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Topic: 'Faking It' TV Show Does Magic
Message: Posted by: PapaG (Mar 24, 2005 07:18PM)
Not sure which forum to put this in...

27.3.05
Faking It Special
10pm on Sunday 27th March (1 hour 40 minutes) on Channel 4.

"In this Faking It special, Kevin McMahon, a brainy physicist from Edinburgh, who says he's never told a lie in his life, leaves behind his cloistered life of facts and truth-searching to enter a world of deception and illusion as he tries to pass himself off as a magician at a top London cabaret club. Diffident, tongue-tied 24-year-old Kevin has just four weeks in which to turn himself into a supremely confident, convincing illusionist. With the help of some of The Magic Circle's hottest young stars, Kevin's job is to convince an expert panel of judges, including the legendary Paul Daniels, that he is a magician. As Kevin swaps his lab coat for a cloak of secrecy, will the judges spot him as a fake and will his dream go up in a puff of smoke? And will the lure of the world of magic change how he feels about his old life?"

I just hope there's no exposing of methods - 'Faking It' is seen by way too many people in the UK...
Message: Posted by: seandixie (Mar 25, 2005 06:08AM)
I too saw the trailer and am looking forward to it-same goes for exposure, but for those who have never seen this series it's great! Personal favourites were the burger flipper to cordon bleu chef(he convinced 'em)and art historian to graffiti artist, he to managed to fool the experts.
Message: Posted by: jtcavataio (Mar 25, 2005 06:58AM)
What network is Channel 4 in your area???
Message: Posted by: IanKendall (Mar 25, 2005 07:57AM)
It's a UK channel.

Take care, Ian
Message: Posted by: card123 (Mar 25, 2005 08:05AM)
He's now a professional magician.

SERIOUSLY!
Message: Posted by: scarbo (Mar 26, 2005 02:44AM)
Looks good judging by the trailer. Sure I spotted Penn & Teller in there somewhere...
Message: Posted by: Watercooler (Mar 27, 2005 05:55AM)
Yeah, Penn & Teller were definately in the trailer - lucky guy! Hopefully, with Faking It being a popular and well made show, they will respect the secrecy involved. But then P&T may not help with that...

It's great that the show is on for so long, maybe we might learn a few tips for ourselves!
Message: Posted by: Nick23 (Mar 27, 2005 04:42PM)
Well done... good for him, he did great, he fooled them, BUT now hes a professional after 3 months??!?!!?!?! Maybe I should become a Physicist, cant be that hard then?
Message: Posted by: PapaG (Mar 27, 2005 04:44PM)
The Penn & Teller trick really turned the performance around - great theatrics.
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Mar 27, 2005 04:49PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-27 17:42, Nick23 wrote:
Well done... good for him, he did great, he fooled them, BUT now hes a professional after 3 months??!?!!?!?! Maybe I should become a Physicist, cant be that hard then?
[/quote]

Not only is he a working professional but he has a better personality than many of the people that have been doing this for years.

Remember, time served is not an indication of ability.
Message: Posted by: Nick23 (Mar 27, 2005 04:57PM)
"Remember, time served is not an indication of ability"

So basically what your saying is that practising until your hands bleed is worthless. Sure, you can have a great personality but if your magic sucks, where’s the magic, you would just be a fool dropping cards? I guess that's ok if you are a comedy magician, but what if your not?

Of course, having Pat Page as a tutor didn’t exactly go against him.

Doesn’t this whole show undermine the "art" ??

I think the whole show has just proven that its easier the teach presentation than magic. All the tricks he did were relatively easy from a technical stand point. Please don't think I'm bashing the guy though. I think he did really well.

Its the typical rookie thing though, that as soon as you know a little you think you know everything... well obviously he thought he knew enough to turn pro.
Message: Posted by: Socrates (Mar 27, 2005 05:14PM)
Nice one Kevin!

Fortune favours the audacious' - Erasmus :die:
Message: Posted by: Harry H (Mar 27, 2005 05:31PM)
Everything works with elastic up your sleeve apparently.Probably thought they had to show some kind of method.Oh,and a force that no-one uses after the age of 11!
Message: Posted by: PapaG (Mar 27, 2005 05:34PM)
Yes I thought that the exposure wasn't an issue. More a program about confidence and psychology.
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Mar 27, 2005 05:59PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-27 17:57, Nick23 wrote:
"Remember, time served is not an indication of ability"

So basically what your saying is that practising until your hands bleed is worthless. Sure, you can have a great personality but if your magic sucks, where’s the magic, you would just be a fool dropping cards? I guess that's ok if you are a comedy magician, but what if your not?[/quote]

Are you trying to say that you are one of those guys that walks around with an air of superiority whilst performing flourishes, cuts and fans? Magic starts and ends with the presentation, anything in between is superfluous, sorry to break it to you not so gently here. If you have great magic and your presentation sucks you are no better off.

There is nothing worse than the brash, arrogant exterior of the magician that pushes his slimy way into your personal space.

[quote]I think the whole show has just proven that its easier the teach presentation than magic. All the tricks he did were relatively easy from a technical stand point. Please don't think I'm bashing the guy though. I think he did really well.[/quote]

There is a whole argument about presentation over technicality brewing here, and I sit firmly in the presentation camp. You only had to see the reaction from the little girl at the end to see that he has tremendous showmanship abilities. The technical skill can be learnt by any monkey.

[quote]Its the typical rookie thing though, that as soon as you know a little you think you know everything... well obviously he thought he knew enough to turn pro.

[/quote]

This is a typical 'old school'attitude, usually fuelled by jealousy. I am not bashing you, but, as a performer myself I could enjoy watching him. The other guys on the show, those that had been at it for years had little or no charisma and all performed packet tricks. His simple adaptation of the t&r newspaper showed that he had a good level of thinking that will make him a succesful performer.

You can go out and perform anytime you like, I think this show proved that with a little confidence and personality you can achieve the same, or better, results.
Message: Posted by: ChEeKy_MoNkEy (Mar 27, 2005 07:23PM)
Salsa wrote:-

[quote] There is a whole argument about presentation over technicality brewing here, and I sit firmly in the presentation camp. You only had to see the reaction from the little girl at the end to see that he has tremendous showmanship abilities. The technical skill can be learnt by any monkey. [/quote]

....even ChEeKy_MoNkEy?...hehe ;)

[quote] This is a typical 'old school'attitude, usually fuelled by jealousy. I am not bashing you, but, as a performer myself I could enjoy watching him. The other guys on the show, those that had been at it for years had little or no charisma and all performed packet tricks. His simple adaptation of the t&r newspaper showed that he had a good level of thinking that will make him a succesful performer. [/quote]

Could'nt agree more. IMO he had more charisma and personality than the other so called "professionals" put together. For me, presentation and showmanship is the most important thing. True...no good without the practical skills, but he seemed to show a good mastery of the card flourishes, other "tricks" etc., in the relatively short period of time he had to learn them, of course with practice he'll continue to improve in that area. Plus in the end he genuinely seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Good luck to him that's what I say.
Message: Posted by: PapaG (Mar 27, 2005 08:10PM)
Maybe his charisma came largely from the fact that he wasn't a professional magician.
Therefore it was a bit of a laugh (even if nerve-wracking).

Maybe 'cheesiness' comes with familiarity...

Give him a couple of years working tables...
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Mar 27, 2005 08:24PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-27 21:10, PapaG wrote:
Maybe his charisma came largely from the fact that he wasn't a professional magician.
Therefore it was a bit of a laugh (even if nerve-wracking).

Maybe 'cheesiness' comes with familiarity...

Give him a couple of years working tables...
[/quote]

Yes indeed, give him a couple of years and he will be regurgitating packet tricks including all the patter.
Message: Posted by: Nick23 (Mar 27, 2005 08:30PM)
On 2005-03-27 18:59, salsa_dancer wrote:
[quote]
Are you trying to say that you are one of those guys that walks around with an air of superiority whilst performing flourishes, cuts and fans?
[/quote]

No I don't walk around with an "air of superiority", but I do believe in flourishes as do many other magicians. Im not going to get into the "to flourish or not to flourish debate", but that's my opinion I'm I'm sticking with it.

[quote]
There is a whole argument about presentation over technicality brewing here, and I sit firmly in the presentation camp.
[/quote]

Me too. I never said I wasn't.

[quote]
You only had to see the reaction from the little girl at the end to see that he has tremendous showmanship abilities.
[/quote]

Okay... that's not quite how I saw it. “tremendous”, that’s a bit over the top. She was just amazed that a sponge ball appeared in her hand, not that he painstakingly constructed a novel story around a lost baby fox looking for her mother.

[quote]
This is a typical 'old school'attitude, usually fuelled by jealousy.
[/quote]

Not in the slightest. Im not jealous, I'm happy for him. I think the term old school should be changed to "tried and tested" though. I didn’t invent that saying. Ask anyone who mentors someone. At some point the student will get too big for their boots and think they know it all. I've seen it happen first hand.

[quote]
The other guys on the show, those that had been at it for years had little or no charisma and all performed packet tricks.
[/quote]

Charisma? Hmmm, that first guy seemed quite good. Kevin didn't pick the tricks he performed or even the script. Left to his own devices I'm sure that program would have had an entirely different outcome. If anyone had Pat Page on their team I’m quite sure you would construct an act that would be "quite" good.

[quote]
His simple adaptation of the t&r newspaper showed that he had a good level of thinking that will make him a succesful performer.
[/quote]

How do you figure that? How do you measure success? Good thinkers aren’t necessarily good performers. You even said yourself it was a “simple” adaptation, not exactly rocket science.

[quote]
I think this show proved that with a little confidence and personality you can achieve the same, or better, results.
[/quote]

Yep. I agree.

Ok. I believe its traditional now, if you quote everything I just said and create a counter argument and point out any hypocritical states that I may have made :P
Message: Posted by: ChEeKy_MoNkEy (Mar 27, 2005 08:37PM)
PapaG wrote:-

[quote] Maybe his charisma came largely from the fact that he wasn't a professional magician.
Therefore it was a bit of a laugh (even if nerve-wracking). [/quote]

Erm..not quite sure what you mean. Are you saying professional magicians generally lack charisma? Also, I'm not sure what charisma has to do with whether it was a bit of a laugh or not, etc. IMHO - you either have it or you don't.
Message: Posted by: Nick23 (Mar 27, 2005 08:51PM)
This thread is becoming quite amusing. We all think we are right, and everyone else's opinion is wrong.

I remember seeing a TV documentary a few years ago and it detailed the life of people with jobs they hate. One person quit their office job on the Friday, decided to become a children’s magician on the drive home, went to a magicshop on the Saturday, and started doing kids shows on the Monday. Does that sound right to anyone? Now the timeframe isn’t quite the same, but that is what this feels like to me.

After all, magic is an art, and it should get the time and attention it deserves. 3 months is just too short a time from knowing nothing to turning professional.

[quote]
On 2005-03-27 21:24, salsa_dancer wrote:

Yes indeed, give him a couple of years and he will be regurgitating packet tricks including all the patter.
[/quote]

I think it took him 3 months. Is't the sponge balls is considered a "packet trick" in that setting?
Message: Posted by: ChEeKy_MoNkEy (Mar 27, 2005 09:07PM)
Nick23 wrote:-

[quote] After all, magic is an art, and it should get the time and attention it deserves. 3 months is just too short a time from knowing nothing to turning professional. [/quote].

I take your point Nick, but there are always exceptions to the rule! Maybe he'll be one of them. I guess sometimes we have to take a chance in life and that's what he seems to have done. Who's to say it won't work out for him? After all, stranger things can happen...:)
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Mar 27, 2005 09:10PM)
Nick,

I don't really understand why you are on a high horse about it all? If your concern is that magic is too accessible then just make sure that you have changed your presentations enough to avoid being in the situation where a 15 year old kid with a modem can replicate your effect.

Magic should be about the thinking, and a bad magician can go to the store on Saturday and perform the effect on Monday. However, a good one can adapt the presentation to suit their own style. I have no idea what this guy is doing when he performs, and granted he had some help, but we can't pass judgement on whether he was capable of becoming a professional after 3 months because we don't know.

They guy fooled some 'top names' in the business after 4 weeks. Lord knows what he could do after 3 months with that kind of progression. You are forgetting that he was introduced, and made, to develop the most important aspects of the art.

Learning the technical aspects is easy to do with time. Besides which we do not know what he is performing, he may have 6 effects that he has perfected through practice and that is all he does.
Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (Mar 27, 2005 09:14PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-27 22:07, ChEeKy_MoNkEy wrote:
Nick23 wrote:-

[quote] After all, magic is an art, and it should get the time and attention it deserves. 3 months is just too short a time from knowing nothing to turning professional. [/quote].

I take your point Nick, but there are always exceptions to the rule! Maybe he'll be one of them. I guess sometimes we have to take a chance in life and that's what he seems to have done. Who's to say it won't work out for him? After all, stranger things can happen...:)
[/quote]

Just to add to this train of thought. In my younger days ;) when I started to learn to dance I managed to go from complete beginner to being a British Champion in 12 months. Some might say that was impossible to do - but it isn't.

This guy already demonstrated a highly analytical mind and approach, something that is very useful in this 'art'.
Message: Posted by: Nick23 (Mar 27, 2005 09:18PM)
Nah the horse isn’t high, I’m just so tiny it just looks that way :)

Im not worried about the accessibility of magic, I wish more people would do it, it would be nice to walk into any bar in the country and be able to join a session of magicians. Of course, we don't want "everyone" doing it or else we would be out of a job :P

Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t discuss a hobby like football with your friends. Having a hobby that you love and only being able to talk about it every other Tuesday night at your magic club can be quite frustrating.
Message: Posted by: Ian Broadmore (Mar 28, 2005 04:04AM)
Do I detect a touch of envy here...
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Mar 28, 2005 04:15AM)
I enjoyed the program, I thought that he probably was good enough to go professional by the end of it. Well the judges thought so, didn't they. It gave me some presentational points to think of certainly and probably helped me to a certain extent. Although my magic had a logical patter, routine etc I felt it looked to much like a routine and that I wasn't enthusiastic enough. This program taught me the important of enthusiasm and how important it is.
Nick
Message: Posted by: migwar (Mar 28, 2005 05:08AM)
I think one of the reasons he progressed so well is that he was personally tutored right from the beginning by working magicians, So the techinical aspect was relativly easy to pick up, rather than the trial and error I have when learning from books.

Good luck to him I say
Message: Posted by: spellonu (Mar 28, 2005 05:16AM)
I enjoyed the programme. Good luck to the guy if he's earning a living from magic after only 3 months. But he is only table-hopping. It's not like he's doing a sell-out nationwide tour, or that Channel 4 have given him his own series. (Yet - although given how reality show participants are turned into 'stars' these days, it wouldn't surprise me).
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Mar 28, 2005 05:48AM)
Yeah, we seem to be forgetting that this guy was perdonally tutored for 1 month solid, he ate, slept and breathed magic. It is not like he had to do it all b y himself like most of us did.
Message: Posted by: kinesis (Mar 28, 2005 06:57AM)
The guy's doing regular work, he's entertaining his audience(who are members of the public not magicians.) I don't care how long he's been a magician, he's doing more than a lot of magicians out there. Well done and good luck for the future. It's a tough business.
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Mar 28, 2005 07:21AM)
[quote]
The guy's doing regular work, he's entertaining his audience(who are members of the public not magicians.) I don't care how long he's been a magician, he's doing more than a lot of magicians out there. Well done and good luck for the future. It's a tough business.
[/quote]

Couldn't have put it better myself! Instead of criticising the guy, let's welcome him into the world of magic and encourage him in his new career (a career he says he LOVES!)

The programme shows what IS possible IF you are 100% committed and not afraid to risk making yourself look like a fool! Let's learn from the programme, and grow as "people entertainers", not just "magicians"!

Kind regards
Mike
Message: Posted by: zenmistress (Mar 28, 2005 04:52PM)
I really enjoyed watching the show, and I thought Daniels was spot on when he summed it up with ‘well, he’s a nice guy, and I like nice guys!’ Kevin has oodles of natural sunny charm and clearly makes the punters smile.

I think we should also remember the show format doesn’t change from week to week. Always 3 mentors, one of which is brought in at the end as an ‘emergency turnaround’. A few days before the judging, the mentors are always expressing their doubts at being able to pull it off. There is always a clothes / hairstyle makeover.

So, let’s look at the personality: a solid, honest guy, hard worker, smart, studious personality with attention to tiny detail (physicist, remember) and desire to win on the day. With a month of daily personal tutoring thrown in for a 7 minute set, what he achieved is obviously possible. I think it is far more likely that Kevin worked his little socks off to learn magic quickly – especially when he realised the impact it could have on his life – and that the real deceptions were achieved in the editing suite to keep to the show’s by now very familiar routine of ‘almost failed but pulled it off in the 11th hour’.

It was enormously pleasing to see the personal transformations that magic has brought to Kevin’s world, and I wish him the very best with his new career.
Message: Posted by: Watercooler (Mar 29, 2005 03:23AM)
I thought the show was quite inspiring. Of course magic is different things to different people, for him it's a job, for some its a hobby, and others it's an art.

I admire someone who actually performs more than someone who gets lost in debates and stays in their bedroom forever.
Message: Posted by: Ross W (Mar 29, 2005 05:46AM)
Zenminstress is right - only the producers and participants know exactly how faithfully the end programme matched the "real" journey of Kevin. Of course it was manipulated in the edit to make a good story even better.

But does that matter? Not a bit. We the audience were treated to a funny, moving and exciting programme; Kevin got a new career and a life-changing experience.

It was all done with only the tiniest bit of low-level exposure: you could tell that the producers were very sympathetic to the "exposurephobes" and the fact that it was done with the blessing of the Magic Circle proves it.

Most important, if you ask me, is that it showed to anyone watching that being a magician is far, far more about performing than about technical ability. Magically speaking, his "psychic surgery" trick at the end was pretty elementary, but the audience were in stitches and loved him for making them laugh. He could have done the whole thing without even the elastic pull *and* borrowed the ring, but it didn't really matter.

(I feel a bit sorry for the other pros on the show, though. Imagine being mistaken for a newbie and have your act slagged off on TV!)

Good luck to Kevin, I say!
Message: Posted by: Ian Broadmore (Mar 29, 2005 11:10AM)
As a matter of Interest the judges comprised P Daniels and who Else?. Who was the "Agent"
Message: Posted by: ThePartyMagician (Mar 30, 2005 03:38PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-29 12:10, Ian Broadmore wrote:
As a matter of Interest the judges comprised P Daniels and who Else?. Who was the "Agent"
[/quote]

Hi Ian,

One of the other judges was Rosemary English, wife of well know West Country magician Jack Stephens. She runs an agency for entertainers.

Don't remember who the other person was.

Kind regards
Mike
Message: Posted by: Ian Broadmore (Mar 31, 2005 03:09AM)
Thanks. Ian
Message: Posted by: The Gentleman (Jun 4, 2005 07:51AM)
Does anyone have a copy of this, or now a site that has a .torrent up? I would like to see it again.
Message: Posted by: lowercasekev (Sep 11, 2020 08:57AM)
Wow! 15 years on and I'm just coming across this thread. Feeling a bit nostalgic I guess.
Well, believe it or not, I was the guy in that show.
And I'm still a magician. And I hope I've retained some of the likeability and personality that were pointed out as such strong points all those years ago.
If anyone wants to rewatch drop me a DM.
Best wishes
Kevin McMahon (aka Kevin Quantum)