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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Penn/Gaiman (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

J.Dunaway
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Author Neil Gaiman has posted on his blog that he's in works with Penn Jillette on a Secret Project. Any ideas on possible magical connections it could have?
Rupert Bair
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Big fan of both.....should be interesting!

Penn as an anti-hero perhaps.

;)
Jonathan Townsend
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Interesting team-up.

If it were Teller, I'd suspect magic. Since it's Penn... more about social or technological themes would be my guess.

But either way... let's sit back and enjoy whatever surprises they offer when ready.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Banester
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Ya great, I just saw an interview with Teller explaining the Misers Dream in The New York Times. He even has a picture walk through just in case you can't visualize what is happening. So nice to have a trick I love to perform published in a large circulation newspaper. Yes he is my hero too. /rant off
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Bill
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Quote:
On 2007-08-24 10:55, Banester wrote:
Ya great, I just saw an interview with Teller explaining the Misers Dream in The New York Times. He even has a picture walk through just in case you can't visualize what is happening. So nice to have a trick I love to perform published in a large circulation newspaper. Yes he is my hero too. /rant off


Yup! Nothing is too low for these characters.
SWNerndase
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Low? Someone of Teller's stature discussing conjuring theory at "The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness" symposium is far from low. Serious people gaining a new respect for the complexity and subtlety of conjuring in an academic setting is, in my opinion, a high high thing for magic.

A careful reading of the article in question would quell any thought that it was "exposure." Sure, there are photographs of Teller palming a stack of coins, and a brief description of some mechanics in Miser's Dream, but nobody could come away from the article with enough knowledge to perform the effect. And a competent performance would still amaze and entertain. I'm certain of it. The cries of "exposure" are groundless.

I remember being outraged along with everyone else when I heard that they were exposing the cups and balls with clear cups in their early NYC show. When I finally saw the show for myself I understood that they weren't exposing anything really, and a competent cups and balls worker would still mystify anyone who had witnessed the P&T routine.

They have done more to raise the public perception of magic in America than anyone in recent history, and I do count them among my heroes. Go see their live show at the Rio in Vegas, and I'd bet you'll come away feeling proud to be a magician.

SWN
Bill
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I know they're your heroes and all, but realize this; if the Dean of Medicine at Harvard turns tricks at night, one might still considered them a wh*re.

Cups and balls is just one of many tricks they've exposed, not to mention their ridicule of magicians that aren't caliber illusionists.

One mans caviar is another mans dog sh*t.

I personally wouldn't cross the street to see them. But that's just my feelings.
DStachowiak
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Don't sugar coat it Bill, how do you really feel?
;)
Woke up.
Fell out of bed.
Dragged a comb across m' head.
Payne
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Teller performs a spectacular version of the Misers Dream in their Rio show so if anyone was to be concerned about the exposure of the effect I think it would be him. A few random pictures accompanying some cryptic text isn't exposure. At least from my definition, other peoples might vary.
But their's no point in defending them as their detractors will never see them as anything but a set of two bit losers who have to resort to exposure since they lack any true magical talent. Which is a pity as they've done more to elevate the art of magic in the eyes of the public than most.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
bosque
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Penn and Teller's show at the Rio is probably the finest magic show I've ever seen. Every trick is informed by their originality and creativity. The cool jazz that accompanies the show is excellent and much different from what I've seen elsewhere. I've seen David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Rick Thomas, Mac King (another true original), Darren Romeo (great singer as well as an illusionist), Kalin and Ginger and many others, but I still put Penn and Teller at the top of my list. Just my opinion.
thehawk
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I saw Penn and Teller years ago at Bally's and it was one of the worst shows I had ever seen. If they want to expose their own magic they created fine but not others.
Banester
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SWN, what exactly does palming have to do with a scientific convention? Is it the dexterity or an optical illusion?

Sure there wasn't enough information in the article to actually perform it, but more than enough to realize what a palm is and how Misers Dream is done. Now think about every other coin trick out there that uses a palm. They not only exposed a trick, but in doing so also exposed a method used in numerous other tricks. Hey maybe your clients don't read the NY Times or won't remember it if they did.

On the other hand I really don't need someone asking me if I was doing a palm for every coin trick I perform. It really was just something that should not have been exposed, again that is my opinion on it.
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
SWNerndase
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Banester, I was not at the conference, but from reading the article it would appear that Teller's talk was about how the mind collects and processes information, and how a good magician can subvert that to create an illusion. That's something that has everything to do with a scientific convention about consciousness.

The larger question, and the one worth asking here, I think, is this: is there ever a context where it is appropriate to discuss conjuring methods with non-magicians? If you come down on the side that it is NEVER acceptable then there is nothing more to consider. Teller, and anyone else discussing method outside of our circles, will always be vilified. Although I don't take that point of view, I do understand it.

Speaking only for myself, I try to be objective and ask what is the best thing to raise the public perception of our art. Undoubtedly the best thing is for someone to see an outstanding magic show by a great magician. That is the most important thing--great artistic magicians working for the public.

But for certain select audiences, under certain conditions, a small peek behind the curtain can elevate their appreciation of the art. I remember going to see a Michael Ammar lecture where one of the local club members brought a couple of friends. These friends had seen a fair amount of magic, but knew nothing of magician's methods and had no interest in performing. I talked with them at intermission and after the lecture. Their little glimpse of the complexity, depth and subtlety required to create an illusion made life-long fans, I guarantee it. Yes, they now know what a Topit is, and how a loading sequence for cups and balls is engineered, but their perception of magic as an art form was elevated. Not entirely a bad thing.

I think the same is true when a scholarly talk about magic is presented to non-magicians in an academic setting. I assume most magicians share my emotional attachment to methods being kept secret, and something in me recoils when I see photographs of a palmed stack of coins on the front page of the NYT. I grant you that. In reading the article though I understood that someone of Teller's stature addressing an academic symposium on consciousness is in no way a devaluing of the art. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Did he reveal too much in talking about palming? Debatable, and I don't pretend to know where the lines should be drawn. I will say though that many, maybe most laymen are vaguely aware of the idea of "palming." I believe in my heart that as a result of the NYT photos and article you will have no more people asking you if you were doing a palm than you did before. Just as a skilled cups and balls worker would still mystify the people that attended the Ammar lecture, if you are a skilled sleight of hand artist you'll continue to mystify and entertain when you are palming coins.

SWN
Banester
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Fair enough SWN. It could be that the Misers Dream is in a lot of public books with the layman having complete access to them. I feel, ecspecially with the bigger names in magic that they should be setting an example.

Would you be ok if Copperfield showed everyone how to do a levitation or Pendragon showing the Metamorphosis? If I recall the masked magician even showed a lot of "public knowledge" tricks, was that ok? Ya, I realize he went to the extremes, but it did spark record ratings so it must be the public had a large interest in it.

And yes I am in that group that feels things should not be revealed to the non-magicians. If they want to go to the library or the internet then so be it, but to hand it to them o na silver "newspaper" is ridiculous.

I have seen several magic items displayed in science stores and museums. Even the peppers ghost started as a science display if I am not mistaken. So does the "for science" claim make it ok to reveal our secrets?

In reading the article (which talks about misdirection and how the brain perceives it) there are plenty of examples that are used which are non magic related. The people with black shirts and the people with white ones, eletronic goggles which display virtual worlds and quite a number of others.

So what was studied, how the brain works or how a magician uses that to his/her advantage?
The art of a magician is to create wonder.
If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives
become filled with joy
-Doug Henning-
Jonathan Townsend
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I hope nobody here is so deluded as to confuse a publicity stunt with an actual discussion of cognitive and perceptual psychology.

There are fairly obvious reasons why conjuring is not suitable for direct use in psychology research or to do more than casually illustrate some well known findings in the field.

Remember the comment about mathematicians and card tricks made a generation ago. Now we may have an infestation of "psychologists" and an open issue of third rate magicians teaming up with third rate folks from academia to further diminish the craft of magic.

Hint for the semi-learned here: The social frame through which we attend a conjuring performance has so many presuppositions that it may not be practical or simple/reliable to factor out the responses to theatrical/social conventions from the responses to the perceptual and cognitive trickery used as methods in our craft. Confounded? Most likely.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Joey Stalin
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I remember one of Penn's radio shows he was talking about Neil Gaiman lol.
-A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
-It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
-The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

See you space cowboy...
Jonathan Townsend
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At a guess, the intersection of their interests is the carny environment.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
J.Dunaway
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And how I do love carnys Smile...
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