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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » TA: True Astonishment by Paul Harris: Box Set: 9 DVDs + Props (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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FZandura
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Quote:
On 2009-04-11 12:35, Robert M wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-04-10 21:12, bugjack wrote:
I didn't -- been meaning to pick it up. How did they rate it?


It's probably best to pick up a copy of the April, 2009 MAGIC magazine and read the whole review. Brad Henderson gave it a lukewarm endorsement, but Jon Lovick's part of the review was more favorable.



Robert


I was a little surprised by Brad's review. True, had he had some valid points regardinf the production. approach and perhaps target audience which this set might best cater to, but overall I was disappointed by the 'lukewarm' tone which was held throughout. I am far from saying that all things PH must be praised without question, but in my opinion, True Astonishments did truely set the bar for which future DVD collections will/should be judged. TA is not perfect, and nothing now or in the future ever will be. I count on such reviews in Magic, Genii, etc. to educate me on the quality and 'worthwhileness' of the ever increseing and cluttered magic offerings that spring up all around each month. This review simply failed to recognize the significance of TA for what does represent to the magic community today.
F. Zandura
bugjack
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On 2009-04-10 20:58, Robert M wrote:
Anyone see the review of the True Astonishment DVD set in MAGIC magazine?

Robert


I thought it was a fair review in that Brad and John clearly stated their point of views and biases up front and gave you context by which to consider their comments. Frankly, I'd rather read a review in which the reviewer's position is made clear than one in which the reviewer just rehashes the hype or simply lists and describes the effects (which is what Dustin Stinnet did in his "Genii" online review).

Given all the hype that has surrounded this release, I thought it was bold of them to pretty much say the disks are for hobbyist amateurs and aren't as relevant to working professionals. (A reviewer named Morgician over at T11 has been reviewing the disks one by one and has given it a similar assessment with much the same criteria.) I think Brad has valid points with regards to some of the handlings and what he calls the "tacked-on" nature of some of the material. (I don't agree with some of his other criticisms. Personally, I liked the edited-together performances, had no problem with the spec eye candy, and while I accept that bad reactions aren't going to be included in any magic DVD, I do think that many of the reactions here are more sincere and authentic that he allows for. And I liked the simplicity of the visual teaching.)

All of that being said, though, I do think they somewhat lost the forest for the trees. Although Brad early on mentions that some of Paul's creations approach the realm of art, I think the overall thrust of the whole set -- its arguing for a "softer" kind of magic that is more intertwined with the emotions and inner lives of the spectators -- isn't really considered or debated. I also think they fall into the "value trap" -- discussing the set's value by comparing it to the number of effects you get versus how many you got in the AOA books or how few you get in a single-trick DVD. That's the wrong criteria. I see TA both as specific to the DVD medium and as Paul's final statement on where a lifetime of thinking about magic has left him. In making that statement the set sometimes contradicts itself or shoots itself in the foot. Still, the overall effect of watching all the tricks, the interviews and the performances (the quality and style of which Brad and John don't really address) is stimulating and thought provoking on multiple levels. It's a challenge to the style of magic embraced by the "working pro," and while I think one can argue the other point of view (which Morgician has done pretty well at T11), John and Brad don't embrace the full scope of the debate. Still, given what I'm sure was a fixed word count, they do present a solid take that I'm sure will be helpful to some people.

Two other things. John lists a number of effects that he thinks are really good, and, as we've seen here, where no one can agree on the best and worst, I probably disagree with more than half of his picks. And, finally, both of them say that TA has raised the bar for the future of magic releases. I actually think it represents a swan song to physical media. I doubt very seriously we'll see any kind of release like this one in the future. There are few other people in the magic community who have created the pent-up demand for a project of this scope or who are ambitious enough to attempt it.
Acecardician
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All I do for a living is perform. Full time since 1986.

I found enough material in this set to do a whole close up set if I wanted.
I am not doing it yet, as when I get a paid gig I do what I'm comfortable with and I know will knock them dead. The overall view of this set, and I have said it before, gave me a new outlook. And it is shown in my performances. That alone is worth it.
I do add one new effect from time to time into my magic 'performances'.
My performances, and I've mentioned this before, have no tables, and I walk up to a small group of 3-5 people standing with drinks or food in their hands. All my props are on me. I repeat my sets all night over a 2-4 hour time frame depending on how big the group is.
These are mostly corporate gigs. And there is usually music playing. Depending on the mood of the people, I might do one effect and move on, 3 effects I have routined together, or 10 minutes or more of magic. Once I've established a rapport, and if they are really interested, then I can perform a "presentational" piece form the set.
But then several of the effects from the set can be openers to establish that rapport.(I just already have my own openers at this time, but I am always subject to change, after all I am the boss!)
My point is:
There IS material in this set that someone who works can put in their shows.

Here is a sample of strong effects that I know can work into my routines(and remember I don't use tables): Son of Stunner, Twilight Angels, Muscle Bend, Growing Card, Pack of Lies, Truly Screwed, Tensegrity, Ripped and Fryed, Lubors Lens, Naked Strange SS2, Bizarre Twist, Immaculate Connection. Taking the time to learn them, also Cheng's Riser and Cheng's Change.
This is not a complete list. This is just my first impression of things I know would work for ME. If I watch the set again, I could probably come up with more.
This alone is plenty enough material to last me years.
It is educational just watching this set. Almost better than a magic convention. I rarely learn new things at a convention. Most lectures are like dealer shows or re-hash of very old magic. Sometimes one or two performers stand out, but then I've seen them before! So off to the dealers room is where I usually end up.( It might be that I can't sit still for too long anyway!)
This set, if you take 2 or 3 days to watch it, can be like a total close up magic convention. And you have it all on discs so you can look up things you forgot. And the props are included! If you do close up or want to do close up, this is well worth it for the "working pro". If you are looking for new material, this is the way to go.
And I'm lucky enough that this is also my hobby, so from that point of view, as a hobbyist, I imagine myself performing all the effects like Bro, although I know I never will at work.( And I am not him. I do things a little differently to suit my style. Notice I said I Imagine, and I'm also imagining I'm with some of his spectators!) It's fun to have a couple of his presentational effects in your arsenal for that party you are invited to not as a worker, but for friends.

I worked all the home Hornets Basketball games this season. I talked my way into free VIP parking, and every game when I pull up, all the arena parking lot attendants have a quick pace to come up to my car to see what effect I will do for them. And the first few times I was doing stuff from the set. Standing in the middle of an outdoor parking lot at the Arena! Fun stuff! The VIP parking alone for 40 games paid for the set! And I booked 2 birthdays from the attendants!

Such is a part of my life in my magical journey, and I am happy I got this set, it kind of gave me a re-newed interest!

ACE Smile

Quote:
On 2009-04-14 00:49, bugjack wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-04-10 20:58, Robert M wrote:
Anyone see the review of the True Astonishment DVD set in MAGIC magazine?

Robert


I thought it was a fair review in that Brad and John clearly stated their point of views and biases up front and gave you context by which to consider their comments.

Given all the hype that has surrounded this release, I thought it was bold of them to pretty much say the disks are for hobbyist amateurs and aren't as relevant to working professionals. (A reviewer named Morgician over at T11 has been reviewing the disks one by one and has given it a similar assessment with much the same criteria.)

End quote.

Well, I say the ones that say these are not for the working pro, must not be working pro's! I make my entire living doing magical entertainment, and I listed in my last post many things I can use, and I have tighter restrictions than most woking magicians. That makes me think they don't know what they are talking about.
So as a full time worker, I probably will not listen to anything they say about anything else. lol.

ACE Smile
Robert M
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Bugjack makes some excellent points. The review did not even touch on the main "thrust" of the set, which is creating memorable moments of astonishment that touch the audience on a very personal level. And, I agree that the discussion over "value" was irrelevant.

I also agree with Ace, and take exception to the notion that the TA set is mainly for beginners or hobbyists. That's just not true. It reminds me of when Jeff Busby called Paul Harris magic "bubblegum magic".

I can see how the TA material may not suit some working pros. And, although it pains me to say it, I thought that a few of the items on TA seemed unfinished or under-developed. But, having said that, I don't think I'll ever see another magic project quite as wonderful as this one is.

Robert
acchessor
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I'm looking for a computer with high-speed internet for the chat on Sunday. Anyone know any good places to find one?
Acecardician
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Quote:
On 2009-04-16 21:53, acchessor wrote:
I'm looking for a computer with high-speed internet for the chat on Sunday. Anyone know any good places to find one?


Walmart has some on sale this week. Or try Bestbuy, they gave me a 10% off card.


ACE Smile
acchessor
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I'm not looking for a new computer, but one that has high-speed internet (I have dial-up) that I can find somewhere, like a library (don't have sound) or something. Hopefully I find one.
bugjack
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Why are you posting here on the Café? Look around your neighborhood...
Tim Trono
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I am working with USPCC and will be submitting the run of the full deck Twilight Angel Cards early next week. Thus these are most likely about 4-6 weeks off barring any issues. I believe Paul is looking to retail these at about $20/deck. It will be all of the cards in a normal deck and 2 double backers. We could not do some of the other cards people suggested unfortunately. That's the update. Thanks.

Tim
Acecardician
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Quote:
On 2009-04-17 14:03, acchessor wrote:
I'm not looking for a new computer, but one that has high-speed internet (I have dial-up) that I can find somewhere, like a library (don't have sound) or something. Hopefully I find one.


I kind of figured that, I was just joking about Walmart.

It's kind of late, but you could call your local Hi speed internet company and see if they have same day week-end hook up. Should have planned ahead.

Start knocking on doors in your neighborhood and tell them you are a magician and do tricks for them and maybe they will let you use their computer.lol.

Here we have Internet Café's. Coffe Houses with computers. Check that out. I have never been, but maybe that would work. If they don't have sound, maybe you could bring head phones and see if they would let you hook them up. I'm guessing here. I don't even know if that is possible.
I was born 50 years ago and have no idea about all this new computer stuff, lol.

Good Luck,
ACE
acesover
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Quote:
On 2009-04-17 16:09, Tim Trono wrote:
I am working with USPCC and will be submitting the run of the full deck Twilight Angel Cards early next week. Thus these are most likely about 4-6 weeks off barring any issues. I believe Paul is looking to retail these at about $20/deck. It will be all of the cards in a normal deck and 2 double backers. We could not do some of the other cards people suggested unfortunately. That's the update. Thanks.

Tim


Great news. Keep us updated. Post here as soon as they are ready. Now where is my credit card I am sure there is room for two decks....
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
Acecardician
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Quote:
On 2009-04-17 16:09, Tim Trono wrote:
I am working with USPCC and will be submitting the run of the full deck Twilight Angel Cards early next week. Thus these are most likely about 4-6 weeks off barring any issues. I believe Paul is looking to retail these at about $20/deck. It will be all of the cards in a normal deck and 2 double backers. We could not do some of the other cards people suggested unfortunately. That's the update. Thanks.

Tim


Yes, Great news. Thanks for listening to us. I know you probably had to plow though a lot of bs to get to this, and I really appreciate it.
Put me down for 3 decks.
If you can post the link to get them when they are ready that will be great!

ACE Smile
Tim Trono
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They will be available from your favorite dealer as soon as we get them from USPCC. It will also make the per card cost significantly better for those having the card signed and giving it away (I personally think this is a must - giving the spectator an impossible object). I'll keep everyone updated. Glad you are enjoying TA.

Tim
Rpascual
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Guys this thread has had 59,885 views and over 40 pages I know a little off topic but amazing!
acesover
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I believe 24,231 views are mine......
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
poire
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Anyone in a position to direct me to the mysterious cookies on this set? I've found the "obvious" ones...still another 20 or so to go, 6 weeks on. Help!
Medortho
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Quote:
On 2009-04-20 12:43, poire wrote:
Anyone in a position to direct me to the mysterious cookies on this set? I've found the "obvious" ones...still another 20 or so to go, 6 weeks on. Help!


Sure thing. Smile
just google 'True Astonishments Easter Eggs' and you'll find a full list on the Theory11-Forums.


HEADS-UP: Do ONLY search for this list if you really want to know where to find each and every secret cookie of the True Astonisments DVD-set! This is also the reason I won't link directly to it - Finding the Secret Cookies on your own while watching the DVD-set can be great fun added to just watching it and as you always know how many there are to find you can avoid to miss anything. (theres always a certain number of "Secret Cookies" written in the index.) Though if you already watched the whole DVD-Set and searched all along, or if you're just that type of person who doesn't like Secret-Cookie-Games Smile go ahead.
Robert M
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Anyone here listen to the live chat with Paul yesterday? Really great. He talked for almost an hour and a half. And, he answered the following questions:

What three tricks would you do at an informal social gathering?

Answer: I would probably perform just one thing - Twilight Angels.

What are your favorite tricks on TA?

Answer: All of the tricks on TA are there for one reason or another, but I especially like Twilight Angels, The Big Tiny, Water Trap, Dr. Fun, and Angel Cake.

Robert
Acecardician
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Quote:
On 2009-04-20 15:03, Robert M wrote:
Anyone here listen to the live chat with Paul yesterday? Really great. He talked for almost an hour and a half. And, he answered the following questions:

What three tricks would you do at an informal social gathering?

Answer: I would probably perform just one thing - Twilight Angels.

What are your favorite tricks on TA?

Answer: All of the tricks on TA are there for one reason or another, but I especially like Twilight Angels, The Big Tiny, Water Trap, Dr. Fun, and Angel Cake.

Robert


I got to listen to the first 1/2 hour and then had to leave for a gig.
I know in the past I made a big fuss about Twilight Angels, along with others, and now you see why! It is the ONE trick Paul would perform at an informal social gathering!!! And I figured out it was that good all by my little self, lol.
Paul just independently confirmed it for my little mind. Smile

ACE Smile

Posted: Apr 20, 2009 3:32pm
I already talked about the Arena Parking lot: I do informal magic for the attendants so I can park up close and free.( I had a weekly gig at the Arena.)
I did Twilight Angels for one of the security ladies, about 5 attendants were standing around. Two Weeks later my main man there said the lady was still carrying around the card and was still amazed. He said HE was more amazed later after he examined it than during the effect.(Thinking back, he was only partially watching the effect, as he was is a supervisor and was keeping an eye on everything). Another good resaon to let them keep the card. The astonishment stays with them for a long time. And they share their moment with others!

My main man said he can't wait for his kids, friends, and relatives to see some of my magic when I do his party this summer! He loves to watch his friends, in his words, "freak out"(have a moment of astonishment!).

ACE
acchessor
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I think with Twilight Angels the main reaction comes after they examine it. For example, on the performance on the set the reaction comes after she looks at the card closely, and when I performed it, the same thing happened.
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