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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » Criss Angel "Masterminds" DVD - Self Levitation » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Joey Stalin
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Not that I need to buy either effect to know how it is being done, because I already know. Bad preformances on magic video depot only confirmed my theory. I am sure there are assembly differences one if from the front the other the back. Same goes for the set up. Front and back, those are huge differences. I am sure you could take either effect and turn them into the other.
-A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
-It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
-The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

See you space cowboy...
MDantes
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I apologize, you really don't seem to understand.

(Chuckles) I just find it funny. Why you insist on continuing to make allegations, when you admit to not owning either levitation. I have an idea also on how they are done, don't we all? But, I do not flaunt that " I don't need to buy them I know already" When you buy them both and actually find out how both are accomplished then maybe you would be of some kind of help. But as for right now, and I am pretty sure that I speak for a lot of the magicians here, please keep your "bad performance" accusations and your false "knowledge" on both levitations to yourself. It would be much appreciated.

Understand?


...

Jester
S.A.N.C.T.U.M Chapter 18

Member 17
Joey Stalin
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Why buy both when you can buy one and know how both are done? The only reason I pre ordered Angels is I am not up to working out the little details. For example when I went crazy figuring those out for DCs Laser Illusion. It is not like I own Andrew Mayne material that helped me figure out the Laser Illusion and these levitations. But of course Magic Video Depot is known for all of the excellent effects people post that don't expose anything through poor preformance. And at the pre order cost of the DVD which was under $100 I couldn't afford not to buy it. Been waiting something like 3 weeks for it. I said I didn't need to buy it. I didn't say I didn't.
-A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
-It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
-The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.

See you space cowboy...
the levitator
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While I have a lot of respect for everyone here, I'm not going to take the blame for world wide magic exposure because I gave out the number to a publicly listed business. I'm not straddling any kind of fence. I do wish that magic secrets were a little harder to obtain than they are. That said, I never gave away any secrets in my shows. I only told people how they too could learn how to perform magic if they really wanted to. I am not so arrogant and self conscious as to be worried that a few people who caught my show might actually pick magic up as a hobby. I'm also not so deluded into thinking that people think that what I'm doing is real. Yes, I know that some people do think it's real, but since I'm not a charlatan, I don't perpetuate their misconception if they straight up ask me.

Wishing that magic were more secretive but living in the reality that it isn't is not sitting on any kind of fence. And I make no apologies for giving out a publicly listed phone number of a public business that sells magic items. I have a few friends who have worked for me in the past that know how I perform some of my effects, and they still tell people how much they still enjoy my performance despite knowing the secret. I'm not even in the top half of the ladder yet but I know that I put a huge amount of effort and thought into my presentations and acting. I'm suprised that someone with 30 years of professional experience is so hung up on Angel selling an almost completely unusable levitation for way more money than the curious will shell out. Nearly every working pro I've ever been able to talk to seems undaunted by all these exposure shows on TV and secret divulging websites. They just tell me to work on my show, making it special and unique, and not obsess on the method. Most guys I've been lucky enough to meet who are famous among our fraternity use much more simple methods than most of the finger flingers I've run into.

I totally understand the concern for overexposure, and I agree that the secrets are special. But the secrets of how we do what we do isn't the magic in my opinion. It's the picture we paint with our effects through what we say and how we structure our effects. This overemphasis on methodology usually seems to come more from weekend warriors and finger flingers than it does working pros. I'm not suggesting that working pros don't worry about exposure, but I don't see the point in worrying about something that at this point we can't do much about. The cat is out of the proverbial bag. Even if we, collectively and unanimously as magicians, decided to put the veil back in place and go underground with our knowledge, there are still too many people in the world who know our secrets and revel in spewing them out there for fun and profit. I can wish for a perfect world where magic is a closely guarded secret, but I live in the real world. As much as I wish it were different, I need to accept the things I can't do anytyhing about and focus on the things which I can.

In my opinion, it's not the overexposure of our secrets that is hurting the art of magic, it's the lack of respect for it as an artform. Reducing it to just tricks, sleights, gimmicks and little secrets is what cheapens the art. If half the magicians out there put half the effort into presentation as the best in our business do, we wouldn't have a problem with overexposure. If it took someone 3 months to perfect an effect to their satisfaction instead of 3 minutes playing with a gimmick, they wouldn't be in such a hurry to give it away.

I hope this gives everyone a better perspective of where I'm coming from. I have a lot of respect for Entity, as I've read many of his posts on here and he comes across very knowledgeable and helpful to those serious about actually hearing what someone else has to say. If I seem at all defensive, it's because I do love what I do and while I don't have 30 years performing full time (only 6), that doesn't mean that I respect magic any less than anyone else. Pointing people in the direction of a magic shop they already know exists (it's the only place in our city where you can get really good Halloween costumes, so it's a well known store) is not in my opinion hurting the art of magic. Anyone who actually takes the time to write down the info, get in their car, drive across town and go into the store and start asking questions deserves to be there. And I can feel safe directing them there because Terry, the owner of Conjuror's Corner, is very old school and is very good at seperating the wheat from the chaff. If he gets the impression that someone is just mildly curious, he points them to the cabinet of magic kits and the simple classics. It scares me to think that if we actually had magical powers, that there are those out there who would hoard that ability all to themselves and not want to share it with the world. I'm sorry but that seems a little elitist to me. There's nothing wrong with Aunt Mary knowing how to do a couple of card tricks in my opinion. Why shouldn't she be allowed to have that great feeling we get when we completely blow someone's mind? I won't teach Aunt Mary the trick, but I know this guy who owns a magic shop if she wants the number......
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
www.jamesanthonymagic.com
Jeff007
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Knick, you basically repeated my review - I'm glad that we had the same thoughts on the Criss levi. By the way (to others), I personally call it Criss's levitation because Criss himself sad that Jacob's idea did not work as it was, and he had to add many of his own ideas to make it useable.

Then again, how many times have you heard "that David Copperfield illusion". There have only been a couple that I have heard magicians talk about that really were David's. Laymen, they are all David's! LoL People can sure find things to bicker about around here. Smile

Criss said the seed was planted, it just needed to grow. I give it to Criss and Jacob, without the both of them, this would not have been what it is. Well thought out - could still be improved and continue to grow though.

Whether you think buying one levitation over the other is pointless and a waste of your time on here to continue to debate it. (unless you own both levis)
entity
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Levitator: You did more than give the telephone number to a listed business. You showed a magical effect (Kundalini Rising), then, when question as to how you do it, you told people you could buy it at the local magic shop, and gave them directions as to how to get there, told them what the trick was called, etc. And not just one or two people. By your own admission, hundreds of them.

You website seems to stress the fact that you do magic classes for groups of people, too. Creating more hobbyists?

Respect for an artform begins with those practicing the Art. If goes further than trying to do a good performance, and beyond what just effects us personally. What you or Chris Angel do won't affect me much personally, but it WILL adversely affect how people (both laymen and practitioners) look at Magic in the future. The future of Magic is what we make of it.

To want Magic to be exclusive to those seriously interested and to desire that it be kept at a high standard is not elitist. I see Magic as an honorable profession. Having professional calibre illusions flogged to the merely curious members of the general public dishonours the work of all of those who have gone before us.

- entity
Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2005-12-08 09:13, entity wrote:
What you or Chris Angel do won't affect me much personally...


Entity,
It does seem as though this already has affected you personally. I don't know you or levitator. Furthermore, I have never spoken with either of you previously. I have been following this thread with some weak interest. I have read many of your posts, and find them to be, as levitator also said, informative and helpful.

However, this does appear to be a personal issue for you. I don't know why, and am not particularly interested. Regardless, I don't think levitator or Criss Angel have started the decline of the future of magic as we know it.

If someone went and purchased any effect from a magic shop because they saw it performed, in most cases, I would count that a little more than only slightly interested. As well, that may be the gateway for the next person to enter and contribute to the art form.

I hardly think levitator has been a large threat to the integrity of magic, and your posts imply otherwise. I hope you guys can clear some of that up privately before this turns to a needless public bickering match. Can't we get back to the important discussions here, like,"What is your favorite pen thru bill effect?"
the levitator
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The classes I used to teach here locally were for kids only through our Social Services group. I hope I haven't created an army of the casually interested. Look, if a magician wants to think that they are actually convincing people they are doing real magic, I don't have a problem with that. I just find it a little arrogant and quite delusional. When I told people where they could learn magic, it was my own way of reinforcing something I'd heard P&T talk about. Magicians get waaaayyyy to paranoid about secrets when the reality is that few people are so completely obsessed with our methods that they will go to any effort to discover the secret.

If some magicians want to cling on to the fantasy that what they are doing is real and people are getting ready to build temples in their honor, that's their right. Chastising me for telling people where to learn magic is shooting the wrong duck. Since I've converteed most of my show to mentalism, reading, and bizzarre effects, I almost never get asked anymore. I don't think it's because people are getting ready to change their religious beliefs based on what they witnessed me do, I think it's because those styles of magic for me require much more presentation and story. Once again, with good presentation and story, the secret is irrelevant.

I don't know why you are going after me so hard, but it is boggling my mind. I respect where you are coming from and even agree with 90% of what you are saying, and you continue to portray my in the light of Valentino. Not one person has walked into my friend's magic shop and asked to learn the rising card trick they saw me do. Some day I hope that magicians figure out that the rest of the world is not as obsessed about the secrets of magic as we are.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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jfkkraemer
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Hey Joey why don't you answer some of the questions I've asked, for a man who has nothing you seem to know more about both Levs than the real owners. How do you think you can argue with people who actually own these. Speak up and answer we have all been waiting or just simply type SPECULATION or GUESSING and stop giving people advice on two things you don't own. Your quite obviously misguided in your advice considering your ignorance on both subjects.

Jeff
entity
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90% is a good start. I'll keep working on the other 10%.

Didn't mean to be so hard on you, levitator. Just using you as an example. Penn & Teller might not be the best role models when it comes to talking about the keeping of secrets.

Jim: I do take what happens to Magic personally, although the actions of the few won't affect my livelihood or performances. It's been very good to me and I think that out of respect for those who have gone before us and handed down their ideas and performances for us to learn from, and also to those who will come after we are gone, we have a responsibility to do what we think is best for Magic, not just what is best for our own pocketbooks or egos.

I may be completely wrong about the dangers of pimping Magic out to the general public. I don't think I am. No one has made a convincing argument to the contrary. So I must have the courage of my convictions and do what I think is right, and that includes speaking up when I think something needs to be said.

- entity
killermagic80
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Guys I have read all of your posts and I sum up to one conclusion:

PLEASE SEND "THE LEVITATOR" GUY OUT OF THE MAGIC Café FORUM.

it is more than rediculous to have such people here, and those kind of guys had heard magic.

"the levitator" charactirised chris angel's leviation: an unusable levitation. on the other hand he is into the presentation deep as he claims.
somebody has to say to this guy when he speaks this word he has to have in mind of what he says.
LEVITATION is something extraordinary, levitation is beyond the real world, its an amazing feeling for everyone to see somebody defies the law of gravity.
and now you have this ridiculous guy characterise this wonderful feeling that has been existed in lay people mind for thousands of years as an: unusable levitation!!!!

unusable levitation!! what are you talking about? are there any levitations that are usables and levitations that are not usables????
you are freak if you think like this.
lay people people like this idea of something levitating and they don't care oh this is usable or unusable so we can buy it.

its mystery and that's the beaty of it and you cannot say oh you can learn to levitate or learn the levitation with 100 bucks.

I fully agree with entity that this effect shouldnt be available for the general public.
even if they would never buy it by knowing that this amazing thing you saw its there and accesible is already killed the mystery which is the main thing.

such people are hurting the art of magic.
they should be doing something else.

I am really dissapointed that there are people like "the levitator" saying those things

they shouldnt be in the art of magic
entity
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Down, Killer.

While I appreciate your passion and your support, we have to admit that there are all kinds of opinions in Magic, and everyone has the right to voice what they believe.

Passionate discourse is great for Magic. I would rather see two people like you and Levitator who are passionate about what they believe in Magic than a thousand hobbyists who mindlessly seek out the next trick they see on t.v. and buy it just to find out the secret, or even worse, give their expert opinions on things of which they have no experience.

- entity
the levitator
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Thanks for that Entity, although I'm not sure I like being lumped into the same category as Killermagic80. My guess is that killermagic80 is either very new to magic or inconsistent with his medications. Killermagic80, if you can find me 3 working professionals who would use the Angel levitation on a regular basis I will recant my position. Any effect with the severely limited conditions for performing as the Angel Levitations are usually considered by those who have been performing for more than a week as a specialty effect. I have both E1 an E2, and I love them in the right conditions. But neither is appropriate for every situation. I perform for real people every week in a variety of rooms and conditions and that requires that the effects I perform accomodate that variety. Maybe in a couple hundred more posts you will learn to actually read what other people say and not just take what you want from it. For your information, I'm a huge fan of Criss Angel, and have been since 1999 when I first learned about him. I think his levitation is breathtaking. That doesn't change my opinion that it's nearly unusable in the practical world of the WORKING performer.

Dude, seriously, if you want me kicked out of the Magic Café, where I have been a positively contributing member for years, simply because I don't agree with you, than you have most capably shown your age, maturity, and level of experience to the rest of the board. I'm sorry that your lack of real world performing prohibits you from understanding that the usability of an effect and the power of an effect are unrelated. An effect can be beautiful and powerful AND impractical at the same time. Maybe some more experience in magic will teach you that. You can tell my hundreds of satisfied clients how I don't belong in the art of magic. Take your meds, and a breath, and take another shot at understanding where I'm coming from.

Entity, I don't mind being used, but could you at least buy me dinner first? All kidding aside, I do appreciate your point and pretty much agree with you. I should have been more detailed in my earlier posts that when I was telling people where to find the magic shop, it was a phase in my career when I was still getting my sealegs and I was testing that theory to find out for myself just how safe my secrets were to my livlihood. I was honestly surprised that nobody ever took me up on it and actually went in there to buy that effect. While I still don't play the role of charlatan, I will still be honest with people who ask me straight out how I learned to do what I do. I'm just much more vague now. I tell them it's years of practice and study. You are totally right that pimping this stuff out the way it is being done is no good for magic. Magic has been available to the general public for many years, the internet has just made it easier to find. My hope is that the overavailability will actually help to conceal a lot of the methods. When I was a kid there weren't as many magic books available, let alone videos. Maybe if the market is oveflooded, it will have a negative effect on the merely curious. Maybe they will be overwhelmed by the immense amount of things available and give up before they even start. Some believe that the best way to hide something is to paint it red and put it right under someone's nose.

Despite what "killermagic" thinks Entity, I have a deep respect for what I do, and I care very much for its future. I have just never been one to focus my performance on my secrets, but rather my presentation, so even if someone knows how I'm doing something, they will still be entertained. I maintain a lot of respect for your opinion and hope that our conversation has brought us a little closer to each other in understanding each other. If you are still serious about working on that 10%, I can be bribed!! Smile
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
www.jamesanthonymagic.com
Jeff007
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Boring waste of time guys! Please stop bickering
the levitator
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The beauty of this forum is that there are many many rooms for you to enjoy. If you don't like the show change the channel, unless you are being held hostage and being forced to read this thread as some sort of torture. If that's the case than I apologize and will stop defending my point just for you ok? Now I get accused of bickering when I publicly agree with someone's opinion. This place is a hoot!
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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LDM
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It seems that this levitation is just not practical. The materials are cumbersome, you have to put it together with precision, you can only wear limited kinds of clothing...

Better start saving my pennies for Icarus.

Can someone convince me to buy Criss' instead?
the levitator
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There are a lot of effects in magic that aren't necessarily practical. But I don't think that makes them automatically bad effects. I've always had a few effects in my bag that I could only perform under certain conditions. The only thing you need to ask yourslef is A. Do you think you will knock people's socks off with the effect and B. Do you actually think you will have the opportunity to perform it for people? I will say again that I think that Icarus and Angel's levitations are both breathtaking, but I don't think either of them are practical for regular performers. If I were to get either one, I would reserve it for those times when I really want to make a big impression. That's how I used to get many of my shows around here, with 1 effect that only works well under certain conditions. It was the main reason I bought my original Elevator. I asked myself, what could be a stronger way to close a presentation for a potential client than to levitate right there in their office? I spent $100 on that levitation and it helped me book thousands in return. I still say that E1 and E2 aren't extremely practical for regular performances but I love them both and look forward to every single opportunity I get to perform them. I seems to me that all this debate over all of these levitations is that everyone wants a portable levitation that can be performed with no set up with no angle problems, and cost under $10. There hasn't been a perfect levitation invented yet, and there may never be. But in the right circumstances, they all have the potential to be miracles. The only thing you have to ask yourself is if you think you will be able to create the circumstances to amaze people with the effect often enough to justify the cost to yourself.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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killermagic80
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MY ANSWERS TO "THE LEVITATOR" POSTS:

I am into magic since 9 years old. now I am 26, and I am enthusiast about magic more than I was when I started. I have performed on TV shows, I had my stage show and toured the greek islands, and now I have my own business and I am not having magic as a proffession.
why I say that? to make you understant that I am not gonna personally heard from an exposure of an effect. the one that is gonna heard is the art of magic.
magicians will still have their bookings for shows. for sure they will have their jobs no matter how many of the nice effects will be available to the general public.
but the magic will suffer, because one of the most important things of the art is the mystery. this illusion is available to the general public with some bucks. some laymen will buy it to see how its done, just to find out the secret, and even show it to their laymen friends, given to their children to play e.t.c.

so who is loosing from all these??? of course the ART. because the mystery does not exist anymore.

just to let you know I am a fan of Angel too, but I am very dissapointed by making the levitation available.

you said to me that: "if you can find me 3 working professionals who would use the Angel levitation on a regular basis I will recant my position."

I will answer you in a different way: some years ago when David Copperfield performed the "flying" and he managed to bring this amazing feeling to thousands of people around the world, and made even more fans, did he come after some weeks and sold the secret for the general public?
of course not cause he would have killed the effect, no matter how great his presentation was...

just think about this please.

I will tell you another story: some years ago I performed with a very nice and comedy presentation one of the best effects in all magic: the invisible deck. I amazed a group of laymen and make them remember that magical moment till today, and every while they see me the tell me about that invisible deck. I managed to create a memorable magic experience that will never forget. one of the guys found me recently and told that he saw the invisible deck trick that I performed for them, on the internet for 5 bucks. he said to me how dissapointed he was when found out that that was a special deck.
this guy never bought the trick, and doesn't know till now how its done. but the fact that this piece of magic is something special you buy, had destroy the magical feeling for him.

that's the same with Criss Angel's leveitation.

I hope now that the "levitator" will understant me.
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Thanks for the clarification Killermagic80, though I don't know why you insist on putting my screename in quotes. I understand your position, but you seem to think that everyone who has ever gotten into magic in the history of time has been a serious hobbyist or working professional. A chunk of those who buy books and videos on magic are only curious about magic and its secrets and don't even perform for people. There is probably a scary percentage of members on this very board who are only curious about the secrets of magic and only come here to figure our methods and have little regard for theatrical presentation.

I agree with you that much of magic's power is its mystery, but I think that we as performers need to take some responsibility for the mystery too and not just rely on the secret of the effect to entertain people. I can give you an example from your own experience. You mentioned in your post the story about the invisible deck and the person you knew who found out that you used a special deck. Now to me, the invisible deck is just a utility item. If you are performing it exactly like it says to in the directions, then I'm not surprised that the guy put 1 and 1 together. I used to perform the same effect with my own presentation. A friend of mine who is mostly a coin guy, but a hobbyist nonetheless, owned an invisible deck himself. He saw me perform my version and didn't know I was using an invisible deck for the effect. I used a much more elaborate presentation and did it as part of a 3 phase prediction effect, instead of just repeating the instructions out of the box. I would be very surprised if a layperson could connect a secret of magic, in this case a utility device, to any trick unless the magician was doing the effect just as described in the instructions that come with the device. I have many other examples, I'll give just one more. I met another musician one night where my band was playing who owned a TT and the only "trick" he knew was putting a cigarette out in his shirt and making the cigarette vanish. We all got to talking back stage and I performed my version of the mismade bill, which also uses a TT. He was blown away by the effect and congratulated me on how clean it looked. He confided in me that the only "trick" he knew used a TT because he wasn't good enough to learn sleight of hand like I was using. I was using the exact same utility device as he had in his very pocket, and he still thought I was using sleight of hand to turn the bill inside out. As long as magicians use the same old stock lines and same old stock presentations that come with all of the "tricks" they buy, then they SHOULD be worried about the secrets of magic being known by their audience. The guys I know who create their own presentations and effects don't seem to be too worried about overexposure because they are creating their own magic.

While I appreciate your efforts to clarify your position, it wasn't solicited by me. You jumped into a thread, took my words out of context and attacked me with name calling and even asked to have me kicked out of here. Besides showing an extreme lack of etiquette and maturity, it showed a deep lack of respect for me. I keep food in my daughter's mouth by performing magic, so don't be so quick to throw accusations around. I can love and respect an artform and still have my own opinions. Just because I'm not paranoid about overexposure doesn't mean that I love magic any less than you do. You said yourself that you gave it up as a profession and I'm still doing it as a profession, and you are throwing stones at me? Trust me, I do understand you much better, and I understand why you feel the way you do. I would feel the same way if I were you, but I'm not you, I'm me.

The bottom line is that we can throw tantrums all day about the things in magic we don't like. I used to whine about all of the really bad magic I would see being performed, incredulous that these magicians were able to get paid for their performances. But then I decided that instead of complaining about it, I would focus on seperating myself from them by working hard on perfecting my routines and putting in the effort to make my presentations unique and entertaining. Criss Angel purchased the effect and developed it to use in his shows and has the right to perform it, sell it or give it away if he wants. If you are seriously so offended by his actions, email him directly and give him a piece of your mind. Caterwalling about it here isn't going to change anything.

Killermagic80, I think you would have had much better success with your magic if you would have just thrown the instructions away to your effects and came up with your own way of performing. I doubt then that the guy you ran into would have connected the $5 internet deck he found to your performance.

If we are through with all this, let's let people get back to the origins of this thread. LDM, if you are not a person who likes to tinker and modify stuff, you might be dissapointed with the Angel levitation no matter how great it looks. I made the same mistake early on when I originally purchased Zero Gravity. I got so frustrated with trying to construct it that I gave up on it and it sat on a shelf for over a year. Finally, I asked a magician friend of mine to help me with it and I eventually ended up using it in my stage show as a surrounded levitation. If you don't want to be a builder of props, maybe you have a magician friend who would help you with it? It sounds like it's going to be a popular effect, so I'm sure you will find many magicians on here that own it. If you really want to perform the effect, I'm sure you can find another magician here who would be willing to help you construct it. I guess I'm just saying that if you really want to perform this effect don't let the construction part discourage you. I'm sure you can find someone to help you with that part. The criteria that I use in deciding whether to invest in something new is: trying to decide if, how and how often I will perform an effect compared to its cost and time to learn, perfect and create a presentation for. I spent $100 on E1 knowing that I was primarily going to use it to close my presenation to potential clients. It was a specific effect that I only performed in specific situations, but it was an effect that I'm convinced contributed to closing many more bookings and more than paid for itslef in the money and time I invested in it. One mistake many magicians make is to equate the cost of an effeect to its "wow" factor. There are magicians out there that can get more wow factor out of a $2 TT than many magicians will get with their $400 levitation. Once again, presentation trumps magic secret almost invariably.
"It's all in your head...."



James Anthony
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entity
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Presentation without secrets may be entertaining in a dance/juggling sort of way, but the only person the Magician is fooling is himself.

Mystery (not understanding the method) is what creates the moment of wonder for the audience. It is what sets Magic apart from other art forms. Presentation and secrets go hand in hand. One does not trump the other.

Otherwise, why not just be an actor?

- entity
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