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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Criss Angel Mindfreak series? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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the levitator
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Quote:
On 2005-08-03 16:05, cocomax wrote:
>> I guess all the negative cheap shot artists will just argue that I have stupid friends. <<

No, I doubt that.

The negative cheap shot artists would more likely tell us that David Blaine should kiss Criss Angel's A**.
. . . or tell us what a fake Houdini was, he never really risked his life you know. . .






What a truly positive contribution!

Barry, I'm sorry if I've come across as "backbiting". I am an emotional person and sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I won't apologize for being passionate about an artform that I love, but I feel bad for alienating anyone here. I personally don't care one way or the other how people feel about me or Criss Angel or any other performers. I was just stunned at the voracity with which we turn on our own. I was shocked that someone finally gets a weekly show on a national channel, and the focus is on methodology, and when someone can't figure it out, they resort to crying camera tricks and stooges. It's no wonder people in general have such a bad view of magicians on the whole. If any of them read these threads and saw how we treated each other, it would be much much worse.

I've given up on trying to steer these threads into a more positive direction, as I think I'm in the minority of people who believe we should be proud of Criss and thanking him for making magic more popular. I'll gladly step aside so the insults and dissections can continue.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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Payne
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Quote:
On 2005-08-03 18:00, the levitator wrote:

It's no wonder people in general have such a bad view of magicians on the whole. If any of them read these threads and saw how we treated each other, it would be much much worse.



Oh you should hear how some of my writer friends go on about J. K. Rowling. How she is a hack and in desperate need of a godd editor and so on and so forth.
Success always breeds contempt regardless of what field you're in.
Lauren Bacall just blasted Tom Cruise in a recent interview so it's not just magicians who are prone to this type of behaviour.
Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult to critic or defend without attacking.
After all everyones opinion is wrong if it fails to agree with mine.
and even if it does agree I am sure it is some how suspect.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
the levitator
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Great point! I agree and am now somehow suspect! Smile
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James Anthony
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Quote:
On 2005-08-02 22:19, the levitator wrote:
What possible outcome do people hope to come to that can be seen as positive from ripping a fellow magician apart? Do you honestly believe that all of these negative, unasked for opinions are really helpful to anyone? The only people this kind of negativity helps are those who take cheap shots at high profile entertainers to make themselves feel better about their low profile. Explain to me exactly how ripping another "brother's" show and style apart is a positive thing for magic and magicians. Explain to me how dissecting his shows and methods and dismissing everything you don't have an answer to is GOOD for magic and magicians? When you can explain to me the good that comes from negativity, I'll gladly jump on board and start tearing down other magicians right along with you all.


Okay, I'll address these issues. A popular magician with a national television show is just about the only magician we can evaluate as a world-wide community of magicians. We are talking about Criss Angel's performance/character because everyone has seen it. It's a baseline of information from which we can all engage in the same character discussion. We aren't going to talk about Verno Inferno's Block Party performance because none of you saw it. That's why Criss is being discussed---not because he's a high profile entertainer who people (I) want to tear down.

What do we hope to gain from the discussion and criticism? Well, I hope to gain a better understanding of what works and what does not work in magic. I also hope to gain insight into the future of magic. Examples:

(1) Magicians have advised, "If they like you, they'll like your magic." I find arrogance, insecurity, and self-importance unlikeable. I think Angel is being all of those things. If I'm correct, and he is coming off as arrogant and self-important to the audience, then why is it working for him? Or am I wrong? Is he coming off as passionate and misunderstood, instead(which can be adorable if we're in a musical about gangs or something like that)? Or is he all of those things, people don't really like him, but they are watching anyway? If presentation and character is "everything" and the tricks are secondary, why is this discussion off limits?

(2) I also wonder why so many magicians think he's the future of our art? I frankly don't want to attach myself to someone I perceive as arrogant or insecure.

(3) I wonder why it should be okay to have a ton of camera edits/cuts in a show? I understand there are legitimate dramatic reasons (parts of the effect may not have been visualized from one angle so you have to cut to the better view, and then there's pacing to consider, and you can't misdirect a camera...). I think directors and producers of TV magic have a really difficult job of balancing in this issue. I think it warrants discussion. I also think laymen notice the editing: the only layperson with whom I discussed the matter stated it destroyed the illusion of a levitation he performed. That can't be ignored, can it?

Anyway. I don't think anything above is "ripping a fellow magician apart."

I do think rank speculation about how he accomplshes things is pretty fruitless, though.
the levitator
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Thank you so much for your last post Verno! I do believe you when you say that some magicians discuss the famous magicians because it is a source of common ground. But I think that we can both agree that some magcians also discuss famous magicians because their ego gets in the way and when they can't figure something out, they lash out. Your thoughts are laid out so clearly, and I have a much better understanding where you are coming from.

1. I totally see where a lot of people magicians and non-magicians can perceive Criss as arrogant. I agree that he has a large personality, but I don't personally find him arrogant. You bring up a great point though as to how a guy who can be perceived as arrogant by people is doing so well. My only guess is that he does a good job of selling his character. I think of certain rock musicians that are thought to be arrogant, yet still sell millions of records. Maybe his personality isn't as important as his magic to most people. I'm kinda stumped on this one too.

2. I always thought that our diversity as magicians was one of our greatest strengths. I think it's dangerous to ever consider a single magician as the "future" of magic. That kind of thinking would have a funnel effect on us and I don't think it would be good for magic at all. We all have our own mentors and people we admire and look up to. Maybe being that so many in our craft are hobbyists and amatuers, they are easily drawn to the flavor of the day? You don't sound like one of those types of magicians.

3. The only problem with discussing editing and "camera tricks" is that they are being combined into the same category. I agree that editing slips by people much easier with a live show with a live audience present. As far as camera tricks go, for all we know it's the networks wanting more sensationalism and pressuring magicians with their "great ideas". Not ever having done a nationally televised show myself, I can only speculate. I know that many famous magicians have been very clever with the cameras to heighten the mystery of certain effects, but I am with you and against televising an effect that can't be performed live on stage.

I totally agree with you that nothing above was "ripping a fellow magician apart." I think your questions were well thought out and your views totally with merit. What I won't do is pretend that others on this forum have been as respectful, thoughtful and honest as you have been.

Thanks for the thoughtful insight from the "other side" lol. I think we agree on more than we disagree on. It's starting to feel a little more like a brotherhood again, yaayyy!
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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cocomax
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The levitator wrote:
"I was shocked that someone finally gets a weekly show on a national channel, and the focus is on methodology, and when someone can't figure it out, they resort to crying camera tricks and stooges."

I do not see very many people upset about the use of "camera tricks" I see much more complaints about edits. . . so many edits and edits at just the wrong time to weaken the impact of an otherwise fantastic effect.

As for stooges, I and others think that the woman that floated on Fremont street was a stooge. . . do you wish to claim otherwise?

If David Copperfield, or Lance Burton grabbed a random woman from the audiance and made her float the way Criss Angel did it would still smell very strongly of a STOOGE. It is just hard to have that magic moment, when your BS meter is pegged to the wall.

I know David Copperfield uses stooges, however, when you see his show you have no idea who it is unless you are in the know.

Tim

Posted: Aug 3, 2005 10:28pm
USA Today

It's part of his artistry, says the musician and magician, who also calls himself a mentalist, a hypnotist and an illusionist. And if you ask him about comparisons to David Blaine, who has done such stunts as freezing himself in ice and burying himself alive, Angel says: "Who?"

Full Story
http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005......=LIFISVA
the levitator
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I think I can agree with you on that Tim. I think DC gets away with more because his shows are basically taped live performances, so people trust that what the audience is seeing is what they would see if they were there.

I also think you are right about the difference between camera tricks and edits. It sounds like they were on a pretty tight schedule, but I trust they did the best they could.

It's funny that you mention the girl on the Fremont Street levitation. I've only had 2 of my friends ask me if the spectators were in on any of the effects, and both of them suspected that levitation. That might have been pushing the suspension of disbelief a little far for a lot of people. But you have to admit, it looked killer!
"It's all in your head...."



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I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.
cocomax
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The Kansas City Star

The world of magic is certainly mystifying to the outsider. Not least of the things is why so many magicians hate David Blaine. Penn and Teller, the thinking person’s magic act, will be appearing on “Criss Angel Mindfreak” (starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday on A&E) this season. They hate Blaine, too.

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http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity......4471.htm
TheRock
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Question......Banachek is showed on this episode of MindFreak (Criss is Flesh Hooked and hanging from helicopter) talking about Criss and the show, is this Banachek the same Banachek that is on these forums?

If so, that is just so cool!
the levitator
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The one and the same!
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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cocomax
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Yes, that is THE Banachek. The very same that posts here and the one that you can find at:

http://www.banachek.org/

He is an amazing mentalist, one of the best, if not the best in the world.

Tim
the levitator
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I agree with you again Tim! It used to make me scratch my head sometimes why these great innovators even bother to share themselves with the rest of us. I used to think it was just to make some money, until I read the forward in Banachek's "PK Touches". I now have a better understanding of why these great minds choose to share their ideas with us, and I'm grateful. The ideas of others have helped me ideas of my own in my attempt to be as original as possible. I hope that someday all my playing around with this magic stuff will enable me to be able to give something back myself that others would find useful.
"It's all in your head...."



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Quote:
I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.


I just watched the same show, and the part that stuck out in my mind was when he was having doubts and looked like he might back out because of the pain. He should have had me as a consultant on his series. Now I have no illusions that I could show him anything new in the magic department. But I also do a hypnosis show, and could have got him back on the rails in minutes.

One thing I never liked about Houdini was how he tore down other magicians. It's just bad manners. Any time I hear about a magic performance in my neighbourhood, whether at the library, in a restaurant, in the park, I go and see it to enjoy it. I have never been anything but complimentary about anyone else's work, and I have recommended competitors on more than one occasion. When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.
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Beth
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Quote:
On 2005-08-03 23:17, Blackpool wrote:
When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.

So are you saying Cris is afraid of Blaine and that's why he decided to leave in the "kiss my ass" comment?
"All creative art is magic, is evocation of the unseen in forms persuasive,enlightening, familar, and surprising."
TheRock
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Quote:
On 2005-08-03 23:17, Blackpool wrote:
Quote:
I just watched Criss hanging by the FLESH HOOKS from the helicopter, and all I have to say is, Criss has proven , mentally, he is evry, very, very strong, mentally.


I just watched the same show, and the part that stuck out in my mind was when he was having doubts and looked like he might back out because of the pain. He should have had me as a consultant on his series. Now I have no illusions that I could show him anything new in the magic department. But I also do a hypnosis show, and could have got him back on the rails in minutes.

One thing I never liked about Houdini was how he tore down other magicians. It's just bad manners. Any time I hear about a magic performance in my neighbourhood, whether at the library, in a restaurant, in the park, I go and see it to enjoy it. I have never been anything but complimentary about anyone else's work, and I have recommended competitors on more than one occasion. When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.


I was not putting Criss down. In fact, I was applauding him. As I said, for him to do what he did (hanging by Flesh Hooks from a helicopter), proves to me, he is very strong mentaly.

I don't know anyone who would attempt what he did (and acomplished). It was simply amazing!
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His show Mindfreak [not the special on A&E] he got into the Guiness book of world records for the longest hook suspension. 8 hours or something like that.
Seriously dedicated.

Was the special on tonight in the States? How was it?
James
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
Blackpool
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Quote:
Quote:
When I hear a performer put down his competition, I want to see what he is so afraid of.

So are you saying Cris is afraid of Blaine and that's why he decided to leave in the "kiss my ass" comment?


I am saying that a need to belittle one's competition stems from personal insecurity, a lack of self-confidence. It also indicates that you actually have a high opinion of the person you desire to be compared with.
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Like him or not, it sure beats reruns of MacGyver....
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
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Thanks Levitator! I appreciate your comments. Thanks for letting me clarify my interest in the discussion.

You suggested, "His personality may not be as important as his magic to some people." That may be the case for a bunch of viewers. I've read some reviews (from lay journalists) saying that the show is very entertaining despite the fact that they weren't a huge fan of Criss. For example:
http://theedge.bostonherald.com/tvNews/v......id=94595

But they still recommend watching it!

I'm really interested to see how this all pans out. I'm doubly excited to see what happens on Halloween when both Angel and Blaine may have shows on the same evening . . . [this was mentioned in Genii, I believe]. When was the last time two major forces in magic had shows on the same evening!?

I want to say this again: I can't wait for Angel's tour. The stuff I've seen him do on stage has been fantastic. Only Copperfield comes through Chicago these days, and I think I have his show memorized. More touring magicians, please! Smile
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