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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Is there a video of Ken Weber performance? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gourdini
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I understand Ken Weber was a member of the PEA- any vids of him - thanks...I am half way through Maximum Entertainment 2.0 after a long lay-off from performing magic. I decided to finally read this book that I have never read. I'm about half way trough - and there's some good information- & some things I had surely thought of before- and others that I have not. At half way through through - I couldn't help but do a search for any videos of Mr. Weber's performances- I was unable to find any. Just one of the many interesting points he brings up in the book are the performers that strayed from being part of the magic clubs, writing for the mags, participating in forums such as this etc. He has an anecdote about the first time he bumped into Del Rey- performing at the same venue as him (Del would be a magician who intentionally separated himself from "the magic community" at least to some extent). Before I proceed any further with the chapters in the book- I'd like to know if there is ANY performance footage of Mr. Webber. This book has been taughted as one of the greatest ever written on performance philosophy in magic. Ken mentions earlier in the book that he is "not clever enough to create methods for effects- which is fine by me -we don't need more methods. He has never appeared in any of the commercial magic teaching types of dvds/ downloads that I know of. I don't know of ay articles other than this book he published in the magical literature- he has lots of great things to say so far in my reading- but I find it odd that there Is no easily accessible recording of an actual performance by Ken Weber- anyone know where I can find one and see the "man behind the curtain".
Mindpro
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Like many professionals, they do not want videos of themselves or their performances out there for mass consumption so I'm betting you won't find any for this exact reason which should be respected. Especially if they choose not to work in public venues. As I have documented before I have had my entire show stolen from myself and I had to file lawsuits just to protect my rights and property.

I feel if he wanted readers to see videos of himself or the things being presented he would have included them in the book (links).

Decent content should stand on its own without the need for videos.
gourdini
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Yes- thanks Mindpro for the response- it EXACTLY matches my written prediction Smile - I'm coming off a long lay-off from magic (last paid performance was ten years ago) and I am shocked at how much exposure/ young guys prattling off on youtube- has everyone forgotten that magic / mentalism is supposed to be a secret art? So - yes - I agree- but would be cool to get just one glimpse at this performer in action - my second prediction is that I will receive a PM from someone claiming to have his entire act on DVD- "Just send $200 and I'll send you the footage" Smile It would be nice to see just one performance by Ken Weber though- being that the book is so highly regarded- there are hours upon hours of examples of performances by the "other guys" who have written books on theory/ performance philosophy or whatever you want to call it- say Tamariz, Ortiz, Brown etc. Again - not to sound redundant - but no Ken Weber...hmmm...
Lior
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There are few videos of Ken performing in PEA events.
But they are only for PEA members.
Me and Eric Dittelman saw his Hypnosis show 5 years ago.
He was amazing.
(And he is a very close friend of mine)

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Mindpro
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Yes, these were some of the videos I had in mind when I posted above. But nonetheless, the point I was making is there can be many professional reasons professional performers choose not to have such materials released publically.

Personally, I have never understood the mentality of needing to see someone's performance video to justify their or confirm their writings. I have released over 100 books, courses, modules, trainings, and educational resources created specifically for the entertainment industry. Only five of them have I released to the magic community for just this, among several other reasons. I have heard some of the same perspectives about wanting to see my performance videos and have never understood this mentality. My writings stand on their own. There is no need to see them in performance or operations. If I felt they were needed I would have included them.

This mentality of questioning one's work, efforts, knowledge, and experience just because of the lack of available video is nonsense. If you can not attain the experience, knowledge, and credibility of the author from the content of the writings, then perhaps the issue is with yourself? The material should stand on its own and surely Ken's does and has such its original release. There is no need to "see" it.

Sure there are many people in the magic community that release crap and likely do not have such performance or experience, but this is almost always painfully obvious. I remember some well-known European guys who released much mentalism material to the U.S. audience which was primarily stage mentalism at the time. The material was good in theory but a simple glance of the material and you quickly realized it would not play well to stage performers in the states. When call out on it they admitted they had little if any stage experience and like much of the area there it was street mentalism (or mental magic) material. It's funny how the material sold here in the states even though it was untested or proven for the stage performer. Yet we would question Ken's work about stagecraft from an actual stage performer?

Maybe it's the Youtube generation that feels they have to see it for it to be real or believable. This too is unfortunate and sad as books have long contained some great and much more detailed info than video. Regardless, as I said, this deliberate personal or professional choice to not have ones personal performce available on video which should be respected.
ddyment
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Ken retired from full-time performing in 1982, which was the exact same year that JVC and Sony unveiled the first camcorder. While Ken was a hugely successful entertainer at the time, the film recording of stage acts was very uncommon. He has never taught magic, so obviously there are no teaching videos by him. Thus it's not clear what the OP is expecting.

In any case, Ken's book is written from the perspective of a director, not a performer, so asking for video recordings of his performances is akin to asking for those of David Mamet: it kind of misses the point. Ken's book includes an eight-page description of his background, explaining how the book came to be, and his credentials for its authorship.
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Mr. Woolery
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Well, I think there’s likely a misunderstanding of what the OP is wanting. I could be wrong, of course.

What I got when I read the question was a recollection of when I bought Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy. I had a hard time getting the sense of who he was on stage, just from reading the book. He even notes that many of his jokes only work for him, but I couldn’t quite connect to him as a teacher through the written word. Then I bought his DVD and a lot of what he wrote made much more sense to me on an intuitive level.

The OP reminds me of that. I doubt he’s trying to confuse anyone or lift material. I think he’s trying to get a sense of who the author is on stage.

Patrick
ddyment
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Understood. It's just that, given the timeline that I attempted to explain, it's unclear from where he expected such a video recording might have emanated.

Further, this book doesn't contain material-to-be-performed-for-which-it-would-be-helpful-to-see-the-author's-performing-style, it's notes from a director. I doubt that it would help in understanding David Mamet's directing notes to see him perform something.
"Calculated Thoughts" is available at Vanishing Inc. and The Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
Mindpro
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Yeah, I never thought he was trying to lift material or anything unscrupulous. Sure it would be great if Ken's entire book was made into a teaching video, I'm sure that would help the OPs interest a lot.

But equating one's own performance with something completely else such as his work in directing, staging, etc. isn't actually the same. He wasn't writing it as a performer, but as Doug pointed out a director. Now if one did see Ken's performance they wouldn't be seeing the performance but looking for the contents of the book instead. I could see more merit in wanting to see or understand his experience as a director or producer.

Cassidy wrote and taught from a performer's perspective so I can see your experience making more sense, but still not necessarily necessary.
gourdini
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Thanks for the responses:

Lior- that’s just what I thought - that there might be an obscure video of him at a convention etc. - I just finished an initial reading of the book- and it’s very different- I like some of the models he has set up such as the levels of magic being- a puzzle, a trick, or an Extraordinary Moment - I like the sometimes bluntness of his criticisms of certain performances and effects (in fact I think he was still being too gentlemanly Smile So far one of the VERY simple but practical things that sticks in mind mid is the idea that “You’re Superman” and the audience “dossent care” if the card trick would be even better if I just had my close-up mat or whatever.

Mindpro- yes the work stands on its own without the need for me to see a performance of Weber’s. I like “Magic And Showmanship” yet never saw a clip of a Henning Nelms performance- if he ever in fact gave one. I think what I was getting was discerned from my mind and well articulated by….

Mr. Woolery - as in when you are reading any of these kinds of books- your imagination consciously and subconsciously is building a perception of the author- / performer- it would solidify some of his points just to see maybe one or two performance clips of even a standard routine

Doug Dyment- I am surprised to hear he really hung it up in 1982! I was only 7 years old at the time- yeah that is a long time ago - people were still using 8mm film cameras back then!
Fromentum
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There is just something about performance videos of great entertainers that I really enjoy...

It's not so much about the tricks/methods. The more I learned about magic/mentalism the more I just enjoy a good act.

Just watching somebody that is really good at what he does is amazing.
Therefore I really love that a lot of Derrens shows are on Youtube. Also I just love watching Max Maven perform (It would be amazing to find a full show of his recorded. Sadly there are only parts in "A fabulous monster")

Also I bought Parlor Tricks by Morgan and West maybe more because of the full show recording then for the explanation in the book. And to be honest while I watched the show already 2 times I have not read the book completely Smile

Back to the topic. I also would like to see a performance of Ken Weber. Not so much as to steal anything blantely, but more how does he present (Stage presence/Body posture/Voice/Script/timing/etc.). I would see something like that more as a mix between entertainment and inspiration. And I think we have way to less of that. Smile
gourdini
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Hi Fromentum- I'm coming off a long lay-off -I'd always read the books and watched the DVD's with the effect/ mehod/ secret/ effect construction in mind. Beginning in about Jan. of this year I stated watching some youtube videos of all kinds - and focused more on the general PERFORMANCES as you allude to above-I've watched all kinds- from the "close-up mat/ crotch shot only videos" to full castle acts - some L&L type videos to Penn and Teller's Fool Us etc. After you stop magic for a while and come back you get to see as a "laymen" (or normal person Smile for a little while - but then - its already starting to wear off - look where I am now LOL
trickiewillie
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Just my two-cents worth. I would love to see a video of him. I understand why not, but to me, it's like reading a book on dancing by Fred Astaire, but there's no film or video available. I would love to see him put his thoughts into action.
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