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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 15:31, Thomas Wayne wrote:

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...


As always, this is what is so hard in discussing anything online. If we were all sitting face to face things would be (I believe) much more clear with tone and inflection.

I HOPE the judges (and audiences) memory of his act was "Wow, that guy is great!" not "what a clever and well built prop!" That is what I mean by transcending the prop. If you do your job properly you will be remembered more than the individual effects. If you (well, not you but a lay audience member) see a great magician, you should think he's amazing. When you see someone simply demonstrating an effect, you think the trick is great but forget the magician. That's why I think some magicians function more as furniture salesmen. In the end, you want to buy the prop but not them.

Quote:
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.


lol... Thom, Thom, Thom.. do you for one second forget who I'm writing for here? Do you realize you're talking to someone who must cast people based solely on their looks on an ongoing basis? Isn't the goal to educate? I think you will admit that many magicians will have the opinion that someone that simply "looks good" (before bringing any talent into it) isn't fair when they work "just as hard" and "do the same effects" and don't get the same breaks. When I'm talking with others in the industry that deal with these things more on a daily basis, I would have a different way of approaching the topic.

Quote:
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.


You missed the key point...I think he does have that quality and is playing it just right from my point of view. True, I didn't see much out of him in that clip but I've been around that show long enough to understand that. He appears to be very charismatic and I hope will do well... just stay in front of the props (again that is a symbolic not literal statement) ;-)
Ray Pierce
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Falconer
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The Shadow Theatre is here to stay. I love this effect also because the reaction of the spectator is great. The routine was well executed, however, my critical go to the magical way of dressing: very normal!

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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 15:31, Thomas Wayne wrote:
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...


I totally forgot a key point in reading this that I didn't mention that could have added to your confusion (and possibly consternation) ... I think you believed that I was discussing HIS performance when I said "My main problem..." but I was in fact discussing my main problem with magicians on the show in general which I said but it might not have resonated correctly.

BTW... in the pretaped performances the audience is frequently not miked so many times those "audible gasps" are layed in during post, you can thank the producers for that. They do however mike the house for the live shows so they are usually not sweetened live as much.
Ray Pierce
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videoman
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I thought they both did a great job and made not only themselves but magic in general look good. I applaud Landon for coming up with an effect that could fit into the time constraints, had a very magical feel to it with a surprising ending, and that the judges hadn't seen before. After several seasons of the show, it is getting tougher and tougher to meet that criteria.

I get the whole concept of costuming in this day and age and would have cringed if Landon had walked out wearing a tux, BUT... even after years of seeing young illusionists wearing expensive designer torn jeans and simple shirts, I have to be honest and say that Landon's really did jump out at me about halfway thru his performance as being exceptionally plain. I've no doubt they were very expensive, but to me they looked like off the shelf Costco. But who cares as it seemed to work fine for him and I do think by appearing less professional in the beginning (I'm referring to costuming and not performance) actually helps in some ways with the judges.

He performed it well but one thing I didn't much care for was at the very beginning when he held the flat "vase" up against the prop. This was I think a little confusing to the spectators and IMHO was not performed with very much flair or confidence. I found myself hoping he didn't get "X'ed" at that point. It wasn't until he shown the light behind the prop that you could understand what he had been trying to convey. Another very tiny thing that bothered me was his assistant entered from stage right at the same time he took a couple steps in that direction. It looked at first like she was going to hand him something or receive something from him, or perhaps was simply going to meet him on stage. Then she walked right by him and he acted like he didn't see her and poured the water from first vase into the glass one. Again, a moment later it became clear what was happening but gave the appearance initially (to me anyway) that there was a mix-up or lack of rehearsal. In any event, I felt there was no connection between his assistant and himself, which made her come off more as just a prop.
His performance was good, but did have a feel of inexperience surrounding it. Which if planned, was a smart move, as it will probably help make him seem even more likable to the viewing audience and judges.

I don't mention these small things to imply that I'm an expert or to simply criticize another performer, but discussing these types of things with other magicians and hearing their opinions is one of the things I enjoy most about forums such as these. So allow me to state again that I very much liked his illusion selection and his presentation of it. It's pretty rare that you see what amounts to a vanish with no surprise reappearance garner such a great response from the audience. They did audibly gasp (assuming that wasn't edited in later).

TW, a couple questions since you work with Landon. Does he have future illusions already in mind in case he makes it to further rounds? Does he have an empathetic back story the producers can milk for all it's worth? Honestly, I am very curious as you seem to need both, several very surprising illusions (essentially each one a "closer") and a heart-warming backstory.

Bill
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I agree with some points that Videomean said!
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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-06-02 19:48, videoman wrote:
[...]
TW, a couple questions since you work with Landon. Does he have future illusions already in mind in case he makes it to further rounds? Does he have an empathetic back story the producers can milk for all it's worth? Honestly, I am very curious as you seem to need both, several very surprising illusions (essentially each one a "closer") and a heart-warming backstory.

Bill


Tune in and see.

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
Sorcerer
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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...

Hi Thomas

I found Landon a little bit uncharismatic, yet I like the performance somehow.

I'm quite familiar with Shadow Theater and must say I can't see what significant design improvements you speak (Despite the slightly different "side handles" design, the lack of "birds perch" and the "all white" colour scheme)

Sincerely speaking, WITHOUT ANY INTENTION OF ANNOYING, what improvements do you mean?

Best regards
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-06-04 10:49, Sorcerer wrote:
[...]
I'm quite familiar with Shadow Theater and must say I can't see what significant design improvements you speak (Despite the slightly different "side handles" design, the lack of "birds perch" and the "all white" colour scheme)

Sincerely speaking, WITHOUT ANY INTENTION OF ANNOYING, what improvements do you mean?

Best regards


The improvements are internal to the prop and not visible from an audience perspective. Most importantly, since they directly involve the "secret" of the illusion, it would be inappropriate to detail them in an open forum.

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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- - -In the original plans of Jim Steinmeyer the base is hollow and in this is all covered!

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Hi again

I understand your point of view, if your improvements deal with "the secret" it's not ok continue talking in an open forum.

I was studying deeply Shadow Theatre three years ago. I learned almost by heart the planes at Steinmeyer's book and worked for a long time transforming them and providing my own thoughts until I had built my version of the illusion about half and a year ago.

When I've seen your post I felt a little surprised, because what you see in the video of AGT apparently does not differ at all from the plans of the book. Throughout the process of redesigning my device I took a lot of affection for the Shadow Theatre. I removed the side handles, changed the traps, changed the system to open the door and put it over a completely different table.
When I saw that someone else had made ​​changes to the original idea, I felt it very interesting. That's why I asked you for your modifications.

I wish you'd tell me in private what you have changed.

Best regards
TaylorReed
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The bottom line is this. They liked the guy more than the prop.. They have seen better illusions a million times.. In fact the judges have seen all of this stock stuff over and over and a lot of it never even makes it on TV.. They know how all of this stuff works also.
Most show producers that are around magic start to know how it works pretty fast and then they think that it's stupid or how could anyone fall for that.. Example... I use to work with a show producer in Vegas named John Stuart and he said no one would ever be fooled by that stupid basket trick... He was refering to the Asarah. I said that's where your wrong... Just because you know how it works doesn't mean they know. They do these same shows world wide as you know and some of the judges go and see the same stock stuff over in another country... Can you imagine what they think when they go to another country and a guy rolls out a cube zag? After just seeing a guy doing last week at an audition in America. My father use to produce a talent contest called Star Mania.. This was around 20 yrs ago.. Before even Star Search.. The hardest part was to produce a show that would have lots of variety.. The audience could vote and they always voted for the singers and the dance acts... You may ask yourself why... Well I have the answer.. It's because we listen to music from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed in one form or another.. The great comedians and the great magic acts and vent act etc.. Never made it that far even in my fathers contest..... As a producer this is really bad.. It's always nicer to have a little bit of this and a little bit of that.. but in the end it's normally a singer.. Even the Vent act that won.. Well you guessed it.... He's a singer also.. So maybe Darren Romeo needs to go on that show.... The point of all of this is that the young guy got to stay on because of his looks and the way that the audience loved him.. It wasn't really the prop in my opinion.. There was a guy who did a much better and newer illusion by Steinmeyer a few days ago and he got kicked off.... So it comes down to the performer not the prop.. That's a good thing..... There is an old saying in the biz... You are either selling the prop or yourself on stage.... If you are counting on the prop to do it for ya... Well you need to go ahead and just really sell your prop to some other guy.. That will never get you that far in the end... I don't think that a magic act will ever make it all the way on this show in America. The only way a magic act would make it to the end on this show would be for the show to help produce a magic act from behind the sceens.. Just my opinion.. It doesn't cost a dime to sing a new song each week.. It cost 10 to 20k a week for a great trick or at least 2k for rental.. I've seen really bad dance acts beat out good magicians in Star Mania... They were just hoping around like animals looking for there next meal... They got the audience into it with a good song... That really Suc-- for us...
I love Jim Steinmeyer and nothing against the guy who built the illusion. But this illusion wasn't the kinda of show stopper they look for.. Good for this guy that it got him through.... They were buying the guy not the prop in this case in my opinion.. Lets see what he can pull out of the hat.. You must have rockin magic to stay on that show.. I don't know of any magician that could hold out to the end.
And about the guy that got kicked off with the great illusion.. Well I think that he's a great guy and the prop was great and he also has a great act.. Not sure what happened... I didn't even make air time when I did it a few yrs ago and I have my own show in Branson.. I must be too old.. Not sure LOL>>>>> My story suc---, well lets just say I really didn't have the kinda of story they wanted... the producers were trying to pull a good story out of me... reach deep tell us about the bad times etc.. Well I didn't want to get down on a low life level and tell them all the stuff that is really bad about my life.. Believe me... I have a lot of stuff I could have mentioned... But that's not what I wanted on TV>> Looks like my friend Scott, well they did a lot of edits on him.. I would have liked to have seen more.. Good luck to all the magicians who do the show..
Taylor Reed
This is only my opinion on the AGT deal...
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 12:08, TaylorReed wrote:
The bottom line is this. They liked the guy more than the prop..


This is really all that matters to them. They are buying personalities, not props.
Ray Pierce
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Illucifer
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Taylor, who's the other guy that did the newer Steinmeyer piece? Haven't heard or seen anything about it. And what was it?
It's all in the reflexes.
w_s_anderson
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Well I did hear that you can make it pretty far on the show if you are friends with Ray Pierce Smile (Though I could just be spreading hearsay)
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 23:12, w_s_anderson wrote:
Well I did hear that you can make it pretty far on the show if you are friends with Ray Pierce Smile (Though I could just be spreading hearsay)


lol... that was just luck I assure you!
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-06-01 12:36, w_s_anderson wrote:
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


Love this stuff. Would love to figure out how to do it myself and put it in my show.. Smile Where do they sell this stuff?
Ray Pierce
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Illusions R Us... they have them all over don't they?

You actually need to contact Jim Steinmeyer and found the closest authorized builder in your area.
Ray Pierce
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tristanmagic
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Amulon,

If you buy the book "Modern Art and Other Mysteries" by Jim Steinmeyer you have the rights to buid one for yourself or to have one build by an illusion builder.
http://www.jimsteinmeyer.com/catalog/pro......9&page=2
Any of the good builders can build this for you - I would suggest Bill Smith (www.magicventures.com), EDF(www.edfmagic.com) or Willy Kennedy (www.wkmagic.com)
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