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WhateverUnique
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Sure it did Hoff...but it's funny that they've been working on this for weeks and everyone had pointed out just what made the show the way it was and why everyone here is so charged about it. It's like telling people watch out for that tree branch but they stood under it anyway. They also had dress rehearsals...right? I wouldn't say the executive and NBC were shocked...they all new what it was going to be like when they had dress rehearsals...they are now shocked because the public was like WTF was that? They thought everything was fine...but now they know...just because you work at NBC doesn't mean you know how to deliver performances like these on national TV. Arrogance has a tendency to bite you right on the backside...NBC didn't believe any of the guys...tight time constraints...criss ....judgment...exposure.....these things combined brought the show to it's knees for lay people and professionals in the biz.
Slim King
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Hoff is right....Reserve the critiques for the end.
Imagine if the performers and their effects were run back to back....That would have been a pretty neat show. A good 15 minutes of miracles...But NOOOOOOOOO Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Silvertongue
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Did anyone else notice during the commercial break an advertisement for a psychic website??? How funny that they would TAG this show with something like that...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
johne
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Quote:
At least the others have a better chance to change things now that they've seen the first episode.


I truly wonder if this fact will help or hurt, Alexandre. I typically would prefer to go second, but in this situation I'm not sure it wouldn't have been better to go first...at least they can see we had more people watching :O)

I hope the Café turns out to watch the second to support and vote. We can still convince those to watch by showing our own enthusiam. I'm really curious what the next performance will bring.

John
The Great Stevini
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 15:14, Gianni wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-10-25 14:18, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Gianni,

I saw it with friends (laymen, six of them) and they WERE bored.


Alexandre:

I'm very happy you responded to my post. My question, then, is, do you know why your friends were bored? You see, my concern is that I felt the performers on this show provided nice quality performances. If they cannot hold your friends' interest and attention, then what would that take? I am concerned that if generally fine performers cannot hold the interest, then what hope have we for the future of mentalism as entertainment?

Gianni



I don't think many here thought the performances were boring, but as stated earlier the total performance time was only 12 minutes. I think many found the other 48 minutes boring.
Tod Todson
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Criss Angel,

Read this very C-L-O-S-E-L-Y.....

Last night you acted like a sad little man.

You hurt our art and you lost respect.

For the last two weeks I've been teaching children that magicians always respect one another.

Tonight I will have to try and explain why you would act the way you did to your own brothers.

On behalf of many here, either earn your right or leave the show.

Do not continue to hurt our art.

It's embarrasing to have to defend you to young children wanting to be magicians, too.

Signed,
Tod Torrent
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
<BR><BR>
ALEXANDRE
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 15:14, Gianni wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-10-25 14:18, ALEXANDRE wrote:
Gianni,

I saw it with friends (laymen, six of them) and they WERE bored.


Alexandre:

I'm very happy you responded to my post. My question, then, is, do you know why your friends were bored? You see, my concern is that I felt the performers on this show provided nice quality performances. If they cannot hold your friends' interest and attention, then what would that take? I am concerned that if generally fine performers cannot hold the interest, then what hope have we for the future of mentalism as entertainment?

Gianni


A show like this has never been done before so I say it's just the way the show was set up. It needs to be tweaked a little to better benefit the quality of performers that are on there.
bugjack
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The Time Magazine TV critic linked to above (James Poniewozik, http://time-blog.com/tuned_in/) said it best for me. It's actually what I was trying to say pages earlier but this guy said it better:

"But hearing the judges, especially Angel, critique the tricks as tricks, the performances as performances, dispelled the illusion, or the illusionists. "You have a decent stage persona," Angel told one--mentioning, in passing, another magician whom Angel credited with pioneering the trick. "I just didn't feel you were 100% committed to who you are in your mind." Look, I'm sure there are few people in the audience who thought they were witnessing supernatural phenomena in an NBC show guest-starring Carmen Electra. But there's something kind of sad about taking an art based on wonder and focusing on the most non-wondrous, show-bizzy aspect of it."
DJM
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Quote:
A show like this has never been done before so I say it's just the way the show was set up. It needs to be tweaked a little to better benefit the quality of performers that are on there.


That same show has been done in Israel, and that version was much better and more believable than anything I've seen from the American one.

The main difference is that we didn't have that Criss hack, who always wants the attention just to himself. Another thing is that in Israel, Geller was the main judge and was only talking about the performances rather the techniques themselves. And was very fair toward the mentalists. There was another judge who I believe knows nothing about magic, so got to speak in a layman point of view. And was very fair toward the mentalists.

Add the fact that the performances were much longer in the original version (I believe some acts reached about 8-10 minutes air time) then you will see why NBC ruined the entire concept. Which is something that I already predicted a few weeks ago on this forum.
edh
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Tod, no need to defend CA. Use this as an example of how NOT to treat your fellow magicians.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Jared
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I taped the show last night and then watched it after the baseball game (GO Sox!). IMO the show was hugely dissapointing. More specifically, not one of the performers convinced me that they were doing anything extraordinary.

The first routine PK touches (loops) with the prediction at the end was anti-climatic and disjointed just as Chris Angel remarked.

The "comedy' bit with the hunters trap just sucked in terms of entertainment value. He didn't even bother trying to demonstrate that the trap worked as he did with the smaller version. There was no blood or any hint of pain or discomfort being felt by the performer.... he also slid out of the trap rather easily when the demonstration was finished don't you think?

The nail gun routine was another lousy act. The nails were too small for stage and didn't look dangerous enough for television. I wanted to throw up every time the camera panned to his Mother....good God that was awful! His presentation was like some bad cruise ship entertainer. I kept wanting to see him hurt himself with those silly nail guns.

The Human Phone number routine completely lacked emotional impact. This was dissapointing in a big way. The performer also seemed full of himself. His personality probably annoys many people. It makes sense that he's performing at Hooter's....his act was just as tacky the place he's performing at. This wonderful Bob Kohler creation came across as an insignificant parlor trick instead of an amazing mind reading feat.

I can't remember what the fifth person did so I guess that it didn't have much impact. Seeing a show like this made me appreciate the work that David Blaine did with his TV specials. There's just no comparison. Blaine's personna is so much more believable compared to this group of performers. The Phenomenon mentalists were too well rehearsed to the point of it being detrimental to the act itself. They literally sucked the life and emotion out of the action. IMO effective mentalism should have a touch of realism...there has to be some doubt that the performer won't get everything right. Not once did I ever suspect that this was going to happen. If these acts were on the Gong Show I would have been screaming for Jamie Farr to bang them off the show.

This show was managed very poorly... Two big Vernet thumb tips down!!!!

-Jared
Magical Dimensions
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I have not seen this program because I just don’t watch TV very much. TV was referred as an idiot box when I was growing up. And from reading this thread, it seems accurate to say that this is the case!

I am going to say a few things and I mean no disrespect to anyone. I just feel that this needs to be said to help us grow and move forward in today’s entertainment arena.

I do not want to turn this into a mentalism against magician’s thread, so lets not go there. That kind of talk has never served any purpose to anyone. Instead, lets stand up straight and look each other in the eyes and turn this into a learning tool that we as entertainers can use. Used in a way that will improve and thrust us into the limelight.

Are you with me so far?

First, all that I am reading is how lame the performances were and that there were no time to connect with the spectators. Christ Angel is a person who is a know it all and really full of himself. And dam him for being so high and mighty. Is this the feeling that you guys are getting from reading this thread?

Why is it that mentalism plays so weak and seem to be very boring as it is displayed on this program.

On page 24 Corona Smith had a very interesting comment that I thought was enlighting. He said, “I haven't seen the show either. But I didn't like it either, it was too..... well, lets just say, 'American'.”

Please, Corona, explain 100% what you mean. I am not trying to start any name-calling or fights. This is not the first time that I have heard this statement. To improve, one must listen. We are listening Corona, tells us our mistakes or how we come across to others in this world.

Also I believe in the 3-minute rule when it comes to entertainment. I try to set up my effects and hit the big finish within 3 minutes. Of course not every effect can play within 3 minutes but that is the idea that I work toward when blocking my magic show.

Now Mentalism is a different animal. It seems that the mentalist have to take sooooo looooong to connect with the spectators to really have knock out effects! Anyway that is what I am reading here. I know that we have to connect with people and make them feel apart of the show and touch their emotions and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

What I am getting at, is maybe we need to find newer ways to connect faster. Maybe we as mentalists just like to hear our self’s talk and only think that we need a long buildup to 'sell' an effect. Maybe we need to loss most of the fluff and get on with the show!

You can say all you want about Christ Angel, but the fact is, that people REALLY think he is the best magician in the world! I have heard people calling him a real wizard. So TV and stooges and video cuts really have made him the top dog, and there isn’t anything we can say to stop it. The idea has already taken root in people’s minds that he is the best!

Maybe we, as mentalist need to grow up and join the human race in terms of how entertainment is being presented now.
Gone are the days of an entertainer taking forever to do one effect. This is the generation on MTV with it’s fast moving video and computer games with action coming at you every second.

Today’s audience is different and expects to be shocked and entertained NOW! They don’t want to sit and listen to someone that they know nothing about go on and on about this and that.

I feel that it is the time to bring mentalism forward. I have read this thread and YOU ALL ARE IN AGREEMENT that mentalism plays boring in this setting.

It is time to push the envelope and write a new 13 steps to Mentalism. We can hold on to the past and the great works that has been written, but we need to take a NEW STEP FORWARD!

I am tired of reading this thread and hearing you guys complain. We sound like children, but we are more then that. We are entertainers who have been slap in the face with the truth of how MENTALISM REALLY PLAYS ON TV. It totally looks really sad!

Why complain about it? Why not start another thread in ‘Inner Thoughts’ on how we as entertainers can IMPROVE own game.

We are at the 50-yard line with only one play left and 2 seconds left on the clock. What do you want to do? I say that we huddle up and brain storm together. No idea is ridiculous if it moves us all forward.

It is time for a NEW PLAY BOOK to be written.


Ray
Jared
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"We are entertainers who have been slap in the face with the truth of how MENTALISM REALLY PLAYS ON TV. It totally looks really sad!"

...Ray with all due respect. Derren Brown's Mind Control series plays really nicely on television. I find it most entertaining.

-Jared
Magical Dimensions
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Sure, name another! It is his show and he is in control. He can set the effects up better. Not so with this TV program.
johne
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It is not that mentalism plays bad at all...competitive mentalism maybe. I would have rather seen a short question and answer or a few billet routines...

ElliottB where are you??? I think the propless routines would have played better in my opinion.

I would not say the performances were bad at all...they were good performances. I was expecting more "Phenomena" I guess. Moving objects, bleeding from the eyes, something strange. The PK routine was the closest to this feeling I wanted to see laymen get to watch.

John
Jared
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"Sure, name another! It is his show and he is in control. He can set the effects up better. Not so with this TV program"

I completely agree Ray. But again, I noted in my post that the format was a problem. Maybe this show might have been better if the performers were taped in performing environments that they had a little more control over.

-Jared
Silvertongue
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One example is enough. If it works it works.

Derren even put out his stage performance on t.v. which also worked.
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Chris K
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 12:29, LAW4D8 wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-10-25 11:53, Hoff Man wrote:

Would you tune in next week if you had no prior interest in magic, mentalism or the personalities involved?


Steve

p.s. can’t say any more about CA that hasn’t already been said.


What is interesting to me -- is that my wife actually sat across the couch from me and said...

"If I wasn't married to you -- I wouldn't watch this show again..."

Unfortunately I think a lot of people feel this way...

Let's just hope J/J gets to light a few fires before NBC puts the end to this thing...


Exact same situation here. I was vastly underwhelmed by most of the evening. Excessive low points: CA being an arse, bear trap (just IMHO)
High point: Nail gun routine as it was the most entertaining, by far

Agree with Chuck Hickok and others about the time and inability to construct a linked performance.

Still really looking forward to Jim and some others but the show seemed like a train wreck in the first episode, here's looking forward to something better.

Finally, I respect all the performers and wish them all the best. Any criticism I have can be pointed towards the format of the show and what it does to the performances.
WhateverUnique
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Ray...Jared,
I have one other thing that no one has mentioned that makes the show what it is. Carbon copy, carbon copy carbon copy. What I mean is every performer has their intro and back-story filmed, edited, lit and created by the same 3 or 4 guys. So everyone looks monochromatic ( not literally ) I mean they all seem...very similar and flattens out the differences between all of them. You get no true flavor or taste of anyone. Again none of this it the performers faults. The problem I think everyone is discussing here is simply the production and what has gone wrong. The performers are having so much of this thrust upon them they really have very little ability to control it.

I will say this is a slight benefit to having be a live show....if it were taped and edited....forget about it. At least the performers know what you do on stage is what the audience and home viewers get....nothing edited or left out.
Mindpro
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Part of the problem of "how mentalism plays on TV" is that it not been updated and adapted for the medium and today's society. That combined with NBC's control and influence over the tone of the show had a direct impact on the performers, their effects and even the audience and their response.

The dark, suspenseful, mysterious tone of the show felt very contribed and manufactured. So much so that it was too suspensful and heavy for the audience to applaud, laugh or express any emotion. It so reminded me of Who Wants To Be A Millioniare with the spotlights, dramatic cresendo-building music, and manufactured suspense. I felt this affected each performers ability to showcase their character which is so much a part of their set-up, believabilty and acceptance. Jim Karol's tone and humor was so stifled it was deafening, and Gerry's sense of humor was sucked out of his character as well. I applaud him for at least trying to appeal to the audience and a sense of humor with his remark about their lack of applause or expression. At least he made an attempt with the audience as if to say - lighten up, feel free to laugh, react, and have fun.

The entire thing was so dark, dramatic and suspenseful it removed the entertainment value to both the audience and viewers. I was so hoping that John Archer would have walked out with his sense of humor and bring things to life.

NBC seems to have decided that there was only one possible tone for Mentalsists and everyone's performances must somehow find success in that tone. This made it very one dimensional for me.

I also think this has a lot ot do with those who say mentalism doesn't play well on TV. Both mentalism and hypnosis are much more of an experience when seen live in person. They must be adapted to the medium of TV.

I too was approached about taking part in this show. As a matter of fact between emails and phone calls probably over a dozen different coorespondences from three differnt casting reps. I felt something like this would happen because of the current trend of dark, gothic and street-style of presentation. Even the mini-bio were all shot with that tone. This made it all unbelievable for me. The very basic element of entertainment must be making it fun, interesting and whenever possible interactive which was blantanly missing from this show.

Mentalism must be entertaining for the audience not mystifying or impressive for the performer or those in charge. If properly executed the nature of mentalism itself will deliver those elements.

It is for this reason and the overall combining of magic and mentalism that I chose not to participate without regret. I offer the best to all of the contestants for having to try to execute their talent and our art under such restrictions and control of the production, not to mention the condescending criticism and tone of CA.
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