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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » How good is David Blaine? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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Well to put it further off base, I bet Ricky Jay HAS.
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BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On 2006-12-25 12:42, Cain wrote:
Aside from the fact David Blaine is a cultural icon, the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).


If this proves ANYTHING it's that Blaine is a better business man than Vernon, Marlo, Green, etc. It does not prove anything about his magic or his qualities as a magician. This is one industry in which those who are best at their job (magician) are not necessarily the ones who make the most money.
munkywrench
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Read the biography of Vernon. It states many times that Vernon didn't really want to make money at magic. He wanted to paint portraits. He didn't see himself as being this super power. Comparing Blaine to Vernon is like comparing PS3 to Atari. Both are awsome but the times change and how we view these things change also. The mass market didn't get a good taste of Vernon's magic until later on in his life. The only type of promotion one got was through shows and literature. He didn't have the advantage of being on T.v. and DVD. Blaine wasn't the first to give up money to support charity. Vernon gave half of his earings to the war effort. Vernon also knew how to work the angles...many of his clients were judges and part of the aristocratic in crowd. To say that low earning magicians opinions mean nothing really shows how much you care about our art. To grow in anything you have to accept negative reviews with positive. I am pretty sure Blaine has some sense of not needing the money. He sessioned with Paul Harris, a man who lost everything and who stays under the radar. Are you going to say that Mr. Harris's opinion means nothing. He surely isn't at the top of Forbes richest magicians in the world. His opinion would have more sway than any tv magician who makes tons of green. If you honestly try to put a price on the art of magic you should really pack up your close up pad, put away your cards and coins; becuase you have totaly missed the boat.
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MagicMan001
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Quote:
On 2006-12-25 15:27, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-12-25 12:42, Cain wrote:
. . . the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).

It proves nothing of the sort. Did Vernon, Marlo, Miller try to earn the money that Blaine's earned? Have Ricky Jay and Lennart Green? Did any of them have his opportunities?

Your analysis is way off-base here.


Thank you. You said exactly what I was about to say, I said nothing about him being better than anyone else. All I said is, Don't hate on him, respect him and if the people who critisize him think they're so good and much better than him, then why don't you go and prove you can be just as successfull. Don't talk about it, DO IT! I've seen many guys in bars or restaurants asked the question "Are you as good as david blaine?" and when you hear a response like "Oh, I blow him out of the water, he's nothing compared to ME" then it is apparent the guy is ego pushed and has no business in this field and he's in it for the wrong reasons, Sorry, but I'm very blunt, Sue me.
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Having seen DB when I was a layman, I have to say that he is the one that got me back into magic. After seeing his first special I was impressed with his tricks. Only after I had gotten more into magic did I realize that the tricks he was doing where standard. That being said I do respect the man for his magic. I don't really care for his stunts though.

His on screen persona as someone that magic just happens to him is what set him apart from others at the time. He was doing magic for people on the streets. He took magic out of the theater and into the streets. He made it popular to do magic in the streets.
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daniel1113
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In terms of skill and technique, Blaine is nothing special. However, in terms of presentation, he is fantastic. I believe this is why laymen tend to love him, and magicians tend to dislike him.
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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-25 18:18, daniel1113 wrote:
In terms of skill and technique, Blaine is nothing special. However, in terms of presentation, he is fantastic. I believe this is why laymen tend to love him, and magicians tend to dislike him.


So laymen tend to love him huh?
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evolve629
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I think David Blaine is a great magician that brings street magic to the pubic and attention of our mainstream with his stunts and feats of endurance. However, to understand David Blaine, I think his upbringing has had a great impact on his motivation to his magic. For instance, when he led 100 children selected by The Salvation Army on a shopping spree at Target. Each child received a $500 gift certificate from the retailer. Blaine said the stunt was particularly important since The Salvation Army had provided him with clothing while he was growing up. According to Blaine, "This challenge is close to my heart."

David Blaine also reportedly has the concentration camp number, 174517, of Primo Levi tattooed on his left forearm. I think this is significant.
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Dannydoyle
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Significant of what exactly?
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stoneunhinged
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I have two comments.

1) Those who have taken off on Cain's comments need to learn how to read more carefully. His comment was dripping--no, soaking--with sarcasm, and yet at least two people chose to criticize him. People: read carefully before reacting with ire.

2) I am in an unusual situation, having seen none of Blaine's TV shows. I was in the States in November for Thanksgiving, and he showed up on one of the morning shows (please don't ask me which channel, and please don't ask me which day: I don't remember).

The hosts ask for a trick, and he pulls out a deck of cards and does a short routine. 99% of the people in this forum would know how he did the entire routine.

His attitude (remember, I HAD NEVER SEEN DAVID BLAINE IN ACTION BEFORE)was very, and I mean VERY, nanchalant, as if nothing was happening, and as if it wasn't even interesting. He just did it, and the hosts freaked like they had seen a miracle.

Again, I have never seen David Blaine outside of this one performance. But on the basis on this one performance, I am seriously mystified as to his appeal. It was low-key and untheatrical. It had nothing I would consider "art" in it.

I repeat, I have only seen this one thing. So what do I know?

Except for: you people don't know how to read, or you wouldn't be jumping on Cain's comment. Seriously.

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I can't understand the way of magicaman's 001 way of thinking. If Im not famous and "succesfull" like DBlaine I can't critisize him? Iam not even a professional, I don't want to make my living from magic, for me its a hobby that I love and I study really seriously many years. I have studied fine arts, and I make my living from my exhibitions. I don't want to make money from magic and I don't want to see it as a job. I perform whenever I really want, to the people I really want.
Can I critisize David Blaine now?
For me everyone who REALLY knows about magic in depth , who understands the structure of a good act, the "art" part of a magic performance , and the uniqueness of a magic persona, knows if DBlaine is really good..Comparing to how well known he is...
Now if you judge him from his commercial success, then we talk in completely different way.
From the laymen who knows Tommy Wonder? who knows David stone? Lance Burton? Guy Holingworth? Juan Tamariz?
They are far away better magicians from him without his commercial success. And Im sure great magicians like Tommy Wonder and others , they prefere to keep their magic in high level from beeing famous using whatever "magic" and methods..
ChristopherM
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Juliano, Lance Burton is very well known in North America, as far as I'm aware - he hosted a Mindfreak episode. Juan Tamariz is a LEGEND in the Spanish-speaking world. So the above list of 'names laymen are not familar with' I disagree with.

Stoneunhinged - 99% of people would know how he did the routine - so what? The readers here are meant to all be magicians, so what's the big deal? If he did the ACR, it would be a similar statistic, but it's superb magic.

As to his nonchalant attitude, see what you said yourself - "He just did it, and the hosts freaked like they had seen a miracle." Wouldn't you like such a reaction? And here, freaking out over just the 'simplest' of routines - what was this 'common' routine, out of interest? Playing it a little understated works - it's the antidote to overhyping, and dismisses the approach of wanting to 'kill' the audience; the result is, the audience love it, and play it up even more by themselves, without the need to be coaxed. He may have appeared as if the magic was not interesting, but he was not acting as if he was DISinterested. There's a very big difference, don't you think?

"Low-key" - How much do you want to squeeze from a quick card trick?
"Untheatrical" - his style is to cut the theatrics. The audience freaked, isn't that what it's all about?
"Not artistic" - open to interpretation, but some people would say it's a simple, mysterious style which is effective and intriguing. He somehow has magnetism, with a sense of intensity and the oddly subdued tone of voice.
majik
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He is good enough to get his own t.v. specials. Now translate that into the music world and decide for yourself. For me, it proves you don't have to be the best to reach the top.
JSBLOOM
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I am sure you have heard it always isn't what you say, it is how you say it, right?
So if you a pointing a finger at him stating he is no better than you, you have 4 fingers pointing back at yourself.
Everyone one has their own style. Some magicians are hilaroius to watch. The magic can make your jaws drop and it also hurts because you are laughing so loud.
For example, Michael Finney. IMHO he takes some ordinary tricks and his presentation makes them so entertaining to watch.
I am sure most of us can do the efects he does, but can we perform them as well.
Although technique is important. Lay do not know you are going to do a DL.
Getting back to Blaine, it is his style that has worked for him.
Thank G-d, not all magicians are seroius all the time.
Just my 2 cents....
Is he the best? probably not, but if Amercia thinks he is the best... guess what?
Out from here!
Dannydoyle
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See here is the point. I HAVE NEVER SAID I WAS BETTER.


I simply base my judgements on HIS PERFORMANCE. To compare it to mine, well is pointless. He stands on his own, for better or worse. To state that only those who are on TV can critisise him is idiotic.
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Vogler
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"Juliano, Lance Burton is very well known in North America, as far as I'm aware - he hosted a Mindfreak episode. Juan Tamariz is a LEGEND in the Spanish-speaking world. So the above list of 'names laymen are not familar with' I disagree with."

Yes ChristopherM, but david blaine is well known internationally, not only in some countries. But those magicians unforunately not!
I understand laymen saying to me "I saw DB and he did that and it was unbelievable!".But when magicians admire him , this is just like a joke.
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2006-12-27 12:41, JSBLOOM wrote:
I am sure you have heard it always isn't what you say, it is how you say it, right?
So if you a pointing a finger at him stating he is no better than you, you have 4 fingers pointing back at yourself.
Everyone one has their own style. Some magicians are hilaroius to watch. The magic can make your jaws drop and it also hurts because you are laughing so loud.
For example, Michael Finney. IMHO he takes some ordinary tricks and his presentation makes them so entertaining to watch.
I am sure most of us can do the efects he does, but can we perform them as well.
Although technique is important. Lay do not know you are going to do a DL.
Getting back to Blaine, it is his style that has worked for him.
Thank G-d, not all magicians are seroius all the time.
Just my 2 cents....
Is he the best? probably not, but if Amercia thinks he is the best... guess what?
Out from here!



Actually, he's a lot better than me. He's just not a lot better than a lot of lesser known magicians who have much more serious chops than David Blaine, but not the marketing skill to get a special.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Alex Linian
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Or the showmanship skills.
Dannydoyle
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On 2006-12-27 23:40, Alex Linian wrote:
Or the showmanship skills.


Completly wrong.

Blaine has many skills, showmanship is not among his best.

He has accomplished much, and again I give the devil his due. BUT to worship him as such is just silly.
Danny Doyle
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Alex Linian
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Quote:
On 2006-12-27 23:46, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-12-27 23:40, Alex Linian wrote:
Or the showmanship skills.


Completly wrong.

Blaine has many skills, showmanship is not among his best.

He has accomplished much, and again I give the devil his due. BUT to worship him as such is just silly.


Then how do you think he get the reactions he gets? I can tell you for fact that he does not need a camera to get such a response. And why is the world fascinated with him?

I don't worship what he's done but I do appreciate it.
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