The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » When you witness a truly bad performance... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
edh
View Profile
Inner circle
4698 Posts

Profile of edh
Smile funny Tommy.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Scott F. Guinn
View Profile
Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6586 Posts

Profile of Scott F. Guinn
OK, here's where I stand...

I am not "The Magic Police".

I am also not "The Official Magician Compliment Officer".

There is no board for quality control of magic shows, and even if there were, I would not be on it.

I believe one has to earn the right to be heard. I've seen a lot of truly bad magic performed over the years. If it is by a friend or a student, I will talk to them (privately) after the performance and tell them what is not working and why. My friends and students know I will do that, and they expect it and appreciate it. (BTW, I'll also tell them what did work and why!)

If I see a magician I don't know give a bad show, I do not walk up and start telling him how bad he was. I don't invite him out for coffee. I don't seek him out. If he seeks me out, and if he invites me to coffee, I'll go. If, during the course of our visit, he asks me what I thought of his show, my response is: "Do you want me to be nice, or honest?" I will then respond accordingly. Because the guy doesn't work for me. I'm not the one signing his check. I'm not his boss, his dad, or his mentor. Unless I'm asked, it's simply not my place.

Conversely, I am under no obligation to recommend him or give him glowing reviews. There is one guy in my area who is really bad but somehow still seems to work quite a bit. Not a lot, but quite a bit. Friends (who know I'm a magician) or others who have seen him and then seen me perform, will often ask me if I know him. I say that I do. If they ask me what I think of his magic, I smile and say that I really haven't seen him do a show in a long time. If they persist and ask me if I'd recommend him for a party or event, I smile and simply say "no."

I don't believe in bashing another magician in front of the public. I have no problem telling my magician friends and students how bad this guy is, why he is so bad, and what they can do to avoid being so bad. No problem at all.

That's my take.
"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
My Lybrary Page
krowboom
View Profile
Loyal user
Chicago area
271 Posts

Profile of krowboom
I think the golden rule applies. Would you want someone to come up to you after a show and say "you stunk"? If you can't say something positive don't say anything.
bishthemagish
View Profile
Inner circle
6013 Posts

Profile of bishthemagish
If I may add a few thoughts that come to mind. When watching other magicians work or perform a public show I try to remove my ego from the experience. I try remember that the show is not for me - the show is for the audience. I generally do not watch the magician and I don’t care about the technique or his sleights, or if he is doing flawless on not so flawless moves. And I don’t often care if I can spot their tells.

What I watch is the audience and what I enjoy is the audience reaction to the show.

John Ramsey once said something like - “see every magician you can - if he is good you will be glad you saw them - if they are bad - you will be pleased with yourself”.

Just a few thoughts!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
idomagic
View Profile
Loyal user
Denver, CO
255 Posts

Profile of idomagic
That is a tough on... I think if I were asked I would answer questions and try to help (not that I am some special expert) the best I could.
Chad Wonder (Chad Wonder Magic, Inc)
Past President SAM 37/IBM 131 (Mile High Magicians)
www.idomagic.com
www.iDOMAGIC.dev
Skip Way
View Profile
Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
Ken Scott said it best during one of our recent conversations: "Magic is one of the few performance arts that traditionally lacks directors; that knowledgeable someone pointing out your flaws and highlighting your strengths. The difference between the wannabes and the top pros in magic - the pros rely heavily on their directors."

Far too many magicians rely on their own limited knowledge when designing their act in front of a mirror or video camera. Their only feedback is from their core experiences and audiences. As Carol Channing said, "Applause is almost a duty." Although useful as a gauge, audience feedback is seldom as direct, honest and powerful as that of a director or mentor.

Our IBM Ring offers an optional anonymous critique form that members may request for their ring performances. Several members have commented on how this directed feedback has helped them find and change their greatest flaws. I personally rely on my more intimate mastermind group for direction and brutally honest feedback.

As for watching some windbag out in public and commenting. Unless invited, I would smile, walk away and hope that the free market will eventually drive him out of business.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Doug Higley
View Profile
V.I.P.
Here and There
7173 Posts

Profile of Doug Higley
I was ready to say this but Bish said it first and correctly for me:

Quote:
I try remember that the show is not for me - the show is for the audience. I generally do not watch the magician and I don’t care about the technique or his sleights, or if he is doing flawless on not so flawless moves. And I don’t often care if I can spot their tells. What I watch is the audience and what I enjoy is the audience reaction to the show.

Exactly. I am concerned about the 'theater' of it all and only feel qualified to advise on that aspect...but would only do so if asked.

BTW: here's my new show: http://higley.grindshow.com.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
edh
View Profile
Inner circle
4698 Posts

Profile of edh
Doug, interesting props.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24287 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
At a TAOM convention in the 1970's, a friend of mine who had decided that he wanted to be a professional magician performed his contest act on one of the evening shows. All the tricks worked, but there were a number of technical problems that needed addressing.

I took notes, because I knew he was serious about this. He planned to earn a living with it.

After the show, he came up and asked me, "What did you think about my act?"

I replied: "Do you want me to make you feel good, or do you want the truth?"

He said, "Tell me the truth." I gave him the notes, and we went over them very carefully.

To make a long story short, the next year he won the IBM Junior stage competition. He has had a very nice career as a full time professional.

Even now, when there is a new face at the magic club, if he does a nice performance, I'll compliment him. But if he exhibits a great deal of discomfort in front of the audience, I'll take him aside, tell him what he did well and what needs work. I'll offer viable suggestions. I have a couple of friends that I am mentoring now, because I know how they felt the first time they performed in front of the club.

It's all in the approach, I think.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Ken Northridge
View Profile
Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2335 Posts

Profile of Ken Northridge
^This young man you're talking about was a champion the minute he asked you to give him an honest appraisal of his act. I still contend that most magician's egos will not allow them to ask fearing they will hear the truth.

Nice story Bill.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Cyberqat
View Profile
Inner circle
You can tell I work on the net from my
2209 Posts

Profile of Cyberqat
I often answer many questions with, "Would you like polite or the truth?" "How are you?", for instance.

If someone asked for my feedback I guess Id try to be honest and kind. There is a very artificial thing they teach you in business in terms of giving constructive feedback. They call it a "compliment sandwich". The idea is you always try to begin and end on positives, what the person is doing right, and put the suggestions for improvement in the middle. There is a glimmer of wisdom in that.

Now if Im discussing someone with a third party I'll often not do that... and to be honest its gotten me in trouble when I suddenly discovered the third party was "in the room" such as in a forums situation.

This is all in fairly informal settings. If someone is actually a performing magician I certainly won't do anything during a performance to ruin it for anyone of the audience around me. And hey, they are doing something I'm not, which is being a professional and I respect their trying. That hard.

And in general since they don't know me from Adam there is no point to my even trying to approach them with criticism. Smile

I have however been disappointed in a big ticket show or two I've seen and told my wife afterward what I didn't like about it.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Vick
View Profile
Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
1120 Posts

Profile of Vick
Is the show or performance bad by our standards or by the audinece? Is the audience truly enjoying themselves or politely clapping while looking at their watches?


If it's at a magic club, let them do as they please


In public a truly bad performance should not and can not be accepted, allowed or tolerated. Not just an off night but a truly bad act
The art can not be defiled ;-)~

That being said, how to share or say what needs to be expressed?

I've went public about one such performer locally, face to face on repeated occasions.

He doesn't get how his act is bad or how bad it really is, I've shown him examples and explained. One example, he did Bill Abbott's "The Thing" outdoors in the wind (if you are not familiar imagine doing a poor zombie routine in the wind), brought it on stage by shouting "see what's in the box, it's NOthing, no really it's NOthing, don't you see NO thing"



We owe it to the art to stop bad magic when it is attempted professionally, or perhaps better to help the performer.
Still some can't, don't or won't get it

our art form is different than any other, a painter won't get a showing in a gallery but anyone with a website might get hired and poorly performed magic is forced upon an audience

and it hurts all of us ;-(
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Cyberqat
View Profile
Inner circle
You can tell I work on the net from my
2209 Posts

Profile of Cyberqat
Quote:
our art form is different than any other, a painter won't get a showing in a gallery but anyone with a website might get hired and poorly performed magic is forced upon an audience

Once or twice. Word gets around.

I actually don't think bad performances do that much damage to anyone but the performer. They may be painful to watch, but I don't think any harm is done to the art.

Our art is like any other performing art. There will be good and bad performers. And sometimes the ones that start out as bad performers will grow to be good ones.. and sometimes they won't. We also need to be careful of style judgment. I find Chris Angel's performance style personally repelling, but obviously a lot of people enjoy it.

Now someone who gets up on stage without the proper amount of practice and just flubs the mechanics badly should be locked in a room for a week with food, water, their props and a mirror. Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
noble1
View Profile
Special user
651 Posts

Profile of noble1
When I witness a truly bad performance I try to think of a way to critique in a way that will minimize my getting into an argument. Often a bad performer will want to justify their choices or lack of practice that results in an argument. When asked my opinion in this sort of situation, I grin and shake my head slowly back and forth. A slow head shake is a noncommital comment that could mean "Boy, you sutre are something" or " you stink." Using that gives me extra time to decide between telling the truth or BSing.
Acecardician
View Profile
Inner circle
New Orleans
1374 Posts

Profile of Acecardician
Read Ken Weber's book, "Maximum Entertainment".

It addresses this topic. I agree with him and started to ask for help. I've given it where it was not wanted, to top pro's making more money than God, and they don't seem to want to hear it.

I will welcome it. I had a beginner come to one of my shows to show him what a show looks like. Toward the end, I saw him texting. It was a few months later, I guess by the time he got the nerve, to tell me, I was going too fast. He said I had some really good magic, but I did not give the audience time to enjoy it. I made an excuse or two to him. Then I read Ken's book. So I made a big effort to slow down. I just had too much material. Each trick has a full routine I developed. But I was skipping parts of the routines toward the last 15 minutes of my show and trying to fit in every trick. Now I try, and I said try, to do them more slowly, and if I run out of time, I skip some of the tricks. That was when I was booked to do a series of one hour shows.
I remember one of our best magicians in town, he did 3 tricks in 30 minutes, but he held our attention the whole time, and had me laughing hard.
I was doing probably 20 tricks in an hour, now I slow way down.

Quality, not quantity.

ACE
RiotStrike
View Profile
New user
I've cemented
39 Posts

Profile of RiotStrike
Both sides have great merit; I wanted to add this in, too:
We cannot evolve and better ourselves as performers without critique and help from others -- want it or not, we should either seek it out or be ready to accept it.
I don't like the feeling of, "Well, most of the crowd liked it." I know you can't please everybody, but I know you can certainly try.
Every person dissatified with a performance hurts our image that much more. While most of us may actually be children's entertainers, those of us who aren't don't deserve to get stuck in the "let's hire a birthday clown" category -- especially those who've earned their chops in corporate circuits.
When you're almost ashamed to admit "I'm a magician," to someone new you meet, well, I think it's time we improved our image as performers.
And if that means helping everyone we see with even the tiniest of details, do it.

As Bill Palmer posted, "It's all in the approach."
Acecardician
View Profile
Inner circle
New Orleans
1374 Posts

Profile of Acecardician
Nice first post, Riot. Welcome to the forum.
I do corporate walk around, but my other character is a party clown. And I strive to bring the best magical effects and presentations in my clown performances. I also do schools, and it was during a series of summer camp shows, I remember I was going fast, I have tooo much material. So I try to pick just the best, and do those effects the best.
I remember Pop Hayden just lectured at SAM Atlanta, and he was telling us the same thing. Slow down. Talk slower. And just when you think you are talking slow enough, slow it down some more!

ACE
RiotStrike
View Profile
New user
I've cemented
39 Posts

Profile of RiotStrike
Thanks Ace!

I, at one point, had a serious problem with my speed as well. Plenty of people told me, but it wasn't until Patrick O'Gorman said something to me at a magic shop in Texas.. I was in there just browsing, and he overheard me complain that I didn't think I knew enough to market a longer show. He asked how many things I did, and at the time my show had maybe 20 effects.

He says, "Look around, bro. Look at all the really, really successful acts and count how many things they really do in their shows. You can make a lifelong career out of just three tricks. Find three that you love, and do them better than anyone else, you'll always have work."

That's when it clicked in my head: if done properly, my half hour act could be just three tricks...

So now my full hour show has only 7 effects and it hasn't changed for probably 3 years!
Josh Riel
View Profile
Inner circle
of hell
1999 Posts

Profile of Josh Riel
When I see a truly awful performance, I usually just stop the video and ask who was taping me.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
vincentmusician
View Profile
Loyal user
Toronto
228 Posts

Profile of vincentmusician
I don't usually give advice without being asked. For me, the best Teacher is my audience and I care about them the most.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » When you witness a truly bad performance... (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL