Hiro Sakai Magicana

Discuss the tricks and sleights which appear in Genii.

Postby David Acer » 01/22/09 03:58 PM

If you haven't had a chance to read it yet, Hiro Sakai's one-man Magicana in the latest (i.e., February) issue of Genii is full of amazing sleights and routines from his professional (and in some cases television) repertoire. "Balloon Bank Nite" in particular should earn him a collective hug from the community, which I plan on organizing at the next FISM.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/22/09 06:09 PM

The Japanese really don't like to be hugged. :)
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/22/09 06:16 PM

It reminds me a bit of Mark Jenest's "Billoon" on his DVD "Miracles While U Wait." Similar methodology but different effect.
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 01/25/09 12:59 AM

Impressive. However the one TV special when he walks through the table tells me a clear story about the integrity of the guy as a magician, and perhaps as a human being.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/09 01:42 AM

Can you be more specific, Carlo?
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Postby Henley » 01/25/09 03:17 AM

He used a camera edit, whoop-de-doo.
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 01/25/09 08:36 AM

Henley wrote:He used a camera edit, whoop-de-doo.


Can you define "camera edit"? then we can discuss the "whoop-de-doo"
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Postby Henley » 01/25/09 09:55 AM

Well, I haven't seen the program in a while, but I recall that the "walking through a table" effect began with what I believe was Andrew Mayne's "Pocket Sawing in Half"--followed by a cutaway to Aki Hoshino's reaction--then back to Sakai ("Dr. Leon") already walking toward the centre of the table. Of course something dishonest happened in the meantime.
Whoop-de-doo.

Or maybe there was something else that happened during the program that I've forgotten that makes you question his integrity as a human being?

Japanese tv is rife with programs parading debunked "psychics" like Jucelino Nobrega da Luz as the real thing, informing the gullible masses that he predicted 9-11, the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway, and certain high-profile murders in Japan.
http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=3454

Television here is poisoned daily with John Edward-esque con artists telling grieving teenagers that their dead boyfriend "is sitting next to you now, telling you not to get married for at least three years" etc etc.

In a place where palm-readers set up shop inside Buddhist Temple grounds to cater to the folks in line, where blood type may determine whether or not one gets a job...

a little camera trick during a tv magic effect means nothing.

Whoop de f**king doo.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/25/09 11:58 AM

There are many clips on YouTube of Sakai performing as Dr. Leon if you search on either "Hiro Sakai" or "Dr. Leon."
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 01/25/09 12:32 PM

Ok, I take the "human being integrity" back...but maybe not the magician's. I guess it's a question of points of view. For me resorting to cheap TV tricks goes against the magician's ethics, if you want to call it this way. Perhaps even worse is to justify one's sin by topping it or comparing it with more sins.

Or, one can always not give a f**k about anything, and that is one possible way out, I guess.
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 01/25/09 01:06 PM

Henley wrote:Well, I haven't seen the program in a while, but I recall that the "walking through a table" effect began with what I believe was Andrew Mayne's "Pocket Sawing in Half"


it was a bit more than Pocket Sawing. Looks more like the original
Steve Fearson Sawing in half, juding from the bulky bust.

We had detailed discussions here

http://tinyurl.com/bszdjv
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Postby Henley » 01/25/09 06:06 PM

Carlo Morpurgo wrote:it was a bit more than Pocket Sawing. Looks more like the original
Steve Fearson Sawing in half, juding from the bulky bust.

We had detailed discussions here

http://tinyurl.com/bszdjv


Ah, okay. I missed that thread.
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 03/10/09 09:02 AM

Sorry, I thought this was a magic forum?
Sir, I don't know where you are from, but it sounds like a very special place.
I received my first copy of Genii, love it. Also the Hiro Sakai magic.
I was missing a bit more background story on the difference of Magic Culture. This was lightly touched on in the article.
There is this believe of spirits in objects called Kami.
The concept of objects which are somehow alive and have to be treated therefor with a certain respect fascinates me. Objects are in this context also maybe more likely to act magical. It's a fascinating world!
Well, time to work. Just a thought.
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 03/10/09 09:04 AM

Henley wrote:Well, I haven't seen the program in a while, but I recall that the "walking through a table" effect began with what I believe was Andrew Mayne's "Pocket Sawing in Half"--followed by a cutaway to Aki Hoshino's reaction--then back to Sakai ("Dr. Leon") already walking toward the centre of the table. Of course something dishonest happened in the meantime.
Whoop-de-doo.

Or maybe there was something else that happened during the program that I've forgotten that makes you question his integrity as a human being?

Japanese tv is rife with programs parading debunked "psychics" like Jucelino Nobrega da Luz as the real thing, informing the gullible masses that he predicted 9-11, the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway, and certain high-profile murders in Japan.
http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=3454

Television here is poisoned daily with John Edward-esque con artists telling grieving teenagers that their dead boyfriend "is sitting next to you now, telling you not to get married for at least three years" etc etc.

In a place where palm-readers set up shop inside Buddhist Temple grounds to cater to the folks in line, where blood type may determine whether or not one gets a job...

a little camera trick during a tv magic effect means nothing.

Whoop de f**king doo.


The post above was- partly- a reaction on this post, sorry for the unclarity.
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Postby Henley » 03/10/09 10:31 AM

My post was also a (knee-jerk) reaction.
The topic touched on tv magic and my comment was directly related to that.
Last edited by Henley on 03/10/09 10:38 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Yep, it's a magic forum.
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 03/11/09 10:23 AM

Great, don't get me started on Finnish television, or Dutch, or..
Maybe 'magic' and TV magic are two different things?
I find it's hard to blame someone who makes use of the medium which he/ she is using.
TV Magic should maybe get it's own box. Like Movies and Theater play.
Nobody blames the movie director for cheating, a while ago they maybe did.
Let the public decide how much editing/ TV trickery they are willing to take in a 'Live' magic performance. Let them decide when it might be more entertaining/ interesting to watch the latest Star Wars or other ( mostly ) computer generated stuff instead?
Guess in the quest of being more amazing/ impressive then the other TV magician this 'cheating' might be unstoppable. Also, being popular as a TV magician/ personality is maybe not so much about only what we like in the art of magic anymore.
( of course I think there are exceptions, but even they are using editing as a tool, if it is only for dramatic effect. )

Oh yes, reread my own post, just for the record, the SPIRITS within objects are called Kami.
Some keywords; Animism, Shinto.
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 03/19/09 05:55 PM

In the context of 'to TV or not to TV Magician' ;
Genii speaks- The Blaine Truth and on.
Genii volume 62, number 6 June 1999.
Nice 'article' on TV and David Blain.
Some interesting essays with different opinions and funny stuff like;
the image of magic as 'aging hippies shoving women into boxes' ...., is rapidly becoming the standard model in laymen's eyes.

I guess time repeats itself, we are fighting against an audience which is not interested in the same things we are .( the Magic fearing community )
This happens all the time. Someone stands up who captures the imagination of the bigger audience, with fair or seemingly less fair means, and the competition has a hard time finding out how to relate to it all.
Often these people use a different approach or different media. Or they play the media in a different way.
Some things just seem to click. In the persona, in time, conditions and place.
Anyways, to all the people who are not reading this,
let's fill some boxes.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 03/20/09 09:46 AM

Be yourself. Do some magic FOR some folks around you. Make their day. Their boxes will vanish as their frames expand.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 06/21/09 07:14 PM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Be yourself. Do some magic FOR some folks around you. Make their day. Their boxes will vanish as their frames expand.


Hi Jonathan,
sounds good, but when and where do their boxes appear again? Is there somewhere a demo of this trick?

Have a great summer,
-r
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Postby JunFanHsu » 06/25/09 07:59 PM

I guess the whole point of an illusion is to enjoy it and not take getting fooled personal...?
耶稣基督是唯一的出路。
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Postby Ramon Maronier » 06/27/09 03:26 PM

I'm not Carlo, but I feel strongly for this subject so..

I think so, but It ain't easy.
Like Jonathan Townsend said, when you are doing magic 'FOR somebody', you are in my opinion not trying to fool them, but to entertain them. I think there is a big difference between the two. Most people don't want to be fooled. They want to be entertained. Magic can be a tool to entertain. ( 'entertain' like in everything what pleases an audience- in many ways, in different contexts.. no, not that.. )

Sometimes it is hard to be humble enough to entertain, and also to except that people want to be entertained, ( I am a performing artist- I have learned this the hard way, bad reviews and such ) and not want to see only what some magicians consider acceptable magic. Being a magician is so much more then 'doing' tricks. That's also maybe the beauty of it.

I hope there will be more personal magic in the near future. I think that TV can work as a tool to make magic more personal. ( strangely enough )
But it will also easily make the audience numb.
Too much kitsch, too many camera/ digital effects, too little personality, too much fooling and no involvement of the spectator can make all the tv magic utterly boring. ( for me at least )

I personally miss magicians who entertain. I see too many magicians just doing tricks and take influences from bad horror movies.
When we are just talking about magicians ethics and not looking at the bigger picture - for example the future- then we are according to me on the wrong track.

Ethics are made in the past, to evolve the idea of -conjuring/ magic/ fooling/ perception/ psychology/ being human-, we should also look at the here and now. ( and maybe still respect the ethics.. )

Sorry for this too long, pretentious mail, but I KNOW that magic is an art form, and art is not easy.
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Postby JunFanHsu » 07/08/09 06:34 AM

It's like you said... it's about context. As artists, we do not strive to fool out of arrogance or malice but with an intent to create art that appeals to our spectators.

Let's pretend my audience member is an amateur magician. If I'm performing a slow motion "stud center deal" for a magician, he usually is not impressed. However, after they see me stud center dealing 4 kings to the 3rd player (with sail) at a more rapid and imperceptible pace, they are now impressed with my ability to "stud center deal..." or did I center deal? How do they know I didn't BOTTOM deal. If I do not reveal the secret, then I have done my job, I've given them the by product of foolery... which is entertainment.

However, if my friend were to ask me to disclose the method, there will be a price... this price is called knowledge. Isn't griping and complaining sometimes the by product of this knowledge (no pun intended)?

So the real question is, who is truly responsible for the dissatisfaction of the person who has just learned the true secret behind the art, "the entertainer" or the learned audience member that should have expected ANYTHING?
耶稣基督是唯一的出路。
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