Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

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billmccloskey
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Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby billmccloskey » April 11th, 2012, 4:00 pm

Perhaps I'm becoming jaded.

Recently I saw a magic show at one of the finer bars/hotels in Manhattan. The event featured table hoppers, a master of ceremonies that did an opening act, and then the headliner - a well known person in the magic community.

And it was not only an expensive evening out, it was plain out boring. The magician used worn out tricks, one didn't even work - it blew up in his face and he had no out, he just went on to the next trick. The effects were stale, more stunts than effects, badly paced, uninteresting. The closeup table hoppers were competent but I was just incredibly bored by their tricks. and the opening act brought nothing new to a rather worn out presentation of the cups and balls.

So...is it me? I'm I just jaded? or has magic as a performing art lost it's magic? The evening with dinner, drinks, parking, and tickets cost nearly $300. It wasn't worth $10.

Have others found that the performance of magic is on the decline?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 11th, 2012, 4:07 pm

Might be you--everyone gets tired of magic once in a while. Might have been the cost to value ratio of your experience that night.

That $300 would almost have covered your registration to the Genii convention where, I guarantee, you will not be bored.
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IrishMagicNews
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby IrishMagicNews » April 11th, 2012, 4:11 pm

Good work Mr Kaufman.
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Ted M
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Ted M » April 11th, 2012, 4:17 pm

A good convention experience can indeed be reinvigorating!

Edward Pungot
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Edward Pungot » April 11th, 2012, 5:05 pm

Andrew Goldenhersh performing in the parlor is like getting a good shot in the arm. The magic bug is here to stay (for me anyway). I'm sure magic conventions do the same job as the concentration of talent never fails to impress and inspire.

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby M.Lee » April 11th, 2012, 7:46 pm

Mr.Closkey where was this show at ?

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bagelsandlox
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby bagelsandlox » April 12th, 2012, 2:05 am

I live in Manhattan. Where is this?

billmccloskey
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby billmccloskey » April 12th, 2012, 8:36 am

I'm not interested in exposing the venue or performers.

Doc Dixon
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Doc Dixon » April 12th, 2012, 9:31 am

Bill,

How did the rest of the audience seem to feel about the show?

DD

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erdnasephile
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby erdnasephile » April 12th, 2012, 10:15 am

Thanks for posting this, Bill. I can totally relate to what you are saying.

I don't think magic itself is boring, but certainly performers can be, and I think we can become bored with magic (I certainly have at times).

I think it's natural for interest to wax/wane at times (especially after seeing the art abused by those going through the motions) until a spark hits and rekindles the enthusiasm again.

When I feel like this, I tend to go old school: I go back to my library and break out Erdnase, the Tarbells, old files of the Bird or the Jinx and try to find some hidden treasure to add to my repertoire. More often that not, that search to find the diamond and polish it reinvigorates my interest.

I also like to listen to old school magicians during these periods. I'd recommend going to Dodd's site and listening to some of the inspirational interviews there (Giobbi, Swiss, Thompson)--those will get your motor running! There are also a few DVD's that always make me remember why I do this: anything by Carney, Tamariz, or Malone does the trick. Imbibing good magic helps wash away the taste of bad magic.

Finally, although I greatly respect collectors and historians, for me, magic doesn't come alive until I perform it. So, when I'm bored, I schedule a performance for some group and force myself to develop a real show for them. Nothing gets me going faster than a deadline, and the magic high from a good performance hits the spot!

Good luck!

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Edward Pungot » April 12th, 2012, 10:48 am

I've taken sabbaticals from magic. I think it also helps to interject magic with your other interests to create something new. This synthesis is its own unique magic and the exploration of these new combinations becomes its own catalyst. For me right now, that combination is philosophy and magic.

I suppose even sex, the most popular of human past-times could become boring if done to excess. I guess what I'm trying to get at is balance. Even pizza if eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 6 months would become a chore for even the most enthusiastic of pizza lovers.

S&M seems to be really therapeutic and popular here on the forum, perhaps role-play will reignite that passion ;)

billmccloskey
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby billmccloskey » April 12th, 2012, 11:16 am

Doc, I'd say the audience was polite but not overly enthusiastic.

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Jim Maloney » April 12th, 2012, 11:26 am

Based on the described format, I don't think it's terribly difficult to infer what show was attended here.

That said, I agree with others who have said that interest can ebb and flow. I've gone through a number of phases like that. And certainly being more experienced in magic can lead to greater boredom because you're more aware of good vs bad vs it's been done 50 bajillion times already.

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The Slow One
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby The Slow One » April 12th, 2012, 11:34 am

I personally agree w/the 'sabbatical' approach mentioned. Stoke the mind w/some distractions...absence makes heart grow fonder, etc.

For me, I was bored and jaded for a long time....then I happened to attend the Lance Burton show at the old Hacienda in Vegas...and that dancer he grabbed, when she disappeared, my jaw dropped. Had no solution for that (and still don't, and I'm not looking for one).

Fast forward several years....just got copies of the Wonder books. Jeez, this guy was smart. Glad he wrote down his deep thinking for the rest of us huddled masses. But was another shot in the arm.

I'm just a casual observer/hobbyist, but I get what you're saying.

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 12th, 2012, 11:43 am

Is tea getting boring?
Does knowing black from green make you jaded?
Perhaps you got Chamomile when you really wanted Red Zinger?

Edward Pungot
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Edward Pungot » April 12th, 2012, 11:51 am

It's called professional courtesy. But like Jim said, one could at the very least figure out the possible venue.

Remember the bad performers and shows are equally "educational" as the best of them. The contrast and distinction makes the good ones all the more valuable and memorable. What would heaven be and even mean without its antithesis of hell.

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Andres Reynoso » April 12th, 2012, 11:58 am

I agree with a lot of things said here: Everyones get tired of magic once in a while and it's related with your experience.

I remember the first time I attended a convention: seated at my side in the teather was a famous magician. During the show he never applauded and only swirled in the seat. I didn't understood it ... until several years after when I realized a lot of magicians performs the same tricks, the same patter, even with the same music!. The problem isn't magic but performers.

If you have few experience you haven't elements to evaluate. David Devant wrote A conjuring performance cannot be properly appreciated by anyone who does not know something about the art

On the other hand sometimes, like Max Maven said in a conference "Don't watch the tricks with magician eyes, but with human eyes" Sometimes is really needed!
Andres Reynoso

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby El Harvey Oswald » April 12th, 2012, 1:42 pm

"That $300 would almost have covered your registration to the Genii convention where, I guarantee, you will not be bored."


To say the least. This is obviously going to be a major, long-remembered event.

That's partly because we won't see Juan Tamariz mailing in a tired Professor's Nightmare routine, or Rob Zabrecky inspiring that sigh of unhappy recognition when linking rings are carted out. We know those performers, to name just two, will give performances that have to be seen. It won't be enough to describe how one fooled magicians and the other consistently conveyed a unique character and how, among other virtues, they were never boring.

The problem isn't "the classics" -- John Carney gives life and vitality to them all the time. Rather, it's that we see too many competent but utterly ordinary takes on them. Unless you're performing them at a Carney-like level, you owe it to an audience composed largely of magicians to attempt some innovation. And lose the "please applaud" jokes.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby erdnasephile » April 12th, 2012, 2:07 pm

El Harvey Oswald wrote: ...The problem isn't "the classics" -- John Carney gives life and vitality to them all the time. Rather, it's that we see too many competent but utterly ordinary takes on them. Unless you're performing them at a Carney-like level, you owe it to an audience composed largely of magicians to attempt some innovation. And lose the "please applaud" jokes.


1+ (Of course, the magician audiences can help a lot with this by responding more like laypersons and less like bored magicians! ;) )

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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Oddly Bent » April 12th, 2012, 2:20 pm

Read my post about this very subject in the New to Magic thread at the Magic Cafe, titled: Magic history: "A 1949-50 Genii poll of the best tricks." And then read the Genii article the post refers to via Ask Alexander, if you are a Genii subscriber.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 12th, 2012, 4:44 pm

Yes, Jonathan, sometimes a beverage you've been drinking for years, or a favorite food, seems to lose its appeal.

It's no different with hobbies, or professions.

Life is like that: things ebb and flow. One's interest is cyclical.
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Joe Pecore
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Joe Pecore » April 12th, 2012, 4:46 pm

Oddly Bent wrote:Read my post about this very subject in the New to Magic thread at the Magic Cafe, titled: Magic history: "A 1949-50 Genii poll of the best tricks." And then read the Genii article the post refers to via Ask Alexander, if you are a Genii subscriber.

Can you re-post that here?
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Oddly Bent » April 14th, 2012, 6:48 pm



After I posted this I was going to go back and cleanup some of the poor English grammar, but the wife interrupted me with a chore I had to do right away. I did not make it back in the 30 minute time limit to edit. I apologize. The post will attest to my imperfection, which of course is my wife's fault. :cool:

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Joe Pecore
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Joe Pecore » April 14th, 2012, 8:45 pm

Thanks. Here is a link to the original Genii article on AskAlexander for those that subscribe to Genii http://askalexander.org/displaypdf?pid=1426207
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Re: Is Magic Getting Boring (or is it me)

Postby Ted M » April 14th, 2012, 11:42 pm

Yow, that is a blisteringly critical article!


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