Interview

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Jason Ladanye
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Joined: February 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm
Favorite Magician: Erdnase

Interview

Postby Jason Ladanye » July 6th, 2020, 10:51 am

I just did an interview with Real Magic Reviews and I mentioned some of you fine folks here on the Genii Forums.

https://youtu.be/i4-LDVZVLEI

https://youtu.be/fVmfS3cyLxs

I don't remember where though. Enjoy:))

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Christopher1979
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Favorite Magician: Ricky Jay, Dai Vernon, Darwin Ortiz, Ed Marlo
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Re: Interview

Postby Christopher1979 » July 7th, 2020, 4:24 pm

Great interview Jason, really enjoyed it!

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erdnasephile
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Re: Interview

Postby erdnasephile » July 10th, 2020, 11:21 am

I liked it as well--even though it was clearly "bad for magic!" :-)

(The mob at Genii Forum is mentioned on part 2 about 23:40 in)

Jason Ladanye
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Re: Interview

Postby Jason Ladanye » July 21st, 2020, 10:52 am

Glad you liked it!

Chris Aguilar
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Re: Interview

Postby Chris Aguilar » July 21st, 2020, 11:34 am

Thanks for the warning. ;-)

Brad Henderson
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Location: austin, tx

Re: Interview

Postby Brad Henderson » July 21st, 2020, 2:59 pm

Lots of defensiveness and self soothing. But you gotta be you!

Jason Ladanye
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Favorite Magician: Erdnase

Re: Interview

Postby Jason Ladanye » July 21st, 2020, 3:36 pm

You're one of my favorites Braddy<3

Brad Henderson
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Re: Interview

Postby Brad Henderson » July 21st, 2020, 3:53 pm

I stand by everything I’ve written and can defend every word. But sometimes putting your head in the sand and imagining a deep state magic persecution against you works too.

Roger M.
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Re: Interview

Postby Roger M. » July 22nd, 2020, 10:49 am

In general, I found your interview to be entirely commensurate with your persona here in the forum.

Leo Garet
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Re: Interview

Postby Leo Garet » July 22nd, 2020, 1:16 pm

Roger M. wrote:In general, I found your interview to be entirely commensurate with your persona here in the forum.


Hmm. That sounds very much like one of those "You were never better" observations.

;)

Sebastian B
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Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon/René Lavand

Re: Interview

Postby Sebastian B » July 26th, 2020, 4:23 pm

I enjoyed the interview a lot.

Jason Ladanye
Posts: 56
Joined: February 10th, 2018, 10:50 pm
Favorite Magician: Erdnase

Re: Interview

Postby Jason Ladanye » July 27th, 2020, 3:26 pm

Sebastian B wrote:I enjoyed the interview a lot.


Thanks!

-J

Yehuda
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Re: Interview

Postby Yehuda » July 29th, 2020, 12:35 pm

I think the people that have a problem with him do not understand character and persona in performing. (If only they did watch and listen to Jason, they would understand this better!) So, they first misinterpret how Jason acts in his shows, convincing themselves that the audience thinks he’s an arrogant jerk, and then they make a second mistake and assume that the character they see performing is exactly how Jason is as a real-life person.

Regardless of what they think, Jason is a superb performer, and besides his amazing chops, he has put out some of the best card material in the past decade (I dare say more than decade, but we’ll leave it at that). His book, Game Changer, is literally one of the best books on card magic. As he says in the intro, (which undoubtedly, some of the guys here will again think of it as “boasting”), EVERY trick is a killer effect with a very intriguing premise and presentation. There is not one “filler” trick. Let’s be honest, a huge percentage of tricks that come out, even those that have cleverly constructed methods, are not blockbusters, they’re just good tricks. His book made me feel a little down about some of the tricks I’ve come up with that I spent years working on and was very proud of, only to realize that they’re just another simple card trick, and not a show-stopping performance piece. His routines are.

And his attention to detail (the misdirection, motivation of actions, etc.), both in his construction and in his explanations, is amazing. I wish there’d be more books out there that have a 20-pages-per-trick ratio.

Anyway, ALL the well-known top card guys I know of hold very highly of him. (And please, I’m not throwing myself into that category; I’m just saying.) It seems to only be some random guys here and other forums that think otherwise. Too bad for them.

Yehuda

Yehuda
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Re: Interview

Postby Yehuda » July 29th, 2020, 2:34 pm

That’s probably a matter of personal taste. If you view your performance like a live play your putting on, then you are an actor in that play. Most actors in movies are not acting as themselves; they are acting as a character for the sake of putting on a show. If you think there’s a certain character you can play well that works well for you (that is key), then that may be the best option for you to be your most entertaining. I think almost all the time, even those that are playing a “character”,” it’s not a persona that’s so far removed from their actual self; they are in that character too. Not sure it would work otherwise. That is how Jason plays it.

But I wouldn’t say it’s wrong for people to 100% be themselves in their performances either.

Yehuda

Yehuda
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Re: Interview

Postby Yehuda » July 29th, 2020, 6:25 pm

I’m not sure I agree with that, because I don’t think it’s just about being charismatic. I think in real life Jason is quite charismatic, but that doesn’t mean that’s the best path for him to take to best connect with an audience in a show. It's not just about charisma. (In a somewhat similar way, how is it that we can often feel a real connection and love/sympathy for a villain in a movie, or even for a hero for that matter, even when they are certainly not “charismatic.”) And by the way, I do find Jason's performing persona very charismatic.

Having a character is what allows you to do certain things, or do certain things more “naturally” (ironically), that you wouldn’t be able to do merely as “yourself.” Consider Jason’s awesome routine, “Nick of Time”. It is his presentation together with his character (with James Bond inspiration) that makes it a great performance piece. We all have in our repertoire a trick where we find aces or change four cards into four others (or both), but it’s his character and the presentation that makes the audience feel like he’s racing against a ticking time bomb, makes them care about the ticking time bomb, and makes it as strong and dramatic as it is. Performed as “himself,” the routine would "work," but it wouldn’t have the same impact. (Sorry, this is a good general conversation that doesn’t have to be about Jason. But he was the subject of this discussion, and I happen to think he’s a good example of this.)

So, one may suggest that everyone should ONLY do the stuff that they can do as themselves and they should only do them 100% as themselves, but if everyone would be completely honest about who “themselves” is, they’d be forced to leave out a lot of strong magic from their repertoires. Sure, everyone can do every trick technically, but can they get the most impact out of every trick? Obviously not; some work better than others for every person’s character.

To contrast, off the top of my head, consider Josh Jay and Garrett Thomas. They are both very charismatic guys and as far as I can tell, they pretty much are exactly themselves when they perform. I enjoy watching them and I enjoy watching Jason, but I understand they are different styles. When I watch Josh/Garrett, I feel like I’m watching them put on a great live show. When I watch Jason, I more feel like I’m watching a movie. I enjoy both and couldn’t compare them to say which is “better.”

And by the way, as a side note, the fact that Jason is seen as playing a character doesn’t make him a bad actor. I can't imagine he would actually want his audience members to leave the show thinking that he is exactly the person they just saw. He wants them to know it's a character, but be drawn into and connected to that character while they're watching. (Again, like in a movie, even though we know that's not a real guy, and that relationship with her isn't real, and that event isn't real, etc.) There may be some people that are capable of displaying a completely different personality than their real one while performing, without coming across as a character, but that seems to be more difficult and not as common.

This all leads to an interesting discussion: Should a magician first choose the character he wants to perform as and then choose the material that works for it, or should he choose the material he wants to perform and develop a character that allows it? Honestly, both are probably good approaches, and obviously each approach borrows from and feeds off the other to an extent as well, as your character develops with your material over time. From listening to many interviews with Jason, it seems he had many movie character inspirations from a young age that he identified with and I’m sure that helped mold his character early on, but then there is also material he wanted to do and he found a good balance to make his character work for that trick. Once you are very experienced, and have your character figured out, I'm guessing you’re probably more likely to create material for that character than to change the character.

Also, not to end on a negative note, but to go back to the original issue, it seems many people, probably due to some forms of insecurity, see CONFIDENCE as arrogance. I think Michael Vincent, who seems to be very well liked and accepted by the magic community, exudes a high level of confidence that is noticeable but still pleasant, both in his real-life personality and in his performances, and I think it’s great and certainly not arrogance. Michael Vincent doesn’t seem to get any negativity for being arrogant, and rightfully so, and I’m not sure why some people can’t see this in Jason’s work as well. (And again, I believe that Jason’s audiences DO see this and it’s only other magicians that pick on it.)

Yehuda

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Interview

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 29th, 2020, 6:42 pm

I am not sure what all the hullabaloo is about. I haven't seen any posts on here attacking Jason personally. I do remember Jason posting a link to a YouTube video where he performed a routine from his book wherein he repeatedly beat a spectator in a game. When someone posts a video on here, it is at least an implicit invitation to give feedback. I remember prefacing what I believed was my good faith, constructive criticism of the routine with what a superb card handler I thought he was. We learn and improve by opening ourselves up to the critique of others. And I don't know f anyone who is above learning and improving. In the interview, he seemed to paint a portrait of the embers here being a negative mob, a clique that were ganging up on him. I haven't see any evidence of anything close to that having happened on that particular thread, or any other. .

Yehuda
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Re: Interview

Postby Yehuda » July 29th, 2020, 7:39 pm

I think disagreements in this type of discussion will mostly come down to how we are defining terms. What I call a "different persona" you call "his regular persona but turned up a notch." But we probably agree more than we disagree.

So instead of using terms, I'll give an example. One of the lines he uses often is: "for a moment there I thought I had messed up, but then I remembered I don't do that." I don't think he wants anyone to believe that he uses that line in everyday life. That is him building the character he wants you to see.

Yehuda

Leo Garet
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Re: Interview

Postby Leo Garet » August 1st, 2020, 10:28 am

Fully agree with Magic Alfred. Yehuda seems to be offering a defence of something that doesn't need defending.

Roger M.
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Re: Interview

Postby Roger M. » August 1st, 2020, 11:36 am

I'm pretty sure Jason can speak for himself, and indeed his posting history here in this forum quite solidly bears that out.

When a performer repeatedly posts links in a forum to their performances, their books, their blogs, and their YouTube performances and interviews ... it's pretty safe to assume that they're also going to expect some feedback, and further they anticipate that feedback will be potentially balanced between some positive and some negative comments.

For a third party to begin posting at length in an effort to dispel the negative comments, on the premise that those readers/posters with negative impressions are somehow "missing the point" - is a waste of time, and counterproductive to the concept of a performer posting publicly in order to make a sales pitch, or to solicit feedback.

Posters to internet forums don't deserve, and shouldn't expect "only" accolades from readers ... there will also be criticisms rendered, and those critiques are as valid as any of the accolades might be.

Yehuda
Posts: 24
Joined: March 9th, 2020, 1:28 pm

Re: Interview

Postby Yehuda » August 2nd, 2020, 2:16 pm

Let me just begin by saying that my above posts were originally going back and forth with another person here, in direct responses to what he was posting. For whatever reason, those posts have since been deleted, leaving my posts looking a little ridiculous. Now I am left looking like I had posted 3 posts in a row. (And even the 4th one I made, I had not seen Alfred’s post, that apparently came before it, before posting it.) So if that’s how you first saw my posts, I get why it looks odd and ranty.

That said, I’ll briefly respond to Alfred, Leo and Roger. (I hope their posts don’t get deleted as well, which would once again make mine look silly.) My defense for Jason came about because I had recently read some negativity toward him (NOT constructive criticism) on another platform, I had heard some negativity from a friend of mine (magician, obviously) that saw him perform, and I also sensed some negativity in this thread. It’s entirely possible I read into the posts here incorrectly, and if so, my bad. But all that is what prompted me to explain how I think his persona is misunderstood by magicians.

Now, seeing as this thread is about the interview he did, if you listened to the interview you’d know that Jason specifically says he does not respond to bad things that are posted about him. I think that’s a smart choice on his part, but it still doesn’t stop others from being influenced when they hear those things. Therefore, I thought it would be fair to give an “outsider’s” opinion of Jason’s work, because that anyway would have more weight than someone defending himself. (Again, to be clear, I mean “bad things,” not good constructive criticism.)

As for giving feedback to someone that posts something, I absolutely agree. Honestly, I do not understand why someone would post something if they weren’t prepared to hear constructive criticism. Then why are you posting it, just to hear everyone say “great”? What’s the point in that?! I do suspect there are people that post stuff just to get the recognition and promote whatever it is they’re doing (video, blog, etc.) and aren’t specifically looking for feedback at all, good or bad. Not saying that’s what Jason’s goal is, but just sayin’.

So, to recap, yes, if someone posts something on a forum like this, it definitely makes sense to offer comments. But comments about the magician as a person, or comments that are not made in a respectful and constructive way, doesn’t seem so ok. If none of that was intended here, then I sincerely apologize for my uncalled-for posts.

Yehuda


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