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BeThePlunk
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I discovered the Russian magician Kate Medvedova on Youtube this summer and think some of her ideas are interesting, but I can't understand a word she's saying. I teach in a boarding school and we have a few students from Kazakhstan, so I asked one of the girls to watch and translate for me. We watched as KM boldly moved things in and out of her lap, on and off the table, in plain sight. Parts of the performance look pretty rough to me, but in the middle of it all, my student looked at me with wide eyes and remarked: "How she is doing that?" There it was: a lesson that what looks so obvious and guilt-producing to us, is pure mystery to the uninitiated. I don't worry so much anymore and I practice a lot more freely.
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2013-09-13 21:15, BeThePlunk wrote:
I discovered the Russian magician Kate Medvedova on Youtube this summer and think some of her ideas are interesting, but I can't understand a word she's saying. I teach in a boarding school and we have a few students from Kazakhstan, so I asked one of the girls to watch and translate for me. We watched as KM boldly moved things in and out of her lap, on and off the table, in plain sight. Parts of the performance look pretty rough to me, but in the middle of it all, my student looked at me with wide eyes and remarked: "How she is doing that?" There it was: a lesson that what looks so obvious and guilt-producing to us, is pure mystery to the uninitiated. I don't worry so much anymore and I practice a lot more freely.


I believe your anecdote absolutely. However, on a side note, I must say that I discover just the reverse to an
embarrassing extant. That is to say, I see a LOT of magic (most, in fact) where the magician is absolutely convinced he
is doing his job and in fact he is fooling (almost) no one. Let's be clear. Very (very!) often when a spectator claims they've been fooled,
they simply mean they didn't see IT happen. But they know what happened, or at the very least that SOMETHING happened, they just didn't see it. Again, I absolutely take
your anecdote at face value. But I caution against using it as an excuse for sloppy work. I've seen LOTS of magic in my life.
And very little of it has been magical in the least. Let me clarify. I saw Charlie Miller do a stand up performance about
1966 at the Castle. At one point in the egg bag routine he took an invisible egg and tossed it into the air, stage left and followed it as it floated around the entire room, making a complete circle of the room before returning to the stage, stage right,
and finally dropping into the bag. We (the audience) ALL FOLLOWED THE ENTIRE JOURNEY. WE ACTUALLY TURNED OUR HEADS AND WATCHED THE INVISIBLE EGG FLOAT AROUND THE ROOM. Now THAT'S magic! Technique alone cannot create it. But without flawless technique, moments like that cannot happen.
BeThePlunk
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That's a wonderfully instructive story! And I take your point completely in turn. There's a difference between guiltless performance and getting sloppy. And you're right: honed technique makes the difference.
Dick Oslund
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Two very interesting comments~ I hope that new "members" (especially) read and take note.

Charlie Miller was a "chubby leprechaun" who could make you believe he knew where that "pot of gold" was hidden!!!

I first met him in '7l when I was doing a lecture at the Magic Castle. I especially enjoyed the meeting, because I had been "inhabiting" the CHARLIE MILLER SUITE at Magic Inc. About 3 years later, we met again, in Wichita KS, at a "big" Ring gathering. Charlie, Conrad Haden, Harry Shilling and I had a real session (it MADE the weekend!)

Charlie did a marvelous lecture that afternoon, on IMPROMPTU MAGIC. I picked up some very USEFUL information.

At the evening show, he did the (Al Baker) RICE BOWLS!!!!!!!!! He KILLED with them!!

I've been using his LEFT HANDED HANDKERCHIEF lines for 30 + years. (They're in one of the Joe Stevens VHS tapes.)

Jay told me lots of anecdotes about Charlie, but the ones I've mentioned, stand out, in my memory.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2013-09-14 09:25, Dick Oslund wrote:

I've been using his LEFT HANDED HANDKERCHIEF lines for 30 + years. (They're in one of the Joe Stevens VHS tapes.)



I'm pleased that you specifically call attention to the "lines" as praiseworthy. It's certainly true.
The very best magicians I've observed have, without exception crafted the "lines" with great care, refining
over many years, just as with other technical aspects of their work.
And you clearly appreciate their import and power as well.
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2013-09-13 21:15, BeThePlunk wrote:
I discovered the Russian magician Kate Medvedova on Youtube this summer and think some of her ideas are interesting, but I can't understand a word she's saying. I teach in a boarding school and we have a few students from Kazakhstan, so I asked one of the girls to watch and translate for me. We watched as KM boldly moved things in and out of her lap, on and off the table, in plain sight. Parts of the performance look pretty rough to me, but in the middle of it all, my student looked at me with wide eyes and remarked: "How she is doing that?" There it was: a lesson that what looks so obvious and guilt-producing to us, is pure mystery to the uninitiated. I don't worry so much anymore and I practice a lot more freely.

I'm really interested in your anecdote or I wouldn't have responded. But I'd like us to be on the same page and
I can't locate your video. I've tried googling both Kate Medvedove and Katya Medvedova and can find no youtube videos.
Can you help me?
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2013-09-14 09:25, Dick Oslund wrote:
Two very interesting comments~ I hope that new "members" (especially) read and take note.

Charlie Miller was a "chubby leprechaun" who could make you believe he knew where that "pot of gold" was hidden!!!

I first met him in '7l when I was doing a lecture at the Magic Castle. I especially enjoyed the meeting, because I had been "inhabiting" the CHARLIE MILLER SUITE at Magic Inc. About 3 years later, we met again, in Wichita KS, at a "big" Ring gathering. Charlie, Conrad Haden, Harry Shilling and I had a real session (it MADE the weekend!)

Charlie did a marvelous lecture that afternoon, on IMPROMPTU MAGIC. I picked up some very USEFUL information.

At the evening show, he did the (Al Baker) RICE BOWLS!!!!!!!!! He KILLED with them!!

I've been using his LEFT HANDED HANDKERCHIEF lines for 30 + years. (They're in one of the Joe Stevens VHS tapes.)

Jay told me lots of anecdotes about Charlie, but the ones I've mentioned, stand out, in my memory.


Since you are familiar with charlie's repertoire, I'll tell you what he did that night:
He did the Miser's dream with paper sack as receptacle. He did the egg bag ala Malini (at that time,
this was quite unusual, now it seems to be the norm). He did his Dunbury Doublet (a cut-and-restored rope trick), as well as
his version of Professor's Nightmare (with the instantaneous triple restoration climax), He did the (Baker) Rice Bowls,
He did a version of the Mora Balls & Net. Perhaps some others, but those for sure. I wish everybody could see magic
this good. I recently watched the video of an old Johnny Thompson doing the balls. I'm a huge fan of Johnny's but I thought
it was awful. But Charlie's was a dream come true. Real Magic! My memory does not deceive, I can see it in front of my eyes as I type,
though it's been (gasp!) fifty years.
BeThePlunk
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Quote:
I'm really interested in your anecdote or I wouldn't have responded. But I'd like us to be on the same page and
I can't locate your video. I've tried googling both Kate Medvedove and Katya Medvedova and can find no youtube videos.
Can you help me?


Sorry, I spelled her name wrong by one letter: Kate Medvedeva. She shows up about 4 times on YouTube. Two of the clips are cups routines.
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2013-09-15 06:58, BeThePlunk wrote:
Quote:
I'm really interested in your anecdote or I wouldn't have responded. But I'd like us to be on the same page and
I can't locate your video. I've tried googling both Kate Medvedove and Katya Medvedova and can find no youtube videos.
Can you help me?

Thanks so much! Now I can see what you were talking about. Smile

Sorry, I spelled her name wrong by one letter: Kate Medvedeva. She shows up about 4 times on YouTube. Two of the clips are cups routines.
Michael Landes
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Hi again,

Well, I've seen a cup and ball routine by kate Medvedeva on youtube now.
and I see why you were appalled, and I also see why your student was fooled.
I think it would be fun to look at her performance from both perspectives if you
are interested.

Let me start with an anecdote, or perhaps two if I've a notion Smile.

In the early seventies Slydini gave a performance at Earthquake McGoon's Magic Cellar in San Francisco.
The preceding afternoon he gave a class to 20-40 people. It was the first time I actually saw him
work live, as opposed to a televised presentation such as you can see re-played on youtube.
I discovered that the youtube clips, that is to say, the televised performances, are practically worthless.
I was totally unprepared for what I saw, although I had studied the Stars of Magic and both Slydini Books
(Ganson and Nathanson). All the above is just prelude to the following anecdote, a small bit of what
I learned that day (and evening):

At one point in the afternoon lesson he took a small moment from the paperballs in the hat, a simple
vanish, and explored it. He spent a lot of time on it, yet he didn't say much. First, he explained
the workings of the vanish in minute details. This is what he is going to do........ exactly! He spent
a long time on this simple vanish, perhaps five minutes, breaking it down seoond by second, doing it from
various angles. Absolutely clear!!! What are we, stupid? Mind you I'd read the books, seen the performances
on Cavett on t.v. years before, etc.

And then he did it. And everyone, EVERYONE, watching went "Huh? Where did it go?" Then he reached behind his
lapel and reproduced it, and we ALL went, "Where did that come from?" So he did it again. And again.
And again. And, perhaps the third or fourth time, I heard SOMEONE murmer "Oh!" And each successive
time, one or two more spectators finally got it. He'd vanished and reproduced the same paper ball,
always in exactly the same way, just as he promised, a dozen and a half times before everyone had finally
gotten it. Yet, we weren't suckered. He absolutely was doing, over and over and over, EXACTLY what he'd
explained in detail, exactly what he'd promised he would do. Mind you, none of the famous clever stuff was involved no turnover vanish, no imp pass retrieval, none of that. He just dropped the *** thing in his lap, then he dropped his hand in his lap and retrieved it. And we were lost. We saw nothing. When I remember that day I'm truly saddened to think that a generation thinks that when they see the youtube clips taken from television shows they are seeing what Tony was about. That unblinking eye focused close up stubbornly on his hands at the table top robs tony of his great tool, his ability to control your attention. sad really. Video clips masquarading as performances may harm magic infinitely more than exposure ever could. Anyway, as I say, if you want to discuss Medvedeva's cup and ball execution, I think there is A LOT more to say than simply, that it was appalling. And I think it would be worthwhile, IF you are interested.
Lawrence O
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Don't just practice moves, rehearse body language...
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
BeThePlunk
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Thank you, Lawrence. Where can one get instruction on body language?
tomsk192
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Quote:
On 2013-09-15 22:35, Michael Landes wrote:
[...] Anyway, as I say, if you want to discuss Medvedeva's cup and ball execution, I think there is A LOT more to say than simply, that it was appalling. And I think it would be worthwhile, IF you are interested.



I agree with you. What, first of all, did you think was good about the cups and balls routines, if anything? I'm pleased that so far the thread has not deteriorated into chauvinism, (she can cup my balls anytime etc. etc.), so please nobody go down that road... Could you please specify which of the routines you are referring to, also.

Tom

BTW I enjoyed the Slydini anecdote.
Michael Landes
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Sure.

Start by watching this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_HsAEjZef0

I like the first 23 seconds. Now you might think that's insulting but I don't mean it to be.
The first moments are absolutely crucial and I see them butchered more often than not.

Likewise, the next few seconds, 00:24 - 00:30 I think are a disaster. And I'm NOT talking about
her manipulation!! I'm talking about body language (Thank you Laurence).

See for yourself, and judge whether to you this is worth discussing.
Michael Landes
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Sure.

Start by watching this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_HsAEjZef0

I like the first 23 seconds. Now you might think that's insulting but I don't mean it to be.
The first moments are absolutely crucial and I see them butchered more often than not.

Likewise, the next few seconds, 00:24 - 00:30 I think are a disaster. And I'm NOT talking about
her manipulation!! I'm talking about body language (Thank you Laurence).

See for yourself, and judge whether to you this is worth discussing.
tomsk192
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I couldn't agree more, in that the cups are 'cut' well. What follows in the next six seconds is disastrous. In terms of body language, forget magic completely, there is no flexibility in the upper body, it is ramrod straight. What a hideous approach to seated performance, with the arms disconnected at the shoulder.

I do have a point about where the cups are produced from, however, prior to the 'good bit'. Given that so much else happens from, erm, down there, it immediately signals the horror which is to come.

Perhaps, due to the apparent reluctance to deviate from a face-on, perpendicular torso to camera, bringing out the cups from anywhere else would be verbotten. I don't know.
BeThePlunk
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I'm interested that others want to get into this discussion of Ms. Medvedeva's performance -- the one in which she is framed completely by the camera (not disembodied hands) and goes on to produce a miniature scene of Red Square. I see the movements between 00:20 and 00:35 differently than some of the respondents. After she appears to be clumsily and guiltily bringing stuff from her lap along with the cups, she flashes a smile as if reading the audience's thoughts. Then she turns the cups to show them empty with a wave of her hands and speaks a sentence that starts with the word "nyet". I think she has been feigning clumsiness to tease the audience and now says, no, the cups are empty. This flirty moment might also help the audience to think less about the hand-to-lap motions that are to come. (Since we're obviously not able to follow her words, I'll see my Kazakhstan student this evening and get a translation of that moment to share with this forum.)
tomsk192
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I did pick up on the feint aspect, but feel it looks horribly awkward. Feints don't have to look clumsy, just mildly suspect.
Ramin
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[/quote]tomsk192 wrote:

I'm pleased that so far the thread has not deteriorated into chauvinism, (she can cup my balls anytime etc. etc.), so please nobody go down that road... Tom
[/quote]



You just did.
tomsk192
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Well, I'm sorry you see it that way. I've noticed that, generally, threads related to female magicians end up inundated by inane comments on the physical attributes of the performer. So far, nobody, including myself, has commented along those lines about this performer. The bracketed 'joke' was used as an example, as I'm sure you are aware.

Any thoughts on the routine/s, Ramin?
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