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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Magic: is it an art or is it show biz? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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A dessert topping or a floorwax?

A soporific or an incindiary?

A plug-in for religion or a neutral teaching tool?

I guess it's all up to YOU.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On 2005-11-18 14:45, George Ledo wrote:


When I figure out a comeback for your apples and oranges comment, I'll post it! Smile

Isn't it apparent? Ambrosia is the food of the gods!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Clifford the Red
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Inner circle
LA, California
1935 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-11-17 19:52, Forever Plaid wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-11-17 17:17, Clifford the Red wrote:
I think that the art lies more in what you do BEFORE the performance, not IN the performance.


I disagree. Preparation, research and refinement are certainly part of the art but they ultimately serve the performance itself. A performance does not become fulfilled until it is before an audience. The ability to genuinely connect with an audience is the truest representation of the art. And that is what made Ballantine's act so fantastic.


I basically agree with what you said except that to place all the emphasis on performance is akin to a painter placing all the importance of smearing paint on a canvas without making the preparations required to be a great painter. Certainly a performance is important, but it is the finish line of a long race.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
tommy
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Devil’s Island
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To ask if magic is an art or show business, is like asking, is cooking an art or is it the food business.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Stuart Hooper
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Mithrandir
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The idea that Art is created from scratch is silly. Werner has it somewhat right, one's capacity for Art (especially in a social field, a 'human Art' as I have begun to describe it) largely depends on what one has lived, absorbed, read, seen, etc.

There are obviously exceptions, perhaps mostly amongst musicians, who can be born with a natural affiliation for the instrument of expression itself, but for many Arts, writing, theater, magic, and even in music, one still has to have some substance from which to create the thing itself to be expressed.

Especially in Magic, I think.

In response to another of the above posts, personally I definately believe we give our audiences something they don't know they want (but quickly learn Smile). Whether that is a valid requisite for making some kind of Art, I have no idea.
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
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Quote:
On 2005-11-19 10:32, tommy wrote:
To ask if magic is an art or show business, is like asking, is cooking an art or is it the food business.

That's absolutely true, and the answer depends on who you ask. An executive chef at a four-star restaurant will usually say it's an art, but he or she certainly won't turn down the paycheck for the sake of art. The manager at a family restaurant will say it's the food business. I don't have a clue ( Smile ) what the manager at a fast-food restaurant will say.

On the other hand, if you ask most of the chefs on TV, they'll probably say it's show business.

Stuart's comment, "There are obviously exceptions, perhaps mostly amongst musicians, who can be born with a natural affiliation for the instrument of expression itself, but for many Arts, writing, theater, magic, and even in music, one still has to have some substance from which to create the thing itself to be expressed," is also very true. But let's not forget that some people are born with a natural ability for a mechanical technique, but don't always have it inside to express "something" with that technique.

You could have somebody playing Mozart on the piano flawlessly, note by note and in perfect timing, and still make it sound like he's reading the phone book. Another guy may be off here and there, but the music grabs you and shakes you. Ideally you want both. Many years ago I taught ballroom dancing, and I saw numerous students (usually those employed in technical fields) do the figures flawlessly, to perfect timing, but they looked like robots. Being good at the technical side of something artistic still doesn't make you an artist.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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Frank Tougas
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Lets say a miracle happens and we get a difinitive answer to the question. Does that answer make us all right? or are we all wrong? Or as I suspect, if the importance could be measured in terms of size, would it be big enough to clog the foot of a flea? (I wanted to write a Towsendesque response) Smile

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
tommy
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George

If magic was food I would struggle to make an hot dog. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
George Ledo
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SF Bay Area
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Quote:
On 2005-11-19 18:05, Frank Tougas wrote:
Lets say a miracle happens and we get a difinitive answer to the question.

I dunno... I think that miracle would have to get in line behind some others, like defining "art." Smile That question has been argued far, far longer than the Big Bang theory.

Seriously (darn it), when I posted the question, I didn't believe there was a definite answer, and that's exactly what's been coming out of this thread so far. Different people look at it in different shades of gray. It's like asking several thousand actors whether acting is an art or show biz... you'll get all kinds of responses, but no "real" answers.

When I read posts and arguments to the effect that "magic is so-and-so," or that "a magician should do such-and-such," I have to smile. These comments come from people with different interests and specialties, and what works in one doesn't always work in another. Someone who looks at doing close-up for magicians an as art form ends up in a huge argument with someone who looks at doing illusions for the general public as show biz... and they could both be right, but they're on different pages.

Who decides whether these guys are "right" or "wrong?" Their respective audiences.

IMHO, this is no different from any other form of "artistic expression" that's shared with an audience, whether it be music, studio art, writing, or anything else.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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Jaz
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To me, it's business when promoted as such.
Stage set design and all that encompasses the making of a show is most often part of a larger business oriented entity. Most of the folks involved would be considered artists or craftsmen. Some of the work would be considered art. The goal, in most cases, is to make a profit.

There are lot of people who practice magic, and other entertainments, for the love of it without expecting profits. For them there's no "biz" involved and their rewards are the pleasure they give and get.

Similar to the way Clifford feels, when a magician creates a routine, new gimmick or comes up with a different sleight then there has been a creative process and some of the artwork, or craftmanship, has being done prior to performance.
Marshall Thornside
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chicago
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I think its depends on the performer.
There are those who aim their magic
as business and those who am it as
an art.

I think you can do both, in fact
I know you can.

It is basically the person doing
the magic.

I can go further into my explanation
but if you are curious.
you will remember my name

World's Youngest Illusionista
7th greatest pianist in the world
Go Red For Women and Stroke Ambassador
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