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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Cups & Balls ethics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jeff Dial
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Speaking of stealing someone else's style. Locally we have been speculating on how many magicians this summer will have broken noses or dislocated teeth from importing Gazzo's material into their acts. Smile
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
Kozmo
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there are some wonderful little bits in gazzos act....that anyone could get away with...bnot many....but a few...

koz
Whit Haydn
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If the routine is published with the lines and bits of business, the purchaser is free to do the routine exactly as published. Sometimes it is good for a beginning performer to copy the style and patter of a pro. But eventually, you will need to make the act fit your own style and personality if you ever want to move to a performance level that garners respect and will give you real joy.

Gazzo fully anticipates that many will be out on the street doing his act verbatim. He is not concerned about it. That is how they learn.

Nevertheless, most of the guys who intend to do Gazzo's lines should take a second look at Gazzo's biceps. Their's should be as big as his if they want to start using the kinds of lines he uses.

Gazzo is a boxer and health nut. He knows what he can get away with, and he is not afraid to take on any repurcussions from the drunks and testostorone poisoned idiots that might take offense.

He also has another weapon that is hard to copy--one of the greatest smiles in the world. Once he smiles, it becomes clear to anyone with any sense that there is not a trace of malice, spite, envy or bigotry in his heart. That is the real reason he can get away with so much. Anyone that copies his lines needs to have a pure heart as well as a really good left jab.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2003-02-12 16:31, ClodAppleleft wrote:
<snip>It would be the same as if he stole my TV and told people at his super bowl party that they had Danny Hustle to thank for the widescreen
<end snip>

I understand you wanting to give permission, but I disagree with your analogy.


See the thing is it doesn't matter if you agree or not. The fact remains if I see something stolen from my act I am going to react a certain way to it. So will many, many, others.

I am not talking about ethics I'm talking about the street and I am telling you what will happen.

It isn't a topic for debate in this case it is an actuality that happens everyday. You can agree with it or not it doesn't really matter.

Some guys let you get away with it some don't.

Quote:
On 2003-02-12 19:07, Jeff Dial wrote:
Speaking of stealing someone else's style. Locally we have been speculating on how many magicians this summer will have broken noses or dislocated teeth from importing Gozzo's material into their acts. Smile


None. I've spoket to Gazzo about it. He sold it to you he doesn't care one way or the other.

Now the other street performers will snicker and call you a hack but they do that to any hack.

Hi Whit,

I’m glad to see you chime in on this. I loved your article about not being original. But, didn’t that apply to a singular routine for learning and breaking in and not an entire act?

You changed my mind about that I wouldn’t be surprised if you could do it again here.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Jeff Dial
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Danny,

You wrote: None. I've spoket to Gazzo about it. He sold it to you he doesn't care one way or the other.

You missed my intent. It is not Gozzo they have to worry about. It is the "drunks and testostorone poisoned idiots" that Whit referenced that may be intent on doing some facial reconstruction.

I do agree that one can use any published patter and bits of business, but it is not always right for everyone. I think we are on the same page.

Whit,

I would add one other advantage that goes into Gazzo's persona -- he has a British accent.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
Hernan
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Remember that tempo and rhthym are a large part of any performance.

There is little chance that you will(Naturally) have Gazzo or anyone elses beats and timing.

If you dropped into your own rhthym and tempo and riffed on the exact moves you are stealing, eventually, they would become yours. Open yourself up to minute variations find the moves and patter that slow you down and jettison them.

Golfers hum while practicing thier swing. I mean it!
Try it. The hum will alter when you hit a performance (or swing) Bump". If the "Bump" is substantial, the hum will stop.
I will elaborate more (along with documentation) over in the beginner section.

Anyway , pure theft will lower the amount in your hat. The tip will hip to the fact it is not 'YOU', and somewhere nagging at you in some recess of that wonderfully creative mind of yours a critic will be yelling at you.
In the lenghth of time it took for this topic to unfold you could have made Gazzo's routine indistinguisably your own.
Peter Marucci
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Larry Barnowsky and others are right on:
Don't be a clone; be original.

Use a published routine as the basis for your own, original handling of whatever it is -- cups and balls, French drop, the bra trick (good grief! did I just say that!), etc.

Remember:
A poor original is still better than a good copy!
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2003-02-13 00:49, Jeff Dial wrote:

You missed my intent. It is not Gozzo they have to worry about. It is the "drunks and testostorone poisoned idiots" that Whit referenced that may be intent on doing some facial reconstruction.



Ahhh, my mistake. I agree.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
ClodAppleleft
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Hey guys,

Thanks for the debate, and what you all have said makes much more sense now. I'm sorry if I stirred up too much animosity with this topic, but as I said, I love a good ethical debate, and I've learned to be able to see the side I disagree with, and sometimes argue for it.
There are many different ways to cut an apple.
Whit Haydn
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I disagree with you, Peter. I think a good copy is much better than a bad original. I don't know any lay audience who wouldn't share that view. When have you ever seen an audience that felt, "The magician sucked, but at least it was all bad tricks that I hadn't seen before..."?

It is as true in music as it is in magic, and a cover band that is competent will be much more successful than an "original" garage band that can't play the instruments and that writes bad songs.

Danny, I do think copying is a good way to learn magic, and I believe that most performers will admit that they were "heavily influenced" (copied) someone early in their careers. It is almost the only way to learn timing, presentation, and misdirection. But I am only talking here about material that is published, and few magicians publish their entire acts.

I have had many performers copy my "teaching act" verbatim from start to finish. I don't think it has ever taken a dime out of my pocket, and it doesn't bother me personally at this stage of my career (actually its kind of nice to think that someone can make a living with that act), but it is not ethical behavior to copy a whole theme and act that has not been published, even if two of the routines (The Mongolian Pop-Knot, Four Ring Routine) have been made available. If it had been done earlier in my career I would have been really ticked off.

I think that this is too long a discussion to get heavily involved in here, but I will refer everyone to my essay that you mentioned "Against Originality in Magic" for my full opinion.

It does seem to me that the beginner is going to grow faster by exploring more than one perfomer's style. The more styles you experiment with, the more ways you will find to extend your own personality, and the sooner you will be able to emerge from the shadow of the performers you are emulating.

But you will never get very far in show business as a copy. You will be relegated like cover bands to weddings and bar-mitzvahs and other low-end performing situations.

But for some people that is enough, and for many it is all they are capable of. If a performer is not creative or original, he should take the best material available and learn to do it really well. Hopefully, his own personality will eventually shine through, and then at least in some ways, he will be an original.
ixnay66
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Somebody tell Koz his period key is sticking!
lol
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2003-02-12 15:09, ClodAppleleft wrote:
I never said that the Professor's Nightmare is generic, I just said it is well known. I apologize for any confusion.

<snip>
But the Professor's Nightmare is an effect by Bob Carver, based on a two-rope idea by Hen Fetsch, and the original patter was written by Gene Gordon.
The rights to Professor's Nightmare are currently owned by Magic Inc. of Chicago, I believe (formerly Ireland Magic).
It has the rather dubious distinction of being the "most ripped-off trick in magic".
<end snip>

If I remember correctly, and I might be completely off base, but isn't the Professor's Nightmare similar to Mark Wilson's "Equal/Unequal Ropes" from his Cyclopedia of Magic?



Actually, the rights belong to Phil Willmarth.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Whitewolfny
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I've bought Gazzo's tape and learned it's okay to do something different than the Vernon presetation. I've bought the Ammar tapes and learned basic moves that everybody uses. I copied Vernon's routine to get the feel of doing a routine, but I've expanded on the final load sequence because Gazzo showed how it can be done. But my final load is nothing like Gazzo's nor is it like Vernon's. It's mine. I don't have an ethics problem with any of this for myself. I'm not copying any of the routines move for move and certainly not word for word (I could never talk to an audience like Gazzo does) but everything I use in my C&B routine I learned from all these tapes.
If you want to figure out how a magician does a trick, fine, rerun the TV tape a dozen times to learn what he or she did. But if you now go out and perform that trick, you have stolen it from the magician that created the presentation. The best example is Elvis impersonators. They think they have worked hard to develop a style but they haven't. They stole the style of Elvis and the problem is so many people loved the King, they let these wannabees go on stealing and draining the image of Elvis. You do the same thing if you copy another magician word for word, move for move. You have to find what works for your personality and style.
Braxton Mannar
<BR>Just an old dog trying to learn new tricks Smile
Magicmaven
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I agree with Whit. Copy a routine, perform it, perform it... after all this experience you will understand WHY the originator did each move in each place and time when he did.

Everyone has their own opinions on tricks, and others routines. When you perform a trick, you are bound to disagree with some of what the originator had. For instance, I learned Vernon's C&B, I have changed sooooo much merely because I did not think it fit, was justified, didn't like the responce, how it felt...
I think you should copy someone's routine, and change everything you don't like in it, so that you like it.
Where would we be without the Giants before us.

Another thing that Whit didn't mention about Gazzo, is that he has 3 enormous heavy cups that are great throwing devices, a stong wooden wand, 6 oranges, and a melon--no one will come close to him.
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