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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » The fundamental problem Magicians have with David Blaine (12 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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paulmagic
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I know how to do the ash and the name trick. Smile
My point actually was a hint that common American names are easy to do. Try and do a chinese name! Not so easy.Smile
Many Blessings!!

Paul
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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>I don't like his TV stunts that are related to "endurance"- stuff like encasing himself in ice etc. as I think this is dangerous and does not really have anything to do with magic and illusion.

Expand your mind; miracles cover a lot of ground. Carnival Fakir acts have made a cottage industry of this sort of thing. Not all 'magic' is intended to look patently impossible; some simply looks extraordinary to the point of skirting the impossible. Many of these 'dangerous' stunts are not as dangerous as they appear.

If you can't think of such things as endurance stunts, grifted strongman stunts, fakir stunts, grifted martial arts stunts and escapes as magic, at least accept them as closely allied sciences.

Above all, accept them as viable methods of intriguing and entertaining the lay public.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
paulmagic
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[quote]On 2004-08-09 17:49, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
>I don't like his TV stunts that are related to "endurance"- stuff like encasing himself in ice etc. as I think this is dangerous and does not really have anything to do with magic and illusion.

Expand your mind; miracles cover a lot of ground. Carnival Fakir acts have made a cottage industry of this sort of thing. Not all 'magic' is intended to look patently impossible; some simply looks extraordinary to the point of skirting the impossible. Many of these 'dangerous' stunts are not as dangerous as they appear.

Point taken. I am new to all this and I appreciate your insight. But I was actually thinking more of people who want to follow him as a role model. Without the professional special precautions etc. aren't even seemingly simple magic stunts pretty dangerous?

For example, when I signed up yesterday, the rules and etiquette section had lots of warning about "fire tricks".

The FEAR factor shows for example have lots of warnings about not trying such stunts at home etc. because they know there will be many misguided people who would think they could do such stunts.

Similar disclaimers come from WWE and they make sure it is marketed as "sports entertainment" as too many glamour copy cats have hurt themselves badly.

This is why I don't like such stunts and consider them dangerous as copy cats will forget that don't have the professional training and support team.

But for things like street magic etc. I feel this is very differnt. It is entertaining.

BUT I will try to expand my thinking - that s why I am here to learn, so thanks!
Many Blessings!!

Paul
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Crowds and large groups of people, if viewed as a single entity, are about as smart as a chicken.
Chickens will let anything occupy their minds.
If you were to stand in a public place in a robe and hum a tone, over and over. you would get a crowd of people start to watch you. they are curious as to what its about, what will happen next. This is the tactics of DB's big stunts. They are corn for chickens.
I know a strongman that can bang 8" nails into a 4" thick plank of wood, with his bare hand. Then pulls the nail out with his teeth. This is his act for a long time. Many people the world over know him.
His act is amazing if not strange, but the content is superior to anything I have seen from DB. Once I saw him perform his 3 sets. He split his (hammering) hand on the first set but carried on. He then went on to do the other 2 sets in this condition. The cheers and applause from the crowds was amazing. Think about it! This guy is splattering blood all over as he try's to entertain, and the crowd love it. His hand was wrecked but he was back the next day for 3 more sets 80

Blaines "street magic" is a well crafted product. Where I have issues is with the presentation. I find it nasty the way his shows were manipulated by production. and in turn manipulate the unknowing audience.
After watching a show I thought about what I'd just seen. Looked very much like a commercial to me. In fact I felt some residual marketing had been used on me. Very clever, very nasty.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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As far as "insurance disclaimers" go ("Don't try this at home!") Ultimately you cannot "idiot proof" the public. Sooner or later someone will emulate something they saw in a movie, TV episode or live show and get injured (and they do). Look at the kids who have gotten fractured trying to imitate TV wrestlers. You cannot, however, let the existence of idiots in the world hamper your ability to do your thing. State your case, do your thing, and hope most of your audience will show common sense (while knowing a few won't).

Steve
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Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
fanwun
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Paulmagic,

I know what you meant. I just got my countries a lil mixed up. you're from malaysia, is was thinking the phillipines. in any event, I already slapped myself. I could still do the trick in malaysia. I would just use shapes or something instead of names.
MinnesotaChef
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Leaving my personal opinions out of this there is one thing to remember: None of us get told by a tv executive what can and cannot be put into our act. We don't get told that our favorite routine isn't commecial enough to be included, or that it has to be "dumbed down" for the veiwing public. I'm sure he hears this 100 times for every show he puts on the air. When the people with the money start making decisions; you do a lot less what you want to do, and a lot more of what you have to do. I know from experience.
"Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but brothels.There is no point in going into them if one intends to keep one's belt buckled."- Fredric Raphael
EvanSparts
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The only problem I have is when I hear a magician say "have you ever seen blaine do this" tehn show the people he can immatate blaine. Using Blaine's success to try to build their own.

I think the envy thing is dead on. I envy him he's doing what he wants to for a living and doing what he loves, and he makes good money at it.

one last thing to be envious about and I will shutup ready.... he dated Josie Moran.
fanwun
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I don't think anyone should envy David Blaine. Just find your niche and work it. At first, it really is a matter of faith. Yes, there is a chance that you could fail. Still, if you never step out of the boat, you won't succeed either. After your first check, the belief is out the window. It's only a matter of consistency after that.

I'm with you EvanSparts concerning those of us who try to piggy back off his success. When people start talking about Blaine, I usually stop performing for a moment. I do perform some of the same effects, but never when someone asks. My reasoning is that they liked his performance, so I enhance their wonder for him. I go into a little chat of how cool the effect they're speaking of was. Then, I mention one or two other effects that I like to see him perform. This increases their enthusiasm and I continue my performance.
mdspark
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The only problem I have with David Blaine is....he mumbles.
Brent McLeod
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As Stated in previous forums-

I personally admire David simply for the reasons of
Bringing Simple effective Magic to the forefront of TV again!, Good on him for having the business nous to actually do this!

You don't need a multi million dollar Illusion show to be a household name!

Lay people enjoy this type of Magic-unfortunately at times some Magicians will always be envious of this

Thanks David for doing simple "Magic"
paulmagic
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Quote:
On 2004-08-10 11:12, fanwun wrote:
Paulmagic,

I know what you meant. I just got my countries a lil mixed up. you're from malaysia, is was thinking the phillipines. in any event, I already slapped myself. I could still do the trick in malaysia. I would just use shapes or something instead of names.


Exactly my point. I think we are thinking along the same lines. I would not do names but use a pack of cards, force a card and have the card image turn up on my arm.

I am having fun.Smile
Many Blessings!!

Paul
Logan Five
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He reminds me of a young Steven Wright, the dead pan comic. But give him some credit.. he and his creative team as Pete Biro stated focused on the audience reactions to what he did, not so much how he did it. Unlike most magicians.. he didn't show off his skill level, but the reactions from the people he did his effects for. He make THAT matter, not his skill & how talented he supposedly is.

My 2 cents.
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JoeJoe
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In defence of Blaine's "stunts" (which I myself don't paticularly like), realize the the media never bothered to include David's pitch in their reports ...

... Blaine creates a character that has "magical powers". His reason behind being in the box was to bring his spirital side closer to this magicial power, like meditaion on steroroids.

I admire the character he created, and don't knock him for attempting to do some artistic that the media took out of context. But overall, I'm sure even Blaine would admit the box didn't go as planned. I'm sure we've all had tricks not go as planned, we just don't have as many people watching as Blaine does.
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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2004-07-09 07:57, Marco S. wrote:
Crashfreze, you are right in everything you write.
David has the charisma that other magicians don`t have. Moreover, the way he presents his tricks is direct as can be, no fooling around or being the nice magician. That is what makes him a mystery to many people.


The problem is, I've seen his first two specials and I don't see any charisma whatsoever. He's like a "grunge" magician.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Charisma isn't always 'voice of God' or shining smile charisma. Charisma can be subtle and understated, like James Dean.
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
amadrigal
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Blain is the STEVEN WRIGHT OF Magic
STEVEN WRIGHT is funny but in his own way
Blain : great marketer, vg w/ cards and a decent film editor nothing more BRAVO BLAIN

I am not a big fan but he got me more interested in magic
my magic heroes are Daryl and Ammar P&T Harry Anderson
etc. but I am no longer a layman you see.....
If you cannot convince them, confuse them.
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Phil Thomas
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I used to be a big Blaine hater. I mean c'mon. We watch him on TV and say to ourselves "I can do that one", why is he so famous? Read his book "Mysterious Stranger". After reading that book, I have a new found respect for the man. He has had a long haul to get to where he was. It took a lot more than doing a few tricks for ABC executives. He had a lot of luck and being at the right place at the right time, and knowing the right people. If you have those connections, then you can probably go far in anything you do.
"If we lose the sense of the mysterious, life is no more than a snuffed out candle."

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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2004-08-11 10:27, EvanSparts wrote:
The only problem I have is when I hear a magician say "have you ever seen blaine do this" tehn show the people he can immatate blaine. Using Blaine's success to try to build their own.

I think the envy thing is dead on. I envy him he's doing what he wants to for a living and doing what he loves, and he makes good money at it.

one last thing to be envious about and I will shutup ready.... he dated Josie Moran.


How am I envious of David Blaine if I feel that other magicians have better talent? (I know none of those magicians are me!) I'm not envious of Blaine nor do I hate him. I thought his first special was pretty decent until I discovered he used two different levitations, one for the camera and one for the audience. (And actually digitized the footage so magicians could not spot the gimmick.) My respect for his abilities and tenacity have diminished somewhat with his latest trend in "endurance" stunts. (Which, sadly, Copperfield felt he had to try to emulate.)

Quote:
Expand your mind; miracles cover a lot of ground. Carnival Fakir acts have made a cottage industry of this sort of thing. Not all 'magic' is intended to look patently impossible; some simply looks extraordinary to the point of skirting the impossible. Many of these 'dangerous' stunts are not as dangerous as they appear.


But that doesn't mean I have to be interested in them.

I like the line in "Bruce Almighty;" "Parting a bowl of soup isn't a miracle, it's a magic trick. A single mother working two jobs to take care of her family who still manages to get her son to soccer practice... that's a miracle!"

Standing in a block of ice, or on a platform, or in a plastic box aren't 'miracles' in any sense. They're just dumb stunts.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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>"They're just dumb stunts."

Some feel the same about magic, or about entertainment in general; a pointless activity that achieves nothing functional (how many Amish illusionists have we seen?)

>"But that doesn't mean I have to be interested in them."

No it doesn't, but that brings up a greater truth about stunts, about magic, and about life in general.

Importance and where we place interest is a matter of perspective. Most average Joes could not quote you the name of more than one magician (usually Houdini or Merlin).

That alone should deflate the egoes of most self-important magicians (especially escape artists, who have egos as big as Texas).

Strip away the religious beliefs and the self-directed philosophies and we're microbes on a cosmic speck clawing to maintain a pointless survival in a universe that is slowly expanding and unravelling at the molecular level. From that perspective, life itself is a joke and all our efforts an exercise in wheel-spinning. Guess what that says about everything we do or concern ourselves with...including magic?

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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