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Dannydoyle
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Magic in and of itself does not have the ability to be boring. It has to be presented. The presentation may be boring, but this is not the fault of "magic".

I think the real problem is who is presenting it.
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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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:

if I'm bored it's very difficult to put on a good show - because I don't care about the material. When I perform the material I care about it shines through - because it's concerning things that I am genuinely, thoroughly obsessed with. Stuff I've been reading about and learning about since I was a kid.


I must say I am a bit surprised to hear this from you. This is more of a perspective of a beginner or newer performer. I thought you'd been doing this for some time now (perhaps I'm wrong). In the beginning, your concern about the material and artistry tends to be more personal of importance. When performing professionally it, as Danny said, is all about the audience and client. More than likely whatever you perform you will be bored with or less exciting for you, which is the nature of the regularly working professional. The key is acceptance of this or finding a pay to make it more enjoyable or exciting to yourself. This is often the difference between business and art,
Dannydoyle
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Learn the art of acting. It is right there in the word. Just act. I have heard some of the jokes and seen some of the bits thousands and thousands of times. It is fresh every night as if it was new. This is the art.

The key is making it the best experience for the audience. To center on your own boredom is mind boggling to me.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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I just finished reading "The Neat Review". At the end is an interview with Derren Brown. I think it is easily agreed, any personal opinions about him aside, that Brown is a successful performer. In it, he states that one of the most important things to his doing a good show and eliminating nerves, is to enjoy it.

Clearly, I am in good company.

Yes - I understand that the audience's experience and the booker's appreciation is what matters. I've said that many times, several in this very thread.

However - if I am going to present the best product possible - I have to enjoy doing it. It's entirely possible that the audience doesn't totally notice when I'm bored with the material. But I do. And my energy is affected by that knowing. In my experience the feedback I get from shows featuring the material I created from my passions far surpasses the feedback I got from 'commercial' performances.

When I do the material I enjoy, I can do it all day, every day. I never get bored of this stuff. Ever. I've been thinking about, reading about, and talking about these subjects for over thirty years. Since I was a child, barely able to read - one of the first things I read on my own was "Unsolved Mysteries". That's what I build my shows around. And when I focus on that material, I find gig opportunities popping up left and right. When I tried to be more commercial, finding gigs was a grind.

And, once more, this is -my- experience. My perspective. One little fish in a gigantic pond. If my perspective helps anyone else here - great. If not, fine, ignore me. No skin off my back - I have a seance to write and another idea to pitch to the booker.
Christopher
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The_Mediocre_Gatsby
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Well said Chris
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Aug 30, 2019, WitchDocChris wrote:
I just finished reading "The Neat Review". At the end is an interview with Derren Brown. I think it is easily agreed, any personal opinions about him aside, that Brown is a successful performer. In it, he states that one of the most important things to his doing a good show and eliminating nerves, is to enjoy it.

Clearly, I am in good company.

No. Clearly you have the ability to quote mine and to find something that agrees with your own point of view when taken out of context.

I think Brown is a very successful performer. I think his live show is spectacular. I think he is as well. So lets move from this point.

What ABOUT the show does he enjoy? Is he saying he has to enjoy every effect he is doing or is he saying that he has to enjoy performance itself? I think the answer might shock you because it totally disagrees with you.

Nobody wants to present effects they find stupid or not worthwhile presenting. But people love certain things so artists do them. Singers are a classic example of it. The stories are legion of singers wanting to move away from certain songs but just can't because the audience wants to hear that song. Again your perspective about not having to worry about if you get the show or not is fairly niche and not what most performing artists strive for.

Unless you somehow plan on reworking your show every week you will fall victim to the boredom problem. As an artist who actually has to perform to eat you find pleasure in the art of performance. That is the key. Making every show special for every audience of any makeup. Then whether they are coming to you or you to them is simply not relevant. They are an audience to be entertained. You are happy simply because you are performing. Otherwise take up stamp collecting.

Good performance is less about the artist and more about the audience experience. I mean even for just pragmatic reasons eventually without an audience to support what you are doing there is no way to keep doing it. Unless you have a rich family you live off of or what not. Point is that the equation works itself out. You perform so people come to see you one way or the other. You OWE them the best you can give them. It is that simple, and that difficult. THEIR enjoyment should be paramount. Your boredom should come in dead last once the show is going. If you can not wrap your head around this concept performance might not be for you.

I GUARANTEE you that Mr. Brown gives his audience 100%. He gives it away every night without fail. He immensely enjoys performing. I don't dispute that. I dispute what you are trying to twist it into.
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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I'm with you, Chris. It's very important to do material that speaks to you. And Danny likes to find a bone to gnaw on, and it looks like you're his bone, here.

Of course, it depends on what you're doing. If you're doing trade shows, then your material had better fit the client's needs. If you're doing cruise ships, your show better satisfy the booker, and that usually means satisfying a family crowd. If you want to be known as "a magician" then you should find material that suits your niche (and if you're smart you'll have one).

OTOH, if you want to be WitchDocChris, then you should perform material that speaks to you, that you love, that defines you. Our own Dan Sperry isn't getting any cruise ship gigs or children's parties, but audiences come to see him because he does what he loves. Same with Penn & Teller, Piff, the Amazing Jonathan, Rob Zabrecky, Derek DelGaudio, etc., etc. If you want to be known as "a magician," and want to maximize your hack potential, then do work that pleases the maximum number of people, no matter how boring to you. But if you want to be WitchDocChris, mount a show that you love to perform. The former has more steady potential over a wider swath of gigs. A great Gig Salad entertainer! The latter will set you apart from everyone else and give you the opportunity to become a star.

It depends on what your goals are. Something I was told over and over, "There are many rooms in the house of magic. There is a room for you."
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Dannydoyle
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You come in and diminish everything said and dismiss it with that gnaw on a bone thing? As if there is no point to what is being said? Right. Why not explain with your vast personal performance experience why exactly I'm wrong instead of just attacking me?

Seems as if there are many rooms in the house of magic, unless they disagree with the one and only Danaruns.

Funny hour you end up attacking me. While complaining about others behavior. Irony much?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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I GUARANTEE you that Mr. Brown gives his audience 100%. He gives it away every night without fail. He immensely enjoys performing. I don't dispute that. I dispute what you are trying to twist it into.


And in the interview he points out he's certain audiences can tell when he's run down, or if he's gotten into a mechanical way of doing a routine, and he has to find ways to make it fresh every time. Recreating, not repeating.

I've said all I have to say on the subject currently and we're just going in circles. This is what works for me - I have no idea why you're so dead set on arguing what I have made clear is a personal opinion, derived from personal experience. I'm not trying to convince anyone that my way is "the right way".

Quote:
On Sep 4, 2019, danaruns wrote:
I'm with you, Chris. It's very important to do material that speaks to you. And Danny likes to find a bone to gnaw on, and it looks like you're his bone, here.

Of course, it depends on what you're doing. If you're doing trade shows, then your material had better fit the client's needs. If you're doing cruise ships, your show better satisfy the booker, and that usually means satisfying a family crowd. If you want to be known as "a magician" then you should find material that suits your niche (and if you're smart you'll have one).

OTOH, if you want to be WitchDocChris, then you should perform material that speaks to you, that you love, that defines you. Our own Dan Sperry isn't getting any cruise ship gigs or children's parties, but audiences come to see him because he does what he loves. Same with Penn & Teller, Piff, the Amazing Jonathan, Rob Zabrecky, Derek DelGaudio, etc., etc. If you want to be known as "a magician," and want to maximize your hack potential, then do work that pleases the maximum number of people, no matter how boring to you. But if you want to be WitchDocChris, mount a show that you love to perform. The former has more steady potential over a wider swath of gigs. A great Gig Salad entertainer! The latter will set you apart from everyone else and give you the opportunity to become a star.

It depends on what your goals are. Something I was told over and over, "There are many rooms in the house of magic. There is a room for you."


Exactly. I have no desire to be like anyone else. Yes, I miss out on some gigs because of my style of performance and being picky about venues and such. I'm OK with that, it works for me.
Christopher
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Dannydoyle
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Before you go one point. Please indulge me and respond.

The point of view you are speaking from does not include having to do shows to make money. (I pass no judgement on this, and actually think it is the smartest way to be a performer so don't misunderstand my point please.)

The reason I am a dog on a bone as our friend wants to derisively put it is when someone follows that advice and does NEED to make money it will take them down a pointless road and make the journey very difficult. While your position is not having to make money and I respect that, I should think you would also respect the view when people must make money.

Contrary to what Dana wants to imply they're are LOTS of guys out there who are not hacks or GigMasters acts who do make quite a bit of money and are very original.

It seems as if some like to pass judgement on all based on what limited they have seen. This is just not the case and I'll tell you that hacks making lots of money is the exception not the rule.

Don't be like anyone else. I've never once encouraged such a behavior. It is a false equivalency. Or a straw man I'm not sure. All I'm trying to say is you have a tendency to paint with a very wide brush things you simply have not seen. You don't want it done to you, so doing it to others seems unfair.

I in no way encourage you to be like anyone but you. Never have and if this is what you are taking from what I've written I need to work on my writing.

At some point you end up missing out on gigs no matter what your style is. I never have done family or kids shows. I don't do one night events or corporate gigs. Not for me. Never was or will be. I miss out on them sinply by being me. It is no different.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
WitchDocChris
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Very well, I'll indulge you.

I have specifically said: this is my personal experience and the most successful strategy I've employed. I never said this was a path to make money. I said that I believe either path the OP mentioned could be successful but both will require a lot of work. The closest I gave to a 'business strategy' was: "Develop the reputation, network, and build word of mouth".

I have repeatedly emphasized that this is my personal experience.

Though, in point of fact, I actually do make more money this way. The shows where I perform the material I find most interesting, are the ones that get me more gigs, and more money, as well as better audience responses, than when I'm attempting to be commercial. Which might be irony, or may just show that I'm bad at being generally commercial.

I've heard a phrase tossed around a few times: Niche to get rich. For me, this has been accurate.

So. This is what works for me. It may not work for others. It's up to each person to develop the strategy that works best for them. This is just one perspective in many.
Christopher
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Dannydoyle
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Thank you for indulging. Seriously.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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Once inspired by a subject, it is an artist’s hope that he and we will be enchanted by the piece created. So it is about both the artist and his audience.

I still hold that the magic is boring. A performance of Our Magic is not simply a story of two sides but is a story two diametrically opposite sides. It is because the two sides are opposites that when the two are balanced it results in a di-lemma. The two sides are called Entertainment and Magic. The audience goes along with the Entertainment because it is fiction. The audience questions the Magic because it is fact in effect. That which is known to be fiction cannot be fact but there it is! That is the di-lemma the two balanced opposites of Our Magic. The opposite of Entertaining is Boring. "Will some one now kindly see that there are no more Queens in the deck."
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Brad Burt
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On Aug 28, 2019, ryanshaw9572 wrote:
Do you think about who you want as your audience, and then cater your shows toward them, or do you make a show that comes from your heart that you are genuinely passionate about, and let that define what type of audience you have? Is it a combination for you? Why?



Some very good stuff on this topic. Magic is like a lot of things in that there are degrees of how good, etc. There are:

1- Great tricks/effects that interesting no matter how bad the presentation.

2- Tricks that without something of a presentation are not really very good.

3- Tricks that are minor miracles with a strong presentation.

4- Degrees of the above on a scale of 1-10

One of the terrible things about magic is that there are tricks, etc. so good that even someone whose performing persona is so dull that it could be used as a tactical weapon, can in fact to a limited degree get a fairly good reaction. What those folks can NOT do is stand up to evaluation next to a performer of true skill and personality.

In one sense magic tricks are universal. Unless the show demands something so specific in content that it MUST be tailored, most good routines will play almost across the board. Excluding children's shows perhaps. Get a good solid act together in whatever general venue you wish and it should be pretty fine across the board.
Brad Burt
Ray Pierce
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I tend to lean more towards Danny's perspective. I have been performing on stage professionally for around 50 years. Yes, most of the time I love what I do... at other times it is just a job which is why I get paid to do it. Every audience deserves the same level of performance and artistry and it is my job to deliver that no matter how I feel at the time. I started doing over 2000 shows a year in theme parks. I promise you that they weren't all fun but a paid professional is there to give the audience the same excellent experience each and every time. If you're performing just for fun, then you can be more selective on when and what you want to do. If you're a professional, it is your job to make it fun and find the joy in each audience whether you feel like it or not. As an actor, I'm not always doing the exact material I would choose on my own, but again, I'm hired to find the beauty in each project and bring it to life to the best of my abilities.

I would also stipulate that many people who truly love magic are not cut out to do it professionally. It takes a very different mind set. Some are truly better off as amateurs and retaining the ability to work when they feel like it and are so inspired. I can also say that I don't really consider an effect to be "down pat" until at least 10 years of performances. Until then, I'm just working on it. Many do not have the dedication to work like that and that's really ok. It doesn't mean they're less talented than a professional, it is just a very different skill.

I'm being paid for consistency. It's not about consistency of execution but consistency of results. My job is to deliver a consistent reaction from each audience, no matter what. There are amateurs who are occasionally better than some pros... but they can't deliver under any circumstance. This is the main mitigating factor that separates them.

The best thing is to understand your motivation for performing and learn how to feed that properly. The rest will work itself out!
Ray Pierce
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Sep 4, 2019, tommy wrote:
I still hold that the magic is boring.


It's just semantics. To me... a trick is something you read or purchase... when you develop it, find a reason for it to inspire others and perfect both the mechanics and the performance to it's maximum entertainment potential... then in my hands, it has become "magic". Just a different perspective.
Ray Pierce
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Dick Oslund
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I expressed my thoughts early in this thread, and, I'm not changing them. I loved what I did, and, I was NEVER AT LIBERTY, in FIFTY YEARS.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
tommy
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It is not the climax but rather the factual steps of the experiment which are boring. At the climax the fiction appears to proven true by the facts but they know it cannot be. This dilemma is neither fiction nor fact but both simultaneously. It has nothing to do with the science of meaning in language. It has to do with the nature of two opposites which create the dilemma and how the mind deals with facts and fiction differently.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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On Sep 27, 2019, Ray Pierce wrote:
I tend to lean more towards Danny's perspective. I have been performing on stage professionally for around 50 years. Yes, most of the time I love what I do... at other times it is just a job which is why I get paid to do it. Every audience deserves the same level of performance and artistry and it is my job to deliver that no matter how I feel at the time. I started doing over 2000 shows a year in theme parks. I promise you that they weren't all fun but a paid professional is there to give the audience the same excellent experience each and every time. If you're performing just for fun, then you can be more selective on when and what you want to do. If you're a professional, it is your job to make it fun and find the joy in each audience whether you feel like it or not. As an actor, I'm not always doing the exact material I would choose on my own, but again, I'm hired to find the beauty in each project and bring it to life to the best of my abilities.

I would also stipulate that many people who truly love magic are not cut out to do it professionally. It takes a very different mind set. Some are truly better off as amateurs and retaining the ability to work when they feel like it and are so inspired. I can also say that I don't really consider an effect to be "down pat" until at least 10 years of performances. Until then, I'm just working on it. Many do not have the dedication to work like that and that's really ok. It doesn't mean they're less talented than a professional, it is just a very different skill.

I'm being paid for consistency. It's not about consistency of execution but consistency of results. My job is to deliver a consistent reaction from each audience, no matter what. There are amateurs who are occasionally better than some pros... but they can't deliver under any circumstance. This is the main mitigating factor that separates them.

The best thing is to understand your motivation for performing and learn how to feed that properly. The rest will work itself out!


Pretty much sums it up right there. As a professional who is being paid or results, once an audience has paid, "fun" has no place in the equation.

My point is that once someone commits the time to see me, I can NEVER get that back to them. I have a responsibility to be better than ANYTHING else they can do with that time. Not just other magic shows, but literally anything else. If they do not enjoy a show we can talk about a refund, but time is taken from the audience forever. They deserve nothing less than what Ray is speaking about.

Not everyone thinks this way, which is OK by me. Nobody else has to. It is simply the way I think my job breaks down. It is self imposed, and not imposed upon others. Everyone's thoughts about it are just as valid as mine.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Sep 27, 2019, tommy wrote:
It is not the climax but rather the factual steps of the experiment which are boring. At the climax the fiction appears to proven true by the facts but they know it cannot be. This dilemma is neither fiction nor fact but both simultaneously. It has nothing to do with the science of meaning in language. It has to do with the nature of two opposites which create the dilemma and how the mind deals with facts and fiction differently.


Tommy, for the life of me I have no idea what you're talking about... or more correctly where you're coming from. It certainly isn't as a performing artist/magician. We must define the difference between demonstrating a trick and performing magic. It is the difference between reciting dates in history and telling a compelling story of our past. We ARE storytellers... artists who take the elements of a "trick" and weave them around a tale to create magic in our hands and an illusion in the minds of our viewers. The "factual steps" of our process are the bones of the skeleton. They definitely support our story but have no soul or passion. Merely getting the factual steps of an effect is akin to getting all the notes right on the piano. It is a mechanical baseline devoid of artistry or passion. That is the goal of a good performer is to cover the steps with a psychological overlay which leads the observer to a conclusion (climax) which is inherently impossible. I would hypothesize that without this critical layer, the audience could simply retrace the factual steps to determine the actual method. It is the difference between an entertainer and a furniture mover on stage. Both get the job done but one captivates you with a memory that has the ability to transform your life. I would suggest reading "Magic by Misdirection" by Fitzke to understand the elements that transform a trick into magic. All who do tricks aren't capable of calling themselves magicians.
Ray Pierce
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