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w_s_anderson
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So, I was watching clips from last nights America's Got Talent episode this morning and there was a Magician from Alaska name Landon Swank who did a very cool presentation of Shadow Theatre.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra15IyX4azk

What do you guys think??

And Scott Alexander did a water levitation! Both made it through to Las Vegas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEjXH2u2LS4
Magic Patrick
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I liked them both.

Especially the water levitation. Thanks for sharing.

Patrick
Loual4
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This is what I REALLY HATE about America's got Talent. There are so many cut aways from the performance that, personnally, I can't enjoy what the artist is doing. The magicians are probably very good, but it is annoying that the producers of show think it is more important to see a blank stare from the judges or some people in the audience than it is to see the actual performance.

There, I am done with my rant...
Payne
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I agree. It's one of the reasons I don't watch the show. One is left with the impression that it's the boxes that allow the performers to move on, not their presentations. I am sure to many it just looks like "push button magic". That anyone who owned the trick would move on as we are not allowed to see what made thier presentation of the effect different or unique.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Ray Pierce
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The interesting thing to me was that the judges liked it as they said they had never seen anything like it before. Their endorsement stems from lack of knowledge. If you can find a stock box that they haven't seen yet... they will give you credit for inventing it. Jim Steinmeyer has put more people on that show than anyone I know!
Ray Pierce
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dahih beik
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The lighting on alexander illusion I like much much better than on thr saudi ahmed really no comparism
http://youtu.be/Cu-EVKntQmQ
w_s_anderson
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Was that a soap opera ad or a music video? I am assuming you were trying to post another video of your favorite magician Ahmed from Saudi Arabia....;-)
ClintonMagus
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I would like to see Shadow Theater presented with more than 90 seconds to perform it.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
w_s_anderson
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That is so true Ray.....each round I was in that got televised was with a Steinmeyer prop. I got the chance to thank him in person for that at the Academy of Magical Arts award show back in April.

I agree with you guys about the cuts....When they aired vegas round, the music I used was cut out and dubed with something else, two of the four girls were cut out, and the best part of the whole routine was cut out. I was pretty upset when I first saw it as it aired.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-01 17:10, w_s_anderson wrote:
When they aired vegas round, the music I used was cut out and dubed with something else, two of the four girls were cut out, and the best part of the whole routine was cut out. I was pretty upset when I first saw it as it aired.


Yeah, That is part of the price when people sign up for that deal. The producers can basically do anything they want including re-editing your entire piece including adding audio clips from other days totally out of context to tell the story they want to tell. Most of the acts they bring in are what I call "Cannon Fodder". They are the expendable acts that are there to round out the audition episodes. That's why they let through an odd assortment of types knowing that they will never win. lol... as we know from the past, a singer is probably gong to win! The irony is that the only one to do really well off this show is Terry Fator, the token variety act! Can you name one other winner that is actually dong anything? They show the guy from last year doing concerts but he's certainly not the star they are implying.

As to the magic... I do believe Landon came off very likable which is the most important part of the process. It is not a talent competition as we have found out, it is a popularity contest. Scott was a total pro and looked flawless but Landon looked very casual and had a lot of great audience appeals the judges picked up on. The producers are trying to make a show that the most people will tune into for 13 weeks so likability is more important that anything!

We'll see what the show pulls out this year!
Ray Pierce
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Illucifer
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It's nice to see someone finally perform Shadow Theatre the way Jim wrote the routine. Most guys feel the need to turn it into a production for some reason.
It's all in the reflexes.
tristanmagic
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Jim Steinmeyer had several of his illusions on the show like Origami, Modern Art & Shadow theater but don't forget the genius of Alan Wakeling who had his Aquarius, spiker & excalibur performed on AGT
The shadow theater he designed for Mark Wilson is very simular to Steinmeyers version so I won't be surprised if Steinmeyer inspired his version on the work of Alan Wakeling.
Chris Stolz
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I don't know...maybe it's me...I found it kind of boring. Still, I wish him the best of luck!
magicians
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Quote:
On 2011-06-01 21:32, Chris Stolz wrote:
I don't know...maybe it's me...I found it kind of boring. Still, I wish him the best of luck!

I agree, no style, and if the assistant is dressed in a costume, the magi should follow suit with other than an untucked shirt.
Even the fountain was actually unimpressive.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
w_s_anderson
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To the lay public they were a hit, and is it really fair to give a negative critique of the water levitation when they only showed 20 seconds of the performance. Given the performance restraints you face on that show, it's bound to not impress the magic community. Fortunately, that is not the shows demographic.

I liked the untucked shirt. That is probably what 90 percent of his audience was wearing. The whole idea of a magician in a tux was to be dressed to match your audience. Not many people go to a show wearing tux's or gowns anymore.
Blair Marshall
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"The whole idea of a magician in a tux was to be dressed to match your audience"

Actually I believe the original concept was to be dressed at least the same, if not better than your audience. ie. performing for a corporate audience in 3 piece suits...you wore a tux etc. Doug broke that mold back in the early 70's when he would wesr his "costume" for a corporate show. It was a novelty, but still a "costume" to many of the audiences he was working for.

Back to the thread, I agree, with all the constraints the show puts on you, I don't think you could judge the performances from a magic perspective.

Blair
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-06-01 15:01, Ray Pierce wrote:
The interesting thing to me was that the judges liked it as they said they had never seen anything like it before. Their endorsement stems from lack of knowledge. If you can find a stock box that they haven't seen yet... they will give you credit for inventing it. Jim Steinmeyer has put more people on that show than anyone I know!


Funny, when Landon and I were building that prop in my studio - complete with a number of significant improvements over the original design - I don't recall Jim Steinmeyer dropping in even once...

Just kidding, of course. I have great respect for Steinmeyer's work and own almost everything he's published.

Regarding the comment about the routine being "boring", it should be noted that there are SEVERE time constraints on all performances, and - more importantly - the performers have absolutely no control over how the raw footage will be edited. What we see on television is as much (or more) the product of producers and editors as it is of the artists themselves - a fact to which Scott Alexander can surely attest(!)

And finally, about costume choice, Landon WAS dressed a notch above most of the audience. Though few here would know it, there's a very good chance the clothes he was wearing cost more than the average weekly salary of most of the critics on this thread. And are none of you experts familiar with the "Susan Boyle principle" (which can find its roots in decades old magic books)? Many of the AGT performers who successfully passed that first audition were taking full advantage of it.

Man it's fun to watch the Monday-morning quarterbacks...

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Mike Maturen
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Scott seemed to have the high energy stage style that I like, while Landan was more subdued. I liked both performances, considering the time facto's, editing, etc.

I need to see more from both before I determine which one I like better, though.
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 12:45, Thomas Wayne wrote:

Funny, when Landon and I were building that prop in my studio - complete with a number of significant improvements over the original design - I don't recall Jim Steinmeyer dropping in even once...


lol... you mean he doesn't show up anymore??? Geez, he's slipping! My comment has nothing to do with the prop (or method/improvements for that matter) but the "effect" which is all that the audience/judges really see. Jim comes up with fun effects that are new and different... and that fact alone seems to be the mitigating factor in what these "judges" are looking for to tell them if an act is any "good" or not. It's the same mentality as saying a juggler is really good as long as he doesn't drop anything. I saw them review a top juggler that had been working for years in Vegas by telling him that he could be ok and actually become a professional someday if he kept it up. They are obviously clueless and uninformed about most variety acts including magic.

Quote:
Regarding the comment about the routine being "boring", it should be noted that there are SEVERE time constraints on all performances, and - more importantly - the performers have absolutely no control over how the raw footage will be edited. What we see on television is as much (or more) the product of producers and editors as it is of the artists themselves - a fact to which Scott Alexander can surely attest(!)


Boring is relative to me. I don't care about time or editing or anything else. My main problem is with people simply demonstrating an illusion. I seem to have seen dozens of magicians on this show that fit into this category. If you can't transcend the prop, you shouldn't be doing it. If people remember the prop and not you... you've made a mistake. I do like Scott's style more in general as it has more charisma and professionalism but that isn't as critical on a show like this and sometimes can work against you. Landon has good looks and star quality. Is that fair? Not at all but it just is. The fact is that he might have a great deal of talent that we haven't seen yet.

Quote:
And finally, about costume choice, Landon WAS dressed a notch above most of the audience. Though few here would know it, there's a very good chance the clothes he was wearing cost more than the average weekly salary of most of the critics on this thread. And are none of you experts familiar with the "Susan Boyle principle" (which can find its roots in decades old magic books)? Many of the AGT performers who successfully passed that first audition were taking full advantage of it.


I think this was a great choice actually. As I've mentioned, he came off as very sincere and likable which is all that really matters. It also allows for growth which is what the show is about. The producers want to "mold and groom" their selected acts so to start a little more raw is a huge advantage in this particular case.

I know that everyone here (including me) will have an opinion about what the people on the show "should" have done but ultimately nothing we think on here really matters as we aren't the demographic the show cares about. They are going for much larger numbers.

It's always fun for me to see what "works" and what get's through then try and understand the reasons behind it. That is the real lesson here.
Ray Pierce
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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 14:31, Ray Pierce wrote:
[...] If you can't transcend the prop, you shouldn't be doing it. If people remember the prop and not you... you've made a mistake. [...]


Just so I completely understand, are you saying that the audience and judge's memory of Landon's performance is: "Wow, what an interesting Asian-style box he used"? Is that what you think was the sum experience the audience took away from it? If so, I can only guess you figure they were audibly gasping at the prop's clean lines and fine construction...

Quote:
[...] Landon has good looks and star quality. Is that fair? Not at all but it just is. The fact is that he might have a great deal of talent that we haven't seen yet.[...]


You feel it's "not fair" that Landon has good looks and star quality? "Not fair"? Man, is that ever a skewed viewpoint of the real world.

You watched one edited-for-television 90-second performance - with an overlaid musical soundtrack that is completely different from the one Landon actually performed to (by the way) Meanwhile, I've known him since he was 17, and I can say with absolute certainty that on that one single point you're exactly right - he does have a great deal more talent than you've seen yet.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
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