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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » When I buy an Osterlind DVD what am I buying? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ribanner
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A while ago I performed in an amateur production on a pantomime in the UK. It was Aladdin by Harrold Robbins. In order to perform it my society had to pay performance rights for a 5 day run. This set me thinking ......


When I but a high calibre DVD or Book (e.g. Osterlind's Mind Mysteries) what am I buying? Am I buying the rights to perform the effect or am I buying and explanation of an effect to aid me in thinking of my own?

I think (corect me please?) I am buying unlimited performing rights from the author? If I encorporate the effect into my act exactly as Mr O does it have I broken an ethical code?

You see, when I purchase the right to perform Aladdin, (see above) I am buying the words, stage directions etc of a very seasoned writer - Am I not doing exactly the same with Mr Os work?

Who buys a play by Shakespeare and then "changes it to fit their own performance and sytle"?

Yours in Magic
Ian (new and learning - all questions genuinely asked, looking for genuine answers)
David Numen
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"When I but a high calibre DVD or Book (e.g. Osterlind's Mind Mysteries) what am I buying? Am I buying the rights to perform the effect or am I buying and explanation of an effect to aid me in thinking of my own?"

You are buying both - there's nothing to stop you from performing his routines word for word apart from the lack of success you are likely to have in so doing.

"Who buys a play by Shakespeare and then "changes it to fit their own performance and sytle"?"

I'm quite sure Laurence Olivier played Shakespeare as HE interpreted it and not as a copy of any other performer he had seen. Which would be why he is still regarded as one of the finest actors Britain has ever produced. Of cpourse ANY good actor/director/producer wants to put their own mark on a part or play, otherwise what's the point of doing it?

I am no expert on Shakespeare but take another example from popular culture - Sherlock Holmes. No two actors have ever been quite the same in the way they played the part. Some choose to accentuate the heroic and clever aspects of the character, some highlighted the unlikeable aspects and some the more eccentric aspects. I can't think anyone would have success if they said "I am going to play Holmes exactly like Rathbone".
ribanner
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Bartelwizard : thanks for the reply and clarification. I add a furher question to help me further:

Mainly the DVDs do state (generally) that you should change the words and blocking to your own style. Why is this? - I have seen Oliviers Henry V (film) and Finney's (live at the NT in London) - I have even performed it myslef as an amateur (not to their standard obviously) - I didn't change the lines though (nor did they)? If I had done that I would have been editing Shakespeare?

It seems to be considered bad form in Magic to take the "script" as is, whilst the oposite is true in drama. For example the panto I mentioned above - we were expressley told we could not edit the words at all, since it had Robbins name on it (a point BTW that I agree with)


Thanks in advance for your thoughts
Ian (new and learning - all questions genuinely asked, looking for genuine answers)
David Numen
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"Mainly the DVDs do state (generally) that you should change the words and blocking to your own style. Why is this? - I have seen Oliviers Henry V (film) and Finney's (live at the NT in London) - I have even performed it myslef as an amateur (not to their standard obviously) - I didn't change the lines though (nor did they)? If I had done that I would have been editing Shakespeare?"

Well the simple answer is because if one embarks on a career as a professional mentalist one should be playing a character of your own devising - in most cases playing "yourself". You are not playing Richard Osterlind. As I have said, there is nothing to stop you and some of the lines are so generic that a powerful performer with a strong performing personality COULD use them verbatim and make them seem to be their own. Sadly, such performers are rare and the ones with strong enough personalities probably don't need to buy Osterlind's DVD's for any other reason than the pleasure of seeing them.
Cameron Francis
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Although I would never use another magcician's script word for word, I do sometimes borrow great lines from other performers. Usually one liners and such.
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Eric Leclerc
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Funny you phrased your question that way.... I have all 8 Osterlind volumes and I can say maybe 1 or 2 effects TOPS are his own.. They are all old (but proven) routines he performs and teaches afterwards. So what am I buying? Basically I am paying to see old routines I have only read about, performed live..... So basically he's giving us HIS wording and structuring to study or I guess, use.
David Numen
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Quote:
Funny you phrased your question that way.... I have all 8 Osterlind volumes and I can say maybe 1 or 2 effects TOPS are his own..

Are you sure? As far as I know most of the material on Mind Mysteries IS his own invention and/or re-working.
ribanner
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Cfrancis stated: "Although I would never use another magcician's script word for word, I do sometimes borrow great lines from other performers. Usually one liners and such. "

Could I respectfully ask you "cfrancis", why would you "never use another magicians script"?

Unless I have got something wrong in my thinking (and others please correct me if I am wrong) Magic is a form of entertainment with the extra element of mistery. So if as an actor (i.e. another form of entertainment) I said I would "never use another writers script" then most actors would think this is to be quite odd (even egotistical) - why in magic is it the other way round?

I am genuiniely intersted in finding out why?
Tom Cutts
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Routiinely Directors will edit plays. Yes, even Shakespear. To the point an actor is playing The Director's version, some Director's will give free reign to their actor's character choices but will edit the script as they see fit as the Director.

Cheers,

Tom
ribanner
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Thanks Tom,

Thanks for bringing in the idea of directors. And I have recently read Mr Weber in "Maximum ENtertainment" who talks about mentalists needing directors.

I think I am starting to see a picture develop. I think Mr Osterlind is a sort of actor/coach/writer.

You get perfomramnce rights from his writing. Plus his acting tips, etc....

Is this always the case though ? I have bought Bob Cassidy'sbook where he explains word for word is routine, and later in the book bemoans someone who copies it? If I have bought the book do I not have the right to copy it if I want to?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
mysticz
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 13:21, ribanner wrote:
Could I respectfully ask you "cfrancis", why would you "never use another magicians script"?


I cannot answer for cfrancis, but I can give you my two cents. I would never use another magician's script for the following reasons:

-- I feel that I am creative enough to write my own scripts, and these words would suit me better than someone else's patter.

-- I want my mentalism/magic to be unique and different from what other performers are doing.

-- It's fun to work out unique presentations...that's what makes the craft both interesting and personally satisfying.

I can't imagine why any performer would want to parrot another's words or style.

Joe Z.
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There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
Jim Sisti
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On 2005-07-25 12:59, bartlewizard wrote:

Are you sure? As far as I know most of the material on Mind Mysteries IS his own invention and/or re-working.

You are, of course, 100% correct, which means the previous poster is...well, you know.
Reuben Dunn
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Quote:
On 2005-07-25 14:51, ribanner wrote:
...I have bought Bob Cassidy'sbook where he explains word for word is routine, and later in the book bemoans someone who copies it? If I have bought the book do I not have the right to copy it if I want to?


Let me jump in here. I have about 99% of the written material that Cassidy has produced, both on e-book and in hard back form.

If you do a re-read of his material, take Chronologue, or "The Ultimate Mind Trip" for example you'll find, in addition to the wording that he uses in his presentations, the statement that he put the scripts in to give the reader an idea of how the effect can play. He gives an idea of how to do the effect, play to the audience etc. He also cautions the reader not to do it word for word as you'd in all likelyhood end up with a poor mans copy of Bob Cassidy.

This is quite different from his concerns about those who will scan copy onto Adobe and then sell it. Pirated copies are a no-no, not only with Cassidy, but with anyone here who has produced material.

Cassidy, Osterlind, Earle, Becker, Banachek, et al do give an excellent tutorial on how to both perform an effect, but no where in their materials do they encourage anyone to do a word for word copy, or in other words, become a "mini-me"; although there is an inmate here who seems to love Max Maven so much that he has gone to the extreme of being a junior version of him.

When you buy a book/DVD you are buying information. You are learning staging, working the audience and are given an idea of how to perform.

You're not buying a complete script, although for a few Hundred bucks Dave Dee can sell you a show in a box.

The marerial I use comes from Cassidy, Osterlind, Harlan, Earle.

Imagine how confused I'd be, if not the audience if I were to "morf" into these four men, what would I look like, much less sound like?
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
ribanner
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My previous post has the words

"do I not have the right to copy it if I want to?"

This has caused some consternation and private messages to me, it and would have been much better worded as

"do I not have the right to perform it as is"

I apologise that the sentence could have been interpreted in a different way and hope that people understand I was not advocating copying other peoples copyrighted material.
Matt Pulsar
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For all I can tell you have full right to perform the material as it is in the DVD. But I would caution that performing magic and mentalism is a far cry from acting a script from a play. It is closer to comedy, closer still to improv. Would you not come up with your own stand up comedy routine instead of mimicing anothers? There are so many devices and ideas out there for you to gain from. The most beautiful thing you can do is to take those devices and make them yours, and perform something amazing. you have to know, feel and believe that you are performing something that is yours to make us believe. This can not be done by copying exactly what a performer has done on a dvd. Try taking an image and xeroxing it, and then copy that, and then copy that, and so on, you will see that it just becomes a bunch of dots, photocopy mud. This is similar to the effect of performing something you have not worked enough to make your own. This is also why it is more valuable to learn magic and mentalism from books. Use a dvd for notes on performance style, but learn the trick from a book. My two cents, Stuart
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ribanner
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Stuart,

Thanks for your emlightening post, I think the idea that magic is much more like improv than performance is very thought provoking.

Cheers
Ian
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I totally agree with Stuart. I am an actor myself and while I would never change the word of a playwrite, doing magic is another ballgame entirely. It is more like improv. It's also you, your character. I don't actually "script" my magic routines down to the letter. I have an outline of what I want to say and certain lines are fixed but for the most part, I just go with what happens. Magic is much more interactive than a standard play and therefore needs a different approach.
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G. Batson
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Quote:
On 2005-07-26 03:34, mindguy wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-07-25 14:51, ribanner wrote:
...I have bought Bob Cassidy'sbook where he explains word for word is routine, and later in the book bemoans someone who copies it? If I have bought the book do I not have the right to copy it if I want to?



When you buy a book/DVD you are buying information. You are learning staging, working the audience and are given an idea of how to perform.

You're not buying a complete script, although for a few Hundred bucks Dave Dee can sell you a show in a box.



In Cassidy's ad for his product "Intuitively Yours", he says the price includes performance rights. He then asks you (in the product) NOT to use his script, write your own. Very confusing.

G.
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Your buying pure brilliance.
I no longer smoke camel cigarettes.
jimtron
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"In Cassidy's ad for his product "Intuitively Yours", he says the price includes performance rights. He then asks you (in the product) NOT to use his script, write your own. Very confusing."

Maybe he means that the performance rights are for the effect, with your own patter/presentation?
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