Necessary ingredient for becoming a great performer?

Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby erdnasephile » 02/14/13 08:13 PM

Here is a thought provoking essay from Jack Carpenter: ... the-earth/

(My apologies if this has been posted before)
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Postby Max Maven » 02/14/13 08:32 PM

Interesting essay, with a very valid point. However, using Dai Vernon as an example of a one-dimensional person is a poor choice.

The Professor was well read, and interested in a host of things outside of magic. But, few magicians wanted to talk to him about these other subjects.

I was happy to have many discussions with him on a wide range of ideas and information, from technology to clericism to memories of Julian Eltinge...
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Postby Jonathan Pendragon » 02/17/13 09:40 AM


Vernon didn't fail as a performer because of a lack of outside interest, he just had no ambition for it. His ambition was to turn random pieces of sleight of hand into an art, which he did.

I don't disagree with the benefit of drawing from outside sources to enrich a performance, in fact, I teach it. But, the essay's deconstruction of great performance is nieve.

Great performance is a mystery and the price is often a single minded dedication to life on-stage at the cost of all else. Nijinsky was a god on-stage; off-stage his sobriquet was "dumb dumb": lost in translation, he rarely made eye contact and would sit in the corner during parties and say nothing. It's probable that he suffered from Asperger's syndromethat one part of his brain consumed all, thus allowing him to create on an level beyond talent. Talent isn't rare, vision is. Schopenhauer said that "Talent hits the target no one else can and genius hits the target no one else can see."
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Postby mrgoat » 02/17/13 10:02 AM

Great quote from Schopenhauer at the end there JP
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Postby Jonathan Pendragon » 02/17/13 10:32 PM

Thanks mrD
I always look forward to your posts. I had things I wanted to say about techniques with floating balls during one of your recent posts. I presented both a Zombie and an Okito style routine for many years. I chose not to comment owing to the subject of the thread and the perception that my post could have been seen as a critique of my ex's work rather than what it would have been, just my thoughts on the genre in general. I couldn't resist the film reference, but that really had nothing to do with the thread.
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Postby Master Payne » 03/07/13 01:43 PM

Thanks for posting this. It's a horn I myself have been tooting for quite a while.
The only way to become a good magician is to overcome why you became a magician -- Max Maven
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Postby R.E.Byrnes » 03/11/13 12:39 PM

More of a sort of interesting aside than a comprehensive theory explaining what it takes to be a great performer. Having "broad interests"/reading on lots of topics is a sure formula for dilletantism; it's neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for being a great performer. So far, the posts that suggest the essential aspect is something inexplicable are the most persuasive.
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