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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » No more card magic ... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mind Bullets
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It's this kind of performance that turned me off to card magic and one of the reasons for my "conversion" to mentalism.

http://www.larryjennings.com/video.htm

Note especially the audience's reaction. Yeesh.

I offer this link and comment, not as a complaint only, but also as a possible launch point for discussion about the differences in the performance of magic as opposed to mentalism. What is it about this performance that makes it so bad? How would such a presentation be changed to improve it? What can be learned from such a performance to improve one's presentation in a mentalism context?
Bill Palmer
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It's not that the performance was bad. The audience was a bunch of Larry's card cronies who were sitting around with him while he was performing. I recognized a couple of them. They are the kind of person who would not react at all to anything like this.

Also, remember, Larry's style was very laid back. His execution of even the most complex moves was total. But he was not a super dynamic kind of performer.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Jerrine
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What is it about this performance that makes it so bad?

I don't see it as a bad performance at all. I unlike Bill did not recognize anyone but I did see that it was shot in a very casual atmosphere. The body language says no cover charge, whatever that means. I'd bet it was shot from a staircase or by a really tall guy. There are beers all around and one guy is sitting on the couch armrest. Another appears to be taking notes or following along with something. Even if they are his buddies at the revelation there are drunken chuckles all around.

How would such a presentation be changed to improve it?

MMMMMMMMM...dancing girls all around?

What can be learned from such a performance to improve one's presentation in a mentalism context?

Do mentalism with dancing girls all around?

Obviously cards aren't your bag and that's a good thing. Too many flipping paste boards anyhow eh? There are many avenues in this wonderful magical thing that we all pursue. You have found mentalism to be the street where you live and that's also a good thing. I'm too curious to see some of your act, I'm sure you do it well. I've found that highly critical people, such as myself, strive very hard to get it right, whatever their pursuit.

On a side note, I wish you the best concerning the liver. I agree with the natural approach to remedy. Less drugs, more health. It's been said that laughter is a good medicine, hope I gave you a chuckle or two, but don't call me in the morning.
Dark Thought 13
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Larry Jennings was a magician's magician, the guys in the shot are all Larry's friends all of which are huge card experts themselves. That's like you sitting with Banachek, Derren Brown, Osterlind, Maven & Cassidy and showing them your centre tear.. I doubt you'd get much of a reaction..

The site is a tribute to Larry not a promotional site..

Larry travelled the world performing card magic, he was one of the first choice magicians to perform at The Playboy mansion as well as being respected all over the world as a performer and teacher..

Not a bad accomplishment from doing card tricks.. I wonder how far your mentalism will take you?

DT13
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Someone who has seen a s*** magician
teejay
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How about Max Maven?
TJ
:)
Bill Palmer
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Or Richard Osterlind.

Or Gerry McCambridge

Or Kreskin

Or Banachek
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mind Bullets
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Fascinating responses. Thanks everyone for offering your thoughts on this. I'm familiar with Larry Jennings' reputation and I used to be a card man myself. I still practice my sleights and enjoy learning new ones -- but not for performance. I'm also not averse to using cards for mental effects and I'll happily employ sleights I've spent countless hours practicing if necessary.

I was delighted to see that rare footage was available, but was disappointed by the calibre of performance. I mentioned the audience's reaction for two reasons: (1) I think it was an appropriate reaction and (2) I think it was an inappropriate presentation. If he is performing for other magicians, shouldn't he have chosen material suitable to his audience?

I wouldn't do a center tear for other mentalists, unless there were something new I'd added to the method that I wanted them to see. I certainly would not be videotaping such an occasion, unless I were teaching my modification to the camera as well.

I assume a tribute to Larry Jennings would pay homage with a video clip that to some degree represents the man's performance. If the clip is representative of a Larry Jennings performance -- even for other magicians -- then I'm disappointed. If it's not representative, then why put it on a website that is a tribute to the man?

From what I've read in the above reactions, it could well be that I just don't get it.
entity
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Sometimes we are better off never meeting or seeing our heroes in action.

I was a huge fan of Jennings -- still am in awe of his voluminous contribution to the literature of our craft -- but I saw him perform several times in person and was underwhelmed, to say the least.

I had some rare footage on film of Ramsey, and showed it to John Carney, who had never seen his hero actually perform. John was saddened to see that the reality could never live up to his imagined concept of the man's performance.

- entity
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