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Jonathan Townsend
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On Watching DBrown:

I've seen a few clips and heard a radio interview or two.

I'm coming from another side of the magic world, where there is no editing, and there is no pre-show or post-show storytelling of note. Where there are no assistants, and things just have to work properly since there are no 'outs'.

As I watch the mentalists on TV, I wonder how to approach or appreciate their work. Where can I learn more about approaches to routines and principles used so I can watch their work and learn from it?

I hope you can read into where I get confused by what I see of mentalism. I can see the shows working entirely as theatrical productions, and wonder how much of the production could be transported into the more direct world I work in.

Suggestions?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Beetroot
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I got involved in Martial Arts after playing a game called Way of the Exploding Fist on the Commodore 64. I became a very serious and dedicated practitioner thereafter.

My point is, it's not how you get involved, but where you take it. Take this as you will.

And Jonathan... excellent post.
Julie
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Quote:
On 2004-06-04 17:13, Joshua Lozoff wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-06-03 06:31, shrink wrote:
What you guys also don't seem to realise this forum has had some of the top inventors and performers post here and give advice and help. Derren doesn't do that. But endless posts like these have driven these guys away from this forum and into private forums.


With all due respect, Shrink, topics like these are far from the most amateurish posts on this forum. If you're really concerned about driving innovative professionals away, jump into the Table Hoppers forum and get upset about every post asking "how do I get a restaurant job." Jump into the Coin forum and go off on them about the "what's a good first trick for a beginner" posts. This forum has a wide variety of magicians on it, and it always will.

And frankly, if amateurish posts drive snobby professionals away, screw 'em. What you may not realize (and I understand that it's hard to get to know people through the computer) is that some of the people in this very post that you are antagonizing are professional magicians of the same caliber as those you are so worried about driving away.

Everyone on this forum (or probably any forum, but this is the only one of which I'm a member) needs to learn how to be selective about which topics they choose to participate in. If they do, they'll find people of their own level. If not, they'll be frustrated and aggravated, as you seem to be (though I secretly think you enjoy the conflict -- which is fine with me).

And in conclusion, Derren Brown, Derren Brown, Derren Brown. Thank you very much.

Now I have to go to my Friday night gig, being the serious, professional magician that I am.



Three cheers for an intelligent post!

It seems to me we're all here for fun and camaraderie--life's too short to get all bent out of shape by trivial matters. Someone said in an earlier post to just not respond or click onto topics that do not appeal to you. What's so difficult or disagreeable about that?
Nathan Pain
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Amen, Julie...

Nathan Pain

All this is much like the police knocking on every door in town making sure no one is breaking any laws. They don't do that where I live!
...
DangerMouse
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We are all human beings. Along with that gift comes the ability to speak. When we speak we have differing views, and when we have differing views we argue. What is the purpose of arguing? To convince the other person you are right. Now if we instead discussed then we could simply express out view without the fear of being shot down.

The point I'm trying to make is that if I was a football player, I would probably discuss Beckham's style, and finesse. Even if I was only a fan, I would do this. Now I am a fan of mentalism and also a performer, so I discuss mentalism, and the people who are at the top of their game get discussed the most. No one---and I repeat, no one--- will ever stop me discussing anything.

If they say don't discus it here, then I won't I'll discuss it elsewhere. If you're not interested in discussing Derren, then get the heck out tof this forum and go discuss another topic. Let those who are interested do it.

CJ
Cheese is nothing but thick milk.
francisco
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Quote:
On 2004-06-06 08:25, DangerMouse wrote:
We are all human beings, along with that gift comes the ability to speak, when we speak we have differing views, when we have differing views we argue, what is the purpose of arguing - to convince the other person you are right. Now if we instead discussed then we could simply express out view without the fear of being shot down. The point I'm trying to make is that if I was a football player I would probably discuss Beckhams style, and finesse. Even if I was only a fan I would do this. Now I am a fan of mentalism and also a performer, so I discuss mentalism and the people who are at the top of their game get discussed the most. No-one and I repeat, no one will ever stop me discussing anything. if they say don't discus it here then I won't I'll discuss it elsewhere. If you're not interested in discussing derren then get the heck out tof this forum and go discuss another topic. Let those who are interested do it.
CJ


Brilliant post, CJ!

C'mon, Jonathan or Shrink [although I like shrink now he's stopped posting in this thread lol], give me a telling off. The idea was for people like yourselves to stop posting here, wasting your time and others arguing about something pointless. Let's stop this stupid argument now and post properly!

Anyone have any ideas or knowledge of another DB special?

-Francisco

P.S. Just because I have a box on my head doesn't mean I am a walkover!
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Darko Dojin
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Quote:
On 2004-06-06 09:31, francisco wrote:

P.S. just because I have a box on my head doesn't mean I am a walkover!



It means either you have a cube shaped head or you can't afford a real hat.

PS. 'Coolest guy in the Café'? You're just asking for abuse with that.
francisco
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I tell no lies.

Ummm, as for the box? No comment.
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Stephen Long
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Here's another article.
Enjoy.
Hello.
francisco
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Yeah, that's good. A little *********** near the end of the trick was a nice touch!
You can buy this trick called ESP from various magic shops. It's great.

-Francisco

Any more DB? the hype has gone down now with the end of his series, so Shrink will be happy! [no offence]

any more links?

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Mark Hogan
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Hi guys,

There is a very good Derren Brown Yahoo Group called Derren-Brown.

It has 797 members and is made up of Mentalists, NLPers, etc. They cover a lot of his material and are very good at spotting the techniques

Marc
Jibboom
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Hey, I'm up for as much DB that's out there! Smile

Please can I ask this question: Why is Derren such a controversial subject here on this forum?

Is it envy or jealousy? Why do people begrudge Derren any credit?

If it's just because he's hit the big time (in the UK at least) with his own TV shows and television appearances, and certain people think there are others more deserving, then that's absolutely ridiculous. Yes, there are other extremely talented performers, but Derren didn't rise to mainstream popularity just because of his talent for magic/mentalism/psychological illusions (whatever label you choose). It's also because of his charismatic personality, showmanship and balls-to-the-wall approach. He sells himself. He sells himself very well. He also has the talent to back it up, and a very strong team behind him.

The general public take to him because he doesn't bore them rigid with some far- fetched, long winded, totally unbelievable story, then perform some run-of-the-mill effect at the end of it.

He adds colour, intrigue, and I know for a fact just by listening to all the laymen (of which I still consider myself one at this point) speak of him, he actually leaves questions in the mind of what REALLY is possible.

Sure, most of it could be trickery, but to still have that effect makes it all that more impressive that he is able to raise doubts and questions. That in itself speaks volumes for Derren as a performer.

And as for Derren attracting a whole wave of people wanting to know how to do the things he does, so what? What's the problem? Name one, just ONE, magician in the entire history of magic that has captured the public's intrigue and sustained it as much as Derren has?

When people see an amazing illusion, they are awed and captivated by it - then the next morning they get up, go to work and don't give it a second thought. Forgotten.

I still hear people talking about Derren's first TV shows from about four years ago. People with no interest in magic in general.
So how can that be a bad thing? He's opening doors, building bridges for what has been becoming a dying art in the eyes of public interest. He's making people interested and excited by magic (as a general label) again.
There are performers who saw a lady in half, make coins disappear, pull a rabbit out of a hat, etc. Do lay people keep asking how those things are done? No, because they don't really care. They know it's "just a trick" that they've also seen a million times before (I'm not saying that as my view or out of disrespect). But people want to know how Derren does his effects? Isn't that a huge compliment to his ability?

Even if his effects aren't all 100% original, at least his performance and delivery are.

And for anyone who dares to argue the fact that people want to copy Derren's material, well I'll just say this - Is everything you've ever done all entirely your own and 100% original? Unlikely.

From a beginner's point of view, you do have to copy to learn. Imitation + deviation = progression. That is the basic lesson Derren has been teaching, Take an already established effect, experiment with it, try out a few different angles, and with perseverance you have a whole new level of the same effect.

Also, Derren doesn't rest on his laurels. He's always looking for new techniques to raise the bar, push the boundaries even further. And that should serve as an inspiration to us all.

The only thing Derren Brown is guilty of is that he is successful, and he's at the top of the mountain. Whenever that happens, you will always get other snipers who want to shoot you down.

I think the mentalist community should be thanking Derren for the much wider interest he has generated for the art. For those of you who do it for money, he's creating more opportunities for you to earn a buck. For those who just do it for fun, he's keeping that interest going with his exciting techniques.

And, yes, I know. I am a newcomer, a complete beginner and therefore my opinions don't count because I'm "ignorant" and "uninformed". But the bottom line is this, if it weren't for Derren Brown in Britain, the general public at large wouldn't give a hoot about mentalism. And if that were the case, eventually we would all lose out.

Whether you like Derren Brown or you don't, you can't deny him the respect and credit he deserves.

That's my 2p's worth. You can keep the change! Smile

Gaz
francisco
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Thanks a lot, Gaz/Jibboom for such a great post. I couldn't [and wouldnt be bothered] to write such an expressive, informative and correct post!

All of Derren's work is trickery, as is mentalism as a whole [except for some of the far-off distant parts], but it is the way he dresses up and implies it to be real

If that was your 7th post then I look forward to your hundredth!

Thanks for the link, Mark. I will look into it!

Anyone know anything about future series' or specials?

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Gary Alford
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Great post, Jibboom! There is definitely a lot of jealousy here because Derren is successful and supremely talented. I also think that most mentalists may have had to throw away most of their material since Derren's raised the bar (by a long way).
francisco
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True, very true.

I ask again...anyone know about future series or specials?

-Francisco
'When you steal one trick, they call it plagiarism. When you steal many - they call it research.'

[Corinda, 13 steps to mentalism]
Jibboom
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Good evening, gentleman (and any ladies here too!). Smile

Quote: "I couldn't [and wouldn't be bothered] to write such an expressive, informative and correct post!"

Well, Francisco, I kind of had a bit of time on my hands. Smile And to be a bit more serious about it, one thing I can't stand in any walk of life is undue unfairness. It seems totally unfair the way Derren is knocked by his detractors. But I'm sure Derren doesn't mind. After all, those who knock him, where are they? What's the largest audience they can claim their own?
Derren can claim an entire country! Until you are able to match, or surpass Mr Brown as an all-around performer/entertainer, then maybe you should think twice before you decide to run him down. Bitterness and jealousy get you nowhere.

Also Francisco, sir, you pointed something out about how Derren dresses it up and makes it out to be real. Exactly! That's the whole magical experience of his performance! Smile

For example, walk down the street and stop 10 people at total random (or until you manage to get 10 who have seen Derren perform, it wouldn't take long), and ask them if they thought Derren Brown's effects were real or trickery?

My guess is at least six of those people would be convinced it was real, two or three would be seriously unsure, and only one or two would dismiss it as trickery. As incredible as it sounds, that's the magnitude of effect he has had on laypeople! And after all it's those people who end up paying your wages if you choose mentalism as a profession.

I mean, how many people actually believe David Copperfield can fly? How many believe David Blaine really eats coins? The answer? I would guess not many.

But people do actually BELIEVE in Derren Brown. And before everyone starts calling him a con man, well excuse me, but anyone who does form of magic and/or mentalism, anyone who has ever acted in TV, movies or stage, they’re all con men too. It’s all about the entertainment value.

And if everyone is so sure it’s ALL just simple trickery, how come nobody here can come up with the exact methods he uses? Sure it may be a trick, but he’s got a load of those “who know” stumped too. So he obviously can’t be that simply straight forward can he? He’s a very, very clever performer, and I just think certain people hate to admit it.

Quote: "There is definitely a lot of jealousy here because Derren is successful and supremely talented. I also think that most mentalists may have had to throw away most of their material since Derren's raised the bar (by a long way)."

Very interesting point you’ve raised there, Gary, and I’ll tell you why! Smile

Do you remember that ‘Masked Magician’ fiasco a while back who had all those TV specials exposing how illusions were achieved? It turned out the guy who did that claimed he did to “inspire magicians to come up with exciting new performances, to raise the bar”. Now we all know that was just a cop out excuse and the real motivation was the almighty dollar.

The Masked Magician was obviously (and deservedly) under fire for such behaviour. Yet along comes Derren Brown, does the exact opposite, but really and genuinely does push the envelope to inspire other performers to raise their game too, but he’s met with a similar apathy.

Only this time it’s just jealousy and not outrage. So it’s a lose-lose situation.

I personally think Derren is brilliant. He’s entertaining, funny and immensely talented. And most of all he isn’t boring, unlike other performers out there. There’s a reason there is a huge lack of interest in magic/mentalism with the general public, and it’s because of just that – they find it boring. Derren Brown is doing a fantastic job of clawing back some of that interest, and for that he should be applauded, not derided.

And to answer your question Francisco, I have no knowledge of any upcoming Derren Brown projects.

I think once his current run in the West End is over (how many mentalists can claim a run in a West End London theatre eh?), he’ll probably take a break for a while. After his "Trick Of The Mind" series and "Mind Control" series and specials, the Russian Roulette special, the Séance special, plus his national tour and West End run, plus all the television, radio and press he’s been appearing in, it’s all been a continuous run over the past couple of years and he probably wants to take a bit of a rest, as he seems to be the busiest performer (in any field) in the country right now.

But no doubt he’ll be back soon with more. He’s very hot property in the general entertainment world now, and no doubt Channel 4 want to milk one of their star attractions for all they can. Both Russian Roulette and Séance sparked huge interest in the press for weeks after the event, so you can bet C4 will be pressing for more from the mental maestro.

To quote the Guardian newspaper: "Clearly the greatest dinner party guest in history…or the scariest man in Britain".

Gaz Smile
Alexander Marsh
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Enough said.

Nice one, Gaz.
richpoyle
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A quick one:

An extended version of Derren's Russian Roulette special is being shown on Channel 4 on 15 July at 11:25pm. Contains additional footage and interviews with Derren and some of the participants.
christopher carter
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I must be missing something, because I see almost no detracting of Derren Brown. There have been some who have spoken out against open discussion of Derren Brown's methods, but none of these people has been motivated by jealousy than I can see. I would say that nearly everybody that I have met who is significant in mentalism has nothing but the deepest respect and admiration for Mr. Brown. So where does all this talk of jealousy come from?

--chris
Nathan Pain
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Chris...mindreaders...get it! Smile

Nathan Pain
...
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