The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Stopping the B.S. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6 [Next]
Billy-one
View Profile
Inner circle
IOWA
1028 Posts

Profile of Billy-one
Anyone who cares,

I've been away and work has slowed down as of late. In my free time (and I have a lot of it) I decided to start writting an essay about how aweful most magicians are (in my opinion) and how as artists we can become better. This has been said time and time again, by more respected people in the industry. However, I feel that I have a lot to offer to this topic. I have been working for real people for years and people often like me. I believe they would like me without the magic, in fact I often spend outings (golf, drinks, dates) with my clients after shows.

My point is not an attempt to brag about how "cool" I am, but to demonstrate that too many magicians are socially awkward bafoons that found a medium that makes them "cool" to normal people. However, after the tricks have concluded (and often during the tricks) people tend to look at the magician as bafoons. This doesn't happen as much in the music, movie, or other performance art arenas becuse actors, dancers, ect are often "cooler" to begin with.

I know this post may seem insulting, however I am getting increasingly tired of explaining to people that I don't do "that kind of magic" and the kind of magic Im speaking about is the jerk they saw at a local fair, birthday party, or really corney bar magician.

I know this post belongs in the magic forums, but I really don't trust many of the magicians in here (or anywhere else) as I feel they will be hostile to my ideas.

What Im looking for is anyone that could look at my "work" and would be willing to help clean it up. As you may have noticed, Im not so hot with the grammer, spelling, ect.

Respect,
Billy

p.s. this is nothing Im trying to sell but I would be willing to pay someone to work on this project with me.
Ben Harris
View Profile
V.I.P.
The Land Down Under
2116 Posts

Profile of Ben Harris
Magic has been pretty much degraded from art to "curiosity". Sadly, for magicians, the technology we live with is more amazing than most magic performed.

Oh, it's "buffoon."

Good luck with your project.

Benny
+Inventor of the world famous Floating Match+
+Author: Machinations (Vanishing Inc, 2020)+
EVERYTHING BEN HARRIS
Decomposed
View Profile
Eternal Order
High Desert
12035 Posts

Profile of Decomposed
The word magician is an embarassment to most Im afraid to say. It belittles the ones who are good and is just a notch below clown.
Billy-one
View Profile
Inner circle
IOWA
1028 Posts

Profile of Billy-one
Benny,

I disagree fully, as magic is a medium for a performance. I know how people play a guitar, but I still enjoy watching or listening to a great guitarist. I also enjoy watching old Bill Malone DVDs, although I know and understand "how" the tricks work. However, magicians have degraded into anyone with a curiosity picking up a few tricks and "performing" them for people without any knowledge of how to actually entertain.

Respect,
Billy
Devious
View Profile
Inner circle
2120 Posts

Profile of Devious
I'm on board with you Billy, assuming that I don't fall into the category of which you speak. Count me in...buddy! I completely agree with your sentiments!
:applause:
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
Scott Burton
View Profile
Inner circle
1131 Posts

Profile of Scott Burton
Think of yourself less being in a category of many ("magicians") and more of a category all to yourself ("you"). Ultimately, concentrating on what others may or may not be doing is counter-productive when you could actually be focusing your energy on making yourself better.

Perhaps most other magicians are socially awkward etc (or not). Perhaps most of ALL people are odd or negative in some way (or not). To me, this neither adds or takes away from what I specifically am doing (so is of little concern).

Focus on what you have the power to change.
Billy-one
View Profile
Inner circle
IOWA
1028 Posts

Profile of Billy-one
Scott,

I agree to some point, yet its my intention to help others...myself included. In writting this "book" I have discovered stuff about myself and also really hit on some points that I think other magicians could benefit from. Perhaps nothing is revolutionary, as I have no illusions of granduer, but it still may be benaficial. Also, once I have finished the work and had it proof read and ect... I plan to give it to anyone interested.

Also, if a singular person can read this and have it relate to his or her "condition" perhaps that person will become "better" and this benafits all of us in the magic line of work.

Respect,
Billy
Billy-one
View Profile
Inner circle
IOWA
1028 Posts

Profile of Billy-one
This is just a quick pit of the work, as you can clearly see....it needs help.

The problem with magic
Have you ever watched a magician on Letterman, or other talk shows? I am sure you have. Did you like the performance? Did you like how the host interacted with the magician? Hopefully you answered No to both of these questions. If not, then I fear that you may be out of touch with what is "good"¨ and what is out of date and really not good entertainment. Don¡¦t get me wrong, I am not a new age hipster that only thinks new and flashy is good.

In fact, I am often the opposite of that. Yet, when we speak of entertainment we must acknowledge that times change and people¡¦s perception of what is and what is not acceptable change equally. For example, we all know that a magician producing a rabbit from a top hat would never fly on a late night talk show (or anywhere for that matter) unless he or she is doing this as a gag. Yet, you should also consider the same tempo, tone, and enthusiasm of voice should also have changed with the times.

I swear if I close my eyes I can listen to the tone and tempo of a magician¡¦s voice and see them pulling a *** rabbit out of a *** top hat. This is not to imply that we should all adopt the David Blaine tempo and tone, because I would never suggest that is the future of contemporary entertainment. The "normal"¨ pitch and tone of a magicians voice drives me crazy, perhaps because they believe its theatrically correct to heighten both tone and pitch to build excitement or foreshadow something impossible that¡¦s about to happen. Yet, this is not ¡§correct¡¨ for what I believe we need to do as magicians, because the audience will tone out when the tempo escalates because they subconsciously feel you are pulling a rabbit out of a top hat.

I want everyone to go back to the early seventies or eighties and watch a standup comedian; now watch a modern pop entertainer. Often, the material is just a regurgitation of the same principals, yet they are delivered in a more casual tone and pitch. Sure, there is the exception with some comedians going really slow and some that are very up-tempo, but overall the theme has changed from someone that talks at you with flare to someone that is really trying to share stories and connect at a personal level. I won't say that comedian greats of the past would not be successful now, assuming the kept the same tempo and pitch, but I will assume they would understand the value of connection with the audience.
A quick story about my sister in law who lives in Los Angeles California and has recently graduated UCLA with a master¡¦s degree in theatre.
Me: So, what did you do tonight?
Her: I saw a standup comedian for the first time.
Me: How was he?
Her: Not what I expected. He just spoke to us like close friends sitting around at the bar. It was so funny and not at all what I expected.
Me: You need to get out more!
My point is that hip people who love entertainment still have a perception about stand up comedians. The worst part about this, stand up comedians are above magicians on the food chain. Wonder what the layperson thinks about you, trust me, it's not so great.
Scott Burton
View Profile
Inner circle
1131 Posts

Profile of Scott Burton
I just think it's more productive to focus on how to become great rather than focusing on what's wrong. We all like to be critics (it's easy, fun, and good on our self-esteem) but it's an entirely different and more difficult thing to lead one towards greatness.

Take each example of what you believe is wrong and reword it into advice on what to do.
lou serrano
View Profile
Special user
Los Angeles, CA
670 Posts

Profile of lou serrano
Scott, you took the words right out of my mouth.

All the best,

Lou Serrano
Ken Northridge
View Profile
Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2305 Posts

Profile of Ken Northridge
I must say I agree with Scott as well. I think the first rule in business is to be a positive thinker. For example, I agree there are bad magicians out there. However, the positive thinking concludes, ‘No problem, it will be easier for me to stand out that way.’
Quote:
On 2012-01-19 20:30, Billy-one wrote:

My point is not an attempt to brag about how "cool" I am, but to demonstrate that too many magicians are socially awkward bafoons that found a medium that makes them "cool" to normal people. However, after the tricks have concluded (and often during the tricks) people tend to look at the magician as bafoons. This doesn't happen as much in the music, movie, or other performance art arenas becuse actors, dancers, ect are often "cooler" to begin with.


It is true that many entertainers are socially awkward. However, I don’t think this is a detriment to being successful. You could label many successful entertainers as socially awkward including Johnny Carson, Cher, David Letterman, Don Rickles, Lucille Ball and Tom Hanks. And although not an entertainer, Abraham Lincoln was an extremely awkward man.

As far as spelling and grammar, you’re not alone. I write all of my work in Microsoft Word, then copy and paste it. Microsoft Word corrects my spelling and grammar and even gives me synonyms if I can’t think of the right word.

I hope these thoughts help. Good luck!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
dmkraig
View Profile
Inner circle
1949 Posts

Profile of dmkraig
Last weekend I attended an Asian-American New Year festival. In one of the areas there was a series of magicians including ones who put up banners proclaiming that they were member of the Magic Castle or S.A.M.

I saw performers who looked bored and uninterested and who did one trick purchased from a store after another. Misdirection was non-existant. Palming was horrible and obvious. It wasn't just bad, it was far worse: it was boring.

Until organizations of respected magicians stop giving their imprimatur to people who make a French Drop look like a magical flop, we're going to continue to have bad reputations.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20615 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
I think we get caught up in this behavior because we see others and imagine what "we would do". Not productive. It is sort of like what I tell people about performance itself. "You can only do the show that is in front of you".

Others are where they are as a result of their own actions. I am where I am as a result of my actions and decisions.

If your opinion of magicians is that they are socially awkward, well then I would simply change those which you hang out with. In my experience it is exactly the opposite.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7446 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
I remember something that Eric Paul used to share in his teleconferences, and live at his SuperConferences.

He told the story about a local magician who was very sub-standard, but this person was out there working. Eric decided that it was not his job to bad mouth or criticize this competitor, but to out-market and offer a better show that this other magician, and to rise to the top. He would put this other performer out of business by providing a better service, and more people would know about it through better marketing.

Become more "in demand" that the other person. Prove what you believe by putting it into action.

I think that's a better mindset.

- Donald

P.S. If I was in a situation with work being slow, and lots of spare time, I think a more effective use of my time would be to go out there and get more shows. Not to sit at home writing about how I think other performers are lame, and how they can fix their show or social interactions before / after the show. Again, I'd be determined to prove my point that my theories are sound, by putting them into action.

------------------------------------

Quote:
On 2012-01-19 20:30, Billy-one wrote:
I know this post may seem insulting, however I am getting increasingly tired of explaining to people that I don't do "that kind of magic" and the kind of magic Im speaking about is the jerk they saw at a local fair, birthday party, or really corney bar magician.


I have that happen now and then, but only when THEY HAVEN'T SEEN ME PERFORM. So, the answer to this problem is to let them see you perform.

I had a new customer this Christmas, who told me after my show that I was a lot better than the performer they had last year. I didn't ask who that performer was. All that mattered was my customer's experience with me. And because of that, they called me a couple of weeks later and booked me for next year, too.

This is because they saw me perform.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7446 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
Quote:
On 2012-01-19 22:45, Billy-one wrote:
A quick story about my sister in law who lives in Los Angeles California and has recently graduated UCLA with a master¡¦s degree in theatre.
Me: So, what did you do tonight?
Her: I saw a standup comedian for the first time.
Me: How was he?
Her: Not what I expected¡Khe just spoke to us like close friends sitting around at the bar; it was so funny and not at all what I expected.
Me: You need to get out more ļ


Here's an example of a socially awkward conversation. You asked her for her feelings on the performer, and after she said she liked him and why, you put her down by saying that she needed to get out more. There was no need to take a dig at her. I imagine your dig might have been meant for that other performer that she just said she liked, but there is no need for that, either.

That is the sort of behaviour that alienates one person from another, and kills off a conversation. You could have just as easily re-inforced her pleasant experience, and asked her to talk more about it. Be genuinely interested in others... encourage them to do a great deal of the talking.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
John Martin
View Profile
Inner circle
1010 Posts

Profile of John Martin
Quote:
I know this post belongs in the magic forums, but I really don't trust many of the magicians in here (or anywhere else) as I feel they will be hostile to my ideas.


You've got that right. It's kind of like putting down a squad of fat ulgly cheerleaders. There are those here that would rather praise the message then criticize the messenger. But really, honestly who wants to watch an ugly cheerleading squad?

Good luck,

John
Close.Up.Dave
View Profile
Inner circle
Behind you!
2914 Posts

Profile of Close.Up.Dave
Quote:
On 2012-01-20 11:48, Donald Dunphy wrote:
P.S. If I was in a situation with work being slow, and lots of spare time, I think a more effective use of my time would be to go out there and get more shows. Not to sit at home writing about how I think other performers are lame, and how they can fix their show or social interactions before / after the show.


That's exactly what I was thinking. As the old saying goes, "You can't change others, you can only change yourself."
John Martin
View Profile
Inner circle
1010 Posts

Profile of John Martin
Quote:
On 2012-01-20 14:34, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-01-20 11:48, Donald Dunphy wrote:
P.S. If I was in a situation with work being slow, and lots of spare time, I think a more effective use of my time would be to go out there and get more shows. Not to sit at home writing about how I think other performers are lame, and how they can fix their show or social interactions before / after the show.


That's exactly what I was thinking. As the old saying goes, "You can't change others, you can only change yourself."


That's a nice preachy bit of advice from Donald, but really has nothing to do with this thread. It not about getting more work, it's bout bad magicians and what people think of them.

John
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7446 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
I guess John Martin is in favour of "armchair quarterbacks." lol!

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
dduane
View Profile
Special user
Bridgewater, MA
746 Posts

Profile of dduane
I think many magicians start out being almost too fascinated by tricks and methods, that they forget it's a performing art, and that the entertainment value depends upon the magician's personality and performance. Also, we tend to think that laymen will automatically be just as fascinated by magic as we are. The truth is laymen know it's not real, so you better give them something else along with the magic that they can enjoy and relate to. If we want to be artists and not just clever (sometimes boring) technicians, then we need to create a magical experience that encompasses our whole show and the audience. This is hard to teach. It's a talent honed by experience - and it's very unique and individual for each performer. An amateur or bad magician can still get work if he's good at marketing. Unfortunately too many spoil our image, and people get a preconceived notion that we have to break through.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Stopping the B.S. (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3~4~5~6 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.26 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL