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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Ade DuVal Smoking his Thumb (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mtpascoe
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The only reason I mentioned method is because you brought it up. I don't really care about how something is done unless the misdirection is good. I thank you for sharing this because I always wanted to see him perform in the natural habitat of the magician and not the clips I have seen of DuVal in the past.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-05-07 15:49, mtpascoe wrote:
I don't really care about how something is done unless the misdirection is good.

Again, how can we grow excellent magician for the future with statements like that.

And to further your thinking, the video clip does show excellent misdirection, but it seems you do not see it. He misdirects through is personality, voice, gesture, and the words he speaks.

Also he misdirects by taking the 'heat' off his movements, by taking them out of the frame of his face and chest area.

This is what I am trying to get you guys to note about Ade Duval, but as you say, "I don't care." and the is the problem with ameture magicians. The unwillingness to think there is another way.

So we stop learning, when it all about you and what you want to know. I kind of think, most magicians want success, but you can't move forward toward success, unless you open your minds to what makes a successful performer.

There is more to magic then learning a secret and how something is done.
Quote:
On 2012-05-07 15:49, mtpascoe wrote:
The only reason I mentioned method is because you brought it up.

Being this is the only video we have, and taking into consideration, understanding where I am coming from. They say example is the best explanation, so this is the only example I can give with this video, thus I must refer to it and it's contents.

Sure there is a balance between the how and the method, but all the Café members only want the how. I have been contacted hundreds of time by members that want to know how trick or moves are done. I tell them, and don't even get a thank you, and never hear from them again. But once you have the method, you need the how to make the method work. That is where good misdirection comes into play, and taking a silent trick and making it a patter trick is more magical then the gimmick itself. Because without the patter you are stuck with only a gimmick that sets in a drawer.

Once I took the Vanishing Bird Cage out around town. I stopped a guy and showed him the cage vanish. He said, "Is that all!" and walked on, without proper build up, a trick is only a trick. It is the performer with the patter to make it interesting and to draw in the audience to his world. Much like Doug Henning who opened all his shows with a kind of invitation to enter into his world for a while. Without this, you have an "Is that all" experience.

But you jump, and take out of context what you 'are only interested in' instead of reading what I am speaking about, and trying to get a real discussion on here in the forum.

If you have knowledge of various other Ade Duval videos please post a link, I and others would be very interested in these to further study him style.
mtpascoe
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The other Duval vidoes are jumbled clips that do not have sound to it. So it's good to see a glance of the man, but it doesn't give you the essense of a real performance with good quality recording device like this one was. Thanks once again for showing this.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2012-05-06 21:38, wmhegbli wrote:
Only a few comments hardly makes it a discussion, surely there are more intelligent magician then this to have a discussion on presentation.


I concur. There are many magicians more intelligent than I am.
~michael baker
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Harry Murphy
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Bill observes that Ade was “engaged with his audience. He seems to be more thrilled to be then the audience. You feel welcome and he is talking directly to you. “

That is the old stage performer transferring his skills to the TV studio. We need to remember that stage performers don’t really see their audience. The lights shining on them are just too bright. You don’t know whether you are playing to a full or empty house.

The old Vaudeville performers learned to project their personality across the lights and engage with an audience they only imagined were present. You learned to make eye contact with different sections of the imaginary audience.

You felt your audience more than saw them.

This clip shows him playing to one person, the TV camera. You felt he was playing directly to you because your point of reference was the camera. It was your eyes. Don’t forget this was a 1950 clip and the three-camera technique was not fully developed yet (Ricky Ricardo of I love Lucy fame actually perfected the technique).

Sadly we can only infer the artist’s greatness from this one small sample. I doubt is this was a fluke but more a representation of how good/great he really was.


The clip does show the hundreds or hours that went into building and perfecting the total routine. Honestly if you listen to the patter (if you simply wrote it out) it is nothing more than telling us what he’s going to do in story format.

He even tells us it is not a trick but an invention of his own! No lie there.

He tells up step by step what he is doing. However listen to how he used his voice, listen to the amusement he puts in, look at the smile, and watch what he communicates with his face in support of a given line.

“I love to toy with the incredible “(one great line!) That said with a bit of a laugh in the voice. And yet it was the exact truth! You want to believe it because of the conviction said even in the lighthearted vein.

His script/patter was simplistic (in the since of easy to understand) but designed to carry the feeling and mood of the trick forward.

Ade was a skilled actor and took those skills to make him a great and legendary magician. I believe too many magicians don’t take the acting and stagecraft of their profession seriously enough if at all.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Bill Hegbli
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Very well said, Harry, I also believe that if you would write out the script, it would be thrown on the floor. Look at his script in the book for the Multiplying Golf Balls. Most just will turn the page, and say it is nothing, as it reads very poorly. I am sure when it was transcribed from the film, it was more interesting then the words, because Duval's personality was behind each word, spoken in a certain tonal inflection and manner.
Harry Murphy
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Exactly! Tis the delivery of the script that's the key. Every inflection, body movement, facial movement, etc. helps create the artistic whole. The gestalt as it were.

I had a copy of a film script for Tennessee Williams' "A streetcar named desire". If you read the words on the paper you get nothing, nothing at all. Then watch Marlon Brando deliver the lines and you are filled with emotion. You believe in the angst of the character. That is true magic.

That is one of the elements that Ade demonstrates he has.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Michael Baker
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Don't overlook the fact that his patter says precisely what needs to be said, and coordinates perfectly with the action. There are no extra words, any more than there are extra actions.

When a script is written and read by others (rather than being witness in a video), it takes a real insight to understand the inflections and timing so that the words are properly matched with the action. One is rarely complete without the other in such a script. Too much of one, or not enough of another, and the result is not unlike a zipper that won't close. It fails to go together properly.

Gimmicks and methods are merely tools implemented to work with other props and actions that the audience does see (although in this case, nothing else is visible, except the smoke and the magician himself).

Eliminate any one of these various factors, and the whole is broken.
~michael baker
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David Charvet
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Thanks for all of the comments about the video of Ade. I saw this film years ago and knew then that a book must be written about him. I'm only sorry it could not be larger. Duval's career was incredible and certainly equal to Cardini. But unlike Cardini, Duval's act did not center around an obvious display of manipulative skill, so I believe magicians did not give him the same accolades. Still, Duval worked Radio City Music Hall 3 times - once with an entire segment of the show built around his act with staging by Vincente Minnelli. And of course the London Palladium, The Palace in New York, multiple times on the Ed Sullivan show, etc. etc. He was one of a handful of magicians of that era who really made it to the BIG time. The video shows the absolute CHARM he had over an audience, and reflects his true personality, as those who knew him have told me. He was just like that off stage. Just a nice guy you'd want to get to know better.

Alas, after I wrote the book, I found out what happened to his props. His niece told me that at the end of his life, Ade was living with his brother's family in Michigan. After Duval died in 1965, his brother, who did not really appreciate Ade's career or understand his place in the art of magic, simply threw everything away: props, scrapbooks, everything. (And yes, that includes the "smoking thumb" gimmick.) Fortunately, we have the film clip to show the REAL MAGIC that was Duval. Yes, it was him - not the props.

Again, thanks for all of the kind words. Now you know why I like writing these books about forgotten performers. I've never understood how someone who devoted their life to the art for 40 or 50 years can be forgotten. They can ALL still teach us something.

David Charvet
Pete Biro
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Idiots who don't know what's of any value throwing things away should be shot. I had 20 years of photographic files of mine at a client's office. I called to see about retrieving some of the photos for a book project. When they answered they said, "Tom doesn't work here anymore." So I asked, "Who took his place?" They answered, "Nobody, the cutbacks eliminated that job." So then I asked about the photo archives. They said, "Nobody needed them so they were thrown out."

I got sick over the loss.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Dr_J_Ayala
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Quote:
On 2012-05-08 14:56, Pete Biro wrote:
Idiots who don't know what's of any value throwing things away should be shot. I had 20 years of photographic files of mine at a client's office. I called to see about retrieving some of the photos for a book project. When they answered they said, "Tom doesn't work here anymore." So I asked, "Who took his place?" They answered, "Nobody, the cutbacks eliminated that job." So then I asked about the photo archives. They said, "Nobody needed them so they were thrown out."

I got sick over the loss.


I know what you mean - I have been there too.

The other thing that really sickened me was when I was moving to the states in 2003, we shipped our belongings via sea container. Long story short, the ship that was transporting our belongings ran into a nasty storm and lost quite a few containers. One of them had most of my magic collection in it. We did get the benefit of having insurance on all of it, but no money could replace some of the priceless books, props and heirlooms that were lost to the depths of the Atlantic.
Pete Biro
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Reminds me... Fedex has had ONE PLANE CRASH... yep, I had a package on that flight.

Luckily, I had a duplicate of the material.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
JNeal
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William!

I’ll engage you in discussion of presentation if you wish…

I agree that some aspects of magic are in relatively sorry state… and not only because so many presentations are derivative. I’m sure I’ll incur the wrath of some readers by blaming a bit of the presentational problems of today’s younger performers on too many repeated viewings of David Blaine, Criss Angel, et al; whose mumbling and laid back styles are the antithesis of Ade Duval’s enthusiastic persona.

Because too few young magicians have seen a really engaging personality driven magic performance… they derive their inspiration from Youtube magicians whose relatively patterless commentary is limited to phrases like: ‘Check it out…”

And Bill, you are right when you wrote: “Ade DuVal's somewhat jovial manner… is a refreshing twist over the magician in trouble, and the magic happening to the magician surprise, or the out of control magic props.”



It was Fred Kaps who popularized the aforementioned ‘perverse magic’ style (suggested originally by Charles Waller) wherein everything ‘happened’ to the magician, and he (Kaps) was so successful at it…that it became a favored (if not dominant) method/ style to present manipulation… but as Mr. Duval shows us…it is NOT the only way.


Another presentational problem is that many magicians have difficulty coming up with fresh things to say, so they fill time by describing the actions that they are taking (as Mr. Ayala mentions above). Dai Vernon used to call this: ‘recitations of the obvious’. It is often tedious.

What is the solution? Certainly seeing video clips of great…really great performers will open our eyes and ears to the possibility that a fresh personality can bring. But I think ultimately what matters most is that each performer needs to examine carefully how he or she can use the trick or routine to amplify or express their personality. Only by custom fitting the actions and remarks to our individual gifts can we bring magic to it’s maximum value.
visit me @ JNealShow.com
Dr_J_Ayala
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Quote:
On 2012-05-16 09:55, JNeal wrote:
...What is the solution?


Stop watching DVDs and videos on YouTube and read books.

Other than that, well said JNeal!
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-05-16 09:55, JNeal wrote:
William!
... Certainly seeing video clips of great…really great performers will open our eyes and ears to the possibility that a fresh personality can bring. But I think ultimately what matters most is that each performer needs to examine carefully how he or she can use the trick or routine to amplify or express their personality. Only by custom fitting the actions and remarks to our individual gifts can we bring magic to it’s maximum value.


I guess what I realized in posting this notice of a performer, is that it sometimes takes the obvious to be said out loud. That helps to bring it to the attention of the masses, and brings a realization to one's mind.

The book market is full of self-help books, usually only stating the obvious, because as you read these books, one is thinking, well of course that is obvious, I already know that.

So in this little video clip, I guess that is what I have seen. A different way of presenting a magic trick that I have never seen before. Of course it is obvious now that my attempt to point it out is posted in this forum, but going to a lot of magician conventions and watching many a magic evening shows at them, I have never seen this type of presentation in an appearing act.

So, naturally, it hit me as totally different an unique, the idea of expressing fun and enjoyment while performing a trick, how unheard of in the magic seen that I have been exposed to all my life. Now, I have to express, I know the children entertainers use this kind of personality, but I am speaking more on an adult level of enjoyment and fun. One where your voice does not go to a point where you are almost lowering your brain level to that of, what you think is a childrens way to communite with them. If you know what I am trying to say.

I know, I could have written a book about my discovery and become rich and famous, but I just wanted to bring this awareness to the Café members. Who needs to be rich and famous, Oh! I do, anyway.

Books are great, but Dr. J. Ayala, I have not written the book yet, nor have I read any book on presentation that brings this kind of presentation to the forefront. And I have bought and read my share of Showmanship and Presentation magic books.

JNeal, says to look to oneself, but as you know JNeal we are all actors and different people in front of an audience. Anyway, I am, so to look at oneself, is not as easy as it sounds. As that self is only there while on stage. I guess you could say, that is where the magician is an actor reference comes from, most likely.

Nice comments gentlemen! Thanks for your insight!
JNeal
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Our 'self' onstage is often a heightened version of our real self: more likable, more funny, perhaps more dramatic and commanding.
For many performers, I counsel them to imagine themselves on a first date...and present that idealized version of oneself to the audience.

I think it was Aristotle who said that in a dramatic production even a villain...must not be too villainous!

Regards-
JNeal
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Dr_J_Ayala
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My comment about reading books was meant as a solution to stop the copy cat (read: cloned) performances, to guide you to, as you put it, "look to oneself". This is along the lines of a comments that Bill made in another thread about instructions for a product he had that only gave you the basic working of the apparatus. My response (and Bill agreed) was that I loved it when magic products came with instructions like that because it forced you to be creative, unique and original. You were not given a path to follow, but rather you had to find your own.
DrVG
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Quote:
On May 3, 2012, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-05-03 11:13, mtpascoe wrote:
His method is so different from Fred Kaps. I'm sure it has to be the same gimmick, probably just applied differently.

No, the gimmick is totally different then the traditional model. Read his book for details as to what it may have been like. Ade DuVal kept this top secret and was never found after his death.

Just think, that gimmick may be setting in someone's drawer right now. We will never know.


Hi pretty assistant would surely know Smile
What a wonderful performance, I was entertained and amazed !
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