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Topic: Michael Close Series?
Message: Posted by: desprado2 (May 26, 2003 06:32PM)
I saw Mr. Close perform at the Houdini Lounge in Las Vegas last month after watching a Lance Burton show. He was a true professional. I was impressed at how comfortable and nonchalant his performance style was. He did a few tricks for my wife and I and was very gracious. Anyways, I wanted to get peoples thoughts on his Very, Very, Close Series. Also will it be on DVD anytime soon?
Message: Posted by: Dr. Bombay (May 26, 2003 06:59PM)
I also saw Michael at Houdini's. he's a wonderful performer and talented musician/writer.

However, I found this series to be quite dull. Too many effects that were so, so.

The Bill Malone and Daryl Fooler Dooler DVD's are much better.
Message: Posted by: marko (May 26, 2003 08:25PM)
I strongly disagree. I treasure his series of videos. You get to see one of magic's most likable and thoughtful performers do the effects so highly regarded from his 'Workers' series. I agree that a few of the effects are 'so, so' (though they work for Michael), but there are a LOT of effects on this series, and several (such as The Pothole Trick, Dr. Strangetrick, The Big Suprise, The Card, the Forehead, and the Saltshaker, and The Frog Prince) are worth more than the price of admission. There's way too much material to get into here, but there are many more gems on this series and several that would lead one into further exploration. Michael's advice on the technical, psychological, and business aspects of magic are gold. I wish these were on DVD.
Message: Posted by: Mark Martinez (May 26, 2003 09:42PM)
I have to agree with Marko on this, I love his tapes and recommend them highly!
I use the pothole trick all the time!

The only bad part is they aren't on DVD!
Message: Posted by: MisterE21 (May 27, 2003 09:13AM)
I think the Close videos are amazing; a few of the effects, I must admit, did have me saying "so what?" But, that's the reality of many videos I get...

The strong material, however, is QUITE strong. I've been frying folks with The Frog Prince for a while now (not to mention getting GREAT reactions from female spectators...they just love the little frog...)

Chazpro.com had a great deal recently on the Close videos... I don't know if they still do. I also recommend the Power of Palming video, it's been very helpful.....
Message: Posted by: Dr. Bombay (May 27, 2003 10:43AM)
Michael is a bit boring if you ask me. Look at the Malone DVD's, he's so funny and the magic kills. Close does too many dull effects.

Message: Posted by: 0pus (May 28, 2003 12:59PM)
I wouldn’t say that Michael Close was boring. And I think that Close’s routining and presentation are integral to his act and his personality. I absolutely loved his books, and share his chagrin about the lack of routining expertise displayed today. I find Close himself to be quite amusing, in perhaps a subtle way. It is wonderful to see a wide variety comedic styles, even if they are not all to everyone’s tastes. I find that too much of the “gonzo” school of comedy (all those Dave Williamson wannabees) becomes tiresome. I love the individual comedic approaches of Mac King (playfully childlike), Johnny Thompson (deflated pomposity) and even Max Maven (wickedly acerbic).

Message: Posted by: melish (May 31, 2003 07:50PM)
folks, the series of videos (all 3) by Michael Close are available at his website for only $45 http://www.michaelclose.com
darn good deal!
Message: Posted by: marko (May 31, 2003 08:51PM)
There are actually 7 in the series.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (May 31, 2003 09:04PM)
You can also find his tapes on ebay for very good prices. In fact, Michael himself sells his tapes from time to time on ebay. Just today, I believe I saw a couple auctions for volume Three with bidding at $9.95.

BTW...I have most of his tapes and love them. He really thinks everything through. I've learned so much from him.

Ron Reid
Message: Posted by: Review King (May 31, 2003 10:21PM)
The tapes are not the greatest. He's a good magician, but you can see Michael Ammar falling asleep at Close's explanations.
Message: Posted by: marko (May 31, 2003 10:27PM)
I don't recall THAT, MagicChris. Care to point out which volume and at what point Ammar appears to be falling asleep? Mead seems just fine from what I remember. Maybe Ammar was just tired.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 1, 2003 09:31AM)
I got rid of the tapes years ago ( I think they came out in '98???).

Mead was boring. He leant nothing to the sessions.

I don't think Close wnated anyone there. He even commented in an L&L interview that Ammar was there to keep things on track, but he didn't need to be.

On the contrary, the explanations should be just as entertaining. They are on Doc Eason's tapes, Bill Malone's tapes.
Message: Posted by: Steve Hart (Jun 1, 2003 10:12AM)
Let's be honest. Are you wanting to learn magic from these tapes or are you just wanting to be entertained.

Getting both is Ok but I think that Mike Close is a very good teacher. You will get more than your money's worth in the amount of magic you will learn from Mike's tapes.

I found this to be true with magic lectures, Magicians don't just want to learn magic during a lecture, they want to be entertained. So we learn to give them what they want. Lessoned learned; make your teaching/lecture entertaining.

Steve Hart
Cape Canaveral, FL USA
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 1, 2003 07:12PM)
Steve has a good take on it. I think I wou;dn't be so critical of the Close material if there hadn't been others that entertained during the explanations. Maybe it's because Michael's personality is a bit dry.

I also found alot of his plots boring. THat's just my opinion. I found the Malone plots funny and interesting. There is quite a big difference.
Message: Posted by: Jeffrey Cowan (Jun 2, 2003 04:37PM)
Mike Close is one BRIGHT guy, and his material is designed to fool thinking laymen. Because you probably don't want to copy Mike's presentational style anyway, I'd recommend that you buy his books. There is great, great material in there (ranging from formal showpieces to stuff that can be done impromptu or in a strolling envirnonment), along with many presenattion lessons. Some effects will require effort to assemble all the necessary props, but that just means that you'll be the only one doing them. There are an aweful lot of hyped books that have come out in the last 10 years that don't measure up to these works.
Message: Posted by: melish (Jun 2, 2003 06:04PM)
Good point, Steve Hart. I think its easy to fall into the trap of wanting fabulous entertainment when good teaching is what it's all about.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 4, 2003 12:03AM)
There's no reason we can't have both. I also want to be entertained by what I buy.
Message: Posted by: MisterE21 (Jun 4, 2003 12:33AM)
I certainly enjoyed being entertained as well, and love coming home with a new instructional vid that I just HAVE to show the performance sections to my friends, because the performer is THAT good.

But, honestly, in my desire to better a better magician, I strive for clear and concise instructions of well-thought out and original effects. While learning to be a good performer is vitally important, there are many performer's outside of magic to draw from....

Message: Posted by: Review King (Jun 5, 2003 10:32PM)
Good points MisterE21!!!