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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Penn and Teller Fools US! aka vanishing the magic spirit (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KungFuMagic
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P&T are almost certainly 'talent' with the decisions made by the producers. The acts go on knowing they may or may not go to Vegas . . but the good agents and scouts will see them and possibly score a contract somewhere.
Nick Sasso
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Kondini
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Are we all really that silly.

The whole thing is a set up and pre determined. P&T are very money minded and have exposed anything and everything, they couldn't care less. The promoters of these shows are only interested in the rateings, progress in magic or keeping it alive as magic will not be in the equasion.

There are other shows which use magic in an unmagical way besides this one,,,we have one such farce which shows that anyone in a matter of minets can learn to perform the most advanced tricks !!! This is supposed to be entertainment !!! Ask De Matos (Self proclaimed world leading illusionist).

Let me leave you with this thought....... On P&T Fool us,,, P&T have the same agent as the acts !!!!!! Come on how stupid do they think we are,,,,check it out.

Ken.
atucci
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Quote:
On 2011-07-24 05:04, Kondini wrote:
The whole thing is a set up and pre determined. P&T are very money minded and have exposed anything and everything, they couldn't care less.


Actually P&T have exposed very little in their career, certainly nothing more than could be obtained at any public library and far, far less than most of the hacks that delude themselves into thinking they're clever and entertaining when performing for family & friends or worse for paying clients.

Ken do you know anyone who isn't interested in earning a living? Penn & Teller are simply looking to earn a living for themselves and their families. This show provides income for probably dozens of people plus allows magicians to get international exposure. So what exactly is your problem with them?

Do you really believe the show is rigged? What are you basing this on? Do you have an inside connection attached to the show? Did Scully and Mulder let you peek at an X-File? Your post reads as if you have a lot of resentment and anger towards the boys?

I hope you find some peace.

Luv & kisses
Tony Tuccillo

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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-07-26 23:29, atucci wrote:

Ken do you know anyone who isn't interested in earning a living? Penn & Teller are simply looking to earn a living for themselves and their families. This show provides income for probably dozens of people plus allows magicians to get international exposure. So what exactly is your problem with them?


Tony, I do understand your thoughts. I like both Penn & Teller but I'm just not sure I can agree with your logic.

Now again, this has nothing to do with P&T... just your logic.

A bank robber, drug dealer and mafia hit man are all just looking to earn a living for themselves and their families. So what is our problem with that? I'm sure the people that benefit from their activities have no problem with their way of making money and in fact encourage it. Their income provides income for many people in each organization.... yet many may view it as wrong and/or unethical (and in most all cases blatantly illegal as well).

I've mentioned before in either this thread I'm sure they are doing this for money and exposure and I understand that. The question is whether or not it is good for magic and if they even care. I do remember Val claiming the reason he did all the Masked Magician shows was for the "good of magic". It sounded as phony as his acting. We all know that he was out of work and made a lot of money off of this show. I know he took a lot of heat (and deservedly so) from magicians so the spin machine went into motion and he came up with this baloney about his lofty concern for the Art of magic as motivation for doing the show.

I have no respect for him but at least I would have given him some credit if he was just honest and said he did it for the money.

The few shows I've seen of "Fool Us" have been pretty good and I've seen P&T come off looking great in most cases. It's a delicate balancing act as the hook of the show is the exposure but I honestly believe they respect many of the people on there.

This is really just the eternal debate of "Commerce vs. Art"... nothing more.
Ray Pierce
atucci
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Ray thanks.

Comparing P&T doing a television show that teases with 'exposure' to sociopaths committing felonies and taking human life is a stretch, no? The Fool Us shows I've seen has limited 'exposure' (the mention of magic jargon) which the audience may or may not understand.

You write about 'the good of magic'. As you imply, I guess this will come down to who's definition one will use for what is good. You also question whether they care about magic. Both Penn & Teller have stated in interviews they care about the art and the way it's presented to the general public.

I've seen this type of debate in a buskers forum where some are critical of other more financially successful performers claiming they've sold out and are too commercial. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that argument.

Finally you claim the show's hook is exposure. The producers may imply there will be exposure but at the end of the day there is none at all other then the reference I've made to jargon. P&T go to great lengths to ensure their analysis is between themselves & the performers. It's just an illusion created so the public will tune in which is what every professional magician is paid to do.......create an illusion.

Anyway I'm on the east coast and have to be up in about4 hours which will make for a miserable day at work for me. I'd love to discuss this with you further another time, maybe get Ken to join in.

Good night.

BTW your site looks very cool. I took my wife to the circus a few years ago which was her first time and aerial artists were her favorite part of the show.
Tony Tuccillo

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Pakar Ilusi
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I get what Ray is saying.

To me, the very fact that they focus on "fooling" shows that they don't get it.

But hey, the more money and fame P&T can get, why not yah?

Sigh... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-07-27 02:44, atucci wrote:
Ray thanks.

Comparing P&T doing a television show that teases with 'exposure' to sociopaths committing felonies and taking human life is a stretch, no? The Fool Us shows I've seen has limited 'exposure' (the mention of magic jargon) which the audience may or may not understand.

You write about 'the good of magic'. As you imply, I guess this will come down to who's definition one will use for what is good. You also question whether they care about magic. Both Penn & Teller have stated in interviews they care about the art and the way it's presented to the general public.

I've seen this type of debate in a buskers forum where some are critical of other more financially successful performers claiming they've sold out and are too commercial. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that argument.

Finally you claim the show's hook is exposure. The producers may imply there will be exposure but at the end of the day there is none at all other then the reference I've made to jargon. P&T go to great lengths to ensure their analysis is between themselves & the performers. It's just an illusion created so the public will tune in which is what every professional magician is paid to do.......create an illusion.

Anyway I'm on the east coast and have to be up in about4 hours which will make for a miserable day at work for me. I'd love to discuss this with you further another time, maybe get Ken to join in.

Good night.

BTW your site looks very cool. I took my wife to the circus a few years ago which was her first time and aerial artists were her favorite part of the show.


Hey Tony!

Thanks, Magic is still my first love but now I get to play doing other cool things as well!

I was trying to be very careful with my words but again, I was NOT comparing P&T to sociopaths but was in fact greatly exaggerating to point out what I felt was the problem with the logic pattern. In examining many concepts I frequently take them to exaggerated lengths to see if the logic holds up much like proof testing the load on certain rope or chain FAR past what is necessary to see if it will sustain the weight.

Yes, it is absolutely a stretch but it sometimes discovers a flaw in my thinking so it's a useful tool for me. I agree that the "good of magic" is largely subjective. I personally agree with the philosophy that as with "karma" we are faced with an unlimited range of choices each second of our day. There is only one choice that will benefit the most people. That doesn't mean we have to take that choice. It just points out the best karmic path. I feel that our choices with magic are the same.

Yes, they do both care about magic. You can see it in the show that they have a joy of discovery when new things are brought to them. That's why this is such a mixed bag of thoughts. It's not as clear cut as we would like and is an interesting topic for me to look at.

I also agree that many are jealous of their success and want to bash them for that reason. I've met both of them several times and worked with Penn for a while on a television show years ago. I do like them personally. I also believe that the "bad boys of magic" is a hook they use to separate themselves from the pack for marketing reasons.

Yes, the hook of the show (much like the Masked Magician series) is about exposure. I agree that most of the time they do it in as hidden a fashion as possible. There have been instances however where an effect has been exposed to the degree that it might be difficult to do for a normal person that has viewed this show and fool them with it. That is ultimately the concern.

Yes, I know the arguments are that not that many people watch the show and why should we care of we're not doing the effect and so on. I get that. Ultimately it is the producers who I feel might be hoping and potentially even pushing for more exposure that we should be discussing. As I've mentioned before, I believe P&T are walking the line between giving the producers what I feel they want and keeping their respect for the art of magic.

It is because of these conflicting choices and opinions that this will provide a stimulating debate precisely because it isn't a black or white issue but one that makes me personally reevaluate my beliefs and thoughts on what is best.

Thanks!

Ray
Ray Pierce
Kondini
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I see people wear blinkers,,,and those people will never see the whole story.

If the hook to a show is magicians trying to out wit P&T surely this would be impossible as P&T being the greatest could never be fooled !

So lets look at the facts like it or not,,,,competitor does cups & balls,,,,,so wonderful that P&T were knocked back with the performance.

So did they get fooled or was it a platform for the competitor to be seen ?

Now check out the Agents,,,who is covered by the same Agency ????

Now ok if you think that's great and have no problem with exposure just so long as its a profit maker,,,then that's you.
It sure isn't me.

Ken.
Ray Pierce
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Ken...

I take great efforts to try and look at both sides of the situation regardless of my opinions. Likewise just because I have a specific opinion or point of view, it doesn't exclude me from having looked at the whole story.

Much like America's Got Talent, the purpose of this show is to bring viewers to advertisers, nothing more. It's not about the art of magic or exposing talent to the country or anything else. That might be a byproduct but certainly not the reason the network bought the show.

P&T are in fact "talent" on the show and they are there to play the role they were given. The "Judges" on America's Got Talent are in the same capacity. They are entertainers that are there to play a certain role for the viewing audience. The producers frequently meet with them during commercial breaks between acts to go over what is expected during each segment. Yes, they might have their opinions but they are hired talent.

In the case of "Fool Us".,.. unless P&T are producers (which they might be), they are hired to meet certain expectations. As I've mentioned on several threads, this is not a random group of magicians that just walked into the studio. They are carefully screened, selected and positioned on each show to create the dynamic the producers want. I'm sure they already have a very good idea that the 10 year old kid isn't going to fool P&T... but it makes for good TV. If they loaded each show with people that WOULD fool them... it wouldn't have any suspense or interest. Likewise if they just exposed everyone, it wouldn't work either. The producers job is to cast the show with just the right mix of people to create viewer interest to keep them coming back for more.

It's not rocket science... its just show BUSINESS.
Ray Pierce
Kondini
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I agree to some extent but its business before the show.
It dosnt give those few that have worked hard to have a crack of the whip, another matter of not what you know or can do rather who you know.

When I started out it was done on merrit with no subliminal cuts to force opinions of good bad or indifferent down the speckies throats. If the crowds liked you, you got the gigs, if you got the bird you didn't work, no matter who you knew the speckies created the demand.
Now for the management, for use of a better lable to create and dictate what we see and for the masses to accept whats placed before them as great (Cos they are told its great!) Is crazy.

To compare to your Doctor knowing whats best for you even if his pills are wrong and your slowly dieing from them.

The world is to become a nanny state with the opinions of a few dictating to the masses.In turn the masses believe the hype.

On TV now there are so many excuses to expose,,,and at present exposure has made a demand for more exposure. I gather from posts above its ok to expose if you have a name known !

What would the outcome be if Fred Bloggs put on a series of TV shows proveing without doubt there is no Father Xmas,,,show them at kids peak viewing times to get the rateings and rake in the cash !!!! Everyone would be in uproar,,,now isn't magic like Xmas,,,a wonderland of belief,,,now shattered for gain.

Picture this, my audience believe I can do magic,,,then this same magic they believed in didn`t fool P&T so the illusion is lost for ever.

No problems cos P&T are laughing all the way to the bank.

I look forward to the time when a TV company contacts me with the chance to go on after each exposure showing, so that these said named acts get treated as they treat. Who is going to be first to take out a 30 minet spot exposeing their double Russian routine. Best time to broadcast would be after they had just done it on TV,,,then lets see if they can take what they give.

Ken.
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That's because, as Ray says, it is show BUSINESS. I had the pleasure (or lack thereof) to work on American's Got Talent when I was with NBC, and still discuss it with friends who are executives in Alternative Programming for the network. Why are they there? Because the show brings in money. If it didn't, it would be gone. The issue I took with AGT that I DON'T take with Fool Us is that if an act is good, it's praised. If it's bad, it's mocked. The audience is encouraged to boo. You hear the obxnosious buzzing noise go off when each judge hits the button. There is no respect given to performers unless the producers feel they will somehow keep viewers tuned in.

I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Penn and Teller's style of performing. I think they're great at what they do, but it's not my cup of tea. I say that because I am in no way biased toward them - I LIKE Fool Us. I think it's good for the art. And I think we as magicians get SO worked up about "exposure" when the vast majority of our audiences couldn't care less. People are complaining that the show is all about fooling people, when magic should be about more than that - then they cry that it's exposing the secrets of magic. Well, what's the focus of YOUR act? Are you more interested in fooling people, or entertaining them? If your goal is to entertain, then who cares if a few random people in your audience once heard the term "ringing in a cooler" on a TV show? And if your goal is only to fool your audience, you don't need to worry. They're not giving away the world's best kept secrets of magic.

I also wonder why the people against the show aren't more concerned with the performers. They're the ones going on TV and doing the act. They agreed to it. Why are you shooting the messengers? They're part of an interesting concept and a new way to present magic on television. As much as we may love it, no network is going to buy an hour long series where people do stunning work like Michael Vincent. It's beautiful, and it won't sell ad space - unless there's a twist to it, which is what they've cleverly done.

If you're crying foul and claiming that Penn and Teller don't respect magic and they're only in it for the money, you need to do the exact same thing to every single performer that's been in the show. They know what they're getting into and they're getting exposure for it as well.

If I have to choose between garbage like AGT and a show like this where the performers are respected, I'll take this any day of the week. And love it or hate it, you have to admit that it's a clever idea. Look at how many threads there are on the Magic Café alone devoted to this series. Obviously somebody's watching. I know I am, and am I worried that it's going to ruin my act? Nope. The only person that can do that is me.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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From this I can only say we must agree to dissagree then.

May I remind all magicians of one thing:- When I joined the Circle we all had to take an oath. Magic through the ages has been passed on from master to student, all took this oath.

I gather from here that all which has gone before us and our history has given us what we have today,,,a sell out of our heritage.

If you don`t get it then its your loss and magic even the word magic becomes void.

From my own 45 yrs as a full pro entertainer,,,,just a snippet for you to take in :- I have made a full time liveing from magic and its offshoots. For the past 15 years of this biz my main income has been from sideshow (Blockhead, bed of nails,fire eating etc). On another prostituted TV show, my liveing was portrayed as being easy and all such stunts etc could be taught to a celebrity in five minets (This was the whole stream of the show). To name one "World famed Illusionist" (Self proclaimed!!) De Mattos,,,was on there showing a celeb!!! How to do Fakir stunts. My challenge made by email and phone to the producers of the show was :- teach a celeb to sword swallow in 5 minets,,,,still waiting for a reply.

Think Im on a hideing to nothing here and none of my or others thoughts will change anything put out on TV.
It appears the future of magic is up for grabs in any way shape or form, just so a minimal few can fill their bank balances. No I am glad to be considered old school or old fogey or what ever, I can at the very least look in the mirror and know I have not prostituted that which has given me and my family bread on the table for so many years.

If this is the future for magic it will fizzle out in the end as nothing, it will be completly worthless,,,magic without the magic in it is,,,nothing.

Ken.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On 2011-07-28 03:49, Kondini wrote:
If this is the future for magic it will fizzle out in the end as nothing, it will be completly worthless,,,magic without the magic in it is,,,nothing.


Ken,

I agree totally. I, too am against exposure of any kind. Any thing that exposes magic or methods to the public should be outlawed. Well... except for all of the books I got to read growing up at the public library that taught me to be a magician... but all the other ones! Everything... all the magic shops that are open to the public should be banned, that's just prostituted "sell out" exposure ... except for the ones I used to buy magic from, but that only counts for the stuff they sold to me that made me fall in love with the art ... but no one else! And anyone that tells someone else a secret of how an effect works should be jailed! well... except for the Magicians who mentored me when I was a stupid kid that wanted to learn magic more than anyone else in the world. But no one else gets to tell anything to anyone. So basically I believe that it's ok that I learned about magic... but I just don't want anyone else to. I'm insecure and hate competition.

Boy, glad I cleared that up!

lol... ok, now that we've exaggerated the point for illustrative purposes we can readdress the situation that exists today. In fact, I think we actually agree more than we disagree. I've been doing magic about 48 years now and I've seen it all come and go as well. I've made my views on lack of respect for exposure very public as well. Before my generation there was exposure on the backs of cigarette packs. It was going to destroy magic... yet we're still here. When I was growing up I learned tricks on the backs of cereal boxes... free. You could even go into the store, turn the box around and read it and learn how to do the trick. I guess sort of like going into a library. It was going to destroy magic, yet here we are today. The Masked Magician in this country was going to be the end of magic as we knew it... yet he has faded away and I'm still working.

Yes, I have stated very publicly how TV trickery by Criss Angel and others have made a mockery of magic (and by most reports his live show does to) and we have a generation that believes CGI trickery is a viable method for creating magic... yet we as "live magicians" still keep getting hired.

Long after "Fool Us" (or whatever the name of the show is) has faded from our selective memory... I'm willing to bet that somewhere, someone will still be fooling people and creating wonder and amazement with magic.

Magic is as old as time and I fully believe will be eternal in some form. Yes, it changes, evolves and grows richer every day from stimulation in so many forms.

I just choose to not be restricted by the stupid actions of others. Yes, they made choices I might not have made. I can allow it to stifle me or let go of the animosity and just get back to work on being the best I can be. I choose the latter.
Ray Pierce
Jamie Ferguson
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I've enjoyed the P&T shows but believe laypeople won't remember anything they've seen in a few months.
When the chips are down, the duvet is uncomfortable.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Except that it is all smoke and mirrors, something we want to make sure they never have a chance to forget, even for an hour or two...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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