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Topic: R. Paul Wilson (Extreme Possibilities) DVD
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 24, 2010 11:47AM)
Just picked up these DVD's for a bargain. Curious if anyone else has them and what they think. I'm a rebel, gonna start with #2. [b]Ha![/b]

I'll let everyone know what I think as I go through them. If anyone is at all interested!
Message: Posted by: Joe Mauro (Jan 24, 2010 12:30PM)
Even with 2 performance only routines on volume 2, there are still 9 routines taught.
They were out of my range, but fun to watch.

Extreme Possibilities Volume 2:
Tantalizer Too, Justify Me, Thinking It Over, Thief Of Hearts, Matching The Cards, Wilsonís Aces, Far Too Many Cards, A New Wave, Motel History, Ricochet (Performance Only), and Spectrum (Performance Only).
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jan 24, 2010 01:54PM)
I'm enjoying these a lot, going through them slowly. My favorite routine so far was 'Wilson's All Backs' from volume 4, which I was disappointed to find was Performance Only. I wrote to Paul about the availability of this routine, but have not received a reply yet. Does anyone know if this routine is slated for a future release?
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 24, 2010 05:12PM)
I have to say first that when I watch dvd's, I like to watch for entertainment and performance and this was very low on that scale. He is not a performer, or at least it didn't show. Seemed to have a lot of arrogance to him. I know these are set up spectators, but they seemed uneasy with a lot of the effects he performed. It almost seemed at times those woman spectators, which I might add, lend themselves very well to the video series, were making fun of him. Way too much dead time during the tricks themselves.

'Far too Many Cards' seems like it could be a fun trick to perform.

'A New Wave' is a coin routine. I didn't like the routine and handling. The sleights weren't very good at all, in fact, There were at least two big flashes from LH Finger palm that could've been seen from Russia's western front.

I'm really disappointed so far. I'll write more later.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 24, 2010 07:48PM)
I like to be entertained too. I think quite a few decent tricks got lost (to me anyway) in this set because they are not performed in an entertainng fashion. I also thought his apparent arrogance didn't help either.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 24, 2010 09:24PM)
Sigh...

Challenge Aces is a good way to open a set requiring four aces, if you can get the audience to buy into the conditions. Con Cam Ring on Stick is a fooler. Tantalizer Too is very good, and if you make friends with Paul you might be able to get his thoughts on further versions of it. Thinking it Over fooled a buddy of mine who is well versed in cards. Matching the Cards is an all-time classic plot in card magic. Confabulous is a good routine for any mentalism performers who aren't afraid of a little sleight of hand. Left Turn on Cactus has stuff in it that I'd wager any thinking performer can extract and use elsewhere, if they don't like the core routine (which is still good). I personally LOVE Written Wrongs. And Paul Plays Poker is one of the best gambling demonstrations I've ever seen.

Don't mistake tone for entertainment value. There's some great stuff on these DVDs.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 24, 2010 09:27PM)
The ace assembly is brilliant and a fooler, and the ring on stick is a thing of beauty.

I also love the idea of Left Turn on Cactus.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 24, 2010 09:45PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-24 22:24, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Sigh...

Challenge Aces is a good way to open a set requiring four aces, if you can get the audience to buy into the conditions. Con Cam Ring on Stick is a fooler. Tantalizer Too is very good, and if you make friends with Paul you might be able to get his thoughts on further versions of it. Thinking it Over fooled a buddy of mine who is well versed in cards. Matching the Cards is an all-time classic plot in card magic. Confabulous is a good routine for any mentalism performers who aren't afraid of a little sleight of hand. Left Turn on Cactus has stuff in it that I'd wager any thinking performer can extract and use elsewhere, if they don't like the core routine (which is still good). I personally LOVE Written Wrongs. And Paul Plays Poker is one of the best gambling demonstrations I've ever seen.

Don't mistake tone for entertainment value. There's some great stuff on these DVDs.
[/quote]


I didn't say bad magic. I said the presentations didn't do it for me. I really like the ring on stick routine, but when your patter is something along the lines of "This is a very expensive magic wand. It's a stick." That's entertaining? He was going for a laugh, but the audience was obviously uncomfortable and trying to humor him. For someone who is a seasoned pro, I expected more.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 24, 2010 10:07PM)
Let me get this straight... You bought a DVD where the magician performed and then explained good magic, and you're still not happy?

Humour, a lot of the time, is about wavelength and taste. I'd take his style over Michael Ammar's six days a week and twice on Sunday. That said, I'm pretty sure that if you decide to use any of the routines and substitute your own presentational strategies, that it won't keep anybody up at night.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 24, 2010 10:30PM)
With bad presentations you will lose, what could be, great reactions from spectators. While looking thru dvd's I find it easy to overlook effects with subpar performances. The audience in this video looks very uncomfortable and disconnected. I have to think it mostly has to do with his arrogance along side the boring performances. Again, I was disappointed. Thought it should have been better.

Still haven't had a chance to go thru all the effects yet. Having trouble staying awake.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 25, 2010 02:18AM)
Honestly, one of the big mistakes that we can make in researching new material is to assume that a lack of freak-outs amongst the L&L audience means it's a bad performance. R Paul Wilson isn't arrogant, he's deadpan, and deadpan absolutely KILLS in front of certain audiences. Does that mean you have to be deadpan as well? Of course not. But it's a bad idea to dismiss material for the wrong reasons.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Jan 25, 2010 02:40AM)
I first saw Paul lecture years ago, at Kenzo's in Baltimore. A friend of mine who had seen him lecture the year before at Al Cohen's in DC, told me he had found Paul's presentations dull, and complained that he almost went to sleep.
When I actually saw Paul's lecture, he fractured me. His sense of humor is indeed dry, and his Scots accent sounds dour, but he is one of the funniest guys I have ever seen. In the years since, I have seen Paul perform many times, and he has always delivered the goods. It isn't for everyone, and the standard L&L audience might not "get it", but Paul is a terrific entertainer in the real world.
I heard the same complaints about Bob Sheets "Bob Does Hospitality" DVDs. Same comment, don't judge by the reactions of a jaded audience of magicians' wives...
Don
Message: Posted by: MField2000 (Jan 25, 2010 03:53AM)
Paul Wilson is a good friend of mine, and his delivery is very dry, but hilariously funny. He's got a devilish sense of humor. Maybe that dry humor is a British thing, but I love it (I'm originally from New York, now live in England).

Paul is one of the best sleight of hand experts in the world. And now he's a star in the UK because of his popular TV show over here, "The Real Hustle." I've been walking with him when he's been stopped for his autograph.

If his presentational style is not your cup of Red Bull, you'll still get a wealth of great magic on his DVDs.

Matt Field
Message: Posted by: Peo Olsson (Jan 25, 2010 04:27AM)
I thought Paul Wilson was from Scotland???
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 25, 2010 04:54AM)
I know that this is within the card section of the cafť but Paul has a ring on stick routine that is miles ahead of every ring on stick (and it's not if I had not rechecked hundreds of routines in print or in video): really tremendous.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 25, 2010 05:48AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-24 23:07, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Let me get this straight... You bought a DVD where the magician performed and then explained good magic, and you're still not happy?

Humour, a lot of the time, is about wavelength and taste. I'd take his style over Michael Ammar's six days a week and twice on Sunday. That said, I'm pretty sure that if you decide to use any of the routines and substitute your own presentational strategies, that it won't keep anybody up at night.
[/quote]

I don't know how you come to the conclusions you do. I did not say I wasn't happy and I did not say it was bad magic. I just said his presentations were dull and not entertaining. I also found his attitude a bit condescending.

You also somehow come to the conclusion that I would put people to sleep performing his routines? I'm not sure if you are saying that the routines are not entertaining or that I am not entertaining. If it's the latter, please tell what leads you to that conclusion. If it's the former, that contradicts your assertion that he is entertaining.

FWIW, I like most of the stuff of his that I've read. I just don't care for the presentations on the L&L DVDs.
Message: Posted by: QwertyHero (Jan 25, 2010 06:53AM)
Maybe it's his British humour, the UK is full of comedy programmes that would never be shown in the US. One of our favourites, The Office, had to be completely re-written for the US audience. I can't even compare the two shows now, they may has well renamed it.

I can certainly see why the OP may not like him, he's no Bill Malone, but I prefer laid back to constantly telling poor gags like other performers. Aldo Colombini's poor jokes sometimes go on for minutes, it means you just have to sit through them all again on a re-watch too.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 25, 2010 06:53AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 03:18, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Honestly, one of the big mistakes that we can make in researching new material is to assume that a lack of freak-outs amongst the L&L audience means it's a bad performance. R Paul Wilson isn't arrogant, he's deadpan, and deadpan absolutely KILLS in front of certain audiences. Does that mean you have to be deadpan as well? Of course not. But it's a bad idea to dismiss material for the wrong reasons.
[/quote]

I personally don't like his presentations. What I said was. "I find it easy to overlook effects with subpar performances".

I was just making an observation of the L&L spectators. We all know They are put there to enhance the atmosphere and make it more appealing to us all. Enthusiasm, loud responses is what gets our attention.

I get Deadpan, if fact, I love Steven Wright. He is an extremely funny comedian. What I see on this first dvd doesn't come close to tweaking my funny bone.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 25, 2010 10:59AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, QwertyHero wrote:
Maybe it's his British humour, the UK is full of comedy programmes that would never be shown in the US. One of our favourites, The Office, had to be completely re-written for the US audience. I can't even compare the two shows now, they may has well renamed it.

I can certainly see why the OP may not like him, he's no Bill Malone, but I prefer laid back to constantly telling poor gags like other performers. Aldo Colombini's poor jokes sometimes go on for minutes, it means you just have to sit through them all again on a re-watch too.
[/quote]

I actually lived in England for a year and do appreciate British humor (or humour :)). I enjoy Scottish humor as well. Billy Connolly is hilarious. I find Craig Ferguson funny too. I realize they are not low key at all though. For low key, I find David Forrest entertaining. Though I appreciate R. Paul Wilson's thinking, I did not enjoy his performances on those DVDs. That's all.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 25, 2010 12:24PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, Double J wrote:

...
I was just making an observation of the L&L spectators. We all know They are put there to enhance the atmosphere and make it more appealing to us all. Enthusiasm, loud responses is what gets our attention.

...
[/quote]

You are wrong, IMHO, what these spectators are there for is to remind us that we should do tricks to get this type of reactions from normal people and not in a bubble to please ourselves... not even in noticing over several DVDs that these people are acting with specific roles and different types of reactions.

They are not there as a proof that the trick is good (this the reputation of the performer does well), they are there to set goals... just like the performers themselves in the excellent L&L collections.

Naturally the ones who don't get the message resent it. Just remember the Chinese proverb "I pointed at the moon and the fools looked at my finger"

What about asking oneself if bashing at the L&L spectator might be a rationalization for dismay resulting from not being acting well enough to get the same type of reactions. What about cleaning our own doorstep before looking at the neighbors' one (not yours David, we're not talking coins here)
Message: Posted by: puggo (Jan 25, 2010 01:30PM)
On the subject of DVD presentation:

If Mr Wilson really is as dry on DVD as some would suggest, surely that combines the best of books with the best of DVDs!

One of the major benefits of books is the way your creative mind will help with the presentation, rather than the danger of being a clone of the performer. DVD allow visual learning, rewind & pause...

So here you get the best of both worlds! Your presentation, RPWs routines.

Respect to all!

Charlie
Message: Posted by: QwertyHero (Jan 25, 2010 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 11:59, tntjr wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, QwertyHero wrote:
Maybe it's his British humour, the UK is full of comedy programmes that would never be shown in the US. One of our favourites, The Office, had to be completely re-written for the US audience. I can't even compare the two shows now, they may has well renamed it.

I can certainly see why the OP may not like him, he's no Bill Malone, but I prefer laid back to constantly telling poor gags like other performers. Aldo Colombini's poor jokes sometimes go on for minutes, it means you just have to sit through them all again on a re-watch too.
[/quote]

I actually lived in England for a year and do appreciate British humor (or humour :)). I enjoy Scottish humor as well. Billy Connolly is hilarious. I find Craig Ferguson funny too. I realize they are not low key at all though. For low key, I find David Forrest entertaining. Though I appreciate R. Paul Wilson's thinking, I did not enjoy his performances on those DVDs. That's all.
[/quote]

I don't have these but I have his Royal Road set and it's fair to say his performances are different. He rarely smiles at all and there's a lot of silence when performing, I can see why people might not like him. When he asks for someone to cut, shuffle or write something, it's silence until the deed is done, he doesn't say stuff like "That's great, yeah, you're doing fine" or any other filler, he just sits silently staring at them, total deadpan look.

There's one part on the first DVD where he asks a lad to cut the pack and he takes his time about it while Paul just stares at the cards, the lad then goes back to cut again but he's slow, Paul is still staring. You don't know if he's just waiting or giving a sarcastic look because the lad is taking his time about it, finally a girl next to him just bursts out laughing then Paul snatches the cards back and says 'Just give me them here' . I don't think it was supposed to be funny at first, I think he was just genuinely waiting for him to cut the cards. I can see why people might think him arrogant.

He's straight to the point and explains well in Royal Road, I like straight to the point in tricks though, less filler, so his style is pretty enjoying to me.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 25, 2010 01:48PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 14:32, QwertyHero wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 11:59, tntjr wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, QwertyHero wrote:
Maybe it's his British humour, the UK is full of comedy programmes that would never be shown in the US. One of our favourites, The Office, had to be completely re-written for the US audience. I can't even compare the two shows now, they may has well renamed it.

I can certainly see why the OP may not like him, he's no Bill Malone, but I prefer laid back to constantly telling poor gags like other performers. Aldo Colombini's poor jokes sometimes go on for minutes, it means you just have to sit through them all again on a re-watch too.
[/quote]

I actually lived in England for a year and do appreciate British humor (or humour :)). I enjoy Scottish humor as well. Billy Connolly is hilarious. I find Craig Ferguson funny too. I realize they are not low key at all though. For low key, I find David Forrest entertaining. Though I appreciate R. Paul Wilson's thinking, I did not enjoy his performances on those DVDs. That's all.
[/quote]

I don't have these but I have his Royal Road set and it's fair to say his performances are different. He rarely smiles at all and there's a lot of silence when performing, I can see why people might not like him. When he asks for someone to cut, shuffle or write something, it's silence until the deed is done, he doesn't say stuff like "That's great, yeah, you're doing fine" or any other filler, he just sits silently staring at them, total deadpan look.

There's one part on the first DVD where he asks a lad to cut the pack and he takes his time about it while Paul just stares at the cards, the lad then goes back to cut again but he's slow, Paul is still staring. You don't know if he's just waiting or giving a sarcastic look because the lad is taking his time about it, finally a girl next to him just bursts out laughing then Paul snatches the cards back and says 'Just give me them here' . I don't think it was supposed to be funny at first, I think he was just genuinely waiting for him to cut the cards. I can see why people might think him arrogant.

He's straight to the point and explains well in Royal Road, I like straight to the point in tricks though, less filler, so his style is pretty enjoying to me.
[/quote]

Those awkward silences are rampant in the Extreme Possibilities series. Here's a link to the L&L promo on youtube. The tricks are good, but ....judge for yourselves. Keep in mind these are highlights intended to sell this set.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQC-KTT1nNI
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 25, 2010 03:50PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 06:48, tntjr wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-24 23:07, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
...

That said, I'm pretty sure that if you decide to use any of the routines and substitute your own presentational strategies, that it won't keep anybody up at night.
[/quote]

...

You also somehow come to the conclusion that I would put people to sleep performing his routines? I'm not sure if you are saying that the routines are not entertaining or that I am not entertaining. If it's the latter, please tell what leads you to that conclusion. If it's the former, that contradicts your assertion that he is entertaining.
[/quote]

What I meant was that nobody would stay up late stressing about it if you altered the presentation to your own needs.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Morse (Jan 25, 2010 04:14PM)
I watched the video trailer. He didn't seem arrogant to me. Maybe the humor is a little dry, but not in a bad way. This is just my opinion based on that short clip.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Jan 25, 2010 05:06PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 17:14, olemikkelsen wrote:
I watched the video trailer. He didn't seem arrogant to me. Maybe the humor is a little dry, but not in a bad way. This is just my opinion based on that short clip.
[/quote]

I don't think tntjr was watching the same clip he posted the link to. I was wondering where the problem was as well. It certainly doesn't show in that clip.

I know some don't care for Paul's style etc... We can assume tntjr and D.J. are two of those. however tntjr's attempt at trying to show us why he doesn't like R. Paul Wilson is not working out too well for him.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 25, 2010 05:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 13:24, Lawrence O wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, Double J wrote:

...
I was just making an observation of the L&L spectators. We all know They are put there to enhance the atmosphere and make it more appealing to us all. Enthusiasm, loud responses is what gets our attention.

...
[/quote]

You are wrong, IMHO, what these spectators are there for is to remind us that we should do tricks to get this type of reactions from normal people and not in a bubble to please ourselves... not even in noticing over several DVDs that these people are acting with specific roles and different types of reactions.

They are not there as a proof that the trick is good (this the reputation of the performer does well), they are there to set goals... just like the performers themselves in the excellent L&L collections.


[/quote]

HAHAHAHAHAH!!! That's funny Lawrence. Sorry, but you are wrong. Those people are hand picked and on their best behavior. I guess it also just randomly happens that the best looking are always in the front. Come on!

TNTjr- Thank you for posting that video. It shows perfectly what I was talking about in the beginning. Listen to what he says. Would you be surprised if I could do this. Would you be surprised if I could do that. Get on with it already, we know your full of yourself. It's a good thing ole' Frank has a sense of humor on the video because he breaks the awkward silence.

Andrew there is no humor. We must be looking at two totally different people with the same name. The one I'm looking at seems like he could care less about everything and everybody around him.

whoa! Down boy.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jan 25, 2010 05:27PM)
[quote]
When he asks for someone to cut, shuffle or write something, it's silence until the deed is done, he doesn't say stuff like "That's great, yeah, you're doing fine" or any other filler, he just sits silently staring at them, total deadpan look.
[/quote]

Personally I don't care for the performer that can't handle any break in the action! One that feels the need to fill all dead air with silly or useless patter! When asking someone to cut the cards I really doubt most feel a true sense of worth by being congratulated for cutting the deck! "Sir or ma'am, would you please cut the deck somewhere near the middle...........Thank you"! Guys like Malone can get away with "Oh wow, that's great, no one's ever done it better" but most come off somewhere between nervous and overbearing to me!

I met Paul a couple years ago at a mini convention at Hocus Pocus and found him to be both pleasant and engaging! As for being a bit glib or dry..... well that's my general persona so it's fine by me! ;)

The fact of the matter is, he IS one hell of a talented performer and I believe a lot can be learned by studying his methods and style..... Or not!

Just my personal opinion,

MMc
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 25, 2010 06:27PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 05:27, Peo Olsson wrote:
I thought Paul Wilson was from Scotland???
[/quote]
Hense the "United" in United Kingdom...
Message: Posted by: Cain (Jan 25, 2010 06:48PM)
I don't see arrogance in that clip either, but I am reminded how much I loathe Scotty. One day I'll confront him...

Cain: "I hate you Soctty."
Scotty: "No way!"
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 25, 2010 06:53PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 18:14, Double J wrote:
HAHAHAHAHAH!!! That's funny Lawrence. Sorry, but you are wrong. Those people are hand picked and on their best behavior. I guess it also just randomly happens that the best looking are always in the front. Come on!
[/quote]
Sorry, but [i]you[/i] are wrong about that. There's nothing random about who sits up front but looks aren't the number one criteria by any means.

You think "Front Row Frank" is the best looking? Or Scotty? Maybe you haven't seen that many L&L videos, but believe me, the folks in the front row are picked for how comfortable they are in front of a camera. You need folks who aren't worrying how they look all the time and are paying attention to the performer.

I'm sure Frank got put up front, in the early days, because of his great laugh.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jan 25, 2010 07:34PM)
Bill,

Who's the black guy in so many L&L's that always looks so amazed? David? His expressions are priceless!

MMc
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 25, 2010 07:48PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 19:53, wsduncan wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 18:14, Double J wrote:
HAHAHAHAHAH!!! That's funny Lawrence. Sorry, but you are wrong. Those people are hand picked and on their best behavior. I guess it also just randomly happens that the best looking are always in the front. Come on!
[/quote]
Sorry, but [i]you[/i] are wrong about that. There's nothing random about who sits up front but looks aren't the number one criteria by any means.

You think "Front Row Frank" is the best looking? Or Scotty? Maybe you haven't seen that many L&L videos, but believe me, the folks in the front row are picked for how comfortable they are in front of a camera. You need folks who aren't worrying how they look all the time and are paying attention to the performer.

I'm sure Frank got put up front, in the early days, because of his great laugh.
[/quote]

Sorry, Your wrong. Scotty works for L&L and who knows how many others. Besides, I wasn't talking about them, I was talking about the ladies front and center. If you missed them and their beauty you should put your glasses back on. Interesting how you could pick out Frank and Scotty amongst so many.

Are you smitten?
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 25, 2010 07:50PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 18:06, RS1963 wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 17:14, olemikkelsen wrote:
I watched the video trailer. He didn't seem arrogant to me. Maybe the humor is a little dry, but not in a bad way. This is just my opinion based on that short clip.
[/quote]

I don't think tntjr was watching the same clip he posted the link to. I was wondering where the problem was as well. It certainly doesn't show in that clip.

I know some don't care for Paul's style etc... We can assume tntjr and D.J. are two of those. however tntjr's attempt at trying to show us why he doesn't like R. Paul Wilson is not working out too well for him.
[/quote]

Am I the only one who sees the discomfort in the audience with the clever line: "This is a very expensive magic wand. It's a stick." ??? They are trying to be polite. That's why they are there.

Agreed that the arrogance really doesn't come through on the clip.
Message: Posted by: sanjaya (Jan 25, 2010 07:57PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 20:48, Double J wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 19:53, wsduncan wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 18:14, Double J wrote:
HAHAHAHAHAH!!! That's funny Lawrence. Sorry, but you are wrong. Those people are hand picked and on their best behavior. I guess it also just randomly happens that the best looking are always in the front. Come on!
[/quote]

Sorry, but [i]you[/i] are wrong about that. There's nothing random about who sits up front but looks aren't the number one criteria by any means.

You think "Front Row Frank" is the best looking? Or Scotty? Maybe you haven't seen that many L&L videos, but believe me, the folks in the front row are picked for how comfortable they are in front of a camera. You need folks who aren't worrying how they look all the time and are paying attention to the performer.

I'm sure Frank got put up front, in the early days, because of his great laugh.
[/quote]

Sorry, Your wrong. Scotty works for L&L and who knows how many others. Besides, I wasn't talking about them, I was talking about the ladies front and center. If you missed them and their beauty you should put your glasses back on. Interesting how you could pick out Frank and Scotty amongst so many.

Are you smitten?
[/quote]

I like the ladies better than Scotty or David.
Message: Posted by: sanjaya (Jan 25, 2010 07:58PM)
I REALLY like the ladies.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 25, 2010 08:00PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 18:27, MickeyPainless wrote:
[quote]


I met Paul a couple years ago at a mini convention at Hocus Pocus and found him to be both pleasant and engaging! As for being a bit glib or dry..... well that's my general persona so it's fine by me! ;)

The fact of the matter is, he IS one hell of a talented performer and I believe a lot can be learned by studying his methods and style..... Or not!

Just my personal opinion,

MMc
[/quote]
No body is questioning his personal being, in fact He's probably a fine person. Talented Performer, ehhhh, I think not. At least it doesn't show in this dvd series. As you say, I studied his style and I have learned what not to do. So I pick...... NOT!
Message: Posted by: Chamberlain (Jan 26, 2010 11:06AM)
I did enjoy the dvds, though at some times had to watch them in 2x speed to hurry things up.

He probably isn't performing as much now since he stars in the real hustle, and so has lost some of his performing persona. Watch his restaurant act video to see a slightly more lively version of Paul.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 26, 2010 12:08PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 19:48, Cain wrote:
I am reminded how much I loathe Scotty. One day I'll confront him...

Cain: "I hate you Soctty."
Scotty: "No way!"
[/quote]

Now that's funny!
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 26, 2010 01:11PM)
I suppose I'm somewhat biased, as I had the chance to meet and briefly talk cards with R Paul Wilson on one occasion in Blackpool. His approach to magic and performance, along with Gary Middleton's, has been extremely influential on me. There's an understated element of play, rather like an offer being made in Improv Theater, that I just don't think the L&L crowd knew was there. It's like a game of deadpan chicken, and in close-up magic, with the right counterpart, it can be very entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jan 26, 2010 01:36PM)
I am not friends with R. Paul Wilson, but I have met him on several occasions and I have seen him perform close-up as well as in the parlour of the Castle. His chops are undeniably fantastic and I always found him to be quite funny. I also appreciate silence in a performance; I dislike when a performer (of any type) feels the need to always fill the air with sound, especially if that sound is a bunch of tired gags. Paul's humor comes from him and who he is. I think that should be the goal of all of us.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Jan 26, 2010 01:38PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 20:50, tntjr wrote:
[/quote]

Am I the only one who sees the discomfort in the audience with the clever line: "This is a very expensive magic wand. It's a stick." ??? They are trying to be polite. That's why they are there.

Agreed that the arrogance really doesn't come through on the clip.
[/quote]

Obviously you are. Was it a joke that would make you laugh so hard that if you had stitches in your abdomen they would come undone? Of course not. It was just a throw away line. True it isn't to everyone's taste but it isn't something that is going to make spectators think Paul is a donkey's rear end either.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 26, 2010 02:57PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 14:38, RS1963 wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 20:50, tntjr wrote:
[/quote]

Am I the only one who sees the discomfort in the audience with the clever line: "This is a very expensive magic wand. It's a stick." ??? They are trying to be polite. That's why they are there.

Agreed that the arrogance really doesn't come through on the clip.


Obviously you are. Was it a joke that would make you laugh so hard that if you had stitches in your abdomen they would come undone? Of course not. It was just a throw away line. True it isn't to everyone's taste but it isn't something that is going to make spectators think Paul is a donkey's rear end either.
[/quote]

Obviously he isn't. I noticed exactly that.

Humor is Humor, sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. All is not liked by everyone. But let's face it, There is NO humor here. He doesn't seem like he wants to be there at all. Almost like He's been put out.

Still trying to get thru the 3rd effect but I keep falling asleep.
Message: Posted by: tntjr (Jan 26, 2010 03:24PM)
Apparently I'm mistaken.

R. Paul Wilson is the most talented and entertaining magician on the planet. Not only will he fool you with his flawless sleight of hand, but he will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. You cannot help but be impressed with his professional, polished demeanor. His skill, not only with his fingers, but also with spectators is unmatched. His infectious personality gives me warm fuzzies and makes me want to give him a big hug.
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 26, 2010 03:25PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 14:11, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I suppose I'm somewhat biased, as I had the chance to meet and briefly talk cards with R Paul Wilson on one occasion in Blackpool. His approach to magic and performance, along with Gary Middleton's, has been extremely influential on me. There's an understated element of play, rather like an offer being made in Improv Theater, that I just don't think the L&L crowd knew was there. It's like a game of deadpan chicken, and in close-up magic, with the right counterpart, it can be very entertaining.
[/quote]

But isn't showmanship, at least in part, adapting to your audience instead of hoping they will adapt to you?

Having said that, let me be clear--I don't own the DVDs in question so am making more of a general comment. I do own the Paul Wilson RRTCM DVDs and found them to be quite good. His performing style may be a bit drier than some but I use magic DVDs for educational purposes, not to be entertained.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 26, 2010 03:46PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 16:25, Steven Keyl wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 14:11, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I suppose I'm somewhat biased, as I had the chance to meet and briefly talk cards with R Paul Wilson on one occasion in Blackpool. His approach to magic and performance, along with Gary Middleton's, has been extremely influential on me. There's an understated element of play, rather like an offer being made in Improv Theater, that I just don't think the L&L crowd knew was there. It's like a game of deadpan chicken, and in close-up magic, with the right counterpart, it can be very entertaining.
[/quote]

But isn't showmanship, at least in part, adapting to your audience instead of hoping they will adapt to you?
[/quote]

Not always. Tommy Wonder was very good at presentation, but preferred not having unexpected deviances from the script.

That said, I don't think what happened on the Wilson DVDs was a situation of Wilson not being adaptive. I think they were just passive as all git.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Jan 26, 2010 06:19PM)
Some of us like Paul. Some of you don't.
I've been told there are people who like Adam Sandler.
That's Show Biz, I guess.

Don
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 26, 2010 06:22PM)
I do not believe that it is possible to judge how good someone is at Sleight of Hand OR entertaining an audience from a commercially produced video tape.

Ever.

First, the performance is taped under artificial conditions. Second, I have yet to see a joke that will work every single time in front of every single audience. Third, working while you're on camera (even for an audience) is vastly different than working off camera. Fourth, even if the other three could somehow be circumvented, there is enormous pressure regarding time because of the cost of the studio, deadlines, etc.

I wonder how many people in this thread who have passed judgement on Mr. Wilson have produced a magic video of any kind under studio conditions? How many have worked in front of an audience while everyone knows they're part of a production team?

Very few, I'd bet.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 26, 2010 06:33PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 16:25, Steven Keyl wrote:
But isn't showmanship, at least in part, adapting to your audience instead of hoping they will adapt to you?[/quote]

[quote]
On 2010-01-26 16:46, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Not always. Tommy Wonder was very good at presentation, but preferred not having unexpected deviances from the script.[/quote]

These are two different things. One can prefer not to deviate from the script and still adapt to the audience when things happen. I believe that being able to adapt to deviations IS part of showmanship or presentational ability. And although I've never familiarized myself with Mr. Wonder's work, I'll bet he could adapt to such deviations.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jan 26, 2010 07:04PM)
I, for one, HAVE put out a DVD, and I can vouch for the truth of Steve's comments above.

A guy just can't win...

Right before my DVD came out, TONS of people were griping and moaning about the "overblown" "exaggerated" and "phony" reactions of the L&L studio audiences. At that time, it was the single biggest complaint people had about magic DVDs.

So I did my shoot with four people around a dining room table. Guess what the single biggest complaint about my DVD was?

"The audience seemed very reserved" "The spectators just didn't seem into the performance", etc, etc. I guarantee you, if you had seen me perform those same routines live at a party or restaurant, the reactions would have been vastly different than they were with 4 strangers in front of a camera at 8 in the morning...

I've met Paul Wilson at a convention once, but other than that, he wouldn't know me from Adam. While he is not my favorite performer in the world, I saw his lecture and thought it was outstanding. I saw him do a few tricks for laymen in the bar, and they were blown away.

Some people like guys like David Williamson, Bill Malone, Jay Sankey. Some like guys like Larry Jennings, Earl Nelson, and Paul Wilson. Just because an audience doesn't laugh hysterically doesn't mean the performer isn't doing VERY strong magic. Earl Nelson is more laid back than Paul, and I've seen an audience of laymen in pure stunned silence at his performance.

Double J and tntjr, I think you've made your point. Many times. You don't care for Paul's performance on these vids. OK, Paul Wilson is not for you. I'll buy the DVDs off you at full retail if you'll promise to quit slamming the guy now.

There is a difference between criticizing a product on its merits and personal attacks on a person's character and integrity. The way I see it, both of you guys have moved from the former and are now doing the latter. I have to wonder if you would be saying these things in a face-to-face meeting with Paul. Maybe you would, I don't know, as I have never met either of you to the best of my knowledge.

At any rate, you've made your points.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 26, 2010 07:22PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 19:33, Steven Youell wrote:
These are two different things. One can prefer not to deviate from the script and still adapt to the audience when things happen. I believe that being able to adapt to deviations IS part of showmanship or presentational ability.
[/quote]

It's a part of it, and its importance is related to the amount of interaction that there is with the audience, but it doesn't represent the sum total of it. There are plenty of magicians who can perform without any audience interaction at all.

[quote]
And although I've never familiarized myself with Mr. Wonder's work, I'll be he could adapt to such deviations.
[/quote]

Well, you might want to get cracking, then. He was very specific about strategies used to limit the amount of variables thrown at him from the audience. He was also a great showman.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Jan 26, 2010 07:23PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 19:22, Steven Youell wrote:
I wonder how many people in this thread who have passed judgement on Mr. Wilson have produced a magic video of any kind under studio conditions? How many have worked in front of an audience while everyone knows they're part of a production team?

Very few, I'd bet.[/quote]

How is this remotely relevant? Because someone's never produced a magic video under studio conditions, he's in no position to judge what's funny? That's silly. You might have an argument if the critic is offering advice on how to have an L&L audience rolling on the floor, but judging is another matter entirely. What if someone says David Regal's L&L videos are funny? Is such a claim legitimately reserved only for those who have performed for a studio audience?

I don't see what the big deal is. Some people say Wilson is entertaining, and others disagree. Charitable people should consider your comment that how one performs in an artificial environment is not representative of one's abilities.
Message: Posted by: motown (Jan 26, 2010 08:25PM)
These DVDs are excellent. One of my favorite sets. Paul does a great job of presenting and explaining his work.

As far as the L&L audience goes, there's only a few people who really bother me.
My favorite is Rhat Frank guy, no matter how many videos he's been in he still seems pretty genuine.
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 26, 2010 08:28PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 20:04, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
I, for one, HAVE put out a DVD, and I can vouch for the truth of Steve's comments above.

A guy just can't win...

Right before my DVD came out, TONS of people were griping and moaning about the "overblown" "exaggerated" and "phony" reactions of the L&L studio audiences. At that time, it was the single biggest complaint people had about magic DVDs.

So I did my shoot with four people around a dining room table. Guess what the single biggest complaint about my DVD was?

"The audience seemed very reserved" "The spectators just didn't seem into the performance", etc, etc. I guarantee you, if you had seen me perform those same routines live at a party or restaurant, the reactions would have been vastly different than they were with 4 strangers in front of a camera at 8 in the morning...

I've met Paul Wilson at a convention once, but other than that, he wouldn't know me from Adam. While he is not my favorite performer in the world, I saw his lecture and thought it was outstanding. I saw him do a few tricks for laymen in the bar, and they were blown away.

Some people like guys like David Williamson, Bill Malone, Jay Sankey. Some like guys like Larry Jennings, Earl Nelson, and Paul Wilson. Just because an audience doesn't laugh hysterically doesn't mean the performer isn't doing VERY strong magic. Earl Nelson is more laid back than Paul, and I've seen an audience of laymen in pure stunned silence at his performance.

Double J and tntjr, I think you've made your point. Many times. You don't care for Paul's performance on these vids. OK, Paul Wilson is not for you. I'll buy the DVDs off you at full retail if you'll promise to quit slamming the guy now.

There is a difference between criticizing a product on its merits and personal attacks on a person's character and integrity. The way I see it, both of you guys have moved from the former and are now doing the latter. I have to wonder if you would be saying these things in a face-to-face meeting with Paul. Maybe you would, I don't know, as I have never met either of you to the best of my knowledge.

At any rate, you've made your points.
[/quote]


No, I guess I haven't made my point since you obviously didn't get it. You skipped right by it just like a few others here who only read into it what they want. When someone makes a comment towards me, I will retort.

One of my original posts was to the fact that I like to watch dvd's for entertainment and performances first. And I gave an assessment of what I thought of the performances on these dvd's. Truthful to how I feel.

The 'integral' element is how Wilson made ME feel while watching him perform. As for the spectators, It really doesn't matter to me how they reacted, I was only making an observation.

You should think twice next time you post. I never made a personal attack on his character. I don't know the guy and never met him. One of my posts read that "I'm not questioning his personal being, in fact, He's probably a fine person".

That's the problem. You, along with others, put words in people's mouths.

Simon Aronson is not my favorite magician, but at least it's apparent that he makes the 'effort' to entertain.

Steven, I never judged how good he is at sleight of hand. Don't know where you got that. Of course, more words....

Again, I only gave 'MY' assessment of what 'I' thought of the performance on this dvd. No more, No less. And if I ever saw him, I would be more than happy to point these things out.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jan 26, 2010 10:08PM)
Yes, and you've done so SEVERAL times! I DO get it! I was making a reply to Steven's post, if you will reread mine, and then made a statement that you had made your point--SEVERAL times. We get it--you think Paul is arrogant, unfunny, and not very entertaining. Does that bout sum it up? You expected him to be more likable, funnier, and "sizzle" more, yeah? You've stated your opinion. You don't have to keep stating it.

I helped establish the rules, policies and etiquette of The Magic Cafť. I was the owner's right hand man, in charge of day-to-day operations. I am fairly certain I understand how to go about making a post on The Magic Cafť.

There is a difference between saying, "I didn't care for this product" and saying, "This guy is arrogant and doesn't care what his audiences like or think." You may not have used those exact words, but you said something to that effect. That IS, in fact, you "reading" what you perceive to be someone else's character and motives to be--something you cannot possibly know from a video performance of magic. That is, in fact, a slam on the man, and not on the product.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 26, 2010 10:50PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 20:22, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
It's a part of it, and its importance is related to the amount of interaction that there is with the audience, but it doesn't represent the sum total of it. There are plenty of magicians who can perform without any audience interaction at all.[/quote]

Yes-- they're called Illusionists. Seriously, I think we differ here because I was speaking specifically about Close Up Magic and you may have been speaking in more general terms. For me, the entire concept of Close Up Magic hinges on interaction with the audience. I've seen more than a few guys attempt Close Up with no audience interaction (silent acts, etc) and although there were a few exceptions, all of them fell flat.

I don't think I'm in the minority here when I say that Close Up Magic was designed (or founded upon) audience interaction.

[quote]
And although I've never familiarized myself with Mr. Wonder's work, I'll be he could adapt to such deviations.
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2010-01-26 20:22, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Well, you might want to get cracking, then. He was very specific about strategies used to limit the amount of variables thrown at him from the audience. He was also a great showman.[/quote]
No thanks-- and now that I've heard of his strategy from you I'll avoid his work like the plague. It's not for me.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 26, 2010 10:58PM)
Scott

There are many other adjectives used, from other people in this thread, for his performance style. Some good, some bad. That's just the way it is. My comments are based on what I saw from this particular video series. Agree or disagree, it doesn't matter, I'm not here to convince you.

I see what I see and I stand by it.

Was this post sweet enough for you?

Nothing more to say.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jan 26, 2010 11:05PM)
OK
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 26, 2010 11:09PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 23:50, Steven Youell wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 20:22, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
It's a part of it, and its importance is related to the amount of interaction that there is with the audience, but it doesn't represent the sum total of it. There are plenty of magicians who can perform without any audience interaction at all.[/quote]

Yes-- they're called Illusionists. Seriously, I think we differ here because I was speaking specifically about Close Up Magic and you may have been speaking in more general terms. For me, the entire concept of Close Up Magic hinges on interaction with the audience. I've seen more than a few guys attempt Close Up with no audience interaction (silent acts, etc) and although there were a few exceptions, all of them fell flat.

I don't think I'm in the minority here when I say that Close Up Magic was designed (or founded upon) audience interaction.
[/quote]

We're not just talking about stage illusionists. We also have the manipulators (stage and close-up), the story-telling magicians, guys like David Roth, Gary Ouellet, Eugene Burger, some buskers I've known... It's possible to be a good showman and remain consistent to the point that the crowd is adapting to you, rather than the other way around. You don't even need to have a forceful personality -- for guys like Al Schneider, it's not even vital to play the showman, since he's happy to just sit there and let the magic speak for itself.

[quote]
No thanks-- and now that I've heard of his strategy from you I'll avoid his work like the plague. It's not for me.
[/quote]

Okey-doke. It seems odd to me that somebody would willingly avoid one of the greatest performers, inventors and magic theorists of the 20th century due to an arbitrary difference of style, but that's your prerogative.

Anyhow, getting back to the main point I was trying to make earlier, I think R Paul Wilson would have no trouble playing off a less passive crowd. In my mind, though, that particular audience in the L&L studio had the feel of one waiting to be overwhelmed, rather than jump in and mix it up.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 26, 2010 11:49PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 00:09, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
We're not just talking about stage illusionists. We also have the manipulators (stage and close-up), the story-telling magicians, guys like David Roth, Gary Ouellet, Eugene Burger, some buskers I've known... It's possible to be a good showman and remain consistent to the point that the crowd is adapting to you, rather than the other way around. You don't even need to have a forceful personality -- for guys like Al Schneider, it's not even vital to play the showman, since he's happy to just sit there and let the magic speak for itself.[/quote]
I've known one or two of the performers you listed above and I have a different perspective on them-- so let's just say we disagree. I'm sure you'll be OK with that.


[quote]On 2010-01-27 00:09, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
It seems odd to me that somebody would willingly avoid one of the greatest performers, inventors and magic theorists of the 20th century due to an arbitrary difference of style, but that's your prerogative.[/quote]
Seems odd to me that you don't understand that "greatest performers, inventors and magic theorists" is a subjective judgment and therefore you find opinions that differ from yours "odd". So again, let's just say we disagree.

SEY
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 27, 2010 12:00AM)
Oh, goodness, Steve, I apologize. I automatically assumed that you would agree with that sentiment, seeing as how, in the following two threads, you cited Tommy Wonder as a magician who would agree with a point you were making, and judging from some of the other names on those lists, you'd placed him in pretty good company.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=308100&forum=27&post=6068230

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=270387&forum=2&post=5691773

Since, by your own admission, you've never familiarized yourself with Tommy Wonder's work, it seemed to me that you were including his name because of the fact that he was recognized as one of the greatest in our fold. So again, I apologize for assuming too much.

But we've probably digressed enough. Sure, let's agree to disagree.
Message: Posted by: Medifro (Jan 27, 2010 12:02AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 23:50, Steven Youell wrote:
No thanks-- and now that I've heard of his strategy from you I'll avoid his work like the plague. It's not for me.

SEY
[/quote]
Its not what you think it is. I don't have Wonder's material but I extensively studied his performances on youtube and he does interacts with the audience. Personally, purely from me studying Wonder's performances, I disagree with Andrew's point being his magic is none-interactive (i.e turing on the auto-pilot,the performance is almost robot-like ..close up obviously ). Unless Wonder talks about none-interaction in his own words in his own books/DVDs ( of so I'd love to learn the source ), I think Andrew misinterpreted his performances.

An extremely important distinction is made (which I think Andrew misses ) and made ironically by someone in Andrew's list of less-interactive performers, is something Eugene Burger said, ( and I'm NOT quoting, I read that 4 years ago) that many magicians treat the spectators as simply part of their tricks instead of actually doing the trick for them. Huge difference.

Keep in mind that having a script doesn't mean the performance isn't interactive. As obvious as it sounds this is a misconception many magicians have. A beautiful analogy is made by Eugene Burger(again,not quoting): You script is like a road, you deviate from it depending on the circumstances (improving your performance), and go back to the road.

On a side note: I personally would love to see a magician performing without any form of audience interaction, and not give the feeling that he's performing for himself. I genuinely mean that as it'll be a very nice learning experience for me.

~ Feras
P.S, Reading my post I realize the tone might sound offending, I assure everyone (especially Andrew ) that its not, and I apologize in advance for any remark that seem offensive.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 27, 2010 12:11AM)
Feras,

I wasn't offended by your post, but you misinterpreted my point, and in building an argument based solely on the performances you're working with incomplete information.

Originally, the question was raised asking if part of being a good showman is adapting to the audience rather than having them adapt to you.

My response was to consider Tommy Wonder, who has a rigid script with considerations made to avoid random variances. In essence, that's an example of somebody who compels the audience to adjust to him, whether they realize it or not. And yet, at the same time, he's a good showman.

If you take another look at Wonder's work, including his discussions with Max Maven, paying particular attention to the explanations for The Magic Ranch, The Nest of Boxes, and Socked Coins, and if you look at the L&L performance of him doing Deja Reverse, you'll see what I mean about him being a performer who liked to keep things on a strict path. This is not the same as saying he has no interaction. What it is saying is that he manages the interaction heavily to make sure it turns out a certain way. This is a valid theatrical approach.

Yes, Tommy Wonder's magic does come across as seeming natural. His scripting, though, is very precise.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 27, 2010 12:44AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 01:00, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Oh, goodness, Steve, I apologize. I automatically assumed that you would agree with that sentiment, seeing as how, in the following two threads, you cited Tommy Wonder as a magician who would agree with a point you were making, and judging from some of the other names on those lists, you'd placed him in pretty good company.[/quote]

Andrew-- It is apparent from your sarcasm and attitude that you are looking for a fight. I simply disagree with you. I respect Mr. Wonder. I've seen some of his material. I've read some of his works. This does not make me an expert or even what I would call "familiar" with his material. Does disagreeing with someone on a particular issue mean that you can't agree with him on anything else? Does not thinking someone is "the greatest whatever" in the 20th Century mean that you don't respect his work? Sure, I said I'd avoid his work like the plague. I never read anything of his that implied he wanted to avoid interaction with the audience. That's because I haven't read as much about him or by him as you have, I guess. I relied on your knowledge to make a decision not to study his work. So what?

The personal attacks you've made on me [url=http://erlandish.blogspot.com/2009/05/post-mortem-to-my-internet-presence.html]on your blog[/url]; your need to go search other threads in attempts to bait me and the filth you've used towards me in other places on the net is so telling as to your actual motives that no further comment is necessary. In fact, a great deal of what you've written about me is incorrect. Your obsession is obvious and your character transparent.

So troll on little fisherman-- this trout is ignoring you from this point on.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Medifro (Jan 27, 2010 01:00AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 01:11, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
This is not the same as saying he has no interaction. What it is saying is that he manages the interaction heavily to make sure it turns out a certain way. This is a valid theatrical approach.

Yes, Tommy Wonder's magic does come across as seeming natural. His scripting, though, is very precise.
[/quote]
I agree with this, and its how I do my magic, and it really doesn't contradict anything I mentioned above. I'd also I add that in doing the above I apply a concept of Steve Youell's, which helped me a lot in the process.

I never looked at it from "who's adopting to who" viewpoint, but thinking about it now, I think a certain dose of both is necessary:

They're adopting to you: You have to manage the audience & control of the performance, which directly relevant in doing your effects properly and for them to perceive it properly. Also, (a point irrelevant to this thread but still valid) because you are a performer with an identity, its part of what sets you apart from others. People react to your personality as a performer. Also, I don't see Darwin Ortiz doing sponge balls. ( I know its an extreme case, but how many magicians "kids parties, corporate trade shows" in their business cards? )

You adopt to them: in manner that they walk away thinking that the performance was tailored to them. You were performing for them, rather than yourself (note that this includes patter, interacting and ,other things such as not being robotic, the performer's general attitude). I'm saying this because it exists in Wonder's performances and even in Lennert Green's, but not in R. Paul Wilson's performance, This is where the flaw is.

The youtube video posted showing Paul's Challenge Aces, its obvious that Paul is trying to build up the outcome. To me it appears its done in a contrived way and while it did lead to a good reaction, it could lead to a far better one if they were more emotionally hooked into the whole idea. This particular point, the emotional hook and setting up the spectator, is something Tommy Wonder excelled at. Its them adopting to you, but doing it well demands that you adpot to them to a certain degree.

S***, I just read my post and if it made any sense, I'm a happy man.

Unfortunatly I don't own Tommy Wonder's DVDs so can't see the discussions with Maven. As I mentioned before, my information came from extensively studying his performances from youtube.

~ Feras
P.S English isn't my 1st language, frankly it was very difficult for me to write the above, I hope I delivered my points effectively.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 27, 2010 01:02AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 01:44, Steven Youell wrote:
So troll on little fisherman-- this trout is ignoring you from this point on.

SEY
[/quote]

Well again, I apologize, Steven. I find it difficult sometimes trying to decipher your arguments, and as such I rely on pointed rebuttals in an attempt to elicit clarity. A failing on my part, I'm sure.

And, to the rest of the readers of this thread, I apologize for my part in this thread getting off track in discussing Tommy Wonder's performing strategies. To get back to Wilson, I'd just like to reiterate -- there is definitely an audience for Wilson's deadpan style, and I don't think that's made clear by the L&L DVDs.

I'll shut up now.
Message: Posted by: Mike.Hankins (Jan 27, 2010 01:07AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 13:24, Lawrence O wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-25 07:53, Double J wrote:

...
I was just making an observation of the L&L spectators. We all know They are put there to enhance the atmosphere and make it more appealing to us all. Enthusiasm, loud responses is what gets our attention.

...
[/quote]

Just remember the Chinese proverb "I pointed at the moon and the fools looked at my finger"

[/quote]

I believe that was Bruce Lee from Enter the Dragon who said: "It is like a finga, pointing away to the moon." (The kid looks at Bruce's finger, then Bruce smacks him on top of his head and says "Don't look at the finga, or you will miss all da heavenly glory."

Mike
Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Jan 27, 2010 06:08AM)
Wow ths post is getting deep,, now we ring in Bruce Lee, Well how about Darwin Ortiz. propably the best cardician on the planet,I consider his teaching along with Harrys' are the very best
yet for me his performance style is so boaring he puts me to sleep..
vinny
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 27, 2010 09:00AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 02:02, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Well again, I apologize, Steven. I find it difficult sometimes trying to decipher your arguments, and as such I rely on pointed rebuttals in an attempt to elicit clarity. A failing on my part, I'm sure.[/quote]

Apology accepted, Andrew. I'm sure everyone will realize it is sincere and heartfelt.

SEY
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jan 27, 2010 09:08AM)
It brought a tear to my eye!

MMc
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 27, 2010 09:11AM)
There seems to be a misunderstanding of "adapting to the spectators". Several posts seem to liken that to losing control of the performance. You can keep the spectators under control while at the same time adapting your performance to them.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

If I'm performing in a bar for a bunch of half-drunken frat boys, my presentation is quite different than when I'm at a formal cocktail party. Not only will I pick different effects, but I will adapt to the emotional tides of the room. At the cocktail party it might be reserved, elegant, cerebral. The frat boys will be... umm... something quite different.

So, I adapt to them. This does NOT mean that I lose control of the performance or the audience. In both cases, I'm in control of the performance but I let the room determine the TYPE of performance I will be offering.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 27, 2010 09:15AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 10:11, Steven Keyl wrote:
Several posts seem to liken that to losing control of the performance. You can keep the spectators under control while at the same time adapting your performance to them.[/quote]

That is EXACTLY right.

Not only that-- there is an extreme advantage in doing so. If you know what you're doing, spectator interactions can strengthen the performance.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Double J (Jan 27, 2010 10:09AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 07:08, vinsmagic wrote:
Wow ths post is getting deep,, now we ring in Bruce Lee, Well how about Darwin Ortiz. propably the best cardician on the planet,I consider his teaching along with Harrys' are the very best
yet for me his performance style is so boaring he puts me to sleep..
vinny
[/quote]

Vinny, be careful what you say. You wouldn't want to upset the folks around these hills.

Back to sleep. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Message: Posted by: vinsmagic (Jan 27, 2010 11:00AM)
DJ right on..... any how its only a opinion nothing more
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 27, 2010 03:21PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 10:11, Steven Keyl wrote:
There seems to be a misunderstanding of "adapting to the spectators". Several posts seem to liken that to losing control of the performance. You can keep the spectators under control while at the same time adapting your performance to them.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.

If I'm performing in a bar for a bunch of half-drunken frat boys, my presentation is quite different than when I'm at a formal cocktail party. Not only will I pick different effects, but I will adapt to the emotional tides of the room. At the cocktail party it might be reserved, elegant, cerebral. The frat boys will be... umm... something quite different.

So, I adapt to them. This does NOT mean that I lose control of the performance or the audience. In both cases, I'm in control of the performance but I let the room determine the TYPE of performance I will be offering.
[/quote]

Steven,

I honestly don't know if it's this straightforward.

If magician T (for theater) is doing a show in a theater, and the audience has bought tickets to his show, when they show up, does the magician need to figure out how to adjust to the audience every night? After all, it's a different audience, a different mindset, each time, right? In that situation, I believe it's in the best interest of the performer to just play the heck out of his best material. I don't think showmanship in that venue will necessarily be measured by his ability to adapt.

Now, if magician B (for bar) is working in a run-down bar strolling around with customers who are in various states of inebriation, and he's expected to perform for all of them, is he in the same position as magician T? I don't think so. In this case, since he's doing close-up for people and not all of them are in the same headspace, then evaluating his success as a performer is going to be more closely tied to being able to entertain each and every person he comes across. In this case, showmanship will likely be measured by his ability to adapt.

But what about magician R (for restaurant) who does strolling work, but only goes to a table when they've requested him, and makes sure that the waiter announces him, and even has a chair waiting for him when he arrives. Even though there's always going to be a base uncertainty in play, is this an audience that's going to be willing to adapt to the performer, or are they going to expect them to adapt to him?

If I'm buying a ticket for a movie or a play, I don't go there expecting that it will change its outcome according to my headspace going into it. Rather, I'm conditioned to going in there with a somewhat open mind and waiting to see how it'll turn out. The success of the drama is based largely upon the strength and integrity of its internal artistic logic. Legolas doesn't whip out a chainsaw to deal with the hordes of orcs charging him just because some kid in the front row thinks that would be cool. Or, to put it another way, if Legolas did whip out that chainsaw, then that kid in the front row would lose his mind, but the rest of the audience would probably be left thinking "WTF"?

This translates to a certain degree to some (not all) magic acts. Some people are lucky enough to work in a venue where the prestige is high -- the audience is coming to him, wanting to see him do his best work, and willing to give him a shot at it. For close-up strollers, on the other hand, it's a completely different scenario. If I'm at a party and some guy comes up to me and he's obviously working from a script and feeding me canned lines, I'm going to be less receptive to it. It's just him and me. Why is he just throwing stuff at me?

As a performer, I've been fortunate enough in my brief career thus far to have worked two different venues -- parlour for groups of a dozen kids at a time (did about 250 such shows over a four month span), and close-up for smaller groups of adults at corporate functions (my current gig). While I don't know that my parlour experiences are indicative of the way all parlour experiences should be, or that my close-up is indicative of the way all close-up experiences should be, I can say that the measure of success for each has been drastically different.

For the parlour act, its success lay in being able to find the right act, working the hell out of it to get all the kinks, and then fulfilling the promise of that act each and every single time. I found myself wanting things to go as Tommy Wonder might, in minimizing distractions and variances because I know that, if they can stay focused on the effect, when the effect unfolds as it should, they'll be happy. The magic was chosen, designed, and scripted for that aim.

For the close-up stuff, though, it's been completely different. While I've still got a script, I stray off every single chance I've got, since I'm trying to get as much interaction as possible. Every time I perform I try to figure out exactly what it is that'll make them lose their gasket, and if I can figure that out, I go for it. It's a much less rigidly structured working environment. I find myself wanting things to go completely different than when I was working parlour.

Despite the differences between the two, I've had outcomes that would have shaped the audience's perceptions of me as a showman. I've had parlour gigs go incredibly well that would have left them with the impression of me being a great showman. (I also had failures, too, but moving right along...) I've had close-up performances go incredibly well that would have left them with the impression of me being a great showman. (Again, there's also been failures, but moving right along...) In both cases, in the successes, I fulfilled the promise of the show and came off a great showman and magician, but how I got there was completely different. And I'm highly doubtful that those two modes described are the only two available.

How does this relate to Wilson? Dunno. I liken performance styles in magic (manipulation acts, comedy acts, bizarrism, etc.) to genres in movies (science fiction, action, thriller). We don't expect a lover of romance movies to enjoy Blade Runner, and if somebody who's a romance movie junkie hates Blade Runner, we don't necessarily use that as proof that Blade Runner is a bad movie, because it's simply a case of a bad match -- what the audience member was looking for and what the movie provided were just too different for there to be an enjoyable experience. I personally believe that what happened with Wilson on the L&L DVD set was basically that. It seemed like they were fine with what he was doing, but a more aggressive, playful audience would have gotten more out of him, where his dry, somewhat coy nature could be used to play with the crowd, and build up each and every effect.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 27, 2010 11:27PM)
Since this thread seems to have devolved from the silly (bashing Paul Wilson) to the ridiculous (questioning if Tommy Wonder was a great magician or not) Iíll just offer my worthless two cents:

ONE: You canít study Tommy Wonderís work by watching YouTube videos. There is ZERO chance you will gain the smallest understanding of his work, or his thinking, by watching him perform. The [i]Books of Wonder[/i] are a wealth of complex reasoning based on a lifetime of creating entertaining magic that fooled both intelligent laymen and very well studied magicians. You canít get that from simply watching him perform for the same reason looking at a Rembrandt wonít make you a painter.
The Visions of Wonder DVDs have the same detailed information on methods, because Tommy discusses the material and the philosophy behind the work in detail with Max Maven.

TWO: A magician who hasnít studied Tommy Wonderís work is like a card guy who hasnít read Vernon; you can do it, but who would want to be that guy?




Oh, and not for nothiní -- Paul Wilsonís a lot of fun to watch. Particularly the coupleís card trick with the HeartÖ I donít know what SteveP was thinking when he picked that clip for the promo video. Itís not representative of the material on the set at all.
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Jan 28, 2010 07:28AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 00:27, wsduncan wrote:Oh, and not for nothiní -- Paul Wilsonís a lot of fun to watch. Particularly the coupleís card trick with the HeartÖ I donít know what SteveP was thinking when he picked that clip for the promo video. Itís not representative of the material on the set at all.
[/quote]


Steve is a good friend of mine. I do know that he doesn't just "pick" what clip is shown as the promo for each D.V.D. set. Some times Steve is told what is wanted as a promo clip. It may not be the best selection at times but a lot of factors are weighed in. I know that what is chosen is also in most cases something that is not going to be easily reconstructed by some boob watching You Tube.
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 28, 2010 09:10AM)
Andrew,

Magician T isn't particularly relevant to the discussion since there is minimal interaction with the spectators (even if you bring up a spectator or two during the show). You simply do the show as scripted just like a play.

Here's where we disagree, I say magicians B and R are in exactly the same situation. Even if R is requested and sits down, you still need to assess the audience. If they are out celebrating and having a loud and fun time then you will (or should) respond differently than if they are subdued and only want to passively watch a few minutes of magic.

Yes, if they are quiet and you tend to be more lively and animated, you can try to get them to come out of their shell a bit, but the ultimate success of your performance hinges on how well you can match their emotional pulse.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 28, 2010 09:49AM)
Andrew,

For once I agree with you on the ground that Tommy who I knew well would stick to his script scrupulously. I don't remember what he said to Max Maven on the DVDs but what you are saying is factual. I could even add that anybody who watches Whit Haydn's Chicago surprise on Youtube can notice that when he gets interrupted by a lady, he addresses the interruption and then rsume his patter word for word where he had left off.

Now from the friendship and discussions that I had with Tommy Wonder, I must add that if DURING PERFORMANCES, he wouldn't change a word of his script, he would very carefully listen to the reactions and comments and let his pater slowly evolve between performances. Tommy was a cool perfectionist and he was never satisfied with his tricks: we have had exchanges of faxes (no emails at the time) where he would use me (I'm sure not exclusively) to chisel his scripts and attitudes. He knew however that his patter was the best tuning he had been able to make at the time of each performance. For Tommy the moto was Intent + Emotion + Conflict + Skill = Pure Magical Impact (I cannot tell how many time he would repeat this). This cannot be improvised.

Now what I don't understand is what the debate is about. Aren't we suppose to care for our scripts that are a vital ingredient of the creation of the magic and the ultimate issuing dilemma?

You defintiely get my vote on this Andrew
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 28, 2010 10:51AM)
OK, look. It is apparent that a few of you simply did not read my posts carefully.
I was hoping that this ****ing match was dead in the water, but since it was dredged up again, I'll correct some of the inaccuracies.

1) I never once said that Tommy Wonder was not a great magician. What I did imply was an opinion that he was not "One of the Greatest Magicians of the 20th Century." That is my opinion and I am entitled to express it.

In order to compare/contrast my opinion with an opposing opinion, it would be necessary to first decide on exactly how that category is defined. Are we talking about a list composed of 10 magicians? 50 Magicians? 100 Magicians? Certainly the number on the list would be essential to deciding WHO is on the list.

So Mr. Duncan's accusations (which I'm guessing were directed at me) are ridiculously inaccurate.

While I did not check the entire thread, I assume Mr. Duncan's comment regarding YouTube Videos was also shot in my general direction. If that's the case, then this comment was also inaccurate. In fact, I've never seen a YouTube video of Mr. Wonder. What I have done is peruse some of his material and theories in several of his books. This, in my opinion, does not make me intimately familiar with his work and I stated so.

Regarding Cardmen who have not studied Mr. Wonder-- how many are we talking about? I can assure you that I can list at least six top World Famous Cardmen who have not studied Mr. Wonder's work with anything more than casual reading. Rather than drag them into this mud hole, if Mr. Duncan wants to PM me, I'll be glad to provide him with the names.

2) Not once did I say that Mr. Wonder's idea of scripting was not a legitimate approach. I expressed my opinion that it differs from my concept of what Close Up Magic is-- I DID NOT say or imply that Mr. Wonder or anyone's opinion was therefore invalid. What I did imply was that my performing style differs so greatly from Mr. Wonder's that I would avoid studying his work. What's wrong with that? If our performance styles are at opposite ends of the spectrum, why would I want to spend the time studying his work when I could use that time to study the work of individuals who would assist me in my type of performing style? Of course, my opinion was based on a statement by Mr. Musgrave and perhaps if I got more information my opinion would change.

To come up with an arbitrary list of people one needs to study in order to become an excellent Card Man is nothing more than attempting to force your opinion on others. Something that I believe inhibits the development of the Art.

3) Finally, in terms of scripts. Not once did I say they weren't important. But has anyone here actually defined a script? I can find a few definitions in Magic Literature as well as Literature on Acting. The definitions range from silent mental scripts, to scripts that cannot be deviated from. I personally use a combination that allows a large amount of interaction with the audience. It allows my to stick to my presentation as well as adjust to a wide range of audience interaction. I did not just "fall into" this style. I picked it on purpose after discussing the idea with more than a few well known Comedians, Acting Coaches and my mentors-- including Ron Bauer who is well known for producing--- Scripts for Magic!

I think I've done OK with it so far.

Could we please now close the Tommy Wonder issue?

Please?

SEY
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 28, 2010 11:21AM)
Lawrence,

Of course scripts are important. My point had more to do with how one engages the spectators as opposed to a discussion of scripts, but I'll bite.

My opinion here is that a rigid and dogmatic adherence to a script will necessarily become an impediment to specatator interaction. In fact, if the goal of one's performance is to [i][b]insulate[/i][/b] one's self from the spectators then the rigid script is certainly a viable option.

For me, however, a performance (and admittedly I only do close-up work) cannot be neatly separated from the interaction with the audience. A better way to say it is that, for me, a well thought out script is the [i][b]starting[/i][/b] point rather than the finishing line. Plowing through a script with only tacit acknowledgement of the spectators effectively turns them into props for the performer.

For some that may be the goal, but it certainly doesn't work for me.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 28, 2010 11:47AM)
There is no argument there.
A very strong script is indeed only a starting point for a proper emotional communication. It's a fact however that 90% (at least) of the magicians don't have a script at all and confuse plot and script. Can you figure out a comedian in a theater that would claim communicating with his audience without a good script and a text that they are totally familiar with? Do you seriously believe that people like Seinfeld improvise? Does it prevents them from communicating?

Since you said that you would bite, allow me to ask you a question now that you have your teeth on the steak at stake (pun intended in the script). Can you, here, pitch the script of three of your tricks? I'm willing to live up to the challenge any time for twice as many tricks as you pitch and you will see honestly if such very structured scripts (elaborated and polished up over decades) don't open to properly designed communication with a magician's audience.
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 28, 2010 12:37PM)
You're preaching to the choir here. An improvised routine can be the most painful of all performances to watch. Without good scripting there is too much dead space, too much stuttering, too many false starts and stops. It leaves the spectator with the impression that the performer needs more practice--even if their technique is flawless.

Another key for me is that the script, however well rehearsed, needs to appear extemporaneous. If it looks as though you are reciting a prerehearsed script then many spectators will become disenchanted. If you know what you are going to say at each point in the presentation then you are always free to interact with the audience as much as you like since you able to effortlessly (and undetectably) segue back to your original thought.

Oh, and as to the challenge of pitting my scripts against yours, I humbly decline for two reasons. First, my scripting is structured identically to the way I normally speak which is quite informal. Therefore, I don't think it would come across very well in print. Second, you're far more eloquent than I so any feeble attempt of mine would fall considerably short. I yield, sir.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 28, 2010 02:56PM)
Steven, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

[quote]
On 2010-01-28 10:10, Steven Keyl wrote:
Andrew,

Magician T isn't particularly relevant to the discussion since there is minimal interaction with the spectators (even if you bring up a spectator or two during the show). You simply do the show as scripted just like a play.
[/quote]

I'm working from this basic definition of showmanship: "a notably spectacular, dramatic, or effective performer" (from Merriam Webster). I don't think that high interaction or an adherence to script qualifies or disqualifies someone from achieving that.

[quote]
Here's where we disagree, I say magicians B and R are in exactly the same situation. Even if R is requested and sits down, you still need to assess the audience. If they are out celebrating and having a loud and fun time then you will (or should) respond differently than if they are subdued and only want to passively watch a few minutes of magic.
[/quote]

Again, in my mind, the fact that magician R, in the scenario I described, was asked to come to the table, he's in a position of far greater prestige and as a result can (if he likes) go with his default material and scripts.

For what it's worth, when it comes to my own style, I very much want to be an adaptive performer and use the script only as a last resort. I was made hip to the idea from Tyler Erickson of thinking of magic as a language, and that if we become fluent in that language, then we need to think about what we're going to say as much as we would if there was no magic involved and we were just making a witty point (or whatever). This sort of thing would no doubt violate much of the (excellent) advice from Ortiz (amongst others) about scripting, but it's the direction I want to go in, and when it succeeds, oh boy has it been fulfilling. That said, if we're talking showmanship, again, I don't know that it endemically points the way to success, any more than strict adherence points the way to success. I think that our audiences are as capable of being adaptive as we are.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 28, 2010 03:05PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 02:02, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I'll shut up now.
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2010-01-28 15:56, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Steven, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.
[/quote]

SEY
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 28, 2010 03:49PM)
Sigh... I was talking to Mr. Keyl. It seemed we were back on-topic so I responded to his posts.

What's that you were accusing Bill of when it comes to not reading carefully?
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jan 28, 2010 04:33PM)
Andrew, I don't think we're quite as far apart as it may appear. When I speak of adapting to an audience I'm not really speaking of going off script and wandering aimlessly. I'm talking about matching the energy and emotional temperment of the audience. This is something that I don't hear people talking about so maybe it's just me that does this.

For example, when I perform for anyone the first thing I do is size them up as I start talking with them. Are they eagerly anticipating something great about happen? Are they sitting back with arms crossed and thinking "this better be good"? Are they quiet and polite? Are they hard to read at all? Are they shouting out "show me something magic man"?

Regardless of the words you use, you can mirror their energy level without straying from your script. The hardest part is creating text that doesn't look like a prerehearsed routine. I'm speaking of closeup, not theater work.
Message: Posted by: Steven Youell (Jan 28, 2010 04:52PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 16:49, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Sigh... I was talking to Mr. Keyl. It seemed we were back on-topic so I responded to his posts.[/quote]
Sorry about that. You didn't make any specifications when you wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 02:02, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I'll shut up now.
[/quote]
Well again, I apologize, Andrew. I find it difficult sometimes trying to decipher your statements, and as such I rely on pointed messages in an attempt to elicit clarity. A failing on my part, I'm sure.

SEY
Message: Posted by: Ray Tupper. (Jan 28, 2010 05:02PM)
The playground seems to be full again,toys flying out the pram left right and centre.
Is this a I will have the last word contest?(yet again)
I have time for both of you!....But it wears a little thin after a time!!
Ray.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jan 28, 2010 06:20PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 17:33, Steven Keyl wrote:
Andrew, I don't think we're quite as far apart as it may appear.
[/quote]

Possibly. I can certainly see a path to success in what you describe, and I hope that in fact that one can find success going beyond it into the realm of near-improvisation, since that's where I personally want to go.

That said, I see other paths as well. Tommy Wonder (and others) have shown the benefits that can come from audience management, which is, despite being an aspect of showmanship, would be a counterforce to having the performer adapt to the crowd.

But I've blabbed on enough about my own meager opinions at this point. So I'll shut up now, on the entire subject, lest it cause any more distress.
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 28, 2010 07:20PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 01:02, Medifro wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 23:50, Steven Youell wrote:
No thanks-- and now that I've heard of his strategy from you I'll avoid his work like the plague. It's not for me.

SEY
[/quote]
Its not what you think it is. I don't have Wonder's material but I extensively studied his performances on youtube and he does interacts with the audience. [/quote]

This is the comment I was referring to, regarding "studying" Wonder's material. This very topic is a perfect example. He did indeed listen to his audience, but like any good public speaker, he also stays "on message" at all times. Notice his "interaction" during The Tamed Card where he responds to a spectator's joke about Janel's birthday. Acknowledgment, and then back to the script.

Watching any performer is instructive (assuming you know something about performing and can make educated guesses about the choices) but so much of what Wonder did just isn't visible. If you gained something from watching him on video, imagine how very much more you'd get out of hearing what he was thinking while creating that material.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Jan 28, 2010 09:55PM)
I like Paul Wilson's style and I think he's very funny.

Some people love Monty Python...and some don't. The ones that don't should be put in work camps.

Chris
Message: Posted by: Prof. Pabodie (Jan 28, 2010 10:57PM)
I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. :)
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 28, 2010 11:42PM)
I think Steve Youell made a good point: it depends on the criteria. Which, for me, is why I'd put Tommy Wonder in the 50 greatest magicians of the twentieth century but he wouldn't make my 10 greatest and perhaps not even the top 20.

He might make the 10 greatest inventors, however.

In any case, who cares if someone likes or dislikes someone? We all know what we like and we usually know who to take seriously on a discussion thread. Even the people who are wrong are entitled to an opinion and I think the Cafť is a good place for them to express it. Repeatedly.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Jan 29, 2010 01:51AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 23:57, Prof. Pabodie wrote:
I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. :)
[/quote]

I've always suspected that you were a man of refined taste who knew good magic when he saw it.

For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 29, 2010 02:35AM)
[quote]For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!
[/quote]

This may seem incredible to you, Scott, but I've always felt the same about people who like my own material. What a coincidence!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Jan 29, 2010 07:54AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-29 02:51, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 23:57, Prof. Pabodie wrote:
I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. :)
[/quote]

I've always suspected that you were a man of refined taste who knew good magic when he saw it.

For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!
[/quote]

What about ALL THE ONES who liked ALL the things that you've marketed every time, do we have to write several posts?

:)
Message: Posted by: Medifro (Jan 29, 2010 10:24AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 00:27, wsduncan wrote:
ONE: You canít study Tommy Wonderís work by watching YouTube videos. There is ZERO chance you will gain the smallest understanding of his work, or his thinking, by watching him perform.
[/quote]
You totally missed the point of my post. Frankly I have no idea where you're coming from. I learned from watching his videos, I can't imagine how someone can't learn anything from just watching Tommy perform.

You assumed that I claim knowledge of Wonder's theories, and me attacking/defending ( I honestly can't tell which one you meant ) Tommy Wonder and/or Paul Wilson ( who I loved his performances in Twist of Fate DVD, but hate in Royal Royal). I think you jumped because you thought I had some sort of argument on Wonder and basing it on merely watching his videos. If this is true, you missed the point entirely.

This not to mention that I did NOT say at any point that Wonder didn't interact with his audience, in fact I think its the opposite and my post indirectly relates to that. If not, I failed to deliver it. Also, the only direct statements about Wonder is that he had A)Balance of both above-discussed concept, I don't look at it this way but I did for the sake of discussing it with Andrew Musgrave B)That he emotionally hooks his audience. IF these two things are wrong, I'm more than happy to discuss them. Simply jumping to say that a student cant learn anything from a his video, adding to making up an argument I did NOT make, adding the tone of your post is simply ridiculous.

As for learning from videos: As a student: I watch a magician's performances, I analyze, I discuss, I apply, I experience, I Use My Head. The only reason I didn't get his material is simply because "the author lacks the money". The moment I read his material would be an awesome moment of joy that surpass having an orgasm :P

Hope that cleared my position out. I agree with Steven Keyl's post, I have no idea why this didn't occur to me when discussing with Andrew Musgrave

With love and cookies,

~ Feras
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Jan 29, 2010 10:27AM)
One hallmark of Whit "Pop" Haydn's work is meticulous attention to detail in the creation of his scripts. Having seen Whit perform his famous 4 ring routine a number of times, I can assure you that he NEVER varies from the script. Watch this video and tell me it prevents him from interacting with his assistant:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4818899614798480792#
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Jan 29, 2010 09:15PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 12:06, Chamberlain wrote:
I did enjoy the dvds, though at some times had to watch them in 2x speed to hurry things up.

He probably isn't performing as much now since he stars in the real hustle, and so has lost some of his performing persona. Watch his restaurant act video to see a slightly more lively version of Paul.
[/quote]

Only marginally, he was pretty dead in that as well.

Some guys just aren't performers, simple as that.
Message: Posted by: Mike.Hankins (Jan 30, 2010 12:19AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 12:47, Lawrence O wrote:
There is no argument there.
A very strong script is indeed only a starting point for a proper emotional communication. It's a fact however that 90% (at least) of the magicians don't have a script at all and confuse plot and script. Can you figure out a comedian in a theater that would claim communicating with his audience without a good script and a text that they are totally familiar with? Do you seriously believe that people like Seinfeld improvise? Does it prevents them from communicating?

Since you said that you would bite, allow me to ask you a question now that you have your teeth on the steak at stake (pun intended in the script). Can you, here, pitch the script of three of your tricks? I'm willing to live up to the challenge any time for twice as many tricks as you pitch and you will see honestly if such very structured scripts (elaborated and polished up over decades) don't open to properly designed communication with a magician's audience.
[/quote]

Actually, there are quite a few well-known stand up comedians who did some of their best work while improvising...

Jim Carrey in his early stand up years, Robin Williams, and Mitch Hedburg are just a few who come to mind. (I know this because I used to teach improvisational acting and sketch comedy writing.)

While I do agree that a strong script can lead to a strong performance, I do think that one should also look at learning how to improvise their routine in the event that something should go wrong.

Often times I have seen really great magicians begin a routine and then something goes not as planned or even as rehearsed...and they have followed so closely to their script that they end up looking so terrible that it is appalling. (We are supposed to rehearse all the way through, even if we drop cards, or fumble a line, I know....)

I personally like to have 3-4 ways to perform the same effect. One of them is always silent, because my regular gig is performing behind a bar and sometimes there is too much going on to be able to speak a word. Other times I have enough quiet around me to talk all I want. And then I have the opportunity to show stumbling idiots who are on their 47th shot of Jager an effect...which if that is a case, I will generally improvise.

Just my $2.98 worth...

Mike
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 30, 2010 02:17AM)
Feras,
I didnít attack you. The reason you were puzzled about what I thought regarding your comments on interaction with the audience is because I had nothing to say about that. My comments were about learning. One of the problems with the Cafť is that kids read stuff like what you wrote and assume that YouTube can teach them magic. It canít.

You said youíre ďextensively studiedĒ Wonderís performance on YouTube. I tried to explain that you are mistaken if you think watching video of his work is in some way equivalent to study. You wouldnít say youíd ďstudiedĒ carpentry because you'd looked at a lot of houses.

Wonder's magic reminds me of the guy who was looking at the Mississippi Delta, and said "Wow. that's a BIG river!"

"Yep. And you're only seeing the top of it."

I didnít suggest you couldnít learn [i]something[/i] from watching him perform, only that you canít claim to understand his work without reading what he himself had to say about it.

The stuff that makes magic work is hidden, and without someone explaining why choices were made itís unlikely that youíll guess. If it was that easy everybody would be as good as Wonder was.
Message: Posted by: Medifro (Jan 30, 2010 04:01AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-30 03:17, wsduncan wrote:
I didnít suggest you couldnít learn [i]something[/i] from watching him perform, only that you canít claim to understand his work without reading what he himself had to say about it.
[/quote]
There has been a misunderstanding, I used the wrong words which ultimately made a wrong impression about my knowledge of Wonder's material. I agree with you.

*hands off a virtual cookie*. Thanks for taking time to respond.

With love, cookies and tea
~ Feras
Message: Posted by: wsduncan (Jan 30, 2010 03:02PM)
Feras,
We're good. Apparently I need to make more judicious use of these things:
:)

In an attempt to get this thread back on topic, does anyone do Left Turn on Cactus? It seems like a great layman trick, but it's darn tough.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 3, 2010 03:24AM)
Not as it was designed, but between each of the revelations and the initial cutting technique, there's five things in there that are worth individual consideration. There's one technique in particular I've gotten a LOT of mileage from, and I keep forgetting to force a couple of buddies of mine to replace the techniques they're currently using with stuff in this routine.
Message: Posted by: Frankm6 (Jun 30, 2013 04:04PM)
These are great dvds for learning magic. Period. Great tricks, great teaching. And there is something you rarely see on a dvd- Paul screws up one of the tricks (Devilish Princess.) Then instead of reshooting, he uses it as a teaching moment on how to recover from a mistake. How's that for arrogant? Paul is an egoless, dedicated creator and teacher of magic.

--Frank
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jul 1, 2013 03:37AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-30 17:04, Frankm6 wrote:
Paul is an egoless, dedicated creator and teacher of magic.


[/quote]

:applause: :applause: :applause:

Agreed!. Anyone that watched his recent Penguin lecture could clearly see that.
Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (Jul 1, 2013 10:28AM)
I enjoy Paul. He is UNIQUE in his performing approach; reminds me very much of Bro. Hamman, whom many "flashy" performers, IMO, would not appreciate. Would love to have this DVD set.
Message: Posted by: wally (Nov 27, 2014 04:40AM)
Anyone use paul wilsons ring on wand for close up, I may buy the dvd, although I am not a fan of card routines.