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The Mac
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Hi guys

I downloaded and watched a few clips from Bret Daniels website - I realised something - I'm not fooled by stage magic anymore! I remember the days when whatever Copperfield did was so amazing! where did he go? howd he get there so fast ? how is his girlfriend so beautiful (lol).

Now I watch it and think "wow, that's a nice base" I do however appreciate it from the technical aspects - but the bret daniels stuff was way too transparent!

don't get me wrong some things still fool me! but not much !
Blair Marshall
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That's' why after 35 years of performing, designing, building, writing, and lecturing, I usually see a show twice. Once to sit back and enjoy the show, and take in the audiences' reaction, the next time to make a note or two, be critical, and watch for the effects that the first time fooled my pants off. Did this the last two times David was in town and had more fun at the show overall.

I particularly enjoy going with my family, especially the kids (17, 19, and 21) they are the ones that give me the "honest" feedback. You also have to let your appreciation move to the next level and view the performer as an artist and judge how well he works with the tools he is using.

As far as downloading clips and "figuring it out". That is why you have to be careful about what you include in a p.r. photo. I have had true laymen look at a photo of the Zig-Zag (in the zagged position) and tell me exactly how it was done. How the girl was postitioned etc. On a recent Cabaret show (from France) an illusionist performed an aerial substitution, and then repeated the effect. First time fooled the audience, second time I would question (there was a reason for the second time) as one of the guests in the audience was motioning with his hands about the base thickness.

With a "clip" or photo, you can be far more objective in figuring out an illusion then you would be during a performance.

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"
muzicman
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Hey Mac!

I know exactly what you mean. I do not watch performances the same either. I try to watch as a layman but my magi senses kick in and I see it from a completely different perspective. I tend to watch the performance styles more than the magic. I already know how the effect is done, so I concentrate on the style and figure out what I like or dislike (and why). I saw Copperfield last fall and even though I knew exactly how he did everything, I was still entertained...not fooled...entertained! In a way it's sad, but that is the price we must pay to become a magician. I am always seeking out magic that fools me and feel like a kid in a candy store when it happens. I saw a mentalist named Banechek recently. He fooled me nearly 99% of the time. It was FUN!!! I had not been exposed to mentalist material before, and it was quite refreshing. But then he spoiled it and told me how he fooled me!!
Julie
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I'll bet you DON'T know how DC did everything! Smile
Allan Given
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This is why I love seeing shows with people who are not magicians. You can see that childlike look of wonder in their eyes when they are truly mystified. As magicians, we do sit and watch a performance trying to analyze the patter, the pacing, the misdirection and the techniques used. I like to look around at the crowd every now and again though. Seeing people young and old transformed, even if just for a moment, into a smiling little kid is truly a magical experience and always reminds me of what we should be striving for with our craft. I still remember the first time I saw David perform his flying illusion live. For a moment I was that little kid, caught up in the magic of the moment and it was a beautiful experience that I still remember vividly to this day. Every now and then it is a good thing to turn off that analytical side of our brain and let ourselves just experience magic. Smile
muzicman
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Without having a secret session with DC, I have no way of knowing "exactly" how he did everything. However, knowing that DC uses tried and tested (and reliable) methods, I feel I am able to recreate every illusion I see him perform. For those illusions that have in the past eluded me, I sought professional advice and exchanged method ideas and concepts. DC has "challenged" my knowledge in the past, but his "Night of Illusions" tour that came through town last fall had only illusions I had already known about. I really wanted to be fooled, but when you have been in magic for so many years and studied methods and performances, there really is not much to fool with.
The Mac
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Yes, its funny to know how "simple" the reasoning behind it is..and to hear people go on and on when you know that 90% of the stuff you saw was D-bases!

have younoticed how people exagerate their stories? I mean sometimes stories of my performances become so big its unbelievable..


long live B-BASES, MIRRORS, BLACK ART (have I missed anything out?)
muzicman
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Shells! It looks like a body part but it really isn't. Many illusions use this concept of misdirection. Also, long live IT, and magnets, and TT's and D'lites and...
Dennis Michael
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MacGyver,

Long ago, I gave up trying to figure the puzzle out and just sitback and enjoy the show. Knowing the secret ruins the "Illusion" and enjoyment of the show which most of the audience is seeing for the first time. They enjoy it because they DON'T know the secret.

After reading the "The Trick Brain" by Friztkee all secrets are revealed. now that one knows, they can concentrated on making the show entertaining.

Bret Daniels work is just awe-inspiring, there is a beauty in his performance.
Dennis Michael
Nick Wait
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I agree Den, knowing the secret has meant magic is less entertaining often, but I also apppreciate the beauty of the magic and just forget about magic for a while so I can concentrate on the show.
Nick
Father Photius
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I passed being "amazed" years ago. Which is a large part of the entertainment of magic, but I still love watching other magicians perform. Instead of trying to "catch" what they are doing, or critiquing their technique, I sit back and try to get the entertainment value. If it is a good magician, he entertains, and the magic is just one of the props he uses to entertain. Big production illusion shows that are just show the trick and wow them, do nothing for me, and to be honest really don't do a lot for the lay audience either. Take a magician like Mac King. Now I could tell you exactly how he does every trick in his act, but I sure love watching it. He is flat entertaining. He keeps me amused, laughing, and interested through the whole show. That is what being an entertainer is all about, singing, dance, magic, drama, or what ever is just the props, entertainment is what it is all about. Does the magician connect with his audience, do they feel they "know" him? Does he communicate something to them? If so it will be a good show.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Oliver - Twist
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I agree with Blair. As long as I watch a show I try to enjoy it as much as possible, being part of the show.
The entertaining level gets more and more important in magic shows, espacially in illusions. If some body just moves a large box on stage, it's just a trick, it puzzles the audience and they always want to know how it was done.
If a nice story is builded up around the prop with appropriated music you touch the inner emotional part of the audience, and they'll forget to look straight on to figure out how it's done.
That's the reason why I like watching shows.
May all your days be magical



Oliver Twist
mvmagic
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MacGyver, welcome to the club! One thing I have realized also is that when watching an illusion, I usually watch anything but the actual illusion. Like when watchin DC´s "lotto" live I was determined to see "something"-which I did (and was proud of myself).

Blair has a solid point about pics and videos. I too have laymen friends who have figured out zig-zag and modern art as well, not to mention a few bases when the angle of the photo has been inapropriate.

The thing is that being trained in special and make-up effects and as a reader of many trade journals I tend to see the technical aspects of things in movies. I was watching a movie a few days back and there was a great moving shot of intetesring landscape. And what was I thinking? "Boy the Technocrane guys really did well this time..."

I have noticed that the amazement haven´t actually faded away, it has just switched focus. I find myself being amazed by lighting design, choreography, prop design/construction, music selection, the way a performer handles volunteers...things which are equally important in a good show.
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DamienT98
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I often think back to when I saw magic as a child and I thought that the stage illusions I saw were REAL magic. I'm sure sometimes we would all like to go back to that occationally...
calexa
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If you want to see the method, and you have some kind of experience, you can ruin your whole experience. I always try simply to enjoy the show.... if it's good, I don't need to know the moves and the method, and I'm not looking for it.

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Osiris
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It's not secret that I've been around this stuff for a very long time (over fourty years now)and exposed to just about every method... I don't mean the basics behind say, a sawing in half. I mean that I've worked with every method associated with the Sawing or an Asrah, etc. At one point in time Kirk and I had about eight different versions of the Asrah alone and at least a dozen different Sawings... that's just plain rediculous! But with an inventory exceeding 340 major illusions... well...

Yes, there comes a time when you become too educated and what was once "Magical" is no more. That's one of the biggest reasons why I choose to not study certain aspects of the craft long ago, so they would retain their intrigue. I might know some of the rudiments behind slight-of-hand but it don't take away from the excitement and "Magic" I feel when watching guys like Bill Malone or Norm Neilson work... I can honestly say that Norman is one of the few "real" magicians I've ever seen perform. That is to say, he totally captured my attention and mesmerized me in a way that hadn't been done in many a long year. Not even Lance Burton has that effect on me and I love his show... in fact, the only "big show" I've seen that has had that effect on me to some level was Sigfred & Roy about ten years ago, when they first put Shadow Vision into their act (a little something whipped up by Ken Whitaker and I...)

The thing I hate most about this "condition" is when people invite me to shows in hopes that I'll tip them off on how things work or worse, they want me to upstage the performer in some way. Just last night we were at an Applebee's where one of my younger magic associates happened to be working. My friend that was with me was begging me to up-stage this kid... something I refuse to do (unless the performer in question is a jerk and needs his ego busted).

It's a sad thing, but it happens to all of us. Welcome to the club!
calexa
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Why are they asking you to up-stage this kid????

Magixx
Optimists have more fun.....
Osiris
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Quote:
On 2005-04-01 10:55, calexa wrote:
Why are they asking you to up-stage this kid????

Magixx


I think part of it is just laymen wanting to see two magicians compete... beats paying for a show. Then too, there's the ego trip that "my friend, the magician is better than you are" kind of thing.

I've seen it from time to time and it can be awkward. Funny thing is, when I am in the position to "up stage" magicians, it's usually when I'm doing nothing other than some basic Readings or an MR demonstation... folks love it when you're a Psychic and not some guy doing tricks... I know, it sounds very strange, but I've given up trying to figure out why lay people do some of the things they do when it comes to what we do...
Jazz
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I guess it´s normal to feel this way after a while. I remember as a kid I was so amazed at the big illusions. Now that I know how they work (most of them anyway), you have to focus on the artistry surrounding it. That´s why even an old classic performed very well, still caprures me, even though I know how it works. Of course sometimes, I would like to return to the time that I didn´t know their inner workings. But then again, back then I also thought that planes, cars, TVs, worked with magic.

I remember once I had date with this girl who was a bartender. We went to a bar, and man, was she critical of everything at the bar. From how the bartender addressed costumers to how he lightning was all bad. Of course she had a trained eye. For me all those details were invisible. I guess the same thing happen to us.
Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2005-08-26 17:47, Jazz wrote:
I remember once I had date with this girl who was a bartender. We went to a bar, and man, was she critical of everything at the bar. From how the bartender addressed costumers to how he lightning was all bad. Of course she had a trained eye. For me all those details were invisible. I guess the same thing happen to us.


I hope you dumped her. She was obviously badmouthing the other bartender in an effort to impress you.

The same thing often happens when two magicians sit together at a magic show. I get up and move away if it's one of my former magic friends. If it's two other magicians trying to "one-up" the other, I let them know how pathetic they are with that kind of behavior. I don't have many magic friends. I wonder why?
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

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