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magicbymccauley
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I think there are masters today who give masterful performances. But I think the masters of OLD DO have something on people who are younger, and I say this as a relatively young magician.

You can't mess with Blackstone (jr or sr), Fred Kaps, Albert Goshman and Harbin. You just can't. There's no one doing what they did today, people just aren't good enough to. Goshman basically performed surrounded (incredible sleight of hand), the Blackstones were unbelievably perfect in performances, and Fred Kaps is just ridiculous at sleight of hand. WC fields was the REAL DEAL as well, both with juggling and with magic.

However there are new performers that are doing things that these names couldn't do. Close up has evolved to a new level (or in a new way) that wasn't around in their day. These guys mostly did table and platform.

MASTERFUL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaE-7JYnyjY

TRUE MASTERY! BTW, the thread trick he uses here is later used by David Copperfield
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU-BCkwbAmQ&feature=related

BEAUTIFUL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rWcCuNYcrc

SOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo great.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMDCiD7DTCU
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
magicbymccauley
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"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
MrSteve
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This experience might be relevant. I have had two friends over the years whoe were both involved in vaudeville in the 1920s and early 30s. They were full of fascinating stories about touring 42 weeks a year, etc. But neither had movies of their acts, despite the fact that most vaudeville hoouses were showing some film clips by the 1920s. It was bad business for a vaudeville performer to allow himself to be filmed. An act he had worked for years to perfect might be seen by too many people too quickly, ending his ability to tour. So I suspect that many of the best magic routines from the old days were never filmed, because the performer wanted to preserve his ability to tour and perform live.
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2012-02-03 15:19, David Charvet wrote:
Don't be too hard on the old pros, however. Remember you're looking at them after 50 or 60 years have passed. Obviously, tastes have changed. (Look at films of other performers from the same era such as Ed Wynn and Eddie Cantor - both HUGE stage and radio stars - but lousy on early TV.) But at the time, they had paid their dues in the "real world" of LIVE entertainment where a personal rapport was developed with each audience member. They became "legends" due to their ability to entertain paying customers. If they had not succeeded, chances are they would have never been asked to appear on TV in the first place. I'm sure none of those magicians expected that we would be here in the 21st Century analyzing and judging their entire careers based on a single performance in an unfamiliar medium.


I edited your post just so it wouldn't take up too much room on the screen.

Everything you said it spot on! I was trying to frame a response that pretty much followed what you said, but not as well.

Thanks David.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Jerry
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Another thing to consider is they may have been past their prime when they did the performance

I saw Blackstone junior live at a convention and he was terrific doing just three tricks. I have DVD of his Broadway show, and although very good (video quality sucks unfortunately) just did not have the same impact as he simpler live show I saw. If I had seen the Broadway show live I am certain I would have enjoy it much more.

Jerry
foolsnobody
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I thought Flosso was pretty good on Don Alan's Magic Ranch. Not as good as live, but you do get the idea of the magical and delightfully wacky character of Al Flosso!
Gerry Walkowski
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Is it live or is it MEMORX. Remember those commercials? Smile

Why does a hot dog taste better at a ballpark? Why does watching a movie at the cinema seem so much better, in most cases, than watching it at home on a smaller screen?

Why? Because it was LIVE ENTERTAINMENT!

By the way, I saw Blackstone Jr. numerous times and he always killed with his routines. I saw his Broadway Show a few times as well and he was the master and commander.

Gerry
Jerry
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Stage presence just can't possibly be transfer to film or video and Blackstone had it. That's why if possible I want to see a live magical performance.
I will still get the DVD of the same show to embed the experience and re-live the performance.
ed rhodes
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Gerry, you've been watching movies that are considered LIVE ENTERTAINMENT? That's a pretty good trick in and of itself!
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Jerry
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Ed, to give an example, I have seen David Copperfield live, but later, I would like to watch a video of the same act/illusion if possible.
So if what I have seen live becomes available on DVD, I would purchase it.
rogerpierre
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The old vaudevillians were correct in their thinking, and many performers shied away from performing their actual acts. TV uses up material faster than anything. If you go on three shows, your acts better be different. Then there are some directors, who don't want to hear your suggestions on where to shoot from, or make-up artists who insist on making up your hands, so later the cards get sticky, and you don't have to worry about palming! Then you have the majority who think of us only as a specialty act, even jimmy Grippo who was loved by Carson, had a hard time getting on the Tonight Show!
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