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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Magicians need to be more self aware. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TRENT
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I'm not talking about awareness of your angles, or awareness of your routines having more audience participation. I'm talking about aware of yourself and how you come across to the audience.

Now, to use the word cool is really not the right way of puting it. But bluntly put, I'm surprised at how many magicians are so far from being described with that word that to me it's appalling.

Many magicians wonder why David Blaine is so famous and they are not. Most likely the real answer is, he's cool and you are in fact not. But let's go into more detail on this. Instead of using cool let's just substitute that with the term: engaging audience interaction (not a very cool term). Blaine has this in spades.

He can relate to the MTV generation of fans in ways that many magicians can only dream of. I'd love to see some of you guys actually try and go hang out in Compton California and try and show 2 card monte to a bunch of thugs. The real magic trick would be if you didn't get your butt whipped.

Blaine has a form of real world interaction that most magicians are not capable of reproducing in any way, shape, or form.
Enough about Blaine however, this is not a post to glorify him, just one to prove a point.

I felt inspired to write this after seeing far too many ridiculous displays of
"Showmanship". Far to much robotic regurgitation of patter. And far, far to many pitiful attempts by nerdy magicians trying to fool people into thinking they are cool. Trust me you are not fooling anybody but yourself, so cut it out.

The strange thing however is that the beginners are not really the ones I'm speaking of here. I'm talking mostly about the big time pro's. Too many pro's present themselves with the same presentation that a Jacuzzi salesman or the Avon lady uses. In other words, people laugh at you when you are out of earshot (or sometimes within earshot).

Just a word of advice for those just starting out in magic. Take about 90% of the presentation that most pro's use and throw it out of the window, because it stinks. Do not try and imitate their style, because they themselves should not even be imitating their own style.

Read books about speaking in public, and analyze real actors, not nerdy magicians trying to act like they weren't picked on in high school.

Also video tape yourself and your performance exactly as you would do it in the real world. If you watch the video and you feel embarassed watching your performance, then that means you SHOULD NOT perform it that way in the real world, because then your audience will feel embarassed FOR YOU. The feeling the audience gets when they see a cheezy magician is no different than the feeling you would get trying to listen to a boy going through puberty try and sing the Star Spangled Banner (just imagine that for a moment). If anyone feels offended by this post, than you are guilty. FIX IT!!
Peter Marucci
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Trent writes: "Blaine has a form of real world interaction that most magicians are not capable of reproducing in any way, shape, or form."

Unless you've seen "most" of the magicians in the world (which I doubt), your statement is nonsensical.
TRENT
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Oh, and another word of advice for the new guys out there. If you decide to get promo pictures taken of yourself, make sure that in your pictures you do not look like the photographer pointed a 45 at you and said: "LOOK INSANELY HAPPY OR I'LL SHOOT YOU!!" Also try and avoid looking like you've just finished screaming the phrases: "TA-DAH!!!, or VOILA!!! or even HOT-CHA-CHA!!! This will almost make you look silly.
zeroG
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Thanks Fonzie!
Jonatan B
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Be yourself, be natural.
If you are not a funny guy, then DO NOT perform magic in a funny way.

Search after your personality and you will find your own magic style.
Jonatan Bank
Stanyon
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Quote:
On 2003-05-13 17:38, TRENT wrote:
Many magicians wonder why David Blaine is so famous and they are not. Most likely the real answer is, he's cool and you are in fact not. But let's go into more detail on this. Instead of using cool lets just substitute that with the term: engaging audience interaction (not a very cool term).Blaine has this in spades.


PUH-LEEZ!! If not for Paul Harris and the other collaborators that Blaine sought out, I doubt that he would have any "cool" at all. Who heard of David Blaine before the spin campaign prior to his first, and it wasn't so, special?

Quote:
He can relate to the MTV generation of fans in ways that many magicians can only dream of.


Paul Harris was relating to the "MTV generations" long before any of the current crop even heard of David Blaine.

Quote:
I'd love to see some of you guys actually try and go hang out in Compton California and try and show 2 card monte to a bunch of thugs. The real magic trick would be if you didn't get your butt whipped.


Wouldn't have been my audience or location choice. The production company probably thought that it would be a good a choice.

Quote:

Blaine has a form of real world interaction that most magicians are not capable of reproducing in any way, shape, or form.


When you're interacting with drunks and druggies and people that may have serious emotional/psychological problems...Well, you get the idea! By the way, where is David Blaine the rest of the time when he is not concocting a special?

I get the feeling that we won't be seeing much of Mr. Blaine in the coming years, as his is a "style" that will not endure.

Where's Carl Ballantine when you need him?


Just the ravings of one of the senior set! Smile

Cheers!
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
Josh the Superfluous
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Imagine how good Dai Vernon or Cardini would have been if they were cooler (read this in a playfully sarcastic voice).
-Josh

P.S. My avatar is saying "HOT-CHA-CHA".
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Scott F. Guinn
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David Blaine's style for the "MTV" generation is great if you want to work for the MTV generation. Unfortunately, "street thugs" don't typically have a lot of money to pay you, which is why most pros don't try to appeal to them. If you are trying to make a living performing for corporations (where, let's face facts, the REAL money is), a persona like Blaine's would fail miserably.

Trent does make some good points. One of them is that you shouldn't just blindly follow others' advice. I recommend you all decide for yourselves whether what he had to say applies to you, instead of blindly following HIS advice--he seems to want to be the exception to his own rule.

"Cool" is fine, but after the age of about 22, it doesn't much matter--you're too busy trying to survive in the real world to worry about being cool. In this business, "Professional," "Competent" and "Entertaining" are much more important qualities if you want to make a living!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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MacGyver
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When will David Blaine wannabe's finally understand this:

DAVID BLAINES SPECIAL WASN'T A MAGIC SPECIAL IT WAS AN ENTERTAINMENT SPECIAL.

I say this because unlike other magic shows that have been on TV, it did not show a magician doing an effect from his act, it showed an entertainer trying to show people's reactions to the audience, and get ratings.

David Blaine, choose effects, spectators, and did the editing that would be most entertaining to the audience at home, so they would keep watching and get better ratings for the network.

People like fear factor, and they like watching their fellow average American have wild reactions to things, which is why screaming and freaking out is what David Blaine showed them.

I sincerly doubt (and I hope I am right) that David Blaine does the same tricks with the same patter to anyone that he performs for in a corporate or private party setting, even though he could probably make it work, since they would still be in awe of his special.

David Blaine didn't put together tricks that would look good on TV, he put together a TV show that would make his tricks look good.
Magique Hands
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'Cool' or 'Great' or 'Awesome' or whatever, should really be kudos that come from the spectators, not us trying to be cool, etc...

These are descriptives of how other audience members see you (us), and will happen all by itself... without you (us) trying to make people think this of us. 'Cool' will come only when we are not trying to make it happen.

Magically,
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
TRENT
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To Scott Guinn,
You don't apply to my little rant Scott because you actually are cool. If anything you just proved it with your post. Plus you don't have a lame promo shot that was taken in 1965. And also because you don't have a mullet (but that's another story altogether).
I'm also not sure why people are trying to defend certain names in magic. The only name I mentioned in my post was Blaine. You know who you are if this applies to you. 'Nuff Said.

Oh, one more thing if you're bored. Browse around the Café and take a look at some of the promo shots of other magicians. When you look at their pictures, actually imagine them saying "HOT-CHA-CHA!!!" or "VOILA!!" out loud. I guarantee you'll laugh.
doofydafus
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Dear Mr Trent

Your post has some good points, but by focusing on professionals you have, in my opinion, beaten yourself at your own game.

Consider for a moment how professionals get to stay professionals. It is most certainly because they get repeat bookings. Why? Because, to use a younger person's phrase, they are considered cool - meaning that they DO get good reactions; that is why they are asked to return.

If I had the mail addresses for Copperfield or Burton, I'd love to send thenm your posting. Each is an old-fashioned magician performing in a very modern world - and very sucessfully, and without (as far as I know) use camera tricks to improve their illusions. I'm sure the MTV crowd do not watch their shows. But I'll also bet that their audiences don't watch MTV either. Horses for courses.

You do have a point - that poor performers probably do suffer from the everything you say they do, but my guess is that they will not remain professionals for very long if they do.

An interesting post that could have made a very valid point so much more effectively. And that WOULD have been cool.

Regards
Peter - Not a professional, probably because I'm not cool enough. Smile
MacGyver
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Hehe, Have you seen ANY of David Copperfields TV specials??? Just about everything he vanished was a camera trick, and I think his T&R used a part of the screen to ditch stuff, making it look like nothing.

Not that I have any problems with camera tricks, I just found it very funny when I read that post.

I think Blaine is more guilty of creative editing, than using camera tricks... I mean all the different ways he uses stooges and editing is amazing... It makes for bad magic, but GREAT entertainment which is why Blaine is so popular
EsKlibur
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I stand pretty much with doofydafus. This post tries to point at a valid flaw amongst some magicians (or maybe valid to some extend amongst all), but so much aggresivity and generalities really sounds like an arrogant "I have all the answers, listen to me".

And the Blaine example just doesn't fit the purpose, as mayne have pointed out, since what we've seen of him didn't imply the same conditions/intentions as what professionals encounter everyday.
"Poetry is the Magic of Lies,
Magic is the Poetry of Lies" - Jean Cocteau
Michaels
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What is the definition of cool? (Rhetorical
question) Insults are definitely not "cool".
Trent brings up some valid points but it's not necessary to provide those points with a blanket insult to the forum. As long as your performance entertains your particular audiences then you are "cool". I don't perform the same tricks at a church as I do at the biker's club.
When I first entered the Café I read Mr Brooks rules and said great- A forum where people could share ideas whether they agree or disagree without putting each other down. Scott Guinn, Larry D., Jon Allen, Regal, Copperfied, Marucci, Penn and Teller, Burton, Al Cohen and my favorite Tom Mullica (and the list goes on)
wouldn't be where they are today if it weren't for them being "cool" by connecting with their audiences. None of them performed routinely for the MTV crowd.
Just my opinion for what it's worth.
"Our technology is ahead of our humanity"
Albert Einstein
mcatalani
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"Many magicians wonder why David Blaine is so famous and they are not. Most likely the real answer is, he's cool and you are in fact not. "

Being cool has nothing to do with it, unless you're doing magic for fun and not attempting to make a living out of it. If you are supporting a family on your skills as a magician, then it's not how "cool" you are, but how "entertaining" you are. Most families spend money every month on some form of entertainment, but I doubt many have enough money at the end of the month to give to someone just because they are "cool".

"Hey Marge, we have $45 left over after paying the monthly bills. Let's mail it to David Blaine. He's a cool guy!"

I just don't think David gets much money this way.

Michael
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