Tom Stone Column

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

Postby Tom Dobrowolski » 01/28/09 06:48 PM

I thought it was great. I am really looking forward to his next column and what he has to say.
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Postby Grey Lerner » 01/28/09 09:13 PM

I also enjoyed Mr. Stone's article.

I have been asking myself, "what is the effect?" a lot since reading it (tough not to...). I like the way my answers, or lack thereof, are guiding my thoughts.
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Postby Geoff Weber » 01/30/09 02:34 PM

This article makes me want to rethink my entire act.
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Postby John Carney » 02/07/09 12:18 PM

Great article.

I'm not crazy about Fitzgee either. When you use formula methods, you get formula results.

Tom drives home the fact that creativity is a process, not just a single lightning bolt of inspiration. Those that feel they aren't "the creative type", are just waiting for everything to fall into their lap.

I cringe whenever I hear magicians talk about the "art" of magic, without ever having gone through this process. That title has to be earned.

I saw a documentary on a painter recently, and noticed that while they were showing his finished painting, there were dozens of other canvases lying around, all versions of the final painting. The artist had made lots of subtle changes while looking for the effect he was after. He didn't have it all in his head from the start, he was looking for it, and accepted the happy accidents, using them in his next version.

Tom's idea of considering the emotion as part of the effect is also a valuable one. The best magic is theatre, and there is not theatre without conflict or emotion.

great job Tom.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 02/07/09 12:32 PM

I enjoyed it also. I look forward to future articles by Tom Stone.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/28/09 11:54 AM

Thanks!

Since I'm situated where I am, I haven't heard any comments on the column, so I didn't know if it had been read at all. Good to find out. :)
Was the april column alright?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 03/28/09 12:02 PM

The column got me wondering about making that subtrunk gimmick. Amazing thinking there - and in the rest of the article too - thanks :)
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 03/28/09 06:38 PM

Really enjoyed the April column, Tom. Very interesting to peek inside your notebook.

Thanks!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 03/28/09 07:48 PM

I've just received Tom's column for the June issue. A real mind-blower!
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Postby Tortuga » 04/02/09 08:17 AM

For anyone seriously thinking about pursuing Mr. Stone's method for the Metamorphosis, I have two words....Carbon Fiber.

While not inexpensive, it is extremely light and can be shaped fairly easily into the shape as drawn. Don't know Mr. Stones design background, but the shape of the supporting mechanism is elegant and probably perfect for carrying out its mission.

The carbon fiber would be formed against a template, possibly of wood and laminated with an epoxy resin. I am familiar with this process as I sell it to strengthen existing concrete structures and floors that need to have an increase in load capacity.

So if you attempt this, carbon fiber is probably one viable solution.
It's never crowded on the extra mile.....
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/02/09 09:41 AM

thanks Tortuga,

The image of one person getting into a cardboard box, then the other person standing on top, crumpling the box so it's obvious they are standing on the other person's back, and then the front flopping open so they can see this... just so funny... and then to have the subtrunk magic happen even under those conditions seems worth some fuss to get working.

Jon
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Postby Pete McCabe » 04/02/09 01:14 PM

Tom's articles are always great fun and wonderfully thought provoking. As a working writer/creative-type-person, I have no doubt of the value of the notebook. I record voice memos on my iPhone all the timefor some reason I frequently get ideas while driving to the Castle. Later I copy them into my scraps file on my computer.

One thing I have noticed is that the more I do this, the more and/or better ideas I generate. Being creative is a skill that improves with practice. I think an essential part of that practice is recording what you create, by any means available, so you can review it later.
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Postby Fredrick » 05/20/09 03:42 PM

Tom's articles are a wonderful addition to the Genii line up. Each piece nicely builds on the former.

Many thanks to Richard and Tom.
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Postby Angel Simal » 02/23/10 08:47 AM

This is my first message in this forum. I started my subscription with Genii last November and when I read Tom's column on this month's magazine I thought, hey, that's a great idea to share opinions on the columns and maybe something else.

I really liked Tom's column because it explains in a very accurate way the method I have been using since I started in magic. I must say that one of the first book I read about all this was Eberhard Riise's book, in the english version (of course). Tom mentions it on his column and I would suggest everyone to get it. It is a master piece!

I can't wait for the following Tom's articles, because it's been a year since I started building a new show and although I have the name, the character.....even the music.....I am kind of stuck there and need to put the right tricks all together.

best regards from Spain
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Postby Richard Perrin » 02/23/10 06:48 PM

Angel Simal,
Welcome to Genii Forum!
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Postby 000 » 02/24/10 08:57 AM

I have a (serious) question for Tom and others:

Talking of assuming a (performance) character:
Does anyone know of any comics, magicians etc who have ( successfully) portrayed themselves as mean unlikeable characters?
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Postby Doc Dixon » 02/24/10 09:00 AM

Depending on how you define your terms, the first response that comes to mind is:
Mean? Yes
Unlikeable? No

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Postby John M. Dale » 02/24/10 12:33 PM

Andy Kaufman comes to mind, especially when he was wrestling women & when playing Tony Clifton.

JMD
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Postby Bill Mullins » 02/24/10 02:10 PM

000 wrote:Does anyone know of any comics, magicians etc who have ( successfully) portrayed themselves as mean unlikeable characters?


[censored]?

Stephen Bargatze once roasted a prominent mentalist:

"You are one of those folks that likes to ask people questions that you already know the answers to. You just like to annoy people."

Obviously a joke (the mentalist in question is very entertaining, and has been quite cordial to me in correspondence), but it reminds us that we have to be careful in presenting ourselves.
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Postby Mark Collier » 02/24/10 02:38 PM

There is something refreshingly honest about a character that isn't concerned with pleasing others. Selfishness, arrogance and belligerence can all be endearing since it is part of being human and it's somewhat taboo.

W.C. Fields, Archie Bunker, Al Bundy, and Jackie Gleason (to the moon!!!) were all self centered to the extreme.

Doc has it right: Mean does not equal unlikeable.
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Postby Tom Stone » 02/25/10 02:58 AM

000 wrote:I have a (serious) question for Tom and others:

Talking of assuming a (performance) character:
Does anyone know of any comics, magicians etc who have ( successfully) portrayed themselves as mean unlikeable characters?

I don't know. Myself, I enjoy complex characters where both pleasant and unpleasant traits are balanced against each other. But I can't see why a one-dimensional mean and unlikeable character wouldn't be successful - if it is exaggerated enough.
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Postby 000 » 02/25/10 06:27 AM

I will be specific. Ive been a lawyer ( the object of many jokes- as of being sharks and ripping people of) for 20 years.

Should one wish to adopt 'the lawyer' persona, should one?

Make fun of 'other lawyers' , but you are not like that.
Take it on the chin, ie youre on of them.
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Postby Mark Collier » 02/25/10 05:57 PM

Brian Glickman does a very nice Parlour show at the Magic Castle that centers around his day job as a lawyer.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 02/25/10 08:12 PM

So does Brian Glicker
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Postby Mark Collier » 02/25/10 08:29 PM

Thanks Brad. I knew that didn't sound right.
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Postby 000 » 02/26/10 01:17 AM

The reason I posed my question, will be clear from the following:

A while back I was booked for a (rare!) upmarket private function.

On announcing Im also a lwayer: crowd goes ooooooohh.
'There are only 3 lawyer jokes' I said, 'the rest are true': aaaaahh goes the crowd ( funny)
Yes, the first thing a lawyer does when in an accident is to reach for his hip flask,and take it to the other driver and say 'here have some, you must be shaken. And some more'
'Thanks, what about you' says the driver to the lawyer.
'No thanks' replies the lawyer, Ill wait until after the Police have come'. Crowd goes silent.

I carry on.
'Yes, this one lawyer chased an ambulance 6 blocks across town, and when he got there, what did he find? Another lawyer!'
SILENCE.
'Lawyer' says the ambulance driver, 'you'd better get to Hospital-half your hand is missing'
'Oh my Rolex, my Rolex' cries the lawyer.
UTTER SILENCE.

It was surreal,the crowd looking as if they had been paid to maintain a stony silence!

Of course I got the message and changed tack after that.

The point Im trying to make: it's too big a jump for the audience to first

See you as a lawyer ( respectful and watch-out)
Then make fun of your profession ( and oneself ) in the process.
The jump is simply too big as I said, even if referring to 3rd parties.

Hence my initial question.
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Postby 000 » 02/26/10 01:52 AM

And a honest one. Id also be interested if Mr Glicker

Relates incidents from his practise, interwoven with magic. or
Pokes fun at the profession

But did I tell you about the lawyer who was driving along one day and he saw people on the side of the road eating grass?

He immediately stopped and offered to take them to his house.
Thats very kind of you lawyer, they said.
No worry, said the lawyer, you should see the length of the grass at my house!
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Postby Tom Stone » 02/26/10 02:06 AM

000 wrote:But did I tell you about the lawyer who was driving along one day and he saw people on the side of the road eating grass?

I'm not quite sure what to say, but it seems to me that there must be a discord between your character and the stories you tell, that makes people uncertain on how to interpret the contrast.

If you have a friend whose knowledge you trust, bring him along to your next gig, and ask him to make honest notes. That might provide some clues.

Other than that - try personalize the stories so you become the leading character in them, instead of referring to unknown characters. Also, let it show in your choice of material (Torn and restored contract etc.)
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Postby 000 » 02/26/10 06:44 AM

Thank you Tom, appreciate your thoughts.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 02/26/10 06:48 AM

(Torn and restored contract etc.)


Marc DeSouza has a routine on his DVD set on this.

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Postby Brandon Hall » 02/26/10 07:17 PM

Tom is absolutely right. The theme (lawyers) is not the problem. Stop telling jokes and start telling stories, about yourself. It's a great opportunity to make a personal connection with the audience.
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