Discuss general aspects of Genii.

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 08/29/01 02:04 PM

I'm not sure how many people stayed in their seats for the duration of the Blaine Interview, but if 800 magicians saw, heard, and experienced most of it, it's likely there are now 800 different reactions, "takes," and impressions about Blaine and what took place. Much depends of course on one's predisposed bias about who they thought Blaine REALLY is, who he is trying to be, and what his place may be in the hyperreal, celebrity firmament.

Many now assume that Blaine is a drugged up, embarrassing, unintelligible jerk. Others think he is a "little engine that could-and-did," a god-in-black, baseball cap tilted down, and poster boy for the Consensual Hallucination of the Media Insane-atorium.
Others stand in line to get his scrawl on paper. It was a Photo-Op Bop. (How unlikely is it to see Herb Zarrow and Blaine, shoulder to shoulder, smiling to be digitized and immortalized for the family album?)

First, let me praise Max Maven. He was a literate, articulate, and masterful host--and by his own stringent standards, he was a mensch who, in this crazy, historic case, suppressed his remarkable talent for zinging pretense, blasting pomp, and exposing irony and brittle, lethal truths. Instead he wheedled revealing (sometimes titillating)information when it was necessary and permitted the passive-aggressive "theater" to play out. On the surface, the verbatim asking-and-answering was monotone and monochrome...forcing those who cared to listen carefully to ferret out real and imagined sub-texts. Yet there was an edgy quality because Blaine was liable to say ANYTHING in his Steven-Wright drawl. There was a jailhouse candor, punctuated by id-driven outbursts, sudden turns, unexpected yelps, grins-from-out-of-the-blue, well-placed expletives, and a lot of stream-of-consciousness drifting...

It should have been clear to those who paid attention and overlooked all the off-putting aspects that otherwise block attention to details, that Blaine is really another "kettle of fishiness." He is more than he seems and less than the spin-meisters contend. He is NOT about performing tricks on television in a Gen-X, post-modern, hip-hop, hip-and-hopped-up fashion. He is INSTEAD aiming to create another kind of extreme SIMULATION--one that can generate the kind of out-of-control spin that Houdini and Geller were able to generate. This is one of the aspects that astonish, irritate, and baffle most magicians. To them, Blaine is from another planet.

Those who find him truly repellent and talent-less were the same ones (in the audience in Vegas) that applauded when Blaine muttered that he might "die during his next stunt." Good riddance. Others winced when he talked about Eviel Kneviel (sp?) and Jesus in almost the same breath. Some scoffed when he talked about "taking a bullet in his chest" and others were incredulous that he was once a camp counselor at Tannen's Magic Camp. Go figure.

Although, Richard may disapprove of me saying so, a few things about Blaine are undeniable: He is a Publicity Dynamo. He stirs the air. He effronts, confronts, and contorts, and he impresses power brokers and high-level celebrities. He gets extensive, international press coverage. (He is even a character on "South Park.") He gets the kind of continuous, consistent "copy" that many super-star magicians only dream about...


Many will ignore him.
Many will dismiss and diss him.

Butlike it or not, is our Houdini Manque.

[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: Jon Racherbaumer ]

[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: Jon Racherbaumer ]
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Postby Guest » 08/29/01 02:31 PM

Last year at FISM Blaine was much more lucid and was more a part of the event than the reports I hear from Magic Live. Perhaps he felt he didn't make a big enough splash at FISM so he decided to create a different tornado :eek: for magicians to talk about.

People don't much care for Donald Trump either, but he is a mover and shaker. Just goes to show, $ talks, BS walks.

Postby Guest » 08/29/01 03:30 PM

QUOTE] B]Although, Richard may disapprove of me saying so, a few things about Blaine are undeniable: He is a Publicity Dynamo. He stirs the air. He effronts, confronts, and contorts, and he impresses power brokers and high-level celebrities. He gets extensive, international press coverage. (He is even a character on "South Park.") He gets the kind of continuous, consistent "copy" that many super-star magicians only dream about...

[/B] [/QUOTE][
Thanks Rock, that's what I tried to say. No offense intended Richie!

Postby Steve Bryant » 08/29/01 04:31 PM

I'm still confused as to why he dissed Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, or for that matter even paired them, as they split long ago. The Sixth Sense was first rate, and the physical things Demi had to go through for G.I. Jane would, I would think, have impressed Blaine. I'm convinced that it's all an act, one that is generally working well for him, but this was a strange thing to throw into the mix.
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Postby Guest » 08/30/01 06:28 AM

Blaine's been in London for the last few days doing some filming.

He was interviewed on breakfast TV and the whole thing was an embarrassment. He did not come across well at all.

There is a transcript of the interview here: ... 6614054631

Postby Guest » 09/05/01 10:01 PM

I'm not a David Blaine devotee by any means, but I'm getting really sick of people tearing him down all the time. I'm still in the dark as to what he has done, exactly, that is so bad, that people would applaud when he said he might die at his next stunt. That's really sad. I think it is indictative of the direction that magic is taking. I'm fairly new to magic, but already I'm approaching my fill as to the limit of elitist nay-saying I can take. There are so many forums that center around magicians bitching about this or that. It's tiresome. I saw David Blaine's first special before I got invovled in the working side of magic, and I was blown away. I haven't re-visited the special since then, but I'm sure that there are different elements that I could get from it and still be entertained. So what is he is using editing? Television is about make-believe and entertainment. I'm sure the purity of your magic takes on a different perspective when you are faced with performing for millions of people nationwide, and many dollars are at stake, not to mention what you have to do to make the people giving you the special happy. I think pissing people off is just the nature of celebrity. Big deal, the guy did the invisible deck on national t.v. I also saw the same guy interweave presentation, patter and technique into a seamless greasy stream. This guy HAS the moves, and that's what irritates me about his detracters. It's not like he walked in from the street and was given a special. This guy has obviously put a tremendous amount of time and effort into what he does. Just because the guy is famous does'nt mean he has'nt paid his dues. As far as him making an ass out of himself...well, everyone I know has said or done stupid, but the difference is, they have'nt been famous enough for anyone to really care...

Postby Robert Kane » 09/08/01 12:00 PM

Had an interesting conversation yesterday with our Director of Entertainment about David Blaine. He called me to talk about how excited he was after seeing a televised performance by Blaine.

From his perspective he thought Blaine was entertaining, magical and a very welcome departure from the typical magician...something we see a lot of on cruise ships.

He liked him so much he wanted to hire him, but we all of course doubted that we could even afford him.

Having been in the business a long time, our Director of Entertainment has a pretty good sense of what is popular among our guests and he felt Blaine would be a great fit. He even talked about how much he liked Blaine's "minimalist/non-schmaltz" style of presentation. Can't beat that kind of commerical appeal. I think Don Alan said that success in magic could be found by developing an act that was terribly unique...something very you but entirely different from the rest of the pack.

With than in mind, I imagine there is a lot we could learn from Blaine hopefully without becoming a bunch of copy cats.


[ September 08, 2001: Message edited by: Robert Kane ]
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