How Do Other Pros Feel About This?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Guest » 01/01/04 08:34 PM

The Reason I am Posting this is due to the latest fad in anyone coming out with a way to make money in magic...So here is my deal I was on ebay and saw this and just thought wow is this really what the art I love has come to? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... gory=14013

I would love to hear all your thoughts on this...I have a product that has been on the market for several years...and not once have I tried to put other stuff out and compermise for money this art is way to special for that. But as of late anyone with a video camera is coming out with dvd, video, or like this guy selling his show for 15 bucks. The real true art is in books but who would know that these days with all the stuff people are putting out just to make a quick but on a beginner or a hobbiest......Sorry about the rant and rave but I love this art and I really don't like what I am seeing as of late...

IN MAGIC WE TRUST
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 01/01/04 10:45 PM

Oh, this thing is totally ridiculous.

Don't you just LOVE the elegant costume? I especially like the very expensive cape.

This is the kind of junk that, if somebody buys it, they deserve to have lost fifteen bucks.

No, in my experience, this is not what magic is coming to. This is what Internet auction-commerce has come to. People who want to hire a magician--even rather inexperienced parents of kids--will, I think, be able to see this for the cheesy snow job it is.

Be consoled by noticing that it's a five-day auction, with less than a day to go, and there are to date (January 2, 12:45 AM ET) exactly zero bids on the product.
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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 05:37 AM

That guy looks like the stereotypical geek that thinks he is a magician because he purchased props from a magic shop. I can only imagine how terrible he is.

PS - Nice outfit.
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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 06:33 AM

Dave's comment says it all: This thing is totally ridiculous.

Anyone with a video camera and a deck of cards becomes an expert and people are willing to pay for that knowledge. Why? Maybe someone knows the answer - but I don't.

There's enough good material out there on video...Johnny Thompson, Martin Nash, Bill Malone, to mention just a few.

Does someone who videos himself doing a few tricks feel like it puts them in the category with the top pros because they are "on tape"? Scary, isn't it!

But, it's not going to stop - and if you are seriously into magic, you can't let these little thing bother you.

Just keep doing your thing and enjoy your magic. That's what it's all about - fun and entertainment.
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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 04:28 PM

Sad....really sad.

At least I know he'll never get work in THIS area. Thankfully the local magicians and I have raised the bar quite a bit here.

Ben S
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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 05:04 PM

Gentlepeople;

I don't know why I am posting this, but I feel that I should give you all a chance to understand so that if you continue to want to make fun, you at least know the whole story.

I have been a magician since 1976, sometimes amature, and sometimes making a living at it. I am, like many professional magicians, a weekend warrior. I did not just buy a few tricks, but I have studied and practiced as many of you have done.

In September of 2001, my then fiancee, was struck down by two brain tumors, and I left the world I knew in New York, and came to Ohio to take care of her, and her two children. Between having to care for my new family, and the IT market, I spent a year unemployed trying to scratch the living I could with mounting medical debts. Finially I was able to find a position, and I was able to stop the problems from the future, but the debits of the past rear their head in a nasty way. So, I found myself with $75K in debt, no house, no assets, and I have been trying to rekindle something so I can keep my head above water.

Last year I did a show for my nephew via VCR and he loved it. The "cheap" props you all mention are stuff that make magic for kids. To some of you, Magic is art, but for me, the greats have always said the same thing, magic is for entertainment. The idea wasn't to replace a live magician, and I tried very hard to seporate that this is a different type of entertainment.

If you think this idea is silly, well, your right, it is. It has been performed for young kids, and so far everyone has loved it. The cheap price is simply because I love doing this, and I have no reason to charge more than that.

To those of you who are offended, I did not mean to offend you or anyone else. The idea was simply to entertain

Jay Hawkinson
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Postby Pepka » 01/02/04 05:36 PM

When I first saw the picture I was reminded of a scene in the Penn and Teller movie, P&T get killed. A reporter is interviewing Teller and she asks, "What do you hate about magic?" Teller of course doesn't give a verbal resonse and prances around, pulling a feather bouquet from his sleeve, then changing it to a cane.
This is evidently what Teller hates about magic. When people picture this when they hear the word magician, I agree with him. As tempting as it is to make fun of Mr. Hawkinson, all i will say is that he is doing magic and other magicians, (amature and professional) a MAJOR disservice.
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Postby Mr. Stickley » 01/02/04 06:18 PM

So a guy has an interesting idea and wants to check it out, and all of you "oh it's art... money be damned.. blah blah blah...." phonys want to dis a guy for tryin' to make a buck. At least he isn't making up some phony meaningless quotes from all you "hard working pros" putting a super sheen glossy promo kit together trying to market him self like he is the next DC or Blaine wanna-be. Get a life and work on your own show and leave the poor guy alone. Don't buy it if you think it's dumb. I wasn't aware you all had achieved such fame and accolades in your "entertainment career" as to have the right to dump on some poor fella.

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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 07:46 PM

O.K First Off I would like to say that I understand Mr. Hawkinson Challenges with life and problems. My origonal post was not a attach towards him but more towards the whole Idea that anyone with a computer and video camara has a video out or DVD. I just used him as a example because it made me think more about it. I am full time entertainer and I have had to have odd jobs to get by from time to time. So I understand. But I think my post was either posted wrong or mis understood.
Magically,
TPD
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Postby Guest » 01/02/04 08:15 PM

To all;

Magic to me is what I saw in the face of my sister when I removed a quarter from her ear more than three decades ago. I see it everytime I do magic for children, at the hospital and even in some seniors at the nursing home. When my nephew saw my video, my sister told me about the laughs, the giggles and even the adults were entertained as I performed like I could see them. He took the wand I sent him (used in the video) and kept measuring it against the one on the screen.

This was magic.

I understand there are hucksters trying to seporate new magicians with promises that they too can be David Blaine. I'm not one of them. I have taught basic magic to many cub scouts, but I don't teach for cash, or get rich from people who think that magic is something that can be bestowed.

I want to entertain, in fact, I need to do it. Magic is my medium, but my goal is smiles. If I have to be a clown, the cheesy magician out of a kids dream, or mysterious wielder of unknown powers, then that is what I will be.

I have tried to take all of what has been said as creative ways to assist me. I don't want to put "magic in a bad light" or disgrace the art. I love magic.

Thank you,
Jay Hawkinson
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/03/04 11:09 AM

While it would be easy to join the critics I find it difficult to really contribute something constructive here.

However, I would like to see you re-think your wardrobe and maybe the choice of effects... try to bring it "up-to-date" as far as your look, etc.

And charge MORE MONEY... if it is too cheap most will think it "not worth anything."

Hope this finds you well, and hope you can build this idea into a modern, productive scheme.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/03/04 11:10 AM

And... re=reading the original post "How do Pro's..."

So, if you are NOT a pro, you are disqualified and your answers should be stricken from the record! :D
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Postby Terry » 01/03/04 12:27 PM

Let's try looking at the situation this way.

Each of us has our own idea of what constitutes "art". Not one of us has been assigned or voted the rights of supreme being. Yet we continue to wield the power of judgement.

Mr Hawkinson has stated his sole purpose of performing the way he does is to entertain the children/parents he is associated with.

His choice of "art" is HIS and not ours. His choice of style is HIS and not ours. His choice of props are HIS and not ours.

Obviously it works for HIM and who are we to tell him differently? Maybe if we spent more time working on ourselves we would have less time to ridicule others.
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Postby Dave Egleston » 01/03/04 02:35 PM

I think that, like most magicians, this guy forgot to have anyone critique his presentation.

When I first saw the eBay advertisement I thought, "Well, that's different"

The problem is as Mr Biro stated. For crying out loud - Have someone look at it and give their opinion - Reread the text of the ad - Even take a look at the pictures to use, might want to get a hat that fits, buy a good quality shirt and iron it before you start shooting publicity shots. It looks like he borrowed the cape from a child's magic set

For crying out loud - With digital cameras, there is no reason to use the first two pictures taken, the look on this guy's face is enough to off put a potential client. There is no time limit when doing promotion - but it looked like he tried to put the whole advertising package together in less than ten minutes

I also believe he has visions of a "one take, single, stationary camera masterpiece, with no audience input or response.

Actually I hope something like this succeeds, but I also hope the successful pioneer has a modicum of personal and professional pride. He says he's studied magic since 1976 - Twenty eight years and he's willing to work for about 3-5 dollars an hour.

Then again .... Who am I?

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Postby Guest » 01/03/04 04:56 PM

Go for it Jay. Give it your very best shot!
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Postby David Alexander » 01/04/04 12:20 PM

With the proliferation of wannabe "professionals" who think they can parlay "success" in performing close-up magic with polite family and friends into a "professional" career by undercutting the local pro, when magic is available cheaply on eBay and other Internet sites, when books that required study have morphed into video "instruction" than only needs to be mindlessly copied instead of studied, absorbed, and performed with understanding, when fools think that $50 is BIG MONEY for a show, just when I thought magic couldn't be cheapened any further, along comes this guy to offer a "show" - and a "personalized show to boot - for less than $15. I didn't think it possible, but my cynicism has been exceeded.
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Postby John Smetana » 01/04/04 12:38 PM

David Alexanders' note says it all. Regardless of the intentions of the seller of this item ( as good as they may be)( and remember the road to hell is etc etc.),it defintitely trivializes magic even more than it has already been trivialized.Is it any wonder than intelligent audiences are thinking that Magic is/has sadly become a mere novelty for the entertainment of children and then, only when nothing else is available.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
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Postby Guest » 01/04/04 10:00 PM

So much for the Brotherhood of Magicians.

The more vicious responses are rather like using a tank for insect eradication. Come on fellas, you heard the guy's story so let's move along, nothing to see here.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Guest » 01/05/04 12:08 AM

I second that, Randy.

"Move away from the humiliated magician...."
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/05/04 12:21 AM

Motion carried--thread locked.

:whack:
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/05/04 11:26 PM

Ive reopened this thread by request and we shall see where it leads. I stayed out of the fray because I heeded Petes post--I am not a pro. However, my stand on this issue (if I made at least a part of my living performing magic) would mirror David Alexanders opinion (even though my friend Randy seems to see it as vicious--it isnt; its honest). Not only does this sort of thing trivialize the performance art we call magic, but it undermines the efforts of those who earn their livelihoods with magic and charge a commensurate fee.

Ive told this story before, so I will give only the short version here: Several years ago I recommended a performer to my employer for an employee appreciation event. He was the talk of the company for quite a while afterward. A year after that, at a holiday event, someone else took it upon him/her self to hire another magician who charged substantially less. They got what they paid for: he was pathetic. The then VP--and now P--of my company felt like he was ripped off. He has not approved the hiring of another magician since (its been two years now). That is the kind of damage, from both a monetary and image standpoint, this sort of thing can do to the art of magic and those who earn their living doing it.

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Postby Terry » 01/06/04 06:54 AM

Not only does this sort of thing trivialize the performance art we call magic, but it undermines the efforts of those who earn their livelihoods with magic and charge a commensurate fee.

Talk about taking a giant leap. Undermines the efforts of those who earn their livelihoods...mind explaining how? This is a guy offering a performance video on EBay. He is not booking Radio City Music Hall.

First, as far as "performance art", there are worse examples of so called "professionals" who do as much damage.

Second, Mr Hawkinson never posted his auction on Genii, it was another "member" who posted it and has generated a different version of 'which of the thousand variations of Ambitious Card do you think best'type of thread.

As I stated before - "His choice of "art" is HIS and not ours. His choice of style is HIS and not ours. His choice of props are HIS and not ours." As long as he entertains HIS audience, he shouldn't give a tinker's damn what anyone here thinks.

People need to deflate their self absorbed ego's a tad and realize that magic tricks will not bring world peace. As much as we wish it so, it is delusional to think that people will remember your tricks longer than it takes to observe the next piece of eye candy. In today's world, you are only remembered for your latest scandal/incident.

I am not attacking the people who do tricks for a living, so there is no need for defensive posturing on anyone's part. Only trying to identify the fact that magicians have their place in the entertainment field, but it is just a job. You can cloak it by calling it "art", but if you earn a living from it, it's a job.
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 01/06/04 07:14 AM

Originally posted by Terry Terrell:

Talk about taking a giant leap. Undermines the efforts of those who earn their livelihoods...mind explaining how? This is a guy offering a performance video on EBay. He is not booking Radio City Music Hall.
Well, as a matter of fact, it is you who are taking a giant leap.

There is a huge chasm between offering a $15.00 "performance" video on eBay and performing at Radio City Music Hall.

I believe most professional performers live somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

My effort to earn a portion of my living doing magical performance has something to do with my ego, but believe me, performing for children's birthday parties (which I often do when not otherwise booked) does nothing to feed my "inflated ego," as you put it. On the contrary, kids' party shows can be quite challenging to the ego. But I do these shows because they are the steady work, the bread and butter, of many professional performers' careers.

When I book a child's birthday party, I emphasize to the client that I am selling a show that allows for direct participation of the audience in an experience they might remember for the rest of their lives.

I am not selling the mother of an eight-year-old an "artistic" experience.

Yes, children's magic is a job. It is a job that I try to very well, and I try to make sure that the parent/client understands the effort that goes into it.

Now let me explain how an extremely cheap video performance tape undermines the professional: by telling a prospective magic client (i.e., the parent of a 6- to 11-year-old) that this kind of show is not really worth a couple hundred bucks, after all, no matter what that magician said on the phone. It says that magic is really just the same as the cheesy videotapes you can buy at the video store or toy store to use to pacify your child while you need to get some chores done around the house.

If it really is hard to see the distinction between a well rehearsed, well prepared live performance and a cheap videotape, then I guess no explanation will suffice.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/06/04 07:41 AM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
With the proliferation of wannabe "professionals" who think they can parlay "success" in performing close-up magic with polite family and friends into a "professional" career by undercutting the local pro, when magic is available cheaply on eBay and other Internet sites, when books that required study have morphed into video "instruction" than only needs to be mindlessly copied instead of studied, absorbed, and performed with understanding, when fools think that $50 is BIG MONEY for a show, just when I thought magic couldn't be cheapened any further, along comes this guy to offer a "show" - and a "personalized show to boot - for less than $15. I didn't think it possible, but my cynicism has been exceeded.
Amen, brother.

One thing I haven't seen noted yet is the very concept of an interactive show on video, which -- if I understand the ad -- is the point of this.

As a grandparent, I am immersed in the world of video-for-kids. As someone who got his start in 1979 or 1980 doing kid shows, I have something on which to base my opinion where the two subjects intersect. (The Pete Biro rule. :) )

First a couple of questions.

Question one: Do you know how long it takes to develop one single episode of "Blues Clues" to be shown on television? Nine to ten months. (!)

Question two: Do you know how long it takes to develop one single episode of "Dora the Explorer"? About a year.

Question three: Do you realize these two shows epitomize the standard by which other interactive shows for kids are ranked -- by kids?

Back when I was still consulting mom and pop business owners, trying to help them burn their advertising dollars more efficiently, one of the issues that kept popping up was getting on television. Mom and pop were visited by the television and cable sales guys and sold the wonderful idea of getting their mugs on television, right next to the "big guys" like McDonalds and Buick. And they could get their television commercial shot, edited, and ready to run for anywhere between free (if you purchased the right "package") up to maybe $250 tops.

My question was, "If you can imagine your television commercial -- which cost you $50 to make -- being run between a McDonalds commercial and a Buick commercial -- which each cost $200,000 and up to make -- why in heaven's name would you want to set yourself up for that kind of comparison?"

Blue and Dora set the expectation. No way on this or any other planet do I want to step my little toe into that area of kid's interactive television and still offer a money back guarantee.

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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/06/04 09:41 AM

While I personally have issues with the sterotypical portrayal of magicians such as the hat and cape outfit, I prefer to consider this situation from a different perspective.

If we "the professionals" fear that a two dimensional home video taped production of a magic show (albeit with the child's name inserted) can in any way compare with the impact and wonder produced from having our magic touch our audiences in person, in their hands, inches from their face, then I think we "the professionals" need to reconsider what WE are doing if it could thereby be so easily threatened.
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Postby Terry » 01/06/04 10:52 AM

then I think we "the professionals" need to reconsider what WE are doing if it could thereby be so easily threatened

Amen and amen.

I know from experience what kind of reactions Brad can generate.

At 2002's Ring 198 Unconventional Convention, he cleared a group of Girl Scouts from the room with a book test. Of course one of the "books" he used may have been the culprit. :D Me, I think it was the magazine with Martha Stewart on the cover......
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/06/04 11:27 AM

Originally posted by Terry Terrell:
Talk about taking a giant leap. Undermines the efforts of those who earn their livelihoods...mind explaining how?
I thought my second paragraph explained it well, but I will elaborate: I have four people on my short list who I refer people to when I am approached for a performance (I always decline because I am not a professional). Only one was given the opportunity to perform for my company, and he did very well. The others have not been given the opportunity--even though I have had the opportunity to recommend them--because the mistake of hiring a very bad and under-priced magician was made (the people who hired him did not come to me, but several people, including the now president of my company, thought they did, so in their minds I was to blame). The direct result of that has been that the other performers have not been given the opportunity to perform here (we have about four major events per year). Several DJs, bands and vocal groups have been hired instead. As I said, I have told the committee that I can get them very good performers, but instead they say, Nah, lets get a DJ. That one guy--one guy--poisoned the minds of the entertainment committee--and the guy who signs the checks--when it comes to magic (undoing the great image my friend had made on everyone). That is very real damage to the art.

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Postby Guest » 01/06/04 11:33 AM

Professional musicians constantly battle over turf, and sure enough, price sometimes determines who gets the job. But quality has legs, and I believe market longevity.

I don't see a cheap, crappy singer/guitarist threatening James Taylor's livelihood, nor many other lesser known top flight though less well-known performers.

Any booker/client who doesn't know that you almost without exception get what you pay for is the very fool from whom his money is soon parted.

And the only explanation I've got for D.'s boss is the Peter Principle; as a VP he recognized quality and listened to advice. Now, as Prez, if he finds one bad apple the whole bunch is rotten.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Dave Shepherd » 01/06/04 12:42 PM

Randy wrote:
I don't see a cheap, crappy singer/guitarist threatening James Taylor's livelihood, nor many other lesser known top flight though less well-known performers.
Randy, I understand and respect your point, but the fact is, magic is different.

Music, being ubiquitous in modern culture, is an art whose quality can be much more easily judged by "laymen" than magic.

For most parents who hire magicians, it is a one-time experience. They may or may not have any basis for judgment or comparison. The same is true, in fact, for people who hire magicians for office parties and other such events. That is why Dustin's example is cogent. Note that the fallback option at Dustin's company was hiring a DJ to play pre-recorded music--not to hire a band. It's just an easy out for them.

Therefore, a single bad impression of magic (through a performance of low quality) is potentially much more damaging than the impression made by any single bad musical performance.

It takes very little for most people to be moved to ridiculing magicians and magic. (Viz. the very amusing new Fox series, "Arrested Development.") Magic is on its own already a rather easy target. I'd prefer to see its image elevated in the general consciousness rather than ever degraded at all.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 01/06/04 10:34 PM

To those who express concern that Mr. Hawkinson's efforts will have some negative effect on their own personal dealings, I would ask this ... does your magic and the way in which you present it and the fees that you charge for doing it, have a similar negative effect on those magicians who are better than you, more polished than you, more entertaining than you and who charge considerably more than you do? :genii:
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Postby Terry » 01/07/04 06:19 AM

The others have not been given the opportunity--even though I have had the opportunity to recommend them--because the mistake of hiring a very bad and under-priced magician was made

Dustin, you are comparing apples and oranges.

The guy was auctioning a home made video on EBay. The video show would be personalized for children's entertainment. He was not auditioning for a major company, tradeshow, Radio City, etc. He was not creating another anti-insomnia magic instructional video.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/07/04 10:05 AM

Terry,

You are correct: they are two very different examples of the trivialization of magic. Just as gratuitous exposure is yet another example of the trivialization of magic, and its that trivialization that is the point.

I am going to use a maudlin and (admittedly) extreme analogy here, so for those of you who think Im comparing magic with human life. No! Its just an example of how apples and oranges can result in the same outcome.

Cancer and heart disease are very different. Comparing the mechanics of death can be described as comparing apples and oranges. But the ultimate outcome is exactly the same.

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Postby Jim Riser » 01/07/04 01:47 PM

Whatever one magician does (good or bad) reflects onto and affects all magicians. To think otherwise indicates a lack of understanding of how things operate in the world.
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Postby Guest » 01/07/04 02:06 PM

Originally posted by Brad Jeffers:
To those who express concern that Mr. Hawkinson's efforts will have some negative effect on their own personal dealings, I would ask this ... does your magic and the way in which you present it and the fees that you charge for doing it, have a similar negative effect on those magicians who are better than you, more polished than you, more entertaining than you and who charge considerably more than you do? :genii:
AMEN.
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Postby Guest » 01/08/04 03:32 PM

Whatever one magician does (good or bad) reflects onto and affects all magicians. To think otherwise indicates a lack of understanding of how things operate in the world.
Jim (Riser)
I think I've read all 276 of your posts, Mr. Riser, and this is the first of which I strongly disagree.

Why are magicians unique as performers, so easily tarred by the same brush? I refer you to my earlier post in this thread.

But another example, quite close to magical performers, are fumbling jugglers. No matter how many clubs bounce off their melons, Anthony Gatto will still get paid, and paid well.

And if I buy cruddy cups for somewhere like, say... India ... does that mean I won't see the value in your beautiful products?

I don't see such causality elsewhere in the performing arts (and crafts), and I don't believe Magicians are the exception.

And I assure you, by almost any objective measure, I do know how "things operate in the world." [I must say quantum mechanics does give me pause.]

--Randy Campbell
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/08/04 04:15 PM

Originally posted by Randy Campbell:
I think I've read all 276 of your posts, Mr. Riser, and this is the first of which I strongly disagree.
Back atcha, Randy. It's not too often I disagree with you, but I disagree here.


Why are magicians unique as performers, so easily tarred by the same brush? I refer you to my earlier post in this thread.

--snip!--

I don't see such causality elsewhere in the performing arts (and crafts), and I don't believe Magicians are the exception.
That's a hell of a mystery, frankly. But I can tell you I deal with it from time to time.

Every once in a while I contact a meeting planner whose response to my call is so out of proportion that I know exactly what the problem is, so my response is, "You've had an experience with a bad magician."

Note, I did not say a bad experience with a magician, but an experience with a bad magician. (Took me a while to learn the value in making that distinction.)

On the surface I agree 110%: there is no rational, reasonable explanation why it is magical performers are held to a standard that, from what I gather, is not evident in other performing arts. But I assure you it exists.

Evidently, you haven't experienced that stupidity. Must be better water where you live. :)

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Postby Guest » 01/08/04 04:22 PM

Originally posted by Randy Campbell:
Why are magicians unique as performers, so easily tarred by the same brush?
One word. Secrecy. Not knowing anything about magic makes laymen assume we are all the same, that we all do the same things.

This was driven home recently when I was explaining to some relatives that I was going back to Las Vegas to do another lecture (WMS). One of them asked a very revealing question: "But, don't they already know all the tricks?" She had no idea that we do different material, that we invent new things, that some of us do original work, etc. She assumed (I believe), that there was a stock set of tricks that we all do. And this woman is no dummy; she's a doctor who does medical research, and pretty worldly. If that's what she thinks, I shudder to think what lesser minds surmise about this thing of ours.

No one would make that assumption if I were a musician, a painter, a filmmaker, etc. They would assume I was going to lecture on my original work. Not so with magic. Secrecy makes it so. They don't know anything about what we do, which is a strength when performing, but a deficit when it comes to how we are perceived by the public. If the last magician that "X" saw was lousy, then when I tell them that I am a magician, they'll just lump me into that bag without thinking. Until I do something for them. If I get a chance to.

As long as it remains a secret art (about twenty more minutes if the internet has its way), any bad magic hurts all of us.

Best,


Geoff
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Postby Brad Henderson » 01/08/04 04:25 PM

Maybe it results from the fact that so many of us do the same tricks, with the same lines, and the same cookie cutter personalites. And when someone comes along with something interesting, all the magic club guys are only too happy to try to appropriate it for their own (or publish it in their 'long awaited lecture notes' under their own by line.)

Further, most magicians price themselves to be a commodity, not a star. Client:"Hi, we're looking for a magician." Agent: "We have several, how much do you want to spend?" Are they securing the services of an artist who will craft a unique magical memory or buying a couch?

Personally, I want clients that want to hire "Brad Henderson." Not someone looking for " a magician." That way they have only me to compare me to.

And Geoff has a great point too. We can take classes on music, art and theater appreciation. There is a public discourse on these arts. We as a culture can see the differences (and still choose to make Brittney Spears and her belly button a star). In magic, the audience is often ignorant as to what constitutes a great performer versus someone who is merely a reproduction technician. Often in magic, what they see first becomes their baseline. While a bad magician makes it easier to garner quotes such as, "This is so much better than magic." It makes it much harder to get the door open to start changing perspectives at the grass roots level.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/08/04 05:07 PM

Originally posted by Geoff Latta:
They don't know anything about what we do, which is a strength when performing, but a deficit when it comes to how we are percieved by the public.
And here we have another issue that Maskelyne and Devant tried to address in Our Magic (a book written for the public). And, though I have not yet read it, I believe that is also what Jim Steinmeyer is trying to do with Hiding the Elephant: Create an educated public in regard to the art of magic. So, two books in the span of a century with this goal versus how many books, classes, etc. etc. for the others arts? So Randy, can you understand now how it might be possible why magic is the exception?

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Postby Jeff Eline » 01/08/04 05:53 PM

I think it also has to do with the level of exposure. Most people don't see magic that often. At the other is music. We've all seen crappy bands or singers. But we've also seen a number of really good ones, so we know there's hope.

At a business holiday party this year there was a magacian doing walk around and he was just ok and maybe even a bit offensive with a few off color remarks. Trying a bit too hard to be funny - but that's just my opinion.

Anyway, I was talking to a business associate and she excused herself to get a drink. When she turned around, the performer was doing his thing right in her path. She turned on her heels and went the long way to the bar. When she passed us, she gave us that 'icky' face like she'd just swallowed a lemon.

I was curious, so I asked her later about it. Her reply "She just never got into the whole magic thing." I know she thinks every magician is like that guy - primarily because she's probably never seen a good one.

There's not enough venue and addequate opportunities for quality performers to show their talent.
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