David Copperfield Saves America!

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Richard Kaufman
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David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 3rd, 2015, 11:33 pm

This is a very funny spoof from The Daily Show with Ice McDonald, Eric Eswin (who knew you were so funny) and finally David Copperfield saving the United States!
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/t9y01 ... re_fbshare
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Jonathan Pendragon
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » February 4th, 2015, 3:29 am

Hysterical and a little scary. Great performance by David and Ice, bravo!

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NCMarsh
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby NCMarsh » February 6th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Honestly, I was too busy cringing to laugh. It felt like Sarah Palin going on SNL to show how hip she was...

Magicians grovel in insecurity about the cultural perception of magic -- and we largely oscillate between two extremes of response to the stereotypes:

a. we get pretentious, wax on about shamanism, and give 15 minute monologues leading into a two second animation in an attempt to inject "meaning" into magic; or

b. we decide that if we laugh along with everyone else that means they will be laughing with us rather than at us

This clip was one of the worst examples of b.

Thought experiment: you make decisions about your company's critical 5,000 attendee user conference. You're looking for a session opening act to fill the 8am room with energy, create focus, and positively reflect on your brand. You unwind watching the Daily Show, and in the morning you get a proposal from your production vendor with options for a cirque act, a speed painter, a choir, or a magician.

Does having seen that segment make you more or less likely to choose the magician? And, if the answer is less -- and I can't imagine any person unaffiliated with magic leaving that segment with any impression other than that is a bunch of "awkward guys" -- then WTF is the SAM doing being a part of a segment that reinforces the most demeaning stereotypes about magic?

The whole subtext of that piece is that the magicians are winking and laughing at our own irrelevance. Har effing har.

I've been around many creative pros from different disciplines, they all have their gripes about the public perception of their work, but I don't think I've ever seen a group that seems to have as much self-consciousness and embarrassment -- who seem universally apologetic about what they love -- as magicians.

Yes. There's a "GOB factor" in magic. Yes, most magicians started as a response to some kind of social mal-adjustment. There's also a lot of crappy acting, and music, and comedy, and painting in the world. There are a lot of people who got into those disciplines because they needed attention or were compensating for some other weakness.

But they aren't staring into their own navel lint whenever they talk about their discipline in public. They aren't deciding to define their craft on the basis of the vast mediocre middle

And that focus on the mediocre -- the idea that the public conversation about magic needs to proceed from the assumption that it is basically immature -- is embedded deep in the ways magicians think and talk about what they do.

Take even the trailer for Our Magic; which builds towards a much more sympathetic and nuanced view of magic than the public is used to but which opens with a series of (intelligent) gripes about how bad magic is.

There are remarkable people that are magicians -- smart, funny, relevant, who give audiences an aesthetic experience, the face-to-face experience with wonder, that no other creative discipline can. Yes, like every discipline we have embarrassing practitioners, but we have a choice in whether we define magic by looking at its worst or its best. Ours is the craft of Fred Keating, Roy Benson, Tommy Wonder, Richiardi -- let's have some pride in that.

I'd make the radical suggestion that, in communicating with the public about magic, the SAM look for opportunities to show it at its highest level; rather than tacitly defining magic as being its mediocre expression.

Let's have some pride in what we do. Let's treat magic like it deserves the work we put into it. And let's not trade our dignity for a few minutes of face time on TV.

N

P.T.Widdle
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby P.T.Widdle » February 6th, 2015, 6:28 pm

The Ricky Jay film on American Masters is very dignified. But, of course, that's a different audience for the most part.

Jonathan Pendragon
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » February 7th, 2015, 2:34 am

Really, you think people who watch the Daily Show, don't watch American Masters? It's not mutually exclusive content.

P.T.Widdle
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby P.T.Widdle » February 7th, 2015, 11:36 am

Jonathan, I said, "for the most part." Of course the two shows are not mutually exclusive. However, from what I've read, 40% of The Daily Show viewers are under the age of 30. I doubt American Masters comes close to those numbers.

Jonathan Pendragon
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Re: David Copperfield Saves America!

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » February 8th, 2015, 4:09 am

I am under 30....... OK, but no Lawrence Welk.


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