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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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George Ledo
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Quote:
On Jan 3, 2019, Senor Fabuloso wrote:
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.

If you read my post again, you'll notice I did not imply an either-or proposition.

Quote:
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.

Correct, and I didn't equate those two either. What I said was that ultimately the general public will decide what they like and therefore pay for, in terms of time or money or both, i.e., what they will accept and support. That's what show business is about.

Now, is magic, as performed for the general public, not part of show business? That's a whole other pointless conversation.

Quote:
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?

The lists I saw online referred to movie critics who critique movies as a profession, not Joe Blows on the street. Besides, I would not "venture to guess" their motives without finding out their qualifications. This gets into the realm of "I loved what you said about my movie, therefore I think you're knowledgeable in the subject because you agree with me."

Quote:
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 argument there, but how would you convince a general audience that a trick or routine that the experts at the Magic Castle loved is "good" and therefore they should love it too, if they find it boring?

On that note, I will move on to some other thread. Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Senor Fabuloso
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I'm not trying to upset you and if I have misunderstood any thing you have posted? I apologize.

Artistically, I don't care what the public thinks. Financially, I do care what they think. You seem to have the two conflated? I don't need to convince the public of anything as my magic and now mentalism entertains them. My peers would also find my act constructively correct, making them admit the act "good" not only in it's execution but it's continuity. Both lay and enlightened, would be entertained by it. How do I know this? By the those who have come to see my show, saying so. I also did many years of research to make sure that I followed the "rules of performance" to make sure that the act worked both constructively and entertainingly.

This isn't a hard concept to understand. We have all seen performers who can do tricks and get good responses, from the audience because they like what they see. It's quite another thing to experience a show on a visceral level. it's the latter that would be critiqued as a good show by anyone, in the biz.
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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It's amazing how many of Senors OPINIONS he tries desperately to present as factual. Wise move George. Even citing things that were never said. Wise move George
George Ledo
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No worries, Senor Fabuloso, and I'm not upset. No apologies needed. AFAIK, disagreeing with somebody, or not understanding them, is still okay in our society. Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Senor Fabuloso
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It's amazing how mindp tries to discredit me when I don't care. With so many business and gigs you got to ask yourself, where does he find the time? 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!
Senor Fabuloso
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Thank you Mr. Ledo you are a gentleman.
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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A magician ought to understand there is very little that escapes the understanding of his audience and act accordingly. The magician, who does not understand that and underestimates the intelligence of his audience, is bound to present dumbed down entertainment to fit the bill.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Juno Temple
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
I think the problem is, when it comes to magicians, the hasty generalizations and assumptions are so often true.

I ask a lot of people what they think when I say the word "magician" - I try to do this when I first meet them, just to sort of test the waters, before they realize how involved with magic I am. The responses are almost never positive. Most are more or less neutral, quite a few are actively negative. Even my former roommate, who absolutely LOVES watching magic, thinks magicians tend to be socially awkward and weird. This is a woman who will be actively angry if you expose a trick to her, because she enjoys having no idea how it works so much.

Regardless of the fact that there are many people who are magicians who are perfectly pleasant socially, regardless of the fact that making fun of others is lame - I do agree with the others that it's important to understand what the general public thinks of "magician". If most people think magicians are awkward nerds - then that's the perception we have to understand is present.


I have to say that you hit it in the bull's-eye! Here is an observation about Shin Lim, who with some Oris hair-talc and working on his 'gaze', we have a nerd, in essence, who found a way out of the brain-set of that awkward element you so poignantly reference.

And I must also say, although this is probably not the perfect place, that as a newcomer I so very much enjoy the great crowd and astute contributors that assemble to make it so worthwhile to be a Magician! Thank you EVERYONE!
We play the Game - but Fate deals the Cards
magicianbrady
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I think they make fun of magicians because they don't actually understand what we do. They don't know about the magic creation process or the practice it takes so they just think why would anyone show tricks for a living.
MateosSpain
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They make fun because they don't know what or why, they try to find something but every thing they got are emotions
The output can be a joke, that's natural, most of the times people watching kind of do jokes about themselves or about humanity as a hole, is not an attack just a mental short cut to them
tommy
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Laughter is about the only thing that sets the spirit free from the trap of the dilemma.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jul 13, 2019, MateosSpain wrote:
They make fun because they don't know what or why, they try to find something but every thing they got are emotions
The output can be a joke, that's natural, most of the times people watching kind of do jokes about themselves or about humanity as a hole, is not an attack just a mental short cut to them


Yea but no. People who have seen hack magicians know exactly what they are making fun of and why.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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I absolutely agree.
Ray Pierce
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On Jul 14, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yea but no. People who have seen hack magicians know exactly what they are making fun of and why.


Absolutely. When someone gets up at a Karaoke bar to sing their favorite song, they typically don't really consider themselves a singer, they're just having fun singing a song, there is no pretense of being a professional. Magic is different. When someone buys an effect and can bumble their way through it, they frequently consider themselves a magician. If they ever get paid for any version of a performance no matter how good or abbreviated, they frequently then consider themselves a "Professional Magician". For these reasons, it seems that Magic has a higher percentage of amateurs and lower percentage of professionals than any other art form. The odds of someone having seen someone in their family do a magic trick at some point in their lives is very high. That defines the excessive "Hack Ratio" that Danny referenced.

Like it or not... the large part of the bell curve of any art form are the average or mediocre. They sadly define public perception. It is odd but if people see a lot of bad singers at a karaoke bar, they don't think singing is stupid. They just isolate the amateurs they've seen without it affecting their opinion of other great singers. Magic isn't the same. When people see many bad magicians, they allow it to taint their perception of the entire medium. Sure, they will admit that there are some that are exceptional (Shin Lim, Lance Burton, David Copperfield, etc.) but they will maintain the perception that magic is silly based on hack performers. No, it's not fair but just reality.
Ray Pierce
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George Ledo
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Quote:
On Jul 14, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:

Absolutely. When someone gets up at a Karaoke bar to sing their favorite song, they typically don't really consider themselves a singer, they're just having fun singing a song, there is no pretense of being a professional. Magic is different. When someone buys an effect and can bumble their way through it, they frequently consider themselves a magician. If they ever get paid for any version of a performance no matter how good or abbreviated, they frequently then consider themselves a "Professional Magician".

Right. And I think that's where the problem is. These people refer to themselves as magicians, so that's what their audiences hear. So as far as the audiences know, they're magicians. And therefore, because they don't see all that many pros, they go on to assume that all magicians are the same.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Mindpro
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Exactly!
tommy
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Not only is not fair it is not the American way. See not your fellow magician and your self as part of a group but as an individual and then you will not tend to tar with the same brush. That is the American way said the Englishman.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
George Ledo
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Going back to what Ray said: "It is odd but if people see a lot of bad singers at a karaoke bar, they don't think singing is stupid. They just isolate the amateurs they've seen without it affecting their opinion of other great singers."

Again, the public is aware that there are many great singers and musicians: they hear them or see them all the time. So when they see a poor one, they just write him or her off as a poor one or an amateur. But the public at large doesn't see all that many really good magicians, so, for many of them, the only ones they've seen are not all that good.

It's the same thing with actors. A poor actor doesn't reflect on all actors or on theatre. And a poorly acted or directed film doesn't reflect on the entire film industry.
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"
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jul 15, 2019, tommy wrote:
See not your fellow magician and your self as part of a group but as an individual and then you will not tend to tar with the same brush.


Tommy, I don't think it's how magicians view each other, it is how the public sees us as a subset of society. There was recently a commercial that shows what the writers thought of as a "magician" who was this creepy goth guy that didn't talk and pulled cards out of his mouth. That was their perception based on exposure, not our own. I don't think professionals have any trouble seeing themselves as individuals yet can still share a fun peer relationship with others in their particular strata as they tend to have a shared commonality that brought them to each day. There is sometimes a tendency for beginners to not appreciate the subtle difference there. They can sometimes expect you to show them anything they request... ("It's ok, we're both magicians!") without understanding the years of work and struggle to rise above the norm.

That being said, I love teaching those who are at a plateau where they deserve it. I'm not there to do the heavy lifting for them but I will do anything to help them make the jump to the next level with the understanding that you can't ever teach someone something they're not ready or able to understand.

Sorry... just rambling and probably off topic but that's just how my mind works!
Ray Pierce
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funsway
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On Jul 15, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:

I love teaching those who are at a plateau where they deserve it. I'm not there to do the heavy lifting for them but I will do anything to help them make the jump to the next level with the understanding that you can't ever teach someone something they're not ready or able to understand.


A fine clarification of what mentoring is about. Thanks for that! I always appreciate your experienced insight.

The last part intrigues me. Perhaps an observer cannot appreciate magic unless it is "something they are ready and able to understand."

What in a life filled with staring at a small electronic screen has prepared a person to appreciate awe&wonder? or to mentally replay an inexplicable event?
How can they discriminate between a good and bad magic performance? What real-life experience is a scaffold? What memories can be awakened?

Long ago I was told that all magicians are "touched by the Myrddin Current." I wonder if that is still true today?
"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
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