"Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 9:41 am

Hello everyone,
I do agree with sillywater to a point. Dai Vernon was no doubt the most profficient sleight of hand artist and inventor of his time. I also cannot deny that he made a great living doing what he did. However, keep in mind that he made a good living off of magic like many other "mediocre" professional magicians but became famous among the magic community due to his great sleight of hand and inventions: laymen could care less about these things however. If you ask a lay person to this day if they've ever heard of "Dai Vernon," 98% will say no. Ask them if they've heard of Houdini, 98% will say yes. Although "The Professor" may have fooled Houdini, he was just not as entertaining.

As far as being an entertainer, he was deffinately mediocre from a laymens perspective. Actually, my intermediate "Theatre and Arts" students are more likely to display memorable performances using nothing more than a "thumb tip" than "The Professor" executing fancy sleight of hand with a deck of cards.
Likewise, if Dai Vernon did not display great sleight of hand among the magic community or produce new ideas or inventions, his name would no longer be "The Professor" but "The Student," no pun intended.

Although I've made a living off of magic for 10 years before I became a teacher, I have never labeled myself as a "Professional" because there is an image related to that. "Business tie, suit, business cards and let's not forget the cups and balls." Why have I never chosen this method? Because most of these types of performers are predictable and replacable. What do I mean by replacable? No offense, but I've replaced 6 so called "Professional" magicians who have had contracts to be employed with their restaurants for a certain amount of time. Again, I'm not bragging. It's simply a point I was trying to make.

People want to experience something different and original, not a replica of something that's been done in the past no matter how long your experience has been. Of course you may get an applause but is it out of sympathy or appreciation and excitement? You may recieve a job at a convention, party, or restaurant but is it because the owner or decision maker is pleased with you as a performer or desparate that they'll do anything to attract new customers?

I understand that many of you reading this are very upset but we must express ourselves completely and adapt to the times of the new if we're to make meaningful impressions.

Take good care,
Anthony R.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 10:35 am

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
Ok Silly Walter - you oh so great magic historian. Please inform me how Dai Vernon made a living? Besides doing magic and cutting silhouettes that were entertainment programs booked by an agent?

Please inform me of his career or his day job?

Other than doing magic shows? And magic lectures much later on in his life?

I await your answer!
You do know that cutting silhouettes is totally different than doing magic, right? Yeah he would throw in card tricks but the people were there to get him to cut the silhouettes. if he didn't do any card tricks, they would have been cool with that. If he did card tricks and didn't cut silhouettes the customers would have had frowny faces and gotten mad because they would have reminded him that he isn't a professional magician.

Also, I do believe you mentioned that a professional is someone who would sharpen their magic skills and presentation on lay people. Being a professional magic lecturer is not the same thing as being a professional entertainer. Also, living off of the generosity of others doesn't make you a succesful performer either.

I am not downplaying Dai Vernon for any of this. Just simply stating that Dai Vernon was not a professional magician although he did invent the inner secrets books and the magic wand.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 11:23 am

I think of "professional magician" as meaning a "professional entertainer" who happens to be doing magic. The performance is paramount. If you watch old footage of Al Flosso (to pick someone from that same era) you see someone whose act is based on showmanship. I didn't get that same sense of watching a professional entertainer from what I've seen of Vernon.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 11:37 am

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:Is that it? Is that all you got? (laughing).
Coincidentally I was laughing as well. The difference is I was viewing some of your performance videos when I was laughing.


Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
I suggest you read the above again where I talk about John Shirley and Jay Marshall and how they did all sorts of other things besides magic. And along with their magic to make them more attractive to a booker.
I didn't bother reading anything you wrote. Once you mentioned that Vernon was a professional magician, I knew the rest of what you had to say was probably equally as mind numbing.


Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:In the book Programs of Famous magicians Max Holden lists Dai Vernon's act in the year of 1931 and doesn't even mention silhouettes.
Maybe he forgot to write it or maybe Max Holden couldnt' spell silhouette. I have difficulty spelling it as well.

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
And I would like to add we already know he cut silhouettes and did card tricks. But what is a gross mistake is how many people of the magic community totally disregard the success Dai Vernon had and his track record of success he had as a professional magician in these years Max Holden talked about.
OK. So Dai Vernon did some magic in 1931. I see your point. I guess you are right he is a professional magician !!!! I totally take back all of what I had to say. My mistake for ignoring the year 1931. Happens to the best of us, I guess.


Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
So basically you say that Dai Vernon made his living cutting silhouettes? Is that it? That is your comeback?

In my opinion he made a living cutting silhouettes and doing magic shows in those years around 1931.

And he did more than one thing to make a living just like most of the other professional magicians of his day. Like Jay Marshall that did Punch and Judy, comedy, acting in plays, and magic.
Wait a second. Vernon was a professional magician. You even said so. What do you mean he had to do other stuff like cutting silhouettes. If he was magician, why did you mention first that he cut silhouettes?

And what is all of this about punching Judy. Why did he punch Judy, was she being a bitch? Did Judy figure out one of his card tricks he got paid to do professionally?

Dammit, you had me convinced that he was a professional magician and now you are saying he did other stuff?

I'm lost.

Jeff Eline
Posts: 647
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Jeff Eline » November 23rd, 2007, 12:10 pm

Originally posted by AnthonyR:
As far as being an entertainer, he was deffinately mediocre from a laymens perspective. Actually, my intermediate "Theatre and Arts" students are more likely to display memorable performances using nothing more than a "thumb tip" than "The Professor" executing fancy sleight of hand with a deck of cards.
Wow! I think I have a new signature. :confused:

User avatar
NCMarsh
Posts: 1222
Joined: February 16th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Devant, Wonder, Richiardi, Benson, DeKolta, Teller, Harbin, Durham, Caveney, Ben, Hoy, Berglas, Marceau
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby NCMarsh » November 23rd, 2007, 12:57 pm

With this thread...GF has fallen to cafe-level conversation...

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 1:56 pm

if memory serves me correctly...Larry Jennings was a Plumber by trade and Ed Marlo was a Machinist by trade and a lot of acts we admire in present day do something else to make their living wage. Let us in the magic community not confuse the stardom from their magic merchandise or mentions in the trades as something the general public knows them to be. Doc Daley was an amateur (Vernon's words) that Vernon admired and unto his passing claimed as one of the great close-up magicians of the time

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 2:11 pm

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:
With this thread...GF has fallen to cafe-level conversation...
Then you should finally be able to keep up.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 23rd, 2007, 6:09 pm

By the way, Glenn, I can't recall where - perhaps in the fourth Vernon book in the series L&L published or in "The Vernon Touch" - Vernon notes that he found the masks that Jean Vernon made for his Chinese act were a godsend in helping him deal with his terrible nerves, since his face was hidden.

Also, you'll note that Levent observes in his recent book that the Harlequin act, while having a number of brilliant qualities, was "not a commercial success" and only ran over end '38 and start '39.

In any case, while it's true that Vernon dabbled with magic at a few professional-level engagements early on and for a short period, he didn't stick with it. He preferred a less stressful existence, cutting silhouettes and, basically, freeloading. Doing magic lectures is not the same as being a pro performer, regardless of how you frame it.

So I'll make this concession: Vernon gave it a shot at becoming a pro, briefly. But he didn't stick it.

That doesn't mean he wasn't a great magician. Being a pro does not equate with being great, just as being an amateur does not equate with being a hack. Harry Riser is an amateur. Steve Freeman is an amateur. Roy Walton is an amateur (performer) but a professional magic shop owner. Bill Goodwin is an amateur. Doc Daley was an amateur. And so on. All great in their own way.

And the reverse is true. There are some overrated pros. Even some that get coverage or write articles for the major magazines.

Best,
Joe E. Pike

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2007, 10:28 am

I once heard a similar theory posited by a young guy in a magic shop. He was a professional magician because he worked in a magic shop. He said this to me, Chuck Kirkham and Lou Lancaster.

The three of us had a good chuckle over that.

Lecturing to amateur magicians who pay to attend does not, in my view, make one a "professional."

And as I said, the majority of the booking slips that I've seen for Vernon's work for Mrs. King in the society parties she booked had him working as a silhouette artist, not magician.

Don't forget the time that Vernon was working in construction and broke both elbows...the picture in a Genii of the time showing him in hospital.

And I'll add to this, I saw Vernon work several times. In close up he was quite good and entertaining, but on stage he wasn't very good. One appearance on It's Magic was pitiful and once, in Santa Barbara he badly bobbled the Cups and Balls explaining to me after the show when I asked what happened: "I was drunk."

I wouldn't begin to put Vernon in the same category - "professional" - as Jay Marshall or Billy Bishop.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2007, 12:15 pm

Professional ... Amateur ... just semantics.

Vernon was an Artist.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2007, 1:19 pm

Originally posted by Hannibal:
Professional ... Amateur ... just semantics.

Vernon was an Artist.
Why?

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2007, 2:00 pm

Why not?

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 24th, 2007, 3:54 pm

Seriously... why? In a discussion of pro vs. am, what was it about Vernon that makes him an artist? What is an artist in terms of magic? Is Vernon immune from consideration in a discussion like this? Is that what it's all about? Is he some sort of messianic figure who is "off-limits"?

What's an artist, in a discussion about magicians, anyway?

These glib statements you make without any supporting argument are really unedifying, and your smart ass response is unhelpful.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2007, 3:23 am

Vernon was an artist because he cut silhouettes. In Glenn Bishop's world, cutting silhouettes means that Vernon was a professional magician so there you have it.

PS - This was established in 1931.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2007, 4:59 am

Personally I don't understand what the whole thread is about anyway. We all agree (I think) that Vernon (and others) made great contributions to Magic. What difference could it possibly make if we label those folks as "Professional" or "Amateur". Would it diminish their contribution? Make them any less worthy? No. So why is there the need to "slot" them?

BTW, in the "and others", I include Slydini, Marlo, and a whole bunch more that I can't think of right now.

Adrian

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2007, 7:23 am

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:

Feel free to talk about me now that I am gone!
Excellent! Ok, I'll start. How big of a moron is Glenn Bishop? I mean, not only does he assume that he can be called a magician, but he talks about himself as if he's on a power with people like Dai Vernon, Ed Marlo and Don England!

As well as being a moron, he is also a bit of a comedian. Have you seen the ace cutting debacle that he thinks is a "good idea?" It's hilarious! Not to show any bias, the other "performance" videos on his web site are just as funny!

What about his blogs? They are hilarious too! His writing speaks for itself. This man has to be the biggest moron I have ever come across!

His promise is too good to be true actually. In the past few years I think he has promised to disappear from the forums about four hundred and eighty times. Lets hope he sticks to it this time.

As you can see in this thread, his definition of a professional or somebody with class is merely anybody that agrees with him and doesn't expose him for the idiot that he is! He thinks that adding "just my opinion" to the end of his posts will justify any drivel he comes out with. After all, nobody can tell you that your opinion is stupid, can they? No, that wouldn't be polite.

Glenn, your opinions on almost every subject are moronic! They are not logical, not thought through and often hypocritical and contradictory.

Thanks for the memories bish, please stick to your promise this time.

Au revoir!

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 25th, 2007, 8:52 am

I remember when I told everybody that I was quitting smoking. I guess people stopped believing me after about the 20th time.

Well, gotta run. Maybe I'll cut a silhouette in honor of our fallen comrade. It will be an empty box but not just any empty box. This will be an exmpty box signifying the departure of a true soldier of magical wisdom from the various forums.

See you on Tuesday, Glenn.

Yours in Magic,

Silly Walter the Polar Bear

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2007, 1:49 am

Originally posted by Adrian Kuiper:
Personally I don't understand what the whole thread is about anyway. We all agree (I think) that Vernon (and others) made great contributions to Magic. What difference could it possibly make if we label those folks as "Professional" or "Amateur". Would it diminish their contribution? Make them any less worthy? No. So why is there the need to "slot" them?

BTW, in the "and others", I include Slydini, Marlo, and a whole bunch more that I can't think of right now.

Adrian
Not about categorizing, except that it helps us to know what's great and what's not.

Simply labeling someone an artist with no further comment to help us understand what you mean is as useful as saying he was a fantabulist or an imagineer or wonder worker or whatever. It's meaningless.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2007, 1:51 am

Originally posted by Glenn Bishop:
And this is where I take my bow and make my exit from "ALL" the forums and the message boards of magic because I have nothing more to say to magicians.

Feel free to talk about me now that I am gone!

Poof!
Not this shtick again. What a drama queen.

See you soon when the hissy fit cools off.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2007, 10:25 am

Originally posted by Joe Pike:
Simply labeling someone an artist with no further comment to help us understand what you mean is as useful as saying he was a fantabulist or an imagineer or wonder worker or whatever. It's meaningless.

Relative to the word "artist" some justification might be necessary, but not for the words professional and/or amateur. In the case of "artist" you run head-on into personal preference. Some folks, for example, would love to stare at a Picasso painting while listening to the music of Kenny G. Both of whom are considered artists by many. For me, however, it would be among the worst moments of my life.

With Vernon as the subject, whether he was a professional or an amateur is irrelevant. For our purposes he was a thinker and an innovator who left us a wonderful legacy.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2007, 12:29 pm

Originally posted by Joe Pike:
Originally posted by Hannibal:
[b] Professional ... Amateur ... just semantics.

Vernon was an Artist.
Why? [/b]
Professional versus amateur is just semantics because they are just meaningless labels. Does putting a sign over his head change in any way how he should be perceived? Shouldn't his body of work be judged on its own merits?

Vernon was an artist because he imbued his craft with passion, creativity and love. In doing so, he changed the world.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 26th, 2007, 12:36 pm

Originally posted by Hannibal:Vernon was an artist because he imbued his craft with passion, creativity and love. In doing so, he changed the world.
LOL !!!! What????? Did you think you were being deep when you wrote this? I will give you "mad props" for using the word "imbue". I would have went with "permeated".

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 27th, 2007, 7:24 am

I'll bet you would have "went with permeated " while you were skipping grammar class.

I'm getting the distinct feeling that both you and Joe Pike will belittle and argue any response made in this thread. If that's what floats your boat....have fun.

Adrian

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 27th, 2007, 10:32 am

What exactly are "mad props"?

I see a set of deranged cups ...

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 27th, 2007, 12:08 pm

Originally posted by Adrian Kuiper:
I'm getting the distinct feeling that both you and Joe Pike will belittle and argue any response made in this thread.
It's a discussion. What's wrong with me asking you to explain why you make certain assertions? I'm not responsible for this Silly Walter guy's behaviour, so don't lump us together just because I question your views.

Guest

Re: "Entertainer" v.s "Amateur"

Postby Guest » November 27th, 2007, 5:47 pm

Originally posted by Hannibal:
What exactly are "mad props"?

I see a set of deranged cups ...
I like your answer. ;)


Return to “General”