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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Neil Patrick Harris, Magic Castle Tanked (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

KC Cameron
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Reality Show "Tanked" just did a life size "Houdini Water Torture Cell" fish tank for Neil Patrick Harris and the Magic Castle.

Well, besides furthering the stereotype that magicians are snooty, the "Houdini" was wearing a straitjacket, upside down, IN the tank - and not only did Neil approve it, he was gushing over it. He said he was going to make it a "destination" in the Castle.

I would imagine most pro magicians know, you don't do a strait jacket underwater, and Houdini didn't either. On top of it all, Neil APPEARED rather vacant with his suggestions and questions. I know things are edited, and I am sure some of it, if not all was scripted. I am not sure if that makes it better or worse.

I am not a esteemed member of the Magic Castle, but as a magician, I find this embarrassing. If this is the best we have . . . ?

Why isn't a real working magician, or a retired magician president?
Jimeh
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Oh dang, I so meant to watch that. I saw the screen capture of the tank and thought the same thing "a straightjacket?!"

My guess is that it was much easier to put the dummy in a straightjacket than to have them design a dummy which would require detail work on the body. Also, I've watched that show before (Tanked) and they basically come up with the design and present it to the client. So the Magic Castle folks probably just signed off on it.
Lothar
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Quote:
On 2012-09-19 12:29, KC Cameron wrote:
Why isn't a real working magician, or a retired magician president?


Believe it or not, there are magicians (and Ellen DeGeneres) who describe NPH as an "award winning magician".
KC Cameron
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Jimeh,

I would like to think so . . . but that would be wrong Neil ASKED for Houdini to be in a straitjacket in his water torture cell. Here are some of the transcripts of his part of the conversation:

"I've been in magic since I was 15 years old, was a junior member here at the Magic Castle. Ah, then got on the Board of Directors and worked my way up to being president. I love it, it's like the coolest hobby in the world!!" "Could you do a tank where the fish magically appear, perhaps?" "Do you have rabbit fish?" "Hey, Hey, Hey, He (Houdini) had a trick called the water torture cell. You've seen that. Duh, and it's clear, and he was in a straitjacket underneath, covered in chains. Could you do a tank like that?" "What fish Are their magical types of fish? Invisible fish? Do they make those?"

Makes me proud . . . Smile
KC Cameron
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BTW they joked about filling it with "invisible fish" when NPH left . . .

Again, why is he president???
Jimeh
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LOL oooooooook then, wow. Thanks for the clarification KC.

After the recent Genii interview with Neil I must admit it became clearer to me that he's a fan of magic more than anything else. Which doesn't have to be a bad thing mind you, BUT, being that it's the Magic Castle it might have been a good idea to ask around.
KC Cameron
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Well, it is a little known "fact" that Houdini died doing the Water Torture Cell in a strait jacket. The jacked shrunk down so tight on him he couldn't escape. . . . I understand Sarah Palen is running for president next term at the Castle.

OK, I understand they want a celebrity as the face of the Magic Castle, but why NPH???? Is he that big a celeb?

Read this and be a proud member of the MC:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/fashion/20nite.html?_r=0
KC Cameron
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ClintonMagus
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Quote:
On 2012-09-19 14:39, KC Cameron wrote:
OK, I understand they want a celebrity as the face of the Magic Castle, but why NPH???? Is he that big a celeb?


Actually, any Castle member can be elected to the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees. There is no requirement that they be a "celeb". Some are well-known, while others aren't. As I understand it, Harris poured a lot of time and effort into the Castle through the years.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
KC Cameron
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Clinton, I never claimed it required a celeb, I said I understand they WANT a celeb (to play off his celebrity, as noted in several articles). I am not questioning how much work NPH has done, just that in IMHO he is no where close to being president material for a magic organization. Still it is a private club, and I am not a member - just someone looking in - and cringing.

I know very little about NPH, most learned from this episode. I understand everyone has bad days, and this was edited, but he appears like a pretentious idiot in "Tanked". I hope I am wrong.
Dannydoyle
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Someone made a point recently about trying to make oneself look better by walking on others. Certainly that isn't going on here.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
KC Cameron
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No, I am not putting myself as better then NPH, I know very little about him. I am not calling him "silly" or "little" like you did to our fellow magician - just questioning his qualifications for the position he holds. There is nothing inherently wrong with not knowing much about Houdini, even as a magician. I certainly am no expert. NPH is the PRESIDENT of the Magic Castle, I WOULD expect more from him. The very fact that I caught the gaffe says a lot.

Unlike the magician you were slamming Danny, NPH is a national figure, and the head of a prestigious club. I am not "inventing" anything that he said or did ( as you did), just reporting what he did on a national TV show.

The blunder he did, I could see myself doing, but I am not the President of the Academy of Magical Arts. I have made stupid remarks too - but not on national TV as the Ambassador of the Magic Castle! I am sure his agent was savvy enough to retain some type of editing rights - it's not my field- but I would expect so. Yet, he appeared hmmm, not too intelligent. Please note I am talking about this one episode. I know if I were him, I would fire whomever was to keep me from saying stupid things to the media or looking like !@#$%^&. How much of it is in the editing? I don't know, but I imagine he has the weight to make any changes to it he felt needed.

All in all, this isn't about NPH, it is about the Magic Castle and what they view as presidential.

I am not a member of the Academy, and I doubt I ever will be a member - but I do look up to the organization, which makes this so cringe-worthy for me.
Dougini
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Cringe-worthy for me as well. The Magic Castle is much better than this.

Doug
Magicbarry
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I didn't see the episode in question. In fact, I've never even heard of the show. I've heard Neil Patrick Harris speak about magic, and speak rather intelligently. I have no problem with him being president of the Magic Castle, though it's worth noting that I'm not a member of the AMA, so it's not like he represents me. And I'm not sure that anyone who isn't a member has a right to an opinion on the matter, but I'll toss an opinion out anyway.

The guy loves magic, that much is clear. He seems to have put in a lot of time since becoming involved with the Magic Castle, which is tough for a guy in his line of work. More importantly, he brings attention to the Castle, which it sorely needs. Didn't the Castle almost go under a few years ago? When you're on the brink of collapse, you can do a lot worse than bringing in someone who can draw attention to the Castle -- and to magic in general. Given all the talking NPH does about magic on major network talk shows, I can't imagine this on appearance on a much lesser known reality show did any damage whatsoever; he's done far more good than bad.
KC Cameron
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I pmed with a guy that knows NPH. Evidently that was not the norm. He actually has done well with the admin duties too, and I now believe this may be a fluke. I doubt it will be an issue with NPH fans, but I believe it will with the older audience (like myself) who had no idea who NPH is.

I still find it amazing that AMA is keeping this tribute to Houdini as it is, but I imagine it would not be cheap to fix.
Magicbarry
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Dodd Vickers did a good podcast interview with Neil Patrick Harris when he first joined the board. It should still be available on the Magic Newswire website. It's worth a listen. While Harris obviously doesn't have the background of most guests of the podcast, there's surprising depth, and a clear love of magic. He talks a bit about the Castle and sounds very committed. If anyone's concerned about his credibility on the board or as president, the interview should ease their minds somewhat.
Devious
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Ayala and Charlie Sheen discuss Neil Patrick Harris, here.
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Devious Deceptions
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L'Chaim!
KC Cameron
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Nice find!
Mystic_master
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Old thread, I know.

You might want to look into that Neil brings to the table in terms BOOKING the club, making it fiscally feasible, management, and organizing outside events, getting the place ran properly with membership levels, dues, comps. He has also done a great deal to bring in MORE live entertainment, and preserve the history and structure of the castle for many many generations. More administrative, and um, VERY important.
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