Live (Yes, Real) Street Magic on Youtube?

Addresses new and interesting links to other sites (not listed on the Genii website) that merit attention.

Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/01/10 03:56 PM

Hey guys, I just was hopi9ng htat you could check out this street amgic that I do and post on youtube. It is real and 90%of it is performed for people that i had never met before. Here's is the linkk to my personal favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb9C07usW7w&NR=1

and an interactive magician video I did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce24djvd050

please share your thoughts on what I do! thanks so much ;-)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/01/10 04:03 PM

Your editing is abysmal--who the hell can tell what's supposed to be happening? If we didn't already know the trick, you wouldn't be able to tell.
And, you've conveniently edited out the Top Change.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 06:22 PM

Thanks for the encouragement, real professional for an editor of a magic magazine. The reason it was edited out is not because I wanted to but because the way the camera was situated is that it was horribly exposed from the vantage point. If you'd like me to expose the method for the world I'd be happy to do so. It is not even an effect that every magician doesn't know how it is done. I suddenly feel compelled not to buy any more of the books that you have published, it's a shame I just renewed my subscription.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/02/10 06:37 PM

Wait, you ask for comments and then are upset that not everyone thought your trick was KEWL?

It was like watching a bland david blaine.

I would rather see a less over produced video and something interesting or original brought to the table.

While I personally do not believe every magic trick needs to be choreographed so your face is in the shot, I will say when filming magic its a good idea to at least try to avoid the zipper cam.

Unless you plan on posting this on one of Damien's websites.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/02/10 08:08 PM

You asked for opinions, you got one, and you are unhappy with it. So here's a life lesson for you:

NEVER ASK A QUESTION THAT MAY HAVE AN ANSWER YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:09 PM

I am happy to accept constructive criticism. CONSTRUCTIVE. If you think that the video was bad, then that's your opinion, which is fine. I have my own performing style. I also want to mention how David Blaine sometimes has lack of patter, and seems very nonchalant about the effects. I actually HAD patter which you could certainly hear (RICHARD KAUFMAN.)

If an almost half stoned guy on a boardwalk found tricks impressive and could follow it I assumed that other magicians could (especially with the patter included) and would be happy to see a magician performing decently. I appreciate comments as long as they they have value to help me improve.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/02/10 08:26 PM

My comments ARE constructive:

The editing is poor.

We can't tell what's going on.

You edited out the Top Change.

That's not constructive?
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:29 PM

It's not that I am unhappy with things that I don't want to hear. Show some respect when you critique something for your own reputation even. I have been to multiple masterclasses and when you are critiqued it is in a nice way and not coming off like a jerk. Shoot I performed an effect from genii and David Acer posted it on these forums. Even if he thought it could be better (which I even think it could) he was nice about it.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:30 PM

why is the word "jerk" being censored as if I used foul language?
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:34 PM

Constructive is criticizing and then telling one how to make it better, which you did not do. If you are a video editor, tell me how it could be clearer. I included the patter, so you should be able to hear me unless you are deaf. I did not WANT to edit out the top change but I wanted to keep the method not exposed. In fact eery magic demo that I see nowadays is editing. It may be wrong but it is not unorthodox.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 10/02/10 08:34 PM

If you're looking for some sort of validation for your rather unexceptional clip, I'd humbly suggest posting your video up over here.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:35 PM

validation of what exactly Chris?
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 10/02/10 08:36 PM

*sigh*
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:36 PM

*sigh* doesn't help me
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:39 PM

This is not the first forum that I have posted the video. Go post it and have people rip it to pieces but I would like to se someone do better (which I think is certainly possible)
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 10/02/10 08:40 PM

Well, you're pretending to want some sort of feedback here, but then become defensive when someone actually provides you some.

Your clip just isn't very good. It's someone doing a bunch of bog standard tricks in the most pedestrian way for a group of easily impressed teens and pre-teens.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 08:43 PM

I actually want some feedback but people bashing the video without giving tips on improvement is not constructive.

An effect becomes standard only because it IS good. If you feel that the reactions are worth less because the people are teens I honestly find that funny. Sure it may be more common but the people very much enjoyed it. I once asked a magic shop owner (who WAS pro) what he performs and his answer was "the standards".
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 10/02/10 09:01 PM

I think the only one you're willing to listen to is yourself.

Enjoy that while some of us move on to other things.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/02/10 09:09 PM

It seems that you don't get the idea of a forum or decent conversation. But goodbye.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 10/03/10 02:24 AM

I rather like the idea of having the cards appear reversed in the pack. Most folks who know the trick via David Blaine don't even know that Fechter reproduced the original cards at the end. Having them in the pack is a nice alternative for those who want to avoid palming or don't have a pocket available.

That doesn't change the fact that the video is horrible if you want feedback on how you do the trick because we don't get to see you do the trick.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 02:03 PM

Well Bill THANKS FOR THE (rather) CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. You need to define "seeing you do" the trick. You saw everything that the people watching did, you saw the triple, and then last half of the top change movement. Part of the reason it wasn't included is because there really isn't anything TO see.

Curtis
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/03/10 02:38 PM

Apart from really not liking the style of videon (I find it annoying and distracting to watch), the one thing that struck me was that you handle your multiple lifts in a very unnatural way. It's a common error, but towards the start of the video you are shown turning over a multiple card packet (either two or three cards) but are holding the cards like they are about to fall apart.

Remember that you are (ostensibly) turning over a single card. This is an entirely innocuous task, as really doesn't need the attention, or tension that you put into it.

As for standards - this afternoon I was working at a wedding fair, and in a lull moment I was talking to a pianist friend across the aisle and played Fur Elise. Now, I am _certain_ that you can play the piece better than I can, seeing that I am terrible. Just because something is a classic, it doesn't mean that it cannot be ruined by a poor performance.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/03/10 02:52 PM

Curtis,

When we talk about not being able to see "the trick" we are not talking about the moves. But given the editing choices you made, it seems that you confuse what's important. No one cares about the moves. What we need to have communicated is "what's happening." That requires editing so the story of the trick (and I use the word story in it's most general sense) is conveyed to the watchers. THEN we must get into the issue of "who cares." This is where the audience reactions come in. What Blaine taught us is that home viewers live more vicariously through the reactions on tv than previously imagined. The first special contained solid, but standard, tricks. However, the home audience reacted more strongly to them than typically not because Blaine's "character" tapped into some primal urban shaman archetype, but because the audience is sheep. People on tv thought it was AAAAAmazing, so it must be AAAAAmazing.

Smart discovery. (having said that, this is not the only way to make people care. Having a sympathetic character, making magic relevant - or at least something more than really accosting people with a joke. You don't have to sing on the streets for people to have a reaction to music. And, for the record, there are more viable response to the experience of magic than just screaming.)

Having said that, I think most people are tired of the street magic formula, especially when done poorly.

You know, you can do magic in other places and in other ways?

Perhaps you will have the courage to explore those.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 03:02 PM

Okay thanks, but you CAN hear the patter so I don't know what the issue is exactly concerning that. But am am interested to hear more of the "other places and other ways" that you mentioned. I'm always trying to make my performances and presentation better, part of the reason that I'm giving mentalism another shot to make me better.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/03/10 03:40 PM

First, giving mentalism another shot will not make you better. Making you better, makes you better. Mentalism is just a genre. It's like saying, I'm going to start painting cats now. That will make me a better artist.

Hearing the patter is not enough. A non magician looking at this tape would walk away, I think, unable to give a clear report of what allegedly happened. (not what REALLY happened, ie method - but what allegedly happened, ie effect.)
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 04:11 PM

I think that it would help one improve presentation, but that is just my opinion.


If you read the comments section you will see that 99.9% of the people could follow what happened. If I did not think the effect was clear I would have deleted it. Once again, my opinion.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/03/10 04:54 PM

You mean like this comment, from Lasvegas barbie: "
1 month ago

i love the way you edited it except.. i cant understand the trick because you dont have anything filmed of the begining of it or explaining it.. so i didnt understand what was going on.. "

Look at the 1:10ish mark. there is so much switching and cutting and repetition that no one knows what is supposed to be where. What did vernon say about confusion in relation to magic?

My favorite part is when the guy yells out "can I do a card trick."

Here's the deal - you have no script. You have no concept of presentation either verbally or visually. You are trying to copy the popular blaine style without understanding either the trick you are presenting or the style you are trying to replicate. You also do not have enough experience to understand what elements make magic successful, let alone posses the skills to communicate them through a visual media.

HOWEVER, you imagine that you are successful at it, and find it troubling when you learn that not everyone feels the same way about your work as you do. Consequently many honest and accurate comments here have led you to be defensive.

You do not really want commentary. You do not really want to grow. You want praise.

You own a camera and have downloaded a trick.

You think that makes you a magic star.

It doesn't.

You are apparently so new to magic that you cannot envision a performance arena other than the street.

That's MY opinion.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 06:26 PM

Thanks, Ian but wouldn't you say that the mark of a performer wanting to get better would be to ask for help and perform it although you realize that you are not the greatest?
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 06:34 PM

I posted this one the forum to get constructive criticism. I have heard not much other then "you are crap" and have been given few tips on how to improve. I do study magic, I have studied Slydini with the help of one of his former students. I had a script for my performance. You may not have liked it but it was sure as heck there. You are not any sort of teacher as you show none of the kindness that teachers have shown me. I am aware that many magicians do not like the so-called "urban" type of performance, which is fine.

"You also do not have enough experience to understand what elements make magic successful, let alone posses the skills to communicate them through a visual media."

I perform that I may learn through that, and I looked for help of wiser minds which I have not heard anything so far that could really help me.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/03/10 06:55 PM

You haven't heard anything so far that can help you?

You've been told that your multiple lifts look unnatural.

You've been told that the editing on your video is poor.

Most people who are asking for advice would take those remarks and then do something about those problems instead of bitching about the comments you're getting.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 07:02 PM

Yes, I have heard that and it's useful if the critic could follow that up with advice on how to make the multiple lift look better. I am willing to improve when told how and not just WHAT to improve, since you guys are the teachers in this case. Cussing exposes ignorance and lack of vocabulary. Richard, you have an amazing pass but if you were to just say "I didn't like the lighting and your sleight was crap" about mine wouldn't help me much-do you see where I am coming from?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/03/10 08:20 PM

Now you want us to do your work for you.

There are excellent methods in print, methods that are used by expert cardmen, and they are identified as such when they are explained.

Derek Dingle used a killer Double Lift, but it's not in his book. Now I've given you a clue. Your turn to work.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 10/03/10 08:40 PM

Curtis,

Here's my advice for you. When you post something for feedback and you get feedback, don't tell the person why their feedback was wrong. Even if you think it is wrong. Even if you are sure it is wrong. Even if you think you can clearly explain an unshakable argument that proves it is wrong.

Instead, say thanks for the feedback.

Then, try to figure out some way to make use of this feedback. Even if it is wrong. Try to figure out some way to make use of this feedback.

It might well take you several years to get good at making use of feedback with which you disagree. But it is essential if you are going to become a good magician.
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Postby Jim Martin » 10/03/10 08:51 PM

This reminds me of an earlier season of American Idol. Two singers who were brothers auditions and, to be charitable, they were not amazing.

When they received critiques they balked and replied: "Who are you to judge us?" At which point Randy said "Dude, we're like, the judges."

Listen to Pete, Brad, Ian, Chris, Bill and Richard.
Your performances will improve.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 09:16 PM

Thanks to JIm and Pete. I will try. I'm in the process of getting a video together (I know that you guys hate magicians on youtube) and I will take the advice and post it here to hopefully start improving. Thanks to you two guys for the encouragement.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 10/03/10 09:37 PM

Don't worry. I didn't expect to be thanked.

And for the record, "we guys" don't have a problem with magicians on youtube.

We have a problem with BAD magicians on youtube.
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Postby Themagicofcurtis » 10/03/10 10:08 PM

Well perhaps that's just the word on youtube ;-)

this "bad" magician will be focusing on getting better now I suppose......
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Postby Kent Gunn » 10/03/10 11:12 PM

Curtis,

You've fallen into awfully fast company. No one is safe from Brad Henderson's lofty opinions, nobody. He is a professional magician and knows more about magic than you probably ever will. Instead of turning a deaf ear to him, listen.

Mr. Kaufman who answered you with his sharp keyboard did not give you constructive criticism. Like The Stones said, "You can't always get want . . ." You did get some honest criticism. Just because you disagree doesn't mean the criticism isn't valid. Just because people here won't lie to you about how good you aren't doesn't mean you shouldn't hang out here.

You didn't post a very good video. Some of the folks that post and read here are literally some of the most knowledgeable magicians on earth. Their standards for what is good are much higher than yours. You simply cannot impress these people without doing significantly more work. Raise your own standards.

Suck it up. You learned a couple tricks and shot some videos. I admire your sheer gall for posting here.

Work on your technique. For God's sake buy a tripod and use it. Do some magic in a different setting.

I get abused by these same people. I'm three times your age and far more arrogant than you can imagine. Quit whining when you get criticized. Take notes! Get better. There are incredibly few good 16-old-magicians. You are not one of them.

You can get better. Listen! If you love doing magic, admit you are not yet a complete performer. Ask questions here. Be less defensive and grow some calluses on your ego.

Hey, that's pretty good advice, I think I'll try that myself!

KG
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/04/10 12:47 AM

Oh, Kent, I've never abused you.

Now get back to your corner. :)

Seriously, I wish you would post here more often.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/04/10 06:15 AM

Curtis, you are right that a bad performer should strive to get better. I just don't think posting mini web-tv shows on YouChoob is the best way to go.

It seems obvious that you are looking to build the brand 'magicofcurtis' - the videos are shot as a presentation in the style of several recent TV shows. The T-Shirt with a huge YouChoob logo and your channel name is a bit of a giveaway. Perhaps one analogy would be if I were to post a video of my terrible piano playing in a concert setting. There's no way I am ready for that.

The most dangerous thing is to believe one's own press. I can see how it would be hard, after getting a bunch of 'Wow, that's soo l33t' comments from your peers and target group, not to get the same from the members of this board. Many years ago I got a review in a paper that said I was a fantastic magician, at least six or seven years before I deserved it. I believed it, and became insufferably arrogant (and some would say I've not really got over that...) Being self critical is very hard - which is in some way why we ask for validation on the interwebs. No one here has a reason to cut you down - but I think we do have a desire to make bad magic better and if that means pointing out the bad, so be it.

As for the efficacy of teaching - I have over 27 years of teaching experience. The advice I gave you did have information on how to improve, but it wasn't in plain sight (I thought, given your proficiency with the piano, that you were an educated and probably quite intelligent person and would be able to read between the lines. Apparantly I was mistaken). So, for your benfit, here is something a bit more explicit;

Look back over all the video you have of yourself (unedited) and examine how you handle single cards, and how you handle multiple cards. Write down all the differences, be they the grip, the tension, the body position and relative positions of the hands. Making two columns might help here. Spend ten minutes looking over that list, and for each point ask yourself why that difference is there. What are you doing differently in each case?

Now, spend a few minutes handling a single card, passing it from hand to hand, placing it on and off the deck, turning it this way and that. Video this, and watch it back. Now, do the same with a double card. Video this and then compare the two. Make another list of differences. Read through these and ask yourself, again, what you are doing differently and why.

Now you have to realise that to a spectator, during a double turnover, you are simply turning over one card. This is an action so simple that my kids were doing it when they were three years old. There is _no_ reason for there to be any other movement than turning over a card - rather than make your singles look as cramped and tense as your doubles, work to make your doubles as loose and fluid as your singles. Video your practice sessions and watch them back.

Finally, remember that during this innocuous action of turning the card, there is no need _at all_ to look at the deck. If, as you say, you have been studying Slydini you will have a good understanding of the concept of (the oft misnamed) misdirection (direction of attention is more accurate). You might want to track down Andrew Galloway's books on Ramsey for a more complete lesson. A basic choreography for a false lift might be; look at the spectator as you talk. During this action you turn over the double. Look down at the deck, calling attention to the card - the spectator will look down as well. Look back up, and when the spectator looks up at you, turn over the double and continue.

You can practice this easily using just a single turnover - you need to be able to direct the attention using your eyes and voice. Once you are comfortable with that, you can drop in the doubles and start to perform. Think of it as a piano etude and you'll have the right idea. Roberto Giobbi wrote about a card kata that he uses in a Genii column a while back - you can probably find the reference on the Magicpedia and order the back issue from Richard.

Finally, as to the question of performing in different situations; given your age and some of your comments above it seems that you are heavily influenced by David Blaine. This is not neccessarily a bad thing, but he was fresh fifteen years ago. Find another outlet and be yourself. But there is much work to do first.

Hope that helps,

Ian
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