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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » The high price of DVD's (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Harry Lorayne
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WSDuncan: And Mike Skinner learned 'em from Royal Road - not from DVDs!! But, this is not the kind of discussion in which I can be of help. Really. What I can point out is that I can't think of how many thousands all over the world are using stuff I put in books - long before there was anything like videos or DVDs. I'm talking about people telling me that most of the stuff they do professionally they learned from my BOOKS, people telling me that my BOOKS started them in magic, and so on. And, I don't want to sound immodest (although modesty is becoming a drag) but I'm told that I'm pretty good with a deck of cards - and there sure as heck were no visual aids OF ANY KIND when I learned card magic. So, hey, I'm not knocking DVDs - currently, at least for the last decade or so, people tell me the same about my videos and DVDs. So,to each his own, I guess.
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Andrew Zuber
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I have to disagree with anyone that says if you're watching DVDs, you're copying the performers.
That's not the fault of the DVD - that's the fault of the person watching it. If you are unable to watch a DVD without copying the performance, it means you're not thinking hard enough. There are a TON of books that have scripts and lines included in the routines. So why wouldn't someone reading the book just follow the patter that comes with it? Sounds very similar to me.

Personally, I am a visual learner. I'll read books for information, but I don't do well with them. I prefer to see the motions of what's happening. I had a terrible time when I was first starting out, trying to learn Triumph from Stars of Magic. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that book - it's one of my favorites. But I had to SEE the routine in order to understand how to really do it. And then I put my own unique spin on the presentation.

While I own a lot of books, I use them as an additional resource and not my main source of information. I think DVDs get a bad rap because it's assumed that the people that use them might just be lazy. I'm not lazy - I'm a visual learner. It's like telling someone with a limp that they should use the stairs because it's better for them. Sure they CAN use the stairs, but it's going to take a lot longer to get to the top, and the elevator will get them there just the same, without the struggle and frustration.

I'm also glad that Mary mentioned the L&L audiences. I personally love those DVDs. Yes, the audiences are excited and having a good time. But I've watched performances where the audience just sits there with their eyes glazed over, completely bored. Maybe that says something about the performer. Maybe it says something about the routine. Regardless of what it is, however, it doesn't get me excited about performing. I see the L&L discs and it makes me WANT to work on those routines. It gets me enthusiastic about rehearsing and performing. I don't see anything wrong with that.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Harry Lorayne
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Completely agree, Andrew. But, and this is just personal curiousity - do you have any of my books? Just wondering if you'd feel the same about them. I'm pleased that people, many people, have told me over the decades, that when they read my explanations they practically can "see" the effect in action. Just curious. H.
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Andrew Zuber
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I must admit I don't - and I know that different writers will say things in different ways, and not all are written the same. I certainly don't mean to paint every author with the same brush.

Given that I am familiar with the basics of card handling but am in no way proficient with knuckle-busting moves, which of your books would you recommend? I would certainly be interested in exploring your particular style.

By the way, I'd mentioned you to my mom a few months back and not long afterward she read something about you in Time magazine. Pretty impressive stuff Smile
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Slide
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Andrew,

Personally I think if you don't use books as a learning tool and rely primarily on DVD's you are doing yourself a huge disservice and it will hamper your progress, in my opinion.

Reading magic books is a learned thing: like learning to read a blueprint. It is a teachable skill that gets better with practice.Anytime I see something performed on a dvd, I always go back to the written description to learn it.
Andrew Zuber
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I don't see it as a disservice - simply a different style of learning. And while I LOVE to read novels, I don't enjoy learning from magic books. I thoroughly enjoy the learning process with DVDs. If I'm not having fun doing it, I've lost the whole point of learning and rehearsing.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Harry Lorayne
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Andrew: That, of course, was my point. You can't, shouldn't, lump all books/writers into the same statements unless you know them all. Now, when I say "all" obviously I don't mean hundreds or thousands, but certainly current ones, and THOSE THAT ARE KNOWN RIGHT NOW - like me. You might be surprised, and pleased to find that you can "do well" with my books. Now, just for those who will start to pontificate about me plugging my own books - YES, I am, because I believe it will help Andrew, and make him look at things a bit differently - as will others who may think as he does.

Now, Andrew, try this: Go to my magic website (third address listed under this post, with the word "magic" in it) and click on "Magic Books." Check out the LORAYNE: THE CLASSIC COLLECTION Volumes 1, 2 and 3. (If you click on the picture of each book you get to see a bit more about it.) I'll make a strong definite statement - You would LOVE those books! Volume 1 would probably be best for you - as would the Best Of Friends volumes. Anyway, check 'em out. Then if you have any questions - or to order - please go to my personal email address (first one listed under this post, with the word "earthlink" in it). If you purchase more than one book at a time, I may give you a small discount. Anyway, nice to talk with you. Best - Harry L.
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Harry Lorayne
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Just saw your post above that came through as I was writing mine above. Read my books - You WILL "have fun doing it" - that is, while you're learning. H.
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bblumen
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 07:00, R.E. Byrnes wrote:
"Not worth it if you have no regard for the person who has to read it."

it's all about having regard for you. How many ways do you have to feel smart, other than pointing out the misuse of apostrophes?

(Your sentence is missing a verb, by the way. But, like the misused possessive, your intent is easy to figure out, and it really has nothing to do with "regard.")



You missed a comma. I fixed it for you.
"Lulling the minds of your company is more important than dazzling their eyes." Ed Marlo
Harry Lorayne
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You missed the point.
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Vlad_77
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Anyways, sorry about all of the rambling. But before I drop out, Vlad, can you tell me more about these New Tops DVD compilations that you speak of?...[snip]

Hi RobertP,

Since I have created a thread in Secret Sessions for all of us to share discussions about effects found in magic's great periodicals, not only can I talk about them but you can participate! (Yes, I know, cheap advertising!!)

Many of magic's great journals have been made into compilations. Some such as Apocalypse, MAGICK, and Trapdoor are availabe only as hard copy. Others such as Spell-Binder, Hierophant, Kabbala, Hugard's Magic Monthly, The Jinx, the Phoenix, and quite a few more are available in either digital OR hard copy.

Then there are the MAMMOTH ones that unless you are a collector and have the bucks, are thankfully available in DVD format for a wonderfully low cost.

But you asked specifically about the New Tops so I will focus there.

As I am sure you already know, The Tops was published by Abbott's Magic in Colon, MI. The Original Tops weighs in at 8400 pages and ran from the 1930s to the 1950s. In 1961 it became The New Tops and ran from 1961 to 1994 - over 20,000 pages!

The contributors to The Tops/New Tops is nothing short of amazing. Nick Trost for instance ran a card column for most of the life of The New Tops. Two complete books have been culled from The New Tops (the M.I.N.T. volumes). These are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

The Original Tops can be found at: http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/index......ts_id=62

The New Tops can be found at: http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/index......ts_id=57

Ahimsa,
Vlad

PS: To Cain, I will answer your post. But in short, interpretation and comprehension are quite different. Your argument centers on comprehension. Difficult narrative prose defies mere comprehension. Rather than clutter the thread, I would love to discuss this in PM with you! Smile
Harry Lorayne
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Impossible to do that with Cain, Vlad. He's a "clutterer."
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magicfish
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The real secrets of magic are in books. What an author can convey with the written word is far beyond what he can convey in person or on video. To merely say that they are equal teaching tools and you choose dvds over books is simply not valid in any field of study. You can listen to Stephen Hawking speak for hours. And you can take notes. And ask him questions. But if you truly want ti study his work in depth, you must study what he has taken the time to put on paper.
The great John Carney has much to say about this in his writings.
But I guess the video guys wouldnt know that.
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 20:57, magicfish wrote:
The real secrets of magic are in books. What an author can convey with the written word is far beyond what he can convey in person or on video. To merely say that they are equal teaching tools and you choose dvds over books is simply not valid in any field of study.


Depending upon the subject at hand, this isn't the case.

When it comes to things like theory, explanations behind routine construction, elaboration of ideas and opinions, extra nuances on moves, etc. books offer a more efficient way of conveying the information. When it comes to the way techniques should look, however, books are of little help. One may think they know how a pass should look after reading a great description, but nothing compares to seeing the pass done well by somebody.

What's more, watching performances is vital. In no other art form is it considered a good idea to not be exposed directly to models, and since magic is a live performance art, we need to see performances in action. If you want to be a novelist, "how to write" books should only be seen as a supplement to reading as many novels as possible. If you want to be a dancer, you need to see people dancing. If you want to be a singer or a musician, you have to listen to music.
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magicfish
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I disagree. Yes, seeing a demonstration of a move can be very helpful, but a talented author can absolutely create an image in your head as to how it should look. As to watching performances, I believe this goes without saying. I never implied show business aspirants shouldnt watch other showman. Of course they should. But whats more important than how a sleight should look, in my opinion, is the timing the motivation, the direction, the intent etc.
Take Carneys Book of Secrets, or Vernons essays, or Greater Magicor the Fitzkee Trilogy. These books on dvd would not carry a fraction of the weight they carry now. Yes seeing Tommy Wonder perform on tape is awe inspiring. But to truly study his magic from the inside out, his thoughts must be read.
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 22:55, magicfish wrote:
I disagree. Yes, seeing a demonstration of a move can be very helpful, but a talented author can absolutely create an image in your head as to how it should look.


When it comes to the pass -- and specifically how it should look from the audience's point of view -- I've yet to read a single paragraph that's anywhere near as helpful as watching it done live.

Quote:
But whats more important than how a sleight should look, in my opinion, is the timing the motivation, the direction, the intent etc.


Well, I'd say those things are a part of how the sleight should look. Timing in particular is a very difficult topic to attack. We've got the oft-quoted Erdnase platitude and that opening chapter from Slydini in his book, but for the most part they're poor replacements for seeing it done.

Quote:
Yes seeing Tommy Wonder perform on tape is awe inspiring. But to truly study his magic from the inside out, his thoughts must be read.


I can agree that just watching Wonder's DVDs and ignoring the books would be a mistake if one wants to be a true student of his. But the converse of that is true as well -- if you read only the books and ignore the DVDs, then you'll be missing out a lot as well. As an example, consider that many of his thoughts on "failureffects" are centered around the way the audience perceives the failure. What better way to get more information on that than to watch his DVDs and see for yourself the way the audience perceives the failure? There are good lessons in there despite it being an L&L crowd.
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JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 20:57, magicfish wrote:.
The great John Carney has much to say about this in his writings.
But I guess the video guys wouldnt know that.

Honestly, I find this to be a rude reply. You prefer books, I prefer watching performances, seeing audience reactions and hearing what the magician has to say. Then they can refer back to the performance if they choose to. They can discuss subtle nuances that you can see IN the performance. Just because I prefer DVDs, it doesn't mean I've never read a book. In fact John is my favorite magician, and I own everything he's put out.

I have nothing AGAINST books; I have a large library and it's important to me. But I wouldn't make snide remarks about "the book guys" because they prefer books. I learn better with visuals, and enjoy them more. Others learn better with books. They are two different mediums but that doesn't mean I'm a less serious student of magic.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
clamon86
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The whole "visual learner" is a weak excuse. The point of words and language is to form pictures in your mind. If you find dvds you're only source, I call that laziness. Look at the most(among the most) successful dvds of all time, Michael Ammar card miracles, every single trick taken from a book(regardless of permission).

You only think you learn better with instant visuals because you not constrained to books. Visual learner is the same excuse for instand downloads.

As for as the legend of Harry Lorayne: that's a whole different story. His writing style is different than everyone else in that they get straight to the point while being very conversational, like he's reading to you. Almost like a "fireside chat"- political term. This is moreso in his million book on memory, which are excellent.

For me the bottom line is that there are FAR MORE excellent books than there are dvds. There are classic books, not classic dvds.

Another way to look at it: You can learn choreography, movement, and characterization from a dvd book. You learn theory, philosophy and psychology from a dvd.
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2011-08-05 01:38, clamon86 wrote:
The whole "visual learner" is a weak excuse. The point of words and language is to form pictures in your mind. If you find dvds you're only source, I call that laziness.

And I call this uninformed. I am not lazy - I learn differently than you do. My mother (who has a Ph. D in education and wrote her entire dissertation on different learning styles, using me as an example in her research) will tell you that different people learn in different ways. Where's your research? Or are you just rudely sharing uneducated opinions because you prefer books?

Interesting how I can be open minded and accept that books ARE useful and DO have an important place and that some people DO learn better using books...yet the book fanatics often don't get that. Do you call someone in a wheelchair lazy because they don't stand up? Just because someone has an alternative way to function in life, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with them.

Thanks for the insult though.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Andrew Zuber
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Harry - I will take a look at your site and look forward to browsing through the material! I've heard nothing but good things. Thank you for the information Smile
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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