Criss Angel

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 17th, 2007, 12:34 pm

Sorry, but "ridiculous" is exactly what I meant. Blaine is far more famous than Angel. It might not always be that way, but it's certainly that way now.
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 12:45 pm

I've hesitated to comment on the whole TV-magician theme because I think the question of legitimate deception versus wrongful deception in a magic act is a complex issue. I can see the various sides.

The following comments articulate my gut unease with these performers.

I think there's an ethical difference between deceiving someone by doing a piece of performance magic, on the one hand, and by lying to people about your ability to do the trick, on the other hand.

Here's a simple example of what I mean.

Blaine is able to perform the Ambitious Card. He can stand in front of me and do it as well as he did it on TV. I will see the same thing. The trick will be deceptive, as it should be, but he's not lying about his ability to do the trick.

On the other hand, when I see him on TV levitate a foot in the air on a public sidewalk with no visible means of support, to the astonishment of members of the public who are also on the sidewalk -- well, he's lying to me.

He can't do that trick as shown. He can't stand on the street in front of my house, in front of me and my neighbors, and levitate like that. I'd say his TV performance amounts to unethically lying to the TV audience.

It's a bit like those 19th- or 18th-century performers who would draw audiences by publicizing some wildly outrageous piece of magic (like putting themselves into a small bottle) they had no capacity to perform. I'd call that practice a lie, not show biz.

At the same time, I acknowledge some gray areas. What about card tricks that use relatively simple techniques to simulate the truly difficult sleights of card sharps? What about mentalism acts that are presented without a disclaimer that the audience is watching a magic act?

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 17th, 2007, 1:16 pm

Here's something I've never understood:

What difference does it make if anything can be performed live or not?

When someone says, "Yeah, but he can't do it live," how is it any different from someone saying "Yeah, but he can't do it with a borrowed deck."

In other words: he's not trying to do it with your deck. He's not trying to do it in person. He's doing it for TV. He should use the advantages provided by TV the same way someone might use the advantages of performing at a table to lap a few items.

The problem comes when the method becomes transparent. If they know you dropped the coin into your lap, the magic is ruined. Likewise, if they know you used camera tricks, the magic is ruined. But that doesn't mean camera tricks are bad -- it just means that they weren't used properly. They weren't used in a deceptive manner.

If there's a performer who can use camera tricks in an effective manner such that it isn't obvious what he's doing, then I say great! Why not?

-Jim

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Steve Bryant » July 17th, 2007, 1:26 pm

Eric,

Actually, I considered Blaine's levitation a gray area and gave him a pass on that one. I am convinced, that is, that the three ladies screaming when he floated was a genuine reaction to him doing the Balducci levitation. I've achieved similar reactions myself. Yes, it was a cheat to then edit in an enhanced floating for the viewing audience, but I considered that "even" as tv would have diminished the effect the levitation has on a live audience. (Similarly, television greatly diminished what it was like to watch Slydini or Goshman in person, because their wonderful misdirection couldn't misdirect the camera.) In general, though, I agree with you and hate seeing anyone use camera trickery. Criss Angel has run it into the ground (a shame as he CAN do great stuff live), and none of my lay friends are impressed. Perhaps the blame should go back to David Copperfield and his floating over the Grand Canyon. I'd love to see what David would do these days with a NEW special.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Brandon Hall » July 17th, 2007, 1:38 pm

CA uses TV as a method. It may interest some, it doesn't interst me. Magic should be performed before a live audience otherwise it's not magic. Just TV.
"Hope I Die Before I Get Old"
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 2:19 pm

It's an interesting and slippery issue. I'm not firm in my attitude.

Would you call someone a acrobat if you saw him do a circus act on TV and it turned out the performance was created by computer-generated methods?

Imagine if we watched a piano concert on TV and it turned out that the performer was actually sitting at a player piano. And we weren't told that at the time but discovered it later. I, for one, would feel lied to. I thought it was a concert by a skilled musician.

Now, if I were watching a fictional TV show and an actor playing a pianist didn't actually play the piano, of course I wouldn't feel lied to. I'd understand the wholly fictional nature of that show.

A performing magician walks an odd line.

He pretends to have magical powers, so that's fictional. But magicians also have real-life skills, such as sleight of hand and presentational ability.

I want magicians to use their real skills to create the fictional magic. I don't want to watch a simulation of a magician, whose magic is created by camera work and stooges.

I guess I'm old-fashioned. I think Mark Wilson had the right idea in insisting that what you saw on TV was just what you'd see in the studio. Otherwise, we're going to have to say Harry Potter is a great magician.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Pete Biro » July 17th, 2007, 2:33 pm

I believe everyone here is thinking to much and too hard... let's face it... today's tv and films are special effects driven. Look at 300 and the whole thing was CGI and I enjoyed it.

Whatever the magic performers care to do is up to them and it is fine by me.

You can like or dislike it.

Live or TV same deal, you can just simply like or dislike what they do and how they do it.
Stay tooned.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 2:50 pm

Eric, you've summed it up perfectly - for me, anyway.

Thank you for doing that,
Dave

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 17th, 2007, 3:23 pm

What's the difference between a camera trick and a double faced card?

-Jim

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 3:34 pm

What's the difference between a camera trick and a double faced card?
If you don't know the difference, then you must think Elizabeth Montgomery is a fantastic magician.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 3:45 pm

If you don't know the difference, then you must think Elizabeth Montgomery is a fantastic magician.
Barbara Eden was better.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 4:29 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote the following:

"Sorry, but "ridiculous" is exactly what I meant. Blaine is far more famous than Angel. It might not always be that way, but it's certainly that way now."

*****

Evidence suggests that Richard is ridiculously incorrect.

When comparing Criss Angel, David Blaine and David Copperfield
(for good measure)--Angel is ahead of the other two in terms of google
hits, personal website hits and for IMDB hits.

Blaine, consistently, is clearly in second place.

Perhaps one reason for this is that Angel appeared on Oprah.

When that happened, Angel received massive exposure with perhaps
5-8 million people who weren't aware of him before.

When David Blaine does a tv special, in a sense, he's largely entertaining
fans he's already bagged.

GOOGLE HITS

Angel has about 1.86 million links not including the .4 million links
where he is referred to as "Chris Angel".

Blaine came in at 1.6 million

Copperfield registers about 1.33 million (It came up 2.03 million but
I subtracted .7 million since that is the amount of hits that are Charles Dickens related.

In any event, these three illusionists are all hugely popular subjects to write about.

INTERNET MOVIE DATA BASE HITS

Angel ranks 1,101 in popularity this week.

Blaine is far behind at 7,343

and Copperfield is at 10,721

ALEXA WEBSITE RANKINGS

Finally, in terms of who has the most visited website:

Angel once again ranks first as he has one of the top 50,000
popular
websites in the world (at 47,508) whereas Blaine is at 240,826 and
Copperfield again finished third at 265,617.

Basically, Angel has scored a hat trick and by a fairly good margin.

But, we all know that measuring fame is a nebulous craft.

After all, tens of millions of people know Copperfield in China and
they aren't all hitting the internet.

In additon, there are tons of people who have him cemented in their
heads from the television specials in the 1980's.

Interestingly enough, the websites that these three have all attract
far more than international hits than national ones.

Criss Angel's second biggest internet fan base? Canada.

David Blaine's second biggest? Malaysia.

Copperfield's second biggest internet fan base?
it's a tie between Iran and Vietnam.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 17th, 2007, 7:22 pm

You can cite all the internet stats you want. I could care less.
All you have to do is talk to people and ask them if they've heard of David Blaine. The answer is almost always yes. Ask them if they've heard of Criss Angel. The answer is almost always no.
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 17th, 2007, 8:04 pm

What's the difference between a camera trick and a double faced card?
If you don't know the difference, then you must think Elizabeth Montgomery is a fantastic magician.
That's a nice way of avoiding answering the question. Please read my first post before jumping to conclusions.

The effects on Bewitched were not in any way deceptive -- everyone watching knew that they were camera tricks. I stated in my first post that if camera tricks were used deceptively, then I see nothing wrong with employing them, just as I see no problem employing a gaffed card in a deceptive manner.

What is the difference between a camera trick and a double faced card?

-Jim

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 8:38 pm

Our Chief Genii wrote:
Fact is, he [Angel] can reproduce virtually everything he's done in a live stage show with various methods that are familiar to many of us.
What about the production of the humvee and military personnel in the desert? Seems that's purely a camera perspective trick and would only work in person with an immobilized audience of one.

Correct?

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 17th, 2007, 8:42 pm

I think Jim Maloney asked a very fair question.

For me, the difference is that the gaffed card is used as part of a magic trick, whereas the camera trickery is used to fool spectators into thinking they saw a magic trick when what they really saw was something different -- a video contrivance.

You'll notice that I'm not willing to define a video contrivance as a magic trick, and you are. We'll have to agree to disagree on that.

When we watch Bewitched, we're not being unfairly deceived about the actress's powers precisely because we know we're seeing a fictional show.

When we watch a magician, we don't think he really has magical powers. But we do think he really has a performer's skills of, for example, sleight of hand, misdirection, presentation, etc.

When we watch a Criss Angel TV show, sometimes we're watching a magician use his very real skills to create the fiction of magical powers. Obviously, that's fine.

And sometimes we're seeing a director and stooges create a simulation of a magic trick. To me, that's not fine.

Why? Because some viewers must think they're always seeing the former situation, but they're not.

Broadcast David Copperfield or broadcast Bewitched, but don't blend the two situations in one TV show and call it a magic show.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 6:13 am

so Chris has opted for the "easy" route to achieve his success. (camera edits')

His live magic is a million times better, i just wish he'd stick with it.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 7:05 am

"so Chris has opted for the "easy" route to achieve his success. (camera edits')"

What a ridiculous statement. There is no 'easy' route to success. If you believe you can make use of some camera technique and achieve what he has - you are sorely mistaken ;-)

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » July 18th, 2007, 7:08 am

Isn't the whole purpose of magic to create a false reality -- the audience thinks they're seeing one thing while something else is actually happening?

But we do think he really has a performer's skills of, for example, sleight of hand, misdirection, presentation, etc.
Why can't video editing be one of the skills in a magician's arsenal? Some may feel that it's cheating, but isn't all of magic really cheating? Why are we defining an arbitrary line that rules out "video contrivance" (I like that term) but allows for all kinds of other deceptions?

And sometimes we're seeing a director and stooges create a simulation of a magic trick. To me, that's not fine.
This is, perhaps, one of the stronger arguments I've seen against using camera tricks. I'm still not convinced, but it is a good point.

-Jim

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2007, 7:33 am

Clay, using the all the tools at the command of a stage magician, including a custom-built stage in a theater costing millions, it's certainly possible to vanish or produce just about anything.
Remember--this is not David Copperfield's show which tours around the country. This is more like Siegfried & Roy's show which can only be done in one place with things unique to that stage.
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 8:14 am

Remember the Monkees TV show? It was a comedy about a pop band. The fact that the folks who starred in the show also wanted to write and play music was impertinent to the show. They did sing along to the songs on the show.

Or consider the TV shows from back then with magical characters who twitched their noses or blinked to make things happen. Both had laugh tracks.

So how different is a show about a magician who does tricks on the street or on buildings?

On TV the character does something, the camera cuts, the soundtrack fills in the laugh track, we get reaction shots of the other cast members (be they know stars or unknowns) and the story as per the storyboards goes on.

What's the big deal? It's a TV show about a magician.

In general, on TV or film, a character can walk out a door on one day in one country and seem to be in another place and time in just a quick step and a cut. It's called movie magic. Continuity is an illusion created in the editing room.

So cue the canned laughter and tell the stooges to look amazed.

Excuse me, can I borrow that Ferrari you happen to have parked over there for a moment?

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 8:20 am

I must say I think CA should ditch his persona and stick with Justin Case....just kidding. But I have seen people do the appearing broom a lot better than he did! He should stay with what he does well I think and forget these corny characters.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 8:35 am

Richard,

Your thesis is based solely from the people you come into contact with?

Do all those laypeople have anything in common--say, a shared demographic of some kind?

A regional bias? An income bias?

I can tell you that in my national travels, whenever word
leaks
out that I manage a few magicians, that the conversations leads to people
asking about Criss Angel over David Blaine 10-1.

The second thru fifth most popular topics they bring up involving my
non-clients involve

2. Roy of Siegfried and Roy
3. David Copperfield
4. Pamela Anderson
5. Penn & Teller
6. David Blaine

Why do these laymen all ask me about Angel?

Might have something to do with Silverking's excellent observation that Angel is a weekly presence.

Might be the catchier name.

Might be how he always finds a way to be in the news.

Might be because he's been photographed in public with Cameron, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

I don't believe that you've convinced a single person on this thread that
Blaine is more famous as your argumentation of "because I think he is"
has no empirical evidence outside of your own worldview.

it would be like you dismissing the internet statistics that the earth
revolves around the sun simply because it appears to you that it is
the sun that is doing the revolutions.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2007, 8:42 am

Jonathan brings up a good point: the TV show "The Monkees" created the illusion of a band. The four guys were not a band--they were actors hired for a TV show and also musicians. The band was created for the show, but the actors portraying the Monkees weren't playing the instruments on the recorded tracks and they didn't write the music, either. It's a fiction, and one that viewers believed.

Or FDR, who had polio could not stand or walk by himself--the entire world was hoodwinked by the carefully controlled images during his entire Presidency that gave the impression he could both stand and walk on his own (even though he had leg braces). Another fiction.

With magic, you know it's fiction from the start (unless you're a nut). There's no real magic--every trick is fiction, every performance a construct.

I don't happen to agree with those who think you must have continuous camera shots of a trick from start to finish, or you can't use stooges, or whatever. However, there is a DEGREE you reach, a tipping point, where it becomes obvious even to the uneducated (laymen) that something "else" is going on.
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 9:17 am

Excellent statements Richard! If Criss is the more popular these days it has to have something to do with his appeal to the younger crowd. His image, ties to rock/metal music, and cutting edge stuff really appeals to a certain demographic. I think more adults know who David Blaine is and if they know who Criss Angel is it probably is because their son or daughter told them about him. However, maybe those same adults are not really fans.

I also remember Criss on specials long ago when he performed in make-up etc. Why didn't he take off then? What triggered this show to come about and give him the success he now enjoys if it wasn't having some "help". I don't buy that he had to take such a hard road to success, but rather seems to have fallen into it. And I get a feeling that it could turn on him if he doesn't manage his whole popularity very well. So if I'm ill informed somebody can educate me as to how he had to keep trying to break into the spotlight.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 9:45 am

The Monkee's analogy is very good because it forces you to ask is "Mindfreak" a magic show on TV or a TV show about Chris Angel who is a magician (Like Bill Bixby show "The Magician). If it's the former, I personally think it fails. If it's the latter it's a huge success.

Arnie

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 10:19 am

Michael Nesmith wrote many of the Monkees songs, and in fact went on to a very successful career in the music industry.

'Head Monkee' Michael Nesmith was a brilliant musician who, along with the legendary Gram Parsons, is credited with releasing the initial songs that were considered to be 'Country Rock'.

But hey, lets not let actual facts get in the way of a personal point of view.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2007, 10:28 am

silverking, pointing out the fact that Michael Nesmith was a musician is irrelevant to my point: the group was a fictional construct created to service a TV show. They did not play their own instruments on the recording tracks (or Nesmith might have). They did not write their own songs (or Nesmith might have written some of them). It doesn't matter if he did or he didn't.

Don't nitpick.
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 11:13 am

Richard, if you don't like me disagreeing with you or correcting statements made that are completely wrong, kick me off the board.

But don't tell me what to post, or that I have to hold a similar opinion to your own in order to post here.

Also don't tell me not to 'nitpick' when you post an inaccurate statement like you did about 'Blizzard', the Angel/Blaine popularity contest, and now this bit about the Monkees not writing or performing their songs.

And I still don't like the David Berglas article......sorry!

Don't tell me what to say, and don't blow me off like I'm some sort of moron who has no knowledge or backup when I post a comment.

This is your board, and you can do whatever you want, but you're often wrong and don't, or won't admit it.

Give me the boot, or chill out and let me have my say.......I'm OK either way.

(I still subscribe to your magazine and buy your books, so it's really a 'win/win' for you either way)

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 18th, 2007, 12:42 pm

ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz. :sleep:
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 1:12 pm

LOL, I laughed when I read that reply Richard!

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 3:10 pm

I believe that having an ABC special once every couple of years that's viewed by a lot of folks once balances well with having a weekly show on cable watched by a couple of million folks but having a couple of million people watching you EVERY week.
Silverking, the disconnect here is that in the case of the cable show, it's approximately the SAME couple of million people every week. It's not additive...it's not as if 10 weeks of 1.5-million viewers adds up to 15 million viewers.

About those internet statistics: Criss regularly runs internet-based sweepstakes and promotions.

--Josh

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 18th, 2007, 3:29 pm

The very fact that this topic is posted on magician's forums here and all over the world is testament to the fact that love him, like him, or hate him, Criss Angel has made an impression on magic. Alot of young people want to be like him, even people from my own age group (Top of the hill, looking down) who aren't magician's know who he is. He has become a household name for better or worse. In the end, the only thing that matters is what the lay people think. I'm sure the topic of Criss Angel and/or David Blaine will go on in the magic community for as long as they are able to remain marketable products. The fact that it will says that no matter what the final outcome, they will be remembered.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 20th, 2007, 1:54 pm

Eric Fry - I'm with you 100% - both on the Harry Potter comment and the comment about easy moves simulating difficult moves. An example you may have been thinking about is the pseudo center deal.
I don't think it's right to tell people that you know how to center deal, and then fake it with a second deal. Can you fool them? Sure. Is it ethical? Nope.
The difference between magic and the pseudo center deal situation is in people's perception. If you explain to them what a center deal is, explaining it's one of the most difficult feats with cards, then in that context they believe you are being "straight" with them (not lying) - the magician role is dropped for this demonstration. For you to then cheat them after talking "in confidence", I believe it's unethical - no different from lying in court.
The public understands what a magician is, so I have no problem "lying" during a regular performance - it's understood that deceit is the name of the game. This is understood in ANY LIVE performance - which is why the player piano example posted by Eric would be scandalous. The audience "in confidence" believes the skills of the pianist to be legitimate.
On the other hand, like Eric said, it would be fine for an actor to play the part of a pianist even if he doesn't know a thing about the piano. In movies, deception is the name of the game as well. Everybody wants to be fooled - they want it to appear as if the character is real, but they don't feel lied to. The deception is understood. In like manner, that's why a double-faced card is fine - what the audience sees is what the audience sees. It's a "legitimate" (understood) lie. They have no clue how it's happening, but they can't help but deny what they are seeing. (Also - the double facer is no different from any sleight or gaff in this regard.)
In CA and DB's tv magic, the audience believes (is taken in confidence) that what they are seeing is what they would see if they were there in person. This is simply not the case - it's like the player piano - they are being lied to. (An "illegitimate" lie.) The illusion being performed is legitimate / understood deception - the effects made possible by the tv are not understood, so therefore illegitimate.
I agree that on Blaine's levitation, showing the actual illusion would have been underwelming to the tv audience. But raising him impossibly to a foot or more into the air doesn't correct that. A potential (though still really a "lie") solution would have been to show no support, but at the correct height. That way, the tv audience would have experienced the same feat as the live audience, and the average magician could appear to duplicate the feat.

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Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 20th, 2007, 7:57 pm

Josh--

-you wrote that Criss Angel has internet based sweepstakes and
the like.

Were you implying that it somehow diminishes his level of fame?

If anything, this small portion of his formula would successfully raise his profile to the laymen. That's like saying that the fame William Shatner receives from Priceline shouldn't count.

It's true that Criss Angel's television ratings are largely additive, but there's two things to remember here

-- the teasers and adverts for his show are continuous and are often seen by many people who are not fans of magic and it's not like these Mindfreak ads only appear on A & E.

--Secondly, the sheer repetition of his presence embeds him deeper into the minds of his fans which in turn, gives his fame much more of a staying power.

This is one issue that I think some magicians are so deep in the forest on, that they can't see the trees.

When wondering who is more famous, perhaps magicians should recuse from the argument and leave it to the people who edit pop culture mags, book talk shows and who work on Madison Avenue--because it is livelihood of these people to know whom is more famous than who.

Here's how the entertainment industry outside of magic sees these two guys in a nutshell:

Angel became famous in 2005, got about 20 percent more famous in 2006 and this year has hit a number of new peaks.
2008 looks like it will go even higher.

Although his appearance on CSI-NewYork and Howard Stern bumped him up this year, they actually didn't get him past his 2006 peak

---but an appearance on Conan O'Brien did.

and then once the pictures of him and Cameron hit the general public in conjunction with his fortuitous appearance on Oprah,
Angel came close to doubling the level of fame he had previously received in 2005 when Mindfreak debuted.

David Blaine's career, thus far, saw him peak in 2006 with the Drowned Alive special although Blaine also had a bump nearly as impressive in 2003 when he got tons of press when a bloke in London attempted to cut off his water supply while he was suspended high up in the box.

Both of these performances basically raised his standard base level of fame by about 40 percent, but these were short term gains that weren't built on. Probably because his audience isn't additive by nature.

Blaine, in late 2006, attempted to build on the holding-his breath stunt by spinning from shackles but this performance did not come close to attracting the same level of mainstream attention that his water stunt had.

If anything, it made the industry think that he was on the decline--and on the fame meter, perception becomes reality.

Blaine received his first mainstream fame in 1999 through the Rosie O'Donnell show and then it really took off in late 2000 because of three appearances on Howard Stern.

(this was when Howard's audience was ten times larger than it is now).

Blaine built on that Stern fame quite well. It rose and rose and finally peaked in the latter part of 2003 when he starved himself in the suspended box in London.

His fame leveled off but rose again 2.5 years later with his holding of the breath underwater.

But,

(and this would be Kaufman's most salient point of he ever got into a true evidentiary phase of argumentation)

the sheer level of fame Blaine had for that one week when people thought he had almost drowned was a short burst of white hot fame that Criss Angel has never approached.

The press wires picked up on the Blaine drowning angle in spades whereas Angel's most famous moment in history
(being seen romantically with Cameron in full view of celebrity photographers), although juicy to everyone who reads tabloids, was not nearly a top news story on CNN and the like.

Silverking's assertion that the two have criss-crossed each other in fame is entirely accurate as it has happened numerous times since Mindfreak debuted in 2005 but even so, Blaine has been dominant throughout most of 2005 and 2006.

But Angel now holds a strong advantage. If there one single demarkation point, it would have been in December of 2006 the week after Blaine's shackle stunt.

Some experts like Richard Kaufman think Blaine is more famous.
Fair enough. Determining fame outside of impartial empirical evidence can be seen as a matter of opinion.

After all, I would concede that perhaps housewives in Iowa are still thinking about Blaine's television specials last year more than what they are reading about in People mag, seeing on CSI and Conan and Entertainment Tonight and Mindfreak and
Oprah this year.

Richard declined to comment when I pushed him to qualify just what type of people indicate to him that Blaine is more famous.

If I had to guess, I believe that Richard is seen as an expert to laymen (especially to those in the media) and that they go to him when they have questions that they can't answer for themselves (or when a performer's publicity machine fails to).

I believe the sheer enigmatic quality of Blaine as well as the nature of his stunts lead people with access to Richard to ask far more questions about David than Criss.

After all, if you were an outsider wondering if Blaine was really in danger of ever dying, you would ask an expert like Richard.

However, if you were wondering about Angel's personal life (which is a major component of his media hook), you would't bother a respected historian like Richard with your gossipy question--even if you were thinking it.

But of course, Richard is wrong. Scary wrong. Something tells me that he doesn't get out of the fishbowl and into the true breadbasket nearly as often as the rest of us.

Know who thinks Angel has a larger fame base than Blaine?
Hollywood-
and that's the single biggest component that determines who they
cast in lead roles.

In 2007, the single largest fanfare Blaine received was for having a supporting acting role in a movie that premiered at the Caanes film festival. That's the pecking order he's been handed but of course, it does have the has cache of being an art film so in a way, it is designed to be unseen by the mainstream laymen.

Angel, however, has been tabbed as the lead in a Hollywood production of Mandrake in addition to getting the nod for a seond television show (Phenomenon on NBC ) and this is all in addition to his collaborative Cirque du Soleil show in pre-production at the Luxor.

Sorry for the prolificity.

Guest

Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 21st, 2007, 8:33 am

Originally posted by Chris Ritter:
Josh--

-you wrote that Criss Angel has internet based sweepstakes and
the like.

Were you implying that it somehow diminishes his level of fame?
Chris,

I was merely suggesting that Criss's site's current popularity is not a meaningful measure of his overall fame as compared with Blaine, because Criss is actively running internet promos of various sorts and advertising them appropriately. So citing Criss's site's current traffic as an indicator is misleading. If you're going to do that, then you also have to look at the hits on Blaine's site during the run-up to his shows and during the actual shows themselves.

--Josh

David Britland
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Re: Criss Angel

Postby David Britland » July 21st, 2007, 1:31 pm

Another way of comparing fame on the internet is to use Google Trends. This measures the number of searches made for key words.

It enables you, for instance, to compare the number of searches made for 'David Blaine' with those for 'Criss Angel.' It even produces a graph showing the highs and lows over several years and links the peaks to news events. The results are very interesting.

Google Trends

Guest

Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 21st, 2007, 2:16 pm

David,

That is an interesting site! The results certainly can't be tied to the public at large, but they can be compared to each other for fun. According to the results, for instance, David Copperfield is a far more popular search than Paris Hilton. (Granted that people might also be looking for the BOOK, but...) I find that suspicious.

--Josh

Guest

Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 21st, 2007, 3:37 pm

Many of those complaining about the use of stogges seem to be forgetting the old adage that not the "how" is important but the "what".
I am not a fan of what Chriss does on TV (and to be honest I have yet to sit through one of the mindfreak episodes, after 10 minutes or so I have to hit the remote) but I respect that he and his team have figured out their target audience and have fashioned a product that seems to be appealing to them (otherwise the TV people would not be ordering more of his specials).
What many of the esteemed gentleman on this board forget is the simple fact that magic is art and thus does not have to appeal to everyone!
As long as Chriss is not out there touting he uses camera tricks and/or stooges and fools his audience than I really would like to know what he is to blame for......

Guest

Re: Criss Angel

Postby Guest » July 21st, 2007, 3:49 pm

Originally posted by WolfgangWollet:
Many of those complaining about the use of stogges seem to be forgetting the old adage that not the "how" is important but the "what"....
IMHO the complaint is that the stooges are such lousy actors (at least as shown in the final edited product) that their presence has become public knowledge. I'm fine with whatever gives the best show.


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