Close-up Magic on Letterman

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Steve Bryant
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Steve Bryant » May 20th, 2010, 11:00 am

"feel good about beating the jerks who set him up to fail"?

We must be watching different shows. From my set, Letterman has been great with all the guests so far. And Carney and Palmer were superb. It's always hilarious to me that you can hear JAP's chicks peeping well before their appearance, whether live or on tv. Best of luck to Cohen and Ammar.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Doc Eason » May 20th, 2010, 11:36 am

I guess that is a benefit of being over 60 and the veteran of one too many rocknroll shows.. I have never heard the chicks making a sound... ! Huh? whadja say?

Dave looked like he was having a good time last night with Johnny. Fully engaged and he got to handle the cups and did you notice that he never said, "can you do it without the cups?"

I think that sound I hear (barely) is the sound of a bunch of Wow gimmicks being tossed into the drawer.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Michael Kamen » May 20th, 2010, 11:48 am

From the clips, which may have been kinder than the live broadcast which I did not see, Randal was delightful, and Carney was (thank you god) superb. Letterman was Letterman, charming and appreciative, and not a problem to either. Little to complain about here.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby AMCabral » May 20th, 2010, 11:51 am

Doc Eason wrote:I think that sound I hear (barely) is the sound of a bunch of Wow gimmicks being tossed into the drawer.


Followed by the sound of all those drawers opening after those folks attend a Paul Gertner lecture.

Oh, and John: Congrats, man. I thought it was spectacular.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 20th, 2010, 11:57 am

In case you missed John Carney's Letterman segment, you can now watch it here: www.bit.ly/CarneyLN

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Steve Bryant » May 20th, 2010, 4:35 pm

On Letterman last night, following the commercial after Johnny Ace Palmer's exit, Letterman said to Paul, "That, uh, and I guess the tipoff that he was that good should have been his middle name, Johnny ACE Palmer. I mean, that guy was sitting there for quite awhile with chickens SOMEWHERE (laughs from audience) ... I mean, that was good. Very, very good."

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 20th, 2010, 4:46 pm

Like Steve, I've always been amazed that no one notices the peeping of the chicks from about the midway point in his set. I don't have especially acute hearing, either, and it's always distracted me. Yet others don't seem to notice. Odd.

So, how did Palmer do overall?
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Doc Eason » May 20th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Whadja say?

Speak up dammit.

I think JAP kicked ass last night.
Engaged DL, (more importantly, he gave Dave a JOB! DL has been asking all week, can I help ?)

He presented well. The tux was a nice touch. . I know i know a lot of people dissed the tux ... fine..I know for a fact that the letterman people were impressed with that .. and that might just get him invited back...

He HAD to be nervous but it didn't come across.

flurry of tricks proved that he knows what he is doing.. pretty cups, nice balls great chicks.. (still didn't hear them)

Homerun...

but then again I could be totally wrong.. and am a lot of the time, just ask my exwife...
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Leonard Hevia » May 20th, 2010, 5:54 pm

I thought Palmer did a bang up job. He presented a string of disconnected effects, but he did them so well. Speaking of strings, I thought he could have done a complete routine with just his college ring and that shoe lace. His performance reminded me of Michael Skinner's calm, laid back style that kept you mesmerized all the way through.

I noticed that some folks on this thread are a bit disdainful of Jason Randall's use of slum props like the Jumping Gems or even Wow on national television. Wasn't it Michael Skinner who demonstrated that good magic can indeed be created with props like the Ball and Vase and Jumping Gems? Didn't he point out that the failure was in the magician's imagination, and not in the props?

I agree with Max Maven when he writes in the introduction to his text Focus that "No magic is trivial."

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Doc Dixon » May 20th, 2010, 6:09 pm

He was gracious, humorous and made baby chickens appeared out of thin air.

That's really tough to beat.

DD

PS: Did I mention baby chickens?

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 20th, 2010, 6:36 pm

All of the video so far from this week's performances are now online. We added Johnny Ace Palmer's earlier this afternoon. If you missed them or want to have another look, you can go to www.MagicNewswire.com
Last edited by Magic Newswire on May 20th, 2010, 6:39 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: Corrected the possessive tense for Johnny fearing that it would offend CardioloJest

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Donal Chayce » May 20th, 2010, 6:56 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Like Steve, I've always been amazed that no one notices the peeping of the chicks from about the midway point in his set. I don't have especially acute hearing, either, and it's always distracted me. Yet others don't seem to notice. Odd.


I've had the same experience; i.e., I've begun to hear the peeping much earlier in the set, yet it appears that no one else in the audience hears them.

My hunch is that other magi who are present (nearly always the case at the Magic Castle) know what's coming and are happy to become selectively deaf. And laymen who haven't seen the routine before can't even begin to imagine that it will end with baby chicks being produced, so even if they do hear any peeping they have no context in which to put it other than "odd sound", and so it gets dismissed.

I can say that the first time I ever saw JAP do this routine, I did not hear any peeping until the chicks were actually revealed.

I can also say that I was complete blown away.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Raleigh » May 20th, 2010, 7:13 pm

By watching the reaction and interaction of David Letterman ..... He really seemed to be entertained by Johnny Ace Palmer and truly surprised with the production of the three baby chicks . I would not be surprised to see Mr. Palmer invited back on the show.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 20th, 2010, 7:40 pm

BTW.. I just wanted to mention that you should stay tuned for a chat with David Kaye and several other magicians that worked with him to prepare and were at the taping a bit later. Steve will also be our guest on the next episode of our "This Week in Magic" podcast which we will record on Sunday and will be posted on Monday Morning. Unfortunately, John Carney was already booked and Michael Ammar was off to France or we might have had them joining us as wel

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 20th, 2010, 10:37 pm

As promised, I have just posted my chat with David Kaye, Dan White & Jonathan Bayme. Why am I posting this in the middle of David Letterman's Magic Week? Because they were all involved in working with Steve (and Michael Ammar) as they developed the material that we've been enjoying on THe Late Show.

As I write this, we are right at one hour from show time. Spend the next 20 minutes getting an insider's look at what goes into a performance in this venue.

Listen Here: www.bit.ly/MWLETTERC

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 21st, 2010, 12:18 am

Steve Cohen just finished his piece: a new version of Orange, Lemon, egg that was very well done. I think Steve is the closest thing we have to someone like Nate Leipzig right now.

I watched the show from the beginning and not having watched it (or any TV for that matter) for a decade--except for Alias :) --it was shocking to see how much older and nicer Letterman has become. What a huge plus for close-up magicians! They really plugged the hell out of the "Close-Up Magic Week" theme. Hope the network is getting some good reaction so it happens again.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Brian Morton » May 21st, 2010, 12:33 am

For Steve Cohen, Letterman seemed to be the nicest he has all week. And Steve handled Letterman perfectly.

In addition (not that it's a secondary thing) but the magic was marvelous.

brian :cool:

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Descartes » May 21st, 2010, 1:05 am

John Carney wrote:also, when I asked for a table, they said no. When I asked if I could put my load bag on the floor or chair.....no. When I asked if I could lay down a mat, or a board to cover the 6" square indention in the table.....no. Had to sit sideways, halfway off the chair, with loads in different places then normal....awkward angles for steals.

There were 5 different cameras, filming from 5 different angles. Letterman's hands were one inch from the props which would expose everything, several times over. Then I had to interact to interruptions, and stay on track. Millions of viewers. Ten minutes "rehearsal". If you are demanding to the director or crew, you are out. Live audience, tons of crew. Tons of pressure. Trying to do something impressive and not play it safe. Trying to be entertaining. Trying to relax.



Mr. Carney,

I was impressed with your performance on the late show. Now, in light of your post, I'm doubly impressed. I can't understand why the late show crew are so uncompromising. They just don't seem to understand how much preparation a good close up magic performance requires.

Given the circumstances, I think you did a wonderful job. I think you knocked them out with one hand tied behind your back.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby KHC » May 21st, 2010, 1:37 am

Thanks to Mr. Carney for the inside scoop on the constraints they all had to abide by. It doesn't surprise me. I watched both you and Johnny Ace, and the two of you nailed it in spite of the harsh conditions. Now that was the close up magic I was expecting. I think Letterman will be choosing someone else when his birthday comes around next year.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Doug Brewer » May 21st, 2010, 1:42 am

To be honest, I'm completely puzzled by the show's seeming representation of the guest magicians as "props". Letterman introduces them, they sit sideways, and he says "let's go". There's no background on the magician, no brief chatting or chance to get to know the person - just "go". Could the show be anymore poorly directed? The table has to be cleared to start, the microphone is in the way, the blocking of the magician's hands interfere with the effects . . . what gives? I would think the show would want to present the guests and their talents in the best light, but I'm not getting the love that I think they deserve. Even though I was critical of Randal, I think ALL these men deserve to be given their best opportunity to shine. My two cents worth . . .

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby James Cotton » May 21st, 2010, 1:49 am

Maybe they don't have the same high opinions of magic as magicians do. Maybe the show producers are... lay people.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Bill Duncan » May 21st, 2010, 2:07 am

David Alexander wrote: You could shine on the The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson


You must have missed the time Michael Ammar had Billy Crystal, Ah-nold, and Johnny at the table. The got to riffing and completely upstaged him. At one point Johnny and Billy are goofing and completely ignoring Michael.

Eventually they realize (or appear to) that someone is trying work, and let Michael get on with his act.

As usual Ammar rocked, but it was in spite of circumstances.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 21st, 2010, 10:30 am

Ammar doesn't always rock, and pointing out one instance where someone didn't do well on the Tonight Show doesn't make your point since there were so many instances that make David Alexander's point. In the case you cite, Ammar lost control of his spectators, though I imagine that it's difficult for anyone to work with Arnold since he's such an arrogant [censored].
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 21st, 2010, 11:11 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:--it was shocking to see how much older and nicer Letterman has become.

Two events were obvious life (and attitude) changing moments for him and they were not gradual changes; they were immediately apparent. One was the birth of his child and the other his heart surgery.

Dustin

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Mark Collier » May 21st, 2010, 11:33 am

The sex scandal may have had a humbling effect as well.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Scott M. » May 21st, 2010, 12:49 pm

Mark Collier wrote:The sex scandal may have had a humbling effect as well.


I did laugh a bit when Cohen asked to borrow a ring from the married Letterman, and he said he doesn't wear finger rings of any kind.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby gberard » May 21st, 2010, 12:58 pm

Speaking of J.A. Palmer and his chicks. I remember seeing a performance where one of the cups started moving on the table on its own (after the load of a chick). Pretty funny, and yes you could hear the chicks peeping, but it was still entertaining to watch.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Travis » May 21st, 2010, 2:03 pm

Not that it's a competition, of course, but John Carney still takes the prize in my book for the week so far. Palmer and Cohen were both very enjoyable, and did some fantastic magic, but neither of them really did what we call "yes, and" in the improv world. Carney seemed to do this instinctively. He took Dave's offers and offered back, whereas Palmer and Cohen seemed to be on a track they didn't wish to deviate from. When you refuse an offer or ignore it, you stop the scene cold. I didn't get the sense that they were really listening to Dave, but John was, and he was having fun with it.

Jason Randal actually seems to listen and respond better to Dave, as well, but his magic simply made me wince.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 21st, 2010, 2:40 pm

You have may have seen Palmer's cup move once because the chick was under it, but that's better than the alternative, which is what Gali Gali used to do: slam the cups down hard enough to break the chicks' legs so they couldn't move.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby P.T.Widdle » May 21st, 2010, 2:53 pm

During John Carney's performance, he said to Letterman, "Oh look, a celebrity - Crispin Glover!"

Why him, Mr. Carney? Kind of risky, given the legendary appearance of Glover on the show. Still, I liked it.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 21st, 2010, 3:07 pm

The video of Steve's appearance has joined the archive of other videos from Letterman this week at www.MagicNewswire.com. Enjoy! www.bit.ly/CohenLetterman

There's also a video posted by Theory 11 of Dan White chatting with Steve just after the taping that is very nice. Don't forget that Steve, Dan & Jonathan Bayme will join David Key, Scott Wells, Cameron Ramsay, Chase Goforth and myself for the next episode of our "This Week in Magic" roundtable which will be online Monday Morning.

If you've missed any of the other performances, here are the links:

Jason Randal: www.bit.ly/RandalLettermanJohn
John Carney: www.bit.ly/CarneyLN
Johnny Ace Palmer: www.bit.ly/CohenLetterman
Steve Cohen: www./bit.ly/CohenLetterman

Michael Ammar wraps it up the week tonight.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Descartes » May 21st, 2010, 3:20 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:You have may have seen Palmer's cup move once because the chick was under it, but that's better than the alternative, which is what Gali Gali used to do: slam the cups down hard enough to break the chicks' legs so they couldn't move.


Wow. I guess PETA wasn't around when he was performing. That's just wrong :).

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 21st, 2010, 3:34 pm

Sorry for the duplicate, but I posted an incorrect link to JA Palmer's Video:

If you've missed any of the other performances, here are the links:

Jason Randal: www.bit.ly/RandalLettermanJohn
John Carney: www.bit.ly/CarneyLN
Johnny Ace Palmer: www.bit.ly/JAPLateN
Steve Cohen: www./bit.ly/CohenLetterman

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Bob Cunningham » May 21st, 2010, 3:54 pm

Hi Dodd,

Thanks for the links.

This is the correct URL for the Steve Cohen link

www.bit.ly/CohenLetterman

[No / after www.]

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 21st, 2010, 4:11 pm

Thanks Bob.. sorry about that. The upgrade to the forum still causes an error when you post a link with http:// and I obviously made a typo when updating that.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby mai-ling » May 21st, 2010, 8:21 pm

I loved the baby chicks!

makes me miss our chinese chickens around the house.
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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby AMCabral » May 21st, 2010, 9:21 pm

P.T.Widdle wrote:During John Carney's performance, he said to Letterman, "Oh look, a celebrity - Crispin Glover!"

Why him, Mr. Carney? Kind of risky, given the legendary appearance of Glover on the show. Still, I liked it.


It's called a "reference". Hilarious for those who got itnone of whom apparently showed up to the taping.

-T

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Magic Newswire » May 22nd, 2010, 12:09 am

Michael did a very nice job and Letterman seemed to have a good time. Several pieces from his lecture as he mentioned when I spoke to him after the taping on Monday. I won't reveal any more so that the West Coast viewers can enjoy it fresh.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Richard Tremblay » May 22nd, 2010, 8:00 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:... that's better than the alternative, which is what Gali Gali used to do: slam the cups down hard enough to break the chicks' legs so they couldn't move.


An old timer magician in my city used to do the vanishing birdcage with a real bird in the 60s. He had a plastic linner in one of his sleeve because of blood splashing. Sometime, the bird did not die immediately so he had to finish it after the show.

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Re: Close-up Magic on Letterman

Postby Bob Farmer » May 22nd, 2010, 8:28 am

Michael's performance of The Creepy Little Hand (aka Miracle of Life) was the highlight of my week.


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