Bill Goldman Travelling Tales

Discuss the views of your favorite Genii columnists.

Postby Bill Goldman » 07/20/02 10:44 PM

Does anybody read these columns? I have never read a single comment re: any of my columns. I'm not looking for a pat on the back; I'm just wondering.
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Postby John Pezzullo » 07/21/02 04:15 AM

Bill,

I read your columns. They always make for interesting reading.

My favourite one was "The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly", published in the September 2001 issue.

Regards,

John
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 07/21/02 04:30 AM

Hi Bill,
I too read them.

I don't always know what to make of them, exactly, but I frequently find myself grinning...or even laughing out loud.

They're part of the personality of Genii, IMHO.
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Postby Guest » 07/21/02 08:28 AM

Hi Bill,
I read them. I commented on your last one saying that when you said you were going on no sleep, it was obvious.
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Postby Steve Hook » 07/21/02 10:54 AM

Bill and Richard:

Love the column / writing! More, more!

Steve H
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Postby Frank Yuen » 07/21/02 03:54 PM

Bill, as a Chicago area magician who has seen you lecture many times, I'd like to say that I've ALWAYS enjoyed your stories. My favorite article of yours was written in Magic a few years ago. It was the one about making hats.

Frank Yuen
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Postby Guest » 07/21/02 04:17 PM

I enjoy reading your columns, especially after meeting you (and having lunch) a year ago at the Minnesota Magic convention in June '01. The Mpls/St. Paul Ring 19 thought you were one of the best and most entertaining lecturers (a hidden goldmine of stories) at our event.
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Postby Matthew Field » 07/22/02 06:48 AM

Bill -- I think your column is great!

One of the hard lessons to be learned is that most people only write a letter (or e-mail) if they get angry at something. I worked for 25 years in radio and would always read the listener mail, most of which was complaining about something. When I met someone who knew which station I worked for (classsical WNCN in New York) they would tell me how much they loved the station. None of them ever wrote to say so.

Mail from my video review column is very infrequent.

It's just the human condition.

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Postby Gary Freed » 07/22/02 06:59 AM

Bill,
I thoroughly enjoy your column. I don't know how many years ago it was, but "Hark,I Hear the Cannons Roar!" still brings tears to my eyes..Also, Monkey in the Middle is one of the top effects with cards in the last 20 years! Please keep up the good work!
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Postby Bill Goldman » 07/22/02 07:29 AM

I don't want to sound like Sally Field at the Oscars, but it sure feels good for a writer or performer to know that people are enjoying your work. Writing for Genii is a labor of love and your feedback sure fuels the fire. Thanks.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/22/02 08:08 AM

It would be far worse if you LOOKED like Sally Field at the Oscars. :)
Little Bunny is coming ...
Bill--why don't you tell everyone on the forum about Little Bunny?
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Postby Guest » 07/22/02 10:27 AM

Hi Bill,

I liked it better when we lived your columns. ;) Hope to see you soon!
Mark
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Postby Lisa Cousins » 07/22/02 05:12 PM

I'm suprised that all of these people feel at liberty to discuss their love of Bill's column publicly, because a condition of my own membership in the Bill Goldman Society Internationale was NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION. BGSI (pronounced "Biggsie") required a sacred oath to only discuss the column in secret, among other sworn members. Our local group of BGSI originally met once a month for discussion, but an upswing in the outflow of wisdom required us to adjust our schedule accordingly, and we now meet hourly.
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 07/22/02 05:36 PM

Bill,
One more happy reader here. I usually read your column the first day the magazine falls in my hands. Also enjoyed meeting you.
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Postby Bill Goldman » 07/23/02 10:26 AM

Richard wrote...
It would be far worse if you LOOKED like Sally Field at the Oscars.
Little Bunny is coming ...
Bill--why don't you tell everyone on the forum about Little Bunny?
---------------
I don't know if this is the place or somewhere else, but if you are reading this thread you'll be the first to know about my latest effect...
"Little Bunny's Card Trick"

You'll see the ad in the Sept Genii, but if you want to be the first to get this, visit my new website bgmagic.com This won't be in the shops-- I didn't print that many.
The trick is (I know, I know-- I'm biased) absolutely charming, adorable, cute, and fools the pants off of your audiences.)
It isn't difficult to do and will make your spectators smile. Read about it yourself at bgmagic.com
What a shameless sales pitch!
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Postby Pete McCabe » 07/23/02 02:36 PM

First off, if you want to see Bill's website you should click here: www.bgmagic.com if you just enter bgmagic.com into your browser you may not get there (I didn't.)

Second, Bill, please have whoever is coding your website remove the forced page width, which on my monitor makes the text run twice the width of the screen. I can see no reason why your site should require a specific width and it's incredibly annoying to have to scroll from side to side to read every single line.

Third, here's how I use Monkey in the Middle, which as has been mentioned above is a great, great trick.

Carry the MIM cards in your pocket.

Borrow a deck with a different colored back (or take back the shuffled deck already in use) and remove the MIM cards. Place them face up on top of the face down deck.

Remove the two MIM cards and hand them out for examination, using a wristkill to hide the secret.

Turn the deck face up (which motivates the wristkill) and spread the deck for a truly free selection. No need to have it signed, just leave it where it is and close up the spread, doing a spread cull to control the selection to the top. (Don't spread the last few cards, of course.)

Turn the deck face down and have the spectators replace the MIM cards on top. Snap your fingers and spread them out to show the Monkey in the Middle.

The face up spread cull is a perfect fit for this great effect. It really seems you don't do anything even slightly suspicious the entire time.

Fourth, I've seen Bill do the Little Bunny trick and it is a great trick. There are a few versions of this wonderful effect around and Little Bunny is the best I've seen.

Fifth, I love Bill's columns, although I rarely have any idea what he's going on about. The story about meeting President Ford was fantastic. Almost as good as the story about the three ants.
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Postby Matthew Field » 07/27/02 08:20 AM

Pete -- that's really, really great!

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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 06:50 PM

All right Bill,

It's time for me to jog your memory and have you post (or put in your column) some of my favorite stories:

1.) What kind of cheese is this?
2.) The elevator story (OK, this one might not make it into print.)
3.) Your moral delimma at our first lecture in Germany.

I had a couple more, but those should get you started!

Mark
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Postby Bill Goldman » 08/28/02 07:04 PM

It would be funny if the answer to number one was number two! I think you kick-started my brain-- thanks.
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 07:29 PM

Glad to hear it. Let me know when you get to stuff that needs two people to do. We shot our show in Minneapolis, I'll send you a copy if you want. I think you'll be surprised at some of the new stuff.
Mark
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Postby Guest » 08/29/02 05:48 AM

Hello Bill
I like your stories very much.
Do you fell a slow down after 9/11 ?
less trade shows?
Who are the big names this days?

Maxim
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Postby Bill Goldman » 08/30/02 11:17 PM

Hello Maxim
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Postby Guest » 08/30/02 11:51 PM

Tired, Bill?
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Postby Guest » 08/30/02 11:57 PM

Thanks Bill
great advice

Maxim :)
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Postby Bill Goldman » 08/31/02 05:34 AM

I wrote a long answer but only my greeting seemed to be posted. Perhaps I did something wrong, but I can't imagine what!
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Postby Bill Goldman » 08/31/02 05:44 AM

Let's try this again.
9/11 all but killed a troubled venue. Joel Bauer is probably the busiest and best of what is left. Billy Harris says he's not a magician, so we'll leave him off the list. I don't think it will ever be the venue it was before. I recently performed at the Design Automation Conference and the aisles were empty.
When I began we "sold" the company's products and services. Then it became a game of marketing the marketing itself. Now, it's down to direct marketing, selling ourselves like pens with the company's name on it. Many of the shows lost their dignity and turned into a circus. I think the tradeshow market will re-invent itself when it comes back and I fear many magicians will once again be left behind. Then again, I hope I'm wrong. NOW, let's see if this message makes it online!
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Postby Guest » 08/31/02 08:37 AM

Sorry but who is Bill Harris?

Are you going to be London sometime?

I read Bar and Gril and liked the soup of the day
a lot
are there any news about it or you do it as you wrote about it.
I think it is a great concept.
Good thinking

Maxim
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/31/02 11:53 AM

I've not only always loved Bill's columns, but I deeply appreciate his "slant" on most things, as well. Like Martin Lewis and (a few) others, Bill instinctively knows how to find and create "winning details" that become "power surges" in terms of eventually puzzlement and impact. The Bunny trick is a perfect example of goosing a known principle-plot to the heights where silver linings lurk.

Side-bar: Because I've been reading lots of books regarding changes in business and popular cultures lately, what Bill reports about the fizzling trade show venue is interesting and disheartening. In fact, there are changes in the number and kinds of venues that still exist and can generate a decent livelihood. If magic is a NOVELTY and a form that lives and dies on its ability to be unique and different, what happens to any marketplace of venues when forces have "sent in a thousand clowns"? What happens when corporate clients and their clients have seen the same old performers, performing the same old tricks (no matter how accomplished, clever, or entertaining), for the thousandth time? What happens when it seems like 1 out of 10 people know at least three tricks. (Example: I was recently chatting with several different business persons and each said they saw someone doing a "cool trick" at a bar or meeting place. I asked, "Were they magicians?" Answer: No. What kind of effects? Good ones.

So...

The question, which may soon be a burning one, is:
Are the tried-and-true venues of magic drying up and disappearing? What's left? Birthday and special event parties?

Just wondering...

Onward...
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Postby Guest » 09/02/02 07:40 AM

Hello Bill
I hope you don't mind that ask so much...

but I am going to ask anyway :-) :)
Can you give us some tips about flying?
Bags, sits, (Economy or First)PA systems
(don't say anything about the closed topic)
upgrades, hotel rooms etc.

Maxim
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/02/02 10:51 AM

In a hotel room, the side of the bed farthest from the phone is in better shape.
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Postby Guest » 09/02/02 11:57 AM

I want to be Bill Goldman and not Tomy Wonder
(I like wonder but he is better for magicians)

Goldman is the real thing for real people
I hope to see his show one day
I think that I read everything he published
(I hope so)

Maxim
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Postby Guest » 09/05/02 10:14 PM

Maxim
what is "soup of the day"

Moshe
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Postby Guest » 09/06/02 01:17 PM

Soory for the lare answer
It is a stage confabulation
Maxim
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Postby Bill Goldman » 09/10/02 07:37 AM

I'm back! Sorry for the delay in answering.

First, the travel questions... That is a tough one to answer because if the business stays as slow as it is now, it is a moot point. And if we bomb Iraq with OUR weapons of mass destruction, I think all the magicians will have to find new jobs. Sorry, I couldn't help that last comment, but really, if Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, doesn't that put them in the unique position of being the ONLY country that doesn't?

Back to Magic...I have changed my way of doing business in terms of hotel, travel and payment. I believe that when we finish our shows, we are like the new car that drives off the lot; our value drops by one third and therefore slows down our payment, leaving us with big credit card bills. So...I get a deposit up front, they book my hotel and airfare and pay direct for both and give me the balance of my money at the show. This way, everyone is happy.
Jon and Maxim- thanks for the kind words-- you make me blush.
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Postby Guest » 09/11/02 01:46 AM

I heared that bauer gets 25,000$ a day.
This is much better then doing close up.

How many real trade shows magicians are out there?
How many one timers do you see?
How do you get a crowed :)

<oshe
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Postby Brian Marks » 09/13/02 07:31 PM

Originally posted by Moshe Tayeb:
I heared that bauer gets 25,000$ a day.
This is much better then doing close up.

How many real trade shows magicians are out there?
How many one timers do you see?
How do you get a crowed :)

<oshe
Look there are very few magicians in the trade show business because of the sales aspect. Joel Bauer is one hell of a salesperson on top of being an excellent magician. This applies to Bill(that why I read the column) and most trade show magicians that Ive seen. Joel seems to best the salesperson Ive seen on top of being a great magician
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/13/02 08:11 PM

I seriously doubt that Ron Bauer gets $25,000 a day. Perhaps $2,500 a day, but certainly not $25,000.
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Postby Guest » 09/13/02 09:31 PM

I think Moshe was asking about Joel Bauer .
I seriously doubt that Ron Bauer gets even
250$,
:) I don't think he does trade shows.

Dori
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Postby Guest » 09/13/02 10:40 PM

If Joel is getting that kind of money, I say: good for him. He deserves it. He's devoted his entire life to "this thing of ours", and he is the best in his market. In my opinion. He delivers, he guarantees crowds. He can attract a ton of people by folding an origami bird! And when people are paying that kind of money, they also show more respect than if you gave them "a deal". Someone tell him I said to keep up the good work.
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Postby Guest » 09/15/02 11:44 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I seriously doubt that Ron Bauer gets $25,000 a day. Perhaps $2,500 a day, but certainly not $25,000.
I recently bid against Joel Bauer for my motivational-magic show. Lost out, unfortunately.

Beforehand, I called a friend who does corporate work and asked him how much Joel charged for motivational magic. He said $15,000 a day.

I hung up and said, "No way." I called another magician friend in another part of the country and asked him. Without prompting, he said $15,000 a day.

I hung up and, once again, said, "No way." Called a third friend. Once again without revealing what the other two had said: $15,000 a day.

Three independent sources who work in the business.

Over the past two years, two other sources in the corporate world have alluded to Joel's high prices.

"But it's worth it," they both said.

Just yesterday, I played a wedding for a big salesman who is a friend of Joel Bauer. He said he couldn't afford Joel so he hired me. Also, he was worried that Joel would take over his wedding with his personality.

When I got there, I said hello to Joel. He was very nice, even loaning me a couple loops when I offhandedly said I'd just broke a thread. I performed for two hours and did well with the crowd.

Later, Joel was coaxed to perform his own version of Psychokinetic Touch. Afterward, he apologized to me, saying he was coerced into performing, that he protested that it was another magician's venue, finally relenting to perform something that wasn't even magic, as he put it.

Joel is one of the most enigmatic performers in magic, imho. His talent is undeniable, his personality is some unduplicatable alloy, and the most fantastic thing about it is the money he brings in. That intrigues everybody.

At the moment, I'm being mentored by a motivational speaker who earns shotloads of money. A month ago, I gave him a rundown of what magicians earn.

"That's appalling," he said. "And with all their talent...."
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