The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Original show? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
Powermagic
View Profile
Inner circle
1418 Posts

Profile of Powermagic
I am amazed how many illusion shows I see are all using the same few illusions as many others. There was a time where illusionists strived to have something others do not. (until stolen by rivals and put in their own show) But those times the shows reached far less people.
Some would argue that there is nothing new but then why did so many latch on the same illusions that came out after 2000?

It makes me wonder, is there any illusion shows out today that are doing their own illusions. I am not talking about a routine but something that is not for sale to the masses? It seems many of the top illusion designers are not doing their own material but selling it to top pros and then eventually to everyone.

So who is out there doing their own illusions for the majority of their show? (if anyone)
jay leslie
View Profile
V.I.P.
Southern California
9495 Posts

Profile of jay leslie
I do a lot of original stuff
Most are thinking " How good can this stiff be because we've never seen him work" but I did a few seasons at a major amusement park (6 times 6 nonstop) and trucked-around three different illusion shows for 10 years so how bad, can he be either? I don't have movies on YouTube or circulate a lot of my stuff because I want to keep it. . All your going to see is a cheap video for librarys which I'm not really proud of but I didn't shoot it.

But here's some things that I've twisted.
Melting through Metsl A kind of spinning steel blackboard that I walk through.
My elastic lady. While not original in concept, the cabinet is only 18 wide and 24 deep and does not look like it does what it does.
My Assistants revenge a one of a kind (but truthfully the audience doesn't know or care)
There's a Lazy Susan in the base of my shadow box so the assistant spins around (the shelf has a "U" shape to go around the spindle.)
I have a three-box sawing/ vanishing box thing where two boxes are taken down, leaving and end box, then the other end box is put back-up but the first end is taken down.
There are a few escape routines using devices which has been published but no one else has made the items.
Then there is an Asrah -Agga combo that fooled the earths best builder when he watched me in Burbank.
So yes, and no. Not everything is original but there's enough differences that much of what I do is different.

I think that Mark Wilson was expert at combining two different illusions into one and DCs team(s) have reinvented so much stuff that my little contributions look silly compared to them. Then there was the Zebra trick that Doug and Debby did, now that was original.

Here's a movie of my vanishing bottle routine which, while not an illusion, hives you the idea. I am posting this because there are various complex parts that are not easily copied. http://www.jayleslie.com/mov/Vanishing%20Bottle.mov
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8363 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
I don't do "big boxes" Jay (except for one phone promo show tour--and that was pretty much "stock" stuff.)but I do think that the big shows definitely have a "place" in the business. "Civilians" DO talk about what they saw at a theme park or on TV, OR "WHEREVER". --and that promotes MAGIC! --and that promotes me!!!(+ a lot of other guys who "eat off it"!

THANKS FOR DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. ESPECIALLY, THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS IN THE VARIOUS FORA.

Posted: Oct 22, 2013 6:53am
The ZEBRA!!! Yes!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Most magicians do not create their own illusions. They buy (or build) the creations of others. This is nothing new. Your observations on the history of this is that of compressed time, and selective notation. Over the course of a hundred years, we tend to remember those who made a name for themselves, while the majority fade from memory.

I would imagine the name Fred Culpitt is unknown to many magicians today. Only those who study history would know him as the inventor of the Doll's House Illusion. They may have heard the name Servais LeRoy, but few would connect him to inventing the Asrah Levitation.

How about Cyril Yettmah? He invented the Shadow Box.

Bautier DeKolta invented of course, The DeKolta Chair. There was a subtle clue in there. Smile . But, did you know he also invented Multiplying Billiard Balls, The Vanishing Birdcage, and Spring Flowers?

I'm sure a lot more magicians can name a performer of one of these illusions, well before they can name the inventor.

Can anyone tell me who Professor Herwin was? Check your thumb and get back to me (one of the greatest illusions of all time, if also one of the smallest).

More often we remember a performer, rather than an inventor. With the explosion of media transfer these days, we not only have the joy of seeing the greatest performers, we are also surrounded by a daily dose of the not-so-great. Lots of attention is paid to the obvious copycats, sometimes rightfully so, and other times, I question the validity of the complaints. Look at how much attention is given to someone performing a rip-off illusion, or even a poorly constructed illusion, even if it was built by someone other than the performer.

A hundred years ago, most people would have been lucky to have seen a single performance of an illusion. To later see another performer perform the same trick... the odds would have been quite different. Fifty years later, the odds may not have changed much, but most assuredly there would have been many magicians performing the same illusions, as many of their competitors. Today, you can go on Youtube and see a dozen performances of almost any illusion you can name.

The only thing that has really changed is what we notice and remember.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
DavidThomas
View Profile
Loyal user
231 Posts

Profile of DavidThomas
I would put Franz Harary on top of the list as a performer who has created the most "original" illusions. Andre Cole would also be on the list. There are many other who have created one or two pieces.

The question you poise is also true of all other levels of magic. Most magicians whether close up, stage, parlour or illusionists perform magic created by others. This is also true in the world of performing arts. I have always been in awe of the 'creative" teams that create "stage musicals" operas, novels, ect. Most of us are actors who perform others works. The same is true with illusions.

I would rather focus my efforts on production and performance then trying to create something new that would be better in the hands of the people like Jim Steinmeyer.
David Thomas
TheWorldofMagic.com
Matt Adams
View Profile
Special user
Harvest, AL
826 Posts

Profile of Matt Adams
I think guys have been selling their ideas for forever...while still fairly modern, consider the genius Jarrett who sold to the great Thurston (and more). He loved his illusions and wanted to get them seen - but he wasn't really interested in performing them as much as he was in creating them.

I think the saying is true - jack of all trades, master of none. No one will be the best at creating AND performing. One will always suffer - if not due to talent, then most certainly due to time.

That said, now that I've gotten to a certain level of performance for my show, I'm turning my sights on creating more than ever. My goal isn't to be the next David Copperfield (although it was when I was a kid). Now I just want to reach as many people with the gospel of Jesus as possible - and my show is my method for doing that. Smile
Website: www.MattAdamsMinistries.com

Instagram: @mattadamsministries

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mattadamsministries
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Quote:
On 2013-10-22 09:59, Matt Adams wrote:
I think guys have been selling their ideas for forever...while still fairly modern, consider the genius Jarrett who sold to the great Thurston (and more). He loved his illusions and wanted to get them seen - but he wasn't really interested in performing them as much as he was in creating them.




This is very true. Years ago, there were creators, but also those who were the builders and sellers, like Thayer, Abbotts, etc. Many of them built exclusively, or semi-exclusively for select performers.

It is possible that the early creators built their own apparatus, but in most cases, I suspect they had others do it primarily, even if they had an active hand in the workshop. These individual creators could be either performers themselves, like Goldin, Selbit, LeRoy, Maskelyne, etc., or guys like Jarret, mentioned above.

Today, things are not that different. There are those who are known more for creating than for building or performing (Steinmeyer), those who build more than they perform or create (Gaughan), and those who perform more than they do either of the other (obvious). Sometimes, someone comes along with cross-over skills, but specialization is more the norm.

There are many advantages for the builder/seller... more modern tools, better marketing techniques, faster communication of ideas... all of which simplifies process and increases production. The competitive nature of business being what it is basically means that there will be entries that run the gamut of quality and price. This attracts a much larger cross-section of buyers. But, creativity and unique design is a much more rare commodity. Hence, more guys out there performing a lot of the same things.

This does not mean however, that there were more inventive magicians in the past, just more opportunities today for the non-inventive magician.

In many cases, the desire to be unique is still there, but like yesteryear, when they do come up with something different (usually in routining), it is copied by other performers, but more likely quickly brought to market with the knowledge that doing so is often more profitable. This is not always at the hand of copyists either. Lots of magicians make their living off other magicians.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Eldon
View Profile
Inner circle
Virden, IL
1134 Posts

Profile of Eldon
Back in the day I had several original Large Illusions in my show. I developed a theme for the show and then would build Illusions to go along with the theme. (It is how I became a builder and the beginnings of "White Magic Mfg.") I still have most of these in my warehouse. These days I take the easy way out and do mostly stock stuff. I'm still doing my Zig-Zag which is innovative and truly different from others (if you can believe that).

Michael, I think Professor Herwin invented one version of the Vanishing Penny Box.
Edgar Alstad
View Profile
New user
Levanger, Norway
95 Posts

Profile of Edgar Alstad
Quote:
Bautier DeKolta invented of course, The DeKolta Chair.


As you said, we rembember this because his name is attached to the name of the illusion. But if I remember correctly, he originally named it "The Vanishing Lady". Why, when and who changed the name of the illusion?
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8363 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Hello Michael!

Eons ago, one of my professors (and it may not have been an original "line" with him)said:

"There are people who have SOMETHING TO SAY, and people who JUST HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING!"

You always have SOMETHING TO SAY! --Makes me proud to be associated with YOU!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Eldon,

I am not sure on that. I have heard however that he is credited with inventing the TT. I was not there at the time to verify that, though! Smile

Edgar,

That is a good question. Probably the victim of time and vernacular. I don't know. I also don't know when Metamorphosis became Sub Trunk, or when Disembodied Princess became Girl without a Middle, or when Lady from the Light became Shadow Box, or when Michael Ammar invented the Topit (joke).

Dick,

The pleasure of our association is mine. Sometimes I have too much to say. Some people think that if they asked me what time it was, that I'd tell them how a watch is made. Smile
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Powermagic
View Profile
Inner circle
1418 Posts

Profile of Powermagic
I think you guys missed the point, trying to fill this topic with theory.
My question was direct and to the point. Only two answered it and maybe one was a bit self serving/ tongue and cheek as he later admits it is more TWISTS.(no offense to this person I am teasing)

Yes in Grand Illusion Harary
The fact is so many smaller shows just buy and I am not seeing a show I enjoy. I am sick of seeing, and forgive me for not knowing the commercial names, the tube and cube illusion, or pushing a person through another while standing, that Origami box. It seem many illusionists are just not trying to come up with their own material and sadly just tweaking the routine is not acceptable to claim being original.

Yes, as some said, it is that those who cant teach or in this case design and sell. I till think they could easily blow most out of the water if they took a few acting and stage lessons and could not only amaze the public but drive magicians crazy.


I think all this "availability" to buy plans or props does stifle creativity. Why create when there is so many wonderful ideas to buy. Sure for a while you are the only guy in town with the prop so it is new to them, but with TV and internet. since 2000 you see so many own these same props, have videos on Youtube and such and actually it seems OLD and any illusions like this really cant be tweaked as much as the illusionist thinks. They are fooling themselves that , in the audiences minds, they have changed the prop. But the core effect remains and it really does not matter how much you BeDazzle the prop.

So my question was not about why illusionists buy or why an illusion builder would rather stay behind the scenes.

I am more curious to see MORE recommendations of shows out there on tour that are very unique and have signature illusions. OK if I have to make it easier for you- It doesnot have to be the entire show and does not have to be THEIR idea. But it should be a show that you will not see the same illusion in any dressing, in any other show. Follow?

So I am sure Harary has a TEAM of thinkers but you will see stuff in his show that are unlike other shows (although it was getting a bit tiresome that every effect you would see him do on TV was a large vanish using similar methods)

There was a time you could go see a touring stage show of one of the greats and they would actually TRY to be different or better the other guy. I just see it as very cookie cutter today so wanted to go to make an attempt to seek out high end illusion shows with NAMES not cookie cutter (ie if you youtube Disney Mickey's Magic Show) You can see an illusion show using many standards but the illusionist is interchangeable. Brad Ross might be in one show but could easily be someone else in another country as it is the Disney format of uniformity" It is not that it is a bad show. Steinmeyer was a consultant but it is not a show one could put their name on and say "Oh that is the XYZ show, I have never seen anyone do that before."


So are there other names out there that have exclusive illusions that do not display the latest Magic Venture or other stock effect?
Matt Adams
View Profile
Special user
Harvest, AL
826 Posts

Profile of Matt Adams
Oh, try Taylor Reed in Branson. He does a lot of his own stuff and performs it as well.
Website: www.MattAdamsMinistries.com

Instagram: @mattadamsministries

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mattadamsministries
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8363 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Hey Michael!
Cf. "Inside Magic" (George Boston). If my memory is functioning (I read it in the FORTIES) assistants on the Blackstone (pere) show, called "The Girl Without a Middle","NO GUTS"!

I don't know what they called "The Girl in the Tires", but I would imagine it was: @#^^<>%%!!!! (hee hee) I only saw it done a couple (maybe three) times. Once or twice by "pa" and once by "son". They called it "that" because those truck tires were HEAVY!

Jay saw it from the orchestra, the balcony, and the gallery. He told me that he was "flummoxed". George Johnstone, assistant before WWII) tipped it to Jay and me over coffee, upstairs at Inc. You wouldn't want to troupe it~!

Posted: Oct 23, 2013 3:46pm
PS" Didn't Pat Page invent "TOPIT"?--HEE HEE!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Powermagic,

I think this is common among all types of magic, not just illusions. Actually, I see a lot more individual styles and unique creations with smaller magic. Perhaps it is easier to modify a concept when the props don't cost $10,000. I don't know.

But, I tend to agree that many illusion shows are less than unique, and that many of the illusionists are as interchangeable as the boxes themselves. But, I am not so much concerned with seeing new and unique creations in the realm of illusions, as much as I crave seeing performers who honestly bring something to the table.

Although I have only seen videos and never a live performance, John Bundy is one of my personal favorites. He and Morgan give the audience WAAAY more than a collection of boxes and weapons of singular destruction. I absolutely love what they do, but I'm not sure if they do anything other than great classic illusions.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Chad Sanborn
View Profile
Inner circle
my fingers hurt from typing,
2206 Posts

Profile of Chad Sanborn
I think it works this way...Magician A buys an illusion and puts it into his show. It gets rave reviews. Other people then buy it. The price comes down, knockoffs are made, and then more magicians copy that illusion. They do so, because Magician A was successful with it and they feel like they are as good as him/her if they are performing the same illusion. Plus they have the added benefit of knowing the illusion works for an audience. And can even steal the routine if they desire. Now they will perform this illusion until the wheels fall off. At which point they will look at what Magician A is now doing and will repeat the process all over again.

Not many people do original tricks that they both created and routined from scratch simply because its easier not to. And also because many cannot.

Creating magical effects takes a certain thought process that many people just don't have. And that's ok. You don't need to in order to present it well. But you do have to be creative in the presentation. And again many people would rather copy Magician A's routine than create their own. Simply because its easier.
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
OK, finally... a new and original illusion (sort of).

These are smoking bells in Japan, but when I saw this, I said, "There is a giant smoke-filled Copentro in my future!" Smile

Image
~michael baker
The Magic Company
ClintonMagus
View Profile
Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

Profile of ClintonMagus
I'll go a different direction with this topic.

It's not so much the fact that so many performers are using the same illusions, but what they do with those illusions. Combining two or three otherwise-ordinary illusions into a compelling routine with a story line can transform those illusions into something else entirely in the eyes of an audience. Combining the simple production of a red rose with a Crystal Casket can turn an ordinary appearance into a love story, overflowing with color and drama.

I love to watch movies and television shows and read books about performance, creativity, and working harder than you ever thought you could to realize a dream. Shows such as Fame, Dance Academy, and even Bunheads and books about IDEO and Disney Imagineering give me loads of ideas that help me to dream or to imagine what can be done to "capture" an audience.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Gerry Walkowski
View Profile
Inner circle
1424 Posts

Profile of Gerry Walkowski
Powermagic,

That's why I always enjoyed going to see Andre Kole's show. About 95% of his material is original and you never knew what you're going to see when you buy a ticket to his performance.

Gerry
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8363 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
1000% right, Gerry! He certainly does think 'outside the box'!

I remember BOBBY GURTLER (Andre Kole's real name)from the early 1950s!!! "Things" like the ATOMIC STACK PILE are in my 'mental' memory bank.

I didn't see him work until about the late 1980s, when he was working in a church in California. There aint enough 'O's in SMOOOOOOTH to describe his performance.

Greg Bordner and I caught him in the early 1990s, in Lower Michigan. SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH!

Last time we met was at a Michigan Magic Day about 15 years ago. He is a GENTLEMAN!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Original show? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.37 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