Magicians who hate magicians!

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Glenn Bishop
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Glenn Bishop » September 5th, 2009, 5:33 pm

I have to say that I never had a problem with any professional magician of the old school as I was growing up. The reason was I never wanted to copy them - their tricks or their act. I went after my own act and after I proved my worth to them - many of them opened up to me and showed me things that helped me along the way.

The thing about it was that they gave what and when they wanted to. But I have to say I learned as much by watching the old school performers that I knew as I did with them showing me how to do a move like the pass.

Now that time has passed and I have been a pro for more years than I want to remember. I find I have different problems than the old school magicians that I learned from had with other magicians of those days pro or amateurs.

http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... Post186012


http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... Post174707

As a pro - Do I hate magicians the answer is no I do not.

Just my opinion.

Nathan Muir
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Nathan Muir » September 5th, 2009, 7:59 pm

Glenn Bishop wrote:Now that time has passed and I have been a pro for more years than I want to remember. I find I have different problems than the old school magicians that I learned from had with other magicians of those days pro or amateurs.


What problem is that?

Glenn Bishop
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Glenn Bishop » September 5th, 2009, 8:47 pm

To answer your question - it has nothing to do with magicians pro or semi-pro or amateurs. It has to to more with markets and places to work being very different today than the markets that the old school magicians used to work.

And if I may add - the old school magicians (that I knew when I was growing up) had - for lack of better words - was a mind set. Or perhaps in my opinion what they had was an attitude of magic that was more of a show business attitude or a lifestyle attitude.

As I remember they talked about acts and shows - not that much tricks.

The thing with them and me - it was all about the show - booking it - self promotion - and doing magic and using magic to earn an income and have that magicians lifestyle so to speak.

Jack Pyle once said to me that he knew enough tricks - and had an act that was bookable and made him money. What he was looking for in magic was little bits of business that he learned from time to time at lectures and while watching others do magic - that he could use to make his magic look better or more magical.

I have heard tell of some situations that if some magician came up to them at the wrong time - they were tired or they were about to go on - or not at the right time - there could be a conflict - but back in those days I found that If I learned to choose the moment or perhaps let them choose the moment - they the old school magicians that I knew were very kind and helpful and some went out of their way to help me learn - after I earned their respect that is.

What I read into what Kaps said is very much like what a lot of the old school magicians used to say in one way or another - and putting it in my own words - I are what I do or as Popeye said I am what I am.

Just my opinion.

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 5th, 2009, 11:35 pm

Glenn Bishop wrote:
"Jack Pyle once said to me that he knew enough tricks - and had an act that was bookable and made him money. What he was looking for in magic was little bits of business that he learned from time to time at lectures and while watching others do magic - that he could use to make his magic look better or more magical."
********************************

An extremely important point.

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mrgoat
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby mrgoat » September 6th, 2009, 2:55 am

David Alexander wrote:Glenn Bishop wrote:
"he learned from time to time at lectures and while watching others do magic - that he could use to make his magic look better or more magical."
********************************

An extremely important point.


Sorry, I don't mean to appear really stupid, but isn't that generally called 'theft' and isn't is usually frowned upon?

Glenn Bishop
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Glenn Bishop » September 6th, 2009, 10:16 am

David Alexander wrote:Glenn Bishop wrote:
"he learned from time to time at lectures and while watching others do magic - that he could use to make his magic look better or more magical."
********************************

An extremely important point.


mrgoat wrote:Sorry, I don't mean to appear really stupid, but isn't that generally called 'theft' and isn't is usually frowned upon?

To answer your question NO it was not theft - therefore it was not frowned upon - no further explanation of those by gone days will be posted from me.

Just my opinion.

Larry Horowitz
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Larry Horowitz » September 6th, 2009, 2:37 pm

Mr. Goat,

Glenn is referring to performance bits, not someone's magic material. example....asking a question to get the people to look up from your hands.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby NCMarsh » September 6th, 2009, 3:32 pm

If by "bits of business" Glenn has in mind the conventional definition -- lines and gags that move the action forward and keep the fun train rolling -- then, yes, of course its theft.

But the next part of the sentence makes me think that isn't the case:

"he could use to make his magic look better or more magical."

I don't think we have a good word for what Glenn has in mind; but I think -- and please jump in to correct me -- the sort of thing is Richiardi breathing in before the moment of magic, or seeing how Ross Bertram balances all of his motions, or the way Harbin gets inside the audience's mind -- understanding what is impressive to them -- to make "Zig-Zag Girl" a miracle, or how Jarrow uses a clear script to make a copper-silver transpo play in a 1,000+ seat house, the way Geoffrey Durham makes coin-in-bottle play in large theaters by using sound and blocking it so that the spectator's face is the center of attention and the star of the show

They're all lessons in making magic more visceral, more clear (and hence stronger); and they're all transferable lessons that don't require stealing someone's un-published lines and gags

I think "bit of business" may not be the best choice of phrase to describe those things --because it carries the connotation of "someone's gags" -- but I don't know that there is a good word (touches?), to describe these sorts of things

n

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 6th, 2009, 6:16 pm

Good points, Nathan.

I never liked the Cap and Pence because I always thought there was something missing...some little touch that made it work, well, better.

Then I saw Johnny Thompson do his version and there was the little touch that made it, in my mind, work. So, it's now in my routine.

And for those of you who might think this is "theft," what I saw was on a commercially released tape, so whatever John did, it was mine to use as I saw fit.

To the working professional the bits of business and little touches are the things that often make the effect work instead of the dull focus-exclusively-on-the-hands crap we see on YouTube. A lot of that stuff is technically well-done (and a lot isn't), but the successful presentation of magic is beyond just good technique.

Magic is the vehicle/medium by which an interesting personality can interact with an audience.

And I too think the word "hate" is inappropriate. I think "avoid" or something like that is better. I have a number of close friends who are amateurs and would never behave like the example in the Tommy Wonder book, but they are good people across the board.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby mrgoat » September 7th, 2009, 1:35 pm

Larry Horowitz wrote:Mr. Goat,

Glenn is referring to performance bits, not someone's magic material. example....asking a question to get the people to look up from your hands.


Oh, must be a British/American thing. In the UK theatre, (yes, theatRE), "a bit of business" is a gag - a visual or spoken gag intended to get a laugh usually.

So, in England, watching other people's performances and taking their 'bit of business' would be totally frowned upon.

Thanks for clearing it up.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 7th, 2009, 1:44 pm

Over here it's called 'inspired by' and you're supposed to feel honored that someone is using your work.

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 7th, 2009, 1:47 pm

Yes, as Shaw observed, "Two peoples separated by a common language."

As Nathan pointed out, I don't think we really have precise terminology for what Glenn was talking about. Sometimes it's just exposure to better timing. Ending an effect as opposed to waiting three or four seconds before hitting the end can make all the difference in the world.

The same is true of a word, a glance, a question proffered in the course of a presentation, a self-depricating comment, a smile, a certain movement of the hand, a deliberate wait or silence. These "bits of business" can be applied in various ways and are not generally viewed as proprietary.

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 7th, 2009, 5:22 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Over here it's called 'inspired by' and you're supposed to feel honored that someone is using your work.


No Jon, we're not talking about that at all.

Nathan Muir
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Nathan Muir » September 7th, 2009, 5:51 pm

David Alexander wrote:The same is true of a word, a glance, a question proffered in the course of a presentation, a self-depricating comment, a smile, a certain movement of the hand, a deliberate wait or silence. These "bits of business" can be applied in various ways and are not generally viewed as proprietary.


Oh, so like Max Maven saying, "Boo"?

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 7th, 2009, 11:13 pm

No, Nathan, that's seems presentationally proprietary to Max. I doubt it could be effectively applied by another performer.

By the way, Nathan, sorry you had to go through all that trouble with Tom Bishop, and just one day before retirement, too.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Nathan Muir » September 8th, 2009, 4:40 am

David Alexander wrote:By the way, Nathan, sorry you had to go through all that trouble with Tom Bishop, and just one day before retirement, too.


It was nothing. Tom Bishop was a patriot.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 8th, 2009, 6:45 am

Almost makes one wonder if half a wit is truly better than none.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on September 8th, 2009, 6:47 am, edited 0 times in total.
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David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 8th, 2009, 10:00 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Almost makes one wonder if half a wit is truly better than none.


I disagree. Nathan responded good-naturedly to my lightly humorous question. It was a clever response and not as you suggest at all.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 8th, 2009, 10:07 am

David Alexander wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:Almost makes one wonder if half a wit is truly better than none.


I disagree. Nathan responded good-naturedly to my lightly humorous question. It was a clever response and not as you suggest at all.


Ah, Horshack syndrome. Let's add that to the list.

Glad we agree that half a wit is far worse than none.

Chris Deleo
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Chris Deleo » September 8th, 2009, 10:35 am

People skills and manners. If you have 'em, you'll do fine. If not, well...magic aint gonna help you much

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Ruben Padilla
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Ruben Padilla » September 8th, 2009, 10:06 pm

I hate all of you...
Visit www.MagiciansOnly.com for exclusive book, trick, DVD, & convention reviews!

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 9th, 2009, 12:04 am

Ruben...Jon. Jon...Ruben.

Now, play nicely together or there won't be any desert.

Nathan Muir
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Nathan Muir » September 9th, 2009, 4:18 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Ah, Horshack syndrome. Let's add that to the list.

Glad we agree that half a wit is far worse than none.


Looks like you've been spending too much time with Kappler down in the map room.

Brian Marks
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Brian Marks » September 9th, 2009, 1:31 pm

I am not a professional magician. I have self produced some comedy shows for myself that have gove very well. I have performed magic at these shows. As I see it I am a comedian doing magic.


My show has nothing to do with the magic community. I don't want the amateur or proefessional magic community stealing my lines most of which have nothing to do with the magic I am performing. If a professional magician tells me not do the show because he feels it hurts magic, I would tell him where to stick it.

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 9th, 2009, 9:50 pm

Brian,

I re-read Goat's posts and don't see how what he posted prompted you to write your last sentence.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby BlueEyed Videot » September 10th, 2009, 12:10 pm

Tell me again why it is magic and magicians are the lowest rung on the show business ladder.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Gord » September 10th, 2009, 2:21 pm

Richard Hart wrote:Tell me again why it is magic and magicians are the lowest rung on the show business ladder.


Actually, the hierarchy of performing arts is "Legitimate theatre, musical theatre, stand-up, ventriloquism, magic, mime." (Courtesy Family Guy.)

Gord

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby raj k » September 10th, 2009, 2:23 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:**Shirley nobody here needs to be told that there are other ways to fend off such requests.


"...and don't call me Shirley"

David Alexander
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby David Alexander » September 10th, 2009, 10:37 pm

raj k wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:**Shirley nobody here needs to be told that there are other ways to fend off such requests.


"...and don't call me Shirley"


Jeez...someone bit. Jon must be mildly delirious.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 24th, 2009, 11:35 am

I have hated magicians all my life but I can't keep away from them. And I have hated professionals just as much as amateurs but for different reasons.In fact I think I detest the professionals even more.

For those of you who are interested in the relationship between amateur and professional magicians I can recommend an obscure Canadian publication entitled "The Magician" by Robert A Stephens.
It is actually a sociology book rather than a magic book and the sub title is "Career, Culture and Social Psychology in a Variety Art"
The author is not a magician but for some odd reason decided to go into great depth examining how magicians relate to each other and their art.
I do get a vibe that it is not a runaway best seller and I expect the only people who have ever read it is me, the author and his mother.

magicbar
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby magicbar » October 24th, 2009, 10:20 pm

This is not a new discussion. I've seen shades of this topic covered over many years. I've always thought if the stigma or perhaps even a certain amount of respect was attached to the terms of 'amateur' or 'enthusiast' with regards to the level of skill or involvement (as a career) to being a magician it might help everyone overall. Too many times 'magician' is universally applied without even adding the adjective of 'professional' or 'working'. No wonder the notion of quality is diluted or misread when a person is introduced as a magician. Amateur, novice, hobbyist or even 'undiscovered'- they are all used with other arts and crafts, why aren't they used equally when describing one's level of status as a magician? About the only thing I can think of is that it would hurt sales of books and products that if purchased would make you become equal to the ones we admire. Can you imagine how sales would tank if the latest book would help you become 'the amateur magician of your dreams'? (as if it only took copying material from a book to make you a professional)

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 26th, 2009, 11:47 am

Mark.Lewis wrote:..."The Magician" by Robert A Stephens.
It is actually a sociology book ...the author and his mother.


How might I obtain a copy of this book?

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Pete McCabe » October 26th, 2009, 12:47 pm

Ask the author's mother.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 26th, 2009, 1:13 pm

Working backwards from the title - one finds Stebbins as the author's name and Amazon.com comes through.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Mark.Lewis
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Mark.Lewis » October 26th, 2009, 3:47 pm

Oddly enough I thought of Jonathon when I recommended the book. It is the sort of thing he would like. Lots of big words and it is reasonably incomprehensible in parts.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Dynamike » October 27th, 2009, 11:38 am

I hate what David Castle is doing:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/760875/ba ... _j_castle/

He is the president of:
http://www.learnmagictricks.org/
He might like revealing them just as much in person.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 27th, 2009, 7:13 pm

It's not that such a person exists - but in context what he is offering is not exactly useful to either the student or the intended audience for magic. The internet offers speedy propagation of data.

But as to hating magicians... let's take a simpler tact that may prove productive:

How about we take as axiomatic that this a craft of secrets? IE take as a working theory that a performance received by an audience knowing the pertinent data (methodology) will be received as fundamentally different than a performance received without that data. We have the tools to actually see the distinctions in brain function as well as self reported experience and socially observed behavior.

There are some things which plainly follow. IMHO a logical or functional disconnect between the obvious and the evident does not help the ethos of this community or its ability to offer effective performances for our intended audiences.

We interrupt this train of thought for a commercial ...

Got hate?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Mark.Lewis
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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Mark.Lewis » January 21st, 2010, 9:25 am

I have been thinking about this old topic. I have hated magicians all my life and I am wondering why. I suppose they are a mirror image of myself. I find them arrogant and egotistical just like me. However, I think it is their arrogance and ego that brings out the worst in me. It tends to provoke me into being like them but I make sure that I am even worse. In other words they started it.

The difference is that I do it deliberately and the rest do it naturally. I have actually met some of the members of this forum in person althugh they wouldn't remember me because, in person, I keep well in the background. I have found most of them , on first sight to be some of the most arrogant and conceited people I have ever met in my life. It is almost as if they have taken up magic to compensate for some deficiency in their own personality and their insecurity shows up like a neon light.

But the worst sin of all is their sheer incompetence. They murder the art of magic which I have devoted my life to and this I cannot bear. Somehow I don't mind if they know they are bad. Somehow I don't mind the incompetent magician who knows he is incompetent. He is one who can be guided in the right way. And I can just about bear the good magician who has a large ego although they make wince terribly.

It is the bad magician who brags interminably or alternatively shows an attitude of smugness that drives me to insanity and regrettably that type of magician seems to be in the majority.

If magicians watch you perform it is actually a losing proposition. They will either criticise or steal from you and sometimes both. I find it hard to like people like that. At least when I watch another magician I am too bored to pay attention so I miss what what I am supposed to criticise or steal so you are all safe from me.

However just lately a friend has been trying to get me to shake off the habits of a lifetime and be nice to magicicians. His reasoning is purely a monetary one. He thinks such a course may be good for business. I am quite certain he is right but it is not easy to like people who are basically unlikeable. And moreover untalented.

I love magic but I hate the practitioners of it. I must admit that I like the rogues and vagabonds of the pitch business far better. They are more colourful people and far better showmen than the average magician. I know lots of people you would have to count your fingers after you had shaken hands with them and indeed a few of them have served time for various shenanigans. I am a pillar of moral rectitude in comparison and they would probably consider me to be a goody two shoes. In many ways they are the scum of the earth and I wouldn't invite them in my house for fear of losing the silverwear but yet I far prefer them to magicians.

I am sorry but you will all have to improve yourselves.

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Brandon Hall » January 21st, 2010, 12:13 pm

Mark,
This is all made obvious by the lack of time you spend with us.
;)
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P. Townshend

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Re: Magicians who hate magicians!

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 21st, 2010, 12:14 pm

SLAM!
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