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bishthemagish
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Some magicians think that we do not take magic seriously enough. Some say (like me) that we can take magic to seriously. To me magic and entertainment is fun light hearted entertainment. I have a conversation with the audience. If there is no audience and or the audience is a quiet one. There is less humor - but there is humor no matter what kind of an audience it is.

I remember when I was producing a cable television magic show for a local origination station. We had guest magicians on. One of my friends was a very good magician. Did a dove act and Illusions. Assisting him was his two daughters and his wife.

After the show about a week later I did a show and an audience member came up to me and said she like my act because of the humor. Then said magicians today are to serious. What she said was and this was a time we did have some serious magicians doing bird acts on TV and that was there style. (Nothing wrong with that if that is there style).

I started to think about my friends act because he did the dove act part of his show very serious almost angry. So when he came into the magic shop (back in the day) I said to him to try an experiment with your act the next time you perform. You are a family act - you have your wife come onstage and give you a prop and she is smiling. So do the kids when they come on the stage and off. And then there is Dad with the magic with a very serious almost angry look - I put the tape of the show into the magic shops video tape player.

At one moment an accident happened and he smiled - I froze the frame and said that smile should be used through you whole show.

He tried it and smiled and said it raised the audience level of appreciation about 50%.

Dunninger said that the best thing about Houdini was his smile.

Now I do not know if I am right or wrong different acts and shows need different drama needs from the performer. To get a desired effect. But I do know this - magic works and it is good when it makes people happy.

Now I would like to hear open thoughts on this as I invite people to write what they want. I will give you my word I will treat others with respect if they treat me with respect. Tom Foolery - humor - my way of doing magic and what works for me is not the only way.

Your thoughts?
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magicalaurie
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People like to laugh. I agree, Glenn. Magic should be FUN. Smile

And even drama employs the device of comic relief. Shouldn't play just one note. Variety...
Jonathan Townsend
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Kind of tough to like a performer who comes across as angry.

Sure it can be done as humor, though that requres a likable persona and the anger only happening inside the act and contained. Think Rickles.
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rannie
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I agree Glenn that the power of a smile can give anybody the exra mileage. This is what made Fred Kaps so charming. However, "The Smile" must be genuine to begin with. I believe in the saying that you cannot give what you do not have. If the magician has great acting skills, he may pull off a fake smile, but trust me folks it wont be 100 percent.

The late Doug Henning is another great example.

We must consider the type of magic as well. There is of course mental magic, bizarre magic, etc..... Of course certain illusions wont allow a smile.

If we are talking about general magic for family type shows, then I must agree that humor, comedy and that ever powerful smile is most important.

In the real world, we do experience ups and downs. I know I did, there were more downs but boy I tell you the ups were fantastic. Beside who is to count the bad when its more enjoyable to reminice about the good times. My point is , most magicians, bring their personal hang ups to work. I think the personal issues must be left elsewhere and the problems on stage must be left there and not carried around at home and outside work.

I may be going off topic, but please allow me to say my thoughts gentlemen.

Please consider also that some people are born funny. My good friend in magic, Aldo Colombini is a wonderful example of these blessed creatures. The man is just so funny, on and off stage. Some just don't have it , and in the end appears trying too hard. This actually looks pathetic. THis is where discernment comes to play. Every magician must have that personal realization on who they really are,what they were cut to do and at to what extent they can stretch themselves. Anythging can be learned. Our mind is that powerful if we focus and want something bad enough.

In the final analysis, being genuine and enjoying what we do makes for great performances. Whether they enjoy being serious, being spooky or being funny. A certain charm, and charisma will show in any sincere performance.

This are just how I see them.

Peace,

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
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magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-18 12:41, rannie wrote:
"The Smile" must be genuine


Indeed.

Not to start the acting thing over again, but a note on great actors- they use GENUINE smiles.
rannie
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This one is for you Laurie Smile !

Thanks for getting me on to the smiley stuff!

Rannie
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-18 12:41, rannie wrote:
I may be going off topic, but please allow me to say my thoughts gentlemen.


Certainly. Smile
bishthemagish
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I think you hit it magicalaurie when he was this other guy he wasn't GENUINE. His kids were smiling they were GENUINE. His wife was smiling she was GENUINE and there as Dad not GENUINE with this angry look that I think he was going for this dark mysterious look that wasn't him.

When he smiled at the mistake he made and as I remembered it as a silk flipped up in his face the way it was handed to him. He smiled and laughed and his real self was there. That was the part I froze in the frame of the VCR.

I think magicalaurie hit on a great topic or thoughts to expand on.
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magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-18 13:05, rannie wrote:
This one is for you Laurie Smile !

Thanks for getting me on to the smiley stuff!

Rannie
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer


Most welcome, Rannie. Smile

Glenn, I'd give the credit to Rannie for making the point about genuine smiles. He hit it. I seconded it. Smile
rannie
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Thanks Laurie. That is perfectly fine. Glad to be of help. All the best to you Glenn!

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
magicalaurie
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I do think it is something performers should start with. Be true. Or they'll see right through.
rannie
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Here is an example of a serious magician who hits you smack in the center of your heart when he performs..... the name is Senor Rene Lavand.

His sincere eye contact alone will invite you into his world. Even if he speaks a foreing language, he just cuts through.

This is (a bit off) an example of a close up magician that uses theater to enhance his magic. Please find a chance to see this man. After all the magic, in the end Senor Lavand shows his human side, by giving out a quick but generous smile , then shifts back to his serious and mysterious self as he bows.

Wonderful!
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
bishthemagish
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Well then thanks to both of view I noticed in your post first magicalaurie just to mention this Rannie's post was longer and with my reading skills takes me longer to read and decode - my thanks to you both because this was a puzzle to me and I wondered why he said 50%.

That reason behind the smile the when he did smile at that accident was the GENUINE warm hearted person shining through.

That has taken my original thoughts into a different and wonderful direction. I have two thoughts rambling through my head right now.

Thought one - are there things (technique) that magicians can do and would there be a difference in impact if the audience thought that the magic presented was more GENUINE.

Thought 2 - And could a magician lose his audience and be less effective based on him or her being less GENUINE or seeming to be less GENUINE.

I am just rambling here in open thought.
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Dave V
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Dominic Duvivier shows a rather condescending, sneering attitude on his video. (In particular his Cups and Balls duet with his daughter) but then as he sits down he smiles, and lets everyone know in that split second that he's loving every minute of it.

The sneer is acted, the smile is genuine.

If it wasn't for that smile, he'd be really difficult to watch, or even care to watch.
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rannie
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For thought 1

First the magician must be very open and objective. This is most important before any technique in my humble opinion. Why? Because no matter what technique is available, if the magician is not open to changes, it would just be futile.

The magician must identify, the persona that would work for his/her personality.

Then the magician must internalize the persona. Some find it easier to be themselves, and some find it easier to portray their alter ego. If a switch must be made, INTERNALIZATION is the one that worked for me. I must be clear on this, it worked for me as I can always speak for myself.

Then the execution. This is where it makes the diff. Poor execution would ruin the sincerity of the magic. Poor execution means , unnatural and unbelievable (in a bad way). The audience think its phoney, the magician gets the cold reaction.

If a magician cant be funny for instance, even if he tried, he can always use costuming perhaps or props, even music. There is always other ways. Its best to solve it internally first. If all else fail, try a new persona, find it!

If the audience thinks it is genuine, a genuine impact will be bounced back.
Actually the impact not only bounces back to the magician, but more importantluy to the other audience.

THOUGHT no.2
Thought 2 - And could a magician lose his audience and be less effective based on him or her being less GENUINE or seeming to be less GENUINE.

Yes. Being less genuine sticks out like a sore thumb. Even on written material. It would show. Sincerity is not just an audio visual display. It could be read and felt. It is even more apparent with the eye contact and the tone. More so with the actions. If the material is not fully internalized it would look robotic to say the least. This is why even the greatest animation or computer generated actors don't deliver the same stuff as live actors (good ones).

The NUANCES will always be apparent. It may be conscious or unconscious, but it will show. Most of the time this is not noticed by the performers themselves.

I hope this helps.

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
Jonathan Townsend
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Taking a MICKEY tact for a moment:

The performer must be able to convey that they LOVE the audience and that their show is an act of sharing done for that reason.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
rannie
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Yes Jon, This is why his ROV is so real!

Your friend,

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

www.rannieraymundo.com
www.tapm.proboards80.net
The One
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My opinion is that magic must be serious.

The performance and the performer can be lighthearted but the actual moments of magic must be taken seriously.
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kregg
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If you're happy doing what you're doing, you'll smile.


Posted: Apr 18, 2006 2:56pm
---------------------------------------------
When it's time for new head shots my agent scours my contact sheets commenting, "This one would be a great if you're going for theater or This is a great commercial head shot." The only difference is that I'm smiling in one.
It would be counterintuitive to smile if you're going for a dramatic moment.
POOF!
bishthemagish
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It is interesting how often a serious moment of magic will produce laughter from a spectator. The most interesting thing about the David Blane specials has been the audience reactions to the effects.
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