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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Rick Marcelli, Manager to Magic Stars, Copperfield and The Pendragons TALKS! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MrGem
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Just in, an email from a friend of mine. Rick Marcelli, who managed David Copperfield and single handedly made him a "star" has a new book out! From what I have read about it, he discusses his biography, the history of Copperfiled in the making...his times with The Pendragons who he is credited for all their TV and rise to public fame. The man is a true genius among us and I for one will buy his book to learn what makes a manager and his clients tick. Here is the link. I will print more as I get the information. Thank you!

http://marcellicompany.com/book/
David Goldrake
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MrGem,

Although I am sure Rick has a lot of very interesting things to write, he did not make David Copperfield a star...

Regards,

D
critter
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I think it was Christie Brinkley Smile

Copperfield's a legend. I loved his Buzzsaw routine. Saw it live at the opera house here when I was in grade school.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Justin Style
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I'm sure you mean Claudia Shiffer!


nice try Smile
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2008-08-20 12:14, MrGem wrote:
Rick Marcelli, who managed David Copperfield and single handedly made him a "star" ...



I knew Rick 27 years ago, back in the day when he was managing Copperfield. He certainly did not make David a star. There were a lot of people behind Copperfield including The Cates Brothers who produced his early specials. At the time Rick was managing Copperfield, most of the gigs Copperfield got was as an opening act in Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton. It was a short, 45 minute act. In the summer/fall of 1982, Copperfield & Rick "went their separate ways" (to be polite) and then Copperfield continued a new contract at The Riviera in Vegas. In the winter of 1983 a promoter named Joe Marsh went to Copperfield and told him if he wanted to make real money, he needed to tour and in the spring of 1983, David did his first tour - a two week, 4 city test tour and never looked back.

I don't doubt this book is worth the money. Rick has been around the business longer than most of us. There are good and bad stories I can tell about Rick, but neither would be productive to this thread. I was around these people during that time and just wanted to offer an insight as to what is a somewhat hyped comment.
critter
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Sorry, I did say I was in grade school. Long time to remember.
Plus, all them white girls look alike to me.

Quote:
On 2008-09-05 11:44, Justin Style wrote:
I'm sure you mean Claudia Shiffer!


nice try Smile
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Slim King
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If the book was $29 I would have bought it, but $75 plus is a bit much for an unknown author and book.
I'm not saying it's not worth it or that he may not be a great manager. It's just a financial stretch for many. Has he written anything else? I may be mistaken.
I do like his site
http://www.marcellicompany.com/index.htm
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
JoshuaMichael
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Rudy Coby was a guest here that this guy claims to have made into a star, has anyone heard any comments about this manager from Coby?
Domino Magic
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If you're on the fence about this book, then you should read the article MArcelli wrote in MAGIC magazine this month. There is a lot of great advice in the article and will give you some insight of the contents of the book.
MrGem
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Quote:
On 2008-09-04 18:38, David Goldrake wrote:
MrGem,

Although I am sure Rick has a lot of very interesting things to write, he did not make David Copperfield a star...

Regards,

D


Actually Mr. Goldrake, Mr. Marcelli did indeed make David Copperfield a *star*!
David Goldrake
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MrGem,

I'd love to hear all about it and also learn from it! Would you mind sharing? I'd honestly prefer a private message regarding that subject. Smile

Regards,

D
Ray Pierce
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"Made him a star" is a very specific claim certainly.

David is strong, tenacious and a determined talent. Yes, he had the Cates Brothers to thank for the specials and bringing him to the television public as a young magician. His "image" if you will was very specific with the oversized clothes to cover a thin frame, the dramatic flair to cover a shy performer. If you watch not just the first special but his first national television appearance on "Magic at the Roxy" you'll see his original image.

Rick is the one who came in and helped mold and create the image of David we all know and accept now. He created the "sexy" character by associating him with beautiful girls and sizzling iconic imagery. Yes, there was a David Copperfield before the "wind-in-the-hair" open front shirt and hot models on the arm, but Rick realized what was needed to take him from a young insecure magician to an iconic image that could transcend what magic had always been. Remember that pre-Copperfield, magic had never really been sexy. Sure Doug Henning made it fun and exciting but you certainly couldn't get girls with it. We have Rick Marcelli to thank for changing the face of magic as we know it and creating the sexy sizzle that now is a standard fare for many magicians. That now oft-copied style didn't exist before Rick brought it to magic.

The "Magician-as-Sex-Symbol" image that lead MANY to magic was one of Rick's huge contributions to magic as we now know it. Where would most current star magicians be without that? No Hans Klock, no David Blaine, No Criss Angel and MANY others... because magic just wasn't cool before then.

Now did Rick give David the idea to tour and go on the road? No, but would David have had the chance to tour and be as famous as he became without that change in image? Maybe, but probably not.

To make studied choices that connect imagery and other elements to mold and transform someone into an international icon is a very specific skill and art.

In other words, Rick didn't technically make David tour, he didn't make him do a show in Vegas, he didn't make him do a TV show... but I think he DID make him a star.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Ken Northridge
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Very well written Ray. I don’t think anyone here thinks that David Copperfield was some helpless soul and Rick Macelli saved him and “made” him a star. I have no doubt that this gentleman gave him some great advice. But the hardest part is doing it, taking the risk, etc.

I remember Mark Wilson telling the story of when David Copperfield came to him for advice. David asked if he thought he should take his large illusion show on tour. Mark told him it was a silly idea and would not make a profit. Mark laughs about how wrong he was.

So, you see, its not just getting advice, it discerning what advice to take and what advice not to take.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2009-09-15 08:46, Ken Northridge wrote:
I don’t think anyone here thinks that David Copperfield was some helpless soul and Rick Macelli saved him and “made” him a star. I have no doubt that this gentleman gave him some great advice. But the hardest part is doing it, taking the risk, etc.


I totally agree. No one that has ever worked with David will deny his work ethic and passion for what he does. My only qualifier I looked at in defining Rick's role was what would have happened without his input? Would David be the icon he is today? I've known David since about '78 when he first came to LA. He's an amazing talent but I also so how he developed under Rick's guidance. I saw the gradual transformation first hand. We also didn't think he had a shot of making this new image work, but in time, it did. Keep in mind this wasn't just someone who said, "try being sexy". It was a long process and yes, David made it work but Rick directed it, drove it forward and guided every step of the process. Anyone that hasn't worked in that process has trouble understanding what a painstaking job it is.

I've had great managers in the past but none had the wisdom and abilities Rick has. It was the magic combination with Rick and David that made it all work. As an example he tried to capture lightning again in several other cases and although successful, didn't have the same results.

It's been said that if a show succeeds, it's the because of the talent... if it fails, it's because of the director.

A great talent manager has a similar role as largely invisible and unnoticed. Study Jay Bernstein, Ken Kragen and other super star talent managers to gain an understanding of their role, although most who don't work with them will never understand the effort and skill that goes into their craft.

It's a thankless job much like a stuntman who works, sweats and risks his life only to have the celebrity reap all the rewards. Only by studying and understanding all of these roles can we begin to appreciate their contributions.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
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