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tommy
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Just who and what is hurting magic?

Pontificating people who do not fully understand the art.

A charge to which I enter a plea of guilty. How can I really teach any one when I am still a student and learning myself. Upon realizing my guilt thanks, to Ricky Jay, from now on I will try and reform and try not offering my opinions. Instead I will be seeking the opinions of the masters. Where I give an opinion it will not be mine but a quote from one of the masters.
When I become a master, in a day or two, I will give you the benefit of my opinions. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Interesting thoughts rannie please consider about magic in the boundaries of culture. In the Illustrated history of magic it is written that Howard Thurston was on a would tour and put in a comedy number with a pig.

One evening the pig got away and jumped into the audience. The Theater was in Calcutta and the audience vanished as not to be contaminated by the despised animal.

People can be offended and we may not know the reason why.

The magician is in charge of what is in his or her act and is responsible for what is in his or her act. The audience will respond to what is in the entertainment and often judge it. We are in control of what is in the act but we are not in control of how the audience will respond and judge what they see.

If they are an audience that likes clean entertainment and the act or show is an off color act of blue material of adult jokes and comedy it might offend. Now lets please expand that thought to the promo and the way the magician does his or her business with clients.

If a magician treats his clients with respect and does everything that they can to satisfy the client from the moment of the call to the after the show follow up? Would you not agree that this part of the show - the business side is just as important to the success of the venture as the show itself?

Now please lets try to expand the thought a little more.

I agree with you that there are some great entertainers out there with great shows that were not what many would consider nice people. Some might consider stuck up and all the other things. But and here is the thing - many of them that have reached this level can afford to be at this time.

BUT, in my own experience and in my own opinion they can hurt the business of magic just as bad as what others say a bad performer can. I can't tell you how it can upset a client when they have booked a hypnotist or a magician with this attitude. I have followed hypnotists that did good shows into high schools and colleges that were out jerks.

If I were to count up over the years the "bad" Magicians and hypnotists that did a "bad" show and were not booked back because of it and I heard about it from the client - I can count them on one hand. On one hand!

If I were to count the magicians and hypnotist that did a "good" show and I got some kind of a complaint - because they were some kind of a jerk while at the show. That is a heck of a lot more - several 100 over the past two years.

The act or show does not start when the artist starts the show. It starts when the artist leaves the house to go do it. But it really started the moment the artist first talked to the client on the phone to book the show. And the artist must bend over backwards in this day and age to satisfy the client often because others did not in some way.

But that is just a opinion.

But you know this and do this rannie you are one skilled class act in my book!
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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Tommy what is your definition of "master?

I believe you have mentioned that you do not perform much for people.

This makes no differnece in one way or another to me but it always struck me like when some Priest tried to tell me about how to fix my marital problems.

How is it anyone can be a master at a "performing art" and not perform for people? It is counter intuative.

I have NO problem with magic enthuseasts as they are. Heck some of the greatest innovations we have come from this crowd. They keep magic shops in general in business.

Problem becomes when we "blur" the lines between a hobby, and a profession. I look at magic through my accountant's eyes. Yep plain and simple business.

Others through the eyes of a great hobby, and many many many others, somewhere as a mix of the 2. The vast majority of others fall here.

So here is the problem with ANY profession. The public has a much greater memory for BAD THAN GOOD

Do some bad magic, people will remember you forever, do some ok or good magic they will forget you, because all you did was your job. There may be 100 to 1 good vs bad, but the public remembers bad, it is the American culture. This is not magicians fault.

The other way to be remembered is to simply be "great" at least to them.

Another "profession" which suffers from this is Laywers. We all tell the jokes. But we certianly remember the bad vs. the good. It is our nature.

So before going off and blaming people on OUR SIDE OF THE FENCE, perhaps a look at the tide of public opinion and how it is formed will help.

Add this to the non professional magicians and how they are expanding and breeding at an alarming rate, and you have us classifed with MIMES before we know it!

Solution? Strive to be great. Don't settle for anything less.

I will say this. I have NEVER met a customer who thinks all magicians are jerks. They are all smart enough to know it varries from person to person.

To say bad magic is not bad for magic is just flat out wrong and silly.

I always get a kick out of that quote from Leipzig. NOBODY ever puts it in context.
So let me help.

Does ANYONE really thing what he meant was "if your a bad magician don't worry, if they like you they will like what you do!"? GOD what a rationalization for being a bad performer.

He never ever in his life implied that you can be a horrible performer, and still get by simply becase they LIKE YOU. But this is how people seem to read it.

The thought is lucicres. As if all it is was a popularity contest. We are not electing a homecomming queen boys and girls! We are being paid to perform! They better like what you do also. IF they like you, hey your ahead of the game.

How long does the "quoter" think you can stand up and do bad magic for people before they get sick of it and start to react? Certianly a little longer if they like you, but come on it really is a LOT more.

Leipzig was talking about a good act! Not making excuses for a bad one. I love revisionist history.
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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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 06:04, tommy wrote:
How can I really teach any one when I am still a student and learning myself.

I have heard this from many different teachers - one of the reason's that they teach is so they can get in touch with the student that is still inside themselves. The teacher student relationship is interesting.

Teacher teaches student and at the same time the student is teaching the teacher. And helping the teacher at times re-fall-in-love with the art that the teacher is teaching.

That comes from your fellow student here Tommy Bow wow Bishop in his theater of mumbo jumbo.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 06:04, tommy wrote:
How can I really teach any one when I am still a student and learning myself.


All great teachers/masters of any art remain students while teaching and pleasing part of the world with their works.

I mentioned this long ago in a similar topic but I saw one of the last television interviews with Maestro Andres Segovia. I don't play any musical instrument but am an avid fan and supporter of classical or falmenco guitar. He was interviewed by 20/20's Hugh Downes in his last days. He was visiting with students of classical guitar and giving each about ten minutes of his time for performance review and critique. He was brutal. If he wasn't holding his head in his shaking hand telling someone they had it all wrong, he was complimenting them and giving them a boiled down evaluation of where they stood.

Hugh Downes asked Segovia what basis of evaluation was being used. He said he was enforcing basic standards in classical guitar and even within a short visit, desperately trying to bring out the unique quality of each musician. Then he said what knocked me over: "They don't know it but I'm also learning from them"...

Wow! Wow! Wow!
bishthemagish
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Just a few thoughts...

I suggest magicians try to do a show and please an audience with the same attitude - posting in several threads of past days. And see what happens.

Perhaps they are or perhaps they do - the only hard act to follow is?

A magicjerkian

Just my opinion.


Posted: Apr 23, 2006 11:54am
-----------------------------------------------
By the way randy - I love your posting and your insight. Please keep up the great and inspiring writing.

Thanks very much for your time and thoughtful posting.

A student of magic - Glenn
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:
I agree with you that there are some great entertainers out there with great shows that were not what many would consider nice people. Some might consider stuck up and all the other things. But and here is the thing - many of them that have reached this level can afford to be at this time.

This is a sad truth Glenn! Success can really do things to the not so well bred. It boils down to breeding. Sad to say not everyone are blessed with parents or mentors that instill breeding. Any success is a blessing that must not be bragged but thanked for. It aint Christmas everyday, the tide changes and being one sided could have permanent damages in this industry.

On the subject of teaching, I was told by an old master once that in thru teaching, the master learns twice. Having said that, it clearly shows that the master himself yearns for further learning. Therefore, he considers himself a student.

Danny wrote;
" So here is the problem with ANY profession. The public has a much greater memory for BAD THAN GOOD"

That is so true Danny, AND SADLY THE MISTAKE OF ONE IS THE MESTAKE OF ALL. All the more reason to strive to be "Great". Yes we are human beings, mortals etc.... but we are magicians, PAID magicians, there is a reponsibility that goes with it. As a matter of fact, with any art, with any business. We just have to be our best and clean up the residues of the "bad magicians".

What is hurting magic? in my humble opinion.....
(not in any order)

comlpacency
refusal to get out of the comfort zone
living in the past
lack of vision
envy
and crab mentallity (always dragging the rest with them to the bottom)

Comercialization of magic is actually a good thing in my opinion. Most "magicians" would say , the internet, some would say the proliferation of kids doing street magic and many other ridiculous obsevations, are the ones that hurt magic. I think some magicians get hurt in many ways, rather than magic itself.

Humbly,

Rannie

P.S. Glenn, thanks for your kind words.
"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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Cryptic?

The arrogance of those who have taken the trouble to read oft distracts us. They ask others to provide what a quick search via http://www.google.com would offer via a few keystrokes.

Those who do not themselves believe in magic undermine us. Magic becomes base trickery when there is no story world offered where magic might happen.

Those who do not offer magic as a gift to and for their audiences tarnish our reputation. What sort of person would play with their toys in public yet demand respect as an entertainer?

Those who cannot take the trouble to install iespeller or similar to spell check their posts or capitalize proper names leave one to wonder how well they will deliver something as complicated and fragile as entertainment. This a textual environment. How do you wish to be perceived?

A good part of magic is about making something special happen with materials at hand. Here we have words. Meaning lives below where ideas motivate and outside where actions offer results. What sort of results do you desire?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Michael Baker
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Is it possible to teach magic, having never been a performing magician?

Yes! I think if the teacher has studied magic, he can certainly teach someone with less knowledge, what he knows. He may not be able to give that student the insight of experience, but that doesn't effect his knowledge of practical theory. Same goes to say one person could teach another how to shoot a gun, but may not be able to tell the student what it is like to hunt or go to war.

It also does not omit him from the process of speculative theory. As much knowledge can come from brainstorming, networking, and experimentation, it would be unreasonable to say that even a non-performing magician could not help another, and also benefit himself through such things.

Is it possible for a magician to give a performance that is less than stellar by standards normally accepted within the industry, and still have that show be considered worthy of having been performed, free of critical evaluation?

Absolutely! This I believe, regardless of whether or not that show was done for monitary compensation, or not. The true judges of a show such as this, or in fact any show, are not the other members of the peer group, but the audience for whom the show is being performed.

This may take an open mind to see the rational here. The real question here is, "Was this show considered to be of value to the consumer?"

The inner-industry hair-splitting has overlooked these important factors: audience and venue. The mother of a 7 year old having a birthday party wants to know if the kids all had a good time, and that her own level of stress and her bank account were both kept intact. The owner of a corporation wants to know if this addition of a magician to his trade show booth or grand opening made a positive difference in his company's business. A patron going to the theater wants to know that they got their money's worth out of the show they saw, and that they perhaps came away with a new experience.

The level of performance in all three of the above examples would be radically different from one another, and it is unlikely that any of the three could cross over and be successful in any of the other venues, with the same performance that made them successful in their given niche.

Now assuming (and probably correctly) that there would exist difference levels of competency among performers within each of the groups (and a multitude of other groups), it would stand to reason that riffs and jealousy would occur. Magicians are territorial creatures by habit, and largely a collection of "lone wolves" forced to exist side by side to a certain degree.

Among those who would decide to play the alpha magician, we can find two distinct styles: Those who consider themselves as having paid their own dues and therefore somehow having earned the right to bark downline, setting the rest of the pack straight as it were, and those that respect the entire process, having known from where they have come, and knowing where they currently are, with a respect not only for those who have gone before them, but also those who will eventually carry the torch after them. This second style of "leader" magicians are more apt to encourage, rather than reprimand.

Do the public more remember good magic or bad?

I think this generally relies on the nature of who is doing the recall. As a general rule, positive people tend to be quieter in their assertion of their feelings, relying more on a sensse of peace and contentment. Aside from the quiet brooders, negative people seem to exist on the attention that comes with pointing out faults and problems. Perhaps they feel better about themselves, having taken on the burden of this heavy mantle. After all, it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, right? Perhaps in reality, it is an offense designed to prevent the need for a defense, but that is merely speculating that they have their own problems.

There is another thread on the Café now in which a restaurant magician was recently approached by a family who told him after coming to the restaurant for six years that he was basically the reason why. That is some serious positive energy relating to good magic that has stayed quietly content for all those years.

It is true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It certainly gets noticed because it breaks the charm that accompanies happiness and contentment. When babies or smoke detectors begin to scream, it alerts people to the problem. When things are blissful, few people want to miss the pleasure in order to evaluate the circumstances that surround it.

It is not as simple as saying that it goes unheralded because it is simply someone doing their job. It is entirely about harmony and peace.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 12:36, rannie wrote:
This is a sad truth Glenn! Success can really do things to the not so well bred. It boils down to breeding. Sad to say not everyone are blessed with parents or mentors that instill breeding. Any success is a blessing that must not be bragged but thanked for. It aint Christmas everyday, the tide changes and being one sided could have permanent damages in this industry.

Let me start off by saying thank you for posting rannie it is really great - thank you for sharing your thoughts and your insights. You inspire and it is easy to see that you love the art as well as the audience you perform for.

May I add one or two thoughts I think that it would help if some in show business would go to finishing school. Learn how to open doors for people, what fork to eat with at a really fancy restaurant, and learn manners. Some of us need that and it is just as important as learning the magic.

In some cases and in some rough markets it seems not that important. But in others it is important. As you say above better than I say it here - crude people could be looked upon as crude people. If that happens - the magic or the show really doesn't matter much.

I remember a story of my Dad doing a trade show. There was another magician booked at another booth. This magician was a crude person, had a very big ego and worked in the way - toward the audience in sort of a "be dammed to you. Dad and this fellow went out to lunch and this fellow bragged that he worked for the client that my Dad worked for about two years ago.

Lunch was over back to work.

Dad mentioned this other magician to the client and how much he enjoyed working trade shows and meeting other magicians. The client said that he would never book the other magician again - not because his magic was bad but because he was crude and insulted one of his customers when he did a card trick. It took the owner two years to book another magician and then try my Dad - by the way my Dad was booked back for several more years.

Not that his card effects were any better - it is just that he was a warm and friendly person that put the clients needs ahead of his magicians ego while performing.

I have had these experiences several time at shows in fact - last night at 4:00 AM doing a hypnoticmagic - grad night. But I will save that story for another time because when I write about myself - people think I am bragging.
Quote:
On 2006-04-23 12:36, rannie wrote:
What is hurting magic? in my humble opinion.....
(not in any order)

comlpacency
refusal to get out of the comfort zone
living in the past
lack of vision
envy
and crab mentallity (always dragging the rest with them to the bottom)

I loved the list...

The past is like the wake after the boat that is going through the water to a destination. It does not POWER the boat. It is just the past energy of the boat on it's journey. The past is a tool and a good guideline but nothing more because the power is in the boat and the important part is the journey and the destination.

Thanks for posting and inspiring better magic and magicians - rannie!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 13:09, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
This a textual environment. How do you wish to be perceived?


Amen to that as I'd hate to see some of the more heated topic debates held in a bar and over one too many cocktails. Wo! there goes the first punch over there!
tommy
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Quote:

Problem becomes when we "blur" the lines between a hobby, and a profession. I look at magic through my accountant's eyes. Yep plain and simple business.



Quote:

Upon such points, the man who, even in a very minor degree, possesses the true artistic temperament, cannot help feeling and speaking strongly. He who seeks to acquire or to retain the social position assigned to an artist, can never lose sight of the maxim "Noblesse oblige."' He is perforce compelled to avoid many practices which, if employed in commerce, would be perfectly justifiable. He who employs the tradesman's methods must be content to remain a tradesman. His ultimate aim consists in the making of money; a thing with which art has no concern. It is true that, in art, even more profit may often be made than in trade; but whatever profit may incidentally accrue to the artist, his ultimate aim is far higher than matters relating to finance. He has, of course, every reason for studying his own interests. Nobody can blame him for that; nor, indeed, can do otherwise than approve his prudence. But, at all times, the interests of his art are paramount. Should there arise an occasion when an artist finds self-interest opposed to the interests of art, he must be prepared to sacrifice profit upon the altar of duty. If he cannot do that, he is no true artist. Let him, then, come down from his pedestal, and take his place among workaday humanity. In doing so, he will suffer no disgrace; but, on the contrary, he will deserve honor. By ridding himself of an unwarrantable assumption of artistic merit, he will be absolved from the guilt of false-pretense.
- N.M.-

If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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Tell this to Don Alan, Matt Schullien, Jim Ryan, Heba Haba Al, Doc Eason, Bob Sheets, Scottie York and so on.

ALL were busienss men FIRST. Magicians second.

If someone wanted to see magic and someone had to have a table cleared, the magic would wait till the table was clear. Sorry to burst anyones bubble. It is show BUSINESS. I often feel the words are in order of decending importance.

IF you can not see this, you miss my entire point. Quote anyone you feel the need to, or just call Doc Eason and ask him his motto. Or Bob Sheets. It is the same. And it was Heba Haba Al's montra. GTFM.......... get the money.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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Temper temper. Smile


Posted: Apr 23, 2006 9:49pm
------------------------------------------------
Quote:
Yet, in spite of the truth of the foregoing statements, many of those who practise magic, either as a means of livelihood or as an intellectual recreation, appear to be entirely ignorant of the very existence of facts such as those we have reviewed. In all probability, those men would feel highly offended were any doubt cast upon their claim to be regarded as artists. Yet, in all they do, they prove themselves to be mere mechanics. They can do just what somebody else has already done-and they can do nothing more. Such men are not artists. They cannot be; since, in all their works, the only kind of art displayed is the false art, which is an imitation of real art.

-N.M-
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 19:44, tommy wrote:
Quote:
...
Upon such points, the man who, even in a very minor degree, possesses the true artistic temperament, cannot help feeling and speaking strongly. He who seeks to acquire or to retain the social position assigned to an artist, can never lose sight of the maxim "Noblesse oblige."' He is perforce compelled to avoid many practices which, if employed in commerce, would be perfectly justifiable. He who employs the tradesman's methods must be content to remain a tradesman. His ultimate aim consists in the making of money; a thing with which art has no concern. It is true that, in art, even more profit may often be made than in trade; but whatever profit may incidentally accrue to the artist, his ultimate aim is far higher than matters relating to finance. He has, of course, every reason for studying his own interests. Nobody can blame him for that; nor, indeed, can do otherwise than approve his prudence. But, at all times, the interests of his art are paramount. Should there arise an occasion when an artist finds self-interest opposed to the interests of art, he must be prepared to sacrifice profit upon the altar of duty. If he cannot do that, he is no true artist. Let him, then, come down from his pedestal, and take his place among workaday humanity. In doing so, he will suffer no disgrace; but, on the contrary, he will deserve honor. By ridding himself of an unwarrantable assumption of artistic merit, he will be absolved from the guilt of false-pretense.
- N.M.-




This person would be tongue-lashed into mincemeat by Ayn Rand.

The position stated is far from realistic and comes close to validating a psychotic view of the world.

The artisan earns their living by SELLING their talents to those who commission works.

The very idea of an "artistic temper" is IHMO a myth. I grew up an with an arts background and have seen many efforts abandoned when client/patron feedback demands a revision to the work. What could have been is left on the drawing board in favor of what the client desires. It is THEIR work after all. GTFM. Hissy fits don't pay the rent.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
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"An artisan, also called a craftsman, is a skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft. Artisans were the dominant producers of goods before the Industrial Revolution. The term craftswoman is also used and a craftman's work exhibits craftsmanship."
Or so I read. ?



I am a pure amateur.



“Jay does not regard "amateur" as a pejorative. His two most trusted magician confidants are Persi Diaconis, a professor of mathematics at Harvard, and Steve Freeman, a corporate comptroller who lives in Ventura, California. Both are world-class sleight-of-hand artists, and neither ever performs for pay. Jay extolls them as "pure amateurs in the best sense." The distinction that matters to Jay is between "good" magic and "bad." Magic "gives me more pleasure and more pain than anything else I've ever dealt with," he says. "The pain is bad magicians ripping off good ones, doing magic badly, and making a mockery of the art."

New Yorker Magazine
by Mark Singer
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Right on Tommy,

It is my point of view that an amateur magician that is just starting out wants to have fun with magic. Let them. If they want to and I think they should - grab some tricks that they own off the shelf and then find a show to do them in.

They would have some fun and learn a lot about themselves and magic.

No theater training needed. Just read the instructions - practice with the prop and go out find an audience and do a show. Pick up a book off the bookcase like Tarbell - find something in it and USE IT in a show. Go out and find an audience to do magic for and use it as a learning experience and to have some fun.

Do the magic for others instead of yourself and lift and up-lift others in this world.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
tommy
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Hi Glen I think here, magic is THE PARADOXICAL ELEPHANT: An elephant described by blind men each of whom have grabbed hold of a part of the animal. the trunk, the tail, the leg, etc. Each described what they found. As a parable, we learn that they all are correct in their perception, and yet all are incomplete in their understanding. What, I think, does not matter because I too am one of the blind. The master magicians past and present seen to know what the elephant is. Even those who have seen an elephant will find those who have not unable to understand from their decryptions what an elephant is.
I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.

:)
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
bishthemagish
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Hi tommy,
Great post - magic can be talked about but I do not see a need to argue and get angry - talking about an art and a business that we all seem to share. Magic is an art and a business and it is when magic as an art is confused with magic as a business - that is where magicians often CLASH!
Quote:
On 2006-04-23 22:11, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
The very idea of an "artistic temper" is IHMO a myth. I grew up an with an arts background and have seen many efforts abandoned when client/patron feedback demands a revision to the work. What could have been is left on the drawing board in favor of what the client desires. It is THEIR work after all. GTFM. Hissy fits don't pay the rent.

Well said Jonathan "Hissy fits don't pay the rent." And the "Hissy fits" of others can get in the way of still others that do magic and NEED and USE MAGIC to pay the rent."
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-04-23 13:09, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

This a textual environment. How do you wish to be perceived?

A good part of magic is about making something special happen with materials at hand. Here we have words. Meaning lives below where ideas motivate and outside where actions offer results. What sort of results do you desire?


I'm getting a lot out of this thread. I have found the contributions from geemack and Michael Baker to be especially thought provoking.

But a bit more about "How do you wish to be perceived?

Johnathan brings up a good point here. Provided we have no prior knowledge of the forum member, Our perceptions about each other here the Café are limited to what we write, and how we say it. AND by our avitar, or lack of one. In my oppinion, the avitar says more about the person than anything he or she writes. You look at it first and then say, "Oh, I get it, this message is coming from a guy who does a manipulative act, or, "Oh, this fellow holds a regular job, does not perform, and has chosen to portray himself in his natural habitat, behind his computer".

Personally, I find it hard not to be judgemental in this sense. There are some members on the Café who's avitars are (to me) text book examples of "the cheesy magician". It is hard for me to give the same weight and consideration to their posts when I have already formed a (biased?) oppinion of them just by looking at their picture.

Then there are those who have no avitar, but like those who do, they still have made a choice which will inevitably make a difference in how they are perceived.

This lead me to thinking about how this all extends to how you wish to be perceived by your audience. Some say as much as 80% or more of communication is non-verbal.

When you approach a table, or take the stage, the audience begins to formulate an oppinion of you in the first few seconds. What you do from there will either serve to re-inforce this perception or change it.

One of the inherent meanings of magic is to communicate the idea that things are not always what they seem. The good magician should be constantly manipulating, controling and directing the perceptions of the audience in the desired direction.

How do you wish to be perceived? What do dirty props, wrinkled suits, poor grammar, or arrogant attitudes communicate to the audience? Are you the right performer for this particular group? Or would it be beter for the sake of magic (and the audience) to hire another performer instead as Dr. Wilson mentions above.

This brings me back to Glenn's initial post about oppinions. They may not always be right, but sometimes we need to hear them because we are not always aware of how we might be perceived by the audience. Audience perceptions can be as invisible to us as the "audience" that exists here on the Café reading our very words. We do not know exactly HOW they perceive us but we can't forget that they and their perceptions are "always watching".

MW
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
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