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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » John Mendoza - My Best (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Review King
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Quote:
On 2006-08-27 00:54, iamslow wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-08-26 22:40, MagicChris wrote:
Did you see the cideo clips on L&L's site? The audience loves John!

I think that crowd loves everyone too much...


Not true. They will applaud, but you can tell when they get it into it.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Zap
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Does he still say "This is not a trick, it's not going to fool you..." over and over, like he did on his earlier tapes. I always thought that was a somewhat annoying declaration and could never understand why he kept saying that.
Markymark
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As regards presentation,there is a superb little story that he wrote for his 3 card monte.I'm sure it is on one of his tapes but I saw it in his book 'Close-up presentations'.The script is so believable and witty that it formed the basis for the tale Eugene Burger weaves around his monte routine.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
Review King
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John is a working pro. He know what works to win over an audience.

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Robert M
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I'm about halfway through watching these, and I must say that there is a wealth of great material on these DVDs.

Robert
alannasser
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Several posts have mentioned, in a somewhat disapproving manner, John Mendoza's presentation skills. I think this is because we tend to assume that The Professor's mandate to "Be natural" applies only to the way we execute our sleights/moves.But why not apply it also to a performer's personal style? When a performer is "on", we often get the sense that (s)he is *putting* on - that we are seeing the performer in something like a personality costume. I think that for a lot of spectators this can be a distraction. Some of the finest teachers and performers have performance quirks that we feel are not part of who they really are, and hence the performance is not experienced as a genuine personal interaction between the magi and his/her audience. -- On stage this can take the form of Las-Vegas-style cheeziness, a la (if I am allowed to say this) David Copperfield. But that's probably ok, as we don't expect stage magic to be especially personal. Not so with close up work. That's where personal style can bug you. I've heard and read complaints about Michael Close's "aggressive" style. And think of Harry Lorayne's in-your-face teaching style. Michael Ammar produces a signature dorky-like giggle at the conclusion of each of his effects. I wish he wouldn't do that, whereas Mendoza's "This is not a trick, it's not going to fool you" doesn't bother me a bit. Why? Well, Ammar's and Close's tics seem involuntary, whereas Mendoza has deliberately made a choice to have a signature line. Many performers do this, like Rodney Dangerfield's "I don't get no respect.."

Mendoza's style is entirely natural and relaxed. It's as if he's chatting at home with someone he's known a long time. He almost doesn't seem to be *performing*, and I think this is a choice he's made in order to make The Magic the focus of what he's doing. IMHO I think it's very revealing that some of us are so striken by the performance style of a magician who is, unlike what we are used to, not at all full of himself. Mendoza's relaxed warmth seems to go over very well with an audience: even the patented L&L audience's reaction to his magic is perceptively different from what we expect from Janelle and David and... they themselves are more relaxed and natural as a result of the atmosphere that Mendoza creates in the process of drawing them in as participants in what he is doing. And this is the first standing ovation I've seen from an L&L audience. I don't think that was in any way staged.

I found Mendoza's magical imagination stunning in the way he takes standards like the chop cup, cups and balls and coins across and makes of them something new, surprising and jaw-dropping. Even a simple, no-skill effect like his Female will knock your audience's socks off. Of course his legendary technical chops are in full play in most of these tricks, but they are properly and amazingly invisible. The instruction is patient, detailed and chock full of theoretical and presentational savvy that no magician could fail to benefit from. To my mind, this is first class magic from a performer who deserves a place in the pantheon along with Marlo and Vernon.

As I re-read this, it kind of feels like an ad. It's not. While I have purchased a few items from him, I don't know Mendoza personally. I have, though, learned more from him than from any other magician, and I've learned *a lot* from other magicians. You're gonna love these DVDs.

Best,
Alan
Sean Macfarlane
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Great post Alan, I couldn't agree more with your thoughts on performing. If they performer seems genuine to me then I can really enjoy their performance. I am looking forward to watching these dvd's myself and I won't let what others say about their performance style influence me. What would they know about what I like in style anyhow?

Paul Gertner is another one who others might criticize and he doesn't have a schtick, or a quirk. But I find him one of the most enjoyable performers to watch, right up there with David Williamson who is just plain zany. You couldn't get much more different in performance styles.

Sean
Tom G
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Great post Alan.. You'll enjoy them Sean.
Robert M
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I don't know about comparisons with Marlo and Vernon, but I'll say this. IMO, John Mendoza is like a modern day Frank Garcia. (And, I mean that in the most flattering sense.)

There are at least 20 card and coin tricks on these DVDs that stand out to me. "Ambitious 1-2-3-4-5", "Simple Collectors", "Routined Poker Mental", "Bendix Bombshell", "Automatic Deck", "Translocation (!)", "Ambitious Card", "Between Your Palms", "McDonald's Aces", just to name a few - all with that special Mendoza touch.

He's not an inventor like Marlo and Vernon - he's more of a routiner with an exceptional eye for what's good and what's not. Seeing these routines on high quality DVDs with John's explanations and insights is invaluable to me.

Robert
Lee Darrow
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Quote:
On 2006-08-27 02:53, Darrin Cook wrote:
I used to have a Live in Boston video or some such. Am I the only one on earth who thinks that John's presentations and performing persona are the equivalent of dentistry without anesthesia?


Nope. You are NOT alone at all.

Ask me about the time I took him to lunch at a Michigan Magic Day sometime. The time where, after buying lunch and being very respectful, he flatly refused to discuss ANYTHING about magic, at all, got up from the table and walked away, without so much as a "thank you for the meal," to either me or my business partner, the late Paul Huffaker.

And that was back in my early days as a pro - in other words, when money was a lot tighter than it is now (and it ain't particularly loose with gas prices still above $3/gallon here in Chicago right now, either!).

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
alannasser
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Thank you Sean and Tom. And Robert may be right about the comparison to Vernon and Marlo - if, that is, the line between an invention, which rarely comes *ex nihilo*, and a remarkable transformation of an existing routine can be easily drawn. I wouldn't want to argue about it though. I do want to second Robert's identification of the high points of these DVDs. Mendoza claims that Translocation is the best coin trick there is - quite a generalization - but after you see it and the ingenious method, you just may agree. As they say, this effect "is worth the price of the whole set." I'd add Have You Ever Heard Of to the list, the perfect high-impact effect for magicians insufficiently confident of their chops re more advanced sleights.

One question for Robert or anyone else who has viewed the set: Where is Ambitious Card? It's listed in the back cover of the box (vol. 3), but it seems to be missing from the DVD itself.

Best regards,
Alan
Robert M
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PM'ed you. It's not listed in the menu but it's on the DVD.

Robert
kammagic
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I've been waiting for these for twenty years. John was one of my first lectures I went to. I still do "The Squeeze", John's dice stacking routine and Automatic Deck. Hate to see him release Automatic Deck it is really unique. Here is my version of John's Automatic Deck on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOXOcuv0ZI
Robert M
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I've always liked this trick, too.

kammagic: That was really... really good.

Robert
in flames
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Very nice kammagic. Thanks for sharing that. BTW nice touch at the end lol.
kammagic
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Thanks guys! Glad you liked it. I have about 40 videos on MVD(Magic Video Depot) you can check out "The Squeeze" and My dice routine which is based on John's routine. On the dice routine I messed up and wasn't ready to switch out the one die so I went off camera but other then that I think you'll like the ending I use.
http://www.magicvideodepot.com/view.php?......rand=179
Darrin Cook
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Thanks, Lee. For a moment I was starting to feel like the only guy on the third floor of the asylum who thinks he isn't Jesus.

I know my mentor had some very negative reactions to some big-name magic stars that I couldn't understand. In time I saw that he was reacting to the type of persons they were, and in the long run, being a decent person means a hell of a lot more than having a good pass.

On the other hand, I remember when my mentor and I treated Cellini and his wife to dinner. What a class act they were, and what a memorable experience.
kammagic
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On 2006-09-03 16:19, Robert M wrote:
I don't know about comparisons with Marlo and Vernon, but I'll say this. IMO, John Mendoza is like a modern day Frank Garcia. (And, I mean that in the most flattering sense.)

There are at least 20 card and coin tricks on these DVDs that stand out to me. "Ambitious 1-2-3-4-5", "Simple Collectors", "Routined Poker Mental", "Bendix Bombshell", "Automatic Deck", "Translocation (!)", "Ambitious Card", "Between Your Palms", "McDonald's Aces", just to name a few - all with that special Mendoza touch.

He's not an inventor like Marlo and Vernon - he's more of a routiner with an exceptional eye for what's good and what's not. Seeing these routines on high quality DVDs with John's explanations and insights is invaluable to me.

Robert


A modern day Garcia. that's a great comparison. I love John's style and I have always loved Garcia. They just seem like normal Joes who can do amazing things. Brian Gillis is another performer that I love to watch. All these guys are simple and direct which makes them so likable. Nothing I hate worse then having to sit through some magicians patter about the powers of his magic talisman or how when he was a little boy he met a man who showed him the secret of teleportation. What a bunch of crap just change the card for God's sake!

John Mendoza's Magic is simple direct and very strong with no fillers. A beautiful thing.

, Jonathan
Review King
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On 2006-09-05 16:55, kammagic wrote:
I've been waiting for these for twenty years. John was one of my first lectures I went to. I still do "The Squeeze", John's dice stacking routine and Automatic Deck. Hate to see him release Automatic Deck it is really unique. Here is my version of John's Automatic Deck on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOXOcuv0ZI


Jonathan, very cool!!!! WOW!!!

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Ustaad
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Quote:
On 2006-09-05 16:55, kammagic wrote:
Here is my version of John's Automatic Deck on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDOXOcuv0ZI


Toooo. . . good! Great!! Keep up the good work.

Smile
MAGIC is a SECRET, without the SECRET, there is no MAGIC.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.
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