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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Michael Close Devious DVD set (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dennis Loomis
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Well, guys, I was at L & L for this shoot and I can tell you that the audience was highly entertained. Can't you hear their reactions on the tape?

I may have time to come back and comment more, but you guys just didn't get the point of Mike's "Highly unlikely" running gag. He was NOT criticizing the girl in any serious way, but was pointing out a literal truth. If a magician materializes a bunny rabbit, that appears to be a magical effect. Can't actually be done. But, if a spectator chooses a card (one of 52) and then the magician finds it... it is not a "Magical" effect. It's a matter of chance. If he names a card at random, it is possible that he will be right. The effect is, therefore, "Highly Unlikely." Not "magic" as the girl said.

Most magician's don't fool each other very much. I've seen dozens of guys do the pass and sometimes I am aware of it and sometimes not. Even with the "greats." Mike has often fooled me with the pass in the sense that I was unaware that he had done a pass at all. It's impossible to misdirect the camera. So magicians often pick up on moves that would have fooled them if they had been there in person.

Mike's concept on this DVD was to share with the purchasers the thinking process which underlies the creation of powerful card magic. Mike did a lot of magic from his friends on this DVD. Tricks from Simon Aronson, Bob Farmer, Mike Weber, and Dean Dill to mention some of them. In every case he brought new thinking to the effect and made it his own. Sometimes the changes were minor. Sometimes major. But I found what he said about his thinking and why he does things differently than the creators to be highly educational.

By the way, I've been doing magic professionally since 1970 and I was fooled by the "Magician Foolers." Mike explains that he was not focusing on entertainment for laypeople with these routines. They were designed to fool your buddies at the local magic club or at a magic convention.

By the way, the last trick on the DVD set is an extended joke. We all have different senses of humor, so I'm not sure about you, but I laughed long and hard.

Dennis Loomis
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Joe Mauro
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Dennis Loomis, watch the tape and the girls reaction. She is confused and embarrassed by his making fun of her answer, repeatedly. Look at her girlfriend next to her pat her in a "it's ok" way.

YOU DO NOT HUMILIATE SOMEONE TO ENTERTAIN. BAD stand up comics do that to audience members. Michael Close kept embarrassing her. WATCH her reactions as he keeps doing it. Watch and tell me she is having fun.

Dennis, please do that and tell us she is having fun and is not embarrassed, repeatably. Comics do running gags/call backs effectively. Michael Close should have seen her reaction and stopped. I defy Michael Close to watch the tape, no matter what his 'performing recollection is' and tell us that she wasn't embarrassed, repeatably.

I had expected and still want to find something in this set. So, tonight I'm watching again. I was looking forward to this set more than any I've bought in a long time, so maybe my disappoint in them has me posting and upsetting some people. When I'm done watching them, then I'll sell them. Not because a fan of his is upset that I don't care for what I've seen and says I should sell them.

Here is the one I most looked forward to:

"The Trick that Fooled Houdini...and His Whole *** Family - Michael has taken in magicians around the world with this little gem. The secret will make you laugh out loud".

OK, I'm just a hobbyist and admittedly fooled quite easily. I like that because I still have wonderment.

What Magician was fooled by this as claimed by the box?

When a Magician has you and two other people 'just touch the back of any card" you know there is a force. When the card does the impossible, I would think you can come pretty close to the method on this. I won't go further so I don't ruin it for anyone that hasn't seen it.

I'm not saying it's not a good method. It is. It would most certainly will fool and entertain lay people. But the box description had me thinking this must be diabolical and will blow me away.

Imagine a marketed trick " You shuffle the deck and the spectator picks any card and you instantly know the card and can reveal it in impossible way. Fools magicians world wide and the method will make you laugh out loud".

You get it home and it 's a Svengali deck. GREAT deck/trick. I use one. Blows people away. But a Magician fooler? Yes, maybe if it's their first week in magic.

I understand his thinking on Dan Garrett's Four Card Reiteration. But while other Magicians doing the trick such as Dan Garret, etc. are focusing on entertainment, that it's not the trick that's the entertainment, that the focus is up and out into the audience. Michael Close is dissecting every aspect of each move in an almost "what if one row over, the second person on the right is looking at my left hand at this one moment and 'might' think so and so about what I'm doing....BAM...I will have fooled them.

I'm not saying it's horrific to be a perfectionist about your magic and that he failed in 'selling' the trick. Hey, it's an established trick that for decades has entertained people. But in watching the explanation, you start to think "sheesh, is all this necessary to entertain?".

Sometimes the Emperor is indeed, not wearing any clothes. Those that love the set, please tell why without attacking me for my opinion and telling me to sell my set if I don't like it.
~Joe
rnaviaux
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Funny you mention the Svengali deck. I have used a Svengali to fool magicians. The set up was really long though. Took years to establish a reputation of never using trick cards then I ring one in. Wham! No one sees it coming.

Mr. Close talks about this in his essay "Assumptions" in the Workers series, I believe. I haven't performed the effect "The trick that fooled..." yet but would love to give it a try at the right moment. So I think this was a great demonstration of his write-up on assumptions. I wasn't fooled by it but then again I wasn't expecting to be. (Personally I don't watch dvd's to be fooled.)I watch them to observe the gestalt. Then try to analyze how I can put different elements I have at my disposal to create something approximating art.

I can tell you why I like this as well as his other work. It is because he does think about his magic. I've noticed in the last few years this tendency rubbing off on me. So I guess at this stage of the game I enjoy the work from other performers that put a fair amount of thinking into their magic. Of course I am an amateur so for me it is more of a way to while away the otherwise idle hour.

I'm not telling you to do anything. If that is what you got from my questions then I'm sorry. I did ask if you felt ripped off. Do you? I also asked if you would like to sell your set. Would you?

I'm figuring if you don't like them that much you might be willing to get rid of them. I have a magician friend I'd love to get these for. Interested?
rnaviaux
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Lol @ me being upset. But I am a fan that's for sure.
Joe Mauro
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Famous magicians have fooled other famous magicians with stack decks, one way decks, Svengali's etc. because they worked with a regular deck for many tricks, or an hour and then did a deck switch. It''s a great technique and can be done just as effectively on lay people.

Or, other Magicians never expected the great "...." to ever use a trick deck, so they fooled them that way.

I just felt the box description was a let down on the Houdini trick. So, in a way, I was fooled. lol.
~Joe
rnaviaux
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Quote:
On 2010-04-02 15:56, Joe Mauro wrote:
Famous magicians have fooled other famous magicians with stack decks, one way decks, Svengali's etc. because they worked with a regular deck for many tricks, or an hour and then did a deck switch. It''s a great technique and can be done just as effectively on lay people.

Or, other Magicians never expected the great "...." to ever use a trick deck, so they fooled them that way.

I just felt the box description was a let down on the Houdini trick. So, in a way, I was fooled. lol.


I hear ya. I'll have to look at the box when I get home tonight.

Hey when you say "box description" are you talking about the ad?
Joe Mauro
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Yes, the description on the box. It says "The Trick that Fooled Houdini...and His Whole *** Family - Michael has taken in magicians around the world with this little gem".

It's a fine trick, I just don't see how Magicians around the world were taken in. A Magician should know when a card is forced on them and then when it's signed and placed multiple times in to the deck, that cleanly, only to appear back on top, it's clear what is accomplishing it. Especially when done with 3 cards.

Yes, Vernon fooled Houdini with it, but that was over 80 years ago when the thing that accomplished it was rare ( unless you read Hofzinser ).

Like I said, it's a fine trick and lay people would be fooled. I just question the claims on the box. Was a Michael Ammar experienced 'Magician" fooled, or guys at a lecture that are fawning all over Michael Close to begin with. Nothing against Michael or any lecturer, but guys at clubs do that hero worship thing.

And at the L&L shoot, you have an audience of dancers, guests...and...padded with friends of Michael Close, Magicians, L&L employees, even Murphy's Magic employees. You're going to get a great deal of enthusiastic responses form people in the back and off to the sides, that can't even see the magic happening. They want these shoots to be lively and exciting and that's one way to accomplish it.

Remember the punch line to the non joke 'no soap, radio'? People in the know would laugh hard at the punch line and others without a clue would laugh, just because others were laughing. Audiences will applaud, etc. just because people around them are.

I mention this because friends will say " I was there, the crowd loved the show, listen to the responses ".

I think Pavlov did some work in this area. lol.
~Joe
Dennis Loomis
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Quote:
On 2010-04-02 18:05, Joe Mauro wrote:
I mention this because friends will say " I was there, the crowd loved the show, listen to the responses ".


Joe, this statement implies that I lied on this thread because Louis Falanga and Mike Close are friends of mine. I resent that very much. You are entitled to have your opinion as to the value of this set of DVD's. But you are not entitled to personally attack me because my opinion differs from yours. I have watched every magic performance I can for over sixty years. On TV, on VHS Tapes and DVDs, and live at venues around the world. I've stood in front of tens of thousands of audiences and performed and listened to the response. I think I know a genuine audience response from a fake one.

Dennis Loomis
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Joe Mauro
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Dennis, I never mentioned your name. You connected those dots yourself to come to the conclusion that I personally attacked you. Trial lawyers take circuitous routes like that all the time. But, if the glove don't fit....

Dennis, please watch the footage of the young lady in question and tell us what you think she is feeling after being repeatedly made fun of. He facial expressions, body language, her friend patting her 'it's ok'.

What does your sixty years of experience tell you, based on watching the footage of HER reactions today, as opposed to recollections of the shoot.

Thanks for your input.
~Joe
rnaviaux
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Well. Since Pavlov has been brought into the discussion I guess its every dog for himself. I'm salivating at the idea. (joke)

I guess you didn't like the trick "The trick that Fooled..." or as I like to refer to it - "the Trick that needs a shorter name". I haven't tried it out on any magicians so can't make any comments as to its effectiveness as I would perform it to layman or magicians. Since I only don't belong to a club and only get to see my magic buddies once in a blue moon it may be a while before I get to test that effect on them.

A comment about fooling magicians: I find I fool my buddies all the time. But never intentionally. I'll be demonstrating something I'm working on that I'm getting ready to use on the regular folk and one or two of them will be fooled by it. After this had happened a few times I stopped being surprised by its occurrence. At this point I think any effect has the possibility of fooling a magician.

On a scale of importance its (fooling magicians) not very high for me. Blasting the mind of the people I do do magic for (non-magicians) is my goal. Two effects from these DVD's have been doing just that. When I can stun a group of rowdy people into silence I think I'm getting close to my personal goals with magic.

Who are these fawning individuals you're talking about? (I've never been called fawning before. lol)

I've never been at a magic shoot before although I have worked on a set as a camera man. I remember the long hours as being rather unpleasant. I wonder what its like at an L&L shoot?

Of course question the claims on a box is a worthy thing to do with any advert. I guess only experimenting in he real world will be able to show if one can or can not fool magicians. You will have to do it for me as I only see 4-5 magicians a year.

Hey did you re-watch the dvds last night? Did you get any more out of them? Do you still feel disappointed or do you think you got good value for your money?
Joe Mauro
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Quote:
On 2010-04-03 14:44, rnaviaux wrote:

I guess you didn't like the trick "The trick that Fooled..." or as I like to refer to it - "the Trick that needs a shorter name".



I said it's a fine trick and would fool laymen. Do you read just every other sentence in a thread?

I also think the name of the trick is extremely funny and fits it perfectly. Why you'd think it needs a shorter name is baffling.
~Joe
rnaviaux
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Quote:
On 2010-04-03 14:52, Joe Mauro wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-04-03 14:44, rnaviaux wrote:

I guess you didn't like the trick "The trick that Fooled..." or as I like to refer to it - "the Trick that needs a shorter name".



I said it's a fine trick and would fool laymen. Do you read just every other sentence in a thread?

I also think the name of the trick is extremely funny and fits it perfectly. Why you'd think it needs a shorter name is baffling.


Oops! I guess I misunderstood. I thought you didn't like the ad copy on the box in regards to this effect. That this effect wouldn't fool a magician. Maybe I missed a line or two in your previous posts.

Re shorter name - I was trying to make a joke. lol! I guess the joke is on me.
Joe Mauro
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It's a fine trick. I doubted the ad copy that said "Michael has taken in magicians around the world with this little gem" as the method is so obvious. Maybe it's Magicians that don't know the Ambitious Card, it's history as related to Vernon and Houdini and who don't knot about gaffs, or Cheek to Cheek.

Then, yes, they'd be fooled. Those aren't Magicians, though. They are called Laymen.

:rotf:
~Joe
Dennis Loomis
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Joe,
You did not mention my name, but you referenced very specifically what I said. And it's fairly well known that I'm a friend of Louis and Mike. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to make the connection.

As I said, you have your right to your opinion, even though my opinion is that you are dead wrong about this product.

I studied this thread very carefully and what would be most helpful, if you want me to go back and watch one particular spectator is if you would tell us which routine you are talking about. I thought I knew, but I went back to the DVD and checked the routines which are mentioned on this thread: The Trick that Fooled Houdini... and The Dumbest Casino in the world.

You guys are really something... Joe tells me to check out a particular girl who was, supposedly, embarassed and does not mention in which routine this occurs. Cohiba expresses a negative opinion and then admits he has not seen this DVD Set!

Dennis Loomis
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rnaviaux
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Quote:
On 2010-04-03 15:06, Joe Mauro wrote:
It's a fine trick. I doubted the ad copy that said "Michael has taken in magicians around the world with this little gem" as the method is so obvious. Maybe it's Magicians that don't know the Ambitious Card, it's history as related to Vernon and Houdini and who don't knot about gaffs, or Cheek to Cheek.

Then, yes, they'd be fooled. Those aren't Magicians, though. They are called Laymen.

:rotf:


Very clever!
Joe Mauro
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Dennis, I have no idea who you even are, let alone who you are friends with.

The routine with the young lady is "The Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas"

During the first part of the trick, Becca picks the ten of diamonds. A card is above one of the luckiest cards and he asks her "if that card is the ten of diamonds, that would be?"

She says "Magic". Which, is a GREAT answer.

He says "That would be... unlikely". Very funny line, delivered with perfect comic timing by Michael.

Then he gets mean." What are you, a child? ".

Dennis, look at her face when he says it. She's embarrassed, insulted and humiliated. And then he continues to mock her answer. Watch her embarrassed expressions.

Dennis, my wife knows nothing of what I've been writing and doesn't watch magic with me. In order to answer your question, I put on the DVD and my wife, who I didn't even think was paying attention, said "that was so rude of him. He's an ***hole".

My wife's opinion of him is correct. Only a bully would do that. That's an example of why some people can't stand Magicians and don't want to participate.
~Joe
Dennis Loomis
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The Trick that Fooled Houdini... and His Whole Frickin' Family (that's what Mike calls it... Louis cleaned up the title a bit on the DVD, does not use the same method as the original. You could say that it uses the method expanded to it's logical conclusion. As Mike explains, the fact that three different cards are selected during the course of the routine suggests that the deck is normal.

Joe, tell the truth. Before you watched the explanation did you realize that the method used virtually a full deck of DB cards? I talked to several of the magicians that were there in the room for the shoot. (Tom Allen, Mary Mowder, Tom Cutts, Jim Lambert, Don Banks, and several other magicians were there.) The ones I talked to were ALL fooled. Based on that, the copy on the box is justified.

I have to leave my office, but will check this thread tonight and see what's transpired.

Dennis Loomis
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Dennis Loomis
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Joe,

I will go back and watch it again tonight, when I get home. I've seen Mike do The Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas many times in person. Is it possible that you and your wife are Desk Clerks?

Dennis Loomis

P. S. for those of you who have not seen the Devious DVDs, don't expect to understand my question above. It's a reference Mike makes to Sarcasm. I've watched Mike do a lot of card magic for laypeople and he is not a bully. Did you not understand my explanation of why "finding" or "naming" a selected card is not Magic? If you understand that it literally is "Highly Unlikely" than maybe you could cut him a little slack. But, "Luckiest" is a GREAT trick. Lay people don't have a clue as to how it could be accomplished.
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Joe Mauro
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Quote:
On 2010-04-03 15:51, Dennis Loomis wrote:
Joe,

I will go back and watch it again tonight, when I get home. I've seen Mike do The Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas many times in person. Is it possible that you and your wife are Desk Clerks?

Dennis Loomis

P. S. for those of you who have not seen the Devious DVDs, don't expect to understand my question above. It's a reference Mike makes to Sarcasm. I've watched Mike do a lot of card magic for laypeople and he is not a bully. Did you not understand my explanation of why "finding" or "naming" a selected card is not Magic? If you understand that it literally is "Highly Unlikely" than maybe you could cut him a little slack. But, "Luckiest" is a GREAT trick. Lay people don't have a clue as to how it could be accomplished.



Dennis, I know you want to defend your friend, but calm down and read ALL of what I wrote before posting or 'trying' to be funny.

From above what I wrote ( that you didn't read ):

"He says "That would be... unlikely". Very funny line, delivered with perfect comic timing by Michael"

I gave kudos to Michael for the "unlikely" line. It was funny and a perfect response for her answer.

I didn't say anything about how good or bad the trick was. I said his derogatory remarks to the young lady were not funny and mean. Dennis, WATCH THE TAPE.


"The Trick That Fooled Houdini"

When I watched the routine,in the beginning I only thought a DB was used. The gal was asked to 'touch' the back of any card. That means a force. After she signed it, Michael didn't do tilt. He placed it face up on top of a face down deck, turned the chosen card over and placed it into the deck and it was back on top. The only way to do it that cleanly that I know of is with a DB'er.

Then he did it again, but placed 3 cards into the middle. Then I though cheek to cheek. It was clear the cards were forced and then doing things that could only be done with gaffs.

I'm a hobbyist that doesn't perform except once in a while for friends and family. I don't have technical skills as I just never took the time. I just like watching magic. This is why I find it hard to believe Magicians around the world have been fooled by this. I have no skills, but if a magician asks me to "touch the back of any card" I know I don't have a free choice. If he does what this routine does, I know gaffs are used.

Dennis, I don't know any of the the people you mentioned. They're professional magicians? Meaning, that's all they do to earn their livings? I ask that because when you read "fools magicians" I and others think of Lance Burton, Daryl, Michael Ammar, Darwin Ortiz and the like.

If they aren't professionals, maybe they aren't familiar with the true story on how Dai Vernon fooled Harry Houdini with a DB'er, or DB'ers/Cheek to Cheek decks, etc.

Or,they were sitting towards the back and didn't have a good view. Not being able to see would help fool you.

Look, it's a fine routine, with a great story to sell it. Lay people would be fooled. I just can't believe someone that has some working knowledge of card magic wouldn't have a hint on how this is done.
~Joe
davidpaul$
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[quote]On 2010-04-03 15:51, Dennis Loomis wrote:
Joe,

I will go back and watch it again tonight, when I get home. I've seen Mike do The Luckiest Cards in Las Vegas many times in person. Is it possible that you and your wife are Desk Clerks?

Dennis Loomis
end of quote................

I'm just wondering, was that statement necessary? Was it meant to hurt or to justify overt sensitivity. I hoping the latter.
Sounded condescending to me. Not a good thing. (I'm hoping I'm wrong)
David Paul
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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