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bishthemagish
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This is just an opinion and is not posted to be argued over. The reason this is posted is to offer and hear opinion, I give my word I will respect posting and opinion of others if others respect my opinion.

Just who and what is hurting magic?

It is about magicians in general and the way that magic and magicians seem to be. Over the years in magic there are people in magic that have opinions about what is hurting magic.

This is my opinion of what is hurting magic. It is the magicians themselves. How are they hurting magic? It is not through bad performing. We all started as bad performers. And the only way to get good is by doing bad performances. And it takes a lot of bad performances to make a good performer.

Part of what I think is hurting magic is the general thinking of that bad performers hurt magic. And the insulting and the criticizing of performers that some magicians do not like. This could be viewed by any lay audience or any spectator as seeing magicians as a group look crude, petty and small people. The insulting and criticizing of other magicians is so not needed in magic. In an art that the lay audience thinks of as a fun thing to do. I have asked people what do they think of magicians in general. Ask and interview people and you may be surprised at their honesty.

Outside of the few magicians that are the big names that they may know. In general many of the lay audience view magicians as jerks. Why? Because we act like jerks. We often don’t like other magicians and the way that they perform or promote. We often show off magic and perform magic in the way I am a magician and I am smart - you are not.

We have magicians that get into magic - not because they want to be a professional entertainer but because they have low social skills. There are more magicians doing magic for their own amusement than magicians that do it as a living. Understand I am not against this what I am against is how magicians often treat each other.

I would like the lay audience to see magic and magicians as high class people with education, skill, and worth the money they pay us.

Do they see us this way?

Often movies reflect feelings and the culture. I saw a movie about a kid that was a Princess and was going to do a cable TV show with one of the students. She did not make it to the cable show. But they had a kid magician on the cable TV show. And the movie was written to make the magician look like a dork. Annoying geeks with our card tricks.

The masked magician went on network TV and drew the highest rating of a TV special. It made magic look cheap. And we just go out and buy props. We magicians are jerks because we know the secrets and the lay audience doesn’t. Then we were shown by the news media as being petty and small because we complained about something that we thought should not have been done.

If the public SEES us as a group of being petty and small people (Me included) we will be petty and small people in their eyes. As a group - we have magicians that do not respect each other. As a group we have magicians that don’t respect the secrets of magic. As a group we have magicians that insult the lay audience while they perform a magic trick - that often they do not want to see. Knowing when to do magic is just as important as knowing how to do magic!

I was born into a group of very high class, larger than life people. I see magic and people through their eyes. These people helped, other magicians learn. These magicians treated other magicians and other people with respect - no matter what their station was in life.

Part of doing magic is to pass on useful information to the young.

So I am going to close this post with a few more thoughts that might help them. Take it or leave it for what it is worth.

Class never goes out of style. The more manners and class you have the better chance there is for you to reach success in magic, in any job, and in life. People like to be around successful people. And many successful people search out other successful people just to be around other positive and successful people.

A lack of respect toward magic is toxic.

A lack of respect toward magic secrets is toxic.

A lack of respect toward other magicians that are successful and magicians that are not, is toxic.

Success in magic is built on a foundation of skill, performed with class in a business that must be well mannered in order to be productive and successful.

Now I will get off my soap box and wish everyone makes their magic dreams come true.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
drwilson
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I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what is hurting magic. There might be people hurting magic, or music, or the visual arts, but there isn't much that I can do about it.

It matters what I choose to do. I really want to give people a good show. Sometimes the best way to do that is to bring in other performers. I want to perform material that people like, which sometimes means that I can't do some of the things that I like best, because it's not really about what I like to do, it's about what the audience likes.

When I am watching another performer, listening to music, watching a movie, or going to an art show, I look for what is good, what is effective, what is being communicated. I see many magicians that aren't my style, but over the years I have learned to look past that and ask whether the elements of a good performance for that audience are there.

Rather than thinking about what is hurting magic, I often think about what would improve it. I wish that originality and self-expression in presentation and in effects were more widespread. I also think that magic would be improved if magicians would put the magic aside for a bit and attend some other arts events. Magic might be more widely considered an art if more magicians knew more about art. Many magicians could use a sabbatical in which they study dance, mime, movement, acting, martial arts or visual art and design.

While these are my opinions, they are hardly novel. I have some old magic books whose authors have long since turned to dust who say all this with more force and eloquence.

Yours,

Paul
Michael Baker
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Bravo, Dr. Wilson! I'll take two bottles of whatever you are selling!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Dannydoyle
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What hurts magic? Nothing. What can help magic? Lots of things. Bravo!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
bishthemagish
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Classy people help magic?

Could magic be improved or the public image of magic be improved if it had more classy magicians?
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
JackScratch
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I'm pretty certain the audience has no idea that any magicians anywhere have arguements, nor do they care. A lot of things hurt a variety of performance arts and those things are addressed in the normal manner. This is a process that does exist, will exist, and you can be a part of it, or not. We work to better our art, not to do so would be silly.
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-04-22 08:47, bishthemagish wrote:
This is just an opinion and is not posted to be argued over. The reason this is posted is to offer and hear opinion, I give my word I will respect posting and opinion of others if others respect my opinion.


You sure ask for a lot with that apparently decent and simple request. I say this as I once asked for that very same consideration and came away very frustrated with it all. Notice I said "once". Today, I ask the other guy for NOTHING including your desired respecting of posts. Maybe therein lies part of the problem for you Glenn. Your request is nearly impossible to achieve. Sad but true.

I've said this before, if you have time to be part of say a three, four, or ten page online 'discussion' aka heated debate to prove your point, then you are truley insane considering you apparently have an opportunity to practice what you preach as the strongest and most convincing tool to prove your point.

Don't mind or be part of that sad state of affairs, carry on and have fun with it all. Most importantly, without their approval, go ahead and practice what you preach. Do this first for your own satisfaction and sanity, and second, anyone who likes whta they see and cares to follow your lead will do so.

The rest doesn't matter. Don't make the deadly assumption that everyone wants to learn from you OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. Café member's motives for coming into the site vary as much as the props in a magic shop. Some of their motives might even scare you enough to never return. Have fun it with it!

Here's a free pass to 'Rancho Relaxo' where the gallon margaritas are to die for!
bishthemagish
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Thanks for posting RandyStewart your points are well understood and with the posting of JackScratch of which I agree to of much that is written - forgive me as I am a fool that often seems like that I do not agree because I often forget to post that I do agree - I am not the best writer.

Only a student of magic and human nature.

My best to you all because I am off the soap box and leave it for others.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Dannydoyle
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Randy you are right. People post for different reasons. I think we all suffer from the sin of PRIDE to some extent.

I mean really why hold an opinion not worth arguing for?

Add a little testoserone and BAM 10 pages in 49 minutes!

A great recipe.

When you hold bliefs so tightly and close they are convictions, then yes people argue over them. Then when you "percieve" someone slighting them, well again recipe for disaster!

I don't' think closely held beliefs are necessarily a bad thing. It is when you are talking to someone who dosn't understand that you hold them so close, that it gets hairy.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Michael Baker
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Randy,

I'll take a couple gallons of those Margaritas, too!

Glenn,

Do you know what's wrong with you? Whatever it is, don't expect to find the answer here from me. Why? Because first and foremost, you probably took offense to me even asking that question. It was out of line and rude. It was a question that I had no place asking, and only did so for the sake of this example.

Nobody needs someone else pointing out their faults. Most of us are aware that we have them, and some of us actively try to remedy that by our own terms. Assumedly, there are also those who either don't care, or are blind to the reality of it. Of them, some will eventually see the light; others never will. Such is life.

The best we can do is EXACTLY what both Paul and Randy have suggested... work to improve ourselves. At the very least, we will gain a certain amount of self-satisfaction. However, we may one day become a role model for other magicians wishing to emulate us and learn at the feet of their chosen master. Lead by example of our own character. Don't broadcast self-righteousness. Let those who would care to learn make the choice of who to come to, and when. That's really the best way to know if the relationship is real. Coming to the picnic, kicking the fire ant hill, and then telling everyone that you are leaving it up to them is not cool.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
bishthemagish
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Michael Baker I do not take offence at what you or others say. I think what Paul and Randy posted is great.

If you think I am being self-righteousness that is OK with me.

I am off the soapbox. I said what I wanted to say now others can post if they want. Perhaps I will learn something as I always do.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Dannydoyle
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Isn't the point here that we ALL learn?

Isn't that why we hash this stuff out?

Isn't that what us supposed to be so helpfull about this process?

Again to take out the ego and feelings is tough, but it has to be done to grow.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
geemack
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Greg McNeil Peoria,Illinois
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Quote:
On 2006-04-22 08:47, bishthemagish wrote...

This is just an opinion and is not posted to be argued over. The reason this is posted is to offer and hear opinion, I give my word I will respect posting and opinion of others if others respect my opinion.

Although most people here probably respect your right to have your opinion, your offer to respect others' opinions if they respect your opinion seems unreasonably conditional. You've admitted several times how you aren't an especially good communicator, and this might just be one of those situations, but really Glenn, leading into a posting this way appears rather arrogant.

Quote:
This is my opinion of what is hurting magic. It is the magicians themselves. How are they hurting magic? It is not through bad performing. We all started as bad performers. And the only way to get good is by doing bad performances. And it takes a lot of bad performances to make a good performer.

Not true. While it may sometimes hold, not necessarily always, that it takes a lot of bad rehearsals to make a good performer, it shouldn't take very many bad performances at all. If a magician is inexperienced, unprepared, or unskilled enough that he's likely to do a bad performance, he should be practicing, not performing. Magicians who have the nerve to actually charge money for bad performances surely aren't helping improve magic's image in the eyes of the general public. And if anything damages the public's appreciation of magic and magicians, ill-prepared amateur quality hobbyists foisting themselves off as professionals, performing for strangers, for money, might be one of the bigger offenses.

Quote:
Part of what I think is hurting magic is the general thinking of that bad performers hurt magic. And the insulting and the criticizing of performers that some magicians do not like. This could be viewed by any lay audience or any spectator as seeing magicians as a group look crude, petty and small people. The insulting and criticizing of other magicians is so not needed in magic. In an art that the lay audience thinks of as a fun thing to do. I have asked people what do they think of magicians in general. Ask and interview people and you may be surprised at there honesty.

Outside of the few magicians that are the big names that they may know. In general many of the lay audience view magicians as jerks. Why? Because we act like jerks. We often don’t like other magicians and the way that they perform or promote. We often show off magic and perform magic in the way of I am a magician and I am smart - you are not.

We have magicians that get into magic - not because they want to be a professional entertainer but because they have low social skills. There are more magicians doing magic for their own amusement than magicians that do it as a living. Understand I am not against this what I am against is how magicians often treat each other.

If the public sees magicians on the whole as being jerks, it may be because a lot of magicians are jerks. But... ballet dancers criticize ballet dancers, software writers criticize software writers, weight lifters criticize weight lifters, etc. Many of them criticize each other unreasonably, often in very petty ways. The general public is almost never aware of that side of any hobby or business, not in weight lifting or ballet dancing, or in magic. They could care less. Magicians criticizing other magicians doesn't hurt magic in the mind of the public, because to the public it's a complete non-issue.

So what does hurt magic? Or maybe a more appropriate question would be, how might we improve the general state of our art and the public's perception of it?

Tonight is Saturday night. There are a million people playing guitars in a million living rooms at a million parties all over the US. Probably more than 99% of those guitar players suck by any professional standards. Sure they might know a dozen songs, all the words and all the chords, and they can play a few fancy riffs. And although there are thousands of wannabes, the vast majority of those guitar players realize it's just a hobby. They wouldn't dare try to charge money to play their handful of songs in any public venue.

On the other hand a lot of magicians often have a much higher view, sometimes a seriously distorted view of their own abilities. Magicians often consider only a singular criteria, that being the ability to perform some tricks without divulging the method. Once they achieve that level of "competence", magicians often believe their skills worthy of compensation. Magicians who disregard theatrical technique and showmanship, the kind of quality entertainment which they should provide, in favor of being able to fool or deceive or mystify, likely cause more harm to our collective public reputation than could ever come from any criticizing, belittling, or badmouthing within our own ranks.

Of course when amateur performers find themselves in professional positions, it's not exclusively the fault of the magicians. Those who hire magicians are often pretty poor judges of exactly what is, or is not, good entertainment. Often a magician is deemed to be "good" if he can stumble through a half dozen tricks and nobody can figure out how he did them. But it is our job to educate the public, to help them become aware of the difference between good and bad in our art/industry. If we demand a higher level of quality from ourselves, and from each other, before offering our services or suggesting that others offer theirs, the public will have a higher quality pool of talent to draw from. This may raise their expectations, and in turn increase their reluctance to hire the next amateur who can fool them with a few tricks.

To improve the way the public perceives magic might require that we develop a more realistic appraisal of our own abilities. It might require that we become more critical of our own work and of each others' work. Of course we should assist the newbies, encourage and mentor and help each other, do what we can to raise the caliber of magic on the whole. But we should not encourage the neophytes to slap together a few of their favorite tricks and head out the door, charge a few bucks for bad performances, and hope that after enough crummy shows they'll eventually become better performers. It doesn't work that way in any other performing arts, or really in any field of endeavor for that matter, so it isn't reasonable to believe it can work that way in the field of professional magic.

Greg
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-04-22 20:12, geemack wrote:
To improve the way the public perceives magic might require that we develop a more realistic appraisal of our own abilities. It might require that we become more critical of our own work and of each others' work.

Thanks for posting and I found it interesting. Being critical of our own work is a good idea. Being critical of the work of others at the wrong time may not be such a good idea.

Back in the day when I had employees - had I talked to them the way some magicians talk to each other I would not have had them stay around that long. Magic should be done at the right time and the right place - the same as giving critical advice in my opinion - there is a right time and a right place and a right way.

Many magicians in the Café already know this but I am going to say it anyway - I wonder if many could keep their clients if they talked to them in some of the ways that I have read - in many forums and here in the Café? That of course is not my personal problem. As it also is not really my problem how good or bad another magician is. Because if they stick with it they will find the answers that they need one way or another. Here is a useful link that some might find interesting.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewf......39&6

Forgive me if the link seems arrogant.

Leipzig said to Dai Vernon - Dai I have been doing magic for more than 50 years - they (the audience) wants to feel like a gentlemen has fooled them.

Gentlemen magicians on stage and off - what a wonderful idea.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
edh
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Glenn, I do appreciate what you are trying to convey. At the same time I do not like what some of the magi here on the Café try to denigrate what you are saying. Granted they might not agree with what you are saying but by the same token they should not bash you.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Dannydoyle
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Often Glenn by his own admission does not communicate well. When he does not communicate his ideas well, it then seems as if HE is bashing others and being arrogant in the process. Then he spends 400 words to clarify seeming arrogant and misscommunicating all over again.

Then it takes 5 pages to figure it out.

So yea others bash back at what they percieved a bashing. It is not their fault.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-04-22 09:52, bishthemagish wrote:
Classy people help magic?

Could magic be improved or the public image of magic be improved if it had more classy magicians?


American society holds class as a taboo subject.

Let's go with magicians who present themselves as socialized gracious and positive people (who happen to do magic).
...to all the coins I've dropped here
edh
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Hello jonathan. I have recieved many solutions to problems related to magic. But please why be so cryptic?

Quote:
American society holds class as a taboo subject.

what does that mean. Please accept my ignorense(sp). I am not as knowledgeable as you so would you please enligten me?

thank you.
Magic is a vanishing art.
bishthemagish
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Nate Leipzig also said "If they like YOU they will like your act".

People have to LIKE the magician in order to watch the magician?

(Stars of Magic and Dai Vernon's Tribute to Nate Leipzig).
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
rannie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-22 23:34, bishthemagish wrote:
Nate Leipzig also said "If they like YOU they will like your act".

People have to LIKE the magician in order to watch the magician?

(Stars of Magic and Dai Vernon's Tribute to Nate Leipzig).

I will not contest what Leipzig said, certainly not, but in the real world, I have learned that it does not hold true in most cases. There are many charming and extremely likeable performers that does not really have an act that you would even call good. The performer is liked and admired but not the act. It was the charm that compensated or even took center stage , for the lack of a good act.

There are also great acts that does not appeal at all. The reason this time is not the act but the performer. As a director, my job is to bring out the best in my performers. One example is this Magician I am working on for a show I am directing for May 19. This kid can produce 30 umbrellas.....CLEANLY!Freakin amazing! But he has this Rigor Mortis look. Just like LURCH from the Adams Family on a bad day! NO smile, no personality and no extentions. The act itself in the hands of a show man could be really spectacular. The act was well structured, even the theme, music, staging etc.... THE WORKS, was all there , except for the charisma and charm.

Another performer from my past shows, did a really boring series of card tricks. This one however performs with great charm and eloquence. The act itself is nothing most magicians would like to do. Its not even amazing, but he was able to capture the audience though. The aftermath..... people were talking about the performer's charm , not the act. The reviews even stated that the act was mediocre but the performer was outstanding.

Is this a case to case basis? I don't know . Is it a cultural thing? I don't know either. All I know is that "they" only enhance each other (PERSONALITY $ ACT).

Just my humble opinion gentlemen.

Rannie


Posted: Apr 23, 2006 1:11am
-----------------------------------------------
I have also seen many arrogant magicians, and even highstung "stuck ups" that have really great acts. I did not have to like them to love their act. Of course I can only speak for myself re this.

I wonder if it applies to the lay public. I would like to know.

Till then,

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
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