Baxt's Better Newspaper Tear

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Bill McFadden » 05/15/03 09:01 PM

Can anyone share a review or opinions on the "Robert Baxt Better Newspaper Tear"? I'd be particularly interested in how you perceive it superior (or inferior) to the Slydini and/or Gene Anderson methods. It's a pricey gaff, and one wonders if there are any significant advantages. Feel free to respond via private e-mail.
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Postby Guest » 05/24/03 03:30 PM

Is more practical, you don't need the glue, and that is a very good adventage. The Slidyny or Andreson methods have a better looking on stage but you meed to preapre each time. In this version you only have to fold the neewspaper, prepare the gimmick and you are ready

But I belive is a little expensive for what you get (yes, yes, the rights of performance, the exclusivity, the bla, bla, bla, but is a little expensive for what you get)
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Postby Guest » 06/15/03 12:27 AM

Originally posted by Bill McFadden:
Can anyone share a review or opinions on the "Robert Baxt Better Newspaper Tear"?
I just bought this. I'm not experienced at the newspaper tear, but it's immediately apparent that there's significantly less setup time (about 2 minutes compared to 10 minutes), it can be prepared immediately before a show (the rubber-cement version must dry for a while), and it's less messy. Three significant advantages.

Don't yet know about the drawbacks. Will report.
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Postby Guest » 06/15/03 11:02 AM

Depends on WHAT you want from a newspaper tear. I need ease of set up -- fast lively presentation and quick reset turn-around. Baxt's (got mine from Hocus-Pocus.com when they introduced it) costs a few bucks -- but delivers the goods I need.

For complete mysterious views and a killer restoration -- you still cannot beat the Anderson -- but the time and set-up, plus need for multiple set-ups for multiple shows -- is too expensive for me if I consider my time in set-up as valuable when compared with time the prop is used on stage for what I now do. I may use it in the future -- but the Baxt allows me to move my set-up time into bigger things.

GC
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/15/03 10:54 PM

You should get Pat Page's 10-Second Paper Tear (set up time is 10 seconds) and it is really a good one. If you ever see someone do it you might really go for it. :whack:

Alan Shaxon has an almost the same version (It looks the same to the audience) but the setup is a tad more complex, probably takes a minute. :cool:

Karrell Fox had a Foxy Paper tear that left you totally clean, you could hand the paper out for examination or just toss out to audience. You dumped the lump in a simple, clever, gaffless (no topit or anything like that) way. :D
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Postby Ian Kendall » 06/16/03 08:01 AM

Pat's tear is available as a manuscript from Davenport's or on his Close up Magic tape that was put out by Vic Pinto in the 90's. Ironically it's _not_ on Pat's Paperific video, which is also a bit good.

FYI the close up tape also has his impromptu cups and balls, die tube handling and a Benson bowl routine with a tambourine. Paperific has loads of stuff that I can't remember. Sorry.

In defence of the gaffless version; there may be fewer convincers involved, but to the audience the effect is the same...a paper gets torn into many bits and is then restored again.

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Postby Guest » 06/16/03 08:36 AM

The 10 second paper tear is described in "The Big Book of Magic" by Patrick Page.

Since we're slightly off topic, I'd like to point out that Nick Lewin does a fabulous job performing the amazing Alex Elmsley slow-motion newspaper restroration.

For multiple repeat performances in the same day, the Alan Shaxon version is my favorite compromise of setup time vs. visual effect. (With the Shaxon version, you can make the gimmick in a few minutes, and the reset with the same paper is about 3 seconds--the gimmick usually lasts my rough hands about a dozen performances--but I'm a little rough when doing it and I'm sure that some of you could get more out of it.)

HR
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Postby Guest » 06/16/03 09:46 AM

This thing is a blatant rip-off and does not work anywhere near as well as Gene's original. I've been a friend of Gene's for 30+ years and he's a kind and decent human being. He would not say anything unkind about Robert Baxt, considering that they were once friends.

However, Baxt did not receive permission from Gene or from Jay Marshall (The owner of the rights to the book NEWSPAPER MAGIC which includes Gene's Original Newspaper Tear.) to market his version of Gene's trick. Only after it had been released did Baxt contact Gene. As compensation, he gave Gene one set of his "improved" effect.

Yes, it sets up quickly, but the price you pay is that it is a LOUSY paper tear. You cannot page through and display the paper either before or after the effect, at least not in the clean and convincing way that you can with the original.

And, the advertising is false in another way. Baxt did win an award at FISM many years ago, but it was for a comedy act which did not include his Newspaper Tear. I can prove this as I have his FISM Act on video. The ad makes it sound as if his Paper Tear won some kind of major award at FISM. This is just plain FALSE.

There have been many so-called improvements on Gene's original, but I believe that only one actually has any merit: Chuck Mignosa's. Chuck has not released it, but may someday. But he will only do so with the full knowledge and prior consent of Gene Anderson. I was present when Chuck and Gene discussed it, and I believe that Gene was impressed.

By the way, the setup for Gene's original is only difficult and time consuming until you've done it a few times. Once you have it down, you can do it in a few minutes and have one of the finest illusions ever created. Doug Henning did it in almost every show he ever did once Gene taught it to him. And he personally did the set-up. Partly because he wanted to be sure that it was done right, and partly as a pre-show ritual that helped him get into the proper head space for his performances.

I apologize if the anger I'm feeling comes through in this post. I shall try to be more gentlemanly in the future.

Dennis Loomis
www.loomismagic.com
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/16/03 10:03 AM

Hey, facts are facts amigo.

BTW... Pat Page's tape with the Bowl Routine using a tamborine is MINE...

I came up with the idea to use a tamborine to cover the noise of a noisy load. The tamborine itself makes noise. :cool:

When I first showed it to Pat he went nuts over the idea. :D

He would actually load a huge handfull of COINS on the glass counter top at Davenport's. The tamborine's natural sound covered the noise of the coins landing on the glass counter top.

I gave him permission to use this. :genii:
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Postby Guest » 06/16/03 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Harley Race:
Since we're slightly off topic, I'd like to point out that Nick Lewin does a fabulous job performing the amazing Alex Elmsley slow-motion newspaper restroration.
Thanks for mentioning the Elmsley routine; it's the only paper tear I perform, and it kills. (Some guy taught it to me in the 1970s, in the back room of a magic shop in New Brunswick, NJ; charged me five bucks.) One needs to be conscious of angles and of handling the props gingerly, but the sight of "healing" the newspaper one ragged edge at a time is breathtaking.
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Postby Guest » 06/25/03 06:42 PM

Dear Mr. Loomis,
I have read your post and agree with only two statements in it: The one where you say that Gene Anderson is a kind and decent human being; and the one where you say you are no gentleman.

The kind of human being you are seems self evident. Why are you expressing anger when fine gentleman Gene Anderson himself has not? My newspaper trick is not a blatant rip-off as you proclaim; and as for your comment that it does not work anywhere near as well as Genes original, its not supposed to. This is because it is not intended to be Gene Andersons Newspaper tear and nowhere is it advertised as such. Whats your problem, then?

You know, for a man who says hes been a friend of Genes for 30+ years (your words), all readers of these posts should note that when I spoke to Gene immediately upon reading your bitter attack, he had no knowledge of your post, or that you had took it upon yourself to speak for him.

I agree with you when you wrote my trick certainly does not allow for the very clean paging through and display of the newspaper beforehand that Gene Andersons method has. THIS IS PRECISELY ONE OF THE REASONS WHY MY TRICK IS NOT A BLATANT RIP-OFF OF GENE ANDERSONS. Further my gimmick is totally different than the one used in Genes method, ANOTHER EXCELLENT REASON WHY MY TRICK IS NOT GENE ANDERSONS. On top of that, no glue is needed in my method. STILL ONE MORE GOOD REASON WHY MY TRICK IS NOT GENE ANDERSONS. Plus with Genes method, two absolutely duplicate sets of newspapers must be used. My routine allows you not to have to get identical newspapers each time you do the trick. HEY, ANOTHER GREAT REASON WHY MY TRICK IS NOT GENES. Finally, my set-up is much quicker than Genes method. SAY DENNIS, DONT THESE LOGICALLY SEEM LIKE GOOD REASONS WHY MY TRICK IS NOT GENE ANDERSONS? (My apologies for writing in all caps, your anger that you mentioned in your post must have kept you from noticing these many obvious differences before you started typing, and I wanted to be sure to get your attention).

That you accuse me of not gaining permission for this trick becomes groundless when these differences are noted. What part did I need permission for? Does someone own the concept of newspaper tearing tricks? Does someone own the concept of having a duplicate newspaper folded up behind to replace the one that gets torn?

The advantages of my newspaper tear are the quick and easy set-up that are so important to a working full-time professional performer. If you dont like my method, maybe its because youre not a working full-time professional performer! The clean page through before the trick is not important to me, because as a working full-time professional performer I know its not necessary to run when youre not being chased. (Remember, even Gene Andersons very fine and wonderful lecture is called The Part-Time Pro). Plus after my trick you can indeed page through and show the restored paper.

Knowing full well that I stand upon the shoulders of giants; when I shot the instructional DVD that accompanies my trick, in order to be a kind and decent human being myself, I fully acknowledged Gene Andersons method and gave him full credit in every way for a terrific newspaper trick. I encourage people to buy Gene Andersons trick! Would you rather I ignored those whove gone before me?

The similarity between Genes wonderful method and mine (aside from the concept of tearing a newspaper and restoring it; and of having a duplicate piece folded up behind which no one can claim ownership of): is how the duplicate piece should be folded. It should be noted that this same fold is also used in a marketed Ton Onosaka effect where individual red and white pieces of paper become a checkerboard piece of paper, in a Danny Archer marketed effect where birthday cards become a big birthday banner, and in a marketed No-Tear newspaper trick where individual pieces of paper that are never ripped become a full newspaper. Mr. Loomis, why arent you writing angry things about them for not receiving permission from Gene?

Further, I note that you are a dealer yourself Mr. Loomis, and that you market chop cups. It is clearly established that a magician named Al Wheatley, who performed under the name of Chop-Chop invented the chop cup sometime in the 1940s, and that he did not die until the late 1960s. Did you find the heirs of Al Wheatley to ask their permission when you put out your routine and products? Or did you just look around and see that the concept of a cup and ball was pretty generic and that other people had put out chop cups and chop cup routines so you felt you could do the same too? Did you credit Al Wheately anywhere in your routine and instructions for inventing a concept you marketed? And did you find the heirs of Al Wheatley and make them presents of any of your products? Because you went so far as to write that in compensation, I only gave Gene Anderson one set of my improved effect. This seems to me to be just another example of how you dont know what youre talking about Mr. Loomis and how you should not presume to speak for others and post bitter comments without checking with them first. When I made a present of the trick to Gene six months ago it was with a letter expressing my respect and admiration for a true genius and his inspiration. There was no level of compensation involved. Gene was exceptionally gracious and didnt even want one of my tricks. It was a gift. May I ask how many products youve given away to people who inspired your routines, Dennis?

And, Mr. Loomis you wrote that the ad makes it sound as if his paper tear won some kind of major award at FISM. The trick did not win at FISM Mr. Loomis, I won the award at FISM.
I performed a comedy magic routine in which one of the many, many, tricks was a newspaper tear with a very funny kicker. At the time I won FISM, I was using Gene Andersons method. After having bottles of rubber cement break inside my case and ruin my props and costumes I subsequently at all times used my method to avoid damaging my act and to speed up my set-up. Thus it can be legitimately stated that the method sold with the Baxt Better Newspaper Tear is in my FISM award winning act, as when I perform this FISM award winning act, I use my method. But indeed, six months ago, when I spoke to Gene Anderson directly, the first ads had come out and he also mentioned the wording you spoke of.
So immediately, Paul Gross of Hocus-Pocus.com who puts out my newspaper trick as well as many other fine products agreed to change the wording of the ads, and every ad since that day no longer says anything to make anyone believe this single trick won a prize at FISM. Not my fault if youre reading old magic magazines, Mr. Loomis. Do you want me to go out and find every ad and rip out the page? When the phone company gives you an unlisted number are you angry if they dont send someone out to erase it from every phone book its been printed in previously?
Further, just yesterday, when Gene and I were politely discussing this situation, at his request Paul Gross has changed all his ads today to no longer mention my FISM prize winning act at all. If Gene Anderson and I dont have a problem, then why are you throwing a fit Dennis?

Mr. Loomis, I do admit I respect you for your defense of Gene Anderson, and that is to your credit. However, any discussion that Gene Anderson and I have had is strictly between him and I and not for you to vent your spleen on and report about in your post. Dont you have a life? That you wrote so angrily about my private dealings with Gene is not to your credit. Hocus-pocus.com has sold many hundreds of this trick and had no complaints. Many well known and famous magicians are now using my newspaper tear as they realize its value. Just because my trick is out there doesnt stop you from using Genes method. Go ahead, no one but you will have to spend time gluing and pasting for each and every show. No one will stop you. But you should be stopped from spreading vicious innuendo on the web.

As what you posted on the internet stays around forever, I felt I had no choice but to respond to your ill-founded claims. However, I do have a life, and have no more time to spare lecturing you on controlling your unfounded anger. Please do not reply to me, Mr. Loomis. I do not want you involved in my relationship and dealings with the very fine gentleman Gene Anderson. I will have no further comment on this matter.
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Postby Pete Biro » 06/25/03 07:04 PM

Whew! :eek: PS: Robert... don't be a stranger here!
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Postby Bill Mullins » 06/26/03 07:28 AM

Originally posted by Robert Baxt:
As what you posted on the internet stays around forever.
Oddly enought, a fair amount of what gets posted here, on the Magic Cafe, and other moderated magic forums (fora?) doesn't stay around forever.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/26/03 08:25 AM

I welcome my old friend Robert Baxt to the Genii Forum: I wish it was under more pleasant circumstances.
Considering the unsubstantiated claims made by Dennis Loomis, and the clearly made points by Robert Baxt, I consider the matter closed.
If anyone wants to post about their experiences using the Baxt Newspaper Tear, please feel free to do so. Anything else will be deleted and I'll just lock the thread.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 06/26/03 09:13 AM

Wait, don't lock the thread, RK! Since I started this, allow me to follow-up. I meant to do this much sooner, but I've been committed to various labor negotiations in the DC/Baltimore area for the last month or so.

I did purchase the Baxt product after having received several private replies to my original query. At no instance was the Baxt method and gimmick portrayed or represented as something different from what it actually is: a simplification based upon the Gene Anderson effect. The simplification is accomplished by utilizing the gimmick. Look, somebody was bound to come up with what Baxt is marketing. Why denigrate him for putting it out to the fraternity first?

I paid for it, and I am satisfied with the purchase. The Anderson and Slydini methods for this effect have not been compromised, or "ripped off." Baxt gives credit to Gene Anderson on both the DVD instructions and the printed tutorial supplied with the gimmick. Credit almost to the point of being unctuous, I might add, but full credit nevertheless. As Baxt himself has stated here and elsewhere, "I stand on the shoulders of giants." That's good enough for me.

If I want to make a gourmet marinara sauce, for example, I would purchase all the ingredients, prepare and blend them, then cook for hours. If I just wanted something really tasty and quick, I'd go to a food shop and pay top price for a jar of the best they have. Depends on the context, and what I intend to serve my guests, doesn't it? Under the proper circumstances and presentation, my guests will be satisfied with either option.

So Robert's "Better Newspaper Tear" does not replace either the Anderson or Slydini versions, but offers another option. As with all simplifications, it comes with its own set of pro's and con's. To paraphrase George Schindler, who cares what I pay, as long as I can add the trick to my routines? Value is in the eye of the purchaser, relative to the funds available for purchase, ya'dig?

I am also the proud performer of my own handling of the Riser-Loomis Micro Cup routine, and thus I am qualified to mediate this dispute at no charge to the parties. :cool: :D
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Postby Guest » 06/26/03 03:00 PM

Richard,
I shall respect your wishes. However, Robert attacked me personally in several ways, and I'd like to be allowed to respond to some specific points. Even you suggested that my comments were "unsubstantiated." With your permission, I should like to defend what I said. And to offer some proof.
Dennis Loomis
www.loomismagic.com
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Postby Guest » 06/27/03 10:24 AM

Sorry this thread got personal. It is too bad Robert and Dennis didn't meet under nicer circumstances either. That said, I think Dennis is well entitled to his opinion. If he isn't right now, he was a successful, professional touring stage performer with hundreds of full evening shows under his belt. He has an excellent perspective on what makes good stage magic. I saw him do the Anderson tear beautifully, and he was apparently looking for an improvement (either on that version or in another one). It is valid that he feels he did not find it. I guess I have been disappointed enough times by tricks, props, books, videos, and DVDs that I don't even get angry anymore. Finally, it's had not to take it personal when someone doesn't like one of your creations, but it happens all the time. If one is going to sell to a small, tight knit and opinionated group, one needs to develop thicker skin.
Mark
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/27/03 08:55 PM

This thread is locked.
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