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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Angel, Blaine, Takayama - How? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Christian Illusionist
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At the risk of sounding ignorant, I'm going to post this anyhow.

We've been seeing some amazing performaces from the likes of Criss Angel, David Blaine, Cyril Takayama and others.

While I understand the basics of editing and how the camera can be used to really "help" an effect, I also understand basic magic and its' workings.

No matter what you think of their deliveries, or how much you attribute to editing, one cannot escape the fact that these guys are good!

My question is, how? Where are they (or have previously) training?

It's amazing how much they've absorbed and learned at their age.

Something tells me that this isn't the American Dream story of, "working really hard with a few magic books I bought at the store with my spare money" type of thing.

I know several magicians who are successful, but cannot begin to have such a wide and diverse knowledge of magic and effects.

Did they go to some type of magic school?

Did they train with an older more experienced magician(s)?

Are there certain books that are "it" when it comes to magic?

I ask this not only wanting to know for my own curiousity, but for those newer to our art as well.

Excuse my seeming ignorance.
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The One
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They worked hard on a good pitch.

Blaine knows what he's doin.
I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end...
I came here...
To tell you how this is going to begin.
Bill Hallahan
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Hard work had to be a big part of it. Also, having great mentors is invaluable. Great mentors choose their students because they recognize talent.

Blaine performed restaurant magic in New York before he had a vision of what he wanted to do. Then he went and pitched his ideas to television executives. He also astounded them with some tricks as part of his sell.

Paul Harris was a consultants for David Blaine’s 1996 special, Street Magic.

I know less about Cyril Takayama and Criss Angel. I do know that Cyril has hobnobbed with some of magic’s greats.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
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That's one version of what happened.

Point is yes he pitched it well. BUT he ended up with 4 specials right? Another on the way. That is well beyond pitching anything. That is about making someone happy. I personally don't like him at all, but again 4 means a lot in my book and commands respect.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jonathan Townsend
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talent and determination are a given
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dave V
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I think I read (here!) that Cyril was part of the Magic Castle Youth program.
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Greg Arce
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If you are looking for the quick, easy answer then you might never find it. I can only speak from what I know of Cyril. He has been doing magic for years and busted his hump to get where he is. He works non-stop, rehearsing, researching, developing, planning, more rehearsing, consulting, brainstorming... and much more. His days are hectic and full of work. What you see is the outcome to all his work.
So if you want to go where he has been then prepare to have not one second to waste in your life... you must dedicate every waking moment to your magic.
Because of Cyril's dedication he is completely out of touch to the world that is around him... by that I mean he doesn't know what's happening in pop culture, what the latest movies are, what's the most popular tv show, etc... so, if you want to be like Cyril, then forget the luxuries of casually sitting and watching TV or going to a concert or watching the latest blockbuster movie... sit in your room for 24 hours straight and just work on your magic and nothing else.
When Cyril comes out to Hollywood it is not to see the sites or just have lunch with friends... he is out here panning for ideas, working on solutions, meeting with people who can help him with his next TV show... it's work, work, work, all day and all night. That's what it takes.
One of the best lines I read in a Tony Robbins book had to do with what you need to do to be successful in anything you want... first, find out what kind of price you have to pay to get where you want... then pay it!

It's that simple. Unfortunately most people just see the outcome... the great effects... the tv shows... and they think that you just roll out of bed then head to the studio. I also come from the world of acting, stand up comedy and writing. All the time I get people who want to write, act or do stand up, but they don't want to pay the price. They simply want to do it without the work involved. everyone I meet has a best selling script or book idea, but they won't take the time to sit behind a computer and write it out. they won't even buy a book, let alone read it, that teaches them how to format their film idea. No one wants to pay the price... they just want instant gratification.

So, if you want to be the next Cyril or Blaine or Copperfield then start by now being the best you YOU can be and work non-stop on your magic... forget your fun life and dedicate yourself to living, breathing, eating and sleeping magic 24-7.

Just my opinion.

One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
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As far as television goes, before the public was given the chance to decide whether they liked them or not - somebody in a suit rolled a dice and took a chance that could've cost them their job.
David Blaine's producer is Bill Kalush, an excellent card worker in his own right. But, he could never do what David is doing because he doesn't have a the right look (Bill is in the business - he knows it's true).
All three of these guys are dedicated to the craft and are very disciplined. But, face the facts, they all have the right look for the right time, they're in the right markets and they know their audience - They surely knew who it was when they got the job that put them where they are today.

Don't get discouraged if you share their dream, you'll never have a story to tell if you don't try.
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