Performance Videos vs Teaching Videos.

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Postby Matthew Field » 08/03/01 09:41 AM

Steve Bryant raised an interesting point when he said he enjoyed the newly released "Tomfoolery" video (which I haven't seen yet). I treasure videos I have showing Slydini, Tommy Cooper, Charlie Miller and others even though there are no explanations, just performances. But what masterful performances they capture!

Maybe I'm so old that I've learned enough tricks (although I'm always on the lookout for that special one to add to my repertoire), but performance-only tapes have a real attraction for me.

What about you? How do performance-only tapes stack up against teaching videos? And do you prefer tapes to show all the performances, then all the explanations, or alternating performance/explanation on instructional videos? Should the price of a performance-only video be the same as an instructional video?

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Postby Guest » 08/03/01 04:37 PM

I agree with you, Matt. I enjoy seeing performances by the old masters on video. I have watched the performance only portions of the Ross Bertram videos many, many times.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 08/04/01 12:05 AM

I agree, I'd like to see more well-shot performance videos.

If only the companies making videos would spend a lot more time and effort getting a great performance on tape...if only...
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/04/01 01:06 AM

The only part of the few videos I own that I watch a second (and more) time are the performance segments. I love to watch good magic. So, I make sure the videos I buy are performance then explanation. I once asked Michael Maxwell (A-1) if he would consider making performance only videos. My thought was that he could take the performance segments from a typical three-video set, put them on one tape and sell it for $20. I'd buy that. His answer was, essentially, "yeah - you and five other people." The way I see it, these videos would be incremental sales with very little cost involved, since the footage already exists on the instructional tapes. People like me, who will not buy the full set, might buy the performance only tape. There are quite a few video sets out there for which I would purchase just the performance segments, if they were available. However, there are only six of us who would buy them - so they aren't produced. Too bad.

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Postby pduffie » 08/04/01 10:59 AM

Hi

Performance-only is a must for me. I very rarely watch the explanations on any video. Boooooring. In fact when I do, it's usually to see if the guy gives the essential credits. Sadly, many don't. John Carney's "Up Close and Far Away" is a an example of a good watchable video for me.

Best Wishes

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/04/01 06:00 PM

The performance-only footage of Vernon on the new Mystic Craig films that have come out on video was enough for me!
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 08/05/01 08:27 AM

Those are fabulous; I finished watching them yesterday. They aren't high quality films by the technical standards we're now used to, but they are incredible video documents that preserve the performances and teaching of some great magicians.

I popped in the Stevens Bro. John Hamman video after watching the Hamman section on the Mystic Craig vids just to reinforce to myself how fortunate we were to some early recordings -- the contrast shows how he grew and matured as a performer.

One of the MC videos is a 3 part video series by Jack Miller -- old but energetic -- who is unashamed to give his opinion after his performance... "And *that's* how the linking rings must be done" or "*That's* how the cups and balls should be done." Wonderful.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/05/01 11:08 AM

I hope all of you folks out there save your pennies to buy these four videotapes because this type of "rescue" work needs to be profitable--that way we will see more old films "found" and transferred to videotape where we can all enjoy and learn from them.
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Postby Dan Magyari » 08/06/01 05:41 PM

I don't have any performance-only tapes, but I've been trying to formulate a question myself regarding these last couple of threads. I hope to you don't mind, but, as they are related, I'll try to address my thoughts here.

My favorite tapes are those like Greg Wilson's latest "On the Spot." Granted, there are not a lot of tapes where a performer is captured in a situation with real people (who haven't been invited to a studio for a taping). What Wilson captures with, obviously, better camera work than most use, is exciting and magical moments that the spectators experience. What we viewers witness is akin to what the big magical TV productions in front of a live audience get. For me, this live feel with real people more than offsets the price of the tape. Now granted, I haven't seen a lot of performers with the kind of energy that Greg Wilson exhibits, but the reactions seem genuine, and not the typical polite applause that you get in most of the videos today with live studio audiences (is this because half or more of the audience is comprised of magicians?).

I wonder sometimes whether the audience at the these studio tapings is being coaxed into a particular reaction or response with cue cards.

I've come to a place in my study of magic where I want to learn the presentational aspects of the art more than the tricks (most of the tricks don't speak to me anyway). I don't want to copy the performance, but study timing, misdirection and the personal interaction with the spectators. Why is one performer more entertaining or magical than another? These are important points for me in my own quest.

So, for me personally, the format that Greg Wilson used in "On the Spot" is highly desirable.

I would really rather not see any more performances where a mundane verbal play-by-play description of what is happening, when and where, occurs. Does this happen on videos because the performer doesn't want to share their true presentation or do they actually have such dry performances that this is what we're left with as a document of their abilities as magical entertainers?

I look forward to viewing the newly released "Tomfoolery" video. Perhaps it will be a better teaching tool presentationally than most of the performance/explanation videos that have historically come out.

P.S. to Richard Kaufman and Jon Racherbaumer - this is a terrific forum (perhaps the best I've seen), but I feel a little intimidated, to say the least, to even be contributing on this forum with so many big names. I'll try to not make an ass of myself by contributing frivolously or too often. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to participate, being one of those that gets a copy of Genii from my local magic shop. Great magazine, great forum!
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/07/01 05:26 PM

Originally posted by Dan Magyari:

I'll try to not make an ass of myself by contributing frivolously or too often.


Dan -- Although your post bodes well for the
forum, don't worry about making an ass of yourself -- it can be just as entertaining!!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/07/01 08:50 PM

Hey Dan: good post! Welcome to the forum.
One of the reasons that the audience in a normal magic videotape looks dead is because they've likely seen the tricks several times already either in rehearsal or during the first two or three "takes."
Frequently there are magicians in the audience, but they are more likely (in my experience) to be GOOD audience, since they understand that applauding loudly helps the performer maintain a good energy level.
When I did the videotape on Invisible Thread with Jon LeClair, we just went into some little restaurant with a bar attached, with not warning, and had Jon start doing tricks for people while we taped them. It worked out very well!
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Postby CHRIS » 08/08/01 09:20 AM

For me videos make only sense in the performance only format. How inefficient and boring is it to listen to someone explaining the mechanics on tape. This is so much better done in text. Which again demonstrates how great ebooks are - combination of text/video/illustration

Chris....http://www.lybrary.com/ preserving magic one book at a time.
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Postby Guest » 08/08/01 12:54 PM

Chris Wasshuber:

Not to get anywhere between you and your drum beating for ebooks, but many technical details are much better shown than described (R. Kaufman lends the same sentiment in another thread regarding the pairing of illustration and text).

For example, describing flourishes is incredibly difficult, not the least due to three dimensionality and simultaneity of action, and is simply conveyed quicker and more efficiently via video. If instruction is your desire, sometimes the medium will suit the message.

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Postby Guest » 08/08/01 01:24 PM

[QUOTE] I've come to a place in my study of magic where I want to learn the presentational aspects of the art more than the tricks [QUOTE]

Congrats Dan for not settling for a "recitation of the obvious" in the presenting of your magic.
Most people upon entering the world of magic want TRICKS,TRICKS and MORE TRICKS. This is only natural because the tricks are soooo clever and yummmy.
People doing magic who are not true performers and have no imagination, will never have a clue. The effects are only a vehicle for the entertainment. Dress 'em up and sell 'em.
Just being able to execute an effect successfully is only the starting point, a prerequisite, a given. It seems, Dan, that you already understand this.
Magic without an entertaining presentation is BORING. Perhaps people like Gary Kurtz, who cut their teeth in magic with sleight of hand, progress to mentalism (or other entertainment based performances) because it takes strength of personality and presentation to be entertaining to real people. Look at any successful magic performer. Are they entertaining? You betcha. They can't afford not to be.
The magician market seems to only be interested in the latest "little black box".
Now that you have moved beyond the general amateur hobbiest, good luck in your quest to perform real magic.
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Postby CHRIS » 08/08/01 02:10 PM

Randy,

that's why I said ebooks are the best. They allow you to combine text, videos, photos, illustrations and animations whenever they are best suited to do the job. Neither books nor videos can do that.

Chris.... Lybrary.com preserving magic one book at a time.
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Postby Guest » 08/12/01 05:19 PM

Hi Dan,

Looks like we can discuss this further in person due to our proximity.

I am hesitant to hold On The Spot as a great example of real performance. I have the utmost respect for Gregory Wilson and his magic. I do not believe this tape does him justice.

The parade of drunken, dazed, seemingly silicon enhanced damsels puts magic in an awkward setting. I have always been appauled by such displays.

Probably due to few workable spectators, Wilson overworks one dishevelled damsel in particular. This is in complete contrast to what he puts forth in person. Don't gloss them over with too many tricks and not enough you.

Seeing Wilson live at The Castle was the complete opposite. It was all Wilson with some killer tricks thrown in. He brought the house down!!

Do yourself a favor and judge performance by actual live performance, seen live if possible. Contrived, semi real world (Can they be real with the camera clearly present?) performances are no more true than the studio audience. They may, however, be more drunk ;)
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Postby James Foster » 08/21/01 08:18 PM

Back in the late 1970s a series of, I believe, thirteen half-hour performances were recorded for Canadian television at the infamous Magic Cellar in San Francisco. These shows were hosted by Peter Samelson and included both close-up and parlor magic. Performers included a very young Daryl Martinez, Max Maven, Arthur Murata, Martin Lewis, Rich Marotta, Vic Kirk, and others. I was a teenager at the time and got to watch both the live filming and final tapes of these. The tapes were, for many years, both highly entertaining and educational. One can learn very much by carefully watching a performer in actual performance: timing, patter, how to cover technical glitches, and how to better relate to an audience. So, while I'm an unabashed book-lover and professional librarian, I look forward to new and rediscovered performance material on tape that is both well-directed and well-shot.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 08/21/01 09:50 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:
[snip]
I once asked Michael Maxwell (A-1) if he would consider making performance only videos. [snip] I'd buy that. His answer was, essentially, "yeah - you and five other people."

You and me both Dustin. I'd be very happy to have an in expensive tape of Dingle, or Daryl or Roth or... just DOING the tricks I love. I'm NEVER going to do "The Planet" but I'd sure pay to have a (quality) video of Roth doing it. Not like that Tannen's mess with David in what looks like my Uncle's rec room but something of quality...

It would be nice if publishers put together a performance video to sell as an adjunct to their books. I'd pay a premium for the collectors edition of Expert Coin Magic that included a tape of David doing the special stuff for live people.

Heck I'd trade my original copy of The Complete Invocation for that...
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Postby Guest » 09/06/01 11:33 PM

James Foster wrote:
Back in the late 1970s a series of, I believe, thirteen half-hour performances were recorded for Canadian television at the infamous Magic Cellar in San Francisco. These shows were hosted by Peter Samelson and included both close-up and parlor magic. Performers included a very young Daryl Martinez, Max Maven, Arthur Murata, Martin Lewis, Rich Marotta, Vic Kirk, and others. I was a teenager at the time and got to watch both the live filming and final tapes of these

James, do you, or anyone else out there, know if tapes of these shows exist? That sounds like the very thing I personally would love to see.
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Postby Guest » 09/12/01 09:33 AM

Can someone provide more information on the "mystic Craig" tapes?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/12/01 11:38 PM

Axman, the Mystic Craig videos are transferred from 16mm sound films that were shot in the 1940s through 1960s (I believe). The quality of most is remarkably good. The footage of past, and deceased, legends of magic is invaluable. The lengthy footage of Brother Hamman, Prof. Jack Miller, and Dai Vernon make these the videotapes of the year.
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Postby Bill Duncan » 09/13/01 02:41 AM

...The lengthy footage of Brother Hamman, Prof. Jack Miller, and Dai Vernon make these the videotapes of the year.

How about a web address or other information these tapes? I'd love to see the Professor in performance mode (rather than a teaching video)
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/14/01 02:22 AM

There's one additional benefit of performance-only videos that I haven't seen mentioned. I noticed it myself when I recently got both Bertram on Sleight of Hand (the book) and Ross Bertram's Legendary Magic Volume one. (the video).

In reading through the book, I thought that some of the material would just not work. Then I saw the video -- which has several performance only sections -- and in a couple of cases was badly fooled by tricks that I suddenly realized I had already read in the book. It's just that Ross did them so much better than I had imagined.

This same issue came up recently when I was talking with John Lovick, who is writing a book on the bill switch. One of John's biggest challenges is that some of the handlings read as impossibly complicated and contrived, but when done well look fluid, smooth, and natural.

I think a performance-only video would be a perfect adjunct to this book, but I doubt it will happen.
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Postby Frank Yuen » 09/14/01 11:09 PM

I think a performance-only video would be a perfect adjunct to this book, but I doubt it will happen.


It has happened with many books already. Among them, Gary Ouellet's "Close-Up Illusions" and "The Pass", Richard Sanders' "Close-Up Assassin" and I believe Max Maven once mentioned that he did this with one of his books published in Japan.

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Postby Guest » 03/10/05 06:32 PM

Hello,

Ive read through this thread and looked at other ones related to performance, knowledge, and access(*). Thank you to those who expressed their thoughts. Perhaps other threads contain similar thoughts which are more recent than these (from over three years ago). Id be very grateful if anyone could point me to them.

I still have a few questions, and they pertain to the development of Magic Appreciation. In any other art, Id say that I was seeking greater exposure to magic, but I might risk the wrath of hasty readers here!

So, Magic Appreciation.

Im returning to magic after a ten year break. As a teenager, I read books from the library, received several as gifts and watched any performance I could, whether in person or on television. DVDs werent around yet, and videotapes were over my budget. I even had the honor to participate on the MAGIC! BBS, reading the words and risking the patience of my elders (Mr. Crabb, Mr. Biro, Mr. Kucera, Mr. Maven, among othersthank you) and exposer, subjecting my familys fortunes to long-distance telephone charges (Mom, no. I wasnt signed on all that time. I dont care what the billing statement says. I *couldnt* have been on that long!)

As I come back to the Art, Im having great fun and learning a lot from my old books. More seems possible to actually perform, descriptions of sleights make better sense now, and ideas for routines and presentation seem more plentiful.

I live in a much smaller town than I did when I was a teenager. There are far fewer opportunities to see magic in person and I cant afford cable tv (which, according to the schedules, appears to run many of the same Worlds Best programs). I read the magazines I can afford and borrow from the librarys small magic collection, yet the spark of personal give-and-take within actual performance isnt there.

While I certainly appreciate essays on the great conjurors, past and present, I feel a great sadness that while many, many names are familiar to me, Ive only had the privilege to see a few of them perform.

This is a very delicate statementbut Ill try to be accurate: I would very much like to understand these performers contributions, share in the debt clearly owed to them, and feel gratitude--but...I cant. Or, when I try, it rings hollow. I may recognize them as inventors, historians or promoters of magic--but seldom can I understand what they have given to the world as performers. Ive never crossed paths with them, even indirectly, so how do I learn from them? Its like hearing a parent describe a favorite aunt youve never met. You may want to meet them and look up to them, but unless a meeting can be arranged, all you have is the aunts name, repeated over and over.

Its hard to comprehend ones heritage without some kind of engagement or observation. Similarly, I feel like Im working and learning in a vacuum, and I wonder if Im alone in feeling this way.

The other arts, it seems, somehow provide more examples of their performers. In the dramatic arts, there are recordings at the library from PBS and others which capture the performances of actors. Even this tiny region has an amateur theater group for live theater. I cant imagine that students of music, after learning some of the basics, dont turn to their local classical stations or record stores to hear specific interpretations of the great composers works. How would they react if they could only read in magazines that Yo-Yo Ma just kills with his handling of Bartok? Even the bar down the street has rock n roll. Is it good? Well...they sure give it a good try, and theyre on stage every Friday. Museums offer historical examples of woodworking and the metal crafts.

My main question, finally: in the last three years since this topic was started, has magic made any progress catching up with other artistic endeavors, in the effort to capture performance for the sake of study? If so, how are they obtained? If not, who has the capital and know-how to produce them?

I have a few videotapes of performances from TV(very few Im afraid, and you probably already have them) of which Id be glad to make copies and trade for other TV performancesits at least something I could offer.

Please note--Im looking for performances, not secrets or even technique. I dont want to deprive anyone of profit, so if youre aware of performance tapes for sale, Id be glad to hear of those, too. If I have to save up $50 to purchase a recording, I will, if thats my only route. Mr. Stinett, Mr. Duncanboth of you were numbers 6 and 7 on the virtual waiting list for these tapes. Would you please put me down as number 8?

Id love to see how one magician deals with silks (does he incorporate them into his costume, does he call them silks?) or how another one shifts from cards to coins (is a bridge provided through story, is he simply pulling items from his pockets in an impromptu style of performance?).

I hope, within the Art, that the insight one can gain from performance outweighs the urge to keep original presentations hidden. I dont want to be a copycat (which is a bad enough epithet that I always wondered why that didnt stop the imitators). Instead, Id like to learn more about what our master craftsmen (and women) have done with the tools and fasteners that we have at our disposal.

Ive gone on far too long. Ive read many of your postings and hope you might have some ideas. You're welcome to write to me off-list, via email, but I encourage you to post here, for others who are developing their skills, knowledge and appreciation will benefit, too.

Thank you for reading, and for your time.

Sincerely,

Vince Hancock

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Postby Bill Duncan » 03/13/05 09:58 PM

The best performance videos I know of are also teaching videos.

The Very Very Close videos of Michael Close and the Visions of Wonder videos of Tommy Wonder offer great examples of working pros who differ greatly in style.

Randy Wakeman has released a vhs of Heba Haba Al working the bar that was shot late in his life. It's a performance only video.

The third Michael Skinner DVD from Houdini Magic is performance only transfered from home movies that Skinner shot in his living room.

I understand there is a great live performance of Tom Mullica that was shot in his bar in Atlanta.

There are a number of videos on the web. Perhaps folks can post links in this thread? I know there's some footage of Cardini making the rounds for example...

Anyone?

As a side note, if you are on a budget check with the magic dealers like Denny Haney, H&R Magic Books, and L&L Publishing, all of whom are liquidating their stock of VHS titles for a fraction of their original cost.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 03/14/05 08:43 PM

Vince,

I would add to Bills list the Doc Eason performance only DVD or the three video set with the explanations of his bar magic (which can be had in VHS at a fraction of the original price as noted by Bill). Randy Wakemans VHS tapes of Simon Lovell (Man of Danger 1,2 & 3, and The Lemming Unleashed) while not perfect in regard to sound quality, are also very fun and educational to watch. I have seen all four of these for sale here and there for about 25% of their original cost. There is also a great performance only video by John Carney called Up Close and Far Away that is still available at his site (at full price, however). It was his close-up and standup acts as performed at the magic castle. I think what I like best about the Eason, Lovell and Carney videos is that they are filmed in front of real people (as is the Heba Haba Al video).

In a way, I envy you and the vacuum you occupy. You have a tremendous opportunity to find your own magical voice. I understand that you want to learn from the performances of others, and while this certainly saves some time, the best way to learn how to perform is to perform. Not for just friends and family (or other magicians; something to avoid in my opinion), but for real people. Their reactions and feedback will tell you what is working and what is not. You will learn the difference between polite reactions and genuine pleasure in what you have performed for them. Your presentations will evolve; your sense of what type of magic fits you best will be enhanced, allowing you to chose your new material wisely and thus add it to your working repertoire more quickly. This is the magic in which you want to immerse yourself: Your magic. There is a lot to be said for existing in a vacuum sometimes.

Best,
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Postby Pete McCabe » 03/14/05 11:14 PM

Vince,

You can learn almost everything you need to know from watching performance only videos. All you will lack are secret techniques and methods, which are of comparatively minor importance in the overall picture.

I recommend you try to get in the habit, just before pressing "play," of turning off your analytical mode. Don't try to figure out how anything is done, or to pay attention to structure, etc. Try, consciously, to react to the routine as a spectator. This is a very difficult skill, but it is a skill nonetheless, and if you practice, you'll get better at it. And it is priceless.

Besides, you can always watch it again, frame by frame, to catch every move.


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Postby Guest » 03/15/05 06:29 PM

I never have any trouble detaching myself and watching it as a spectator. I _hate_ figuring out how tricks are done. I already know too many methods, especially of things I'll probably never do. I cherish the chance to be astonished once in a while.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/05 06:46 PM

As long as you're checking with Denny about close-out videotapes, go ahead and get Denny's performance only video. It is an education in performing magic for people. --Asrah
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Postby Steve Snediker » 03/16/05 01:55 PM

I have frequently come back to Denny's performance tape myself. It is classic in many ways (although not the finest quality video). Denny was apologetic about it when I asked for it -- that was a couple of years ago. I assume he still sells it.

His handling of the Egg Bag is worth the price.

My thoughts, for what they're worth.
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Postby Guest » 03/18/05 11:21 AM

Thanks very much for posting your thoughts (Bill, Dustin, Pete, Matt, Asrah and Steve)!

Pete--interesting what you say about the analytical mode. It's rare, these days, that I find myself trying to figure out methods. I did that occasionally with TV specials, as a teenager, but even then it transpired almost accidentally, since I would watch them repeatedly in fascination.

Mr. Matt Field has informed me of a column of his, in which he lists ten of his favorite videos, along with eight runners-up. This list has been compiled from videos he actually owns, and one of the criteria he used was that each inspire repeated viewing. Each title he lists is followed by the video's best qualities (and, where necessary, any problems).

You can find this column in the January 2001 issue of Genii--thank you, Matt!

Thanks to all for posting. I'd be glad to hear any further thoughts.

I wonder if it would make any sense to lobby public libraries to order performance tapes. Would the various "World's Best" tapes or programs provide a good sampling of contemporary magicians? While there are often Learning Channel-type productions about the history of magic, many of these tapes provide photographs, drawings and descriptions of magic rather than performance itself. The other arts are certainly represented, through recorded concerts and tv productions. I would imagine that the very best performances would have equal value to both laymen, and magician, library patrons.

Would all of the above (performance-only, of course) videos be suitable for library collections? Are there any others that libraries should add?

Vince
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Postby Dan Magyari » 03/20/05 10:43 AM

Vince, thanks for resurrecting this thread. If I'm reading between your lines correctly, you're wondering why there isn't more archival-type footage available for our consideration. Many of the arts have such footage available (and with the advancement in video technology, more is being made available for general consumption), but you're correct, that it doesn't appear that too much of it is available in regards to our magical historical figures.

Since your hiatus in magic, one video of importance has become available and that is "Fred Kaps...Seeing is believing!"

I think that one of the obstacles we face is that most of the kinds of tapes that you are asking about are privately owned. For one reason or another, the performances that have been captured on film, will be seen by very few eyes and most likely die with the owners of those films.

We can only hope that those in our community with the power and resources are trying to make those films available before they are destroyed or die in obscurity.
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Postby Guest » 03/21/05 06:39 PM

In an attempt to make this a little more complete, here are a couple of links to threads concerning performance videos:

Your Best Video (April-July 2003)

Great Acts I Never Got to See Live... (2003-2005)

For those interested in tracking down such videos, the above threads include information on specific performers and publishers not mentioned in this thread.

Dan--Yes, I'm hoping to learn more about recordings made in the name of posterity. As mentioned in some of these threads, much of the recorded material seems to be scattered on instructional tapes and variety or talk shows (Ed Sullivan, the Tonight Show, etc.).

For the instructional video material, I wonder if manufacturers would consider creating a performance-only compilation tape, on a trial basis. That is, a fairly short video with 5-6 performers.

Hopefully, a shorter length would require fewer negotiations with the artists. But, it could be a start. In terms of marketing, it could serve the purpose of many music compilations--that being, an introduction to a variety of talent that might spur further inquiry and purchase.

I realize past inquiries have not met with success due to little perceived demand.

But if one or two videos were made, and made available to magic shops or libraries, in order to generate more interest (perhaps more sincere interest) in the Art, could this eventually lead to more performance videos?

Would anyone here find interest in, or consider purchasing such a trial video, if it were made available?

Vince
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Postby arthur murata » 08/19/08 03:56 PM

I have a 1 1/2 inch production video tape of this. But I have not seen it since it was first made 30 years ago. For me it would be like going back in time since I was in it.
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Postby magicbar » 08/26/08 10:03 PM

all quality issues being equal I like having performance videos because I can appreciate them for the performance and the inspiration all great performances gave me to get into magic. I like a good performance vid even if I don't even do that type of act. A teaching vid is ok but they rarely hit the reasons why the magic/effect works just how the trick/mechanics is accomplished. (side note: I agree the stooge studio audiences don't help the situation)

for a great vid go to youtube and search jimmy grippo with orson welles on the merv griffin show. aside from the great magic, orson's genuine reactions are amazing. don't try to imitate - emulate - jimmy knows how to make magic.
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Postby Leland Stone » 12/21/08 03:34 PM

One of the delights I found on "Personal Magic" was a video file of Eric Lewis performing with a silly little stuffed animal. The interlude was utterly charming, fully engaging, and apparently for an for an adult crowd -- with whom I shared the rapt enjoyment of sheer entertainment.

Performance vids, yes, and the best of the Old Ones have set the bar very high indeed.

Leland
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Postby JHostler » 12/22/08 09:40 AM

Boy, there's nothing like a seven-year thread to get your wheels spinning... nor is (was) there anything like a Grateful Dead concert. But I'd love to see someone take the same approach with magic video... perhaps a series featuring top notch performers in true live performance - i.e., lacking the safety net of screened audiences and multiple takes. What made the Dead so appealing was the thought that, at any moment, the train might either run off the tracks or float gently into space. That same range of potential (risk), and the magicians' reactions, would make for an invaluable lesson. Additionally, it's just a heckuva lot of fun watching excellent performers in their natural environment...
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