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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why don't we start considering the audience? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-04-29 21:09, kregg wrote:
Unless I stand corrected, the "Grab some props..." line was in reverence to the late great Jay Marshall.

Yes, Jay and I did a show together. It was Jay going off to do a small show and he took a few things off the shelf at magic INC. And then I joined him and afterward we went out to lunch together. But the reason I told the story was because I think that magicians have lots of props that they don't use. So why not use them?

Buddy Farnan who went to college with Blackstone Jr. And was in the same theater class as Blackstone Jr. Did a lecture on magic and the whole point of the lecture was how to make the hobby of magic self liquidating. Or pay for itself. There are a lot of ways to make money with magic and then invest it into more magic.
Quote:
On 2006-04-29 21:09, kregg wrote:
On the other hand, if one with little flight time tried that it would most likely be a disaster and the audience isn't the only party that would suffer as a result.

They won't get any fight time at all unless they get on the plane. Or as I said they won't learn how to swim unless they get in the water. I would not jump into deep water without learning the business in the shallow end first. But I thought I explained that a long time ago in another thread.
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Dannydoyle
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I didn't mention names, did I?

Sorry, I was refering to a "school of thought" as opposed to a specific thread.

More of a way of thinking in "general" that seems to permeate threads.

Sorry for the confussion, my bad.
Danny Doyle
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tommy
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(2) Always endeavor to form an accurate conception of the point of view most likely to be adopted by a disinterested spectator.
For a performer to put himself in the place of his audience requires the exercise of an amount of imagination and may we say it?-of judgment, rarely met with among those who are otherwise qualified to entertain the public. Yet, the more completely a magician can obey this rule, the greater will be his chances of success. The task before him is gigantic-but he should attempt it nevertheless. He must try to forget the importance of things which appeal to him most strongly, because, for all the public knows or cares, those things might as well be nonexistent. The difficulty of his manipulations; the ingenuity and originality of his inventions; the refinements and improvements lie has introduced; and, above all, the distinctive merits personal to himself, should be disregarded. All such matters should be lost to sight, in order that the one supreme consideration may not become obscured, even for a moment. The effect to be made upon his audience is the one thing a magician should keep in view, as the Americans say, "first, last, and all the time."



N.M
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Hostile18
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The audience is not something that should be 'considered' when doing magic. The audience should be the entire reason for doing the magic, with ever part of it designed to have an effect on the audience for which is it performed.

Well, maybe that's a little extreme - I suppose some concessions have to be made to the performer's comfort and even enjoyment. But essentially since magic is a performance art then the audience is really all that matters. Magicians who let their egos run riot and perform for their own amusement are invariably terrible magicians, because the audience does not enjoy what they do.

I don't see anything wrong with performing a monologue, or with assuming non-magicians will be fooled by things they haven't seen before. These things are irrelevant. What matters is that magicians seek to entertain and delight rather than to make themselves feel big and important.

Magic is an act of theatre. Without an audience, it is nothing.
Jonathan Townsend
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As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?" and most simply...

For many it is simply to much bother as they can get what they need considering only themselves.

Watch me fool you. Watch me do this. Let me show you something. All about them isn't it?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
JackScratch
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As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?"

What's this WE garbage?
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 12:32, JackScratch wrote:
As asked "Why don't we start considering the audience?"

What's this WE garbage?


Heck if I know Jack, it's the title of this thread. There's plenty of garbage to wallow in for those who enjoy it.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dannydoyle
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Theh WE was simply to avoid pointing fingers and to remove a superior tone from the title of the thread.

Sorry if it offended anyone. Guess you can't please ANYONE.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Chris Becker
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Hey,

I think I'm contributing a new thought to this discussion. Hopefully, someone will notice. To Danny's question I would like to answer: why consider the audience?

A painter, a pianist, a sculptor, a dancer, a poet ... unless they become commercial, they create their artwork for others. What makes magic unique?

Two VERY important bits to conclude this post.

1) I know the answer to my question.
2) The answer leads to another observation, which I think I made faaaar to rarely in this forum.

Let's see where this is going. I'll be back! ;-)
- - -
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Dave V
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Quote:
On 2006-05-09 23:09, Christof wrote:
A painter, a pianist, a sculptor, a dancer, a poet ... unless they become commercial, they create their artwork for others.


What am I missing here? When an artist becomes commercial, that's especially when they create for others. Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel because he was paid to do it, not because he especially liked laying on his back getting paint in his eyes year after year.

As far as magicians go? Without others, who's going to pick the card? Smile
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JackScratch
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Even if not commercial, all art is for the audience. Art is ment to be viewed, and have an effect on it's viewers. When asked about the "we" I ment that I think magicians, as a generality, do consider their audience, ad in fact know that I do. So let em fly, who are these we that aren't considering their audience?
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2006-05-10 00:41, JackScratch wrote:
Even if not commercial, all art is for the audience. Art is ment to be viewed, and have an effect on it's viewers. When asked about the "we" I ment that I think magicians, as a generality, do consider their audience, ad in fact know that I do. So let em fly, who are these we that aren't considering their audience?


That isn't completely true. Some art is done simply for the self-expression of the artist. He may never want anyone to see it but himself, and might want to destroy it before his death. He simply wants to get something out of his head, and into a form he can understand.

The Nazca Peru drawings of animals were huge, and two large for a human to comprehend. They were meant to be seen by the gods.

Russian religious icons are painted by the artist in an attempt to open a spiritual doorway to heaven. The saints looked out at the viewer as much as the viewer looked in to the saints.

Petroglyphs of the ancient ones were often actually magic incantations that summoned up the things depicted or described a vision that the shaman wanted to capture and remember himself.

But performance art, except for the most self-indulgent, usually needs to consider the audience, if it wants to have more than one of them.
Dave V
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Thanks Whit, you beat me to the punch. Besides, you write so much better than I do...

My wife Tamara saw his "all art is for the audience" line and immediately disagreed. That's the fallacy of absolutes. They usually aren't. Art usually has two patrons, one of which happens to be the performer.

I play guitar for my own enjoyment. I don't care if anyone ever hears me, and it's a rare thing when someone does.

For Tamara, she grew up taking Ballet lessons. Mostly to please her mother. She was good... very good, but the "spark" wasn't there until she decided that she had to perform for herself first and foremost, not for others. Once she did that, the life came into her dancing and she got noticed. Repeatedly. Although she was the principal dancer in several dance companies, her success came because she loved to dance, not because she felt she had to please someone.

Whit, I see that in your work. Your enthusiasm shows through and the audience can't help but be swept along for the journey.
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Chris Becker
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Dave, my bad. I meant to say what Jack then actually commented on.

If a child or teenager starts out as an artist in the field of magic - and not because tricks are a nice tool to get the girls attention at the kindergarten - it is - like in any other area - about yourself and in what way you can express yourself through the art. The same is true of the painter, the poet, the pianist, the dancer. That's how I feel about my playing the piano, my photography, and my magic. Note that I'm not making my living with magic.

Sure, when you go commercial, you have to consider the audience. My question is to what extent this affect the art. If you look around on this board, then "commercial magicians" - buskers, for example, who may be the most commercialized of all - always state that it's all about entertainment, and they mean comedy and fun. The magic loses out, because what sells is comedy.

But aren't we denying our art here? To what extent does a pianist, a poet, a painter "commercialize" his art? I think - and this is my answer to the initial question - many magicians consider the audience not necessarily too much, but in the wrong way. If a painter does not paint for himself, but for an audience, he rents a gallery to exhibit his art, a poet has his work printed in a nice book, well, and a magician should make sure that his art can be received easily as well. But "considering the audience" should not mean that we change into comedians.

It's totally fair to do that if it pays the mortgage, but many professionals are no closer to being magicians than Victor Borge is to being a pianist.

Hm... I think Victor Borge is actually the perfect example.

-Christof
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Vandy Grift
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Quote:
On 2006-05-10 11:54, Christof wrote:
It's totally fair to do that if it pays the mortgage, but many professionals are no closer to being magicians than Victor Borge is to being a pianist.



I apologize if I missed the point here. Victor Borge WAS a pianist. A very good one. He was a child prodigy who studied at the Royal Danish Conservatory under some of the worlds greatest teachers and worked as a classical concert pianist. Yes, he gave up his classical career to do a comedy act. But to say that he wasn't a pianist is simply not true.

As far as art work that was not created for an audience. Look up Henry Darger. Until he died and his apartment was cleaned out, nobody had any idea what this guy was up too.
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LobowolfXXX
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It's widely speculated that J.D. Salinger has written a ton of stuff in the last 40 years or so, none of which the public has seen.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

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Whit Haydn
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That doesn't mean that Salinger wrote the work without wanting it to be eventually seen.

The point again, is that magicians are performance artists, not painters or sculpters.

As Maskelyne and Devant said, "We must find an audience for our work while we are still alive..."

Why can you not consider the spectators and be true to your vision and art?

Because you choose limits, like writing in the form of a sonnet or painting a frescoe on a multi-faceted ceiling, or making something accessible to the average person, doesn't mean you are selling out your artistic vision.

You are merely applying your artistic vision within the limits of the assignment.

Picasso may not have thought his ceramic cats were his most expressive and significant work, but he certainly applied all his knowledge and vision in the act of creating them.
Lee Darrow
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Whit Hayden posted:

Quote:
The Nazca Peru drawings of animals were huge, and two large for a human to comprehend. They were meant to be seen by the gods.


But they were meant to be SEEN by someone other than the mind of the artist, regardless. There was still a perceived audience - and that audience, when one considers the importance of religion to the indiges of the region during that period, makes those drawings play to the most important audience of all, it would seem.

Quote:
Russian religious icons are painted by the artist in an attempt to open a spiritual doorway to heaven. The saints looked out at the viewer as much as the viewer looked in to the saints.


Again, these icons were still meant to impress religious feelings and emotions to the viewer, the parishioners - a captive audience, if you will. But still an audience, nonetheless.

Quote:
Petroglyphs of the ancient ones were often actually magic incantations that summoned up the things depicted or described a vision that the shaman wanted to capture and remember himself.


Can we really say this for certain when we can't even say for certain what happened in a military engagement that happened last month, even when we have it on videotape? Couldn't those 'glyphs just as easily be an historical depiction of a successful hunt? Or a manual of how TO hunt? Either way, they still play to a probable audience, whether the spirit world or potential hunters, or real hunters, to remind them of past glories - sort of a prehistoric trophy cabinet.

While this may be picking nits, it still points to ths issue that art always addresses SOME audience, even if it is the artist only, or deity or the public-at-large, it always addresses SOME sort of audience, even if that audience is discorporeal (a perceived audience, which, arguably, to many people, is just as real as a physical one anyway).

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.H.
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<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
JackScratch
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I shall reword my thoughts. No artist who creates for any reason other than to touch an audience, has my respect as an artist, and I have little use for them. Though my suspicion is that, since they do not create for any audience, they are most not likely concerned that I have no use for them.
Dave V
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Thinking back on my guitar thing. There's an audience there too... Me. I play for an audience of one. My wife learned to dance for her "audience of one" and allowed the audience to watch her enjoyment of the dance. If she danced solely for them, and not herself it wouldn't have nearly as much impact.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
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