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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tommy
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The audience is primed to see if the performer can fool Pen and Teller. The clue is in the name of the show “Fool Us”. This fooling concept, in my view, gives the public the wrong impression of the art. The art of magic lies in the presentation, as opposed to the magic which is science in effect. That is not to say that the performers in it do no present their magic well and on the whole, the show is a benefit.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
lynnef
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Dana and Danny, I'll write Mike back to correct any misconceptions. Like I said, didn't want it to be back and forth, off topic. I wasn't sure, myself, what kind of audience it was; and that's why I wrote Mike. I actually did imagine applause lights, etc, but at the same time thought there were very real unprompted responses. One of these days, I'd like to be in the audience. Fool Us seems to have something for just about everyone from the stage effects to really nice close up. As an aside, I've noticed that sometimes the performers know very well that they will not fool the duo... they're just there for the exposure. That can possibly be made fun of. Lynn
Dannydoyle
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I have a different view of the show. I do not actually think the idea in the end is to fool them at all. I think the show is a wonderful celebration of magic. Sure it would be great to fool them, but can Gazo fool them with Cups and Balls? Obviously not but it certainly is wonderful to expose the public to such an amazing version of a very old effect.

It also gives Penn a vehicle to be so good for magic. Show not only their love of their own show and knowledge, but celebrate the art.

I think it is just such a great concept for a variety magic show. It is a fantastic format for such a thing.

Which incidentally is why I was not being critical at all. I think it has been some of the best TV magic has experienced in quite a few years.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Senor Fabuloso
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Good post Danny as the only thing that really matters is what the show does for the art. However I think like many reality shows that are in fact scripted and choreographed it's a bit dishonest. But what isn't, in the entertainment industry?
Those who complain the most about what others are doing, are usually the most guilty of what they are complaining about, THEMSELVES. It's called PROJECTION.

You can WHINE about your problems in life or do something about them, it's your choice.

I LIVE FOR THE APPLAUSE.
Dannydoyle
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I don't believe it to be dishonest at all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Dec 11, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
I don't believe it to be dishonest at all.


No problem. That's why you are you and I am me. Lets see if you can let that stand?
Those who complain the most about what others are doing, are usually the most guilty of what they are complaining about, THEMSELVES. It's called PROJECTION.

You can WHINE about your problems in life or do something about them, it's your choice.

I LIVE FOR THE APPLAUSE.
WitchDocChris
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I would say that as much as it can be, the show is completely honest. What you see on stage is what the audience experiences. This is what I've heard from people who were actually on the show.

I've also heard, I believe from Penn himself, that the only reason they have the "Fool us" aspect of it is because the TV producers wouldn't just let them have a show full of up and coming magicians. So as far as I can tell 100% of the purpose of that show, as far as P&T are concerned, is to use their huge influence to help other magicians get exposure and have more chance to succeed.

That being said, I agree with Danny. It's not a typical magic audience, because it's not really a typical magic show. The audience is in a TV studio, in front of cameras. That alone is enough to change normal behaviors. On top of that, the audience feels a bit of competition so they're going to cheer on the people on stage to 'win'. Add in the size of the audience and you even have the contagion factor - one group of people reacting well will encourage others to do the same. Considering all those factors, the audience at P&T Fool Us are really psychologically inclined to react well - thus, they are 'primed'.

The same applies to a certain degree to any performer with a good reputation. If someone has made plans ahead of time to see a particular performer, they are more likely to react well to that performer. They're probably spending at least some of that time thinking about what they'll see and experience and imagining how wonderful they think it will be. They've probably already decided it will be good - so all the performer has to do is not suck and they'll get good reactions.

Compare that to someone who, say, sees an ad for a magic show while drinking their morning coffee and decides to go that night to see the show without knowing the performer. They're going in blind and will have to decide on the spot whether the entertainment is any good.

This is of course veering wildly away from the original topic.
Christopher
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Dannydoyle
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Chris exactly my point thank you.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
danaruns
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Excellent post, Chris, and if this was what Danny was trying to say, then I agree with him and with you. I did not get that from reading Danny, so thank you for saying it in a way I can grok.

One observation about the actual Fool Us taping experience, which is just that it's not taped in a studio, it is taped in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio Casino and Hotel in Vegas, where they do their regular nightly shows. And during the taping there isn't really a "competition" feel to it at all, not between the performer and P&T or between performers. P&T have a much longer discussion with each performer than actually airs, and it is very friendly and collegial, like magicians just talking to each other about magic. I didn't get the feeling that the audience is "rooting" for performers to "fool" P&T. Each magician is presented as his/her own vignette, and the audience does not get to see the video packages that air for each performer. It's all magicians, nothing else. Oh, one exception to that, too. The host does tape a number of interludes between performers, only one of which is used on air. And not every performer who tapes makes it onto the aired show. Unlike other TV shows, there are no applause signs, no warm-up act, and no production assistant whipping the audience up into artificial responses during performances. The one thing that is unlike a live show is that for volunteers, they are chosen and then taping stops while they mic up the volunteer. Then the cameras start rolling again, and it is cut-in as if there was no pause. Otherwise, it's a magic show.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
foolsnobody
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Quote:
On Dec 9, 2018, longhaired1 wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?


I'm a magician and banjo player. Imagine how that feels.


You and Steve Martin.
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