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Topic: Swiss on Street Magic
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 3, 2007 01:49AM)
Interesting article on Street Magic by Swiss in the current issue of Antimony
http://antinomymagic.com/swiss.htm
Message: Posted by: phillys (Apr 3, 2007 06:36AM)
Hey Payne, thanks for posting the article! I really enjoyed reading what he has to say and managed to broaden my scope of what he was talking about really thought that was enlightening :)

The writer has a great way of presenting the truth without being overly aggressive and even a guy as stubborn as me finds it enlightening and very very well written.

Interesting article and made a lot of sense. All the 'street magicians' should check it out and maybe well, accept the cold hard truth.

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Raymond Singson (Apr 3, 2007 10:12PM)
LOL, my fawning reviews litter Ellusionist's website. I like that.

While I do agree that Swiss is a respectable figure in the magic community, I can't really understand where his spite is coming from. I'm not sure if he's unintentionally flaming Ellusionist or the neo-street fad, but I do feel like he's taking an age-old argument and re-igniting it for the sake of not having anything else to say. He strikes me as the type who enjoys the sound of his own voice...

Admittedly, he's written on better topic in the past-- I don't feel like there was much substance in this particular essay. I admire his Shattering Illusions compilation, but this artcle was somewhat of a letdown. Although I agree with the majrity of his arguments, I don't think it consisted of anything that hasn't already been said and argued before.

Just my opinion. I digress.

Semper,
Ray.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Apr 3, 2007 11:40PM)
Didn´t neccesarily agree with all of it, but I liked it very much.
Message: Posted by: phillys (Apr 4, 2007 02:33AM)
Yeah, it is true that some of the things that he said about Ellusionist is a bit too harsh but if you think about it, some magicians just need to read this article to know that magic existed long before Ellusionist.
Message: Posted by: Raymond Singson (Apr 4, 2007 12:35PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-04 02:33, phillys wrote:
Yeah, it is true that some of the things that he said about Ellusionist is a bit too harsh but if you think about it, some magicians just need to read this article to know that magic existed long before Ellusionist.
[/quote]

I don't think that was ever an argument...

I guess the street phenomenon has its place in the community, but I never saw it as a substantial foundation to modern magic at all. I've been on various forums and talked with a variety of people of different backgrounds, and the whole Blaine/Angel fad just never seemed to be a prominent figure in people's understanding of magic today. Perhaps I'm naive, but Swiss arguing that street magic isn't anything groundbreaking is like Joe Schmoe arguing that the sky is blue. The argument's a null point. Granted, the reading's very entertaining because everyone enjoys the occasional bashing, but I didn't see the point behind it.

Am I overestimating the quality of magic's newcomers? Or do people actually think Brad Christian, David Blaine, and other hyped figures are the founding fathers of the art? Quite sad if that's the case...

Ray.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 4, 2007 01:34PM)
I am glad it was Mr. Swiss who wrote this. He and his rich knowlege of magic and its history, lend an incredible amount of credability to the issue.

I have screamed this for years, it is nice to be validated.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 4, 2007 01:41PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-04 12:35, RTShowmann wrote:
...Or do people actually think Brad Christian, David Blaine, and other hyped figures are the founding fathers of the art? Quite sad if that's the case...

Ray.
[/quote]

You haven't been to the Penguin forums lately, have you? Yes, nearly any young magician under the age of twenty who shops there believes that magic was invented no more than three years ago by people named "Oz" "Jaysin" and "Brad" and there was no such thing as Street Magic until David Blaine came along.

Sad, but true.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 4, 2007 01:48PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-04 13:41, Dave VanVranken wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-04-04 12:35, RTShowmann wrote:
...Or do people actually think Brad Christian, David Blaine, and other hyped figures are the founding fathers of the art? Quite sad if that's the case...

Ray.
[/quote]

You haven't been to the Penguin forums lately, have you? Yes, nearly any young magician under the age of twenty who shops there believes that magic was invented no more than three years ago by people named "Oz" "Jaysin" and "Brad" and there was no such thing as Street Magic until David Blaine came along.

Sad, but true.
[/quote]
So your saying this is wrong? My reality keeps exploding!
Message: Posted by: Casey Sullivan (Apr 4, 2007 03:34PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-04 12:35, RTShowmann wrote:

I don't think that was ever an argument...

I guess the street phenomenon has its place in the community, but I never saw it as a substantial foundation to modern magic at all. I've been on various forums and talked with a variety of people of different backgrounds, and the whole Blaine/Angel fad just never seemed to be a prominent figure in people's understanding of magic today. Perhaps I'm naive, but Swiss arguing that street magic isn't anything groundbreaking is like Joe Schmoe arguing that the sky is blue. The argument's a null point. Granted, the reading's very entertaining because everyone enjoys the occasional bashing, but I didn't see the point behind it.

Am I overestimating the quality of magic's newcomers? Or do people actually think Brad Christian, David Blaine, and other hyped figures are the founding fathers of the art? Quite sad if that's the case...

Ray.
[/quote]

I think they do. A lot of people pretend that this is a "new movment" or that magic has changed. One blog talked about how these kids are shaking magic to its core. And yes, people do talk about OZ and Nozebleeda like they are magic heros.

I thought Swiss said what needed to be said. Especially when it comes to Ellusionist selling tricks that have only that one good looking moment but no real way to get into them and no real way to get out of it. If you cant do the trick then they shouldnt sell the trick.

that's my humble opinion
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 4, 2007 10:05PM)
Whether you agree with Swiss or disagree with him, one hopes that the negative responses to his article are AT LEAST as well presented as was the Swiss argument.

Mr. Swiss made some some bold statements in his article. He also backed them all up with additional information designed to put everything he said into context and offer additional credibility.

It will be a tough article to present an effective counter to considering most of what Swiss said is...........well, true.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 5, 2007 12:27AM)
I could never hope to articulate myself nearly as well as Mr. Swiss. His gift for metaphor, his use of language, his remarkable insight, is a thing of beauty.

I am just glad I agree with him LOL.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 5, 2007 04:43AM)
I posted a link over for the Penguinites to see. They thought it was a bit too long. They don't know Jamy very well, do they? I thought it was rather short. Jamy was recruited to rewrite a set of instructions for a routine I developed. He took my half page of instructions and turned it into an 18 page booklet!
Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Apr 5, 2007 08:37PM)
I hate reading long passages, but I will confess I read nearly all of this. A very good read indeed. A lot of what he has to say is dead on.

I would disagree that there is not a "street magic" venue; but I don't think "street magic" is a good name for the venue ... to me, the venue is one you create yourself when there is no venue. Like how I was doing Blaine-style street magic on the Ocean City Boardwalk ten years before anyone had ever heard of David Blaine.

Certainly not a lucrative gig, but for a kid like I was that had no experience and no contacts ... it got me started. I paved my own street.

-JoeJoe
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Apr 5, 2007 08:45PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-05 20:37, JoeJoe wrote:
I hate reading long passages, but I will confess I read nearly all of this. A very good read indeed. A lot of what he has to say is dead on.

I would disagree that there is not a "street magic" venue; but I don't think "street magic" is a good name for the venue ... to me, the venue is one you create yourself when there is no venue. Like how I was doing Blaine-style street magic on the Ocean City Boardwalk ten years before anyone had ever heard of David Blaine.

Certainly not a lucrative gig, but for a kid like I was that had no experience and no contacts ... it got me started. I paved my own street.

-JoeJoe

[/quote]

Wow, I hear you Joe-Joe, I went thru the same kinda thing long before there was a "Street Magic" fad.

johnny

http://www.myspace.com/chris_robertson
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 6, 2007 01:57AM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-05 04:43, Dave VanVranken wrote:
I posted a link over for the Penguinites to see. They thought it was a bit too long. They don't know Jamy very well, do they? I thought it was rather short. Jamy was recruited to rewrite a set of instructions for a routine I developed. He took my half page of instructions and turned it into an 18 page booklet!
[/quote]

It actually takes him 20 minutes to say "hello". LOL

I kid but as I said earlier he is a quite talented writer to say the least.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 7, 2007 11:15AM)
After waiting to see the rebuttals here (or anywhere) I'm a bit confused.
Nobody has even attempted to contest the Swiss argument.

Do those who call themselves 'street magicians' simply read an article like that, realize they're a fraud, and pack up to go home?

Has Swiss shown that the Emperor's been naked all along?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 7, 2007 11:26AM)
I was wondering the same thing. Silverking, we have BOTH made almost every point in that article at one time or another and been set upon by the throngs of "professional street magicians". Now Jammy does it and no reaction.

I think your question definatly is interisting.
Message: Posted by: Pathian (Apr 7, 2007 01:12PM)
I agree with a lot of the points that Swiss makes in the article. Mainly his points about "street magic" not being its own unique branch of magic or the next stage of the evolution of the art.

However, while I'm not the biggest fan of Ellusionist's business practices, I lost a lot of respect for Jamy Ian Swiss for this pretty blatant ad hominem attack

"The general impression one gets of Mr. Christian on his videos is that of a bland, middle-aged,[5] white-bread guy, with little performance ability, and sleight-of-hand skills at about the level of an amateur hobbyist with, by contemporary standards, perhaps one or two years of experience."

Say what you want about the somewhat ineffectual performance "style" of the Blaine generation of street magicians, I agree. But to attack the his technical proficiency with such hyperbole shows a complete lack of class. The man was a student of Slydini for crying out loud. He's got one of the smoothest passes in the business and he'll show you his chops if you see his Ninja 2 or ACR videos. It's true that he prefers to use more simplistic methods as opposed to knucklebusters in practical settings, but Aldo Columbini ascribes to a similar theory of simple methods for maximum impact, and I don't think anyone has ever called him a hack with the skills of a 2 year amateur hobbyist.

All in all I thought the article was spot on. I have no desire to debate his argument, but he could have made his argument just as well without resorting to the ugly logical fallacy of a spiteful ad hominem attack. While he made his ideas clear and concise in other ways, any high school speech/debate class will teach you that using the argument "I'm right because the other guy sucks" isn't a valid way to make your point.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 7, 2007 02:02PM)
I too found the personal comments about Christian a bit out of place , but I clearly understood what Swiss was saying.

In response to a series of posts on Ellusionist here on the Café a while ago, a chap added to the thread with a one line thought......"I'd take a bullet for Brad Christian".

I believe that Swiss may have been saying that to have Christian as one of the figureheads of the street magic movement is similar to having Paul Anka chair a workshop on the state of Goth Music in England.

As far as Christian being a white-bread, middle-aged bland male.......it's hard to argue with a simple factual description of a person. I don't think Swiss was stretching at all in his description.

Folks like Mr. Christian contribute little to magic unless it involves adding to their bottom line....they're businessmen after all.
The history of Ellusionist revolves completely around marketing to young men in order to seperate them from their money, which in and of itself doesn't' have to be a bad thing if done with integrity and honesty.

It would seem that Swiss is simply trying to state the obvious, and that's that folks need to take a hard look at WHAT street magic really is.
Upon examination under the bright light Swiss shines on it, street magic appears as little more than a dream that is fostered by a few companies taking in large amounts of revenue by INSISTING that such a thing as street magic really exists and that hundreds, if not thousands of guys are actually doing it every day......neither of which bears out as fact.

Swiss is stating clearly that street magic doesn't exist outside of the hype that's put forward by those who make huge profits off that hype.

I read the Swiss article and see solid truth in it, and sans the slightly out of place personal observations regarding Brad Christian, it seems that many others are doing the same.
Message: Posted by: Aaron DeLong (Apr 7, 2007 07:28PM)
I agree with the majority of you. The part of the article that hit home with me was the sales tactics used. "Be cool, do magic" is the theme of street magic that is targeted towards young men with low self esteem that have little or no social skills to make them part with their own or their parent's hard earned money.

Magic has so much more than deception to offer its students. It can teach communication skills, presentational planning, thinking development through theory and challenge you to your innermost core as you perfect and hone your craft. As a young man, magic offered all of this to me. It caused a young man who was introverted, quiet and searching for who he was to become more. Magic didn't define me, but it taught me things I couldn't learn anywhere else.

This is part of Swiss' blasting, because "Street Magic" as it is known today does not teach these things. There is no presentation, very little communication, very little planning (getting in and out of the effects) and much of it is not practical. It's like sending yourself to a vocational school that does not teach you a proper vocation.

"Street Magic" today is the *** child of the great thinking of our heroes from bygone years. You get the EFFECT, but nothing else. Swiss seems to seek only to prove that this type of presentation simply does not fit into what we can define as a profession, venue or performance type. It works on TV, but no where else.

It makes me sad to see the kids at the local magic shop who can do a great routine when it comes to handling, but puts their audience to sleep long before the climax that will make them pee their pants.

Street Magic can be a great beginning to magic, but there is so much more to it than what it has been made out to be by Blaine/Angel on TV.

Viva Swiss and I enjoyed his article. Someone had to say it.

Aaron DeLong
Message: Posted by: rick727 (Apr 8, 2007 01:31AM)
I happen to like a lot of Ellusionst products. In particular, "Crash Course 1" is an excellent DVD for people who want to learn sleight of hand card magic. I have purchased this DVD, and other beginner DVDs (Ammar, Kaufmann, etc.). I feel that the Ellusionist video is better than any other DVD I have purchased for people trying to get started in sleight of hand card magic. If you are an absolute beginner and want to learn sleight of hand card magic, then "Crash Course 1" is the best DVD I have seen on this subject.

As far as the "Ninja 1" video, I do not like the fact that the pass is revealed in the plot, so I would change the nature of the plot to not reveal it. Regarding Brad Christian's pass mechanics, I think that his pass is as good as any other pass I have seen. I own Ninja 1 (and 2) as well as Kaufmann's "On the Pass", and Cassford's "Pass with Care". Although Ninja 1 does not teach the pass as well as Pass with Care, that does not mean the Brad Christian has a bad pass as Mr. Swiss implied.

BTW - I am 43 years old, not one of the kiddies that Mr. Swiss refers to. I do have a personality, unlike Mr. Swiss's stereotype descriptions.

I wouldn't take a bullet for Brad Christian, but I would recommend that students of magic purchase some of his products (not all, but some).

I won't comment regarding the aspects of "Street Magic" in the article. But I will say that Mr. Swiss was a little heavy handed in his criticism of Brad Christian and the Ellusionist web site.
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Apr 8, 2007 04:01AM)
Come on now, "white-bread, middle-aged bland male" is name-calling and opinion, not fact. It's just a mean-spirited personal attack and Swiss's argument would be stronger without it.

Hype is hype, and hype will be with us forever. So that's news?!?

Lemme see, folding quarters, nickels to dimes, ball and vase, Ickle Pickle Nickel, self working card tricks, etc... And what was so special about these beginner tricks? Just go through the motions and do them. It was much later that the power of patter and presentation was discovered. The same holds true for "Street Magic" and the effects marketed as such. It really depends on what you do with them.

Swiss does a fine job of breaking down the taxonomy of magic genres. However, those who deny that "Street Magic" exists are just being silly. Perception is reality. Who among us does not understand that? Is it not part of the basis of our craft? If the spec does not perceive and believe the reality we create for them, there is no magic.

Looks like Blaine, Brad, etal have done a good job at re-creating that reality, whether for good or for evil, and they have built very sucessful businesses upon it.
Message: Posted by: Aaron DeLong (Apr 8, 2007 08:39PM)
I don't think that Swiss' argument is that Street Magic doesn't exist. He merely points out that it is not a workable venue for most people because they don't have cameras, a crew of advisors or a tv network waiting to pick up their show. Because truly, outside of TV, Street Magic as it is known doesn't exist for the rest of us.

He isn't saying that walking up to someone and sharing magic is not right, he merely says that no one makes a living walking up to random groups performing magic on the street. That is unless you are busking. There is a clear difference in the two types of performance and he points that out in the article.

For crying out loud, most of the effects that Criss Angel does on TV cannot be duplicated or performed on the "Street". He doesn't even do them on the street. He uses a set that looks like it, complete with stooges and props that look like park benches. The same goes for Blaine anymore. The effects he does cannot be duplicated anywhere. Like popping someone's teeth out and putting them back in....

Street Magic doesn't exist anywhere but on TV my friends.

Cheers,
Aaron DeLong
Message: Posted by: sickmagic (Apr 9, 2007 02:50AM)
My thoughts on this are simple, everyone has a opinion and it is there right to share that opinion even if some agree or disagree. I personally see magic changing and since this is a art we should all embrace it for what it has been and what it is becoming. Sure there is a difference in what it is today from the older days, but the bottom line is why do we have to put labels on things. We should accept the changes and not label them and learn from them and see what we as artist can create to further the art of magic.
Message: Posted by: Kronos9326 (Apr 9, 2007 12:24PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-07 14:02, silverking wrote:

Folks like Mr. Christian contribute little to magic unless it involves adding to their bottom line....they're businessmen after all.
[/quote]

I'm probably going to take a little heat for this, but so what.

Jamy's attitude towards people that don't think EXACTLY like him is legendary. He's got skill and ability, there's no denying that, but the pedestal that he's placed himself on only shows that he's interested in one thing. Himself. I've not been able to find a copy of "The Gospel according to Jamy", but most of the preaching that he does from it is self serving and only accomplishes one purpose. To prove you're wrong, and he's right.

Period.

If you don't think Jamy's interested in his bottom line then someone should remind you of all the stuff he sells from his site, not to mention his beloved (but now defunct) master classes where you too could learn to be like him.

David
Message: Posted by: Raymond Singson (Apr 9, 2007 03:13PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-07 11:15, silverking wrote:
After waiting to see the rebuttals here (or anywhere) I'm a bit confused.
Nobody has even attempted to contest the Swiss argument.

Do those who call themselves 'street magicians' simply read an article like that, realize they're a fraud, and pack up to go home?

Has Swiss shown that the Emperor's been naked all along?
[/quote]

In my opinion, Swiss hasn't shown [i]anything[/i] at all. As I already said, this argument is as old as the hills, and its fire really doesn't need much more reignition. A simple search on the Café will show a variety of other people's opinions in regards to the status of what is currently considered "street magic." ...And to be quite honest, I'd rather just not involve myself in immature namecalling with someone who's so set in his ways that it would simply be a waste of time trying to prove/disprove anything at all. ...But allow me to try anyway. Ha.

I agree that the 'street magic' hype [i]is[/i] somewhat irritating and the business behind it is probably a passing one. Despite that, to call it non-existent is a bit of a stretch. Swiss argues that it's impossible to do what Blaine and Angel perform without a camera crew. That may be true for someone with as much persona and presentation as a rock (no offense, Jamy), but I've seen quite a few magicians do extremely well without the backup of a television station under their belt. What is modernly called street magic has always existed. People have performed in spontaneous settings since magic's origins. In fact, that's why so many magicians were surprised Blaine was so successful: they'd been doing the same thing for decades prior! Jamy also argues that "street magic" should be discredited because no one can make a living off of it. Last time I checked, there was more to magic than a paycheck.

In any case, "street magic" can become a profitable occupation. In fact, I currently work in a variety of bars and nightclubs in Philadelphia due to a reputation doing magic on the streets. Granted, I didn't get paid or ask for tips at all, but it was a great way to do some guerilla advertising and hand out my business card to my desired clientele. Many magicians, such as Michael Ammar, Jay Sankey, and Gregory Wilson have devoted a lot of time and effort into producing teaching material that send home this very idea. Yes, "street magic" probably cannot acquire as much income as its traditional busking definition, but it can lead to a wealth of opportunities for more professional work.

From my experiences, the typical newcomer is much more knowledgeable and eager to learn the intricacies of magic. Swiss seems to bemoan them altogther, lumping them in a generalization of magic hacks and internet losers. Magic hacks have always been a part of magic, even before the dawn of "street magic." I felt that Swiss undervalued the potential of today's amateur magicians-- and in some cases, he did so to simply toot his own horn. From what I hear, he's very accomplished in that instrument. Newer guys know there's more to magic than Ellusionist and Penguin. If they don't, there's no harm in setting things right and educating them without putting anyone else down. It's simple communication...

With all that said, I do agree with a lot of Swiss' article, and I respect the man's experience very much. But I'm a firm believer in the idea that one has to take every rant and bashing with a grain of salt. That is, after all, all his supposed article was-- a mediocrely witten rant consisting of his own personal opinion. In my opinion, a lot of his statements were uncalled for and sadly show a lot of his true colors as an individual.

I digress.

Semper,
Ray.
Message: Posted by: Hay Harrey (Apr 10, 2007 08:22AM)
[/quote]
With all that said, I do agree with a lot of Swiss' article, and I respect the man's experience very much. But I'm a firm believer in the idea that one has to take every rant and bashing with a grain of salt. That is, after all, all his supposed article was-- a mediocrely witten rant consisting of his own personal opinion. In my opinion, a lot of his statements were uncalled for and sadly show a lot of his true colors as an individual.

[/quote]

So does this mean that we are to take your opinion with a grain of salt. You clearly state that any bashing should be considered lightly and then you bash him.

It would almost seem as if you are upset that he mentions you in his article and are coming to defend yourself.

Harrey Hay
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 10, 2007 01:18PM)
Ray, as a guy who is identified as a pandering reviewer in the Swiss article, it is hard to read your posts here without thinking that you're trying to respond to that accusation, but trying to conceal it in a 'serious' review of the article.
Having actually read your reviews on Ellusionist, that will be a difficult if not impossible thing for you to do.

To date, I've not seen ANY rebuttal post that uses facts to speak to what Swiss was saying in his article, I've only seen personal opinions sans supporting arguments.
I believe Swiss hit every point with 100% accuracy, and that his article is a breath of fresh air in a gooey quagmire of BS and marketing hype.
Message: Posted by: Raymond Singson (Apr 10, 2007 06:17PM)
[quote]So does this mean that we are to take your opinion with a grain of salt.[/quote]

Yes. As others have said, because I was particularly mocked in the article, it may appear as though I'm desperately trying to defend myself. It's a sad case really. While there is admittedly some truth in the statement, it's easy for people to forget that Swiss merely ridiculed my [i]writing[/i]-- he knows nothing of [b]how[/b] or [b]what[/b] I [i]perform[/i]. [i]That[/i] is, after all, the source of the argument and topic of discussion-- whether or not street magic exists and if people actually [i]perform[/i] it.

[quote]To date, I've not seen ANY rebuttal post that uses facts to speak to what Swiss was saying in his article, I've only seen personal opinions sans supporting arguments.[/quote]

Swiss' entire article consisted of his own personal opinion with very little fact behind it, itself. He's saying after looking online, all he's witnessed were amateur hacks trying to be like Blaine for a webcam. There's no argument that those individuals are a potential harm to the craft, but they're not doing "street magic" and it's unfair to blame "street magic" for that type of laziness, because the same hacks have plagued magic before the likes of Blaine and Angel and others. I think one could just as easily consider Swiss' article "a gooey quagmire of BS" in the opposing direction. He says this. He says that. I feel people value his opinion more, merely because he holds a respectable reputation in the community. The fact that there was little to no substance behind his accusations fly by those who simply want to agree with him. Unfortunately, I additionally feel that his opinion stems from looking in the wrong places.

FACT: Philadelphia's South Street is often overrun by a variety of street performers on Friday nights. These range from jugglers to musicians to close-up magicians a la the Blainiac fad. No camera crews are present, but they do make money and get good opportunities for outside work. I'm sure there are other similar spontaneous performances in other cities around the country.

FACT: Criss Angel accented his old New York show with occasional street performances outside the WWF/WWE theater. It was a great way to promote his show and do some guerilla advertising. He did simple things like metal bending and card tricks. While I'm not a particular fan, I think his current fame speaks for itself.

FACT: Andrew Mayne proposes a variety of "street-oriented" venues in one of his e-books concerning how to make money with magic. While these magicians may never become rich or famous, they're still performing what popular culture would consider "street magic."

FACT: It's not hard to get the same reactions that Blaine and Angel do. Any experienced performer can attest to that fact. Someone who's been in magic for less than a week can acquire that reputation among family and friends. With this said, "street magic" really isn't on the high pedestal that Swiss presumes. It's just like any other traditional realm.

FACT: "Street magic" has attracted a lot of attention to the craft as a whole. Involvement in IBM Rings and SAM Assembies have increased a lot since the spawn of the "street magic" hype. If it's not a legitimate interest or avenue for the craft, I feel that many magic organizations would relatively suffer from the lack of new life and interest in magic. Because "street magic" can generally be anything one would like it to be (without strict limits to cards, coins, etc), any other experienced performer can help a newcomer develop his own style.

FACT: If someone asks a layperson if "street magic" exists, they'll agree and probably give a brief explanation as to what their ideas are about it. If a layperson not only believes that street magic is real and alive, but can also point it out when they see it, what exactly else is there to argue? It's a legitimate form of performance art, and if a client asks to see street magic, I highly doubt any professionals would contest and say it's actually just a passing fad that's disinteresting and harmful to the art.

FACT: To add some legitimate celebrity to the argument, Paul Harris is essentially one of the most respectable characters in all of magic. I'm sure most magishes would agree. It's to my understanding, that he enjoys playing around with new ideas with people on the street for the hell of it. In fact-- I think I remember Blaine stating his work on street magic was affected directly by Paul. His material isn't ideal for busking or traditional street performing, but his magic has made him an icon, and he's obviously an avid supporter of what Blaine is doing. The man's consulted a variety of his specials.

*****

My stance is that "street magic" obviously exists in today's era. But it's really not anything new. It's always played an active, often nameless, role in the magic community. Now that it's been identified, it's easy to attain and market it. I don't understand why magicians are often offended by the term and those associated with it. I don't see much difference between the hype that Blaine gets when he's on television and the hype that Copperfield receives when he's on television. Magicians are naturally inspired by other magicians. Newcomers and hacks will come and go when they see magic on television or have a live experience with it-- regardless if it's on the street, in a restaurant, or on a stage. Magic is magic.

LOL. It's come to my realization that the fact that we can argue this day and night for all eternity only supports the stereotype that magic is truly a lonely nerd's pastime.

Semper,
Ray.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 10, 2007 06:44PM)
Now that's the best rebutal to the Swiss article I've read Ray....I read your post twice.

I'm not sure it swayed my personal opinion one way or another, but it's a strong counterpoint to what Swiss was saying in the article.

Like you, I'm not sure this conversation is even one that can be had.
It's one mans perception of what 'street magic' actually is against another mans perception of the same thing, and it's hard to call another persons perception of something 'wrong' simply because it doesn't match your own.
Message: Posted by: Casey Sullivan (Apr 10, 2007 10:15PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-07 13:12, Pathian wrote:
But to attack the his technical proficiency with such hyperbole shows a complete lack of class. The man was a student of Slydini for crying out loud. He's got one of the smoothest passes in the business and he'll show you his chops if you see his Ninja 2 or ACR videos. It's true that he prefers to use more simplistic methods as opposed to knucklebusters in practical settings, but Aldo Columbini ascribes to a similar theory of simple methods for maximum impact, and I don't think anyone has ever called him a hack with the skills of a 2 year amateur hobbyist.
[/quote]

1)In college I studied with some of the finest teachers in the world. There were lots of students in those classes. Some got A's, some flunked. They were all students of the finest teachers in the world.

2) Ask Jim Cellini who were Slydini's student, Christian is not on the list. Slydini gave lessons to lots of people. That did not make you a student.

3) I think the same people who think Christian has a compentent pass are the same who thought Cassford's DVD on the pass was good. The pass is a move few have mastered. Christian is not one of them. Not an attack. When you see someone who has mastered it, you will know the difference.

4)Yes, many well known magicians consider Aldo a hack. He is a nice guy though so most people overlook it. I like Aldo. But you should not speak for everyone when you do not know what everyone thinks.

[quote]
On 2007-04-10 18:17, RTShowmann wrote:

FACT: Philadelphia's South Street is often overrun by a variety of street performers on Friday nights. These range from jugglers to musicians to close-up magicians a la the Blainiac fad. No camera crews are present, but they do make money and get good opportunities for outside work. I'm sure there are other similar spontaneous performances in other cities around the country. [/quote]

Jamey talked about the difference in "Street Magic" and busking. Busking is not "street Magic". If you think he meant the same, you did not read careful enough.

[quote]
On 2007-04-10 18:17, RTShowmann wrote:


FACT: Criss Angel accented his old New York show with occasional street performances outside the WWF/WWE theater. It was a great way to promote his show and do some guerilla advertising. He did simple things like metal bending and card tricks. While I'm not a particular fan, I think his current fame speaks for itself. [/quote]

Standing outside a theater to sell tickets is not "Street Magic." It is standing outside a theater to sell tickets. Sheets and Spill did it. This is not the phenomon Jamey is talking about. Jamey took examples of what passed as Street MAgic (by people who call it that) and extrapoloated what they point to. Selling tickets outside a theater was never called "street magic" and is not what he is talking about.

[quote]
On 2007-04-10 18:17, RTShowmann wrote:
FACT: "Street magic" has attracted a lot of attention to the craft as a whole. Involvement in IBM Rings and SAM Assembies have increased a lot since the spawn of the "street magic" hype. [/quote]

Do you have the numbers? Magic club memberships have (as I was told by people in both national boards) declined over the years. Kids like Street Magic. They do not like futzy meetings with old, smelly people.


[quote]
On 2007-04-10 18:17, RTShowmann wrote:

FACT: If someone asks a layperson if "street magic" exists, they'll agree and probably give a brief explanation as to what their ideas are about it. If a layperson not only believes that street magic is real and alive, but can also point it out when they see it, what exactly else is there to argue? It's a legitimate form of performance art, and if a client asks to see street magic, I highly doubt any professionals would contest and say it's actually just a passing fad that's disinteresting and harmful to the art. [/quote]

Let's test this. Right now it is a guess not a fact. I predict if you go to any major city and ask the average person what street magic is they will guess magic done on the street. Restating the name is not proof something exists. If you are lucky you might hear "isn't that what the guy who levitates does." How many people get calls from clients asking for "street magic." How many clients own streets for you to do magic on?

[quote]
On 2007-04-10 18:17, RTShowmann wrote:

FACT: To add some legitimate celebrity to the argument, Paul Harris is essentially one of the most respectable characters in all of magic. I'm sure most magishes would agree. It's to my understanding, that he enjoys playing around with new ideas with people on the street for the hell of it. In fact-- I think I remember Blaine stating his work on street magic was affected directly by Paul. His material isn't ideal for busking or traditional street performing, but his magic has made him an icon, and he's obviously an avid supporter of what Blaine is doing. The man's consulted a variety of his specials. [/quote]

People also believe that the guys on ellusionist make their living performing magic. They are magic dealers. They create tricks to sell to people. We want to believe these people are working trade shows and doing shows. They don't. They make tricks to sell. (There are rare exceptions - but talk to people who really know).

Paul changed the way magic is. But what you wrote about him is not a fact. You admit it is hearsay. I bet if you ask people who know Paul, you might find disagreement.

Last: It seems that you want to make "street Magic" = impromptu. There is more to Street MAgic as a phenomona. Otherwise they would have just called the thing "impromptu magic."

Casey
Message: Posted by: Hay Harrey (Apr 10, 2007 10:27PM)
Bravo Casey! You wrote what I didn't want to take the time to say. A man after my own heart!
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Apr 10, 2007 11:45PM)
I thought I would stay out of this but what the heck.

Let take it from the top!



[i]It is unclear to me that there are any other street magicians operating in the world today.[/i]

Mr. Swiss appears to think that an art is only valid if you're paid for it. How many musicians, dancers, painters, etc., have devoted their lives to their art and have never received a penny. Van Gogh never sold a painting while he was alive. Obviously not an artist then...



[i]The art and craft of the busker lies not only in his ability to get people to pay for the privilege of watching - but to bring the audience to him.[/i]

I welcome Mr. Swiss to join me on a Magic Friday, wherein I perform a magic trick all day at my other job. I'll usually say, "Hey, it's Magic Friday today!", they'll reply, "What's that?", I'll explain and they will ask to see something. Always. Let me repeat that-Always. And they'll enjoy themselves. I'll do this service for free, I'm afraid.



[i]Above all, however, what seems consistent with the vast majority of these tricks is that they are short, fast, one-beat effects. There is no routining, there is no theatrical build, there is little if any presentation to speak of. [/i]

Unless Mr. Swiss has apparently made a bagillion copies of himself and started shadowing performers around the world, I have no idea how this comment can even make sense. Is he trying to say that all practitioners of Street Magic must perform exactly as they learn from the videos? Maybe that's how Mr. Swiss performs his magic but not me. Every second of my magic is thought out, routined (I think I just made that word up), and honed.



[i]If what we see in the online world is any indication, street magicians spend a lot of time performing in empty lots.[/i]

I guess Mr. Swiss has never performed a magic trick for a friend, for someone he has met, for someone he was out with for dinner, for someone he had coffee with, for a child that asked. Unless the child paid, of course.



[i]Brad Christian[/i]

I don't know Mr. Christian personally so I'll leave this bit alone. Mr. Swiss's personal attacks speak enough for himself.



[i]I have an Amadeo Acrobatic Matchbox. Dizzy Dominoes. The Money Paddle.

These are good tricks. This is real conjuring.[/i]

Ummmmmmmmmm. I work as a corporate walk around magician. Ask me if I would ever bust out the old money paddle. Toooo funny.



After that, I pretty much stopped reading. I just felt that we're dealing with someone, sorry someones (as he accurately represents a majority of people I'm sure), who just don't get it. And that's fine. Better yet, that's awesome. Just like when people said that Rock'N'Roll wasn't music so we have people saying that Street Magic isn't magic. That makes it all the more cooler for us that do get it. So I completely agree that Street Magic isn't an art, that if you aren't paid for an art then it isn't acceptable, and that the old Dizzy Dominoes are a rip roarin' good time. If you'll excuse me, however, I'm going to go practice for Friday, return some calls for shows, and do some writing for some magazine that I just can't remember the name of...

Jamie D. Grant
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 11, 2007 12:17AM)
To be honest, comments on the Swiss article from people who make ANY money of MARKETING street magic in any of its forms are instantly suspect and carry lighter weight due to the inherent conflict of interest experienced by their author.

Overtones of protecting ones paycheque and all.
Message: Posted by: Casey Sullivan (Apr 11, 2007 12:33AM)
Mr. Grant.

Impromptu and social magic is not "street magic." "street magic" has never been given a real dictionary definition. Swiss looked at what we (or the people who sell it )call "street magic" and from that extrapolated a definition. I think the conclusions he made were right.

Showing a friend a trick at work is not "street magic." All you have to do is look at what we (people who sell it) have called "street magic". There are certain elements that seem to be in common. Swiss listed those.

That is what Swiss did. He looked at what people have chosen to sell as "street magic" and put together a definition. It is based on real things in the real world - real products labeled as "street magic".

If you think "street magic" should have a different definition, then please tell us. But be careful. If you define it so it is no different than "impromptu" or "social magic" then you accuse those who sell "street magic" anything of being guitly of labeling/hype/selling a facade that is nothing different from stuff that has been done for years. If "street magic" is real and different and new then what is it?

But When you look at what people choose to sell as "street magic" you see the problems Swiss talks about.

I get to deal with teen agers every now and them. Some are Ellusionist buyers. They do believe that there are people who live there life walking up to strangers like they see on TV and in DVDs and doing "street magic."

These people do not exist. People do not live as "street magicians." These compainies are selling a lie.

Social magic is a great thing. But that is not what is being sold. What they are selling is a myth.

Casey

p.s. your bottles are amazing
Message: Posted by: Aaron DeLong (Apr 11, 2007 10:16AM)
I couldn't agree more with you Casey. And truly, Grant had an awful lot to say about an article he didn't even find worthy enough to finish reading. Not the best argument in the world for all the Street Magicians.

And the score is:
Street Magic - 0
Magic - 6

Cheers,
Aaron DeLong

PS - I like your bottles too. What's in the box?
Message: Posted by: Raymond Singson (Apr 11, 2007 10:25AM)
LOL. I forfeit.

Semper,

Ray.
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Apr 11, 2007 10:28AM)
Hiya,

I don't know why everyone's calling me Mr. Grant as all my friends call me Jamie. I encourage you guys to as well.

And okay, I'll go re-read it, hold on a sec...
Message: Posted by: Jamie D. Grant (Apr 11, 2007 10:30AM)
Nope, he definitely said he loves the money paddle.

p.s. Thanx for the bottle comments-I always appreciate those!

And, as much as I'd like to devote more time to this thread, I simply can't. There are some excellent writers and thoughts here but I'm simply not one for arguing. I've been on the Café long enough to know how this will turn out, lol. That said, I'll head off saying that the way I view it is that we're all playing music and some people are simply calling theirs by a different name. Rock, country, etc. can sometimes sound exact and many people have difficulty distinguishing one form from the other and question what one song should be labeled. In the end, what does it matter? As long as you enjoy the music.

p.p.s. the previous p.s. was waaaay too long.
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Apr 11, 2007 11:36AM)
I always thought street magic was just close-up magic; other than marketing terms I just don't see a difference.

I walk up to strangers at restaurants who have no idea who I am and blow them away quite often. The street magic stuff is doing exactly the same thing, just outside instead of in a restaurant. It looks to me like the tricks marketed to street magicians are pretty much exactly what would work for me in a restaurant. And the selection criteria by which I would purchase them is the same, as well.

Most of the public has never seen a close-up magician before, though - so seeing Blaine come on in his first special using store-bought tricks that every restaurant worker has been using for years was a bit of a revelation. So I think most folks thought it was new, just because it hasn't gotten the exposure and they hadn't seen it. To me, everything else just led from folks getting that first bit of exposure to something new to them.

So to summarize, I just don't see the difference. Same stuff, different setting. Does that make for a new classification?
Message: Posted by: Kronos9326 (Apr 11, 2007 03:51PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-11 00:17, silverking wrote:
To be honest, comments on the Swiss article from people who make ANY money of MARKETING street magic in any of its forms are instantly suspect and carry lighter weight due to the inherent conflict of interest experienced by their author.

Overtones of protecting ones paycheque and all.
[/quote]

Suddenly we're not allowed to have an opinion?

Perhaps I should just let people tell me what to think now. Since any thinking that I now do for myself is 'suspect' in your eyes.

It doesn't matter who I work for, or what I do for a living, I'm still allowed to have my own opinion.

David.
Message: Posted by: Craig Ousterling (Apr 11, 2007 04:58PM)
Hey guys, I can settle this RIGHT NOW. Street Magic MUST exist! After all Wikipedia wouldn't lie.... right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_magic




Lordy it was hard not to add Swiss' name to that list for a goof.

~Craig

p.s. - read this with heavy sarcasm in your 'silent' voice.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 11, 2007 06:42PM)
David,
I DID post that the opinions of those who make a living off 'street magic' marketing hype were 'suspect' and of 'lighter weight' because of the inherent perception that there's a conflict of interest.

I didn't state anywhere in my post that I felt opinions should be restricted in any way, shape, or form.
Message: Posted by: Kronos9326 (Apr 11, 2007 08:47PM)
I have absolutely no problem with Swiss's Essay... I DO however take issue with the tone, and the completely unprofessional manner in which portions of it were written. There is absolutely no call for some of those comments and for us to simply allow it speaks of the incredible bias that some of us claim we don't have, when we actually do.

I know that what Swiss wrote is supposed to be 'his' opinion, but for a person in his position to take the low road speaks more about him, that his article does about his thoughts.

I've said it before. His thoughts regarding people who's opinions aren't his own are legendary. I've personally seen him dismiss (and not in a good way) people who were able to provide him their thoughts on a subject, simply because they 'DARED' to disagree with him.

That is not the type of magician that I want speaking for me, or telling me what do/learn/think. Someone that is that close-minded shouldn't be speaking for any of us.

I honestly don't care what a person's beliefs are, but I respect them, and that persons right to have them. But what I can't respect is the manner in which those beliefs are conveyed to those who think different.

THAT is the issue I have with this essay, and a lot of the comments that people are making. Everyone is screaming 'I'm right, and you're wrong' when there is no CLEAR answer to the whole situation.

David.
Message: Posted by: Casey Sullivan (Apr 11, 2007 09:03PM)
I did not think Swiss was rude or unprofessional. He writes well and has a good vocabulary. Sometimes that is enough for people to label someone rude.

But that is just MY opinion. I like that Swiss states his and backs it up. We need more people like that in magic.

Casey
Message: Posted by: Aaron DeLong (Apr 12, 2007 08:40AM)
The delivery Swiss is giving is merely his perception. I believe he states that over and over again that this is how he sees it. As a columnist, he gives us insight into a subject matter that is obviously a hot button. I see no unprofessionalism in his delivery.

I have heard a lot about Jamy's reputation of being rude to magicians that aren't on his level. Maybe that is why everyone is responding negatively to his column. Had Michael Ammar written this column, using the exact same words it might have been better received. But the guy who already has so many enemies perks up and says what everyone is thinking gets boo-ed.

Separate Jamy from the article itself if you are able and tell me that the points in it aren't valid. He makes a great argument. I have not heard anyone argue the other side of it effectively without being completely contradictory to themselves.

Cheers,
Aaron DeLong
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 12, 2007 12:36PM)
The article is professional in tone, and obviously written by a wordsmith with considerable experience at his craft.

Folks seem to have difficulty with the fact that Jamy ISN'T a pandering author who's primary goal when writing is on not pi_sing off the person he's writing about.

His opinion is personal to be sure, but he has provided context for his statements and has not 'tailored' the article to suit a full page advertiser or somebody else with a perceived stake in what he says in his article.

Quite frankly, I'd prefer a LOT more articles like this on magic, and for that reason will be dropping my subscription to one of the big magic magazines and subscribing post haste to Antinomy. (I'm keeping my Genii subscription though, as Kaufman still has what it takes to give HIS real opinion on something without worrying about who he's pi_sing off).

Most importantly, the Swiss article has generated more discussion in the Café than any other article to date that's been refered to in the Café magazine forums.

I think this is a good thing as I consider discussion between practitioners to be a big part of the lifeblood of any hobby or profession.
Agreeing with each other isn't remotely part of the formula, but speaking with each other about it in an effort to see all sides of a topic certainly is.

Vive la Différence
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Apr 14, 2007 01:47PM)
I took a look at the Street Magic magazine in a store I visited yesterday. Not something I would pick up but it is quality produced (not commenting on content)

The one thing I did find funny and is also food for thought...there was an ad from Levi in there showing how a "street" magician should look (of course wearing levi jeans). Even retail corporations understand that street magic is simply an image to sell and I believe further lends more credibility to the Swiss article recently written.

If a non-magic related firm can get into selling the "street magician" image, a question comes to mind...Has magic become too capitalistic?
Message: Posted by: shaunproof (Apr 15, 2007 02:28PM)
That article was too long for me. I'll wait until the DVD comes out.
Message: Posted by: Tempesta (Apr 16, 2007 03:10AM)
I agree and disagree with some of his points. I also appreciate his honesty, even if it is insulting. I'm pro-honesty and I'm not a believer in sugarcoating.

However, with that sense of honesty, you should have a motive of wanting to help solve the problem, or a motive with respectful criticism. In some parts, while he claims to care, his attitude reflects carelessness. If a parent were to handle a problem with their child like he's handling the problem with his art, they'd go to prison for abuse.

Surely, when he was writing some of the low remarks on his fellow magi, he couldn't have expected everyone to take him seriously. Not only does his argument commit informal fallacies, but he seemed to only poke fun at the problem rather than providing a solution. Banishing the name/genre of Street Magic? What is that supposed to do? People are still going to do it.

If he's so adamant about leading the revolution for pure, brilliant magic, then he needs to take a break from writing insults and throwing a temper tantrum, and get off the armchair, and help teach some reality.

He can start with the importance of being humble before your art, if he CAN, which I doubt.

The way I see it, "Street Magic" is a name, it's a "cool" term to give to the outdoors, walk-around setting STYLE of performing.

The problem is not Street Magic. Street Magic is helping the art by bringing in people to help advance it. The real problem spawns from the people who are not willing to humble themselves to such an artform, thus resulting in poorly done magic, poor attitudes that reflect a sense of carelessness, and a childish perspective on the true goals of magic.

So instead of covering our mouth and shunning the poor guy who accidentally mutters the fateful words of "Street Magic," let's abolish all this arrogant, self-righteous, "I know everything" bullcrap. That's my opinion of a solution, and I stick by my words.

||sean ||
Message: Posted by: Hay Harrey (Apr 16, 2007 03:13PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 03:10, Tempesta wrote:
I agree and disagree with some of his points. I also appreciate his honesty, even if it is insulting. I'm pro-honesty and I'm not a believer in sugarcoating.

However, with that sense of honesty, you should have a motive of wanting to help solve the problem, or a motive with respectful criticism. In some parts, while he claims to care, his attitude reflects carelessness. If a parent were to handle a problem with their child like he's handling the problem with his art, they'd go to prison for abuse.

Surely, when he was writing some of the low remarks on his fellow magi, he couldn't have expected everyone to take him seriously. Not only does his argument commit informal fallacies, but he seemed to only poke fun at the problem rather than providing a solution. Banishing the name/genre of Street Magic? What is that supposed to do? People are still going to do it.

If he's so adamant about leading the revolution for pure, brilliant magic, then he needs to take a break from writing insults and throwing a temper tantrum, and get off the armchair, and help teach some reality.

He can start with the importance of being humble before your art, if he CAN, which I doubt.

The way I see it, "Street Magic" is a name, it's a "cool" term to give to the outdoors, walk-around setting STYLE of performing.

The problem is not Street Magic. Street Magic is helping the art by bringing in people to help advance it. The real problem spawns from the people who are not willing to humble themselves to such an artform, thus resulting in poorly done magic, poor attitudes that reflect a sense of carelessness, and a childish perspective on the true goals of magic.

So instead of covering our mouth and shunning the poor guy who accidentally mutters the fateful words of "Street Magic," let's abolish all this arrogant, self-righteous, "I know everything" bullcrap. That's my opinion of a solution, and I stick by my words.

||sean ||
[/quote]

Spoken like a true Ellusionist team member.

Harrey Hay
Message: Posted by: Kronos9326 (Apr 16, 2007 04:28PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 15:13, Hay Harrey wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 03:10, Tempesta wrote:
........[/quote]

Spoken like a true Ellusionist team member.

Harrey Hay

[/quote]

Perhaps you might feel like actually CONTRIBUTING something to the discussion rather than taking potshots?

David.
Message: Posted by: Hay Harrey (Apr 16, 2007 11:09PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 16:28, Kronos9326 wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 15:13, Hay Harrey wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-04-16 03:10, Tempesta wrote:
........[/quote]

Spoken like a true Ellusionist team member.

Harrey Hay

[/quote]

Perhaps you might feel like actually CONTRIBUTING something to the discussion rather than taking potshots?

David.
[/quote]

It wasn't a potshot. You are reading into what I wrote.

You seem tense, relax. I know these guys are cracking on your employer, but they are allowed to voice their opinions about it just as I am allowed.

Harry Hay
Message: Posted by: silverking (Apr 18, 2007 06:24PM)
The concept of an Ellusionist employee telling us all how an independant author like Swiss SHOULD have written the article is in and of itself some fine marketing!
Message: Posted by: Hay Harrey (Apr 18, 2007 07:59PM)
Ahem.... so someone else noticed that too.
Message: Posted by: jclark (Apr 30, 2007 02:28PM)
LOL. This is too fun. There's another revival thread here:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=208118&forum=92&13&start=0#12

JC
Message: Posted by: bsears (Jun 1, 2007 06:11PM)
Is that true about the Street Magic magazine telling street magicians how to dress to look cool? In jeans!? Pleeeeese tell me this was a parody or some kind of joke. It has to be. If it wasn't, I think think that pretty much would some up everything Jamy was saying, right?

Anyway, I'm thankful that we have excellent thinkers/writers like Swiss, Kaufman, and Mike Close who care enough about the art to express their opinions honestly.
Message: Posted by: closeupcardician (Jul 20, 2007 06:09PM)
This was an enjoyable read for me "A thinker" as somone pointed out earlier. It is things like this that we need to think of kind of like eating fried chicken. What do we do with it. We eat the meat and throw away the bones. In other words... Take Swiss' message for what it is worth. and due away with undo criticisims.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 10, 2007 10:24AM)
[quote]
On 2007-07-20 18:09, closeupcardist wrote:
...We eat the meat and throw away the bones. In other words... Take Swiss' message for what it is worth. and due away with undo criticisims.
[/quote]

Hold onto that text. When you are ready... we can discuss.
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Aug 15, 2007 06:18PM)
Jamy's article could have been summed up in a page. This is typical of him rambling on and on about nothing for page after page. I find it fascinating that people seem to think that he is well respected and has a tremendous amount of credibility when that has never been the case - just the opposite by many magicians (and he brings it upon himself).

I bet part of his anger is that Brad from Ellusionist does a better pass than Jamy (like that's an achievment).

But seriously, Jamy does make some valid points in his article - unfortunately there is a lot of nothing in between.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 20, 2007 05:33AM)
You're kidding right? Have you ever seen Jamy in "The Art of Magic" documentary? Jamy is very respected among the top magicians in the world, and rightfully so. How often have you been invited to lecture at 31 Faces North? "The conference gathers thirty-one of the [b]world's top sleight-of-hand magicians,[/b] magic historians and experts for a four-day schedule of performance, sharing and networking. The conference recognizes giants of the magic community and offers up-and-coming magicians a chance to meet and learn from magic legends."

Do a little research before making stupid accusations based on hearsay. Sure Jamy can be a bit edgy at times, but his knowledge of the art is very vast, and I have seen him do superb sleight of hand over the years. You must be one of those people who's product did not fair very well in one of his reviews, since in almost every post you make on here you are whining obsessively about Jamy like a little kid.
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Aug 20, 2007 12:55PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-20 05:33, sirbrad wrote:
You're kidding right? Have you ever seen Jamy in "The Art of Magic" documentary? Jamy is very respected among the top magicians in the world, and rightfully so. How often have you been invited to lecture at 31 Faces North? "The conference gathers thirty-one of the [b]world's top sleight-of-hand magicians,[/b] magic historians and experts for a four-day schedule of performance, sharing and networking. The conference recognizes giants of the magic community and offers up-and-coming magicians a chance to meet and learn from magic legends."

Do a little research before making stupid accusations based on hearsay. Sure Jamy can be a bit edgy at times, but his knowledge of the art is very vast, and I have seen him do superb sleight of hand over the years. You must be one of those people who's product did not fair very well in one of his reviews, since in almost every post you make on here you are whining obsessively about Jamy like a little kid.
[/quote]

LOL. You really have no idea what you are talking about. I do agree that he is knowledgeable. Other than that. LOL !!!!!
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 22, 2007 03:50AM)
Yeah I guess the fact that Jamy has made his living off of magic [b]solely[/b] for over 30 years now, is a just a fluke. Also the fact that he is a personal consultant for some of the most famous/best magicians in the world, considered one of the foremost if not THE foremost close-up magician in the world. Someone who has worked as a magic bartender for Bob Sheets at the Inn of Magic in Maryland, five days a week for a year and half, which is one of the hardest venues out there for a lot of reasons.

I could go on and on...Genii...Author...Antinomy...Performed for Fortune 500 companies to the Smithsonian Institution. He has lectured to magicians in 13 countries and made numerous television appearances in the United States, Europe and Japan, including U.S. appearances on CBS 48 Hours, PBS Nova and the PBS documentary The Art of Magic, and Comedy Central...

Penn & Teller: "Jamy Ian Swiss makes one understand what a terrifying art form pure sleight of hand can be. He is James Bond with a deck of cards for a pistol." He served as a comedy writer and chief magic consultant for Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, a weekly television variety show on the FX network, for which he also co-produced the Penn & Teller segments. He created, produced and performed in the documentary special, "Cracking the Con Games," for the Discovery Channel. Currently engaged in developing, producing and writing additional projects for television, he is slated as Head Writer and Associate Producer of the new high-tech series, "The Virtual Magician" starring Marco Tempest."

That only skims the surface. I think it is obvious who does, and who doesn't know what they are talking about here. LOL!
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Aug 24, 2007 08:04AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-22 03:50, sirbrad wrote:... considered one of the foremost if not THE foremost close-up magician in the world. [/quote]

LOL !!!! All of the magicians in the world are laughing right now. (the ones that aren't crying are)


[quote]
On 2007-08-22 03:50, sirbrad wrote:
He has performed for... Comedy Central...[/quote]

They did a 10 minute segment on his pass.


Look. I know you think Jamy is the cats meow and there is nobody denying that he makes his living doing magic or that he has reviewed books for magazines and written one and yes he has been on TV a few times and yes he has lectured for other magicians and all of the other items you brought up. Many of us older timer magicians, having seen him in action for many many years, just don't share the same fondness for him. It's hard to have respect for someone who has such a contempt for his audience that it totally shows through in his performance.

Despite all of that, I am glad that he is able to make his living doing something he loves to do. Not everyone can say that.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 25, 2007 08:57AM)
Just because you do not like a magician's attitude does not mean they are not skillful at their craft. His success speaks for itself, so no argument is needed.
Message: Posted by: Mark Ennis (Aug 25, 2007 09:16AM)
I thought the article could have been summed up in fewer words, but he makes some good points.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 25, 2007 10:57AM)
Maybe so, but fewer words does not make good magazine content. I actually enjoy his long articles/rants, whatever you want to call them.
Message: Posted by: Mark Ennis (Aug 25, 2007 01:05PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-25 10:57, sirbrad wrote:
Maybe so, but fewer words does not make good magazine content. I actually enjoy his long articles/rants, whatever you want to call them.
[/quote]

It's difficult for me to read long interenet posts much less long magazine articles. That's not his fault, that's probably my ADD kicking in.
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Aug 25, 2007 01:10PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-25 10:57, sirbrad wrote:
Maybe so, but fewer words does not make good magazine content. I actually enjoy his long articles/rants, whatever you want to call them.
[/quote]

It's better journalism if the author can sum up his thoughts without putting everyone else to sleep, but some people like the sound of their own voice.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 25, 2007 04:15PM)
Well they better get a lot of authors then, otherwise I am sure you would be happy with a 4 page magazine. I suppose that means that you do not read any books either, as anything over 10 pages puts you to sleep. Or are you waiting for the DVD version? I like my money's worth.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Aug 25, 2007 06:20PM)
Me, I prefer quality over quantity. I enjoy Swiss's stuff because usually you get both, even if he does start most articles/reviews by talking about himself and name-dropping.

I was telling Bob Kohler, Lennart Green and Mike Vincent the same thing just the other day.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Aug 25, 2007 07:25PM)
Yes I like quality quantity, that is a rare thing these days. Both can coexist, Jamy has proven that many times. Most simply just cannot look past his ego, or attitude to appreciate his vast knowledge and insight.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Aug 25, 2007 09:46PM)
Well I would agree he has a reasonably large knowledge of close up magic, but I wouldn't agree with the notion that his insights were vast or even always perceptive, though often they are. All told, I enjoy his columns [b]even[/b] when I think he's way off the mark or is just putting the boot into someone due to a personal agenda. He has the courage of his convictions and writes well, if a little mannered and overly ornate at times.

I do wish he'd publish his Genii reviews in hardcover.
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Aug 26, 2007 03:04AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-25 19:25, sirbrad wrote:
Yes I like quality quantity, that is a rare thing these days. Both can coexist, Jamy has proven that many times. Most simply just cannot look past his ego, or attitude to appreciate his vast knowledge and insight.
[/quote]

You can like him if you want. You obviously do and I have no interest in changing your mind. I don't like him and you seem to have a huge problem with it. It is very sweet of you to come to his rescue though. I admire your tenacity.
Message: Posted by: ixnay66 (Jan 15, 2008 03:10PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-14 13:47, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
...there was an ad from Levi in there showing how a "street" magician should look (of course wearing levi jeans). Even retail corporations understand that street magic is simply an image to sell and I believe further lends more credibility to the Swiss article recently written. [/quote]

Wow! I haven't actually seen a copy of that magazine but I suppose that goes to show how mainstream the "Street Magic" perception has become.
Message: Posted by: iugefu (May 29, 2008 10:35AM)
Enjoyed the article.I would like to draw an analogy between street magic and close up. Im talking here about sitting around a table and performing. Jamy ( correctly ) states that street magic doesn't in fact exist.....as there is no setting for it in the real world. And neither in fact is there for close up, a term that came to prominence only in the twenties and thirties (before that known as parlour) Why do I say that?
Who is your audience....well theres family , friends and colleagues. OK.
Then there is the lecturer........
And then there is session magic......interacting with colleagues...and finally
The idealized non real world setting at the Castle.
Of course I'm excluding the restaurant and bar worker, the trade show worker,etc, who may perform close up, just as Jamy excluded the legit buskers etc.
I read a recent survey showing that 40% of magicians prefer card magic, 15% coins. That means about half of the magic community, is like the so called street magicians , interested in something that also doesn't really exist.
But nobody says it aloud...wouldnt be good for the 'magic' business, now would it?
Message: Posted by: Aubrey de Wet (Nov 21, 2008 07:50AM)
[quote]
On 2008-05-29 10:35, iugefu wrote:
Enjoyed the article.I would like to draw an analogy between street magic and close up. Im talking here about sitting around a table and performing. Jamy ( correctly ) states that street magic doesn't in fact exist.....as there is no setting for it in the real world. And neither in fact is there for close up, a term that came to prominence only in the twenties and thirties (before that known as parlour) Why do I say that?
Who is your audience....well theres family , friends and colleagues. OK.
Then there is the lecturer........
And then there is session magic......interacting with colleagues...and finally
The idealized non real world setting at the Castle.
Of course I'm excluding the restaurant and bar worker, the trade show worker,etc, who may perform close up, just as Jamy excluded the legit buskers etc.
I read a recent survey showing that 40% of magicians prefer card magic, 15% coins. That means about half of the magic community, is like the so called street magicians , interested in something that also doesn't really exist.
But nobody says it aloud...wouldnt be good for the 'magic' business, now would it?
[/quote]

This makes absolutely no sense at all...Let's just say that there is NO VENUE FOR ANY MAGIC. I'm of course exluding the theatre, the stage, the cocktail party, the corporate function, the restaurant, the trade show, the fair, the square etc etc.

Everybody not interested in cards and coins are interested in stuff that exists, the other 55% are interested in stuff that don't really exist...not even the coins in my pocket are real. But let's keep quiet, it wouldn't be good for world economies to realise this, now would it.

Like many has said before, and this is usually the case with controversial writing (think back to when The God Delusion came out), few people actually try and take on the content. They prefer to take on the person who wrote it. It's intellectual sloth (ooh, that's a great term). Jamy Ian Swiss was not chosen to write for all those magazines, achieve the success he has, consulted for the top guys etc. if he did not have the REAL chops, the RESPECT for the ART (as one of the people said) etc.

Take on the subject, not the man. (And now some might think "Yeah, but Swiss took on Christ (ian)." Just remember, the skills of the teacher is part of the issue.)

Jamy Ian Swiss is one of the old-school Eastside sleight-of-hand artists, and he looks out for his art. There will always be place for his kind of thing. Penn Jillette once said that Miles Davis must have been cringing when the Beatles struck it as big as they did with essentially 4-cord songs (he made this rather snobbish remark referring to people asking him about Blaine - probably comparing themselves to Miles Davis and Blaine to the Beatles (at the same time being a fan of the Beatles - bit confusing)). But remember, The Beatles all had DEGREES in music and harmony. They knew the rules before they tried changing them.

I loved the article by Jamy Ian Swiss and had me thinking hard on what I would be spending my money and time on in the coming years.

Aubrey de Wet
South Africa