Vernon "simplify" quote?

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Postby Guest » 09/25/07 02:29 PM

Am I remembering this incorrectly, or did the Professor have a quote about simplifying each effect that you perform? What was that quote and where was it? (or was it just verbal?)

Postby Guest » 09/25/07 03:38 PM

I believe he used to quote Einstein:

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Is that what you meant?

Postby Bill McFadden » 09/25/07 05:55 PM

A couple of gems from The Vernon Touch:

"I want to say something about simplicity . . . simple. In any great art, especially in painting, you should know not to keep adding and touching up, because the simpler you can express a thought, or the simpler you can do anything, the better the method." -- January, 1969

". . . simplicity is the keynote. The effect is everything."

"If some of these extremely clever younger performers would strive for simplicity, clarity and easily understandable effects they would reach their goals much sooner.

Strive to make everything crystal clear by avoiding any extra moves." -- February, 1989

Hope this helps to jog your memory.
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Postby Guest » 09/25/07 07:10 PM

Perhaps there is an idea akin to Dan's query here .

Postby Guest » 09/26/07 07:47 AM

Very good guys. Thanks a lot. Perhaps what I was thinking of was the Einstein quote. It's great to read his other thoughts on simplicity. I'm working on designing my new show and I'm trying to keep this in mind. I have a tendency to use too much 'stuff'. I'm working to develop a stand-up show using the minimal amount of props.

I heard once that Billy McComb kept each routine in a zip-lock bag and that he could fit a number of 45-minute shows in a single briefcase. Can anyone confirm or elaborate on this?

Postby Guest » 09/26/07 10:27 AM

I believe the idea was to put each trick in its own ziplock bag. So, for example, if you have two tricks that both require a Sharpie, you'll have two bags, each with its own Sharpie.

Postby Guest » 09/26/07 04:21 PM

I was told that Tenkai had specially-made cases with each prop going into a special place made just for that prop. A quick look at the case instantly told him which prop was missing.

As for Billy, it was my understanding that he had a number of different shows, each in their own small case.

My entire 45-minute country club/corporate show fits nicely into one of those 15-Second Tables that Mark Green makes, with room left over for a wireless mic.

And as for your own show, if the audience likes you, what you do is almost immaterial as long as it fits your performing persona and is entertaining.

Postby Guest » 09/27/07 01:44 AM

Billy kept a large repertoire in a smallish case, including the box for the vanishing birdcage. The box was made to dismantle for packing.

His reason was that he could take his livlihood on board a plane and not risk losing props in the baggage check-in.

Billy also reset every prop when he got home after the show. That way, if an unexpected last-minute booking came in, he was ready to go.

Postby Brandon Hall » 09/27/07 10:07 AM

Originally posted by Dan Trommater:
I'm working to develop a stand-up show using the minimal amount of props.
It might be interesting to use only the clothing you are wearing as props...a pocket scarf (obvious uses), next remove your belt for a rope effect. Remove a shoe and do a chop routine, take off your jacket/shirt do the lit cigarette vanish...imply that you have a really big finish planned...just thinking out loud (writing out lou...never mind) Has it been done?
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Postby Guest » 09/27/07 02:43 PM

I believe that the late Lewis Ganson had written about(with photo,maybe in the Magigram)of a briefcase divided in sectors for each prop.It could be the one B.McComb used.


Postby Guest » 09/27/07 03:11 PM

With your indugence, a few further thoughts on "simplicty":

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." --Leonardo da Vinci

"Simplicity can only be achieved by forethought, planning, and insight." --Ron Ranson

"The opposite of simplicity, as I understand it, is not complexity, but clutter." --Scott Russell Sanders

"Simplicity carried to an extreme becomes elegance." --Jon Franklin

"How difficult it is to be simple." --Vincent van Gogh

Postby Guest » 09/27/07 06:06 PM

Here is John Maeda spreading his philosophy of simplicity.

Postby Guest » 09/28/07 07:03 AM

Brandon- I think that's a great idea you have. Just last night I was talking with a new acquaintance about how I am working to simplify my act down to a single small case, and that the ultimate would be to not carry a case at all, but have everything in my pockets. But I didn't go as far as you did! Great job. Another friend of mine had the idea of doing a stand-up show only with items borrowed from the audience.

Eoin- thanks for the link. It makes me want to get this guy's book on Simplicity.

Dave- Thanks for the quotes.

I think this is a great topic for discussion. It's so easy to complexify magic. "How difficult it is to be simple." --Vincent van Gogh

Postby Bill McFadden » 09/28/07 09:17 AM


"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity."
-- Charles Mingus

"The great artist is the simplifier."
-- Henry Amiel
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/28/07 09:24 AM

"Simplicity is the key to success," Pete Biro
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 09/28/07 09:49 AM

"Complexify." - Dan Trommater

(I'm glad someone caught that Bill...)

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