic?
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 22, 2018 01:18AM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2018, tommy wrote:
The art of magic it seems to me originated from people making fun of magic and magicians who were all charlatans at the time.

fun (n.)
"diversion, amusement, mirthful sport," 1727, earlier "a cheat, trick" (c. 1700), from verb fun (1680s) "to cheat, hoax," which is of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Middle English fonnen "befool" (c. 1400; see fond).

When a magician jokingly says, “We magicians use silver coins because silver is believed to have magical properties.” then what is the magician doing if not making fun of the nonsense we call magic? [/quote]

What he says...

tommy is right. The mountebanks didn't learn from the priests and wizards. They were making fun of them. Magic was meant to be a burlesque of charlatanry from the beginning.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 22, 2018 04:21AM)
Therein lies some truth, Whit, but is not the objective to get people to laugh at themselves and their superstitions and ready reliance on dogma?

Perhaps we (as pretenders at magic) should find joy in people laughing at us and our antics. Mirth can be an art form too.

The "fun" is making a silly claim with great seriousness, not "jokingly" as tommy mentioned, but I am sure he meant (internal joke)

We are unique in providing a real-time experience of something inexplicable. The resulting mental and emotional discordance can be released though laughter or applause.
Better than anger or a bullying reaction, I guess.

At least, I always find myself laughing during one of your performances. "With" rather than "at," however. There is always the wink ;)

Magic tricks aside, was not a Court Jester often a confidant and adviser as well? Some of the popularity of theater in the Middle Ages was that
fun could be poked at royalty and others in power, with the script changed to focus on any such in the audience.

Performing magicians do what others will not - put themselves at risk while laughing inside.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 22, 2018 04:45AM)
Magic is not all nonsense of course - clearly, some magicians are actually demonic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fKrFeX8dRY
Message: Posted by: Doctor Zolar (Dec 22, 2018 06:59AM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2018, tommy wrote:
Magic is not all nonsense of course - clearly, some magicians are actually demonic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fKrFeX8dRY [/quote]
--------------------------

One LOCAL Pastor (here in my town on a local TV interview) . . . claims . . . they have "Real Demonic Powers" !

(in WHAT . . . . Entertaining people ? )

Geeeeeeeeeee . . . then why do we have to: Pay our rent, pay our mortgage payments and car payments and actually BUY gas for our cars ?

I enjoyed the video with all of the highlights of some of the best magicians in world !

I suppose the video is trying to Pull the Wool over their audiences's eyes !
And get them to donate more money . . in combating this horrible form of entertainment. . . or "supernatural powers".

What a fun video !
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 22, 2018 10:28AM)
[quote]On Dec 22, 2018, Pop Haydn wrote:
[quote]On Dec 21, 2018, tommy wrote:
The art of magic it seems to me originated from people making fun of magic and magicians who were all charlatans at the time.

fun (n.)
"diversion, amusement, mirthful sport," 1727, earlier "a cheat, trick" (c. 1700), from verb fun (1680s) "to cheat, hoax," which is of uncertain origin, probably a variant of Middle English fonnen "befool" (c. 1400; see fond).

When a magician jokingly says, “We magicians use silver coins because silver is believed to have magical properties.” then what is the magician doing if not making fun of the nonsense we call magic? [/quote]

What he says...

tommy is right. The mountebanks didn't learn from the priests and wizards. They were making fun of them. Magic was meant to be a burlesque of charlatanry from the beginning. [/quote]

Are you saying that when magic tries to put itself on an equal footing with other art forms that this was not the original intent?
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 22, 2018 10:48AM)
Magic is "a peculiar little art." It is not meant to bear a lot of weight. It happens in real time. It has a goal that involves tangling reality with fantasy. It requires the audience to think and evaluate. If you want to write a limerick that rivals "Paradise Lost," good luck.

This doesn't mean that it isn't art. Midsummer Nights Dream is just as much great art as is Hamlet. They have different kinds of meaning, but both are important reflections of human life.

To say that a magic show is not King Lear isn't a disparagement of magic. It is inartistic to choose the wrong form for the message you want to express.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 22, 2018 10:53AM)
I'm sorry Pop, I'm not trolling here I think this is a killer point.

Can you please expand a little more on "not meant to bear a lot of weight"? Because I think this is the crux of the matter. I think you have cut directly to the heart of a lot of issues with magic.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Dec 22, 2018 10:59AM)
To try to use a form like a limerick to give expression to powerful and deep thoughts and strong emotions is to break the form by forcing it to do more than it is really capable of doing. Magic is meant to do something that few other art forms attempt. To try to force too much meaning and depth on this form is to collapse the form itself.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 23, 2018 05:55AM)
So the King of Hearts does not represent the tyranny of love and the existential pain of a two dimensional man? And mortals do not cower before my power when I find their card in a shuffled deck?

I'm going to to have to re-evaluate here. ;)
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 23, 2018 06:44AM)
Like magic, limericks are fun, often bawdy and delightfully entertaining nonsense but are unlike magic in form. Some nonsense literature, however, is formed like magic as it balances nonsense and sense forming a dilemma by way of subverting language.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 23, 2018 07:26AM)
Much to like in this allegorical construct --

"a peculiar little art ... not meant to bear a lot of weight."
and
"To try to force too much meaning and depth on this form is to collapse the form itself."

yet, the resulting memory of "magic" requires the interaction/communication with an observer, and any "art" a touch of emotional transference as well.

The construction might be viewed as an arch with two legs on which to stand. Certainly, there are limits as to how much weight it can hold - but not restrained or expected by the performer alone.
Different forms of an arch can sustain different weights relative to the apparent strength of the supports. Some seem more artistic/beautiful than others. Some or crude and practical.

The key to success may be in some agreement by performer and observer as to what the arch should bridge.
The performer may pile on too much weight or the observer expect too much or too little.

Just musing ...

for me, though, the field of magic has no such limits. Why do people find magic fascinating? What are the cultural variations of appreciation and limits?
What can science learn form magicians and the other way around? What role in our society does deception and illusion play? Etc.
Magic is never limited to just performing or fooling people - oer "having fun."


A limerick may be a momentary diversion. An arch may support a footstep or cathedral.
The magic is that we all can find awe&wonder in both -- or not.

....

relating back to the OP. A limerick may not be appropriate for a given audience or setting. Or, the choice of limerick should consider the audience at least.
Yet, many magicians feel the right/need to inflict themselves with tricks not appropriate for any number of reasons.
So, the interrupted or dismayed victim can either laugh or poke you in the nose. Or offer a limerick in return.

Thanks for the incisive thoughts, Pop!
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 23, 2018 09:00AM)
A magician pulled out all the stops
With gaudy and glittery props
But the audience snoozed
And the poor magi boozed,
"If only I'd listened to Pop!"
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Dec 23, 2018 09:37AM)
There once was a man form Nantucket

oh wait. it's not that kind of party :)
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 23, 2018 09:45AM)
From another forum on the Café'

This immortal ode -- limerick, actually -- is in honor of Dick Oslund:

An ingenious magician named Dick
Had a magic case eight inches thick,
From which he would pull
The full show for a school
Plus the Vanishing Elephant Trick!
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Dec 23, 2018 11:32AM)
A School show that was full?
Message: Posted by: 401bound (Jan 1, 2019 12:15AM)
HAs anyone watched this video Chris Ramsay posted recently on his Youtube channel? It disgusts me quite frankly. Hope other people feel compelled to speak up.
https://youtu.be/4Drizmj5BOA
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jan 1, 2019 04:12AM)
Not discussed, exactly, as daily I see evidence of de-evolution of the human species. A lot waste of time with no point whats over, except --
that apparently these yokels have an audience who will take time to watch what thye offer. Time from what?
Surely there is something better for these guys to do with their talent? and much better things to do than watch such drivel.

That aside, their suggestion that they are about to evaluate the concept of "magic isn't what it used to be" is wrong in many ways:

who are they to have a valid opinion one way or another? (Yes, I checked out Chris Ramsey videos and saw attempts at skill demo but no magic)
the concept of "on the shoulders of giants" is a different concept all together.
this clip is not one of them anyway, so they invalidate their own false premise.
They take each part out of context of whah we know nothing anyway.
etc.

Then they really blow it by asking, "What does this have to do with 'hand is quicker than the eye'"?

That concept is not a valid basis for performance magic then or now - just a lay person misconception.
So, these guys are not good magicians at all, and the only parody is of their intelligence and lack of understanding of magic

Which does, in a way, prove their point. Magic is dead because people like them post such videos pretending to be magicians,
and proof that YouTube is not a valid source of information about anything.

So, I guess I am discussed a bit over Chris and his friends being so disrespectful of magic, its history, any audience or themselves.

Of course, that would say that I, "just don't get it." Possibly true, and as a magician I don't want to.
Today I will go out and interact with real people in real life situations and affect their lives and learn new things about life BECAUSE I am a magician -
not because I do tricks or will perform any inexplicable demonstration - but because of who I am as a result of studying and performing inexplicable things.

I say, Get a life, guys - and your YouTube audience too You do not get it at all!"
Message: Posted by: ChrisPayne (Jan 1, 2019 07:57AM)
The Chris Ramsey video has been really useful - 1 minute of investment watching it and I need never bother with him again. We have a rich set of Anglo Saxon terms for that behaviour.

Little does he realise that a video in which he sets out to judge ends up with him and friends being the ones judged.
Message: Posted by: ChrisPayne (Jan 1, 2019 08:51AM)
Incidentally I found Pop's contribution in this thread one of the most thought provoking and enlightening posts I have read.

At the heart of our Art is the moment of magic, the trapdoor feeling when all we depend on drops away and we experience freefall. Any presentation should aim to heighten that feeling and "the crack that lets the light in". We need a premise to draw people in but, rather than overspecific story lines or explanation, I am increasingly convinced that subtle use of metaphor, where the spectator joins the dots, can have the strongest impact.

This is not an easy task!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 1, 2019 01:25PM)
Self-criticism is difficult but on the whole, the public is fair.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 1, 2019 03:28PM)
All the public knows is what it likes. Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it. The public mostly, has no clue.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 1, 2019 05:33PM)
This is a performing art. How about starting any assessment with whether audiences like them?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 1, 2019 06:55PM)
What audiences know is a self-conceited magician when they see one and could find no pleasure greater than that of taking him down a peg or two and what could be fairer than that?
Message: Posted by: critter (Jan 1, 2019 09:20PM)
I've enjoyed a lot of what Chris Ramsay has had to say, though I often disagree with it and see chasms in his knowledge. This, however, was just irredeemably juvenile.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 2, 2019 12:55AM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2019, tommy wrote:
What audiences know is a self-conceited magician when they see one and could find no pleasure greater than that of taking him down a peg or two and what could be fairer than that? [/quote]

An educated public that knew a thing or two about what it takes, to be a performer. That's what would be fair. Some magicians seem to have the same problem, of not knowing what it takes to be an entertaining performer and label it "conceit". Not only does this do no favors, for the art but it validates the question at hand, with an affirmative connotation, justifying the behavior. Not fair at all.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 2, 2019 05:26AM)
A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 2, 2019 05:50AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2019, tommy wrote:
A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly. [/quote]

Lets analyze this statement for it's truthfulness.

"very little that escapes the understanding of his audience" If this was true there would be no magic secrets. Obviously the audience is not aware of what's going on. But even if they knew what was happening mechanically, they would still be blind to all the preparation that goes into putting on a good show. The best performers are those that make it look effortless, and with such observational ignorance the audience couldn't understand the complexity of a show, if they tried.

"act accordingly" what does that even mean? The statement implies that since our audience is aware of how we accomplish our wonderment, there in no wonderment and so what's the point?

These words seem very strange coming from a magician. Well one that performs.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jan 2, 2019 06:24AM)
Trying to get a grasp of what you are suggesting here, tommy. What is it a concerned magician 'ought' to do when acting accordingly.

If you mean that many performers seem to underestimate the intelligence of a spectator or their appreciation of magic, I might agree.
Not sure about what any person "understands" today, though. An audience? - even less. Evidence is that folks today understand very little about anything,
relying instead on believed stuff and a 'blame game' lack of accountability.

Just guessing as to what you mean by "understanding" - so, I ask ...

Yet, I sense a kernel of insight or truth in your statement.
Some individual in any audience may see more or guess better about the mechanics of a trick than others. They could negatively effect the spectator next to them.
Others may be caught up in the excitement and energy of the moment and positively impact their neighbors.
A couple of spectators may desire to see magic so badly they find it in anything you do,

All of the emotion and communication (verbal and non-verbal) can be infectious and lead to being able to treat the audience as a living entity - with 'understanding; I guess.
It is an illusion, of course, but something a performer can work with. A performer can appreciate and respect this "understanding" and change a presentation
in response. Or, he can learn form each performance and better prepare for the next

When performing for single individual or small group there is little one can do except select an effect based on a best experienced guess as to the setting.
For a larger paying audience one can make some assumptions about the expectations of the audience desire to see your stuff without change.
For an unknown audience, the performer should be prepared to adapt to what is learned during the performance. Audience engagement?

But, does he change his character? His choice of trick or prop? His story line?

Just not sure what you think is "appropriate action" during a performance, and what might influence preparation prior to ...

Personally, I find it difficult to glean understanding from a spectator with a cellphone in their ear or doing a selfie.
So, I perform less and less except for an audience I know both appreciates magic and expects to it occur.

What do suggest others do that is appropriate?
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 2, 2019 08:18AM)
[quote]On Jan 1, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it.[/quote]

Why?

Why would knowledge of anything that happens off stage/behind the curtain matter to a audience that has paid to receive an experience?

Other than performances where said knowledge is theatrically relevant, I don't think it should even enter the minds of the audience.

An audience pays for an experience. Whatever experience that performer has marketed and promised to the audience, that is what the performer should be delivering. If the majority of the audience does not feel they got that experience, regardless of what their education level is regarding the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of it, the performer failed.

That's it. Trying to say an audience isn't qualified to assess a performance is just blame-shifting. Either the marketing failed to communicate what was being sold, or the performer failed to deliver on their promises - the performer is at fault in both instances.

Either the audiences enjoy the show, or they don't. If they don't, the performer either changes the show to suit the audience, or finds the audience that suits the show.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 2, 2019 08:30AM)
We are not talking about what the audience pays for. We are talking about fair assessments of a performer. To PROPERLY critique a performer, one must know about performance. In magic that would be magic performance. Knowing nothing about the art other than what one likes dosn't properly critique the performer. I might like a particular piece of music but without knowledge of music structure, I couldn't tell you if it's good or structurally correct. All I can tell you is, if I like it. That's my point. We don't let mechanics critique a painting with any validity, for that, we go to an art critic. It's that simple.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jan 2, 2019 08:36AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
[quote]On Jan 1, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it.[/quote]

Why?

Why would knowledge of anything that happens off stage/behind the curtain matter to a audience that has paid to receive an experience?

Other than performances where said knowledge is theatrically relevant, I don't think it should even enter the minds of the audience.

An audience pays for an experience. Whatever experience that performer has marketed and promised to the audience, that is what the performer should be delivering. If the majority of the audience does not feel they got that experience, regardless of what their education level is regarding the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of it, the performer failed.

That's it. Trying to say an audience isn't qualified to assess a performance is just blame-shifting. Either the marketing failed to communicate what was being sold, or the performer failed to deliver on their promises - the performer is at fault in both instances.

Either the audiences enjoy the show, or they don't. If they don't, the performer either changes the show to suit the audience, or finds the audience that suits the show. [/quote]


I couldn't agree more. I don't have to be a filmmaker or Steven Spielberg to determine whether I like a movie or not. If I do not like or enjoy a movie it has nothing to do with my knowledge of the filmmaking industry or process.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 2, 2019 08:39AM)
Exactly! All you know, is if you like it? Nothing else. But if you were a filmmaker or in the business of film making, you would be in a better position to fairly assess the film. Thank you for proving my point.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 2, 2019 09:06AM)
Your point is only proved if your only audience is people who are "in the know".

I assume you, like most of the folks here, perform for laymen?

People who make movies talk crap on Adam Sandler because his work has become formulaic. However, the studios know exactly how much an Adam Sandler film will cost, and they also know pretty closely how much that movie will earn, and it is consistently good profit. To people who know the workings, he's a hack - to his audiences and the studios, he's a regular provider of exactly what they want. The "professional's" opinions don't matter because they're not the ones he's selling to.

In fact, it's pretty common for critics to pan shows and movies that end up being extremely popular with audiences who apparently know far less than said critics. So who's wrong there? The critics or the people paying to consume the material? There are also critically acclaimed movies that flopped as far as audiences are concerned. This is why I ignore critics.

"Fair" isn't relevant. Either the audience likes it or they don't. If they don't, it's useless to blame the audience.

To that end, the opinion of someone who is 'qualified' to assess, according to your definition Senor, is useless if it doesn't take into account whether the audience likes it. People you are describing live in a bubble and their opinion is irrelevant and largely useless to the practical concerns of putting on a show that audiences will happily pay for.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 2, 2019 09:25AM)
We are not talking about what an audience likes or not. We are talking about proper assessment of a performer. What one likes has little relevance on the performing art. I might like scratches on a chalkboard but nobody would argue is an offensive sound. Same is true of people with no knowledge of an art form, they don't know what's involved and so they don't know, if it's good or not. The only people qualified to assess any art form are people with knowledge of the art form. This is basic. Would you let a plumber, tell you how to be a mentalist? Of course not but your trying to make the argument that the lay, can dictate the art. They don't. WE DO.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 2, 2019 09:59AM)
“Let them see the best often enough, and due appreciation is bound to follow sooner or later.” NM
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 3, 2019 07:15AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
We are talking about proper assessment of a performer.[/quote]

I'm talking about the fact that a so-called "professional"'s opinion of an act is irrelevant, unless they are also the bulk of the paying audience.

That thinking, that professionals are the only ones who have any right to judge a show, is how we get absurd competition acts that mean nothing and do nothing more than show off skills we shouldn't even be displaying.

Create a unique experience. Find an audience that enjoys that experience. Repeat.
Message: Posted by: JimBeta (Jan 3, 2019 07:51AM)
They make fun of magician because they are jealous.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 08:19AM)
Ok Chris, the next time you perform, I'll send a sandwich maker, to critique your show. I'm sure his write up, will be ham and cheese, hold the mayo. lol
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 3, 2019 10:04AM)
[quote]On Jan 2, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
We are not talking about what an audience likes or not. We are talking about proper assessment of a performer.[/quote]

The latter depends upon the former. Please, not what but who.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 3, 2019 10:34AM)
I just did a search, for the heck of it, about popular movies that were panned by critics, and several lists came up. These were movies with awful reviews (by "experts") that made tons of money and, in some cases, have become classics, including The Shining, Psycho, Fight Club, The Wizard of Oz, and many more.

I could probably do a search for singers, musicians, comedians, and other performers (and studio artists and novelists) and come up with the same result.

Yeah, I know, magic is different, you can't compare magic to anything else, yadda yadda. But if we're talking about performing for the general public (and hopefully that's what most people who perform magic do), then a proper assessment by experts is irrelevant. The audience provides the only assessment that counts.

Look at David Blaine and Criss Angel, and, years ago, at Penn and Teller.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 10:42AM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2019, George Ledo wrote:
The audience provides the only assessment that counts.
[/quote]

I can only agree with this statement if money, is all the matters to you? If the art matters, then money is not the only objective.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 3, 2019 11:02AM)
Yes, the art matters, and you can do an act for the general public that's a masterpiece in the artistic sense, but they may still find it boring. There are lots of literary novels (that's a real genre in the writing world) that have audiences of only literary-minded people, and those audiences tend to be small. Same for art films. They have an audience too.

Nobody is questioning that great performers are artists in their own fields, but their personality and their material still has to appeal to the audiences they play to: the general public. The art world has been full of starving artists for centuries; I know - I took a lot of art in college and met some of these people. Most of them went on to careers at the local bar or restaurant.

You can do a beautiful, highly skilled act for an audience of experts at the Magic Castle or Magic Circle, get great accolades from them, and have it still bomb with the general public. Happens in the rest of show biz all the time.
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 11:39AM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2019, George Ledo wrote:
You can do a beautiful, highly skilled act for an audience of experts at the Magic Castle or Magic Circle, get great accolades from them, and have it still bomb with the general public. Happens in the rest of show biz all the time. [/quote]

Or, you can accomplish both and not only be a peer to your community but also be entertaining, to the public. I don't see it as an either or preposition.

However, to equate what people like to what's good, doesn't hold water. Why? Because what one likes is subjective. It's personal preference and so it can't be objective. I would venture to guess that the so called critics who evaluated the movies on your list were speaking from that position, not an artistic viewpoint? I have read many reviews of the movies you listed that when analyzed artistically, were consider phenomenal.

The point again is that, there is a difference between what is "liked" and what is "good". Only those who understand the art, can make the determination objectively.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 3, 2019 12:02PM)
Our magic is half subjective and half objective. The company are always aware our patter is "make-believe" because the nature of it is essentially fictional nonsense and so they willingly set aside their critical faculties for it in order to enter into the spirit of the thing: Subjective. The opposite is true for our magic experiment because it is offered as a series of apparent facts and so the company rationally question them: Objective. The apparent facts of the magic apparently prove the "make-believe" patter is true! This, of course, cannot possibly be and so it results in a logical dilemma. The dilemma does not exist in reality of course because, in reality, it is an illusion, created by subversion of the “facts”. It happens in the right subjective and left objective hemispheres of the head.
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Jan 3, 2019 12:34PM)
I guess the thing I'm not seeing is why I should care at all what a critic thinks? Why do I care if someone who's opinion very likely runs counter to the very people I'm trying to entertain thinks I'm "good"?

I create first for myself, second for my audiences. I aim to give the audience an experience that allows me to express myself, as well as gives them a show that is both visceral and thought provoking.

The opinion of other magicians never enters into that equation. Though I am always grateful for the kind words I've received, I don't really value a 'critic's' voice over the rest of my audience. I find that peer respect comes along naturally when someone is just focused on presenting a good show.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 3, 2019 12:42PM)
The best judge is one who experiences the dilemma which is the audience: muggles
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 3, 2019 12:42PM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
...Only those who understand the art, can make the determination objectively. [/quote] You're exactly right about one of the reasons people make fun of artistic pretensions and magicians in particular.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 3, 2019 12:55PM)
[quote]On Jan 3, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Or, you can accomplish both and not only be a peer to your community but also be entertaining, to the public. I don't see it as an either or preposition.[/quote]
If you read my post again, you'll notice I did not imply an either-or proposition.

[quote]However, to equate what people like to what's good, doesn't hold water. Why? Because what one likes is subjective. It's personal preference and so it can't be objective. [/quote]
Correct, and I didn't equate those two either. What I said was that ultimately the general public will decide what they like and therefore pay for, in terms of time or money or both, i.e., what they will accept and support. That's what show business is about.

Now, is magic, as performed for the general public, not part of show business? That's a whole other pointless conversation.

[quote] I would venture to guess that the so called critics who evaluated the movies on your list were speaking from that position, not an artistic viewpoint? [/quote]
The lists I saw online referred to movie critics who critique movies as a profession, not Joe Blows on the street. Besides, I would not "venture to guess" their motives without finding out their qualifications. This gets into the realm of "I loved what you said about my movie, therefore I think you're knowledgeable in the subject because you agree with me."

[quote] The point again is that, there is a difference between what is "liked" and what is "good". Only those who understand the art, can make the determination objectively. [/quote]
No argument there, but how would you convince a general audience that a trick or routine that the experts at the Magic Castle loved is "good" and therefore they should love it too, if they find it boring?

On that note, I will move on to some other thread. :)
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 01:07PM)
I'm not trying to upset you and if I have misunderstood any thing you have posted? I apologize.

Artistically, I don't care what the public thinks. Financially, I do care what they think. You seem to have the two conflated? I don't need to convince the public of anything as my magic and now mentalism entertains them. My peers would also find my act constructively correct, making them admit the act "good" not only in it's execution but it's continuity. Both lay and enlightened, would be entertained by it. How do I know this? By the those who have come to see my show, saying so. I also did many years of research to make sure that I followed the "rules of performance" to make sure that the act worked both constructively and entertainingly.

This isn't a hard concept to understand. We have all seen performers who can do tricks and get good responses, from the audience because they like what they see. It's quite another thing to experience a show on a visceral level. it's the latter that would be critiqued as a good show by anyone, in the biz.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jan 3, 2019 03:38PM)
It's amazing how many of Senors OPINIONS he tries desperately to present as factual. Wise move George. Even citing things that were never said. Wise move George
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jan 3, 2019 03:50PM)
No worries, Senor Fabuloso, and I'm not upset. No apologies needed. AFAIK, disagreeing with somebody, or not understanding them, is still okay in our society. :)
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 03:52PM)
It's amazing how mindp tries to discredit me when I don't care. With so many business and gigs you got to ask yourself, where does he find the time? LOL
Message: Posted by: Senor Fabuloso (Jan 3, 2019 03:55PM)
Thank you Mr. Ledo you are a gentleman.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jan 3, 2019 07:05PM)
A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly. The magician, who does not understand that and underestimates the intelligence of his audience, is bound to present dumbed down entertainment to fit the bill.
Message: Posted by: Juno Temple (Jan 7, 2019 07:58PM)
[quote]On Dec 3, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
I think the problem is, when it comes to magicians, the hasty generalizations and assumptions are so often true.

I ask a lot of people what they think when I say the word "magician" - I try to do this when I first meet them, just to sort of test the waters, before they realize how involved with magic I am. The responses are almost never positive. Most are more or less neutral, quite a few are actively negative. Even my former roommate, who absolutely LOVES watching magic, thinks magicians tend to be socially awkward and weird. This is a woman who will be actively angry if you expose a trick to her, because she enjoys having no idea how it works so much.

Regardless of the fact that there are many people who are magicians who are perfectly pleasant socially, regardless of the fact that making fun of others is lame - I do agree with the others that it's important to understand what the general public thinks of "magician". If most people think magicians are awkward nerds - then that's the perception we have to understand is present. [/quote]

I have to say that you hit it in the bull's-eye! Here is an observation about Shin Lim, who with some Oris hair-talc and working on his 'gaze', we have a nerd, in essence, who found a way out of the brain-set of that awkward element you so poignantly reference.

And I must also say, although this is probably not the perfect place, that as a newcomer I so very much enjoy the great crowd and astute contributors that assemble to make it so worthwhile to be a Magician! Thank you EVERYONE!
Message: Posted by: magicianbrady (Mar 17, 2019 09:28AM)
I think they make fun of magicians because they don't actually understand what we do. They don't know about the magic creation process or the practice it takes so they just think why would anyone show tricks for a living.
Message: Posted by: MateosSpain (Jul 13, 2019 11:54AM)
They make fun because they don't know what or why, they try to find something but every thing they got are emotions
The output can be a joke, that's natural, most of the times people watching kind of do jokes about themselves or about humanity as a hole, is not an attack just a mental short cut to them
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 14, 2019 09:37AM)
Laughter is about the only thing that sets the spirit free from the trap of the dilemma.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jul 14, 2019 11:51AM)
[quote]On Jul 13, 2019, MateosSpain wrote:
They make fun because they don't know what or why, they try to find something but every thing they got are emotions
The output can be a joke, that's natural, most of the times people watching kind of do jokes about themselves or about humanity as a hole, is not an attack just a mental short cut to them [/quote]

Yea but no. People who have seen hack magicians know exactly what they are making fun of and why.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 14, 2019 01:47PM)
I absolutely agree.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jul 14, 2019 06:11PM)
[quote]On Jul 14, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yea but no. People who have seen hack magicians know exactly what they are making fun of and why. [/quote]

Absolutely. When someone gets up at a Karaoke bar to sing their favorite song, they typically don't really consider themselves a singer, they're just having fun singing a song, there is no pretense of being a professional. Magic is different. When someone buys an effect and can bumble their way through it, they frequently consider themselves a magician. If they ever get paid for any version of a performance no matter how good or abbreviated, they frequently then consider themselves a "Professional Magician". For these reasons, it seems that Magic has a higher percentage of amateurs and lower percentage of professionals than any other art form. The odds of someone having seen someone in their family do a magic trick at some point in their lives is very high. That defines the excessive "Hack Ratio" that Danny referenced.

Like it or not... the large part of the bell curve of any art form are the average or mediocre. They sadly define public perception. It is odd but if people see a lot of bad singers at a karaoke bar, they don't think singing is stupid. They just isolate the amateurs they've seen without it affecting their opinion of other great singers. Magic isn't the same. When people see many bad magicians, they allow it to taint their perception of the entire medium. Sure, they will admit that there are some that are exceptional (Shin Lim, Lance Burton, David Copperfield, etc.) but they will maintain the perception that magic is silly based on hack performers. No, it's not fair but just reality.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 15, 2019 10:14AM)
[quote]On Jul 14, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:

Absolutely. When someone gets up at a Karaoke bar to sing their favorite song, they typically don't really consider themselves a singer, they're just having fun singing a song, there is no pretense of being a professional. Magic is different. When someone buys an effect and can bumble their way through it, they frequently consider themselves a magician. If they ever get paid for any version of a performance no matter how good or abbreviated, they frequently then consider themselves a "Professional Magician".
[/quote]
Right. And I think that's where the problem is. These people refer to themselves as magicians, so that's what their audiences hear. So as far as the audiences know, they're magicians. And therefore, because they don't see all that many pros, they go on to assume that all magicians are the same.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jul 15, 2019 02:01PM)
Exactly!
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 15, 2019 03:19PM)
Not only is not fair it is not the American way. See not your fellow magician and your self as part of a group but as an individual and then you will not tend to tar with the same brush. That is the American way said the Englishman.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 15, 2019 05:52PM)
Going back to what Ray said: "It is odd but if people see a lot of bad singers at a karaoke bar, they don't think singing is stupid. They just isolate the amateurs they've seen without it affecting their opinion of other great singers."

Again, the public is aware that there are many great singers and musicians: they hear them or see them all the time. So when they see a poor one, they just write him or her off as a poor one or an amateur. But the public at large doesn't see all that many really good magicians, so, for many of them, the only ones they've seen are not all that good.

It's the same thing with actors. A poor actor doesn't reflect on all actors or on theatre. And a poorly acted or directed film doesn't reflect on the entire film industry.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jul 15, 2019 10:11PM)
[quote]On Jul 15, 2019, tommy wrote:
See not your fellow magician and your self as part of a group but as an individual and then you will not tend to tar with the same brush.[/quote]

Tommy, I don't think it's how magicians view each other, it is how the public sees us as a subset of society. There was recently a commercial that shows what the writers thought of as a "magician" who was this creepy goth guy that didn't talk and pulled cards out of his mouth. That was their perception based on exposure, not our own. I don't think professionals have any trouble seeing themselves as individuals yet can still share a fun peer relationship with others in their particular strata as they tend to have a shared commonality that brought them to each day. There is sometimes a tendency for beginners to not appreciate the subtle difference there. They can sometimes expect you to show them anything they request... ("It's ok, we're both magicians!") without understanding the years of work and struggle to rise above the norm.

That being said, I love teaching those who are at a plateau where they deserve it. I'm not there to do the heavy lifting for them but I will do anything to help them make the jump to the next level with the understanding that you can't ever teach someone something they're not ready or able to understand.

Sorry... just rambling and probably off topic but that's just how my mind works!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 16, 2019 03:08AM)
[quote]On Jul 15, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:

I love teaching those who are at a plateau where they deserve it. I'm not there to do the heavy lifting for them but I will do anything to help them make the jump to the next level with the understanding that you can't ever teach someone something they're not ready or able to understand.
[/quote]

A fine clarification of what mentoring is about. Thanks for that! I always appreciate your experienced insight.

The last part intrigues me. Perhaps an observer cannot appreciate magic unless it is "something they are ready and able to understand."

What in a life filled with staring at a small electronic screen has prepared a person to appreciate awe&wonder? or to mentally replay an inexplicable event?
How can they discriminate between a good and bad magic performance? What real-life experience is a scaffold? What memories can be awakened?

Long ago I was told that all magicians are "touched by the Myrddin Current." I wonder if that is still true today?
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 16, 2019 11:59AM)
It's not just magic. If we look around, we'l find that many people are not ready and able to understand many things, and IMHO it's partially because they're not interested and therefore unwilling. For instance, I'm not into rap at all, and therefore I have no conception of what it all means and how much work might go into a performance.

Magic is no diferent than many other fields.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 16, 2019 02:04PM)
Sorry to follow my own post, but I just went back over this whole thread and discovered a few interesting tidbits. On the idea that some people are not "ready and able to understand many things," another issue becomes whether they care about it at all.

I mentioned above that I'm not into rap (as an example), so I don't take the initiative to listen to it, or, if I happen to hear it somewhere, I don't pay attention to it. It's not a value judgement: it's just an observation of my own behavior. This is no different than someone showing a trick to somebody, and the somebody not caring about it. Like, "fine, you made that card go to the top of the deck, or you made that elephant disappear, but I just don't care. It doesn't mean anything to me." I've known people like this, and they can be perfectly okay otherwise, but they just don't have any interest in magic tricks.

So, sure, as childish as it may be, when someone comes along and says, "hey, lookit what I can do," without any reason for it, and without showing the spectators why they should care, the spectators can think the performer is weird and make fun of him or her. Or, as has been said here many times, "if I had that [deck, box, change bag, whatever], I could do that too."

No different than, for instance, Dr. Brennan in the TV series [i]Bones[/i] talking to a non-scientist in detailed medical lingo and getting a weird reaction in response, and then not understanding why she got the weird reaction.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jul 16, 2019 02:22PM)
I agree 100% with your comments, George.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jul 17, 2019 04:01AM)
Yes George ...

I must come to grips with no one wishing to learn or appreciate magic as I do - or has the capacity or experience or discipline to do so.

On the flip side, I can accept that any activity that draws a person away for the vicarious, limited world view of a tiny screen is a good thing.

Do I think that a teenager excited over some "gotcha event" is going to replace his intellectually stunted upbringing? No!

Do I thing that learning magic tricks on YouTube prepares a person for live audience engagement? No!

Can getting involved with performance magic at any level and for any reason be a good thing for personal development. Yup!

Can we make people care about anything? Doubtful - but we might plant a seed.

I will perform less and less as the chance of finding an audience appreciative of magic deceases.

BUT - I might get excited about doing flashy tricks for senior centers or youth groups with no objective other than "being other than cybernetic."

The Vanishing Wheel Chair Project has proved that learning ANY magic trick can change a person's life. Why not any teen or any senior?

Along the way I might meet someone prepared to master "a finer magic." One can hope.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jul 17, 2019 03:37PM)
As someone once said, you can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make it drink.

Or as someone else said, never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Over the years, I've tried showing a few people how to do a trick, mostly because (I thought) they showed some interest, but then nothing happened. That's just how it goes. And over the years some people have tried showing me how to do this or that, or get interested in their favorite hobby, but nothing happened: I just didn't "see" it. That's what makes us different.
Message: Posted by: longhaired1 (Jul 19, 2019 08:35PM)
If the premise is true, that people make fun of magic and magicians, maybe that should be an eye-opener and not just a reason to take a defensive stance and the position that they are wrong in doing so.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 20, 2019 01:38PM)
If people make fun of magicians then all we can say is welcome to the club.
Message: Posted by: bluejay17! (Jul 31, 2019 04:17AM)
Part of the reason people make fun of magicians is that magic puts up a barrier between the performer and the spectator. You know the secret and they don't. A person makes fun of a magician if they don't care about them. Thus, as magicians we should strive to make the spectator care about us, not the secrets.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Jul 31, 2019 09:07AM)
People make fun of everything. If somebody makes fun of something about you then they are attacking you for nothing really. When they attack, do not go into defence but attack them, which is the best defence. You are all here on the defence trying to explain the reason: which is agreeing with the attacker's point of view that there is a good reason for the attack. If someone makes fun of your big ears then make fun of their big nose. There is no good reason to make fun of magicians or anybody else.