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Daniel Ulzen
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Please don´t misunderstand me here. With “art” I mean in these sentences for example a book like “Peter and Wendy” or a picture like “Mona Lisa”, so I use “art” as the translation for the german word “Kunst”. It is not easy to say what “Kunst”/art is, so it is often said that something is “Kunst” if most people agree it is “Kunst”.

I guess most people would say that the magic shows of David Copperfield are art. I would be interested to hear if there are some magic shows for children that are art in this way. Of course there are lots of GREAT magic shows for children/families and lots of GREAT and toppropfessional performers (who are heroes for me). But when I think of the videos/DVDs I have about childrens magic I have the feeling something is missing to consider it art in the described way.

What are the reasons for this? Maybe to produce art you need some conditions most childrens entertainers don´t have (more money, a theater, a director, …).

On the other hand: If a show is extremely funny and the kids enjoy it so much – is there any need for art? What would be the benefit of art here?

Just some thoughts about this subject …
The Mighty Fool
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This was discussed.....actually I'm not sure "discussed" is the right word....this was HOTLY DEBATED on the forums awhile back, to the point where it ended up getting locked. The title of the thread was "11 kid show thoughts for 2011"

It was based on an article written to outline 11 things which the author beleived could be improved on in children's magic. It's main problem was that it was clear as to what it didn't like, but gave no ideas for replacements.

Would kids be just as or more enthralled by a magic show focused on the art rather than fun & silliness? Mabye...mabye not. I cant say because I've never found an 'artful' kid's magic show to compare. And I suppose this lack of kids-magic-as-art is presicley what youre bemoaning in your thread.
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Daniel Ulzen
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Thanx, very interesting.

I am not shure if art and "fun & Silliness" is really an antagonism. I think "fun and Silliness" can be a part of the art.
TonyB2009
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I agree fun and silliness can be part of art. Just look at Salvador Dali. But I disagree about regarding what David Copperfield does as art. To me it falls a long way short.
I prefer to think of most of us as craftsmen, with a few artists at the top (not necessarily at the top in terms of income or recognition, just in terms of what they are presenting).
Skip Way
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David Copperfield made his reputation through his use of magic in storytelling. He incorporated music, dance, drama, pathos, comedy and staging to create his earliest magical moments. Those are clear elements of performance art.

I believe that performance art is defined between the artist and the participant. When I attend a very good movie or performance, I become totally engrossed in the show - the audience around me and time cease to exist. I become a participant in the show - albeit a passive one.

This is what characters like Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, Barnaby, Buffalo Bob and others did for me as a kid. They drew me in as an active participant in their shows. They were speaking directly to me - not to some faceless television audience. This was their art - and they were very good at it.

It is this value that I try to bring to my shows. Every child becomes an active participant. Their attention is focused on what THEY will accomplish next; not me.

As for needing costly props, staging and equipment: Respectfully - Hogwash. Emmett Kelly artistically drew thousands to tears and laughter with two pieces of bread. Red Skelton did it with an old hat. I've seen David Bartlett hold an audience spellbound with a shoestring. Performance art requires one thing: That connection between the artist and the spectator.

True artists touch lives. What greater canvas than the open mind and heart of a child?
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I remember taking a new magician in our club to one of my library shows.

After the show, he asked, "So you just simply play a fool."?

I answered, "Yes, but it is not that simple".

Art is in the eye of the beholder. ..in a painting my wife and I were viewing....she saw art...I saw paint drips.

I love the image of the open mind and heart of a child as a canvas....


Harris
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jackturk
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As a children's entertainer, I am an actor playing the role of a fool to whom magic happens.

That's art in my book.
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Skip Way
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Thinking about this further - isn't an artist one who takes the incredibly difficult and makes it look incredibly easy? We marvel at Michelangelo's David because of the realism. A gifted juggler with a sparkling and entertaining wit is a true joy. One who can weave a spell that captivates a room full of six-years-olds while entertaining the adults in the room - and make it look easy - is no less amazing. That is where you find the art in what we do.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2011-05-17 07:11, TonyB2009 wrote:
But I disagree about regarding what David Copperfield does as art. To me it falls a long way short.

It's not art but he is a bit of a Kunst.
harris
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The fool in literature has lots of power. He could tell the truth to the King and keep his head.
Today we have political based comedians....
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magic4u02
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Is Children’s Magic an Art?

Well it is a great question and one which has been asked and debated for years. Just bring up the question of “what is art?” and you are bound to get into heated debates. My goal here is not to cause a debate but to simply express my own views on the topic based on my own background and opinion.

I am both an artist (illustrator and designer) and also a magical entertainer. How I view the subject of children’s magic as art is different then most view it. I see things from both perspectives because I have a foot in each.

To even answer this question we should probably try and define “art” as it exists in the dictionary. “Art is a noun meaning the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.“

That is pretty interesting when one looks at it. I think the key there is the phrase “according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” This alone means to me that art is subjective by nature. What one person likes another may not. What one sees as art another may not. Even how each person views art is different. Anyone looking at a work of art gets something entirely different out of it.

So is Children’s Magic an Art? Yes and no. It is all in how you view it. But more importantly it is how your audience views it. I always like to say that as an entertainer, I am the artist. My show is the canvas of which I display before the audience for their acceptance. It Is the audience who defines what I do as art or not. It is they who decides if what I do is beautiful, appealing and more then ordinary.

With this in mind, it is up to me to try and create “works of art” that appeal to the audiences I perform for. So how does one do this? Well any artist uses the “tools” of the trade to create a masterpiece. As a children’s entertainer, I must acquire these tools and learn how to use them effectively. The more tools I have, and the more I understand the tools, only then can I begin to create.

So how can a children’s performer hope to have the audience see what we do as art? Well the first is that we MUST be willing to TREAT what we do as art. If you do not take what you do as art, then how and why should anyone else? If you are not serious about putting your all into what you do and being truly creative, then do not expect an audience to view you anything more than ordinary.

You must also be willing to think outside the box. By definition, exact imitation is not essentially art. Being “influenced” by someone is different. All artist are influenced. However, we can not allow influence to become imitation. As a children’s entertainer, I can not expect to have what I do be seen as art if what I am doing is the exact same thing as everyone else. If it is the same old thing, then it is certainly not more then ordinary significance.

If you want your audience to view what you do as art, then you must be willing to get off your butt and think for yourself. You must force yourself to be creative. You must in essence define who you are as an artist and allow your style and personality to be your own. A great artist is one because their style is very well defined and unique to them.

An artist touches the emotions of an audience. When a person views something as art, they do so because there is something about it that moves them in some way. As an entertainer, this can take many forms from laughter to shock to sadness to happiness and everything in between. We make connections with the audience. We engage them. We move them.

So when you walk out on that stage, remember one important thing...YOU are the canvas. Display your work proudly and the audience will decide if it is worthy.

Kyle
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Skip Way
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Quote:
YOU are the canvas.

See, now we differ slightly there, Kyle. I view the audience as the canvas. You and I are the brushes. We use our skills to create an impression upon the audience. As you said, if the audience leaves our show thinking "WOW!" then we've created a masterpiece. If that isn't art, what is?
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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Al Angello
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A good children's magician is an artist, and to be an artist you need to have talent. You can't buy talent at the magic shop, or learn talent from a book, or a DVD. No one ever wants to talk about natural born talent here, so I will not be surprised if everyone ignores me on this one ONCE AGAIN.
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magic4u02
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Skip: Great stuff here. We actually think more alike then we may both realize. The key is that we are making an impression. To me art is art because it has to be “valued” by the person viewing the art. I just feel that my show and what I do is the canvas of which I present. The audience is the one that determines if what I presented is art or not.

In your idea, it is about the same thing only you are stating the canvas is the audience. Either way the audience is still the ones who determine if what we do is art or not. It is not ourselves. =)

Al: Who said anyone was going to ignore you. =) I actually think soe of your comments were good ones and certainly food for thought. I agree that to be an artist you must have talent. Talent is acquired through the acquiring and mastering of the “tools of the trade”. An artist can not make a masterpiece unless they have this talent and the tools of which to do it.

I do believe that people are born with talent. I know as an artist, I was born with the gift to be able to draw and create pictures. I had that ability from the start. However, I know for a fact that even though I was born with the talent to do art, I learned to better my talent over the years through schooling, teachers, mentors and acquiring new skills sets. I think magic works the same way.

Kyle
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harris
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I was on the shy side with words. Movement came more easy as did facial expressions. Thus my early work was an act called "Mime over Matter". (back in the 70's and early 80's)

The Doctor of Laughology programs featuring monologues based on me(as every man/boy) came much later.
In part the were based on Marcel's Bip's (every man/mime character)

As the comfort level of revealing me, as part of my art, grew so did my programs.

Natural talent is a great start ...so is desire ...time....motivation...and mentorship...(in and out of magic/vent/juggling....)

I love to read about stories about folks that create great bits out of Adams Magic..such as the vase that won't lay down.. versions using not one but multiple little vases. (he was "clever as a fox")

Harris
silently but serenely
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magic4u02
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But I think we can say that you can be born with talent for being an “artist”. However, that talent can also be grown and nurtured through the usage of new skill sets, mentors, teachers etc.

Kyle
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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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The S.A.M. has a great program for nuturing young talent.

Some others (who ever "They" are) might say talent blooms to even a higher (or perhaps different) level when a young artist is not exposed or have available mentors, shops, dvds. With out limits or "set perameters, a young artist couldn't tell him/her self what couldn't be done.

...and when if we blend an artist who happens to have a parent with a talent in another art (say singing/woodworking/electronics/audio or light effects) their art may (or may not) be led into another level of creativity.

Way back in college, in psych 101 we talked about nature versus nurture....and the beat goes on.

Harris
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magic4u02
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You are correct in that many times ones talent as an artist can indeed be hindered by too much exposure. But even if the person is not exposed to outside or external sources we can agree that talent as an artist grows over time.

Kyle
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idomagic
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Great topic... My answer is yes.

How can it not be? Isn't that scribbly picture thing stuck on the fridge art? Of course it is. How is comedy and humor not art? I think Kathleen Madigan is an artist. So was Kaptain Kangaroo and Bozo. I may not like your art, you may not like mine but it's still art...

Maybe the better question is... "Is kids magic a fine art." I might say no to that.
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harris
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Is it art when the audience and magician become one.

Sometimes I am literally sitting in the 3rd row. (The brush mixing with the paint)
I also find interesting props. A couple of weeks ago, I was at a church and their theme/project was hats.

In the middle of my duck shoes routine, I spotted a young lady with you guessed it a donald (or was it daisy) duck like hat. I couldn't pass adding it to the routine.

Somewhere in the middle is where does being commercial and being artistic overlap creatively or muddy the issue. Sometimes "playing to the band" can take away from the ongoing flow. Sometimes it is worth it.

Choices.....


Harris
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