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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Escapology as an extreme sport (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cliffg37
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Every thing Chance said in his last post is very sadly true. Sponsors want only one thing, they have some money to invest and they want more. They will assert their will and have their way, as long as they see a profit. This is why artists of all types have had limited success or gone very commercial.

There ought to be a way around this, but I can't think of one.

The closest I can think of is "Ripley's believe it or not". They'll travel anywhere to film something unusual. Problem with them is they have limited scope. an occasional show on the SiFi channel and a book. That is about all.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Steve_Mollett
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My key point here:

Sports have regulations.
There are rule books.
There are winners, losers and championship titles.

Arts do not.
Nobody can cry 'foul' on how someone paints, or ban them from 'the game.'
There is no 'World Champion Playright,' nor should there be.

Awards for great art are one thing; artificial standards and stifling regulations are something else entirely.

Keep escapology an ART, not a sport.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Roslyn
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http://pageawards.com/ is a competition for young writers. $50,000 of prizes. The scripts get sent in, judged and a winner announced. I believe they have gold, silver, bronze prizes for a number of categories and also a single overall winner.

Aren't the Oscars the "World Championships" for film.

Now I know they don't all gather in one place and compete. But they still compete nonetheless. The films are judged. Awards are then given to the winners.

Both of these things are art forms. Both have winners, losers and championship titles. Both are judged using certain criteria.

The film that wins Best Special Effects may not win Best Film.

But the film deemed most entertaining by the judges will win Best Film.

Just weeks ago everyone was raving how great it was that Morgan was crowned best female escape act, which is great!

But how about having that same title but at an EA specific event? So the female EA's go head to head and are judged under the same conditions as the others.

Make it international rather than national.

The point I'm trying to make is that these titles already exist is some form or another. Shoe horned into a magic comp.

What Morgan achieved is amazing. Please don't accuse me of trying to put a downer on what she did. Its an award that's thoroughly deserved.

It would be nice to see escapes stand on their own two feet, rather than being lumped in with other magical arts.
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Kondini
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Who would be the Judges !!! I dread to think.

Many such events are judged by the general public or personalities, not people in the know of skill, technics etc. So such judgement would be of entertainment quality only, not ability as an ea.

So if an actor learnt a few escape routines he / she would proberly win hands down.

If you wish the element of contest to exist then join an ea club and have own in house contests.

I would think a battle of skill among escapologists would be just about the most boreing type of show you would ever have to sit through.

Winning the Steve Baker Belt, for me was a fun in house thing but meanless to the general public. Also it didn't make me better than any other ea who took part,, I just had a better day than them at the time.

Lets keep it as it is,, entertainment first and last, that`s it.

Ken.
Alexanderia_the_Great
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I loved the show The World Magic Awards. I am also a big fan of Morgan so maybe I am biased. A show that celebrates escape artists and what they do would be great. Sadly I would have like to see Morgan get more time but this was the World Magic Awards not the World Escape Artist Awards. A show of our own though is needed. Would it not be great to stand alone on stage for once without the magicians and do our thing? Which is nothing against magicians but it seems though most magic acts are a series of tricks and then for their (magicians) big finale they do an escape. Quite honestly in working on a stage act now I am resigned to having to learn some sort of magic tricks to fill time and fit in with the other established acts. I would love to just do escapes but those who are big do not seem to do just escapes. Call it what you want (a competition, a relay, a sport an awards show) I really don't care. I am not hung up on judges or format as I am more interested in calling attention to our art. I think the right format will get more people to understand escapology. If this helps escapology get more respected and accepted it will be a great thing.
Steve_Mollett
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Agreed, but we can do that without making it a 'sport.'

Also, no matter how you want to paint it, escapology DOES use the dodges associated with magic. To truly use "no trickery" is to limit our capabilities immensely.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Alexanderia_the_Great
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Steve I agreed with your statement of limiting without the use of magic. I guess what bothers me a bit is that we soome to be second class citizens. The great magicians used escapes to draw there audiences. Escapes are what bring them in. Yet it is the magicains that get the glory. True escape artist it seems do not have the same place in magic. I would like to see that change and if we need to do so by changing how the art for is delivered I am ok with that so long as we do not lose the art form whioch I understand is the earlier posters concerns as well. Strangely I think we all agree that it is the art form escapology that is most inportant not one person fame or glory. I really believe that Ros' first statement was not about making making it a sport but looking to see if this new ave is an option. Let's discuss what we can do together to bring this art form it due.
Alexanderia_the_Great
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Ok and so I now know why you preview. Sorry about the typos in the earlier post. Bottom line is I think we all care deeply about escapology. I also think that Roslyn is simply trying to get us started in thinking of different ways to elevate this wonderful art form. Maybe we can continue with ways we can do this together. This could be very exciting and may give way to some new thought. Please continue this discussion with new thoughts on ways we can present our craft to a new generation. Harry was always looking for new ways to push this art form. Let's continue in that tradition.
gsidhe
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The difference between Morgan's well deserved award and a competition is that it was an award honoring her and her efforts, not a competition she entered.
I am steadfastly against the idea of a "competition" where escape artists enter and duke it out.
Several things could happen-
1: It could de-evolve into a move monkey competition much like card magic competitions. "Who can get out of X-type handcuffs in the fastest time using the whack dingle shimming device? As the whack dingle is the standardized device for competition purposes." The audience is then treated to two hours of EA's doing the same thing over and over.
2: It could push performers to places they are not ready to go- Escapes with danger levels too high for their skill level. "Well...He just did that escape in a tank of water...The only way I can beat it is by immersing myself in sulfuric acid...How different could it be?" Have you met many extreme sport enthusiasts? Not always the brightest folks. Danger is the rush. Popularize it, and a lot of the safety measures go out the window.
3: The only fair way to do it would be like against like- Rope escape -vs- Rope escape, handcuff -vs- handcuff, milk can -vs- milk can, etc... Bringing us back to the move monkey category. The audience loses interest because of repetition. Presentation would help, but the audience knows the outcome beforehand.
4: The whole difference between magic escapes and real escapes would be extremely problematic as both do indeed use a little from the other.

As for escapes taking a backseat to magicians- That is a fallacy. I can generate more PR with a single good escape than with an entire magic act. You might not get booked for a party as an escape show, but to generate interest for an event, you really can't beat a dangerous escape.

Besides- Magicians are generally seen as geeks. EA's tend to get more respect.
Gwyd
jay leslie
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I feel, having people compete, viewers get the perception that escapes are not as difficult as we would like them to.

The only way to make a sport-competition "more" interesting is to have "events" timed and the fastest one out, wins. For me the art evolves around the theatrical struggle we create and display. It's about building intrigue and mystery.

If you have 30 people perform the Siberian Chain Escape, the audience would never accept it as a restraint, for future events, and what could one person do that another can not... escape in 2 seconds instead of 3? No mystery there, Having people compete would have the opposite effect, in my opinion.
Harley Newman
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If the only reason for SCE, or any other escape, is the difference between two and three seconds, your stage time is a waste. Escape artist? No. No way an artist.

I've asked folks, for years, whether they'd like speed or drama. About 85% of the time, women want drama. Men are about 85% in favor of quickies. I like to mix it up. It makes much better theater. Everybody has a better time.

This is one of the reasons that the supposed records for speed of an escape, are BS. Lack of measurable and verifiable criteria, by people who actually know what they're talking about, is another.

As for a competition...I think it might be better as an in-house thing, simply because once an audience has seen one escape, they know pretty much what's going to happen during the next routine. We could look at creativity, showmanship, audience involvement and participation. It might also be good to have a series of time zones. Some escapes are three minute jobs. Some are half an hour.

Some escapes are really illusions. Would we allow them, or stick them in their own category?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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