Charlie Caper, winner of Sweden's Got Talent

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Postby Tom Stone » 06/12/09 05:54 PM

My friend Charlie Caper just won the final of Sweden's Got Talent!

This was his first two acts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU7RToLt21Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsnxv9MritY
(The act from tonight is not up yet)

Hopefully, he will do as well at FISM :)
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Postby Brad Henderson » 06/12/09 06:15 PM

Really great.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/13/09 03:28 AM

Terrific stuff indeed. I look forward to his winning act.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/14/09 01:36 AM

Charlie is skilled, charming, and entertaining even though I couldn't understand a word. My congratulations on a well-deserved win.
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Postby Anders Moden » 06/14/09 07:27 AM

And here's Charlies winning act:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4R_ub_cAGw

Congratulations also to another swedish magical duo - Brynolf & Ljung - who also made it to the finals, that is, we had two magic acts out of eight contestants in the final!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aINic4K9go
yes!
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Postby rkosby » 06/14/09 12:12 PM

Thanks for posting that Tom. That was terrific.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/14/09 11:20 PM

Just watch Brynolf & Ljung do their bit on the show. Clever, funny and further proof that Sweden has a more sophisticated sense of humor than most countries.

They should have won something just for the sheer nerve of their presentation.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/15/09 12:46 AM

Clever? Sophisticated? Sorry David, but all I saw was a two-guy (though better executed) version of Ursula Martinez's act.

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Postby Brad Henderson » 06/15/09 01:11 AM

Remember that Josh Jay/Good Morning America thread when we discussed "classy hosts" and how people used to work together to produce good TV. Watch the hosts at the beginning of the judging. You will see "class" that resulted in good tv.

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Postby David Alexander » 06/15/09 01:17 AM

I would expect no less a reaction from you, Dustin.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/15/09 01:24 AM

I have to agree with David: it was sophisticated and very funny, not tawdry like Ms. Martinez.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/15/09 01:29 AM

Yeah, that's me: Just an unsophisticated, ugly American who can't see the refined wit of an act that vanishes and reproduces a hanky while stripping off clothing one bit at a time with a finale of having the hank appear on/in the genitalia (the bottom-line description of both acts).
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/15/09 05:44 AM

Dustin Stinett wrote:Sorry David, but all I saw was a two-guy (though better executed) version of Ursula Martinez's act.

Dustin

Hrm.. This isn't based on Ursula's act.

Lasse Flygare from Malm, Sweden have performed this routine since early 1980's. Quite funny routine, since Lasse is a chubby fellow that no one wants to see undressed. "No, for the love of God, no!", the horrified audience used to shout, as Lasse pretended to hear comments and theories on where the red silk went.

Around 1999, Peter Brynolf (also from Malm, Sweden) picked the routine up from Lasse Flygare.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 06/15/09 05:50 AM

I have to admit that my reaction was the same as Dustin's when I saw it. The one-sentence description of what happens in the two acts is exactly what Dustin said.

Now, it's quite possible that Lasse Flygare came up with it first and that Martinez ripped it off. So shame on her, if that's the case.

But it's a really off-center premise that goes exactly the same direction in both acts--not something you would imagine seeing in a hundred years. And we've seen it twice on YouTube in the past year.
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Postby David Alexander » 06/15/09 05:35 PM

I would think I wouldn't have to explain to anyone that there is a difference between the male and female anatomy and what one seen in Ursula's act and what one doesn't see in the other. There is a difference both in approach, presentation, and delivery between the two acts. One is comedic in approach and delivery. The other is, as RK points out, simply tawdry.

In Ursala's act the anatomical difference is utilized without any sophistication whatsoever, where in the Swedish approach it is a joke ending and one sees nothing of the male anatomy.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/15/09 08:30 PM

Whatever floats your boat David. But Ive shown these to several folks so far (men and women) and the consensus is unanimous: Theyre same act. And yes, onethe mensis better than the other, which is what I said. What can I say? Mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park.

As for the sophistication of their act: Using the base humor of sex is hardly urbane. If that were the case, Howard Stern would have received a Mark Twain Award by now.

Furthermore, you actually never see Ms. Martinezs genitalia either. Both acts only imply that the actual organ is involved. You see just as much of hers as you see of his; hes just groomed better (and you do see her pubic area much longer). She bumps and grinds; they fight over whether or not he drops his shorts. Is it better? Yeah, but ultimately its still the same act.

Dustin

PS
Tom: Thanks for the info on the other gentlemans act. Ive never heard of him, but apparently hes aahempioneer.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/15/09 09:21 PM

I don't recall seeing this fellow's uncovered pubic area at all. I would suggest that merely the fact that there are two people interacting makes the comedy more sophisticated.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/15/09 09:36 PM

Okay, I just watched Charlie Caper's three acts and I'm mortified this thread has been hijacked by a tangential conversation about an act which ends with a silk hanging from a guy's pecker.

No more about them. Discuss Charlie Caper's acts, please.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/15/09 10:23 PM

Mr. Caper has a legit shot at FISM. He has a great character (that trandsends language) and uses very good sleight of hand.

And he puts nothing between his ass cheeks! :)
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 06/15/09 10:39 PM

Charlie Caper is a fantastic performer. I've loved each of the three routines of his I've seen. He has trademark call-back bits (bow tie, for example) that unify everything he does.

It's inspiring to watch him. His act looks like him and him alone.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/15/09 11:16 PM

How would you rate the three acts he did?
I thought the third was the weakest.
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Postby Jim Martin » 06/15/09 11:27 PM

The first was my favorite; strong character established, nice tie-ins (no pun intended) with the Swing Era music cues, and very offbeat. He really 'sold' his affable character, to which things happened.

The third rambled a bit - more a series of effects, to me.

Act Number Two was a nice sequence of cups, but not as strong as the total package in Number One.
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Postby rkosby » 06/16/09 01:08 AM

The first was my favorite too.
The second is my second favorite. The misdirection on the glass vanish didn't work for me, but I enjoyed everything else.
The third was my least favorite but it had a several strong points:
The opening tie production
The bottle production,
The lighter vanish.
The tie vanish
If it weren't for the reflections, I would say the tie reproduction too. But unless the glass looked better live, it only served to show the tie vanished.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/16/09 01:50 AM

I do think that the third performance was the weakest, though like Ray I thought it had some strong points. I also believe that it was the least camera friendly of his acts, which may have hurt it some. Because I cant understand a word he says, I will not say that it was not a cohesive act; its possible that his script provided the through line. The cups segment is my favorite. The bowties on the cups is terrific.

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Postby Ray Eden » 06/16/09 08:59 AM

Part of the problem is that he didn't handle the glass correctly, which only emphasized the gimmick in the glass. And... as already mentioned, the camera was not kind to him in the third segment. Regardless... its nice that a magician won the contest! Congratulations Herr Caper.

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Postby Tom Stone » 06/16/09 01:34 PM

Ray Eden wrote:Part of the problem is that he didn't handle the glass correctly

Judging from the comments on the YouTube clip, people are mystified by the transformation in the glass.
However, out of curiousity, where can one find a description on how to use a glass like that "properly"? The best handling, that is.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/16/09 02:56 PM

This is a magician's forum--it's okay to say he was using a Mirror Glass.

I've never used one, but have often spotted them when they are used by others.

He seemed to have the mirror facing dead toward the audience; perhaps having it turned slightly would have helped. It's hard to say.

Mirror glasses were designed for stage work over 100 years ago, long before TV cameras could get close to you.
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/16/09 03:07 PM

I agree that its not the best prop for television. The other problem is that he's holding it in such a way that his hand mysteriously disappears. It would have been better to hold it from the top lip or at the base. I'm not sure (I haven't tested it), but holding it from the top lip may have cut down on the reflecting of the lighting. But with the number of lights used in a TV studio, I can't be sure it would have helped. In the end... the mirror glass is always a lighting issue; although, I use one in the opening of my act.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/16/09 03:10 PM

I don't think it's the fact that his hand "disappears," but more the fact that the glass appears to have some "thing" in it.
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/16/09 03:37 PM

In my opinion, the reflection is what draws attention to the "vanishing" hand. I'm going to test whether or not holding the glass by the lip would have minimized the refection.
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Postby Tom Stone » 06/16/09 04:33 PM

So there is no standard text on this subject?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/16/09 05:42 PM

I don't recall reading any authoritative text on the proper handling of mirror glasses and mirror tubes.
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Postby Ray Eden » 06/16/09 06:01 PM

I picked up the tip from Jeff McBride. He discusses handling the mirror tube in such a way that your hand never goes behind the mirror because your hand "vanishes". He advises holding the tube at the extreme end that is covered with the shiny tape or metal ring. I adopted his advice with the mirror glass and have been using the method for years.

I like the idea of a goblet mirror glass, as it gets the hand completely out of the way
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Postby Charlie Caper » 06/16/09 07:23 PM

Hey there.

Thanks for all the kind words. I still can't believe I won this thing.

There is a clip up now of the final act with some subtitles on the act. I am very happy with the script which was based on real events the week before:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=433jv0vR5Rs

I agree that the mirror glass was badly handled. I was not allowed to see the video of the camera rehearsal, and did not know what way to angle it. Also it is a trick I have never really done before, I just came up with using it as a revelation of the bowtie that tied the act together with the bottle and the glass. Routining that I'm quite proud of. I had very little time to rehearse it cause the trousers that the production had made for me based on a pattern I gave them were not ready when they were supposed to. Essentially I got my costume the evening before the finals instead of three days before like I was supposed to. You may note the vest and jacket are the same as the ones from the first round. That's because the ones I was supposed to have were unusable. I was forced to realize that at four in the morning, 16 hours before live shooting for a sixth of Sweden's population. It worried me more to screw up Richard Sanders beautiful creation on live TV than to have a few flashes in the mirror glass. The trousers did not even have a proper button. They are being held together by safety pins.

The quick-tying bow-tie was developed a few years ago in Spain with support from Danny Cole by the way. Tim Star sacrificed nights to build me a safe version based on my own extremely dodgy, half working prototype.

The coin routine is essentially a derivative of Tom Stone's "One coin opener", with some of my original transformations at the end.

I suppose my thing right now is to rehash old cheesy silk effects and do them with a bow-tie instead to turn them personal and cool again.

Oh, a testament to how healthy the Swedish magic scene is right now, is how Brynolf & Ljung (who were competitors in the finals, and are also competing for Sweden at FISM in Beijing) offered to help me find many replacement props while my luggage was lost in Croatia. The jumbo coin I'm using on the clip was borrowed from Peter Brynolf. How great is that!!!

Tomorrow I'm rehearsing FISM-acts with Brynolf & Ljung in their studio, with help from young Swedish genius Axel Rutstam (of one-handed tie-tying fame).

All the best
--
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/16/09 09:32 PM

Charlie, I sent you an e-mail a few days ago. Did you receive it?
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Postby David Alexander » 06/17/09 12:21 AM

I believe that Lance Burton used a mirror glass effectively on one of his specials...sugar to mouse as I dimly recall.

Charlie's description of the pressure he was under is another reason why I hate magic on television. The producers and directors don't make it easy for the performer to perfom. It's a wonder anyone looks good at all...and probably the major reason why Copperfield's specials are directed by a guy named "Kotkin."

All of that, in addition to a clever and well-performed act, is why Charlie deserves our admiration and respect.
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Postby rkosby » 06/17/09 01:45 AM

Hmm, cheesy silk effects with ties. Do I detect twentieth century bowties? Or mismaid bowtie?

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