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Topic: Bizarre Thoughts
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Nov 20, 2004 01:51AM)
I was going through some of my notes and pulled this gem from a Jamy Ian Swiss lecture at the Larsen's home in 1996....

"Magic is not an amusing diversion. You want to create inoperable brain tumors, to have them tell their grandchildren about you. If you fall a little short, that's OK, isn't it likely you will land in a good place?"
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Nov 20, 2004 05:14AM)
Clifford the Red quotes Jamy Ian Swiss: ""Magic is not an amusing diversion. . . ."

Unfortunately, that is all too often true! (Which explains a lot!!!!)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 30, 2004 01:16AM)
Unfortunately, Jamy Ian Swiss is neither amusing nor diverting. Sometimes he is not very magical.
Message: Posted by: chmara (Nov 30, 2004 01:41AM)
Jamy is often thought provoking and contentious. Do not read if already depressed. And - do not play with sharp objects when reading his stuff.

His perceptions, too often accurate, are at least worth considering. He is sure of his opinions.

Magic not amusing? Was Bram Stoker's or E.A. Poe's work amusing? It depends upon where on the bell curve of insanity vs. amusement you fell on any given day, I would suggest.

Sort of like our current president.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Nov 30, 2004 09:49AM)
Jamy is serious about his art and is an evangelist for the message of "Take your art seriously!". Is he rough around the edges? Oh certainly, he might be the definition of that! So what? He has good things to say, and he pulls no punches. Thank goodness we have voices like that.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Nov 30, 2004 11:53AM)
Gee, and people used to gripe about Senator Crandall!

Poking holes in sequined jackets is something he loved to do - and Mr. Swiss seems to like to do that as well. The difference, as I see it, is that Crandall could entertain each and every time he got on stage. there are questions about Mr. Swiss' ability to do likewise, from all reports.

Does that make his opinions less correct? No. The greatest boxing coaches in the world have never thrown a punch in the ring, but have the insight, the "eye" if you will, to see what's going on and how to exploit a fighter's strengths and his opponent's weaknesses.

Perhaps Mr. Swiss is doing exactly that. But, as the Buddha said, "many paths lead to the same mountaintop." And in showbiz, I have to add, "who says there's only one mountain?"

Humor is its own mountain, as is bizarrism, "straight" mentalism, gambling demonstrations, big stage illusions, dove work and children's shows. Does anyone think that any one of these can fit every bill out there?

Try doing Sigfried & Roy's act at the local church social! Won't fit the room, the critters will scare the daylights out of the kiddies (and the blue-haired old ladies, probably) and the cleanup won't take but a few hours. Or, try doing my close up act on stage in Las Vegas. It might play, it probably won't. Try doing bizarre magic at Bob Jones University.

Get the idea?

In my not-so-humble opinion, many reviewers are of the "one true way" school of thought and miss the idea that there are many correct ways to entertain an audience. Some even involve sequins.

Maybe that's the problem. We all tend to forget that a reviewer's opinion is exactly that - the reviewer's opinion. It may be an informed opinion, but it is an opinion.

For those of you really wanting an accurate opinion of your act, go to the washroom after your show and hide in a stall for a bit. Listen to the audience members comments. You will learn more from that than you will from any reviewer.

Just some random thoughts on reviewers from someone who probably doesn't know any more than any of them - maybe less - but who gets paid for doing shows all over the US and the Caribbean.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: mrmysticmike (Dec 1, 2004 04:23PM)
"Shattering Illusions" by Mr. Swiss is a very thought provoking book. I don't agree with everything he says but I did end up putting a lot more thought into my performances and to why I enjoy doing magic.