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TheAmbitiousCard
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I cannot believe I'm saying this, but now I understand what's so great about David Blaine!!!

After watching "World's Greatest Magicians," I must say that David Blaine is doing a lot more for magic than those CREEPY, GEEKY, REPULSIVE magicians.

Yes, REPULSIVE is exactly the word because anyone I've ever heard talk about those kind of specials are completely and immediately turned off by them to a severe degree.

Forget the stage illusions, even the close-up work had miserable moments...

2 examples...

1. Paul Gertner's bimbos detracted from his cups and balls. Paul is great but the bimboettes ruined an otherwise great effect.

2. I'm not sure who it was but I thought they were going to do "The Lucky Coin" (card trick from card college I) and I thought WOW! Cool Trick. I do that and it rocks!!!! Let's see what I can learn!!!

Turns out it was not exactly the same but it was almost the same effect.

I learned nothing except to keep doing it the way I already do it.

The whole thing was weak, with horrible lines and gags and overall presentation.
Embarassing!

If he tried to perform this in a bar or restaurant, or anywhere, he'd be laughed out of the place.

There must be a thousand magicians (right here in this forum) that could have done better. And not just better than this guy. Better than practically all of them at entertaining and promoting magic.

Or is it the fault of the director who says,
"No, you cannot do it like that. Do this blah, blah, blah. Everyone will love it," and the magician does what the director says just to get on TV?

Who is directing this and allowing such trash to be on TV. I am appalled.

Someone please make them stop.
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brownitus
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But Frank, those guys are GOOD and TALENTED! And their patter is great! They are the REAL and TRUE talents of the super hep underground magic fantasy world!

How dare you big up the evil Blaine, you anti-real-true-magical-community fool!

</sarcasm>

Take care,
Bobby.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, 1899
ArchMiro
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Regardless of the fact that much of the content on that show was mediocre at best, I'm still leery of David Blaine. But as you point out, probably any one of a number of members here could do better than anyone on TV.
Garrett Nelson
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Yeah, that Guy Hollingworth is sure a slouch....

And I don't think anyone ever enjoys Lennart Green.

Pardon my sarcasm, but you seem to be making a huge overgeneralization. While there are some people that you don’t like, or like their style, you make it seem like the whole bunch is a group of out-of-touch fools.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Of course there were a few good performers. That is specifically why I mentioned Paul Gertner.

No matter.

Any good moments in that special were completely upstaged by bimbos, bad jokes, horrible MCs, and on and on.

I really believe that Foolish and
Out-of-Touch describe to a Tee what I saw on that special.

I would not be saying this if ANYONE I've ever talked to said they like the way those people act on stage and find it more entertaining than embarrassing.

I'll have my appology ready when that time comes.
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gilbreath76
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I've been wanting to post something like this, but afraid I would offend some magicians who likes those styles. Glad you said it. There's that one WGM episode where the Magician takes out this thingy and he says it will find the chosen card, he's holding it while make electric sounds.. "eh eh ehhh eeeehhh, ah ha.... this is your card." I'm thinking OH GOD! Mac King certainly doesn't help end the stereotype that Magicians are a bunch of dorks using tricks to get chicks.

World's Greatest Magicians never got me into magic. It's too ritzy and too dorky. When you watch it, it's discouraging because they make it look like such an expensive hobby. It doesn't have to be, just look at Blaine. He makes magic cool and doable.
Geoff Weber
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I know everyone thinks Juan Tamirez is this mythical sage, but I really hated his portion on WGM... he creeped me out...
Adam V
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Actually I must admit the first time I saw Tamariz was on the WGM special and I thought he was awful. He's certainly an acquired taste and now I'm quite a fan.
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Joshua Lozoff
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"Acquired taste" often means that now that you think like a magician, you appreciate his work. Probably your aversion to him that you had originally was more trustworthy than the way you feel about him now, you know what I mean? At least from a presentational point of view.

Great points, Frank. When my wife watches that sort of stuff with me (we don't have cable, but I saw a special with some top names in magic just a few months ago) she says "that's clever," or "he's pretty good."

When she watches Blaine she dreams about magic that night. Not just tricks. She dreams about MAGIC. That's what many magicians will never ever understand about Blaine.

But you know what, let 'em. I'm technically nowhere near most of the magicians on this forum. But I regularly hear from clients and spectators, very savvy and experienced clients and spectators, that mine is the best magic they've ever seen.

So I say the more magicians that don't understand what it means to make magic deep and real for people, the better those of us who "get" Blaine's style will appear.
Joshua Lozoff

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TheAmbitiousCard
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To date, the Juan Tamariz video with him doing Cannibal Cards (I don't remember which) is the ONLY video I've ever stopped, rewound and returned to the store for a refund.

I could not watch it. I could not even finish the tape to get the methods behind the effects.

Now, I wish I had all 3 videos just to watch from a theoretical standpoint because I know so much more about magic and know what to look for.

Performance-wise, I saw something that I found very inappropriate...

At the end of The Cannibal Cards, he had everyone stand up and skip and dance with him chanting, "No Meat, No Bones.. No Meat, No Bones."

To me this was embarrassing and completely inappropriate for a simple magic trick.
From the point of the spectator, some of them don't want to be selected, or even so much as talked to, let alone made to stand and dance and sing. I cringed with fear as if I had to dance on national TV... at primetime! And if you've ever seen me dance...

I know Jerry Andrus feels so strongly about not embarrassing your audience. This to me is the same thing. I know the intentions were well-meant. Nonetheless, I think we need to put ourselves in our spectators' shoes with regards to our own emotional outbursts. Especially in close-up magic.

I've had spectators hug me, kiss me, scream and cry but far be it for me to initiate a hug or to scream in excitement or to say, "Come on everybody", and insist that, "Everyone join me in a little square dance around the close-up table. Here we go now!!!"
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Alpen
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I think that on all of the WGM's, I've only seen one performer that I hadn't really heard of before, and that wasn't overly impressive (I believe he was on WGM 4.) Other than that, the people that are on the bill are pretty much very well respected professionals.
Trois
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It is tough to be as cool as you think you are when you are being filmed. I do agree with you on most of your thinking, but maybe these guys didn't get as many takes as Blaine gets. Hey, I can do Crazyman's Handcuffs as well as Luis Demato. I give it a rating of 65% just because I know these guys are better than they look. And the MC is always a turkey of some sort. Hope they never call me, as I know I'm not as good as I think I am. I'd rather see a whole Gertner special, wouldn't you?
Not clever enough to come up with something orginal, or did I.
ruiefe
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Sorry to disagree with some of you, but Juan Tamariz is NOT only good from a magician's point of view.
Of course he has developed a personal style of presentation and, as such, won't be loved by all.
I surely don't like all the things he does, but he surely is a GREAT MAGICIAN.
I don't know if this can help you see things in a different way, but he had several series aired on Spanish TV.
I also don't like when spectators are embarrassed (and of course don't like it when Tamariz SOMETIMES does this).
Rui Fernandes
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Kathryn Novak
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It's true, the camera loves some people and hates others. It can define between a really superb magic act and a magic act that well..was never meant to be. You won't ever like every single thing a magician of any caliber does. You may never like anything one particular magician EVER does! Just go out there, work on your own act and stop worrying about what the other guys are doing. And don't ever be embarrassed by someone else's work, it only takes valuable time away from working on your own act. Smile
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Rodney Massey
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David Blaine is awful. Does he fool people? Yes. Do laymen think he is great? Yes. Is this all that matters? No.
Most of us at the Café who specialize in close-up magic could have gotten the same reactions. We simply weren't the ones with the camera on the street with a network contract. Is he smart? Yes. Is he incredibly rich? Yes. Does he get hot chicks? Yes. Does his level of talent warrant this? Not when you consider all the brilliant magical artists out there who aren't world famous.

Nowadays, a wonderful close-up magician like David Williamson can say to a layman,"I'm a magician", and he will respond,"Oh yeah, like Blaine? He's the best. So let's see you float. Didn't think so, but that's okay you're funny. That's a neat raccoon. I'll have the chicken ceasar with a side of fries, please."
He has made thousands of people seek out magic shops and purchase every secret so that they too can be the life of the party.
Thank God for Eugene Burger.
Rod
jhostler
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Quote:
On 2002-11-18 20:54, Rodney Massey wrote:
David Blaine is awful. Does he fool people? Yes. Do laymen think he is great? Yes. Is this all that matters? No.


Wrong - Fooling the audience and being loved by them IS all that matters. The fact that Blaine has promoted himself so well, has crafted his performance style so well, etc. etc. is something we should aspire to. And all the while he manages to avoid the cheesy, cliche'd schlock that the original poster on this thread alluded to.

Cheers,

John
ruiefe
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Ice, I think you should take your final saying off. Your sanity is in your post. Take it before it leaves again Smile
In fact, I sometimes feel a little embarrassed, too, but I recognize that's a waste of time.
David Blaine is awful. But so are 99% of the programs that you are offered today. And people still like them. Are we living in the bad taste era?
Thank God for Eugene Burger.
Rui Fernandes
"Carpe diem" - Horatius
Rodney Massey
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Crafted his performance style??
"Look, look, okay okay watch no watch,... yeah look look, now hold it... squeeze, no squeeze tight, yeah now look watch it go, yeah"
Albert Goshman, Slydini, and Don Alan didn't hold a candle to this genius.
jhostler
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I think a natural, casual approach is much preferrable to puff like the Cannibal Cards story, etc. He comes across like a normal guy who can work miracles - and that's exactly what he's shooting for.

I've never seen so much shameless, misguided professional jealousy!
TheAmbitiousCard
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I think theoretically, Blaine isn't really that good and I'm not sure how much he's worked on a style, but it does WORK with laymen and that should be considered regardless of anything else simply because IT WORKS. He is violating many of the performance criteria, but it is working. Something to think about, that's all.

Jhostler wrote...
Quote:
He comes across like a normal guy...


Who is "He"??? David Blaine?

Maybe that is what laymen want in a magician...a NORMAL GUY!

Why? Perhaps it is because they can see themselves in a normal guy kind of magician. That magic is closer to being real if a normal guy can do it as opposed to some wierd she-male with a pink tux, making faces like an Eddie Van Halen as they pull a dove out of their ***. Nobody poses like a Vegas magician. Nobody wears clothes like a Vegas magician. Nobody like that can relate to a spectator in a real way and therefore their magic does not hit home. It is not memorable.

Someone like David Blaine (and probably many of us) are just normal guys doing some pretty incredible things. Wow. Cool. I want to have a beer with this guy. That is actually what a spectator is thinking and it happens to all of us.

Nobody wants to have a beer with the Saturday Night Fever Magicians from Vegas.
They are out of touch and they do not relate.

I would rather watch a normal guy doing some great stuff in a normal/casual way than watch someone with obviously rehearsed patter, winking, smiling, with just the right gags and all the fake laughing and chuckles any day of the week.

Is it true that for the same reason everyone laughs at used car salesmen, they laugh at magicians? Perhaps! So figure out that reason and stop doing it.

I personally do not have exact patter for most the effects I do. Many of them all start the same way but who knows where the audience will take you. This is REALITY MAGIC!!! As opposed to Mr. Chuckles who is too busy reciting his lines to notice his audience.

I'm not advocating that we be like David Blaine. I think we just need to be ourselves, react to and have fun with an audience. Now that's cool!
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