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Kent Wong
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Potty,

I hear what you're saying and I seriously did consider going up to talk to him. But I honestly felt that he wasn't about to accept any negative comments or suggestions.

You see, he didn't know me from adam. I don't have an international reputation and he had never seen me perform. He didn't have any basis to even consider me his "equal" let alone someone who was competent to give him advice.

Hopefully, he will get the advice he needs from someone he knows and respects. Only then will it fall on receptive ears.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 19:32, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
If I ever did a show that bad, I'd hope someone would (nicely) let me know!

Problem with that is that some magi would gladly tell you your children's birthday show was bad because you didn't do enough fancy sleights (for 4-year-olds), or that you just weren't a proper magician because you don't have a backdrop and a music track ... and on and on.

Which would put the ball back in your court: how do you know, with any assurance, whether to smile and thank such a person for his useless advice, or whether to swallow your pride and take the advice to heart because (even though it does not accord with your current self-opinion) the guy might be right. ???
Marvello
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In a way, I think once you have reached a certain performance level yourself, you can sometimes learn a lot more from seeing a bad performer than from seeing a polished one. I have seen some magic acts that made me look at my own performances again in a new way, just to make sure I didn't make the same mistakes as the unpolished performer.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
magicbern
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[quote]On 2006-08-28 22:29, Danny Diamond wrote:
Quote:

I watched a children's magician do a lackluster performance at the holiday party where I used to work, for three years in a row. They got the same guy each year...

I don't mean that to sound egotistical - but sometimes seeing the bad in one show, makes you see more of the good in yours.

In the show I watched at the holiday party, the magician did a boring and simple version of PB&J, and got nowhere near the reaction that I usually get...



But he got the booking - or three years straight. So perhaps the poeple in charge of the hiring saw something they liked. What I am wondering is that prhaps if you felt so aggreived at it, why didn't you offer your services? If you were working there, why didn't they hire you. Sometimes I think it's easy to criticize others and say 'I am much better than he is...' instead of just accepting that he got the booking - and you didn't. Seems a bit of sour grapes to me!

Quote:
On 2006-08-29 14:37, magicman845 wrote:
Potty,

I hear what you're saying and I seriously did consider going up to talk to him.

You see, he didn't know me from adam. I don't have an international reputation and he had never seen me perform. He didn't have any basis to even consider me his "equal" let alone someone who was competent to give him advice.

Kent


Very true...you are not the booker and I don't think it's our place as fellow performers to offer our 'critiques' to fellow entertainers. Remember that opinions of whether or not an act is 'good' are often subjective in nature. Unsolicited advice isn't usually appreciated - no matter where the source comes from or what the underlying intention was. Perhaps the best thing would be to view it from a critical perspective and a learning experience - then leave it at that.
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 22:50, CaptainKid wrote:
I think most people recognize the quality is because of the entertainer and not the field.


I'd agree here.

...................

Quote:
On 2006-08-29 12:03, magicman845 wrote:
The trouble is the audience doesn't know if the entertainer has been paid $100 or $1000 for the show they are watching. In fact, many people in the audience may have never ever seen a live magic show, and they don't have any idea what a good magic show should look like.


People do know what they LIKE.

.......................

Quote:
On 2006-08-29 14:15, Payne wrote:
It is a journey of self realization


Should be. Indeed. Smile
Potty the Pirate
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This does bring to mind the strange phenomenon of performing at big venues. For whatever reason, a performer who works at a large or high profile venue, is assumed to be "better" than most of the competition, otherwise he wouldn't have got the gig. Of course, often it's simply the case that large venues, despite their grand facilities and advertising, have less to spend on entertainment than average parents organising a kids' party. At least this is the case in my area. I'm often approached by large hotel chains, restaurants, malls and large venues, which can barely offer my minimum fee for a quick show. It creates a tricky situation in that I know I will generate lots of free publicity for myself, and get a lot of extra bookings, but I don't want to create the impression that I will work for ridiculously low fees. I do occasionally agree to do a charity gig at substantially reduced cost, IF the charity is a well-known kids' charity, AND the event will not lose me revenue from another booking. But I stick to my guns with businesses and hotels, knowing that they will likely decide to book a much cheaper entertainer, based solely on price, regardless of the act.
For instance, every family restaurant in Brighton would love to have a kids' entertainer on Sunday afternoons, but not one of them can afford the £300+ it would cost them to hire me. So there are a bunch of very ordinary entertainers, who can't get private gigs, who work some of the restaurants in town!
Danny Hustle
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If I were at a resort with my family and I saw a horrible, unprofessional, entertainer, I might be inclined to tell the performer he/she was horrible depending on the situation but I would absolutely tell the management the guy was the worst performer I had ever seen.

Part of my fee as a customer is going to support this guy's fee. In this case I would be responding as a customer not as a magician. I would probably not even mention that I was a magician. I would just say as a customer that guy was the worst steaming pile of you know what I had ever seen.

Somebody mentioned that the guy was probably getting $150.00 from an agent. The real issue is the agent was probably getting $1000 and sent this guy out there based on an interview and not on having actually seen this guy's show.

Most agents do not see a performer's show before they hire him (in my area anyway). Most of them book them because they showed up on their doorstep, or were recommended to them by another performer.

Even more sadly, they do not care if the performers are any good at all. They are only interested in how many complaints they will get and if the performers are bad enough that the customer will ask for their money back. That is the only thing that will make them stop booking a horrible performer. When the customer calls up and demands all their money back. If they call up and are appeased with $100 when they paid the entertainer $150, and then charged the customer $1000 they are still ahead of the game. It is only when the customer calls up and demands all of the money back that an agent might think twice about sending him out on a gig like that.

Even then the agent probably will not stop hiring him completely. He will just be demoted back to "kid shows" because any idiot can do a kid show, it is not as if entertaining 5 year olds requires any REAL talent.

Agents have no idea what they are doing when they send someone out for a gig. Unfortunately they think they know everything about the entertainment business because they have been sending horrible acts out to abuse the public for XX years and they are still turning a profit.

The magician in this case was an idiot thinking that he can buy a bunch of tricks, hang out a shingle, and do a gig. The agent is an even bigger idiot because the only thing he is concerned about is how cheap of an act he can get away with sending while pocketing the maximum amount of cash. Finally, the customer needs to be educated as well. For some reason people think that by going through an event planning agent that the act they get will be of a professional standard. 99.9% of the time the exact opposite is true.

Best,

Dan-
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KC Cameron
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Most of us did not have the luxury of being trained by another magician. Most of us probably had a bad show at one time, and most of us probably thought we were much better than we were. We still probably think we are better than we actually are. I have known some magicians that made me cringe . . . yet I have heard the public praise them, and they got plenty of gigs. If magician thinks he is good, it is probably because people tell him so . . . so someone must be happy. Some magicians do not see any room in a magic show for puppets, and look down on Vents. Magicians often look down upon clowns & mimes. Comics look down on magicians because we use props and ideas others developed. Will this ever end??

How many of us know a great technical finger-buster magician who is very boring . . .but thinks he is Mr. Wonderful? Could that apply to me? It is a question I ask regularly.

I don't have any problems with cheap props. I could care less if the magician just got the prop out of a gum ball machine. What is important is how entertaining he is, not the “bling”. Magicians are terrible judges of what the public likes. How many times have you thought something was great, only to have it occupy a drawer in your back room for 10 years?

All in all, there really is nothing we can do to stop bad entertainment. To complain to the agent is to risk appearing pompous, and jealous that you did not get the gig - which may be true (not in this case). If the other magician is open, one may be able to mentor the BROTHER or SISTER performer - a true blessing to the whole community. How many of us who complain are willing to become a mentor??

The market will settle all disputes, and complaining really only turns into a magician "caste" system, which I am personally against. I think of all the magicians that criticize Cris Angel or David Blaine. The magic community has turned out in flocks to say how bad they are. These guys have made it to TV, so perhaps our judgment is a little clouded??? Maybe the public just doesn’t understand “good” entertainment! *G*

(getting down off the soap box)
Marvello
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Quote:
On 2006-08-30 09:56, CaptainKid wrote:
Most of us did not have the luxury of being trained by another magician. Most of us probably had a bad show at one time, and most of us probably thought we were much better than we were. We still probably think we are better than we actually are.


Agreed, and I would be willing to bet that many magicians here on the Café who constantly and loudly proclaim that they can thoroughly entertain an army of kids with simply a wet noodle and their personality may be somewhat delusional as well (they are good enough to get gigs, but not as GREAT as they think they are). Let he/she who is without bad performances cast the first whoofle dust.

Quote:
How many of us know a great technical finger-buster magician who is very boring . . .but thinks he is Mr. Wonderful?


Unfortunately the world is filled with such magicians. I was amazed when I saw some videos of performances from FFFF - I assumed that it would be world class magic, but I literally fell asleep during the first long and drawn out card routine. (not saying everyone who attends is like this - but they do exist - trust me).
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
KC Cameron
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Quote:
finger-buster
= a sign of a tired poster. finger-flinger/knuckle-buster - sorry
Danny Diamond
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Quote:
On 2006-08-29 16:20, magicbern wrote:
On 2006-08-28 22:29, Danny Diamond wrote:


Quote:
I watched a children's magician do a lackluster performance at the holiday party where I used to work, for three years in a row. They got the same guy each year...

I don't mean that to sound egotistical - but sometimes seeing the bad in one show, makes you see more of the good in yours.

In the show I watched at the holiday party, the magician did a boring and simple version of PB&J, and got nowhere near the reaction that I usually get...


But he got the booking - or three years straight. So perhaps the poeple in charge of the hiring saw something they liked. What I am wondering is that prhaps if you felt so aggreived at it, why didn't you offer your services? If you were working there, why didn't they hire you. Sometimes I think it's easy to criticize others and say 'I am much better than he is...' instead of just accepting that he got the booking - and you didn't. Seems a bit of sour grapes to me!


Well, first off, no - there were no sour grapes. If you want me to go year by year, I will explain:
Year1: I was just starting to build my kid's show.
Year2: I had only been doing kid's shows about a year, so I was still trying to gain experience and wasn't ready to accept a corporate gig.
Year3: I still didn't have many years of experience, and I had no interest in doing the show anyway.

So bottom line is, my opinion of the performer I saw, had nothing to do with jealousy or sour grapes. I wasn't even doing corporate gigs at that time. I was still honing my craft in livings rooms, weekend after weekend. Some of his stuff was ok, but some was not. He had no emotion in his performance. He seemed to be just going through the motions, and was a bit irritable.

I don't mean to sound egotistical, but I have a very good show and I can see the difference in the reactions I get, and the reactions he got.

Why was he brought back year after year? Maybe because he DID perform a magic show, and the kid's DID watch? My company booked a DJ, several dancers, an Elmo character, a Santa, the magician, and had little carnival games and a bunch of other stuff going on at their holiday parties. So the magician was simply a small part in a big picture. Really, as long as the guy didn't light a kid on fire or use any profanity - it was probably easier to just “get the guy we had last year”.
You don't drown by falling in the water;

you drown by staying there.



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Alan Munro
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I was at a festival recently that had some young guy doing a so-called magic show. It looked like a bad dealer demo for MAK products. He didn't have experience and obviously didn't work hard on his show. He was busking there and got a decent enough amount in tips for one guy, but the trouble is that he had three other people with him - a dismal hat!

I was tempted to talk with the guy, but I thought better of it. He was trying to promote his "agency" and their website, long before he has a quality service to sell.

After the tips were collected, a woman from the local arts organization told him how wonderful his show was and how she enjoyed it. It was enough to make any self-respecting magician nauseous. I'm mostly against public funding for the arts, because if it can't make it in the marketplace it should be allowed to perish.
Memory-Jah
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Quote:
On 2006-08-28 19:32, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
If I ever did a show that bad, I'd hope someone would (nicely) let me know!


That's what I think too.

@topic: Maybe you should have nicely introduced yourself and show him some directions and help. Give him some advice (introduce him the Café which is a wonderful place for every magician of each expiereience level). Maybe he wishes someone to help him more, and perhabs you and him could have spend some days together sharing ideas or just as a teacher and student. I think I would be happy if someone with more wexperience walk up to me and offers help! I miss that too from to time to be honest.


all the best

Jah
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Magicray69
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MagicMan,

I'm sorry you didn't like my show. You must be jealous of my talent. My wife and mother told me I am great and they never lie.

Did you notice I had a magic wand. Only real magicians have them. You certainly must have been impressed when I yanked that expensive Rice silk out of my $300 square circle.

How about the balloon animal I made. It was a sword. I practiced a lot on that one.

And the jokes. Did you like the one where I said "no, the clean hand please!"?

Don't forget the card trick. Remember, I had a rugrat pick a card from my deck and I immediately told him what card he picked. How many magicians can do that?

And the straight jacket escape. I paid $500 for that one. Since you are a magician, too, I will let you in on a little secret. It's gimmicked.

You must have noticed that the audience was so stunned that they were speechless.

I must go down to the Magic Shoppe now with my $150. They have a new trick in that is self-contained and easy to do.

Thank so much for your constructive advice.

MagucRay
There was a time I had the blues,

the reason was I had no shoes.

Until I met upon the street

a man who had no feet.
richards
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MagicRay:

I saw you at that event too. I especially liked that trick with the vanishing bandanna that was really a banana...that was so funny. I've never seen that one done. That recording of the girl telling you not to actually put it in the bag after you put it in the bag...that was priceless! You should get an award for that one!!!

Brian
zimsalabim
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You know one thing I am so very grateful for is the time I worked with a director. Somone who is a it knowlegeable about magic but very knowledgeable about theater. Great stuff he gave me and did not charge for it I was being paid to do the shows and he happened to be the director of the big show watched mine kliked it but said it needed more and he was so right, nothing he gave constructiive critisism of the show and made it better and I use all of that advise ot this day. I love it whne magicians come up and talk to me after teh shows goo dbad or indifferent. I get somthing out of every conversation. But sometimes and lets face it guys we all are guilty of this at one time or another we see somone perform, and in the back of our mnds we have a preconceived notion of what WE want. If the public like the show and we don't well. I have heard so many say that people are polite they won't say it was crap if it was crap. Well I have seen just the opposite here, thank god not directed at me but have seen it and I think people know whats good and bad. Oh and as to the 150 price tag at a resort. There are tons of resorts in my area na dthe competition to get one is amamzing, somtimes you must price it right to keep it going each week. Ok again my 2 cents etc....

Z
Joe Zimmer

"The Second Greatest Magician in the World"

Who is the Greatest? Everybody else! Borrowed with respect from the late Great Eddie Fechter Owner of the Forks Hotel

Zimsalabim

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Barry Donovan
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Did the other familys think it was rubbish as well?

I would of given him my honest simon cowell straight from the textbook, "sorry mate but that was ****"
when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
zimsalabim
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Yes one could do just that. But it doesn't really get you anywhere does it. I honestly believe that if you cannot be creativly critical you should jus tnot say a thing. If you can be fair and honest and help then I believe you should try. But that takes agreat real of courage and determination to even start to say or do. I mean after all the person doesn't even know you and who are you to say. etc...


z
Joe Zimmer

"The Second Greatest Magician in the World"

Who is the Greatest? Everybody else! Borrowed with respect from the late Great Eddie Fechter Owner of the Forks Hotel

Zimsalabim

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Mike Melito
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I take my kids to just about every magic show I can. Then we talk about what was good and what wasn't. This way my kids learn very early on what makes a good show.
Red Shadow
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I went to a theme park recently to see and interview the children's magician for this year for an article I am writing. I watched his show and was shocked with several of the tricks he did.

He started out with fire-eating, before borrowing a bank note and setting it on fire.
He then reproduced the note from an envelope which he opened with a knife. He then used that same knife to do the 'knife through coat' on a child's jumper.

I will say his audience management, comedy timing and overall enthusiasm was very good, but the tricks he selected were inappropriate for this children's show.

When I interviewed him afterwards about working in a theme park he was very helpful but I kept my mouth shut about the show. I was ever so tempted to talk about the tricks, but when he told me that this was only his second year as a professional magician and before this job he was a simple rides operator, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has never done a normal children's parties outside of park either. Hopefully when he goes professional he will change the tricks to meet the need of his clients.

Steve
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