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christiancagigal
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Hey man,
Follow your dreams but realize that the "out-doing" style of magic has been a very steady way to climb the magic and fame ladder for quite a long time. So long that folks might be ready for something different in this new century. In the end what the hell does it matter if you or I or anybody are the "World's Greatest Illusionist". Any smart person knows it's an ILLUSION. It's a TRICK. It's a FAKE. Even at it's most dangerous, there's still a trick involved. So what are you really saying by the end of such stunts. "I'm the greatest FAKER of stunts in the world!!!!"

Yes that has worked for Blaine and Angel but let's face it. Neither of their TV ratings have or probably will ever top Copperfields TV ratings when he was at the height of his 80's TV career.

For over 100 years magic has been portrayed to the public as one demonstration after another of "who's got the biggest magic wand." Again I say what does it matter when everybody knows it's just a trick.

We must offer the world something deeper and different. Which forums like this one are all about. Something that goes beyond the illusion. I'm not saying that we shouldn't still blow people away with fantastic magic but then ask "Why?" this should matter to a new generation of audience members. Why should I be begging even demanding "Everyone look at me I'm better than anything you've seen." I truly believe deep down inside people are really sick of that approach. In every aspect of life and art.

Copperfieldian- due to your name I assume you know DC's work pretty well. If you remember the work that got him TV specials and acclaim at such a tender age was not the big stunts and Statues. It was the stories, the vignettes, his personality and his genuine level of accessablity. He truly was a performing artist and THAT my friend is what started his fame and fortune. That was the meat of his stage and TV shows. I'm not denying the the Statue and Great Wall didn't put him over but, he didn't really need it. (Yes I know that point can be arguable.)

Before this we have Doug Henning and just about everything I said about DC can and does easily apply to DH as well.

Anyway, you say you don't have a new idea. But, beware of some of the older ones people have already been saturated with. It maybe time to reinvent or reach even further back in time to help us reimagine a new art form that we all call magic.

-C
"Besides the known and the unknown, what else is there?"-Harold Pinter
www.christiancagigal.com
Mark Rough
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Copperfieldian,

Hmmm, about an hour ago I wrote a really great response. . . but it's not here now. Strange. Anyway it was inoffensive, so I'm not sure why it's gone. I suggested looking into older books from the 1920's-1950's and looking for things that have been out of the public eye for half a century or so. You don't have to be completely original in your effects, but you'd better be with your presentation. Uri Geller made a name for himself "perfoming" (hmmm, maybe this is why it's gone) a magic trick that no one thought was very magical until he did it. Now every mentalist around has his metal bending routine, usually complete with the constipated expression of effort, ninety nine percent of which leave me snoring.

There's a European cat out there (sorry, can't remember his name) doing some work with self levitations that is dynamite. Folks around here have bad mouthed him (not in the bizarre section, but other sections of the Café), but, he has his thing, he's presenting it in a different way, and he's getting a lot of public attention.

I've seen more than a few folks with "Copperfieldian" shows. They're completely forgettable. I've seen people do Blaine style stunts. Who, you ask? Well, that's kind of the point. They got ZERO attention. Also, I think you're wrong about Criss Angel outdoing Blaine. Angel first became known for his stage show which was unlike anything seen before in a venue no one had thought to exploit. I saw it and, despite what I think about his current activities, thought it was brilliant.

Look for a copy of "The Shiels Effect". It's been republished, and it isn't very expensive (sadly). Or, pm me you snail mail address, I have an extra copy I can send you. It's about exactly what I'm talking about.

Just for the record, Bill's right, it is somewhat irritating when folks come on here thinking they can take short cuts, taking other people's schticks and running with them. In the short run, it may work (for the public, it won't fly here for a minute), but in the long run, if you want to succeed in this field, you'd be better off doing something different.

Good luck!

Mark
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Mark Rough
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Quote:
On 2008-01-22 13:00, Copperfieldian wrote:

At this time I don't have an original idea that is capable of changing the world of magic. If I wait for that perfect time to launch my career, then it might be that the perfect time never comes. I'm going in as it is and I'll take care of the mess later.

Thank you for your understanding,

David


While I'm making recommendations. . . google the karma!
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Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2008-01-22 13:00, Copperfieldian wrote:


"It doesn't matter if you're the best - It matters if you're the first. But if you're not the first, then outdo the first and be the best."



This wisdom is only valid if is comes from someone that has used that path themselves to become the best in what they have done. And then the question is whether or not this blanket statement will apply to the specifics of your situation. And even if it does, you have to define exactly what "outdo" means in your situation.

If the goal is fame and fortune, it is best to study those that have achieved it before you. Take a look at all the names in magic (and by names I mean the performers who can sell tickets because of public recognition)you will find what they all have in common are a few factors:

They got good...then they got known.

They all developed a product that could be promoted and exploited by others. In general, it was something distinctive. And then they made contact with those that could help them along their path.

Be careful of looking at the success of Criss Angel and thinking that he has achieved what he has just by copying David Blaine. There is MUCH more to the story than that.

It is not enough to just have general understanding of the process they have gone through. You must know the intimate details of what got them to where they are.

It takes work. Just make sure that you are working smart as well as hard.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Well… I guess we can give Copperfieldian points
for having rubbed the greatest number
of professional performers the wrong way,
in the least amount of time,
on the Magic Café anyway… is that fame?
Or Infamy?

Walt
Todd Robbins
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I think what has irked the people here on the Café is a perception that Copperfieldian is looking of an easy way to the top.

Okay, this is very general, but it will hasten the time of the climb.

Be better looking than most people.

That will make you more "desirable". There is another more graphic term I want to use, but it would not be allowed on the Café. And that factor is what drives the entertainment industry.

And if you aren't better looking than most other people, then be funnier than most people.

All of the major names in magic (and all of show business) have at least one of these qualities.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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I agree and second with all that's been said above
(including my three turns at the wheel).

I’m not good looking enough,
not funny enough,
but I still make a good living.

Hmmm, thanks Todd,
guess I'll have to settle for a living
and not great fame.

Gee, magic is soooo unfair!

Oh, and to piggy-back,
a third thing I've found in successful people...
they tend to be generous, humble, and know their field well.

My two-cents
(all I can afford with my looks and humor)

Walt
Todd Robbins
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Walt,
Don't sell yourself short. You're dreamy!

Todd
Doug Higley
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Ok solution time. I was about to present this to Blain for his next Stunt. BUT I'll be glad to give you your shot at fame.

The Shrunken Head!

You will over a period of 36 minutes Shrink Your Head on your own shoulders.

Problem is, you can only do it once and you will bust Todd's rule and not be better looking than most people. But hey...
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Mark Rough
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Heh, heh, heh.

I thought for sure he'd take me up on the Shiels Effect offer. . . maybe he's just a troll.
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Mark Rough
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Well, I'll be darned. He did pm me. Maybe there's hope yet.

Mark
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Copperfieldian
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Dear magic friends,

All I can say is WOW. On one place of the earth you can be one of the most respected magicians there is and at the meantime, somewhere on an internet forum, you can be the most "irritating newbie".

I think before this discussion goes any further I should tell you a bit about myself.

My name is David. I am 18 years old.

I have been into magic for 8 - 9 years now. For the last 5 - 6 years I've had a magic teacher/mentor who has been doing magic for 50 + years. Alcar aka Peter Stammers is his name... maybe heard of him?

I first met with my magic teacher at the age of 13. For the first few meetings my magic teacher was testing me, without me being aware of it, to see if I was 'worth' to be taught the art of magic. He taught me a routine and told me to perform it for him the following week. I went home, practised the routine and completely changed the presentation. He was impressed - I passed. After that we would meet every week and he would give me free magic lessons. God bless him.

Soon things started to pick up. At the age of 14 I got accepted in a 18+ Magic Society. At the age of 16 I competed against all the professional magicians in the area (who were at least 10 years older than me) and I won the title as the best close-up magician of the year. All the competitions that I have won have been mainly because of the originality of my routines.

Soon I started performing at birthday parties and local restaurants.

Last year I had big plans after the competition. I was hoping that if I won the best close-up magician of the year award again, it would give me a great opportunity to get the attention of the media. I was going to use my age as a selling point. I would prepare a small press kit with pictures, a small bio and tell them that although I'm still underage; I have managed to competing against professional magicians and get first place, and not only that I also have some weird talents such as glass eating and spoon bending.

So... I started to put my routine together 6 months before the competition. This was so far the most original routine that I had created. It had everything that a first place routine should have. It had a great story line, it was original, it was funny and it had a few difficult sleight of hand moves.

The day of the competition came. I had all the press kits ready in envelopes to be mailed the next day. I did my act and everything went great. Once everyone had performed their routines it was kind of obvious who had the winning act.
But I was still worried. Mainly because of the voting system. How the voting system worked was that the magicians who were not going to compete in the competition, were given an anonymous voting paper and they had to give a mark from 1 – 10 to each performer.
My marks were: 10, 9, 3, 10, 10, 9, 8.

The winner had 60 points and I came second with 59 points.
Nobody really said anything about the 3 and, to my manners, I just stayed in my seat.
The next day I got a few phone calls from magicians who encouraged me and complimented me on my act. The voting system has changed for this year.
I was not devastated; I was just a little sad that all the work went for nothing - not just preparing for the competition but also all the work that went into preparing the press kits.
Well… the press kits went in the bin and life moved on…

A couple of months later I graduated from high school and I decided to take a year off to work on my magic.

Later on I was planning to study TV production so that I could use it for my magic. Since it was very hard to find information on how to become a producer or what to study, I decided to call local TV producers and interview them to get some advice about what to do. When I eventually managed to get an appointment for an interview, I also got the chance to tell the producer about my magic. He was very interested - especially when I told him that I even had written scripts for my own magic shows that I was hoping to do one day. We arranged another meeting where I showed him my scripts. We have a few plans for later on this year.

Meanwhile another producer found out about me and we shot a couple of Gospel Magic series for a Christian channel - which gave me great experience and knowledge about TV production.

I continued my search for producers. Later I found a movie director and I asked him if I could interview him too. I went on set for a couple of days while they were shooting for a major scene and I helped them around with the set and also he put me in as an extra for a couple of scenes. Pretty exciting for a kid who just graduated from high school. Now I even had some experience with movies. I am still involved with this project.

Several months ago a certain large entertainment organisation got interested in me and they offered to be my manager. We decided that before they become my manager we should work on a project together first - just to see how it will go. We decided on a publicity stunt. I was desperately searching for new ideas for stunts – but I only had a limited amount of time. My magic teacher backed out of it immediately, saying that he has no ideas and he thinks that stunts are boring. Even my “totally-on-the-other-side-of-the-world-but-always-supportive” friend James Randi said he has no special interest in stunts. (Now that I’m thinking, maybe I should have asked you guys for ideas too!)
So I offered the organisation to outdo something that has already been done. Opportunities like this come once in a life time – that is if they ever come – I wasn’t going to tell them “Wait until I have an idea that is capable of changing the world of magic”.
Defiantly; it may not be a world wide sensation but I know it will take me a step higher.
When working with large organisations a lot of things are confidential – so I can only tell you this much for now.


So really… weather the world is unfair or not or if everyone is for you or against you…
at the end… it’s who you are on the inside is what matters the most.

Thank you for your understanding,

David

----------------------------------

P.S. – I didn’t write this post to make you feel sorry for me or get a little sympathy or anything. It’s just to show that I have been working hard, I have been original, and hate to be called a newbie. ; )

P.S. S. – And also I would hate to bore people with my writing so I apologise if this one was a bit too long.
Jerome Finley
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Never heard of Peter Stammers . . . but then again I've never heard of a lot of people.

Out of curiosity, what Magic Society were you into? Best close up magician of the year is quite the honor and I would love to know which organization you belonged to that decided this.

Scores: 10's, 9's an 8 and a 3? That's rough.

You said, "It had everything that a first place routine should have. It had a great story line, it was original, it was funny and it had a few difficult sleight of hand moves."

I would beg to differ that a great story line and a few difficult sleights make for a great routine.


Is there available footage of you on a Christian channel? I love watching evangelist programs, I learn a lot from them.

I would not consider helping around the set one day and being an extra as "experience in movies", but that's just me.

You're a friend of James Randi eh?

I don't feel bad for you or the comments you have received. I only feel bad that you are not a bit older and a lot more original.

Take care,
J.
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Bill Ligon
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Quote:
On 2008-01-22 13:00, Copperfieldian wrote:




At this time I don't have an original idea that is capable of changing the world of magic. If I wait for that perfect time to launch my career, then it might be that the perfect time never comes. I'm going in as it is and I'll take care of the mess later.

Thank you for your understanding,

David


Then:
"So... I started to put my routine together 6 months before the competition. This was so far the most original routine that I had created. It had everything that a first place routine should have. It had a great story line, it was original, it was funny and it had a few difficult sleight of hand moves."

Copperfieldian, is it just me, or did you just contradict yourself in that last message?
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR>www.lulu.com/content/1399405 ORDER: http://stores.lulu.com/naljorpa
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Copperfieldian
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[quote]
Out of curiosity, what Magic Society were you into? Best close up magician of the year is quite the honor and I would love to know which organization you belonged to that decided this.

--> It's the Cyprus Magic Society. The award is "Best Close-up Magician in Cyprus of the Year 2006.

---------------------------
[quote]
Is there available footage of you on a Christian channel? I love watching evangelist programs, I learn a lot from them.

--> Yes there is available footage. Unfortunately I am not allowed to upload any of it on the internet.

---------------------------
[quote]
I would not consider helping around the set one day and being an extra as "experience in movies", but that's just me.

--> It was not just a day. To this day I am invloved with the project.

---------------------------
[quote]
You're a friend of James Randi eh?

--> Yes I am.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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David,

You were burned, you got a bit gun-shy,
maybe even a bit bitter about that.
Don't let it color the rest of your career.

I have mentored a few teen-age magicians, one from about 13 to 20,
who is now one of the most respected and popular card-guys in magic,
the other from about 17 to 24, we now work on professional projects together.
In other words I understand how teens think and react to life situations.

Now, this is my opinion, and it's going to be controversial here.
To me, there is the world of Magic Organizations and Contests.
Then another world totally of Working Magicians in the real world.

Not to say one is better than the other, they are just different.
The word Amateur means: "for the love of the art" basically.
The word Professional means: "earns one's living from the art".

What I'm trying to say, is that winning a contest, or even a few,
have very little weight or impact in the world of working-magic.
It's great to you did these competitions,
but don't confuse what they mean in the "magic world" with
what they mean (or don't mean) in the "real world".

I tend to agree with your mentor that "stunts" are not magic,
or very magical in nature, and (maybe a first) I agree with Randi on that too.
Think in terms of spectacularly magical magic, not death-defying stunts.

I also highly caution you with management and agent offers,
if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
There are a lot of great managers and agents out there,
but there are even more opportunistic dishonest ones, so be aware.

For now, at 18 or 19 don't look for fame,
look at paying-your-dues, and growing your craft into art.
You have a lifetime to be a success in magic or whatever,
don't rush into it.

And contests are not always fair, too many egos in magic too.
Work to get your optimism and enthusiasm back,
look to the Magic not to the disappointments.
Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hair?
Slow and steady wins the race.

Thanks for sharing some of your background,
re-read what we all wrote, there was wisdom there.
Now, get back on track and let's talk about Magic!

My thoughts,
Walt
egregor
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Why was this drivel posted in the Bizarre portion of the forum? Why has it not been moved to an appropriate area? Why are well respected Bizarrists giving this David Blaine wannabe their productive time? Why is someone working with evangelical television posting in a forum where the occult is the most popular topic?
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Mark Rough
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My Hensible Friend,

Because having it moved would necessitate allowing the Cthuloid mods in our little round-wooden-doored sanctum. . . so far we've been left in relative peace. But, heck, maybe this is just the first incursion from outsiders. Thankfully, there are always the yellow rooms. . . the true paradise.

Raven
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egregor
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Agreed, I just have a disdain for space invaders.
My mom says I'm reprehensible, I think I'm perfectly hensible.
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2008-01-23 20:27, egregor wrote:
Why is someone working with evangelical television posting in a forum where the occult is the most popular topic?


For some of us, there is nothing more bizarre than evangelical television.
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