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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Four Magicians, two nights, on network television, not bad. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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For two nights on network television there have been two shows where magic was at least a partial theme. The first was the P&T special that is getting a lot of attention by magicians and bloggers around the web and the second was Chris Angels appearance on Las Vegas last night that I have not seen anything about (then again I was not looking that hard either) with a brief cameo by Lance.

I have to admit that I am a huge P&T fan and think that the work that they do is to me very creative and funny. I will go on record as thinking that the “Under Water” special was to me one of the funniest shows using magic that I have ever seen. With that said I should explain that I often think that collectively we as magicians take ourselves way too seriously and need to lighten up. Of course this is not the view of a lot of magicians who are posturing about exposure and making comments about the negative impact that this show is going to have on magic. My comment to that is “This is magic folks not brain surgery”, but the truth of the matter is that some will just not see it that way and go on ranting about the negative. My take on this was it is a spoof! A spoof on magic and that is all, it is not going to hurt the majority of the working magicians out there, if anything those that are seeing themselves getting hurt by the special are probably the type of magicians that P&T were spoofing who lack the ability to laugh at themselves. We have all seen magic acts that left us with an impression something like “that guy should take up different profession” lets face it a lot of the acts that are being sold as local acts are bad really bad, the magicians are poor the production is poor and for gods sake the magic is poor. So who is really doing more harm to magic, P&T or the guy who goes out buys some props and calls himself a magician? My opinion is the second. The show was funny I would imagine that some people did not get the humor in it and I guess that is ok but get off of the exposure bandwagon open your eyes and take a good look around and I hope that you will see it for what it was. My favorite two bits were when P&T were getting crowd reactions in the islands, and the 52 out card trick very funny stuff.

On to Mr. Angel and his appearance on the Las Vegas television show. I will admit it I watch Las Vegas it is my guilty pleasure viewing choice of the week. I love the city I go every chance I get, usually 2-3 times a year, although my trips are not quite as exciting as the show although I usually find myself getting into some sort of mild trouble when ever I go (this usually is contained to spending way to much time on the craps tables and forgetting to call my wife and tell her good night and that I love her). But I digress. Mr. Angel’s appearance on last nights episode bothered me for one particular reason, it was the fact that he kept doing tricks (most of which could be seen in one form or another on his Mind Freak series on A&E) and then kept telling people that some of it was real some of it was a trick and it was up to them to figure out what is what, leaving the audience with an impression that Chris has some type of supernatural abilities. Now I understand that creating the illusion of these abilities is part of what magic is all about, I get it so I don’t expect to be told that over and over. What I don’t like is when a magician ANY magician tries to overly convince his audience that this; the magic is for real. That was my only real issue with Blane is that when he went to Haiti he did routines for people that believe in what they think is real magic and then continued letting them believe that he had these powers for real (or at least this is what the impression I got from the editing was). To me this is not fair, I think it is ok to create the illusion of the impossible but not to go out of your way to convince the audience that it is in fact real. But all of that really just has to do with my particular value structure and I don’t expect anyone to have the same feelings. Over all Chris’s appearance was bland in my opinion I thought his acting skills were blasé at best and his spots on the show were an over contrived attempt to push some viewers to his A&E series. Lance also appeared in this episode in a very small section I thought his bit was kind of funny and can say nothing bad about him ever.

What I have found interesting about all of this like the shows or not is that Magic got some prime time focus and that is good for all of us regardless if anyone particularly liked what was being presented or not although I hope that you all did.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
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