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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Blaine - LG Shine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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seanalexander
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I was just about to same the same thing regarding peppers ghost!

Someone said about seeing him live - meauxfeaux is correct, it's a new version of peppers ghost up until he reapeared at the end!! This technology looks great! Richard Branson has also done a sales talk using this where they "beamed" him down onto stage just like star trek. They also used this technology for MTV where the gorrilas cartoon characters appeared to be playing live on stage!

Very cool - been thinking about similar ideas for a while!


Sean
tyler_rabbit
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Quote:
On 2007-04-13 20:56, Will-Ace wrote:
When you are able to separate yourself from the image of a typical magician that is in the general public mind...

Tha's a Style.


Exactly. The card effect was of course pretty simple, and maybe a bit convoluted for an audience of that size, but what's interesting is that they seemed to go more crazy for it than the finale where he throws the phone, vanishes, reappears, then catches it. Pretty cool use of blatant open mass misdirection.

Overall I like Blaine because I think it's great for audiences to see a more laid-back and serious style of presentation rather than the glitzy melodrama or bad comedy often associated with modern perfromers. I think his tone, (which I can understand how some may consider lifeless) gives the audience an uneasy anticipatory feeling. His quiet demeanor keeps them fixated on both him and the effect. To me his lack of overt "Style" is a stlye in itself.

Is he my favorite magician to watch? I'd rather watch Dean Dill any day. But what's been said here is true: lay audiences really seem to connect with the guy. So more power to him.

--
tyler_rabbit
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On 2007-05-10 06:29, Doug McKenzie wrote:
The transported man effect was cool. The lighting guy missed a cue at the end which would have made the effect stand out a lot better.


Ah that's probably why the audience didn't freak out as much as they should have. Initially I thought is was sort of the same problem as expressed in the Prestige regarding the "too perfect" theory.
Matt Pulsar
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Wow.
David Blaine has a style he keeps to, yes. Is it entertaining? On television during his first special? Yes. After that it all looses something. Think about how many times people have said things to you like, "what do you think of David Blaine? Is that Magic? He is just in a box (or water etc...)" They look to us for clarity because they want to understand, but alas, they don't get it. The public is lost on what he is doing. I would love to help them but I don't get it all the time either. I have read countless articals that basically state that they think his work is junk. I don't think it is junk, but I am not sure where he is trying to take his work. If he is trying to push himself phisically and endure, then why is he mixing that with card tricks? If he is magical then why did he fail to hold his breath for his set time? The limits of human endurance were very well displayed as art by the Performance artist Chris Burden years ago, check him out.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Burden
There are allot of similarities to Burden's work in what Mr. Blaine has been doing. I like that Blaine is trying to push the limits of what magic can be, and to make it feel real.
This stage performance however does not do that. I would love to see him perform a forty five or even ninety minute show, but based on this he is not ready. If he did not have the established name he would have been toast on that stage. He seems to be lost to the cult of cool. I despise cool. Issues of what is cool are issues of taste. Taste is the enemy of art. I don't understand his voice anymore. The public seems at a loss as well.
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ChristopherM
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Quote:
On 2007-04-28 09:06, cardone wrote:
If it was all up to the audience we wouldn't have things like Opera ,Theatre or Classical music anymore ..... Miss Spears and J Lo , would reign Supreme.....


It's been a while, but I gotta disagree with this statement. I love the above-mentioned art-forms, and contend that there is a VERY healthy audience for all 3 of them. Spears and J.Lo are more popular, but there are flourishing alternatives. Off to book tickets for West End shows...
Matt Pulsar
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Yes, Ricky Jay has a healthy audience as well. But how many people who love Blaine know who Ricky Jay is? What do you think a Ricky Jay audience would think of Blaine's live performance?
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ChristopherM
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Plenty of people know who they both are; they each feature/have featured heavily in the media for several years. A Ricky Jay audience would, for the most part, enjoy watching Blaine's magic, I'm pretty sure. Many of RJ's audience would be magic enthusiasts, hobbyists, and generally those who enjoy watching magic. I think the 'fan bases' are neither enemies nor mutually exclusive. Plenty of people turn out to see DB at his big stunts as well, so I don't know if it's correct to say that he's 'lost on the public'.
Matt Pulsar
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"The public is lost on what he is doing.... I don't understand his voice anymore. The public seems at a loss as well." Please, if you are going to quote me, use a quote I have written.

You, ChristopherM, implied that what I wrote was that he was 'lost on the public,' this can mean a few things. Either it means that he doesn't understand people very well, which I think one could argue, but I am not sure that it is the case. or it could mean that the public doesn't want to see him. Which I know is not the case.

What I was saying is that the public, while interested and in attendance seem still lost as to what they saw, what it is, and what to make of it. Some, because of this, then become angry and decide that it is not magic, or worth their time, or entertaining. Many then decide it is not worth caring. And often I am asked what to make of him, basically because I work in this buisness. People want answers and they want to know what we think. I want to give them something but I'm not sure either. So my answer is usually along the lines of telling them that there is allot of great close up magic in his show, but the endurance stunts are something different. They seem to be about pushing the limits of man.

Now, these things don't make a hell of allot on sense when together. If you can perform miricles, like reviving a bird, and you can make someones teeth come out and reappear, or read someones mind, why shouldn't you be able to stand inside a block of ice, or in a bubble, whats more amazing about that? And if the close up magic is just tricks, then why shouldn't they think the stunt is a trick as well? Perhaps if the conditioning was what made him able to perform magic? I don't know.

In comparison there are allot more people who know David Blaine by name than Ricky Jay. For the most part the core audience is very different, and I am talking about here in the United States. I have not been to the UK so, if this is not the case there, then we can applaud the British for having better appreciation for our art, but I would have assumed that anyhow. By the same token we could add Derren Brown to this mix, because here in the states if you know who he is, you must either be a magician, have spent some time over seas or watch allot of magic on youtube.

The other thing about that comparison that is problematic is that Ricky Jay is one of the best stage magicians in the world with many well directed and worked out acts. His fan base goes outise of the magic world in that the theatre world Public radio audience history buffs and bibliophiles knows him well. I would say he is the most popular and known magician for afluent, intelligent crowds and theatre crowds, and that is, here in New York. Blaine is a TV magician. He may be the first almost exclusively TV magician. Until this LG shine bit, I have never seen him do a stage act. I do know he will do close up from time to time, but that's very different from stage magic. And based on this video, the LG video of his performance, he is not very accomplished at working a stage. I would not be surprised if Ricky Jay was insulted by being compared to David Blaine.

So bottom line. My question was; "What do you think a Ricky Jay audience would think of Blaine's LIVE performance?" and this was in refrence to the LG video of him on STAGE.
My assumption would be that those familiar with Ricky Jay would not like David Blaine's STAGE performance, because it is based on being cool, he paces across the stage, and it is a long self working card trick. Its boring. Where as they will happily sit through a long card act of Ricky Jay because he is entertaining on STAGE. Furthermore, if something said has the ability to be correct or incorrect then it must be based on a fact. To say you believe someones act is confusing or loosing the public, or even "lost on the public,' is a matter of opinion. Obviously you dissagree with me. Great. But don't tell me my opinion is not correct.
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ChristopherM
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Thanks, Stuart. I do apologise for that imputation, it was rather careless on my part. Very sorry. Yes I see exactly what you mean. The comparison is rather strained, since they do target different audiences, by and large. I suppose the greatest overlap (perhaps the only one?) is those who really do enjoy watching magic in all its forms.

Yes, the LG stage bit seems to be not DB's forte, nor his preferred working conditions. I think the context is important to remember in this case; the aim not ostensibly being to wow the crowd with magical magic, but rather, product placement and audience interaction - slipping in that crucial slogan, etc. I liked the transported man effect, though as Doug mentions, the lighting appeared not to be too perfect. All in all, I suppose it was simply the attraction of "particpate with David Blaine - a big 'name' - live" that would've carried the audience's attention. I'm sure he probably hung around to do close-up at that reception afterward Smile

RJ is definitely a perfect entertainer for theatre-goers - much like a lot of Derren's audiences here, I suppose, especially for his West End shows. Indeed Derren won the Olivier award for Best Entertainment last year for 'Something Wicked'; it was very good theatre. I think you're probably right, RJ probably wouldn't appreciate the comparison at all. Their fields are markedly different.

The reception DB got for his Above the Below over here was quite mixed; several hardcore fans, yet simultaneously, quite a few pranksters and attention seekers trying to jeer and spoil the show. Surreal events surrounded that stunt, for sure. Certainly, some people don't really know what to make of him. I guess this is part of his publicity tactic - he can't really be categorised, so it makes a lot of people watch him intently, to see what this mysterious man does next. The media coverage he gets is very extensive because of it, and his image is very unique. He revels in comparisons with Houdini, of course, and likes to fuel such discussion himself, I'm sure. After all, which magician wouldn't want to be heard in the same sentence as Houdini?!

Interesting thought about UK audiences, and whether as many people here know Ricky Jay as they do David Blaine. I'm really not sure, myself; I think a lot of Brits know RJ from his TV and, primarily, film work. They probably see him as first and foremost an actor.

As far as British being more appreciative of the art - wow, thanks! Very flattering!

Cheers,

Chris Smile
Matt Pulsar
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By the same token ChistopherM I didn't give you much of a chance, I jumped in with the Ricky Jay Comparison without the clarification that I was strictly thinking in terms of stage. So sorry to set it off in the wrong direction.

"He revels in comparisons with Houdini, of course, and likes to fuel such discussion himself, I'm sure. After all, which magician wouldn't want to be heard in the same sentence as Houdini?! "-ChristopherM

Now, I am going into another topical direction here, so I apologise before hand.
It's funny that you say this because I have had this thought many times. I believe it is bad form to talk trash about other performers in our art to the public, it only makes you look bad, no matter how valid the statement it makes one seem bitter unless they have as much publicity as the one they are speaking of. But I have always been in complete wonder about the Houdini enigma. All that I have read and heard about Houdini, including his own letters, have spelled him out to be a bitter self promoter with an overdeveloped ego who would quickly shut other performers down when provided the opportunity. He is a guy who wrote a book to downplay the man he named himself after! As far as I can tell Houdini's best skill was self promotion. The next Star in that line might be Warhol. I have never heard of a Houdini stunt or trick that I was truly baffled by, and the descriptions of his act are such that it is a wonder he didn't bore the audience to death. But, then again, times were different then. What is it that makes Houdini so timeless and able to live forever? Is it the fact that he offered the idea that one could escape from anything? Is that enough? Or is it simply because everyone knew who he was? That can't be it, can it?
Well I am facinated enough that I have read two of his biographys as well as other material. But in the end, the more I learn about him the less I like the guy. I live in walking distance from his grave. I have been there many times. It is plesent and I like to go there and practice or just sit on a bench and enjoy the day. When he talked, he must have been a hell of a showman. I wonder if there will ever again exist the forum for the appreciation he recieved for just being that.

"As far as British being more appreciative of the art - wow, thanks! Very flattering! " -ChristopherM

No problem. All the british crowds I have performed for were great. Because I have never been to the UK I only know this from experiences with people on holiday in NY. Or in the other parts of Europe I have been to. I have got to get myself to your neck of the woods some day. But it is my impression that in Europe the appreciation for theatre of any form, or art of any form is much larger. The audience also understands better what happens when you go to a show, how to be an audience. The culture of the United States just doesn't have a built in appreciation for art at all. Only in certain cities, such as New York, do you find more of this. Here there is a hierarchy in theatre, and the joke goes that the only thing lower than a magician is a mime.
I could also call that bit, "why I'm a mentalist." but of course there is more to it than that.

Cheers! Stuart
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