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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? (55 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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Trying to get a grasp of what you are suggesting here, tommy. What is it a concerned magician 'ought' to do when acting accordingly.

If you mean that many performers seem to underestimate the intelligence of a spectator or their appreciation of magic, I might agree.
Not sure about what any person "understands" today, though. An audience? - even less. Evidence is that folks today understand very little about anything,
relying instead on believed stuff and a 'blame game' lack of accountability.

Just guessing as to what you mean by "understanding" - so, I ask ...

Yet, I sense a kernel of insight or truth in your statement.
Some individual in any audience may see more or guess better about the mechanics of a trick than others. They could negatively effect the spectator next to them.
Others may be caught up in the excitement and energy of the moment and positively impact their neighbors.
A couple of spectators may desire to see magic so badly they find it in anything you do,

All of the emotion and communication (verbal and non-verbal) can be infectious and lead to being able to treat the audience as a living entity - with 'understanding; I guess.
It is an illusion, of course, but something a performer can work with. A performer can appreciate and respect this "understanding" and change a presentation
in response. Or, he can learn form each performance and better prepare for the next

When performing for single individual or small group there is little one can do except select an effect based on a best experienced guess as to the setting.
For a larger paying audience one can make some assumptions about the expectations of the audience desire to see your stuff without change.
For an unknown audience, the performer should be prepared to adapt to what is learned during the performance. Audience engagement?

But, does he change his character? His choice of trick or prop? His story line?

Just not sure what you think is "appropriate action" during a performance, and what might influence preparation prior to ...

Personally, I find it difficult to glean understanding from a spectator with a cellphone in their ear or doing a selfie.
So, I perform less and less except for an audience I know both appreciates magic and expects to it occur.

What do suggest others do that is appropriate?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Jan 1, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it.


Why?

Why would knowledge of anything that happens off stage/behind the curtain matter to a audience that has paid to receive an experience?

Other than performances where said knowledge is theatrically relevant, I don't think it should even enter the minds of the audience.

An audience pays for an experience. Whatever experience that performer has marketed and promised to the audience, that is what the performer should be delivering. If the majority of the audience does not feel they got that experience, regardless of what their education level is regarding the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of it, the performer failed.

That's it. Trying to say an audience isn't qualified to assess a performance is just blame-shifting. Either the marketing failed to communicate what was being sold, or the performer failed to deliver on their promises - the performer is at fault in both instances.

Either the audiences enjoy the show, or they don't. If they don't, the performer either changes the show to suit the audience, or finds the audience that suits the show.
Christopher
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Senor Fabuloso
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We are not talking about what the audience pays for. We are talking about fair assessments of a performer. To PROPERLY critique a performer, one must know about performance. In magic that would be magic performance. Knowing nothing about the art other than what one likes dosn't properly critique the performer. I might like a particular piece of music but without knowledge of music structure, I couldn't tell you if it's good or structurally correct. All I can tell you is, if I like it. That's my point. We don't let mechanics critique a painting with any validity, for that, we go to an art critic. It's that simple.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 1, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
Fair has little to do with it. A fair assessment of a performer, would first be based on knowledge of the art and what it takes to perform it.


Why?

Why would knowledge of anything that happens off stage/behind the curtain matter to a audience that has paid to receive an experience?

Other than performances where said knowledge is theatrically relevant, I don't think it should even enter the minds of the audience.

An audience pays for an experience. Whatever experience that performer has marketed and promised to the audience, that is what the performer should be delivering. If the majority of the audience does not feel they got that experience, regardless of what their education level is regarding the nitty gritty nuts and bolts of it, the performer failed.

That's it. Trying to say an audience isn't qualified to assess a performance is just blame-shifting. Either the marketing failed to communicate what was being sold, or the performer failed to deliver on their promises - the performer is at fault in both instances.

Either the audiences enjoy the show, or they don't. If they don't, the performer either changes the show to suit the audience, or finds the audience that suits the show.



I couldn't agree more. I don't have to be a filmmaker or Steven Spielberg to determine whether I like a movie or not. If I do not like or enjoy a movie it has nothing to do with my knowledge of the filmmaking industry or process.
Senor Fabuloso
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Exactly! All you know, is if you like it? Nothing else. But if you were a filmmaker or in the business of film making, you would be in a better position to fairly assess the film. Thank you for proving my point.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
WitchDocChris
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Your point is only proved if your only audience is people who are "in the know".

I assume you, like most of the folks here, perform for laymen?

People who make movies talk crap on Adam Sandler because his work has become formulaic. However, the studios know exactly how much an Adam Sandler film will cost, and they also know pretty closely how much that movie will earn, and it is consistently good profit. To people who know the workings, he's a hack - to his audiences and the studios, he's a regular provider of exactly what they want. The "professional's" opinions don't matter because they're not the ones he's selling to.

In fact, it's pretty common for critics to pan shows and movies that end up being extremely popular with audiences who apparently know far less than said critics. So who's wrong there? The critics or the people paying to consume the material? There are also critically acclaimed movies that flopped as far as audiences are concerned. This is why I ignore critics.

"Fair" isn't relevant. Either the audience likes it or they don't. If they don't, it's useless to blame the audience.

To that end, the opinion of someone who is 'qualified' to assess, according to your definition Senor, is useless if it doesn't take into account whether the audience likes it. People you are describing live in a bubble and their opinion is irrelevant and largely useless to the practical concerns of putting on a show that audiences will happily pay for.
Christopher
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Senor Fabuloso
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We are not talking about what an audience likes or not. We are talking about proper assessment of a performer. What one likes has little relevance on the performing art. I might like scratches on a chalkboard but nobody would argue is an offensive sound. Same is true of people with no knowledge of an art form, they don't know what's involved and so they don't know, if it's good or not. The only people qualified to assess any art form are people with knowledge of the art form. This is basic. Would you let a plumber, tell you how to be a mentalist? Of course not but your trying to make the argument that the lay, can dictate the art. They don't. WE DO.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
tommy
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“Let them see the best often enough, and due appreciation is bound to follow sooner or later.” NM
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
We are talking about proper assessment of a performer.


I'm talking about the fact that a so-called "professional"'s opinion of an act is irrelevant, unless they are also the bulk of the paying audience.

That thinking, that professionals are the only ones who have any right to judge a show, is how we get absurd competition acts that mean nothing and do nothing more than show off skills we shouldn't even be displaying.

Create a unique experience. Find an audience that enjoys that experience. Repeat.
Christopher
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JimBeta
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They make fun of magician because they are jealous.
Senor Fabuloso
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Ok Chris, the next time you perform, I'll send a sandwich maker, to critique your show. I'm sure his write up, will be ham and cheese, hold the mayo. lol
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
We are not talking about what an audience likes or not. We are talking about proper assessment of a performer.


The latter depends upon the former. Please, not what but who.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
George Ledo
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I just did a search, for the heck of it, about popular movies that were panned by critics, and several lists came up. These were movies with awful reviews (by "experts") that made tons of money and, in some cases, have become classics, including The Shining, Psycho, Fight Club, The Wizard of Oz, and many more.

I could probably do a search for singers, musicians, comedians, and other performers (and studio artists and novelists) and come up with the same result.

Yeah, I know, magic is different, you can't compare magic to anything else, yadda yadda. But if we're talking about performing for the general public (and hopefully that's what most people who perform magic do), then a proper assessment by experts is irrelevant. The audience provides the only assessment that counts.

Look at David Blaine and Criss Angel, and, years ago, at Penn and Teller.
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Senor Fabuloso
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On Jan 3, 2019, George Ledo wrote:
The audience provides the only assessment that counts.


I can only agree with this statement if money, is all the matters to you? If the art matters, then money is not the only objective.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
George Ledo
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Yes, the art matters, and you can do an act for the general public that's a masterpiece in the artistic sense, but they may still find it boring. There are lots of literary novels (that's a real genre in the writing world) that have audiences of only literary-minded people, and those audiences tend to be small. Same for art films. They have an audience too.

Nobody is questioning that great performers are artists in their own fields, but their personality and their material still has to appeal to the audiences they play to: the general public. The art world has been full of starving artists for centuries; I know - I took a lot of art in college and met some of these people. Most of them went on to careers at the local bar or restaurant.

You can do a beautiful, highly skilled act for an audience of experts at the Magic Castle or Magic Circle, get great accolades from them, and have it still bomb with the general public. Happens in the rest of show biz all the time.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Jan 3, 2019, George Ledo wrote:
You can do a beautiful, highly skilled act for an audience of experts at the Magic Castle or Magic Circle, get great accolades from them, and have it still bomb with the general public. Happens in the rest of show biz all the time.


Or, you can accomplish both and not only be a peer to your community but also be entertaining, to the public. I don't see it as an either or preposition.

However, to equate what people like to what's good, doesn't hold water. Why? Because what one likes is subjective. It's personal preference and so it can't be objective. I would venture to guess that the so called critics who evaluated the movies on your list were speaking from that position, not an artistic viewpoint? I have read many reviews of the movies you listed that when analyzed artistically, were consider phenomenal.

The point again is that, there is a difference between what is "liked" and what is "good". Only those who understand the art, can make the determination objectively.
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
tommy
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Our magic is half subjective and half objective. The company are always aware our patter is "make-believe" because the nature of it is essentially fictional nonsense and so they willingly set aside their critical faculties for it in order to enter into the spirit of the thing: Subjective. The opposite is true for our magic experiment because it is offered as a series of apparent facts and so the company rationally question them: Objective. The apparent facts of the magic apparently prove the "make-believe" patter is true! This, of course, cannot possibly be and so it results in a logical dilemma. The dilemma does not exist in reality of course because, in reality, it is an illusion, created by subversion of the “facts”. It happens in the right subjective and left objective hemispheres of the head.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
WitchDocChris
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I guess the thing I'm not seeing is why I should care at all what a critic thinks? Why do I care if someone who's opinion very likely runs counter to the very people I'm trying to entertain thinks I'm "good"?

I create first for myself, second for my audiences. I aim to give the audience an experience that allows me to express myself, as well as gives them a show that is both visceral and thought provoking.

The opinion of other magicians never enters into that equation. Though I am always grateful for the kind words I've received, I don't really value a 'critic's' voice over the rest of my audience. I find that peer respect comes along naturally when someone is just focused on presenting a good show.
Christopher
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tommy
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The best judge is one who experiences the dilemma which is the audience: muggles
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Jan 3, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
...Only those who understand the art, can make the determination objectively.
You're exactly right about one of the reasons people make fun of artistic pretensions and magicians in particular.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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