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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Are we over Derren Brown? (36 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ray Chelt
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Love his stage shows...think the tv stuff has got incredibly lazy and ill thought out.

The worst being the lottery...who in their right minds thought that doing the effect then waiting a week to give the pseudo science "answer", was a good idea. By the time he did the explanation most people had thought up a different answer that wasn't as stupid as that given.

Oh for the days of Heist and Seance Smile
mindpunisher
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Quote:
On Jan 24, 2016, MagicalEducator wrote:
I stand by my comments..to say that you find a performer "boring" or "dreary" isn't a compliment or all that respectful. That's not taking anything out of context. Seems like some people need to have new and shiny things more often so they don't get bored. Pretty easy to criticize someone so highly successful and comes across as petty, jealous and disrespectful. All of which is easy to do from safely behind one's keyboard. Sad to see people make Derren Brown's contribution to our art seems so disposable and trivial.

Jeff


Actually it means we don't see things the same way as you do. Could it be you just don't respect the opinions of some of the posters? The original post asked if we were over Derren Brown meaning are magicians/mentalists not as excited by Derren Brown as we used to be? It never asked for "compliments". I honestly think you are hallucinating when you make comments about any of us being jealous or petty? Are you saying that anyone who we find boring or dull means we are jealous or petty? In that case I must be jealous of a lot of entertainers and extremely petty. I found Derren really interesting at the start of his TV career when it wasn't made clear whether he was real or fake. In fact many magicians and even mentalists believed he used body language etc. For me it started to fall apart after his Russian roulette special where he started to make disclaimers as journalists were lining up to debunk him.From that moment on his TV shows lost his edge and he started to morph into what he does on TV today. I have never liked anything he has done on TV since. I found them painful to watch with the exception of the seance special and usually switch them over before the end. I respect what he has achieved I just don't find it interesting or entertaining after the second series personally. But I also respect the fact that some do. I loved the period of his career where he was able to blurr reality with fact and had a lot of people "fooled". To me that's what mentalism is about. It was an exciting period.Most of what he has done since on TV couldn't really be seen as true mentalism. But some kind of hybrid pseudo documentary.
MagicalEducator
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Would love to see your life work posted for trolls everywhere to comment on. I should think you might appreciate a little bit more respect and appreciation for your efforts.

Jeff
Voted "Canada's Most Inspirational Magician"
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ringmaster
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Brown and Geller have done more for mentalist than the rest of you together.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
Mindpro
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So what, that means no one can have an preference or opinion?
chmara
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Early on on his career with his success in Great Britain I wondered why and if Derren Brown would ever be popular or recognized in the USA. His fame among US magicians rose some -- but never to the heights of a Copperfield or a Geller.

I wondered why, and came up with several reasons -- some probably annoying to US audiences and performers but my own opinions based upon my 74 years of life on this weird planet.

1. Brown's performances are too intelligent and well informed for the short attention span of the US public.

2. He is correct in using TV as the promotion point for his touring shows -- a fact that Copperfield found years ago -- his TV shows ended up costing him money to produce -- which he then made up in touring performances playing large venues at solid seat pricing. (I BELIEVE THE YEAR HE SAID THIS HE HAD MADE $60 MILLION IN GROSS RECEIPTS)

3. Brown is the the business for the long haul and contributes to the craft by educating his audiences while entertaining them -- not just profiting from splash effects that can be knocked off by other magicians or sold as tricks. His acting and routines are as integral to his performance as are the "tricks" and the US audiences are more trained to want flash than nuance.

4. The US networks are not quite sure how to handle British shows do dominate a time slot and are not ready to pay the price needed t not only purchase the shows -- but to promote them and still not grab ratings like flashy US magicians MIGHT.

5. DB is not trying to dominate the world -- just be excellent at what he does for HIS audiences and markets. Something domineering Americans might not understand in their hubris.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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MagicalEducator
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
So what, that means no one can have an preference or opinion?


No problem having a preference or opinion it's just the way that one shares it. One can do this with some dignity and respect. I also agree that Mr. Brown might be too high brow for a reality TV world that can only deal with catering to the lowest common denominator.

Jeff
Voted "Canada's Most Inspirational Magician"
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WitchDocChris
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Personally I think the US audience just doesn't entirely 'get' British humor so a lot of his subtlety is lost. I don't think it really it's an issue of attention span - I know plenty of people who will watch long shows if they are interesting. Heck, we even have commercials now making light of the fact that people binge-watch TV shows. If someone can sit and watch 14 episodes of Archer in a row, they can watch a magic show. As long as it interests them.

I think the big issue, personally, is that Brown came to America before and basically he attacked religion. The US is weird about that. He created a fake faith healer, and also convinced new-agey folks that he could replicate 'psychic' abilities, implying it was all fake. I think that probably didn't sit too well with the US audience.

So combine his humor not really landing, and his first excursion to the US being a bit too brash, and you don't get much success there.

However, I feel that his more recent stage shows would do well. He has mellowed out a lot with the debunking kind of angle he had before, and now seems to focus on exploring the mind and how it can be manipulated and predicted.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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I agree about British humor and perspectives. First, I'm not sure Derren is interested in really cracking the U.S. market. I've stated here before that he would likely need to make a lot of changes and adaptations to truly give it a run to be a major accepted entertainer as he has over there. I don't think he'd be willing to do so, and likely doesn't need/want to.

So many people think they know U.S. audiences, or worse yet claim there isn't much difference, but there is. I look at so many others that have attempted to be stopped in their tracks. Cliff Richard who tried desperately to crack the U.S. market - several times aggressively. In Europe he was nearly Elvis-like, but could never come close to his popularity here. Same for comedy.

I don't think his stage shows would do as well either. I think his whole persona and personality wouldn't play well here. Sure it does to the magic/mentalism communities, but I mean to the masses. He wouldn't play well in Peoria. His style and character is not at all U.S.-friendly. He would likely need an American team and consultants to truly stand a chance and that would be out of his comfort zone for sure. As I said, not sure he would want it.

However to me this question that was originally posed as it pertained to the Café is what I was referring to. Especially with the glob of newbies, groupies and such he has inspired. It seems to have mellowed and settled back to a normal level.Even the way the Eurporen members post here regarding him vs. many U.S. members her at the Café is greatly different.

There will always be those that think anything he does is golden. Others feel he has changed and perhaps lost an edge he formerly had. Yet still others see his shift and see it as evolvement. Regardless, all of his attempts at the U.S. on t.v. have really fallen short. His series was cancelled before the entire run aired. I've spoken to major U.S. promoters who we're at all interested in taking the chance. I remember Paul McKenna years ago realizing how he needed to change and adapt to achieve any level of success in the U.S. which while more than Derren, was also minimal.
IAIN
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2016, WitchDocChris wrote:
However, I feel that his more recent stage shows would do well. He has mellowed out a lot with the debunking kind of angle he had before, and now seems to focus on exploring the mind and how it can be manipulated and predicted.


his last stage show (i saw it just before christmas) was nothing but mellow...and 3/4s of it was entirely aimed at the evangelical side of religion, including him healing people...
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Mindpro
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How did it seem to play over there compared to his previous?
gabelson
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2016, chmara wrote:
Early on on his career with his success in Great Britain I wondered why and if Derren Brown would ever be popular or recognized in the USA. His fame among US magicians rose some -- but never to the heights of a Copperfield or a Geller.

I wondered why, and came up with several reasons -- some probably annoying to US audiences and performers but my own opinions based upon my 74 years of life on this weird planet.

1. Brown's performances are too intelligent and well informed for the short attention span of the US public.

2. He is correct in using TV as the promotion point for his touring shows -- a fact that Copperfield found years ago -- his TV shows ended up costing him money to produce -- which he then made up in touring performances playing large venues at solid seat pricing. (I BELIEVE THE YEAR HE SAID THIS HE HAD MADE $60 MILLION IN GROSS RECEIPTS)

3. Brown is the the business for the long haul and contributes to the craft by educating his audiences while entertaining them -- not just profiting from splash effects that can be knocked off by other magicians or sold as tricks. His acting and routines are as integral to his performance as are the "tricks" and the US audiences are more trained to want flash than nuance.

4. The US networks are not quite sure how to handle British shows do dominate a time slot and are not ready to pay the price needed t not only purchase the shows -- but to promote them and still not grab ratings like flashy US magicians MIGHT.

5. DB is not trying to dominate the world -- just be excellent at what he does for HIS audiences and markets. Something domineering Americans might not understand in their hubris.




Agreed, 100%. It may not be something we wish to admit, but American audiences' attention spans ARE too short for the type of segments Derren was shooting for his British TV shows. Just look at how the shows were produced that Derren did here in the States: The quick cuts, the shortened segments... they can't let anything "breathe" on American TV. Simplistic story lines.

And if he's "over", his stuff "old", why is every mentalist and his brother saying they're using NLP and body language reading? Now more than ever, in fact? That is the influence Derren has had on the art.
IAIN
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He seems to be as well loved as ever...and I can only go from the whispers I heard at the interval and during the show - people are still as amazed and derren is still as (be)loved as ever...i find it tiring because its basically the same thing, he has his own personal message, which is "think about things rationally" - which is great, and I agree...but to continually do that in every stage show in slightly different ways is a bit boring for me personally...which means zero in the scheme of things I know, and that's from a person who genuinely has loved a lot of what he has done, and I would consider him to be one of the very best...both creatively and as a showman...

its too formulaic for my tastes... I think for those that are his uber-fans, he's (ironically) preaching to the converted, so the message is lost because they already do it, for those that are either there to just switch off and be entertained, or just don't care about the deeper side of things - its lost on them...so I'm not sure to whom it is being aimed at (the message bit)...

and it still boils down to him pushing that message, yet not debunking properly because I guess then it reveals the methods of those who do it for entertainment (to varying degrees)...

so the first half of the show was fun, very entertaining (stuff like people taking random quality street sweets from out of a tin and eating them) and derren tells them which it is by the sounds - there was a very good newspaper confabulation effect - but the second half was too similar for my tastes, and didn't feel cohesive enough...

with that said - people genuinely love him and what he does...and that's all that counts for the paying public...
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Mindpro
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I guess that's what I was wondering - is it still entertaining to the mass public or is the entertainment factor being compromised due to his newer preference of promoting a message and his personal agenda direction.
Mark_Chandaue
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Based on his tour pretty much being a sell out at every venue and based on what I've heard from lay people it is still entertaining to the public at large. I wasn't a big fan of the second half of Infamous but many of my non magician friends loved that part. I did like his closer though.

Mark
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NeilMcCauley
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For what it's worth, and especially for the people saying he doesn't want to perform in the U.S., or wouldn't succeed if he ever did so again, he's planning to do a Broadway show in 2017. Source: https://youtu.be/YEhF81O9LTk?t=8m25s
Mindpro
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Performing on Broadway in is no way the same as performing for the mass U.S. audience. A New York theater audience is much different than performing throughout the U.S.

It's so sad that in even over there they view him as a magician, illusionist and mind reader that were all referenced in just the first few minutes. Then Derren referring to it as "tricks"... "This is youtube, this is a very serious medium"- give me a break.
IAIN
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If you think it isn't a serious medium, fair enough..but it doesn't make it so 💃
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Mindpro
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??? Not sure what you mean.
ibm_usa
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We maybe over Darren Brown but I assure you the lay audience is not.
My Universities psychology department recently invited Dr. Danial J. Simons to give a presentation. Dr. Simon's is noted for the Invisible Gorilla study. At this lecture it turns out that there is a Darren Brown following among the students and faculty. I was actually amazed at the amount of people in a small American University town knew who Darren was.
No, the lay audience is not over Brown and I don't think we have either, we maybe slightly desensitized to where he no longer phases us at the moment but wait until he comes up with a new show or a new something.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

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