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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Pet Peeves!! Illusionists on TV and on YouTube (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kregg
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Quote:
On 2006-10-12 20:09, Starrpower wrote:
"Cheating out"? I must not do it 'cause I don't know what it is!


Say no more.
POOF!
makeupguy
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It's people with attitudes EXACTLY like yours that are a huge part of the problem.

I've never seen your show.... but I've worked with people like you.

I consulted with a magician in Reno Nevada a few years ago. Her show needed severe help; and she was willing to have me change quite a bit. I improved the staging and magical psychology of her assistants, we fixed some of the bigger problems with lighting and some of the staging. When it actually came to her performance.. she was untouchable, she was not willing to change or learn. Many of her ideas made the magic worse. She wasn't originally a magician, and was resistant learning about the real "magic psychology" behind performing magic.

There are lots of acts in this biz that make money.. but that doesn't mean they're charismatic, original or even know what good magic is. My case in point goes back to the promo vids I watch on YouTube.. and the original comments I made in my first post.

Thanks so much for continuing to prove the point I originally made.. and stop being so defensive..

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much!!

This thread is starting to get far away from the original intent. I never intended to every get specific.. just wrote it to let you guys know that magic in general has seen a steady decline in originality and self examination from my perspective as a theatre/film professinal for the past 31 years.
Pete Biro
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ARe they rubber stamps or clones of other bad acts? I guess the catalog magicians just keep flogging away on You Tube and in theaters... sadly.

I remember a corprate gig that some guy was hired to do... I was with the client watching the show and I was embarrassed to be a magician the show was so bad.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
EsnRedshirt
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One pet peeve that's starting to get on my nerves is the "silent act". Some routines work well with it, but sooooo many magicians decide the "Copperfield Song-and-Dance" is the only way to perform their big illusions. Sure it is- if you want to be seen as nothing more than a Copperfield clone with zero audience rapport.

Remember the original presentation of Zig-zag? Or Sielbit's Sawing- or Alan Wakeling's for that matter? None were designed to be performed silent, and they can be substantially enhanced with the right patter from a powerful performer.

Your voice is one of your most powerful tools as a magician. Don't just stop using it because a pretty assistant in a slinky costume just stepped on stage.
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
Starrpower
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I think you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. I responded to a post by admitting that I didn't know a term that was used. Instead of helping out, the first reaction of most of you was to point your finger at the "bad example," and chastising me for being ignorant (thank you, Mirror Images, for taking the high road.)

Did I get defensive? Darn right; who wouldn't when faced with the rude respsonses I got here. "Magicians helping magicians" -- right. All I got was accusations of being a poor performer from people who've never seen my show.

Now, do you guys think you've left the door open for the next guy to admit when he doesn't know something? I doubt it ...
Payne
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Quote:
On 2006-10-13 12:30, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Starrpower, it's not just acting coaching. No matter how experienced a magician is, it would behoove them to learn theatre lingo and conventions. Imagine trying to communicate to the theatre techies helping you set up and run your stage show- you better know the difference between up stage, down stage, stage left, and stage right- and its nice to have some knowledge of lighting and sound as well.

Illusionists, more than any other type of magician, need to be familiar with stage and theatre- it's where they usually perform.


Most magicians will never find themselves on a stage so really have no reason to learn the correct theatrical terms. The vast majority of magicians out there perform in living rooms and banquet halls thus things like lighting, blocking and prop management mean little to them. Granted everyone can improve their performances by studying theatre but in reality they have little reason to do so.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
kregg
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Payne,
True enough. But, since we're dedicated "Magicians Helping Magicians", one should never overlook a simple fact; without theater magic is but a mere craft.
Pete Biro said it best in his last post.
POOF!
makeupguy
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I'm going to make one comment.. and gracefully step out of this thread, as it's becomeing something that, frankly, I didn't' want it to or imagine.

This isn't a thread about theatrical training.. it started as a thread about basic rules of magic.
Don't perform in the dark
don't' make your props more important than you are
Fill the space
Show off your personality to set you apart from the 90 other magicians doing the same 9 illusions you are.

The last part is the hard part. Unless you have a HUGE budget.. it's rather hard to buy original illusions. So..what's the solution. Watch everyone else's show. Make yours different. Don't wear black.. fill the space... smile occasionally.. Don't wear black pants and a white untucked shirt.. that's been done to death.
Wear clothes that FIT. Tailoring is CHEAP!

Understand the magic. What's the illusion about? What story can it tell? don't' be afraid to repaint your props.

It's not about theatrical training.. its about breaking down the walls of self-delusion.
SenseiStrange
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Quote:
On 2006-10-09 02:07, makeupguy wrote:
As I look at more and more magicians on YouTube, I'm more and more dismayed by what I see.

1: Magic should not be performed in the dark. If the magician and the assistants and the props are performed against a dark background.. you know what we see? nothing!! Magicians should either be in color.. not necessarily bright colors.. but at least in a color that doesn't blend in with the background. Unless you have something to hide.. why perform against a black background at all? Why have tons of backlight, smoke and such if you want the audience to actually see the illusion?


While by and large you are probably correct, I myself love a black backdrop. All of my videos are darker and moodier and this is part of their design. I can see your point, but rather it might say - make sure you can see. My first vids were a little too dark, and it has been a slow process of finding the right balance.

Just search Sensei Strange on You Tube to find examples.

Everything else said I tend to agree with...


Sensei Strange
freefallillusion1
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Quote:
On 2006-10-15 15:22, makeupguy wrote:
I'm going to make one comment.. and gracefully step out of this thread, as it's becomeing something that, frankly, I didn't' want it to or imagine.


May I humbly remind you this thread took a turn this way because of a comment that you yourself made? Starrpower was simply explaining his position and had every right to do so. I'll second his stance by saying that I also didn't know the phrase "cheating out", but I am more than familiar with the concept, and would be willing to bet that I put it into practice more than lots of folks who are familiar with the lingo. Heck, I performed professionally on stage for a number of years before you ever heard me say "stage right" or "stage left". I still don't refer to a curtain as a "traveller". I do know that I have more experience on stage than many of the people here, and there is absolutely no substitute for experience. One can know all the lingo they want, but knowing a phrase and actually being able to execute the action are two very different things. This is a lifelong learning process.

Again, please don't attack me for defending Starrpower here, I'm just saying that I understand his position. Saying that someone must have a lackluster show because they don't know every piece of technical terminology is a huge assumption.

Phil
John Bowlin
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Here here freefall! Although makeupguy's intentions and tips in this post are quite honorable and well taken there was no need for the offensive turn. This thread is why so many great professional magicians avoid this forum. I have personally spoken with quite a number of this country's top magicians about this forum and this is one of the reasons they avoid this place. I won't mention names but none of them are the guys doing clone illusion programs. It needs to be constructive, supportive and a bit less confrontational on here. One can voice their opinion without making personal attacks whether they be direct or insinuated. I myself have been victim of it and guilty of it and have made steps to express myself in a more constructive manner.
Now...before I get flamed about my comment about the country's best magicians that I have spoken with....no I am not trying to be a braggard or name drop or anything like that. I have paid good money to be in the company of these performers to learn what makes them great. So many have told me not to get caught up in the squall of opinions, self promotions, peacocking and personal attacks on here but just reap the nuggets this place has to offer. Anyone ever paid to go see the worlds best critics? Siskell and Ehbert came close but even they had "entetainment value". Just as an example...I saw Joshua Jay at a lecture some time ago and we lamented about the valuable resource that the magic Café was. Since then he became the victim of unqualified critiqueing and personal attacks. We no longer enjoy his valuable input here. There was obvious jealousy and animosity from some of the more veteran guys(nice word for old) here seeing this young punk tour the world and enjoy a degree of success. There is quite a list of really great pros this story applies to. In fact some of them get a somewhat defensive look when I bring up the Café. This should be a place to help, voice opinion in a constructive manner and not puff ego. I'm pretty thick skinned and know that I know almost nothing so I'm not going anywhere! And yes..My name is John and I too did not know the term "cheating out". I do know the principle and have always referred to it as "playing to the seats". And yes I've had shows with many more seats than people...took that one away from somebody I'm sure. Smile
Matt Kap
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I always hated to see magicians carelessly toss around their blades for thin sawing, mismade, zig zag, and tube illusions. We magicians know these "blades" are glorified cookie sheets, but we don't have to let the audiences know that.

You should act like you are afraid of your blades. Don't throw them in the air and twirl them around your body. Would a real cutting instrument be displayed in that manner? Is it just me who is bothered by this?

Just my humble opinion.
-MATT KAP
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." -Albert Einstein
kregg
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John,
Your words ring true. Though, judging by responses, some people seem to be a little too thin skinned when it comes to words on a page. If one needs clarification of a post, it's better to ask exactly was meant, than to launch back with a volley of insults.
Should one feel like they were attacked, it's better to report the post, allowing the moderator's to clear up the grievance.

Kregg
POOF!
Dannydoyle
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Can I add one more peeve? Can we limit the number of "applause cues" to maybe one per trick instead of 5. I saw an act that had literally 5 in one Oragami. (not the best trick in my mind anyhow but that is another thread)

As for pros avoiding it, well it is obvious from their absence isn't it?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Titanas
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Quote:
On 2006-10-22 01:54, Dannydoyle wrote:
Can I add one more peeve? Can we limit the number of "applause cues" to maybe one per trick instead of 5. I saw an act that had literally 5 in one Oragami. (not the best trick in my mind anyhow but that is another thread)

As for pros avoiding it, well it is obvious from their absence isn't it?


I think you are absolutely right. I ve seen many performers with so many applause cues that confusing the audience on when they supposed to applause. This is bad for 2 basic reasons.. 1 is that they are getting tired of applausing all the time without a particular reason and second because it removes the interest and making the audience "losing" the finale.
Titanas
Product Developer @ Murphys Magic Supplies
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