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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ New to magic? Ľ Ľ David Blaine Question... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr. Ed
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I am pretty much new to the masses of magic. I have had my nose in books and have been playing with cards and coins for a few years now, but am relatively new to interacting with others with the same interests.



So my question is: Why is David Blaine looked on with such contempt? Or am I getting the wrong impression?



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Tom Cutts
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Blaine is derided because his presentation is simple and successful.



Most people think they can do better than him.



OK where are they?



Got any specials? Not that such is my yard stick for artistic success.



What these people who run him down fail to do is take into account what is working for him (he doesnít hide it) and adapt it to themselves.



The tension between Blaine and the general magic populace has driven him further away. He was more "present" at FISM than at MAGIC Live. His party brat antics are not becoming to him. But he is young so he should be allowed the mistakes we all get to make in our raucus 20s.



Cheers,



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Steve Landavazo
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Hi MagicMrEd!



Itís my opinion that some people may be jealous of his accomplishments! I think some people are just as good and even better at their magic, but the one thing they lack is the nerve to go out and get it like Blaine did! Some people want success, money or whatever in their own lives, but lack the enthusiasm to go out and get it themselves, so the nearest person who is doing well is the one subject to their selfish little antics! I say get over it and grow up! I think Blaine has created a unique venue to sell his magic, and thatís good! Iím happy for him! Smile



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Magicman0323
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I have never had a problem with Blaine, I own both his specials and I think that its refreshing to see new magic specials on the air. I would love for more Worlds Greatest specials to re-air or be made. Hint: if anyone has the Worlds Greatest Magic special number No. 1 on video cassette, Iím accepting Christmas presents early, and donít worry about it arriving late, Iíll accept it as an early birthday present.

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Steve Brooks
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Thanks for posting, by the way, do you have a talking horse that once had his own show? Smile Just kidding.

Anyway, Blaine can be looked at in a couple of ways. From my point of view, his presentation is aimed at the Hip hop crowd to be sure, so the older generation is not going to warm up to him.

I myself do not like his presentation, but do applaud him for his masterful use of the camera, and Iím not talking about the obvious cuts and edits to give the effects more power. I mean the use of the audience reaction sequences which tend to make the magic seem larger than life. I do not recall any other magicians using video in that context. Very clever indeed.

The other way to look at people who are being critical is this; There are arm chair quarterbacks everywhere. Itís easy to criticize from your living room. In school I played football, and was a second string quarterback. Whenever I hear someone criticize a quarterback on televison, my question to them is; Ever been hit by a 250 pound pass rusher? I have...it hurts, believe me.

Also remember, there will always be those who want to rain on someone elseís parade.

Thatís just life. There are those that do, and those that only talk about it.

Leaders and followers. And like the old saying goes; No guts...no glory!

:coolest:
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Dennis Michael
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Ditto to the above responses.

Personalities come into play, along with envy. The above posts are not limited to David Blaine, heck, Iím jealous that Copperfield makes 50 million a year. I can do what he does, not as well, nor do I look that good, have the staff he does, etc.

Seriously, many magicians secretly desire the attention, the stardom, the headlines, the success, the money, and much more, that David Blaine and Copperfield receive.

Enjoy what they have to offer and learn from them, their personalities, their audience, their style of presentation, their command of the audience, their showmanship, their originality, their music, their use of the camera, etc.

Smile
Dennis Michael
Jim Morton
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Quote:

What these people who run him down fail to do is take into account what is working for him (he doesn't hide it) and adapt it to themselves.





Amen, Tom.



For all the fist-shaking at Blaine, nobody can deny that he tapped into something that caught the public's imagination. Magicans who dismiss him by saying, "Well, the public is stupid. They don't know good magic!" are doomed to spend their lives performing tricks for other magicians at magic clubs. Smile



Jim
Peter Marucci
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Steve Brooks asks Magic Mr.Ed if he had his own TV show with a talking horse.

That sort of answers Edís question:

If a talking horse can get a TV show,

why not David Blaine?

A lot of performers donít like Blaine for the reasons mentioned here.

But alot more donít like him for other, legitimate reasons:

Total lack of performance skills.

Bad magic.

Fraudulent camera tricks.

Offensive demeanour.

And on and on.

Some might argue that he is a success because he is on television;

Osama Bin Ladenís on television, too.

So?

Others might point out that heís making a lot of money.

Drug lords make a lot of money, too.

So?

I donít begrudge him his "15 minutes of fame"; after all, heíll be gone and forgotten in a few years.


In 50-plus years of magic, I have seen his type arrive on the scene -- and disappear just as quickly.

The basic problem?

All form and no substance.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

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Bernard Sim
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I agree with Peter on this one, especially "Fraudulent camera tricks". Can a person really levitate with both feet off the ground in the open without camera tricks? Hmmm...
Bernard Sim
Tom Cutts
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Yes, but he didn't. Smile
Dennis Michael
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Wow, Peter!



You set me straight!
Dennis Michael
Peter Marucci
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No, Den, I wasnít trying to "set you straight" and I apologize if I inadvertently gave that impression.

After all, your post makes some very good points: We can all learn something from anyone -- good, bad or indifferent.

And I, too, am jealous of Copperfield -- mainly because I want to be that age again!

Smile

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Dennis Michael
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It was a joke Peter... Iíve read many of your posts and I think I have a feel for your sense of humor. I got what you were saying, it was a little zing because it is the first time I read a post like that from you.
Dennis Michael
Eric Grossman
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The whole Blaine issue is pretty interesting. I donít really care for Davidís "personality". Iíve seen him interviewed, and he was kind of a jerk.



There are, however, many jerks, whose works I admire. Anyway, to the point. With some exceptions, David performs the most basic tricks he can.



For example; he does the most basic Invisible deck, and the most basic Raven effect. To some, this type of thing shows a little lack of imagination. He also takes some classic routines, and does very stripped down, and basic versions of them.



His Ambitious card, for example. He is the opposite of a classic. I could go on.



Here, however, is why he is good, and why I like him. He comes across as the real thing, to real people. He has no stage, no assistant, no top hat and cape, but he does things on the street to unsuspecting people, that knocks them out.



I have mentioned, that I make my living as a musician, in other posts. I have been studying and playing for more than twenty years. I have pretty formidable chops, and a vast knowledge of theory, reading, etc... The reason I have a gig though, is because I approach songs in a basic and understated way, that is easily digestible, unconfusing, and commercial.



Songwriters, "get" what Iím doing, and I "get" them. Is this a clear analogy?

I hope so.



I donít know if Blaine can be a magicianís magician, but are we doing this for other magicianís, or for real people. Donít get me wrong, I love it when I perform an effect for a comrade, and knock him out. Nothing takes the place of a laymanís reaction, to a simple vanish or animation, or revelation, etc...



I think that Blaine has a real world appeal.



Thatís my story, and Iím sticking to it.



Eric Grossman
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Mr. Ed
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Thank you all for your responses.

The reason I ask this, is that everytime someone finds that I am studying magic they have 1 of 2 questions.



The first:



"Have you ever been to that Castle in Hollywood?"



and the second and probably most common is,



"What do you think of that guy on the streets, whatís his name David something?"



I find this "David something question" upsetting, because I am asked about him almost exclusively, never about that Lance guy in Vegas.



So I wonder why do "lay persons" ask about him? It appears to me that he has much appeal for laymen, however they sense that the magic community doesnít care for him.



My response is always that I think heís great (Iíve never actually seen his specials), because for me to bad mouth him would make both of us look less professional



At any rate I am just trying to feel out those people who typically respond in this forum for your opinions.



It is obvious that there is a vast amount of experience represented here.
He who laughs, lasts.
Peter Marucci
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Mr.Ed,

Lay people will ask you about Blaine, rather than Lance Burton, because they have seen Blaine on TV more often.

At least, thatís my guess.

It has nothing to do with who is better (like, thereís any doubt!).

In any case, give them a non-committal answer because you donít want to put down ANY other performer.

You donít have to say anything good; you just have to say nothing bad.



cheers,

Peter Marucci

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Stephen Long
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Blaine must be doing something right.

I quite like what he was trying to do - make magic more accessable.

In order to make magic more accessable you have to keep it basic - keep it as something everyone can relate to.



I have to disagree with Peter's "bad magic" statement a few posts ago.

Bad magic according to whom?

You.

It is fine for a magician to judge another's work, but magic is in the eye of the spectator.

If laymen thought it was bad magic he would not be as sucessful as he is.

Blaine must be doing something right.

Gonz
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Peter Marucci
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First of all, Gonz, you would have to define "success".

Is it successful to be on TV?

Then Osama Bin Laden would be defined as successful.

Is it successful to make a lot of money?

Then Colombian drug lords would be defined as successful.

Is it successful to be well-known?

Then just about any serial killer would be defined as successful.

I still say Blaine is doing bad magic.

Bad, you ask, according to whom? And then answer your own question.

Well, it's bad magic according to many, many more people than just me. It's bad theatre, it's inept performing, it's just downright not good, according to ANY set of generally accepted standards over the past 4,000 years.

You say, Blaine must be doing something right.

Well, he is; he is conning a lot of people into thinking he's not bad.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
saglaser
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First of all, let me say that I have some serious reservations about Blaine as a magician. Technically, I can often catch him doing moves that I wonít see when a better magician does them. I may know the trick, I may know just what theyíre doing, but I donít *see* it, even though it sticks out on Blaine like an elephant in a flea circus.

I also greatly dislike his creative editing which amounts to doing camera tricks to augment the conjuring.



That said, I still tend to be more Pro than Anti Blaine when it comes to his style and presentations. Yes, they are minimalist in the extreme. But I find that appropriate, and believe thereís a place for that approach in the magic spectrum. Especially on the street when the primary intent is to give a moment of wonder.



I disagree with Peter in that I think Blaineís minimalist approach is precisely why more people have seen and noticed him on T.V. than have noticed Lance Burton. Or at least why heís created more stir in layfolks imaginations than Burton and Coppefield.



Blaine walks that edge where peopleís desire to believe in magic butts right up against their skepticism. Where any Burton or Copperfield show virtually screams out "this is just a trick," Blaineís stripped-down style avoids the "entertainer" look. He comes across as somebody who can just simply do amazing stuff. That gets under peopleís skin and makes them wonder.



Laypeople donít NEED to ask us about Burton or Copperfield. They can see these guys are great, and that theyíre just doing illusions -- even if they have no idea how the illusions work. Thatís relatively comfortable. With Blaine, theyíre on uncomfortable ground. When they ask a magician "What do you think of that David guy," theyíre often asking for something to scratch that itch he gives them. Theyíre hoping for something that will indicate whether heís doing tricks we all know or doing something truly amazing. I donít think theyíre really wondering just how good a magician he is. (And some, of course, are merely making polite conversation).



I donít think you really need to come out either for him or against him when laypeople ask, a relatively benign reply such as, "Heís really captured lots of folks imaginations with his deadpan approach, though I myself prefer the more traditional (or comical or dramatic or whatever) approaches to those tricks" Tells the ask'ers just what they really want to know, yes, those are tricks and lots of other people do them.



At least thatís what my instincts tell me.



Steve
Stephen Long
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First of all, Steve, that was a great post.

Peter, success is defined by achieving goals set by oneself. So, in order to define if Blaine is successful we would have to ask him, "have you achieved what you set out to do?" The answer would undoubtedly be yes.

Similarly if you asked Bin Laden, drugs lords, or serial killers, if they had been successful in what they were trying to achieve, they too would answer yes.

In the previous post, Steve made an excellent point - Blaine has stripped magic down to itís bare essentals, he has made it less of an act and more of a spectacle.

People are more willing to believe that what Blaine does is real due to the way he presents his material.

If it is such bad theatre, if it is such inept performing, if it is such "bad magic", why donít you get yourself a T.V. special?

You could show everyone how it should be done and earn yourself a few million a year to boot.

Iím not saying Blaine is a great magician.

Peter, you said it yourself, he has conned a lot of people into thinking heís not bad, Maybe that is what heís doing right.

But whatever it is heís doing, it has appealed to the masses and THAT can only be a good thing for magic.

Gonz
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ New to magic? Ľ Ľ David Blaine Question... (0 Likes)
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