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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Was Mind Freak good for magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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lane99
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On 2005-08-30 13:29, cfrancis wrote:
To me, a magician who uses camera tricks and stooges isn't so much a magician but a performer posing as a magician.


Or an "actor playing the part of a magician"...another of magic's cliches that I think is over-used and under-scrutinized.
mormonyoyoman
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Quote:
On 2005-08-30 11:01, Julian Kestrel wrote:
In creating the theatrical illusion of magic any methods are acceptable. YOYOMAN , please be so kind as to cite your source since you are being so authoritative in your use of the "actually said"


Thank you


Jinx #6: "If there were seven in the audience and the
performer enlisted six to convincingly fool the seventh, I still
think it the thing to do although that is a pretty drastic
example and there would have to be a strong reason for fooling
that seventh person."

Sheesh, do you attack the integrity of EVERYONE who disagrees with you?

*jeep!
--Chet
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Julian Kestrel
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Chet,

A thousand thank yous for the citation, many of my books are in storage and I really did need the exact quote and source. It is refreshing to have some one like yourself who actually can back up their info. Again thank you very much. Your integrity was not being questioned. When correcting someone else though, it is good form to provide a full source. I appreciate your doing so,

Julian
RicHeka
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While I do not begrudge Mr.Angels success with his ability to present his form of entertainment on TV(and I sincerely wish him continued success),I think this form of entertainment is entering another realm.I referred to this on another forum as 'Netherland'.This is a cold and dark place far from the pure and ethical form of traditional Magic,yet also far from the multi-million dollar Hollywood high-tech movie "Magic".
Lay audiences are not naive.They usually can recognize when camera tricks and confederates are probably being used to create an apparent impossibility.If they enjoy this type of entertainment more power to them.I think that over time they will realize..."hey,if I want to see truly spectacular stunts I will just go see the latest high tech movie.However,if I want to see some powerful Macic,I will go see a live magic show that has great reviews.Those on this thread that state it is the EFFECT that counts no matter how it is achieved,in my humble opinion are dead wrong!Please do yourself a favor download Mr.Osterlind's 'Principle's of Magic' e-book.Read it and then re-read it.It is a great new attempt at saving our ART.
Oh,by the way,I perform before many hundreds of of restaurant guests four nights weekly.Not once,I repeat not once has anybody mentioned Criss Angel.(not so with David Blaine),but that's another story. All the best. Rich
jstone
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On 2005-08-30 11:53, Richard Osterlind wrote:
Jullian,

You are just so wrong about that.

Richard

Richard,

Let me start by saying, I'm a fan of your work, and I even use some of your ideas and effects in my own show. Can you please explain WHY you feel that Jullian is "so wrong about that."

I agree with the notion (as mentioned in your e-book "The Principles of Magic") that editing footage to create an effect is inappropriate. However, I see nothing wrong with using stooges or pre-show work, etc. It's been around in magic for years... Even the Tarbel Course, which you site as a valuable resource on more than one occasion in your new e-book, talks about using stooges.
Richard Osterlind
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On 2005-09-04 23:03, jstone wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-08-30 11:53, Richard Osterlind wrote:
Jullian,

You are just so wrong about that.

Richard

Richard,

Let me start by saying, I'm a fan of your work, and I even use some of your ideas and effects in my own show. Can you please explain WHY you feel that Jullian is "so wrong about that."

I agree with the notion (as mentioned in your e-book "The Principles of Magic") that editing footage to create an effect is inappropriate. However, I see nothing wrong with using stooges or pre-show work, etc. It's been around in magic for years... Even the Tarbel Course, which you site as a valuable resource on more than one occasion in your new e-book, talks about using stooges.


I took objection to the following sentence:

"In creating the theatrical illusion of magic any methods are acceptable."

That insinuates a lot more than pre-show work and stooges. (Both of which I talked about in my book.)

Richard
jstone
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Quote:
I took objection to the following sentence:

"In creating the theatrical illusion of magic any methods are acceptable."

That insinuates a lot more than pre-show work and stooges. (Both of which I talked about in my book.)

Richard


Richard,

Thanks for your quick response. I just finished reading that part of your book. However, I'm not sure why you don't feel that those (stooges, preshow) are invalid techniques for creating an effect. When I do a cut-and-restored tie, I use a stooge, and it's one of my greatest effects (based on audience response).
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I don't speak for Mr. Osterlind, but I can see where a stooge and/or a little pre-show work USED JUDICIOUSLY and not HEAVILY relied upon would be acceptable to most of us. But beyond that, I am with Mr. Osterlind on this one.

Mark Sparkman
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I am going to post something new on this today as a separate topic because the discussion is being spread out over a number of threads and I want to keep it all in one place and also because I don't want to appear to be attacking one performer or another. I have never mentioned anyone's name and am debating these points as a general magic discussion and not what this magician or that mentalist did/does.

But to finish off what has happened on this thread concerning my involvement, let me again say that I took objection with the sentiment that "anything goes." I believe this generalization is extremely harmful.

One thing you have to undertand is I am not arguing these points strictly from a moral viewpoint. I am also discussing practicality. Stooges talk - period. If you use stooges a lot, they will talk and when they do, it hurts YOU. To only look at what happens "during" a show and not what happens "after" may be OK for the short run but extremely harmful to your whole career. On this one I speak from experience and can only say that one of the reasons I work so often for such high quality companies, over and over again, is that no one is running around afterwards telling others what I did behind the scenes.

Also, if you are successful, you have to TRAVEL to your shows. (Read my Business of Magic) Do you want to travel with your stooge and somehow introduce them into your show without suspicion or do you want to find a new one everywhere you go? (Or leave out something from your show that you thought was important enough to warrant a stooge in the first place?) If you want to enlist a new person at each show, do you really want to trust a person to not talk after just meeting them?

Sure, a stooge for a cut and restored tie may not be a big deal and even if they talk, so what? (Well, it depends what kind of image you are trying to create) But, if you could do it without a stooge, would that be better? But will you ever work on it enough to find such a way if you can take an easier way out and just use a stooge?

The same holds true for "hidden" pre-show work. I will discuss this at length on the new thread as there is always someone who will try to jump in and confuse the argument with definitions. If you are doing a prediction, for instance, you have to give it to them "pre-show" and explain that to an audience. But if you walk up to someone before the show and say, "Write down your mother's name" and get the info and then later just look at that person and say, "Your mother's name is Jane." you can bet that person will be approached after the show and quizzed. A few may "shut up" about it, but it won't be long before some will tell what happened. When that circulates around, your whole act diminishes and people will assume that "everything" you did was accomplished that way. How does that help you professionally? How does it help the whole art if a huge segment of the general population thinks this is the way we always do the real impossible stuff?

Frankly, it doesn't concern me personally. As a matter of fact, it helps me! My audiences know how I work and often tell me what is so good about my show is that it is not like on Television where they use "camera tricks!"

Then finally, there is a certain segment of magicians who think they are taking the "high road" by saying they have no idea how some TV magicians accomplish their "miracles." I find it hard to understand why anyone would willingly take a back seat to such a person when they are using unfair means to look better than them! This is show BUSINESS. Who, in any other business, would let their competition get away with misleading their customers??? No, I am not suggesting exposing these tactics, but why would you willingly "accept" them?

There is so much more, but I don't want to continue here. Look for a topic called "Osterlind's Views" in Penny for your Thoughts sometime later today.

Thanks,
Richard
mormonyoyoman
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Boy, do I look forward to this new topic. I was going to comment here, but I'll wait for that new topic. For one thing, I've been waiting to post a mini-essay about Annemann's experience as a performer.

*jeep!
--Chet
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Richard Osterlind
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On 2005-09-05 22:00, mormonyoyoman wrote:
Boy, do I look forward to this new topic. I was going to comment here, but I'll wait for that new topic. For one thing, I've been waiting to post a mini-essay about Annemann's experience as a performer.

*jeep!
--Chet


Chet,

Sorry I haven't started that new thread. In all honesty, with so much going on in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the topic of pre-show work and stooges hardly seems very important right now. My heart is just not into getting into a lengthy discussion about these issues at the moment.

Richard
Matt Pulsar
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Ok, back to Angel. Simple answer, the show needs better direction. I don't respond well to the way it was produced, lay friends of mine make jokes about it, and it makes magic look hokey in a whole new way. the guy just doesn't seem to get people. It is confusing as to what he is trying to achieve.
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natswift
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Ok here's my 2 cents.

Is Criss Angel good for magic? YES, I think so.
It gets people talking. I don't like some of the imagery or his style for myself, but it fits Criss.
The camera editing I also don't neccesarily agree with, however if everyone did straight effects on tv without editing, you might as well expose all the effects your performing. Also it comes down to how people remember and rebuild the experience of watching you perform an effect. How many times have you heard someone build up one of your effects so much you couldn't possibly reproduce what they are explaining. How is having it on tv any different?
Ok some people think he shouldn't "cheat". HELLO, we're are all liars and cheaters, do you really think so highly of yourself that you believe people think everything you do is "real"? NO we should be getting people to question what is real, not convince them.
Overall I believe any magic on tv is ultimately good, it is up to us how we use these shows and specials. I also believe that no magician should ever bad talk another magician to lay people. It's just bad form. Use the opportunities to show what you can do.
Anyway that's just my opinion.
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
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Richard Osterlind
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"HELLO, we're are all liars and cheaters" (quote)

Why do I not like being called a liar and cheater?
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I guess for the same reason I do not.
But I have grown used to it here.

I do not think that one can be called a liar or cheat if they present what they do as entertainment.

I am not speaking of a persons personal life only their public entertainer persona.

Jim
Brian Turntime
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Natswift: Unless you're prepared to call every playwright, actor, screenwriter, author and cinematographer a "liar and a cheater," I suggest you alter your perspective.

"Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." And I might add, out of the abundance of the heart, the face, body and subconscious speak... and others are listening better than we know. Do you want your audience to think of themselves as cheated victims, or co-participants in an entertaining mystery?
------

Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. - Steven Wright
natswift
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Guys I think you missed my point. I was not referring to anyones personal character. Simply was stating that the people that were arguing that Criss Angel was "cheating" is a silly argument. We all as entertainers "cheat" to make a card float just as Criss cheats to make a stranger in the park float.

Richard, Jack, and Brian; I appologize if I have offended any of you as this was not my intention. I do not wish for people to view me as a cheater or a liar because I like to think of myself as a man of integrity. I have enjoyed all of your contributions here on the Café in the past and am sure I'll enjoy them in the future and I meant no ill feelings.

Anyway, my opinion on the original question is "yes" Mind freak is overall good for magic.
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
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Richard Osterlind
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Quote:
On 2005-09-10 09:46, natswift wrote:
Guys I think you missed my point. I was not referring to anyones personal character. Simply was stating that the people that were arguing that Criss Angel was "cheating" is a silly argument. We all as entertainers "cheat" to make a card float just as Criss cheats to make a stranger in the park float.

Richard, Jack, and Brian; I appologize if I have offended any of you as this was not my intention. I do not wish for people to view me as a cheater or a liar because I like to think of myself as a man of integrity. I have enjoyed all of your contributions here on the Café in the past and am sure I'll enjoy them in the future and I meant no ill feelings.

Anyway, my opinion on the original question is "yes" Mind freak is overall good for magic.


Natswift,

Please understand that I am not picking on you or trying to be mean spirited. I also understand your argument and that you are trying to be "matter of fact." I have given this subject so much thought over many years that I finally wrote a book called "Prnciples of Magic" to express my feelings. I have a chapter called "Magic's Biggest Lie" which addresses exactly your point. I can't rewrite the whole book here, but basically the idea is that magic is not a "cheap" art and that it has been dragged into the mud by those who consider it that. Although much of my book is philisophical, practical ramifications are made. What we are seeing on TV so much these days is a direct result of this attitude. Since it is the recent specials that have departed from the time-honored belief that magic should not use camera trickery, it is not my (and many other's) viewpoint that needs to be supported, but rather why magicians have suddenly adopted this attitude and believe it is justified.

I am going to be frank here. No one turns on a Magic Special because they want to see a Hollywood movie with special effects. They tune in because they believe the guy they are seeing on the screen can really do his magic in front of real people and have it look just like they are seeing it. It is my contention that if the average viewer knew what he saw was just editing, he wouldn't just be disappointed, but mad!

As I said in another posting, besides the moral and artistic viewpoints, IT JUST DOESN'T WORK! Hardly anyone buys this kind of stuff and many arguments I see being made on the Café just support my viewpoint. No one is saying, "What camera tricks?" Instead they are saying, "It's OK because anything goes!" So it shows it is NOT WORKING and YOU KNOW it is camera editing. Finally, you, as magicians, are not the only people who can see through the obvious.

So my point is - BESIDES BEING WRONG - IT DOESN'T WORK.

Richard
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Mr. Osterlind, to coin a phrase, THANK YOU! You have made the point that has been gnawing at me and is the reason I started the thread. You summed it up and I thank you.

I do feel that ultimatly that when the smoke clears this may not be an entirely bad thing. Once time has passed he will be that guy who had that special and keep in the public eye magic in general. Hopefully the public will have their usual amnesia aboout the facts.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jstone
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Richard,

I see what you're saying, and I love your work, so please take what I'm about to say as is meant and NOT as criticism. I've read (and pondered) your book "Principles of Magic." I agree with some of the material and disagree with some.

The biggest one I disagree with is the section about magicians "lying." First, even in your videos, you lie to your audience. We all do. Just simple things like saying, "Now there is no way I could know what card you are thinking of, right?" A simple statement like that is a lie... However even if we took our words out of the equation, we do things that lead people to believe we're doing things we're not.

You lead people to believe that you use your mind or some unseen force to bend spoons. That's deceptive. I don't think it's wrong, but we should call a spade a spade, and to say that we don't lie to our audience is just not true.

On the other side of the coin, Richard, I understand your point of view, and I understand the challenge that arises when we openly "sell" our craft as the art of deception... it's puts the audience on an opposing team, whereas we (or at least I) want them on my team. It's a group effort to achieve a moment (or moments) of astonishment.

I know that I will need to lie to them to make this happen, but I'm also willing to keep it to myself - "Here... hold on to these two sponge balls... is a lie, because most magicians know that I gave her three even though I said "two."

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Smile
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