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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Close-Up Magic Week on Letterman (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Illucifer
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Right on, Doc.
It's all in the reflexes.
gaffed
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Come on here. Let's face the fact that ALL of these magicians no FULL well what the setup looks like, i.e. the table, chair, etc. With that, you perform according to that setting and then use the appropriate effects to use out of your personal arsenal to fit in and exemplify your talent. It's not as if they are walking out on stage and are then completely surprised as to where they will be performing! If you're a qualified close up magician, its YOU who fit into the setting and, or surroundings....not the other way around.

If one feels that the given setting is not conducive to their personal repertoire of magic, then don't accept the job.
"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
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Micheal Leath
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Johnny Ace Palmer did a great job. He got Letterman involved in the magic and it worked. He made Letterman feel like he was helping and that seemed to be all it took.
Magicjg
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Bravo johnny. Bravo
Ireland
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So far, Johnny was the most entertaining.
jazzy snazzy
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Well, they just did it to Johnny Ace Palmer too.
He's performing the cups and balls with the stupid fake microphone front and center in the shot - ridiculous! Obviously there was no tech rehearsal since the director and switcher had no clue what was going on. The cameras were all over the place trying to frame a shot.
Johnny did great and held it together even when a ball fell on the floor. A fine job all the way.
Letterman was gracious and seemed to genuinely enjoy it.
The production crew just doesn't know how to capture close-up magic on television.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
David Todd
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I enjoyed John Carney's appearance.

Carney got a bad break with the orange flash (which obviously didn't flash to Dave , because he never saw it coming. Dave doesn't do "fake sincerity" , so you know that if he had seen that orange coming he would have made comments about it and would not have pretended to be amazed. It was just an unfortunate fluke that the director happened to cut to the overhead camera view at the wrong moment. But in fact Carney performed it flawlessly. If any of us had been sitting where Dave was sitting or in a normal close-up performance at a table we wouldn't have seen it. The unblinking eye of the camera from above revealed something from a view that most would never have had .

I was glad to see that the official edited version posted on the CBS website took out the orange flash. Smile

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/......Im&nrd=1


Johnny Ace Palmer was fantastic ! He killed with the cups and the chick finale.

In his case the haphazard camera work hindered his performance a bit, not by revealing too much as in Carney's case , but by obscuring too much when the mic on Dave's desk was blocking the view of what was happening.

But despite the poor camera work at that one moment Palmer came off with a really solid performance .


Looking forward to Steve Cohen and Michael Ammar.
teevtee
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I do think each performance is getting better, J.A.P. did well considering but I am still afraid it was not a home run. Following last nights performance is yet more cups and balls really a good call? Yes it is a classic of close up, yes the chicks is a nice kicker... but it feels like we have been there and done that.

I also understand that he is a classic magician but the tux and all seems out of time and certainly out of place in such a casual setting.

I et the feeling that no one really had much time to consider all these issues, not the performers or the crew. It all seems very haphazard and by the seat of their pants.

I thought his initial coin and ring tricks were great... simple, straight forward, no props. Once the cups and balls came out and there is really no room for them and all that it lost steam.

They all know the setting, they all know they do not have a ton of time... why not tailor a performance for that?
Powermagic
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I do not care if it is Dave's show or not. He should respect his guests and not be Mr. Funny. Looking back to the David Roth clip, it seems David DOES like to make it hard on his magic guests. His show or not, the job of a host is to make EVERYONE SHINE not steal the spot light.
As for editing. I do not see why they could not have fixed the problem so it probably is a little malice there.The live audience did not see it so the edit should have been made to match it. But then, maybe he was sloppy with that load.

As far has for being a REAL magician, well they are magicians and that does not negate the awkward setting for this series. It just does not look nice or comfortable. It looks sloppy with all of Daves crap on the the desk, the recess in the desk and the awkward body position of the guests. It is more restaurant than classy as they used to do. I do not think his natural approach makes the magic any more REAL or better.

But I do agree that anyone doing his show should prepare and choose wisely.

While I thought they all, so far have made it through, I was disappointed some have not changed their act in 25 years.

Quote:
On 2010-05-19 22:10, doceason wrote:
TKO has it.. admittedly the performance area is far from ideal but this is Letterman's show..Sure it would be nice to have a different more conducive setting, but this is Letterman's room and his rules. His audience tunes in to see him banter with his guests.

I don't sense malice on the show staff i.e. willfully exposing the orange load. I think the line editor made the call (though wrong) and switched it at an inopportune time. bummer. Time to move on. JC can have a quick edit and still come out with a million dollar piece of video.

Think about it.. If you were a real magician... you wouldn't need a plastic sleeve, a special table, lights just right, a person on your right and a person on your left.. real world stuff... You should just be able to do it right then and there. wouldnt you ? I think that is more the attitude of the Letterman staff.

If you climb into that ring, choose your material wisely, know the rules and get ready... for anything.
Powermagic
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Nope it is still there. Flashy flash flash [
quote]
On 2010-05-20 00:55, David Todd wrote:
I enjoyed John Carney's appearance.



I was glad to see that the official edited version posted on the CBS website took out the orange flash. Smile

http://www.cbs.com/late_night/late_show/......Im&nrd=1


[/quote]
Powermagic
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Well I think the others moved the mug and mic. Ace should have taken control but from his side angle it probably looked fine. That is what I am saying about not looking classy but rather like they were doing tricks in someones home.
By trying to make it seem natural,it did not enhance the magic. Well maybe I wll back track on that statement. If you had to have a black table and close up mat, maybe they would think it was tricky.
I do give them all credit for performing in a combat situation and doing well.

Quote:
On 2010-05-20 00:25, jazzy snazzy wrote:
Well, they just did it to Johnny Ace Palmer too.
He's performing the cups and balls with the stupid fake microphone front and center in the shot - ridiculous! Obviously there was no tech rehearsal since the director and switcher had no clue what was going on. The cameras were all over the place trying to frame a shot.
Daniel White
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Here is a quick post show interview we took of Michael Ammar on monday.

http://media.theory11.com/3357

A more in depth video about the whole behind the scenes experience will follow and will hopefully answer some questions about the discussion at hand.
sanman
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I was disgusted watching close-up week. I don't see musicians or singers treated in this way. As stated earlier, it is almost expected that the performer will be interrupted or tripped up. Why is this acceptable?
Magicmike1949
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Good grief this week has been painful. In Johnny Ace Palmer's routine an extra ditched yellow ball is screaming at the camera beside his leg. As for those who think Dave is fooled from his angle in Carney's segment you are being incredibly naive. The coconut was in the briefcase right at his feet, and he was looking down on it the whole time. These guys don't just come on and do this stuff without rehearsal and blocking of the camera angles. So far the camera shots have been disastrous, though I don't think it was meant to intentionally expose the magic. It's just incompetence by Dave's people. Dave obviously has some hostility towards magic. He made a typical smart aleck remark at the beginning of tonight's show during his monologue when he said something like,"Only one person in tonight's audience even cares about close-up magic." What an endorsement of a week's theme of shows. Still I don't blame him for the difficulties. Could I do better than the magi so far? Heck no. Do I still have the right to cringe and comment when I see my idols looking unprofessional? You betcha. Doc and others have correctly pointed out that there are some valuable lessons for all of us from watching this. Television magic is different than "real world". As Michael Close has said, "Venue will dictate repetoire." That means lighting, noise, working surface, audience, and a slew of other factors. Here's hoping Steve and Michael pull our collective chestnuts out of the fire.
rkosby
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I don't think Dave is mistreating the performers. I think it's the nature of performing close=up means you are going to get interrupted. If a singer or musician were performing the same distance from Dave that a close-up magician does, there would probably be some form of distraction from Dave. For that matter, there would be a distraction from most people under those conditions. It's part of what makes close-up magic unique.

Ray
rkosby
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I agree with what Doc wrote on the previous page. I don't think the director caught the orange flash out of malice. It looked to me like they learned from it and tried to adapt for Johnny Ace Palmer's cups and balls routine. But that backfired because the good angle to hide the method blocked the action. I bet that's why they went to the overhead shot during Carney's set. It was the best way to show the action.

I'm not sure the fact the editor left the flash in Carney's clip on the CBS web site is a sign of malice either. I wonder if it was just challenging to edit it out and not make it look like something was edited out.

Does the studio audience watch the performance on big screen monitors? It seems to me they would have seen the flash if that's the setup.

I always assumed the hosts of these shows were always put at a bad angle and always played along. I thought it is part of the challenge of capturing both the performer and the audience simultaneously on video. If that's the case, I think Dave did a reasonable job of helping John out.

Ray
TheAmbitiousCard
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I thought Johnny Ace Palmer was near flawless. I didn't see the ditched ball but he handled everything very well. From watching JAPs routine you could tell DL was excited about being invited to touch the props.

And JAP did exactly what I suggested anyone should do (several pages back)...
something you've done 1 billion times and know every possible response, heckle, comment, move, joke, wise-crack, one-liner, and breath a spectator might make.

JAP is THE best in the world at that set and he's done it more than anyone else ever could or will. He also didn't care that people might have seen him do bits of it somewhere else. He just did what he's best at. Period.

Great eye contact with the audience. Calm. Didn't rush sitting down. I was very impressed with his ability on TV.
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tophatter
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I wonder does he always drop the ball on purpose & use that line It's a Floor show & It's picking up . I have seen him do this a few times on other shows . I have to say his performance was very entertaing from start to finish !
tophatter
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TKO to answere your question YES I think Letterman does this crap on purpose he is a Jerk when It comes to magic performances on HIS show .
Jumbopenny
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I thought Johnny Ace Palmer did very well. However, feel there were 2 weak points. For one, the coin vanish was weak. I don't think anyone was fooled by that. 2nd, why in the world would any magician work so hard to secretly load live chicks then spoil their own surprise by forewarning the audience. It's like someone having a surprise party for you, but telling you before you open the door. The end was a dud for me. Technically sound, but emotionally what a waste.

I asked my friend (layman) what she thought of his performance. She raved about the coin falling up. She was laughing and surprised. I asked did she have any idea how he did it. Her response was with thread. I asked how she liked the production of the chicks, and she said it was ok, but it didn't surprise her. Always ask and listen to layman, in this case laywoman.

Can't wait to see Steve Cohen's segment.
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