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Topic: Influence and Inspiration
Message: Posted by: sperris (Aug 12, 2003 03:06AM)
Man I'm bored...its like almost 3:00 am and I was thinking about my influences that got me interested in performing with doves. They were James Dimmare, Channing Pollok, and Joseph Gabriel. I remember seeing Gabriel and Channing on video and I'd watch it over and over, especially Joseph's act and seeing Dimmare live always rocks. Anyone else inspired by these guys...or somebody else?

sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: DaveWomach (Aug 12, 2003 07:10AM)
Hey Dan,

Dimmare is amazing live! I've only seen it once, but it was awesome! Other influences for me were Greg Frewin, and Jason Byrne.

Hey, what's with your new site? When will it be up?

Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Aug 12, 2003 07:13AM)
There have been many along the way that have helped me, Lance Burton, Tony Clark to name a few, but in regards to inspiration, I'd have to say Gen Grant. When he walks on stage, you can just see the lights flashing "magician". He is slow and deliberate and elegant. Maybe it's because my own act is presented in a formal manner. Many of todays new magicians, while very good, come out with the BAM BAM BAM in your face type of routine which the audience reacts to as "it's a trick". Watching performances like Gen Grant leaves the audience thinking "it's magic". Quite a difference.
Message: Posted by: sperris (Aug 12, 2003 02:39PM)
Hey Dave,
I'm just finishing up some things on my site right now and should be up later today...check it out if you want:www.dansperry.com
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 12, 2003 07:17PM)
I totally agree with David on this. The biggest influence on me in terms of using doves was General Grant (Murphy). About 25 years ago I first saw his act. He personified style, grace, and Magic. He made me want to be better and to use doves in my act ( I was producing two rabbits).

I have seen his act many times over the years (as recently as two weeks ago at Funarama) and am continually amazed by him. In fact I have taken non-magician friends to see his act and they all say “WOW! That was real magic!”

Before Grant, a little known club magician influenced me. His name was Tony Marks. Tony influenced me to keep using the biggest rabbits possible and to produce them in impossible ways.

Marks is gone but Grant (a tad over 80) is still performing his act. I believe that he will be performing in this years MAES convention in September (and I will be there to see him). I have never achieved the polish and elegance of either gentleman.
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Aug 13, 2003 12:49PM)
Eugene Burger the great close-up magician, lecturer master-Jedi magician. He answers that question by saying that the person that influenced him the most was when he saw a Barbara Streisand concert.

Eugene’s statement stayed in my mind and it wasn’t for a few months later that I realized what he meant. The most influential performer in my life is a Mexican Singer called Juan Gabriel. I saw him in concert a few years ago and he told stories, said jokes and his songs lead the audience to experience a wide range of emotions. It’s magic when a single song makes every person in the audience get emotional or cry.

Since then my whole show including my bird act is multi dimensional. I dance, have dramatic patter, and even sing in my show. Well that is my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (Aug 26, 2003 02:21AM)
Shimada was my first influence with birds. But I would have to say Backstone Jr. really did it for me as a kid.
Message: Posted by: sperris (Aug 27, 2003 01:09AM)
Andy Amyx is my little brother...just for the record I taught him everything he knows...

Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (Aug 27, 2003 02:05AM)
It's true that Dan Sperry taught me everything I know now. That is why he pays me to teach me everything I know. :) I have been teaching Dan for a long time. I am very proud to have him as one of my very best students!! All the young performers out there should learn from Dan's personality on and off stage. Really off stage is where it counts as a person. You should always be humble, And Dan is a fine example of that. That is what makes one a great performer.

Message: Posted by: Kingry (Aug 27, 2003 12:26PM)
Andy, When is your next video coming out?
Message: Posted by: Amyxdove (Aug 28, 2003 01:45AM)
I am wanting to film it this year. I am waiting on a couple of friends of mine that are film students, but they busy, I'm busy. So it has not worked out. It will get done guys. I know it has been 8 years since my first video. Take care everyone!


Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Sep 1, 2003 11:07PM)
Sperris, if you are still bored after reading the above post, try watching Jeff McBride. He knows how to inspire a magician.
Message: Posted by: sperris (Sep 2, 2003 02:24PM)
yeah I've seen Jeff McBride and know him personally, I was just posting that to see who has been inspired by what, etc. Not to get help with inspiration regarding my own act because I don't watch magic to get inspired I really believe in cerebal hygine and don't watch magic and say "hey, I wanna do something like that guy". My real inspirations for where I want to take my magic have not even come from magicians, but rock stars and other performance art, movies, etc. I'm one that tries to stay away from watching too much magic because I feel it can sometimes be bad for you.

Sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Sep 2, 2003 06:20PM)
I first got interested in magic about fifty years ago.(I used to do a bird act in the late 1950's.) I am now nearly 61 years "young". I first saw Channing Pollock perform on the Ed Sullivan show (then called Toast Of The Town) in March of 1954. I was not quite 12 years old at the time, but I knew I was watching something very special. Channing was more elegant and smooth than any Dove Worker I have seen since and that includes many of the Greats, e.g. Gen Grant, Joseph Gabriel, Lance Burton, Tony Clark, Dan Birch, George Saterial and Amos Levkovitch. Cantu is about the only great dove worker that I havn't seen work. All of the above and a few others I consider fantastic performers, but Channing Pollock, in my opinion, has not been equaled. I just thought I'd put my two cents in! I hope I havn't offended anyone, since some of the above mentioned Magicians are friends of mine. :pepper:
Message: Posted by: sperris (Sep 2, 2003 08:03PM)
Hey Magic Mike!
I know exactly what you're saying! Channing has that something nobody has been able to recreate, I have many videos of Channing including the one when he was on the Ed Sulivan show and he missed his tail pocket when he does the tail vanish and the dove is just sitting there on the floor. Other than that his productions and steals, manipulation, etc. are SICK!!! He's sooooooo smooth, definetly nobody will be able to EVER equal him. -Ever.

Sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Sep 3, 2003 09:39AM)
Hey Sperris, where were you able to get all the videos of Channing? I only have the one of him in the film "European Nights."
Have you ever meet "Him"? I think it would be great to chat with him, provide he is approachable! I don't know if he shows up at any of the conventions, but it sure would be great to meet him.
Another great Dove worker (among other types of magic) who has a very unique style is Johnny Thompson aka The Great Tomasoni. His employment of comedy in his act

with his wife playing his assistant "Trixie" and acting as if she doesn't give a damm is very amusing and different for a bird act. Have you ever met Johnny and Pam?
I've got to go now, but please let me know if there is a way of getting other tapes of Pollock, particularly of him missing the tail topit on the Sullivan show.
I saw him on the Sullivan show three times in 54',55' and 60'. However, I think the 55' show was a repeat.
He wasn't doing the dove to silk or the double dove production in 1954, if I remember correctly. The "double" is his, but the "dove to silk" is Gen Grant's. I remember Gen winning the Originality competition for the dove to silk at a convention in Bridgeport Ct. in 1955.
Take care,

Message: Posted by: sperris (Sep 3, 2003 10:45AM)
I got the tapes from a friend. I know he has tons of old tapes of Cardini, Channing, Neil Foster, etc. All the old greats. They really were REAL magicians, the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be as far as I'm concerned. I've never met Channing, I've heard he's kind of a secret person and doesn't hang out at conventions much. Jeff(mcbride) told me he got him to come to one of his Master classes once and I have a friend that totally at random ran into him at a garage sale in Las Vegas! I guess he was looking for furniture for his new home out there or something. You have to look really hard to see the dove on the floor because of the black and white TVs then it blended in really well, but once you know what you look for you can't miss it each time you watch it. But his assistant covered it well, she just bent down and picked it up and walked off stage. ...true professionals

Sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Sep 4, 2003 05:01PM)
Hi Sperris,

I don't mean to bug you, but could you tell me how many different performances of Channing Pollock you have on video and describe the performances if they are different from the one on the film video "European Nights", provided that you have that video.
Also, do you think your friend that has all the old videos of Cardini, Channing, Neil Foster and other Greats would be interested in selling some of these videos just for my private use, i.e. I don't intend to sell them or anything like that. I just think it would be fun to see these great Magicians perform again.


All the best,

p.s. I like your philosophy of NOT watching other magicians so as to get ideas from them.
I have been trying, with some success, of trying to come up with new ideas (if there truly are any) regarding dove magic. The reason I like to watch other Dove Workers perform is to try NOT to do what already has been done. Also, I just get a great kick out of watching dove magic performed well.
I remember my friend Gen Grant telling me that he avoided watching Channing Pollock perform because he did not wanted to be subconsciously influenced by him. That was almost fifty years ago.
Message: Posted by: sperris (Sep 4, 2003 06:35PM)
Yeah I can check into it...I don't know if he's interested in or not, he's an older guy and he may not want to be hassled with it, but I'll do my best! The copies of Channing are similar to European Nights, just different music he used etc. Some have him vanishing the cage and some don't...stuff like that. Man he is TALL! ...or maybe I'm short

Sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: magic mike (Sep 4, 2003 07:34PM)
Hi Sperris,
Do you know if there is a video tape of Channing Pollock doing his act on the ED SULLIVAN SHOW (Toast Of The Town.) That would be his first appearance on the Sullivan show on March 7, 1954, not the one where he missed with the dove on July 3, 1960. If I remember correctly, his act was not the same on the earlier appearance. Please ask your friend about that.

Thanks for replying so promptly.

Best regards,

p.s. Which video coverage showed him vanishing the cage full of doves? :coolspot:
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 18, 2005 11:01PM)
Just a production note:

Someone remarked above about the music being different from one video to another. That is not a minor point if you ever sell your videos or allow others to do so. One of the problems with video is that it picks up the sound too. Even for audition tapes (which are commercial use too) if you don't own the rights to use the music, you may be asked to pay those who do. Stripping off the sound or getting the OK from the right folks can save you some money and embarrassment. Another trick is to add a sound track of drums only and then strip off the rest of the music. People requesting audition tapes aren't taking the risks you are. Be careful!

Magic By Sander