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Topic: Cellini got panned?
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 21, 2002 03:41PM)
In an earlier post, someone said that Cellini got panned at the Magic Castle.

What does that mean? They didn't like him?

Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Nov 21, 2002 06:44PM)
Greetings and Salutations tedb,

Since no one has spoken from authority, I'll jump in. From what I understand, and this is secondhand-once-removed rumor, Cellini and Gazzo got similar reactions from the magi at the Magic Castle.

From what I gather, they got the responses they did because those two guys aren't using the latest, greatest moves, but using what works easiest and well so they can concentrate on entertaining a lay audience.

While I haven't been in magic long, and only recently started to concentrate on stringing some routines together, what I see in a lot of magic is magic to fool magicians. Well, like Gazzo said in his C&B video, and I'm paraphrasing like crazy, I don't really care what magicians think of my methods, I want to entertain people and have fun.

Anyway, those're my two cents.

How's Cellini's newest video coming along? I know it won't be available until sometime in the spring, but how about throwing us a bone, er, update?

Thanks, and have a great weekend!

Joe in KC

Choose an extraordinary life,
live a great adventure!
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Nov 21, 2002 07:38PM)
Hey Koz, it was me, BroDavid - who said it.

I recalled hearing some time back, someone saying that Cellini did not receive proper acknowledgement from other magi at the Magic Castle. I wish I could remember who said it, but I think I recall it being a Castle member. I believe it was when I was trying to get local support to bring him to Northern Ohio, but the Magicians I contaced either didn't know who he was, or they were ambivalent about his performing.

And then on the Gazzo Cups and Balls Video, Gazzo talks about it again. Naturally, he held Jim up in highest esteem and was really just using the incident as an illustration relative to performing for magicians.

Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 21, 2002 09:13PM)

I wonder why guys like Cellini don't like working for or even like magicians? It's really no wonder. I'm really sure that if one of those guys saw me they would have nothing good to say. I mean heck, I don't usually do one card trick in my show? What kind of mage would not do a card trick? Well, the most successful kind. Copperfield, ring a bell?

Yea, Bro, you are right. Jim doesn't use the newest, hardest way to accomplish something simple. In my opinion, as I'm sure, yours, the easiest way is the best. However, they would be wrong about his ability to do those difficult things. He can, but what's the point? Most magicians critique other magi as to their abilty technically. Gazzo does one trick, really. He's one of the best card guys on the planet, but he does one trick, and it's not a card trick.

You see, these guys judge then go home and work on those card sleights never to perform them for anyone other than the magic friends they so desperately want to impress. But walk in front of a real audience? They would never! It takes courage to do what Cellini does. And what you do and what I do and Danny and many of the street guys that talk here. Let one of those guys go out and and stand on a corner and gather a crowd with personality. They couldn't do it because they don't have any.

Cellini does magic for a living. He goes out and performs for real people. No tricky cards. No tricky coins. Just pure magic. And he has done it for 40 years. He last had a job in 1958. 1958! While these guys who judge him, and judge you and me and the rest of the real guys, go to their jobs every morning, punch that time card and walk away with $400 a week making someone else rich, Cellini took another course that has taken him around the world. It has not made him rich, but it has made him rich in memories. He's performed for kings.

And he has changed my life, given me a wonderful gift--freedom. I can do what I want with my life because of him and I'm so grateful. When someone says something bad about him, I'm likely to get a little upset. No one here has ever said a bad word, but those guys out there, the magi with no courage, tick me off!!!

I hear this stuff from time to time. Now don't get me wrong, I love Gary Kurtz, he's technically amazing, but really, he's a magician's magician.

The most popular of magicians on the planet (Blaine) does the biting coin routine with a trick quarter. Not hard--easy. But laypeople think he's a god. I'm not saying do that. I like what Cellini does--pure, beautiful. And I like what Gazzo does. So different he makes them laugh and his audience loves him. And I tell you what, if you went out there and did all that tough stuff they would just walk away. WHO CARES!!!! But entertain them, then you have something.

Cellini lectured at the Castle and I know many loved him there and they bought his products he sold more there than anyone ever except for one magician (I won't name his name) so Its usually the bad things that we hear and not the good.

And if you asked Cellini if he cared what a few magic geeks thought, he would tell he doesn't care!!!! But I bet he would care what you felt.

Sorry, fellas, for my spouting.

Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Nov 21, 2002 09:58PM)
I almost posted where Bro.David made his comment but decided I might better serve here now.

I know and speak with several members of the Castle, and to my knowledge none would venture a criticism of Cellini. One member in particular did volunteer his assessment of Cellini's lecture and said, "Politics aside, that was the lecture of the year." A far from tepid response.

The general truth holds with Cellini's lecture: the more you know, the more you learn.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Nov 22, 2002 10:54AM)
The topic in question is not about Jim's recent lecture.

In the 70's, Jim performed in the close up room at the castle and Dai Vernon was not impressed. He told Jim, "You go to the pouch too much!" and things like this.

I heard this from Jim himself during a dinner conversation. Actually, kozmo has the entire dinner on tape. Anyway, Jim was pointing out that guys who do not work the street have no idea what works on the street. He held Mr. Vernon in the highest esteem, but was pointing out how easy it would be to "not get it" even for a great magician. What we do goes against many of magic's conventional rules.

Gazzo reiterated this story on his video, and also said as far as he was concerned, Jim Cellini is every bit as skilled and knowledgeable as Dai Vernon was.

After having spent some time with Jim and not only seeing his work but hearing the brilliant way in which his mind wraps around any given trick, I agree with Gazzo.

Jim Cellini knows things about the inside of a trick that I have never seen in print or heard expressed by any other source.

When I mentioned this to him ,he smiled his humble smile and said, "Danny, there is nothing new under the sun." He doesn't like to claim credit for anything, and he thinks all magic should be shared.

Cellini is a GREAT magician and knows as much high handed heavy technical work as anyone else considerd "one of the greats." This is not, however, what works on the street.

He is a great, great, man and I'm grateful for having had the oppertunity to spend some time with him.


Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 22, 2002 11:16AM)

While these guys who judge him, and judge you and me and the rest of the real guys-- us--go to their jobs every morning, punch that time card, and walk away with $400 a week.

Do people really work for $400 a week? :confused:

I've been in Silicon Valley too long.
Message: Posted by: Allan (Nov 23, 2002 12:26PM)
I saw Jim Cellini perform about 10 years ago. It was magic. I also saw his lecture earlier this year. It was brilliant. He shared everything. The man knows every trick inside out & can amaze & entertain any audience. As far as him not being up on the so called latest & greatest. He does not have to. His tricks & methods have to stand the test of time. His venue is different than most of us. Don't forget. When on the street, you have to deal with temperatures from the 50's to possibly over a 100. With humidity, sun, noise, people on all sides including behind & overhead. His magic & methods have to work with all the above problems. He has solved them all.

If we do a show & perhaps we were not at our best, we still get paid. He has to make people want to pay for the free show they have already seen. They can just applaud & walk away. Instead, they reach into their pocket & give. Give the man credit where credit is do. He is a master.
Message: Posted by: Darrin Cook (Nov 25, 2002 10:39PM)
I recently had the chance to meet Cellini and his wife, and they were two very engaging, humble people, as well as a blast to talk to.

Cellini's magic is designed for the streets when he is surrounded on all sides, including kids creeping up right behind him. He pointed out in his lecture how humid or windy environments make card tricks impractical. He also explained how he had to adapt traditional magic methods because of conditions such as poor weather or low light.

And his two ring linking ring routine was mind blowing. It reminded me of Shimada in that it was slow, graceful, poetic, and magical.
Message: Posted by: johnr733 (Nov 28, 2002 06:33PM)
I recently saw Cellini, too, and I admit you can learn a lot about the practical side of magic from him, but I didn't think a lot of his skill. His tricks, for the most part, seemed obvious to me. So you are probably right, he is not a magician's magician. The lecture was worth the fee though.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 28, 2002 10:43PM)
You're wrong. He's one of the most skillful magicians I have ever met. And I can also tell you that his knowledge is almost endless. But in his world, where you perform for lay audiences everyday,the stuff he performs works great. Why make it more difficult if you don't have to? And the stuff he does is almost angle proof. And it's artistic. Real stuff by a real guy.

The manner in which he performs his magic is really beautiful. It's too bad that most magi have not had the opportunity to see him work in the real world versus the lecture venue, to see how he handles an audience in the most difficult of environments. He's great, trust me. But if you are interested in the newest version of the pass, which is not very important when you are performing for a living, then he's not your guy because he just doesn't care about that stuff.

I personally think his cigarette routine is unbelievable. It's funny and challenging. And his ring routine? I challenge anyone to do that routine and make it look like that. You know, most magicians don't perform, they do magic as a hobby. Some of those guys are technically great, much better than me, but they spend their time with their magi friends out there and work on all this stuff that a guy making a living doing magic would likely never use. There's nothing wrong with that, but Cellini performs in the real world and makes it work.

I know why you said that. When he lectures, he doesn't really do a lot of magic. He tells stories and he tells you how it is to work on the streets because many of us think that's more interesting than the newest pass. Jim's interest in lecturing is to inspire others to try his path, to go there, stand in the light of day, step out into the sunshine and realize that there is a different way. Some get it. Some don't.

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Nov 29, 2002 09:23AM)
Right on Kozmo!

Just because he doesn't "Show Out," doesn't mean that he can not.

His marvelous skill and wonderful technique are not flashed about as with many others. And many might mistake his quiet humility and understated style as inability or insecurity, but that would most definitely be a mistake.

And as Kozmo says, I too, would much rather hear him tell and show the "what, why, and how, what not, and why not," of performing, than be dazzled by a magic technique that I could never hope to master as he has.

That said, if you weren't impressed, or don't think him skilled, you are welcome to your opinion. But I think that is wrong.

Message: Posted by: ASW (Nov 30, 2002 09:07PM)
I think Cellini is great, too. (I love street magic and Cellini is a guy I have always wanted to meet). But why pick on Gary Kurtz as a "magician's magician"? Kurtz works for real people, so anything he does is as valid as anything any other real world worker does. Just because he kicks ring when he works for magicians, doesn't mean his serious work should be devalued...

Valid criticisms aside - I don't understand why you'd have to knock someone else just to defend a friend, even if your motive is pure.

Besides, magic isn't sports. In a sense it's a shame that Gazzo feels the need to defend his methods to magicians on his video. Who cares what magicians think? If he fries lay people and pulls a buck, then that's george.

I guess I'm sensitive over this because I often have magicians question the fact that I do difficult sleight of hand, the implication being it's not commercial! Well I don't give a rat's what the method is - hard or easy, if the effect is worth it, I'll do it.

Besides, non-method methods can be just as hard as technical sleight of hand. A neophyte is going to telegraph a simple and bold transfer because he won't be in the right frame of mind and won't have the right attitude. That's as hard to master as ANY tough move...

Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Nov 30, 2002 11:09PM)
I think you may have misunderstood. I love Gary Kurtz. He's one of my very favorite magicians. But when Gary performs for magicians, he performs some very difficult stuff and this is where I'm familiar with him. I don't know how he is as a performer for lay audiences. Please don't misunderstand me, I like him a lot.
It's entirely possible that it was a poor example in using Gary.

Message: Posted by: ASW (Dec 6, 2002 03:01PM)
I get what you're saying. Sorry but my bark is worse than my bite... :)

My point is, just because some people have criticised Cellini for using simpler techniques doesn't make it right to criticise someone who does the opposite UNLESS it can be proven that one choice is superior when working for lay people. (And, of course, that's just my opinion).

I've seen guys who use easy methods kill lay audiences, I've seen guys who use hard methods kill lay audiences - and I've seen guys who mix it up do the same.

In any case - how can these people who criticise Cellini accurately say they're simpler methods? They may be simpler in terms of raw technique - but there is immense skill required to get away with some of these methods because they require a greater understanding of timing, misdirection and street psychology. They're not simpler (and they're not better) they're just different - and right for the street. The same applies to Kurtz.