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Topic: Why don't we start considering the audience?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2006 03:56PM)
Well that seems like an obvious question but apparantly not as obvious as I like to think.

Why is it when we buy tricks we fall for things like "packs flat plays big". Nowhere in that is the audience considered. Many recent threads allude to things that are not really considering the audience. They encourage throwing people with not enough knowlege out there and having them charge people to see a show. Then it is advocated to "do enough bad shows and eventually you will figure it out". Again the audience that has to sit through this is not considered.

Arren't they the people we want to perform for in the first place? Shouldn't they enter into the equasion? It frustrates me.

Things about how magic is a "monologue" or a "personal art".

Let me tell you in front of your mirror it is a monologue, in your living room it is a personal art, step onto a stage and you need to consider the audience.

We make excuses for bad work, instead of doing the work. We insult laymen (heck the term ALONE is pretty insulting) with nonsense like "well the laymen will never notice", as if they are beyond stupid! What could be MORE insulting. Almost without fail the "laymen" do catch them.

When are we going to step up to the plate and really start to play the game? They pay for my food and house and dog, I for one wish we would treat them with more respect.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Apr 27, 2006 03:58PM)
Uh, "plays big" is all about the audience.

I don't think most people who are serious magicians fail to consider their audience. I wont say it doesn't happen, but I think you are fighting the same fight a lot of us are and calling it a new one.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Apr 27, 2006 05:18PM)
Packs flat?
I'm not liking the limitations there.
Pack [i]small[/i] maybe.

My idea for any type of strolling magic is to work from our clothing.
You can hang things on a belt, carry things in pockets and a pouch if need be. The stuff doesn't have to be flat but it sure should be something you can entertain with.

Paid show or free show, everyone should be treated with respect.
Tolerating those whose like to crack nuts is tough but...

Entertaining an audience the first few times is part of the learning process.
Until this happens your practice, scripts and rehearsals mean little as they have to be tested and adjusted. Sometimes it doesn't work the way you expect.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 27, 2006 07:10PM)
The magic occurs in the minds of the audience, but only if we cause it to. We can cause it not to occur, as well.

If we are, as some of us claim to be, artists, then the brushes, the colors and the palette are the props, the costume, the setting and the script. The canvas is the minds of the audience. If we do things to mess up the canvas while we are doing our work, the results will not be what we want them to be.

Some of our work is not a monologue. Sometimes it is a dialogue with the audience. Or it may be a dialogue with an audience member on stage with us. How we work with that person will affect the canvas in either a postive or a negative manner.

I don't think the term "layman" is insulting. It means "regular people." It doesn't mean "idiot." If we call them pejorative terms, such as "marks" or "fish," then we are being insulting.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 27, 2006 10:41PM)
I guess I want to know if it is such common sense, and it makes so much sense to everyone, then why does it happen?

And it happens a LOT. When it happens, nobody says anything. Why do we let it happen?

I guess more importantly is there anything served except aggravation on both parts when something is said? Does it really help anyone? It seems not to. So shutting up seems in order. (I can hear the cheers already!)
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Apr 27, 2006 10:47PM)
Bravo mate. Audience is kind of important to consider I think.

After all, they pay, they decide whether they like you or not. They have enormous influence over whether you're booked again by that theatre, business, agent etc.

The reason the audience is left last can be summed up in one word: EGO.

Magicians have egos bigger than any performers I've ever met. They think their tricks are too cool. Like once they can do a Svengali deck they become part of some secret club of "I know how the trick works and can't tell. Nani nani."

I think Bill Palmer's comment about "laymen" goes along with my previous line of thinking. (Before anyone attacks, I'm sure I've probably said it before) saying "laymen" puts the audience on a lower level than you.

It indirectly means, "I'm know something you don't know. Nani nani."

"Dialogue" magic is the HARDEST kind of magic to perform. My entire Street Magic LIVE! show is a "Dialogue" performance. And that makes it difficult. Getting people to stop at a festival, sit, laugh, enjoy is not easy work.

It's why musicians tend to have it easier. Whether anyone is paying attention or not, you play/sing, and get off the stage.

Street Magic LIVE! (and many magic shows for that matter), requires the audience to watch, interact, participate, and follow along.

Musicians (or "monologue" performers) just have to play. Many times they're just "background."

And Bill is right about how interacting with one audience member can affect the entire group. I've done shows where I've watched a particular person - they're laughing, clapping and having a good time - and when I pull them up to help me with something, they freeze up, frown and don't chuckle and interact with the jokes.

That kills the flow of the show, and hurts it for the audience.

Is it my fault when that happens? Yes. Partly anyway.
Is it their fault? In some way.

But hey, it happens. The best thing to do then is minimize their exposure in front of the audience, and work back to someone you know has already hammed it up with you.

Either way, we all end up changing our show, mid-show, at some point or another, and each time that happens, I hope we're doing things with the audience in mind.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 27, 2006 10:48PM)
Danny:

I've run into negativity from formerly abused audience members, that is, people who have been abused by other magicians. I think that if some of the abusers really gave thought to what they were doing, and realized that what some of us think of as fun is actually very humiliating, we wouldn't do certain things we do.

There are ways to make sport of people in front of others. But you have to pull the ridicule onto yourself. If you make your audience laugh at other members of the audience without having them laugh at you harder, you will make enemies. If you do it goodnaturedly, people will actually want to come up and be part of your show.

I'm speaking from experience here. I've done it both ways. At my age, I'd rather people like me.

BTW, Jaz:

I used to smile at the magic put out by Supreme. They made more things from cardboard than any other magic company in the world. And they used to say "Plays big, packs flat."

I thought their stuff "Played Flat and Packed Big."
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 28, 2006 09:23AM)
Yeah, when they refer to "play big" they mean LOTS CAN SEE IT, not that they like it.

Bill you are SO right. People don't mind good-natured fun, if YOU are also a target.

I spend the first little while including myself in the jokes. Man what a great point.

I think that often this gets overlooked because the later stuff gets the bigger laughs, so when guys steal the lines, they only put in the huge laugh lines, and not the situational set up lines that allow you to get away with the jokes later.

Wow what a run-on sentence that was.

Bill I kind of look at it as a partnership. We are both in it together! We both get laughed at. And while it happens to me also, they know how much people like "me" so they know they are being laughed WITH and not AT.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 28, 2006 01:59PM)
Robert:

Generally speaking, "layman" means someone who is a non-professional. When I use it to refer to people who are non-magicians, it does not have any kind of connotation other than "not being informed about how tricks work." It's like the common phrase "a layman's view of medicine." One of the organizations I have performed for in the past is the Lutheran Layman's League. They are non-clerics who have formed a group that furnishes insurance and low-cost loans to other Lutherans. There is nothing pejorative or derisive about the term.

When I look out into an audience, I think of this: I don't work cheap. The people who hired me must make a lot of money. So they probably have jobs that are far more important in the grand scheme of things than pushing a red silk into a TT and making it disappear. There are doctors, lawyers, CEO's of corporations, engineers -- people whose skills and occupations can affect people on a life or death basis. I am a layman in their fields. I have plenty of respect for them, and by doing so, they have respect for me.


Danny:

I have often de-fused situations that were started by other performers. I referred on more than one occasion to a performance I did in which the opening act, a "comic" (who definitely wasn't funny) messed up by throwing heckle-stoppers into the audience prematurely. I de-fused this by pulling it all onto me, then entertaining them. That was the one where I got the standing ovation. The audience really understood what had gone on and appreciated what I had done.

But you have hit the nail right on the head. The relationship in a show is basically a partnership. At the end of the show, before I get offstage, I ask for a round of applause for all of the people who came up and helped me, and I add, "for without them, there is no show." It takes only a few seconds, but it means so much!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 28, 2006 02:38PM)
Bill, BINGO!
Message: Posted by: Magicshore (Apr 28, 2006 03:48PM)
Bill

Excellent comments on the "partnership" perspective with the audience.

John
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 29, 2006 11:38AM)
Let me also add this. Terry Seabrooke can be very rough on his audience volunteers. But when he sends people back to their seats he always uses a line like this: "As they return to their seats, let's give them a big round of applause, which they RICHLY deserve!"

There have been comics who made their living as "insult comics," the most famous recent one being Don Rickles. But at the end of Don's show, he always brings the insults back to himself. And he reminds the audience before he starts that he is going to insult EVERYONE.

The late Rodney Dangerfield took the opposite tack. He insulted himself.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Apr 29, 2006 12:27PM)
When I perform my festival character, I write my scripts in such a way as to make myself my participants victim. I become the straight man to my participants comedy. I learned long ago that direct comedy wasn't my gift, so I wrote to compliment my natural straight nature. My audiences seem to revel in my general misfortunes.

In my stage show, I learned over time that there were particular instructions that I could give that seemed to be followed incorrectly the same way every time. SO I began useing those mistakes in the performance. One of my favorites is the "Codrs of Fantasia" as found in "Mark Wislon's Complete Course in Magic" Pg 303. I have two children take the stage and stand at either side of me. Oncew the initial knot os tied around the wand (pencil) they each hold the two ends of the cords on their respective sides. I take one of the cords on each side in hand and instruct the children to "release the cord which I am holding." Invariably one or both of the children release both of the cords that they were holding. This is where I incert a variety of responces depending on the particulars of the error. An example is replying "When I said release the cord that I am holding, I had intended you to relkease ONLY the cord that I was holding..." during this statement the audience has a good laugh and the child realises the error and grabs the remaining cord. The longer it takes to right the wrong, the funnier the situation is, and the more frustrated I appear to become, though never angry, always sardonic.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Hinchliffe (Apr 29, 2006 03:43PM)
All the great magicians, past and present, have considered the audience.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Apr 29, 2006 04:06PM)
Just a few added thoughts...

Perhaps it is good to look at your magic show from the point of view of the audience. I mentioned this in another thread. It may be fun to be fooled but is it fun for a spectator to be made to look like a fool in front of there friends?

Is a good idea to treat the audience with respect when they buy your show?

Some may feel that a magic show is a partnership and that is fine with me if they do. But often the client puts down cash for the service of a magician to do a show. And if the needs of the client are not met they do not like it.

This I feel is also true of people that will pay money - up to 70 dollars or more for a ticket to see a show. Some travel to a resort town and spend quite a bit of money and go out of there way to see their vacation money - their hard earned vacation money give them the most entertainment bang for the buck.

They when spending 20 to 100 dollars a ticket are putting an investment into there evenings entertainment. These people could feel that they deserve to be treated with respect and also feel that if the show is not good form their point of view have the right to complain and talk about it to their friends when they get home.

It may from the point of view from the audience be a 20 - 80 partnership because the audience and the client have no idea what the performer has invested in their show, in the way of props, theater, costumes, and years of experience.

Most of the performers that I have known when growing up looked at performing a show as if they were inviting the audience to watch them perform at there home in there living room and treated them as honored guests.

Just a few thoughts and my opinion to add to the thoughts and opinion of this wonderful thread!
Message: Posted by: kregg (Apr 29, 2006 04:19PM)
The first time I heard "plays big, packs small' was Dan Harlan. But, I don't believe he meant anything other than trying to help magicians lighten their load from show to show. Michael Ammar tried to help magician's with their P/E ratio in the mid-eighties by recommending they could pack a show into a brief case or load a tractor trailer.
If anything these trends have made magic more accessible by making magic one-on-one and personal. Today, street magic and walk around are bigger than when I started out in magic.
Professionally, I have never met an agent or a manager who would represent an act that disregards their audience, it isn't professional and it's all about the money. If you want to succeed you'd better have a great quality product and know who's buying your product.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Apr 29, 2006 04:28PM)
Nice posting kregg. Thanks for posting it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 29, 2006 05:43PM)
Ok so now we are considering the audience right? They come first. They are paramount in our thoughts. They are why we do what we do. Fine with me.

Now lets say we thought the OPPOSITE, how would our actions be any different?

What I mean is some of our philispohies do NOT indicate this idea in the least.

For example "just grab some props, no script, just start finding an audience and making some money" is a quote from another thread. HOW IS THE AUDIENCE CONSIDERED IN THIS EQUASION?

Answer, they simply are not.

Many many many of the theories and ideas expressed right HERE in the Café' have nothing to do with the audience. Packs flat plays big has been perverted into a sales pitch.

So I guess we all know the text book answer. But when we encourage others, simply not ready to go work to do so, it is counter indicated by what we have all just agreed upon.

This is the point I have tried to make so many times in other threads that gets lost in the heat of insults and back biting.

Also I take into account the magicians "feelings" AFTER the audience. If they are not ready they are not ready. So what? They will be some day soon! Why do our "feelings" being hurt take a higher place than what the audience has to suffer through.

"Just go out and learn in front of your audience". Another pretty bad way to learn. As I said all this is counter indicated by what we have agreed upon in this thread, but I get arguements in other threads. I simply can't figure out why.

Posted: Apr 29, 2006 6:45pm
Quote:

On 2006-04-29 17:06, bishthemagish wrote:
Just a few added thoughts...

Perhaps it is good to look at your magic show from the point of view of the audience. I mentioned this in another thread. It may be fun to be fooled but is it fun for a spectator to be made to look like a fool in front of there friends?

PERHAPS it is a good idea?

That is somewhat akin to saying "perhaps it is a good idea to go inside a strong building during a catagory 5 hurricane!"
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Apr 29, 2006 06:25PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-29 18:43, Dannydoyle wrote:
For example "just grab some props, no script, just start finding an audience and making some money" is a quote from another thread. HOW IS THE AUDIENCE CONSIDERED IN THIS EQUASION?

Answer, they simply are not.
[/quote]
First of all I never said grab some props and forget about a script. I suggest you reread the thread. And I have often said and being both a performer and a dealer for years that magicians buy magic for two reason's.

The magician that does magic for a living or does magic shows for free or whatever and is a performer. They buy magic from the point of view to please an audience. In other words most of them buy it with the audience in mind. Because there is a NEED to please the audience for the success of the show.

A magician that does magic as a hobby will buy magic because it is a personal investment in his education of magic. Because they do magic for personal reasons.

There is no thought to the audience just a purchase to please themselves.

If we are telling the hobby magician to just grab some tricks off the shelf (and I never said to do this except as a metaphor) there is some education about how to routine a show and what makes a good selection of tricks for their first show. And scripting would be helpful. And they would learn by doing that they need to please that audience. But I see no reason that some may get fun out of magic by swimming in the shallow end of the pool. I have no problem with them doing small shows and make a little money and then use it to buy more magic.

Magicians that start as a hobby often if they want to do shows for money learn how to do shows and if they don't learn and if they don't meet the needs and the demands of the business they will find it hard to get work. And I think that if they don't meet the clients needs and the entertainment needs of the audience they will find it hard to get work.

It is like kregg said above.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Apr 29, 2006 08:09PM)
Unless I stand corrected, the "Grab some props..." line was in reverence to the late great Jay Marshall.
If the Professor said, "Let me grab a deck of cards and we'll go to the castle" or any seasoned professional for that matter, they would be well within their right.
On the other hand, if one with little flight time tried that it would most likely be a disaster and the audience isn't the only party that would suffer as a result.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Apr 29, 2006 08:28PM)
[quote]
On 2006-04-29 21:09, kregg wrote:
Unless I stand corrected, the "Grab some props..." line was in reverence to the late great Jay Marshall.
[/quote]
Yes, Jay and I did a show together. It was Jay going off to do a small show and he took a few things off the shelf at magic INC. And then I joined him and afterward we went out to lunch together. But the reason I told the story was because I think that magicians have lots of props that they don't use. So why not use them?

Buddy Farnan who went to college with Blackstone Jr. And was in the same theater class as Blackstone Jr. Did a lecture on magic and the whole point of the lecture was how to make the hobby of magic self liquidating. Or pay for itself. There are a lot of ways to make money with magic and then invest it into more magic.
[quote]
On 2006-04-29 21:09, kregg wrote:
On the other hand, if one with little flight time tried that it would most likely be a disaster and the audience isn't the only party that would suffer as a result.
[/quote]
They won't get any fight time at all unless they get on the plane. Or as I said they won't learn how to swim unless they get in the water. I would not jump into deep water without learning the business in the shallow end first. But I thought I explained that a long time ago in another thread.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Apr 29, 2006 09:02PM)
I didn't mention names, did I?

Sorry, I was refering to a "school of thought" as opposed to a specific thread.

More of a way of thinking in "general" that seems to permeate threads.

Sorry for the confussion, my bad.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Apr 30, 2006 12:27PM)
[quote]

(2) Always endeavor to form an accurate conception of the point of view most likely to be adopted by a disinterested spectator.
For a performer to put himself in the place of his audience requires the exercise of an amount of imagination and may we say it?-of judgment, rarely met with among those who are otherwise qualified to entertain the public. Yet, the more completely a magician can obey this rule, the greater will be his chances of success. The task before him is gigantic-but he should attempt it nevertheless. He must try to forget the importance of things which appeal to him most strongly, because, for all the public knows or cares, those things might as well be nonexistent. The difficulty of his manipulations; the ingenuity and originality of his inventions; the refinements and improvements lie has introduced; and, above all, the distinctive merits personal to himself, should be disregarded. All such matters should be lost to sight, in order that the one supreme consideration may not become obscured, even for a moment. The effect to be made upon his audience is the one thing a magician should keep in view, as the Americans say, "first, last, and all the time."

[/quote]

N.M
Message: Posted by: Hostile18 (May 9, 2006 10:34AM)
The audience is not something that should be 'considered' when doing magic. The audience should be the entire reason for doing the magic, with ever part of it designed to have an effect on the audience for which is it performed.

Well, maybe that's a little extreme - I suppose some concessions have to be made to the performer's comfort and even enjoyment. But essentially since magic is a performance art then the audience is really all that matters. Magicians who let their egos run riot and perform for their own amusement are invariably terrible magicians, because the audience does not enjoy what they do.

I don't see anything wrong with performing a monologue, or with assuming non-magicians will be fooled by things they haven't seen before. These things are irrelevant. What matters is that magicians seek to entertain and delight rather than to make themselves feel big and important.

Magic is an act of theatre. Without an audience, it is nothing.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 9, 2006 11:31AM)
As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?" and most simply...

For many it is simply to much bother as they can get what they need considering only themselves.

Watch me fool you. Watch me do this. Let me show you something. All about them isn't it?
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 9, 2006 11:32AM)
As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?"

What's this WE garbage?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 9, 2006 01:33PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-09 12:32, JackScratch wrote:
As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?"

What's this WE garbage?
[/quote]

Heck if I know Jack, it's the title of this thread. There's plenty of garbage to wallow in for those who enjoy it.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 9, 2006 07:12PM)
Theh WE was simply to avoid pointing fingers and to remove a superior tone from the title of the thread.

Sorry if it offended anyone. Guess you can't please ANYONE.
Message: Posted by: Chris Becker (May 9, 2006 10:09PM)
Hey,

I think I'm contributing a new thought to this discussion. Hopefully, someone will notice. To Danny's question I would like to answer: why consider the audience?

A painter, a pianist, a sculptor, a dancer, a poet ... unless they become commercial, they create their artwork for others. What makes magic unique?

Two VERY important bits to conclude this post.

1) I know the answer to my question.
2) The answer leads to another observation, which I think I made faaaar to rarely in this forum.

Let's see where this is going. I'll be back! ;-)
Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 9, 2006 10:20PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-09 23:09, Christof wrote:
A painter, a pianist, a sculptor, a dancer, a poet ... unless they become commercial, they create their artwork for others. [/quote]

What am I missing here? When an artist becomes commercial, that's [i]especially[/i] when they create for others. Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel because he was paid to do it, not because he especially liked laying on his back getting paint in his eyes year after year.

As far as magicians go? Without others, who's going to pick the card? ;)
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 9, 2006 11:41PM)
Even if not commercial, all art is for the audience. Art is ment to be viewed, and have an effect on it's viewers. When asked about the "we" I ment that I think magicians, as a generality, do consider their audience, ad in fact know that I do. So let em fly, who are these we that aren't considering their audience?
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2006 01:27AM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-10 00:41, JackScratch wrote:
Even if not commercial, all art is for the audience. Art is ment to be viewed, and have an effect on it's viewers. When asked about the "we" I ment that I think magicians, as a generality, do consider their audience, ad in fact know that I do. So let em fly, who are these we that aren't considering their audience?
[/quote]

That isn't completely true. Some art is done simply for the self-expression of the artist. He may never want anyone to see it but himself, and might want to destroy it before his death. He simply wants to get something out of his head, and into a form he can understand.

The Nazca Peru drawings of animals were huge, and two large for a human to comprehend. They were meant to be seen by the gods.

Russian religious icons are painted by the artist in an attempt to open a spiritual doorway to heaven. The saints looked out at the viewer as much as the viewer looked in to the saints.

Petroglyphs of the ancient ones were often actually magic incantations that summoned up the things depicted or described a vision that the shaman wanted to capture and remember himself.

But performance art, except for the most self-indulgent, usually needs to consider the audience, if it wants to have more than one of them.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 10, 2006 01:52AM)
Thanks Whit, you beat me to the punch. Besides, you write so much better than I do...

My wife Tamara saw his "all art is for the audience" line and immediately disagreed. That's the fallacy of absolutes. They usually aren't. Art usually has two patrons, one of which happens to be the performer.

I play guitar for my own enjoyment. I don't care if anyone ever hears me, and it's a rare thing when someone does.

For Tamara, she grew up taking Ballet lessons. Mostly to please her mother. She was good... [i]very good[/i], but the "spark" wasn't there until she decided that she had to perform for [i]herself[/i] first and foremost, not for others. Once she did that, the life came into her dancing and she got noticed. Repeatedly. Although she was the principal dancer in several dance companies, her success came because she loved to dance, not because she felt she had to please someone.

Whit, I see that in your work. Your enthusiasm shows through and the audience can't help but be swept along for the journey.
Message: Posted by: Chris Becker (May 10, 2006 10:54AM)
Dave, my bad. I meant to say what Jack then actually commented on.

If a child or teenager starts out as an artist in the field of magic - and not because tricks are a nice tool to get the girls attention at the kindergarten - it is - like in any other area - about yourself and in what way you can express yourself through the art. The same is true of the painter, the poet, the pianist, the dancer. That's how I feel about my playing the piano, my photography, and my magic. Note that I'm not making my living with magic.

Sure, when you go commercial, you have to consider the audience. My question is to what extent this affect the art. If you look around on this board, then "commercial magicians" - buskers, for example, who may be the most commercialized of all - always state that it's all about entertainment, and they mean comedy and fun. The magic loses out, because what sells is comedy.

But aren't we denying our art here? To what extent does a pianist, a poet, a painter "commercialize" his art? I think - and this is my answer to the initial question - many magicians consider the audience not necessarily too much, but in the wrong way. If a painter does not paint for himself, but for an audience, he rents a gallery to exhibit his art, a poet has his work printed in a nice book, well, and a magician should make sure that his art can be received easily as well. But "considering the audience" should not mean that we change into comedians.

It's totally fair to do that if it pays the mortgage, but many professionals are no closer to being magicians than Victor Borge is to being a pianist.

Hm... I think Victor Borge is actually the perfect example.

-Christof
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (May 10, 2006 11:14AM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-10 11:54, Christof wrote:
It's totally fair to do that if it pays the mortgage, but many professionals are no closer to being magicians than Victor Borge is to being a pianist.

[/quote]

I apologize if I missed the point here. Victor Borge WAS a pianist. A very good one. He was a child prodigy who studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory under some of the worlds greatest teachers and worked as a classical concert pianist. Yes, he gave up his classical career to do a comedy act. But to say that he wasn't a pianist is simply not true.

As far as art work that was not created for an audience. Look up Henry Darger. Until he died and his apartment was cleaned out, nobody had any idea what this guy was up too.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (May 10, 2006 12:46PM)
It's widely speculated that J.D. Salinger has written a ton of stuff in the last 40 years or so, none of which the public has seen.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 10, 2006 01:57PM)
That doesn't mean that Salinger wrote the work without wanting it to be eventually seen.

The point again, is that magicians are performance artists, not painters or sculpters.

As Maskelyne and Devant said, "We must find an audience for our work while we are still alive..."

Why can you not consider the spectators and be true to your vision and art?

Because you choose limits, like writing in the form of a sonnet or painting a frescoe on a multi-faceted ceiling, or making something accessible to the average person, doesn't mean you are selling out your artistic vision.

You are merely applying your artistic vision within the limits of the assignment.

Picasso may not have thought his ceramic cats were his most expressive and significant work, but he certainly applied all his knowledge and vision in the act of creating them.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (May 11, 2006 04:44PM)
Whit Hayden posted:

[quote]The Nazca Peru drawings of animals were huge, and two large for a human to comprehend. They were meant to be seen by the gods.[/quote]

But they were meant to be SEEN by someone other than the mind of the artist, regardless. There was still a perceived audience - and that audience, when one considers the importance of religion to the indiges of the region during that period, makes those drawings play to the most important audience of all, it would seem.

[quote]Russian religious icons are painted by the artist in an attempt to open a spiritual doorway to heaven. The saints looked out at the viewer as much as the viewer looked in to the saints.[/quote]

Again, these icons were still meant to impress religious feelings and emotions to the viewer, the parishioners - a captive audience, if you will. But still an audience, nonetheless.

[quote]Petroglyphs of the ancient ones were often actually magic incantations that summoned up the things depicted or described a vision that the shaman wanted to capture and remember himself.[/quote]

Can we really say this for certain when we can't even say for certain what happened in a military engagement that happened last month, even when we have it on videotape? Couldn't those 'glyphs just as easily be an historical depiction of a successful hunt? Or a manual of how TO hunt? Either way, they still play to a probable audience, whether the spirit world or potential hunters, or real hunters, to remind them of past glories - sort of a prehistoric trophy cabinet.

While this may be picking nits, it still points to ths issue that art always addresses SOME audience, even if it is the artist only, or deity or the public-at-large, it always addresses SOME sort of audience, even if that audience is discorporeal (a perceived audience, which, arguably, to many people, is just as real as a physical one anyway).

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 11, 2006 05:13PM)
I shall reword my thoughts. No artist who creates for any reason other than to touch an audience, has my respect as an artist, and I have little use for them. Though my suspicion is that, since they do not create for any audience, they are most not likely concerned that I have no use for them.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 11, 2006 05:15PM)
Thinking back on my guitar thing. There's an audience there too... Me. I play for an audience of one. My wife learned to dance for her "audience of one" and allowed the audience to watch her enjoyment of the dance. If she danced solely for them, and not herself it wouldn't have nearly as much impact.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (May 11, 2006 05:29PM)
I think it goes witout saying that if one can not appreciate ones own art, then why bother. There are much better ways to both make a living and receive desired acceptance.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (May 11, 2006 06:16PM)
JackScratch wrote:

[quote]"There are much better ways to both make a living and receive desired acceptance."
[/quote]
No there are not. ;) IMHO

Lee: Consider the nit picked. You are right, of course, but I was more concerned with the concept of the art being influenced by the pre-conveived opinion of the audience--allowing the artistic vision to be compromised by the audience.

There are artists whose work may be directed at the self, or at a vision of God, or other things such as mentioned, and the "audience" can not get "in the way" of the artist's complete self-expression.

Not all art is "for the viewer" in the same way.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (May 12, 2006 01:50PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-10 11:54, Christof wrote:
Sure, when you go commerical, you have to consider the audience. My question is to what extent this affect the art. If you look around on this board, then "commerical magicians" - buskers, for example, who may be the most commercialized of all - always state that it's all about entertainment, and they mean comedy and fun. The magic loses out, because what sells is comedy.
[/quote]
Comedy is something an audience can understand. Often an audience doesn't understand magic and magicians unless they are into magic. Many people think that magicians are like the magicians that they SEE like, Doug Henning, David Copperfield and now David Blaine.

Comedy can work very well with good quality magic - like in the act of Johnny Thompson and the Great Tomsoni. Comedy was great is Jay Marshall's act, and my Dads act with the rope tie.

An act is a hard sell unless it meets the demands of the market. Art when it is presented for one's self artistic impression often does not meet the demands of the market. In the book "Illusion show" by David Bamberg he put together his first illusion show and it made money. Then he invested in a huge "artistic show" and it bombed big time.

Magic is what a magician is suppose to do but the market we SELL it to is the ENTERTAINMENT MARKET. If magic is done for money the job is to satisfy the audience and the clients first.

Just some thoughts.