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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » What's Up with that 'same' Audience of the L&L Publishing Magic DVDs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Salby
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Something that I (and I'm sure many of you) noticed is in viewing ANY of the L&L Publishing DVDs (Osterlind's MIND MYSTERIES, Bill Malone's ON THE LOOSE, Jay Sankey's GREATEST HITS, Michael Ammar's ETMCM Series, etc., etc. etc.) is the audience is ALWAYS the same.....

.... DAVID (Afro-American sometimes with glasses and/or a beard), JOHN (Caucasian with moustache and ALWAYS laughing like a hyena), etc., etc. etc.

Their laughing is so annoying and, to me, fake. Why does L&L Publishing need to have the same audience ALL THE TIME?? Not only are some of them annoying to the viewer of the DVD, but I don't believe that the effects are truly "audience-tested". If an audience sees the same magician over and over and over, they will pick up some of his nuances and other things that they will notice as a "move".

Why doesn't L&L Publishing get a new studio audience every so often??

And what is with ALL the audience members sitting down bare-footed during all 4 DVD volumes of Richard Osterlind's MIND MYSTERIES??? I, personally, feel that feet are the most distasteful body parts there are that can be exposed publically... I personally do not even want to see Cindy Crawford's feet during a show, let alone while eating at McDonald's.

It's literally been years that L&L Publishing has kept the same studio audience. I have seen the same spectators (Davis, John, etc.) in Michael Ammar's ETMCM series that were taped in the early-mid 1990's and the same spectators are being used for currently-recorded DVD's of L&L Publishing.

Do these spectators have real jobs, or what?? I'm sure that they have a contract with L&L Publishing for years and getting renewed. But is each one getting paid as a "full-time Spectator" (or perhaps an "actor" who acts like he is laughing and be in awe)?? What salary do you think L&L Publishing gives them?? I bet it is an amount that is significant. How about Medical Benefits?? Or what about a 401K??

How can I get paid to professionally watch magic shows??
You know how to make God laugh?........... Tell him your plans!!!
MagicSanta
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Northern Nevada
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Those are employees and friends of employees of L&L. They are in a relatively small community which relies upon tourist and those tourist are not visiting to sit in a studio and watch magic. Unless you are suggesting L&L fire their employees every year and get new ones then you are stuck with what you dislike. If you have questions about their benefits package call their HR representative, at that time you can apply for a job working in the warehouse or something and then you may get to be in the audience.
ShawnMilo
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Okay, I agree. I say we storm the L&L offices for this shady practice. I mean, it's not like there are any other production studios which are more deserving of our attention. You know, ones that put out poor-quality DVDs by less-experienced magicians intended to rob Michael Ammar and Jeff McBride of DVD sales by teaching the "same" material (incompletely and with less skill) to newer magicians who don't know better and think saving $10 is a good deal.

If such a place existed, especially if it got most of its business by "borrowing" material yet called themselves makers of magic, that would be a shame.
THEGUY26 (Will Swanson)
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Yeah, I notices this too. They all act like laymen, even though they all probably get a free copy of the DVD/VHS.
Tom Cutts
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I find it amusing that those who would call themselves magicians fall victim to the thinking "This is the only explanation." I'm also amused when those who have never been there pontificate about what goes on behind the scenes.

Is it possible that very friendly and outgoing people gladly drive half an hour to go to a party on Saturday, watch some of the best magical entertainment in the world, and have a nice catered lunch just because they enjoy doing such a thing? Is it possible that the host of the party invites those people he enjoys back to the next party?

The broad statement which MagicSanta has made elsewhere is misleading. There are only a handful of employees at L&L and I think there has only been 3 current employees at any time on any DVD. If you think the audience is stuffed with L&L employees, you are mistaken and any of the performers who have shot there will verify this. Most of the people in the audience did not get there because they were friends with an L&L employee. They have, however, become friendly with employees at L&L who are, afterall, very outgoing and friendly people.

Salby, have you bought a recently shot DVD from L&L. David and John are old news. You are watching archives... albeit the material is still pertinent. And have you read the threads here where people praise David and John as great spectators and want to see a DVD on them! Not everyone is annoyed by these types of spectators. Many learn from how the pros handle them. Many see them as the typical spectator one will run into if performing at privaties party where people who are very familliar and social have gathered to enjoy themselves.

Now about those feet. I bet you don't go to the beach much. If you search really hard you will find an Easter Egg in which Richard actually predicts that you would be the one to be offended by this and he asked us all to remove our shoes and socks. Either that or it was to preserve the condition of the hardwood floors throughout the studio, which doubles as a multi-million dollar home in the off season. It is a more common practice every day here on the West Coast. Chalk it up to social differences and move on by either overlooking it or getting rid of the DVD if it too offensive for you.
randirain
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I would guess they are like the people on the infomercials you see on TV.
They probably get a few bucks for watching and clapping.

Watch Michael Finney's rope routine.
The girl on there...
He asks her what she does for a living.
;)

I wouldn't mind getting a few bucks to watch some good magicians do good magic.

Randi
Image
MagicSanta
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I'm not sure what broad statement you refer to Tom. Since you are in the know then perhaps you can answer the question he asks. They are not employees nor friends of L&L, then who are they and how is it they get picked to attend regularly if they don't know anyone at L&L?

Was the complaint this fellow had that they had no shoes on? It is pretty common to have ones shoes removed when hard wood floors are in homes, not sure if it is only a West Coast thing. To be honest I've never seen it where people ask for socks to also be removed except in the case of children (to try to stop that intentional slide they enjoy).

I enjoy the non magician audience members because, as Tom said, they act like audience members, magicians don't.
Review King
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I like David. He shows a real intrest and is watches carefully. I believe him that he is amazed because I've seen different reactions from him.

I do like that L&L is using pretty women now. Using local "showgirls" is very smart. And don't think these girls aren't smart. My little "bar" I go to has a club across the street and the girls come in on breaks. They are a blast to perfom for and if they catch a flash, etc. they tell you.

John Lovick gave a lecture in Phoenix and it was held in the back room of this place. John had all the Magi in the palm of his hand...UNTIL they girls came in. He never got their full attention again!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Salby
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Look-- about the whole feet thing.... I have NEVER heard of any event they everyone had the option to take off their shoes AND socks during a taping for a magic show for profit.... This is NOT someone's home... And even if it was, that is a studio room. I guess to get comfortable, I'll take my shoes off for a few hours at a play, cinema, or even a place where there are hard wood floors, like a museum or a church.

Am I offended?? No?? Just shocked that this audience is not being a little more respectful when viewing a professional show. I am more offended that L&L Publishing gave them that option to do for something they want to sell. Heck-- Why stop at the shoes and socks?? Why not get comfortable and men can take off their shirts also?? Or women wearing a bikini??? Because, face it-- It is not appropriate and no shoes and socks, I feel, is not appropriate for this setting either. They are SITTING DOWN and are comfortable. They are not walking around and on their feet all day.

I saw the "no shoes/no socks" on many occassions in that DVD set. I would imagine that in today's day and age, one can edit out those areas and yet, L&L Publishing can make sure that they are making sure that their audience is still "comfortable".

All I am saying is, where is a place inside that video-taping is done for a profit in a professional manner that people are not wearing shoes and socks??.... Maybe this is the "IN" thing now.... I am sure you have seen Daniel Garcia's PROJECT DVD's, where he does not wear shoes and socks during his explanations.

As for same spectators used in "old" videos and "new" videos.... Many are the same. Take a look and compare for yourself.
You know how to make God laugh?........... Tell him your plans!!!
joseph
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Quote:
On 2007-05-20 15:59, THEGUY26 wrote:
Yeah, I notices this too. They all act like laymen, even though they all probably get a free copy of the DVD/VHS.


"Performance Only"..We hope.. Smile ..
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
paisa23
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3 girls in Wonders and Osterlind I believe are WOW out of this world.
Salby
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Yes-- and about the "Sexy women"... I understand that "Sex Sells", but if you are seeing these women on the DVD, they obviously you already bought the DVD. In this case, sex doesn't sell, because none of these women are on the cover of the DVD on the shelf when you walk into the magic shop... However, I am eating my words because in this day and age, people see the advertisements NOT by the box, but by the video demos/advertisements online... So in that case, yes-- Sex does sell.

My take on the whole "audience-tested material" is simply to get a new audience each time that is randomly mixed... Just like picking a jury in the USA. If I see the same spectators or many sexy women or actors, etc., I am getting the idea that the reasoning for the specifically-selected audience is NOT to show the response of the effects that you just bought, but for some other reason by L&L Publishing.

A randomly mixed audience is the most appropriate, unbiased way to go.... Oprah does it.... Springer does it.... and everytime you, as a magician, performs at the same or different venue does it.

You want to see how the effect works in the REAL WORLD...

... NOT in a controlled setting.
You know how to make God laugh?........... Tell him your plans!!!
Markymark
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Jerry Springer! I hear what you are saying but I believe with performers like Bill
Malone or Tommy Wonder they would great incredible reactions in any setting because of the people they are. I've got used to the L&L crowd now and I'm just
glad of the chance to see world class acts.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Andy the cardician
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A trick is audience tested. And to ensure the success . . . also the audience is tested.
Cards never lie
cfrye
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Selby,

The no shoes/sandals thing is a cultural difference between the East and West Coasts. I'm originally from Virginia, went to school in upstate New York, and played a lot of poker in Atlantic City. I moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1995 and have spent a lot of time in Nevada and California. I thought it was weird that folks would take off their shoes at a performance, but now it's no big deal to me.

The L&L Studios are in/near Lake Tahoe, California. It's a very laid-back part of the world where wearing sandals and kicking them off once you're inside isn't that unusual. It's just not the sort of thing you do on the East Coast, but it does happen on the West Coast in general and a lot more in Tahoe.



Curt
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
where is a place inside that video-taping is done for a profit in a professional manner that people are not wearing shoes and socks??....


I could answer that but I might have to delete my own post. Smile

Personally, I would find it more bizzare to go to a party where I had been before and NOT see people I had seen at the previous parties. But I do agree there are decisions made and they are decisions of commercial success. BTW the shoes off policy is no longer valid as Louis no longer lives at that house. You can seek comfort in knowing that with few exceptions everyone has their shoes on.

Santa, the broad statement is that the people there are employees of L&L or friends of employees. This is not the case. I got involved many years ago not knowing anyone from L&L at all, and the people I have invited over the years have also not know one person who works at L&L. It is a word of mouth thing... much like the best parties.

Not sure what "club" others are thinking of, but the inference I get hint of is totally off base... which doesn't really surprise me.
erlandish
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Quote:
On 2007-05-20 18:12, Salby wrote:
You want to see how the effect works in the REAL WORLD...

... NOT in a controlled setting.


Audience reactions aren't really the most important part of the live performances on these DVDs. Really, what's important is how the magician works the audience from a technical standpoint -- how he controls angles, how the misdirection and timing might work, how actions are coordinated and covered, management of tense and relaxed attention, and so on. Audience reactions are a factor that will generally be in flux, and they aren't always relevant to you anyway -- just because the magician gets a strong reaction from one effect and not another doesn't always mean that you'll see a similar response if you perform the same two tricks on your audience.

If the point is to see how the effect plays in the real world, then you'd need lots of performances just to mitigate the problems caused by variations between those performances. How are they to know what to teach you when dealing with a heckler? They can't predict when and why you'll be heckled, or if you will at all. I do think there's a lot of value in being able to see a performer do the same trick for a wide variety of audiences, but given the limited space on DVDs, it would take up room that might better be used on other material.

And it's not just the trick itself, but its context in the course of an act. Daryl, at one point of his Card Revelations DVDs, has to deal with an unruly spectator who wants to change the process of the trick. While it was entertaining for me to watch personally, it's obvious what was going on -- they'd seen one too many pick-a-card tricks. If I were to base my perception of the trick based upon that single reaction, it would be a gross mistake, since most performers might do only one of those tricks. I might be underestimating its strength. Similarly, I might be overestimating the strength of another routine if I see it get strong reactions in another setting. What's more, I might believe that because Daryl's trick got challenged by the spectator, it means that there's something that needs addressing, a structural flaw, perhaps. Similarly, I might look at a routine that plays very strong and assume that it has no structural flaws because it gets no challenges.

The only reliable tests in this sense are your own performances of the effects.
The Jester Extraordinaire : bderland.com
Ye Olde Magick Blogge : erlandish.blogspot.com
MagicSanta
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Thank you for clearing that up Tom. I certainly wasn't guessing at the number of employees they have, I never assumed they had many, and figured the audience members knew each other. Since they accept people who don't know anyone and should they need a fat guy in the audience feel free to let me know, I can be there in a bit over an hour. I'm still not sure why Selby is so disturbed. He wants natural reactions, you won't get that anywhere cameras are present.
Kaylan
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I've been to a couple dozen shoots at L&L over the years (granted, I was not one of the "front row" people), and I'm a magician, and I was never been paid. As Tom pointed out, we used to take off our shoes out of respect for Louis' wishes - he wanted to protect his floors...it has nothing to do with Lake Tahoe or West Cost, etc.

People put WAY TOO MUCH emphasis on the audience (like you, Salby).

Let me ask you this...if you found out that L&L put out a DVD set with some magician who perhaps was not that great, but you knew there was an entirely new audience watching the shoot - would you go buy those DVDs? Hmmm...

Another question...if your favorite magician or mentalist came out with a new DVD set and you knew the same audience would be present...would that stop you from buying the DVDs?

Another question...you go out and perform somewhere, do you think you'll have the same audience as any other audience on any other DVD in existence? You won't, so why does it matter who the heck is in the audience at L&L's studios???

I may seem defensive, but that's because everyone at L&L rocks. They are extremely friendly, outgoing, wonderful people. Louis is a gracious host and a very smart business man. I used to drive over 200 miles each way to attend the shoots. The folks in the audience genuinely like being there and are there to see some wonderful magic, have a great time, and socialize. I think that Louis feels comfortable with the people who regularly show up, and sales are probably just fine, so why mess with a good thing?

Try to understand, Salby.

Kaylan Smile

PS...Salby, we actually do have real jobs (I'm a Social Worker), and most of the audience members do not even get the videos when they come out...because most of them do not want to know the explanations...they truly love the magic (believe it or not).
Count Lustig
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Quote:
On 2007-05-20 16:19, randirain wrote:
I would guess they are like the people on the infomercials you see on TV.
They probably get a few bucks for watching and clapping.


You are completely correct in saying that they act exactly like infomercial audiences.
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