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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » It's not about what you do...it's about you (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jay Are
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 20:09, Jesse Lewis wrote:
Kreskin is a consummate performer and indeed a legend, the truth is Jay is right most will never achieve his level of performance however if you have a tenth of his performance ability a person could go very far. Sadly many are too focused on the tricks and not focused enough on the performance and persona to go anywhere never mind the marketing knowledge.



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John C
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But wait a minute..... I agree it's about you, me or I and all that. But if you're a magician shouldn't you do tricks and if a Mentalist shouldn't you do... Mental stuff and not just stand there talking?

Let's not get carried away here. I mean if kreskin is a mind reader shouldn't he be.... Playing piano?

Yea being interesting and someone people want to listen to is one thing but if we're going to stand there talking we'd might as well be... Someone standing there being interesting.

It's about being you in the context of performance. Magician, mind reader, Intuitionist.

So when the mention of "hiding behind tricks" comes along it makes me wonder? Who's hiding. Isn't that what we are hired for?

J
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terrillific
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It takes time to develop a persona that clicks with an audience. Comedians spend years figuring it out. Stage time is key. Take advantage of Open Mics, Toastmasters, and any place you can get up to speak and perform. Pay attention to what works and what doesn’t with your style.
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John-

We're not talking about NOT doing effects at all. It's all about those other things that differentiate a guy who is just doing a bunch of tricks from a well-rounded, and entertaining, performer.

So, yes, it IS about not hiding by tricks. You need to come out of hiding and show yourself.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Scott Burton
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On 2011-12-14 21:05, johncesta wrote:
But if you're a magician shouldn't you do tricks and if a Mentalist shouldn't you do... Mental stuff and not just stand there talking?

Let's not get carried away here. I mean if kreskin is a mind reader shouldn't he be.... Playing piano?


I understand what you are saying and it is important to stay grounded. I don't disagree with you. I think it's more about emphasis and positioning. At it's core: "I am an interesting person you want to be entertained by...let's go on a journey together" vs. "I do interesting things...here's another thing".

Bob...you explained this nicely as I was writing this.
BenjaminMan
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Bob, I don't think the poster did say "mentalism is magic tricks."
I believe he said "mentalism effects are magic tricks," something which seems difficult to disagree with,
regardless of difference in presentations.
Scott Burton
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On 2011-12-14 20:45, Jay Are wrote:
Too much nyquil...


Get well soon. I was taking care of my ill daughter today and know there is a lot of illness going around. (hoping to avoid it!)
Amirá
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Great thoughts in here.

At the end this happens in all performance arts with their greatest exponents, of course.

In my opinion the show is important but YOU just by itself should be an interesting character/person, and that's the biggest challenge of performance art and for that reason this passion isn't for everyone. It´s a life-changing activity in which you must work hard to be someone valuable to be known , to give something unique.

And surely Kreskin does that, something unique.
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Jay Are
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 21:25, Scott Burton wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-12-14 20:45, Jay Are wrote:
Too much nyquil...


Get well soon. I was taking care of my ill daughter today and know there is a lot of illness going around. (hoping to avoid it!)


I must -- jam packed schedule untill monday. Including the final tapings of segments for a new one hour TV program...amazing time to get sick.

Thanks for the well wishes!

J
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bunkyhenry
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 15:42, Scott Burton wrote:
I had the wonderful opportunity of watching Kreskin's full evening show - front row - last night. What a great show by a great showman.

I wanted to learn something and learn I certainly did.

I think it was wonderful how the show was so much about him and his personality that the effects and demonstrations were not really the focus of the show. People came to see Kreskin, they got to enjoy Kreskin, and they left feeling they had a great experience with Kreskin. The effects along the way, in a way, were just a great bonus.

Isn't this the goal: to create a stage persona and act that is unique because it reflects us as individuals?

Perhaps this the exact opposite of the beginner's approach of saying "now for my next "trick"..." and having the effects become the focus of the show.

What strategies do you employ to make the act more about you rather than what you do? Or do you disagree with my interpretation/premise?


Where did you see him?
Tony Iacoviello
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Personally, ai think some performers, like Kreskin transcend the medium, and it really does not matter what they do. We go to see them. And, as I understand it, Kreskin's show is about him. He tells stories, some jokes, plays the piano, does some things he did as a child involving skill. He shows his ability to influence people, and he reads some minds.

As entertainers transcending an art form, people went to see Sinatra, it did not matter what he did, sing, tell jokes, or just talk. They weren't going to hear a singer, they were going to see Frank. Dean Martin was the same, he was famous as a singer (not discounting his acting) but his stage and tv shows were variety.

Few entertainers reach this level, I think Kreskin is one who has.

I love the story about Malini saying, you can hire some magician, or you can have Malini there.
It is what I strive for.


Tony
Scott Burton
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 21:33, bunkyhenry wrote:
Where did you see him?


Small theatre in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
mastermindreader
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 21:24, BenjaminMan wrote:
Bob, I don't think the poster did say "mentalism is magic tricks."
I believe he said "mentalism effects are magic tricks," something which seems difficult to disagree with,
regardless of difference in presentations.


You're right. That's what he said.

He was wrong either way.
Scott Burton
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 21:35, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Personally, ai think some performers, like Kreskin transcend the medium, and it really does not matter what they do. We go to see them. And, as I understand it, Kreskin's show is about him. He tells stories, some jokes, plays the piano, does some things he did as a child involving skill. He shows his ability to influence people, and he reads some minds.

As entertainers transcending an art form, people went to see Sinatra, it did not matter what he did, sing, tell jokes, or just talk. They weren't going to hear a singer, they were going to see Frank. Dean Martin was the same, he was famous as a singer (not discounting his acting) but his stage and tv shows were variety.

Few entertainers reach this level, I think Kreskin is one who has.

I love the story about Malini saying, you can hire some magician, or you can have Malini there.
It is what I strive for.


Tony


These are wonderful observations. I think we agree that, while doubtful that any of us will ever achieve the heights of Kreskin, Malini, or Sinatra, the journey remains important and valuable.
eSamuels
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In developing your stage persona it's essential to recognize what you're starting with and work from there.

Kreskin is something of an extreme - a naturally gregarious personality.
He plays it up beautifully on stage with a combination of charm and nearly manic energy.

But he's a one-off.

Great performers spend serious time discovering/determining who they really are, then working to develop that character by personifying elements of their personality on stage that become the primary emotional connection to the audience. This discovery can take time - sometimes it occurs organically, sometimes with outside direction or support.
I recently read Geoffrey Durham's terrific book and particularly enjoyed his process of discovery in developing his on-stage character.

A mistake that many performers make (not only in our field), is that they try to emulate the character they would like to most represent on stage, but it is often inconsistent with who they really are. Very few people can really pull off a stage character that's truly different from their off-stage personality. It happens, but it's rare.

When working with talent, I always start by determining the person's true characteristics, interests, and quirks, then find and magnify the interesting stuff.
Jesse Lewis
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I agree totaly with that a lot of it is about self discovery that is why most never make it in this Biz simply because they are trying to be the next "insert tv star or supposedly famous mentalist here". If you cannot be yourself when performing or giving a speach even then you are probabbly not performing your best. If you are an entertaining person it will add to the show however if in real life you are a moron then chances on stage you will come off as a moron.
Mentalism is all about intuition and using it most people have a pretty good intuition and will know if someone is deliberately lying to them. A lot of what goes on in the community is "magic tricks" where former magicians have started doing mentalism and it shows in their personas and even some of their printed materials trying to hide a move when there is no need or do misdirection when they really should not. Do the move no one cares if you do it correctly and most wont notice at all because the audiance hasd no idea what is going to happen before you do it anyway.
Funny thing is last week I was doing my show and dropped two b"""""s during the S""""" for my Q&A and simply picked them up and went on with it.
After the show people came up and asked me about if it was all real and how it was weird I knew that was written on those and if it was really real to which I of course replied yes because that is my persona. If I had a persona that said hey this guys not real or that I was lying to them could I have pulled it off no. In truth I was mad that they even remembered the B"""""'s because that's not what I want them to be left with. I want them to be amazed at what they have seen not a guy doing bunnies out of hats.

Mentalism and the performance of it should leave the audience dumbstruck at its complex simplicity we are mind readers or for some psychological body language diviners this is why mentalism itself is such a powerful medium. the truth is that by picking up the bible or anything by Theodore you have more than you could ever use in an entire career and perfect so why go further other than for research. sure there are some amazing things happening today in the mentalism community but some stuff being put out there is garbage and can be accomplished much easier.

The most important part of persona is stage time without that you have nothing and to get stage time you have to become a business person that's when the money making happens which in itself will help you create an interesting persona as you meet more people and get more shows you talk to people more because lets face it entertainers in general are a little screwed up in the brain. this meeting people and talking makes us more likable as we learn rapport skills and more about business.

It is a wonderful cycle of development and it can lead to great things but it can also lead to a guy in his basement in his underwear trying to perfect a B'"""" S""""" because of a fumble.

Long post sorry for that but lots of thoughts
Jesse
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kinesis
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I've been in the entertainment business for almost 30 years. I've been doing mentalism for 6 - 7 years now. It's only in the last year or so I've discovered me. When you discover yourself and you present effects that are truly an extension of yourself, your show suddenly becomes much more fluid. Heck you can do stuff thet you really like, you can know the mechanics inside out and perform them in your sleep but if it aint 'you' the effects will still appear/feel slightly awkward. When you perform something that is just so 'you', you'll know. It feels right and you get a little warm feeling in your gut when you perform it and you feel truly at home with it.

Okay, a bit overly romantic there but I'm sure you get the gist.

Derek
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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Magicus
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*Wow, I came back and this thread exploded*

One thing that may give one an insight into Kreskin's personality/persona is understanding his great respect and appreciation for a certain philosophy by an old, non-magical arts author. I too hold great stock in Claude Bristol's two books and re-read them often. Some entertainers are familiar with these books, many are not.
Pete Legend
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Jay hope you feel better and best of luck with the TV Show sounds great!

Great thread! In my own performances I usually don't tend to go into the mindreading until maybe 5-7 mins in. My first love is stand up comedy and I usually like to work the room and get them laughing before I get into it. I am one man though I have a cast and crew that I also like to introduce from time to time. One is a Teddy Bear called Mojo Ramon Rodriquez Ramirez Sanchez the 3rd and the other is my spirit guide called Charlie Robinson. The Teddy bear is used to pick out random audience members and has a backstory as does my spirit guide Charlie who I have performed on national radio with. Some of my shows (not all) have a story running through it..a begining,a middle and end where my cast and I show our unique abilities and at the same time weaving stories,jokes,sketches around them. By the end I really hope the audience feels like they know me.

In comedy clubs the three of us sometimes like to take on Jesus, like a dance off but instead a "miracle off" It's off the wall, with silly stuff,dark stuff and just strange goings on.

The thing that has always stuck with me that happened years ago and still happens today...I be talking to a client or normal punter and they sometimes be telling me about a great trick they once seen,where the magician/mindreader has done this and that and how it was so amazing..without fail when I asked them the magician/mindreaders name they could'nt remember....not a clue! It's all about you, moving from trick,trick,trick without giving something of yourself is not self expression. If you don't give them you then what's the point. It's got to me more than look Im clever cause I can s***** billets, maybe it starts like that but then it really has to grow to something more.
Scott Burton
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Quote:
On 2011-12-15 08:54, Magicus wrote:
*Wow, I came back and this thread exploded*

One thing that may give one an insight into Kreskin's personality/persona is understanding his great respect and appreciation for a certain philosophy by an old, non-magical arts author. I too hold great stock in Claude Bristol's two books and re-read them often. Some entertainers are familiar with these books, many are not.


How do you know this, how specifically do you believe this author has influenced him, and how specifically do you think these books might help with the topic of this thread? I am curious to hear more from you.
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